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had assisted at the baptism of the young king in the popish manner. And besides these, the Lords Oliphant, Gray, Sempill, Maxwell, and Borthwick, were still papists. Thus, as the war against the queen regent (eight years before) was engaged in on national grounds, this great revolution of that kingdom seems to have proceeded, as to the civil part, upon the same principles. So that whatsoever was done in this matter, was done, not upon the grounds of the Reforination, but upon national grounds and pretended precedents and laws; in all which the queen of England had secretly a great hand, how much soever it was disguised or denied.
The interest of state was clearly of her side: for the house of Guise, that began to form great projects in France, laid a main part of their scheme in the design of advancing the unfortunate queen of Scotland to the crowr. of England: and in the v
the view of that succession, many plots were formed to destroy that glorious queen. They also practised upon the the king her son, as soon as he was capable of being wrought
on by the duke of Lenox, and others; whom they employed about him, to keep him in a dependence on them. They assured him he should still be king of Scotland ; their design being, that if their practices against Queen Elizabeth had succeeded, his mother should have left Scotland to him, when she was advanced to the crown of England. They did likewise engage him to continue unmarried : though he, being the only person of his family, it was otherwise very reasonable to marry him soon. Yet they durst not venture on a popish match, till their great design on the crown of France had succeeded : and they would by no means suffer him to marry into a protestant family.
They kept him so much in their management, that the queen of England and her wise council, understanding all this practice, raised those jealousies of his religion, and made such discoveries of that secret correspondence he was in with the house of Guise, that to this all the troubles that the kirk gave him were chiefly owing. The leaders among them knew, from the intelligence sent them by the court of England, more than they thought fit to own, or than could be well proved. This was the true cause of all that peevish opposition that he met with from the ministers there ; which is copiously set forth by Archbishop Spotswood. But either he knew not, or did not think fit to set that out as the effect of the jealousy raised by the court of England, on the account of the confidence in which he was engaged with the house of Guise.
But as these practices had a fatal conclusion with relation to the unfortunate Queen Mary, after her long imprison
ment, so when upon the murder of the duke of Guise, and the successes in the beginning of Henry the Fourth of France's reign, all those projects of that ambitious and persecuting house were at an end, the king of Scotland married to a daughter of Denmark, and continued still after that in a confidence with the queen of England, which secured to him the succession to that crown.
In giving this short view, which I thought important, and in which I wasinstructed by many papers that I have seen, I have run a great way beyond my design ; which was only to open the first settlement of the Reformation in the isle of Great Britain, now happily by her late majesty united into one kingdom: so thai nothing remains to be written in pursuance of that. Only, since upon some public occasions, I have referred to a declaration of Queen Elizabeth's (by which she owned and justified the assistance that she gave to the subjects, both of Scotland, and in the Netherlands, in the necessary defence to which the illegal cruelty of their governors forced them): and since I have been challenged to publish it, not without insinuations that it was a forgery ; I have thought it proper to conclude my Collection of Records with that declaration (Collect. No. xcvii); that so a paper of such importance may be preserved, and may be more generally read.
I now conclude this work ; in which, as I have faithfully set out every thing, according to the materials and vouchers with which I was furnished, so I have used all proper means to procure the best information that I could. It remains, that I leave this to posterity as the authentic history of a series of great transactions, honestly (though often feebly) conducted, with good intentions and happy beginnings, though not carried on to the perfection that was designed and wished for.
The proviso that had passed in Henry the Eighth's time, that continued all the canon-law then received in England, till a code of ecclesiastical laws was prepared, which though attempted, and well composed, was never settled; has fixed among us many gross abuses, besides the dilatory forms of those courts, which make all proceedings in them both slow and chargeable. This has in a great measure enervated all church discipline. A faint wish, that is read on Ash-Wednesday, intimates a desire of reviving the ancient discipline; yet no progress has been made to render that more effectual.
The exemptions settled by the papal authority do put many parts of this church in a very disjointed state ; while VOL. III, Part I,
in some places the laity, and in many others presbyters, exercise episcopal jurisdiction, independent on their bishops; in contradiction to their principles, while they assert a divine right for settling the government of the church in bishops, and yet practise episcopal authority in the virtue of an act of parliament, that provisionally confirmed those papal invasions of the episcopal power; which is plainly that, which by a modern name is called Erastianism, and is so severely censured by some who yet practise it'; since whatsoever is done under the pretence of law against the Divine appointment, can go under no better name than the highest and worst degree of Erastianism.
The abbots, with the devouring monasteries, had swallowed up a great part of that which was the true patrimony of the church: these houses being suppressed, unlimited grants were made of their lands, without reserved provisions for the subsistence of those who were to serve at the altar: this has put a great part of our clergy under crying necessities; and though the noble bounty of the late queen has settled funds for their relief, the good eftect of that comes on but slowly : yet it is some comfort to think, that within an age there will be an ample provision for all that serve in the church; and upon that prospect we may hope that many abuses will be then quite abolished.
But with all these defects we must rejoice in this, that our doctrine is pure and uncorrupted ; that our worship is truly a reasonable service, freed from idolatry and superstition; and that the main lines of our church government agree to the first constitution of the churches by the apostles : so that, upon the grounds laid down by St. John, all nav “hold fellowship with us, since we hold fellowship with the Father, and with the Son Jesus Christ.”
May we all adhere firmly to the doctrine of the apostles, and continue in their fellowship, in sacraments and prayers, suitably to the rules laid down by them : contending earnestly for the faith delivered by them to the saints, the first Christians! And may all “who believe in God be careful to maintain good works for necessary uses,” which are both “ good and profitable unto men; avoiding foolish questions and contentions, for they are unprofitable and vain!”
May we all continue to recommend our doctrine and church by a holy and exemplary deportment, “ shining as lights, and walking worthy of God, who has called us to his kingdom and glory ;' improving all the advantages that we have, and bearing with all the defects that we labour under, using our best endeavours to have them redressed ; yet still keeping the " unity of the Spirit in the bond of
399 peace;" waiting for such a glorious conjuncture, as may restore every thing among us to a primitive purity and splendour: which God may, perhaps, grant to the prayers of those who call on him night and day for it.
But if we never see so happy a time upon earth, we know, if we continue watchful and “ faithful to the death,” we shall arrive at last at a blessed society of“ innumerable companies of angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect; of whom is composed the general assembly and church of the first born, who are written in heaven," who see and enjoy God for ever. In the view of directing myself and others thither I have written, and now I do conclude this work.
I have laid out, hy all the methods I could think on, for that MS of Archbishop Spotswood's History, that I mention page 343. I once thought I had found it, for I fell on one copy, that had belonged to the late duke of Lauderdale ; but it was not that which had belonged to me : yet by that I see that archbishop came gradually, and not all at once, out of his first opinion. For in this MS there is a material difference in the correction that is in the archbishop's own hand, from the first draught. The first draught is, “ that princes may commit offences deserving deprivation :" but the correction is, “they may fall into great offences,” without any more. A little after he had written, “ whatsoever may be thought of this opinion ;' which imports some doubt concerning it: these words are struck out: but so that they are still legible. A little after that, the MS has it, that “ by an act of council, all the errors committed by the queen regent were reckoned up.” This is softened by these words inserted after errors ; “ alleged to have been committed." Thus it appears, that the archbishop's first notions had carried him to write in a style that wanted great correction, as his thoughts grew into a better dige tion, or as his interests carried him to see things in a different light from that in which they had at first appeared to him.