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litudes of the waters, a witness and a testimony to all true Scotchmen of the intrepid virtue of their pious forefathers.
"The tale which I intend to tell you relates to the Bass Isle, towards which we are now steering; and it has been recalled to my remembrance by the sight of North Berwick Law, at the bottom of which, in the church-yard of the town, is the tomb of John Blackader, the martyr, a man whom power could not daunt, nor suffering subdue; nor the pains and infirmities of sickness impair the invincible firmness of his holy integrity. In this backsliding age, it is a proud thing for Scotland to have witnessed the late breaking forth of the good old spirit; for when the GREAT UNKNOWN, as some call him, put out his tale of Old Mortality, true Presbyterians conceived that he had laid an irreverent hand on the ark of our great national cause, the Covenant; and, animated by the spirit of ancient zeal, immediately began to repair the tombs of the martyrs in almost every place where they had fallen into decay. Mr Blackader's has
been repaired ;* and it is with exultation I state, that, among the schoolboys of my native town, a little subscription has restored two similar monuments, that were, till the publication of "The Tales of My Landlord," "With nettles skirted, and with moss o'ergrown."
"The martyr of whom I shall now give you some account, was by birth a gentleman, even a baronet, though he never took up the title. His greatgrandfather, Sir Robert Pont, by the mother's side, was minister of St Cuthbert's church, and also a Lord of Session. In 1595, he was Moderator of the General Assembly. This inheritance of religion and honour gave elevation to the character and sentiments of young Blackader, who, in 1653, was ordained to the ministry, and presented to the parish of Troqueer, in Galloway. Here, for nine years, he proved himself an able and vigilant pastor, and was among the first who resisted the violation of the Presbyterian worship. Supported by other manly champions of the testimony,† he bravely
*It is uncertain by whom the tombs of the martyrs were raised; but it deserves to be particularly recorded, to the honour of the inhabitants of North Berwick, that Mr Blackader's was repaired and the epitaph renewed by subscription. The epitaph deserves a place in our work, not merely on account of the feeling by which it was dictated, but as a fine specimen of that grave and venerable simplicity which is one of the historical characteristics of that time.
Blest John, for Jesus' sake, in Patmos bound,
Even so, blest Jesus, come-come, Lord-Amen.
+ Among these were Mr Francis Irvine of Kirkmahoe, afterwards a fellow-prisoner in the Bass; John Campbell of Torthorwald; William Hay of Holywood; Robert Archibald of Dunscore; John Welch of Irongray, and Gabriel Semple of Kirkpatrick.
threatened, in the Synod of Dumfries, to depose as enemies to the national religion, whoever among them should dare to comply with the new ceremonies, or to take that oath of supremacy which an unprincipled court was then attempting to force upon the people.* For this he incurred the penalties proclaimed in the order for the persecution, issued at Glasgow in October, 1662, and a party of the Guards were sent from Dumfries to seize him. He, however, escaped; but his wife and young children were rudely treated by the soldiery, and driven from the Manse, without knowing where to find shelter or protection, save only in the goodness of Providence.
"The conduct of the people, during those outrages, was singularly exemplary. They often in bands met the clergymen, whom laxer notions of the Presbyterian forms induced to accept of livings so coercively made vacant, and implored them with tears, not to profane the worship of God by entering where they were forbid den guests. And when they beheld their faithful pastors dragged away like felons by the blasphemous gangs of Claverhouse and Lauderdale, they cheered them with blessings as they passed, and prayed often on their knees for that retribution on the Persecutor, that has since been showered down upon his line, till not one of the race has been spared any longer to defile the face of the earth.
"After the expulsion from his parish, Mr Blackader took up his abode in Craigdarroch, where, being without the bounds of his own presbytery, he
was suffered for about three years to remain unmolested.
