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pretending one thing and doing another) goes to my heart, and makes me think God's judgments are not far off. The day will come when all men's hearts shall be opened. In the meantime I will depend upon Him who never fails them that put their trust in Him.”
Paul's Life Most of what I have transcribed was written to the lord- of Archtreasurer Burleigh, in answer to an expostulating letter of that
Whitgift. nobleman, in behalf of the Dissenters. By the tenor of the archbishop's defence, and his complaint of disappointment from his friends, it is easy to collect some great men endeavoured to embroil matters, and break the ecclesiastic establishment. That there was more interest than conscience in this practice; that these steps were not taken so much in favour of the Puritans as to dismantle religion in general, and make way for farther depredations upon the patrimony of the Church. This year sir Francis Walsingham founded a divinity lecture Divinity
lecture set at Oxford. The reader was to discourse upon the fundamentals of religion, and the holy Scriptures, by way of common ford. place, that the controversies arising from thence might be more particularly discussed. This lecture, as the university historian reports, was set up on purpose to widen the breach, and inflame the difference between the two Churches of England and Rome ; for Walsingham had a strong bias towards Puritanism. To make the design bear, Dr. John Reynolds, a violent Anti-papist, was first placed in the chair. The lecture was much commended and thronged by the young students ; but some people censured the foundation. They ventured to say the pretence of propagating truth was only a colour to convey Walsingham's sacrilege out of sight. For this gentleman, it seems, during the vacancy of the see of Oxford, had lopped the revenues. As for Dr. Reynolds, he made it his business to read against the hierarchy, and weaken the authority of the bishops. And thus, by the ascendant of Walsingham and their chancellor Leicester, divinity had a sort of new face at Oxford, and the first Reformation was reformed away in a Wood, Hist. great measure.
et Antiquit. To say something of Scotland. Andrew Melvil, who ima- Oxon. lib. 1. gined the acts of parliament lately made for controlling the jurisdiction of the assemblies, were drawn by the archbishop of St. Andrew's, projected a revenge upon this prelate. To this purpose, he procured a sort of synod convened at St. Andrew's.
WHIT- This meeting consisted of a great number of barons and others Abp. Cant. of the rich laity, intermixed with the ministers. Mr. James Adamson,
Melvil, cousin to Mr. Andrew, opened the assembly with a archbishop speech. In this exhortation, as they call it, he bore hard upon drew's, cited those who suggested the acts above-mentioned, and advised the before a kirk synod.
assembly to proceed against the person known to be the chief promoter. By this description he meant the archbishop. This
advice was followed, and the bishop was cited to appear before He protests. them. When he came, he protested in the first place against against their authority, their jurisdiction. Having premised this, he desired to know and appeals
. what articles they had against him. They took no notice of his protestation, but charged him with suggesting the statutes made in the year 1584, and with penning the king's declaration published in pursuance of those acts. They charged him likewise with misreporting the brethren that retired into England. To this the bishop, repeating his protestation, replied, “that the suggestion and draught of the statutes were things he had no hand in; but when the motion was made, and the bills formed, he voted for those provisions, and in this he had followed the direction of his conscience; and that by the second act of that parliament the authority of the three estates was
confirmed and enacted to stand unaltered, according to the James 6. ancient custom of the realm.” This the assembly men objected
was settling the episcopal jurisdiction as it stood in times of Popery. St. Andrew's replied, “The bishops were not an estate considered in themselves, but that they represented the
estate of the clergy, which was always reckoned the first estate 598. since the kingdom was converted to Christianity.” He urged
farther, that, “ the act last mentioned made no express provision for any episcopal jurisdiction. However, if the circumstances of time and place had been favourable, he told them there was enough to be said in defence of the episcopal authority.” He likewise reminded them they were none of his judges. At last, when he found them resolved to go on with their censures, he appealed to the king, the council, the three estates of the realm, or any other lawful assembly convened by his majesty.
When the bishop had left them, they entered into a debate, whether they were to admit the appeal, and stop the process. They divided upon the question, and, upon collecting the votes, had a majority of two for proceeding immediately to excommu
parl. 8. cap. 130.
He is ex
nication. The moderator, Wilkie, refused to pronounce the ELIZAsentence, neither would any other of the assembly venture upon so hardy a performance. And thus, when they were breaking up re infecta, and a good part of them had left the house, one cated by the
synod, Andrew Hunter, a young fellow, desired them to stay, and declared the Spirit had ordered him to pronounce the sentence; and thus, stepping into the chair, he read the form of excommunication.
This censure was returned the next day upon some part of the assembly; for two of the bishop's servants, being at church, prevailed with one Mr. Samuel Cunningham, the bishop's cousin, to go into the reader's seat and pronounce the sentence of excommunication against Mr. Andrew and Mr. James Melvil, and some other ministers of Fife, who had appeared with most heat against the bishop.
