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In the midst of all this zeal, in opposition to the constituted authorities, there was an evident want of cordiality in the body. Never perhaps, was the folly of attempting, by any device, or by any sanction, however awful, to secure uniformity of sentiment, upon abstractions that are either doubtful, or difficult of apprehension, more fully manifested, than in the history of the old dissenters. Only two years after the engagements, they so solemnly came under at Auchinsaugh, we find from an act of session, at Crawfordjohn, in the month of June, 1713, that severals who had joined in these engagements, had already fallen “into contrary courses, and practices, and some of them into scandals and immoralities, to the great prejudice of their holy profession,” while others, to whose characters, nothing, either in a moral, or religious point of view, could be objected, from diversity of sentiment, or from offence taken at the conduct of some of their brethren—often upon very frivolous grounds-withdrew from public ordinances, to which they could never be persuaded to return. So much were they divided in sentiment, that though they were all agreed upon the propriety of a day of public fasting, for their own sins, and for the sins of the land, years elapsed, before they could agree about the causes that should be assigned for it; nor could they have for many years, the Lord's Supper dispensed among them, partly from the same causes, and partly from the alleged inability of Mr. Mackmillan, who could not easily condescend to set about it, until he should have more help, because of his own frailty, and the greatness of the work.”* They appear, however, to have been all the while labouring to have their differences removed; but the removing of one, seems too often to have created more. The want of presbyterial authority was evidently severely felt by them, and though they made many efforts to obtain the benefit of it, first, by attempting to persuade some of their number to accept of ordination from Mr. Mackmillan, and the session, accompanied by the call of the people, in which they could not come to unanimity
written in presence of our correspondence, at Crawfordjobn, March 1st, 1714, and subscribed in our name, by Hu. Clark cls.”-Conclusions of the General Meeting, MS. &c. &c.
* Conclusions of the General Meeting, MS. &c. Pamphlets of the time, &c. &c.
Secondly, by applying to Mr. Adamson, who had been processed before the church courts, for opposing some parts of their public managements, but afterwards became independent in his views -Thirdly, to Mr. M'Hendry, who was sirnilarly situated, and took a similar course-Fourthly, to Messrs. Taylor and Gilchrist --Fifthly, to the twelve Marrow-men, as they were then called; and lastly to some individual ministers of the Scotish church, they did not succeed, till a more formidable breach in that church, rendered their opposition of comparatively little consequence.
But to return to the parliament-near the end of the session, the queen came to the house of lords, and stated the preliminary articles of peace, that had been agreed upon, between her and the French king, as far as they related to England; and she promised her best endeavours, for procuring satisfaction for her allies. She received an address of thanks, from both houses in return. The preliminary* terms, however, fell so far short of what had been generally expected, that they occasioned universal depression and discontent, and gave new and strong grounds for arraigning the conduct of ministers. The parliament, however, after censuring a few opposition pamphlets, probably with the view of checking their apprehended increase, during the approaching vacation, was, after a short speech from the queen, adjourned by the lord keeper, on the 21st of June.
The highest hopes were all this time cherished by the Jacobites as well as by James himself, who maintained a constant correspondence with some of the principal members of the British government, and, by means of the lady Masham, even with the queen, who, it was confidently anticipated by the more enthusiastic admirers of the exiled prince, would very soon, from a sense of duty, yield up to him that throne, which, according to the doctrine of her new friends, she had no right to
* When the articles of the peace were laid before the privy council, the duke of Buckingham, holding up his hands, exelaimed, “Good God! How has this poor nation been governed in my time! During the reign of king Charles the second, we were governed by a parcel of French whores. In king James the second's time, by a parcel of popish priests. In king William's time, by a parcel of Dutch footmen, and now we are governed by a dirty chambermaid, a Welsh attorney, and a profligate wretch, that has neither honour nor honesty.”--Parker's Military Memoirs, p. 219.
possess; or, if she did not immediately assume him into the government jointly with herself, that she would at least provide for his easy and direct succession on her demise, and, in the ? meantime, allow him a suitable settlement and a residence in Scotland, as the heir apparent of these kingdoms.* This favourable disposition of the queen seems to have been now the sole dependance of James, and he again wrote her, apparently in the fullest confidence. “ In the present situation of affairs," says he, “ it is impossible for me, dear sister, to be any longer silent, and not to put you in mind of the honour and preservation of your family; and to assure you, at the same time, of my eternal gratitude, if you use your most efficacious endeavours towards both. Give me leave to say, that
your own good nature makes me promise it to myself, and, with that persuasion, I shall always be ready to agree to whatever you shall think most convenient for my interest, which, after all, is inseparable from yours; being fully resolved to make use of no other means, but those you judge most conducing to our mutual happiness, and to the general welfare of our country.”+ In strict conformity to these sentiments, the Jacobites, many of whom, particularly of those belonging to Scotland, had obtained seats in parliament, were individually instructed to lay aside all their own projects, leaving it to the generosity of the queen, and the wisdom of her advisers, to make the necessary alterations upon the act of settlement, at their own time, and in their own way. I
The queen, through the influence of Mrs. Masham, had certainly become considerably cold towards the electoral family, and, in as far as she could overcome her natural timidity, anxious to promote the succession of her brother, though she
* Stuart Papers, 1712.
