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The Day of Small Beginnings

Drawing from three separate quotations, we have in short compass the story of Jenny Geddes and her little wooden stool, which God used to bring about a revolution and a return to biblical truth.

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GeddesStool03Two years ago, while walking about in Old St. Giles’ church in Edinburgh, with Dr. W. G. Blaikie, whose fame as author, scholar, and preacher, is known throughout the Presbyterian Church, he said, ― this is the first time I have been here in seventeen years. And yet this is the church in which Knox preached and Jennie Geddes worshipped. Here she threw the famous stool at the head of the Dean who was reading the liturgy, under orders from King Charles. The outburst of popular indignation, occasioned by this act, was the beginning of the great struggle for religious liberty in Scotland.

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The war in behalf of purity in religion began in Scotland. Archbishop William Laud [1573-1645] prepared a new Prayer-book and sent it to Edinburgh for the use of the churches. On July 23, 1637, the priest of St. Giles Church came forth in white surplice to read the new ritual. Jennie Geddes flung her stool at his head, and a riot drove the minister from the chancel. All Scotland arose in arms against Laud’s innovations, and in 1638 the National Covenant was signed, binding the Scottish people to labor for the purity and liberty of the gospel. In the same year, at Glasgow, the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland deposed the bishops and re-established the Presbyterian system.

Two brief wars with Scotland were waged by King Charles, but the lack of money compelled him to summon the representatives of the people. The combatants stood face to face in the arena of debate. The issues of religious and of civil liberty were at length to be decided in a conflict between Charles Stuart and the English Parliament.

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GeddesStool02It has been said, and not without a show of propriety, “that the First Reformation in Scotland was commenced by a stone cast from the hand of a boy, and the Second Reformation by a stool from the hand of a woman.” By causes in themselves so insignificant does God often produce the grandest results. Detach them from their connections, and they are nothing. Associate them with the other links in the chain of providential influence to which they belong, and they become mighty for good or for evil. The bite of a spider has caused the death of a monarch, and the monarch’s death a revolution in his empire.

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Words to Live By:
The Lord delights to use the weak things of this world to accomplish His purposes.

For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. (1 Corinthians 1:26-29, NASB)

Elsewhere on the Web today, PCA pastor George Grant shared this poem by J.S. Blackie. Thank you, George. I did not previously know of this poem.

The Song of Jenny Geddes by J.S. Blackie

‘Twas the twenty-third of July, in the sixteen thirty-seven,
On the Sabbath morn from high St. Giles the solemn peal was given;
King Charles had sworn that Scottish men should pray by printed rule;
He sent a book, but never dreamt of danger from a stool.

The Council and the Judges, with ermined pomp elate,
The Provost and the Bailies in gold and crimson state,
Fair silken-vested ladies, grave doctors of the school,
Were there to please the King, and learn the virtues of a stool.

The Bishop and the Dean came in wi’ muckle gravity,
Right smooth and sleek, but lordly pride was lurking in their e’e;
Their full lawn sleeves were blown and big, like seals in briny pool;
They bore a book, but little thought they soon should feel a stool.

The Dean he to the alter went, and, with a solemn look,
He cast his eyes to heaven, and read the curious-printed book:
In Jenny’s heart the blood upwelled with bitter anguish full;
Sudden she started to her legs, and stoutly grasped the stool!

As when a mountain wildcat springs upon a rabbit small,
So Jenny on the Dean springs, with gush of holy gall;
Wilt thou say mass at my lugs, thou popish-puling fool?
No! No! She said, and at his head she flung the three-legged stool.

A bump, a thump! A smash, a crash! Now gentle folks beware!
Stool after stool, like rattling hail, came twirling through the air,
With, well done, Jenny! Bravo, Jenny! That’s the proper tool!
When the Devil will out, and shows his snout, just meet him with a stool!

The Council and the Judges were smitten with strange fear,
The ladies and the Bailies their seats did deftly clear,
The Bishop and the Dean went in sorrow and in dool,
And all the Popish flummery fled when Jenny showed the stool!

And thus a mighty deed was done by Jenny’s valiant hand,
Black Prelacy and Popery she drove from Scottish land;
King Charles he was a shuffling knave, priest Laud a meddling fool,
But Jenny was a woman wise, who beat them with a stool!

