صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

and that he himself would contribute to the re-establishment of their credit, by receiving and issuing their notes in payments. But like the others, it was disregarded. The banks not choosing to take his princely word, thought their property more sure under the care of general Guest and the guns of the castle. Some few of the more timid or more ambitious of the volunteers did present themselves to “ John Murray of Broughton, Esq.," with a declaration that they would for the future live the quiet and peaceable subjects of Charles, and a few, fearing the worst, took their leave of the city for a time, but the far greater part of them followed their business, without taking the smallest notice of the proclamation that had been issued against them.

These official efforts on the part of Charles, were by his literary friends seconded from the press with great zeal, and with no small degree of ingenuity. The most glaring falsehoods were propagated to perplex the inquisitive, and the bitterest sarcasms, and the coarsest lampoons, to gratify the malignant and the illiberal;* while the pious and the reflective were attempted to be laid asleep by the most plausible sophistry, and the smoothest declamation. Pretending great zeal for the interests of religion, and “ as much affection to the church of Scotland as any man living," some Jacobite, first through the Caledonian Mercury, published “ Advice to the ministers of Edinburgh,” in which he expressed his disapprobation of their behaviour, “ in not exercising their ministerial functions, when they were not only tolerated and allowed, but even invited and required so to do, and assurances made that no disturbance should be given them or their audiences;" and, secondly,“ Unto the reverend the ministers of the several kirks and congregations of the city of Edinburgh, the earnest request and most humble petition of the heads of families, and others, their respective parishioners,” in both of which, he attempted to show that they acted inconsistently with their own principles, in refusing to take advantage of the sufferance and protection of Charles, of which, as he insinuated, they were really unworthy.

* For specimens the reader may consult Hogg's Jacobite Relies, where, if he is not a perfect glutton, he will find more than enough to satisfy him.

It does not appear, however, that his reasonings produced any effect farther than that of calling forth a more decided opposition, with multiplied refutations of his sophistical misrepresentations. Presbyterians, indeed, of all classes, behaved with great firmness, and exhibited the most steady loyalty. Solemn fasting was every where gone about in their congregations, the artful representations of the Jacobites completely analyzed, and the natural and necessary tendency of their pretensions clearly pointed out. *

This careful performance of duty by individuals, was also seasonably seconded by public bodies. The synod of Glasgow and Ayr, on the first of October, published an admonition to the people within their bounds, in which the nature and tendency of the pretensions of Charles are shortly but admirably described :“ Let it be carefully considered,” say they, “ that the crown of these kingdoms is claimed by the pretender as his inheritance, on the footing of an indefeasible right and property; that is, he claims a right to sit upon the throne as heir and successor to the late king James, who, for his arbitrary and tyrannical administration, and his repeated attempts to subvert our religion and liberties, justly forfeited his title to the crown, in consequence of which, he openly condemns the revolution as unlawful, and represents the happy period of government that has been since, as one continued usurpation.

“ What security we can have for any of our rights and liberties, under one who claims to be our king on this foundation, you need but just open your eyes to perceive. Does not such a claim openly declare, that as what was done at the late glorious revolution to defend our liberties and constitution, when upon the brink of ruin, was unjust and sinful, so, if he who now pretends to a right to succeed the said king James in the government, should pursue the same arbitrary and enslaving measures, it were unlawful for us to stand upon our defence, and it became our duty tamely to yield up ourselves to the hardest slavery and bondage. Is not, therefore, such a claim visibly subversive of all the principles of liberty, and a plain

• Scots Magazine for 1745. Gib's Display of the Secession Testimony, vol. č. p. 249.

assertion, that our most important and sacred rights, as now established by law, are not to be defended against the most tyrannical and arbitrary attempts to ruin them.

“ Consider what the history of our own and many other nations may teach us to expect from a king educated in the principles of popery and arbitrary government—the dreadful severities exercised upon our own countrymen and worthy ancestors, before the revolution, by exorbitant finings, imprisonment, intercommuning, banishment, dreadful tortures, military executions, without form of law, beheading, and hanging, and quartering, which many yet alive do well remember; these, and many other instances of cruelty mentioned in history, may justly give you and us the alarm, and teach what we have to fear from a government established upon the same political and religious principles.

