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The Private Memoirs and Confessions of A Justified Sinner

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principles in which I have educated you?"

"Yes, to every one of them in their fullest latitude," said I.

"Then he was no agent of the Wicked One with whom you held
converse," said he: "for that is the doctrine that was made to
overturn the principalities and powers, the might and dominion of
the kingdom of darkness. Let us pray."

After spending about a quarter of an hour in solemn and sublime
thanksgiving, this saintly man and minister of Christ Jesus, gave
out that the day following should be kept by the family as a day
of solemn thanksgiving, and spent in prayer and praise, on
account of the calling and election of one of its members; or
rather for the election of that individual being revealed on earth,
as well as confirmed in Heaven.

The next day was with me a day of holy exultation. It was begun
by my reverend father laying his hands upon my head and
blessing me, and then dedicating me to the Lord in the most
awful and impressive manner. It was in no common way that he
exercised this profound rite, for it was done with all the zeal and
enthusiasm of a devotee to the true cause, and a champion on the
side he had espoused. He used these remarkable words, which I
have still treasured up in my heart: "I give him unto Thee only, to
Thee wholly, and to Thee for ever. I dedicate him unto Thee,
soul, body, and spirit. Not as the wicked of this world, or the
hirelings of a Church profanely called by Thy name, do I dedicate
this Thy servant to Thee: Not in words and form, learned by rote,
and dictated by the limbs of Antichrist, but, Lord, I give him into
Thy hand, as a captain putteth a sword into the hand of his
sovereign, wherewith to lay waste his enemies. May he be a two-
edged weapon in Thy hand and a spear coming out of Thy mouth,
to destroy, and overcome, and pass over; and may the enemies of
Thy Church fall down before him, and be as dung to fat the

From the moment, I conceived it decreed, not that I should be a
minister of the gospel, but a champion of it, to cut off the enemies
of the Lord from the face of the earth; and I rejoiced in the
commission, finding it more congenial to my nature to be cutting
sinners off with the sword than to be haranguing them from the
pulpit, striving to produce an effect which God, by his act of
absolute predestination, had for ever rendered impracticable. The
more I pondered on these things the more I saw of the folly and
inconsistency of ministers in spending their lives striving and
remonstrating with sinners in order to induce them to do that
which they had it not in their power to do. Seeing that God had
from all eternity decided the fate of every individual that was to
be born of woman, how vain was it in man to endeavour to save
those whom their Maker had, by an unchangeable decree,
doomed to destruction. I could not disbelieve the doctrine which
the best of men had taught me, and towards which he made the
whole of the Scriptures to bear, and yet it made the economy of
the Christian world appear to me as an absolute contradiction.
How much more wise would it be, thought I, to begin and cut
sinners off with the sword! For till that is effected, the saints can
never inherit the earth in peace. Should I be honoured as an
instrument to begin this great work of purification, I should
rejoice in it. But, then, where had I the means, or under what
direction was I to begin? There was one thing clear, I was now
the Lord's and it behoved me to bestir myself in His service. Oh
that I had an host at my command, then would I be as a devouring
fire among the workers of iniquity!

Full of these great ideas, I hurried through the city, and sought
again the private path through the field and wood of Finnieston,
in which my reverend preceptor had the privilege of walking for
study, and to which he had a key that was always at my
command. Near one of the stiles, I perceived a young man sitting
in a devout posture, reading a Bible. He rose, lifted his hat, and
made an obeisance to me, which I returned and walked on. I had
not well crossed the stile till it struck me I knew the face of the
youth and that he was some intimate acquaintance, to whom I
ought to have spoken. I walked on, and returned, and walked on
again, trying to recollect who he was; but for my life I could not.
There was, however, a fascination in his look and manner that
drew me back towards him in spite of myself, and I resolved to
go to him, if it were merely to speak and see who he was.

I came up to him and addressed him, but he was so intent on his
book that, though I spoke, he lifted not his eyes. I looked on the
book also, and still it seemed a Bible, having columns, chapters,
and verses; but it was in a language of which I was wholly
ignorant, and all intersected with red lines and verses. A sensation
resembling a stroke of electricity came over me, on first casting
my eyes on that mysterious book, and I stood motionless. He
looked up, smiled, closed his book, and put it in his bosom. "You
seem strangely affected, dear sir, by looking at my book," said he

"In the name of God, what book is that?" said I. "Is it a Bible?"

"It is my Bible, sir," said he, "but I will cease reading it, for I am
glad to see you. Pray, is not this a day for holy festivity with

I stared in his face, but made no answer, for my senses were

"Do you not know me?" said he. "You appear to be somehow at a
loss. Had not you and I some sweet communion and fellowship

"I beg your pardon, sir," said I. "But, surely, if you are the young
gentleman with whom I spent the hours yesterday, you have the
chameleon art of changing your appearance; I never could have
recognized you."

"My countenance changes with my studies and sensations," said
he. It is a natural peculiarity in me, over which I have not full
control. If I contemplate a man's features seriously, mine own
gradually assume the very same appearance and character. And
what is more, by contemplating a face minutely, I not only attain
the same likeness but, with the likeness, I attain the very same
ideas as well as the same mode of arranging them, so that, you
see, by looking at a person attentively, I by degrees assume his
likeness, and by assuming his likeness I attain to the possession
of his most secret thoughts. This, I say, is a peculiarity in my
nature, a gift of the God that made me; but, whether or not given
me for a blessing, He knows Himself, and so do I. At all events, I
have this privilege, I can never be mistaken of a character in
whom I am interested."

"It is a rare qualification," replied I, "and I would give worlds to
possess it. Then, it appears that it is needless to dissemble with
you, since you can at any time extract our most secret thoughts
from our bosoms. You already know my natural character?"

"Yes," said he, "and it is that which attaches me to you. By
assuming your likeness yesterday, I became acquainted with your
character, and was no less astonished at the profundity and range
of your thoughts than at the heroic magnanimity with which these
were combined. And now, in addition to these, you are dedicated
to the great work of the Lord; for which reasons I have resolved
to attach myself as closely to you as possible, and to render you
all the service of which my poor abilities are capable."

I confess that I was greatly flattered by these compliments paid to
my abilities by a youth of such superior qualifications; by one
who, with a modesty and affability rare at his age, combined a
height of genius and knowledge almost above human
comprehension. Nevertheless, I began to assume a certain
superiority of demeanour towards him, as judging it incumbent
on me to do so, in order to keep up his idea of my exalted
character. We conversed again till the day was near a close; and
the things that he strove most to inculcate on my mind were the
infallibility of the elect, and the preordination of all things that
come to pass. I pretended to controvert the first of these, for the
purpose of showing him the extent of my argumentative powers,
and said that "indubitably there were degrees of sinning which
would induce the Almighty to throw off the very elect." But
behold my hitherto humble and modest companion took up the
argument with such warmth that he put me not only to silence but
to absolute shame.

"Why, sir," said he, "by vending such an insinuation, you put
discredit on the great atonement, in which you trust. Is there not
enough of merit in the blood of Jesus to save thousands of
worlds, if it was for these worlds that he died? Now, when you
know, as you do (and as every one of the elect may know of
himself) that this Saviour died for you, namely and particularly,
dare you say that there is not enough of merit in His great
atonement to annihilate all your sins, let them be as heinous and
atrocious as they may? And, moreover, do you not acknowledge
that God hath pre-ordained and decreed whatsoever comes to
pass? Then, how is it that you should deem it in your power to
eschew one action of your life, whether good or evil? Depend on
it, the advice of the great preacher is genuine: 'What thine hand
findeth to do, do it with all thy might, for none of us knows what
a day may bring forth.' That is, none of us knows what is pre-
ordained, but whatever it is pre-ordained we must do, and none of
these things will be laid to our charge."

I could hardly believe that these sayings were genuine or
orthodox; but I soon felt that, instead of being a humble disciple
of mine, this new acquaintance was to be my guide and director,
and all under the humble guise of one stooping at my feet to learn
the right. He said that he saw I was ordained to perform some
great action for the cause of Jesus and His Church, and he
earnestly coveted being a partaker with me; but he besought of
me never to think it possible for me to fall from the truth, or the
favour of Him who had chosen me, else that misbelief would
baulk every good work to which I set my face.

There was something so flattering in all this that I could not resist
it. Still, when he took leave of me, I felt it as a great relief; and
yet, before the morrow, I wearied and was impatient to see him
again. We carried on our fellowship from day to day, and all the
while I knew not who he was, and still my mother and reverend
father kept insisting that I was an altered youth, changed in my
appearance, my manners, and my whole conduct; yet something
always prevented me from telling them more about my new
acquaintance than I had done on the first day we met. I rejoiced in
him, was proud of him, and soon could not live without him; yet,
though resolved every day to disclose the whole story of my
connection with him, I had it not in my power. Something always
prevented me, till at length I thought no more of it, but resolved
to enjoy his fascinating company in private, and by all means to
keep my own with him. The resolution was vain: I set a bold face
to it, but my powers were inadequate to the task; my adherent,
with all the suavity imaginable, was sure to carry his point. I
sometimes fumed, and sometimes shed tears at being obliged to
yield to proposals against which I had at first felt every reasoning
power of my soul rise in opposition; but for all that he never
faded in carrying conviction along with him in effect, for he
either forced me to acquiesce in his measures, and assent to the
truth of his positions, or he put me so completely down that I had
not a word left to advance against them.

After weeks, and I may say months of intimacy, I observed,
somewhat to my amazement, that we had never once prayed
together; and, more than that, that he had constantly led my
attentions away from that duty, causing me to neglect it wholly. I
thought this a bad mark of a man seemingly so much set on
inculcating certain important points of religion, and resolved next
day to put him to the test, and request him to perform that sacred
duty in name of us both. He objected boldly; saying there were
very few people indeed with whom he could join in prayer, and
he made a point of never doing it, as he was sure they were to ask
many things of which he disapproved, and that, if he were to
officiate himself, he was as certain to allude to many things that
came not within the range of their faith. He disapproved of prayer
altogether in the manner it was generally gone about, he said.
Man made it merely a selfish concern, and was constantly
employed asking, asking, for everything. Whereas it became all
God's creatures to be content with their lot, and only to kneel
before him in order to thank him for such benefits as he saw meet
to bestow. In short, he argued with such energy that before we
parted I acquiesced, as usual, in his position, and never
mentioned prayer to him any more.

Having been so frequently seen in his company, several people
happened to mention the circumstance to my mother and
reverend father; but at the same time had all described him
differently. At length, they began to examine me with respect to
the company I kept, as I absented myself from home day after
day. I told them I kept company only with one young gentleman,
whose whole manner of thinking on religious subjects I found so
congenial with my own that I could not live out of his society.
My mother began to lay down some of her old hackneyed rules of
faith, but I turned from hearing her with disgust; for, after the
energy of my new friend's reasoning, hers appeared so tame I
could not endure it. And I confess with shame that my reverend
preceptor's religious dissertations began, about this time, to lose
their relish very much, and by degrees became exceedingly
tiresome to my ear. They were so inferior, in strength and
sublimity, to the most common observations of my young friend
that in drawing a comparison the former appeared as nothing. He,
however, examined me about many things relating to my
companion, in all of which I satisfied him, save in one: I could
neither tell him who my friend was, what was his name, nor of
whom he was descended; and I wondered at myself how I had
never once adverted to such a thing for all the time we had been

I inquired the next day what his name was; as I said I was often at
a loss for it, when talking with him. He replied that there was no
occasion for any one friend ever naming another, when their
society was held in private, as ours was; for his part he had never
once named me since we first met, and never intended to do so,
unless by my own request. "But if you cannot converse without
naming me, you may call me Gil for the present," added he, "and
if I think proper to take another name at any future period, it shall
be with your approbation."

