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in all things.
the bounds, and upon their collation should be admitted to the bene. fice, but not otherwise., 6. That the elections of persons presented to bishoprics should be made by the chapters of the cathedral churches; and because the chapters of divers churches were possessed by men provided before his Majesty's coronation, who bore no office in the church, that a particular nomination of ministers should be made in every diocese, to supply their rooms until the benefice should fall void. 7. That all benefices with cure under prelacies, should be conferred on actual ministers, and on no others. 8. That ministers should receive ordination from the bishop of the diocese, and, where no bishop was as yet placed, from the superintendant of the bounds. 9. That the bishops and superintendants, at the ordination of ministers, should exact of them an oath for acknowledging his Majesty's authority, and for obedience to their ordinary
In addition to these regulations there were several others of much importance, ascertaining the nature and extent of the powers with which the bishops were to be invested. It was agreed i hat all archbishops and bishops hereafter to be admitted, should exercise no farther jurisdiction in spiritual function than the superintendants ex. ercised; that they were to be subject to the church in spiritual matters, as to the king in those that were temporal; and that they should consult some of the most learned of the chapter, not fewer than six, with regard to the admission of such as were to have function in the church. Vol. I. pp. 175-176.
Knox, who was so exhausted by age and infirmities, as to be prevented from taking an active part in these arrangements, at last, after some difficulties, acquiesced, in a letter to the General Assembly, in the projected changes. Of the last days of this extraordinary man, whose death took place at the close of this year, Dr. Cook has given a very interesting account, and has delineated his character with great impartiality and judgement.
The new scheme of religious polity was speedily carried into effect; but it seems from the first to have been viewed with sus. picion and fear. The members of the General Assembly, in which it was confirmed, protested that the articles to which they agreed, were received only till farther and more perfect order might be obtained at the hand of the King's Majesty's Regent,
and the nobility.' As the innovation was so plainly owing to the desire of the courtiers to possess themselves of the riches of the church, those who were appointed to the vacant sees, were contemptuously styled tulchan* bishops. In the first general assembly after the appointment of the bishops, a parochial clergymnan was chosen to preside in the presence of the archbishop of St. Andrews, and no authority was allowed the bishops. This jealousy of episcopacy was by various causes soon ripened into an opposition too vigorous to be resisted.
* A tulchan is a calf's skin stuffed with straw, to be presented to a cow to induce her to give milk freely,
The avarice of Morton who endeavoured by the most oppressive expedients to increase his immense riches, began to prey on the reformed teachers.
By various acts of the legislature, the thirds of the revenues of benefices were set apart for the clergy, upon condition of their paying a certain proportion for the support of the King's household. These thirds were collected by men appointed by the superintendants, who, according to certain regulations, distributed the amount amongst the different classes of public instructors. One great inconvenience resulted from this arrangement. Stipends were not allocated, as it is termed in Scotch law,--that is, made payable from the parishes in which those who received them officiated; but it was necessary to wait upon the superintendants, and to submit to what, from the repeated complaints of the ministers, appears to have been attended with much inconvenience. The Regent, taking advantage of this circumstance, proposed that the thirds should be collected by him, promising that he would immediately fix the stipend of each parish, and would establish a mode of payment which would exempt the ministers from trouble; and, in order to remove all suspicions, he assured them that, if the scheme was not found advantageous to the church, the thirds should be placed on the footing upon which they had been before. He thus succeeded in getting the command of this large revenue, and he soon disclosed the motives by which, in doing so, he had been guided. Far from rendering the payment of stipends more easy, he often refused to pay at all, and the clergy were compelled to waste their time at court in the most distressing, and not unfrequently fruitless solicitations. To lessen the sum requisite for providing religious instruction, he united many parishes, appointing one minister to do the duty of several churches; he gave to the readers a trifling pittance, and even treated with the utmost harshness the venerable superintendants, the fathers of the Protestant establish ment in Scotland.. When representations were made to him for the payment of their salaries, he contemptuously replied, that, as bishops had been introduced, any other superior order was useless, and he diminished what had been constantly allotted to them.' Vol. I, pp. 234, 235.
