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to hold assemblies with the pastors and doctors, to which assemblies all persons are subject that remain within the bounds assigned to the ministers who compose these assemblies. A most interesting chapter follows, delineating the constitution of a presbyterian church, and, of course, exhibiting that polity which was designed for Scotland. Elderships, it is said, are commonly constituted of pastors, doctors, and such as are usually called elders, who labour not in word and doctrine. The powers and duties of these elderships are enunierated, and the views of the Assembly with regard to them are thus summed up: It belongs to them to cause the ordinances made by superior assemblies to be put in execution, and to make constitutions for the decent order of the particular churches which they govern, provided they alter not rules made by the higher assemblies. This is evidently the court to which the name of presbytery was afterwards appropriated, and from which the Scottish church has received its appellation.
Synods and General Assemblies are then appointed, and their provinces defined.' Vol. I. pp. 283–286,
The innovators bad taken great pains to prepossess the nation in their favour, by representing the polity that they wished to establish, as plainly founded on Scripture, and inseparable from the purity of the reforined faith. Though they were severely disappointed that their form of discipline had not received the sanction of the legislature, tbey resolved to proceed against the prelates. They abolished the title of bishops, and required the archbishops of Glasgow and St. Andrew's to submit to the General Assembly. The archbishop of Glasgow having, with becoming dignity, resisted this usurpation, Melvil, with others of his faction, was commissioned to urge his submission. 'The subsequent extract shews the spirit of the men.
• Melvil, in execution of the commission which had been given to him, incessantly urged the prelate to submission, threatening, if he did not comply, to inflict the severest censures of the church. In one of those moments of weakness, produced by the operation of a mortal disease, the archbishop affixed his signature. The recollection of this disturbed the serenity of his mind, but the representations of one of his clergy at length soothed his anguish, and with tranquillity he met dissolution. The ingratitude of Melvil powerfully affected him. He had been his friend and his patron; he had placed him in the university of Glasgow, and bestowed on him many favours; but, although Melvil treated him in private with the utmost reverence, he in public reviled him, and he invaded his retirement, when a feeling mind should have regarded that retirement as sacred. There is nothing more painful in the investigation of the history of man, than to trace the unhappy influence of political or religious contention upon . the most amiable dispositions of the heart; but the exhibition of this infuence should from no motives of respect or of reverence be withheld, for it tends to convey the most salutary moral lessons, and to render history, what it should always be, the school of virtue.' Vol. I. pp. 295, 296
So direct an invasion of the civil authority, naturally called for the interference of Guverument, and a letter, in the king's name, was addressed to the next Assembly, requesting thein to direct their efforts to preserve the public tranquillity, and abandon the discussion of points of discipline till the meeting of parliament. With this request no disposition was shewn to comply, which strongly prejudiced the king against the Presbyterians. Though the Pirliament declined to sanction the Presbyterian discipline, yet, to gratify the ministers, all the acts which had been passed for securing the liberty of the church, were confirmed. This was far from satisfying the Presbyterians, who, confiding in the zeal of the people, were determined to carry their measures. An act was passed in the assembly of July, 1580, declaring the episcopal office to be unlawful, braving no foundation in the word of God, and ordaining, under pain of excommunication, all persons who held the office, to resign it immediately, and abstain from the exercise of the clerical function, till authorized by the General Assembly. To this attack on their order no opposition was made by the prelates ; the bishop of Dunblane signifying bis disposition to submit. Concessions were made by the archbishops of Glasgow and St. Andrew's. The king, arged by the Duke of Lennox, who was anxious to ingratiate himself with the ministers, gave a degree of countenance to the innovations, and the Presbyterian polity was introduced. The views of the Court, however, were soon altered, and an affair occurred which embroiled the factions.
