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learned biographer of John Knox, but we can easily conceive that his authority may be regarded in Scotland as decisive of the extent to which a humourist may venture in exercising his wit upon scriptural expressions without incurring censure even from her most rigid divines.
It may however be a very different point how far the author is entitled to be acquitted upon the second point of indictment. To use too much freedom with things sacred is a course much more easily glossed over than that of exposing to ridicule the persons of any particular sect. Every one knows the reply of the great Prince of Condé to Louis XIV. when this monarch expressed his surprize at the clamour excited by Molière's Tartuffe, while a blasphemous farce called Scaramouche Hermite was performed without giving any scandal: C'est parceque Scaramouche ne jouoit que le ciel et la religion, dont les dévots se soucioient beaucoup moins que d'eux-mêmes.' We believe, therefore, the best service we can do our author in the present case is to shew that the odious part of his satire applies only to that fierce and unreasonable set of extra-presbyterians, whose zeal, equally absurd and cruel, afforded pretexts for the severities inflicted on non-conformists without exception, and gave the greatest scandal and offence to the wise, sober, enlightened, and truly pious among the Presbyterians.
The principal difference betwixt the Cameronians and the rational presbyterians has been already touched upon It may be summed in a very few words.
After the restoration of Charles II. episcopacy was restored in Scotland, upon the unanimous petition of the Scottish parliament. Had this been accompanied with a free toleration of the presbyterians, whose consciences preferred a different mode of church-government, we do not conceive there would have been any wrong done to that ancient kingdom. But instead of this, the most violent means of enforcing conformity were resorted to without scruple, and the ejected presbyterian clergy were persecuted by penal statutes and prohibited from the exercise of their ministry. These rigours only made the people more anxiously seek out and adhere to the silenced preachers. Driven from the churches, they held conventicles in houses. Expelled from cities and the mansions of men, they met on the hills and deserts like the French huguenots. Assailed with arms, they repelled force by force. The severity of the rulers, instigated by the episcopal clergy, increased with the obstinacy of the recusants, until the latter, in 1666, assumed arms for the purpose of asserting their right to worship God in their own way. They were defeated at Pentland; and in 1669 a gleam of common sense and justice seems to have beamed upon the Scottish councils of Charles. They granted what was called an
indulgence (afterwards repeatedly renewed) to the presbyterian clergy, assigned them small stipends, and permitted them to preach in such deserted churches as should be assigned to them by the Scottish Privy Council. This indulgence,' though clogged with harsh conditions and frequently renewed or capriciously recalled, was still an acceptable boon to the wiser and better part of the presbyterian clergy, who considered it as an opening to the exercise of their ministry under the lawful authority, which they continued to acknowledge. But fiercer and more intractable principles were evinced by the younger ministers of that persuasion. They considered the submitting to exercise their ministry under the controul of any visible authority as absolute erastianism, a desertion of the great invisible and divine Head of the church, and a line of conduct which could only be defended, says one of their tracts, by nullifidians, time-servers, infidels, or the Archbishop of Canterbury. They held up to ridicule and abhorrence such of their brethren as considered mere toleration as a boon worth accepting. Every thing, according to these fervent divines, which fell short of re-establishing presbytery as the sole and predominating religion, all that did not imply a full restoration of the Solemn League and Covenant, was an imperfect and unsound composition between God and mammon, episcopacy and prelacy. The following extracts from a printed sermon by one of them, on the subject of 'soul-confirmation,' will at once exemplify the contempt and scorn with which these high-flyers regarded their more sober-minded brethren, and serve as a specimen of the homely eloquence with which they excited their followers. The reader will probably be of opinion that it is worthy of Kettledrummle himself, and will serve to clear Mr. Jedediah Cleishbotham of the charge of exaggeration.
