xt7k9882k49x https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7k9882k49x/data/mets.xml Knott, J. Proctor (James Proctor), 1830-1911. 1889  books b92-260-31825920 English Robert Clarke, : Cincinnati : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Scots-Irish History. Scotch-Irish race  : an address delivered before the Scotch-Irish Society of America / by J. Proctor Knott. text Scotch-Irish race  : an address delivered before the Scotch-Irish Society of America / by J. Proctor Knott. 1889 2002 true xt7k9882k49x section xt7k9882k49x 

The Scotchi rish Race.

     ANd ADT)R11-SS


Scotch-Irish Society

of America.




 This page in the original text is blank.



    Mr. Chairman, Ladies, and Gentlenten:-As we are assembled to
honor the memories of our Scotch-Irish ancestry, and to devise, if
possible, some means of gathering up, and crystallizing into the inore
enduring form of written history, the le-endary memorials of their
deeds, it has occurred to me that the proceedings of the present Con-
gress might be zippropriately prefacedl by a brief inquiry into their
origin, the cliaracteristics which distinguished theli from otherpeople,
and what they did to entitle them to the respectful recollection of
coming generations. That office I will, therefore, attempt to dis-
clharge!; and, in undertaking it, f will en leavor to do precisely as I
think they would have nie do, if they could come to me to-day from
their consecrated grav,2s and (ldictate the present utterances of my
tongue-speak of them as they were; tell tile truth, as I understand'
it, of their frailties, as'of their virtues

                        "Nothing extenuate,
                    Nor set down aught in malice.'

    When Agricola marshaled his legions on the north bank of the
Firth of Solway, eighteen lumdlred years acro, he looked out upon a coun-
try, lying hevond the parallel of latitude wlli(d) 1 inns tile S'u thlernlmllost
. .  r,  ,
boundary of Alaska, and embracing about thirty thousand, five hun-
lred square miles of territory, as cheerless, perhaps, in all its aspects,
as any that ever provoked the ambition or teml)te(l the cupidity of a
Roman conqueror.
    Directly in his front, and as far as the site of the present city of
Dtmfnries, stretched a tangled labyrinth of swanmpy woods, inlterlaced
by a matted network of creeping undergrowth. To the westward, as
far as St. Patrick's Channel, lay a rugged and almost inaccessible dis-
trict of roughly wooded, rocky hill lands, trenched by turbulent
streams, and abounding in lovely lakes. Northward, beyond the
present limits of Dumfries, to the narrow isthmus of low lands lying
between the Firths of Clyde and Fourth, and eastward to St. Abb's
Head, extended a similarly lbroken region, covered with a growth of
scrubby timber, interrupted here and there by barren ridges and



dreary moorlands. What are now the fertile and flourishing counties
of Ayr an(l Renfrew, was then a sterile and uninviting waste, while
the unbroken umbrage of a primeval forest shut out the sunlight from
the rich plains of Berwick.
    North of the isthmus of Clyde and Forth, lay the vast sea-girt
wilderness of Celyddon, the Caledonia of the Romnans, extending
away to the wave-washed rocks of Cape Wrath and John o Groats-
a bleak, inhospitable region, with its craggv shores fretted by firths
and lochs, and its surface corrugated by an interminable maze of misty
mountain ranges, with their barren crests and towerilln cliffs, ifiter-
spersed with rushing torrents and roaring lynrns, lonely tarns and soli-
tary glens, desolate corries and densely wooded straths, while its east-
ern boundarv, from the mouth of the Tay to Moray Firth, was a suc-
cession of extensive marshes and sterile hills, made more forbidding
by the icy blasts which swept over them from the northern ocean.
    Yet some of the remote ancestry of many of the courteous and
cultured audience before me, as well as some of my own, had made
their cheerless homes in this rude and repulsive region for enturies
before the foot of the Roman invader first pressed its indigenous
heather; while others of' them might have been lound, perhaps, in
the wandlering clans which went c ver fromn the northern part of Ireland
in the earlier centuries of our era, as allies of their Caledonian kin-
dred in their predatory inroads upon their southern neighbors, and
finally settled along the western coast, from Cantyre to Sutherland.
     Thev were not as elegant in manners, nor as elevated in morals, how-
ever, as might possibly be inferred from the intelligence an(l refinement
of many of their deseeludants of the present period. On the contrary,
they were as savage as their surroundings were wild and inhospitable,
an(l were regarded by their neighbors not only with a well grounded
terror, but with far more di-"ust and abhorrence than we (1o our
thieves and tramps. The very names, indeed, by which their nation-
ality has been dlesianate(l in history were never assumed by themselves,
but were mere terms of reproach applied to them by the victims of
their rapacity, who, out of revenge for the manifold injuries they rahd
suffered from their predacious hands, denounced the fierce and trucu-
lent tribes who occupied the eastern, as well as the greater portion of
the interior and southern sections of the territory, as pietich orpdts,
while they called the roving bands who went over from the north of
Ireland scitite, signifying, respectively, in the vernacular of the early
Briton, robbers and vagabonds, the two terms being subsequently
latinized by the Romans into Picti and Scolti.
     Nor was the country occupied by them known by its present