This impolitic conduct of the Regent, deprived bim of the confidence of the ministers, and led them to think of introducing such changes into the ecclesiastical constitution, as would exempt them from servile dependence on Government, and enable them effectually to limit the prerogatives of the Crown.
About this critical period, when the slightest spark was sufficient to kindle the most alarming flame, Andrew Melvil, whose name holds so conspicuous a place in the history of his country, arrived in Scotland. This eminent man was descended from a respectable family, and was born, in the year 1545, at Baldovie, in the neighbourhood of Montrose. He received the elements of his education at the school of that town,-he completed, with high applause, a course of philosophy at St. Andrews,--and he afterwards studied for some time
at the university of Paris, the reputation of which was diffused over Europe. Having gone to Pộictiers, he filled, for a few years, a pro fessor's chair in the college, and when; upon the place being besieged, the students were dispersed, he was received into the family of a man of rank, as the preceptor of his only son. His pupil having been accidentally killed in the course of the siege, he left Poictiers and came to Geneva, the seat of ecclesiastical reformation. He was appointed professor of humanity, a decisive proof that his early reputation for science and learning had not diminished; and he listened with admiration and conviction to the principles respecting church government which Calvin inculcated, and which were enforced with fiercer zeal by Beza, the illustrious disciple of that great reformer,-a man of vast erudition, who devoted his talents to the illustration of the Scriptures, and who had imbibed, or formed the opinion, that these Scriptures were directly hostile to that episcopacy which had for many ages contaminated, as he had brought himself to believe, the church of Christ. The fame of Melvil made a deep impression upon the Bishop of Brechin, who happened to visit Geneva, and, convinced that his abilities would be of much service to the cause of religion in Scotland, he earnestly requested him to renounce the situation which he held, and to visit his native land. He felt that desire to comply which the associations of his youth so naturally tended to create, but he found much difficulty in obtaining permission, and when this was at length granted, Beza wrote with him to the General Assembly, bearing the strongest testimony to his piety and his literary attainments, and added, " that the greatest token of affection the church and university of Geneva could shew to Scotland was, that they had suffered themselves to be robbed of Mr. Andrew Melvil, that the church of Scotland might be enriched.” This letter which was delivered to the General Assembly which met in August, raised the expectations of the clergy with regard to Melvil. He was solicited to settle at St. Andrews, but, in consequence of the intreaties of the Archbishop of Glasgow, he received the important situation of principal in the university of that city.' Vol. I. 241—243.
On his arrival Melvil assiduously diffused his principles among the leading men of the church ; and having induced Dury, a minister of Edinburgh, and a man respectable from his uprightness and candour, to broach the subject in the General Assembly of August, 1575, he seized the opportunity, as if accidentally presented, to expose his views of church polity.,
• He expatiated upon the flourishing state of the church at Geneva, -explained the views of ecclesiastical polity which had been sanctioned by Calvin and Beza, men deservedly keld in estimation throughout the Protestant world; and having thus prepared his audience, he affirmed, that none ought to be office-bearers in the church, whose titles were not found in the book of God,--that, though the appellation of bishop was used in Scripture, it was not to be understood in the sense usually affixed to it, there being no superiority amongst ministers allowed by Christ, -that Jesus was the only 'Lord of the church, all his servants being equal in degree and in power;win
and that the corruptions which had crept into the state of bishops, were so great, that, unless they were removed, it could neither go well with the church, nor could religion be preserved in purity.' Vol. I. pp. 248, 249.
