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SKETCHES OF THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE
CHURCH OF SCOTLAND.
No. II. When the First General Assembly fered to intromitt with their rents.” broke up in December 1560, it was (Calderwood's Large MS., Vol. I., p. formally “continued to the fifteenth 702.) A meeting of Parliament was day of January next,” and all who approaching, and the Popish nobili. were present promised that they ty, and their adherents, resorted in would either come to Edinburgh on great numbers to Edinburgh, and that day, or cause other Commis- cherished and avowed the most consioners to be sent in their place. fident anticipations of success. The There is no proof, however, of any Reformers, roused by the boldness of ecclesiastical meeting having been their opponents, convened and adoptheld at the time appointed. Spottis- ed the most strenuous resolutions in wood, indeed, says, that the Prior of defence of their religious liberty. St. Andrew's, who repaired to France No roll of the Members of this to the Queen, immediately upon the Assembly of the Church has been news of her husband's death, was preserved, but the place of meeting admonished “ by the Assemblie of is stated to have been in the Tol. the Kirk, then convened at Edin- booth. After consultation, it was burgh,” not to consent to her having unanimously concluded, that a hummass said when she came to Scotland. ble supplication, with articles of But the appointment of the Prior complaint and redress, should be proceeded from the Convention of presented to the Lords of the Secret the Estates which met about that Council. The supplication is set time, and which Spottiswood seems down in Knox's History of the Reto have mistaken for an Assembly of formation. It expresses great apthe Church. And although the in- prehension of the re-establishment struction alluded to may have been of Popery, and a firm determination suggested by the Reformers, it could to oppose it at every hazard. The not come from them as an “ Assem. Articles of complaint and redress, as blie of the Kirk then convened ;" for given by Calderwood, (Large MS., they did not meet in that capacity Vol. I., 704,) were in substance as till the 26th (according to the Regis, follow : ter,) or (according to Calderwood) 1. That idolatry, and all monuthe 27th of May 1561.
ments thereof, be suppressed, and In the “ Buik of the Universal the sayers and maintainers of mass Kirk,” the proceedings of this As- punished. sembly are set down as a continua II. That provision be made for the tion of the First, but it may with sustenance of Superintendants, Mi. more propriety be enumerated as the nisters, Exhorters, and Readers ; Second General Assembly of the that Superintendants and Ministers Church of Scotland, as it seems to be planted where they are needed; have met, not according to the terms and that all who contemn or disobey of any previous continuation or ad. them, in the exercise of their funcjournment, but in consequence of an tions, be punished. urgent and alarming conjuncture. 111. That the abusers and conThe Popish party began, about this temners of the Sacraments be putime, to recover from the consterna. nished. tion into which they had been IV. That no letters be issued by thrown by the rapid progress of the the Lords of Session, for the payReformation, and their hopes of re- ment of tithes, without special progaining their former affluence and au. vision that the parishioners retain as thority were greatly strengthened by much as is appointed to the Minister. the arrival of an Ambassador from V. That neither the Lords of France. He was instructed, among Session, nor any other Judges, proother things, to demand, “ that the ceed upon such precepts as may Bishops and Churchmen should be have been passed at the instance of restored to their own places, and suf- those who have lately obtained feus
of vicarages, manses, and church. It would appear that the Articles yards; and that six acres of the were presented to the Convention of best of the glebe be always reserved the Estates, as well as to the Lords of to the Minister.
the Secret Council. But whether it VI. That some punishment be ap- was in consequence of this, or of some pointed for such as purchase, bring separate requisition from the leading home, and execute the Pope's bulls Reformers, it is certain that the Conwithin this realm.