“ And though it would appear to be the interest of the party now in arms against the government, to have the above mentioned severities against our own countrymen buried in oblivion, or even to express their dislike of them, instead of this they seem to justify these severities, by asserting in one of their proclamations lately published, that mildness was the peculiar characteristic of the family under whose government these things happened."*

The commission of the General Assembly of the church of Scotland, in A Warning and Exhortation to the people under their inspection, laid open the same dangerous principles still more at large :—“ We earnestly obtest all protestants

, all lovers of our religion, liberty, and native country, to beware of the delusive arts, which Romish emissaries from abroad, and the enemies of our constitution at home, have industriously and indefatigably used to destroy that glorious structure which our gracious God reared up at the revolution, by king William of immortal memory.

“ Specious declarations are made by the pretender and his son, of securing to British protestants their religion and liberties. But they are made by the sons of a church whose known principle and practice is never to keep faith with hereti and

• Scots Magazine for 1745.

such she reckons all protestants; a church which never ornitted an opportunity of destroying all those who separated from her when it was in her

power. “ To strengthen this pretended security, a promise is made to call a free parliament, and to act always by the advice of parliaments. But can any thing be more absurd than to imagine that be who founds his title to govern upon an hereditary and indefeasible right that he who considers the whole nation as his natural estate, and all the members thereof as his property, will allow himself to be restrained by any limitation, or have regard to any thing but his sole will and pleasure? What authority can laws have when, notwithstanding the most notorious violations of them, this pretended right remains entire, and not to be forfeited by any conduct whatsoever ?

“ Loud complaints are made of insufferable grievances and encroachment upon our liberties under the benign administration of our present gracious sovereign, to redress which is the pretended design of this wicked rebellion. But how is this heavy charge made out? Do our enemies pretend to produce any one act of lawless power ever done or so much as attempted by his present majesty, or his royal father, through the whole course of their reigns? No: but instead of this they tell us of some things which are of a doubtful and disputable nature, and about which the wisest, the best, and the freest men have different apprehensions and views :-things are mentioned as encroachments which were never done at all, but barely proposed, and after being for some time canvassed by the legislature, were laid aside :--and none of the things complained of can be alleged to have been done, or the least attempt made to do them, any otherwise than by law:-law enacted by, and with the advice and consent of the representatives of the people, chosen by the freeholders, and men of property in the nation. What a degree of impudence must it require for any man to compare things of this nature with the many known acts of mere power and violence (not only without law, but in the face of the plainest standing laws) done in former reigns before the glorious revolution, about which it was then dangerous to debate, and of which it was held criminal to complain. And how justly might we expect the repetition of such acts of vio

lence under the reign of one who claims the crown by the pretended indefeasible right of succession to these princes, extols the equity and clemency of their administration, and sets it before him as the glorious pattern of his intended government.

“ The minds of these men must be monstrously perverted who can favour a design, the natural and necessary consequence of which must be the subversion of what Great Britain glories in above all nations-religious and civil liberty. Can we expect liberty from arbitrary power--a free parliament from an armed force-just laws from lawless men--the security of our property from the invaders of our property-the protection of our commerce from France and Spain—the safety of the protestant religion from a popish pretender--and toleration of tender consciences from a persecuting spirit.”

These admonitions and exhortations appear to have been greatly influential upon the mass of the community; perhaps they were nothing more than the expression of the general feeling of the country, which by the conduct of the rebels was every day heightened; for their authoritative exactions were very grievous, not to speak of their robberies, which were beyond numbering. In consequence of this general feeling, the victory of Gladsmuir was of very little benefit to their cause in that neighbourhood, not an individual, except lord Kilmarnock and Arthur Elphinston, afterwards lord Balmerino, joining them for some days; and not a few of the Highlanders, who, after the battle, had been successful in the scramble for plunder, having gone home to secure it, their forces were considerably reduced in number, which, with the want of union in their counsels, paralyzed their activities, and compelled them to linger in and about Holyrood house, pleasing themselves with the mockery of court forms, when they ought to have been following up the blow they had so unexpectedly succeeded in striking, by marching into England upon the heels of the flying fugitives. So little indeed did their victory contribute to the confirmation of the more knowing of their friends, that George Lockhart, the eldest son of George Lockhart of Carnwath, the author of Letters,

Scots Magazine for 1745.

« السابقةمتابعة »