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been ere long utterly lost sight of, lay the earlier portion of the present Diary, in a corner of the Apologist's study; and, in another place, “ A Brief Historical Account of the Rise, Progress, and Persecutions of the People called Quakers, in the North of Scotland.” Of the latter MS. I shall presently have occasion to speak; but of the former, with regard to its appearance and state of preservation, the reader may be best assisted in forming a correct idea, by inspecting the engraved fac-simile of its opening page, which will be found facing page 1 of this volume. The paper was highly discoloured, and the writing in some places much injured by time; the character of it was at first not easily deciphered, so that many parts were for a time almost wholly unintelligible ; and the name of the writer no where appearing, furnished a further source of difficulty. This first pocket Journal or Diary extends only to the 128th page of the present volume: detached fragments of another MS. were, however, discovered, leaf after leaf, in a very tattered condition, in a loft of a farm-house not far from the old mansion ; these were quickly recognised, among heaps of waste paper, as being in the same hand-writing, and proved to be a counterpart of the other. The intrinsic value of the document, as a whole, being at length ascertained, no obstacle that presented was sufficient to deter from a close investigation of the subject; nor could any after-discouragements prevail to turn aside the conclusion, which now results in producing such treasure, for the participation of my friends and the public.
I am unable to state, how this MS. came into the possession of the Barclays of Ury; but, from the great intimacy which subsisted for several generations between that family and the Jaffrays, it is highly probable, that it was consigned by some branch of the latter to the care of the former, with a view to its publication. The most prominent design of the Writer, in taking down these observations on the Lord's goodness towards him, is set forth at the commencement of the Diary ; being expressively opened, by the introduction of two Scriptural
passages, which he there adopts as his motto, and to which, as a watchword, he often recurs—namely, that he might stir up himself, and engage his heart to the Lord for ever. Yet, besides this primary design of self-improvement, it becomes manifest as we proceed, that he includes a further object, and that he is not without hope, his successors, especially his children, may derive instruction from a recital of the passages and exercises of his life. Many interesting circumstances of his public career are, however, but slightly traced, while others are wholly passed over; on which account, it was thought desirable, to endeavour to supply by Notes such additional information, as could at this distance of time be gathered from other sources.
An opportunity was likewise thus afforded, of illustrating in various ways the facts and sentiments adduced. An APPENDIX OF NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS will therefore be found immediately at the close of the Diary; which, it is hoped, will in all cases be regularly turned to, at the place where the reference to it is given.
The disadvantages under which this plan was carried into effect, and the difficulties which were encountered, cannot in any adequate manner be understood by the general reader. It will, however, be only proper to mention, that, in pursuing these investigations, I was led to travel much further than could have been anticipated, and over a great deal of ground, from which little could be gleaned that was convertible to my purpose; and that no personal labour nor expense has been spared, which seemed likely to contribute to it,-however imperfectly, after all, my own wishes in regard to this part of the Work are fulfilled. I must here acknowledge the very kind assistance I have derived from some of my friends, and also from some literary characters both at Edinburgh and Aberdeen; towards the latter, as I have no personal acquaintance with them, I cannot but consider myself the more indebted for their prompt attentions. In drawing up these illustrations, I always preferred making use of original matter and original sources of authority, where it could be done, rather than inserting statements in my own terms, though grounded upon intermediate or even original testimony. Fully sensible how much they need indulgence, I shall be well satisfied, if those to whose hands the Work may come, are led, by a careful examination of the Notes, more fully to appreciate the nature of those circumstances to which the Diary alludes; but above all, the spirit of those reflections, which with so much lively weight and ingenuous simplicity he unfolds.
With regard to the character of the times in which Alex. ander Jaffray lived, especially the times of the Commonwealth, there has been a great disparity of opinion, according to the favourable or unfavourable medium, through which persons have been disposed to view this question. I would, however, venture to submit the following passage from a modern publication, as embracing some just and judicious considerations.