"Gil!" said I. "Have you no name but Gil? Or which of your
names is it? Your Christian or surname?"

"Oh, you must have a surname too, must you!" replied he. "Very
well, you may call me Gil-Martin. It is not my Christian name;
but it is a name which may serve your turn."

"This is very strange!" said I. "Are you ashamed of your parents
that you refuse to give your real name?"

"I have no parents save one, whom I do not acknowledge," said
he proudly. "Therefore, pray drop that subject, for it is a
disagreeable one. I am a being of a very peculiar temper, for,
though I have servants and subjects more than I can number, yet,
to gratify a certain whim, I have left them, and retired to this city,
and, for all the society it contains, you see I have attached myself
only to you. This is a secret, and I tell you only in friendship,
therefore pray let it remain one, and say not another word about
the matter."

I assented, and said no more concerning it; for it instantly struck
me that this was no other than the Czar Peter of Russia, having
heard that he had been travelling through Europe in disguise, and
I cannot say that I had not thenceforward great and mighty hopes
of high preferment, as a defender and avenger of the oppressed
Christian Church, under the influence of this great potentate. He
had hinted as much already, as that it was more honourable, and
of more avail to put down the wicked with the sword than try to
reform them, and I thought myself quite justified in supposing
that he intended me for some great employment, that he had thus
selected me for his companion out of all the rest in Scotland, and
even pretended to learn the great truths of religion from my
mouth. From that time I felt disposed to yield to such a great
prince's suggestions without hesitation.

Nothing ever astonished me so much as the uncommon powers
with which he seemed invested. In our walk one day, we met with
a Mr. Blanchard, who was reckoned a worthy, pious divine, but
quite of the moral cast, who joined us; and we three walked on,
and rested together in the fields. My companion did not seem to
like him, but, nevertheless, regarded him frequently with deep
attention, and there were several times, while he seemed
contemplating him, and trying to find out his thoughts, that his
face became so like Mr. Blanchard's that it was impossible to
have distinguished the one from the other. The antipathy between
the two was mutual, and discovered itself quite palpably in a
short time. When my companion the prince was gone, Mr.
Blanchard asked me anent him, and I told him that he was a
stranger in the city, but a very uncommon and great personage.
Mr. Blanchard's answer to me was as follows: "I never saw
anybody I disliked so much in my life, Mr. Robert; and if it be
true that he is a stranger here, which I doubt, believe me he is
come for no good."

"Do you not perceive what mighty powers of mind he is
possessed of?" said I, "and also how clear and unhesitating he is
on some of the most interesting points of divinity?"

"It is for his great mental faculties that I dread him," said he. "It is
incalculable what evil such a person as he may do, if so disposed.
There is a sublimity in his ideas, with which there is to me a
mixture of terror; and, when he talks of religion, he does it as one
that rather dreads its truths than reverences them. He, indeed,
pretends great strictness of orthodoxy regarding some of the
points of doctrine embraced by the reformed church; but you do
not seem to perceive that both you and he are carrying these
points to a dangerous extremity. Religion is a sublime and
glorious thing, the bonds of society on earth, and the connector of
humanity with the Divine nature; but there is nothing so
dangerous to man as the wresting of any of its principles, or
forcing them beyond their due bounds: this is of all others the
readiest way to destruction. Neither is there anything so easily
done. There is not an error into which a man can fall which he
may not press Scripture into his service as proof of the probity of,
and though your boasted theologian shunned the full discussion
of the subject before me, while you pressed it, I can easily see
that both you and he are carrying your ideas of absolute
predestination, and its concomitant appendages, to an extent that
overthrows all religion and revelation together; or, at least,
jumbles them into a chaos, out of which human capacity can
never select what is good. Believe me, Mr. Robert, the less you
associate with that illustrious stranger the better, for it appears to
me that your creed and his carries damnation on the very front of

I was rather stunned at this; but pretended to smile with disdain,
and said it did not become youth to control age; and, as I knew
our principles differed fundamentally, it behoved us to drop the
subject. He, however, would not drop it, but took both my
principles and me fearfully to task, for Blanchard was an eloquent
and powerful-minded old man; and, before we parted, I believe I
promised to drop my new acquaintance, and was all but resolved
to do it.

As well might I have laid my account with shunning the light of
day. He was constant to me as my shadow, and by degrees he
acquired such an ascendency over me that I never was happy out
of his company, nor greatly so in it. When I repeated to him all
that Mr. Blanchard had said, his countenance kindled with
indignation and rage; and then by degrees his eyes sunk inward,
his brow lowered, so that I was awed, and withdrew my eyes
from looking at him. A while afterwards as I was addressing him,
I chanced to look him again in the face, and the sight of him
made me start violently. He had made himself so like Mr.
Blanchard that I actually believed I had been addressing that
gentleman, and that I had done so in some absence of mind that I
could not account for. Instead of being amused at the quandary I
was in, he seemed offended: indeed, he never was truly amused
with anything. And he then asked me sullenly, if I conceived such
personages as he to have no other endowments than common

I said I never conceived that princes or potentates had any greater
share of endowments than other men, and frequently not so much.
He shook his head, and bade me think over the subject again; and
there was an end of it. I certainly felt every day the more disposed
to acknowledge such a superiority in him; and, from all that I
could gather, I had now no doubt that he was Peter of Russia.
Everything combined to warrant the supposition, and, of course, I
resolved to act in conformity with the discovery I had made.

For several days the subject of Mr. Blanchard's doubts and
doctrines formed the theme of our discourse. My friend
deprecated them most devoutly; and then again he would deplore
them, and lament the great evil that such a man might do among
the human race. I joined with him in allowing the evil in its
fullest latitude; and, at length, after he thought he had fully
prepared my nature for such a trial of its powers and abilities, he
proposed calmly that we two should make away with Mr.
Blanchard. I was so shocked that my bosom became as it were a
void, and the beatings of my heart sounded loud and hollow in it;
my breath cut, and my tongue and palate became dry and
speechless. He mocked at my cowardice, and began a-reasoning
on the matter with such powerful eloquence that, before we
parted, I felt fully convinced that it was my bounden duty to slay
Mr. Blanchard; but my will was far, very far from consenting to
the deed.

I spent the following night without sleep, or nearly so; and the
next morning, by the time the sun arose, I was again abroad, and
in the company of my illustrious friend. The same subject was
resumed, and again he reasoned to the following purport: That
supposing me placed at the head of any army of Christian
soldiers, all bent on putting down the enemies of the Church,
would I have any hesitation in destroying and rooting out these
enemies? None, surely. Well then, when I saw and was convinced
that here was an individual who was doing more detriment to the
Church of Christ on earth than tens of thousands of such warriors
were capable of doing, was it not my duty to cut him off, and
save the elect? "He who would be a champion in the cause of
Christ and His Church, my brave young friend," added he, "must
begin early, and no man can calculate to what an illustrious
eminence small beginnings may lead. If the man Blanchard is
worthy, he is only changing his situation for a better one; and, if
unworthy, it is better that one fall than that a thousand souls
perish. Let us be up and doing in our vocations. For me, my
resolution is taken; I have but one great aim in this world, and I
never for a moment lose sight of it."

I was obliged to admit the force of his reasoning; for, though I
cannot from memory repeat his words, his eloquence was of that
overpowering nature that the subtilty of other men sunk before it;
and there is also little doubt that the assurance I had that these
words were spoken by a great potentate who could raise me to the
highest eminence (provided that I entered into his extensive and
decisive measures) assisted mightily in dispelling my youthful
scruples and qualms of conscience; and I thought moreover that,
having such a powerful back friend to support me, I hardly
needed to be afraid of the consequences. I consented! But begged
a little time to think of it. He said the less one thought of a duty
the better; and we parted.

But the most singular instance of this wonderful man's power
over my mind was that he had as complete influence over me by
night as by day. All my dreams corresponded exactly with his
suggestions; and, when he was absent from me, still his
arguments sunk deeper in my heart than even when he was
present. I dreamed that night of a great triumph obtained, and,
though the whole scene was but dimly and confusedly defined in
my vision, yet the overthrow and death of Mr. Blanchard was the
first step by which I attained the eminent station I occupied.
Thus, by dreaming of the event by night, and discoursing of it by
day, it soon became so familiar to my mind that I almost
conceived it as done. It was resolved on: which was the first and
greatest victory gained; for there was no difficulty in finding
opportunities enow of cutting off a man who, every good day,
was to be found walking by himself in private grounds. I went
and heard him preach for two days, and in fact I held his tenets
scarcely short of blasphemy; they were such as I had never heard
before, and his congregation, which was numerous, were turning
up their ears and drinking in his doctrines with the utmost delight;
for Oh they suited their carnal natures and self-sufficiency to a
hair! He was actually holding it forth, as a fact, that "it was every
man's own blame if he was not saved!" What horrible
misconstruction! And then be was alleging, and trying to prove
from nature and reason, that no man ever was guilty of a sinful
action who might not have declined it had he so chosen!
"Wretched controvertist!" thought I to myself an hundred times,
"shall not the sword of the Lord be moved from its place of peace
for such presumptuous, absurd testimonies as these!"

When I began to tell the prince about these false doctrines, to my
astonishment I found that he had been in the church himself, and
had every argument that the old divine had used verbatim; and he
remarked on them with great concern that these were not the
tenets that corresponded with his views in society, and that he had
agents in every city, and every land, exerting their powers to put
them down. I asked, with great simplicity: "Are all your subjects
Christians, prince?"

"All my European subjects are, or deem themselves so," returned
he; "and they are the most faithful and true subjects I have."

Who could doubt, after this, that he was the Czar of Russia? I
have nevertheless had reasons to doubt of his identity since that
period, and which of my conjectures is right I believe the God of
Heaven only knows, for I do not. I shall go on to write such
things as I remember, and, if anyone shall ever take the trouble to
read over these confessions, such a one will judge for himself. It
will be observed that, since ever I fell in with this extraordinary
person, I have written about him only, and I must continue to do
so to the end of this memoir, as I have performed no great or
interesting action in which he had not a principal share.

