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that manner in the house of They found, on their return, Finlayston.
that the Reformation in Scotland While Mr. Spottiswood was had made very general progress. useful to the people of his own The prior took an active part in parish, he was useful also to per- bebalf of the reforming congregasons of a more elevated rank and tion in the summer of 1559 ; and station. To these persons, be Mr. Spottiswood no longer thought found easy and daily access. They it necessary to refrain in any respected him for his talents and place from preaching, in the learning, his extensive acquaint- strongest and most public manner, ance with the world, his singular against the erroneous doctrines, prudence, and exemplary piety. the superstitions, and idolatries of
One of these persons was Lord the Church of Rome. James Stewart, natural son of In the beginning of the year King James V. In the year 1539, 1560, the Lords of the reforming when he was almost yet in bis in- congregation clearly foresaw what fancy, he had been endowed with would be the issue of their con: the rich priory of the Augustine test with the Queen Regent. monastery of St. Andrews. In They were therefore desirous his childhood Mr. George Bu- that every person in the nation chanan had been appointed his should know precisely what were preceptor, but he continued with to be the doctrines and constituhim only three years. Mr. Spot- tion of that Church which they tiswood seems to have superin- were endeavouring to establish. tended the higher branches of his April 29th, they gave a charge, education ; and assuredly was in a most solemn manner, to six greatly instrumental in impress-ministers, whom they reckoned ing upon his mind that love to the most able, viz. to Mr. John SpotProtestant religion, for which he tiswood, Mr. John Winram, Mr. was so remarkable at the period John Willock, Mr. John Knox, of the Reformation, and afterward Mr. John Row, and Mr. John when be became Earl of Murray, Douglas, “ to commit to writing and regent of the kingdom. their judgment touching the Re
When the prior of St. Andrews, formation.” They required them in 1558, was to go to the court of to do this “ in the name of the France, as one of the commis- eternal God, and as they should sioners from Scotland, to witness answer in bis presence.' his sister's marriage with the It was a very important work Daupbin, he solicited Mr. Spot- which was now assigned them, tiswood to go along with him, as and they seem beforehand to his religious companion and safe have been turning their thoughts counsellor. Mr. Spottiswood gave toward it; for on the 20th of his consent, and accompanied him May, they presented to the Lords thither. When both returned in the first book of Discipline fully that same year, Mr. Spottiswood written, and appear at the same was in good health, but the prior time to have prepared the old ever afterward felt a degree of Confession of Faith. inward bodily weakness, which If at this period the form of was ascribed to the effects of church government for Scotland poison.
had been modelled according to
that of the Reformed Church in which, as the consequences have England, it would have been no been lasting, pious Christians matter of great surprise. Mr. may reflect upon with pleasure, Spottiswood, and some of the whatever differences of opinion other preachers in Scotland, had there might bave been with relong and successfully availed spect to the outward government themselves of the support and of the Church, there were none directions which they received with respect to its doctrines. The from persons of the English good men above named, all hear. Church. And indeed Bishop Keith, lily concurred in framing the quoting from a manuscript copy doctrinal articles of the old Con. of Archbishop Spottiswood's his- fession of Faith, which are truly tory, says,
“ Divers of this num- Calvinistical ; which were accord. ber," viz. of the ministers to ing to the doctrines preached by whom the above charge was all our Reformers; and are the given, " persuaded the retaining same in substance with those in of the ancient policy, and to purge the Confession of Faith now in it from the corruptions and abuses use. only that were crept into it, for When the committee of Parliaasmuch as they were not to make ment, in July 1560, nominated up a new Church, but only to re-ecclesiastical superintendants, as form it, and to reduce things unto an expedient necessary in the inthat perfection from which they fant state of the Reformed Church, had swerved."
Mr. John Spottiswood was allotHe afterward adds, still quot-ted to superintend the counties of ing the words of the archbishop. Lothian, Berwickshire, and Tivi“But these advices took no place : otdale. His residence at Calder, John Knox, who then carried the and his connexions in the south chiefest sway, liked that course of Scotland, seemed to point him best which stood in extreme op out as the most fit person to preposition to the Church of Rome, side in that district. and studied by all means to con He was not however admitted form the government of the in a formal manner to the exerChurch to that which he had seen cise of this office, till March 9, in Geneva."
