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be neither men's sons, apprentices, nor poor ones, that shall be found to bicker on the Sunday, or profane the said day by their plays; but that the fathers of the said sons, and the masters of the said apprentices, shall pay to the treasurer of the kirk for the first fault 20s, for the second 30s., and so on toties quoties; and that the beggars be banished the town for ever without hope of their regress to the same.”
Nor did the faithful men of Glasgow in these early days content themselves with the protection of the day of God;—they remembered the claims of benevolence. They dealt in acts of positive kindness to their fellow-men. The love of God led to the love of man. At a period when the stipends of ministers, where they existed, did not exceed 400 or 500 merks, a most affectionate regard was paid to the wants of the poor; the session records are full of references to them. In 1588, the town seems to have been overrun with beggars. Indeed, that great social change, though in a partial degree, was going forward in Scotland, which led in the reign of Elizabeth to the enactment of the poorlaws of England. The superior ecclesiastical system of this poorer country, warded off what for so many generations has proved a curse to the sister land. Regular collections were made at the church-doors for the relief of the poor. These upon an average extended from L.I to L. 3 Scots, or about 3s. 3d. Sterling. This may seem a small sum, but, taking into account the value of money, it was not really so. About that period a boll of wheat could be had for 2s. 6d. of our money, and the carcase of the best sheep was sold in Edinburgh for 10d. Hence it appears that the collection for the poor was very considerable. In 1588, it is stated that the box contained L. 22 in silver, which was equally divided for distribution in the town into four parts. When the church collections, owing to any particular pressure of destitution, were found inadequate, recourse was had to subscription, and ministers, magistrates, elders, &c. became collectors. We read of one person in this way bringing in 6 merks, 6s. 8d; another lo merks, 16s.; another 20s.; another 3ls. ; another L. 5, 12s. 8d. When men went round on this errand they are directed to collect " of those that may spare some of their goods and geir for the relief of their poor brethren, and that with all expedition.” The power of granting discretionary relief was exercised by the elders and dea
Some interesting cases of individual relief are noticed. Thus, 4s. are granted to one James Kilpatrick to release his clothing from some sort of pawn. “ The kirk ordains John Fife, Hesher,
to be helped by a collection throughout the town next Monday." A few years later," the session grants license to John Mudie and William Millar, to gather in this town on some day they shal think most meet, some alms to John Maxwell in the Stockwell, for the relief of him and his poor motherless bairns.” But while thus so kind to the poor, the kindness was exercised in the spirit of Christian wisdom. At one time the poor were required to present a ticket to the session, shewing how the bounty was experded, that the donors might be satisfied it had not been abused. The poor, too, were required to attend the public prayers on the Lord’s-day, and only those who did so were allowed “ to get meat in the town.” Thus did the Church make her charity subservient to the spiritual welfare of the poor; and while the poor were cared for, no encouragent was given to sturdy beggars. Application was made to the magistrates to disperse them. In 1586, they seem to have stood in crowds around the church-door plate, and to have troubled the collectors. It is ordained that they shall all be put forth beyond the kirk-door and style, “except the poor old woman who sits in the barrow within the kirk." As an evidence of the number of the poor in those days, it may be mentioned that in the West Kirk of Edinburgh, when the population of the parish did not exceed 2000, the number of paupers was 80. Of course there, as in Glasgow, all were supported by the liberality of the Church.
But our forefathers did not limit their benevolence to the poor of the parish in which they resided. Like Christian men they felt for the temporal and the spiritual wants of others at a distance. Hence we read in the year 1589, that “ the session ordains the supplication of the Blantyre folks, who had their corn destroyed by hailstones, to be read out the next Sunday, and the said folks to be helped on the said Sunday." And, what is a still more striking illustration of Christian liberality, we find that they, amid all their own poverty and struggles, contributed for the relief of the suffering churches of Geneva and France. In 1590, it is said, “ touching the relief to the Kirk of Geneva, it is referred to the council, and for their relief the ministers are ordained to travel with the council on Saturday next." With regard again to the French Protestants in 1588, there is the following deliverance :“ The which day the session ordains Mr Pat. Sharp, Principal of the College of Glasgow, and Mr John Cowper, one of the ministers there, to go to the council on Saturday next, and to propound to them the necessities of the poor brethren of France, banished to England for the religious cause, and to crave of them
their support to the said poor brethren." They farther ask the council to appoint six members of session, three to take up
collections in the east of the town, and three in the west ; the whole to be done with all possible diligence.
It may be added, that, as leprosy was not uncommon in these days, there was a house for the accommodation of persons affected with this malady, to which frequent reference is made in the records. These records speak of the “poor leper folk's house beyond the bridge.” It is situated in St Ninian's Croft, Gorbals, and was repaired by the silver exacted from penitent delinquents by the session. Originally it seems to have been supported by the feuars, and afterwards by the liberality of the inhabitants of the town generally. There was also an alms-house, the inmates of which were required to attend divine service forenoon and afternoon on the Lord's day, and family worship morning and evening every day, under the penalty of a forfeiture of the advantages of the institution if they failed. I have not observed many notices in regard to education; but there can be little doubt that in Glasgow, as in other parts of Scotland at that time, there were most earnest endeavours to promote so important a cause. There was a grammar-school, which seems to have been well attended, as, so early as 1586, we read of " a loft in the High Church being ordered to be prepared for the grammar-school bairns;" and we read of a singing-school having been established in Blackfriars or the College Church. Indeed, considerable exertions were used by the session and town-council to obtain a properly qualified man. The Principal of the University's name appears on the list of the committee appointed to find a music-master; and a desire is expressed to encourage not merely vocal but instrumental music. We may safely conclude, that when this branch of education was regarded, other and still more substantial parts (so far as the means of the community allowed) were not neglected. In the appointment of a beadle in 1590, it is agreed that, in as much as the office is a public one, and it is most desirable to have a person who can read and write well, therefore steps are to be taken to obtain the services of one so qualified.
