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names from their various tenets. The descendants of the puritans are now distinguished by the several denominations of presbyterians, independents, and baptists. Each have a separate society in London, for the support of the poor ministers of their several denominations. Many of the chapels belonging to the presbyterians have fallen into the hands of the Unitarians, who are also a numerous body. Many of the laity, however, who had joined dissenting bodies from the want of church accommodation in their own parishes, returned to the church when the new churches were built in the more populous places, by parliamentary grants.*


It is now impossible to ascertain by whom, or by what means the Christian church was first planted in Scotland. It is certain that it was very early introduced. In our sketch of the church of England, we have shown that St Paul planted the church there, while the Roman armies were still in Britain. The Romans never subdued Scotland, but they penetrated a considerable way into it. It is more than probable, it is almost certain, that Christian teachers would follow in the rear of their armies. Tertullian, an ancient father, in his book against the Jews, which he wrote about the year 200, expressly mentions, "that the parts of Britain which had been inaccessible to the Romans, were subdued to Christ." The church must therefore have been planted here before the time of Tertullian. Had there been only a few individuals who had been converted to the Christian faith, it is scarcely probable that Tertullian "In would have asserted that the kingdom was "subdued to Christ." those early days, Christianity was propagated with a rapidity of which we have now no conception. It is natural to suppose that it would require a number of years to convert a barbarous nation from gross idolatry to the worship of the true God. This appears, however, by Tertullian's account, to have been accomplished before the end of the second century. Dr Lloyd, a learned antiquary, on the authority of Bede, whom he quotes, says, that the Scottish Picts who inhabited that part of Scotland, which was next to the Britons, received the Christian faith at their hands. Bede tells us, that in the year 412, St Ninian, a Briton, was the author of their (the Scots) conversion, and that at his preaching they left the error of idolatry, and received the belief of the truth. There is no reason to doubt, that the religion which he planted then among the Picts was the same that

Neale's History of the Puritans.-Burn's Ecclesiastical Law.-Tomlin's Law Dictionary.-Appendix to Dr Furneaux's Letters to Mr Justice Blackstone.-Statutes at Large.

was established at Rome itself, and in the civilized Britain, and in all other provinces of the empire."* This conversion happened while Britain was still under the Roman government, and long before popery was known. Ninian was ordained a bishop by Martin, bishop of Tours, in France. He erected a church at Whitehorn, in Galloway, which from its being built of white stone, was called the candida casa, or the white chapel. "There," says Lloyd, on the authority of Bede, "living near the Picts, he was often conversant with them, and so had opportunity to go in unto their country when having made a general conversion of that people, he did all the other parts of an apostle; he consecrated bishops among them; he ordained priests, and divided their country into parishes: and so having formed and settled their church, he died about eighteen years after their conversion."+ That division of the kingdom which lies north of the Grampian hills, continued in idolatry long after Ninian had settled the church in the southern division. Columba, a presbyter, has the honour of planting the church north of these hills. He, with twelve companions, settled in Hyona, about the year 563. About that time the monastic life came into fashion in Europe. By patience and perseverance Columba succeeded in converting Bridei, a prince of a powerful clan. By his authority his people became nominal Christians, and Christianity gradually spread through all the northern parts. He erected monasteries in different parts of the country, which became the nurseries of religion and learning. In fact, they were the schools and universities of those ages. The bishops were chosen from among those monks, and generally resided in these monasteries, and sent their clergy to officiate in sacred things at different parts of the district. The origin of small parishes, and of the first settlement of stated parochial ministers, were exactly the same in Scotland, as we have already described, under the Church of England. Patronage became an hereditary right in the same manner. It is therefore unnecessary to repeat it here.

It is certain there were monks and secular priests, who were called Culdees, not only among the Scots, but also among the Britons and Irish. Sibbald says they were originally the clerks or clergy who landed at St Andrews with St Regulus, whom the old register of St Andrews calls a bishop. He says they formed his chapter, and lived in cells, hence their name of Culdees.‡ "The convents of these Culdees," says Goodall, "constituted the chapter, and had the election of the bishops in the several places where bishops were established. At St Andrews they continued to elect the bishops, till, in the year 1140, a priory was erected there, and filled with canons regular, who after that seem to have joined

Sibbald's History of Fife, p. 69.

Lloyd's Historical Account.

f Ibid.

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with the Culdees in the elections of bishops until the year 1273; about this time the canons jostled the Culdees entirely out of their right." Mr Pinkerton, a learned antiquary, speaking of the Culdees, says: "It is clear, from ancient charters, that far from being enemies to episcopacy, they were the very men who chose the bishops. Doubtless, he who expects to find in Scotland matters not to be found in any neighbouring country, only shows his own credulity; and that, from the fourth century, every christian country had its bishops is too well known to be insisted on. When St Martin first brought monks into Europe, about the year 380, their rigid life acquired them high esteem. In short, the bishops were chiefly chosen from their (the Culdees') order: and afterwards usurping the rights of the people, they began to choose the bishops from among themselves. Hence, in the middle ages, almost every monastery had its bishop, almost every bishopric its monastery."*

"The Culdees were not confined to the priory of St Andrews, but were scattered over the country: and these places which are designed Kils, as Kilmenie, were their seats. They were wherever a monastery or priory came to be built afterwards; yea, in the cathedrals were some of them, as at Abernethy, Dunkeld, and Brechin. They lived at first upon the labour of their hands, and the oblations on the altar; afterwards donations were made to them."†