"There is many folk that has a face to the religion that is in fashion, and there is many folk, they have ay a face to the old company, they have a face for godly folk, and they have a face for persecutors of godly folk, and they will be daddies bairns and minnies bairns both; they will be prelates bairns and they will be malignants bairns and they will be the people of God's bairns. And what think ye of that bastard temper? Poor Peter had a trial of this soupleness, but God made Paul an instrument to take him by the neck and shake it from him: And O that God would take us by the neck and shake our soupleness from us.
'Therefore you that keeps only your old job-trot, and does not mend your pace, you will not wone at soul-confirmation, there is a whine (i. e. a few) old job-trot, and does not mend your pace, you will not wone at soul-confirmation, there is a whine old job-trot ministers among us, a whine old job-trot professors, they have their own pace, and faster they will not go; O therefore they could never wine to soul-confirmation in the mettere of God. And our old job-trot ministers is turned curates, and our old job-trot professors is joined with them, and now this way
God has turned them inside out, and has made it manifest and when their heart is hanging upon this braw, I will not give a gray groat for them and their profession both.
The devil has the ministers and professors of Scotland, now in a sive, and O as he sifts, and O as he riddles, and O as he rattles, and O the chaff he gets; And I fear there be more chaff nor there be good corn, and that will be found among us or all be done: but the soul-confirmed man leaves ever the devil at two more, and he has ay the matter gadged, and leaves ay the devil in the lee side,-Sirs O work in the day of the cross.'
The more moderate presbyterian ministers saw with pain and resentment the lower part of their congregation, who had least to lose by taking desperate courses, withdrawn from their flocks, by their more zealous pretenders to purity of doctrine, while they themselves were held up to ridicule, old jog trot professors and chaff-winnowed out and flung away by Satan. They charged the Cameronian preachers with leading the deluded multitude to slaughter at Bothwell, by prophesying a certainty of victory, and dissuading them from accepting the amnesty offered by Monmouth. All could not avail,' says Mr. Law, himself a presbyterian minister, 'with M'Cargill, Kidd, Douglas, and other witless men amongst them, to hearken to any proposals of peace. Among others that Douglas, sitting on his horse, and preaching to the confused multitude, told them that they would come to terms with them, and like a drone was always droning on these terms with them: "they would give us a half Christ, but we will have a whole Christ," and such like impertinent speeches as these, good enough to feed those that are served with wind and not with the sincere milk of the word of God.' Law also censures these irritated and extravagant enthusiasts, not only for intending to overthrow the government, but as binding themselves to kill all that would not accede to their opinion, and he gives several instances of such cruelty being exercised by them, not only upon straggling soldiers whom they shot. by the way or surprized in their quarters, but upon those who, having once joined them, had fallen away from their principles. Being asked why they committed these cruelties in cold blood, they answered, they were obliged to do it by their sacred bond.' Upon these occasions they practised great cruelties, mangling the bodies of their victims that each man might have his share of the guilt. In these cases the Cameronians imagined themselves the direct and inspired executioners of the vengeance of heaven. Nor did they Jack the usual incentives of enthusiasm. Peden and others among them set up a claim to the gift of prophecy, though they seldom foretold any thing to the purpose. They detected witches, had bodily encounters with the enemy of mankind in his own shape, or could discover him as, lurking in the disguise of a raven, he inspired
the rhetoric of a Quaker's meeting. In some cases, celestial guardians kept guard over their field-meetings. At a conventiele held on the Lomond-hills, the Rev. Mr. Blacader was credibly assured, under the hands of four honest men, that at the time the meeting was disturbed by the soldiers, some women who had remained at home, 'clearly perceived as the form of a tall man, majestic-like, stand in the air in stately posture with the one leg, as it were, advanced before the other, standing above the people all the time of the soldiers shooting.' Unluckily this great vision of the Guarded Mount did not conclude as might have been expected. The divine sentinel left his post too soon, and the troopers fell upon the rear of the audience, plundered and stripped many, and made eighteen pri