He came to me one day and said: "We must not linger thus in
executing what we have resolved on. We have much before our
hands to perform for the benefit of mankind, both civil as well as
religious. Let us do what we have to do here, and then we must
wend our way to other cities, and perhaps to other countries. Mr.
Blanchard is to hold forth in the high church of Paisley on
Sunday next, on some particularly great occasion: this must be
defeated; he must not go there. As he will be busy arranging his
discourses, we may expect him to be walking by himself in
Finnieston Dell the greater part of Friday and Saturday. Let us go
and cut him off. What is the life of a man more than the life of a
lamb, or any guiltless animal? It is not half so much, especially
when we consider the immensity of the mischief this old fellow is
working among our fellow-creatures. Can there be any doubt that
it is the duty of one consecrated to God to cut off such a

"I fear me, great sovereign," said I, "that your ideas of retribution
are too sanguine, and too arbitrary for the laws of this country. I
dispute not that your motives are great and high; but have you
debated the consequences, and settled the result?"

"I have," returned be, "and hold myself amenable for the action to
the laws of God and of equity; as to the enactments of men, I
despise them. Fain would I see the weapon of the Lord of Hosts
begin the work of vengeance that awaits it to do!"

I could not help thinking that I perceived a little derision of
countenance on his face as he said this, nevertheless I sunk dumb
before such a man, aroused myself to the task, seeing he would
not have it deferred. I approved of it in theory, but my spirit stood
aloof from the practice. I saw and was convinced that the elect of
God would be happier, and purer, were the wicked and
unbelievers all cut off from troubling and misleading them, but if
it had not been the instigations of this illustrious stranger, I
should never have presumed to begin so great a work myself.
Yet, though he often aroused my zeal to the highest pitch, still my
heart at times shrunk from the shedding of life-blood, and it was
only at the earnest and unceasing instigations of my enlightened
and voluntary patron that I at length put my hand to the
conclusive work. After I said all that I could say, and all had been
overborne (I remember my actions and words as well as it had
been yesterday), I turned round hesitatingly, and looked up to
Heaven for direction; but there was a dimness come over my eyes
that I could not see. The appearance was as if there had been a
veil drawn over me, so nigh that I put up my hand to feel it; and
then Gil-Martin (as this great sovereign was pleased to have
himself called) frowned, and asked me what I was grasping at. I
knew not what to say, but answered, with fear and shame: "I have
no weapons, not one; nor know I where any are to be found."

"The God whom thou servest will provide these," said he, "if thou
provest worthy of the trust committed to thee."

I looked again up into the cloudy veil that covered us and thought
I beheld golden weapons of every description let down in it, but
all with their points towards me. I kneeled, And was going to
stretch out my hand to take one, when my patron seized me, as I
thought, by the clothes, and dragged me away with as much ease
as I had been a lamb, saying, with a joyful and elevated voice:
"Come, my friend, let us depart: thou art dreaming--thou art
dreaming. Rouse up all the energies of thy exalted mind, for thou
art an highly favoured one; and doubt thou not that He whom
thou servest, will be ever at thy right and left hand, to direct and
assist thee."

These words, but particularly the vision I had seen, of the golden
weapons descending out of Heaven, inflamed my zeal to that
height that I was as one beside himself; which my parents
perceived that night, and made some motions towards confining
me to my room. I joined in the family prayers, and then I
afterwards sung a psalm and prayed by myself; and I had good
reasons for believing that that small oblation of praise and prayer
was not turned to sin. But there are strange things, and
unaccountable agencies in nature: He only who dwells between
the Cherubim can unriddle them, and to Him the honour must
redound for ever. Amen.

I felt greatly strengthened and encouraged that night, and the next
morning I ran to meet my companion, out of whose eye I had
now no life. He rejoiced at seeing me so forward in the great
work of reformation by blood, and said many things to raise my
hopes of future fame and glory; and then producing two pistols of
pure beaten gold, he held them out and proffered me the choice of
one, saying: "See what thy master hath provided thee!" I took one
of them eagerly, for I perceived at once that they were two of the
very weapons that were let down from Heaven in the cloudy veil,
the dim tapestry of the firmament; and I said to myself. "Surely
this is the will of the Lord."

The little splendid and enchanting piece was so perfect, so
complete, and so ready for executing the will of the donor, that I
now longed to use it in his service. I loaded it with my own hand,
as Gil-Martin did the other, and we took our stations behind a
bush of hawthorn and bramble on the verge of the wood, and
almost close to the walk. My patron was so acute in all his
calculations that he never mistook an event. We had not taken our
stand above a minute and a half till old Mr. Blanchard appeared,
coming slowly on the path. When we saw this, we cowered down.
and leaned each of us a knee upon the ground, pointing the pistols
through the bush, with an aim so steady that it was impossible to
miss our victim.

He came deliberately on, pausing at times so long that we
dreaded he was going to turn. Gil-Martin dreaded it, and I said I
did, but wished in my heart that he might. He, however, came
onward, and I will never forget the manner in which he came!
No, I don't believe I ever can forget it, either in the narrow
bounds of time or the ages of eternity! He was a broadly,
ill-shaped man, of a rude exterior, and a little bent with age; his
hands were clasped behind his back and below his coat, and he
walked with a slow swinging air that was very peculiar. When he
paused and looked abroad on nature, the act was highly
impressive: he seemed conscious of being all alone, and
conversant only with God and the elements of his creation. Never
was there such a picture of human inadvertency! a man
approaching step by step to the one that was to hurl him out of
one existence into another with as much ease and indifference as
the ox goeth to the stall. Hideous vision, wilt thou not be gone
from my mental sight! if not, let me bear with thee as I can!

When he came straight opposite to the muzzles of our pieces, Gil-
Martin called out "Eh!" with a short quick sound. The old man,
without starting, turned his face and breast towards us, and
looked into the wood, but looked over our heads.

"Now!" whispered my companion, and fired. But my hand
refused the office, for I was not at that moment sure about
becoming an assassin in the cause of Christ and His Church. I
thought I heard a sweet voice behind me, whispering to me to
beware, and I was going to look round, when my companion
exclaimed: "Coward, we are ruined!"

I had no time for an alternative: Gil-Martin's ball had not taken
effect, which was altogether wonderful, as the old man's breast
was within a few yards of him. "Hilloa!" cried Blanchard, "what
is that for, you dog!" and with that he came forward to look over
the bush. I hesitated, as I said, and attempted to look behind me;
but there was no time: the next step discovered two assassins
lying in covert, waiting for blood. "Coward, we are ruined!" cried
my indignant friend; and that moment my piece was discharged.
The effect was as might have been expected: the old man first
stumbled to one side, and then fell on his back. We kept our
places, and I perceived my companion's eyes gleaming with an
unnatural joy. The wounded man raised himself from the bank to
a sitting posture, and I beheld his eyes swimming; he however
appeared sensible, for we heard him saying in a low and rattling
voice: "Alas, alas! whom have I offended, that they should have
been driven to an act like this! Come forth and shew yourselves,
that I may either forgive you before I die, or curse you in the
name of the Lord." He then fell a-groping with both hands on the
ground, as if feeling for something he had lost manifestly in the
agonies of death; and, with a solemn and interrupted prayer for
forgiveness, he breathed his last.

I had become rigid as a statue, whereas my associate appeared to
be elevated above measure. "Arise, thou faint-hearted one, and let
us be going," said he. "Thou hast done well for once; but
wherefore hesitate in such a cause? This is but a small beginning
of so great a work as that of purging the Christian world. But the
first victim is a worthy one, and more of such lights must be
extinguished immediately."

We touched not our victim, nor anything pertaining to him, for
fear of staining our hands with his blood; and the firing having
brought three men within view, who were hasting towards the
spot, my undaunted companion took both the pistols, and went
forward as with intent to meet them, bidding me shift for myself.
I ran off in a contrary direction, till I came to the foot of the
Pearman Sike, and then, running up the hollow of that, I appeared
on the top of the bank as if I had been another man brought in
view by hearing the shots in such a place. I had a full view of a
part of what passed, though not of all. I saw my companion going
straight to meet the men, apparently with a pistol in every hand,
waving in a careless manner. They seemed not quite clear of
meeting with him, and so he went straight on, and passed
between them. They looked after him, and came onwards; but,
when they came to the old man lying stretched in his blood, then
they turned and pursued my companion, though not so quickly as
they might have done; and I understand that from the first they
saw no more of him.

Great was the confusion that day in Glasgow. The most popular
of all their preachers of morality was (what they called) murdered
in cold blood, and a strict and extensive search was made for the
assassin. Neither of the accomplices was found, however, that is
certain, nor was either of them so much as suspected; but another
man was apprehended under circumstances that warranted
suspicion. This was one of the things that I witnessed in my life,
which I never understood, and it surely was one of my patron's
most dexterous tricks, for I must still say, what I have thought
from the beginning, that like him there never was a man created.
The young man who was taken up was a preacher; and it was
proved that he had purchased fire-arms in town, and gone out
with them that morning. But the far greatest mystery of the whole
was that two of the men, out of the three who met my companion,
swore that that unfortunate preacher was the man whom they met
with a pistol in each hand, fresh from the death of the old divine.
The poor fellow made a confused speech himself, which there is
not the least doubt was quite true; but it was laughed to scorn, and
an expression of horror ran through both the hearers and jury. I
heard the whole trial, and so did Gil-Martin; but we left the
journeyman preacher to his fate, and from that time forth I have
had no faith in the justice of criminal trials. If once a man is
prejudiced on one side, he will swear anything in support of such
prejudice. I tried to expostulate with my mysterious friend on the
horrid injustice of suffering this young man to die for our act, but
the prince exulted in it more than the other, and said the latter was
the most dangerous man of the two.

The alarm in and about Glasgow was prodigious. The country
being divided into two political parties, the court and the country
party, the former held meetings, issued proclamations, and
offered rewards, ascribing all to the violence of party spirit, and
deprecating the infernal measures of their opponents. I did not
understand their political differences; but it was easy to see that
the true Gospel preachers joined all on one side, and the
upholders of pure morality and a blameless life on the other, so
that this division proved a test to us, and it was forthwith resolved
that we two should pick out some of the leading men of this
unsaintly and heterodox cabal, and cut them off one by one, as
occasion should suit.

Now, the ice being broke, I felt considerable zeal in our great
work, but pretended much more; and we might soon have
kidnapped them all through the ingenuity of my patron, had not
our next attempt miscarried, by some awkwardness or mistake of
mine. The consequence was that he was discovered fairly, and
very nigh seized. I also was seen, and suspected so far that my
reverend father, my mother, and myself were examined privately.
I denied all knowledge of the matter; and they held it in such a
ridiculous light, and their conviction of the complete
groundlessness of the suspicion was so perfect, that their
testimony prevailed, and the affair was hushed. I was obliged,
however, to walk circumspectly, and saw my companion the
prince very seldom, who was prowling about every day, quite
unconcerned about his safety. He was every day a new man,
however, and needed not to be alarmed at any danger; for such a
facility had he in disguising himself that, if it had not been for a
password which we had between us, for the purposes of
recognition, I never could have known him myself.

