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him learn by the example of the greatest and wisest of mankind generally to be humble minded, and low in spirit; let him remember that the Bible, as an object of reverence to his countrymen generally for centuries long past, is not a fit subject for mockery for one to whom it has clearly hitherto been a sealed book; and he may then employ his talents, of which he is by no means entirely destitute, to better purpose than in writing a book which will mislead the ignorant, disgust the wise, and to ali whose opinion is worth having, render its author an object partly of pity and partly of scorn.
Art. XIII.- The Letters and Journals of Robert Baillie, from the
Author's Manuscripts. By David LAING, Esq. Vol. III. Ogle,
Edinburgh. In our former notice of Baillie's Letters and Journals, we mentioned that the second volume closed with his return to Scotland, after having with his colleagues “wrestled through the whole confession." It may be satisfactory if we repeat ourselves so far as to state that these relics extend in nearly an unbroken series, from January 1637, to May 1662. The earlier ones relate to the mad intolerance by which it was sought to impose the ritual of the English church upon the Scotch, and exhibit with much accuracy and force the strong feelings of indignation and religious zeal which the attempt awakened. They then detail the origin, the changing fortunes, and the tragical incidents of the great civil war which devastated the kingdom; interspersed with accounts of the trial of the Earl of Stafford, the proceedings of the General Assemblies of the church, and of the Westminster Assembly of divines ; and they carry us to the period when the dominant power of Cromwell and his sectarian forces, aided by the infatuated conduct of the English monarch, prevented that uniformity of religion in doctrine and church government, to the accomplishment of which both nations were deeply pledged by the solemn league and covenant. From this period to the Restoration, Baillie's letters relate chiefly to the affairs of his church, and throw considerable light on the monarchical predilections of its members, as well as on the origin of the two parties into which they became divided. The larger portion of his letters were addressed to his relative, Mr. W. Spang, a minister of the Scotch kirk, and were written with all the unrestrained fulness by which the correspondence of persons, who have entire confidence in each other, and are deeply interested in the matters about which they write, is usually characterised.
The position which Baillie occupied as one of the chaplains of the Scotch army which entered England, in opposition to Charles I., and the mission on which he was subsequently sent to London, to
any tearmes. This untymous excess of friendship hes ruined that unhappie Prince; for the better partie, finding the conclusion of the King's comeing to Scotland, and thereby their own present ruin, and ruin of the whole, caused the makeing the Malignants masters of Church and State, the drawing the whole force of England upon Scotland for their perjurous violation of their Covenant, they resolved by all means to crosse that designe.
Again, in July, on the news arriving of the king being seized by the silly rascalls,” viz. the army, evidence is afforded of the writer's growing fears.
These matters of England are so extremely desperate, that now twyse they have made me sick: except God arise, all is gone there. The imprudence and cowardice of the better part of the City and Parliament, which was triple or sextuple the greater, has permitted a company of silly rascalles, which call themselves yet no more than fourteen thousand horse and foot, to make themselves masters of the King, and Parliament, and City, and by them of all England ; so that now that disgraced Parliament is but a committee to act all at their pleasure, and the City is ready to fright the Parliament, at every first or second boast from the army. No humane hope remaines but in the King's unparallelled wilfulness, and the Armie's unmeasurable pride.
