Imágenes de páginas

“ controversias omnes, superabimus quoscunque. Jam dari nobis vellemus Jesuitam aliquem, « ut ex affrictu Libri Vestri, hominem illicò contundamus. Quare complectimur, fovemus, " exofculamur hunc Fætum Vestrum, hunc alterum Carolum, hunc fasciculum pru“ dentiæ, pofitum extra mortalitatis aleam, et quo magis Tuum agnofcas, in ipso partu, “ Librorum Regem creatum. Diruuntur ædificia, corrumpuntur ftatuæ; hæc imago “ atque character tempore melior, injurias seculi, scriptaque hâc illâc pereuntia, securius “ præterit. Si enim in Regno Veftro Hibernico lignum nascitur permanens contra « omnia venena validum ; quanto magis virtutes iftæ in Dominum Agri transferendæ sunt, « ut fic Scripta Veitra omni dente tum edacis temporis, tum venenatorum Hæreticorum, “ in sitâ vi suâ liberentur. Quod superest, precamur S. S. Trinitatem, ut Veftræ Coronz : « civili et literariæ, tertiam coelestem serò adjungat..

“ Humillimi Servi “ Datæ freq. Senatu,

“ Subditique Vestri, .- XIII°. Cal. Jun. A.D.

os Procancellarius, 6. MDCXX..

“Reliquusque Senatus

“ Cantabrigiensis. :), s Peregrinis Academiam nostram invisentibus.

“Quid Vaticanam, Bodleiumque objicis, Hofpes ?

« Unicus est nobis Bibliotheca Liber.".



DORN on the first day of August, 1545, was the youngest of nine sons of Richard Mel

D ville, of Baldowie, in North Britain: These fons were all alive, when their father fell in the vanguard of the battle of Pinkie, on the tenth of September, 1547. Andrew was “a “ sicklie tender boy, andtook pleasure in nothing fa meikle as his book.” Having been instructed in the Greek language by Petrus Marsiliers, a Frenchman and teacher of the Greek grammar, and by“ that notable instrument in the kirk, John Erskine, of Don, of most honourable 6 and happy memory, he profited fa, that entering thereafter in the course of philosophie “ within the universitie of St. Andrew's, all that was teaches of Aristotle he learned, and « studied it out of the Greek text, whilk his masters understood not.” He past his course in the new college, “ tenderly beloved be Mr. John Douglas, provost of that college, and „ rector of the universitie, who would often take him between his legs at the fire in winter, «s.and warm his hands and cheeks, and blessing him, say, “My fillie fatherless and motherless «so child, it's ill to wit what God may make of thee yet.' Sa ending his course of philosophie he " left the universitie of St. Andrew's with the commendation of the best philosopher, poet, " and Grecian of any young master of the land, and with all possible diligence made his “ preparation, and passed over to France.” He refided two years in the university of Paris, hearing the lights of the most shining age, and particularly Peter Ramus, in philosophy and eloquence. He became so expert in Greek, that he declaimed and taught lessons, “ uttering “ never a word but Greek with fic readinels and plenty, as was marvellous to the hearers.” From Paris he went to Poictiers, where he regented in the college of St. Marcian three years, hearing the best lawyers, yet always making theology his principal study, to which he was dedicated from his earliest youth.

From Poictiers he went to Geneva, carrying nothing with him but a little Hebrew bible at his belt. He travelled on foot, as he had done before, from Dieppe to Paris, and thence to Poictiers; for he was small and light of body, but full of spirits, vigorous, and courageous. Theodore Beza, to whom he was strongly recommended by letters, foon discovered him to be a scholar, and appointed him Professor of Humanity in the college of Geneva. Mr. Melville continued at this place five years, attending the daily lessons and preachings of Beza. He improved the opportunity of perfecting himself in Hebrew literature. He often disp:ited with the Greek profeffor, a native of Greece, on the right pronunciation of the Greek language b. The professor pronounced it after the common form, observing the accents, “ the “ whilk Mr. Andro controlled be precepts and reason, till the Greek would grow angry, and “ cry out, * Vos Scoti, vos barbari docebitis nos Grecos pronuntiationem linguæ nostre scilicet !!!


a Many particulars are inserted in this memoir, on the authority of Mr. James Melville's Diary in MS, in the Ad vocate's Library at Edinburgh.

