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-and she, with her head bent forward, listened attentively until the dean began the collect for the day. Then she started up, and flinging the stool on which she had been sitting at his head, cried out"Thou false thief! wilt thou say mass at my lug?" Then broke out the revolt. The quiet congregation became one vast excited multitude-they attacked the dean, tore the surplice from his shoulders, and drove him out of the church; the bishop of Edinburgh ascended the pulpit, but the shout was raised of "A pape! a pape! antichrist! pull him down! stane him!" The benches were torn up, missiles hurled at the prelate, the crowd like a wild raging sea beat upon the walls, flew round the altar, and with the utmost difficulty the bishop escaped with his life. This tumult was the signal for a general revolt, a unanimous resistance against the book of common prayer throughout the country.
William Howitt supplies an animated sketch of the scene and of what followed:
"The noise and riot increasing, the bishop who was to preach that day hastened up into the pulpit, over the head of the dean in the readingdesk, and entreated the people to listen to the collect. 'Diel colic the wame o' thee!' cried Jenny Geddes, or 'the devil send the colic into thy stomach,' mistaking the strange word 'collect' for that painful disorder; and with that she flung her joint stool with all her might at the bishop's head. A man near her diverted the course of the missile by trying to seize her arm, or, it was the opinion of those who saw it, the bishop had been a dead man. It swung on, however, past his ear with an ominous sweep, and was followed by the most frightful yells, and a shower of other heavy stools and clasped Bibles, sticks and stones, that speedily caused the evacuation of the pulpit. The bishop was followed in his descent from it by the cries of 'Fox, wolf, and belly-god,' for he was a very fat man.
"The Archbishop of St. Andrew's, who was also Lord Chancellor, and some of the nobles having tried in vain to restore order, the magistrates rushed forward to the rescue, and by the aid of constables and beadles, the most prominent rioters were thrust out of the church, and the doors locked. The bishop then went on with the service, but it was amid the wildest cries both from without and within, of 'A pape! a pape! antichrist! stane him! pull him down!' The windows were smashed in by a hail of stones and dirt, and at the conclusion of the service there was a rush forth of the congregation, to get every one to his own home in safety.
The chief object of the crowd's attention was the bishop, who was trying to escape to his lodgings in the High Street, but he was seized, thrown down, and dragged through the mud. Neither,' says Sir James Balfour, 'could that lubberly monster, with his satine gown, defend himself by his swollen hands and his greasy belly, bot he had half-a-dissenneck fishes to a reckoning.'
"The same morning similar scenes had taken place in the other churches, and the Bishop of Argyle had been driven from the pulpit of Grey Friars' Church. In the afternoon the service was read, but to empty churches, for the baillies of Edinburgh had been summoned before the privy council, and called upon to see order maintained. The service was therefore read with the doors locked, but the riot in the streets when it was over was worse than ever. The mob pursued the carriages of the nobles who took home the bishops with yells and stones; the women were like viragoes, urging on the men and showing the way; and the Earl of Roxburgh, lord privy seal, who was driving home the bishop from St. Giles's, was so pelted with stones, the mob crying, 'Drag out the priest of Baal,' that he ordered his attendants to draw their swords and defend them; but the women cared nothing for their weapons, but pursued the carriage with stones till they escaped into Holyrood, covered with mud and bruises. The same spirit manifested itself everywhere. Jenny Geddes became a national heroine, which she yet remains, Robert Burns calling his mare after her that he rode into the Highlands. In Glasgow about the same time one William Allan, in a sermon, having spoken in praise of 'the buke,' that is, of the common prayer, was no sooner out in the street than hundreds of enraged women surrounded him and the other clergymen with him, assailed him with sticks, fists, and peats, and belaboured him sorely. They tore off his cloak, ruff, and hat, and went near to killing him.
"At Edinburgh the following day the council issued an order denouncing any further riots, but suspended the further reading of the service on account of the danger to the clergy, till they received further instructions from his majesty. But all warnings were wasted on such a man as Charles. He appeared to go on his way sealed, bound, and blinded to his doom. The more a broad and calculating intellect would have recognised the danger, the more his bull-dog antagonism was aroused. Laud, at his command, wrote a sharp letter, snubbing the council for suspending the reading of the service, and expressing his astonishment that the Scotch
should refuse their own work. This was because four Scotch bishops had been pliant enough to frame the liturgy in part; but the Scotch people disclaimed the act of the royally imposed bishops, as much as they disclaimed Laud and his doings themselves. The king commanded Lord Traquair, the Lord Treasurer of Scotland, to enforce the service, and not to give way to the insolence of the baser multitude.
