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separated, to be often convened in one assembly--the preaching of the word, and the administration of the sacraments, it does not appear to have added materially, either to their numbers or their political influence. Wanting a coadjutor in the ministry, he could form no higher court of judicature than a session, which, besides that it possessed not the powers of ordination, in consequence of which, he could neither have an assistant nor a successor in the ordinary way, was utterly incompetent for determining the controversies, that in a body so extensive, so speculative, and so peculiarly circumstanced, could not fail to be frequently agitated. Questions, sometimes frivolous, not to say foolish, as well as those of deeper importance, for the want of a proper tribunal, before which they might be tried and disposed of, were laid over, and behoved to
was not in any sense of the term the founder of a sect. Instead of modifying the views of those with whom he associated after being irregularly deposed by the presbytery of Kirkcudbright, which is surely the very least that can be required of the founder of any professing body, those with whom he associated appear in no small degree to have modified his; and it was not till after many conversations, and much deliberation, that he at length acceded to the proposals which had on their part been made to him. Of the legal induction of Mr. Mackie to the parish of Balmaghie, we have the following short account, from the pen of Mr. John Mackmillan, junior, in his letter to Mr. Thorburn: “ When the presbytery of Kirkcudbright found, that neither by crafty nor violent measures, they could put Mr. Mackmillan out of Balmaghie, nor alienate the affections of the people from their minister, they licensed Mr. MKee, the patron's chaplain, and sent him to preach through different quarters of tbe parish, and try by that means to divide and break the congregation. That proving unsuccessful, they offered the parish their choice of any one that they pleased to fix upon, if they would give up their relation to Mr. Mackmillan; but if they would not comply, threatened they should get none but Mr. M'Kee; and, accordingly, they proceeded, and ordained him at Balmaghie, when he had only nine persons beside the patron, in all the parish, to own him as their minister.” It has, indeed, been long a practice, instead of inquiring into the grounds of difference among religious bodies, and, by the light of Scripture and right reason, endeavouring to remove them, to hold them up to ignorant ridicule, by the most false and calumnious statements. One instance shall suffice for hundreds that could easily be collected. “ These peculiarities," that of asking a blessing to a dram of brandy, says a learned professor in bis notes to the letters of captain Burt, printed at London, so late as the year 1818, are now rarely to be met with, except among Presbyterian Seceders, and not always among them, and among the remnant of the covenant, called Cameronians. This last are mostly of the very lowest
be, so far, matter of forbearance, till a court should arise, they knew not when nor where, before which they might be settled in due form. The societies were still continued, and their assembly of delegates, known by the name of the general correspondence, while it could not fail to be the source of influence, was also the centre around which was continually clustering all the peevishness and extravagancies belonging to the body, and these were often such, as Mr. Mackmillan, with all the influence that has been ascribed to him, was utterly unable to control. He succeeded, however, in reconciling the Eskdale correspondence to their brethren, after they had maintained a state of separation for several years, on account of some things in the second declaration which they could not approve. A proposal which had been made thirteen years before, for an agreement with Mr. John Hepburn was also renewed, but did not succeed. During the discussions, however, Mr. John M'Neil, a preacher in the national church, but who had been
class; but even their vigour begins to relax ; they have discontinued their annual pilgrimage to the Pentland hills, to vent their impatience and rage against their Maker, for not avenging the blood of his saints upon the posterity of their persecutors : they condescend to preach in houses when the weather is bad; and many of them have even used fanners to winnow their corn, although that wicked machine was long anathematized as a daring and impious invention, suggested by the devil for raising artificial wind, in contempt and defiance of Him, who made the wind to blow where it listeth.” Letters from a Gentleman in the North of Scotland, &c. note, vol. i. p. 176.