vention did issue orders for destroyThese articles may serve to shes ing all places and monuments of the state of dependence and poverty idolatry throughout the kingdom. in which the Protestant teachers The execution of these orders was were still kept, and the many devices committed to the most active and which were einployed to defraud them popular among the Reformers. The of what was allotted to them for their Earls of Arran, Argyle, and Glenmaintenance. From the third article, cairn, were directed to purify the it would appear that the religious west country; the northern districts liberty introduced by the Reforma, were entrusted to the zeal of the Lord tion was accompanied by a licen- James; and the other parts of the tious profanity. The Papists were country were assigned to men upon frequently called abusers of the Sa- whose alacrity equal dependence craments, by the Reformers. But as could be placed. Calderwood (Large the sayers and maintainers of mass MS., Vol. I., p. 708,) in describing had already been denounced in the the operations of the Reformers in first article, it is probable that, by the west, says, “ They burnt Paisthe contemners and abusers of the ley, where the Bastard Bishop nar., Sacraments mentioned in the third rowly escaped; and demolished Faila article, we are to understand those ford, Kilwinning, and part of Crosswho neglected the Lord's Supper as raguel.” Now, all these were places of no effect when administered ac- of idolatry; but from the life of the cording to the Protestant form, and Bishop being put in peril, the work those who, without any vocation as of purification, or demolition, seems Ministers, dared to go through this to have been gone about in a very una form in derision. This kind of im- warrantable way. In an order given piety seems to have been but too by Lord James, on a similar occacommon about this time, for, in the sion, to some of the Reformers in the First Book of Discipline, a distinct north, they are desired to pass to the head is occupied in demanding the church of Dunkeld, and cast down punishment of such contemners and the images, and all monuments of profaners of the Sacraments. idolatry, but they are strictly char
The Assembly seems to have ad ged to take care not to injure the stajourned till the 28th, when a meet- bility and comfort of the building. ing was again held, the Articles and (See Statistical Account, Vol. xx., p. Supplication produced and read, and 221.) Indeed it is quite plain, that a Committee appointed to present the intentions and the orders of the them. An Act of Secret Council, Reformers extended merely to places answering to every head of the Ar- and monuments of idolatry, that is, ticles and Supplication, was granted to religious houses, and images in and letters were immediately raised churches. That their intentions and upop it by sundry Ministers. No orders were exceeded—that religious other business appears to have been houses were wantonly demolished, transacted by this Assembly. But and that not merely the images, but it may not be improper to add a few the churches, were in some instanremarks upon an Act which was ces destroyed-cannot be denied. passed about this time by the Con. Yet the lamentations which have vention of the Estates, as it seems been uttered upon this head have to have been passed at the special been by far too loud. Baillie, in request of the Reformers.
his Historical Vindication, (p. 40,) In the first of the articles drawn distinctly asserts, that “ in all the up by this Assembly, it was required land, not more than three or four that idolatry, and all the monu- churches were cast down, the rest ments thereof, should be suppressed. being peaceably purged.” As to the
“ bibliothecks which were destroyed, Fathers from a belief that their works the volumes of the Fathers, and the were not to be found in Scotland, registers of the church, which were and that he might avail hiinself of gathered in heaps and consumed," their authority, without fear of questhe mischief has been greatly ex- tion or contradiction. But the charge, aggerated. To hear the account of how disingenuous soever it may have Archbishop Spottiswood, one might been, may serve to shew that theolofancy that every Abbey in Scotland gical books were not at that time comhad a library as extensive and valu. mon in the country. Kennedy, indeed, able as the famous and deplored in his letter to the Archbishop of collection at Alexandria, and that the Glasgow, (see Keith's App. p. 193,) Scottish Reformers were as fatally fu. says, that he had by him “ all the rious in their enmity to learning as Doctoris Willock had allegeit, and di. the Caliph Omar had been. “Omne verse uthors.” But Kennedy was one ignotum pro magnifico." But if we of the most learned and wealthy may judge of what was lost