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Men of all classes being so much inclined to the new religion, in the parliament that met in pursuance of the treaty persons were chosen to draw up a summary of the Protestant tenets, which was no sooner presented than it received the sanction of that assembly. This parliament likewise, in compliance with the wishes of the reformers, passed other acts, abolishing the jurisdiction of the popes in Scotland, abrogating the laws in favour of the ancient church, and threatening those who should attend mass, for the first offence, confiscation of goods, for the second, banishment, and the third, death ;-thu's justifying the cruelties of which they had themselves so loudly, complained. As the family of Guise had now defeated their enemies, the persons appointed to lay the proceedings of this parliament before the king and queen, found them not disposed to ratify the treaty. The consternation, however, into which this refusal threw the innovators was but momentary, for the death of Francis, which happened about this time, delivered them from it, and meanwhile the new teachers, by the advice of the council, had framed the Book of Discipline, in order more effectually to diffuse the doctrines that had received the approbation of the estates.
In the two last chapters of the second volume, Dr. Cook enters into an able and perspicuous analysis of these compositions--the Confession of Faith, and the Book of Discipline, which contain the doctrine and polity of the Scotch kirk. Having detailed the reasons that led to the framing of the Confession of Faith, he points out its striking contrast to the old religion, its 'tendency to promote pure morality, and its doctrine with regard to the church, the sacraments, and obedience to civil magistrates, and concludes this review of the Confession with some just and moderate observations on religious establishments. The Book of Discipline, containing the polity of the new church, proceeds on the supposition, that no form of ecclesiastical government, being laid down in the New Testament, Christians are left at liberty to devise such a policy as may appear the most adapted to promote the interests of religion. On this principle he proceeds to evince the wisdom of its regulations respecting ministers, the education of youth, and the support of the poor. Even those who may not acquiesce in the principle on which the Book of Discipline is founded, will not be offended at the modest, and, in many parts, merited panegyric, which our author bestows on the polity of his church, and the enlightened and pious men who devised it. No person, indeed, can peruse this chapter without forming a very high idea of their sagacity and virtue.
The new faith, having thus obtained the sanction of parliament, may now be considered as established. Dr. Cook, indeed, in the third volume, minutely details the events .connected with its permanence and stability; but we must be content to touch slightly on the incidents that secured to the Book of Discipline, the sanction of the legislature, and thus fixed the reformed religion as that of the nation.
After this time, the partizans of the ancient superstitions never made any vigorous or even regular effort to recover their authority. Though the queen, even after the demise of Francis, still refused to ratify the treaty that seemed to sanction the proceedings of the late parliament with regard to religion, yet being herself tolerated in the exercise of her own worship, she appeared to acquiesce in its enactments. The great obstruction to the settlement of the new church, therefore, arose from those who had laid the foundation of it. The nobility had, at an early period, perceived the tendency of the innovations to increase their influence, by throwing into their hands the wealth and power of the clergy. During the civil cou. vulsions they had seized on the possessions of the church. Though the parliament, therefore, gave its sanction to the new doctrine, and enacted Jaws in its favour, the convention met on the death of Francis would by no means approve of the Book of Discipline, which, appropriating the patrimony of the ancient church to the support of the new teachers, the education of youth, and the relief of the poor, disappointed their hopes of enriching themselves. To amuse the teachers, indeed, the more eminent Protestants consented to subscribe the Book, and, for the same purpose, the secret council, as well as the convention, held in May, 1561, granted the petitions with regard to the suppression of idolatry, making provision for the ministers, &c. which they had presented for the security of the infant church. But though the preachers thus failed, at first, through the selfish opposition of the lords, in obtaining legal sanction to their religious polity, their zeal and assiduity enabled them to make their way, at last, to the object of their wishes.
They were very diligent in carrying into effect the provisions of the Book of Discipline; they declaimed, with peculiar vehemence, on the dangers to be apprehended from even a tolerance of the old religion, and thus kept up the public zeal in their favour; they recommended themselves to the people by a diligent exercise of the pastoral function, and by an austere and morose behaviour; and brought odium on their enemies, by dwelling on the excesses, into which they were led by their interest or their passions, as extremely dangerous both to the church and state. In consequence of these circumstances, the lords, who, in order in some measure to gratify the queen by whom they were trusted, endeavoured to repress the zeal of the preachers, were in general obliged to comply. The dispute with regard to the lawfulness of general assemblies convened without royal authority, was decided in favour of the preachers. They failed, indeed, in obtaining the queen's sanction to the Book of Discipline, but, it, being impossible to refuse them support any longer, it was agreed, with the consent of the former incumbents, that a third of the church revenues should be appropriated to the queen's service, out of which the reformed teachers should be maintained. A new proclamation was issued, May 1562, commanding all to conform to the established orders. In the ensuing year, as well as in 1564, several laws were passed, tending to the security of the new church. Thus the reformed faith was daily gathering strength in spite of its most interested as well as powerful and malignant adversaries. When the imprudent and criminal conduct of Mary bad given general disgust to the nation, and enabled a few of the nobles to wrest the sceptre from her hand, and entrast the Earl of Murray with the regency, the friends of the new government, who were indebted in a great measure for their success to the preachers, procured in a parliament held about the end of 1567, acts abolishing the pope's jurisdiction in Scotland, constituting the Protestant the national church, and making it the duty of those who should after hold the reins of government, to support and defend it, -and thus the reformed religion was fully established in Scotland.
