« PreviousContinue »
there time, the management of Church affairs in Scotland was under the able administration of Archbishop Spotswood, so that no outward rupture took place in opposition to the prevailing Prelacy. It is true, the hearts of the people were secretly opposed to it. The best of their Ministers were quietly fanning the spirit that had been instilled by the labours of Knox and Melville, so that any exciting cause was all that was necesa sary to produce an explosion. This was soon furnished by the folly and intolerance of Charles, aided by the ambition and extravagance of Laud. «Complete uniformity” in religion, was the object on which the king and his Archbishop had set their hearts, and all the ceremonies of the English Church were to be violently imposed on the Scotch. But this was more than the disciples of Knox and Melville were prepared to bear. They rose up in determined hostility to the new measures, and though all the means of resistance to which they had recourse cannot be justified, yet did they soon dis. cover how deeply the lessons of their great teachers had sunk into their hearts. The following account of the riots produced in Edinburgh, on the first attempt to introduce the English Service, upon the 230 July, 1637, is taken from the Appendix, where it is inserted by the author, as not being sufficiently dig. nified, in his judgment, for the pages of his History : ba
“ "On Sunday, 16th July, there were a number of little printed advertisements, ordaining intimation to be made, that it was resolved by authority that all should prepare to practise the Service Book, next Lord's Day. When this was read in the pulpits in and about Edinburgh, the people generally murmured at the uncouth novelty. On the fatal Sunday, 23d July, 1637, Ramsay and Rollock meddled not with the Service Book, but the other bishops acted so imprudently that all men began to espie a fa. tality in their conduct. To give solemnity to the Service, the two archbishops, several other bishops, the chancellor, the members of the Privy Council, the Lords of Session, and the magistrates of Edinburgh, paraded, between eight and nine o'clock in the morning, to the great Church of St. Giles, in their robes of office. A vast concourse of the people, of all sorts, had previously
, assembled in this church, but no signs of tumult appeared as the dignitaries entered. As soon, however, as the dean, Dr. Hanna, be. gan to read the Service Book, a wonderful sturre? arose. A number of the meaner sort of women, who occupied moveable seats at the lower end of the Church, and who usually kept places till the service commenced for the higher ranks, raised, with a clapping of hands, cursing, and outeries, such a barbarous hubbub, that no one could hear or be beard. The general cry from the remote corners was, They are going to say mass !!
Sorrow, sorrow, for this doleful day They are bringing in Popery among us!'
As if by simultaneous impulse, the whole congregation was so vehemently perturbed, that the like of the novelty
was never beard before, since the Reformation. When the confusion becanie such as to pre
Baal was in the Church. Por a time, the farg was directed against the dear. Some cried, He is one of a witch's breeding, and the devil's gette. Ill hanged thief ! gif at that time thou wentest to Court thou had been weill hanged, as thou wert ill hanged, thou hadst not been to be a pest to God's Kirk this day! The courage of the dean failed him, and he paused, when the bishop called on him to proceed with the collect of the day ; whereupon Janet Geddes, an old woman who kept an herb stall near the Tmne Church, cried, Deil colic the wame of ye !' and, having prefaced a while with delightful exclamations, suiting the action to her
head of the dean the moveable stool she had brought with words, she Chan. Jouking then became the dean's safe-guard from this ticket of remembrance, which passed over his head. On this signal, stools, elasped Bibles, to the amount of whole packfuls, stones, sticks, cudgels, and whatever were within the people's reach, were hurled against the dean; thereafter, invading him more nearly, they strove to pull bim from the pulpit ; others ran out of the Kirk with pitiful lamen. tations.
« Lindsay, Bishop of Edinburgh, who meant to preach after the reading of the Service, now mounted the pulpit, which was placed immediately above the reading-desk Gilled by the dean. To appease the people, he told them, that the place they occupied was boly ground; be reminded them of their duty to their God and to their King; and he eotreated them to desist from their fearful profanation : but the courage, dignity, and eloquence, even of the bishop, were inadequate to still the tumult. ln his turn, the bishop was entertained with as much irreverence as the dean had been, and the epithets, crafty fox, false anti-Christian wolse, beastly belly-god, were the best titles of dignity which were given him. It is also said, that if a stool, aimed to be thrown at him, had not, by the providence of God, been diverted by the hand of one present, the life of the reverend bishop, in that holy place, bad been endangered, if not lost. The Archbishop of St. Andrews offered to appease the multitude, but the effort only turned the tide of hitter imprecation on himself. The chancellor, from his seat, then commanded the provost and magistrates of the city to descend from the gallery in which they sat, and, by their authority, to suppress the riot. These, aided by diverse others of the Council, with much ado, in a very great tumult of confusion, thrust out of the Church most part of the congregation, and made fast the doors with bars. But although the secular power thus hurled thir rascals to the Kirk door, yet they became more furious, as directed ; they dang at the doors from without, and brake the very glass windows with stones. Still, however, the Service went on, in defiance of the rapping at the doors and breaking of the windows, till the old outery of, A Pape! a Pape ! pull bim down !' from some of the Presbyterians still left within the Church, compelled the rest of the bailies once more to forsake their places and clear the cathedral.