“Of the true state of religion during the period of Cromwell's government, it is difficult to form an accurate estimate. Judging from certain external appearances, and comparing them with the times which followed, the opinion must be highly favourable. Religion was the language, and the garb of the court; prayer and fasting were fashionable exercises ; a profession was the road to preferment; not a play was acted in all England for many years, and from the prince to the peasant and common soldier, the features of Puritanism were universally exhibited. Judging, again, from the wildness and extravagance of various opinions and practices, which then obtained—and from the fanatical slang, and hypocritical grimace, which were adopted by many merely to answer a purpose—our opinion will necessarily be unfavourable. The truth, perhaps, lies between the extremes of unqualified censure, and undistinguishing approbation. Making all due allowance for the infirmity and sin, which were combined with the profession of religion-making every abatement for the inducements, which then encouraged the use of a religious vocabulary-admitting that there was even a large portion of pure fanaticism, still, we apprehend, an immense mass of genuine religion will remain.
There must have been a large quantity of sterling coin, when there was such a circulation of counterfeit. In the best of the men of that period, there was, doubtless, a tincture of unscriptural enthusiasm, and the use of a phraseology revolting to the taste of modern time; in many, perhaps, there was nothing more; but, to infer, that therefore all was base, unnatural deceit, would be unjust and unwise. “A reformation,' says Jortin, [in his Remarks on Ecclesiastical History,] is seldom carried on, without a heat and vehemence, which borders upon enthusiasm. As Cicero has observed, that there never was a great man, sine afflatu divino; so, in times of religious contests, there seldom was a man very zealous for liberty, civil and ecclesiastical, and a declared active enemy to insolent tyranny, blind superstition, political godliness, bigotry, and pious frauds, who had not a fervency of zeal, which led him on some occasions beyond the bounds of sober, temperate reason.'”-Orme's Memoirs of the Life of Owen.
But it will be needful to pursue the subject of enthusiasm somewhat further; inasmuch as it may have, in the minds of some, a particular reference not only to Jaffray as he is in the Diary, leaning to the Independents, but to Jaffray, as he is among his colleagues in the Memoirs, a zealous “Quaker."-“ It is most unreasonable,” observes a descendant of the family of Cromwell, in rebutting the animadversions of Hume against the Independents of that day, “ to deny to religious characters, their fervours in the pursuit of their great object, and to indulge the worldly in all their ardours and extravagances, in the comparatively trifling objects of their pursuits. By the men of the world, the arduous, persevering Christian of the Parliament party, was, in those times, deemed an enthusiast and an hypocrite, and his best actions represented as influenced by the most sinister and mischievous motives : all was resolved into hypocrisy or enthusiasm.” “ Lord Clarendon speaks contemptuously of the expression seeking God,' which, he says, was a new phrase brought from Scotland with their Covenant. It might have been a new phrase in England; but it is perfectly expressive of the thing meant, namely, a devout and humble application by prayer to the Almighty, by a nation or individuals, to avert impending public or private calamities; or to remove them if incurred; or for direction and assistance in concerns of importance, too great for human accomplishment. In religious language, perhaps it may be generally best to avoid what may be called technical phraseology : particular words frequently used, expressive (for brevity sake) of any particular religious act or observance, are liable to be catched at by the world, and used for the purposes of turning into ridicule every thing serious. In the succeeding licentious reign of King Charles the 2nd, all semblance of religion was studiously put out of sight; it was become quite unfashionable ; and the ridicule of its professors, and of all the religious language and acts of the preceding times, was considered a kind of test of loyalty to the then sovereign and government. This phrase of seeking God, then used as expressive of the act of prayer, public or private, became, after the Restoration, with other religious phrases or expressions, subjects of ridicule.Lightly or contemptuously, however, as the men of the world, when in health and prosperity, may treat this application to and reliance upon Divine Providence, the religious part of the Christian world are in the constant and habitual practice of it, and thence, there can be no doubt, derive the greatest comfort and assurance. Independently of prayer being a commanded duty, it is surely a reasonable service, inasmuch as it is an acknowledgment of our dependence upon the Supreme Being, to whom, feeble and insufficient as we are, we must be constantly looking for the support of our existence, and for the continuance of all our comforts and enjoyments.” After some other remarks, delivered in a strain very becoming this subject ; but not so directly bearing upon our purpose, this author proceeds.