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Our post today is closely adapted from the work by Wm. P. Breed titled Jenny Geddes, or Presbyterianism and Its Great Conflict with Depositism (1869). To read W.P. Breed’s book, click here.

Our Lord Delights to Use the Small and Insignificant in Powerful Ways

Jenny Geddes was a Scotch woman, a native of that land of great minds and heroic champions of Calvinistic orthodoxy. Born perhaps about the close of the sixteenth century, by near the middle of the seventeenth century, she was a resident of Edinburgh. She was no doubt of a human position in life, with her food and clothing earned by the labor of her owns hands.

Whether she was married or not, history does not tell us. She was certainly poor, for in the great cathedral church of St. Giles she had no place among the pews and so went to church with her stool in hand, seeking a place to sit in the aisle or in some other unoccupied spot during the service.

Jenny was also, most evidently, a person who thought on her own and acted on her own, decisively and forcefully. She was a true blue Presbyterian, familiar with the Scriptures, and one who expected orthodoxy from her preachers and others.

It was on the 23d of July in 1637 that Jenny emerged from obscurity to historic celebrity and renown. On that day there was a strange ferment throughout Scotland and a wild excitement in the city of Edinburgh. King Charles had resolved to make Presbyterianism give place to Prelacy throughout the realm. A book of canons [in effect, a Book of Church Order] had been prepared subversive of the whole system of Presbyterian government, and had been enjoined upon the realm by proclamation upon the king’s simple prerogative. Following this book came a liturgy as a law of public worship, and a royal edict had commanded its introduction into all the churches of the realm on this memorable Sabbath day. Notice to this effect had been given the Sabbath before, and hence this intense excitement. For the Scottish people knew that if this measure were carried into effect by the authorities, Presbyterianism was virtually in its grave.

As the hour of Sabbath service approached, the streets of Edinburgh were thronged with crowds of people, full of excitement. There among the crowds, Jenny Geddes made her way to a convenient place, close to the pulpit of the church and there she sat upon her stool.

The cathedral was filled to capacity with titled nobility and with the nobler untitled nobility of the Scottish Presbyterian masses. There were present archbishops, bishops, the lords of the session, the magistrates of the city, members of the council, “chief captains and principle men,” and Jenny Geddes and her stool.

And as the assembled people waited with tension mounting, the Dean of Edinburgh made his appearance, clad in immaculate surplice, book in hand—that fatal book of the liturgy—the device of English Prelacy for the reform of Scotch Presbytery. The was opened and the service begun.

The cup was now full, though as yet no one pretended to know, no one dreamed, what form of expression the pent-up indignation of the outraged people would assume. The question was soon decided.

No sooner had the first words of the book, through the lips of the Dean, reached the ear of Jenny, the stern prophetess on her tripod, than a sudden inspiration seized her. In an instant she was on her feet, and her shrill, impassioned voice rang through the arches of the cathedral:

GeddesStool03“Villain! dost thou say mass in my lug?”

and in another instant her stool was seen on its way, travelling through the air straight toward the head of the surpliced prayer-reader.

[A lug is an ear]

The astounded Dean, not anticipating such an argument, dodged it, but the consequences he could not dodge. He had laid his book, as he thought, upon a cushion—the cushion proved a hornet’s nest. In an instant the assembly was in the wildest uproar. Hands were clapped; hisses and loud vociferations filled the house, and missiles, such as the hand could reach, filled the air. A sudden rush was made toward the pulpit by the people in one direction, and from the pulpit by the Dean in the opposite direction.

Now, he would be marvellously astray who should suppose that this sudden hurricane at St. Giles was but a passing and unmeaning summer squall. It was in truth the outburst of a national feeling. A mighty ferment at this time pervaded the national mind. Great principles were at stake, and the Scottish masses, well comprehending their nature and the drift of events, were solemnly resolved to vindicate their settled religious convictions in the great controversy at whatever hazard and cost.

