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"The extensive learning and eminent talents of the Rev. David Calderwood, his matured experience in ecclesiastical affairs, and especially in those of his native country, the persecutions he had endured for his beloved Church, and the numerous works he had written in its defence, all qualified him, in the happiest manner, for becoming a Historian of the Kirk of Scotland. Above all, when the narrative was to be one of struggle and suffering, in which the principalities and powers of the earth, as well as those of darkness, were the antagonists, the record of such a conflict fell most aptly into the hands of a man whom a monarch had in vain attempted to brow-beat, and a whole hierarchy to silence. His own heart also appears to have affectionately inclined towards this his most congenial occupation, so that, after his return from exile, he spent many years in collecting and arranging the materials necessary for such an important task. At last, when he had reached his seventy-third year, the General Assembly, for the purpose of enabling him to perfect his work, granted him an annual pension of 800 pounds Scots. Calderwood died only two years afterwards; but he lived to accomplish his purpose of writing the History of our National Church from the commencement of the Reformation to the close of the reign of James the Sixth, in two, if not three successive and copious revisals" (Preface to volume one, pp. v-vi).
More on the prominent role Calderwood played in the church of his day is supplied by Johnston, in his Treasury of the Scottish Covenant (p. 47), when he writes that "the Second Book of Discipline was sworn to in the National Covenant in 1581, and revised by the Assembly of 1638. The most important parts of the book were legalized in 1592, and again in 1690. Calderwood, the historian, edited "The First and Second Book of Discipline," printed in 1621." Furthermore, the Dictionary of Scottish Church History and Theology (p. 118) tells us that Calderwood was "excluded from the church courts when he opposed Bishop James Law of Orkney's (FES VII, 322) substitution of royal supporters in place of the Presbytery's duly elected representatives to the General Assembly. But when King James VI visited Scotland in 1617, Calderwood and 54 other ministers meeting in Edinburgh wrote a protest against the King's intention that the monarch and men of his preference should appoint forms of worship and discipline in the Church. Calderwood was required to appear with Archibald Simson before the King at St. Andrews, where from his knees he boldly opposed the King's will and asserted the freedom of the General Assembly to control the Church's ceremonies and government (and some today say these are points of little or no consequence -- how different from our Reformed forefathers--RB). Calderwood was deprived of his charge, imprisoned and banished. In 1619 he went to Holland, whence he issued anonymously his monumental critique of English episcopacy, The Altar of Damascus (n.p., 1621), greatly enlarged in Latin... Calderwood's writings were erudite and widely persuasive, preparing the way for the restoration of Presbyterian practice at the 'Second Reformation'... With Alexander Henderson and David Dickson he was appointed by the General Assembly of 1643 to draft a directory for public worship, to fill a need for guidelines after the episcopal conventions had been removed (in keeping with the Solemn League and Covenant--RB)."
The same article, commenting on this eight volume history, relates, "it is a major source for the history of the Church of Scotland from the Reformation until 1625." This massive set (of over 6000 pages) was printed between 1842 and 1849. It contains a 171 page index and Thomson's "Life of David Calderwood." The contents are listed and dealt with chronologically by year; beginning in the preamble with the descent of the Scots from the ancient Gauls, but formally covering the period (focusing to the church) from 1514 to 1625. Documents and information available no where else (that we know of) are also included in this set. Must reading for researchers and those interested in church history!
The History of the Kirk of Scotland (Volume 1) by David Calderwood covers the period 1514 to 1560.
The History of the Kirk of Scotland (Volume 2) by David Calderwood covers the period 1560 to 1570.
The History of the Kirk of Scotland (Volume 3) by David Calderwood covers the period 1570 to 1583.
The History of the Kirk of Scotland (Volume 4) by David Calderwood covers the period 1584 to 1588.
The History of the Kirk of Scotland (Volume 5) by David Calderwood covers the period 1589 to 1599.
The History of the Kirk of Scotland (Volume 6) by David Calderwood covers the period 1600 to 1608.
The History of the Kirk of Scotland (Volume 7) by David Calderwood covers the period 1609 to 1625.
The History of the Kirk of Scotland (Volume 8) by David Calderwood contains the appendix and index for the set.
The download for this set consists of 2 zipped files containing all 8 volumes.
All resources for sale on this website, with the exception of Scottish Metrical Psalms MP3s, are available on the Puritan Hard Drive .
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