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SX ETCHES OF THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE
CHURCH OF SCOTLAND.
The Fifth General Assembly met, that improper persons were permitted according to appointment, on the to be schoolmasters. 25th of December 1562, in the Old In the Second Session, which was Council House, Edinburgh; and not held till the 28th of December, John Knox “callit upoun Godis trial was taken of Superintendants name for the assistance of his holie and Ministers, agreeably to the orspirit."
der which had been laid down in the The First Session seems to have last Assembly. It was concluded been occupied with the case of Ro that the names of Ministers, Exhortbert Cuming, schoolmaster of Ar ers, and Readers, with the dates of broath. The Superintendant of An- their entering upon office, should be gus and Mearns had complained presented to the Lords appointed for that he infected the youth committed the modification of stipends, in order to his charge with idolatry—by that they might receive payment which is probably to be understood, quarterly; and in the event of any that he retained and expressed some Minister, Exhorter, or Reader, dying, favour for the Popish doctrines. The it was ordained that his executors particulars of the
case are not record- should receive the stipend for the ed, but Knox (Hist. of Ref. p. 323,) time he had served, and that his tells us that sentence was pronounced successor, in like manner, should be against him. The progress of Re- paid pro rata servitii. As burghs, in formation in Scotland was very Popish times, had been burdened much promoted by the teachers of with the maintenance of the Priests, youth, and several of the most dis- it was thought reasonable that they tinguished Reformers seem to have should now contribute to support the received the knowledge of the truth servants of the Protestant Church : when at school. The Church, when and the Comptroller requested such it was established, took a vigilant Commissioners of burghs as were and tender care in the education of present, to signify to him, within youth. In the First Book of Dis a reasonable time, what could be cipline, it was provided, “ that every
done in this matter. several Kirk should have one school In the Third Session, it was ormaster appointed ;” and this seems dained that all persons serving in the to have been the origin of parochial ministry, who had not been admitted sehools. Long before this period, according to the order appointed in schools had been erected ; and so the First Book of Discipline, should early as 1496, it was enacted, that all be inhibited from the exercise of their Barons and Freeholders should put function. This Act was declared to their eldest sons to the schools at eight comprehend Exhorters and Readers, or nine years of age. But the plan of and to have force against those establishing a school in every parish called Bishops, as well as others. seems to have originated with the It was ordered to be published by Reformers. In Catholic times, schools Superintendants and Commissioners, were only to be found attached to throughout their respective districts, Cathedral Churches, and the more and copies of it were to be affixed to richly endowed religious houses. the doors of the principal churches. Perhaps the person whose case has Those who contemptuously contiled to these remarks, was originally nued in the ministry, after being thus connected with the Abbey of Are inhibited, were to be proceeded broath, and had not been sufficiently against by censure, to excommuni. acquainted with the doctrines of the cation. Reformers. His case, although it be The remainder of this Session was the only one specified, seems not to occupied in making arrangements for have been singular ; for Knox tells the supply of vacant churches. Mr us, that, during this Assembly, it Alexander Gordon, who had been was a subject of general complaint, Catholic Bishop of Galloway, and
Mr Robert Pont, were put upon the vince. This seems to have been the leet, for the Superintendantship of origin of our provincial Synods, of Dumfries. In the meantime, as was which the constitution and time of mentioned in the sketch of the Fourth meeting still correspond with the first Assembly, Gordon received a com- appointment. In this Session, Knox mission to admit Ministers, Eshort- received a commission to repair to ers, and Readers, and to do such Jedburgh, and investigate a slander things as were usual in the planting which had arisen against Paul Meth. of churches. Mr George Hay, Mr ven, Minister of that burgh. This John Row, and Adlam Heriot, were case occupied the attention of several put upon the leet for the Superin- succeeding Assemblies; but it may tendantship of Aberdeen. A com be as well at once to collect and mission was given to Mr John Hep- state the particulars of it. Methven burn, Minister of Brechin, to preach had been one of the earliest and most throughout Murray, and to send such zealous of the Reformers. He is men. persons as he might find qualified to tioned by Calderwood, (Large MS. be Ministers, Exhorters, or Readers, Vol. p. 286,) as preaching along with that they might be tried and admita Harlaw, Willock, and Douglas, in ted to their respective offices by the 1555. In 1558 he was summoned, Superintendant to be appointed for with others, to appear before the Aberdeen. David Forrest, whose Queen Regent; and, in the same year, sufficiency for the function of the he was ordered to attend a ConvocaMinistry was well known, was so tion of the Popish Clergy. He was lemnly charged to enter upon it; and outlawed for not appearing, but conhe and Mr Patrick Cockburn were tinued lurking about Dundee and proposed for the Superintendantship Perth; and, as the Reformation ad. of Jedburgh. Those arrangements, vanced, resumed his preaching with however, seem not to have been quite great fervency and success. In the agreeable to the Lords of Secret Coun. First General Assembly he was apcil; and, in the following Session, pointed Minister of Jedburgh, where the Assembly remitted the nomina he remained till a rumour of his tion of the persons to them.