"It was a practice among the ejected ministers to preach and baptize in the neighbourhood where chance had fixed their uncertain abode, and this was done, not in contempt of authority, but in commiseration of the necessities of the people, who turned with aversion from the prelatic plague, that, like the frogs of Egypt, afflicted the land. Many of the intruders were no doubt weak persons, of a respectable moral character, but they were "mostly young men from the northern shires, raw, and without any stock of reading or gifts, who, having passed a year or two of philosophy at the College, came southward, greedily gaping. after the vacant benefices." The tradesmen assailed their logic with stubborn arguments, while the laxer of the gentry" staggered their faith with strong drink. To serve as an excuse for not attending "the dreigh work of sic feckless tykes," the church-bell was, in some places, deprived of its tongue. Its weekly admonition was commonly considered as the voice of the oppressor bragging of his power. The consequence of all which was, a neglect of holy ordinances, and a growth of irreligion, that duty and feeling alike commanded the true ministers to oppose, for the people prepared at all hazards to attend them. Military force was, in consequence, let loose, and the sincere worship of God was proclaimed traitorous rebellion against the King."
"At the instance of the Bishop of Galloway, information was lodged against Mr Blackader, as a person guilty
Durham, two staunch Conventiclers; William M'George of Carlaverock; Hugh Henderson, and George Campbell, both of Dumfries. Mr Campbell survived the Revolution, became Professor of Divinity in the University of Edinburgh, and founder of the Theological Library. He was contemporary with Principal Gilbert Rule. An anecdote is told of the indefatigable application and intimate friendship of these two great luminaries. Their lodgings were at a little distance from each other, with windows opposite. Dr Rule used to sit late at his studies, and Professor Campbell to rise early; so that his candle was often lighted before the Doctor's lucubrations were ended. The one went commonly by the name of the Evening Star, and the other of the Morning Star. When the news of the Principal's death was brought to Mr Campbell, he observed, with much emotion, that "since the evening star had gone down, the morning star would soon disappear!"
*The first opposition to the settlement of Curates was at Irongray, in Dumfries Presbytery. The Curate not finding peaceable access at first, returned with an armed force. None ventured to appear openly save women, and those of the lower sort. A troop of these, headed by one Margaret Smith, opposed a party of soldiers that were guarding the Curate, and fairly beat them off with stones. Margaret was apprehended, brought to Edinburgh, and sentenced to be banished to Barbadoes. But, when before the Council, she told her tale with so much simplicity that they commuted the sentence.
of" leavening the people with disaffeetion, and alienating the hearts of the lieges from his Majesty's Government"—and by proclamation of Council, he, with others of his late co-presbyters, was accused of unlawfully convocating the subjects in fields and private houses every Sabbath, where they were in the custom of baptizing the children of disloyal persons-Romance is beggared when history records the follies of statesmen.
"Sir James Turner, who commanded the forces, at that time in Dumfriesshire-a ferocious drunkard, and worthy compeer of "the bloody Claverhouse" on receiving information against Blackader, sent a detachment to arrest him; but he had previously departed with his wife to Edinburgh. In searching the house for him, the soldiers behaved with a brutality grateful to the demon whom their superiors served. They compelled one of the children to hold the candle while they stabbed the beds in which they supposed his parents were concealed. Another, a mere infant, was so horrorstruck by their violence, that he ran naked into the darkness of the night, and was found afterwards at a great distance, in a state of distraction.
"From this period the martyr led a wandering and homeless life; his children were dispersed, and forced to implore shelter wherever charity was brave enough to hazard the penalties of the act against Reset and Converse with the ejected ministers. But oppression only hardened the courageous spirit of the conscientious. Mr Blackader resolutely waged the holy war, and the hill of Beath, in the parish of Dunfermline, was often his pulpit.