In conclusion, I would simply advert, and that in the way of obviating an objection and meeting a prejudice to the severity of the church discipline exercised on the days of which I have been writing. This is a very prominent feature in all the ecclesiastical records of the period, and is apt to be misinterpreted, as if our fathers were harsh and unamiable men.
SUPPLEMENT TO THE ARTICLE OF GLASGOW.
The fraternal kindness, however, which they discover for the poor, and for foreign churches labouring under persecution, should be a sufficient answer to such an imputation. The true explanation seems to be, that the Protestant church was dealing with men who had come forth fresh from the careless and relaxed morality of the Church of Rome; that the state of manners and society generally was rough, needing strong measures; that the civil and criminal law was so weak, that an important part of its duty was devolved on the stronger arm of the ecclesiastical ; and that our forefathers entertained, and justly, a higher idea of what is due to church discipline than is common in the easy and luxurious age in which we live. For what was decidedly intolerant in their proceedings I offer no defence, save that they had been taught in the most intolerant of all schools, and that in these days Popery was so mixed up with treasonable or seditious politics, that, in applying a strong coercive restraint to its professors, the state, and our fa. thers were doing no more than obeying the first of all laws-selfpreservation ; a law which would testify a similar exercise of power in the same circumstances at the present day. For what may appear unduly severe in the exercise of discipline upon the church's own members, I have only to say, in addition to what has been already remarked, that at least it was eminently impartial, and to a very great degree, in combination with other means, successful in raising Scotland, in an incredibly brief season, to the highest pitch of moral and religious feeling of which there is any example among nations. If we are startled in reading of kirk-sessions imprisoning or banishing serious delinquents, or sending them to tive pillory, or requiring them to appear several Sabbath days in succession at the church-door in sackcloth, bare-headed and barefooted, or ducking them in the Clyde, it is to be remembered that no rank, however exalted, was spared, and that a special severity was exercised toward ministers and elders and office-bearers in the church when they offended. There was no favouritism.* In very many cases it is to be considered, too, that the punishment inflicted by the session, is all which is suffered for that offence. In such circumstances, even where civil penalties are incurred, it cannot be accounted undue.
A Lord Semple's handwriting is found in the record, acknowledging sin, and for his offence he is required to stand in sackcloth in the presence of the congregation.
ADDENDA To CADDER. Page 401, line 1,- In place of “ It is surrounded,” read 6. The extensive loch in the centre of the parish, before referred to, is surrounded."
Page 404,- Add as follows under the head of Natural History, in the account of Cadder, which was drawn up by the incumbent, the Rev. Thomas Lockerby :-“ The lakes and streams contain pike, trout, perch, braze, and perhaps every variety of eels. Large fresh-water muscles are to be found in the canal. Some of the proprietors were held bound to furnish salmon to the superior. There are none to be found now in the Bothland, Luggie, or even the Kelvin ; nor are they such streams now as salmon would naturally much' frequent. The streams and lochs, and moors and mosses, and plantations, would furnish more specimens for the naturalist than Mr Ure has enumerated in his Natural History of Rutherglen and Kilbride. Some of the animals to be found in the parish are the following : Adders, badgers, roe. bucks, inarten, and polecats, foxes, hedgehogs, lizards, black, brown, and water-rats, rabbits, squirrels, weasels. Adders did at one time very much abound. Twelve have been killed by one individual in one day. When Gartloch moss was improved, the labourers dug them out in greai numbers. Lizards abound nearly as much in some parts of the parish as they do in the deep mosses at the foot of Benlomond.
The following are some of the fowls : The moor and singing blackbird, the balcule, bullfinch, buzzard, carrion-crow, curlew, wild-duck, goldfinch, goatsucker, grouse, gull, water-hen, heron, ring-tailed and common brown hawk, blue spur, and small martin, jay-pyet, kingfisher, lark, lapwing, bright, green, and moss linnet, magpie, moss-cheeper, nightingale, ox-eye, owl, gray plover, partridge, pheasant, common rook, land and water-rail, chaffinch, snipe, common and mountain thrush, teal, blue, water, and yellow wagtail, widgeon, woodpecker.
Sea-gulls frequent the west end of the parish some time of the year in great numbers. It is said by naturalists that the absence of the nightingale in Northumberland and Scotland is to be attributed to the greater coldness of those parts compared with the milder air of southern England. It is, nevertheless, said that this songster has been both seen and heard in Cadder.
Page 409, 4th line from the bottom, omit the sentence commencing “ It is said that some.”