When that irregular band of patriots, dressed in Indian attire, marched through the streets of Boston and tossed those tea-chests into the bay, they at the same time virtually tossed British sovereignty overboard; and Jenny Geddes’ party at St. Giles signed the death-warrant of civil and ecclesiastical tyranny in both Scotland and England! The storm had been gathering for nearly forty years, and this bursting of the cloud marked a crisis in a great national revolution. It was the first formidable outbreak against the tyranny of the Stuarts, and Jenny Geddes’ stool was the first shell sent screaming through the air at those merciless oppressors of the two realms, and the echoes of that shell are reverberating to-day among the hills.

A Modern Replica (and a calmer retelling):
[Photo and text from The Journal of Presbyterian History (1903)]—

GeddesStool02The stool pictured at left is intended to represent the so-called “Jenny Geddes Stool,” and was made from a photograph of a model of the same that is on exhibition in the National Scottish Museum in Edinburgh. The model was made under the direction of the Rev. Robert Buchanan for the President of the Historical Society, and was forwarded through his kindness to [Philadelphia].

The history of the stool is well known, and needs but brief mention. Charles I. of England, urged by Archibishop Laud, attempted to impose upon the Presbyterian Church of Scotland a liturgical service similar to that of the Anglican Communion. A service book was prepared, which was popularly known as “Laud’s Prayer Book,” (a copy of which may be seen in the Museum of the Historical Society). By order of the king it was appointed to be used in all the churches. On the day when it was first used in St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, a large congregation assembled under a high degree of excitement. Seated near the pulpit was a Scottish matron named Jenny Geddes, who, unable to suppress her indignation, rose from the little stool upon which, as was the custom, she was seated, and hurled it at the head of Dean Hannay, the officiating clergyman, with the exclamation, “Villain! would ye say mass at my lug?” [i.e., ear] This act led to a riotous demonstration before which the ministers fled. This was the beginning of the revolution of 1637 which restored Presbyterianism to Scotland, and of the English revolution, which led to the summons of the Westminster Assembly, the establishment of the Commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell, and finally to the death of Charles I.

It is not pretended that the stool exhibited in the Scottish Museum is the precise one which Jenny Geddes threw at Dean Hannay, but simply that it is one of those typically in use in the cathedral at that time. The model in the Historical Society’s Museum, therefore, accurately represents an implement of domestic use that, humble as it is, had a most important part in one of the greatest movements, both civil and ecclesiastical, of modern times.

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Scotland’s Covenant with God.

The intense emotions of many Scot Presbyterians that day became irrepressible. Some wept aloud; some burst into a shout of exultation; some, after their names, added the words unto death; and some opening a vein, subscribed with their own warm blood.

Whatever was the Rev. W. M. Hetherington referring to in these stirring words, in his book “History of the Church of Scotland”? (see page 155). In one phrase, it was that of our title. Presbyterians of Scotland began the historic signing of the National Covenant with God at Greyfriars Church in Edinburgh on February 28, 1638.

nationalcovenant03The spiritual situation in the kingdom of Scotland was dire. King Charles was determined to support the Church of England and ruin the Presbyterian faith in Scotland.  At first, the Presbyterians of the realm thought that this was only the work of the prelates and not the king. But soon they came to the sad realization that this was led by the crown.  And yet, they saw in his efforts the Lord’s judgments upon them as a people for having broken the covenants from prior ages.  They thus determined to renew their covenantal obligations to Him and His holy law.

So appointing a fast for the nation at large, the faithful pastors of the Church addressed the people of the kirk by underscoring their sins of omission.  They counseled the people of God with the need to renew their covenant to God.  Qualified ministers were appointed to draw up the new national covenant.  It consisted of three parts: the old Covenant of 1581 was repeated as still in force; the actions of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, and third, the application of the whole to the present circumstances of the church and nation.

GreyfriarsChurchOn of the morning of the twenty-eighth of February, the leading propositions of this covenant were presented to the Commissioners, who had gathered in Edinburgh. While opinions were freely exchanged and objections raised and answered, it soon became clear, by a rising tide of sacred emotion, that it was ready to be signed. So on the afternoon of that historic day, multitudes from every status of the church and nation gathered at Greyfriars Church.

