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A change of circumstances often produces a strange revolution in men's sentiments. The prelatical clergy were vehement in their outcries against the presbyterian ministers for using freedoms with public men in the pulpit; but no sooner was their own illegal powers called in question, than they themselves made the pulpits resound with exclamations against the highest officer of state, because he dared to exercise his undoubted right.* Representations were instantly transmitted to the king by both parties. The prelates complained of the chancellor for interfering with the prerogatives of the high commission, and sent the bishop of Caithness to lay their grievances at the foot of the throne. The chancellor accused the bishops of turbulence, presumption, and insolence, and complained of the liberty they took in censuring the public actions of statesmen in their sermons. The marquis, the cause of the disturbance, having previously to his imprisonment obtained leave from the king to proceed to London, had already commenced his journey. James, reduced to a perplexing alternative, the highest officer of the crown being placed in opposition to the highest court in the church, was under the necessity of declaring which should have the chief preponderance in the state. He decided for the child of his own creation, approved what the high commission had done, and sent a messenger to forbid Huntly from approaching the court, and ordering him to return to his confinement in the castle. The marquis earnestly entreated the messenger to carry to his majesty his humble supplication, and inform him that his intention in coming to London was to give him complete satisfaction, and to comply with whatever his majesty should require. The king, pleased with his promises and submission, and desirous of seeing him reconciled to the Protestant church, permitted him to proceed, and recommended him to the instructions of the archbishop of Canterbury. Huntly was not difficult to convert, nor was his probation long; and the only obstacle which prevented his being received into the bosom of the English church, was his being under the excommunication of her Scottish sister; but the prelates themselves, by sending
*Spotswood, p. 525.
the bishop of Caithness to London, had provided a remedy. His lordship, as the representative of the Scottish church, at the desire of the king, revoked the sentence; after which, the archbishop of Canterbury pronounced the absolution, and administered the sacrament to the hopeful proselyte in the chapel at Lambeth.
The Scottish bishops, devoted as they were to the crown, did not receive this intelligence of the royal interference with that submissive meekness which became them; but their murmurs were silenced by an explanation from his majesty, and an apologetical letter from the archbishop of Canterbury, accompanied by a supplication from the marquis to the general assembly, acknowledging his offence, promising to continue stedfast himself, and to educate his children in the Protestant religion, and praying for a full absolution from the church of Scotland. The prayer of his petition was granted, and he was formally absolved at a meeting of the general assembly, convoked at Aberdeen ostensibly for this purpose, and for checking the growth of Popery in the north; but there were other objects of more importance brought before this assembly, the pertinacious attachment to which was the cause of all the disasters of the following reigns.
James had now brought the church of Scotland, in its outward form, to a similarity with that of England; but he was desirous also to assimilate it in its worship to the Anglican rites and ceremonies. At the Aberdeen assembly the subjects were first introduced, and after the south country ministers had been worn out, by long conferences upon the hackneyed
* The king's conduct toward Huntly occasioned rather a ludicrous confusion in the statements of the bishops. Cowper, bishop of Galloway, who preached in the High church of Edinburgh, on the 7th of July, extolled his majesty's fatherly care, and gracious behaviour toward the kirk, who would not suffer the marquis to come into his presence, but had ordered him to return to ward; and he inveighed against the chancellor for the favour he had shown that nobleman. Next day-the 8th-letters were received from court, announcing that Huntly was received into the bosom of the church of Eng land! And on the 14th, Spotswood, from the same pulpit whence the chancellor had been denounced, apologized for the king, promised that he would be a good boy in future, and never would do the like again !—Calderwood,
topic of Popery, and compelled, by the exhausted state of their finances, to return home, it was ordained:-That a uniform order of liturgy be set down, to be read in all churches on the ordinary days of prayer, and every Sabbath day before sermon; and that a book of canons be made and published.* Regulations were also adopted respecting the Episcopal catechising of children, who were to be recommended in prayer by the bishop, an interim ceremony, till confirmation could be introduced. When the assembly rose, the archbishop of Glasgow, and the bishop of Ross, were sent with the acts to his majesty to procure his royal assent. He declared himself well satisfied with the whole, except the act substituting catechising and prayer for confirmation, which he denominated "mere hotchpotch." Along with his approval, he sent down several articles to be inserted among the canons of the church. These, better known afterward as the articles of Perth, startled even the bishops, who represented the danger of introducing them, and the irregularity of inserting among the canons what had not received the sanction of the church. James acquiesced for the time, but unfortunately did not relinquish a design which those most attached to Prelacy, and interested in its success, were compelled to acknowledge was both premature and impolitic.
