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fanaticks than to repel them, and were inclined rather Chapter to court their friendship than to punish their rebellion. All complaints against Lauderdale were dismissed ; his power confirmed ; and an act of indemnity, which had been procured at Monmouth's intercession, was so clogged with exceptions, as to be of little use to any but to the agents of tyranny. Several persons, who were neither directly, nor indirectly concerned in the murder of the Archbishop, were executed as an expiation for that offence ;* but many more were obliged to compound for their lives, by submitting to the most rapacious extortion, which at this particular period, seems to have been the engine of oppression most in fashion, and which was extended, not only to those who had been in any way concerned in the insurrection, but to those who had neglected to attend the standard of the King, when displayed against what was styled, in the usual insulting language of tyrants, a most unnatural rebellion.
The quiet produced by such means, was, as might be More severe expected, of no long duration. Enthusiasm was increased by persecution, and the fanatick preachers found no difficulty in persuading their flocks, to throw off all allegiance to a government which afforded them no protection. The King was declared to be an apostate
* Laing, IV. 164. Woodrow, II. 87.90.
CHAPTER from the Covenant, a tyrant, and an usurper ; and
Cargill, one of the most enthusiastick among the preachers, pronounced a formal sentence of excommunication against him, his brother the Duke of York, and others, their ministers and abettors. This outrage upon majesty, together with an insurrection, contemptible in point of numbers and strength, in which Cameron, another field-preacher, had been killed, furnished a pretence which was by no means neglected, for new cruelties, and executions; but neither death nor torture were sufficient to subdue the minds of Cargill, and his intrepid followers. They all gloried in their sufferings; nor could the meanest of them be brought to purchase their lives by a retractation of their principles, or even by any expression that might be construed into an approbation of their persecutors. The effect of this heroick constancy upon the minds of their oppressors, was to persuade them not to lessen the numbers of executions, but to render them more private ;* whereby they exposed the true character of their government, which was not severity, but violence, not justice, but vengeance: for, example being the only legitimate end of punishment, where that is likely to encourage, rather than to deter, (as the government in these instances seems to have apprehended,) and consequently to prove more pernicious than salutary, every punishment inflicted by
* Woodrow, II. 189.
the magistrate is cruelty ; every execution, murder. The rage of punishment did not stop even here; but questions were put to persons, and in many instances to persons under torture, who had not been proved to have been in any of the insurrections, whether they considered the Archbishop's assassination as murder, the rising at Bothwell Bridge rebellion, and Charles a lawful King. The refusal to answer these questions, or the answering of them in an unsatisfactory manner, was deemed a proof of guilt, and immediate execution ensued.
These last proceedings had taken place while James Act of Succes
sion and Test. himself had the government in his hands, and under his immediate directions. Not long after, and when the Exclusionists in England were supposed to beentirely defeated, was passed, (James being the King's commissioner,) the famous Bill of Succession, declaring that no difference of religion, nor any statute or law grounded upon such, or any other pretence, could defeat the hereditary right of the heir to the crown, and that to propose any limitation upon the future administration of such heir, was high treason. But the Protestant religion was to be secured ; for those who were most obsequious to the Court, and the most willing and forward instruments of its tyranny, were, nevertheless, zealous Protestants. A Test was therefore framed for this purpose, which was
CHAPTER imposed upon
all persons éxercising any civil or military functions whatever, the royal family alone excepted; but to the declaration of adherence to the Protestant religion, was added a recognition of the King's supremacy in ecclesiastical matters, and a complete renunciation in civil concerns, of every right belonging to a free subject. An adherence to the Protestant religion, according to the confession of it referred to in the test, seemed to some inconsistent with the acknowledgment of the King's supremacy, and that clause of the oath which related to civil matters, inasmuch as it declared against endeavouring at any alteration in the Church or Staté, seemed incompatible with the duties of a counsellor or a member of parliament. Upon these grounds the Earl of Argyle, in taking the oath, thought fit to declare as follows:
Argyle condemned for his explanation of the Test,
“ I have considered the test, and I am very desirous " to give obedience as far as I can. I am confident the « Parliament never intended to impose contradictory “ oaths; therefore I think no man can explain it but “ for himself. Accordingly I take it, as far as it is con
sistent with itself, and the Protestant religion. And I “ do declare, that I mean not to bind up myself in my “ station, and in a lawful way, to wish and endeavour
any alteration I think to the advantage of the Church “ or State, not repugnant to the Protestant Religion
" and my loyalty. And this I understand as a part of CHAPTER “ the oath.”-And for this declaration, though unnoticed at the time, he was in a few days afterwards committed, and shortly after sentenced to die.* Nor was the test applied only to those for whom it had been originally instituted, but by being offered to those numerous classes of people who were within the reach of the late severe criminal laws, as an alternative for death or confiscation, it might fairly be said to be imposed upon the greater part of the country.
Not long after these transactions, James took his finał leave of the government, and in his parting speech recommended, in the strongest terms, the support of the church. This gracious expression, the sincerity of which seemed to be evinced by his conduct to the conventiclers, and the severity with which he had enforced the test, obtained him a testimonial from the Bishops of his affection to their Protestant church; a testimonial, to which, upon the principle, that they are the best friends to the church, who are most willing to persecute such
* The disgusting ease with which James, (in his Memoirs, Macpherson's State Papers, I. 123) speaks of Argyle's case, his pretence, that he put his life in jeopardy only with a view to seize his property, seem to destroy all notions of this Prince's having had any honour or conscience ; nor after this, can we give much credit to the declaration, that Argyle's life was not aimed at. Note from Mr. Fox's CommonPlace Book.