having committed adultery arose. The case of Mr Archibald Keith, He at first denied the crime, but the Minister of Logie and Balmerinoch, evidence against him becoming clear, which is omitted by Calderwood, he fled. Knox, and the Elders who but inserted in the Buik of the Uni were joined in commission with him, versal Kirk, was discussed in this according to their instructions, reSession. His stipends were not suf- ported the case to the Session of ficiently paid, and the Assembly de- Edinburgh; and Methven, for his cerned, that, unless he were satisfied crime and non-appearance, was exupon this point, he should be trans communicated and deposed. He gave lated from these churches to some in a representation to the next Asother. It was provided, however, sembly, and promised to undergo that he should not remove according any punishment which might be apto his own pleasure, but that the pointed. This representation was fachurch to which he should repair vourably received ; and it was agreed should be appointed by the Assem- that the Lords of Council should be bly. This power of translating Mi- spoken to in his behalf. In the nisters was, in the Fourth Session, meantime, he seems to have resumed delegated to Superintendants, and a the functions of the Ministry in majority of the Elders and Ministers England, whether he had retired. within their bounds. It was also This was resented by the Assembly, ordained that Superintendants should as a contempt of the sentence of indict their Synodal Conventions deposition which had been passed twice a-year, in April and October; against him. He gave in another and that sufficient advertisements representation, expressing his desire should be given to particular church to be reconciled to the church, and es, that the Ministers, with their requesting that the particulars of his Elder, or Deacon, might repair to case should be erased from the record. the place appointed, and consult The Assembly professed their willing. upon the common affairs of the pro ness to receive him, upon his shewing
suitable signs of repentance, but re and Law, who were afterwards Arch
mutilate their mi- bishops of St. Andrew's and Glasgow, nutes. Methven did not appear till were accused of playing at foot-ball the Assembly in June 1566, when it after sermon with their parishioners; was concluded that he should be re and that Porterfield, who was Miniceived to public repentance ; the form ster at Ayr about 1590, used freto be regulated by a committee, and to quently to go out on the afternoon of be inserted in their records. No men the Lord's Day to see the shooting tion is made of him after this ; but with bow and arrow, which was a W odrow, in bis Life of Methven,
common exercise at that time. seems inclined to believe that he was In this Session, it was also conabsolved by the Assembly, and re
cluded, that the order laid down in turned to England. After inserting the Book of Geneva should be unithe leading particulars of this case, formly kept in the ministration of Knox assigns two reasons for noticing the Sacraments, the solemnization of it: 1. That they who stand may marriages, and the burial of the dead. take heed lest they fall; for at the The Book of Geneva was originally commencement of the Reformation, drawn up for the use of the English no one was reckoned more fervent or Congregation in that place. It was upright than Methven; and, II. To adopted by the Reformers in Scotshew the superiority of the Protest- land, and called the Book of Common ants over the Papists, who openly Order. An edition of it was put tolerated and committed such crimes. forth about this time at Edinburgh,
In the Fifth Session, which was and it has been reprinted in the held on the last day of December, Phænix, and in Dunlop's Collection Commissioners were appointed to as
of Confessions. The order for burial certain what causes should come un.