* At this assembly it appears first to have been enacted, that ministers should keep regular registers of births, deaths, and baptisms.
HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.
AT his departure from Edinburgh, the king had promised to visit his native country every third year. His poverty occasioned by senseless profusion, had hitherto prevented him from fulfilling his promise. But the money, [£250,000,] which he received from the Dutch, on delivering up the cautionary towns, enabled him to redeem his pledge. In a letter to the council, informing them of his resolution, he ascribed the longing he had to see the place of his breeding, to "a salmon like instinct;" and with his usual disregard of truth, commanded a proclamation to be issued, declaring that he intended to make no alteration in the civil or ecclesiastical state of his native kingdom, adding, however, what he might imagine a saving clause, that he would endeavour to do some good at his coming, and to discharge some points of his kingly office in reforming abuses, both in the church and commonwealth. Previously to his setting out, he sent directions for the royal chapel of Holyroodhouse to be repaired. An organ was ordered to be erected, and a loft for the choir, and English carpenters were sent down, to superintend and assist in the alterations. They brought with them wooden statues of the twelve apostles, finely gilt, to be placed in stalls, but the populace, impressed with the idea, that these were forerunners of the restoration of idolatry, began to exhibit symptoms of aversion, which it might not have been safe to despise. "The organ came first," said they, "now the images, and ere long, we shall have the Mass." Cowper, bishop of Galloway,
who resided in Edinburgh, as dean of the chapel royal, perceived the brooding discontent, and wrote an epistle to his majesty, to which he procured the signatures of the archbishop of St. Andrews, the bishops of Aberdeen and Brechin, and numbers of the ministers of Edinburgh, entreating him to countermand his order for erecting the statues, on account of the offence that was taken at them. The king deemed it prudent to comply, but in an angry answer, accused the objectors of ignorance, who could not distinguish between pictures intended for ornament, and images erected as objects of worship, sarcastically observing, that they could allow the figures of lions, dragons, or devils to be represented in their churches, but would not allow that honour to the prophets and apostles. Jealous of his prerogative, he took care in the close to inform them, that he had stopped the setting up of the figures, "not to ease their hearts, or confirm them in their errors, but because the work could not be properly finished within the time intended."
The king arrived at Berwick in the month of May, and the parliament, which stood summoned for the 17th of that month, was prorogued to the 13th of June. From Berwick, he was conducted by slow journies to his ancient capital, which, after an absence of fourteen years, was again favoured with a sight of the sovereign. He was accompanied by a splendid train of English nobility. The citizens of Edinburgh, either wishing to display their wealth before the strangers, who so often reproached their poverty, or impress the king with a favourable idea of their loyalty, prepared to receive him with the utmost pomp and magnificence. He was met without the West Port, by the magistrates and council in their robes, and the principal burghers dressed in black velvet. The deputy town clerk, Mr. John Hay, complimented the monarch in a strain which must have been truly gratifying to his royal ears. "This is that happy day of our new birth," exclaimed the enraptured deputy, "ever to be retained in fresh memorie, wherein our eyes behold the greatest human felicity our hearts could wish, which is to feed upon the royal countenance of our true phoenix, the bright star of our northern firmament, the ornament of our age, wherein we are re