It so happened that my reverend father was called to Edinburgh
about this time, to assist with his counsel in settling the national
affairs. At my earnest request I was permitted to accompany him,
at which both my associate and I rejoiced, as we were now about
to move in a new and extensive field. All this time I never knew
where my illustrious friend resided. He never once invited me to
call on him at his lodgings, nor did he ever come to our house,
which made me sometimes to suspect that, if any of our great
efforts in the cause of true religion were discovered, he intended
leaving me in the lurch. Consequently, when we met in
Edinburgh (for we travelled not in company), I proposed to go
with him to look for lodgings, telling him at the same time what a
blessed religious family my reverend instructor and I were settled
in. He said he rejoiced at it, but he made a rule of never lodging
in any particular house, but took these daily, or hourly, as he
found it convenient, and that be never was at a loss in any

"What a mighty trouble you put yourself to, great sovereign!"
said I, "and all, it would appear, for the purpose of seeing and
knowing more and more of the human race."

"I never go but where I have some great purpose to serve,"
returned he, "either in the advancement of my own power and
dominion or in thwarting my enemies."

"With all due deference to your great comprehension, my
illustrious friend," said I, "it strikes me that you can accomplish
very little either the one way or the other here, in the humble and
private capacity you are pleased to occupy."

"It is your own innate modesty that prompts such a remark," said
he. "Do you think the gaining of you to my service is not an
attainment worthy of being envied by the greatest potentate in
Christendom? Before I had missed such a prize as the attainment
of your services, I would have travelled over one half of the
habitable globe."--I bowed with great humility, but at the same
time how could I but feel proud and highly flattered? He
continued: "Believe me, my dear friend, for such a prize I account
no effort too high. For a man who is not only dedicated to the
King of Heaven in the most solemn manner, soul, body, and
spirit, but also chosen of him from the beginning, justified,
sanctified, and received into a communion that never shall be
broken, and from which no act of his shall ever remove him--the
possession of such a man, I tell you, is worth kingdoms; because,
every deed that he performs, he does it with perfect safety to
himself and honour to me."--I bowed again, lifting my hat, and he
went on.-- "I am now going to put his courage in the cause he has
espoused to a severe test--to a trial at which common nature
would revolt, but he who is dedicated to be the sword of the Lord
must raise himself above common humanity. You have a father
and a brother according to the flesh: what do you know of them?"

"I am sorry to say I know nothing good," said I. "They are
reprobates, castaways, beings devoted to the Wicked One, and,
like him, workers of every species of iniquity with greediness."

"They must both fall!" said he, with a sigh and melancholy look.
"It is decreed in the councils above that they must both fall by
your hand."

"The God of Heaven forbid it!" said I. "They are enemies to
Christ and His Church, that I know and believe; but they shall
live and die in their iniquity for me, and reap their guerdon when
their time cometh. There my hand shall not strike."

"The feeling is natural, and amiable," said he. "But you must
think again. Whether are the bonds of carnal nature or the bonds
and vows of the Lord strongest?"

"I will not reason with you on this head, mighty potentate," said I,
"for whenever I do so it is but to be put down. I shall only,
express my determination not to take vengeance out of the Lord's
hand in this instance. It availeth not. These are men that have the
mark of the beast in their foreheads and right hands; they are lost
beings themselves, but have no influence over others. Let them
perish in their sins; for they shall not be meddled with by me."

"How preposterously you talk, my dear friend!" said he. "These
people are your greatest enemies; they would rejoice to see you
annihilated. And, now that you have taken up the Lord's cause of
being avenged on His enemies, wherefore spare those that are
your own as well as His? Besides, you ought to consider what
great advantages would be derived to the cause of righteousness
and truth were the estate and riches of that opulent house in your
possession, rather than in that of such as oppose the truth and all
manner of holiness."

This was a portion of the consequence of following my illustrious
adviser's summary mode of procedure that had never entered into
my calculation. I disclaimed all idea of being influenced by it;
however, I cannot but say that the desire of being enabled to do
so much good, by the possession of these bad men's riches, made
some impression on my heart, and I said I would consider of the
matter. I did consider it, and that right seriously as well as
frequently; and there was scarcely an hour in the day on which
my resolves were not animated by my great friend, till at length I
began to have a longing desire to kill my brother, in particular.
Should any man ever read this scroll, he will wonder at this
confession, and deem it savage and unnatural. So it appeared to
me at first, but a constant thinking of an event changes every one
of its features. I have done all for the best, and as I was prompted,
by one who knew right and wrong much better than I did. I had a
desire to slay him, it is true, and such a desire too as a thirsty man
has to drink; but, at the same time, this longing desire was
mingled with a certain terror, as if I had dreaded that the drink for
which I longed was mixed with deadly poison. My mind was so
much weakened, or rather softened about this time, that my faith
began a little to give way, and I doubted most presumptuously of
the least tangible of all Christian tenets, namely, of the
infallibility of the elect. I hardly comprehended the great work I
had begun, and doubted of my own infallibility, or that of any
created being. But I was brought over again by the unwearied
diligence of my friend to repent of my backsliding, and view once
more the superiority of the Almighty's counsels in its fullest
latitude. Amen.

I prayed very much in secret about this time, and that with great
fervour of spirit, as well as humility; and my satisfaction at
finding all my requests granted is not to be expressed.

My illustrious friend still continuing to sound in my ears the
imperious duty to which I was called, of making away with my
sinful relations, and quoting many parallel actions out of the
Scriptures, and the writings of the holy fathers, of the pleasure the
Lord took in such as executed his vengeance on the wicked, I was
obliged to acquiesce in his measures, though with certain
limitations. It was not easy to answer his arguments, and yet I
was afraid that he soon perceived a leaning to his will on my part.
"If the acts of Jehu, in rooting out the whole house of his master,
were ordered and approved-of by the Lord," said he, "would it
not have been more praiseworthy if one of Ahab's own sons had
stood up for the cause of the God of Israel, and rooted out the
sinners and their idols out of the land?"

"It would certainly," said I. "To our duty to God all other duties
must yield."

"Go thou then and do likewise," said he. "Thou are called to a
high vocation; to cleanse the sanctuary of thy God in this thy
native land by the shedding of blood; go thou then like a ruling
energy, a master spirit of desolation in the dwellings of the
wicked, and high shall be your reward both here and hereafter."

My heart now panted with eagerness to look my brother in the
face. On which my companion, who was never out of the way,
conducted me to a small square in the suburbs of the city, where
there were a number of young noblemen and gentlemen playing
at a vain, idle, and sinful game, at which there was much of the
language of the accursed going on; and among these blasphemers
he instantly pointed out my brother to me. I was fired with
indignation at seeing him in such company, and so employed; and
I placed myself close beside him to watch all his motions, listen
to his words, and draw inferences from what I saw and heard. In
what a sink of sin was he wallowing! I resolved to take him to
task, and, if he refused to be admonished, to inflict on him some
condign punishment; and, knowing that my illustrious friend and
director was looking on, I resolved to show some spirit.
Accordingly, I waited until I heard him profane his Maker's name
three times, and then, my spiritual indignation being roused
above all restraint, I went up and kicked him. Yes, I went boldly
up and struck him with my foot, and meant to have given him a
more severe blow than it was my fortune to inflict. It had,
however, the effect of rousing up his corrupt nature to quarrelling
and strife, instead of taking the chastisement of the Lord in
humility and meekness. He ran furiously against me in the choler
that is always inspired by the wicked one; but I overthrew him,
by reason of impeding the natural and rapid progress of his
unholy feet running to destruction. I also fell slightly; but his fall
proved a severe one, he arose in wrath, and struck me with the
mall which he held in his hand, until my blood flowed copiously;
and from that moment I vowed his destruction in my heart. But I
chanced to have no weapon at that time, nor any means of
inflicting due punishment on the caitiff, which would not have
been returned double on my head by him and his graceless
associates. I mixed among them at the suggestion of my friend,
and, following them to their den of voluptuousness and sin, I
strove to be admitted among them, in hopes of finding some
means of accomplishing my great purpose, while I found myself
moved by the spirit within me so to do. But I was not only
debarred, but, by the machinations of my wicked brother and his
associates, cast into prison.

I was not sorry at being thus honoured to suffer in the cause of
righteousness, and at the hands of sinful men; and, as soon as I
was alone, I betook myself to prayer, deprecating the long-
suffering of God towards such horrid sinners. My jailer came to
me, and insulted me. He was a rude unprincipled fellow,
partaking of the loose and carnal manners of the age; but I
remembered of having read, in the Cloud of Witnesses, of such
men formerly having been converted by the imprisoned saints; so
I set myself, with all my heart, to bring about this man's
repentance and reformation.

"Fat the deil are ye yoolling an' praying that gate for, man?" said
he, coming angrily in. "I thought the days o' praying prisoners
had been a' ower. We hath rowth o' them aince; an' they were the
poorest an' the blackest bargains that ever poor jailers saw. Gie
up your crooning, or I'll pit you to an in-by place, where ye sall
get plenty o't."

"Friend," said I, "I am making my appeal at the bar where all
human actions are seen and judged, and where you shall not be
forgot, sinful as you are. Go in peace, and let me be."

"Hae ye naebody nearer-hand hame to mak your appeal to, man?"
said he. "Because an ye hae-na, I dread you an' me may be unco
weel acquaintit by an' by."

I then opened up the mysteries of religion to him in a clear and
perspicuous manner, but particularly the great doctrine of the
election of grace; and then I added: "Now, friend, you must tell
me if you pertain to this chosen number. It is in every man's
power to ascertain this, and it is every man's duty to do it."

"An' fat the better wad you be for the kenning o' this, man?" said

"Because, if you are one of my brethren, I will take you into
sweet communion and fellowship," returned I. "But, if you
belong to the unregenerate, I have a commission to slay you."

"The deil you hae, callant!" said he, gaping and laughing. "An',
pray now, fa was it, that gae you siccan a braw commission?"

"My commission is sealed by the signet above", said I, "and that I
will let you and all sinners know. I am dedicated to it by the most
solemn vows and engagements. I am the sword of the Lord, and
Famine and Pestilence are my sisters. Woe then to the wicked of
this land, for they must fall down dead together, that the Church
may be purified!"

"Oo, foo, foo! I see how it is," said he. "Yours is a very braw
commission, but you will have the small opportunity of carrying
it through here. Take my advising, and write a bit of a letter to
your friends, and I will send it, for this is no place for such a great
man. If you cannot steady your hand to write, as I see you have
been at your great work, a word of a mouth may do; for I do
assure you this is not the place at all, of any in the world, for your

The man apparently thought I was deranged in my intellect. He
could not swallow such great truths at the first morsel. So I took
his advice, and sent a line to my reverend father, who was not
long in coming, and great was the jailer's wonderment when he
saw all the great Christian noblemen of the land sign my bond of

My reverend father took this matter greatly to heart, and bestirred
himself in the good cause till the transgressors were ashamed to
shew their faces. My illustrious companion was not idle: I
wondered that he came not to me in prison, nor at my release; but
he was better employed, in stirring up the just to the execution of
God's decrees; and he succeeded so well that my brother and all
his associates had nearly fallen victims to their wrath. But many
were wounded, bruised, and imprisoned, and much commotion
prevailed in the city. For my part, I was greatly strengthened in
my resolution by the anathemas of my reverend father, who,
privately (that is in a family capacity) in his prayers, gave up my
father and brother, according to the flesh, to Satan, making it
plain to all my senses of perception that they were being given up
of God, to be devoured by fiends of men, at their will and
pleasure, and that whosoever should slay them would do God
good service.

