Friday, October 17, 2014

Reformation Month: Biography of William Row (Part 2)

Again, being deputed to open the Synod of Perth, in 1607, to which King James sent Lord Scone, captain of his guards, to force them to accept a Constant Moderator, Scone sent notice to Row, that if, in his preaching, he uttered aught against constant moderators, he should cause ten or twelve of his guards to discharge their culverins at his nose; and when he attended the sermon which preceded that synod, he stood up in a menacing posture to outbrave the preacher. But Row, no way dismayed, knowing what vices Scone was charged with, particularly that he was a great belly-god, drew his picture so like the life, and condemned what was culpable with so much severity, that Scone thought fit to sit down, and even to cover his face. After which Row proceeded to prove, that no constant moderator ought to be suffered in the Church; but knowing that Scone understood neither Latin nor Greek, he wisely avoided naming the constant moderator in English, and always gave the Greek or Latin name for it. Sermon being ended, Scone said to some of the nobles attending him, "You see I have scared the preacher from meddling with the constant moderator; but I wonder who he spoke so much against by the name of pr┼ôstes ad vitam." They told him that it was Latin for the constant moderator; which so incensed him, that when Row proceeded to constitute the Synod in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Scone said, "the devil a Jesus is here:" and when Row called over the roll to choose their moderator after the ancient form, Scone would have pulled it from him, but he, being a strong man, held off Scone with one hand, and holding the synod-roll in the other, called out the names of the members. 


After this William Row was put to the horn, and on the 11th of June following, he and Henry Livingstone, the moderator, were summoned before the Council, to answer for their proceedings at the Synod above mentioned. Livingstone compeared, and with great difficulty obtained the favour to be warded in his own parish. But Row was advised not to compear, unless the Council would relax him from the horning, and make him free of the Scone comptrollers, who had letters of caption to apprehend him, and commit him to Blackness. This was refused, and a search made for him; which obliged him to abscond, and lurk among his friends for a considerable time.

Row was subjected to several other hardships during the remainder of his life, but still maintained that steady faithfulness and courage in the discharge of his duty, which is exemplified in the above instances, until the day of his death, of which, however, we have no certain account.

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