by what among the Popish Clergy, and it is has been spared, our literary regret probable that few of his cotemporamay be very much alleviated. In ries were so well furnished with England, no such destruction of re- books. A catalogue of the library ligious houses took place; and Le belonging to one of the Bishops has land, who visited many of them, has come down to us: And these desul. given catalogues (Collectanea, Vol. tory notices of the state of theological iv.) of the libraries belonging to learning, (which have been brought them. They seldom contained more forward, not to palliate the excesses than forty or fifty volumes, and these of the Reformers, but merely to mitigenerally consisted of copies of the gate the exaggerations of their eneGospels, and other portions of scrip- mies,) may be concluded with a copy ture, with postils or glosses, extracts of it. Robert Maxwell was Bishop from the Fathers, and legends of the of Orkney in 1526, and probably for Saints. There is no reason to sup some time afterwards. His see cerpose that the libraries of religious tainly was not one of the richest ; houses in Scotland were more ample but from his adding to the cathedral, or valuable than those of England. and entertaining King James V. in In an inventory of the effects belong his progress through the Scottish ing to the cathedral church of Glas- Isles, he seems to have been wealthy gow, which is preserved in the Char- and munificent. He was of the antulary of that See, scarcely any books cient family of Nether Pollock, and are mentioned but such as were ne- as he had been Rector of Tarbolton, cessary to the different Priests and and Provost of the Collegiate Church Chaplains who officiated in it. In of Dumbarton, before he was promot. the church of St. Mary and St. Mic ed to the Bishopric of Orkney, his chael, at Stirling, there were only library was probably as well furnishcopies of the Gospels, Epistles, and ed as those of many other Bishops Psalms, with a few Missals, Brevia. at the time. The following extract ries, and Processionals, (See the App. is taken from an inventory of his to Birrell's Diary.) Nor do the li- effects : braries of individuals seem to have “ The names of ye bukis." “ Item been richly furnished. Willock, one ape prent pontificall, ane small text of the earliest and most learned of ane pontificall; item, ane auld preachers among the Reformers, in a written pontificall; item, Seculinosermon which he delivered at Ayr, rum Scriptura; Cathena Aurea Sanc. some time in 1559, had alleged lre- ti Thomæ ; item, Psalterium cum næus, Chrysostom, Hilarius, Origen, Commento Edwardi Episcopi ; Biband Tertullian, as all condemning lia in pergameno scripta; ane Inglisse the service of the mass. Quintin buke of Goweir *; ane Inglisse buke Kennedy, Abbot of Crossraguel, in of ye Histories of Saintis liffis and speaking of this sermon, charges stories of ye Bible ; item ye Corna. Willock with having alleged these killis t."
• This may have been - The Confessio Amantis," by Gower, a favourite work with Henry VIII.
+ Probably some extracts from the Chronicles of Scotland.
Walks in Edinburgh,
“Now Morn, her rosy steps in th' eastern clime Advancing, sow'd the earth with orient pearl."_Milton.
And, lo, the ploughman, whistling 'mid
his joy, Binds to the daily yoke his sprightly
team; And merry hay-makers, man, maid, and
boy, Hie to the mead that lies along the
stream, Raising a song of blissful gladness born There's something glorious in a summer's
TAERE's something glorious in a sum.
mer's morn, When the great Sun, even like a potent
god, Remounts his throne ; the brilliant stars
are shorn Of beams, as he ascends his heavenly
road, The Moon turns pale, like Beauty in de.
cay, Serenely fading in life's radiant May. And, lo, the beautiful and opening flowers Shake the big dew-drops from their
night-bent heads, To meet the breeze that, whispering
through the bowers, Comes to salute them on their grassy
beds Like children waking on the mother's
breast, To share the purest kiss that e'er was
And, hark! the birds are stirring in the
tree; The deep-toned mavis makes the woods
rejoice ; The linnet trills his gentler minstrelsy; The wood-dove wakes his sad pathetic
voice; And to the air the buoyant lark is given, As if a messenger from earth to heaven. And, lo, the cot sends forth its curling
smoke; The early hind already is astir, And she with whom he bears the nuptial
yoke So light and sweet-fondly he kisses
her, Kisses his lovely sleeping babes--and then Bids God protect them till he come
again. And, hark ! the shepherd's voice is on the
hill, The milk-maid's song within the wil.
low'd vale ; The wild-bee's hum, along the flower.
bank'd rill, Is heard amid the pauses of the gale, And insects, dancing in the sunny ray, Tell us of lives that quickly pass away!
