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Kirkton, using in general his very words. And although as a suffering presbj terian minister Kirkton cannot be esteemed an impartial writer, yet his very prejudices often afford us the means of discovering the truth. His style is that of the period and class to -which he belonged—diffuse and prolix on affairs of little moment, jet not without point, compression, and force on more important occasions; exhibiting some pretence to learning and logical argument, intermixed with a caustic turn towards personal satire, only allayed by the writer's profession, and animated by the zeal of an ancient covenanter. It remains to inquire how far this venerable champion of presbyterianism has been fortunate in an editor—a question the more important, since, as we have already hinted, Mr. Kirkpatrick Sharpe and his author differ diametrically in civil and religious politics.

Mr. Sharpe is already known to the public by a volume of legendary poetry, of which the verse exhibited talents not only for the heroic ballad, but for that arch and playful style of poetry which helps to ' add feathers to' the lightsome hours of pleasant society. The notes in that work indicate the same talents which we meet in those on Kirkton's work. They evince extensive antiquarian research through the most wearisome and dull volumes, with the singular talent necessary for distinguishing and extracting from them whatever is interesting in point of manners or curious as an elucidation of principles, and for seasoning the whole with a strong turn for humour seldom exhibited by professed antiquaries. The quantity of curious matter, political, genealogical, and satirical, which he has exhibited in these notes, adds an important value to the edition. To some men these advantages may be counterbalanced by the contrast which the comments afford to the text, for Mr. Kirkpatrick Sharpe, though residing in the land of presbytery, is an episcopalian and a tory, or rather an old cavalier, with much of the respect for high family, contempt of the covenanters, and dislike of democratical principles proper to that designation. Of course he has not escaped the censure of those industrious literary gentlemen of opposite principles, who have suffered a work always relied upon as one of their chief authorities, to lie dormant for a hundred and forty years, and are now mortified that it should be published by a person of opposite opinions in politics and cburch-government, as if he had usurped an office to which they had an exclusive title. We cannot listen to these querulous outcries, unless they alleged (which would be most groundless) that the work had suffered through the infidelity of the editor. In every point of view, we conceive that Kirkton's History has received, from the liveliness of Mr. Sharpe's illustrations upon a subject which is sometimes uncommonly dull, from the art with which he has contrasted the same facts as told by different people, and illustrated heavy details by interesting cxam

vOL. XvIII. NO. XXXVI. L L pies

pies or comments, a value which, edited by some great admirer and worshipper of his own system, it would never have attained.

This is not all, however. Although we consider the experiment of setting up episcopacy as a fair one at the time when it was made, yet now that the experience of nearly a century and a half has shewn (what might have been justly doubted in 1660) that the presbyterian form of church policy is in every respect reconcileable to good order, liberty of conscience, and a limited monarchy, we are disposed to rejoice that the experiment, however promising, did not succeed.

What had been is unknown—what is appears. Conveying ourselves back to that period, we might have dreaded the revival of that solemn league which carried intolerance and religious persecution in its train, and whose obligations were capable "lf receiving an interpretation inconsistent with the peace of society; and we might have feared the presbyterian principle, which, as then explained, gave the rulers of the church a perpetual pretext for interfering with the civil and even with the military measures of the legislature and secular government. But, in the present day, when we hear no more of the League and Covenant, with its obligations to extirpate heresy, and when the general assemblies of the church only exercise their necessary and useful jurisdiction in the spiritual affairs which properly fall under their cognizance, we cannot desire that a system so simple, unexpensive, acceptable to the public, and honourable to those by whom it is npheld, should be superseded by any other whatever. Were it necessary to say more, the kirk might appeal to the general moral and respectable conduct of her pastors, as well as to many illustrious names among them, to shew that she needs, for restraining corruption or encouraging merit, no other jurisdiction or power of reward or punishment than she herself possesses upon her present system.

