« ПредишнаНапред »
it's no likely he will when it's for the gude o' the house,) he may wait till Duncan Glen the auld drucken trooper, drives up the aitmeal to Tillietudlem, wi' my dutifu' service to my Leddy and the Major, and 1 haena as inuckle left as will mak my parritch; and, if Duncan manage right, I'll gie him a tass o' whisky shall mak the blue low come out at his mouth."
"And what are we to eat oursells then, father," asked Jenny, "when we hae sent awa the haill meal in the ark and the girnel?"
"We maun gar wheat-flour serve us for a blink," said Niel, in a tone of resignation; "it's no that ill food, though far frae being sae hearty or kindly to a Scotchman's stamach as the curney aitmeal is; the Englishers live amaist upon't; but, to be sure, the pock-puddings ken nae better."
While the prudent and peaceful endeavoured, like Niel Blane, to make fair weather with both parties, those who had more public (or party) spirit, began to take arms on all sides. The royalists in the country were not numerous, but were respectable from their fortune and influence, being chiefly landed proprietors of ancient descent, who, with their brothers, cousins, and dependants, to the ninth generation, as well as their domestic servants, formed a sort of militia, capable of defending their own peel-houses against detached bodies of the insurgents, of resisting their demand of supplies, and intercepting those which were sent to the presbyterian camp by others. The news that the Tower of Tillietudlem was to be defended against the insurgents, afforded great courage and support to these feudal volunteers, who considered it as a strong-hold to which they might retreat, in case it should become impossible for them to maintain the desultory war they were now about to wage.
On the other hand, the towns, the villages, the farmhouses, the properties of small heritors, sent forth numerous recruits to the presbyterian interest. These men had been the principal sufferers during the oppression of the time. Their minds were fretted, soured, and driven to desperation, by the various exactions and cruelties to which they had been subjected; and, although by no means united among themselves, either concerning the purpose of this formidable insurrection, or the means by which that purpose was to be obtained, most of them considered it as a door opened by Providence to obtain the liberty of conscience of which they had been long deprived, and to shake themselves free of a tyranny, directed both against body and soul. Numbers of these men, therefore, took up arms;and, in the phrase of their time and party, prepared to cast in their lot with the victors of Loudon-hill
Ananias. I do not like the man: He is a heathen,
Tribulation. You must await his calling, and the coming
We return to Henry Morton, whom we left on the field of battle. He was eating, by one of the watch-fires, his portion of the provisions which had been distributed to the army, and musing deeply on the path which he was next to pursue, when Burley suddenly came up to him, accompanied by the young minister, whose exhortation after the victory had produced such a powerful effect.
"Henry Morton," said Balfour, abruptly, "the council of the army of the Covenant, confiding that the son of Silas Morton can never prove a lukewarm Laodicean, or an indifferent Gallio, in this great day, have nominated you to be a captain of their host, with the right of a vote in their council, and all authority fitting for an officer who is to command Christian men."
"Mr. Balfour," replied Morton, without hesitation, "I feel this mark of confidence, and it is not surprising that a natural sense of the injuries of my country, not to
mention those I have jtainei in my own person, should make me sufficiently willing To draw my sword for liberty and freedom of consfcitace. But I will own to you, that I must be better satisfied concerning the principles on which you bottom your cause, ere I can agree to take a command amongst you."
"And can you doubt of our principles," answered Builey, "since we have stated them to be the reformation both of church and state, the rebuilding of the decayed sanctuary, the gathering of the dispersed saints, and the destruction of the man of sin?"
"I will own frankly, Mr. Balfour," replied Morton, "much of this sort of language, which, I observe, is so powerful with others, is entirely lost on me. It is proper you should be aware of this before we commune further together." (The young clergyman here groaned deeply.) "I distress you, sir," said Morton; "but, perhaps, it is because you will not hear me out. I revere the Scriptures as deeply as you or any Christian can do. I look into them with humble hope of extracting a rule of conduct and a law of salvation. But I expect to find this by an examination of their general tenor, and of the spirit which they uniformly breathe, and not by wresting particular passages from their context, or by the application of Scriptural phrases to circumstances and events, with which they have often very slender relation."
