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boat was in imminent danger of going to the bottom. While the rest of the party were pale with terror, and most of them crying out, Leighton never for a moment lost his accustomed serenity. To some, who afterwards expressed their astonishment at bis calmness, he replied; "Why, what harm would it have been, if we had been safely landed on the OTHER SIDE ?" In the habit of dying daily, and of daily conversing with the world of spirits, he could never be surprised or disconcerted by a summons to depart out of the body."
66 Another anecdote of bim, which bears witness to his devout equanimity on perilous occasions, belongs to this period of his history. During the civil wars, when the royalist army was lying in Scotland, Leighton was anxious to visit his brother, who bore arms in the king's service, before an engagement which was daily expected should take place. On bis way to the camp he was benighted in the midst of a vast thicket; and having deviated from the path, he sought in vain for an outlet. with fatigue and hunger, he began to think bis situation desperate, and dismounting he spread bis cloak upon the ground, and knelt down to pray. With implicit devotion he resigved his soul 10 God; enireating, however, that if it were not the divine pleasure for him then to conclude his days, some way of deliverance might be opened. Then remounting bis horse, he threw the reins upon its neck; and the animal, left to itself, or rather to the conduct of an Almighty Providence, made straight into the high road, threading all the mazes of the wood with unerring certainty."
At first his resignation was not accepted, but afterwards, in 1652, he was discharged from the ministerial duties which he had performed for more than eleven years, with such holy, unexampled faithfulness. Not long after this, he was chosen principal of the University of Edinburgh, and remained in this situation till 1662. Burnet's account of this event is as follows, " He had generally the reputation of a saint, and of something above human nature in him : So the Mastership of the college of Edinburgh falling vacant sometiine aster, and it being in the gist of the city, he was prevailed with to accept of it, because in it he was wholly separated from all church matters. He continued ten years in that post, and was a great blessing in it; for he talked so to all the youth of any capacity or distinction, that it had a great effect on many of them. He preached often to them; and if crowds broke in, which they were apt to do, he would have gone on in his sermon in Latin, with a purity and life that charmed all who understood it.” It was bis custoin to deliver a tbeological Prelection once a week.
In 1662 he was exalted to "a sphere of stormy greatness, wherein his apostolic virtues gilded the gloom, which it exceeded even their influence to dispel.” He was appointed by the King with several other bishops to commence the reestablishment of the Episcopal church in Scotland. He acceded to the preferment from a pure sense of duty, contrary to his own desires, and in the hope by wise and gentle measures to soften the prejudices of his countrymen, and accomplish the union of the churches of England and Scotland. At bis own special request he was appointed to the least important See, the inconsiderable one of Dunblane in Perthshire. His reluctance to acquiesce at any rate in the promotion," was only overcome by a peremptory order of the court, requiring him to accept it, unless he thought in his conscience that the episcopal office was unlawful.” This he could not conscientiously declare. In a letter to the Rev. James Aird, Minister at Torry, which exbibits in a very interesting manner his feelings on this occasion he observes,
“ One comfort I have, that in what is pressed on me there is the least of my own choice, yea on the contrary the strongest aversion that ever I had to any thing in all my life : the difficulty in short lies in a necessity of either owning a scruple which I have not, or the rudest disobedience to authority, that may be. Meanwhile hope well of me, and pray for ine. This word I will add, that as there has been nothing of my choice in the thing, so I undergo it, if it must be, as a mortification, and that greater than a cell and haircloth: and whether
will believe this or 30 I am not careful."
“The bishops came down to Scotland,” says Burnet, " soon after their consecration, all in one coach. Leighton told me he believed they were weary of hin, for he was very weary of them ; but he, finding they intended to be received at Edinburgh with some pomp, left them at Morpeth, and came to Edinburgh a few days before them.
He hated all appearances of vanity.”
He was a true Shepherd and Bishop of souls. In a thousand ways the holy glories of his character shone in his wise and pious measures for the promotion of religion in Scotland. “ The only priority he sought” writes his biographer, “ was in labors; the Only ascendancy he coveted was in self-denial and holiness; and in these respects he had few competitors for preeminence. Proceeding steadily upon these principles, and exerting all bis influence to impart to others the same servency of spirit, he drew upon himself the eyes of all Scotland, which gazed with amazement
at his bright and singular virtues, as at a star of unrivalled brilliance, newly added to the sky. Even the presbyterians were softened by his Christian urbanity and condescension, and were constrained to admit that on him had descended a double portion of the apostolic spirit. Had his colleagues in office been kin to him in temper, it is not extravagant to believe that the attempt to restore episcopacy would have had a more prosperous issue.”
But he soon found it vain to hope, wbile plans conceived in a spirit of imprudence and harshress were carried into execution by irreligious men with irreligious fury. "I find him expressing himself," says his biographer, " in allusion no doubi to the leading men of this period, with a poignant recollection of the selfish craft by which they were characterized. Seeing them destitute of Christian simplicity and singleness of purpose, he lost all heart about the issue of their measures; and designated them, in scriptural language, as empty vines bringing forth fruit unto themselves. " I have met with many cunning ploiters," he would say, “but with few truly honest and skilful undertakers. Many have I seen who were wise and great as to this world, but of such as are willing to be weak that others may be
and whose only aim it is to promote the prosperity of Zion, have 1 not found one in ten thosuand.”
