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had been educated among the presbyterians, with whose tenets they in general coincided, had hailed his accession to the English throne, as friendly to their freedom. He, although he had condescended to flatter them before he got into power, viewed them both with jealousy and distaste, as hostile to his high monarchical principles. As the Puritans occupy so prominent a place in the succeeding part of this and in the following reigns, it may not be improper to give a short sketch of their history and opinions, contrasted with those of their opponents, the high church party.

In the reign of Edward VI. the English reformers divided into two parties, the one wished entirely to root out popery, the other merely to lop off a few of the most obnoxious branches. While Edward lived, the former had the ascendtant, at his death, on the accession of Mary to the crown, those of both parties who could escape, fled to the continent, and at Frankfort, where they found refuge, their disputes were revived, and carried to a hurtful and disgraceful height. When Elizabeth succeeded her sister, the exiles returned, but their dissentions returned with them. The queen, who E as Knox describes her, was neither true Protestant, nor resolute Papist, was fond of the pomp of the Romish ritual, though, from political motives, an enemy to the adherents of the pope, she, therefore, retained in the church service, the copes and other garments which had been laid aside in the last years of her brother's reign, and kneeling at the sacrament, which had been left as a matter of indifference, was, by an act for the uniformity of common prayer, and service in the church, and administration of the sacraments, authorized as the only proper posture for receiving the holy communion. Those who wished for a simpler and purer mode of worship, began now in derision to be styled Puritans. The difference between the court Reformers and the Puritans, were such as

certainly in themselves as unimportant matters as a cope or surplice; yet who would have said that that person was contending for a trifle, who should have insisted that official men in Ireland were to appear in a tri-coloured cockade, or cropped; and these were not deemed surer marks of affection to French principles and anarchy, than copes and garments were esteemed badges of distinction among the adherents of Rome.

subjected the latter to severe persecution, till carried to an extreme, it roused a spirit of resistance, and the throne was overturned in the struggle. The court Reformers asserted, that every prince had authority to correct all abuses of doctrine and worship within his own territories. The Puritans would not admit such extensive power to belong to the crown, or that the religion of the whole nation, should be at the disposal of one single lay person. The court Reformers allowed the church of Rome to be a true church, though corrupt in some points of doctrine and government, and the pope to be the true bishop of Rome, though not of the universal church. The Puritans affirmed the pope to be antichrist, the church of Rome to be no true church, and all her ministrations to be superstitious and idolatrous. Both allowed that the Scriptures were a perfect rule of faith, but the bishops and court Reformers, denied that they contained the standard of discipline, or church government, affirming, that our Saviour and his apostles, left it to the discretion of the civil magistrate in Christian nations, to accommodate the government of the church to the policy of the state. The Puritans considered the Scriptures to be a standard of church discipline, as well as doctrine, at least, that nothing should be imposed as necessary, but what was expressly contained in, or derived from them, by necessary consequence, but if there were any discretionary power left any where, it rested not with the civil magistrate, but was vested in the spiritual officers of the church. The court Reformers maintained, that the practice of the primitive church, for the four or five first centuries, was a proper standard for church government and discipline in some respects, better than that of the apostles, being more fitted to the splendour of a national establishment, and therefore, retained the titles of archbishops, metropolitans, archdeacons, suffragans, rural deans, &c. &c. The Puritans were for keeping close to the Scriptures; they considered the example of the apostles as what they were bound to follow, who, they apprehended, had ordered the form of church government to be aristocratical, and formed after the model of the Jewish. Court Reformers maintained, that things indifferent in their own nature, such as rites, ceremonies, or habits, might

be settled, and made necessary by the command of the civil magistrate. The Puritans insisted, that the things left indifferent in the Scriptures, ought not to be made necessary by any human law, but that such rites and ceremonies as had been abused to idolatry, were not to be considered as indifferent.*

Such were the opinions of the two parties at the accesion, and these James wished to reconcile before he made any attempt to produce a conformity between the Scottish and the English churches. The Puritans, presuming upon the king's professions, urged their petitions for liberty of conscience, and reformation of abuses, with a freedom and a frequency, which displeased his majesty. The Episcopalians, who dreaded the effects of his Scottish education, though they might well have known from his publications, the bent of his affections, took a safer method to ensure the royal favour. On every occasion they flattered all his prejudices, maintained that monarchical government should be absolute, listened to his declamations with wonder and admiration, and carried their servility so far, that in addressing him, they frequently fell upon their knees, and used language, which if not profane, bordered on the very verge of profanity, and is such as it is not possible to read without a blush. †

The king, who, during his progress, had promised to at

*Neal's History of the Puritans, vol. i. pp. 134-137.