The next morning my illustrious friend met me at an early hour,
and he was greatly overjoyed at hearing my sentiments now
chime so much in unison with his own. I said: "I longed for the
day and the hour that I might look my brother in the face at
Gilgal, and visit on him the iniquity of his father and himself, for
that I was now strengthened and prepared for the deed."

"I have been watching the steps and movements of the profligate
one," said he, "and, lo, I will take you straight to his presence. Let
your heart be as the heart of the lion, and your arms strong as the
shekels of brass, and swift to avenge as the bolt that descendeth
from heaven, for the blood of the just and the good hath long
flowed in Scotland. But already is the day of their avengement
begun; the hero is at length arisen who shall send all such as bear
enmity to the true Church, or trust in works of their own, to

Thus encouraged, I followed my friend, who led me directly to
the same court in which I had chastised the miscreant on the
foregoing day; and, behold, there was the same group again
assembled. They eyed me with terror in their looks, as I walked
among them and eyed them with looks of disapprobation and
rebuke; and I saw that the very eye of a chosen one lifted on these
children of Belial was sufficient to dismay and put them to flight.
I walked aside to my friend, who stood at a distance looking on,
and he said to me: "What thinkest thou now?" and I answered in
the words of the venal prophet, "Lo, now, if I had a sword into
mine hand I would even kill him."

"Wherefore lackest thou it?" said he. "Dost thou not see that they
tremble at thy presence, knowing that the avenger of blood is
among them."

My heart was lifted up on hearing this, and again I strode into the
midst of them, and, eyeing them with threatening looks, they
were so much confounded that they abandoned their sinful
pastime, and fled everyone to his house!

This was a palpable victory gained over the wicked, and I thereby
knew that the hand of the Lord was with me. My companion also
exulted, and said: "Did not I tell thee? Behold thou dost not know
one half of thy might, or of the great things thou art destined to
do. Come with me and I will show thee more than this, for these
young men cannot subsist without the exercises of sin. I listened
to their councils, and I know where they will meet again."

Accordingly he led me a little farther to the south, and we walked
aside till by degrees we saw some people begin to assemble; and
in a short time we perceived the same group stripping off their
clothes to make them more expert in the practice of madness and
folly. Their game was begun before we approached, and so also
were the oaths and cursing. I put my hands in my pockets, and
walked with dignity and energy into the midst of them. It was
enough. Terror and astonishment seized them. A few of them
cried out against me, but their voices were soon hushed amid the
murmurs of fear. One of them, in the name of the rest, then came
and besought of me to grant them liberty to amuse themselves;
but I refused peremptorily, dared the whole multitude so much as
to touch me with one of their fingers, and dismissed them in the
name of the Lord.

Again they all fled and dispersed at my eye, and I went home in
triumph, escorted by my friend, and some well-meaning young
Christians, who, however, had not learned to deport themselves
with soberness and humility. But my ascendancy over my
enemies was great indeed; for wherever I appeared I was hailed
with approbation, and, wherever my guilty brother made his
appearance, he was hooted and held in derision, till he was forced
to hide his disgraceful head, and appear no more in public.

Immediately after this I was seized with a strange distemper,
which neither my friends nor physicians could comprehend, and
it confined me to my chamber for many days; but I knew, myself,
that I was bewitched, and suspected my father's reputed
concubine of the deed. I told my fears to my reverend protector,
who hesitated concerning them, but I knew by his words and
looks that he was conscious I was right. I generally conceived
myself to be two people. When I lay in bed, I deemed there were
two of us in it; when I sat up I always beheld another person, and
always in the same position from the place where I sat or stood,
which was about three paces off me towards my left side. It
mattered not how many or how few were present: this my second
self was sure to be present in his place, and this occasioned a
confusion in all my words and ideas that utterly astounded my
friends, who all declared that, instead of being deranged in my
intellect, they had never heard my conversation manifest so much
energy or sublimity of conception; but, for all that, over the
singular delusion that I was two persons my reasoning faculties
had no power. The most perverse part of it was that I rarely
conceived myself to be any of the two persons. I thought for the
most part that my companion was one of them, and my brother
the other; and I found that, to be obliged to speak and answer in
the character of another man, was a most awkward business at the
long run.

Who can doubt, from this statement, that I was bewitched, and
that my relatives were at the ground of it? The constant and
unnatural persuasion that I was my brother proved it to my own
satisfaction, and must, I think, do so to every unprejudiced
person. This victory of the Wicked One over me kept me
confined in my chamber at Mr. Millar's house for nearly a month,
until the prayers of the faithful prevailed, and I was restored. I
knew it was a chastisement for my pride, because my heart was
lifted up at my superiority over the enemies of the Church;
nevertheless I determined to make short work with the aggressor,
that the righteous might not be subjected to the effect of his
diabolical arts again.

I say I was confined a month. I beg he that readeth to take note of
this, that he may estimate how much the word, or even the oath,
of a wicked man is to depend on. For a month I saw no one but
such as came into my room, and, for all that, it will be seen that
there were plenty of the same set to attest upon oath that I saw my
brother every day during this period; that I persecuted him, with
my presence day and night, while all the time I never saw his
face save in a delusive dream. I cannot comprehend what
manoeuvres my illustrious friend was playing off with them
about this time; for he, having the art of personating whom he
chose, had peradventure deceived them, else many of them had
never all attested the same thing. I never saw any man so steady
in his friendships and attentions as he; but as he made a rule of
never calling at private houses, for fear of some discovery being
made of his person, so I never saw him while my malady lasted;
but, as soon as I grew better, I knew I had nothing ado but to
attend at some of our places of meeting to see him again. He was
punctual, as usual, and I had not to wait.

My reception was precisely as I apprehended. There was no
flaring, no flummery, nor bombastical pretensions, but a dignified
return to my obeisance, and an immediate recurrence, in
converse, to the important duties incumbent on us, in our stations,
as reformers and purifiers of the Church.

"I have marked out a number of most dangerous characters in this
city," said he, "all of whom must be cut off from cumbering the
true vineyard before we leave this land. And, if you bestir not
yourself in the work to which you are called, I must raise up
others who shall have the honour of it!"

"I am, most illustrious prince, wholly at your service," said I.
"Show but what ought to be done, and here is the heart to dare and
the hand to execute. You pointed out my relations, according to
the flesh, as brands fitted to be thrown into the burning. I approve
peremptorily of the award; nay, I thirst to accomplish it; for I
myself have suffered severely from their diabolical arts. When
once that trial of my devotion to the faith is accomplished, then
he your future operations disclosed."

"You are free of your words and promises," said he.

"So will I be of my deeds in the service of my master, and that
shalt thou see," said I. "I lack not the spirit, nor the will, but I lack
experience woefully; and, because of that shortcoming, must bow
to your suggestions!"

"Meet me here to-morrow betimes," said he, "and perhaps you
may hear of some opportunity of displaying your zeal in the
cause of righteousness."

I met him as he desired me; and he addressed me with a hurried
and joyful expression, telling me that my brother was astir, and
that a few minutes ago he had seen him pass on his way to the
mountain. "The hill is wrapped in a cloud," added he, and never
was there such an opportunity of executing divine justice on a
guilty sinner. You may trace him in the dew, and shall infallibly
find him on the top of some precipice; for it is only in secret that
he dares show his debased head to the sun."

"I have no arms, else assuredly I would pursue him and discomfit
him," said I.

"Here is a small dagger," said he; "I have nothing of weaponkind
about me save that, but it is a potent one; and, should you require
it, there is nothing more ready or sure."

"Will not you accompany me?" said I. "Sure you will?"

"I will be with you, or near you," said he. "Go you on before."

I hurried away as he directed me, and imprudently asked some of
Queensberry's guards if such and such a young man passed by
them going out from the city. I was answered in the affirmative,
and till then had doubted of my friend's intelligence, it was so
inconsistent with a profligate's life to be so early astir. When I got
the certain intelligence that my brother was before me, I fell a-
running, scarcely knowing what I did; and, looking several times
behind me, I perceived nothing of my zealous and arbitrary
friend. The consequence of this was that, by the time I reached St.
Anthony's well, my resolution began to give way. It was not my
courage, for, now that I had once shed blood in the cause of the
true faith, I was exceedingly bold and ardent, but, whenever I was
left to myself, I was subject to sinful doubtings. These always
hankered on one point. I doubted if the elect were infallible, and
if the Scripture promises to them were binding in all situations
and relations. I confess this, and that it was a sinful and shameful
weakness in me, but my nature was subject to it, and I could not
eschew it. I never doubted that I was one of the elect myself; for,
besides the strong inward and spiritual conviction that I
possessed, I had my kind father's assurance; and these had been
revealed to him in that way and measure that they could not be

In this desponding state, I sat myself down on a stone, and
bethought me of the rashness of my undertaking. I tried to
ascertain, to my own satisfaction, whether or not I really had been
commissioned of God to perpetrate these crimes in His behalf,
for, in the eyes and by the laws of men, they were great and
crying transgressions. While I sat pondering on these things, I
was involved in a veil of white misty vapour, and, looking up to
heaven, I was just about to ask direction from above, when I
heard as it were a still small voice close by me, which uttered
some words of derision and chiding. I looked intensely in the
direction whence it seemed to come, and perceived a lady robed
in white, who hastened towards me. She regarded me with a
severity of look and gesture that appalled me so much I could not
address her; but she waited not for that, but coming close to my
side said, without stopping: "Preposterous wretch! How dare you
lift your eyes to Heaven with such purposes in your heart? Escape
homewards, and save your Soul, or farewell for ever!"

These were all the words that she uttered, as far as I could ever
recollect, but my spirits were kept in such a tumult that morning
that something might have escaped me. I followed her eagerly
with my eyes, but in a moment she glided over the rocks above
the holy well, and vanished. I persuaded myself that I had seen a
vision, and that the radiant being that had addressed me was one
of the good angels, or guardian spirits, commissioned by the
Almighty to watch over the steps of the just. My first impulse
was to follow her advice, and make my escape home; for I
thought to myself. "How is this interested and mysterious
foreigner a proper judge of the actions of a free Christian?"

The thought was hardly framed, nor had I moved in a retrograde
direction six steps, when I saw my illustrious friend and great
adviser descending the ridge towards me with hasty and
impassioned strides. My heart fainted within me; and, when he
came up and addressed me, I looked as one caught in a trespass.
"What hath detained thee, thou desponding trifler?" said he.
"Verily now shall the golden opportunity be lost which may
never be recalled. I have traced the reprobate to his sanctuary in
the cloud, and lo he is perched on the pinnacle of a precipice an
hundred fathoms high. One ketch with thy foot, or toss with thy
finger, shall throw him from thy sight into the foldings of the
cloud, and he shall be no more seen till found at the bottom of the
cliff dashed to pieces. Make haste, therefore, thou loiterer, if thou
wouldst ever prosper and rise to eminence in the work of thy
Lord and Master."