1561. The form of his admission Thus we may reckon ourselves is largely set down in Knox's hisindebted to that great reformer, tory; and as it was to serve as a Mr. Knox, as the chief instrument pattern for the admission of other in the hand of God, for the Pres- ecclesiastical superintendants, it byterian Church government, is still more particularly set down which, through the goodoess of in the old“ book of common God, we now happily enjoy. order." I shall briefly relate Much depended upon the resolu- some parts of it, chiefly with a tion that should be taken at that view to show what was the state critical season. If Presbytery of Mr. Spottiswood's mind upon bad not then been agreed to, and that serious occasion. established, it might perhaps at The ceremony took place in any time afterward have scarcely the High Church of Edinburgh. been heard of in our country. Earls, lords, barons, gentlemen,
There is one circumstance, and others, residing in the dis
trict, had been cited from the stations, the whole of the service pulpits in the chief congregations. was concluded, with singing the
Mr. John Knox preached, and old metre version of the twentypresided. In his sermon, he third psalm. showed, first, the necessity of But after he had entered on having ministers and superio- the full exercise of his new office, tendants : Secondly, the crimes he soon found, that in consewhich might disqualify them : quence of his frequent visitation Thirdly, the virtues which were of Churches in different parts of required of them; and, lastly, the country, his people at Calder whether those who by public were much neglected. He was consent of the Church were called therefore desirous, either of givto such offices, might lawfullying up his new office, or of being refuse the same.
allowed to quit his parochial When the people were asked, charge. His parishioners also, “ If they would have Mr. John who had long enjoyed the benefits Spottiswood to be their superin- of bis ministry, complained of the tendant, would honour and obey inconveniency to which they him, and comfort and assist him were now subjected. in all things pertaining to his In the Assembly, July 4, 1562, charge ?”! They answered, “We “ John Douglas, of Pumferstone, will : and we do promise obedi- complained, in the name of the ence unto him, as becometh parishioners of Calder, that they sheep to give unto their pastor, were divers times deprived of so long as he remaineth faithful the preaching of the word, since in his office.”
their minister was elected superOne of the questions put to Mr. intendant of Lothian ; and desired Spottiswood was, “ Do you seek that the said superintendant to be promoted to this office and should be restored to them again, charge for any respect of worldly or that some other qualified miniscommodity, or riches, or glory?" ter should be provided for them. To which Mr. Spottiswood de “ It was answered by the As. voutly replied, “God knoweth sembly, that the profits of many the contrary.”
kirks should be preferred to the Another question put to him profit of one; that the kirk of
“ Know you not, that the Calder should be occupied either excellency of this office, to which by Mr. Spottiswood himself, or God hath called you, requireth by some other qualified person in that your conversation and beba- his absence ; and that the inconviour be such, as that you may venience they were under could be irreprehensible, yea, even in not otherwise be helped in the the eyes of the ungodly?” To present scarcity of ministers. which he humbly answered, John Douglas also was told, that “ This I unfeignedly acknow the parishioners should have ledge ; and I humbly desire the complained twenty days before Church of God to pray with me, Mr. Spottiswood's admission to that my life be not slanderous to the superintendancy.” the glorious evangel of Jesus In the Assembly, December Christ.”
