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A Tale of Two Kingdoms

A History of the Church of Scotland from the Reformation to the Glorious Revolution

Dr. Jeff Spitler

Sir, as diverse times before, so now again I must tell you there are two kings and two kingdoms in Scotland; there is Christ Jesus and His Kingdom the Kirk, whose subject King James the Sixth is, and of whose Kingdom he is not a king, nor a head, nor a lord, but a member; and they whom Christ has called, and commanded to watch over His kirk and govern His spiritual kingdom, have sufficient power of Him and authority so to do, both together and severally, the which no Christian King nor prince should control and discharge, but fortify and assist, otherwise not faithful subjects, not members of Christ.

Andrew Melville to James the Sixth (First) in 1596

This class will attempt to tell the story of two kingdoms in Scotland: Christ's Kingdom, the Church, and that kingdom which also belongs to Christ, but is ruled by the civil magistrate. Man, in his fallen state, is often tempted to assert his autonomy over God. For the civil magistrate, the temptation often takes the form of extending his dominion beyond its proper boundaries.

We will cover the period between the first reformation (mid-1500's) and the Glorious Revolution (1688). During this time, the struggles between the civil magistrates (Mary of Guise, Mary Stuart, and the Stewart Kings) and the Church were particularly intense. Ultimately, the Church's testimony that it would have no King but Christ was sealed with the blood of many martyrs.

Much of the freedom that we enjoy today is a direct or indirect result of this testimony. Of course, the temptation faced by the civil magistrate has not gone away -- it is still with us today in perhaps more subtle, but still very insidious forms.

The objectives of the class are:
  • To recount some of God's mighty works in history, and by doing so, to familiarize ourselves with our own denomination's history.

  • To challenge our thinking related to history, worship, church polity, church-state relations, etc. We, like all men, are men of our times. By studying church history, we hope to see things from another perspective and be challenged to return to God's Word, so that, ultimately, we might bring "every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."


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These audio files are copyrighted by the Stillwater Reformed Presbyterian Church. They are free to be listened to and used, but may not be altered in any way, or resold.