After prayer and explanation of the National Covenant, . . . well, let’s Hetherington describe the scene for us:

“A solemn stillness followed, deep, unbroken, sacred. Men felt the near presence of that dread Majesty to whom they were about to vow allegiance; and bowed their souls before Him, in the breathless awe of silent spiritual adoration.

“An aged nobleman, the venerable Earl of Sutherland, at last stepped slowly and reverentially forward, and with throbbing heart and trembling hand, subscribed Scotland’s Covenant with God. In that moment, all hesitation disappeared. Name followed named in swift succession, till all with the church had given their signatures.  The document was then removed into the churchyard, and spread out on a level grave-stone, to obtain the subscription of the assembled multitude . . . As the space became filled, they wrote their names in a contracted form, limiting them at last to initial letters, til not a spot remained on which another letter could be inscribed.

” With low heart-wrung groans, and faces bathed in tears, they lifted up their right hands to heaven, avowing, by this sublime appeal, that they had now ‘joined themselves to the Lord in an everlasting COVENANT, that shall not be forgotten.'”

“If ye were not strangers here, the dogs of the world would not bark at you.”

Words to Live By:
If any would look with conviction at your Presbyterian local Church in our land today, and fail to see the need for a spiritual Holy Spirit produced revival in its under shepherds in the pulpit and people in the pews, then it may be that our hearts need first to have such a personal revival.  The Psalmist prayed three thousand years ago in Psalm 85:6 “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” (ESV) Rejoicing in God! Are you rejoicing in His Word, the Bible? His Day, the Lord’s Day? His laws, the Ten Commandments? In His works? In anything and everything associated with the God of the Scriptures? That is a Biblical revival! That is a revival sent by the Holy Spirit of God! Will you pray with the authors of This Day in Presbyterian History—that the Holy Spirit would begin a revival in our churches, and that by His mercy and grace, that the Holy Spirit would begin that revival in me?

Image source: Sketches of the Covenanters, by J. C. McFeeters, D.D. (1913), p. 93.

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News Item from 2009:
Rare Copy of The National Covenant Sells For £32,137

[from www.lyonandturnbull.com/content/show_news.asp?id=102]:—

A rare copy of one of the most important documents in Scottish history sold for £32,137 at Lyon & Turnbull on the 10th June 2009.

The copy of The National Covenant dating from 1638 was valued between £5,000-8,000 and is signed by over 100 Covenanters including the Earls of Montrose, Cassillis, Eglinton, Wemyss, Rothes, Lindsay, Lothian and Lord Blamerno.

Simon Vickers, Head of the Book Department said “This is an incredibly good price for a copy of the National Covenant, we had a lot of interest in it with phone bidders from around the world.”

The Scottish National Covenant of 1638 was the result of various attempts by the Stuart monarchy to unify religious worship throughout England and Scotland.  James VI & I had made a few cautious attempts to introduce a measure of Anglicanism into Scottish life, however it was his son, Charles I, that firmly believed the Kirk should be brought into line.

In 1637 King Charles I and Archbishop Laud endeavoured to impose an English liturgy, a move that the Scots saw as little less than an attempt to reintroduce popery.  The spontaneous objection during that first service soon developed into organised opposition unified around the text of the National Covenant.

The 1638 document developed from the National Covenant of 1580, which denounced the Pope and the doctrines of the Roman Catholic church.  The newly formed Covenant incorporated the Scottish Confession of Faith of 1581 and the Acts of the Scottish Parliament that had established the Calvinist religion and the liberty of the Kirk.

The original document was neatly written and signed by a large gathering on February 28th 1638 in Greyfriar’s Kirkyard, Edinburgh.  The leading Covenanters – Rothes, Montrose, Eglinton, Cassillis, et al – then created duplicate copies to be dispatched “by the considerable persons themselves” into every shire, presbytery and parish of Scotland for signature.  The copy on offer here is the Covenant of Renfrewshire.

The General Assemby of 1638 was composed of ardent Coventanters and in 1640 the Covenant was adopted by the Parliament and its subscription was required from all citizens.  Over the next few years King Charles’ s attempts to deter his subjects by force were unsuccessful, leading to the eventual recalling of the English Parliament – an act that would begin the chain of events that led to the English Civil War.

