the staunch Whigs." Wesley, who had attended the service here a year earlier than Johnson, "could not but admire the exemplary decency of the congregation. This was the more remarkable," he adds, " because so miserable a reader I never heard before. Listening with all attention I understood but one single word, Balak, in the First Lesson, and one more, begat, was all I could possibly distinguish in the Second." : The Aberdeen chapel was no doubt one of those licensed ones " served by clergymen of English or Irish ordination," where alone in Scotland the form of worship of the Church of England could be legally practised. At St. Andrews Boswell recorded that he had seen " in one of its streets a remarkable proof of liberal toleration ; a nonjuring clergy- man strutting about in his canonicals, with a jolly countenance, and a round belly, like a well-fed monk." By an Act of Parliament passed in 1747, a heavy and cruel blow had been struck at the Scotch nonjurors as a punishment for the support which many of them had given to the young Pretender. Under severe penalties all clergymen were forbidden to officiate who had received their ordination from a nonjuring bishop, even though they took the oaths. They had now to undergo some of the suffering which in their day of triumph they had inflicted on the Covenanters. They in their turn sought the shelter of woods and moors. We read of one of them at Muthill, in Perthshire, " baptising a child under the cover of the trees in one of Lord Rollo's parks to prevent being discovered." 3 Two years later one Mr. John Skinner had been sent to Aberdeen jail for six months for officiating contrary to law. He survived this persecution fifty-five years, and so was contem- porary with persons still living. 4 By another act all episcopal clergymen were required, whenever they celebrated worship before five people, to pray for the King and the members of the Royal Family by name, under the penalty of six months' imprisonment for the first offence, and of banishment to America for life for the second. Many under this act were thrown into jail, and so late as 1755 one unhappy man was banished for life. 5 Others complied with the law at the expense of their lungs. An English lady who p. 134. (ed. 1827), ii. 339.
2 Wesley's Journal, iii. 461. The lessons 4 Scotland and Scotsmen in the I-.i^litu-nlh were Numbers xxiii. xxiv., and Matthew \. In Century, \. 525-8.
these chapters Balak and begat come over and "' Arnot's Histoiy of Edinburgh, p. 227.