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The Scot and Canada
I. The Scot


Some years ago Dr. Murray Gibbon wrote in his Canadian Mosaic:

'To know a people, you must know its history and origins, just as to know an individual person requires knowledge of his parents, his upbringing and his career, as well as the house he lives in and his surroundings.

'That is why, if we are to understand the Canadian people, we must know more than just the geography and scenery of Canada, and the customs and habits of the Canadians. We must also study their racial origins.

'This we are fortunately able to do, because the Canadian people have not lived long enough together to be set in their ways. They are made up of European racial groups, the members of which are only beginning to get acquainted with each other, and have not yet been blended into one type. Possibly in another two hundred years, Canadians may be fused together and standardized so that you can recognize them anywhere in a crowd. But even then, the writers of the future will understand them better if they know what they were like when Canada was younger.

'The Canadian race of the future is being superimposed on the original native races and is being made up of over thirty European racial groups, each of which has its own history, customs and traditions . . . The Canadian people to-day presents itself as a decorated surface, bright with inlays of separate coloured pieces, not painted in colours blended with brush on palette. The original background in which the inlays are set is still visible.'

But the original background is fast disappearing, and a new Canadian, distinctive in outlook and mentality, is being rapidly and splendidly evolved. He is a compound of many national ingredients and the inheritor of many and varied national characteristics, of which the Scottish are by no means the least. It is our purpose in the following pages to try to recall and evaluate some of the contributions which the Scots have made towards the building of this Dominion, during the time when it was still a colony in its adolescence. The more virile type of Scots—the Cape Breton Highlanders, for example—have, like the French-Canadians, been able to form a group strong enough to preserve their ancient language and many of the ways and customs, the songs and sports of their forefathers. There are determinedly Scottish "islands" as at Legatt's Point in Quebec: there are thousands in the Dominion who pride themselves on their Scottish ancestry and traditions. That is partly the sentimental side of the Scot which is making itself heard and felt; it has little bearing on his daily living in Canada. He is, for all practical purposes, a Canadian. This did not hold in the former generation of Scots. A Scottish leavening there undoubtedly is and must be in the second generation: but many of the second generation are no longer Scots. They go to Canadian schools, speak with a Canadian accent, grow up with the Canadian mentality. They have little or no interest in Sons of Scotland or St. Andrew's Societies. They are Masons, or Kiwanians, or Rotarians, or Kinsmen, or members of some other service club. They spend

their holidays camping or touring in Canada; they do not want to live in Scotland. They are troubled by no memories of "the lone shieling". They are Canadians.

The Canadian of to-day is aware of a new feeling of nationality. He realises that while there must be divergence of opinions on matters of internal polity, a nation, if it is to play a worthy role in international affairs, must speak from strength and not from weakness, and with the assurance which the maximum of unity brings. The evolution of Canada was inevitable; no one in his right senses could wish or imagine it otherwise; and in the course of her evolution she is gradually assuming the position and responsibilities of nationhood. This implies no disloyalty to the British Commonwealth or to the international ideal. Canada is merely putting into practical effect the teaching of Scotland's great national poet — that, before a nation can attain the international point of view it must first be sure that it has a national one. And to the fulfilment of this ideal the Canadian of Scottish extraction, or the more recent Scottish Canadian, is most sincerely contributing.

And if we speak in particular appraisement of the contribution of the Scots to Canada we do not seek to belittle the work that has been done by the French, the English, the Irish and the Welsh. The number of distinguished French names in early Canadian history is legion — Cartier, who landed at Stadacona in 1535, La Salle, de Salaberry and Champlain; Maisonneuve, Brebeuf, Frontenac; Mere Marie de l'Incarnation, Madame La Tour and Madeleine de Vercheres. There are fascinating adventurers like Radisson and Groseillers; there is Le Moyne d'Iber-ville, commander of the Pelican, which sank the British ship, Hampshire, in Hudson Bay with the loss of 290 good seamen, in 1697. That sea fight makes epic reading.

'Just before he (the English Captain, Fletcher) gave his last broadside called to the said Mons. d'Iberville, bidding him strike, which he refusing to do Captain Fletcher took a glass and drank to him, telling him he should dine with him immediately. Upon which the said French Captain pledged him in another glass. And thereupon his men fired a volley of small shot upon the Hampshire which was returned with a like volley to the Frenchman. After that the said Captain Fletcher was not seen, so that it was supposed the said Captain Fletcher was then killed.' The first white woman to see the prairies was a Frenchwoman, Marie Ann Gaboury. She was there in 1807. As to French names in Canadian history, one might use John Dryden's phrase when he was talking about the characters in Chaucer's Prologue — "here is God's plenty" — and leave it at that.

One cannot think of the history of Canada without recalling English names like Frobisher, the first of his race to land on Canadian soil, in 1576; and Henry Hudson, who vanished amid the ice floes of James Bay in 1610; and William Baffin, who was busy exploring the grim wastes of the North while William Shakespeare was writing his plays in London and Elizabeth was trying to make up her mind whether or not to cut off the head of poor Mary, Queen of Scots. There are many later English names whose bearers have figured nobly in the making of Canada— Wolfe and Durham, Amherst, Lawrence and Begbie,

Brock and Bagot, Sydenham and Simcoe. There are Irish names like Baldwin, Hincks, Whelan, Talbot, Monck, Lisgar, the Marquis of Dufferin and Ava, and D'Arcy McGee. A Welshman, Thomas Button, became in 1610 one of the "Incorporated Discoverers of the North West Passage", and a countryman of his, David Thompson, a Bunyanesque individual with black hair "worn long all round and cut square, as if by one stroke of the sheers, just above the eye-brows", was not only map-maker for the North West Company but the author of a standard work on the fauna and flora, the customs and the folklore of the Indians who lived in that vast territory.

