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the polity with which he sought to displace the comparatively democratic Presbyterian was one which by its working, if not its theory, would have rendered him an irresponsible despot in Church as in State. So far, therefore, as they resisted his imposition, only the abettors of despotism can withhold their approval. The case, however, differed considerably when, at a subsequent period, in flagrant violation of the spirit of the Covenant, they sought to enforce its letter on those who were conscientiously opposed to Presbytery, and used the sword to promote—what to them may have appeared exceedingly desirable, but unhappily for them was not attainable, and least of all by such means-Presbyterian uniformity throughout the three kingdoms. So far as they did this, I can only regret their attempt and rejoice over their failure. I say this, not because I am a Baptist, while they were Presbyterians; my feelings would have been the same had their views accorded with my own. When a man imposes a religion on me by force, it matters little what that religion may be; although it were the purest, my duty is the same. The religion thus imposed is not mine. The man, by its attempted imposition, seeks to rot me of the liberty which is my dearest birthright; and does me most grievous wrong by obtruding himself-where no man has a right to come — between my conscience and its Lord. And, albeit that which he imposes is much less antagonistic to my feelings than others which I know, I am not the less bound to resist. My duty would have been to unite with the Covenanters in their opposition to the king when he sought to force Episcopacy into Scotland. My duty would have been no less to oppose the Covenanters when they sought to force their Presbytery on other countries, or on the Dissenting members of their own. They fell, in that case, into the mistake-the

which had often been committed before—which many, with less excuse, have repeated since-of denying to others the liberty claimed for themselves. Their notion of religious freedom was that which is still common, “freedom for me to obey the dictates of my conscience, not freedom for those whose conscientious convictions differ from mine ; liberty to practise the true religion, that is, the religion in which I believe,—not liberty for the false, that is, the religion which I reject.” It is a principle for which we can make some allowance in them, when we see how it lingers amid the clearer light of an advanced age; but a principle, nevertheless, which, though it may lead-bas led—to heroic struggle when in a position of inferiority, is capable of the most unmitigated despotism when it sways the sceptre, and sits upon


the throne.

Scotland, however, presented a noble spectacle when, in 1638, the Covenant which had been originated early in the reign of James VI. was renewed and extended. The principal events which led to this must be passed briefly in review. John Knox had cast out the forms of Popery, but could not altogether purge Scotland of its spirit. The Regent Morton, much to Knox's grief, proposed making bishops of some of the clergy, hoping through these to "make slaves of the others." The Regent's plan elicited such opposition that he was glad to make a compromise. Certain dignitaries were appointed who nominally filled the office, while the nobles pocketed the principal part of the

On this account the bishops were called Tulchans, —that being the name of a stuffed calf-skin which was placed beside the cow, at milking time, to induce her, as was supposed, to give her milk more freely. Things continued in this state until the accession of James, who sought to introduce sundry innovations in the same direction, with little result, save the dissatisfaction which they awakened among the



people, and the stern protests elicited from some of their ecclesiastical leaders. Charles, who was of a more obstinate disposition and more of a bigot in religious matters, had scarcely succeeded to the throne, when he adopted more vigorous measures, with still less satisfactory results. In 1633, " the king's majesty, with train enough,” to use Carlyle's words, "passed through Huntingdonshire, on his way to Scotland, to be crowned. The loud rustle of him disturbing, for a day, the summer husbandries and operations of mankind. His ostensible business was to be crowned; but his intrinsic errand was, what his father's formerly had been, to get his Pretended Bishops set on foot there,—his Tulchans converted into real calves ; in which, as we shall see, he succeeded still worse than his father had done. Dr. LaudBishop Laud, now near upon Archbishophood-attended his majesty thither, as formerly; still, found 'no religion' there, but trusted now to introduce one. The chapel at Holyrood House was fitted up with every equipment, textile and metallic; and little Bishop Laud in person performed the service,' in a way to illuminate the benighted natives, as was hoped, -show them how an artist could do it.” His doings had the effect of throwing the nation into such a ferment, that but slight occasion was wanted to make it burst into flame-flame whicb, wrapping the three kingdoms in a conflagration, could not be extinguished until Laud and Laud's master, both of them in headless condition, made their exit off the stage of time. This occasion soon came. In 1637, the Archbishop, who, in the interval, had been busy at the congenial work of whipping and pillorying the Puritans, slitting their noses, branding their cheeks, and cutting out their ears, “having, with great effort and much manipulation, got his Scotch Liturgy, and Scotch Pretended Bishops ready, brought them fairly out to action," in the kirk of St. Giles, Edinburgh. “Let us read the collect of the day,” said the Pretended Bishop, from amid his tippets,—when Jenny Geddes' stool aimed at the reverend head, and accompanied by the now famous wish that the Devil might give bim the stomach-ache, led to a commotion, in the midst of which ominous threats of stoning reached the Bishop's ears, who, not caring to be made a martyr of in that fashion, for his faith in frills and surplices, was fain to close the service abruptly. For that decision he is not much to be censured. It would not have been pleasant to die for such a cause, and in such ignominious circumstances. It may be questioned if, with all his stubbornness, even Bryan King's faith and courage would have been equal to the occasion. The difference between that terribly earnest and infuriated Scotch congregation, and a St. George's in the East mob, must have been something very considerable. I need not tell you how Jenny Geddes by that one act became a heroine,-how, to this day, her name throughout Scotland is familiar as a household word. Nor can we wonder that it is so.

The very ludicrousness of the scene adds to its impressiveness, and strengthens its hold on the popular mind. Even now one can scarcely keep one's gravity in trying to picture it. The Bishop dressed in clerical millinery, performing the service in his best manner, with intonation and gesture immaculately correct; his surprise and fright when his mock solemnities are so rudely interrupted; the woman's ingenuity in finding an offensive weapon; the mingled wit and coarseness of her speech, -all go to form a scene which, for the ludicrous, has seldom been equalled. “Deil Colic the wame o' thee!” Was ever poor Bishop greeted with such a response ? His taste must have been as much shocked as his nerves were flurried. But seriously, was not this, after all, the best way, under the circumstances, of meeting the mummeries which he was trying to introduce ? It was

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very unceremonious, no doubt. It was much more plain than polite. But withal it was bravely done ; and, what was still more important as regards its results, it was done in the proper nick of time. That stool, hurled with such fierce aim, was the symbol of the spirit which then agitated the Scottish people.' One could almost call it the banner of the Covenant. Its flight was the signal for the uprising of "all Edinburgh, all Scotland, and behind them all England and Ireland.”

The spirit of the nation was roused by the manifest intention of the king to interfere with their rights of conscience. They prepared for resistance. As they had formerly covenanted to protect themselves against James, they covenanted again to resist the encroachments of his more obstinate son. A document was prepared by Alexander Henderson and Johnston of Warriston, expressing the most "determined and utter hostility to the late innovations, as contrary to Scripture and the former confession of the Church, subversive of the Reformed religion, and the liberties of the country;" and binding "the Covenanter, by the great name of the Lord our God, to continue in the profession and obedience of the purer faith, and to defend the same, and resist all contrary errors all the days of his life.” The reading and signing of this Covenant presented a spectacle which, from the significance of the act and the enthusiasm with which it was performed, finds scarcely a parallel in history. The accessories were worthy of the scene. It was in the Greyfriars Church, Edinburgh ; almost under the shadow of the Castle, where so many important events had transpired; within sight of the Church where John Knox bad denounced the errors of Popery, and rebuked the wickedness of a bigoted and licentious court, that strong, stern men from all parts of the country met in the early dawn of the 28th of February, 1638. Church and

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