• The see of Glasgow having becorne vacant, Lennox, bent upon the accumulation of wealth, resolved to appropriate the revenues of the bishopric, by presenting to it a person, who, for a small annual allowance would convey to him what the prelates had been ac. customed to enjoy. The slightest reflection might have shewn the hazard of the attempt. but, regardless of consequences, or not allowing himself to dwell upon them, he, after in vain soliciting several of the ministers, who indignantly rejected the humiliating proposal, prevailed upon Robert Montgomery, minister at Stirling, to accept of the appointment. This man had previously distinguished himself by the ardent zeal with which he had defended the sentiments of Melvil, and had even declared that those of the clergy, who, from the desire of proceeding with caution, solicited an explanation of some part of the act declaring that the office of bishop was not warranted by the word of God, displayed a lukewarmness in the cause of the church, which would justify their being openly censured. Yet, before the expiration of a few months, he not only consented to be invested with the mitre, but to purchase it by concessions, from which an honourable and a religious mind should have shrunk with horror. His conduct justly called forth the strongest expressions of disapprobation from those with whom he had formerly associated; and the General Assembly took under consideration both the illegality of the
office, and the simony of which Montgomery had been guilty: When, however, they were proceeding to deliberate, they received an intimation from the King, that, although he did not object to their thus investigating the life and doctrine of Montgomery, he required them to delay, proceeding against him as a bishop, till a conference upon the continuance of the episcopal order should have taken place. The Assembly, unwilling to irritate the King, appointed some of the members to meet with commissioners from his Majesty, and Melvil exhibited various charges, some of them of a most singular nature, and others displaying liberal views of church government, as a ground of proceeding in an ecclesiastical manner against the obnoxious bishop. These charges were at length referred to the Presbytery of Stirling, Montgomery being in the meantime enjoined to continue in his ministry, and to take no steps with respect to his appointment. By the Presbytery, whose jurisdiction he declined, he was suspended from the exercise of his pastoral functions, but urged by the Duke, and trusting to the active interference of the Sovereign, he paid to this no attention. More decisive steps were now_taken by the ministers, who considered that the existence of the Presbyterian polity was implicated with this contest. Montgomery was summoned to appear before the Synod of Lothian, to hear the sentence which had been pronounced against him; and when the King prohibited the Synod from interfering, and summoned the members to the council, they solemnly protested, that although they had appeared, to testify their obedience to his Majesty, they did not acknowledge him or his council, as judges in a matter purely ecclesiastical. They boldly declared that they would excommunicate Montgomery; and when James said that he would not permit them, they replied, in language which, thus used, might have reminded them of the arrogance of papal dominion, we must obey God rather than man, one of them praying, in the royal presence, that the King might be delivered from the evil company by which he was surrounded.' Vol. I. pp. 334-336.
In defiance of the king's mandate, the Assembly excommunicated Montgomery, who was induced by the ecclesiastical censures, to make submission, and promised that, without permission from the Assembly, he would not accept of any office. From this resolution he soon departed, and having gone to Glasgow to be installed into the archiepiscopal see, he was cited before the Presbytery, to answer for his conduct
. The Presbytery being enjoined by royal authority not to interfere, the moderator declared his resolution to proceed against Montgomery, and was by the chief magistrate of the city forcibly committed to prison. While this event inflamed the public mind and exasperated the factions, Balcanquell, one of the ministers of Edinburgh, indulging in the coarse style of invective with which it was usual to treat public affairs in the pulpit, held up Lennox, the king's favourite, to popular odium, as an enemy of the Protestant faith. When the king requested the assembly to censure Balcanquell's
intemperate discourse, after examination they declared that the minister had delivered good and solid'doctrine. Dury, who had been guilty of still greater excess, was ordered to leave the city and abstain from preaching; but appealing to the Assembly, they justified his doctrine, authorized him to preach wherever he might be placed, and advised him not to leave the city till the magistrates interposed. Dury, however, was obliged to abandon his congregation. The ministers were far from being intimidated. Melvil, with several of the most venerable reformers, was commissioned to present to the king the grievances of the church, and humbly to implore redress. When the commissioners had gained access to the king, the earl of Arran having vehemently asked who would dare sign these treasonable articles, Melvil intrepidly replied, We dare; and having affixed his own name, was followed by his associates.
