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Solemn League and Covenant should be taken throughout England and Wales. This covenant binds to the extirpation of episcopacy. Those who refused to take the covenant were disabled by other ordinances from being of the common council, from filling any office of trust in the city of London, and from practising in any of the courts of law. On the 10th June, 1643, the archbishop of Canterbury was suspended, his temporalities sequestered, and afterwards he was himself put to death. The Directory was ordered to be used in place of the Book of Common Prayer, and severe penalties were imposed on those who used the latter, even in private. The bishops were abolished, and their lands settled in trustees and sold. Classical presbyteries, and congregational elderships, were established in their place. These again very soon sank before the rising star of the independents, supported by the favour of Oliver Cromwell.

By the above mentioned acts, and also the Act of Uniformity, all dissenters were liable to certain penalties, from which, however, the toleration act has happily relieved them. This act was confirmed by the 10th of queen Anne. The toleration act exempts all dissenters from all penal laws relating to religion. But the members of the church of Rome, as well as those who denied the Holy Trinity, were excepted. All other denominations were freely at liberty to act as their consciences directed them in the matter of religious worship. The act itself is as follows:

1. Forasmuch as some ease to scrupulous consciences in the exercise of religion, may be an effictual means to unite their majesty's protestant subjects in interest and affection. II. That none of the acts below,* shall be construed to extend to any persons dissenting from the church of England, that shall take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, and shall make and subscribe the declaration against popery, which oaths and declaration the justices of the peace, at the general sessions of the peace, are hereby required to tender and administer. No one shall give or pay above the sum of sixpence, nor that more than once, for his or their entry, and for making and subscribing the said oaths and declaration, nor above a further sum of sixpence for a certificate. II. All persons prosecuted or convicted under the former statutes are hereby discharged. IV. Every person taking the oaths and making the declarations, shall be free from all pains, penalties, and forfeitures enacted by 35 Eliz. c. 1. and 22 Char. II. c. 1, and from all prosecution in any ecclesiastical court. V. Provided that, if any assembly of persons dissenting from the church of England shall be held with the doors locked, barred, or bolted, during any time of the meeting, every person attending such meeting shall be liable to all the pains and penalties as before, VI. Nothing in this act shall exempt any person from paying tithes or other parochial duties, or any other duties to the church or minister, nor from any prosecution for the same. VII. Every dissenter chosen to any office, and scrupling to take the oaths, shall be allowed to serve by deputy, provided the deputy takes the oaths. VIII. No disenter in holy orders, or pretended holy orders, nor any preacher or teacher of any congregation of dissenting protestants, that shall take the oaths and make the declaration, and shall also declare his approbation of and subscribe the Articles of Religion, except the 34th, 35th, and 36th, and these words of the 20th article, “ the church hath power to decree rites or ceremonies, and authority in controverries of faith,” shall be liable to any pains or penalties. IX. Provides that those taking the

• 23 Elize. 1. 29 Eliz. C. 6.1 Eliz, c. 2. 3 Jam. I. C. 4. 3 Jam. I. c, 5. 25 Chai. II. C 2. 30 (1a. 11. 0. l.