"I go no farther in this work, said I, "for I have seen a vision that
has reprimanded the deed!'

"A vision?" said he. "Was it that wench who descended from the

"The being that spake to me, and warned me of my danger, was
indeed in the form of a lady," said I.

"She also approached me and said a few words," returned he,
"and I thought there was something mysterious in her manner.
Pray, what did she say? for the words of such a singular message,
and from such a messenger, ought to be attended to. If I
understood her aright, she was chiding us for our misbelief and
preposterous delay."

I recited her words, but he answered that I had been in a state of
sinful doubting at the time, and it was to these doubtings she had
adverted. In short, this wonderful and clear-sighted stranger soon
banished all my doubts and despondency, making me utterly
ashamed of them, and again I set out with him in the pursuit of
my brother. He showed me the traces of his footsteps in the dew,
and pointed out the spot where I should find him. "You have
nothing more to do than go softly down behind him," said he,
"which you can do to within an ell of him, without being seen;
then rush upon him, and throw him from his seat, where there is
neither footing nor hold. I will go, meanwhile, and amuse his
sight by some exhibition in the contrary direction, and he shall
neither know nor perceive who had done him this kind office: for,
exclusive of more weighty concerns, be assured of this that, the
sooner he falls, the fewer crimes will he have to answer for, and
his estate in the other world will be proportionally more tolerable
than if he spent a long unregenerate life steeped in iniquity to the
loathing of the soul."

"Nothing can be more plain or more pertinent," said I.
"Therefore, I fly to perform that which is both a duty towards
God and towards man!"

"You shall yet rise to great honour and preferment," said he.

"I value it not, provided I do honour and justice to the cause of
my master here," said I.

"You shall be lord of your father's riches and demesnes," added

"I disclaim and deride every selfish motive thereto relating," said
I, "further than as it enables me to do good."

"Aye, but that is a great and a heavenly consideration, that
longing for ability to do good," said he--and, as he said so, I
could not help remarking a certain derisive exultation of
expression which I could not comprehend; and indeed I have
noted this very often in my illustrious friend, and sometimes
mentioned it civilly to him, but he has never failed to disclaim it.
On this occasion I said nothing, but, concealing his poniard in my
clothes, I hasted up the mountain, determined to execute my
purpose before any misgivings should again visit me; and I never
had more ado than in keeping firm my resolution. I could not help
my thoughts, and there are certain trains and classes of thoughts
that have great power in enervating the mind. I thought of the
awful thing of plunging a fellow creature from the top of a cliff
into the dark and misty void below--of his being dashed to pieces
on the protruding rocks, and of hearing his shrieks as he
descended the cloud, and beheld the shagged points on which he
was to alight. Then I thought of plunging a soul so abruptly into
Hell, or, at the best, sending it to hover on the confines of that
burning abyss--of its appearance at the bar of the Almighty to
receive its sentence. And then I thought: "Will there not be a
sentence pronounced against me there, by a jury of the just made
perfect, and written down in the registers of Heaven?"

These thoughts, I say, came upon me unasked, and, instead of
being able to dispel them, they mustered upon the summit of my
imagination in thicker and stronger array: and there was another
that impressed me in a very particular manner, though I have
reason to believe not so strongly as those above written. It was
this: "What if I should fail in my first effort? Will the
consequence not be that I am tumbled from the top of the rock
myself?" and then all the feelings anticipated, with regard to both
body and soul, must happen to me! This was a spinebreaking
reflection; and yet, though the probability was rather on that side,
my zeal in the cause of godliness was such that it carried me on,
maugre all danger and dismay.

I soon came close upon my brother, sitting on the dizzy pinnacle.
with his eyes fixed steadfastly in the direction opposite to me. I
descended the little green ravine behind him with my feet
foremost, and every now and then raised my head, and watched
his motions. His posture continued the same, until at last I came
so near him I could have heard him breathe if his face had been
towards me. I laid my cap aside, and made me ready to spring
upon him and push him over. I could not for my life accomplish
it! I do not think it was that I durst not, I have always felt my
courage equal to anything in a good cause. But I had not the
heart, or something that I ought to have had. In short, it was not
done in time, as it easily might have been. These THOUGHTS
are hard enemies wherewith to combat! And I was so grieved that
I could not effect my righteous purpose that I laid me down on
my face and shed tears. Then, again, I thought of what my great
enlightened friend and patron would say to me, and again my
resolution rose indignant and indissoluble save by blood. I arose
on my right knee and left foot, and had just begun to advance the
latter forward: the next step my great purpose had been
accomplished, and the culprit had suffered the punishment due to
his crimes. But what moved him I knew not: in the critical
moment he sprung to his feet, and, dashing himself furiously
against me, he overthrew me, at the imminent peril of my life. I
disencumbered myself by main force and fled, but he overhied
me, knocked me down, and threatened, with dreadful oaths, to
throw me from the cliff. After I was a little recovered from the
stunning blow, I aroused myself to the combat; and, though I do
not recollect the circumstances of that deadly scuffle very
minutely, I know that I vanquished him so far as to force him to
ask my pardon, and crave a reconciliation. I spurned at both and
left him to the chastisements of his own wicked and corrupt heart.

My friend met me again on the hill and derided me in a haughty
and stern manner for my imbecility and want of decision. I told
him how nearly I had effected my purpose, and excused myself as
well as I was able. On this, seeing me bleeding, he advised me to
swear the peace against my brother, and have him punished in the
meantime, he being the first aggressor. I promised compliance
and we parted, for I was somewhat ashamed of my failure, and
was glad to be quit for the present of one of whom I stood so
much in awe.

When my reverend father beheld me bleeding a second time by
the hand of a brother, he was moved to the highest point of
displeasure; and, relying on his high interest and the justice of his
cause, he brought the matter at once before the courts. My brother
and I were first examined face to face. His declaration was a mere
romance: mine was not the truth; but as it was by the advice of
my reverend father, and that of my illustrious friend, both of
whom I knew to be sincere Christians and true believers, that I
gave it, I conceived myself completely justified on that score. I
said I had gone up into the mountain early on the morning to
pray, and had withdrawn myself, for entire privacy, into a little
sequestered dell--had laid aside my cap, and was in the act of
kneeling when I was rudely attacked by my brother, knocked
over, and nearly slain. They asked my brother if this was true. He
acknowledged that it was; that I was bare-headed and in the act of
kneeling when he ran foul of me without any intent of doing so.
But the judge took him to task on the improbability of this, and
put the profligate sore out of countenance. The rest of his tale told
still worse, insomuch that he was laughed at by all present, for the
judge remarked to him that, granting it was true that he had at
first run against me on an open mountain and overthrown me by
accident, how was it that, after I had extricated myself and fled,
that he had pursued, overtaken, and knocked me down a second
time? Would he pretend that all that was likewise by chance? The
culprit had nothing to say for himself on this head, and I shall not
forget my exultation and that of my reverend father when the
sentence of the judge was delivered. It was that my wicked
brother should be thrown into prison and tried on a criminal
charge of assault and battery, with the intent of committing
murder. This was a just and righteous judge, and saw things in
their proper bearings, that is, he could discern between a
righteous and a wicked man, and then there could be no doubt as
to which of the two were acting right and which wrong.

Had I not been sensible that a justified person could do nothing
wrong, I should not have been at my ease concerning the
statement I had been induced to give on this occasion. I could
easily perceive that, by rooting out the weeds from the garden of
the Church, I heightened the growth of righteousness; but, as to
the tardy way of giving false evidence on matters of such
doubtful issue, I confess I saw no great propriety in it from the
beginning. But I now only moved by the will and mandate of my
illustrious friend. I had no peace or comfort when out of his
Sight, nor have I ever been able to boast of much in his presence;
so true is it that a Christian's life is one of suffering.

My time was now much occupied, along with my reverend
preceptor, in making ready for the approaching trial, as the
prosecutors. Our counsel assured us of a complete victory, and
that banishment would be the mildest award of the law on the
offender. Mark how different was the result! From the shifts and
ambiguities of a wicked Bench, who had a fellow-feeling of
iniquity with the defenders, my suit was lost, the graceless
libertine was absolved, and I was incarcerated, and bound over to
keep the peace, with heavy penalties, before I was set at liberty.

I was exceedingly disgusted at this issue, and blamed the counsel
of my friend to his face. He expressed great grief, and expatiated
on the wickedness of our judicatories, adding: "I see I cannot
depend on you for quick and summary measures, but for your
sake I shall be revenged on that wicked judge, and that you shall
see in a few days." The Lord Justice Clerk died that same week!
But he died in his own house and his own bed, and by what
means my friend effected it I do not know. He would not tell me
a single word of the matter, but the judge's sudden death made a
great noise, and I made so many curious inquiries regarding the
particulars of it that some suspicions were like to attach to our
family of some unfair means used. For my part I know nothing,
and rather think he died by the visitation of Heaven, and that my
friend had foreseen it, by symptoms, and soothed me by promises
of complete revenge.

It was some days before he mentioned my brother's meditated
death to me again, and certainly he then found me exasperated
against him personally to the highest degree. But I told him that I
could not now think any more of it owing to the late judgment of
the court, by which, if my brother were missing or found dead, I
would not only forfeit my life but my friends would be ruined by
the penalties.

"I suppose you know and believe in the perfect safety of your
soul," said he, "and that that is a matter settled from the beginning
of time, and now sealed and ratified both in Heaven and earth?"

"I believe in it thoroughly and perfectly," said I; "and, whenever I
entertain doubts of it, I am sensible of sin and weakness."

"Very well, so then am I," said he. "I think I can now divine, with
all manner of certainty, what will be the high and merited
guerdon of your immortal part. Hear me then further: I give you
my solemn assurance, and bond of blood, that no human hand
shall ever henceforth be able to injure your life, or shed one drop
of your precious blood; but it is on the condition that you walk
always by my directions."

"I will do so with cheerfulness," said I, "for, without your
enlightened counsel, I feel that I can do nothing. But, as to your
power of protecting my life, you must excuse me for doubting of
it. Nay, were we in your proper dominions, you could not ensure

"In whatever dominion or land I am, my power accompanies me,"
said he, "and it is only against human might and human weapon
that I ensure your life; on that will I keep an eye, and on that you
may depend. I have never broken word or promise with you. Do
you credit me?"

"Yes, I do," said I, "for I see you are in earnest. I believe, though
I do not comprehend you."

"Then why do you not at once challenge your brother to the field
of honour? Seeing you now act without danger, cannot you also
act without fear?"

"It is not fear," returned I, "believe me. I hardly know what fear
is. It is a doubt that, on all these emergencies, constantly haunts
my mind that, in performing such and such actions, I may fall
from my upright state. This makes fratricide a fearful task!'

"This is imbecility itself," said he. "We have settled and agreed
on that point an hundred times. I would therefore advise that you
challenge your brother to single combat. I shall ensure your
safety, and he cannot refuse giving you satisfaction."

"But then the penalties?" said I.

