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while everything is done to perpetuate the memory of her disgrace !-to think of all this is not very pleasant to a man who is jealous for his country's honour. Our consolation is, that time wonderfully rectifies all things. Already the great name of the Protector is emerging from the clouds of detraction in which it has been shrouded, while the name of the king is beginning to stink in the nostrils of mankind. And in the better England of the future, not Charles but Oliverthe chaste husband, and tender father, and dutiful son-the wisest, strongest, and withal most tolerant ruler of his time, - the Christian warrior and statesman,—the grand old Oliver, will occupy the place of honour among England's kings.
During the first seven years of the Restoration Clarendon was Prime Minister. As head of the Anglican or HighChurch party, he at once carried out his own convictions, and gratified his master's absolutist tendencies, when he re-established Episcopacy in England, and sought its introduction into the northern kingdom. Here, however, it was necessary to proceed with caution, lest the old spirit of resistance should be roused. Charles, though he wished to reign without any constitutional restraints, was—unlike his father, in this respect-shrewd enough to see what was impracticable, and not disposed to risk the loss of a kingdom for any religion whatever. The first object sought was by inspiring terror to break the spirit of the Scottish people, and thereby render them subservient to his wishes. Unhappily, he was too well supplied with the means of doing so. While his Breda proclamation granted to the English people indemnity for the past, it made no mention of the Scotch; so that every man was liable to be tried for all be had done or said, during those long years of commotion and strife. Argyll, who had rendered himself personally obnoxious to Charles by the surveillance which he exercised over him during his residence with the Scotch at the time of his coronation, and
had further excited his displeasure by keeping aloof from the Resolutioners when they attempted to procure his restoration, was, out of mean revenge, apprehended on his visit to court, and after trial by judges, some of whom were at least equally guilty with himself of all that was laid to his charge, condemned and executed. Guthrie of Stirling, for heading the Protesters in the assembly, shared the same fate. And thus was fitly inaugurated in the blood of two of his best subjects, the disastrous reign of the royal libertine.
For carrying out his purposes in Scotland, Charles found fit instruments in Middleton and Sharp.
Middleton was one of those execrable things which we call “soldiers of fortune"-human butchers who sell their services to the highest bidder,-aggravating by mercenary meanness the horrors of war, while inaccessible to the higher motives by wbich alone it can be justified. He had changed sides so often, that any principle he ever possessed must have been frittered away. His camp-life had destroyed his morals, if he ever had any; and at the time of his appointment as King's Commissioner for Scotland, he was little better than an unprincipled, boisterous, drunken soldier.
James Sharp was a renegade Presbyterian minister; one of those sleek, cold-blooded miscreants who resort to the most nefarious practices for selfish ends, and with cowardly cunning and ingenuity seek to conceal the character, and escape the consequences, of their own acts. When a youth he rejected the Covenant, but afterwards overcame his scruples, and signed. At the Restoration he was deputed by the Presbyterians, on account of his superior business abilities, to plead their cause at court. In his correspondence he assured them that things were progressing as favourably as they could desire; and meanwhile was betraying the cause which he had been sent to maintain, and securing at the expense of his brethren a good position for himself. When Episcopacy was established, he became Archbishop of St. Andrews, and Primate of all Scotland; was for some time President of the Privy Council; and up to the time of his death, the chief instigator of the persecution. He and Middleton were well yoked, though differing in the character of their villany; both of them worthy servants of such a master as Charles.
Matters were so managed that the Parliament which met in 1661 was as compliant as a despotic government could desire. It passed an act making Charles an irresponsible despot, and the people his slaves ; declaring him the sole authority in all matters civil and religious; and requiring the people, without questioning, to yield obedience to his decrees. Shortly afterwards, having by this act prepared the way, it abolished Presbytery, and declared Episcopacy the established religion. The better to carry out this mea. sure, Middleton, with a quorum of his council, at a drunken sitting held in Glasgow on the 1st of October, 1662, issued a proclamation, requiring all ministers who had been inducted since 1649, on pain of being dismissed from their parishes, to receive presentation from the bishop of their diocese. Only a month was allowed for decision, and the soldiers had orders to drag from their pulpits the ministers who refused to obey.
Middleton, who hoped by this measure to carry matters with a high hand, soon discovered that he had overshot the mark. By overstraining he had snapped the cord asunder. The country had already reached the extreme limits of depression ; and this new act evoked a spirit of reaction which led to his own downfall, and ultimately drove the Stuart family from the British throne. He had over-esti. mated his own strength, or under-estimated the spirit of resistance which slumbered in the nation. Having no faith
in principle, he could not believe that men were mad enough, for the sake of a principle, to reduce themselves and their families to beggary ; and was astonished and exasperatedwondered what those mad fellows would do next, when four hundred ministers abandoned their homes and livings rather than violate their own convictions, and prove traitors, as, they believed, to the crown rights of the Redeemer.
It was a grand act. We cannot look back on it but with unqualified admiration. It was in the dead of winter that the montb’s notice expired. They had no opportunity of making provision for their families. They had no sustentation fund to break their descent from comfort, if not affiluence, to absolute want. And yet, without any questioning, they tore asunder their home ties, turned their backs on the dwellings which were hallowed as the first home of their married life and the birth-place of their babes, led out their wives and children beneath the wintry sky, trusting to His care who feeds the raven and notes the sparrow's fall. It was an invincible testimony to the supremacy of conscience, and the incomparable value of the right and the true. It rallied the country from its supineness and depression. It re-awakened the spirit of resistance which the early Covenanters breathed—a spirit which could never
more be crushed—which through all the persecutions that followed waxed bolder and stronger, until it hurled the last of the Stuarts from the throne of his ancestors, and sent him, as Garibaldi did that crowned poltroon at Naples, whose ignominious flight we have witnessed, a trembling fugitive from the kingdom which his fathers had cursed.
Men were appointed to the vacant churches who had neither the reputation nor the learning appropriate to the office—“the mere dregs and refuse,” says Burnet, “ of the northern parts." So many herd-boys, it was said, had been made ministers, that the cows were neglected. The people could not respect, and very properly would not hear them.
They attended the ministrations of the ejected pastors, who, in barns, or in the fields, or in private dwellings, continued, as opportunity offered, to minister to the spiritual wants of their flocks.
For the suppression of these meetings vigorous measures were adopted. Fines were imposed for non-attendance at the parish church, and levied by the military, who thronged the disaffected districts, and were quartered on the people, whoin they oppressed; the worthless curates supplying them with information, directing their depredations, and sometimes taking part in their drunken revelries.
In 1664, at the instigation of Sharp, a High Commission Court was formed, under his own presidency, composed partly of bishops, and partly of laymen. This court, for the atrocities it committed, finds its parallel only in the Star Chamber of England, or the Inquisition of the Church of Rome. The arrested were served with no summons, and, with scarcely an exception, condemned almost without the form of trial,--their answers being twisted, and their very silence construed, into evidence of guilt. The cruelty of its sentences equalled the iniquity of its proceedings. It scourged men through the streets of the city. It publicly whipped women. It did the same with children of tender age-branded them on the cheek with hot irons, and shipped them off to Barbadoes as slaves. “ Worst of all," says Gilfillan, “it made it sedition to give charity to the ejected ministers, so that if any of these had knocked at the door of one of his own parishioners and sought a cup of cold water, or a piece of pease-meal bannock, the asking and the giving were alike a crime.”
Our time compels us to pass by the rising in the Pentlands in 1666, with the cruelties which followed its suppression, when the prisoners who had been promised quarter before they laid down their arms were banged in rows of ten