* * * * *

But one need only mention McGill and Dalhousie to have some idea of the vital contribution which the Scots have made to education in Canada; to recall names like McCulloch, Strachan, or Macdonell to realise the variety of religious experience which they represented. One has only to think of some of the most famous of the Canadian regiments — the Black Watch, the Seaforths, the Camerons, to see the quality of the fighting spirit that the Scots contributed to the older Canada on which the newer Dominion has been so well and truly built. One has only to mention names like General James Murray, or Lord Elgin or Sir John A. Macdonald, or George Brown, to appreciate the part that Scots have played in the politics and the diplomacy of the country. One need only speak of Lord Mount Stephen, or Lord Strathcona, or Sandford Fleming or the Allans, to realise what a tower of strength the Scots have been in the development of Canadian industrial enterprise. It is not too much to claim that the influence of the Scot has been felt in practically every branch of Canadian life and achievement.

* * * * *

Many things, both wise and foolish, have been spoken and written by the Scot about himself, and, unfortunately a certain amount of exaggeration in his appraisement has not been lacking. He has been unable to conceal the fact that he had a "gude conceit" of himself. That has been made a matter for reproach by his enemies. He has been criticised for a tendency to dwell overmuch on his material achievements while ignoring his spiritual and intellectual attainments; for forgetting that some of the highest and best of his contributions to the human race have been made by unknown or unremembered Scots — simple, good men like ministers, teachers, colporteurs, tillers of the soil, who in the lonely places of life, have kept the torch burning amid conditions that would have broken them if they had not been sustained by a faith that would not shrink and which won to triumph over all difficulties and temporal discouragements. Burns's Cotter was of this company; he will be for all time a symbol of the humble Scot who gave his mite and helped the weary traveller on his lonely way. That good historian of The Scot in British North America, W. J. Rattray, writing in his old-fashioned Victorian way, sums up the contribution of the Scot in these glowing words:

'The history of the Scot in British North America has virtually been the history of the country since its occupancy by the British. In politics, especially, the Scot has been, unquestionably, the most prominent of the varied elements which have gone to the making of our national life. By all the qualities, of statesmanship, of leadership, of diplomacy, men of Scottish origin have proved their claim to the foremost place among those who have laid the foundations of Canadian nationality. The splendid intellectual and moral gifts of the race have lost nothing by transplantation to the alien soil, but have rather become strengthened by the strenuous conflict and pressure of unaccustomed social conditions, and the action and reaction of new forces .... The strong religious instincts, the keen moral perceptions, the resolute will, tireless energy, and acute logical faculty of the Scot, tempered and modified by the qualities of the people who share our national heritage, will enter very largely into the fibre of the coming race.' [Vol. iv. pp. 1191-2.]

That is a proud claim made over sixty years ago although the writer did not get to the root of the matter like Burns. It is also a true claim. But since then the character of the Scot has been under fire. Like the new Canadian, the Scot has become acutely self-conscious, more nationalistically self-conscious than he has been since the days when Scotland was — nominally at least — an independent nation with a King, a parliament and a diplomatic service of her own. He is setting a new value on himself, bringing himself up to date, taking stock of his assets. He is no longer thinking of himself in romantic or sentimental terms; he has become a business proposition. He is in deadly earnest. He is determined to rid the world of false ideas about himself. He is willing to admit his failings; but they must be got rid of. He would cultivate the qualities which have made for his success in the past and choose them as a base on which to build his future. He is aware that it is not easy to give up bad habits, especially if one is no longer young, but he knows that the ability or inability to give up those bad habits is the measure of a man's strength or his weakness. The Second World War has greatly strengthened the Scot in his resolution. It has enabled him to see himself more clearly and to understand himself better in the fierce test of battle. It has allowed others to see him at home, to appreciate his hospitality and the warmth of his welcome, his courage in the field, his patience under suffering. He has grown resentful of the false idea that men have held about him. The change in the Scot of to-day is almost startling. He has found himself once more. Once again Scotland is the land which sent the pioneers into the waste places. She is still the same Scotland which gave so many of her sons to Canada. Once again she can look with pride and understanding on a land which she has so greatly helped to mould. Once again the Scottish sons of Canada can look with pride and warm sympathy on the mother from whom they have sprung.

* * * * *

It is a truism that has been repeated ad nauseam that the greatest single factor in the life of the Scottish people was the Reformation. Until that time no one had associated the Scots particularly with religion. They were known on the Continent of Europe for their fighting qualities and for their pride. Their country was known to be poor, miserably poor; their Court was filled with ruffianly nobles, intriguing courtiers, and their Kings almost invariably came to a bad end very early in life. James I. was assassinated; James II. was murdered; James III. was killed by the bursting of a cannon; James IV. brought his nation to disaster and himself to an early death by his own obstinate stupidity ; James V. died a young man, like his ancestors, of heartbreak. His daughter Mary, Queen of Scots, perished on the scaffold long before she had reached middle age. Until the Reformation the Scots were an "independent" nation tied to the apron-strings of the French. The Reformation stimulated them spiritually and intellectually. It liberated them from the bondage of the past and turned them into a nation of aggressive thinkers and enquirers into the truth. When John Knox was set free from the slavery of the Nostre Dame galley on the intercession of Edward VI. of England, a most implacable enemy of the old Church was let loose to work his will against it. Knox was no fanatical Torquemada: we believe Carlyle's picture of the man to be a much better likeness than Edwin Muir's. [Muir, John Knox, (1930).] He lived in desperate days and had to adopt extreme measures to maintain the intellectual and religious liberty which he had won. But he did not "rob Scotland of all the benefits of the Renaissance." It is ridiculous to assert, as Mr. Muir does, that "he had no sense of justice", that he was "vindictive in his unrelenting pursuit of Mary Stuart", that "normally he was altogether without self-control" and "incapable of living at peace." Nor was Knox a bitter and ignorant iconoclast. He believed in the beauty of holiness; he held that holiness becometh God's house and that God's house is rendered fairer and more seemly when it is adorned along the lines laid down by John Calvin in his Institutes of the Christian Religion:

'But for as much as carving and painting are the gifts of God, I require that they be both pure and lawfully used. Lest these things which God has given us for His Glory and for our benefit be not only defiled by disorderly abuse, but also turned to our own destruction.'