"We will try to evade these," said he, "and, supposing you should
be caught, if once you are Laird of Dalcastle and Balgrennan,
what are the penalties to you?"

"Might we not rather pop him off in private and quietness, as we
did the deistical divine?" said I.

"The deed would be alike meritorious, either way," said he. "But
may we not wait for years before we find an opportunity? My
advice is to challenge him, as privately as you will, and there cut
him off."

"So be it then," said I. "When the moon is at the full, I will send
for him forth to speak with one, and there will I smite him and
slay him, and he shall trouble the righteous no more."

"Then this is the very night," said he, "The moon is nigh to the
full, and this night your brother and his sinful mates hold
carousal; for there is an intended journey to-morrow. The
exulting profligate leaves town, where we must remain till the
time of my departure hence; and then is he safe, and must live to
dishonour God, and not only destroy his own soul but those of
many others. Alack, and woe is me! The sins that he and his
friends will commit this very night will cry to Heaven against us
for our shameful delay! When shall our great work of cleansing
the sanctuary be finished, if we proceed at this puny rate?"

"I see the deed must be done, then," said I, "and, since it is so, it
shall be done. I will arm myself forthwith, and from the midst of
his wine and debauchery you shall call him forth to me, and there
will I smite him with the edge of the sword, that our great work
be not retarded."

"If thy execution were equal to thy intent, how great a man you
soon might be!" said he. "We shall make the attempt once more;
and, if it fail again, why, I must use other means to bring about
my high purposes relating to mankind. Home and make ready. I
will go and procure what information I can regarding their
motions, and will meet you in disguise twenty minutes hence, at
the first turn of Hewie's Lane beyond the loch."

"I have nothing to make ready," said I, "for I do not choose to go
home. Bring me a sword, and we may consecrate it with prayer
and vows, and, if I use it not to the bringing down of the wicked
and profane, then may the Lord do so to me, and more also!"

We parted, and there was I left again to the multiplicity of my
own thoughts for the space of twenty minutes, a thing my friend
never failed in subjecting me to, and these were worse to contend
with than hosts of sinful men. I prayed inwardly that these deeds
of mine might never be brought to the knowledge of men who
were incapable of appreciating the high motives that led to them;
and then I sung part of the 10th Psalm, likewise in spirit; but, for
all these efforts, my sinful doubts returned, so that when my
illustrious friend joined me, and proffered me the choice of two
gilded rapiers, I declined accepting any of them, and began, in a
very bold and energetic manner, to express my doubts regarding
the justification of all the deeds of perfect men. He chided me
severely and branded me with cowardice, a thing that my nature
never was subject to; and then he branded me with falsehood and
breach of the most solemn engagements both to God and man.

I was compelled to take the rapier, much against my inclination;
but, for all the arguments, threats, and promises that he could use,
I would not consent to send a challenge to my brother by his
mouth. There was one argument only that he made use of which
had some weight with me, but yet it would not preponderate. He
told me my brother was gone to a notorious and scandalous
habitation of women, and that, if I left him to himself for ever so
short a space longer, it might embitter his state through ages to
come. This was a trying concern to me; but I resisted it, and
reverted to my doubts. On this he said that he had meant to do me
honour, but, since I put it out of his power, he would do the deed,
and take the responsibility on himself. "I have with sore travail
procured a guardship of your life," added he. "For my own, I
have not; but, be that as it will, I shall not be baffled in my
attempts to benefit my friends without a trial. You will at all
events accompany me, and see that I get justice?"

"Certes, I will do thus much," said I, "and woe be to him if his
arm prevail against my friend and patron!"

His lip curled with a smile of contempt, which I could hardly
brook; and I began to be afraid that the eminence to which I had
been destined by him was already fading from my view. And I
thought what I should then do to ingratiate myself again with
him, for without his countenance I had no life. "I will be a man in
act," thought I, "but in sentiment I will not yield, and for this he
must surely admire me the more."

As we emerged from the shadowy lane into the fair moonshine, I
started so that my whole frame underwent the most chilling
vibrations of surprise. I again thought I had been taken at
unawares and was conversing with another person. My friend was
equipped in the Highland garb, and so completely translated into
another being that, save by his speech, all the senses of mankind
could not have recognized him. I blessed myself, and asked
whom it was his pleasure to personify to-night? He answered me
carelessly that it was a spark whom he meant should bear the
blame of whatever might fall out to-night; and that was all that
passed on the subject.

We proceeded by some stone steps at the foot of the North Loch,
in hot argument all the way. I was afraid that our conversation
might be overheard, for the night was calm and almost as light as
day, and we saw sundry people crossing us as we advanced. But
the zeal of my friend was so high that he disregarded all danger,
and continued to argue fiercely and loudly on my delinquency, as
he was pleased to call it. I stood on one argument
alone, which was that "I did not think the Scripture promises to
the elect, taken in their utmost latitude, warranted the assurance
that they could do no wrong; and that, therefore, it behoved
every man to look well to his steps."

There was no religious scruple that irritated my enlightened
friend and master so much as this. He could not endure it. And,
the sentiments of our great covenanted reformers being on his
side, there is not a doubt that I was wrong. He lost all patience on
hearing what I advanced on this matter, and, taking hold of me,
he led me into a darksome booth in a confined entry; and, after a
friendly but cutting reproach, he bade me remain there in secret
and watch the event. "And, if I fall," said he, "you will not fail to
avenge my death?"

I was so entirely overcome with vexation that I could make no
answer, on which he left me abruptly, a prey to despair; and I saw
or heard no more till he came down to the moonlight green
followed by my brother. They had quarrelled before they came
within my hearing, for the first words I heard were those of my
brother, who was in a state of intoxication, and he was urging a
reconciliation, as was his wont on such occasions. My friend
spurned at the suggestion, and dared him to the combat; and after
a good deal of boastful altercation, which the turmoil of my
spirits prevented me from remembering, my brother was
compelled to draw his sword and stand on the defensive. It was a
desperate and terrible engagement. I at first thought that the
royal stranger and great champion of the faith would overcome
his opponent with ease, for I considered Heaven as on his side,
and nothing but the arm of sinful flesh against him. But I was
deceived. The sinner stood firm as a rock, while the assailant
flitted about like a shadow, or rather like a spirit. I smiled
inwardly, conceiving that these lightsome manoeuvres were all a
sham to show off his art and mastership in the exercise, and that,
whenever they came to close fairly, that instant my brother would
be overcome. Still I was deceived. My brother's arm seemed
invincible, so that the closer they fought the more palpably did it
prevail. They fought round the green to the very edge of the
water, and so round till they came close up to the covert where I
stood. There being no more room to shift ground, my brother then
forced him to come to close quarters, on which, the former still
having the decided advantage, my friend quitted his sword and
called out. I could resist no longer; so, springing from my
concealment, I rushed between them with my sword drawn, and
parted them as if they had been two schoolboys: then, turning to
my brother, I addressed him as follows: "Wretch! miscreant!
knowest thou what thou art attempting? Wouldest thou lay thine
hand on the Lord's anointed, or shed his precious blood? Turn
thee to me, that I may chastise thee for all thy wickedness, and
not for the many injuries thou hast done to me!" To it we went,
with full thirst of vengeance on every side. The duel was fierce;
but the might of Heaven prevailed, and not my might. The
ungodly and reprobate young man fell covered with wounds, and
with curses and blasphemy in his mouth, while I escaped
uninjured. Thereto his power extended not.

I will not deny that my own immediate impressions of this affair
in some degree differed from this statement. But this is precisely
as my illustrious friend described it to be afterwards, and I can
rely implicitly on his information, as he was at that time a looker-
on, and my senses all in a state of agitation, and he could have no
motive for saying what was not the positive truth.

Never till my brother was down did we perceive that there had
been witnesses to the whole business. Our ears were then
astounded by rude challenges of unfair play, which were quite
appalling to me; but my friend laughed at them and conducted me
off in perfect safety. As to the unfairness of the transaction, I can
say thus much, that my royal friend's sword was down ere ever
mine was presented. But if it still be accounted unfair to take up a
conqueror, and punish him in his own way, I answer: That if a
man is sent on a positive mission by his master, and hath laid
himself under vows to do his work, he ought not to be too nice in
the means of accomplishing it; and, further, I appeal to holy writ,
wherein many instances are recorded of the pleasure the Lord
takes in the final extinction of the wicked and profane; and this
position I take to be unanswerable.

I was greatly disturbed in my mind for many days, knowing that
the transaction had been witnessed, and sensible also of the
perilous situation I occupied, owing to the late judgment of the
court against me. But on the contrary, I never saw my enlightened
friend in such high spirits. He assured me there was no danger;
and again repeated that he warranted my life against the power of
man. I thought proper, however, to remain in hiding for a week;
but, as he said, to my utter amazement, the blame fell on another,
who was not only accused but pronounced guilty by the general
voice, and outlawed for non-appearance! How could I doubt,
after this, that the hand of Heaven was aiding and abetting me?
The matter was beyond my comprehension; and, as for my friend,
he never explained anything that was past, but his activity and art
were without a parallel.

He enjoyed our success mightily; and for his sake I enjoyed it
somewhat, but it was on account of his comfort only, for I could
not for my life perceive in what degree the Church was better or
purer than before these deeds were done. He continued to flatter
me with great things, as to honours, fame and emolument; and,
above all, with the blessing and protection of Him to whom my
body and soul were dedicated. But, after these high promises, I
got no longer peace; for he began to urge the death of my father
with such an unremitting earnestness that I found I had nothing
for it but to comply. I did so; and cannot express his enthusiasm
of approbation. So much did he hurry and press me in this that I
was forced to devise some of the most openly violent measures,
having no alternative. Heaven spared me the deed, taking, in that
instance, the vengeance in its own hand; for, before my arm could
effect the sanguine but meritorious act, the old man followed his
son to the grave. My illustrious and zealous friend seemed to
regret this somewhat, but he comforted himself with the
reflection, that still I had the merit of it, having not only
consented to it, but in fact effected it, for by doing the one action
I had brought about both.

No sooner were the obsequies of the funeral over than my friend
and I went to Dalcastle, and took undisputed possession of the
houses, lands and effects that had been my father's; but his plate,
and vast treasures of ready money, he had bestowed on a
voluptuous and unworthy creature, who had lived long with him
as a mistress. Fain would I have sent her after her lover, and gave
my friend some hints on the occasion; but he only shook his head,
and said that we must lay all selfish and interested motives out of
the question.

For a long time, when I awaked in the morning, I could not
believe my senses, that I was indeed the undisputed and sole
proprietor of so much wealth and grandeur; and I felt so much
gratified that I immediately set about doing all the good I was
able, hoping to meet with all approbation and encouragement
from my friend. I was mistaken. He checked the very first
impulses towards such a procedure, questioned my motives, and
uniformly made them out to be wrong. There was one morning
that a servant said to me there was a lady in the back chamber
who wanted to speak with me, but he could not tell me who it
was, for all the old servants had left the mansion, every one on
hearing of the death of the late laird, and those who had come
knew none of the people in the neighbourhood. From several
circumstances, I had suspicions of private confabulations with
women, and refused to go to her, but bid the servant inquire what
she wanted. She would not tell, she could only state the
circumstances to me; so I, being sensible that a little dignity of
manner became me in my elevated situation, returned for answer
that, if it was business that could not be transacted by my
steward, it must remain untransacted. The answer which the
servant brought back was of a threatening nature. She stated she
must see me, and, if I refused her satisfaction there, she would
compel it where I should not evite her.

