« הקודםהמשך »
COL L E CTIONS
Concerning the WORSHIP, DISCIPLINE, and Go-
In four BOOK S.
By WALTER STEUART of PARDOVAN,
Unto which are added,
The Form of Process in the Judicatures of the Church,
with Relation to Scandals and Censures ;
: A N D
the Policy of the Kirk, approved of by Act of Assembly 1581 :
A Chapter of a celebrated Treatise, concerning the Causes of the
E'D IN BU R G H:
M, DCC LXX,
IT was the happiness of Scotland, very early, perhaps as early
as the apostolic age, to receive the light of the glorious goipel: and although, as was the case with the rest of the Christian world, this light came to be greatly obscured, by the ambitious incroachments of the church of Rome; yet it is evident, that in Scotland it was never entirely extinguished. For, in some of the remoter parts of our country, in some of those very islands which we are now apt to consider as the seats of ignorance and barbarity, lived a people, remarkable for simplicity of manners, purity of behaviour, and unaffected piety towards God. These never lubmitted to the usurpations of the Papal tyranny; and these were " the little leaven which afterwards leavened the whole lump." Of their number, a Columbus and a Kentigern were famous in the fifth century, and a Clemens and Sampson, in the seventh.
And even in the tenth age, when the darkness of corruption and error had greatly increased, we are told, there were some godly men in Scotland, who taught the true doctrine of Christ's atonement, and continued to exercise their functions apart by themfelves, without acknowledging the authority of those who assumed a spiritual power over God's heritage. But it was not till about -400 years after this, that any thing of a general reformation began to appear. Then “ indeed waters broke forth in our wilderness, “ and Itreams in our desert." Nor was all the cruelty of bi
gotted zeal able to destroy this heavenly plant; but, watered by > 'the blood of a Resby, a Hamilton, and a Wishart, it grew Itrongyer and stronger, till thousands flocked to its refreshing shade, and took shelter under its branches.
To fupport and animate these, and carry on the glorious work so happily begun, providence raised up a man of apostolic piety and resolution, whose zeal awakened the attention, and whose prudence conducted the zeal of his countrymen, in Thaking off the Ronish yoke. Every one will immediately perceive, that I speak of the famous John Knox, that great instrument of our reformation, whose name will be precious to lateit ages.
The civil dissensions which then prevailed in the country, did not a little befriend the reformation. And the bold attempt of the Popith clergy to get the wliole power into their own hands, on the death of James V. opened the eyes of many who till then had