"On one occasion when, together with other undaunted antagonists of misgovernment, the martyr was preaching there, a lieutenant of militia, stationed in the neighbourhood, came riding to the spot, and endeavoured with threats and furious gestures to disperse the Covenanters. It was customary for the men who attended those meetings to come armed. One of them having remonstrated in vain with the officer, took his horse coolly by the bridle, and pulling out his pistol, told him if he did not desist from his turbulence, he would blow out his brains, and held him in that state till the sermon was finished. But it is not for me in this hasty sketch to enter into
all the particulars of the sufferings of those who have made yonder rock that hallowed monument of Scottish zeal and piety, which it ought ever to be considered.
"Some time after the incident at the hill of Beath, Mr Blackader was seized and sent a prisoner to the Bass, where the hardships he suffered soon destroyed his health. Some minds are so constituted and local, that the privations of confinement are scarcely felt as an evil; but to a man of such an animated temperament as this zealous martyr, the mere imagination of being fastened to a spot, and denied the exercise of his faculties and communion with his kind, was of itself more afflicting than the damp dungeon or the loathsome meal, and the bitter water. It is indeed difficult to picture a more impressive spectacle of solitary misery than that of a venerable old man, sitting alone for hours on the bleak seabeat rocks, like Prometheus in his chains, gnawed by grief for the woes and sorrows that were laying waste his native land, and the horror and poverty that pursued his own defenceless family.
"After being detained some time on the Bass, his health became so infirm, that upon a representation to the conclave of persecutors, he was allowed, on giving security, to be removed to Haddington, where he soon escaped from all the tyranny of this worldand in ascending to heaven, left the mantle of his zeal a retributive legacy with his family, making them instruments to avenge the sufferings of their country, by essentially contributing to the expulsion of the heartless and licentious Stewarts. His eldest son, William, was employed as a confidential agent by some of the deposed clergy, in secret embassies to their exiled bre thren in Holland, who were then engaged in promoting the Revolution, and on these dangerous expeditions he frequently went between the two countries. In one of them he was seized on his landing at Leith, and carried before the Duke of York, who was then in Scotland. His sister was among the crowd who followed him to the examination before his Royal Highness, but she was not permitted to approach her brother near enough to speak to him. She observed him, however, looking at her with an expressive stedfastness, and holding up his hat as
to draw her attention particularly to Inspired with the idea that this was e mysterious symbol of some impornt secret, she immediately quitted e Court and returned to Edinburgh, here, on searching his lodgings, she und a hat, with papers concealed in e lining, of such a nature, that had ey been discovered, they might have oved fatal evidence against himself well as others. She instantly, therere, destroyed them, and by this well
timed resolution anticipated the fearful consequences; for a party came to the house an hour after to search for papers, and finding nothing suspicious, returned with such a favourable report to the Duke, that her brother was immediately liberated; and when the Revolution afterwards took place, he was appointed, chiefly on account of the services he had performed in those secret missions, physician to King William."
Here the austere young man paused in his story, and as we were now alongside the Bass, he took off his hat with great solemnity, as is done at burials when e respected dead is laid in the grave; and we were all so affected thereat, that e did the same in like manner, and passed along in silence, nothing being ard but the sound of the paddles and the mournful cawing of the sea-birds, hich spread far and wide over the waters, like the voices of antiquity that adonish the children of remote times to reverence the memory of all departed orthies. In short, such was the effect of the Covenanter's story, and his earest way of telling it, that we were all in a solemn mood till we reached the ier of Leith; even the gay and gallant Odontist, forgetful of all his wonted llity, walked slowly up and down the deck, whistling" The Flowers of the orest," in a most pathetic and melancholy manner.
MY DEAR SIR,
WHIGS OF THE COVENANT.
TO CHRISTOPHER NORTH, ESQ.
I inclose a letter, which came to me some time ago, addressed to Mr Blackood's care. The merits of the composition, and the interest of the topic, enitle it to a place in your Magazine.