**Notwithstanding the praiseworthy activity of the magistrates, a good old Christian woman, who had been much desirous to remove, perceiving that she could get no passage patent, betouk herself to her Bible, in a remote corner of the Church, She carefully stopt her ears against the voice of the music from the pulpit ; but when a young man, who happened to
behind her, began to sound forth new composed comedy, (for God's worship it deserved not to be called,)
she quickly turned herself about, and warmed both his cheeks with the
The crowd formerly ejected had provided themselves with weapons of destruction. The dean, having already exposed himself to his full share of the outrage, did not feel inclined to trust himself a second time in the hands of the matrons, but skulked into the nearest shelter he could fiud. The first assault was made on a little clerical friend of the bishop. This voluntary, who had come officiously to say Amen, and who had been noticed as a special actor in the service, got his back, bones, and bellyful of buffeting distributions. His gown was rent, his service-book taken from him, and his body so pitifully beaten, that he cried often for mercy, and vowed never after to give his concurrence to such clogged devotions. They cast stones at him, and trees, and rungs, to the great peril of his life. The bishop thought to remove himself peaceably to his lodgings, but no sooner was he seen on the street, than the multitude rushed upon him like a hive of bees. When attacked with the railing and clod. ding, he advanced too far to retreat, but he tried to make his way to a friend's house near by. A female servant of that familie, taking notice of his coming, made the door cheeks and his mouth to be in ane catagorie. Whereupon his greatness was straitened with such danger, that he had never more need to have put the Pope's keys to his trial. Thus repulsed, he had nothing for it but again to take the crown of the causeway. A. Thompson, the common pastor of the Old Church, and D. Mitchell, merchant, were officious in backing the bishop; but, from his great corpus lency, and the dense crowd through which he had to press himself, it was long before he could reach his lodgings; and, during the protracted en. deavour, his ears were stunned with all the reproaches thir rascal women cuuld invent. Besides many curses, and the old watchword, 'A Pape, a Pape,' they accused him of bringing superstition into the kingdom, and of making the people slaves. A certain woman cried, 'Fye, if I could get the thrapple out of hiin.' Another answered, that although she ob. tained her desire, yet there might presently come a much worse in his
With a knowledge of history beyond her station, the first replied, that after Cardinal Beaton was sticket, we had never another cardinal sinsyne; and that, if that false Judas were now cut off, his place would he thought so ominous, that scarce any man durst hazard to be his successor,
In all probability, the bishop would have bren trodden to death, had he not gained the lodgings. When he began to ascend the steps of the outside stair, leading up to the second story of the house, a tall mansion in the High Street, the rude rout were like to tumble him backwards. With great difficulty he got up the stair to the door of his own apartment; but here he was mortified to find the door not oaly shut, but locked
against him, so he had to turn round, and plead his apology with the rabble. In agony he exclaimed he had not the wyte of it. Disregarding his protestations of innocence, and entreaties for mercy, he was cruelly hustled again into the street. In the end, he was rescued by the servants of the Earl of Weems, who carried him, panting for breath, into his lordship's lodgings. 'I persuade myself," says one of the narrators, that these speeches proceeded not from any inveterate malice which could be conceived against the bishop's person, but onlie from a zeal to God's glorie, wherewith the women's hearts were burnt up.'