It was a morn of June-delightful June ! When every summer flower is in its
prime, When every summer songster is in tune, When vallies promise a blithe harvest
time, When fruitful kine are lowing on each
plain— By Heavens ! I'm at the country once
again. It was a morn of June, as I have said, And I arose, though devilish fond of
sleeping, At least of dreaming, on my lonely bed, of things that often turn my heart to
weepingof days that have been lovely days !
and friends That now repose where life's short jour
ney ends. The clock struck three as I put on my
hat, · Unlock'd the door, and stepp'd into
the street, Where I expected, though I guess'd not
what, Some curious scenes that I could scarce
ly meet When it was trampled by the busy crowd, So vain and selfish, ignorant and loud.
I wander'd through each lane, and street, Away such nonsense! Here's a handand square,
some door, But all was silent-nothing there ap. I'll go and read the name, -an Adro.
pear'd, Save drowsy watchmen, with a stupid Ha, man of many words ! thy noise is air,
o'er, Calling the watchword that they scarce. But what a pity for so short a date ! ly heard ;
Yet thou art sleeping, as I may suppose, And busy cinder-wives, poor, dirty souls! With thy loud tongue less loud now than Scraping among the ghosts of Lothian
thy nose. coals,
Sleep on-I really do not see the use Scraping, in hopes to find a brooch or ring; Of going round about the bush and For they knew better than old Æsop's
With vain circumlocution so profuse That would have gladly ta'en for such a of tropes and figures of an empty thing
sound, A single grain of barley,—no great And tricks of eloquence-if so we may stock ;
Call thy long speeches measur'd by the But they preferr'd the metal, cunning , day.
elves! For which so many thousands damn A few plain words are quite enough, I'm themselves.
Enough for Judge, enough for client A brooch, a ring, each a delightful word !
too : They speak to me of promis'd days of The client, Lord ! how long he must bliss ;
endure The ring that I may put on hand ador'd, A seat of thorns, while, self-delighted, That in its pressure is so sweet to
you press ;
Are pouring forth your eloquence ! Sleep The brooch that I may fix upon the
And wake not till folks get their business That loves me dearly, and that I love best. . done.
Ay, woman's hand is the endearing pledge
Another handsome door-a W. S. !
0 Heaven forgive me! I have done o much wrong; An Advocate's an angel, I confess, Compar'd with this man, any of the
throng Of his vile tribe, who, like a spider, roll Their webs o'er many a human fly-poor
And woman's heart is like the hidden
spring That sends its stream along the flow'ry
plain ; And, oh! when clouds of sorrow o'er us
fling Their sable folds, when storms of an
guish reign In our dark breasts, one draught from
that pure rill Can clear our sky, and bid our hearts be
I hate all things that mind me of this
hive Of wasps, that sip the sweets they have
no right to; Especially the wretch who plucks alive Poor geese, and makes them such a
devilish fright too; For though it may the housewife's store
increase, They stalk about, the very ghosts of
geese. Sleep on, for Heaven's sake! perchance,
thou dreamest Of heavy fees, those very serious evils; Then dream, for Heaven's sake! not
what thou schemest, But let it be of fire-eyed gaping devils, And spectred clients starting from the
grave To bid thee crave God's mercy-Godsake
0, woman ! thou art every thing to me, My hope, my joy, my love, my very
life; I owe so much of all my bliss to thee, That I could almost kiss that cinder.
wife Now stooping near me, with a face and
hand As black as if she came from Negro-land.