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busk him us bonnily as ye can, and fetch him in as fairlie as ye will, we see him weel eneuch, we see the horns of his mitre. '"
At next meeting of the General Assembly, after Melville had spoken to the same effect, Davidson also reminded the king that he was present as a Christian and not as president of the Assembly. James attempted to reply to this distinction, but had recourse to the ultimate reason of kings, by declaring that he would allow no business to be transacted until his will was complied with.
Melville and his colleague Johnston were charged by order of the King "to quit Dundee instantly, under the pain of rebellion. " Davidson complained of this next day in the Assembly, and another member (John Knox, minister of Melrose) boldly asserted that the restriction laid on the University, and the interdiction now given, proceeded from a dread which the Court had of Melville's learning. " I will not hear one word on that head, " said His Majesty twice or thrice. "Then we will crave help of Him that will hear us, " replied Davidson.
It was ultimately decided by a majority of ten votes " that it was necessary and expedient for the weal of the Church that the ministry, as the third estate of this realm, should, in the name of the Church, have a vote in Parliament. The measure was carried chiefly by the votes of elders, and it was urged by the minority that a number of them had no commission. The demand of a scrutiny was resisted. Davidson protested, but his protest was refused, and he was prosecuted for it before his presbytery at the King's instance. "
In 1582 we find the ministers and the Associated Lords at loggerheads concerning the teinds, the most of which these proprietors had appropriated to their own use. " The ministers had sharply rebuked the open profligacy which prevailed among them, and censured them for their appropriation of the ecclesiastical revenues. Mr Davidson, then minister of Liber-ton, who had been sent to confer with them, called on them to begin the work of reforming the commonwealth with a reformation in their own lives, and to evince their sincerity by delivering up the teinds to their rightful owners. "
During an interview between certain French ambassadors on the one hand, and the King and certain of his nobles and ministers on the other, occasion was taken to put the King on his guard, because it was thought he was likely to play into the hands of the French Court. "This conversation, " says

Calderwood, "in which the venerable committee met with rather sharp handling from the precocious acuteness of the young King, was abrubtly terminated by Gowrie, who observed he thought it best the Ambassadors should be despatched as soon as possible. " The ministers now retired, but Davidson, lingering behind the others, craved a word in the King's ear. " Sir, " he said, " I thought good to advertise you, but not before the rest, that you swore and took God's name in vain too often in your speeches. " The King was not displeased at this, but thanked him, and, placing his hand upon his shoulder, accompanied him to the door.
Melville was chosen Moderator of the General Assembly which met at St Andrews in April 1582. Upon their taking up Montgomery's cause as referred to them by the Presbytery of Stirling, the Master of Requests presented a letter from His Majesty, desiring the Assembly not to proceed. Soon after, a messenger-at-arms entered the house and charged the Moderator and Members of Assembly, on the pain of rebellion, to desist entirely from the prosecution. They ultimately ratified the sentence of the Presbytery of Stirling, suspending him from the exercise of the ministry; and, having found eight articles of the charge against him proved, declared that he had incurred the censures of deposition and excommunication. This was transmitted to the Presbytery of Edinburgh, who appointed John Davidson, minister of Liberton, to excommunicate Montgomery. Davidson pronounced the sentence accordingly. Lennox and Arran were enraged beyond measure at this resolute behaviour of the Church Courts. A proclamation was issued by the Privy Council, declaring the excommunication of Montgomery to be null and void, and such as refused payment of the episcopal rents were ordered to be imprisoned in the Castle of Inverness. (Record of Privy Council, July 20,
1582. )
When informed that Davidson had preached in his own church (Liberton) on the Sabbath subsequent to the excommunication, Lennox exclaimed, " C'est un petit Diable. "
On this occasion, through the tyranny of Arran, Davidson was compelled a second time to take refuge in England; when it is said that " Balganqual and he preached several times in London, but were ordered by the bishop to desist. " On the downfall of Arran he again returned to Scotland; but declined returning to Liberton, and was chosen to deliver a morning lecture in one of the churches of Edinburgh. This was evidently the second charge at Holyrood, afterwards referred
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