The Scot adopted and adapted Calvinism; Calvinism did not adopt and adapt the Scot as used to be commonly assumed. As a very recent writer on Scotland puts it:

'The simple explanation of the so-called 'Calvinist' qualities of the Lowland Scot is that, from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century, his ancestors were engaged in a deadly struggle with a much larger and richer neighbour. England could wage the war and leave an ample margin of her wealth and energies for trade; Scotland had to throw everything she had into the fight. And it gave the Lowland Scots the character inevitable in any race, which, every few years throughout the centuries, has to make scorched earth of its farmsteads and towns and take to the woods and the hills as guerillas. It has given them all the grim defects so mercilessly recorded by George Douglas Brown in his The House with the Green Shutters, together with indefatigable fighting qualities and a determination to make good the time lost and win prosperity, each for himself. But they have no ancient culture to inherit. A few blackened abbeys were all that the wars left them. The Reformation found a country in which the poor were poverty-stricken: the little wealth was concentrated about the Court and the Church, which imported their culture as they imported their luxuries.' [Ian Finlay, Scotland, p. 117, (1944).]

One result of this is that the contribution of the Scots to the fine arts has been comparatively meagre. They have produced one poet who belongs not to Scotland but to the world, one novelist who can take his place with the greatest and whose fame is forever secure. And they have one supremely great religious philosopher. Carlyle came late, perhaps too late, but it was as if the whole nation of Scots had been waiting for him — Highlander and Lowlander. Carlyle represents the best of their thinking. He went forth into the world, preaching the gospel of self-sacrifice and the paramount need for work and duty. He taught the inescapableness of personal responsibility and the inevitable accounting that must follow. Carlyle, with his brusqueness and roughness, his moral earnestness and autocratic overbearingness, his democratic feeling and his intolerance of democracy, his broad humani-tarianism and his narrow local vision, typifies the Scot who took character and moral strength with him when he went furth of Scotland to make the far wilderness blossom like the rose.

* * * * *

One of the most tragic things about the Scot is that he is without a national culture, or a culture which is internationally recognised as Scottish. I can remember my mother singing to me when I was a child the story of the Four Maries, and from somewhere among the mists of the years there come to mind these lovely lines:

'Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands,
Oh! where hae ye been?
They hae slain the Earl of Moray,
And have laid him in the green ...

He was a braw gallant,
And he play'd at the ba';
And the bonnie Earl of Moray
Was the flower amang them a' . . .

Oh! lang will his lady
Look owre the castle Doune,
Ere she see the Earl of Moray
Come sounding thro' the toun.

But the chances are that the modern Scots child knows little or nothing of the ancient balladry of his country, or even its history. He is more likely to be familiar with the American "funnies". The Scot of to-day is a curious contradiction. He is perhaps more nationalistic than at almost any period in his history. Yet he is allowing the priceless heritage of the Gaelic to crumble away, and the vernacular as spoken in the cities is a corrupt and unlovely thing. The average Lowlander is blissfully ignorant of the fact that ethnologically he is of the same stock as the Highlander, and that it is geographical, political and economic conditions, and not racial differences that are responsible for what is purely an artificial distinction. Gaelic was spoken in part of the Lowlands until comparatively recently and that district is still full of corrupted Celtic names. The Scot, especially the Lowland Scot, romanticises Queen Margaret, forgetting that she was a Saxon who hated everything Scottish and did her best to undermine the traditions and the customs of her adopted country. The Scot is a great believer in education, not as an end but as a means to an end. In a recent issue of The University of Edinburgh Journal [Autumn, 1945.]l there is this statement: "The demand for university education, coming both from the people and from the Government, is growing enormously — a recent Government communication estimates the need for an increase in the "student population" of the country as high as 50 per cent. over the pre-war numbers. The tradition of equal opportunity for all still holds in Scotland, and this, coupled with the conviction that knowledge is power, has made the Scot one of the most efficient individuals in the world. This idea of efficiency tends, however, to make somewhat of a travesty of culture. "A university," according to one recent authority, "is a corporation or society which devotes itself to a search after knowledge for its intrinsic value." That is what is meant by a liberal education. But the Scot is beginning to ask himself whether he really is getting a liberal education, or whether he is being educated at all. He is beginning to wonder precisely what value a degree has when its recipient cannot discuss intelligently matters of general interest, such as contemporary literature, art, music, scientific trends and political portents. He is beginning to realise that purely academic efficiency may cost too much, if it merely succeeds in turning promising young men and women into robots whose intellectual vision has been warped to such an extent that they cannot see the wood for the trees. This is the danger of over-specialisation. It is the tragedy of our Scottish schools (I except foundations like Fettes and Merchiston) that they do little towards cultivating the social graces, and it is the reproach of our Scottish universities that they do even less towards supplying a social background, the lack of which has handicapped many of our most brilliant graduates. Sir Alexander MacEwan was no doubt a little harsh, but he was speaking no more than the truth when he wrote in 1932: "It is open to doubt whether under our present system the average primary or even secondary school child carries away with him anything which may be described as of permanent intellectual value. It is, unfortunately, possible to take a University degree and yet be as devoid of the civilising influence of literature, art, and music as a new-born babe." [''Education and the Arts", in The Thistle and the Rose, p. 116 (1932).]

In a recent brochure entitled Re-educating Scotland, the writer has this to say on the aims of Scottish education:

'Scotland once had the reputation of being the best-educated nation in Europe. This reputation was deserved, especially in the eighteenth century, because the Scots' respect for learning, which dated back to the pre-Reformation era, had led the Church and the Burghs to establish schools on a scale which, in proportion to population, exceeded that of any other European nation, and most certainly far exceeded that of her richer neighbour.

'To-day, after more than 70 years of State control of education, the pristine glory has departed. That statement does not mean that Scottish education has not progressed under State control. On the contrary, great improvements have been made. The curriculum is more liberal, teachers are more highly qualified and better paid, school buildings and equipment are more generously provided, physical training and games have been given a place in the curriculum, medical inspection has been introduced, and generally speaking, there is a better relationship between teachers and pupils than in the old days. But, just as the Scottish infant mortality rate is still shamefully high for a civilized country, so also, while other nations have progressed in education Scotland has dropped behind.

