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and the Duke of Lauderdale. Among the Covenanters, the character of Balfour is most prominent. This man (for he actually existed) was a gentleman by birth, and brother-in-law 10 Hackstorne of Rathillet, an enthusiast of another and more unmixed mould. In point of religious observances he did not act up to the strictness of his sect, but he atoned for such negligence by his mili. tary enterprize and unsparing cruelty. This we learn from Howie, whose work we have already quoted; and at the same time we become acquainted with what the honest man considered as the criterion of a soldier of the Covenant..
"He joined with the more faithful part of our late sufferers, and although he was by some reckoned none of the most religious, yet he was always zealous and honest-hearted, courageous in every enterprize, and a brave soldier, seldom any escaping that came in his hands.'--Scottish Worthies, p. 563.
From another passage we gain something of his personal appearance, which seems to have been as uvattractive as his proceedings were ruthless.
"At that meeting at Loudon Hill, dispersed May 5th, 1681, it is said that he disarmed one of Duke Hamilton's men with his own hand, taking a pair of fine pistols belonging to the duke from his saddle, telling bim to tell his master, he would keep them till meeting. Afterwards, when the Duke asked his man, What he was like ? he told him he was a little man, squint eyed, and of a very fierce aspect; the Duke said, he knew who it was, and withal prayed that he might never see his face, for if he should, he was sure he would not live long.'- Ibidem.
Burley appears to have been wounded in the battle of Both well Bridge, for he was heard to execrate the hand which had fired the shot. He fled to Holland, where his company was shunned by such of the Scottish fugitives as bad their religious zeal qualified by moral considerations, and he was refused the communion by the Scottish congregation. He is said to have accompanied Argyle in his unfortunate attempt, along with one Fleming, also an assassin of the Archbishop. And finally, he joined the expedition of the Prince of Orange, but died before the disembarkation; an event to which Mr. Howie fondly ascribes the limitation of the revenge which would otherwise have been taken on the persecutors of the Lord's people and cause in Scotland.
• It is said he (Balfour) obtained liberty from the prince for that purpose, but died at sea before their arrival in Scotland. Whereby that design was never accomplished, and so the land was never purged by the blood of them who had shed innocent blood, according to the law of the Lord, Gen. ix. 6. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood ve shed.”-Scottish Worthies, ibidem. It will hardly be alleged that our author has greatly misrepresented
this singular character. On the contrary, he appears to have iinputed to Burley, as the prime motive of his actions, a deep though regulated spirit of enthusiasm, which, from Howie's account, he seems not to have in reality possessed, and so far has rendered him more interesting and terrible, than if he had been painted as the thorough-going, bloody-minded ruffian, with little religion and less mercy, in which character he figures among the Scottish Worthies.
Admitting, however, that these portraits are sketched with spirit and effect, two questions arise of much more importance than any thing affecting the merits of the novels-namely, whether it is safe or prudent to imitate, in a fictitious narrative, and often with a view to a ludicrous effect, the scriptural style of the zealots of the seventeenth century; and secondly, whether the recusant presbyterians, collectively considered, do not carry too reverential and sacred a character to be treated by an unknown author with such insolent familiarity.
On the first subject, we frankly own we have great hesitation. It is scarcely possible to ascribe scriptural expressions to hypocritical or extravagant characters without some risk of mischief, because it will be apt to create an habitual association between the expression and the ludicrous manner in which it is used, unfavourable to the reverence due to the sacred text. And it is no defence to state that this is an error inherent in the plan of the novel. Bourdaloue, a great authority, extends this restriction still farther, and denounces all attempts to unmask hypocrisy by raillery, because in doing so the satirist is necessarily compelled to expose to ridicule the religious vizard of which he has divested him. Yet even against such authority it may be stated, that ridicule is the friend both of religion and virtue, when directed against those who assume their garb, whether from hypocrisy or fanaticism. The satire of Butler, not always decorous in these particulars, was yet eminently useful in stripping off their borrowed gravity and exposing to public ridicule the affected fanaticism of the times in which he lived. It may also be remembered, that in the days of Queen Anne a number of the Camisars or Huguenots of Dauphiné arrived as refugees in England, and became distinguished by the name of the French prophets. The fate of these enthusiasts in their own country had been somewhat similar to that of the Covenanters. Like them, they used to assemble in the mountains and desolate places, to the amount of many hundreds, in arms, and like them they were hunted and persecuted by the military. Like them, they were enthusiasts, though their enthusiasm assumed a character more decidedly absurd. The fugitive Camisars who came to London hadconvulsion-fits, prophesied, made converts, and attracted the public atteution by an
offer to raise the dead. The English minister, instead of fine and imprisonment and other inflictions which might have placed them in the rank and estimation of martyrs, and confirmed in their faith their numerous disciples, encouraged a dramatic author to bring out a farce on the subject which, though neither very witty nor very delicate, had the good effect of laughing the French prophets out of their audience and putting a stop to an inundation of nonsense which could not have failed to disgrace the age in which it appeared. The Camisars subsided into their ordinary vocation of psalmodic whiners, and no more was heard of their sect or their miracles. It would be well if all folly of the kind could be so easily quelled : for enthusiastic nonsense, whether of this day or of those which have passed away, has no more title to shelter itself under the veil of religion than a common pirate to be protected by the reverence due to an honoured and friendly flag.
Still, however, we must allow that there is great delicacy and besitation to be used in employing the weapon of ridicule on any point connected with religion. Some passages occur in the work before us for which the writer's sole apology must be the uncontroulable disposition to indulge the peculiarity of his vein of humour-a temptation which even the saturnine John Knox was unable to resist either in narrating the martyrdom of his friend Wisheart or the assassination of his enemy Beatson, and in the impossibility of resisting which bis learned and accurate biographer has rested his apology for this mixture of jest and earnest.
* There are writers,' he says, (rebutting the charge of Hume against Knox,) who can treat the most sacred subjects with a levity bordering on profanity. Must we at once pronounce them profane, and is nothing to be set down to the score of natural temper inclining them to wit and humour? The pleasantry which Knox has mingled with his narrative of his (Cardinal Beatson's) death and burial is unseasonable and unbecoming. But it is to be imputed not to any pleasure which he took in describing a bloody scene, but to the strong propensity which he had to indulge his vein of humour. Those who have read his history with attention must have perceived that he is not able to check this even on very serious occasions.'--Macrie's Life of Knor, p. 147.
Indeed Dr. Macrie himself has given us a striking instance of the indulgence which the Presbyterian clergy, even of the strictest persuasion, permit to the vis comica. After describing a polemical work as ? ingeviously constructed and occasionally enlivened with strokes of humour,' he transfers, to embellish his own pages, (for we can discover nu purpose of edification which the tale serves,) a ludi. crous parody made by an ignorant parish-priest on certain words of a Psalm, too sacred to be here quoted. Our own innocent pleasantry cannot, in this instance, be quite reconciled with that of the 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 claniour 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 shiew 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 sernion 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. Jededial 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 Othat 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, & wbine 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