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to be entirely defeated, was passed, (James being CHAPTER 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 imposed upon all persons exercising 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 State, seemed incompatible with the duties of a
tion of the Test.
CHAPTER counsellor or a member of parliament. Upon these
grounds the Earl of Argyle, in taking the oath,
thought fit to declare as follows: Argyle con
I have considered the test, and I am very his explana- 66 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 consistent with itself, and the Pro
testant 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 re
pugnant to the Protestant Religion and my loyalty. And this I understand as a part of 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 disgusting ease with which James, (in his Memoirs, Macpherson's State Papers, I. 123) speaks of Argyle's case, prelence, 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. Nole from Mr. Fox's Common-Place Book.
the reach of the late severe criminal laws, as an alter- CHAPTER native 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 final 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 as dissent from it, he was, notwithstanding his own non-conformity, most amply entitled. *
Queensberry's administration ensued, in which Queensberthe maxims that had guided his predecessors were fious. so far from being relinquished, that they were pursued, if possible, with greater steadiness and activity. Lawrie of Blackwood was condemned for having holden intercourse with a rebel, whose name was not to be found in any of the lists of the intercommuned or proscribed; and a proclamation was issued, threatening all who were in like circumstances with a similar fate. The intercourse with rebels having
Declaration of the Cameronians.
CHAPTER been in great parts of the kingdom promiscuous and
universal, more than twenty thousand persons were objects of this menace.* Fines and extortions of all kinds were employed to enrich the publick treasury, to which, therefore, the multiplication of crimes became a fruitful source of revenue; and lest it should not be sufficiently so, husbands were made answerable, (and that too with a retrospect,) for the absence of their wives from church; a circumstance which the Presbyterian women's aversion to the episcopal form of worship, had rendered very general.
This system of government, and especially the rigour with which those concerned in the late insurrections, the excommunication of the King, or the other outrages complained of, were pursued and hunted, sometimes by blood-hounds, sometimes by soldiers almost equally savage, and afterwards shot like wild beasts, I drove some of those sectaries who were styled Cameronians, and other proscribed persons, to measures of absolute desperation. They made a declaration, which they caused to be affixed to different churches, importing, that they would use the law of retaliation, and “ we will,” said they,
punish as enemies to God, and to the covenant, such persons as shall make it their work to imbrue their
* Burnet. Laing, 132.
+ Id, 140.
* Woodrow, II. 447. 449.
“ hands in our blood ; and chiefly, if they shall continue CHAPTER
obstinately, and with habitual malice to proceed against ' us;" with more to the like effect.* Upon such an occasion, the interference of government became necessary. The government did indeed interfere, and by a vote of council, ordered, that whoever owned, or refused to disown, the Declaration on oath, should be put to death, in the presence of two witnesses, though unarmed when taken. The execu- Massacre of tion of this massacre, in the twelve counties which were principally concerned, was committed to the military, and exceeded, if possible, the order itself. The disowning the Declaration was required to be in a particular form prescribed. Women, obstinate in their fanaticism, lest female blood should be a stain upon the swords of soldiers engaged in this honourable employment, were drowned. The habitations, as well of those who had fled to save themselves, as of those who suffered, were burnt and destroyed. Such members of the families of the delinquents as were above twelve years old, were imprisoned for the purpose of being afterwards transported. The brutality of the soldiers was such as might be expected from an army let loose from all restraint, and employed to execute
* Woodrow, II. Append. 137.