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lished law and order throughout the kingdom, the Scottish nobility were still possessed of the chief power and influence over the people. Their property was extensive; their hereditary jurisdictions and the feudal tenures increased their authority; and the attachment of the gentry to the heads of families established a kind of voluntary servitude under the chieftains. Besides that long absence had much loosened the king's connections with the nobility, who resided chiefly at their country seats, they were in general, at this time, though from slight causes, much disgusted with the court. Charles, from the natural piety or superstition of his temper, was
attached to the ecclesiastics; and as it is natural for men to persuade themselves that their interest coincides with their inclination, he had established it as a fixed maxim of policy, to increase the power and authority of that order. The prelates, he thought, established regularity and discipline among the clergy; the clergy inculcated obedience and loyalty among the people ; and as that rank of men had no separate authority, and no dependence but on the crown, the royal power, it would seem, might with the greater safety be intrusted in their hands. Many of the prelates, therefore, were raised to the chief dignities of the state; * Spotswood, archbishop of St. Andrews, was created chancellor: nine of the bishops were privy counsellors : the bishop of Ross aspired to the office of treasurer: some of the prelates possessed places in the exchequer: and it was even endeavored to revive the first institution of the college of justice, and to share equally between the clergy and laity the whole judicial authority:* These advantages, possessed by the church, and which the bishops did not always enjoy with suitable modesty, disgusted the haughty nobility, who, deeming themselves much superior in rank and quality to this new order of men, were displeased to find themselves inferior in power and influence. Interest joined itself to ambition, and begat a jealousy lest the episcopal sees, which at the reformation had been pillaged by tho nobles, should again be enriched at the expense of that order By a most useful and beneficial law, the impropriatio is hac already been ravished from the great men: competent - rilaries had been assigned to the impoverished clergy from the tithes of each parish: and what remained, the proprietor of brie land was empowered to purchase at a low valuation.* The king likewise, warranted by ancient law and practice, had declared for a general resumption of all crown lands alienated by his predecessors; and though he took no step towards the execution of this project, the very pretension to such power had excited jealousy and discontent.t
* Rush. vol. ii. p. 386. May, p. 29. † Guthry's Memoirs, p. 14. Burnet's Mem, p. 29, 30.
Notwithstanding the tender regard which Charles bore to the whole church, he had been able in Scotland to acquire only the affection of the superior rank among the clergy. The ministers in general equalled, if not exceeded, the nobility in their prejudices against the court, against the prelates, and against episcopal authority. Though the establishment of the hierarchy might seem advantageous to the inferior clergy, both as it erected dignities to which all of them might aspire, and as it bestowed a lustre on the whole body, and allured men of family into it, these views had no influence on the Scottish ecclesiastics. In the present disposition of men's minds, there was another circumstance which drew consideration, and counterbalanced power and riches, the usual foundations of distinction among men; and that was, the fervor of piety, and the rhetoric, however barbarous, of religious lectures and discourses. Checked by the prelates in the license of preaching, the clergy regarded episcopal jurisdiction both as a tyranny and a usurpation, and maintained a parity among ecclesiastics to be a divine privilege, which no human law could alter or infringe. While such ideas prevailed, the most moderate exercise of authority would ha given disgust; much more, that extensive power which the king?s indulgence encouraged the prelates to assume. The jurisdiction of presbyteries, synods, and other democratical courts, was in a manner abolished by the bishops; and the general assembly itself had not been summoned for several years. A new oath was arbitrarily imposed on intrants, by which they swore to observe the articles of Perth, and submit to the liturgy and canons. And in a word, the whole system of church government, during a course of thirty years, had been changed by means of the innovations introduced by James and Charles.
The people, under the influence of the nobility and clergy, could not fail to partake of the discontents which prevailed
* King's Declaration, p. 7. Franklyn, p, 611.
§ May, p. 29
among these two orders; and where real grounds of con. plaint were wanting, they greedily laid hold of imaginary ones. The same horror against Popery with which the English Puritans were possessed, was observable among the ropulace in Scotland ; and among these, as being more uncultivated and uncivilized, seemed rather to be inflamed into a higher degree of ferocity. The genius of religion which prevailed in the court and among the prelateś, was of an opposite nature ; and having some affinity to the Romish worship, led them to mollify, as much as possible, these severe prejudices, and to speak of the Catholics in more charitable language, and with more reconciling expressions. From this foundation a panic fear of Popery was easily raised; and every new. ceremony or ornament introduced into divine service, was part of that great mystery of iniquity, which, from the encouragement of the king and the bishops, was to overspread the nation.* The few innovations which James had made, were considered as preparatives to this grand design ; and the further alterations attempted by Charles, were represented as a plain declaration of his intentions. Through the whole course of this reign, nothing had more fatal influence, in both kingdoms, than this groundless apprehension, which with so much industry was propagated, and with so much credulity was embraced, by all ranks of men.
