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was added the malignancy of disappointed place-seekers; and the persistent hostility of a small but influential body who dignified their narrowness and national prejudices with the name of patriotism. Balcarras made common cause with Monta gomery; Fletcher of Saltoun degraded himself to the level of that perverse prater Sir Patrick Hume. On the greater nobles the Government could not rely. Alone of his name Argyle stooped to treason ; Hamilton was a greedy timeserver; Athole a cowardly knave. Nor was the Secretary, Melville, a man who could give much aid. But supported by the King, and counselled no doubt by his father, Sir John Dalrymple was more than a match for all opponents. During one stormy session the many-headed Opposition was triumphant. Firmness, judicious concessions, and a little judicious expenditure gave the Government a majority in the next. The unnatural alliance between Presbyterians and Jacobites was dissolved; the Club' was broken up; the ecclesiastical polity of the realm was settled, on the basis of 1592, in such a manner as to command the acquiescence, if not the approval, of reasonable men. Balcarras expressly attributes the victory of the Government to the great abilities of Sir John Dalrymple.' According to the same authority, these abilities displayed themselves in vehemence, not less than in dexterity of management. The oratorical treat enjoyed in the Scottish Parliament during these sessions he describes as hearing · Duke Hamilton bawl
and bluster after his usual manner, and Sir James Mont·gomery and Sir John Dalrymple scold like watermen.' Sir John afterwards thought it necessary to address a letter to the Commissioner apologising for the heat he had shown in debate.
In 1691, Dalrymple became joint-secretary for Scotland along with Melville. Íowards the close of the year Melville resigned; and Johnston of Warriston succeeded him. To one of these joint-secretaries was entrusted the conduct of business in Edinburgh; the other was in attendance at Court, and had the chief direction of affairs. The latter sphere of duty was assigned to the Master of Stair, as Dalrymple must now be called, his father having been raised to the peerage. He held office till the summer of 1695. During this time his attention was mainly occupied with ecclesiastical affairs and the pacification of the Highlands.
William, as is well known, was not satisfied with the treatment the Episcopalians had received. His first wish was to continue Episcopacy in Scotland; short of this, he desired to obtain for Episcopalians the same toleration as was enjoyed by the Nonconformists in England; but that measure of justice the Presbyterian clergy refused to grant. During 1691-2, the King
used all his influence to extort from the intolerant Church the concession that Episcopalians willing to take the oath of allegiance, and to subscribe the Confession of Faith and the shorter * and longer catechisms,' should be admitted to communion. Many Episcopalians were heartily desirous to come in on those terms. But the Assembly of 1692 opposed a dogged resistance; and was in consequence dissolved, not without reproaches, by the Royal Commissioner. In this enlightened policy the King was cordially supported by his latitudinarian Secretary. Mr. Graham has published some interesting letters from the Master to the Earl of Lothian--the Commissioner-in which he expresses a very frank disapproval of the Presbyterian leaders :
I do agree with your Lordship those people are neither tractable nor grateful, but yet they have something that one would not do well to destroy them, though he can neither manage nor oblige them. Something must be done to hinder them to come themselves to confound the civil government, but I shall never be accessary either to subvert their constitution or to bring them to scaffolds, though really they do some things so intolerable that they must be used as mad bodies and put up in a Bedlam if they continue their rabbling and protestations.
The English politicians of the time were not very zealous or very faithful; yet they struck the Master as presenting a favourable contrast to his countrymen :
• They (the English Parliament) are full of overtures and displeasure for the success of affairs this season, and the allies lying by; but after some time spent in stuff they will come to give competent supplies, I hope, for really the bulk of this nation are affectioned to the Government, and sensible of the security they enjoy both of their religion and property. I wish it were as well with us (in Scotland), who talk more of religion aud consider it less.'
Matters came to a crisis in 1693. The Parliament of that year passed two Acts—one imposing on all persons in positions of public trust, and among these, on all the clergy, Presbyterian and Episcopal, an oath acknowledging William as King de jure and de facto; another, requiring that all Episcopalian clergy who should take this oath, subscribe the Confession and recognise the Presbyterian form of Church government, should be entitled to be members of the Church Courts. The Presbyterian clergy, in pretence at least, objected to the Oath of Assurance, as it was called, more vehemently than to the admission of their Episcopalian brethren. They loudly professed that to take such an oath, especially at the dictation of Parliament, was Erastianism, a bowing down to · Cæsar,' a recognition of the supremacy of the civil power in matters ecclesiastical. Yet it may well be doubted whether even the small indulgence extended to Episcopalians was not, in reality, the cause of their noisy opposition. The King at first was firm; members of the Assembly of 1695 must take the oath, or the Assembly would be dissolved. Readers of Scottish history are familiar with the story how Carstairs returned suddenly to Court-learned the position of affairs-detained the despatches—woke the King at midnight to seek his pardon and obtain a reversal of his policy, and succeeded in both objects. The romantic touches in this story are doubted by the best historians, but that the orders were recalled, and a serious collision between the Church and the Crown averted, was no doubt in great measure owing to the influerce of Carstairs.
