« AnteriorContinuar »
While in London, Brodie took a special interest in the Argyle family, the restitution of Lord Lorn (afterwards Earl of Argyle) to his honours and estates being one of the objects he had in charge. In considering his case, he professed his “inability to understand how God's providence should prove so contrary to that family.” In consequence of some imprudent speeches, which Brodie in his zeal had used in behalf of Lord Lorn, he made the Clerk Register and others his implacable enemies; while the rivalry of Middleton and Lauderdale, and the persuasion of the former that Brodie was plotting against him, and other false reports, were sufficient to prejudice the Chancellor against him, and interfere with his success at Court. The following passage in the Diary was accidentally omitted under its proper date, but in connexion with Brodie's visit to London, and as expressive of his feelings when, being misrepresented to the King, the purposes of his journey were likely to be frustrated, it is too important to be overlooked :“1662, April 23.—I desir to be exercisd under my own lot, and the lot of al God's people at this time. I mentiond my coming to this place, saw noe great ground of incouragment, peace, or comfortin anithing, and desird to mourn under al the sinfulnes of eyes, thoghts, ways, courses, words, since ever I cam from hom to this day. Oh! let not the Lord remember my sin, nor enter into judgment with me. To be neir 2 years from my famili, tossd 9 or 10 month in a straing land, as exil'd, discountenanced, malign'd, hated, persecuted, oppos'd, freindless, witless, great ones against me. Now I desir to ador the Lord, and to obtain grace to understand this providence, and to be humbl’d, instructed, reform'd, convinc'd, and profited by such His dealings, and to maintain in my heart right thoghts of Him, doe what He will.” He afterwards adds, “This, this shall be a humbling journey, goethings as they will.” At length, the Laird of Brodie, after a sojourn of ten months, resolved on returning to Scotland, but was first anxious, in testimony of his loyalty, * Page 262.
to obtain access to kiss the King's hand before commencing his journey. His words are: - “May 12–I was attending yesterday evening and this day waiting to tak leave of the King; but in vain. I was cast down, seing, as it wer, al men against me, and none caring for my soul. “I intend this day (if the Lord permit) to tak journey. Let the Lord be with me in setting forth, and let him accompani by the way, give grace to serv him, and let my return be comfortable, and for his glori. “14—Yesterday, I had access to the King, and kissed his hand. Now I desir to reckon this as a merci, considering how men have labourd to prejudg him against me. It was mor then I almost looked for: now I lean on him all that concerns me.” . . . He left London on the 14th of May, returning by Grantham and Doncaster, and attending the English church at Alborough, in Yorkshire, on Sunday the 18th, and reached Edinburgh on the 21st. “In my way, I desired to direct my eyes to God. I did see and apprehend a great storm against me.” We may refer to his Diary for the particulars of his troubles and anxieties during the four months he remained in Edinburgh, in consequence of the strong opposition he met with from the Lord Commissioner, the Clerk Register, the Bishop of Murray, and others;–the Bishop of St. Andrews, “that subtle, unsound person,” promising to “do in a private way what he could, but not own and out (support) me in a publick;” and for his fears in regard to the Oath of Allegiance; his disquietude on the subject of fines; the prevalence of witchcraft; and the state of the Church. The King's ‘gracious' letter of the 3rd of September, 1660, to the Presbytery of Edinburgh, in which, by a pitiful evasion, he engaged “to protect and preserve the government of the Church of Scotland, as it is settled by law, without violation,” and to maintain the Acts of the General Assembly at St. Andrews and Dundee in 1651, was evidently meant to excite a renewed spirit of hostility against the Protesters; and it serves to explain the course taken by the Synod of Murray already mentioned. The subsequent proceedings were quite in accordance with such duplicity; and what was effected by falsehood and treachery, required to be maintained by a course of unmitigated oppression and cruelty. Well might the Estates, in 1689, addressing William, Prince of Orange, say: “Prelacy and superiority of any office in the Church above Presbyters is, and hath been, a great and unsupportable grievance and trouble to the Nation, and contrary to the inclination of the generality of the people ever since the Reformation, they having been reformed from Popery by Presbytery, and therefore ought to be abolished.” Some of the Edinburgh ministers were more decided than the Laird of Brodie in regard to these new dignitaries. He had his own compunctions in calling Sharp “Lord,” when they met in London. Among others, Hutcheson and Douglas, who is said to have refused Sharp's offer of obtaining for him the See of Edinburgh, resolved to decline, either to meet the Bishops when they came to Edinburgh, or to give them their titles." In July following, Brodie says: “I did meet with Mr. Douglas and Hutcheson, and found their straits, and that the time of their trial was come. The Lord did bear them up to a good measure of resolution against complying with the Bishops; not to meet with them, or acklowledge them, nor to co-operate with them, nor to derive power or jurisdiction from then, and choosed rather to be laid by.” But passing over the general history of that unhappy period which has often been written, it has to be noticed that, in September, 1662, when the Act of Indemnity was before Parliament, another “Act containing some Exceptions from the Act of Indemnitie” was passed on the 9th of September, being, in fact, a list of fines imposed by the Earl of Middleton on all persons who had rendered themselves obnoxious either by compliance with the English usurpers, or by opposing the changes in Church government and discipline. In this number Alexander Brodie of that Ilk was fined £4800 Scots;" although it has been stated that the money disbursed by him at Breda had not yet been repaid him.
