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harangue; he was a man of sharp, steady, sober, and clear wit, of a brave and masterly expression; some preliminary arrangements having been gone through, the first sitting was terminated. The Assembly met next day, when a long and important discussion took place, anent electing a Moderator As the Presbyterian party succeeded in carrying every primary measure their own way, His Grace the Commissioner retired with his Council to the Chapter-House to consult; on his return, Mr. John Bell, who preached the preceding day, presented in leet Mr. John Keir, Mr. John Row, Mr. J. Bonner, Mr. William Livinston, and Mr. Alexander Henderson, when Mr. Henderson was elected by a great majority. The discussion which took place previous to this election, caused so many protests on both sides, that all were tired of them except the Clerk, who received at each a piece of gold. The third sitting took place on Friday the 23d November, at which time the Moderator presented a leet of persons to be voted for Clerk; the Commissioner moved that Mr. Thomas Sandilands should succeed his father as Clerk; this being opposed, the Commissioner, before coming to a vote, moved that his Assessors should vote for the Clerk, which, after much discussion and protestation, was carried, that the Commissioner and his Assessors should have only one vote; after this, Mr. Archibald Johnstone was elected Clerk without dissent. The Moderator craved that the Books should be inspected by Argyle, Lauderdale, and Southesk; but the Commissioner would not allow his Assessors to undertake such employment, as they were refused to vote in the Assembly. A long debate respecting the Bishops ensued, in which, Argyle, one of the Commissioner's Assessors, making a remark, was cuttedly told by the Moderator, that no person should speak here but Commissioners: a keen discussion respecting certain books that were lost, terminated the third day's sitting. The fourth Session was held next day, when the commissions were all scrutinized. On Monday, November 26th, the business of the Assembly began, when Mr. Thomas M'Kenzie came with
a commission from the Chanrie of Ross, which being rejected, he gave in a protestation against ruling Elders, with odious. accusations against the Tables *. Rothes and the Marquis craved instruments of that protestation, "but the man at once left the Town." Mr. Andrew Ramsay, one of the members, got up in a rage, and with great confidence, undertook to prove from Scripture, Fathers' consent of Reformed Churches, our own Church practice, and Assembly acts, that ruling Elders were lawful and necessary members of Assemblies; the Commissioner professing his own insufficiency, promised to produce some person who should prove the contrary. On Tuesday, 27th November, the 6th Session commenced; the Moderator, after a protestation from the Commissioner, was allowed to name a Committee, who should previously meet and assist him in regulating the proceedings. The Commissioner asserting that the nomination should be in the King, while Rothes asserted that the power was vested in the Assembly, or the Moderator, who immediately named four members from the Ministers, three from the Gentry, three from the Burghs, and five Noblemen, viz. Rothes, Montrose, Lindsay, Loudon, and Balmerino. As the Bishops had declined † the
* Committee at Edinburgh.
+ Declinature of the Bishops .
"The Declinator and Protestation of the Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of Scotland, and others, their Adherents, within that Kingdome. Against the pretended General Assembly, holden at Glasgow, November 21st, 1658.
"Wee, Archbishops, Bishops, and other under subscribers, for ourselves, and in name and behalfe of the Church of Scotland, (whereas it hath pleased the King's Majesty to indict a General Assembly of the Church, to be kept at Glasgow, November, 21st, 1638, for composing and setling of the distractions of the same). First, we doe acknowledge and professe, that a Generall Assembly, lawfully called, and orderly conveened, is a most necessary and effectuall meane for removing those evills wherewith the said Church is infested, and for setling that order which becometh the House of God, and that we wish nothing more
The Declinature, which is now scarce, was gratefully received from the Rev. Author of Adam's Religious World Displayed.
authority of the Assembly, that matter came now to be discussed. On documents being read, the Lords Montgomerie, Fleming, Elcho, Boyd, and young Durie, protested, in name of the complainers, that the Bishops had acknowledged their
than a meeting of a peaceable and orderly Assembly to that effect. Secondly, we acknowledge and professe, as becometh good Christians and faithfull subjects, that His Majesty hath authority, by his prerogative royal, to call Assemblies, as is acknowledged by the Assembly at Glasgow, 1610, and Parliament, 1612; and that it is not lawful to conveene without his Royall consent and approbation, except we will put ourselves in danger to be called in question for sedition.
"Yet, neverthelesse, in sundry respects we cannot but esteeme this meeting at Glasgow most unlawfull and disorderly, and their proceedings voyd and null in law, for the causes and reasons following: First-Because the Table called the Assembly before His Majesty. Second-Because there were more Laicks than Clergie before the Assembly. Third-The Clergie conveened to this Assembly, although having Cures, were
never acknowledged by the Bishops, nor recognised by the King. Fourth-The Assembly must be void, because they deposed their Moderators,
who were lawfully appointed by their Bishops to govern them. Fifth-Because they appointed a Lay Ruling Elder, who was generally the
principal man in the parish, and overawed the Clergie.
Sixth-Because the Clergie, in seditious and railing Sermons, have wounded the
King's honour and sovereign authority, averring that all authority sovereign is originally in the collective body, by pressing the people to subscribe a Covenant not sanctioned by Authority.