'The reason is that Scottish education is still uneasily dominated by an old tradition: that of the "lad o' pairts", who, by much burning of the midnight candle in the lonely croft, contrived to win his way through Grammar School and University, to the pulpit or professorial rostrum. It was a narrowly academic tradition, which was based almost entirely on Latin in the Grammar School, because the lectures in the University were, until well on in the eighteenth century, delivered in the classical language. The production of the "lad o' pairts" is still the main aim of our educational system, to the neglect of the needs of the great majority of our children, who have not the academic ability to profit from a University education, at any rate, as we think of Universities now . . .

'Once again, however, the crucible of War has fired us with a burning idealism. We have fought and suffered and died to preserve the democratic way of life. But this time, we are determined to do what we failed to do between the two wars: to make our country a real democracy of which its citizens can be proud. Thus the demand for educational reform is strong . . . ' [Re-educating Scotland Ed. Naomi Mitchison, Robert Britton and G. M. Gilgour, Pub. Scoop Books Limited, Glasgow, n.d.]

* * * * * *

The attitude of contemporary Scottish writers and historians towards Scotland is reflected in the work of Dr. Agnes Mure Mackenzie. Dr. Mackenzie completed her six-volume history of Scotland, Scotland in Modern Times, 1720-1939, in 1941. One critic, writing in The Times Literary Supplement on December 27 of that year, pointed out succinctly the difference between Dr. Mackenzie's point of view and that of the distinguished Scottish historian, Hume Brown, writing fifty years ago.

'Hume Brown wrote as a Whig, who was satisfied with the blessings of the 1707 Union, and who considered Scottish history mainly in relation to English. Dr. Mackenzie writes as a Tory, who is profoundly dissatisfied with the effects of the Union; and she always sees Scotland's history against a European background. But a deeper difference is that where Hume Brown saw Scotland as a nation whose great days were in the past, Dr. Mackenzie believes that Scotland is a country still in the making, and she looks forward to a future when the best Scotsmen will once more want to spend their energies in the service of their own country .... With unflagging loyalty, (Dr. Mackenzie) reminds us of the Scottish origins of many British and foreign notables— even if they were our enemies, like Lauriston, who commanded the French rear in the retreat from Moscow .... But it is an excellent, and a new thing that the chronicle of a country whose greatest failing is particularism should be written by an historian sensitive to the interaction of industry and morals, religion and music, education and snobbery, and inspired with a patriotism that transcends any sectional loyalties.'

The Scot of to-day objects to Lauderism cheap music-hall travesty of his race. The Lauder conception of the Scot as a red-nosed kilted Scot with fiery whiskers and a whisky bottle sticking out of his pocket, is a grotesque distortion of what has been dubbed "Balmorality" — that ludicrous misconception of the Highlander popularised by Queen Victoria and that sycophantic old woman, Harriet Beecher Stowe. As George Scott Moncrieff puts it:

'The picture in Victoria's mind can well be conjectured: the genuine Celt, and the full Highland dress, probably that composed by the Anglo-German Royal Family, pacing through a baronial hall (not a chieftain's castle) of the English inspired Baronial Revival, but strewn with tartans, or amongst hills with wildness dabbed on, so as not to get in the way, by a queenly hand. It was the game that they were all playing; like the English of eighteenth century cult, only a thousand times more intense, the past was made picturesque and romantic and essentially unreal; it had existed, but it had no real bearing on contemporary life. All the treacheries and sordid-ness of the clan life and of Scottish history were forgotten; a tartan patchwork quilt was laid over these, for the industrial age was here, an age that considered history as something utterly dead, of use simply as a ticker to replace genuine sentiments that had been jettisoned from life as unpractical or indecent.' ["Balmorality" in Scotland in Quest of her Youth, p. 78, (1932).]

* * * * *

Gibing and fleering at Scots poverty and the alleged closenievedness of the Scot is an ancient pastime. When the French historian, Jean Froissart, was in Scotland in David the Second's time, he described the poor scale of living of the Scots. They boasted that they were able to build a house in three days. But Froissart noted another thing about the Scots; no matter how poor they were, they were individualists and had little or no respect for the French nobles who had come to help them fight the English — merely because they happened to be nobles. They had no respect for them whatsoever when they rode through their poor crops as they did in their own country. It was something new for the French to find that poverty and independence could go together. "A difficult people", Froissart called them; but they were merely being true to type and doing what they had always been forced to do — resisting superior force that would have despoiled and destroyed them. They were anticipating the teaching of Burns, who insisted on the sacred rights of the individual. But Froissart had a further complaint against the Scots, a complaint which has been made by people other than French in later times and in modified degree. The French were "hardly dealt with in their purchases, and had to pay an extravagant price for whatever they wanted; and whenever their servants went out to forage . . . they were sure to be waylaid on their return, villainously beaten and robbed, and sometimes even slain." According to the diarist, Robert Fabyan, the Scots retaliated on their English detractors by gibing at their "deformyte of clothyng" and ridiculing them in jingles like this:

Long beardes hearties,
Paynted hoodes witles,
Gay cotes graceless,
Make England thriftles.

James II. of Scotland passed an Act forbidding any but aldermen and their wives to "wear clothes of silk and costly scarlet and the fur of martens." Women were not to wear tails "of unbecoming magnitude" and when they went to church they had to "muffle their faces under pain of the escheat of their kerchiefs." That interesting old man, Sir Richard Maitland, who was a great collector of early Scots poetry, wrote a good-natured but pointed Satire of the Town Ladies. One verse runs:

'Thair bodyes bravelie they atyir,
Of carnall lust to eik the fyir; [to add to]
I fairlie quhy thai have ne feir [marvel]
To gar men deime quhat they desyre;
And all for newfangilnes of geir.'