The new owner (who resides in the USA and who wishes to remain anonymous) said “It is a hugely important historical document. I did my Phd in Church History at St Andrew’s University in Fife and will look forward to studying the Covenant in more detail. It will remain in Scotland for the time being in the care of my son who lives in the country.

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His Blood Baptized the Cause of Freedom, Conscience, and Pure Religion

marquis_argyleEarls, barons, lords and marquis — these titles are foreign to countless Americans.  Yet to those in Scotland and England, they are the stuff of ancient times, with some left over to the modern age.   We are interested in the last title, but only as it referred to the Marquis of Argyle, Archibald Campbell.  From an early period in Scottish history, his ancestors played a prominent part.  Vast domains were under their rule, with great power exhibited by this house.  It was said, for example, that today’s subject, Archibald Campbell, could have fielded an army of twenty thousand soldiers.  Well, you could imagine the gratitude of God’s people when Archibald Campbell joined the Covenanting Presbyterians at a General Assembly in 1638.

At the first and last coronation ceremony in which King Charles II was crowned in Scotland, which we developed for our readers on January 1, it was this Marquis himself who placed  the crown on the head of Charles the Second. We also saw that such early support would be repaid with years of persecution for Scottish Presbyterians, including the Marquis of Argyle himself.  When Charles finally ascended to the throne, Archibald Campbell traveled south to congratulate him. He never arrived in London, but was arrested on the journey there on February 7, 1661.  Clapped into the Tower of London, he lay in chains until the following winter. Then he was sent back to Scotland to be tried on everything from having signed the Solemn League and Covenant, to submission to Oliver Cromwell, to being acquainted with the plot to kill King Charles the First.

The trial would last several months and finally ended with the sentence that “Archibald Campbell, Marquis of Argyle, is found guilty of high treason, and is adjudged to be executed to death as a traitor, his head to be severed from his body at the Cross of Edinburgh on Monday, the twenty-seventh instance, and to be fixed in the same place where the Marquis of Montrose’s head was formerly.”

One would think that such a sentence would be met with a grim spirit. But such was not the case with this Covenanting Christian. He commented upon hearing the news that “I had the honor to set the crown on the King’s head, and now he hastens me to a better crown than his own.” Ascending to the place of execution on the day, he “blessed the Lord,” adding “I pardon all men, as I desire to be pardoned myself.”  With that, and other expressions of the forgiveness granted from Calvary, he went forth to be with His Lord and Savior.

It is said that in life he had “piety for a Christian, sense for a counselor, courage for a martyr, and a soul for a king.” With all these characteristics, he was among the first of the Covenanters to lay down his life for the Covenanted Reformation.

Words to Live By:  Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 1:26, “not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth . . .”  The apostle did not say “not any” were called, but “not many were called.”  We have in the Marquis of Argyle one such wise, influential, powerful and high and noble individual, who was called to stand up for the faith.

*Editor: Our thanks to an alert reader for catching a major error. Our subject’s name was Archibald Campbell, not Alexander. Not sure how that error crept in, but it may be an indication that I shouldn’t work on these pages so late at night!

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With this post, we are pleased to note that we are entering on our third year here at This Day in Presbyterian History.

Men of Principle and Men of Expediency

What more could the people of God in Scotland in the mid-seventeenth century want than the future king of England, Scotland, and Ireland signing a historic covenant favorable to Presbyterian doctrine,  government, and confession?  Ah, if it could be that simple of a case.

This post is the first this year of a series of posts from “across  the pond” on Presbyterianism in other lands than America.  By focusing in on their history, we will understand our American Presbyterian history better if we behold what our spiritual forefathers had to experience in these mother countries.

Scotland was the place where God raised up a Presbyterian testimony. At first, it was in the form of the Protestant Reformation which was taking place in Germany and Switzerland in the sixteenth century. Eventually, as young men traveled to these countries and returned home, the first opposition against both Romanism and Anglicanism came into the open. Likewise,  persecution entered into history from these errors against the Reformed faith. When these terrible sifting times against the true church was over, upwards to 18,000 men and women, fathers and mothers, and  young men and young women in the British Isles suffered martyrdom in what is known as “the killing times.” Others were sent in slavery to the American colonies, or forced to flee to other lands.

