Imagens das páginas

the work was being carried forward, broke off abruptly, and for six weeks the shield was left open to a considerable influx of land water. The consequence was, that the progress of the work was much impeded. However, on the 11th of March following, the break in the clay having been passed, the work was proceeded with, and by the 30th of April 1827, the tunnel had extended 400 feet under the river, and was fully and substantially completed with brickwork. In the month of May 1827, and again in January 1828, the river broke in, and great apprehensions were entertained that this unprecedented undertaking must be abandoned. When, however, the chasms in the bed of the river had been filled up with bags of clay, and the water in the tunnel cleared out, it was found that the structure was in a perfectly sound and satisfactory state. These circumstances, and the entire expenditure of the capital of the company, prevented the work from being proceeded with until the year 1835, when a grant of public money was made by the Treasury, through the Exchequer Loan Commissioners, to the company to complete the undertaking. The work was then proceeded with, and the result has been the completion of the tunnel, which is 1200 feet in length. In addition to the £180,000 expended by the company, the Treasury has advanced £270,000, making the total cost of the tunnel up to the present moment £450,000. The carriage-way descents have yet to be formed, and it is estimated that the cost of these will amount to £130,000 or £140,000 more; so that, when the tunnel is perfect in all its parts, its total cost will be somewhere about £600,000. The great circular shafts are meanwhile provided with handsome staircases for foot passengers, and to these the tunnel, comfortably lighted with gas, is open daily.

Such are a few of the more remarkable architectural structures which man has erected for worship, for commemoration, for ornament, or for the more practical purposes of economy. The idea will no doubt occur to some that, in many instances, a vast amount of human ingenuity and labour has been expended in vain-an idea but too true, were there no other feelings in our nature to be gratified than those of mere utilitarian necessity. We certainly cannot justify the wasteful expenditure of human energies for the mere gratification of some tyrant's caprice, or, what is equally reprehensible, a nation's vanity; but while we have mental tastes as imperative as bodily wants, and while all nature is as exuberant of grace and beauty as of utility, it would be worse than folly to judge of human efforts only by the narrow standard of a scanty necessity. Every attempt in the one direction is as assuredly an elevation, as it is in the other a degradation of man's physical and moral nature.

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

N the year 1603, James VI. of Scotland succeeded Elizabeth on the throne of England; and the two nations, long enemies to each other, were united into

one kingdom. This union, however, was little more than nominal; and the institutions of the two countries, as well as the manners of their inhabitants, still remained very dissimilar. Both countries had still their separate minis

tries, their separate courts of law, their separate legislatures --- England its two Houses of Lords and Commons; Scotland its single House or Convention of Estates, consisting of the barons, a number of the gentry, with a few representatives from the burghs, and presided over by a royal commissioner, who ratified its acts in the king's name by a touch of the sceptre. The chief difference, however, between the two countries, was in their ecclesiastical constitutions. In England, the Reformation had been conducted on entirely different principles from those which had regulated the same change in Scotland. In the former, the Reformation had, externally at least, been the result of a whim of Henry VIII., who, to revenge himself on the pope for a personal offence, had decreed that the church of England should no longer be dependent on the church of Rome. In Scotland, on the other hand, the Reformation had been the consequence of a violent popular agitation in opposition to the wishes of the government. Hence a more general earnestness on the subject of religious doctrine among the Scotch than among the English; for although the articles of faith professed by the two countries did not, when once fairly settled by the divines of each, differ in any essential

No. 109.



point, yet the people of Scotland had received, if we may so speak, a more thorough drilling in these reformed doctrines than the people of England. Hence, also, a difference in the forms of worship and of church government adopted by the two nations. In England, the ceremonial of the church of Rome had been retained, except in so far as it was conceived to be contrary to sound doctrine; in Scotland, on the other hand, many forms, now generally admitted to be harmless in themselves--such as the observance of holidays, and the use of instrumental music in churches-had been abandoned on account of what was considered their dangerous tendency. As regards church government, the difference was equally striking. The form of church government adopted in England was that called Episcopacy, according to which there were various ranks or orders among the clergy, from the curate up to the archbishop, or to the king, as the earthly head of the church--the power of maintaining order and settling disputed questions being in the hands of the superior clergy. In Scotland, the form adopted was that called Presbyterianism, according to which all the clergy in the church were of equal rank and authority, and the power of maintaining order lay not with any particular class, but with courts composed of a certain number of clergymen, sitting and voting in conjunction with elders or members chosen from among the laity. On the whole, the ecclesiastical organisation adopted in England resembled the feudal or monarchical form of civil government, while that adopted in Scotland resembled the republican model.

It was natural for James VI., finding himself sovereign of two kingdoms differing from each other in so many respects, to wish for their more complete incorporation; and as Scotland was the smaller of the two, it seemed more reasonable that it should conform to England, than that England should conform to it. Besides, James's own character and tastes inclined him to prefer the institutions of England to those of his native country. From being the poor sovereign of a poor country, with an income of little more than £5000 a-year, and obliged to beg poultry and borrow. silk hose from his subjects when he required to give an entertainment to a foreign ambassador, he found himself raised to the throne of the wealthy and haughty Tudors. His sense of his own importance as a king increased with the change. His long-cherished antipathy to Presbyterianism found full vent; and he resolved to use every means to procure its abolition in Scotland, and the substitution of the Episcopal form in its stead. The desire of producing perfect uniformity in this and all other respects between the two kingdoms, became a passion with him, and he devoted his whole reign to accomplishing it.