The appeal was laid before the king: and here the bishop Some of his excepted against the authority of their synod, and the method the synod. of their proceedings. He alleged, the meeting of the assembly was expressly against the statutes of the realm : that they were neither convened by his majesty's letter, nor the bishop of the diocese : that a secular person presided as moderator: that the meeting consisted of a majority of the laity, who were Spotswood's to have no vote in Church assemblies : and that if the number of divines had overbalanced the rest, they ought, notwithstanding, by the apostle's rule, to have been subject to the bishop's censure, and not brought him under theirs. The rest of his allegations may be omitted.
The king being informed of this clashing, gave way to the assembly, suffered the bishop to sink, and resign to a dishonourable submission. For at the next synod, instead of discussing the appeal, they came to a sort of compromise, which ran mostly in favour of the assembly. It was to this effect.
By this agreement the bishop, either under his hand or by He submits personally appearing, was to deny that he ever publicly chal-Literms oj lenged any supremacy, or pretended himself a judge over other vantage. pastors and ministers, or maintained that such claim had any warrant or foundation in Holy Scripture. And if any thing of this kind had been affirmed, he was to declare it an error against his conscience and knowledge. He was also to deny his having claimed any judicial power over the last assembly. That if he had done it, he was mistaken: and that he was to.
WHIT- blame for his imperious behaviour, and contempt of the synod. Abp. Cant. He was likewise to promise more inoffensive behaviour for the
future; to ask pardon for all past failings and omissions ; to insist upon no more privilege and jurisdiction than might be made good by the word of God. And lastly, he was to submit his doctrine and behaviour to the judgment of the general assembly without any contradiction or appeal.
On the other hand, the assembly, to give the king satisfaction, and show how willing they were to obey his highness as far as their conscience would give them leave, promised to declare the process imperfect, and the sentence of excommunication unpronounced, and restore the bishop to the condition he was in before his appearing at the St. Andrew's synod : but with this proviso, that he should perform his part of the stipulation, and manage regularly for the future.
The bishop was so over-compliant as to sign these terms, and sacrifice his character to his repose. However, this excess of humility was not sufficient for general satisfaction. Some of the bigotted ministers moved strongly for maintaining the process, confirming the sentence, and protested against the accommodation agreed by the majority.
At this assembly there was a motion for censuring the ministers who had subscribed their approbation of the statutes made in the year 1584. But upon inquiry, the number of these subscribers was found so considerable, that it was thought prudential to connive at some difference of sentiment, and not press the matter any farther.
At this general assembly, which met May the 10th, 1586, in the general the number of the presbyteries was settled, and the places of assemblies.
session fixed, by the lord clerk of the register, at the request of the divines. By this synod none are allowed to vote in the
general assemblies, but such as the Scriptures have appointed fol. 1056. Spotswood,
governors of the Church of God; that is, pastors, doctors,
and elders.” As for other persons who have any cause dependLibell. p. 56.
ing, or any business to propose in the assembly, they have the liberty of being present: that is, they may give in their petitions, and hear a business argued, but neither the laity nor deacons have any privilege of suffrage. To go on with the assembly, and give their own words: “ There are four ordained offices,” say they, “set down to us by the Scriptures ; to wit, pastors, doctors, elders, and deacons : and the name of a bishop
The laity not to vote
MS. Acts of the Asa sembly,
ought not to be taken, as it hath been in Papistry, but in common to all pastors and ministers.” The manuscript mentions a conference between the king's council and some commissioners of MS. Acts of the assembly at Holyrood house. The matter debated was bly. concerning the authority of bishops. And here the Church committee agreed some privilege should remain to the bishops. Now the assembly refusing to stand to the agreement of their own agents, the king's commissioners came into the house, and protested against their proceedings, and declared every thing null which was done by them. That which the assembly insisted on was, that since a bishop was but an ordinary pastor, any exceptions to the regularity of his life, or the doctrine maintained by him, should be tried by the presbytery and synod: and as to his commission in Church affairs, he should be under the jurisdiction of the general assembly. It was upon these heads the commissioners disagreed with them, and entered their protestation. And thus the meeting being upon the point of breaking up, they sent three of their members to the king, relaxed a little, and agreed upon this compromise : “ That 599. bishops and others commissionated to visit churches, should only be subject to the jurisdiction and censure of the general assembly, or their delegates. And that where bishops were The bishops resident, they should preside in the meetings of presbyteries the synods. and synods.” Fife was excepted in this compromise, in favour of Mr. Robert Wilkie, who was to moderate at the presbytery of St. Andrew's till the next synod. Upon this settlement the king is said to have allowed their scheme for adjusting the limits and numbers of their presbyteries.
Spotswood, The king of Scots being informed they were consulting in England about taking away the queen his mother's life, or- p. 56. dered the divines to recommend her to God's protection in their public devotions. This common office of humanity, which might have been performed to an heathen, was absolutely refused. And when the order was repeated, and the form The minis
ters refuse drawn up, none but Mr. David Lindesay, at Leith, and the court-clergy could be brought to compliance. And at Edin- the queen of burgh, which ought to have been exemplary to the rest of the kingdom, the disobedience was most public and provoking. The king, upon this, ordered Adamson, bishop of St. Andrew's, to perform the office; he was likewise to make a sermon upon the occasion ; and a day was appointed for the