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kingdom was pillaged and distracted in favour of episcopacy.
About this time Warriston was delivered up by the French king, and being brought to Edinburgh, was tried, condemned, and executed for his treasonable conduct during the late troubles,
When we look into the religious composition of the Scottish clergy of every denomination from the reformation to the revolution, it would be difficult to meet in history any set of ecclesiastics of any persuasion so totally void of learning as they were. But their ignorance was compensated by their zeal against p pery, and in general by their exemplary lives. The new incumbents, who succeeded the ejected presbyterian clergy, generally attended the military in their most oppressive exploits, displaying great avarice, united with gross immorality.
The persecuted presbyterians at last rose in open rebellion. They provided themselves with arms, in order to protect their conventicles, and favourite field-preachers; and at Dalry, in Galloway, they aitacked and defeated a party of soldiers. Immediately the whole district was in a flame. The insurgents hastened to Dumfries, where they surprized and made prisoner Turner, whose party was too small to resist. Flushed with this first success, they repaired to Ayr, from whence, still increasing in number, they advanced to Edinburgh. On the Pentland hills they were met by the king's forces, under Dalziel. The rebels had neither ammunition, nor sufficient armour of any sort. They were routed with consi. derable slaughter at the first onset. Many .to whom the military had given quarter, were after
wards tried and executed: and all, directly orín directly, concerned in the insurrection, were pursued with the most unrelenting severity. The executions were so numerous and so atrocious, that the hangmen themselves relented, and refused to perform their office.
At length: the king, shocked at the continuance of these barbarities, gave orders that no more blood should be split; he commanded the furious prelate Sharp to contine himself to his own diocese, and dismissed the earl of Rothes from his offices of high commissioner and treasurer.
The government all of a sudden assumed a mild complexion. The gentle Leightoun, bishop of Dunkeld, was to have the chief direction of ecclesiastic affairs; the earl of Tweedale and sir. Robert Murray, both friends of Lauderdale, that of the state.
The first question that came before the new administration was, how the peace of Scotland was to be preserved ?: The king had put his council under no restraint, as to the measures they should think proper to adopt. The commissioners of the treasury proposed that a bond of peace should be tendered to all who were suspected: by this they were to give security, or their personal bond and oath, that they should not disturb the peace. After some difficulty, this conciliating plan was approved cf. by a majority of the council, and received the royal sanction.
Some officers, who had been guilty of arbitrary acts of cruelty, were discharged, and the two archbishops were admonished to enforce the laws against the papists ; an indirect reproof for theit late severities against the presbyterians. Yielding
farther to the obstinaey of the latter, the government granted them a formal indulgence, and even restored a number of their minister's to vacant parishes, with a yearly allowance to such as should live peaceably.
Conciliatory measures, unfortunately for mankind, are generally offered too late. The minds of the covenanters were now too much exasperated to accept of any terins: every concession encouraged them to look for more. The bond of peace was treated as an oppression; the episcopal clergymen were often obliged for personal safety to abandon their charges to the intrusion of presbyterians : in some places, sums of money were given to procure their dismission. In short, so great was the enthusiasm among the covenanters, that one of their preachers attempted to assassinate archbishop Sharp, by firing a pistol into his carriage.
Indignant at such incurable obstinacy and faDaticism, Lauderdale renounced once more all moderation, and determined against the advice of his friends, sir Robert Murray and the earl of Tweedale, to subdue by violent means the untractable recusants.
With this view he persuaded Charles to take Sharp and the prelates again into favour; he new inodelled the militia, and cantoned them in the presbyterian districts, in order to suppress their conventicles ; and notwithstanding the expence of a numerous standing army, he contrived, by a frugal administration, to make an annual saving of ten thousand pounds.
Sir Robert Murray becoming an object of jea1usy to Lauderdale, he was recalled, and Lau
derdale himself came down to open the parliament, which he did with the magnificence of a prince.
It was not an easy matter to satisfy the con. terding parties at this period. and we find Lauderdale blamed for his proceedings by both episcopalians and presbyterians. The indulgence granted to non-conformists offended the former, the suppression of conventicles disgusted the lat. ter. Lauderdale proposed to pass an act, asserting the king's supremacy in all ecclesiastical cases, and over all persons.
Although this act was contradictory to the sentiments of all parties, it passed without a dissenting voice, and the parliament declared, " that the king and his successors may settle, enact, and emit such constitutions, ancient church governments, &c. as they in their royal wisdom shall think fit."
As to the militia or standing army, it was determined that it should be kept up, and that orders should be transmitted to it from the councilboard, without mention of the king.
Many reflections have been thrown out against tliese two acts: the necessity of the times seemns, however, to justify them. Had the king no possessed the power of indulging the refractory clergy, much more bloodshed might have ensued, and the bishops acted both illiberally and inconsistently in denying that power, after har iry taken the oath of supremacy. Neither can the militia act be justly condemned, when we L'elisider that the malcontents in England and in Scerland were very numerous, and could on
hert in check by a military disposcable force
besides that the nature of a militia does not admit of its being employed for arbitrary and oppressive purposes.
With a mixture of rigour and lenity, Lauderdale continued for some time to administer the public affairs without giving satisfaction to any party, yet without for a long time losing the fayour of his sovereign. Charles thought, perhaps with justice, that his chief crime lay in advancing the royal prerogative, the most meritorious ser, vice he could perform to his crown and person.
Sharpe managed the concerns of the church like a pope. His brother bishops demanded a national synod, which he not only prevented, but caused one of his colleagues to be censured for going to London, and petitioning for a council without the consent of his superiors. Mitchel, who had made the attempt on the life of the archbishop, was at length discovered and put to the torture: but by bearing it with astonishing fortitude, he stood acquitted by the laws. A new attempt was made to induce him to confess, a promise of pardon being made to him. llis confession was no sooner obtained, than he was condemned and executed at the solicitation of the prelate, notwithstanding the promises inade to the contrary.
This execution excited a general indignation against Sharpe, and from that day he was devoted to destruction. It was not long before he encountered in his own diocese by nine assassins, some of them gentlemen of property. They hastened to surround his coach, dismounted and disarmed his servants, then discharged their carabines into the carriage, without making any dan