is very brief, and merely directs that der the decision of the Church; and the Minister, if he be present and all Ministers, except the Superintend- required, may repair to the church, if ants, and those whom they should it be not far off, and make some comnominate, were prohibited
from judg. fortable exhortation to the people, ing in cases of divorce. These Com- touching death and the resurrection. missioners were also instructed to do The order of marriage is more mitheir endeavour, that all markets nute, and requires that the banna be held upon the Lord's Day should be proclaimed three several days, and abolished. So early as 1469, it was that the parties present themselves, statute, " that the incasting and out before sermon, in the face of the concasting of tenants should be deferred gregation, when the Minister, after a till three days after Whitsunday and suitable admonition, shall proceed to
lest the devotions of declare them married persons. The the people should be disturbed. It form of administering the Sacrawas also ordained that no fairs should ments differs in no material point be held on solemn days; and that from that which is at present oblabourers should only work till four served among us. In this Session, it o'clock on Saturday, and other festival was agreed that the Sacrament of the evens. But the abuses which these Lord's Supper should be administerenactments were intended to correct, ed four times a-year in burghs, but seem to have continued. The Re- only twice a-year in country paformers, when they abolished all fes- rishes; and the Superintendants were tival days, might have expected a appointed to confer with the Lords more solemn observance of the Sabe of Secret Council as to the means of bath. It was some time, however, furnishing the Elements. Knox rebefore the people could be brought ceived a special commission to make to give up the liberties to which they supplication to the Queen for suphad been accustomed ; and, for many port of the poor. As he had opened years after the Reformation, things the First Session with prayer, so he were commonly done on that day again " made invocation of the name which were quite inconsistent with of God,” and the Assembly dissolthe authority and usefulness of its ved. institution. 'In illustration of this, No formal motion seems to have it may be mentioned, that Spotswood been made upon the subject; but it
is mentioned, both in Calderwood " that idolatry was erected in diverse and the Buik of the Universal Kirk, places ;" and some thought that anothat during the Assembly great com ther supplication upon this subject plaints were made “ that Ministers should be presented to the Queen. lacked stipends." The Comptroller, When it was said that no answer had the Justice Clerk, and the Clerk Re- been given to the former supplicagister, required that these complaints tion, it was answered, that, since the should be specially laid before them, meeting of last Assembly, the state in order that they might obtain re of the country had been too much dress. And as the manses were in disturbed to allow her Majesty to many cases set in tack, or otherwise attend to this matter ; but it was occupied, so that Ministers could not hoped, that, before the meeting of conveniently reside at their churches, Parliament, which was to be held in it was proposed that all such manses May, such measures would be taken should, in the first instance, be an as would satisfy all reasonable men. nexed to the crown, and that there. The Assembly seem to have placed after the complaints of Ministers, some reliance upon the expectation upon this head, might be heard and which was thus held out, and the answered. It was also complained, point was not insisted on.
Is there a heart which delights not to cling Where with life in its morn, and with To the objects it lov'd in its youth's health in its prime, early spring ?
We fasten'd new wings on the light The glen or the mountain, the lake or foot of time.
the stream, Remember'd like phantoms that fit
Ah! were we but near them-those scenes
lov'd so well, through a dream.
What a change would we find ! what Though friends have been false, or though a tale would they tell ! hope has betray'd,
The tempest of grief, and the calm of de. Though our life led us on through af.
spair, Aliction and shade,
And the dark gloomy silence of death Though the visions of childhood have lost
hath been there. all their charm, Though the mind be less buoyant, the Light hearts have been broken that dreamt bosom less warm ;
not of guile;
Bright eyes have grown dim, and fair Yet still 'tis a joy a joy hallow'd by lips lost their smile ;
And the young and the lovely, on whose To look back through the vista of life's banish'd years,
Shone the garland of myrtle,-ah! To recall once again those far happier where are they now ?
hours, When our sky was all sunshine, our
They are gone,-and you look for their earth was all flow'rs;
coming in vain,
To the haunts of lost years they return And we love to connect with those days
not again; of bright hue,
On the ocean of life they are tost to and The scenes where we revell'd, the. fro, friends whom we know;
With a dark sky above them, and wild We love to believe that there still is a
waves below. spot Where old ties and old pleasures have
Then roam on, thou wanderer ! and only
in dreams not been forgot.
