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tual jurisdiction, or laying his hands upon any privilege belonging to the Church, that he was rather inclined to make them greater upon a proper occasion. 66 But this licentious canvassing affairs of State,” says he, “ in the pulpit cannot be endured. I claim no more than to have the cognizance of criminal and civil causes, and to try my subjects for sedition ; that people ought to be prosecuted for mutinous expressions wheresoever delivered,-for that the pulpit should be a privileged place for unwarrantable liberty, and sermons made a screen for sedition, is more, I believe, than any good man will allow. If sedition and treason deserve punishment, the pulpit should be rather an aggravation of the fault than a protection for the offender : for here nothing but truth and duty should be delivered to the audience.”
To this one of the ministers replied, “ they did not plead for any such privilege of the pulpit ; but, since the ministers' commission and message was from God Almighty, they conceived it ought not to be called in question, or overruled by any temporal court." “I wish you would keep close to your message,” replied the king ; " for then there would be no dispute between us. But I hope it is no part of your instructions to sit at the helm, to arraign the government, harangue the people to sedition, and draw an odium upon your prince by clamour and invectives." “ If any ecclesiastic exceeds his commission, and misbehaves himself in this manner," rejoined the minister, “ he ought to be punished with the utmost severity ; but then, whether matter of fact stands thus or not, must be tried by the Church." “And shall not I,” said the king, “ be allowed the authority to call a minister into my courts, and punish him for treasonable discourses? Or is there no redress without coming to your presbyteries, and preferring a complaint against one of my own subjects? I have had proof already, in the business of Gibson and Ross, what reparation I may expect from your justice. Were the case doubtful, or any colour to excuse the discourse, it would not be so surprising to desire the minister might be convented before his own body. But this cannot be pretended in the present dispute : for Blake has taken the liberty to say, 'the treachery of the king's heart is discovered, and that all kings are the devil's bairns. Now, what can be plainer than that the man has overrun his bounds, and gone off from his message? I am not ignorant,” continued the king,
WHIT- “ what convulsions France and England have suffered by the
with them myself; and, therefore, you must not expect I should
authority annexed to your character, or settled upon your And conde- assemblies, by the Scriptures and the laws of the realm, publish a
I have no design to lessen any privilege of this kind ; and, declaration, if you desire it, I am willing to make a public declaration to the Church. that purpose.
This concession being reported, the Church-commissioners agreed to request it. The heads suggested were these : that the king would publish a declaration, that it was not his majesty's intention to prohibit any Church assemblies, or null any orders made there, but that such decrees should stand in force as formerly they had done, being warranted by the Holy Scriptures and the laws of the realm; and that the late prohibiting the barons and gentlemen to meet with the ministers was not to be stretched to any ecclesiastical synods, but only meant for a restraint of their appearing in arms; that nothing which had hitherto happened at Blake's trial should be urged to the prejudice of himself or any other minister; and, lastly, that the whole dispute should be referred to a general assembly, where the barriers between the Church and State might be fairly adjusted.
The king not only agreed to this petition, but made a farther overture of razing the late proclamations out of the councilbook,—that is, by inserting a marginal note, which imported a deletion. And, as for Blake, he was willing he should be brought into the presence, that the truth of the articles charged upon him should be referred to his conscience; and that, upon his solemn declaration how far they held good, three ministers, Lindsay, Nicholson, and Buchanan, upon hearing his confession, should pronounce what sentence they thought fit. And now the difficulties seemed all over : for the king demanded very moderate satisfaction : his majesty only required Blake to come before the council, and acknowledge
his misbehaviour to the queen. But Blake was too stiff for this the queen's reparation : he would neither condemn himself, he said, nor pardon.
own the council had any authority to prosecute him for his sermon. Upon his persisting in this obstinacy, the deposition of the witnesses was read, and the articles of information fully
proved upon him. The judgment given against him was, that ELIZAhe had treasonably slandered the king, scandalously maltreated his majesty's consort, the queen of England, and the lords of the council and session; and that, therefore, till bis majesty's pleasure was farther known, he should be confined on the north side of the Frith.
Notwithstanding this sentence, the king was willing to sus- The king pend the execution, and offer gentler terms. He condescended offers further so far, as to purpose the razing the offensive passages in the accommodacouncil-book, and to turn the complaining passages in the
proclamation upon the Papists. He likewise agreed, that no interlocutory proceedings against Blake should be made a precedent against any other minister; and that none should be questioned by the council for preaching, till it was resolved by a lawful assembly that the king might take cognizance of those preachers who had run out into heterodoxy, and exceeded their commission. On the other side, he required no more than a reasonable security for the good behaviour of the ministers ; that they would not fail in their regards to the government, nor speak disrespectfully of his majesty or his council ; and, that they would keep themselves thus in compass, he expected a promise under their hands. And all the punishment he asked for Blake was, either that he might be removed from St. Andrew's to another congregation, or suspended some time from his function: and these, considering the nature of the crime, and the stubbornness of the offender, were very merciful corrections.