In 1665 he came to the resolution to lay down his charge, and accordingly bade a solemn farewell to the clergy, before going to London to seek permission to resign. The king was affected by bis representations, and pledged himself to more prudent and conciliatory measures; but would not consent to Leighton's resignation. The account of his interview, which he supposed would be the last, with his clerical brethren, (taken from the records of his charges to the clergy,) is full of pathos.
“ After the affairs of the synod were ended, the Bishop shewed the brethren he had somewhat to impart to them that concerned himself, which though it imported little or nothing, either to them or to the church, yet he judged it his duty to acquaint them with ; and it was, the resolution he had taken of retiring from his public charge; and that all the account he could give of the reasons moving him to it was briefly this; the sense he had of his own unworthiness of so bigh a station in the church, and his weariness of the contentions of this church, which seemed rather to be growing than abating, and by their growth did make so great abatement of that Christian meekness and mutual charity, that is so much more worth than the whole sum of all that we contend about. He thanked the brethren for all their undeserved respect
and kindness manifested to himself all along; and desired their good construction of the poor endeavors he had used to serve them, and to assist them in promoting the work of the ministry, and the great designs of the gospel, in their bounds; and if in any thing in word or deed he bad offended them, or any of them, he earnestly and humbly craved their pardon : and having recommended to them to continue in the study of peace and holiness, and of ardent love to our great Lord and Master, and 10 the souls he hath so dearly bought, he closed with these words of the apostle: Finally, brethren, farewell : be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, and live in peace; and the God of peace and love shall be with you."
In 1669 Leighton was appointed Archbishop of Glasgow on the removal of Archbishop Burnet. The short account which Bishop Burnet, in the history of his own times, has given of this event and its immediate results in the movements of Leighton, his clergy, and the presbyterian ministers, is admirably characteristic of all the parties.
“ Leighton undertook the administration of the See of Glasgow: and it was a year after this, before he was prevailed on to be translated thither. He came, upon this, to Glasgow, and held a synod of his clergy; in wbich nothing was to be heard, but complaints of desertion and ill usage from them all. Leighton in a sermon that he preached to them, and in several discourses both public and private, exhorted them to look up more to God, to consider themselves as the ministers of the cross of Christ, to bear the contempt and ill usage they met with, as a cross laid on them for the exercise of their faith and patience, to lay aside all the appetites of revenge, to humble themselves before God, to have many days for secret fasting and prayers, and to meet often together, that they might quicken and assist one another in those holy exercises; and then they might expect blessing from heaven upon their labors.
This was a new strain to the clergy. They had nothing to say against it; but it was a comfortless doctrine to them and they had not been accustomed to it. No speedy ways were proposed for forcing the people to come to church, nor for sending soldiers among them, or raising the fines to which they were liable. So they went home, as little edified with their new bishop as he was with them. When this was over, he went round some parts of the country, to the most eminent of the indulged ministers, and carried me with bim. His business was to persuade them to hearken to propositiors of peace. He told them some of them would be quickly sent for to Edinburgh, where
terms would be offered them in order to the making up our dirferences: all was sincerely meant: they would meet with no artifices nor hardships : and if they received those offers heartily, they would be turned into laws : and all the vacancies then in the church would be Glled by their brethren. They received this with so much indifference, or rather neglect, that it would have cooled any zeal ibat was less warm and less active than that good man's was. They were scarce civil; and did not so much as thank bim for his tenderness and care : the more artsul among them, such as Hutcheson, said it was a thing of general concern, and they were but single men. Others were more metaphysical, and entertained us with some poor arguings and distinctious. Leighton began to lose heart. Yet he was resolved to set the negotiation on foot, and carry it as far as he could."
In 1670 Leighton had several conferences with the presbyterian leaders, and offered such concessions as in effect almost vacated the episcopal office; but it was all in vain. “All was lost labor,” says Burnet; “hot men among them were positive; and all of them were full of contention." The whole account of these convocations, and indeed of the prosecution and end of king Charles' designs for the establishment of episcopacy in Scotland, is one of the most interesting and instructive portions of Burnet's History. Their last meeting took place at the house of Lord Rothes, “where, says Leighton's biographer, this tedious treaty was concluded by Hucheson, in the name of the whole fraternity, returning this short and dry answer,' as Leighton designates it; We are not free in conscience to close with the propositions, made by the Bishop of Dunblane, as satisfactory.' Leighton begged for an explicit statement of their reasons for persisting in a course, so contrary to the peace and welfare of the church; but the presbyterian representatives excused themselves from all argument on the subject. Being requested to submit propositions, on their part, which might furnish a hopeful basis for a fresh negotiation, they declined the invitation, on the plea that their sentiments were already before the world ; thereby signifying that nothing would satisfy them, short of the utter extinction of episcopacy. The Archbishop, perceiving that no terms would be accepted by this untractable race, delivered bimself, before the assembly broke up, at considerable length and with energetic solemnity. He unfolded the motives, by which he had been actuated in setting afloat this negotiation, and in still urging it forward, when wave upon wave was driving it back. “My sole object has been to procure peace, and to advance the interests