When the Sixth Stewart of Scotland became James I. of England the Southrons had a great time jeering at the mannerisms and the meagre wardrobes of the Scots who crossed the Border with him. To avoid undue attention, gentlemen like Sir Robert Aytoun and Sir Robert Ker and Sir William Alexander anglicised themselves as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. They grew rich and influential and presently the English forgot that they were strangers within their gates. It seems to have been John Nicoll, the remains of whose Diary of Public Transactions cover the years 1650-1667, who was responsible for starting the "bang went saxpence" tradition. Nicoll tells about a famous dancing horse which "did affoord much sportis and contentment to the pepill" (of Edinburgh) although the pleasure was greatly lessened because everybody had to pay "tippence the pece, and some moir" in order to see this marvel. And when that "high great beast", the "Drummodrary" came to town it was "keipit close in the cannogait, (and) nane had a sight of it without thriepence the persone, quhilk producit much gayne to the keipir in respect of the great number of people that resorted to it for the sight thairof."

After the Union of the Parliaments in 1707 there was a fresh influx of Scots into England, and a regular chorus of hate was started against them by writers like Swift, Charles Churchill, Samuel Johnson and "Junius." But the Scot continued on his way with an almost terrifying assurance and an utter disregard for the feelings of his rivals. He had been nurtured in a hard school where he had to fight to survive. And then barely.

* * * * * *

As for the "meenester and elder" tradition — that goes back to John Galt and Dean Ramsay. To-day Scotland is no longer a predominantly Presbyterian country. According to Ian Finlay:

'The Church of Scotland has something like one and a quarter million members. The small minority which dissented from the Union of 1929 has maintained itself apart as the United Free Church (Continuing) . . . Outside the establishment, most of the churches south of the Border are represented with the exception of the Anglican itself. The near equivalent of this last in structure and in ritual is the Episcopal Church of Scotland, but it is an independent body. Although the number of its communicants is only a little more than 60,000, they tend perhaps naturally to be drawn from a landed and influential stratum of society. The Roman Catholic Church counts almost half as many members as the Church of Scotland, widely spread but proportionately most dense probably in the strongly Irish basin of the Clyde and in part of the northwest Highlands where it has survived the Reformation yet maintains relations with the extreme Presbyterians who are its neighbours. [op. cit. p. 57.]

To-day two of the most widely read novelists in the United States, and very possibly in Canada as well, are Bruce Marshall and A. J. Cronin. These are Roman Catholic Scottish writers and they portray contemporary Scotland, or part of it, and a section of its population. One may object that their work is no more representative of Scotland or of Scottish people than are the novels of John Galt or J. M. Barrie, or George Douglas Brown or Lewis Grassic Gibbon. Possibly not; the point is that these writers describe a Scotland which has passed away whereas Marshall and Cronin depict a very considerable proportion of of the population of the Scotland of to-day. Fifty years ago their books could not have been written because the people were not there to be written about and there was no public that would have read them if they had been written. Scotland is recruiting her population to-day to a certain extent by natural increase of native Scots; but the greatest source of increase is the Irish immigrants in the Clyde basin. If the tragedy of the Scottish Highlands had been depopulation, that of the Lowlands has been overcrowding. During the evictions many of the poor Gaels found their way to Glasgow and stayed there. The cotton industry absorbed many of them but during periods of depression when trade was dislocated by world-shaking happenings like the French Revolution, their sufferings must have been great. The army attracted many of them, but others were unfit for a military life and as they could neither return to their homes nor pay their passage to the Colonies, they pigged and starved in miserable surroundings and formed the beginnings of the slums which have been for so long a reproach to Scotland. What the Scottish Celt and the Irish Celt have done between them is to make Glasgow the largest Celtic city in the world, but the fact that they are fellow citizens has done little to soften the centuries' old antipathy between them. One recent writer suggests that this animosity is seen at its height when Rangers and the Celtic meet. "This is more than a football match. It is a collision, symbolically, between the native Scot and the immense Irish influx to the Clyde basin, a collision between all they stand for."

* * * * * *

There is another little matter which the Scot would like to have put right, and that is the absurd and ignorant notion that he has a very poor sense of humour. Sydney Smith is usually given the credit or discredit for having started the libel. It was he who said that a surgical operation was necessary in order to get a joke into a Scotsman's head. Possibly the Canon of St. Paul's was thinking of one of his own jocosities, for I confess that it is by no means an easy thing to appreciate them now-a-days. One reason for this is that the fashion of wit and humour changes rapidly and many of the merriest jests of a hundred years ago seem flat and insipid to-day. There is nothing so elusive as humour. I enjoy Dagwood and Blondie, but I can see nothing amusing in "Bringing up Father", or "The Katzenjammer Kids." On the other hand there are millions of people who rush to their newspapers simply in order to see Jiggs's latest unhappy plight — or to chuckle over the stale antics of the Katzenjammer morons. I confess that much of the humour of the contemporary New Yorker is beyond me and Punch tastes too often like warm stale beer or flat "Canada Dry". Many of the jokes which delighted readers of Punch a hundred years ago strike us to-day as being snobbish and actually cruel. Anything that is not a perennial subject for mirth has to be taken on the spot; it cannot be put aside to be swallowed later. It is a purely temporary stimulant like a cocktail, and a cocktail will not keep. The Scottish joke has a tang of its own. If it is in the vernacular it cannot be translated without losing much of its point; if it is a Scots joke in English it is not likely that the Englishman will understand it in any case. And we have it on the authority of no less a person than the biographer of Thomas Carlyle that

'among other good qualities, the Scots have been distinguished for humour — not for venemous wit, but for kindly, genial humour, which half loves what it laughs at — and this alone shows clearly enough that those to whom it belongs have not looked too exclusively on the gloomy side of the world.'

