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Black Prelatic Calumny—illustrating at great length the groundlessness of the charges of the reverend assailant. A few months afterwards in the same year, his colleague, the Rev. James Kirkpatrick, published a still more ample and satisfactory reply, designated “ An Historical Essay upon the Loyalty of Presbyterians in Great Britain and Ireland from the Reformation to the present year 1713."1
A wise Administration would have hailed the appearance of such defensive works with satisfaction ; for they supplied proof that Presbyterians valued their reputation as the friends of Constitutional Government. But the fact that both these publications appeared anonymously, and one of them without even the printer's name, attests the difficulties and discouragements under which non-conformists now laboured.2 As the reign of Anne approached its close, their trials multiplied. The Regium Donum, against which the Convocation and the two Houses of Parliament had so strongly protested, was at length withdrawn : a clause introduced into the English Schism Bill extended it to Ireland ; and rendered every Presbyterian teacher, except his school were of the humblest description, liable to three months' imprisonment:and as non-conformists yet wanted the security of an Act of Toleration, they were even threatened with the loss of the last
1 It was printed at Belfast ; but neither author nor printer ventured to put his name to the work. It extends to nearly 600 quarto pages.
? Reid, iii. 43. The printer of Presbyterian Loyalty was no doubt James Blow, of Belfast. The first edition of the English Bible, printed in Ireland, is said to have been published by him. I have seen a Bible, in crown 4to, with the following imprint :-“Belfast : printed by and for James Blow, and for George Grierson, printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty, at the King's Arms and Two Bibles in Essex Street, Dublin. MDCCII.” But there is reason to believe that the true date is MDCCLI., and that the lower part of the L has been erased, and the letter thus changed into I. There is, however, evidence that Mr. Blow printed English Bibles as early as 1714. For prudential reasons he probably did not put his name on the title-page. He commenced business in Belfast in 1696, and died in 1759, aged eighty-three. It would appear that George Grierson did not become King's printer until about the beginning of the reign of George II., when Lord Carteret was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. See Madden's Irish Periodical Litera. ture, i. 173, 181, 182.
3 Reid, iii. 55. The Queen died on the ist of August, 1714—the very day on which the Schism Bill was to come into operation. Thus the career of the High Church party was stopped.
remnant of religious liberty-freedom to worship God! In various parts of the province of Ulster, copies of the Shorter Catechism of the Westminster Assembly, and other works of a similar description, were seized: and Presbyterians were told that they were no longer to be permitted to congregate for religious exercises. In the towns of Antrim, Downpatrick, and Rathfryland, the Tories actually nailed up the doors of their meeting-houses. But, as the darkest hour precedes the dawn, this gloomy period terminated with the succession of a new dynasty, prepared to concede to them the civil and ecclesiastical privileges for which they had so strenuously contended.
1 Reid, iii. 56.