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our folks (i. e., Roman Catholics) chiefly abound," were objects, from experience, of great dread and terror to the priests of Rome.
Declining as the Church of Scotland was, in character and doctrine, by the period of the Rebellion, she was very warmly attached to the existing royal family; and many of her ministers indicated no small courage, and submitted to no small suffering, in taking arms and employing other means in their defence. Principal Robertson was one of the num ber. It is related of the Rev. Mr. M'Vicar, one of the ministers of the West Church of Edinburgh, that he boldly prayed for George by name, in a crowded house, where many Jacobites were assembled, after he had been threatened and when the city was in the hands of the rebels; and continued to do so during the whole six weeks that the Highlanders kept possession of Edinburgh. There was here real courage. The faithful minister was in danger, during the very act of public worship, of being cut off by the rebels' sword. The zeal and courage of the Church are the more creditable, that large promises were held out on the other side, and that the clergy have usually been accused of leaning to power as distinguished from popular rights. In former reigns, respectable parties, such as the universities and the lawyers of the land, leaned to the exiled family and the oppressor. In the times of Charles I. and Charles II., while the students were on the side of the Covenant and Presbyterianism, not a few of the professors temporized to the royal side, and would have put up with semi-Popery and Persecution. At the Revolution, the decided majority in all the universities were the friends of the Popish James; so that several, in consequence, lost their situations. At a later day, the whole legal strength of the country, advocates and writers to the signet, according to Bower, were arrayed on the side of the Stuarts. How honourable, then, was it for the Church, all along, to maintain so consistent a testimony against "Popery, slavery, and arbitrary power," and to expose herself to trial and suffering in vindication of her testimony! How well did she deserve of the State; and how much, then, is it to be lamented that the State failed so greatly in her duty to the Popish quarters of the land-a duty which might have been so easily and cheaply discharged; and how sad, that the degeneracy of the Church came in to countenance the coldness of the State. Had proper means been employed, the Highlands and Islands, under the Divine blessing, might, long
ago, have been as Protestant as the Lowlands. teenth century might have completed what the seventeenth so well began, and so vigorously carried forward. Instead of being called, at the present day, to mourn over many districts which remain Popish, and some which have lost the Protestantism to which they had formerly attained-such as the Island of Barra-the Christian might have rejoiced in a universally Protestant population, both at home and in the Canadian Colonies; but the reign of sound religious principle seems ever to have been unhappily short. Surely the Church of Christ in these lands lies under a heavy responsibility; and those who weaken her influence are not guiltless. How sad and humiliating, that there should be a large body of native-born Roman Catholics in this country, after the Protestant Church has been established for nearly three hundred years! How different the zeal and success of our forefathers at the Reformation!
I cannot better conclude these observations than in the words of the pious and accomplished Dr. Doddridge, in his "Life of Colonel Gardiner." 66 According to my best information, from persons who are most thoroughly acquainted with affairs in the north, the two great springs of rebellion amongst the inhabitants of these Highland countries are their idleness and their ignorance. The former subjects them to a slavish dependence on their masters, and is also the cause of their being so addicted to stealing, and the latter makes them a prey to Popish priests and missionaries from Rome, who are constantly, and in great numbers, trafficking among them. It has been very justly remarked, that the success they have in seducing these poor ignorant people, is occasioned, in a great measure, by the vast extent of parishes in those Highland countries; some of them being betwixt thirty and forty miles in length, and twenty and thirty in breadth, full of great mountains, rapid rivers, and arms of the sea; and those parishes which are more moderate in their extent, are about twenty miles in length, and ten or twelve in breadth; and it is every where to be observed through these parishes, that around the place of the minister's residence, the inhabitants are almost all Protestants, but in the corners which are remote from his residence they are generally all Papists. Now it is evident that these poor people can only be cured of idleness, by teaching them manufactures to which they are wholly strangers. And it is hard to imagine how they can be rescued from Popish ignorance, until there are several
new parishes erected in those extensive countries. It would ill become me to pretend to direct the government of Britain on such an occasion; but I know it to be the opinion of many persons in these parts, of distinguished wisdom and experience, that if it should be thought fit to employ the produce of the estates confiscated by the late Rebellion for these valuable purposes-this, with the £1000 of his Majesty's royal bounty, annually bestowed, would go a good way towards remedying these two great evils, with their train of miserable consequences which we have of late so deeply felt. And who would not rejoice to see all these poor people sharing with us fully in all the privileges and advantages of Christians and Britons? I pray God to guide and prosper every scheme for this purpose; and in this connection I cannot but mention and recommend the Society for Propagating the Knowledge of Religion,' and with it the principles of loyalty in these Highland countries-a design in which so many worthy persons, both in the northern and southern parts of our island, are incorporated. But their stock is by no means equal to the purposes here mentioned; and by their constitution, they are confined to the support of schools, which are indeed going on with great success, as far as the revenue will allow them."