It will be a disappointment to many readers that there are considerable breaks and intervals in these letters and journals; so as to leave us as much in the dark as before with regard to the king and national contemporaneous events; Baillie after his return to Scotland, confining himself almost exclusively to such affairs as were connected in some shape with the kirk. At the same time, how. ever, we obtain many vivid glimpses of public characters, of the troubles and strife of parties, and of the authoritative discipline exercised by the clergy. The following particulars are illustrative in
The first bikering was for our Declaration ; when, contrarie to their minds, we had past it, they were earnest it might not be published; but we had given order, as ever had been our custoume, to print it, even before we had communicate it to the Parliament. They had diverse purposes, either by perswasion or violence, to have keept it in ;' but we let it goe out on Monday, and ordained it to be read on Sunday thereafter in all the Kirks of Edinburgh, and about. That which hastened it out was our irritation by the Thesaurer's challenge of Argyle on the Monday morning; ane unhappie accident, that was ready to have kindled the fire amongst us all, had not the Lord prevented it. Argyle's enemies had of a long tyme burdened him among many slanders, with that of cowardice and cullionrie. On the Fryday afternoon in Parliament, discoursing merrilie with the Thesaurer, he said, He heard of a meeting whereat the Thesaurer had been the other night. Speaking a little of this purpose, he apprehended that the Thesaurer had said not only that the best men of the kingdom had been at that meeting, but also that himselfe was a better man than he. Upon
this, Argyle goes out of the house in anger, and calls for Major Innes, who had sitten at both their feet, and heard their discourse, to know if he had heard the Thesaurer say, that himselfe was a better man than Argyle. Innes did not avow the words ; but being sent to the Thesaurer froin Argyle, to try if he had spoken so, he said, He would not make accompt to Argyle what he said ; but whatever it was, he would make it good with his sword. Upon this Argyle desired him to appoint tyme and piace; and on the Sunday, a public fast-day, the Thesaurer sent back word, after both sermons, that on Musleburgh Links, at seven o'clock to-morrow morning, be should meet him, and bring a nobleman for a second. Innes, albeit no great friend to Argyle, not only offered himselfe to Argyle for a second, but told him he would resent it as a wrong if he were not admitted; so Argyle with no flesh but Innes, the Thesaurer and Lanerick, his second, did meet. Incontinent all were missed, and many run out to all quarters to search them: and, by God's providence, before they began their pley, some fell on them, and made them part without a stroke. The counsell that night, with much adoe, gott them to a professed coldryfe frindship. We had resolved in the Commission of the Church to have made both before the congregetion acknowledge their fault; so much the more, as Sinclare and David Bedley, Eglintonne and Glencame, some days before ; and some days after, Kenmure and Cranstone, had been on the like engagements; but other matters put that out of our heads.
We have already seen that Baillie cherished no friendly feelings towards Cromwell's troops. He called them by many bad names, such as “serpents," “ enemies to God and man," and such like hard words. But the second Scotch army sent into England, and now in behalf of the king, were made to learn at Preston and Warrington, that the “silly rascals” had mettle in them, and were not so deficient in respect of tactics as the letter-writer would fain have continued to believe. At length, however, the king was put to death, and new hopes and fears began to agitate the minds of the presbyterians. Great things were expected on the accession of the second Charles ; but still all was to depend upon his willingness to join with the Scots, by subscribing the National Covenant. He thus expresses himself, soon after receiving the melancholy tidings to which we have just now referred:
To the great joy of all, in the midst of a very great and universal sorrow we proclaimed, on Monday last, the Prince King of Brittaine, France and Ireland. We have sent the bearer, (Sir J. Douglas,) a worthy gentleman, to signifie so much to his Majestie at the Hague. We purpose speedily to send an honourable Commission from all estates. The dangers and difficulties wherewith both his Majestie and all his Kingdomes at this time are involved, are exceeding great and many. The first necessare and prime one, (as all here without exception conceave) doth put his Majestie and his people both in a hopeful proceeding; and his Majestie's joining with us in the National Covenant, subscribed by his grandfather King James, and the Solemne League and Covenant, wherein the well affected of the three King
VOL. II. (1813.) No. iv.
domes are entered, and must live and die in, upon all hazards :- If his Majestie may be moved to joyne with us in this one point, he will have all Scotland readie to sacrifice their lives for his service :--If he refuse or shift this duety, his best and most usefull friends, both here and elsewhere, will be cast into inextricable labyrinths, we fear, for the ruine of us all.