While we say this we are far from uniting our own views of the subject with those of Mr. Sharpe. He has in general attempted the vindication of Charles's administration, (indirectly at least,) by recriminating on the Whigamoors. He opens an account of murder with them, and reckons confiscation for confiscation and blood for blood. He contrasts the military and civil executions by the triumphant cavaliers with the dreadful cruelty of the covenanters after the victory at Philiphaugb, where they massacred their prisoners in cold blood, with the atrocities after taking the fort at Dunaverty, in the Highlands, where, instigated by a wretch called John Nave, the chaplain of the Earl of Loudoun, Collkittock, with nearly two hundred men, who had surrendered on terms of quarter, were put to the sword, and with the judicial murders of Montrose, Gordon of Haddow, Hay, Nathaniel Gordon, the Marquis of Huntley, and much more gentle and noble blood spilled for defending the king and the episcopal church which they found established in the kingdom. All these counter-charges may be true, and they may diminish our personal commiseration for men like Argyle and others, who, active in those dreadful scenes while they bad power, became, when subdued, in their turn the miserable victims of similar cruelties. But justice is immutable, and no degree of guilt committed by the one party authorizes or vindicates similar atrocities on the part of the other. In fact, although there may remain in Scotland many trueblue whigs and staunch cavaliers, to be excessively offended at our neutrality, we must say, that we regard neither party in that ancient kingdom as playing a respectable part during this tumultuous period. Both sides indeed had champions, who fought and suffered with the obstinate valour peculiar to the country; but the peculiarities of either faction, as they existed in England, were inflamed and' exaggerated among her less civilized neighbours. The Scottish; civil dissensions were stained with crimes and cruelties to which those of England were strangers. The detestable period of the popish plot, when so much blood was so wantonly and unjustly shed, and the after-game of sham-plots set up by the court, did indeed authorize the historian to say that the two predominating parties in England,' actuated by mutual rage, but cooped up within the narrow limits of the law, levelled with poisoned daggers the most deadly blows against each other's breast, and buried in their factious divisions all regard to truth, honour, and humanity.' Still, while subject justly to these reproaches, the headlong torrent whose ravages we deplore was confined within the boundaries of the law; but in Scotland, reasons of state policy, the thirst of vengeance, the avarice of spoil, the keen and sharpened rage of polemical hatred, the selfish and greedy pursuit of private ends, so often the rulingmotives in a delegated government, together with a disregard of personal character peculiar to that age, burst over every restraint, and levelled every bulwark that preserves either rights or liberties. If during their brief domination, the tyranny of the covenanting rulers was more open and avowed; if their clergy maintained spies in the houses of the nobles, and, forgetting their own peaceful profession, embroiled and deepened by their exhortations the horrors of war; if, in their prosperity, they sowed the wind and reaped the whirlwind—and in their adversity, were humbled without being humble, it must be acknowledged that the presbyterians had circumstances of delusion and temptation, as well as of provocation, which the episcopalians could not allege for the perpetration of similar cruelties and violences after the Restoration. They were almost inevitably engaged in war, and they found themselves suddenly and unexpectedly, placed at the head of a martial nation. But the episcopalians used the same rigours in the time of profound peace, and when there was little chance of resistance, saving that which they themselves might

I,l2 provoke provoke by aggression and severity. Nor could they plead, like the covenanters, that they used forcible means only to compel a minority of the nation to comply with the wishes of the majority. The establishment of prelacy was endured rather than desired by the greater

{•art even of those who submitted to it, and its favourers ought at east to have gained a majority by persuasion, before attempting to convert a nation by force. The motive of the ministers of Charles we are far from disapproving. To attempt to establish episcopacy might be a fair and legitimate object of policy; and sanctioned as the scheme was by an almost unanimous vote of the legislature, and by the submission of the nation, there is reason to believe that in time, and with due management, it might have succeeded. But not even the doctrine of religion, far less its forms or its exterior policy, can be justly or wholesomely forced on a nation by breach of laws and invasion of liberties.

