Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character eBook

Edward Bannerman Ramsay
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 542 pages of information about Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character.

Their style of preaching, too was, no doubt often plain and homely.  They had not the graces of elocution or elegance of diction.  But many were faithful in their office, and preached Christ as the poor man’s friend and the Saviour of the lowly and the suffering.  I have known Scottish ministers of the old school get into a careless indifferent state of ministration; I have also known the hoary head of many a Scottish minister go down to the grave a crown of glory, in his day and generation more honoured than many which had been adorned by a mitre.


[14] Lying Gilbert.

[15] This anecdote has been illustrated, as taken from these pages, by a very clever sketch of the Highlander and his admirer, in a curious publication at Liverpool called The Tobacco Plant, and devoted to the interests of smoking and snuffing.

[16] The truth is, in old English usage “bug” signifies a spectre or anything that is frightful.  Thus in Henry VI., 3d Part, act v. sc. ii.—­“For Warwick was a bug that feared us all.”

[17] Adds fuel to fire.

[18] As far as I am aware the only place in which it is practised at present (July 1872), is in the Free Church, Brodick, Arran.



Passing from these remarks on the Scottish Clergy of a past day, I would treat the more extensive subject of RELIGIOUS FEELINGS and RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCES generally with the caution and deference due to such a question, and I would distinctly premise that there is in my mind no intention of entering, in this volume, upon those great questions which are connected with certain church movements amongst us, or with national peculiarities of faith and discipline.  It is impossible, however, to overlook entirely the fact of a gradual relaxation, which has gone on for some years, of the sterner features of the Calvinistic school of theology—­at any rate, of keeping its theoretic peculiarities more in the background.  What we have to notice in these pages are changes in the feelings with regard to religion and religious observances, which have appeared upon the exterior of society—­the changes which belong to outward habits rather than to internal feelings.  Of such changes many have taken place within my own experience.  Scotland has ever borne the character of a moral and religious country; and the mass of the people are a more church-going race than the masses of English population.  I am not at all prepared to say that in the middle and lower ranks of life our countrymen have undergone much change in regard to religious observances.  But there can be no question that amongst the upper classes there are manifestations connected with religion now, which some years ago were not thought of.  The attendence of men on public worship is

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Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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