name for many generations after their first appearance in authentic
history; not, in fact, for over two hundred years after the nominal
union of the Scots and Picts under Kenneth McAlpine in 843, when
the centuries of sanguinary strife between those two branches of the
Celtic race in North Britain finally terminated in their complete coali-
tion, and the united kingdom was called Scotland, after the dominant
power. And even then, its inhabitants, notwithstanding the introduc-
tion of Christianity amoong theni as far back as the middle of the sixth
century, were still as barbarous in many respects as their fierce fore-
fathers, who, more than thirty generations before, in a heroic struggle
for their wild independence, met hand to hand the trained legionaries
of imperial Rome upon the bloody slopes of the Grampian Hills.
    Their lack of progress was not so much their fault, however, as
their misfortune. Their history during that long period. as it was for
centuries after and had been for generations before, was that of a con-
stant, unremitting, and perilous contest for sheer existence. Coim-
pelle(l to supplement their meager domestic resources with the preca-
rious spoils of the chase, they were obliged, in order to eke out their
scanty means of subsistence, not only to encounter the daiigers of a
capricious and tempestuous climate, but to pursue their quarry fre-
quently through hostile territory, across mountain torrents, through
guarde(l passes, and along the treacherous brinks of precipitous cliffs
hundreds of feet in height. Besides, they were in a perpetual state
of war, when pillage and arson vent hand in hand with slaughter, and
the sword of the victor knew neither a(ge nor sex.  Harried by san-
guiniary feuds with neighboring clans, whichi hereditary hate or a mnu-
tual desire for plunder or revenge frequently kept alive from genera-
tion to generation, and almost constantlyenoaged in defemlin- them-
selves fromn the cruel incursions of the powerful and rapacious nations
around themii, they had no time for intellectual culture or moral im-
prove ment.
     Under such circumstances, their advancement in the scale of
social being was necessarily retarded to the lowvest possible degree.  It
is a marvel, indeed, that even the lowest grade of civilization could
have existed among them at all, for without some settled assurance of
the permanency and peaceful enjoyment of the acquisitions of indi-
vidual industry, popular progress is an impossibility.  With no feel-
iDg of certainty, on leaving his home in the morning for the perilous
avocations of the day, that he would not return in the evening to res-
cue the charred remains of his butchered family from the smoldering
ashes of his ruined dwelling, the savage Celt had neither the incentive
nor the opportunity to accumulate more than was necessary for a



squalid subsistence from day to day, or, at most, a beggarly account
of portable chattels, which might be readily removed on the approach
of danger. Wealth was, consequently, a thing unknown among
them, and commerce, the great evangelist of civilization, a stranger in
their midst. For centuries, they knew of but two methods by which
property might be transferred-robbery and barter-approving as well
as practicing the principle that-

                   "He may take who has the power,
                   And he may bold who can."

While of any thing like a standard of value or medium of exchange,
thiey were so utterly ignorant that there was not so much as a word in
their language signifying money, until they had learned the nanmes, as
well as the uses, of current coins from the Anglo-Saxon. And it is a
singular fact that, even down to the present generation, many of their
descendants seem to have acquired no true conception of the value of
a dollar, as we rarely meet with one of them who does not appear to
think it is worth about five times as much as it reallv is.
    To such apparently inauspicious surroundings, however, may be
plainly traced the development of those peculiar characteristics which
have distinguishe(I the Scottish race from all other people, and which,
though mo(lified in many respects by the intermingling of other blood,
as well as by a more enlightened intelligence and a broader civiliza-
tion, are still discernible, to a greater or less degree, in their descend-
ants of the present day.
     The constaut exposure of the hardy Gael to privation and peril
of every description, naturally tended to develop his physical courage
to the highest pitch of savage heroism, as well as the habit of self-
reliance, under the most trying exigencies, whether in the chase, amid
the dangers of his native solitudes, or steel to steel with his dearest
foe upon the battle-field. These as naturally inspired him with a con-
fident pride in his own manhood, and an indomitable spirit of personal
independence, which impelled him to the instant resistance of any en-
croachment upon his individual rights, and rendered him peculiarly
impatient of all governmental restraint imposed upon him without his
own consent. Neino me impune lacessit, became the controlling senti-
ment of his being, and the guiding principle of his conduct, as it has
since become, with singular propriety, the motto on his national coat-
of-arms. While he may have been taught that royalty was hereditary
in the blood, he nevertheless had a vague sort of notion, even in the
hazy twilight of barbarism, that the ultimate repository of political power
was in the people, as is clearly evident in the ancient Celtic custom of