When he was invited to return home, Beza, in a letter addressed to the general kirk of Scotland, declared, that, as the greatest token of affection the members of the kirk of Geo neva could shew to that of Scotland, they had suffered themselves to be spoiled of Mr. Andrew Melville.

In 1574, he was elected the principal master of the university of Glasgow, where he taught the best Greek and Latin authors, natural philosophy, chronology, chirography, besides his ordinary profession, the holy tongue and theology..

In the same year he was directed, at the General Assembly, to deliver his opinion upon the jurisdiction and policy of the kirk, before the next Assembly, along with others appointed for that purpose. During a period of five or fix years this matter cost him great pains “ in “ mind, body, and gear;" while it exposed him to the resentment of the regent and the epifcopal party, which he bore with singular patience,. until he fully accomplished his plan for the establishment of presbyteries.

In 1578, in the assembly held in Magdalen Chapel, Edinburgh, in the month of April, he was chosen Moderator. It was there concluded, that the bishops should be called by their own names, and that lordly authority should be banished from the kirk “ whilk has but an “ Lord, Christ Jesus.”

Being accused of “oversea dreams” and Geneva discipline, and of disturbing the peace of the kirk, by the regent, who said, “ There never will be quietness or peace in the country, “.till half a dozen of you be hanged.” “Tush! Sir,” says Mr. Andrew, “ purpuratis tuis «.ifta minitare : mihi idem ejt humine, an fublimi putrefcam. Domini eft terra: patria est ubicunque eft bona.. I have been ready to give my life, where it was not half-fa well wared, at the “ pleasure of my God. I lived out o’ your country ten years, as well as in it: let God be “glorified; it will not lie in your power to hang or exile his truth.”

In 1580, he was accompanied by several of his friends to Lundey, and with the Laird thereof to St. Andrew's, where he was entered Principal of the college, and was kindly welcomed by his friend Mr. Patrick Adamson, the bishop, for whom he often officiated in the kirk. His zeal for introducing a new mode of academical education met with much oppofie tion, all which he vanquished; so that the regents in philosophy came over to his opinions, and acknowledged their wonderful transportation from darkness to light. He sustained every attack upon him with undaunted fortitude; and the punishments, with which he was me. naced, not unfrequently fell upon his adversaries.


> Sir Thomas Smith and his friend Mr. Cheke, introduced at Cambridge the new mode of pronouncing the Greek language. While the former was once at Paris, he made a visit to a learned Greek, a courteous and affable man. His chief bufiness was to be satisfied from him what sounds the Grecians themselves did use in Greece. And when Smith began to speak of the new way, the Greek grew angry, and called Erasmus Badin, that he, being a Dutchman, had brought into Greece, whence he was sprung, such vast sounds, as he expressed himself, and absonous diphthongs. (Strype's Life of Sir John Smith, p. 23.)

* In this art he excelled. He has addressed a Latin epigram to Mrs. Efher Inglis, who was noted for her beautiful hand-writing, and who surpassed Ascham, Davies, and others eminent for that extraordinary talent,

In 1581, he attended the General Assembly at Glasgow, where the book of policy, after a labour of many years, was ratified, and ordered to be recorded.

In 1583, he appeared before the king, at Edinburgh, to answer an accusation of uttering treasonable and seditious speeches from the pulpit. He was accompanied on this occasion, with some of his scholars and friends. As no criminal charge was brought against him, he declined the judicature of the king and council. He plainly told them, that they had no power to control the ambassadors and messengers of a king and council greater than they were. " And that,” says he, “ you may see your weakness, oversight, and rashness, in taking upon « you that which ye neither ought nor can do,” (loosing a little Hebrew bible from his belt, and throwing it down on the board) “ there is my instructions and warrant: let's see whilk of you can judge thereon, or controlle me therein, that I have past my injunctions." The chancellor, opening the book, finds it to be Hebrew, and puts it into the king's right hand, saying, “ Sir, he scorns your Majesty and council.” “Nay,” says Mr. Andrew, “I scorn * not, but with all earnestness, . zeal, and gravity, I stand for the cause of Jesus Christ, and “ the kirk.” He was at length ordered to be put in ward in the Castle of Edinburgh, during the king's will. And when it was known that the place of his confinement was changed to Blackness, he followed the advice of his friends, and fled to Berwick, and afterwards took refuge in England.