The part taken by the Secretary in this matter cannot be ascertained with certainty. Mr. Story implies that the King was influenced against the clergy by his cool and selfish judg'ment.' With greater accuracy Mr. Graham points out that the name of the Secretary does not appear in any letters, despatches, or records in connexion with the question. Without doubt his father, the Lord President, and Tarbat, then leading men in the Privy Council, urged the King to persevere in enforcing the Acts of the Parliament; but the Secretary may well be believed to have paused. His letters to Lord Lothian show that, though he had no love for the extreme Presbyterians, he both respected and feared them; and personal feeling may have aided prudence in leading him to the conviction that the wisest course would be to leave the ecclesiastical polity of the country undisturbed as it had been settled by his exertions. in 1690; and such was, in fact, the result of the struggle.
Whoever may have counselled the King to yield, there is room to doubt whether they rendered a real service to the Church or the Crown. The question was of importance to William, for every Episcopalian parson who signed the Declaration required by Parliament was a rebel the less. Maintaining, as he was, the authority of the Estates, he had nothing to fear from the discontents of an intolerant priesthood; even had the Presbyterian laity been alienated, there would have been no danger to his throne in such a quarrel. For any disaffection of the laity would have been temporary. They never, as was shown again and again, could have made common cause with the Jacobites. The King would have had his way at last; and if at the cost of an enforced silence of some duration on the Assembly, the country would probably have been resigned. On the other hand, the Church would have gained by the admission into her brotherhood of moderate Episcopalians; and
VOL. CXLIII. No. ccxci.
had she been then forced to face the difficulties of the relations of the civil power to the Church, she would have been saved from the fictitious position she has always maintained on this point; and which, like all fictitious positions, has been to her a constant source of weakness. In truth, neither intellectually nor morally, were the clerical leaders at this time worthy of their opportunities. They are thus described, with great severity, by Burnet:
The truth was the Presbyterians, by their violence and other foolish practices, were rendering themselves both odious and contemptible; they had formed a General Assembly, in the end of the former year, in which they did very much expose themselves by the weakness and peevishness of their conduct; little learning or prudence appeared among them; poor preaching and wretched haranguing, partialities to one another, and injustice to those who differed from them, showed themselves in all their meetings.' (P. 75.)
No doubt, while we condemn the treatment of the Episcopalians by the Kirk, we must remember what Presbyterians had been made to suffer. It is not, as has been well said,
under rulers like Lauderdale and Dundee that men learn « lessons of toleration.' The Episcopalians reaped far less than they had sown. History, we think, records no other instance where so much had been endured, where the retaliation was so gentle. But no credit for this can, with truth, be given to the Scottish clergy, or the ordinary run of Scottish statesmen. The temper of the party who then held the ascendancy in Church and State may be gathered from the persecutions of witches, the murder of Aitkenhead, the opposition even to the measure of indulgence extended to Episcopalians by the Toleration Act of Anne--an opposition which, it is melancholy to think, was headed by Carstairs.* Had not that temper been restrained by William and his latitudinarian ministers, and especially the Dalrymples, the triumph of freedom in Scotland would have been stained by many a dark deed of revenge and intolerance.
To the Dalrymples then, supported no doubt in the closet by Carstairs, we mainly owe it that Presbyterianism was established at the Revolution, and established in justice and moderation. It is not a debt to be estimated lightly. Lord Macaulay has shown, in a striking passage, that the whole
where so But no cre the ordinary then held the
measure of inmurder of the gathereden
* It is among Mr. Story's many misconceptions of historical truth, that he defends this opposition as dictated by the same spirit 'as the resistance of Liberals in 1687 to the dispensing power claimed by James.
which hof Scotland is to be renewed that much Churches mistic
may, with ivo
Empire has cause for thankfulness that Episcopacy was not forced upon an unwilling nation, and the ecclesiastical future of Scotland made as that of Ireland. The high intelligence which has long distinguished, and still distinguishes, the lower classes of Scotland must be mainly ascribed to her system of education-also, it is to be remembered, the work of the Revolution era. But we are persuaded that much may, with justice, be attributed to the Presbyterian form of Church government, especially taken in connexion with the Calvinistic creed. The apprehension of that creed cannot fail to stimulate the mind; the working of that form of government has accustomed Scotsmen of every rank to look upon it as a duty and a right to exercise their judgments on questions involving, directly or indirectly, the most important subjects of human thought. The Presbyterian polity has also tended to foster that liberality of opinion in secular politics which prevails among the middle and lower classes in Scotland. Such must of necessity be the influence of a Church strictly democratic in its constitution, recognising within itself no distinction of persons, no grades of rank or office. This liberalising tendency of Presbyterianism has been increased by an indirect yet powerful cause. When the stormy times passed away, the bulk of the Scottish nobility and gentry revealea themselves Episcopalians. The people, hating Episcopacy, became alienated from their superiors. This was, in Scotland, a great change. Poverty, the slow development of trade, partly, too, the national disposition, long kept the commonalty of Scotland under the influence of the higher classes of society to an unseemly and unhealthy extreme. This has now, in great measure, passed away. That the severance which has taken place has been widened by religious differences no careful observer can doubt; it is to this day most discernible in those parts of Scotland where Presbyterianism has firmest hold. The present state of things is less consistent with sentimental theories of society than the former; but a change is not to be regretted which has, beyond doubt, fostered manliness of character and independence of thought among the body of the people.
This settlement had another consequence—which would have been deplored by its authors--the early rise and great influence of Dissent in Scotland as compared with England. Presbyterianism, in the day of its power, was no whit more tolerant than Episcopacy. Rather, indeed, less so. The freedom of speculation, now alleged to be enjoyed by the clergy of the Kirk, is, if it does really exist, a thing of yesterday.