meetin r in popular assembly upon the death of the ruler and electing
hiS successor from among his sonls, or some collateral branch of his
family, as the public interest might seem to require.
     As the legitimate outgrowth of these strongly developed traits,
we find that there has always been less respect for self-assumed author-
ity, an(l, consequently, more frequent rebellion against the hered-
itary claims of kingly power aruoug the Scotch, than any other people
oin the face of the globe, as well as the still more striking fact that
throughbout their hundreds and hundreds of years of sanguinary war-
fare, they were never completely conquered. A clan might be ex-
terminated, but it fought until the stiffening hand of its last expiring
warrior was not able to strike for freedom or revenge. Overrun they
might be, as they often were by the superior force of an invading foe,
but upon the slightest removal of the immediate pressure, they were
in arinm again, reasserting their wild traditional liberties.
    But the same causes which made them brave and self-reliant, also
made them cautious, cunning, suspicious, and selfish, while the cruelties
they s) often suffered themselves, not only rendered them indifferent
to the sufferings of others, with whom  they had no connection by
blood or affinity, but stimulated a disposition to revenge which fre-
quently inanitested itself in acts of the most cold-bloodled and brutal
atrocity.  Nevertheless they were human, and felt the ,anme yearning
for society and symnp)athy, Which universally pervades the human
breast, h wever savage or depraved.
    For the gratification of that sentiment, whether influenced by
their own inclination oIr not, they were coinpelled by the circumstances
surrounding them to resort mainly to their own hearthstones. There
the mother and children, under an ever-present sense of their de;epend-
ence ui pIn his protection and counsel, gathered around the husband
and fhther, as their hlero and their oracle, with rnin-led emotions of
love, gratitude, veneration, and pride; while lie, in return, regarded
the proteges of his prowess with those feelings of tenderness natural
to the sacred relation lie sustained toward then, deepened an(l intensi-
fied bv a realization of their absolute dependence upon his strength
and their confidence in his courage.
    The strong feeling of domestic affection thus naturally engendered,
strengthened bay time and the constant necessity of mutual assistance,
ripened, at length, into a degree of filial and fraternal attachment
rarelv witnessed outside of the ancient Gaelic household. Cherished
by each member of the family through life, and sedulously inculcated
around the fireside of each offshoot from the parent stein, to be again
transmittedt under similar surroundings to a still remnoter generation,



these ties of consanguinity eventually became the common bond of the
clan, whose chieftain exercised his prerogatives by common consent, as
the lineal representative of the original stock, or was chosen, if occa-
sion required, from the worthiest of their blood.
    In the light of such circumstances, it is easy to see how that pe-
culiar sentiment of clannishness, which bound the ancient Celt to his
kindred of the remotest degree, and which has brought us together to-
day, became hereditary in our blood. Nor is it more difficult for us
to explain that apparent paradox in the character of our earlier an-
cestry, namely, the Passionate fealty of the clansman who esteemed it a
privilege to die for his chief, while his lax allegiance to royalty suggested
nothing improper in the murder of his kiDg. His chieftain was of his
own tribe and kindred, bone of his borie and flesh of his flesh; the embod-
iment of the dignity of his family, and the defender of its honor; the
cheerful companion of his hardships, and the grateful partaker of his
humble hospitality; the friend whose dirk was at his service in his
private feud, and the leader whose flashing claymore was his beacon
in the red storm of battle-ever first at the rendezvous and the fore-
most in the foray.
    The king, on the other hand, was frequently a stranger to his
blood, the descendant, perhaps, of some hereditary foe to his house,
claiming authority over him without his consent, and by a title colntrary
to the traditions of his race or repugnant to his own sense of right.
He consequently entertained a miuch higher regard for the sovereign
of any other nation, who would let him alone, than for the ruling
monarch of his own, whose reign was generally turbulent and disas-
trous, frequently terminating in the tragic death of the prinice himself
at the hands of his rebellions suibjects. It has been indignantly asserted,
indeed, by an English writer, though with evident exaggeration, that
the Scotch had barbarously murdered forty of their kings, while half
as many more had made away with themselves to escape the pains of
torture or perished miserably in strait imprisonment. But however
that may have been, it is quite safe to assert that, whenever they es-
poused the cause of one of their princes, a large majority of his fol-
lowers were generally influenced by other motives than loyalty to his
person or partiality to his government.
    When, by whom, or in what manner, feudalism, with its various
ranks of nobility, wvas introduced among the Scottish people, is a mat-
ter about which there has been considerable controversy among histo-
rians, but the weight of authority seems to support the opinion that it
was inaugurated in the latter part of the eleventh century by Malcolm
Canniore, when, with the aid of Edward the Confessor, he recovered