The young divine seemed shocked and thunderstruck with this declaration, and was about to remonstrate.
"Hush, Ephraim !" said Burley, "remember he is but as a babe in swaddling clothes.—Listen to me, Morton. I will speak to thee in the worldly language of that carnal reason, which is, for the present, thy blind and imperfect guide. What is the object for which thou art contenMo draw thy sword 1 Is it not that the church and state should be reformed by the free voice of a free parliament, with such laws as shall hereafter prevent the executive government from spilling the blood, torturing and imprisoning the persons, exhausting the estates, and
trampling upon the conscie naf men at their own wicked pleasure ?”
“ Most certainly,” said Mortan ; “such I esteem legitimate causes of warfare, and for such I will fight while I can wield a sword.”
“ Nay, but," said Macbriar, " ye handle this matter too tenderly ; nor will my conscience permit me to fard or daub over the causes of divine wrath”
« Peace, Ephraim Macbriar!" again interrupted Burley..
: “I will not peace,” said the young man. “Is it not the cause of my Master who hath sent me? Is it not a profane and Erastian destroying of his authority, usurpation of his power, denial of his name, to place e ur king or parliament in his place as the master and governor of his household, the adulterous husband of his spouse ?”
“ You speak well,” said Burley dragging him aside, but not wisely, your own ears have heard this night in council how this scattered remnant are broken and divided, and would ye" now make a yeil of separation between them ? Would ye build a wall with unslacked mortar ?--if a fox go up, it will breach it.”
“ I know," said the young clergyman in reply, “ that thou art faithful, honest, and zealous, even unto slaying; but, believe me, this worldly craft, this temporizing with sin and with infirmity is in itself a falling away, and I fear me Heaven will not honour us to do much more for His glory, when we seek to carnal cunning and to a fleshly arm. The sanctified end must be wrought by sanctified means.”
6 I tell thee,” answered Balfour, " thy zeal is too rigid in this matter; we cannot yet do without the help of the Laodiceans and the Erastians; we must endure for a space the indulged in the midst of the council — the . sons of Zeruiah are yet too strong for us.”
" I tell thee I like it not,” said Macbriar; - God cau work deliverance by a few as well as by a multitude
7 VOL. II.
The host of the faithful that was broken upon Pentland hills, paid but the fitting penalty of acknowledging the carnal interest of that tyrant and oppressor, Charles Stuart."
"Well, then," said Balfour, "thou knowest the healing resolution that the council have adopted,—to make a comprehending declaration, that may suit the tender consciences of all who groan under the yoke of our present oppressors. Return to the council if thou wilt, and get them to recall it, and send forth one upon narrower grounds. But abide not here to hinder my gaining over this youth whom my soul travails for; his name alone will call forth hundreds to our banners."
"Do as thou wilt, then," said Macbriar; "but I will not assist to mislead the youth, nor bring him into jeopardy of life, unless upon such grounds as will ensure his eternal reward."
The more artful Balfour then dismissed the impatient preacher, and returned to his proselyte.
That we may be enabled to dispense with detailing at length the arguments by which he urged Morton to join the insurgents, we shall take this opportunity to give a brief sketch of the person by whom they were used, and the motives which he had for interesting himself so deeply in the conversion of young Morton to his cause.
John Balfour of Kinlock, or Burley, for he is designated both ways in the histories and proclamations of that melancholy period, was a gentleman of some fortune, and of good family in the county of Fife, and had been a soldier from his youth upward. In the younger part of his life he had been wild and licentious, but had early laid aside open profligacy, and embraced the strictest tenets of Calvanism. Unfortunately, habits of excess and intemperance were more easily rooted out of his dark, saturnine, and enterprizing spirit, than the vices of revenge and ambition, which continued, notwithstanding his religious professions, to exercise no small sway over his mind. Daring in design, precipitate and violent in execution, and going to the very extremity of the most