The Appendix to these volumes contains several curious documents, tending to illustrate and confirm different parts of the history. Among the rarest of these documents are some extracts from Archbishop Hamilton's Catechism; the counsall of the Deyne and Chapter of Abdn. to iny Lord Bischope of Abdn.' affording a lamentable notion of the profligacy of the Ronish clergy ; and some extracts from the Buik of the universal Kirk,' with a dissertation on Mr. Chalmers's remarks on the treaty of Edinburgh, as it affected Scotland. The other papers, though important, are to be met with in several collections.
We must now close our account of this history, in perusing which we have been very much gratified, and not a little instructed. The revolution, of which it narrates the rise and accomplishment, cannot but be reviewed with pleasure by every friend of religion and liberty, especially in this age, so fruitful of vicissitudes threatening universal despotism and tyranny. Its progress, it must be confessed, was marked with many excesses. The instruments of it were, many of them, interested
and corrupt; while the best of them were sometimes transported with too vehement a zeal, and much more severe both in their censures and their manners than the spirit of Christianity can be presumed to justify. But allowing all this, and even without approving of the doctrine or discipline established in our sister kingdom,-in comparing what the reformers established with the corrupting and debasing system that they overturved, in considering the fortitude, disinterestedness, and piety they discovered, in taking into the account the little vio. lence they exercised in the plenitude of their power, and the propitious influence of their exertions, on science, liberty, and religion, it seems hardly possible not to give way to pleasurable feelings. The triumph of light over darkness, of liberty over tyranny, and of virtue over crime, must always be grateful to every well-tempered mind,-while the thought of the souls that have been turned from the error of their ways, through the prevalence of the reformed religion in Scotland, must give joy to every Christian heart. Nor is this revolution less encouraging than it is grateful. When the res formers first began to sow the seeds of religious knowledge and liberty, they could have no hope but in the power of God. They had to contend with ignorance, rendered sacred by principle, agreeable errors fortified by power, and corruptions defended by the double rampart of passion and interest. By a series of wonderful and unforeseen incidents, concurring with their activity and patience, they made their way through all these obstacles. What has been, may again be effected; and those who are engaged in promoting the improvement and happiness of their fellow men, should certainly,while they struggle with error and corruption, draw encouragment from the success of their predecessors in the same cause, and consider the interpositions of Providence in past ages as a proof both of the interest tbat God takes in their labours, and of the grand defeat that error and corruption of all kinds have yet to sustain.
Art. IV Essays on the Superstitions of the Highlanders of Scotland; to
which are added, Translations from the Gaelic; and Letters connected
Hatchard, &c. 1811.
ing the world as a very picturesque seene, that much the greatest portion of what man has contributed, and still contributes to make it so, is the result and proof of the perverted
condition of the understanding and morality of the species. If we look at the more palpable and material division of the things by which that species have given to the world an aspect very striking to the imagination, it is False Religion that has raised so many superb temples, of which the smallest remaining ruins bear an impressive character of grandeur; that has prompted the creation, from shapeless masses of substance, of so many beautiful or monstrous forms, representing fabulous super-human and divine beings; and that has produced some of the most stupendous works intended as abodes, or monuments, of the dead. It is the evil next in eminence, War, that has caused the earth to be embossed with so many thousands of massy structures in the form of towers and defensive walls-So many remains of ancient camps so many traces of the labours by which armies overcame the obstacles opposed to them by rivers, -rocks, er mountains--and so many triumphal edifices raised to perpetuate the glory of conquerors. It is the oppressive Self-importance of imperial tyrants, and of their inferior commanders of human toils, that has erected those magnificent residences which make a far greater figure in our imagination, than the collective dwellings of the humbler population of a whole continent, and that has in some spots thrown the surface of the earth into new forms. Had an enlightened understanding and uncorrupt moral principles always and universally reigned among mankind, not one of all these mighty operations, the labours of unournbered millions, under the impulse and direction of a prodigious aggregate of genius and skill, would even have been thought of. Not one stone would have been laid of Pagan temple or embattled fortress, of mausoleum, or triumphal arch, or tyrant's palace. The ground occupied by the once perfect, and now ruined, mansions of the gods at Athens, or Palmyra, or Thebes, or Rome, the sites of the Egyptian pyramids, of the Roman amphitheatres, and of the palaces of the Alhambra or the Seraglio, might, some of then, have been cultivated as useful pieces of garden-ground, and some of them covered, from early ages till now, with commodious, but not showy, dwellings of virtuous families, or plain buildings for the public exercises of the true religion. In short, the worly, would have been a scene incoinparably more happy and more morally beautiful, but it would have been without a vast multitude of objects that now conspire to make a grand, and even awful, impression on the imagination.
If we fix our attention on the other class of things contributed by the human species, to give what we call a picturesque character to the world—the class supplied by their personal condition and manners—we find that in this part also of that character the most striking appearances are those which maniVOL. VIII.