Revival at Sheens (1617)

Bishops were restored to their old rank and privileges (1610), the General Assembly was flooded with nobles and statesmen favourable to the king and he took control of the ecclesiastical courts; in fact James did everything he could to take over control of the Church and bring in Episcopacy. In 1617 an Act was passed in Parliament, ‘That whatever his Majesty should determine in the external government of the Church, with the advice of the archbishop, bishops, and a competent number of the ministry should have the strength of a law.’ The Assembly at Perth in 1618 brought in: kneeling at Communion, private Communion for the sick, Baptism on the Sunday after birth, Episcopal confirmation of the young, observance of Holidays. Churches, where ministers conformed to these new practices, were deserted by the people. The High Court of Commission rigorously prosecuted non-conformism. Many good ministers were either banished or fled to avoid persecution. James did his best to get everyone worshipping as he wanted. He finally said that any minister who failed to offer Communion on Easter Day, conforming in every way, would be deposed from the ministry, but he died before the day in question. The passing of the five Articles was a low point in Scottish Church history.

The following is from the Gillies Collection.

I have seen a manuscript in which there is an account of a remarkable pouring out of the Spirit of God on a company of ministers and Christians, at a private meeting at Sheens, near Edinburgh, on the day when the five articles of Perth were voted and passed in Parliament; particularly when Mr David Dickson (then a young man)prayed.

Additional Information

This map is from 1682 and shows the town/village of Sheens or Shyns or Sciennes. It was situated about a mile south of Edinburgh and there was a monastery there.