It is a wonder that these citizens would at all honor the earthly kings over them, especially as they proclaimed the divine right of kings over the kirk or church. But they sought to honor those in these positions of power, provided such submission did not deny Jesus Christ as head of the church. When January  1, 1651 dawned upon the land of Scotland, the first and the last coronation of a king in Scotland would be history. In the ceremony, young King Charles the Second promised to abide by two historic covenants of the Presbyterian faith, namely, the National Covenant and the Solemn League and Covenant. He promised not to  establish papacy or prelacy, but instead establish Presbyterianism in the nation. (Note: the Coronation of King Charles the Second is on line here)

Mind you, he was not yet king over the British Isles. Oliver Cromwell was the number one guy in the kingdom. But Charles the Second had come to Scotland to conquer England with the Scottish army under his control. But it was not to be for another decade, as Charles the Second and his Scot Army was defeated by Cromwell at the battle of Worchester later that year.

One Scottish commissioner who was sent originally to gather the king’s commitment to Presbyterianism and the historic Covenants named Alexander Jaffray, wondered aloud if their sin as Presbyterians was not greater than his, for forcing him to sign the Covenants when they knew that he hated them in his heart. Indeed, other Presbyterians like Samuel Rutherford, tried to delay the plans of their insistence about his signing these historic covenants until he evidenced by his actions that there was both a heart as well as a verbal commitment. They failed  in their attempt to delay this action. Yet they were shown to be in the right as Charles the Second later on, after his  coronation of England, Scotland, and Ireland,  became well known as a brutal persecutor of the Scot Presbyterians.  And we will look on that awful period in future posts this year.

Words to Live By:  W. M Hetherington says in his history of the church of Scotland, “There were then, as there always have been, two great parties of public men; the one composed of those who judge and act according to principle; the other, of those who are guided by expediency.” (p. 199)  Let us be among the former, not the latter, in this new year in which we live and work in the kirk (church) of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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The Day of Small Beginnings

Drawing from three separate quotations, we have in short compass the story of Jenny Geddes and her little wooden stool, which God used to bring about a revolution and return to biblical truth. Somewhere here in the Archives we have a photograph of what that little stool probably looked like. Perhaps later today that photo can be added to our post.

*    *    *

Two years ago, while walking about in Old St. Giles’ church in Edinburgh, with Dr. W. G. Blaikie, whose fame as author, scholar, and preacher, is known throughout the Presbyterian Church, he said, ― this is the first time I have been here in seventeen years. And yet this is the church in which Knox preached and Jennie Geddes worshipped. Here she threw the famous stool at the head of the Dean who was reading the liturgy, under orders from King Charles. The outburst of popular indignation, occasioned by this act, was the beginning of the great struggle for religious liberty in Scotland.

*    *    *

The war in behalf of purity in religion began in Scotland. Archbishop William Laud [1573-1645] prepared a new Prayer-book and sent it to Edinburgh for the use of the churches. On July 23, 1637, the priest of St. Giles Church came forth in white surplice to read the new ritual. Jennie Geddes flung her stool at his head, and a riot drove the minister from the chancel. All Scotland arose in arms against Laud’s innovations, and in 1638 the National Covenant was signed, binding the Scottish people to labor for the purity and liberty of the gospel. In the same year, at Glasgow, the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland deposed the bishops and re-established the Presbyterian system.
Two brief wars with Scotland were waged by King Charles, but the lack of money compelled him to summon the representatives of the people. The combatants stood face to face in the arena of debate. The issues of religious and of civil liberty were at length to be decided in a conflict between Charles Stuart and the English Parliament.

*    *    *

It has been said, and not without a show of propriety, “that the First Reformation in Scotland was commenced by a stone cast from the hand of a boy, and the Second Reformation by a stool from the hand of a woman.” By causes in themselves so insignificant does God often produce the grandest results. Detach them from their connections, and they are nothing. Associate them with the other links in the chain of providential influence to which they belong, and they become mighty for good or for evil. The bite of a spider has caused the death of a monarch, and the monarch’s death a revolution in his empire.

*    *    *

Words to Live By:
The Lord delights to use the weak things of this world to accomplish His purposes.

For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. (1 Corinthians 1:26-29, NASB)

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