oaths, &c., shall be recorded, and shall not preach with locked doors, &c. X. Makes an exception in favour of Baptist teachers or preachers from signing a part of the 27th article touching infant baptism. XI. Persons in holy orders or pretended holy orders complying as above, are exempted from serving on any jury, and from being chosen or appointed to bear the offices of church warden, overseer of the poor, or any other parochial or ward office, or other office in any hundred or shire, city, town, parish, division, or wapontake. XII. Justices of the peace may tender the oaths to any dissenter, and may commit him on refusal, without bail or mainprize. XIII. Every person shall make and subscribe the aforesaid, and also this declaration of fidelity:-1, A. B., do sincerely promise and solemnly declare before God and the world, that I will be true and faithful to king William and queen Mary; and I do solemnly profess and declare, that I do from my heart ubhor, detest, and renounce, as impious and heretical, that damnable doctrine and position, “ that princes excommunicated or deprived by the pope, or any authority of the see of Rome, may be deposed or murdered by their subjects, or any other whatsoever. And I do declare that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state, or potentate, hath or ought to have, any power, jurisdictioni, superiority, pre-eminence, or authority ecclesiastical or spiritual within this realm.” And shall subscribe a profession of their Christian belief in these words :-—"1, A. B., profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ his eternal Son, the true God, and in the Holy Spirit, one God blessed for evermore; and do acknowledge the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration :" which declaration and subscription shall be recorded at the quarter sessions, which shall exempt the parties from pains and penalties against popish recusants or protestant nonconformists. XIV. If any person refuse to take the oaths, &c., he shill not be admitted to make and subscribe the declarations, either before or after conviction of popish recusancy, unless he can within thirty-one days produce two sufficient protestant witnesses, to testify upon oath that they believe him to be a protestant dissenter. XV. That until such certificates are produced, the justice of the peace is required to take a recognisance with two sureties in the sum of fifty pounds, to be levied on his goods and chattels, &c., failing which to be committed to prison till he produce such certificates and witnesses. XVI. All the laws made and provided for the frequenting of divine service on the Lord's day, commonly called Sunday, shall be still in force, and executed against all persons that offend against the said laws, except such person come to some congregation or assembly of religious worship allowed or permitted by this act. XVII. Neither this act, nor any clause, article, or thing therein contained, shall extend, or be construed to extend to give any case, benefit, or advantage to any papist or popish recusant whatsoever, or any person who shall deny in his preaching or writing the doctrine of the blessed Trinity. XVIII. If any person at any time shall willingly and of purpose, maliciously or contemptuously, come into any cathedral or parish church, chapel, or other congregation permitted by this act, and disquiet or disturb the same, or misuse any teacher or preacher, such person shall find two sureties to be bound by recognisance in fifty pounds; and upon conviction shall suffer the pain and penalty of twenty pounds. XIX. No congregation or assembly for religious worship shall be permitted, until the place be certified to the bishop of the diocese, or to the archdeacon, or to the justices of the peace at the general quarter sessions, in which such meeting shall be held and registered in the said bishop's or archdeacon's court, or quarter sessions, for which he shall pay sixpence."

It was believed for many years that the toleration act only suspended the penalties, but did not take away the crime of nonconformity. It was supposed that a dissenter could be fined for refusing to serve a civil office, and at the same time incur all the penalties of the test and corporation acts, if he took upon him any such office, without taking the sacrament according to the form and custom of the church of England. About the

* i William and Mary, c. 18.

year 1762 Allan Evans, Esquire, being chosen sheriff of London, refused to execute the office, upon the grounds of his being a dissenter, and of his not being able conscientiously to take the sacrament. For this he was prosecuted by the city of London, who brought the cause before the house of lords, by appeal from the commissioners' delegates, who had given judgment for the defendant. The house ordered the question to be proposed for the opinion of the judges; “ how far the defendant might, in the present case, be allowed to plead his disability in bar of action.” Al the judges, except the baron Perrot, were of opinion, “ that the corporation act expressly rendered the dissenters ineligible and incapable of serving, and that the toleration act amounted to much more than a mere exemption from the penalties of certain laws, by freeing the dissenters from all obligation to take the sacrament at church, abolishing the crime as well as the penalty of non-conformity, allowing and protecting the dissenting worship; and therefore that the defendant may plead this disability in bar of the present action.” The whole of the judges' arguments were summed up by the learned lord Mansfield, and upon this ground the house of lords affirmed the judgment of the commissioners' delegates.

Ever since the toleration act was passed, it has been the invariable practice of our kings, in their speeches to their parliaments upon their accession to the throne, after declaring their affection for the church of England, and resolution to support it, to add, that they will maintain the toleration inviolable.

A protestant dissenter might sit in either house of parliament, being duly qualified, and taking the oaths. Roman Catholics did not enjoy altogether the same privileges as other dissenters. They could not sit in either house of parliament, the declaration against transubstantiation proving an effectual barrier. But all the severe restrictions to which they were formerly exposed, were removed by what may be called their toleration act. It placed them under the same protection as protestant dissenters, whilst it lest them equally under the disabilities of the corporation and test acts. In the reign of George IV. an act was passed, abrogating the test and corporation laws. By a subsequent act, the act of 30 Char. II., against transubstantiation, invocation of saints, and the sacrifice of the mass was repealed, and every office under the crown laid open to all irrespectively, except that Roman Catholics are disabled from being lord chancellor of England or Ireland, or lord lieutenant of the latter kingdom.*

The dissenters are now a numerous and very respectable body, the greatest proportion of whom are methodists of the Wesleyan and Whitfield connexion, although there are many other denominations, deriving their

