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TOLERATION had hitherto been so little the prin- CH A P.
LVII. ciple of any Christian sect, that even the catholics, j the remnant of the religion professed by their fore- 1645. fathers, could not obtain from the English the leait indulgence. This very house of commons, in their famous remonstrance, took care to justify themselves, as from the highest imputation, from any intention to relax the golden reins of discipline, as they called, them, or to grant any toleration': And the enemies ! of the church were so fair from the beginning, as not to lay claim to liberty of conscience, which they called a toleration for soul-murder. They openly challenged the superiority, and even menaced the established church with that persecution, which they afterwards exercised against her with such severity. And if the question be considered in the view of policy; though a feet, already formed and advanced, may, with good reason, demand a toleration; what title had the puritans to this indulgence, who were just on the point of separation from the church, and whom, it might be hoped, fome wholesome and legal severities would still retain in obedience?
WHATEVER ridicule, to a philosophical mind, may be thrown on pious ceremonies, it must be confessed, that, during a very religious age, no institutions can be more advantageous to the rude multitude, and tend more to mollify that fierce and gloomy spirit of devotion, to which they are subject. Even the English church, though it had retained a share of popish ceremonies, may justly be thought too naked and un, adorned, and still to approach too near the abstract and spiritual religion of the puritans. Laud and his associates, by reviving a few primitive inftitutions of this nature, corrected the error of the first reformers, and presented to the affrightened and astonished mind, some sensible, exterior observances, which might ocçupy it during its religious exercises, and abate the
Nalson, vol. ii. p. 705.
CHA P. violence of its disappointed efforts. The thought, no
longer bent on that divine and mysterious essence, so 3645
superior to the narrow capacities of mankind, was able, by means of the new model of devotion, to relax itself in the contemplation of pictures, postures, vestments, buildings; and all the fine arts, which minister to religion, thereby received additional encouragement. The primate, it is true, conducted this scheme, not with the enlarged sentiments and cool reflection of a legislator, but with the intemperate zeal of a sectary; and by overlooking the circumstances of the times, served rather to enflame that religious fury which he meant to repress. But this blemish is more to be regarded as a general imputation on the whole age, than any particular failing of Laud's; and it is sufficient for his vindication to observe, that his errors were the most excusable of all those which prevailed during that zealous period,
CHA P. LVIII.
Montrose's victories — The new model of the army
Battle of Naseby - Surrender of Bristol
The West conquered by Fairfax - Defeat of
W H ILE the king's affairs declined in Eng- CHAP,
V land, some events happened in Scotland, LVIII. which seemed to promise him a more prosperous 1625, issue of the quarrel. · BEFORE the commencement of these civil disor- Montders, the earl of Montrose, a young nobleinan of a distinguished family, returning from his travels, had been introduced to the king, and had made an offer of his services; but by the insinuations of the marquess, afterwards duke of Hamilton, who possessed much of Charles's confidence, he had not been received with that distinction to which he thought himself justly entitled !: Disgusted with this treatment, he had forwarded all the violence of the covenanters; and, agreeably to the natural ardour of his genius, he had employed himself, during the first Scottish insurrection, with great zeal, as well as success, in levying and conducting their armies. Being commissioned by the Tables to wait upon the king, while the royal army lay at Berwic, he was so gained by the civilities and caresses of that monarch, that he thenceforth devoted himself entirely, though secretly, to his service, and entered into a close correspondence
Nalson, Intr. p. 63.
Liit, com he was the
CHAP. with him. In the second insurrection, a great military
LVIII. be com
command was entrusted to him by the covenanters; 1645.
and he was the first that passed the Tweed, at the head of their troops, in the invasion of England. He found means, however, soon after to convey a letter to the king: And by the infidelity of some about that prince; Hamilton, as was suspected; a copy of this letter was sent to Leven, the Scottish general. Being accused of treachery, and a correspondence with the enemy; Montrose openly avowed the letter, and asked the generals, if they dared to call their lovereign an enemy: And by this bold and magnanimous behaviour, he escaped the danger of an immediate profecution. As he was now fully known to be of the royal party, he no longer concealed his principles; and he endeavoured to draw those who had entertained like sentiments, into a bond of association for his master's service. Though thrown into prison for this enterprise ", and detained some time, he was not discouraged; but still continued, by his countenance and protection, to infuse spirit into the distrefled royalists. Among other persons of distinction, who united themselves to him, was lord Napier of Merchiston, son of the famous inventor of the logarithms, the person to whom the title of a GREAT MAN is more justly due, than to any other whom his country ever produced.
THERE was in Scotland another party, who, profelling equal attachment to the king's service, pretended only to differ with Montrose about the means of attaining the same end; and of that party, duke Hamilton was the leader. This nobleman had cause to be extremely devoted to the king, not only by reason of the connexion of blood, which united him
u It is not improper to take notice of a mistake committed by Clarendon, much to the diladvantage of this gallant nobleman ; that he offered the king, when his majetty was in Scotland, to affifinate Ars gyle. All the time the king was in Scotland, Montrose was confined to prison. Ruth. vol. vi. p. 980.
to the royal family; but on account of the great CHAP.
w Nallon, vol. i. p. 683. * Clarendon, vol. ii. p. 380, 381.