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ment. It occupied Andrew Melvill seventeen years of fierce contention and agitation before he accomplished the overthrow of Knox's superintendents, and the substitution of the foreign plant, Presbytery, which lasted no longer than till 1597. The confusion and sedition which it then (and, indeed, always has created, obliged James to restore the titular Episcopacy.
In 1603, James succeeded to the crown of England, and in 1610 he convoked a General Assembly at Glasgow, which unanimously recognized Episcopacy as the national church, in all time coming. Spottiswood, who is, perhaps, amongst the greatest men whom that church has produced, with two other titular bishops, were summoned to London, where they were duly consecrated; and who, after their return, consecrated their brethren, the other titular bishops, and ordained the clergy.
A few factious firebrands dissented from the now happily settled order of the church, and whose turbulence found able assistants in the lay nobility, who having plundered the church, rushed into the horrid sin of rebellion, rather than restore the church and abbey lands, which they seized at the reformation. Charles I. summoned a General Assembly 1638, which was packed by Presbyterians, rebels, and men inimical to church and state ; they forcibly prevented the bishops from sitting, and excommunicated them, which, respecting their spiritual powers, was a matter of no moment, as they could not cut them off from the church catholic. The effect, however, was very different in a temporal point of view; for it placed their property under confiscation, and rendered them liable to assassination, without protection or redress.
• Their properties were forfeited, and to save their lives, the bishops fled to England, where they all died save one, without providing for the succession. Such of the inferior clergy as were able to retain their benefices, being thus left without governors, sank quietly down, to all outward appearance, at least, Presbyterians. They submitted to the tyrannical " pressure from without,' which they were unable either to resist or control. As no society can subsist without government, they met in Presbyteries and Synods, but were soon obliged to withdraw from the real Presbyterians, who were called Remonstrators, on account of their fanatical and tyrannical conduct. This anomalous state of things continued till the restoration ; at which time, it will be seen by the following history, the church was again planted, and cheerfully recognized by at least nine-tenths of the clergy and people. It was in a very flourishing and united state at the Revolution; when by the relaxation of the government, the faction which had embroiled and agitated the western counties, forcibly drove the clergy from their cures on Christmas day 1688, and subjected them to the most cruel persecution.
• The civil government fell into the hands of those men who had instigated the Covenanters to their lawless violence during the two preceding reigns, and now winked at their cruel treatment of the clergy. The Covenanters urged the inclinations of the people,' i. e. the clamours of their own faction, as their claim of right to the establishment. William was deceived by those Presbyterians who had aceess to him, both before and after the Revolution. When his sagacity discovered the true state of affairs, he made several ineffectual efforts to induce the Scottish bishops to transfer their allegiance to him, and it was with considerable difficulty that he was at last prevailed on to permit the establishment of Presbytery. M'Cormac, a violent partisan, in his Life of Carstairs, says, “that it was not till he (William) found that all attempts towards a comprehension in England would probably be rendered ineffectual by the violence of the high Church party, that he yielded to the establishment of Presbytery in Scotland.' -p. 43. Nor had he sooner consented, than by the indiscreet management of those who were entrusted by him in the direction of Scottish affairs, and the headlong VIOLENCE of the Presbyterian clergy, he began to REPENT of what he had done in their favour.'—'In the preceding session of parliament, King William, being with CONSIDERABLE DIFFICULTY prevailed on to consent to the abolition of prelacy in Scotland ; but still kept sight of his favorite object, which was an entire union between the two kingdoms, both in church and state. For this reason, he absolutely refused to give his assent to an act which was proposed by some of the rigid Presbyterians, asserting that Presbytery was the only form of church-government agreeable to the word of God.'-p. 47.
