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"Secondly, That the said Mr. Alexander taught the people most perverse and ungodly doctrine; but specially, in persuading, enticing, and exhorting, to rebel against our sovereign lord, and to join with manifest rebels and conjured enemies. Thirdly, The said Mr. Alexander, contrary to the act of the General Assembly made for the prayer of our sovereign lord, etc., most maliciously transgressed the said ordinance, not only refusing to do the same, but also avowing in his prayer another authority, and accusing and condemning all true ministers that did not the like that he did. * * * Fifthly, The said Mr. Alexander being sworn by his solemn oath, for due obedience to our sovereign lord, and his Grace's regent and authority, came in the contrary thereof, and violated and brake his said former oath, but specially sitting in a pretended parliament, for dispossessing of our said sovereign lord of his royal crown and authority. Sixthly, The said Mr. Alexander, being one of the pretended Privy Council, after the horrible slaughter of Matthew, Earl of Lennox, regent to our sovereign lord, of good memory, gave thanks for the same, and other such like, in pulpit openly to God; and exhorted the people to do the same, saying, it was God's most just judgment that fell upon him; and as God then began to execute his most just judgment upon him, he would not fail to execute the same upon the rest; comparing oftentimes our said sovereign lord, his regents and true lieges, to Pharaoh and wicked Absalom, and himself to Moses and David whom God would defend. Lastly, By reason that the heinous faults of the said Mr. Alexander have been so noto

riously known to all men, * * * to the great and heavy slander of God's true word and professors thereof; wherethrough many of the said professors, and others our sovereign lord's true and obedient subjects, same time by him perverted, yet still remain in their wicked conceived error, and can scarce be persuaded in the contrary, except the said Mr. Alexander be caused to confess his error publicly, in all places where he hath offended: but specially in all the aforesaid kirks."-Calderwood, Vol. III., p. 289.

Here were charges of refusing to pray for the lawful government, as a previous Assembly had ordained; openly aiding rebellion, and leading the people into it, by preaching and praying in its behalf, and recognizing a rebel government; violating his oath of allegiance, etc. The "said Mr. Alexander" pleads to this indictment, "the godly Act of Pacification, made by the procurement of the Queen's Majesty of England, with consent of my lord regent's Grace," under which he claimed to be absolved by the civil power; and, on

the other hand, while not denying the facts charged, he pleads to the jurisdiction of the spiritual court: "Therefore, your Wisdoms can be no competent judges of us, or any of us, contained in the aforesaid Act of Pacification; *** neither can your Wisdoms have further jurisdiction over me, nor over the rest of the communicants contained in the said Act of Pacification, for the causes aforesaid." The Assembly, however, did not admit the plea, but proceeded to pass sentence, requiring public confession and repentance, prescribing the period within which it must be made, and enjoining him "to obey the aforesaid injunctions, under the pain of excommunication; with certification, that if he obey not, the Assembly commandeth the minister of Edinburgh or Holyrood House to proceed to excommunication against him. * The

bishop was enjoined to obey before the 20th day of September, and Mr. Roger to send this ordinance, duly executed, before the said 20th day of September, to the kirk of Edinburgh, as he would be answerable to the General Assembly." This was something beyond action in thesi upon treason and rebellion against the civil authority.

The thirty-sixth General Assembly met in Edinburgh on the 24th day of April, 1578. This body proclaimed a Public Fast to be observed in all the churches. Among the reasons. assigned for appointing it, were, the "ungodly sedition and division within the bowels of this realm; for these causes, and that God of his mercy would bless the King's Highness and his regiment, and make him to have a godly and prosperous government, as also, to put in his Highness' heart, and in the hearts of his noble estates in Parliament,

to make and establish good and politic laws, for the weal and good government of the realm.”

The forty-third General Assembly was held in Edinburgh, commencing on the 17th day of October, 1581. This Assembly had a case of "preaching politics" before it, as it would be termed in our day by some declaimers; and so King James thought, but the Assembly judged otherwise. It was charged that Mr. Walter Balcalquall "had said in the pulpit, that within these four years, popery had entered into the country, not only in the court but in the king's hall, and was maintained by the tyranny of a great champion, who is called



Grace; and if His Grace would oppose himself to God's word, he should have little grace." Reference is made here to His Grace the Duke of Lennox, cousin to the king; and the charge is made before the Assembly in the King's name.

“Mr. Walter craved license to answer," and " praised God that he was not accused of anything wherein, either civilly or criminally, in his life and conversation, he had offended the King's Majesty or his laws, whereunto, with all reverence, and at all times, he is ready to submit himself; but is accused of things he hath spoken publicly in the pulpit, wherein he hath been more plain in reproving of vice than some men can goodly suffer; which is a point of his doctrine, which howbeit he heareth there called open slander, yet he must justify the same; that, although all the kings in the earth would call it erroneous, yet he is ready here by good reason to prove it to be the very truth of God; and, if need require, to seal it with his blood. * * * Wherefore, with all reverence, he would submit himself simpliciter to their goodly judgments always."

