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national unities; and he who would adequately represent a nation must be himself the heir of all the epochs through which that nation has passed. The puerile rant indulged about Scottish nationality by certain writers and speakers during recent years, has so burlesqued the subject, that it is all but impossible to obtain the public ear for the soberest and most philosophic statement of its claims. Fortunately, the object we contemplate in adverting to the topic now, will be sufficiently served by the recapitulation of a few facts which even the most sceptical will not attempt to challenge. It may be asserted with something like axiomatic accuracy, that the peculiar character of a nation is determined by the spirit with which it rises equal to those great crises in its history which sooner or later overtake all peoples in the development of the drama of the world. Three such epochs have occurred in Scottish story, and it has been the fortune of Scotland, on each occasion, to encounter the fiery trial through which she was called to pass, in the most heroic and dauntless spirit.

The first crisis was the patriotic struggle for Scottish nationality in the actual, not in the heraldic sense Blind Harry's heroes were men of a very different stamp from the windbags who, a short while ago, set England a laughing at Scotland and Scotchmen. And, however easily Punch snuffed out the babblers about nationality in our own day, we believe southern chivalry found it no laughing matter to deal with the thirteenth-century defenders of Scottish rights.

The conflict of which Wallace was the representative, fused the various races which had come together on the soil of Scotland, but had hitherto dwelt apart without community of interest or unity of feeling. The battle with England, fought out so gloriously, so victoriously, animated the victors with a passion for nationality, such as never before possessed them. The unity of the nation, thus perfected through suffering, was destined to exert a most salutary influence upon the fortunes of another great struggle which was soon to call, not Scotland only, but Europe to the conflict. What Wallace was in the thirteenth century, such was Knox in the sixteenth. The foe is now no longer England, but the Pope; not a powerful sovereign, but a powerful superstition it is the people are called to combat. We need not say how more completely here than in any other corner of Christendom, if perhaps we except Geneva, the work was done. Yet once more was Scotland summoned to the battle-field. Again the conflict is mainly ecclesiastical. She has been equal to the occasion hitherto, whether the foe was England's sovereign or the Roman pontiff: will she be equal to the conflict when the enemy is her own king? Deep-seated in every Scottish heart was the attachment of the people for the descendants of the hero of Bannockburn. Through long centuries that royal race had gone out and in before them, and, whether in the halls of debate or in the field of battle, had not been wanting to the nation. Much, very much, did Scotland suffer from the Stuarts before, stung into rebellion, her sons took the field against them. Yet generous and ardent as had been their devotion to their kings, in the camp of Leslie the highest earthly royalty was esteemed but as the dust in the balance, wher weighed against the claims of Christ's crown and cove. nant.

From the elements which mingled in this last struggle it was necessarily very protracted. During thirty years did the best and bravest of our people wander the wilderness, pouring out their blood like water in defence of the good—the holy cause. The battle descended from sire to son, and even in what seemed its triumph, though a period was put to the fierce persecution which had devoured the nation, the principle for which Scotland had taken arms against Charles Stuart was not conceded by William of Orange. We deem it of some importance to note this fact; for, in the definite perception, that so far as Scotland's ecclesiastical position was concerned, the revolution of 1688 was rather a drawn battle than a victory, lies the key to the comprehension of some of the most important events that have transpired in our times. These being the phases through which the nation has passed, we should expect to find

its representative man imbued with the passion for civil freedom which fired the soul of Wallace, inspired with the zeal for religious liberty which animated Knox, and panting to decide in the light of the principles of the great Reformer, the drawn battle the revolution bequeathed—a bone of contention to the men of our times. If, in addition to rehearsing the storied past, we found this man had fully caught the scientific spirit of the present, incredulity itself were vanquished. It is our belief that more completely than any other Scotchman, Hugh Miller sustains this complex representative position, and in the development of the leading incidents in the life, and in the salient features of the character of our great countryman, we hope to inspire our readers with a kindred conviction.

KINNING PARK, GLASGOW, 10th March, 1858.


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