Spottiswood says, that Congallus, on his succession to the throne, 'considering that the contempt of ministers ever breedeth contempt of religion, did carefully provide for their necessities, appointing to them mansion places at their churches where they served, and with a competent portion of land thereto adjoining, and declaring the tenth of all corns, fruits, herbs, and flocks, which did either produce or nourish to appertain properly to the church." This is the commencement of the tithes or tiends of Scotland, but which were commuted in the stormy reign of Charles I. into an assessment on the land, payable, not in the first instance as formerly by the tenant, but by the proprietor. The favour shown to the Scottish church by its " nursing fathers," soon excited the pope's avarice and ambition. He accordingly despatched emissaries to take advantage of this new opening for his universal dominion. For several centuries the Scottish ecclesiastical history is wrapped up in all the contradictions and uncertainties of monkish traditions. We meet with little very interesting down to the era of the Reformation, except the unceasing efforts of the See of Rome to maintain its supremacy, and the unspeakable injury done to the church, by compelling the bishops to repair to Rome for consecration, and thereby to leave their flocks without a shepherd. These venerable

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* Pinkerton's Enquiry, vol. ii. p.

6. c. 1.

Sir R. Sibbald's Hist. of Fife, pp. 72, 73.


fathers were frequently detained there for years, on some imaginary dispute. There they frequently remained so long before these disputes were settled, or before the pope would consecrate them, that death surprised them either in Rome itself, or on their journey homewards. This occasioned a new election of a bishop, a new journey to Rome, and new delays, vexations, and disputes. All these circumstances, however, added prodigiously to the pride, power, and wealth, of the Roman pontiff. But the vacant diocese in the mean time was left without a governor, and both the clergy and the people were left entirely without oversight or control.

The opinions of Wickliffe were extensively adopted in England, and even found their way into Scotland, where those who embraced them were called the "Lollards of Kyle." But the reformed doctrines were not preached openly by any person of eminence before the year 1524, when Patrick Hamilton, abbot of Ferme, publicly promulgated doctrines inimical to those of the Latin church. In the year 1542, the parliament enacted, in opposition to the protest of the spiritual estate, "that it should be lawful for all our sovereign lady's lieges, to have the holy writ of the Old and New Testaments in the vulgar tongue, of a good and true translation, without incurring any crime for hearing or reading the same." The reformed doctrines continued to gain proselytes, particularly through the exertions of John Knox, until they were embraced by the greater portion of the nation, including some of the principal nobles and gentlemen. These entered into a bond, whereby they renounced the doctrines and authority of the church of Rome, and engaged to maintain and promote the doctrines then promulgated. In the year 1558, the reformers assumed the designation of the CONGREGATION, and decreed "that in all parishes the curates should be instructed to read the common prayers and lessons of the Old and New Testament on Sundays and other festival days, according to the form set forth in the Book of Common Prayer." French troops were brought into the country, for the purpose of suppressing the Reformation and enslaving the kingdom. These were expelled by the assistance of queen Elizabeth. A parliament, or rather a convention of the three Estates, for the queen never ratified it, was called in the year 1560, which for ever abolished the pope's power and authority in Scotland, and prohibited the exercise of the religion of Rome under pain of death. The Estates also ratified and approved the Confession of Faith drawn up by Knox.

In the course of the same year, the FIRST BOOK OF DISCIPLINE was drawn up, approved, and subscribed, by the privy council. Knox and his coadjutors also settled the government of the church, by superintendents, parochial ministers, and readers, and divided the whole kingdom into dioceses. Spottiswood says, "the superintendents held their office during life, and their power was episcopal." Mr Erskine of Dun, one of their

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number, says, “I understand that a bischope or superintendent to be but ane office, for where the ane is the uther is." This government continued from 1560 to 1572, when a General Assembly, which met at Leith, drew up a concordat, in which it was agreed, "that those who had the old prelatical power were also to have the old prelatical names and titles of archbishops and bishops," and accordingly all the vacant sees were filled up. This order continued till the year 1575, when Mr Andrew Melville, in the General Assembly of that year, "propounded a question touching the lawfulness of the episcopal function." From that period the controversy between the episcopalians and presbyterians continued with much bitterness and exasperation on both sides, till the year 1580. In that year, the Assembly passed an act, declaring "the office of a bishop, as it is now used, and commonly taken within this realm, hath no sure warrant, authority, nor good ground, out of the book and scriptures of God, but is brought in by the folly and corruption of men's invention, to the great overthrow of the true kirk of God." They threatened the bishops with excommunication if they did not instantly resign their offices. This act was passed in the assembly which met in July; at that period the General Assembly met twice every year, and at the second or October meeting, the Assembly appointed a committee to erect a presbyterian government. Calderwood says, “it was thought meet that the clerk of register be requested to concur with Robert Pont and some others, or any three or four of them, to devise a plot of the presbyteries and constitution of the same as seemeth best in their judgments, to be reported again to the next General Assembly." The order, "to devise a plot of the presbyteries," was given by the Assembly in 1580. But it was the latter end of May, 1581, before the presbytery of Edinburgh was erected. It was the first in Scotland, and consisted of sixteen ministers of the city and adjacent parishes, and of some barons and gentlemen out of each as lay-elders.* The presbyterian form of government did not, however, acquire a legal establishment till the year 1592. James VI. assented that year to an act, declaring, "that the act of parliament made in the year 1584 against the discipline of the kirk, and liberty thereof, should be abrogated and annulled, and a ratification granted of the discipline whereof they were then in practice." As soon as the presbyterian government was thus established, a commission drew up the SECOND BOOK OF DISCIPLINE, in accordance with the change in the go"Though," says Willison, "the civil powers after the year 1560 were favourable to the Reformation; yet our reformers had great and long struggling with many who were addicted to prelacy and several


*Calderwood's History.

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