1563, in the first session, “ Mr. After some prayers and exhor-John Spottiswood, superintendant
of Lothian, requested the Assem- by the first book of Discipline, bly to give him liberty to return each superintendant was required to his former cure, because he to be minister of a particular kirk was not able to bear so 'great a within his district. burthen as he was now burthened Mr. Spottiswood went on amiwith,”
cably with the Assembly in their In the fourth session of that ordinary business ; and some imsame Assembly, “The parishion- portant commissions were asers of Calder complained, that signed him. Mr. John Spottiswood, who was The Assembly, June 1566, bopresented to the parsonage of noured him by appointing him Calder fifteen years since by the their commissioner to the Queen, Laird of Calder, had been pro- to congratulate her in their name moved (promoted) three years on the birth of her son, who was since to be superintendant of afterward King James Vi. and Lothian without their knowledge ; who was born in the Castle of and that by reason of his public Edinburgh, June 19. His pious office and exercise, he was ab- and dignified deportment on that stracted from his cure at the said courtly occasion is, according to kirk the most part of the year. Keith, particularly described, and
“ They therefore desired, as mentioned as a family anecdote, before, that the Assembly should in a manuscript copy of Archcause him either to renounce his bishop Spottiswood's history. office of superintendant, and re The venerable superintendant, turn to his former vocation, or having complimented the Queen else to demit the parsonage, to in the name of the Assembly, and the effect that another qualified requested that the child should man should be presented. This be baptized in the manner of the they requested in consideration Protestant Church, she, to show of its being impossible for one how much she was pleased, comman to brook and exercise two manded that the child should be offices, without one or other of brought that he might see him. them being neglected; otherwise This being done, she delivered we should differ little from the the child into his arms; and then Popish kirk, where one person the superintendant, immediately had plurality of benefices; as the upon, his receiving the child, feil said complaint bore at greater upon his knees, and offered up to length.
God a short and fervent prayer “The Assembly judged the for the young prince's happiness former answer, given July 4, and prosperity. The Queen 1562, sufficient.'
seemed to pay great attention, The last attempt to resign, and to join in the prayer. which appears to have been It is added, that after be rose made by Mr. Spottiswood, was in from his knees, and was still the Assembly, August, 1574, he holding the child, “ he willed her and two other superintendants to say, amen : which the Queen then offered a formal resignation took in so good part, that contiof their offices, but the Assembly pually after she called Mr. Spotcontinued them.
tiswood her Amen. And the It is however to be noted, that story having been told to the
prince, after he came to the years of Bothwell, who had been the of understanding, he also called chief conductor of that murder, him after the same manner, and his esteem of her appeared to be while he lived, did respect and entirely lost from his mind. reverence him as his spiritual He and the generality of the father."
Protestants expressed great joy, Japuary 10, 1567, Alexander when she resigned the crown, Gordon, who, though now a Pro- July 24; and more especially testant, retained the title and par- when the Earl of Murray, in liamentary honours of Bishop of August following, was declared Galloway ; Mr. John Spottiswood, regent. The Assembly highly superintendant of Lothian; and approved of the advancement of Mr. John Row, minister of Perth, this Earl, who was their sincere waited on the Queen at Stirling, friend, to the head of the naand were graciously received. tional affairs, and Mr. Spottiswood They obtained from her an act of was one of the commissioners privy counsel, “ granting to every whom they appointed to meet burrough a gift or donation of the with the Regent's commissioners alterages, annuals, and obites, upon all important matters relawhich before were paid to the ting to the Church. Papists, but which now should be After the Queen had made her disposed of for the maintenance escape from the Castle of Lochof 'mioisters and schools in the leven, May 2, 1568 ; and was at burroughs, and the overplus to Hamilton, endeavouring to collect go to the poor or hospital." her friends, that they might re
This act is inserted in Keith's store her, if possible, to the poshistory ; and it appears to have session of her crown, Mr. Spotbeen the last favour which was tiswood thought it incumbent requested of Queen Mary, or upon him to write and publish a which was granted by her to the pastoral letter, addressed to perProtestant Church of Scotland. sons of all ranks in the kingdom, Her troubles afterward and especially to such as were began; and we are fully informed resident within the bounds of his of Mr. Spottiswood's sentiments particular jurisdiction. and conduct with regard to the Bishop Keith has given a copy changes which succeeded. of this long letter, as transcribed
Mr. Spottiswood, as it might from the manuscript of Calderhave been expected, felt a strong wood's history. The style or attachment to his old friend the manner of Mr. Spottiswood's Earl of Lennox, and to his writing, appears to have been younger friend the Earl of Mur- yrave, sententious, and energetic. ray. He entertained also an es. His letter does not contain desul. teem of the Queen, for some of tory observations, but a regular her good qualities. But after her train of argument. He asserts husband, Lord Darnly, son of the that the Queen had been most Earl of Lennox, bad been barba- justly deposed; and that the rously put to death, February 10, present magistracy, as be calls it, 1567; and when, in the month of or regency of the kingdom, was May following, she bad, impru- most lawfully established. He dently at least, married the Earl laments that many persons, who