I am not aware, at this moment, that any other writer has so distinctly escribed the politico-moral state of the Scottish people, as this "Whig of the Covenant." The view which he opens of the subject, deserves the serious onsideration of some of your correspondents. Nothing, indeed, can be more pposite than the Presbyterian and Political Whigs-the Whigs of the counry, and those of the town, of the Covenant, and of the Parliament House. The former regard the state of religious sentiment, as the chief and main ob→ ect of their solicitude; the latter have not been uniformly distinguished for ny particular respect towards those hallowed prejudices and affections which nter so deeply into the genuine Scottish character; on the contrary, their taents and speculations have been, in a great measure, entirely devoted to secuar interests. But it is less with respect to the difference between them, than with regard to the important fact that the Scottish people, in general, are not at this time politicians, that I would solicit your attention. Because the inference must necessarily be, if the fact be as it is stated, and I do believe it is, that the Political Whigs form a very small body indeed in Scotland, and they, perhaps, derive no inconsiderable portion of their public consequence from identifying themselves with that great and grave portion of the nation, whose opinions, from the period of the Revolution, have ever been treated with attention and respect by the government and the legislature; which opinions are in no essential principle in unison with those of the Whigs of the New School.
That there are Presbyterian Whigs who are also Political Whigs, cannot be questioned. But such characters are only to be found in the towns, and in
public stations or eminent professions. I do not, however, mean to contend, because I am no politician, that there is any inconsistency in the bifold union in the same bosom of principles which have no common affinity, such as those which have for their object the conservation of sacred institutions as they exist, and those which involve the necessity of change; for I conceive the difference between the principles of the Presbyterian and Folitical Whigs, may be so described. The people of Scotland, as far as the national institutions are concerned, take little interest in public affairs. A few political fanatics and theorists in the manufacturing districts, may, now and then, avail themselves of those occasional periods of distress and privation to which the manufacturers, from the fluctuating nature of trade, are liable, to excite symptoms of commotion and alarm; but it is of great importance to know, that the nation, in ge neral, is still sound and true; that with the frame of their church and state the people are contented, and that their only complaint, where complaint exists, is with respect to the conduct of individuals conspicuous either in the district or in the kingdom. This fact, and every man free from the political typhus of the towns, may easily ascertain its truth and extent-is the more curious and impressive, as shewing the depths and strength of the national feelings; for the social improvements of Scotland, during the last hundred years, have been more striking than those of any other kingdom in Europe; and yet, although it is in some sort the nature of social improvements to engender a contempt for old usages and institutions, the people of Scotland hold theirs in greater veneration than perhaps any other people; and there exists at the present moment, not only a general taste for the preservation of the national customs and antiquities, but even a growing fashion to revive many peculiarities that had either been proscribed or become obsolete. But I am forgetting myself, and the object of addressing you, which was simply to recommend to your notice the inclosed letter.
TO THE AUTHOR OF annals of the PARISH OF DALMAILING," &c.
SIR, I HAVE been an elder of the Established Church for nearly thirty years; and, with abundant opportunities of observation and leisure, I have often employed my fancy in delineations of parish histories, in the way you have done; but indolence, and the want of confidence in myself, kept the pen motionless, and the paper in its primitive whiteness and purity. You have put an end, I fear, to all my nascent projects in this way, but excited my wish to furnish you with such hints as, peradventure, may give you some aid in your parochial visitations. It is of great importance-indeed it is indispensible, to know the secret and prevailing principles that move the great body of a nation or a parish, and to distinguish them from the professed or avowed motives by which the lead
ers and retainers of opposing parties pretend to be guided. In the presch day, you have two grand divisions of parties, who thrust themselves for ward to public view, and call upon the people to follow them implicitly, as leaders, whose perfectibility, they say, may be wholly trusted, and who represent their opponents as stupid, or base, or wicked. One of these parties put on the grave and solemn ian piety, and you might fear that aspect, or the sheep's clothing of Christ their ribs would all be fractured by the inward swellings of their holy zeal. Another party exhibit them selves in all the golden and gay dra pery of honour, purified to as great fineness as the sharpest instruments from the cutler's shop, for dividing the flesh of diseased or wounded limbs. But there is a third party,