My friend and director appeared pleased with my dilemma, and
rather advised that I should hear what the woman had to say; on
which I consented, provided she would deliver her mission in his
presence. She came with manifest signs of anger and indignation,
and began with a bold and direct charge against me of a shameful
assault on one of her daughters; of having used the basest of
means in order to lead her aside from the paths of rectitude; and,
on the failure of these, of having resorted to the most unqualified

I denied the charge in all its bearings, assuring the dame that I
had never so much as seen either of her daughters to my
knowledge, far less wronged them; on which she got into great
wrath, and abused me to my face as an accomplished vagabond,
hypocrite, and sensualist; and she went so far as to tell me
roundly that if I did not marry her daughter, she would bring me
to the gallows and that in a very short time.

"Marry your daughter, honest woman!" said I, "on the faith of a
Christian, I never saw your daughter; and you may rest assured in
this, that I will neither marry you nor her. Do you consider how
short a time I have been in this place? How much that time has
been occupied? And how there was even a possibility that I could
have accomplished such villainies?"

"And how long does your Christian reverence suppose you have
remained in this place since the late laird's death?" said she.

"That is too well known to need recapitulation," said I. "Only a
very few days, though I cannot at present specify the exact
number; perhaps from thirty to forty, or so. But in all that time,
certes, I have never seen either you or any of your two daughters
that you talk of. You must be quite sensible of that."

My friend shook his head three times during this short sentence,
while the woman held up her hands in amazement and disgust,
exclaiming: "There goes the self-righteous one! There goes the
consecrated youth, who cannot err! You, sir, know, and the world
shall know, of the faith that is in this most just, devout, and
religious miscreant! Can you deny that you have already been in
this place four months and seven days? Or that in that time you
have been forbid my house twenty times? Or that you have
persevered in your endeavours to effect the basest and most
ungenerous of purposes? Or that you have attained them?
Hypocrite and deceiver as you are! Yes, sir; I say, dare you deny
that you have attained your vile, selfish, and degrading purposes
towards a young, innocent, and unsuspecting creature, and
thereby ruined a poor widow's only hope in this world? No, you
cannot look in my face, and deny aught of this."

"The woman is raving mad!" said I. "You, illustrious sir, know
that, in the first instance, I have not yet been in this place one
month." My friend shook his head again, and answered me: "You
are wrong, my dear friend; you are wrong. It is indeed the space
of time that the lady hath stated, to a day, since you came here,
and I came with you; and I am sorry that I know for certain that
you have been frequently haunting her house, and have often had
private correspondence with one of the young ladies, too. Of the
nature of it I presume not to know."

"You are mocking me," said I. "But as well may you try to reason
me out of my existence as to convince me that I have been here
even one month, or that any of those things you allege against me
has the shadow of truth or evidence to support it. I will swear to
you, by the great God that made me; and by--"

"Hold, thou most abandoned profligate!" cried she violently, "and
do not add perjury to your other detestable crimes. Do not, for
mercy's sake, any more profane that name whose attributes you
have wrested and disgraced. But tell me what reparation you
propose offering to my injured child."

"I again declare, before Heaven, woman, that, to the best of my
knowledge and recollection, I never saw your daughter. I now
think I have some faint recollection of having seen your face, but
where, or in what place, puzzles me quite."

"And, why?" said she. "Because for months and days you have
been, in such a state of extreme inebriety, that your time has
gone over like a dream that has been forgotten. I believe that,
from the day you came first to my house, you have been in a state
of utter delirium, and that principally from the fumes of wine and
ardent spirits."

"It is a manifest falsehood!" said I. "I have never, since I entered
on the possession of Dalcastle, tasted wine or spirits, saving once
a few evenings ago; and, I confess to my shame, that I was led
too far; but I have craved forgiveness and obtained it. I take my
noble and distinguished friend there for a witness to the truth of
what I assert; a man who has done more, and sacrificed more for
the sake of genuine Christianity than any this world contains.
Him you will believe."

"I hope you have attained forgiveness," said he, seriously.
"Indeed it would be next to blasphemy to doubt it. But, of late,
you have been very much addicted to intemperance. I doubt if,
from the first night you tasted the delights of drunkenness, that
you have ever again been in your right mind until Monday last.
Doubtless you have been for a good while most diligent in your
addresses to this lady's daughter."

"This is unaccountable," said I. "It is impossible that I can have
been doing a thing and not doing it at the same time. But indeed,
honest woman, there have several incidents occurred to me in the
course of my life which persuade me I have a second self; or that
there is some other being who appears in my likeness."

Here my friend interrupted me with a sneer, and a hint that I was
talking insanely; and then he added, turning to the lady: "I know
my friend Mr. Colwan will do what is just and, right. Go and
bring the young lady to him, that he may see her, and he will then
recollect all his former amours with her!'

"I humbly beg your pardon, sir," said I. "But the mention of such
a thing as amours with any woman existing, to me, is really so
absurd, so far from my principles, so from the purity of nature
and frame to which I was born and consecrated, that I hold it as
an insult, and regard it with contempt."

I would have said more in reprobation of such an idea, had not
my servant entered, and said that a gentleman wanted to see me
on business. Being glad of an opportunity of getting quit of my
lady visitor, I ordered the servant to show him in; and forthwith a
little lean gentleman, with a long aquiline nose, and a bald head,
daubed all over with powder and pomatum, entered. I thought 1
recollected having seen him too, but could not remember his
name, though he spoke to me with the greatest familiarity; at
least, that sort of familiarity that an official person generally
assumes. He bustled about and about, speaking to everyone, but
declined listening for a single moment to any. The lady offered to
withdraw, but he stopped her.

"No, no, Mrs. Keeler, you need not go; you need not go; you
must not go, madam. The business I came about concerns you--
yes, that it does. Bad business yon of Walker's? Eh? Could not
help it--did all I could, Mr. Wringhim. Done your business. Have
it all cut and dry here, sir. No, this is not it--Have it among them,
though.--I'm at a little loss for your name, sir (addressing my
friend)--seen you very often, though--exceedingly often--quite
well acquainted with you."

"No, sir, you are not," said my friend, sternly. The intruder never
regarded him; never so much as lifted his eyes from his bundle of
law papers, among which he was bustling with great hurry and
importance, but went on:

"Impossible! Have seen a face very like it, then--what did you say
your name was, sir?--very like it indeed. Is it not the young laird
who was murdered whom you resemble so much?"

Here Mrs. Keeler uttered a scream, which so much startled me.
that it seems I grew pale, and, on looking at my friend's face,
there was something struck me so forcibly in the likeness
between him and my late brother that I had very nearly fainted.
The woman exclaimed that it was my brother's spirit that stood
beside me.

"Impossible!" exclaimed the attorney. "At least, I hope not, else
his signature is not worth a pin. There is some balance due on yon
business, madam. Do you wish your account? because I have it
here, ready discharged, and it does not suit letting such things lie
over. This business of Mr. Colwan's will be a severe one on you,
madam--rather a severe one."

"What business of mine, if it be your will, sir," said I. "For my
part I never engaged you in business of any sort less or more." He
never regarded me, but went on: "You may appeal, though. Yes,
yes, there are such things as appeals for the refractory. Here it is,
gentlemen. Here they are all together. Here is, in the first place,
sir, your power of attorney, regularly warranted, sealed, and
signed with your own hand."

"I declare solemnly that I never signed that document," said I.

"Aye, aye, the system of denial is not a bad one in general," said
my attorney. "But at present there is no occasion for it. You do
not deny your own hand?"

"I deny everything connected with the business," cried I. "I
disclaim it in toto, and declare that I know no more about it than
the child unborn."

"That is exceedingly good!" exclaimed he. "I like your pertinacity
vastly! I have three of your letters, and three of your signatures;
that part is all settled, and I hope so is the whole affair; for here is
the original grant to your father, which he has never thought
proper to put in requisition. Simple gentleman! But here have I,
Lawyer Linkum, in one hundredth part of the time that any other
notary, writer, attorney, or writer of the signet in Britain would
have done it, procured the signature of His Majesty's
commissioner, and thereby confirmed the charter to you and your
house, sir, for ever and ever--Begging your pardon, madam." The
lady, as well as myself, tried several times to interrupt the
loquacity of Linkum, but in vain: he only raised his hand with a
quick flourish, and went on:

"Here it is:

JAMES, by the grace of God, King of Great Britain, France, and
Ireland , to his right trusty cousin, sendeth greeting: And whereas
his right leal and trust-worthy cousin, George Colwan, of
Dalcastle and Balgrennan, hath suffered great losses, and
undergone much hardship, on behalf of his Majesty's rights and
titles; he therefore, for himself, and as prince and steward of
Scotland, and by the consent of his right trusty cousins and
councillors hereby grants to the said George Colwan, his heirs
and assignees whatsomever, heritably and irrevocably, all and
haill the lands and others underwritten: To wit, All and haill, the
five merk land of Kipplerig; the five pound land of Easter
Knockward, with all the towers, fortalices, manor-places, houses,
biggings, yards, orchards, tofts, crofts, mills, woods, fishings,
mosses, muirs, meadows, commonties, pasturages, coals, coal-
heughs, tennants, tenantries, services of free tenants, annexes,
connexes, dependencies, parts, pendicles, and pertinents of the
same whatsomever; to be peaceably brooked, joysed, set, used,
and disposed of by him and his aboves, as specified, heritably and
irrevocably, in all time coming: And, in testimony thereof, his
Majesty, for himself, and as prince steward of Scotland, with the
advice and consent of his foresaids, knowledge, proper motive,
and kingly power, makes, erects, creates, unites, annexes, and
incorporates, the whole lands above mentioned in a haill and free
barony, by all the rights, miethes, and marches thereof, old and
divided, as the same lies, in length and breadth, in houses,
biggings, mills, multures, hawking, bunting, fishing; with court,
plaint, herezeld, fock, fork, sack, sock, thole, thame, vert, wraik,
waith, wair, venison, outfang thief, infang thief, pit and gallows,
and all and sundry other commodities. Given at our Court of
Whitehall, &c., &c. God save the King.

Compositio 5 lib. 13.8.

Registrate 26th September 1687.

"See, madam, here are ten signatures of privy councillors of that
year, and here are other ten of the present year, with His Grace
the Duke of Queensberry at the head. All right. See here it is, sir--
all right--done your work. So you see, madam, this gentleman is
the true and sole heritor of all the land that your father possesses,
with all the rents thereof for the last twenty years, and upwards.
Fine job for my employers! Sorry on your account, madam--can't
help it."

I was again going to disclaim all interest or connection in the
matter but my friend stopped me; and the plaints and

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