But we have no delight to dwell either upon the atrocities or absurdities of a people whose ignorance and fanaticism were rendered frantic by persecution. It is enough for our present purpose to observe that the present Church of Scotland, which comprizes so much sound doctrine and learning, and has produced so many distinguished characters, is the legitimate representative of the indulged clergy of the days of Charles II. settled however upon a comprehensive basis. That after the revolution, it should have succeeded episcopacy as the national religion, was natural and regular, because it possessed all the sense, learning, and moderation fit for such a change, and because among its followers were to be found the only men of property and influence who acknowledged presbytery. But the Cameronians continued long as a separate sect, though their preachers were bigoted and ignoraut, and their hearers were gleaned out of the lower ranks of the peasantry. Their principle, so far as it was intelligible, asserted that paramount species of presbyterian church-government which was established in the year 1648, and they continued to regard the established church as erastian and time-serving, because they prudently remained silent upon certain abstract and delicate topics, where there might be some collision between the absolute liberty asserted by the church and the civil government of the state. The Cameronians, on the contrary, disowned all kings and government whatsoever, which should not take the Solemn League and Covenant; and long retained hopes of re-establishing that great national engagement, a bait which was held out to them by all those who wished to disturb the government during the reign of William and Anne, as is evident from the Memoirs of Ker of Kersland, and the Negotiations of Colonel Hooke with the jacobites and disaffected of the year.
A party so wild in their principles, so vague and inconsistent in their views, could not subsist long under a free and unlimited toleration. They continued to hold their preachings on the hills,
VOL. XVI. NO. XXXII.
but they lost much of their zeal when they were no longer liable to be disturbed by dragoons, sheriffs, and lieutenants of Militia.The old fable of the Traveller's Cloak was in time verified, and the fierce sanguinary zealots of the days of Claverhouse sunk into such quiet and peaceable enthusiasts as Howie of Lochgoin; or Old Mortality himself. It is, therefore, upon a race of sectaries who have long ceased to exist, that Mr. Jedediah Cleishbotham has charged all that is odious, and almost all that is ridiculous, in his fictitious narrative; and we can no more suppose any moderate presbyterian involved in the satire, than we should imagine that the character of Hampden stood committed by a little raillery on the. person of Ludovic Claxton, the Muggletonian. If, however, there remain any of those sectaries who, confining the beams of the Gospel to the Goshen of their own obscure synagogue, and with James Mitchell, the intended assassin, giving their sweeping testimony against prelacy and popery, The Whole Duty of Man and bordles, promiscuous dancing and the Common Prayer-book, and all the other enormities and backslidings of the time, may perhaps be offended at this idle tale, we are afraid they will receive their answer in the tone of the revellers to Malvolio, who, it will be remembered, was something a kind of Puritan: Doest thou think because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?— Aye, by Saint Anne, and ginger will be hot in the mouth too.'
We intended here to conclude this long article, when a strong report reached us of certain transatlantic confessions, which, if genuine, (though of this we know nothing,) assign a different author to these volumes, than the party suspected by our Scottish correspondents. Yet a critic may be excused seizing upon the nearest suspicious person, on the principle happily expressed by Claverhouse, in a letter to the Earl of Linlithgow. He had been, it seems, in search of a gifted weaver, who used to hold forth at conventicles :
I sent to seek the webster, (weaver) they brought in his brother for him though he maybe cannot preach like his brother, I doubt not but he is as well principled as he, wherefore I thought it would be no great fault to give him the trouble to go jail with the rest.'
ART. IX.-1. An Appeal to the British Nation on the Treatment experienced by Napoleon Buonaparte in the Island of St. Helena. By M. Santini, Porter of the Emperor's Closet.
2. Official Memoir dictated by Napoleon, being a Letter from Count de Montholon to Sir Hudson Lowe. Fourth Edition, with a Preface. 8vo. pp. 79. London. 1817.
3. A Tour through the Island of St. Helena, &c. with some particulars respecting the Arrival and Detention of Napoleon Buo