Amidst these dangerous complaints and terrors of religious innovation, the civil and ecclesiastical liberties of the nation were imagined, and with some reason, not to be altogether free from invasion.
The establishment of the high commission by James, without any authority of law, seemed a considerable encroachment of the crown, and erected the most dangerous and arbitrary of all courts, by a method equally dangerous and arbitrary. All the steps towards the settlement of Episcopacy had indeed been taken with consent of parliament: the articles of Perth were confirmed in 1621: in 1633, the king had obtained a general ratification of every ecclesiastical establishment : but these laws had less authority with the nation, as they were known to have passed contrary to the sentiments even of those who voted for them, and were in reality extorted by the aua thority and importunity of the sovereign. The means, howe ever, which both James and Charles had employed, in order
* Burnet's Memi p. 29, 30, 31.
to influence the parliament, were entirely regular; and no reasonable pretence had been afforded for representing these laws as null or invalid.
But there prevailed among the greater part of the nation another principle, of the most important and most dangerous nature; and which, if admitted, destroyed entirely the validity of all such statutes. The ecclesiastical authority was supposed totally independent of the civil; and no act of parliament, nothing but the consent of the church itself, was represented as sufficient ground for the introduction of any change in ' religious worship or discipline. And though James had obtained the vote of assemblies for receiving Episcopacy and nis new rites; it must be confessed, that such irregularities had prevailed in constituting these ecclesiastical courts, and such violence in conducting them, that there were some grounds for denying the authority of all their acts. Charles, sensible that an extorted consent, attended with such invidious circumstances, would rather be prejudicial to his measures, had wholly laid aside the use of assemblies, and was resolved, in conjunction with the bishops, to govern the church by an authority to which he thought himself fully entitled, and which he believed inherent in the crown.
The king's great aim was to complete the work so happily begun by his father; to establish discipline, upon a regular system of canons, to introduce a liturgy into public worship, and to render the ecclesiastical government of all his kingdoms regular and uniform. Some views of policy might move him to this undertaking; but his chief motives were derived from principles of zeal and conscience.
The cânons for establishing ecclesiastical jurisdiction were promulgated in 1635; and were received by the nation, though without much appearing opposition, yet with great inward apprehension and discontent. Men felt displeasure at seeing the royal authority highly exalted by them, and represented as absolute and uncontrollable. They saw these speculative principles reduced to practice, and a whole body of ecclesiastical laws established without any previous consent either of church or state. * They dreaded lest, by a parity of reason, like arbitrary authority, from like pretences and principles, would be assumed in civil matters : they remarked, that the delicate boundaries which separate church and state
* Clarendon, vol. i. p. 106."
were a cady passed, and many civil ordinances established by the canons, under color of ecclesiastical institutions : and they were apt to deride the negligence with which these important edicts had been compiled, when they found that the new liturgy or service-book was every where, under severe penalties, enjoined by them, though it had not yet been composed or published.* It was, however, soon expected; and in the reception of it, as the people are always most affected by what is external and exposed to the senses, it was apprehended that the chief difficulty would consist.
The liturgy which the king, from his own authority, imposed on Scotland, was copied from that of England: but, lest a servile imitation might shock the pride of his ancient kingdom, a few alterations, in order to save appearances, were made in it ; and in that shape it was transmitted to the bishops at Edinburgh. But the Scots had universally entertained a notion, that, though riches and worldly glory had been shared out to them with a sparing hand, they could boast of spiritual treasures more abundant and more genuine than were enjoyed by any nation under heaven. Even their southern neighbors, they thought, though separated from Rome, still retained a great tincture of the primitive pollution; and their liturgy was represented as a species of mass, though with some less show and embroidery. I Great prejudices, therefore, were entertained against it, even considered in itself; much more when regarded as a préparative, which was soon to introduce into Scotland all the abominations of Popery. And as the very few alterations which distinguished the new liturgy from the English, seemed to approach nearer to the doctrine of the real presence, this circumstance was deemed an undoubted. confirmation of every suspicion with which the people were possessed.
Easter-day was, by proclamation, appointed for the first reading of the service in Edinburgh : but in order to judge more surely of men's dispositions, the council delayed the matter till the twenty-third of July ; and they even gave notice, the Sunday before, of their intention to commence the use of the new liturgy. As no considerable symptoms of discontent appeared, they thought that they might safely proceed in their
* Clarendon, vol. i. p. 105.
| King's Decl. p. 20. Burnet's Mem. p. 31 Rush. vol. ii. p. 396. May, p. 31.