Revisit thy mountains and lov'd native' Our heart wings its flight over mountains
streams; and seas,
Then fondly your eye on the vision may To the village, and streamlet, and dwell, clump of green trees,
Ere the gloom of reality ruin the spell !
A LOVER'S THOUGHTS ON LOVE.
« Oh! there's nothing half so sweet in life as lore's young dream."--Moore. - O amour, amour, amour, amour! Pauvre Polichinelle, quelle diable de fantaisie l'es.tu allé mettre dans la cervelle ?" -Molière.
I QUESTION very much whether I you, good Heavens ! can he ask shall be able to write with my usual such a question ?" The gallant St. good sense upon this most interesting Preux, to whom your words are adand serious subject. Love is a pas- dressed, flinging into his tones the sion, which, from the days of Sappho gentle melody of a shepherd's pipe down to those of Miss L. E. Landon, upon the mountains, whispers tenhas been celebrated above all others derly, “ Forgive him, Amelia ; he for exercising the most despotic sway has never seen you.” The blushing over human actions and character. Amelia casts her bright eyes upon The being, perhaps, never lived who the ground, and her heart, “ fra did not at one period or other of his tanti palpiti e tanti,” convinces her existence experience the full force of that she at least knows what love is. its influence. It is the passion which I once thought so too, Amelia. supplies the materials of history, But I was mistaken, and so are you, gives interest to the pages of romance, fair maiden. A man may be in love and breathes new fervour into the for twenty years,—nay, for all his inspirations of poetry. It is the pas- life, and yet not have the most dission by which a mortal may be raised tant notion of the sort of person he to the skies, or an angel pulled down has to deal with. Cupid is a very to the earth. On one hand, we find Proteus. The Cameleon never asit giving rise to all the miseries of sumes so vast a variety of hues as he separation, all the wretchedness of can do. Besides, there are a thou. inconstancy, and all the agonies of sand impostors abroad, no more like jealousy ; on the other, we trace to the true son of Mars and Venus it the source of the purest and high- “ than I to Hercules.” They are est pleasures of which the human pseudo-pretenders to the name of mind is susceptible, and in compari- Cupid, born of Nox and Erebus, or son with which even the happiness of the Apothecary Mercury and the that results from the attainment of frail virgin Diana. It is often very well-merited glory is of small ac- difficult to detect these false deities. count. Such happiness is, in its very They puzzle even a connoisseur; nature, personal and selfish, and so are all the enjoyments of mortality,
• Methinks there be six Richmonds in except those which spring from love.
the field ; It is to this very circumstance that it Five have I slain to-day, instead of
him.” owes its superiority, for, as Madame De Stael has well remarked, “il But sooner or later the counterfeit is n'est pas un moment où d'avoir vécu discovered. Much good blacking is pour un autre, ne fût plus doux que sold for Warren's, but you may ded'avoir existé pour soi.”
pend upon it, unless that great man's But gently, my good Pegasus, signature is on the bottle, your boots gently. You are in the clouds als will never have the true polish. Thus ready. A little less declamation, if many a little urchin, abundantly you please, and somewhat more com- blind, and with a quiver sufficiently inon sense. Will you have the good- full of arrows, will venture to attack ness to tell me, thrice excellent you as you move through your own reader! what love is ? “ Good sphere of society ; but be of good Heavens !" I hear you exclaim, with heart ; you are in no danger. The the silver softness of “ sweet eigh- true conqueror of conquerors but teen,” casting, at the same time, one rarely sends a shaft from his omni. of your archest and sunniest smiles potent bow. He who rides on the on the happy youth who sits beside dolphin's or lion's back, and breaks