It would be almost a relief to be able to believe, that such statements were made from ignorance, and not from malignity, or the pitiful pleasure of uttering what might be thought a good joke. This last was probably all the above writer had in view ; but in this way he is excelled, by the statist of Hounam, who, in his account of that parish, states the number of ale houses to be two. “ The effect they have,” he remarks, “ is rather unfavourable to the morality of the people; who are, however, in general piously disposed, and rational in their religious sentiments : which is perhaps somewhat the more remarkable, as Gateshaw is bordering on this parish, where there has been, from the beginning of the Secession, a meeting house of the wildest kind of Seceders, the Antiburghers, who are zealous in disseminating their principles, not supposed very favourable to morals and true piety," Statistical Account of Scotland, vol. xxi. p. 19.
* Conclusions of the General Correspondence, MS. in the possession of the Reformed Presbyterian Synod, p. 55. Informatory Vindication, &c.
deprived of his license for standing in opposition to some parts of her public managements, deserted the party of Mr. Hepburn, to which he had been supposed to be attached, and went over to the views of Mr. Mackmillan and his party,* which were, in a third Declaration, published at Sanquhar, on the 22d day of October, 1707, declared to be not only directly opposed to the union, as those of the greater part of Presbyterians were, but, as those of the societies had for the most part always been, in opposition to the existing order of things, both in church and state. This paper is entitled, “ PROTESTATION and TESTIMONY of the United Societies of the witnessing remnant of the ANTIPOPISH, ANTIPRELATIC, ANTIERASTIAN, ANTISECTARIAN, true Presbyterian Church of Christ in Scotland, against the sinful incorporating Union with England, and their British parliament, concluded and established, May, 1707,” and as it is not of great length, and still 'holds its place among the standards of that body, we shall give it without abridgment, in a note.t
Conclusions of the General Correspondence, MS. in the possession of the Reformed Presbyterian Synod, p. 56.
+ “ It will no doubt be reported by many, very unseasonable to protest at this time against this Union, now so far advanced by their law established, but the consideration of the superabundant, palpable, and eminent sins, hazards, and destructions to religion, laws, and liberties that are in it, and naturally attend it, is such a pressing motive, that we can do no less for the exoneration of our consciences, in showing our dislike of the same, before the sitting down of the British Parliament, lest our silence should be altogether interpreted either a direct, or indirect owning of, or succumbing to the same. And, though having abundantly and plainly declared our principles formerly, and particularly in our last Deelaration, May 21st, 1703, against the then intended Union, and waiting for more plain discovery with, and opposition unto, this abominable course, by those of better capacity, yet being herein so far disappointed in our expectations of such honourable and commendable appearances for the laudable laws and ancient constitution of this kingdom, both as to sacred and civil concerns, all these appearances, whether by addresses or protestations, being so far lame and defective, as that the resolutions and purposes of such has never been fairly and freely remonstrate to the contrivers, promoters, and establishers of this Union. The considerations of which and the lamentable case and condition the land already is, and may be, in, by reason of the same truth, moved us after the example, and in imitation of the cloud of witnesses, who have gone before us, to protest against the same, as being contrary to the word of God, Lev. xxx. 23. 2 Chron. XX. 35,
From this paper, whatever may be thought of their loyalty to queen Anne, it is perfectly evident that they neither were, nor could be, Jacobites, as they have often been ignorantly,
36, and repugnant to our former union with England, in terms of the Solemn League and Covenant.