The dangers to which their contest with the Court exposed the ministers, were averted by a conspiracy of the nobles, who, mortified by being excluded by favourites from offices which their birth entitled them to fill, seized the person of James, and compelled him to remove Lennox and Arran from his presence. To reconcile the nation to this act of violence, the Iords, while they professed to be actuated by a pure regard to the welfare of their country, endeavoured by all means to obtain the countenance of the church. They recalled Dury, paid the utmost attention to the wishes of the General Assembly, afforded the ministers every facility for exercising their discipline, and declared that the best security against the return of Popery, was the success of the Presbyterian schemes. The ministers, on the other hand, approved of the conduct of the lords, and improved this season of freedom, to establish new presbyteries, and by different means to give stability to their ecclesiastical constitution.
The prosperity of the ministers, however, was very transient. The king soon extricated himself from the hands of the lords, and restored Arran to his confidence. The nobles being declared rebels, were obliged to leave the kingdom. The worthless Arran abused the authority that he had recovered, to gratify his avarice and revenge. His tyranny, which pressed on all classes, of the community, was particularly directed against the church. Dury, accused of vindicating the persons who had seized the king, was ordered to leave Edinburgh. Melvil was summoned before the council, and though he shewed that the charge brought against him was groundless, he was next day required to submit himself and his doctrine to the king and council. He refused to comply, and was ordered to be confined in the castle of Blackness. Before the sentence was executed, he took refuge in Berwick; the ministers complaining from their pulpits that the king had extinguished the light of learning in the country,
and compelled the ablest advocate of religion to flee for his life. James, hostile to the popular genius of Presbyterianism, was resolved, by the aid of Parliament, to deprive the ministers of that freedom of discourse in which they indulged. The ininisters, having acquired the information that measures inimical to their polity were to be proposed to the estates, deputed David Lindsay to express their fears to the king; but as the deputy. entered the palace, he was seized and thrown into the prison of Blackness. Others who attempted to approach Parliament, were denied access. Acts having been framed, which entirely subverted the polity of the church, as it was apprehended that ministers would on the next Sunday express their mind, the magistrates of Edinburgh were ordered to silence any preacher who should disapprove the obnoxious acts.
• To this odious office they fel uch aversion, and, under a constitutional pretext, they delayed performing it till the acts had been, in the usual forın, proclaimed. The ministers, thus secured against interruption, dwelt upon the danger of the church; and Robert Pont, with Balquancal, attended when the proclamation of the statutes took place, and, observing the forms prescribed by the law of Scotiand, they formally, in name of the church, protested against them. Pont was for this offence deprived of his situation as a senator of the college of justice, while Balquancal and his colleague Lawson, dreading the utmost severity of punishment, with which indeed they had been threatened by Arran, left their charge and fled to Berwick.' Vol. I. pp. 382, 388.
The flight of many of the most respectable ministers, and the severities exercised against those that remained, spread a gloom over the country, and excited a general indignation among the people against the proceedings of the Court Arran was execrated, and the king was suspected of favouring Popery. A plan was formed in concert with the English queen, in consequence of which the banished lords were restored to their country. Arran was stripped of his power and honours, and persons of rank and respectability were entrusted with the administration of affairs.
From this revolution the Presbyterians did not reap the advantages they expected. The exiled ministers indeed were recalled; but though the nobles had made such professions of zeal for the privileges of the church, having attained their own objects, they yielded to the inclination of the king, bent on abridging the power and liberty of the ministers. They found it expedient, in a General Assembly, which, after nearly two years' interruption, was held May, 1586, to consent to the continuance of the name and office of bishop, the power of the office being much circumscribed. In thus complying with the wishes of the king, the clergy were influenced more by what