This is a sound analysis, but it is by no means the whole truth about the quality of Scottish humour. The genuine humour of the Scot has something in it of the quality which is known as "pawkie." It calls forth a chuckle rather than a roar of laugher. It may at times be coarse, but it is seldom cruel or sophisticated. It is not inconsistent with the family happiness praised by Froude:

'I should say .... that the Scots (have) been an unusually happy people. Intelligent industry, the honest doing of daily work, with a sense that it must be done well, under penalties; the necessaries of life moderately provided for; and a sensible content with the situation of life in which men are born—this through the week, and at the end of it the Cotter's Saturday Night — the homely family, gathered reverently and peacefully together, and irradiated with a sacred presence. Happiness! such happiness as we human creatures are likely to know upon this world, will be found there, if anywhere. [J. A. Froude, Short Studies on Great Subjects, vol. i, pp. 182-3. New Ed. 1874.]

The long battle for existence that the Scot has been forced to wage has made him traditionally a Liberal in politics, a Conservative in religion and an individualist in most things. This individualism has somehow communicated itself to the national humour and given it a stamp of its own. Despite industrialisation and bitter years of unemployment and the regimentation of the Second World War, the Scot has retained his individuality and his humour, a humour that is broad in scope and fully representative and characteristic of the people. But here we must enter a caveat. The best of the Scottish jokes are not in English Scots but in the vernacular, and, although the vernacular is still spoken at fair and feeing market and in counties like Angus and the Mearns in all its vigour, there are fewer people who speak it to-day in proportion to the total population than ever before. The vernacular, be it understood, is no mere dialect of English, like the speech of Lancashire or Yorkshire, but the descendant of the Scots language, whose writers had a literature, a mode of expression, and a characteristic point of view. To-day, that ancient speech of the Scottish kings has been split into numerous degenerate dialects, not one of which can claim to be authoritative and the norm. Some time ago a play was produced in Glasgow. It was in the vernacular. A friend of mine was present at the performance which she thoroughly enjoyed. But beside her were two other Scottish women of a younger generation. They understood hardly a word. Harry Gordon draws his thousands who chuckle and laugh at his Scots humour; but they are amused more frequently by his drolleries and facial contortions than by what he says, for what he says is incomprehensible to many of his hearers. It is a sad thing when one Scot has to explain to another Scot the meaning of a Scots joke — in English. But the fact remains that one never hears broad Scots spoken in the pulpit or at a Burns Dinner or on the rostrum or on the bench or in Parliament House, and when a language ceases to be spoken in the Aula or the Curia, that language has ceased to be the cultural speech of a people. And when a language ceases to be the cultural speech of a people, it has not only lost its cultural standards but must rapidly degenerate into a Taal.

* * * * * *

It is an undeniable fact, too, that there is a strong vein of coarseness in much of the humour of the Scot. We find it in his early literature — in William Dunbar's Rabelaisian description of the high-jinks in the Queen's Chamber, in Peblis to the Play and Christie Kirk on the Green. We find it in Alexander Scott, in the anglicised Smollett, in Ramsay, in Burns, in Lewis Grassic Gibbon. Not that Scots literature is any more bawdy than any other literature or Scottish humour any coarser, but that quality is undoubtedly there. The gamut of humour is covered in poems like The Wife of Auchtermuchty, The Wowing of Jok and Jynny, The Gyre-Carling, and Quhy sowld nocht Allene Honorit be? Samuel Colvil made some admirable and amusing parodies of Zachary Boyd's Garden of Zion, two of which run:

There was a man called Job
Dwelt in the land of Uz,
He had a good gift of the gob;
The same case happen us!

And Jacob made for his wee Josie,
A tartan coat to keep him cosie;
And what for no? there was nae harm
To keep the lad baith saft and warm.

John Leslye, the Bishop of Ross and an ardent supporter of Mary, Queen of Scots, had a keen sense of humour; so had Archbishop John Spottiswoode of St. Andrews, who refused to believe that Andrew Melville's death from gout at Sedan was the direct result of his having become a Presbyterian. It is needless to prolong our list of Scots whose sense of humour has lightened many a dark hour — Allan Ramsay, Robert Fergusson, Robert Burns, Lady Nairne, Charles Murray, George Outram, G. K. Menzies among the poets; Galt, Moir, Scott, William Alexander, J. M. Barrie, Bruce Marshall and Eric Linklater among the novelists, make jibes at the alleged lack of humour on the part of the Scot sound vapid and ridiculous.

* * * * * *

There are still Scots furth of Scotland who tend to romanticise the land of their birth; but the Scot in Scotland no longer does so. There, he is severely practical; the needs of the times have forced him to become so. "The Lone Shieling of the Misty Island" has still its place in his dreams; so has "The Road to the Isles". But the Scot has at length realised that there is not only a place for him at home but a duty to be done there. He is beginning to have a proper understanding as to what his country stands for; he is commencing to appreciate what she is trying to do— to cultivate her resources to the limit so that her young men and women will find opportunity for advancement, and in advancement content. That is what the modern Scots builder is aiming at; that is the dream he would wish to see realised. More than ever before, Scotland shall be a kingdom — a kingdom of the mind'.

* * * * *

That is the Celtic part of the Scot — M'Connachie is Barrie's name for him, M'Connachie of the gay courage. That is the part of him that has not been extinguished by anglicisation or industrialisation or poverty or spiritual distress. Something of this Celtic spirit, which is after all the Scottish spirit, but sadly submerged, has penetrated to the innermost corner of the Scot and made him an unique being in this modern world — a compound of romantic loyalties and of fierce independence. Let King George and Queen Elizabeth visit the "red" Clyde and what happens? Are they assailed with jeers and hisses? Does anyone try to throw a bomb at them? Are they guarded by thousands of police and soldiers? Not a bit of it. The King and Queen go there as to their own, and the people take them to their hearts — these radically minded, independent people who are no respecters of mere rank and privilege. What has happened on the Clyde with its huge Irish population is this:

