Page:History of England (Macaulay) Vol 4.djvu/85

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without garrisoning every manse, without placing guards round every pulpit, and without handing over some ferocious enthusiasts to the Provost Marshal; and it would be no easy task for the government to keep down by the sword at once the Jacobites of the Highlands and the Covenanters of the Lowlands. The majority, having made up their minds for reasons which could not well be produced, became clamorous for the question. "No more debate," was the cry: "We have heard enough: a vote! a vote!" The question was put according to the Scottish form, "Approve or not approve the article?" Hamilton insisted that the question, should be, "Approve or not approve the rabbling?" After much altercation, he was overruled, and the clause passed. Only fifteen or sixteen members voted with him. He warmly and loudly exclaimed, amidst much angry interruption, that he was sorry to see a Scottish Parliament disgrace itself by such iniquity. He then left the house with several of his friends. It is impossible not to sympathize with the indignation which he expressed. Yet we ought to remember that it is the nature of injustice to generate injustice. There are wrongs which it is almost impossible to repair without committing other wrongs; and such a wrong had been done to the people of Scotland in the preceding generation. It was because the Parliament of the Restoration had legislated in insolent defiance of the sense of the nation that the Parliament of the Revolution had to abase itself before the mob.

When Hamilton and his adherents had retired, one of the preachers who had been admitted to the hall called out to the members who were near him; "Fie! Fie! Do not lose time. Make haste, and get all over before he comes back." This advice was taken. Four or five sturdy Prelatists staid to give a last vote against Presbytery. Four or five equally sturdy Covenanters staid to mark their dislike of what seemed to them a compromise between the Lord and Baal. But the Act was passed by an overwhelming majority.[1]

Two supplementary Acts speedily followed. One of them,

  1. Account of the late Establishment of the Presbyterian Government by the Parliament of Scotland, 1690.