Six persons, of whom Melvil was one, were appointed to discuss the lawfulness of episcopacy; and thougli they came pot to the conclusions that Melvil wished, he gained considerable ground. No reply having been made to his discourse by the prelates or superintendants, his zeal and eloquence lest a deep impression on the minds of men discontented and desirous of innovation. Accordingly, when Melvil proposed the subject to the next assembly it was enacted that the bishops should take the charge of particular congregations. The agitation in the church escaped not the regent Morton. He requested Melvil' to be one of his chaplains, and offered him a rich benefice on coudition of desisting from opposing prelacy. The offer was at once rejected. The Regent, though desirous of preserving episcopacy, being provoked by the Assembly, who, to shew their authority, but under pretence of having dilapidated his benefice, had deposed the bishop of Dunkeld, gave them the choice of abiding by the present, or framing a new form of church-government. The innovators eagerly embraced this apparent permission to digest their opinions into what was called the Secondi Book of Discipline. The result being laid before Morton, as he was unwilling to retract what he had said, he delayed the completion of the work by starting difficulties. After repeated discussions, protracted through successive assemblies, the ministers concurred in a scheme, just about the time that Morton resigned the regency; an event which gave the presbyterians a vast advantage, sivce the vigour of Government was greatly impaired by the parties who contended for the favour of the young king. A deputation from the Assembly was ordered to present the system of polity to the king and his council; but though a favourable answer was returned, and Parliament appointed several of its members to confer with the commissioners of the Assembly, they came to no agreement; the courtiers objecting to those articles that seemed to interfere with the prerogatives of the Crown.
· The scheme of polity thus presented to the King and Parliament was the work of much labour and anxious deliberation. It was maturely discussed by successive Assemblies; it was repeatedly altered. and corrected; and it may be considered as containing the most authentic detail of the opinions and practices which Melvil was labouring to introduce. Much of it is nearly the same with the First, Book of Discipline, but it is necessary to mention the leading points in which it differed from what Knox and the early reformers had composed and sanctioned. It is divided into thirteen chapters, each
of which is devoted to a particular branch of the ecclesiastical con. stitution. At the commencement, it distinguishes between the civil and the spiritual power ; affirms that Christ alone can be properly styled the head of the church, and that they who bear office in it ought not to usurp dominion, or to be called lords, but ministers, disciples, and servants; that the magistrate ought to assist, maintain, and fortify, the jurisdiction of the church ; that ministers should assist princes in all things consistent with Scripture; and that, as ministers are subject to the punishment and judgment of magistrates in external things, magistrates ought to submit themselves to the discipline of the church, if they transgress in matters of conscience and religion. In the chapter which treats of the general polity of the church, and of the persons to whom the administration of it should be committed, a line is drawn between the clergy and the laity; the different kinds of ministers are enumerated; it is observed, that, for avoiding tyradny, they should rule with mutual consent of brethren, and equality of power; that there are four ordinary offices or functions in the church of God, the minister or bishop, the doctor, the presbyter or elder, and the deacon; that no more offices should be suffered in the true church; and that therefore all ambitious titles, invented in the kingdom of Antichrist, and his usurped hierarchy, which are not comprehended ander these four, ought to be rejected. It is asserted that there is an extraordinary and an ordinary call to enter on the ministry,-- the former proceeding from God himself, and exemplified in the case of the apostles and prophets,—the latter consisting in the approbation of men according to the order established, without which it is not lawful for any person to meddle in any ecclesiastical function; that this approbation comprehends election and ordination, the choice of a particular person by the eldership and congregation, and the setting apart of this person, after proper trial, by prayer, and the imposition of the hands of the eldership; that all the officebearers thus called should have their particular Aocks, should reside antongst them, superintend them, and take only such titles as are to be found in Scripture. This subject is more particularly discussed in a subsequent chapter, in which it is declared that pastors, bishops, or ministers, are they who are appointed to particular congregations, which they rule by the word of God, and over which they watch; in respect whereof they are sometimes called pastors, because they feed their congregations ; sometimes episcopi or bishops, because they watch over their flocks; sometimes ministers, by reason of their ser. vice or office; sometimes also presbyters, or seniors, for the gravity of manners which they ought to have, as taking care of the spiritual government, which should be most dear to them. The duties of ministers are then distinctly specified. Doctors are those who explain the Scriptures without making practical applications as the pastor; and under this class is comprehended the order in colleges and universities, which, it is said, ought to be carefully maintained. Elders ae mentioned as a perpetual order in a Christian church, whose duty it is to assist the pastor in preserving a regard to religion and morality amongst the people; to admonish men of their duties; and principally
VOL. VIII. N.S.