the scepter of his father-immortalized as " the gracious Duncan " in
the sublimest pages of dramatic literature-and extended from time
to time by his successors, as opportunity presented, until it became
finally established throughout the entire kingdom. But whatever may
be the facts in that regard, it is quite certain that, while the introduc-
tion of the feudal system produced many and marked changes in the
political constitution of Scotland, the power exercised by the nobility
in the administration of public affairs was never due so intich to their
legal rank as to the influence of the strong feeling of clannishness
among the masses of the people with whom they were immediately
connected by the ties of blood or marriage, and which, from repeated
inculcation and long heredity, bad become inherent in their very
    But while their politics-if we except their unvarying fidelity to
the leader of the elan-seems to have set as loosely upon them as their
tartan plaids, their religion appears to have been ingrained with every
fiber and tissue of their being; and their singular veneration for ec-
elesiastical authority, when compared with their lack of reverence for
political power, especially when disassociated from the ever dominant
influence of the family tie, has frequently been regarded as a striking
inconsistency in their character. A little reflection, however, should
satisfy us that an inconsistency in national characteristics is, in the
very nature of things, an impossibility; and it is bv no means difficult
to see how this peculiarity sprung naturally from tile same surround-
ings which developed the traits I have already mentioned.
    Compelled by the necessities of their condition t-) be much alone
amid the solitudes of their native hills, where the dark and lonely
dells around them, and the craggy cliffs towering away into the far
blue lift above them, with their fantastic shadows mirrored in the deep,
still tarn below them, constantly conspired to ineite in theni tile pro-
foundest feelings of superstitious awe; their rude imaginations l)ecalne
impressed by the viewless presence of a vast, invisil)le, intangible,
mysterious being, whose character they invested with the same savage
attributes as their own. They saw his terrible chariot in the black
mass of whirling clouds, and heard his angry voice in the roaring
storm. They caught the gleam of his vengeful weapon in the light-
llning's bolt that shivered the gnarled oak, anid saw the outpouring of
his omnipotent rage in the rushing torrent that dashed the granite
buttress of the Inountain from its base; and when the wintry night
wind shrieked its wailing dirge around their lonely hovels, they told
their children, in the subdued tones of ignorant awe, of his wrath
which they could not appease, and his power which they could not with-




stand. It is not at all wonderful, therefore, that when St. Columba
came to them with the priceless truths of Christianity, they should
hail him with joy ats the messenger of peace from their fierce, nhyste-
rious deity, nor that they should seize with savage avidity upon the
promises of the Gospel, while understanding little or nothing of its
    Nor is it any more remarkable that the Culdees, who embraced
the earliest ecclesiastics among the converts of St. Columba, speedily
spread throughout the whole of Caledonia, where tLey maintained an
unquestioned supremacy in all matters of religious faith and practice,
an(l, perhaps, preserved many of the traditionary customs and articles
of belief common to an earlier period of the Roman Church until
centuries later, when they were reformed or suppressed in a more ad-
vanced state of civil and ecclesiastical government. For it should l)e
observed that these rude ministers of religion were not a body of for-
eign clergy thrust upon the people against their will and contrary to
their prejudices, but were of their own kith and kin, often as actively
engaged in the secular affairs of the clan as in the offices of their more
sacred calling, the functions of chieftain and abbot of a monastery
being not infrequently united in the same person.
    Described as a kind of presbyters, who lived in small communi-
tics, elected and ordained their own rectors or bishops, and traveled
over the adjacent country )reaching and administering the sacraments
of their religion, some claim to have discovered in their crude svstem
of ecclesiastic polity the protoplasm  from which the Presbyterian
Church of Scotland was ultimately evolved. But be that as it may,
being educated at home, understanding no language but their own,
and lhaving but a limited intercourse with other nations, they retained
not onlv tVie traits and prejudices peculiar to their own race, but mmuch
of the p)ainness and simplicity of the primitive ages in their forms of
worship, mingled, no doubt, with much of their former superstitions.
They consequently obtai-led all unbounded influence over the minds
of their savage parishioners, who were not only bound to them by the
ties of blood and familiar association, but who confidently expected,
through their niistration, to secure the never-ending pleasures of a
blissful paradise, from which their less deserving enemies would, for-
tunatelv, he forever excluded.
    It should he carefully borne in mind, however, that the race to
which the later ancestry of many of us belonged was a composite one-
a race in which the blood of the rude Caledonian was mingled with
that of the sturdy Saxon and the turbulent Norman. Early in the
seventh century, the Northumbrians, under King Edwin, pushed their