The violence of the Covenanters, aided by the timid non-resistance of the Episcopal clergy, succeeded in forcing Presbytery on the nation, much against the inclinations of the people. As a nation, it has shown itself unworthy of the sacred deposit of the apostolical succession, by the sacrilegious murder of three Archbishops of St. Andrew's, and the proscription of the whole Episcopal order, with which Christ promised to be till time should merge into eternity. This murderous proscription they have bound on their souls by a solemn oath. Our Saviour's lamentation over Jerusalem applies with full force to that kingdom, which has indeed killed the prophets, and stoned them who were sent. Matt. xxiii. 37–39. Repeatedly has the attempt been made to gather them into the apostolic fellowship, and they would not; and therefore they have cut themselves off from the communion of the church catholic, and been given up to a state of anarchy and division.' - Introduction vi.—x.*
That is a fair specimen, with all its italics, and capitals, and errors of composition, of the spirit and statements of the volume. Every page abounds with the same barefaced misrepresentations, and the same rancorous bigotry. To go through the whole work to point them out would be a waste of time, we may take this extract as an example, which will spare us much labour and patience in noticing the vast tissue of falsehood compressed into a
* This reproach of 'anarchy and division' by a member of the Church of England, at this time rent by anarchy and division, even to the introduction of a Popish party, is a throwing stones out of a glass-house with a witness.
single volume. Scarce a sentence can be found in this extract which is not a flagrant affront to the truth of history. In the first place, there is an artful endeavour to represent it as a fact, that Scotland was reformed from Popery by Episcopalians, and that therefore the expulsion of the bishops thence was an act of most iniquitous outrage, and the Presbyterians usurpers. Everybody that knows any thing of history, knows that just the contrary was the case—that Scotland was reformed by Presbyterians, or, at least, by men whose opinions of church government bore the nearest resemblance to Presbytery, and finally settled into that system; men who hated and had no affinity with prelacy, but had prelates thrust in upon them by James I. from England.* Here is the tender and galling place with the Episcopalians. Like cuckoos, they were deposited in the nest of the Scottish church, by royal and arbitrary power, but instead of succeeding to throw out the rightful possessors, they were unceremoniously ejected themselves; and like disappointed harpies, as they were, they have ever since been hovering about, and glaring with greedy eyes on the lost possession. To make a plausible case of original right, they would fain represent John Knox himself, one of the sternest and most unrelenting foes of Episcopacy that ever appeared, an Episcopalian, and founding his church on a prelatic basis. Our author tells us that “ he established in 1560, an Episco'pal government under the name of superintendents, ministers, and readers ;' that Erskine of Dun, the friend of Knox, declared that a bishop or superintendent is but one office;' that provision was made for the support of superintendents in all coming time,' a form of speech which evidently indicated perpetuity; that
those superintendents, or titular bishops, lasted till Melvill twenty years afterwards violently compelled the church into a Presbyterian form. Now what is the fact? In the first place, these superintendents were not even titular bishops; they never were intended to take the place of bishops in the church—they were not even intended to be
For this we have the authority of the Book of Policy, or First Book of Discipline itself. Where our author finds that provision was made for them
* And not only prelates but Episcopal clergy—and such men too! Hear what they were from a brother bishop, “They were the worst preachers I ever heard; they were ignorant to a reproach ; and many of them were openly vicious. They were a disgrace to their orders, and the sacred functions; and were, indeed, the dreg and refuse of the northern parts. Those who were above contempt or scandal, were men of such violent tempers, that they were as much hated as the others were despised. This was the first fatal beginning of restoring Episcopacy in Scotland of which few of the bishops seemed to have any sense.'-Bishop Burnet's History of his own Times, vol. i. p. 269.