“During the interval of the morning and evening's devotion, such of the council as were in town met, with eight or nine of the bishops, at the lodgings of the Lord Chancellor, and, along with the magistrates, took precautions for securing the peaceable reading of the Service Book in the afternoon. In the afternoon, the people resorted to the Kirk at the ordin-, ary time, to hear sermon; but there were neither reader nor minister there. About three o'clock, or thereby, to give, as if by possession, life and being to the Liturgy, some of the bishops and ministers returned privately to the Church, accompanied by a strong guard. A sufficient guard was also placed at the door of St. Giles, who admitted into the Church only such as were known to be favourable to Episcopacy. The crowd having, in this way, been detained in the streets, were ready to renew the riot at the dismissal of the congregation, about fire o'clock. The guard appointed to protect the bishop on his way hoine to Holyrood House, where he meant to go for safety, proved to be insufficient to control the mob; but when the forenoon's attacks were in the act of being renewed against the bishop's person, he escaped by getting into the Earl of Roxburghe's coach. An attempt to press on the carriage, and drag forth the bishop, was repelled by servants and guards with drawn swords, and the drivers cleared their way so speedily, that the people could not again overtake them. But as there happened to be a ready supply of stones near the Trone Church, which was then building, the carriage was pelted in showers thick as hail, and the Lord Privy Seal, bishop, and servants, nearly suffered the death of St. Stephen, the first martyr. The bishop's footman, and his mantled korse, received, for their lordly master's sake, many stonie rewards. It was satirically stated, that no collectors were needed to gather up the people's liberality, for, since the first reformation of religion, the prelates and Church canonists got never readier payment. The coachman received plenty of hard lapidary coyne for drivk silver. The symptoms of terror, on the part of the bishop, which some of the Presbyterian historians of the day give in triumphant details, cannot be repeated, but the saying of a nobleman who merrily brake his silence when he saw the multitode runding after the coach, may be mentioned, as indicating how far the whole affair was rather coarsely and cruelly ridiculous than vindictive,—'I will writt up,' said he, (probably Rothes) 'to the King, and tell him that the Court here is changed, for my Lord 'Traquair used ever before to get the best backing, but now the Earl of Roxburgh and the Bishop of Edinburgh have by far the greatest number of followers.'”
After the events of this day, Henderson was fairly committed to the Reform of his adopted Church, and nobly did he prosecute it while lie lived. His labours are minutely and well re. lated ; but we can only glance at his most prominent measures,
the blessings of some of which are riebly enjoyed by ourselves, at the present hour. The first that demands our notice, was the NATIONAL COVENANT, consisting of the Old Covenant, the Acts of Parliament in fayour of their Confession against Popery, and a special application of these to present circumstances. By means of this Covenant, those who were in danger of disagreeing on other points, were united in a common object, and all were committed to its prosecution. This is justly described as a masterly stroke of policy, decisive and effectual beyond precedent.” It was signed by all parties with the utmost enthusiasm, as the following extract will sufficiently attest:
Long before the appointed hour, the venerable Church of the Grey friars, and the large open space around it, were filled with Presbyterians from every quarter of Scotland. At two o'clock, Rothes, Loudon, Henderson, Dickson, and Johnston, arrived with a copy of the Covenant, ready for sigpature. Henderson constituted the meeting by prayer, . ver rie powerfullie and pertinentlie' to the purpose in band. Loudon, then, in an impressive speech, stated the occasion of their meeting. "After mentioning that the courtiers had done every thing in their power to effect a division among the Presbyterians, and, when thus weakened, to introduce innovatiou, and that they should, therefore, use every lawful mean for keeping themselves together in a common cause, he said, that, in a former period, when Papal darkness was enlightened only from the flaming faggot of the martyr's stake, the first Reformers swore, in Covenant, to maintain the most blessed Word of God, even unto the death. In a later period, when apprehensions were entertained of the restoration of Popery, King James, the nobles, and people throughout every parish, subscribed another Covenant, as a test of their religious principles. The Covenant dow about to be read had a similar object in view, and had beeu agreed to by the Commissioners. In conclusion, be, in tbeir name, solemnly took the Searcher of Hearts to witness, that they intended neither dishonour to God, nor disloyalty to the King, The Covenant was next read by Joboston, 'out of a fair parchment, about an elne squair. When the reading was finished, there was a pause and silence still as death. Rothes broke it, by request. ing that if any one of them had objections to offer, he would now be heard. They were told, that if these objectors were of the south and west coun. try, they should repair to the west end of the Kirk, where Loudon and Dickson would reason with them ; but if they belonged to the Lothians, or to the country north of the Forth, they were to go to the east end, where he and Henderson would give them every satisfaction. Feu comes, and these seu proposed but seu doubts, which were sobni resolved." These preliminarios occupied till about four o'clock, when the venerable Earl of Sutherland stepped forward, and put the firsy name to the memorable document.
of second who subscribed. After it bad gove the round of the wholeh, it was taken out to be signed by the crowd in the church-yard! " Here it was spread before them, like another roll of the prophets, upon a fat graveslone, to be read and subscribed by as many as could get uear it. Many,