conquests on Scottish soil to the estuary of the Forth, where they
erecte(l the fortress which gave its name to the present metropolis of
North Britain; but in consequence of their disastrous defeat at Dun-
Nechtan, sixty-eight years later, the dominion of the invaders shrank
again within the waters of the Tweed, never to be re-asserted beyond
its northern bank. Nevertheless, the lost territory continued to be
occunied by its Anglo-Saxon population, which was subsequently aug-
mented from time to time by slight accessions from Northumberland
and its adjacent counties in the north of England, whose inhabitants,
from somewhat similar circumstances, hadl acquired many of the nmoral
traits and social customs ot their more northern neighbors. Iln adldi-
tion to this, the tide of immigration which followved the marriage of
Malcolm Canmore with the Saxon Prineess Margaret, and continued
with increasing activity through the succeeding reigns of their sons,
Edgar, Alexander, and David, not only changed the civil and ecclesi-
astical instittutibns of Scotland, but carried with it, among thous:u(ls
of lesser note, the founders of many of those illustrious houses which
have figured so conspicuously in its subsequent annals.
     It must not be supposed, however, that the hereditary peculiari-
ties of the original Celt disappeared with his tradlitionary customs, upon
the introduction of Anvlo-Normnan jurispru(lenee, with its accompany-
in- civilization, from the South. On the contrary, until the twelfth
century, the only language spoken north of the two friths Was the all-
cient Gaelic, while throughout the Lothians and the districts further
south, it was lleardl as frequently as the Anglo-Saxon; and as a large
majority of tji, ininigrants were mnere military adventurers employed
in the service of the Scottish kings, they no doubt intermarried with the
daughters of the laud, as the soldiers of Cromwell afterward (lid in Ire-
land. Thus the blood of the Sassenlach, in processof time, became largely
transfused with that of their Celtic predecessors, transmitting the lead-
ing characteristics of each of the confluent races, mutually modified
by each other, as an inheritance to the common posterity of both.
    Consequently, he who chooses to thread the intricate mazes of
their history back to the period when that transfusion l)ecanme gen-
eral, will invariably find in the mixed race of Middle and Southern
Scotland, side by side with the rugged coJmmon sense, plainness of
speech, frugality, and thrift of the Anglo-Saxon, an(l the aggressive
selhfassertion of the imperious Norman, the predomiinant traits of their
Caledonian ancestry centuries before; the same imnnetuous courage,
often amounting to an utter recklessness of personal peril ; the same
self-appreciation, impelling theni to resent the slightest aggression
upon their private concerns; the same relentless disposition, frequently




