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But years more gloomy followed, and no more
Of night, save when the wint'ry storm raved fierce,
This is finely pictured; and, coming from a member of the Episcopal Church, does honor to his heart and head. Sir Walter Scott has somewhat injured the memory of the Scottish Covenanters, by presenting the darker features of their character, and forgetting utterly their earnest piety, their generous fervor, their heroic endurance. Many of them, doubtless, were deficient in high-bred courtesy and learned refinement. Others were narrow-minded and superstitious. But the great mass of them were men of lofty faith, of generous self-sacrifice. They feared God, and perilled their lives for freedom, in the high places of the field. "Lately," says a vigorous writer in Blackwood's Magazine, "the Mighty Warlock of Caledonia has shed a natural and a supernatural light round the founders of the Cameronian dynasty; and as his business was to grapple with the ruder and fiercer
portion of their character, the gentle graces of their nature were not called into action, and the storm and tempest and thick darkness of John Balfour of Burley, have darkened the whole breathing congregation of the Cameronians, and turned their sunny hillside into a dreary desert." It requires men of no ordinary character to become martyrs for principle, especially when that principle is one of the highest order, and has been chosen calmly, deliberately, and in the fear of God. When such men go forth to defend the right, and shed their life's blood for its enthronement, their's is no vulgar enthusiasm, no unnatural and infuriate fanaticism. Read the following from James Hislop, once a poor shepherd boy, and afterwards a school-teacher, written near the grave of the pious and redoubtable Cameron, and several of his followers, slain by tyrants in the moor of Aird's-moss, and say whether such martyrs for truth are worthy of our reverence!
In a dream of the night I was wafted away
To the muirland of mist where the martyrs lay,
'Twas a dream of those ages of darkness and blood,
And in Glenmuir's wild solitude, lengthened and deep,
And Wellwood's sweet valley breathed music and gladness,
But oh! there were hearts cherished far other feelings,
Their faces grew pale, and their swords were unsheathed,
The hills with the deep mournful music were ringing,
But the melody died 'mid derision and laughter,
As the host of ungodly rushed on to the slaughter.
Though in mist and in darkness and fire they were shrouded,
Its drivers were angels on horses of whiteness,
A seraph unfolded its doors bright and shining,
And the souls that came forth out of great tribulation
On the arch of the rainbow the chariot is gliding,
But we are forgetting ourselves; and as we propose spending the Sabbath in a small country hamlet, at some distance, we must be off immediately. It would be gratifying to return to Perth and hear some of the clergymen there, Dr. Young especially, who is a preacher of great depth and energy; but the Sabbath will be sweeter amidst the woods and hills.
We enter a quiet unfrequented road, skirting around those fine clumps of trees, and that green hill to the west, and after wandering a few miles, we pass into a narrow vale, through which a small wooded stream makes its noiseless way, and adorned on either side with rich green slopes, clumps of birches, and tufts of flowering broom. As you ascend the vale, it gradually widens, the acclivities on either side recede to a considerable distance, and the road, taking a sudden turn, runs over the hill to the left, and dives into a sort of natural amphitheatre, formed by the woods and braes around it. On the further side you descry a small antique-looking church, with two or three huge ash trees, and one or two silver larches shading it, at one end, a pretty mansion built of freestone, and handsomely slated, at a little distance. at the other. Approaching, we find a few strag
glers, as if in haste, entering the church door; the bell has ceased tolling, and the service probably is about to commence. We enter, and find seats near the door. How tenderly and solemnly that old minister, with his bland look, and silver locks, reads the eighty-fourth psalm, and how reverently the whole congregation, with book in hand, follow him to the close. A precentor, as he is called, sitting in a sort of desk under the pulpit, strikes the tune, and all, young and old, rich and poor, immediately accompany him. The minister then offers a prayer, in simple Scripture language, somewhat long, but solemn and affecting. He then reads another psalm, which is sung, as the first was, by the whole congregation, and with such earnest and visible delight, that you feel at once that their hearts are in the service. The preacher then rises in the pulpit and reads the twenty-third psalm, as the subject of his exposition, or lecture, as the Scottish preachers uniformly style their morning's disHis exposition is plain and practical, occasionally rising to the pathetic and beautiful. Ah, how sweetly he dwells upon the good Shepherd of the sheep, and how tenderly he depicts the security and repose of the good man passing through the dark valley and the shadow of death. His reverend look, the tremulous tones of his voice, his Scottish accent, and occasionally Scottish phrases, his abundant use of Scriptural quotations, and a certain Oriental cast of mind, derived, no doubt, from intimate communion with prophets and apostles, invest his discourse with a peculiar