The king's first attempt to interfere with the rights of Presbyterianism was made in the year 1605, when six clergymen were banished, and eight removed from their parishes, for holding a General Assembly contrary to the king's wishes. This act of severity was preliminary to a more decisive course of conduct on the part of the king. At a meeting of the Scottish parliament at Perth in July 1606, the king's influence procured the passing of a measure subversive of one of the first principles of Presbyterianism-namely, the restoration of the order of bishops, abolished in the year 1560. Although this measure did not invest the new bishops with any spiritual authority in the church, but only with the temporal estates, titles, and legislative power which formerly belonged to the anti-reformation bishops, the Scottish clergy protested against it with the utmost vigour and determination. The protest was in vain : the prelates assumed the political status which the law allowed them-possessing, however, no proper ecclesiastical authority, and disliked by their fellow-clergy: But in the year 1610, James, having summoned a General Assembly at Glasgow, contrived -partly by force, and partly, it is said, by bribery-to procure several acts by which the prelates obtained a share of spiritual power; among others, an act constituting them moderators or presidents in synods; and, to make their authority complete, three of their number proceeded to London in October of the same year, where, by the king's orders, they were consecrated by five English bishops. These three, on their return to Scotland, consecrated the rest; and two courts of high commission having been erected for the trial of ecclesiastical causes, with the archbishops of St Andrews and Glasgow as their presidents, Prelacy might be considered as fully established in the kingdom.

James, however, was not satisfied with the, mere introduction of Prelatical church government into Scotland; he wished also to new-model the Presbyterian form of worship, by introducing into it the rites and ceremonies of the English church-service. Accordingly, after several attempts, he procured the publication of the famous Five Articles of Perth, authorising the following practices, opposed to the spirit of Presbyterianism:-1st, Kneeling at the holy sacrament; 2d, Private communion ; 3d, Private baptism ; 4th, Confirmation of children by the bishop ; and, 5th, The observance of Christmas, Good-Friday, Easter, and Pentecost as holidays. The publication of these articles roused an intense feeling of horror among the Presbyterians of Scotland; and the day on which they were finally ratified by parliament, the 4th of August 1621, one of the darkest and stormiest ever known in Scotland, was long afterwards spoken of as the black Saturday.” The refusal of many of the clergy and gentry to submit to the new forms, led to their trial before the ecclesiastical courts; and numbers were banished, imprisoned, or otherwise punished for their nonconformity.

James VI. died on the 27th of March 1625, and was succeeded by his son, Charles I., who was still more determined than his father to suppress Presbyterianism in Scotland, and establish Episcopacy instead. He resolved to complete what his father

[ocr errors]


had begun, and not to desist until he had produced perfect uniformity in doctrine and worship between the two kingdoms. In the early part of his reign, he made an attempt to procure funds for the endowment of the Episcopal clergy of Scotland, by resuming the church property which had fallen into the hands of the Scottish nobles. This measure, however, he was compelled to abandon.

During his visit to his native country in the year 1633, he increased his unpopularity by his constant attempts to innovate upon the Presbyterian practice of his subjects. But the finishing blow to the mutual confidence between the

king and his Scottish subjects was yet to come. Before leaving Scotland, Charles gave orders to the bishops to prepare drafts of a Book of Canons, and a Liturgy, or Book of Common Prayer, to be used by the church of Scotland. This was accordingly done; and after having been revised and altered by Laud, archbisliop of Canterbury, and others of the English prelates, the two books were sent down to Scotland, with strict orders that they should be received, and their directions punctually complied with, by clergy and people. An act so infatuated, and betraying such profound ignorance of a people's nature, was never perhaps perpetrated by any government.

Sunday, the 23d of July 1637, was the day appointed for the introduction of the new service-book into the churches of Edinburgh. On that day a great concourse of people, including the lords of the privy council, the lords of session, and the magistrates of the city, assembled in the High Church of St Giles. When the hour of service arrived, the dean of Edinburgh, in his surplice, came out of the vestry, and passed to the reading-desk, where he began to read the service—the people still remaining quiet, and gazing as if some curious show were going on. At length, on his announcing the collect for the day, an old woman in the congregation, by name Janet Geddes, who kept a greengrocer's stall in the High Street, rose in irrepressible disgust, and crying out, “ Deil colick the wame o' thee, thou fause thief! dost thou say the mass at my lug ?” took up the little stool on which she sat and flung it at the dean's head. In an instant all was uproar: the women of the congregation rushed to the desk; and the dean, to avoid being torn in pieces, pulled off his surplice and fled. Lindsay, bishop of Edinburgh, mounted the pulpit to address the people; but being saluted with a shower of wooden missiles, accompanied with cries of “ A pope, a pope !-stone him, stone him !” he was obliged to come down again. The tumult was now terrible; a mob had gathered in the street; both bishop and dean were hustled and struck at as they made their way through it; and it was with difficulty they escaped with their lives.

In this riot none but the lower classes were implicated; but all Scotland was animated by an equally strong antipathy to the


« AnteriorContinuar »