+ It would perhaps, be going too far to assert, that there is any necessary connexion between Episcopacy and despotism, but it is impossible to read this portion of our history, or indeed any part of our history under the Stuart dynasty, after the accession, without perceiving an intimate and close connexion between Prelacy in the church, and tyranny in the state. The doctrine of the bishops was passive obedience, their practice, servility. Ye are the light of our eyes! Ye are the breath of our nostrils, was the Prelatic flattery in England; to which James most graciously replied, that he never had met with such a set of sensible, grave men in his life; he was now in the land of promise; in his native country, he had absolutely been contradicted by beardless boys! When Prelacy was introduced into Scotland, the same spirit came along with it. Archbishop Gladstanes, in a letter to James, styles him, “ His earthly creator," and he frankly acknowledges, that the members of that hierarchy were constrained to support every measure of the king, because, "no estate may say that they are your maj. creatures as we may say, so there is none whose standing is so slippery when your maj. shall frown, as we; for at your maj. nod, we must stand or fall." Calderwood, p. 645,

tend to the petitions of the Puritans,* either in order, apparently to fulfil this promise, or to display his own theolo gical knowledge, and overwhelm all opposition by the strength of his arguments, or the power of his majesty, appointed a conference to be held at Hampton court, between the chief leaders among them, and his principal bishops.

At this conference, which took place 14th January, 1604, James exhibited himself in the double capacity of umpire and advocate. The whole had been previously arranged with the bishops, and the king's declaration at the opening of the meeting, clearly evinced that the Puritans were not called upon to reason, but to submit. He told them, that following the example of all Christian princes, who usually be gan their reigns with the establishment of the church, he had now, at entering upon the throne, assembled them for settling a uniform order in the same; for planting unity, removing dissensions, and reforming abuses, which were natural to all politic bodies; and that he might not be misapprehended, and his designs in assembling them misconstrued, he assured them that his meaning was not to make any innovation of the gov ernment established in the church, which he knew was approved of God, but to hear and examine the complaints that were made, and remove the occasion of them, therefore, he desired them to begin, and show what were their grievances.”

The Puritan leaders, who plainly perceived that the king was entirely set against them, urged their petitions under the greatest disadvantages, for although men of learning and ability, they did not possess that firmness and fortitude, which could have enabled them to outbrave the frowns of the mon

arch, and to state with energy, the grievances which pressed heavy on their consciences. Dr. Reynolds, who was their principal speaker, stated their objections to the doctrines, and to the discipline of the church of England. The doctrine as contained in the articles, he complained of as being in some places obscure, and in others defective, and in the discipline he regretted the little care shown in providing the people

When Ja was on his way to London, the Puritans presented him a petition, commonly called, from the number of names affixed to it, the mil lenary petition, stating their grievances. He received it favourably.

with pious and learned pastors, objected to their forced subscription to the Book of Common Prayer, which contained many things they could not conscientiously admit, and they required the laying aside the sign of the cross in baptism, and the vestments, which they considered relics of Rome. In the discussions which followed, the king himself personally replied, sometimes by arguments, and sometimes by threats, till browbeaten and insulted by the head of the Episcopalian church, and his supple bishops, the poor Puritans, unequal to the contest, were forced to be silent. In the course of the discussion, James evinced his detestation of the Presbyterian form of church government, that which he had declared to be the purest kirk upon earth, and his affection for the church of England, whose service he had deprecated as so nearly allied to that of Rome. When Dr. Reynolds was stating the propriety of ministers having occasional meetings, the king, forgetting both the dignity of his rank, and his situation as judge, rudely interrupted him with "You aim at a Scottish Presbytery, which agrees as well with monarchy, as God and the devil. Then Jack, and Tom, and Will, and Dick shall meet, and at their pleasure censure me, my council, and all my proceedings. Stay, I pray you, one seven years, before you demand this of me."

At the conclusion of the debate, the king, who would not allow the ministers to speak, chose to consider their forced silence as acquiescence, and condescendingly observed, "obedience and humility are the marks of good and honest men, such as I believe you to be, but I fear many of your sort are humorous, and too busy in perverting others. The exceptions against the Common Prayer Book, are matters of mere weakness, they who are discreet will be gained by time, and gentle persuasions, and if they be indiscreet, it is better to remove them, than the church should suffer by their contentions. For the bishops, I will answer, that it is not their design immediately to enforce obedience, but by fatherly admonitions and conferences, to gain those that are disaffected, but if any be of an obstinate and turbulent spirit, I will have them enforced to a conformity.”

The Episcopalian party were highly delighted with his

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