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The persecution raged chiefly in the associated shires, where the Covenanters mostly flourished. In the greater and more influential parts of the kingdom, the episcopal church was preferred by the great majority of the people, and who were hostile to the ecclesiastical revolution, which was accomplished by the presbyterians in 1688. Sage again informs us, that there were but some three or four presbyterian meeting-houses erected on the north side of the Tay, that is, in the greater half of the kingdom; and these, too, very little frequented or encouraged. And that on the south side of that river (except in the five associated shires in the west,) the third man was never engaged in the schism. Not fifty gentlemen in all Scotland, out of the west, did forsake their parish churches to attend meeting-houses; and scarcely a fifth or a sixth part of the nation did so. The clergy stood all for episcopacy; there being of about a thousand, scarcely twenty trimmers betwixt the bishop and the presbyterian moderator: in all the universities there were not four masters, heads, or fellows, inclined to presbytery; the colleges of justice and physic at Edinburgh were so averse to it that the generality of them were ready in the summer of 1689 to take arms in defence of their episcopal ministers."
This persecution was called rabbling, from the instruments which the revolutionary leaders used, namely, the rabble or the presbyterians of the lowest grade. The rabbling of the episcopal clergy in the dioceses of Glasgow and Galloway was an act of injustice so gross, a persecution so unprovoked and so unchristian, as it was universally believed no government could tolerate. The sufferers and the church in general confidently expected redress and reparation. In this confident expectation they remained quiet till their enemies were vested with power, when the injustice of the rabble was extended, under the form of law, to the whole church." The design of the presbyterians was, in terms of their solemn league and covenant, to extirpate the episcopal clergy then alive, and to take precautions against there being any succession. Accordingly they "halloed" the rabble against the episcopal clergy, put them under military execution, and turned them out of their churches and manses on Christmas-day, which was selected to make the assault more pungent.
Mr. Sage took advantage of the friendly hint which he received at Glasgow, and made good his retreat; but his brethren were not so fortunate. After the students had burnt the effigies of the two archbishops and the pope, one of them, named Tolland, to whom Wodrow gives the epithet "famous," inade an attack upon the episcopal clergy, assisted by a notoriously infamous woman, named Maggy Steen. This Amazonian virago dragged the clergyman out of the pulpit of the cathedral church in such an indecent manner as is not to be named, and nearly emasculated him, which caused his death in great agony. This was on Christmasday, when all the rest of the Christian world were joyfully celebrating the anniversary of their Redeemer's birth; and the rabbling tragedy, to the eternal disgrace of the presbyterians, commenced by concert on that -festival.
The presbyterian rabble assaulted Mr. Gabriel Russel, minister of Govan, and beat himself, his wife and daughter, so inhumanly as to place their lives in great jeopardy; and they threatened him with more sunmary and severe vengeance should he ever venture to officiate again. They robbed him of all his portable property, and carried off the money in
the poor box with other church property. The same day, Christmas-day, another party attacked the manse of Cathcart, near Glasgow. The minister, Mr. Finnie, was himself from home, but they thrust his wife and five small children out of doors at midnight during a severe frost, and destroyed all his furniture. They would not even suffer the poor woman to shelter herself and children in an outhouse; and they had to wander in the fields the remainder of the night, which caused the death of the children from cold and fright. The rabble of Kilmarnock attacked the Rev. Robert Bell, their minister, and made him stand partly undressed and bareheaded in the frost; then arrayed him in his gown, which they compelled his own sexton to tear in rags from his shoulders; then they took his prayer-book and burnt it in the market place, calling it a massbook, and himself a papist. Another party of the rabble served the Rev. Mr. Simpson, minister of Galston, in a similar manner, and afterwards forced him into deep water. The Rev. Mr. Milne, minister of Cawdir, was fortunately from home; but the rabble carried his gown in procession to the churchyard, where, in their zeal for the glory of God and the good old cause of rebellion and heresy, they tore it in fragments. A low rabbler, a pedlar, struck the Rev. Mr. White, minister of Ballantrae, on the face, because he spoke to him without uncovering his head! They wounded him severely with a sword, and beat and otherwise maltreated his wife, who was pregnant, and caused her to miscarry. At midnight another party tied the Rev. Mr. Brown, minister of Kells, to a cart tail, with his face to a violent snow-storm, and where he would have perished had not a compassionate woman thrown some covering over him. They thrust Mrs. Ross, the wife of the minister of Renfrew, out of doors on the third day after her delivery, together with her infant; and they ejected the Rev. Mr. Guthrie, with all his family, during the snow-storm, which was very severe on Christmas-day that year throughout Scotland, and destroyed his furniture. Three of his children were dangerously ill at the time; one had a fever and the other two had the small-pox, and who died in consequence. The rabbling of the Rev. Mr. Skinner's house, minister of Daily, so terrified his daughter that, together with the personal insults offered to her, drove her out of her mind, and she died raving mad. Bishop Sage informs us that in the manner above very briefly described upwards of three hundred episcopal clergymen were rabbled out of their churches and deprived of their livings, to which they had been legally and ecclesiastically inducted. Some fell a sacrifice to the barbarous usage inflicted on them, and all of them had their furniture and other property entirely destroyed. Charles Leslie says, whose biography we gave in our twentieth number, and who was a contemporary and had the best means of ascertaining the truth; "I have made inquiry, and am told by persons of known integrity and undoubted reputation, who lived upon the place, that the episcopal clergy in Scotland, particularly in the west, where this rabbling was, were at the time of the Revolution, for piety, learning, and diligence in their vocation, the most eminent which that country had seen since the Reformation, or most churches have enjoyed since the primitive times."