exhibiting itself in acts of remorseless cruelty or implacable revenge;
the same impatience of all restraint inconsistent with their own sense
of right, drawing them into repeated and bloody rebellion ; the same
romantic reverence for the family tie, influencing, to a greater or less
degree, all their relations to church or state; the same stubborn adhe-
sion to a religion, whether under prelatic or Presbyterian auspices,
recognizing the immediate interposition of an omnipotent providence
in all their temporal concerns, and frequently inspired more by a dread
of his vengeance than an appreciation of his mercies, and the same
ulnquestioniDg confidence in the guidance of their spiritual leaders,
especially when bound to them by the ties of kindred.
    The thoughtful student will observe, moreover, that in the great
revolt against the parent church, in the sixteenth century, the over-
throw of its supremacy among such a people could lead to but one re-
suilt, so far as their ecclesiastical relations were concerned, and that
was the ultimate establishment of precisely such a system of church
polity as took place upon the triumph of the Reformation in Scotland.
How much the lust of power and the jealousies of ambition may have
had to do in bringing about that result, it is needless now to inquire.
WVithout pausing, therefore, to consider the intricate and controverted
details of that long and angry contest between the crown, assisted by
the magnates of the established church on the one side, and the nobil-
ity, aided by the spirit of clanship which pervaded their Multitudes of
retainers, and the an-tive influence of numbers of the native clergy,
who felt the same potent spell of family names and associations, on the
other, which culminated in the downfall of the papal hierarchy in
Scotland, it is sufficient to say that, when the moment for the final
catastrophe arrived, the man for the hour had also eome; one who,
with a single blow of his stalwart arm, hurled the venerable but tot-
tering fabric from its base, and proceeded at once to rear upon its ruins
a superstructure better suited to the genius of his race.
    That man, I scarcely need say, was Knox-the living, breathing
incarnation of the highest virtues of his people, though not wholly
exempt from many of their no less striking vices. Familiar with all
their peculiar characteristics, passionately (levoted to their interests
and their honor, the impersonation of a lofty and intrepid zeal, tem-
pered by a deliberate and self-reliant judgment, with a commanding inh-
tellect, profoundly versed in all the learning of the age and thoroughly
in sympathy with its quickening progress, inspired by an ardent love
of religious freedom, and burning with a bitter scorn for all forms of
self-assllmed authority, he seemed almost to have been specially de-




signed for the great work of ecclesiastical reconstruction of which he
was, by common consent, the acknowledged architect.
    Detesting prelacy an(l papacy alike, he conceived a scheme some-
what after the design of Calvin, with whose views he was deeply ;i-
hued, which, though not fully executed in his lifetime, resulted in the
development of a system of church government based upon the fun-
damental principles of representative democracy-a system in which
no minister or other ecclesiastical functionary could be foisted upon a
congregation without its own consent, nor its humblest member be de-
prived of any right within the cognizance of tile church, without the
privilege of appealing to the highest tribunal known to its jurisdiction,
a tribunal composed, like the lowest court in the system, of representa-
tives chosen by the free suffrages of the people constituting the conI-
gregations respectively. Izn short, a popular government in ecclesi-
astical affairs, in which the will of the majority, regularly expressed
through its legally constituted agencies, was the supreme controlling
    I will not pretend to say that the people, under this form of
church government, were more pious or orderly in their daily walk, or
that their ministers were anv more correct in their religious teaching,
or more faithful in their sacred calling, than they had been under the
system which they had just demolished ; but it can be safely asserted
that its effects upon the destinies of the Einglish speaking people, if
not ultimately upon those of the general mass of mankind, are beyond
the possibility of adequate conception.
    We may admit, if you please, that its laity for generations were
left to grovel in the lowest (lepthls of ignorance, superstition and vice,
while its clergy were narrow-minded, grasping, tyrannical, insolent,
intolerant and cruel. We may concede all that its most malignant
enemy has said in denunciation of the Presbyterian Church of Scot-
land for more than a century after its establishment, and even agree
that the colors in which the repulsive picture has been drawn should
have been ten-fold darker. Yet its influence in promoting the spirit
of democracy, which lingered in the Scottish heart from the rudest
ages of its savage independence, will entitle it to the highest nmeed of
gratitude and admiration as long as human liberty has a votary among
men. We not only find in it the germ of our own free institutions
and the original type of our own magnificent form of civil govern-
ment, but the sacred flame from which the beacon fires of freedom
have been kindled every-where. It spurned with bitter contempt the
impious pretensions of princes, and taught the true dlirnlitN of man.
Its very existence was a perpetual rebuke to every claim of hereditary




power, and a constant illustration of the great truth that men are Ca-
pable of governing themselves. The choice of its official agencies by
the free suffrage of the congregation was a practical assertion of the
vital principle underlying all republican institutions, that " govern-
ments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed,"
while its presbyteries and assemblies demonstrated the fact that the
will of popular majorities can be conveniently and safely exercised
through their own chosen representatives.
    But it miiankind is thus deeply indebted to the mere passive example
of the Scottisit church, how much more is due to the intrepid zeal and
tireless vigilance of' its clergymen in the dlarkest period of its history.
To show this, I have but to use the words of a distinguislhed English
writer, who delighted to excoriate