Two commissioners were appointed to represent the kirk to the king at the Hague, and Baillie was selected as one of them. This is an account of their arrival, their interview with Charles, and sundry subjects of solicitude:
At night we came to the Hague, and spake with some friends, who were not many, here. On the Tuesday, the second afternoon, we went to the Court, and had a favourable reception. My Lord Cassillis did speak to his Majestie in name of the Parliament and Kingdome, and Mr. Robert Baillie in name of the Church. So farr as we could learn, what was spoken was taken in good part by all who heard. We then delyvered our letters to his Majestie. The rest of that day, and the following, was spent in visiting the Queen of Boheme, the Princess Royall, che Prince of Orange, the Princess Dowager, and the Estates Generall. The Commissioners of Parliament found it necessary to give in, as previous to their desyres, a paper, for removing of James Grahame from Court. His Majestie's answer, under his owne hand, was, “ That he desyred and expected all our propositions together, to which he hoped to give a satisfactorie answer." With this we were not content, bot pressed againe our desyre, the Commissioners of Parliament by ane other paper; and we also by one, second theirs, a copie whereof we send yow herewith. The King's second answer was an abyding in the first. We had all of us some discourse with his Majestie about the equity and necessity of that our desire; bot James Grahame hath so many and so powerful friends in the English Councill, that as yet we cannot gett the King to discountenance him. On the Saturday morning we delyvered to his Majestie the Nationall Covenant, the Solemne League and Covenant, the Directory, the Confession of Faith, the Catechise, the Propositions of Government, bound together in a booke so handsome as we could gett them. We spoke something on the matter, and desyred of his Majestie more frequent and private conferences; who shew his willingnesse, and promised to send to us to advertise of his fittest opportunities.
Again, and from a private letter :
As yet our fears are great of a sore storm to Scotland; yet yesternight I learned from a great person here, that our affaires, blessed be God, are not desperate. There is no Scotchman that is on the King's Council : the five or six English that are, Cottington, Culpepper, Hyde, Long, and some more, are divided. The most are of Prince Rupert's faction, who caresses Montrose, and presse mightily to have the King to Ireland : Culpepper and some bedchalmer-men, as Wilmot, Byron, Gerard, and the master of the horse, Peircie, are of the Queen's faction, and these are for the King's joyning with us; but all of them are much averse from the League and Covenant. The Prince of Orange, and by him all the nobles here, are for
the last; and by their means we are somewhat hopefull yet to cary his Majestie to our Covenant and the most of our desyres for religion ; bot I dare not promise so much; yet the greatest stick, I suspect, shall be our severe Acts of Parliament. It seems all here, even our best friends, will be peremptor for a greater mitigation than I fear shall be granted by yow here. It were verily a great pitty for the King: he is one of the most gentle, innocent, well-inclyned Princes, so far as yet appears, that lives in the world ; a trimme person, and of manlie carriage; understands prettie well; speaks not much : would God he were amongst us.
Baillie entertained highly favourable ideas of the young king's principles and docility. He talked of Charles's "meeke and equitable disposition,” and felt assured that “if God would send hiin among us, without his present counsellors," that he "might make as good a king as Britain saw these hundred years.” At length the Scots did get the monarch among them, and the Marquis of Montrose having been executed, and the presbyterian party carrying their measures with a high hand, prevailed on Charles to sign the Covenant, and all seemed to promise for the best in so far as Charles was personally concerned.
Here is the account of his coronation:
This day we have done that what I earnestly desyred and long expected, crowned our noble King with all the solemnities at Scoone, so peaceablie and magnificientlie as if no enemy had been among us. This is of God; for wit was Cromwell's purpose, which I thought easily he might have performed, to have marred by armes, that action, at least the solemnitie of it. The Remonstrants, with all their power, would have opposed it; others prolonged it so long as they were able : allwayes, blessed be God; it is this day celebrate with great joy and contentment to all honest-hearted men here. Mr. Douglass, from 2 Kings xi., Joash's coronation, had a very pertinent, wise, and good sermon. The King sware the Covenant, the League and Covenant, the Coronation Oath : when Argyle put on the Crown, Mr. Robert Douglass prayed weel ; when the Chancellour set him on the throne, he exhorted weel; when all were ended, he, with great earnestness, pressed sinceritie and constancie in the Covenant on the King, delateing at length King James's breach of the Covenant, persewed yet against the family, from Nehemiah v. 13, God's casting the King out of his lap, and the 34th of Jeremiah, many plagues on him if he doe not sincerely keep the oathes now taken : he closed all with a prayer and the 20th Psalm.
None of Baillie's letters on ecclesiastical matters are fuller of interest than those to, or concerning, James Sharpe, afterwards the archbishop of St. Andrews. The writer was slow to believe in the betrayal of his trust by that duplicit man, when sent on a special mission to London to represent the Scotch presbyterians; nor did Sharpe fail in his letters to dress his hypocrisy in the garb of great candour and kindness. The following is a specimen :