The Assembly "desired his Majesty to send commissioners. to see this matter tried, seeing the Assembly is most willing to try the same." This desire was twice expressed through a committee, but "the king and council were so occupied that the brethren directed got no answer." Mr. Walter made no denial of the facts charged, but simply claimed his right as a minister to utter what he had done. After hearing the whole case," the Assembly voted, and without contradiction declared, that he had uttered nothing in that sermon erroneous, scandalous, or offensive, but solid, good, and true doctrine; for which they praised God." And thus the General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland judicially sanction this "mixing of politics and religion" in the pulpit! and praise God for the mixture! *

*As a specimen of the sermon thus approved, and embracing a portion of what was complained of, we give the following: "And now, brethren, to be plain in this matter, while they that fear God ripely consider these things, they are compelled to fear these things to be the fruits of our French court, which, if they be, I pray God keep us from the like, or worse. For if these things continue and go forward, I will tell thee, O Scotland, and these that fear the Lord within thee, thou. shalt repent that ever this French court came into Scotland, or that ever thou saw it, or the fruits thereof, with thy eyes. * Secondly, Whereas, our King's Majesty, from his infancy, was trained and brought up in the fear of God, and by the mercy of God yet continueth thereunto; where before, no profane person durst come in his Grace chamber or presence, his Grace's ears are now offended

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The forty-eighth General Assembly convened in Edinburgh, on the 10th day of October, 1583. This was the last Assembly in regular, uninterrupted succession, which was held during the period immediately under consideration; and the last that can be regarded as strictly free in the enjoyment of its spiritual functions, by reason of the encroachments of civil power. No Assembly was held in either of the years immediately following, viz., 1584 and 1585. For several years previous, Jesuit and Erastian influences had been at work, by which the reformation had been rolled backward and the "noble old kirk" again well nigh brought into bondage. These things our subject did not require us to notice. During these sad and troubled times, the Assembly was striving, by "petitions," "supplications," and an exhibition of "greeses," to maintain its full, spiritual jurisdiction; while the enemies of the truth were equally zealous, and more successful, in their endeavors to put upon the neck of the kirk the yoke of vassalage to the state. The king was beset by both parties, and at times seemed to favor each. At this Assembly, an earnest appeal was made to him, and a long list of "Articles" submitted for his sanction, showing that the Assembly still spoke out boldly upon corruptions in the state, and pleaded earnestly that the jurisdiction of the church might not be farther invaded, but fully restored. In these Articles, she speaks as follows:

"SIR: The strait commission we have received of the Eternal, our God, when as in this your Majesty's realm we were made watchmen of his people, and fearful threatening pronounced against such as neglect faithfully to execute every part of their weighty charge, compelleth us, presently to have recourse unto your Majesty, perceiving many things to fall forth greatly to the prejudice of God's glory, and no small appearance of utter wreck of this his kirk and commonwealth, unless some hasty remedy be put thereto; most humbly, therefore, beseeching your Majesty diligently to weigh and consider these few heads, which, with all reverence and observance, we present, looking for a gracious answer, and speedy redress thereof." Passing by the first three heads,

by a profane French ruffian, who, if he were in any other reformed country, would rather be hanged before the sun, than to be suffered to pollute the ears of so good and so godly a young prince; who, if he were not removed in time, they that fear God will repent that ever they saw him, or them that brought him here. -Calderwood, Vol. III., p. 774, Appendiz.

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in which the Assembly speak of the advance of Popery, they "mix politics and religion" as follows: "That your Majesty seemeth to have over good liking of the enemies of God, as well in France as some within this realm, who have never given testimony of any good meaning, either in religion or in your Majesty's service; beside the dissolute life, and irreligious behavior of them that, in your Grace's service, have succeeded to men that were known zealous in God's cause, and faithful to your Grace in tender * * * There is a sore murmur among your Grace's lieges, and a lamentable complaint that the laws of the country have no place; that no man can be sure, neither of his land, life, or goods, which threateneth a miserable confusion, and the heavy hand of God to ensue thereupon; that oftentimes your Majesty interponeth your Highness' authority, by letters of harning, to stop the execution of the acts made in the General Assembly, in matters properly belonging to the kirk, and nothing touching the civil estate. Last, We most humbly beseech your Majesty to suffer us to lament this great division among your Highness' nobility and subjects, the one part seeking by all means possible to wreck the other; which fostereth a continual strife, malice, and rancor, to the great danger of your Grace's person, whom God preserve to the kirk of God and this poor country; beseeching your Majesty, for the tender mercy of God, to call to your Highness some of the most wise, discreet, and indifferent, and by their counsel to take a moderate course, that unquiet spirits may be bridled, good men cherished and entertained, and the hearts of all your Majesty's subjects united, to the maintenance of God's glory, preservation of your royal estate, and comfort of all them that bewail this miserable condition."-Calderwood, Vol. III., p. 734.

While the Assembly here express their undoubted loyalty, and urge their suit with becoming humility, it will be noticed that it is with great plainness of speech and commendable faithfulness that the spiritual court addresses the civil power. Nor did the Assembly for a moment suppose that in the subject-matter of their address they were treading on forbidden ground. In reply to these Articles of the Assembly, the king sent a very respectful letter, noticing each head in detail, and covering a much larger space than the Assembly's paper. He made many fair promises, and could he have been freed

"Letters of harning," in Scottish law, are a process issued from a court of competent jurisdiction in the name of the king, against a debtor or for other claim, requiring the claim to be liquidated within a time named, under penalty' of incurring the charge of rebellion against the state.

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