'The distinctive beauty and the great philosophic interest of that (the Scottish) character, spring from the very singular combination it displays of a romantic and chivalrous with a practical and industrial spirit. In no other nation do we find the enthusiasm of loyalty blending so happily with the enthusiasm for liberty, and so strong a vein of poetic sensibility for liberty, and so strong a vein of poetic sensibility and romantic feeling qualifying a type that is essentially industrial. It is not difficult to trace the Highland source of this spirit. The habits of the clan life, the romantic loyalty of the clansman to his chief, the almost legendary charm that has grown up around Mary Queen of Scots, and round the Pretender, have all had their deep and lasting influence on the character of the people. Slowly, • through the course of the years, a mass of traditional feeling was formed, clustering around, but usually transfiguring facts . . . The clan legend, and a very idealized conception of clan virtues, survived the destruction of feudal power; and the pathos and the fire of the Jacobite ballads were felt by multitudes long after the star of the Stuarts had sunk for ever at Culloden.' [W. E. Lecky, History of England in the Eighteenth Century, vol. ii, p. 99]

One of the immediate and impelling causes of the national rejuvescence which Scotland is experiencing is, undoubtedly, the Second Great War. Not so very long ago Scotland seemed rushing headlong to a tragic and hopeless finish. Her industries were derelict, her people were without heart and emigrating in vast numbers to the Dominions and the United States. The story of the second half of the eighteenth century, when the exodus of younger men and women from the country reached alarming proportions, seemed about to repeat itself. In a way economic conditions were somewhat similar and emigration seemed the only possible hope of survival for thousands. During the depression of only a few years ago the streets of Glasgow saw procession after procession of hungry-looking unemployed, skilled tradesmen the majority of them, who had been denied the opportunity to use their skill and were rapidly sinking into despair. I remember, as if only yesterday, these innumerable clusters of idle miners and mechanics in Airdrie, Coatbridge, and Motherwell, with their greasy caps askew, their cheap mufflers, their turned-up coat collars, their patched and worn trousers, their cracked, broken boots, patiently hanging around the Labour Exchanges. In the background were rows of grim, cheerless tenements, public houses, neglected-looking churches, a few policemen, a tawdry cinema advertisement or two. In Glasgow bands of Fascist thugs in black shirts shouted their Nazi doctrines at street corners, goading the unemployed to bitter reprisals. On the Clyde the shipbuilding yards stood silent and empty; the tragic half-finished hulk of the Queen Mary rusted in her yard, lying like a broken-backed monster beside the grey-brown river. The wharves were deserted; traffic was almost at a standstill. The quiet was almost terrifying. Shivering pedlars of matches and shoelaces and chamois leather dusters; ragged street artists, with dirty clothfuls of stumps of variegated chalks, scrabbling crude etchings of Lloyd George and the King and Queen, or a memorial cross in Flanders fields, or a water scene which purported to be Loch Lomond; miserable bearded old men with elderly drabs on their arms, quavering out Annie Laurie; soldiers on crutches with their poor ribbons, openly begging alms; clusters of former regimental bandsmen with verdigris-coated brass instruments — these were some of the common sights which Scotland had to show in the grim, grey days of the great depression. Now this has all changed and the Scots are determined that, if possible, their new prosperity shall not be frittered away again.

It is not only the Lowdands that are enjoying a greater prosperity than they have known for a generation; the Highlands too are looking forward to better days. An Amenity Committee and a Fisheries Committee have been appointed; these are entirely Scottish in character and are to be domiciled in Scotland. A new Hydro-Electric Board, financed in Scotland and, like the other two Committees, entirely Scottish in composition, has been set up to provide employment for Scottish people and to develop Scottish economic industrial resources. All these Committees have at heart the best interests of Scotland and particularly of the Highlands. Work and amenities are to be provided for the Highlands and the Committees will be permanently under Scottish and not English control. The Scots have now their Secretary of State, a magnificent building in Edinburgh from which Scottish affairs are administered, and a capital which is the admiration and envy of the world.

This new lease of life has come not only from increased industrial prosperity but from an awareness of a sense of nationhood among the nations within the British Commonwealth. This is symptomatic of the spirit of the times, of the world-wide trend towards nationalism among the smaller nations and among peoples from Wales to Indonesia. But in Scotland the source of that inspiration is not always understood, is perhaps not even suspected. There is no conflict between Scotland and England as there is between Eire and England. The Scot believes, and rightly so, that many problems which are purely local and regional, can be best tackled and settled by Scotsmen in Scotland. But there is no question of the Scot ever questioning the sovereign power of the British Parliament in London or of his seeking to interfere, through any machinery of government, in wider international issues. [Since these lines were written, however, the situation has changed. The trouble has arisen over the Prestwick Airfield. The Scots want to establish a subsidiary Aviation Company of the British European Airways, with headquarters at Prestwick, Scotland.. Scotland asks for "resident responsible executive management" of her air services; the Labour Government wants to run everything from Whitehall. The Scots who have all their history been individualists refuse to be run by Englishmen who are willing to come to heel when called by the Labour Whips. The English have given the Irish all they are asking for. They want to take from the Scots what is theirs. And, 'once again, the Scots are being compelled to say "No" to their English overlords.] In other words, the Scot of to-day while definitely nationalistic in outlook, is at the same time internationally minded. And the man who taught his countrymen how to reconcile the seemingly irreconcilable was Robert Burns. To quote The Scotsman of July 31, 1946:

'This (the Scottish demand for a Scottish Airfield) has been refused with the active assent of the Scottish Labour members. It is a foretaste of what is likely to happen under other nationalization schemes .... Any such independent effort the Government are determined to stifle.

'The double part played by the Scottish Labour M.P. is disturbing. In their constituencies they stand up for Scottish interests. At Westminster they submit to party direction and salve their consciences, as Mr. Willis, the Englishman does, that the agitation for Scotland's interests in the air is "a piece of political shadow boxing by the Tory Party to try to recover some of its prestige." .... The Labour Party used to advocate devolution for Scotland . . . but devolution and centralisation are incompatible, and the Scottish Labour M.Ps. prefer centralisation in the South of England . . . The last has not been heard of this matter. Dissatisfaction will grow. If unemployment increases and if opportunities for the development of aviation industries in Scotland are missed, the part played by Scottish M.Ps. in neglecting present opportunities will not be forgotten. Mr. Herbert Morrison taunted Scottish Conservative members with using Sinn Fein arguments. That was quite unjust. There has been no suggestion that Scotland should be politically an independent State . . . The amendment sought merely to avoid the worst effects of centralisation upon Scotland. It is the Government who have presented the Opposition with a Sinn Fein argument, for they have accepted the position of minority shareholders in an independent company under Irish control, while denying even a modest degree of autonomy in air matters to the loyal people of Scotland . . .'