However, this last condition was more than the commissioners 653. would digest. They pretended, that to punish a man without a legal trial, was not practicable in justice; that both the court and the proceedings against Blake were exceptionable ; and that the evidences produced against him were disaffected, and under the censures of the Church. To silence this cavil, the The overture king offered to name twenty unexceptionable witnesses ; and the commisthat Blake should choose-seven or eight out of this number. That sivners. these men of his own choosing should be examined touching those passages delivered by him in the pulpit ; and, which was more too, the king condescended to make them judges : and that if, upon their consciences, they could acquit him, his majesty would prosecute no farther. But all this yielding turned to no account; the ministers were peremptory in their
WHIT- demands, and held up their claim as high as ever.
The comAbp. Cant. missioners ordered two of the brethren to go to the king and
acquaint him, “ That since they could have no redress of injuries done to Christ's kingdom ; since none but the enemies of truth were countenanced; since the faithful pastors of the Church were prosecuted and reviled, they could not forbear
opposing these measures with the spiritual arms God had given Decem. 12, them.” After this, they indicted a fast with solemn prayers
for averting the judgments the mal-administration was likely
to bring down upon the kingdom. The king
And now the king found it necessary to assert his sovepublishes a declaration reignty, and strike the misbehaviour of these men. To this against the
purpose he published a declaration, in which his own condeministers.
scensions, the unreasonableness and extraordinary freedoms of the ministers were set forth; he likewise gave his subjects an assurance of his resolution to maintain the established religion, and the liberties of the Church, in their legal extent; and, lastly, all ministers were required to give the king an assurance of their loyalty by subscribing an instrument : and that till this security was given, their livings and stipends should
be sequestered. The breach About this time, some courtiers being secretly averse to an by some
accommodation, informed the king that the ministers in Edinburgh had a strong guard about them: and that they would never be quiet, till some factious people who abetted them were sent out of town. The king, believing this suggestion, ordered twenty-four most suspected for their partiality to quit the town within six hours. This they knew would be strongly resented by the ministers. And to alarm them farther, a forged letter was sent to bid them stand upon their guard, for Huntley had been with the king late last night, and put his majesty upon that severity to the burghers. This letter, directed to Bruce, was given to Balcanquel, who was to preach that morning : and thus these ministers, who needed no imaginary danger to raise their spirits and sharpen their satire,
thought it necessary to exert their zeal, and awaken the Balcanquet's people. Thus Balcanquel ran out in a long and violent in
vective against the court, called the proceedings of the council treacherous forms: and treated the president, the comptroller, and advocate, with most opprobrious language. Then applying himself particularly to the noblemen and barons, renlinded
them of their ancestors' zeal in reforming religion, and exhorted to the same resolution for maintaining it. And after the concluding prayer, he desired the noblemen and barons to meet the ministers in the little church, and assist them with their advice. When they were met, Bruce began with a remonstrance against the proceedings of the court, and desired them to solicit the king that the ministers might enjoy the benefit of their character, and not be disturbed in their function.
This request seeming reasonable, the lords Lindesay and Forbes, with two lairds and two ministers, were pitched on to present the petition.
The king then happened to be at the session or court of justice in Edinburgh; and here, the lords and the rest being admitted, Bruce spoke the petition, and made somewhat of a tragical representation of the dangers hanging over the Church : and, amongst other grievances, he mentioned that the lady Huntley, a professed papist, was entertained at court. The king, it is likely, not thinking such bold complaints fit to be answered, asked, “Who they were that durst meet against his proclamation ?" The lord Lindesay, with some passion, replied, “ that they durst do more than that, and that they would not The king
insulted. suffer their religion to miscarry.” And now, the people crowding in rudely, and filling the room, the king, without giving any answer, withdrew into the lower house, where the judges sit, and ordered the doors to be shut. Those who were sent with the petition, returning to their principals, told them there was no hopes of redress till evil counsellors were removed, and that therefore it was their way to resolve upon some farther expedient. To this, the lord Lindesay answered, there was no course to be taken but one, and that was to keep together and engage for mutual defence, and give their friends notice to come and join them: “ for,” says he, “it shall be either theirs or ours.
This advice was seconded with a great noise, Mutiny in throwing up of hands, and other signs of mutiny and misbe- Edinburgh. haviour; at last they came to a sedition in form, cried, " To arms! Bring out Haman! The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!” In short, the mob were upon the point of forcing the sessions door, and breaking in upon the king, had they not been kept off by some of the burghers, better disposed.