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1660. down to Scotland, and had orders to call together the committee of estates. This was a practice begun in the late times: when the parliament made a recess, they appointed some of every state to sit, and to act as a council of state in their name till the next session; for which they were to prepare matters, and to which they gave an account of their proceedings. When the parliament of Stirling was adjourned, the king being present, a committee had been named: so, such of these as were yet alive were summoned to meet, and to see to the quiet of the nation, till the parliament should be brought together; which did not meet before January. On the day in which the committee met, ten or twelve of the protesting ministers met likewise at Edenburgh, and had before them a warm paper prepared by one Guthery, one of the violentest ministers of the whole party. In it, after some cold compliment to the king upon his restoration, they put him in mind of the covenant which he had so solemnly sworn while among them: they lamented that, instead of pursuing the ends of it in England, as he had sworn to do, he had set up the common prayer in his chapel, and the order of bishops: upon which 113 they made terrible denunciations of heavy judgments from God on him, if he did not stand to the covenant, which they called the oath of God. The earl of Glencairn had notice of this meeting: and he sent and seized on them, together with this remonstrance. The paper was voted scandalous and seditious: and the ministers were all clapt up in prison, and were threatened with great severities. Guthery was kept still in prison, who had brought the others together: but the rest, after a while's imprisonment were let go. Guthry, being minister 1660. of Stirling while the king was there, had let fly at him in his sermons in a most indecent manner; which at last became so intolerable, that he was cited to appear before the king to answer for some passages in his sermons: he would not appear, but declined the king and his council, who, he said, were not proper judges of matters of doctrine, for which he was only accountable to the judicatories of the kirk. He also protested for remedy of law against the king, for thus disturbing him in the exercise of his ministry. This personal affront had irritated the king more against him, than against any other of the party. And it was resolved to strike a terror into them all, by making an example of him. He was a man of courage, and went through all his trouble with great firmness. But this way of proceeding struck the whole party with such a consternation, that it had all the effect which was designed by it: for whereas the pulpits had, to the great scandal of religion, been places where the preachers had for many years vented their spleen and arraigned all proceedings, they became now more decent, and there was a general silence every where with relation to the affairs of state: only they could not hold from many sly and secret insinuations, as if the ark of God was shaking, and the glory departing. A great many offenders were summoned, at the king's suit, before the committee of estates, and required to give bail, that they should appear at the opening of the parliament, and answer to what should be then objected to them. Many saw the design of this was to fright them into a composition, and also into a concurrence with the meaVol. 1. o
1660. sures that were to be taken. For the greater part' they complied, and redeemed themselves from farther vexation by such presents as they were able to make. And in these transactions Primerose and Fletcher were the great dealers.
A pariia- jn the en(j 0f fag vear the earl of Midletoun
ment in *
Scotland, came down with great magnificence: his way of living was the most splendid the nation had ever seen: but it was likewise the most scandalous; for vices of all sorts were the open practices of those about him. Drinking was the most notorious of all, 114 which was often continued through the whole night to the next morning: and many disorders happening after those irregular heats, the people, who had never before that time seen any thing like it, came to look with an ill eye on every thing that was done by such a set of lewd and vicious men. This laid in all men's minds a new prejudice against episcopacy: for they, who could not examine into the nature of things, were apt to take an ill opinion of every change in religion that was brought about by such bad instruments. There had been a face of gravity and piety in the former administration, which made the libertinage of the present time more odious.
1661. The earl of Midletoun opened the parliament on the first of January with a speech setting forth the blessing of the restoration: he magnified the king's person, and enlarged on the affection that he bore to that his ancient kingdom: he hoped they would make suitable returns of zeal for the king's service, that they would condemn all the invasions that had been made on the regal authority, and assert the just prerogative of the crown, and give supplies for keeping up such a force as was necessary to secure 1661. the public peace, and to preserve them from the re-" turn of such calamities as they had so long felt. The parliament writ an answer to the king's letter full of duty and thanks. The first thing proposed was to name lords of the articles. In order to the apprehending the importance of this, I will give some account of the constitution of that kingdom.
The parliament was anciently the king's court, The lords where all who held land of him were bound to ap- °ies.e pear. All sat in one house, but were considered as three estates. The first was the church, represented by the bishops, and mitred abbots, and priors. The second was the baronage, the nobility and gentry who held their baronies of the king. And the third was the boroughs, who held of the king by barony, though in a community. So that the parliament was truly the baronage of the kingdom. The lesser barons grew weary of this attendance: so in king James the first's time (during the reign of Henry IV. of England) they were excused from it, and were impowered to send proxies, to an indefinite number, to represent them in parliament. Yet they neglected to do this. And it continued so till king James the sixth's time, in which the mitred abbots being taken away, and few of the titular bishops that were then continued appearing at them, the church lands being generally in lay hands, the nobility carried matters in parliament as they pleased: and as they oppressed the boroughs, so they had the king much under them. Upon this the lower barons got them-115 selves to be restored to the right which they had neglected near two hundred years. They were allowed by act of parliament to send two from a
1661. county: only some smaller counties sent but one. This brought that constitution to a truer balance. The lower barons have a right to choose, at their county courts after Michaelmas, their commissioners, to serve in any parliament that may be called within that year. And they who choose them sign a commission to him who represents them. So the sheriff has no share of the return. And in the case of controverted elections the parliament examines the commissions, to see who has the greatest number, and judges whether every one that signs it had a right to do so. The boroughs only choose their members when the summons goes out: and all are chosen by the men of the corporation, or, as they call them, the town council. All these estates sit in one house, and vote together. Anciently the parliament sat only two days, the first and the last. On the first they chose those who were to sit on the articles, eight for every state, to whom the king joined eight officers of state. These received all the heads of grievances or articles that were brought to them, and formed them into bills as they pleased: and on the last day of the parliament, these were all read, and were approved or rejected by the whole body. So they were a committee that had a very extraordinary authority, since nothing could be brought before the parliament but as they pleased. This was pretended to be done only for the shortening and dispatching of sessions. The crown was not contented with this limitation, but got it to be carried farther. The nobility came to choose eight bishops, and the bishops to choose eight noblemen: and these sixteen choose the eight barons, (so the representatives for the shires are called,) and the