The following is a letter from Lady Mary Ker, wife of the young Laird of Brodie, addressed to her mother, the Countess of Lothian:
Dear Madam, I have nothing to truble you with, bot to inquir of your weallfair, which is no small satisfaction to me to know. I wold have trubl[d] my Lord with a line att this tim wer not my fear to devert him from his more serious affairs, and besids thatt I am in truble for my little daughter Anne, who is at present verie sick of a fever, and, as I think, breding the small pocks, bot they are not come outt as yett. I have given hir a litle of my Lady Kentt's powder, bot it's not put any thing furth as yett. Madam, if it be not presumtion in me I wad tak upon me to desayr my Lord might be upon his gard for my lord Burlie's business, for he will find many frinds att this time. As also, Madam, his Lordship wad be aware of Holmbe, for he has a mind to leave about this somer. I have delt with some of his relations to kepe him as long off as is possabell, that my Lord may have tim to doe for himselfe. I have made sour [sure] Terbett and Cromirtie, for both business, so fare as ther pouer or creditt can riche. Your Ladyship will, I hope, pardone my friedome with your Ladyship, when you remember it cometh from, Dear Madam, your Ladyship's most affectionatt daughter,
Addressed on the back: “For the Right Honourable the Countas of Lotheane. Thes att Newbatle.”
While in Edinburgh, the Laird of Brodie endeavoured to vindicate himself from misrepresentations to the Officers of State, but all his attempts seem to have been fruitless, and the letters he wrote had no better effect. In his intercourse with Douglas and Hutcheson, he found them “both very fixed,” and exclaims, “Oh far am I from that steadfastness of spirit that appears in them. They declined all meeting with these Bishops, may were against all Liturgie and Ceremonies, and could not meet in a presbytery with them, nor give them titles, or the like.” A few days later, he says, “I did see the Bishop of Murray, and with reluctancie. I profest that the change was against my will; but God having suffered it (Prelacy) to be brought about, the King and Laws having established it, I was purposed to be as submissive, and obedient, and peaceable as any.” In this spirit he set out for the North, on the 16th of September, 1662, stopping at Cupar,
* MSS. belonging to the Marquess of Lothian. * Page 254. f
Fettercairn, Clatt, and Kinloss, reaching home on the 20th, after a protracted absence of upwards of fifteen months, and feeling “a sense of the Lord's goodness and providence.” From this time he appears to have resided almost wholly at Brodie, or in its neighbourhood. The subsequent course of the Author's life offers so little variety or incident as not to require more in this place than a general notice. Among other subjects which occasionally served to him as a source of trouble, were various dreams and imaginations which he relates. The numerous instances of witchcraft which came under his notice, as one of the Commissioners for the trial of witches, gave him great uneasiness. Thus he reckoned among the sins of the time: “The sin of Witchcraft and devilry which has prevailed, and cannot be gotten discovered and purg'd out, Satan having set up his very throne among us.” Again, “I heard that at Inverness there was none of the Witches condemn'd, and I desir'd to consider this, and be instructed. This, if God prevent not, will be of very ill example.” He had also to endure severe bodily suffering from disease and increasing frailty; but nothing pressed more heavily on his spirits than the melancholy state of the Church during this dark period of its history. In the Parliament held at Edinburgh, in May, 1662, with the view of securing a compliance with the change in the constitution of the Church to Prelacy, an Act was passed, requiring that all ministers who had been ordained since 1649 should receive new presentations from their respective patrons, and collation from the Bishop of the Diocese, before the 20th of September following. So little inclination was shown to observe this injunction, that the Privy Council, having met at Glasgow on the 1st of October, the Archbishop complained that not one of the young ministers had owned him for Bishop. An Act and Proclamation was then agreed upon, by which all ministers were liable to be banished from their houses, parishes, and presbyteries, unless they received collation or admission from the Bishops of their respective dioceses on or before the 1st of November. The Archbishop of Glasgow assured the Commissioner, the Earl of Mid