Among many passages in Mr. Sharpe's notes which form interesting and curious illustrations of national manners and individual character, we were particularly interested and amused by the letters of a certain Anne Keith, by courtesy Lady Methven, as wife of Patrick Smythe, baron of Methven. This lady seems to have been a woman of high spirit, and animated by anti-covenanting zeal as determined in favour of episcopacy as that which many of the ladies of the period entertained in favour of presbytery. Her husband, or,' as she affectionately terms him, 'her heart's keeper,' being in London, this gallant dame herself called together his vassals for the purpose of dispersing a field-conventicle which proposed to meet upon his ground. She marched against them at the head of sixty armed men, accompanied by the laird's brother with drawn sword and cocked pistol; the lady herself with a light-horseman's piece on her left arm, and a drawn tuck in her right hand. The conventicle, about a thousand strong, sent a hundred men to encounter her party, to whom the Amazon declared that she and her followers would ' ware their lives on them before they should preach in that regality;' and charged them either to fight or fly. Upon the whole matter the covenanters deemed it surest to retreat, and Lady Methven and her band went to the parish church to hear a 'scared minister preach.'

'They have sworn,' she adds, ' not to stand with such ane affronte, but resolves to come the next Lord's day; and I, in the Lord's strenth, intends to accost them with all that will come to assist us. I have caused your officer warn a solemn court of vassalls, tennants, and all within our power to meet on Thursday, where I intend, if God will, te be present, and there to order them in God and our king's name to convine well armed to the kirkyard on Sabbath morning by eight ours, wher your brother and I, with all our servant men and others we can mak, shall march to them, and, if the God of Heaven will, they shall either fycht, or goe out of our parish; but alesse! there is no parish about us

will will doe the like, which discuradges our poor handfull; yett if all the eretors in the parish be loyall and stout, we will mak five hundred men and boys that may carrie armes. I have written to your nevo the tresorer ol" Edin: to send me twa brasse hagbutts of found, and that with, the bearer. If they come against Setterday, I will have them with us. My love, present my humbell dewtie to my Lord Marques and my Lady, lykwayes all your friends, and, my blessed love, comfort yourself in this, if the fanaticks chance to kill me, it shall not be for noucht. I was wounded for our gracious king, and now in the strenth of the Lord God of Heaven, I'll hazard my person with the men I may com-, mand, before these rebells rest where ye have power; sore I miss yow, but now mor as ever.'—p. 357

Her second crusade against the covenanters was as bloodless as the first. She was not herself present but sent the baillie of the regality with her husband's horses to assist the Marquis of Athol's Highlanders. There was a long chase, and the horses had ' a sore tassell among the Ochill-hills; the Highlanders also got sore travail, but were rewarded, for they went laden home with less or more.' The lady urges the dubious expressions of the laws against eonventicles which, according to her apprehension, directed the appearance but not the reality of force to be exercised against them.

'It is a grievous matter,' she says, ' that we dare not draw their blood, yet must disperse them—how should that be if they come well armed to fight? The acts against them are for and against—riddles indeed not easy to be understood. My love, if every parish were armed, and the stout loyal heads joining, with orders to concur, and liberty to suppress them as enemies to our king and the nation, these vaguing gipsies would settle.'—p. 358.

Though this lady is an ultra-royalist and an enthusiast in her way, we own we give as much credit to Dame Anne Keith for her courage and activity, as we do to Mrs. Hutchinson for her affectionate zeal to her husband and his cause. . There are several other letters from her written in the same earnest and determined style. A letter also from the primate Sharp shows how highly he esteemed her courage and loyalty, which he contrasts with the desperation shown by so many of her sex to tempt their husbands in 'that evil time when schism, sedition, and rebellion are gloried in, though Christianity does condemn them as the greatest crimes.'

This lady, notwithstanding her spirit and courage, died an early martyr to wounded maternal affection. Her only son, while shooting wild-fowl, was killed by his tutor through an unhappy accident. His mother broke her heart in consequence of this loss: a circumstance which we are rather surprized not to see enumerated in that terrible chapter of the Cameronian biography, entitled 'God's judgement on persecutors.' It being (notwithstanding the solemn warning to the contrary afforded in the example of the tower ef Siloam) the convenient practice of that sect to term all calamities

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