Upon this occasion, “ the pulpits of Scotland,” as Dr. Robertson informs us, “ resounded "s with complaints, that the king had extinguished the light of learning in the kingdom, and “ deprived, the church of the ableft and most faithful guardian of its liberties and disci“ pline.

In 1587, we find him resident in the university of St. Andrew's; for in that year the celebrated Sieur du Bartas came into Scotland to attend his lectures.

In 1591, Mr. Cartwright and Mr. Travers, the great defenders of Puritanism in England, were invited to be Divinity Professors in his university. It must be owned, that in the elegant letter addressed to them, on this occasion, which was probably penned by Mr. Melville himself, there is an acrimony of language perfectly inexcusabled. His inveterate opposition to the discipline of the church of England has betrayed the writer into the use of the most opprobrious terms.

In 1599, the king published the “ Doron Basilicon,” addressed to his son, Prince Henry. Sir James Semple, one of his Majesty's servants, having transcribed that treatise, fewed it to Andrew Melville, his intimate friend, who reading it, was offended with some passages that


* This letter is inserted in “Fuller's Ch. History," B. ix. Sect. vii. p. 52.

regarded the ministry and discipline of the kirk. Melville took copies of the book, and difpersed them among the ministers, some of whom preferred a libel to the Synod of St. Andrew's, wherein the exceptionable passages being set down, it was asked, “What cenfure should to be inflicted on him, that had given such instructions to the Prince, and if he could be thought well« affected to religion, that had delivered such precepts of government ?"

To vindicate himself, on this occasion, the King determined to publish the work, “ which “ being come abroad, and carried to England, it cannot be said how well the same was ac“ cepted, and what an admiration it raised in all men's hearts of him, and of his piety and “ wisdom.”

I omit several circumstances of his life, which are mentioned in “ Calderwood's History of Scotland,” Mr. Melville was present at a conference at Hampton Court, in 1606. As he was esteemed one of the most learned men of his time, the King principally dreaded his influence, in resisting his favourite plan for the establishment of Episcopacy. He had been confined some years before, by a royal warrant, within his own house, at St. Andrews; and in 1606 was invited to the English court, along with some other ministers, under the pretence of holding an amicable conference. It has been conjectured, that the only motive for this invitation was to relieve the Scotch bishops from the opposition, which they had reason to expect from Melville's personal zeal and splendid abilities.

The behaviour of Mr. Melville during the conference afforded no pretext for detaining him in England. Another expedient succeeded. Melville and his companions were invited to attend the royal chapel on the Lord's day, when the King and Queen received the sacrament, according to the usage of the Church of England. It was natural to suppose that a view of those rites and ceremonies, against which Andrew Melville had always warmly contended, would have produced a considerable effect upon his temper. But he allowed nothing to escape him in public which could give the least offence. On his return from his lodgings, he amused himself with writing some Latin verses on the decorations of the altarf. They were shewn to



* James appointed four divines of the Church of England to attend during this conference; and to preach, by turns, on the subjects proposed to them. Dr. William Barlow, Bishop of Lincoln, endeavoured, from Axls xx. 28, to prove out of the Scripture and Fathers the supremacy of bishops above presbyters, and to thew the inconveniences of parity in the church. Dr. Buckridge, then President of St. John's College, Oxford, and afterward Bitop of Rochester, took for his text the precept of the apostle, “ Let every soul be subject to the hig er puwers," Rom. xiii. 11.; “ where,” says Spotswood, “ falling to speak of the King's supremacy, in causes ecclefiafticil, he “ did handle that point both soundly and learnedly, to the satisfaction of all the hearers : only it grieved tire Scots “ ministers to hear the Pope and Presbyterie so often equalled in their oppolition to sovereign prices.” Dr. An. drews, Bishop of Chichester, followed, who, from the first verses of Numbers X. co:firmed the power of kings in convocating synods and councils. The fourth was Dr. King, then Dean of Christ-church, and afterward Bishop of London, who, discourfing on the with verse of the eighth chapter of Canticles, did prove lay-elders to have no place, nor office in the Church. See “ Spotswood's History,” &c. B. VII.

{ Fuller in his “ Church History of Britain,” B. X. Sect. iv. 41, las preserved a copy of these verses, which Archbishop Spotswood calls “ scornful ani bitter :"

" Quid

« AnteriorContinuar »