in all coming time,' we know not, for no such provision is to be found in the Book of Discipline itself. On the contrary, its words are · Because we have appointed a larger stipend to them
that shall be superintendents than to the rest of the ministers, ' we have thought it good to signifie to your honours such reasons as moved us to make difference betwixt teachers at this time . . • We consider that if ministers whom God hath endowed with his singular graces amongst us should be appointed to several places, there to make their continual residence, that then the greatest part of the realm shall be destitute of all doctrine. Therefore
we have thought it a thing most expedient at this time, that from 'the whole number of godly and learned men, now presently in this realm, be selected ten or twelve (for in so many provinces "we have divided the whole) to whom charge and commandment should be given to plant and erect kirks, to set, order, and 'appoint ministers, as the former order prescribes, to the coun
ties that shall be appointed to their care, where none now 'are.'*
Thus they were created expressly to fill up vacancies, and not to continue when those vacancies were supplied. They were equally amenable to rebuke, suspension, and deposition with the rest of the ministers of the kirk. They were bound to preach twice every week at the least. Visitors or commissioners of journeys were invested with the same powers and functions ; these were not exclusively theirs. Guthrie, Bishop of Dunkeld, tells us that in 1571, i. e., eleven years after the institution of these superintendents, it was moved in a General Assembly at Stirling, that some of these officers "being old, and divers of “them serving at their own charges, (a very unlikely practice for bishops !) it was not to be expected that when they were gone, others would undergo the burden, therefore the Lord Regent and the Estates of Parliament should be dealt with for establishing A CONSTANT FORM OF GOVERNMENT. That the General Assembly the next year at Perth resolved to choose two archbishops and two bishops, naming Mr. John Douglas as Archbishop of St. Andrew's, &c., but that this proceeding was so 'grievous to the ministry' that they never ceased to oppose this scheme till Mr. Andrew Melvill arriving from Geneva, gave them such a character of the Presbyterian discipline as determined them to have it and none other.t Now so far was Knox from being favourable to Episcopacy, or from
• Book of Discipline, 1621, p. 35. See also Knox's Historie, Guthrie's Memoirs, Lang's History of Scotland, M'Crie's Life of Knox, Caldwood's History, Dunlop's Confessions.
+ Guthrie's Memoirs, pp. 1–3.
intending his superintendents to be titular bishops, or bishops in any sense, that when he was requested to inaugurate this very Douglas as Archbishop of St. Andrew's, he not only refused, but pronounced an anathema against both the giver and receiver of the bishopric. He declared he did this because he had striven that the church of Scotland might not be subject to that order, especially after a very different one had been settled in the Book of Discipline, subscribed by the nobility and ratified by parliament.' He said, that it was laying a burden on one old man that twenty men of the best gifts could not sustain ;' and at the General Assembly at St. Andrew's, in the following month, he entered a protest against the election of Douglas, and also opponed himself directly to the making of bishops.'*
Of so much value is Mr. Stephen's first assertion. In the same passage he has a fling at that foreign plant, Presbytery:' This is one of a vast number of such allusions and assertions which like stones flung up in the air in a foolish triumph, come down continually upon his own head. Is not Episcopacy, his darling Episcopacy, also a foreign plant? If it be indigenons to this country, it of course originated here, and not in Judea, and what then becomes of his apostolic succession? Of what value is it, if it be not a foreign plant?
In the next passage he informs us that James, in 1610, convoked a General Assembly at Glasgow, wlich unanimously re* cognised Episcopacy as the national church, in all time coming.' This is a phrase over which our author chuckles with a most ludicrous glee. It is one to which he again and again recurs. Because it was enacted for all time coming,' he very sagely concludes, that it was put out of the power of all future times to alter or revoke it. He looks upon the laws made at any time in favour of the Episcopal church, as laws of the Medes and Persians, which no power under heaven can repeal or neutralize. He rubs his hands with delight, claps them in your face, and cries out, There, what do you think of that? It says for all time coming. Nothing can alter it. The Church of England is as much the church of Scotland to-day as it was 200 years ago! At page 136 he again assures us that the Assembly of 16 10 settled the establishment of Episcopacy in Scotland for erer, and put it out of the power of any Assembly of mere Presbyters to set it aside, and erect another. Nay he goes on to tell us that at the Restoration • lawyers proved to the court (what cannot lawyers prove to the satisfaction of arbitrary courts ?) that the English bishops had not been ousted by law of any point of their juris
M'Crie's Life of Knox, ii. 204, 205. Also Bannatyne, 331. Melvill's Diary, p. 26.