Seventh-It is not reasonable that Laymen should have a decisive voice in a
Eighth-Because the Judges precondemned Episcopal Government.
Tenth and Eleventh-Because they published an infamous and most scurrilous
Twelfth, Lastly-It is absurd and contrary to reason and the practice of the Church, that Archbishops and Bishops should be judged by Presbyterians, and more absurd, that they should be judged by a mixed meeting of Presbyters and Laicks, conveening without lawful authority of the Church.
"We Protest, that we imbrace and hold that the Religion presently professed in the Church of Scotland, according to the confession thereof, received by the
citation, and appeared by their proctors, although they had wilfully absented themselves in person; the Commissioner took a counter-protest, and produced some papers, which being violently opposed, he could not refrain from open indigna
estates of this Kingdome, and ratified in Parliament the yeere 1567, is the true religion, bringing men to eternall salvation, and do detest all contrary errour.
"We Protest, that Episcopall Government in the Church is lawful and necessary; and that the same is not imposed and impugned for any defect or fault, either in the Government or Governours, but by the malice and craft of the devill, envying the successe of that Government in this Church these many yeeres by-past, most evident in planting of Churches with able and learned Ministers, recovering of the Church rents, helping of the Minister's stipends, preventing of these jarres betwixt the King and the Church, which, in former times, dangerously infested the same, keeping the people in peace and obedience, and suppressing of Popery, which in respect either of the number of professors or boldnesse of their profession, was never at so low an ebb in this Kingdom as before these stirres.
"We Protest, that, seeing these who, for scruple of conscience, did mislike the Service-Book, Canons, and High Commission, which were apprehended or given to be the cause of the troubles of this Church, have now received satisfaction, and His Majesty is graciously pleased to forget and forgive all offences by-past in these stirres; that all the subjects of this Kingdom may live in peace and Christian love, as becometh faithfull subjects and good Christians, laying aside all hatred, envy, and bitternesse: and, if any shall refuse so to do, they may beare the blame, and be thought the cause of the troubles that may ensue: and the same be not imputed to us, or any of us, who desire nothing more than to live in peace and concord with all men under His Majestie's obedience, and who have committed nothing against the lawes of the Kingdom and Church, that may give any man just cause of offence: and are so far from wishing hurt to any man, in his person or estate, notwithstanding all the indignities and injuries we have suffered, that, for quenching this present combustion, and settling peace in this Church and, Countrey, we could be content, after clearing of our innocency of all things wherewith we can be charged, not onely to lay downe our Bishopricks at His Majestie's feet, to be disposed of at His Royall pleasure, but also, if so be it pleased God, to lay downe our lives, and become a sacrifice for this atonment.
"We Protest, in the sight of God, to whom one day we must give account, that we make use of this Declinator and Protestation out of the conscience of our duty to God and his Church, and not out of feare of any guiltinesse whereof any of us is conscious to himself, either of wickednesse in our lives, or miscarriage in our callings; being content every one of us for our owne particular, (as we have never showen ourselves to be otherwise,) to undergoe the lawfull and most exact
tion. On 28th November, before the sitting commenced, a report was spread, in which there was some foundation, that the Commissioner intended to depart and break up the Assembly. The business, however, began respecting certain records of the Church, which the Commissioner asserted were not genuiue; the Assembly, in one voice, notwithstanding,
triall, of any competent judicatory within this Kingdome, or of His Majestie's High Commissioner.
"And we most humbly entreat His Grace to interceed with the King's Majestie, that he may appoint a free and lawfull General Assembly, such as God's Word, the practise of the Primitive Church, and laws of the Kingdome, do prescribe and allow with all convenient speed, to the effect the present distractions of the Church may be settled. And if there be any thing to be laid to the charge of any of the Clergie, of whatsoever degree, either in life or manners, or doctrine, or exercise of his calling and jurisdiction, he may be heard to answere all accusations, and abide all triall, either for clearing his innocencie, or suffering condign punishment, according to his transgressions, declining alwaies this Assembly for the causes above written. Like as by these presents, we, and every one of us, decline the same, the whole Members thereof, and Commissioners foresaid, directed thereto, and every one of them.
"We Protest, that this, our Protestation, in respect of our lawfull absence, may be received in the name of us, under subscribing for ourselves, and in the name of the Church of Scotland, that shall adhere to the said Protestation, and in the name of every one of them, from our well-beloved Doctor Robert Hamilon, Minister at Glasford, to whom, by these presents, we give our full power and expresse mandate to present the same, in or at the said Assembly, or where else it shall be necessary to be used; with all submission and obedience due to our gracious Sovereigne, and His Majestie's High Commissioner: and upon the presenting and using thereof, acts and instruments to crave, and all other things to doe, that necessarily are required in such cases: firme and stable-holding, or for to hold, what hee or any of them shall lawfully doe in the premises.
In witnesse whereof, as we are ready with our blood, so with our hand we have subscribed these presents, at the Palace of Holyrude-house, Newcastle, and Glasgow, the 16, 17, and 20 dayes of November, 1638. Et sic Subscribitum:
Fo. St. Andræ, Arch.