“ And whereas, it hath been the good will and pleasure of Almighty God, to grant unto this nation a glorious and blessed Reformation of the true Christian religion, from the errors, idolatry, and superstitions of popery and prelacy, and therewithall to bless us with the power and puricy of heavenly doctrine, worship, discipline, and government in the church of God, according to his will revealed in the Holy Scriptures, and to let us have all this, accompanied and attended with many great and singular blessings in the conversion and comfort of many thousands, and in reforming and purging the land from that gross ignorance, rudeness, and barbarity that once prevailed among us. Wherefore, our zealous and worthy forefathers, being convinced of the benefit and excellency of such incomparable and invaluable mercies, thought it their duty, not only by all means to endeavour the preservation of these, but also to transmit to posterity a fair deposition and copy in purity and integrity, and as a fit expedient and mean to accomplish and perfect the same, they entered into the National Covenant-no rank nor degree of persons from the highest to the lowest excepted— wherein they bound themselves to defend the Reformation of religion in every part and point of the same, with their lives and fortunes, to the utmost of their power, as may be seen in the Nationial Covenant of this church and kingdom, which was five times solemnly
“ Like as the Lord was so pleased to bless our land, and to beautify it with his presence, that our neighbour nations of England and Ireland who beheld this, and were groaning under, and likewise aiming at, the removal and abolishing of popery and prelacy, had sought and obtained assistance from this nation, to help them in their endeavour for that end, and had been owned of God with success. They likewise thought it fit to enter into a most solemn League and Covenant with this church and kingdom, for reformation and defence of religion wherein, with their hands lifted up to the most High God, they do bind and oblige themselves to maintain, preserve, and defend, whatever measure and degree of Reformation they had attained unto, and mutually to concur, each with another, with their lives and fortunes, in their several places and callings, in opposition to all the enemies of the same, as may be seen at large, in the Solemn League and Covenant. By means of which, these nations became, as it were, dedicated and devoted to God, in a peculiar and singular manner, above all other people in the world, and that by an indissolvable and indispensable obligation to perform, observe, and fulfil, the duties sworn to, and contained therein, from which no power on earth can absolve us.
And so to carry on the ends of the same, and to evidence our firm adherence to it, with the utmost of our endeavours in opposition to every thing contradictory or contrary unto, or exclusive of these our sacred
perhaps sometimes maliciously, represented; and that such a paper could be published, and boldly adhered to on all occasions, without incurring public punishment, sets the mild
We have from time to time, for these several years bypast, emitted and published several declarations and public testimonies against the breaches of the same, as is evident, not only from our declarations of late, but also from all the wrestlings and contendings of the faithful in former times, all which we here adhere to and promulgate, as they are founded upon the word of God, and are agreeable thereto.
“ And, in this juncture, to perpetuate and transmit to posterity the testimony of this church, and to acquit ourselves as faithful to God, and zealous for the concerns of religion and every thing that is dear to us as men and Christians. We here testify and protest against the prompters or establishers of, and against every thing that hath tended to the promoting, advancing, corroborating, or by law establishing, such a wieked and ruining Union, and hereby we also declare against the validity of the proceedings of the late parliament, with reference to the carrying on, and establishing the said Union, and that their aets shall not be looked upon as obligatory to us, nor ought to be by posterity, or any way prejudicial to the cause of God, and the Covenanted work of Reformation in this ehurch, nor to the being, liberty, and freedom of parliaments, according to the laudable and ancient practique of this kingdom, the which we do not only for ourselves, but also in the name of all such as shall join or concur with us in this our protestation, and therefore we protest.
“ In regard that the said Union is a visible and plain subversion of the fundamental, antient constitutions, laws, and liberties of this kingdom, which we, as a free people, have enjoyed for the space of about two thousand years, without ever being fully conquered, and we have had singular and remarkable steps of providence, preventing our utter sinking, and preserving us from such a deluge and overthrow, which some other nations more mighty and opulent than we have felt, and whose memory is much extinet. While, by this incorporating Union with England in their sinful terms, this nation is debased and enslaved, its antient independency lost and gone, the parliamentary power dissolved, which was the very strength, bulwark, and basis of all liberties and privileges of persons of all ranks, of all manner of courts and judicatories, corporations and societies within this kingdom, all which now must be at the disposal and discretion of the British parliament, (to which by this Union this dation must be brought to full subjeetion,) and further, the number of peers, who have many times ventured their lives for the interest of their country, having reputation and success at home, and were famous and formidable abroad, and the number of barrons and burrows, famous sometimes for courage and zeal for the interest of their country, (and more especially in our reforming times,) all these reduced to such an insignificant and small number in the British parliament, we say (as is also evident from the many protestations given in to the late parliament against this union, how far it is contrary to the