* 31 Geo. III., which see p. 327.

names from their various tenets. The descendants of the puritans are now distinguished by the several denominations of presbyterians, independents, and baptists. Each have a separate society in London, for the support of the poor ministers of their several denominations. Many of the chapels belonging to the presbyterians have fallen into the hands of the Unitarians, who are also a numerous body. Many of the laity, however, who had joined dissenting bodies from the want of church accommodation in their own parishes, returned to the church when the new churches were built in the more populous places, by parliamentary grants.*


It is now impossible to ascertain by whom, or by what means the Christian church was first planted in Scotland. It is certain that it was very early introduced. In our sketch of the church of England, we have shown that St Paul planted the church there, while the Roman armies were still in Britain. The Romans never subdued Scotland, but they penetrated a considerable way into it. It is more than probable, it is almost certain, that Christian teachers would follow in the rear of their armies. Tertullian, an ancient father, in his book against the Jews, which he wrote about the year 200, expressly mentions, “ that the parts of Britain which had been inaccessible to the Romans, were subdued to Christ.” The church must therefore have been planted here before the time of Tertullian. Had there been only a few individuals who had been converted to the Christian faith, it is scarcely probable that Tertullian would have asserted that the kingdom was “ subdued to Christ.” In those early days, Christianity was propagated with a rapidity of which we have now no conception. It is natural to suppose that it would require a number of years to convert a barbarous nation from gross idolatry to the worship of the true God. This appears, however, by Tertullian's account, to have been accomplished before the end of the second century. Dr Lloyd, a learned antiquary, on the authority of Bede, whom he quotes, says, that “ the Scottish Picts who inhabited that part of Scotland, which was next to the Britons, received the Christian faith at their hands. Bede tells us, that in the year 4 12, St Ninian, a Briton, was the author of their (the Scots) conversion, and that at his preaching they left the error of idolatry, and received the belief of the truth. There is no reason to doubt, that the religion which he planted then among the Picts was the same that

Neale's History of the Puritans.---Burn's Ecclesiastical Law. Tomlin's Law Dictionary -- Appendix to Dr Furneaux's Letters to Mr Justice Blackstone.--Statutes at Lirge.

was established at Rome itself, and in the civilized Britain, and in all other provinces of the empire." This conversion happened while Britain was still under the Roman government, and long before popery was known. Ninian was ordained a bishop by Martin, bishop of Tours, in France. He erected a church at Whitehorn, in Galloway, which from its being built of white stone, was called the candida casa, or the white chapel. “ There," says Lloyd, on the authority of Bede,“ living near the Picts, he was often conversant with them, and so had opportunity to go in unto their country : when having made a general conversion of that people, he did all the other parts of an apostle ; he consecrated bishops among them; he ordained priests, and divided their country into parishes: and so having formed and settled their church, he died about eighteen years after their conversion." + That division of the kingdom which lies north of the Grampian hills, continued in idolatry long after Ninian had settled the church in the southern division. Columba, a presbyter, has the honour of planting the church north of these hills. He, with twelve companions, settled in Hyona, about the year 563.

About that time the monastic life came into fashion in Europe. By patience and perseverance Columba succeeded in converting Bridei, a prince of a powerful clan. By his authority his people became nominal Christians, and Christianity gradually spread through all the northern parts. He erected monasteries in different parts of the country, which became the nurseries of religion and learning. In fact, they were the schools and universities of those ages. The bishops were chosen from among those monks, and generally resided in these monasteries, and sent their clergy to officiate in sacred things at different parts of the district. The origin of small parishes, and of the first settlement of stated parochial ministers, were exactly the same in Scotland, as we have already described, under the Church of England. Patronage became an hereditary right in the same manner. It is therefore unnecessary to repeat it here.

It is certain there were monks and secular priests, who were called Culdees, not only among the Scots, but also among the Britons and Irish. Sibbald says they were originally the clerks or clergy who landed at St Andrews with St Regulus, whom the old register of St Andrews calls a bishop. He says they formed his chapter, and lived in cells, hence their name of Culdees. “ The convents of these Culdees," says Goodall, " constituted the chapter, and had the election of the bishops in the several places where bishops were established. At St Andrews they continued to elect the bishops, till, in the year 1140, a priory was erected there, and filled with canons regular, who after that seem to have joined

* Lloyd's Historical Account.

† Ibid.

| Sibbald's History of Fife, p. 69.

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