THE "fifty years' struggle of the Scottish Covenanters" has exercised a deeper and more permanent influence on the character of the Scottish people than any event in the history of Scotland since the period of the Reformation. It has contributed in no small degree to strengthen their spirit of national independence, their patriotism, and their devotedness to the cause of civil and religious liberty. The memory of the heroic men who laid down their lives on the battle-field or at the gibbet, in pestiferous dungeons or in foreign lands, for "Christ's Crown and Covenant" is held by them in the highest veneration.
The struggles and sufferings of the Covenanters have been the theme of eminent historians, poets, novelists, and painters. The " Scots Worthies " and the ".Cloud of Witnesses" in which their deeds and "dying testimonies" are recorded, have long been favourite volumes among the Scottish peasantry. The scenes of their conflicts with the ruthless instruments of the tyrant and the persecutor are regarded as " holy ground." Their anniversaries are celebrated as national.