During the pelting of this pitiless storm, the clergy applied for protection to such of the peers in their several neighbourhoods as were privy counsellors, and who had not gone to London; but who could give neither relief nor protection. Application was next made by letter to the privy
counsellors in London, representing the deplorable state of the clergy and their families. But here again the accuser of the brethren, the father of lies, had anticipated their appeal. The presbyterians denied the truth of all the facts which they detailed of the rabbling, and denounced them as lies and forgeries. They represented to William that the kingdom was in the most profound tranquillity; and accused the episcopal clergy of creating disturbances, and of being guilty of every crime of which the most depraved and abandoned men could be guilty. They represented the clergy as endeavouring to work mischief and discord to breed disturbances as popishly affected as desirous of creating tumults and seditions as preventing the settlement of the kingdom-and as most determined enemies to the Prince of Orange and the Revolution. They maintained that there was no truth whatever in the rabbling and persecution of the clergy, and persuaded the prince that the whole complaint was false and libellous, and that the petitioning clergy were seditious and disaffected men, and unworthy of the least credit.
In this dismal and deplorable condition, persecuted on all hands, and deserted by the government to whom they might have looked for protection, they sent Dr. Scott, dean of Glasgow, and Dr. Fall, principal of the University of Glasgow, and who was afterwards precentor of York, to London with a humble petition to the prince, in which they described the violences to which they had been subjected. They offered to prove all their allegations on their highest peril, and implored his highness's protection, since the Scottish government was dissolved and in the utmost confusion ever since King James' abdication. They reminded him of his promise of protection in his declaration dated from the Hague, the 10th of October, 1688, in which there is the following remarkable clause : "It was both certain and evident to all men, that the public peace and happiness of any state or kingdom cannot be preserved where the laws, liberties, and customs, established by the lawful authority in it, "are openly transgressed and annulled, more especially where the alteration of religion is endeavoured, and that a religion which is contrary to law is endeavoured to be introduced; upon which those who are more immediately concerned in it, are indispensably bound to endeavour to preserve and maintain the established laws, liberties, and customs, and above all the religion and worship of God that is established among them: and to take such an effectual care that the inhabitants of the said state or kingdom may neither be deprived of their religon, nor of their civil rights! The presbyterian party at court boldly denied the truth of their complaints; and although the prince himself was disposed to listen to and believe their representation, yet these evil counsellors persuaded him to refer the petitioners to the next convention or meeting of two of the estates, for the bishops were excluded, and which did not meet till the 14th of March, 1689. During this interval the mob were undisputed masters of the west, and set up their presbyterian teachers in the churches and parishes of the episcopal clergy, in the teeth of the prince's proclamation, that he came expressly to preserve the established religion, and prevent the bringing in of a religion which was contrary to law, and which presbyterianism undoubtedly was. And, besides, presbyterianism was declared upon royal authority to be "a religion not fit for a gentleman."
(To be continued.)
A Practical Discourse of Religious Assemblies. By William Sherlock, D. D., &c. A new edition; with a Preface by the Rev. Henry Melville, B. D., &c. London: Burns.