FROM 1755 TO 1792.
THE history of the Protestant Church of France, which I am at present rapidly tracing, is very painful. It is almost the unbroken history of persecution. In former periods, I had the satisfaction of presenting pleasing evidence of the spiritual character and undertakings of the Church; but, however excellent her spirit and exertions may have been at the period under review, we have no record of them. The Protestants were wholly occupied with their sufferings; they were seldom allowed to assemble in Church courts. They were not permitted to publish books or documents. Hence their present history may almost be called a blank. The only traces of it are in the blood of persecution. Sickening as these traces are, we must not shrink from them. It is well to see the true character of Popery, and to remember
the sufferings of the saints of God. Thus only can we value aright our own inestimable privileges. It is sad that France, which boasts of her civilization and refinement, of her literature and the arts, should have been, we may say, the latest country in Europe to abandon persecution, and that on a great scale, and in a legal form. At the middle of the eighteenth century she was still pursuing her course of cruelty and oppression; and, what is singular, her bitterest persecution may be said almost to run parallel with the most brilliant days of her literature. Does not this, as we have taken occasion already to remark, show, at least, that science, and polite learning, and civilization, cannot change the savage dispositions of men-their hatred to the truth of God; and that it is vain to look to them as the safeguards of liberty, whether civil or religious? How idle, then, the expectation, that they are to introduce into society a new era of brotherly love and universal happiness.
In the former chapter I brought down the history of the Protestant Church to 1755. Immediately before there had been a most violent persecution, and though it was now abating, the waters were still restless and disturbed. In 1758, Oliver Goldsmith translated from the French the account of a Protestant gentleman, who had been condemned to the galleys, and detained in slavery for thirteen years. He was set free at the intercession of the Court of Great Britain. The original work had very recently been printed at the Hague in two volumes. The biographer of Goldsmith declares it is full of horrors; and the fact that the poet translated so large a work, is a proof of the interest which was felt on the subject in this country. Down to 1761, there was a relaxation in the violence. Though the laws of persecution were in full and unaltered force, yet the breach of them was, to a considerable extent, connived at by the civil authorities. The severity of the proceedings, especially in connection with Protestant baptisms and marriages, from 1751 to 1753, seems to have driven such multitudes from the country, that the Court became alarmed, and were glad to permit something like an intermission. This, however, was short-lived. The rest was but a breathing time. In less than ten years these persecuting measures were revived with great severity. The author of a pamphlet, entitled "The Very Humble and Respectful Prayer of the Protestants of Languedoc to the King," speaking of them, says, "It is not the cause of one, but of more than twelve thousand families in
the diocese of Nismes, and more than eighty thousand in the province of Languedoc, who implore justice from the king." These numbers indicate a Protestant population, in two districts alone, of nearly five hundred thousand; showing that the Protestants were still a large and respectable body. Shortly after, in the account of the Protestant marriages of France from the work of Walch, it is stated, that a suit in the Presidial Court at Nismes involved the fate of six hundred thousand married persons, and of three and a half millions of children. Thus completely did Popory in this case fail to exterminate the objects of its hatred and persecution; but how dreadful, that the domestic comfort and happiness of so large a body of men should still be at the mercy of enemies, whom eighty years of cruelty could not appease!
Protestant marriages, it will be recollected, after the Edict of the Revocation, and particularly after the Declaration of 1724, were rigorously forbidden, except upon terms which no consistent Protestant could agree to. In short, they were made Popish ceremonies, and means of educating the young for the Church of Rome. The penalty, however, of disregarding these persecuting decrees was very serious. The conjugal relationship was pronounced concubinage. The children were illegitimatized, and declared incapable of inheriting the property of their parents. Still did the poor Protestants continue to marry according to their own forms. From now having no churches in which to solemnize them, and from their being therefore conducted in the open fields, they were called marriages of the desert. Through few instruments of oppression did their enemies more grievously wound them. If Roman Catholics wished to exclude the children of a Protestant marriage from an inheritance, that the property might come to themselves as next heirs, or if there were any disagreement in a Protestant family, and either of the parties wished a separation, nothing more was necessary than to dispute the validity of the marriage, and a door was opened at once to avaricious cruelty and the worst forms of licentious profligacy. Where the parties were of considerable standing in society, and the consequences depending on the suit important, these cases were tried before the appropriate civil court; and, in the providence of God, such public discussions of the most heart-rending cases, were the very means of checking the progress of persecution, and of creating a relaxation, if not a reaction, in behalf of the