+ Ibid. I “ I did then cast about amongst the commons, and finding them well enouff disposed to enter into measures for obliging the ministry to do what was expected with respect to the king and other matters of moment, wee began to form a party for that purpose, and concert measures to be prosecuted; when, in a little time thereafter, Mr. John Menzies (who received the despatches commonly from St. Germains) caine and showed me a letter to him from the earl of Midleton, signifying that it was the king's pleasure, that all his friends should join in supporting the ministry, and give them no uneasiness: requiring him to communicate the same to me and several of hers.” -Lockhart Papers, vol. i. pp. 368, 369.
did not choose to express herself very distinctly upon the subject. It was, indeed, an experiment that might have affected stronger nerves than hers, and staggered wiser heads than were to be found among her counsellors, although neither the imminency nor the real magnitude of the danger seems to have been at all apprehended either by her or them. The principal difficulties, in the outset at least, with the one and the others, seem to have arisen from little paltry personal considerations, unworthy of being entertained by either philosophers or politicians. Bigotry and superstition had led James VII. to desert a throne, and this bigotry and superstition, almost without diminution, he had bequeathed to his son, in consequence of which he was an object of terror or of hatred to the greater proportion of three nations, who would otherwise bave been his loving and devoted subjects. Anne, indulging a feeling that was natural, and to a certain extent commendable, pitied her poor brother, the heir of so many errors and such complicated misfortunes ; but she, too, was a bigot for the church of England; and, till he should do something for himself, by at least seemingly adopting her belief, she scrupled, or, perhaps, did not well know how to help him.
Informed of this, as the sentiments of the queen, the most politic of his friends, particularly of those who were about him, and, for the sake of his father's favour had deserted the church of England, pressed him to gratify his sister and disarm his detractors, by a seeming compliance with her request, though it should be only till he was fairly seated on the throne, when he might avow his predilections more safely for himself and more profitably for his friends.* James, however, was inflexible, and the queen, at the same time that she was offended with his obstinacy, was at a loss how to act. Had he complied with her desire, from the love which she believed the nation bore to herself, aided by the church, of which she had always been the liberal patron, she most probably expected, that her simple recommendation would have removed the principal difficulties that stood in the way of his being amicably received as her successor; but, as he honestly avowed himself a papist,
Stuart Papers, 1712.
some other plan behoved to be fallen upon, or the design abandoned. What must have added in no small degree to her perplexity, she had no one about her in whom she could really confide. Oxford had, probably, more of her affection and confidence than any other, but he had conducted himself with so much caution as to have become disagreeable to the Jacobites, and an object of great suspicion at St. Germains, besides he was particularly, odious to her favourite, Mrs. Masham, of course she could not lay her difficulties before him; Bolingbroke, by the sycophancy of his behaviour, and a liberal use of the public money, had become quite agreeable to the favourite, and there could be no doubt of his being willing to go every length to serve his own interests, but the queen, with all her weakness, was really serious, and hated him at bottom for the libertine tendency of bis opinions, and the profligacy of his manners, and we cannot suppose, whatever she might from necessity be induced to disclose, that she would rest with much complacency upon a person so very low in her esteem; the probability, however, is, that he was trusted to a certain extent on this occasion. In common with all other Jacobites, her majesty seems to have secretly looked to the French government, in this dilemma, as the last resource of James, and felt an increasing desire to have all her differences in that quarter made up. Plenipotentiaries from all the different belligerents had been assembled at Utrecht, for some time, but, from the rash and impolitic procedure of the British ministry, the French had acquired such vantage ground, and were so certain of carrying all their own particular views into effect at last,* that they were in no haste to come to any conclusion, while the operations of jealousy, and the difficulty of reconciling conflicting interests, produced a similar effect among the allies.
To remonstrate with the French court upon the unexpected exorbitancy of some of its demands, and to look after the interests of the duke of Savoy, in whom, as the next lineal heir to the British throne after James, her majesty took a special interest, perhaps also secretly to look after the affairs
* Sommerville's History of Great Britain, &c.