Date Part Title MP3
05/19/2002 70 Conclusion Listen
05/12/2002 69 The Glorious Revolution Listen
05/05/2002 68 The Killing Times, Part Two Listen
04/28/2002 67 The Killing Times, Part One Listen
04/14/2002 66 Descent into the Abyss Listen
04/07/2002 65 The Light Dims Listen
03/31/2002 64 The Queensferry Paper and Sanquhar Declaration Listen
03/24/2002 63 Bothwell Bridge Listen
03/17/2002 62 Drumclog Listen
03/10/2002 61 Was the Bishop's Death Murder? Listen
03/03/2002 60 Raising the Highlanders Listen
02/24/2002 59 The Second Indulgence Listen
02/17/2002 58 The Aftermath of Rullion Green and The First Indulgence Listen
02/10/2002 57 The Road to Rullion Green Listen
02/03/2002 56 Ejection and Persecution Listen
01/27/2002 55 Restoration of the Church to Episcopacy Listen
01/20/2002 54 A Parliament of Malignants Listen
01/06/2002 53 The Restoration Listen
12/30/2001 52 The End of the Republic Listen
12/23/2001 51 The Protectorate Listen
12/16/2001 50 A Crown for Nine Months Listen
12/09/2001 49 Origins of the Resolutioner-Protester Controversy (1650) Listen
12/02/2001 48 The Engagement and its Fallout Listen
11/25/2001 47 Alexander Henderson, Part Two Listen
11/18/2001 46 Alexander Henderson, Part One Listen
11/11/2001 45 Samuel Rutherford, Part Two Listen
11/04/2001 44 Samuel Rutherford (& David Calderwood), Part One Listen
10/28/2001 43 Review of Part One, Continued Listen
10/21/2001 42 Review of Part One, Continued Listen
09/30/2001 41 Review of Part One, Continued Listen
09/23/2001 40 Review of Part One, Continued Listen
09/16/2001 39 Review of Part One, Continued Listen
09/09/2001 38 Review of Part One, Continued Listen
09/02/2001 37 Review of Part One Unavailable (technical difficulties)
08/20/2000 36 The Engagement Listen
08/13/2000 35 Obligations of the Solemn League and Covenant Listen
08/06/2000 34 The Solemn League and Covenant Listen
07/23/2000 33 The English Civil War Begins Listen
07/16/2000 32 The Second Bishops' War, 1640-1641 Listen
07/09/2000 31 Interlude: 1639-1640 Listen
07/02/2000 30 Glasgow Assembly & First Bishop's War 1638-1639 Listen
06/18/2000 29 The National Covenant, 1638 Listen
06/11/2000 28 Rioting and Resistance, 1636-1638 Listen
06/04/2000 27 Charles I Begins His Reign, 1625-1635 Listen
05/28/2000 26 James and the Church, 1621-1625, and a review of James' reign Listen
05/21/2000 25 James and the Church, 1606-1621 Listen
05/14/2000 24 James the VI and I, 1600-1606 Listen
05/07/2000 23 James and the Church, 1596-1600 Listen
04/30/2000 22 James and the Church, 1592-1596 Listen
04/23/2000 21 James and the Church, 1587-1592 Listen
04/16/2000 20 James' Later Adolescence Listen
04/02/2000 19 James Grows Up, For Better or Worse (Mostly Worse) Listen
03/26/2000 18 The Regency of Morton, Part 3 Listen
03/12/2000 17 The Regency of Morton, Part 2 Listen
03/05/2000 16 The Regency of Morton Listen
02/27/2000 15 King or Queen? Listen
02/20/2000 14 Moray, the Good Regent Listen
02/13/2000 13 The Two Kingdoms Come to Blows, Part 2 Listen
01/30/2000 12 The Two Kingdoms Come to Blows, Part 1 Listen
01/23/2000 11 The Two Kingdoms Spar Listen
01/16/2000 10 Shaking Hands with the Devil Listen
01/09/2000 9 Establishment of the Church of Scotland -- 4, The First Book of Discipline Listen
01/02/2000 8 Establishment of the Church of Scotland -- 3, The First Book of Discipline Listen
12/26/1999 7 Establishment of the Church of Scotland -- 2, The Scottish Confession of Faith, 1560 Listen
12/19/1999 6 Establishment of the Church of Scotland -- 1, The Scottish Confession of Faith, 1560 Listen
12/12/1999 5 Satan, in his members, cruelly doth rage, but he is downthrown Listen
12/05/1999 4 The Dawning of the Reformation in Scotland -- 3 Listen
11/28/1999 3 The Dawning of the Reformation in Scotland -- 2 Listen
11/21/1999 2 The Dawning of the Reformation in Scotland -- 1 Listen
11/14/1999 1 Introduction -- Why study church history? Listen




De S. Cameron, Nigel M., Editor. Dictionary of Scottish Church History and Theology. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press

Donaldson, G. Scotland James V to James VII. New York: Frederick A. Praeger. 1966.

Hetherington, William. History of the Church of Scotland. Robert Carter and Brothers: New York. 1881.

Hewison, James King. The Covenanters - A History of the Church in Scotland from the Reformation to the Revolution. Glasgow: John Smith and Son. 1908.

Knox, John. The History of the Reformation of Religion Within the Realm of Scotland. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust. 1982.

Mackie, J.D., A History of Scotland. London: Penguin Books. 1978.

M'Crie, Thomas. Life of John Knox. Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons. 1855.

Scott, Otto. James I: The Fool as King. Vallecito: Ross House Books. 1976.
  Available from Ross House Books (Chalcedon: www.chalcedon.edu)

Fraser, A. Mary Queen of Scots. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. 1969.

Lee, Maurice. James Stewart Earl of Moray. New York: Columbia University Press. 1953.

Ridley, Jasper. John Knox. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1968.


The Scottish Confession of Faith -- 1560 is available on-line at:
       (Presbyterian Heritage Publications Version)
       (Apparently(?) a PCUSA site.)

The First Book of Discipline us available on-line at:

The Second Book of Discipline (1578)

De Jure Regni Apud Scotos, by George Buchanan
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