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L I F E
JO Η Ν Κ Ν Ο Χ. .
FROM AUGUST 1560, WHEN HE WAS SETTLED AS MI
NISTER OF EDINBURGH, AT THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE REFORMATION, TO DECEMBER 1563, WHEN HE WAS ACQUITTED FROM A CHARGE OF TREASON.
In the assignation of the protestant ministers to particular stations throughout the kingdom, a measure which engaged the attention of the council immediately after the conclusion of the civil war, the teniporary arrangements that had been formerly made were in general confirmed, and our Reformer resumed his charge as minister of Edinburgh * He returned to that city in the end of April t, and continued to preach there during the siege of Leith, and during the negociations which terminated in a peace.
* Knox, Historie, p. 236.
Although the Parliament had abolished the papal jurisdiction and worship, and ratified the protestant doctrine, as, delineated in the Confession of Faith, the reformed church was not yet completely organized in Scotland. Hitherto the Book of Common Order, used by the English church at Geneva, had been chiefly followed as the rule of public worship and discipline. But this having been compiled for the use of a single congregation, consisting, too, chiefly of men of education, was found inadequate for an extensive church, consisting of a multitude of confederated congregations. Our reformers were anxious to provide the means of religious instruction to the whole people in the kingdom; but they were very far from approving of the promiscuous admission of persons of all descriptions to the peculiar privileges of the church of Christ. From the beginning, they were sensible of the great importance of ecclesiastical discipline, to the prosperity of religion, to the maintenance of order, and the preservation of pure doctrine, and morals in a church. In the petition presented to parliament in August, the restoration of this was specially requested *. And Knox, who had observed the great advantages which attended the observance of a strict discipline at Geneva, and the manifold evils which resulted from the want of it in England, insisted very particularly on this topic, in the discourses which he delivered from the book of Haggai during the sitting of parliament t: The difficulties
* Knex, Historie, p. 238.
which the reformed ministers bad to surmount, before they could accomplish this great object, began to present themselves at this early stage i of their progress.
When it is considered, that Calvin was subjected to a sentence of banishment from the senate of Geneva, and exposed to the rage of a popular tumult, before he could prevail on the citizens' to submit to ecclesiastical discipline*, we Deed not be surprised at the opposition which our reformers met with in their endeavours to intro
p. 70, 88.
Beza, Vita Calvini. Melchior Adami Vitæ Exter. Thcolog,
After the Senate had made a decree which subverted the diseipline of the church, Calvin, in the course of a sermon which he delivered before the dispensation of the Supper, lifted up his hand, and said, " I will die sooner than this hand shall reach the symbols of the Lord's body to any one who has been found a despiser of God :" which words struck such an awe on the minds of the persons who had been absolved by the senate from the sentence of the church-court, that none of them ventured to approach the table. Persons unfriendly to the government and discipline of the Reformed churches þave represented the opposition made to them, in this and other instances, as arising from the attempts of the 'reformers to have their discipline established by human laws, and supported by civil penalties. But this is a complete misrepresentation of the case. “Neque enim consentaneum est (says Calvin) ut qui monitionibus nostris obtemperare nolucrint, eos ad magistratum deferamus," Institut. Christ. Relig. p. 434. Lagd. Batav. 1654. The proper question between him and his opponents was, Whether ministers were obliged to administer the sacraments to those whom they judged unworthy? Or, (which amounted to the same thing) Whether the decisions of the church-court in such matters were to be reviewed and reversed by the eivil court? Meleh. Adam. ut supra. And this will be found to have been the true state of the question, in the greater part of the dissentions between the church and the court in Scotland, after the establishment of the Reformation.