WE wish, in the first place, to draw attention to the editor's preface, from which we learn that the Discourse on Religious Assemblies was originally published in the year 1681, in which he strenuously opposes and denounces dissent, which in England is a thing entirely without excuse or shadow of reason. "The dissenter," says Mr. Melville, "will be indignant at finding himself treated as a schismatic, and his schism represented as alike perilous and inexcusable. But these are not times for disguising and varnishing error. The Church, rudely assailed, threatened with the loss of the patronage of the state, has need to examine and assert her apostolical character. She is not one among many sects and denominations; and it behoves her, though with as much tenderness as firmness, to maintain and manifest the authority derived to her from her Head— an authority which, as no human legislature could give, neither can any human legislature destroy; and which renders it sin to separate from her communion, so long as it cannot be proved to be sin to remain in it. Of course, we shall be immediately told of the conscientiousness of the dissenter; but on this point we gladly refer expecting no audience ourselves, in days when churchmanship is thought identical with the worst bigotry to the statements of Sherlock in ch. iii., s. 1, we shall only say that it is easy to mistake prejudice or fancy for conscience; but that there is an end of all government and authority, if conscience is first to be admitted as supreme, and then every man is to make the rule of conscienee for himself." pp. xi., xii.
In his discourse Sherlock reasons closely with the dissenters, who had different views and objects in his days than those by which the dissenters of the present day are actuated—they are now fully as political as they are either godly or religious. He treats on the subject of the sacraments and the public prayers of the church with great plainness and perspicuity, and severely censures their neglect. This neglect is not now so great as it used to be some time ago; and, as churches increase, it is to be hoped that this disgrace to a Christian people will be entirely wiped out. In the liturgy and offices of the church is to be found the faith in which men are to be grounded and settled, and which they are to hold fast in it they will hear the word of God which is the Gospel, by the belief of which they are to be saved, and which effectually worketh in them that do believe. In the church there is the " form of sound words," which men are to hold fast- the truth in which they are to walk - the truth and doctrine of Christ, the faith which was once delivered to the saints, and for which they are earnestly to contend. The church of England has carefully drawn the true doctrines of the Gospel from their sole depository, the "Scriptures of truth;" she has adopted the ancient creeds, which were extracted from the same source, and embodied them in her liturgy and articles. Other foundation of Christian teaching can no man lay with truth than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ; and, therefore, as
a wise master builder, our church has constructed a short and comprehensive catechism, fitted to the understandings of the babes of her flock, and containing a complete epitome of sound doctrine. She, therefore, hesitates not to maintain her conviction that, "whosoever will be saved, above all things it is necessary that he hold, whole and undefiled, the Catholic faith," in which faith she instructs "the babes in Christ her youthful members in the reasonable sincere milk, and those who are of full age, and able to discern both good and evil she feeds with the strong meat which belongs to them." There is, therefore, a great advantage in attending public worship in the church, even although it were not a sacred and indispensable duty; on this subject Dr. Sherlock says,—
"Another aggravation of the guilt of this sin (ingratitude) is, that those who are baptized and professed Christians (and I suppose I write to none else) are under the obligation of their baptismal vow to worship God; and therefore to neglect his worship is perjury and breach of covenant; it is an apostasy from Christianity, though they still retain the name of Christians." p. 58.
Public worship is to be preferred before private, although neither ought to be neglected, and the former is a greater honour to our Heavenly Father than the latter. Accordingly public worship was instituted by our Creator himself from the beginning, and under the law, and which was confirmed by Christ under the Gospel. On this subject Dr. Sherlock
"Now I need not tell you that Christ has instituted a Church, which is so often in the writings of the apostles called a Church,' and the Church of Christ.' Now εKKAηoíα properly signifies a meeting and assembly which is called together, and so acquaints us what the nature of the Christian Church is- that it is a society of men united and combined together in the faith and worship of Christ; for the Church of Christ is purely a religious society. Our Saviour had no temporal kingdom, as the Jews expected; his kingdom was not of this world, and therefore his Church is nothing else but a society of men for the worship of God through Christ; which is a plain demonstration that every member of the Christian Church is bound to join in all the offices of public worship; for there can be no Christian Church, if there be no public worship, because the Christian Church is a religious society, that is a society instituted for religious worship; nor can he be a member of the Christian Church who wholly neglects or despises public worship, for he can at best be only a nominal member of an assembly who neglects to assemble with them, especially when it is essential to our membership to frequent such assemblies.
"Now we may safely conclude that Christ would never have instituted a church or religious assemblies for public worship, had not public worship been much more acceptable to God than our private devotions; had it been so indifferent as some men presume whether we worship God singly or in a body and society, whether at home in our closet, or in the public congregation." pp. 97, 98.
This volume makes one of the series of the "Englishman's Library." The first impression is now entirely sold off, and another about to be published immediately. It is handsomely printed, and got up remarkably cheap; and it is pleasing to see that so good and useful a work is meeting with that public favour which it so well deserves.
Sketches of Country Life and Country Manners. By One of the Old School. London: Rivington. 1840. pp. 127.
THESE sketches are worthy of the attention of the country gentlemen and clergymen of England, to whom the author, who rightly designates