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was passed), that this great league before mentioned between the discontented party of both kingdoms, was consulted on in the year 1632, and after the King's being in Scotland, an. 1633, it went on till they took occasion another way to hatch the cockatrice' egg, which was laid so long before.” That there was truth in Laud's contention, and that the discontent produced by the Act of Revocation“the great Act,” be it remembered, " which secured an adequate and permanent provision for the parish ministers,” and whose beneficence, says Professor Hume Brown, " the national Church of Scotland has not failed to acknowledge ”1 -was one of “the two main causes for the revolt of 1638, which resulted in the National Covenant and the temporary overthrow of the royal authority” is "generally allowed by historians," and it is, of the two, the cause which receives the most “emphatic illustration in the proceedings of the Privy Council of Scotland.” But if the discontent which this Act had caused was at the bottom of the “ Troubles," "novations in religion," and the whole ecclesiastical policy of King Charles, and of his father before him, had their share also ; and it cannot but be admitted that the knowledge which the Government possessed of the state of feeling in Scotland should have bid them pause ere they superinduced a second cause which they must have known was only too likely to prove an occasion as well. It did prove the occasion. Whatever was the inspiration, whatever was the exact nature of the riot popularly associated with the name of 1 History of Scotland, Book vi. chapter 3.
Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, vol. iii. (1629. 1630), Introd. (by Professor Hume Brown) ix.
3 See Grub, Ecclesiastical History of Scotland, ii. 386. 4 Hume Brown, History of Scotland, ii. p. 301.
Jenny Geddes, that explosion took place at the introduction of this Liturgy, and it brought along with it calamities for the Church of Scotland far more lasting than those which it entailed upon the Monarchy. The Monarchy was consecrated by the tragedy at Whitehall. It was restored so soon
as ever the people of either Kingdom were free to speak. It is to-day the most popular of all our institutions. But in matters ecclesiastical, at least in the Northern Kingdom (in England in 1660 the Church of Laud was restored as emphatically as the Crown of Charles), the blow struck in 1637 had enduring consequences. All that the wisdom, by no means inconsiderable, of King James VI., all that the piety, the munificence, the taste of his son had desired for the Church of Scotland, was henceforth discredited in the eyes of the vast bulk of the Scottish people, and its realisation postponed indefinitely. That union and communion between the two National Churches of the island, which the different circumstances of their respective Reformations had not availed to break, suffered now an interruption which has not yet been terminated. There is nothing, perhaps, which the nation so deeply needs as a United Church for the United Empire : there is nothing which the interests of both Churches more require : there is nothing to which Christ, we believe, so plainly calls us. But the difficulty created by those unhappy proceedings still stands in the way.
The Scottish Covenanters tried for the union of the two Churches on a Presbyterian basis : that was the attraction to them of the Solemn League. The “Second Episcopacy achieved it on an Episcopalian basis for a season (1662-1690), but in a fashion which served only to put the great mass of the Scottish people more out of conceit with it. After the Revolution it was but the dream of one here and one there. There was friendliness, but hardly an expressed wish for restored intercommunion. Now, thank God! it is again a prayer; which He who has inspired it will doubtless grant in His own good time and way. Yet who can measure the loss which their separation has been to both Churches !
Then, again, the mixed system of Church government which existed in Scotland from 1610 to 1638 -a system which combined, on the Ignatian model, presbyterial franchises and synodical rights with episcopal oversight—the system under which alone, it has been said, presbyteries performed their executive duties — the system which really gave us our parish schools-the system which certainly produced the brightest galaxy of theologians that ever adorned our Northern sky, -John Cameron, John Forbes of Corse, William Forbes, Robert Baron, Alexander Henderson, Andrew Ramsay, David Dickson, Bishops Wedderburn and Maxwell, Durham, Samuel Rutherford, George Gillespie, Robert Baillie, Robert Douglas,—that system never got a real chance again. Under the "Second Episcopacy” there were no General Assemblies. 1
Again, in the matter of Worship—which is not, by any means, of minor importance : for the Father seeketh men to worship Him ; 2 and which it was, of course, the main object of the Liturgy of 1637 to improve among us — - the result was ruinous. No one who has ever read John Knox's 'Book of
1 Yet how well the system, even as thus truncated, could work may be read in such books as the late Dr Wilson's (of Dunning) ‘Records of the Synod of Dunblane,' and Dr Bell's (of Keig) 'Book of the Exercise of Alford' (New Spalding Club).
S. John iv. 23.
Common Order'1 (which, soon after the establishment of the Reformed doctrine, displaced in Scotland our first Reformed Service - Book, the Second Prayer Book of King Edward the Sixth ') could claim for it much intrinsic merit. But even Knox's Liturgy contained the Lord's Prayer, the Doxology (Gloria Patri),3 the Absolution,4 and the Apostles' Creed.5 Moreover, whereas before 1637 there had been a growing dissatisfaction with Knox's Book, and an upward tendency in matters of worship, the immediate effect of the introduction of 'Laud's Liturgy' was to produce a violent reaction, and a downward course so rapid and extreme,6 that not even the resistance and remonstrances of such champions of Presbytery as Ramsay and Calderwood could stay its progress. It was not till well on in the second half of the Nineteenth century that the ground then lost to us began to be recovered. Never, perhaps, in the history of the Church was the lesson so impressively read that not even the most cultivated taste, the soundest liturgical learning, or the sincerest zeal for the glory of God can justify the would-be reformers of the Church in neglecting the counsels of ordinary prudence.
But while King Charles I. and his advisers were to blame, it is equally impossible to acquit the Covenanting divines like George Gillespie 8 and
1 See the 'Book of Common Order, commonly called Knox's Liturgy' (in this series), edited by G. W. Sprott, D.D.
2 In the ‘Public Prayers,' close of the Prayer of Intercession. 3 At the end of each Psalm. 4 In the Form of Absolution. 5 In the Order of Baptism. 6 See Dr Sprott's Lee Lecture.
? The Paraphrases, however, had been prepared in the Eighteenth century (1749-1781).
8 See his 'English Popish Ceremonies.'
Robert Baillie,? who lent the aid of their learned and able pens to swell the cry, as cruel as it was groundless, that this Liturgy was “Popish.” How groundless this charge was, a candid perusal of the Liturgy itself will show: how cruel, may be read in the fate which overwhelmed the Archbishop and the King, neither of whom, as a matter of fact, and as their writings remain to prove, was in the least inclined to Romanism.
Three further allegations it may be convenient at this stage to deal with : (1) That in the points where this Scottish Liturgy differs from the contemporary English Prayer-Book (that of 1604, when, as the result of the conference at Hampton Court, Queen Elizabeth's Prayer - Book' received certain modifications and additions), the changes were the work of the “Prelate of Canterbury”; (2) that, in order to effect these “popish innovations," Laud "surreptitiously inserted them, without the King's knowledge and against his purpose"; 3 and (3) that the Liturgy as completed was imposed on the Church and kingdom of Scotland by the mere fiat of the King.
To the first of these assertions, which has been again and again repeated, the Archbishop at his trial gave a contradiction in detail. He not only asserts generally that he had “laboured to have the English Liturgy sent” to the Scots "without any omission or addition at all; that so the public Divine service might in all his Majesty's dominions have been one and the same," and that “some of the Scottish
1 See his ‘Ladensium 'Autokatákplois, the Canterburians' Self-Conviction. Baillie's attitude is the more strange because at first he wrote that he did not think the book Popish.
2 For the Scottish view of these see an interesting letter from Mr P. Galloway in Calderwood, ‘History of the Kirk of Scotland,' vi.
3 Laud, Works, iii. p. 342.