"But it was not merely the base multitude; the nobility were as violent against the new liturgy as the people, and came to high words with the bishops and their favourers amongst the clergy. Four ministers, Alexander Henderson, of Leuchars, John Hamilton, of Newburn, James Bruce, of Kingsbarns, and another, petitioned the council on the 23rd of August, to give them time to show the anti-Christian and idolatrous nature of this ritual, and how near it came to the Popish mass, reminding them that the people of Scotland had established the independence of their own church at the reformation, which had been confirmed by parliament and general assemblies, and that the people, instructed in their religion from the pulpit, were not likely to adopt that which their fathers had rejected as contrary to the simplicity of the gospel. But the Bishop of Ross, Laud's right-hand man, replied for the council that the liturgy was neither superstitious nor idolatrous, but according to the formula of the ancient churches, and they must submit to that or to 'horning,' that is, banishment. Still the council delayed, and the people were pretty quiet during the harvest time, but that over, the news having arrived of a peremptory message from the king, commanding the enforcement of the liturgy, and of the removal of the council from Edinburgh to Linlithgow, thence in the following term to Stirling, and for the next to Dundee, the people flocked into Edinburgh; and incensed at the idea of their ancient capital being deprived of its honours as the seat of government, they became extremely irritated, attacked the bishops when they could see them, and nearly tore the clothes from the back of the Bishop of Galloway. He escaped into the council-house, and the members of the council in their turn sent to demand protection from the magistrates, who could not even protect themselves."
It was not alone the common people who regarded the English liturgy with abhorrence; "more than thirty peers, a large proportion of the resident gentry, and the greater number of the royal boroughs, entered into an agreement to resist the further introduction of prelacy, constituted tables or boards of management, drew up a national covenant, in which
they solemnly renounced both popery and prelacy, and which thousands and tens of thousands of all ranks and ages, subscribed in the face of Heaven, swearing with uplifted hands, that they would dedicate life and fortune to maintain the faith and the independence of their country."
The national Covenant was made in the Grey Friars Church, Edinburgh, on the 1st of March, 1638. "On an appointed day," says Gilfillan, "after sermon, an immense parchment was produced, spread on a tombstone, and subscribed by such numbers that the parchment fell short, and many had only room for their initials, some of which were written in blood. Great was the joy and enthusiasm in the city and throughout the land. It was one of those moments in which the spiritual life of a nation comes to a climax, and its deep cup runs over."
The Covenant was a solemn pledge between the people and their Godan oath not unlike those Covenant oaths which the Israelites swore to in the old time. The Presbyterian fathers had adopted such an instrument at the Reformation.
"The great nobles of the time had sworn to maintain the principles of Wishart and Knox, and to defend the preachers of those doctrines against the powers of antichrist and the monarchy. James and Charles himself had sworn to adhere to this confession of faith, with all their households and all classes of people, in the years 1580, 1581, and 1590. The name of Covenant was thus become a watchword to the whole nation, which roused them like a trumpet. This document had been composed by Alexander Henderson, one of the four ministers who had petitioned, and Archibald Johnstone, an advocate, the great legal adviser of the party, and revised by Balmerino, Loudon, and Rothes.
"This famous document began by a clear exposition of the tenets of the reformed Scottish church, and as solemn an abjuration of all the errors and damnable doctrines of the Pope, with his 'vain allegories, rites, signs, and traditions.' It enumerated the anti-Christian tenets of Popery: the denial of salvation to infants dying without baptism; the receiving the sacrament from men of scandalous lives; the devilish mass; the canonisation of men; calling on saints departed; worshipping of imaginary relics and crosses; speaking and praying in a strange language; auricular confession; the shaveling monks; bloody persecutions; and a hundred other abominations. All these were made as great offences against the Anglican hierarchy, which was fast running back into those 'days of bygone idolatry.' The various classes, 'noblemen, barons, gentlemen, burgesses,
ministers, and commons,' bound themselves by the Covenant to defend and maintain the reformed faith before God, his angels, and the world, till again it was established by free assemblies and parliaments, in the same full purity and liberty of the gospel as it had been heretofore."
The terms offered by the king were refused by the Covenanters. They would make no compromise with episcopacy. In the month of May the Marquis of Hamilton arrived in Scotland with royal instructions to soothe the people by assuring them that the liturgy and canons should be only fairly exercised, and not permitted to give popular offence. The deputation that waited on Hamilton assured him that the people would listen to no half measures, that the Covenanters were determined to hold together, and to resist to their death any interference with their religious doctrines or practices. The discussions were under various pretences protracted until September, the marquis being privately instructed to "win time." The proclamation which was made at the end of September, by which the Anglican service and the High Commissioner's Court were both abandoned, gave no satisfaction to the Covenanters-for it stated that the vow of the Covenant was illegal, but that a free pardon would be granted to all who confessed to having signed. Such terms as these were not likely to be accepted by the Scots, who plainly saw that they were being deluded, and that the marquis and the king were simply gaining time for active prosecution.
The Covenanters were no less on the alert than the royalists. While the latter were making active preparations for war, the former were not idle. "They made collections of arms, and as early as December they received six thousand muskets from Holland. These had been stopped by the government of that country; but Cardinal Richelieu had suddenly shown himself a friend, by ordering the muskets as if for his own use, receiving them into a French port, and thence forwarding them to Scotland. However impolitic it might appear for France to assist subjects against their prince, and especially when the queen of that prince was the King of France's own sister, Charles had managed to create nearly as strong a feeling against him in Louis and his minister Richelieu, as in his own subjects. He had set the example by assisting the Huguenots against their prince, and had provoked France by defeating its plan of dividing the Spanish Netherlands betwixt that country and Holland. The present opportunity, therefore, was eagerly seized to make Charles feel the error he had committed. Richelieu moreover ordered the French