Burns lived in Scotland's Golden Age when the Scots were doing their best to live down the unhappy memories of the '45. They had adopted a Good Neighbour policy towards the English and were trying to anglicise themselves as much as possible. The Scottish Universities, whose chairs were now being filled by men of first-rate ability, had emerged from obscurity into European-wide celebrity. The intellectual activity in the universities stimulated a further enthusiasm for knowledge among the educated classes throughout the length and breadth of the country. And it was not merely intellectual knowledge that men sought. As J. H. Miller puts it: "Men of considerable powers and marked aptitude for academic discussion devoted their leisure to planting trees, and to making two blades of corn grow where only one had grown before." [Scottish Prose of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, p. 177, (1912). ] All this was great gain to Scotland; but it also was loss. It meant a lessening of religious zeal and a weakening of the spirit of the Reformation which sprang from it. It was Burns who reminded his countrymen of their Scottish heritage. The anglicised circles in Edinburgh would have made a sorry mess of him if they had had their way, but all they could do was to give the Edinburgh edition of the Poems a veneer of their borrowed culture. They could not stifle his genius and they could not censor his message. These men, Robertson, Blair, Henry Mackenzie, and the rest of the intellectuals who sought to dominate the Poet were terrifying enough in their own day. How many of them are remembered? How many of them influence men's thoughts to-day? And Burns? Burns stands out like a giant among pygmies, for he is one of the world's great souls. His message is as vital in Russia and China as it is in his native Scotland. His is the spirit behind the U.N.

* * * * * *

David Hume, Adam Smith, Francis Hutcheson, and Thomas Reid, or the famous 'Scottish School' of philosophers, are names that cannot be lightly dismissed; they belong to four great figures of the Golden Age in the intellectual life of Scotland. But while these men are representative of Scotland they are not truly representative of their countrymen, because they lacked that spirit of independence, that determination to probe to the uttermost, if needs be alone, which sent David Livingstone and Mungo Park and Alexander Duff into the far corners of the earth, willing to meet death itself in their quest for the Grail. David Hume could undermine the very foundations of religion and question the bases of science and human knowledge. He was a master of philosophical speculation; but it was speculation for speculation's sake. Hume and his fellow-philosophers lacked driving force; they had nothing of the praefervidum ingenium Scotorum which characterised that much more representative Scot, Robert Burns. Burns was no philosopher in the technical sense of the word. But he had tremendous driving power. He could pour ridicule on the fundamentals of the Predestinationalists and the contemporary creed of the Calvinists, expose the hollow pretentiousness of a system in a few lines:

'O THOU, who in the heavens does dwell,
Who, as it pleases, best Thysel,
Sends ane to heaven, an' ten to hell,
A' for thy glory, And no for ony gude or ill
They've done afore Thee!'

When Bishop Burnet, who had been a Presbyterian, was trying to turn his Covenanting countrymen into Anglicans, he gave, in a well-known passage in the History of His Own Times, as the reason for his failure to do so that it was because there were so many in

'a poor commonality so capable of arguing on points of government, and on the bounds to be set to the power of princes in matters of religion. Upon all these topics they had texts of Scripture at hand, and were ready with their answers to anything that was said to them. This measure of knowledge was spread even amongst the meanest of them, their cottagers and their servants,'

Here again was the praefervidum ingenium Scotorum which no logomachy or specious argumentation could counter or break. And that spirit did not die and is certainly not dead in Scotland to-day. But when the philosophers of the eighteenth century took the places of the theologians of the seventeenth, and when that philosophy became speculative and devitalised, it meant that a change had come over the whole tenor of Scottish life. It was against this that Burns reacted. What happened to the philosophy of the Scots happened to their Calvinism also. That fierce spirit, and the faith of the Covenanters which had flamed in the land not so very long before, was overwhelmed by the flood of Moderatism.

The best example of a Moderate was the celebrated Dr. Alexander ("Jupiter") Carlyle, minister of Inveresk from 1748 until his death in 1805. Carlyle preached what his friend David Hume called "heathen morality." He tells us in his Autobiography:

'When Mr. Frederick Carmichael was translated to Edinburgh, and the time grew near when I was to be presented to Inveresk, there arose much murmuring in the parish against me, as too young, too full of levity, and too much addicted to the company of my superiors, to be fit for so important a charge, together with many doubts about my having the grace of God, an occult quality which the people cannot define. [Autobiography, pp. 207-8. 1861 ed.]

Two of Carlyle's closest friends were Dr. William Robertson, Principal of Edinburgh University and Dr. Hugh Blair, minister of the High Church and Regius professor of Rhetoric and Belles-Lettres in the University. "Moderatism," as Hume Brown explains, "laid emphasis on good works rather than on faith, and on the ethical teaching to be found in the Bible rather than on its mysteries . . ." According to Principal Rainy, in his reply to Dean Stanley's lecture on the Church of Scotland, the Moderates

'were not altogether destitute of some connection with religious earnestness, and they developed a striking activity in general literature. For the rest (Dean Stanley) likes the men, he likes their tone; as mental companions he gets on with them,, and is at ease with them; therefore he recommends them. Did ever mortal trifle so with life's questions? Was it not worth considering whether there are not, or have not been, religious forces at work here, or elsewhere, divided from Moderatism by an antagonism far deeper than the mere Scottish fervour. Was it not worth while to ask whether the decisive forces of Scottish religion can put on Moderatism .... at any less expense than that of dying?' [Three Lectures on the Church of Scotland, (1883),]

The Moderates wanted to have a foot in both worlds. Their policy "was simply to fill the Church with ministers who by their teaching and social qualities would commend religion to the classes whose adhesion it was the interest of the national church to secure." Their main asset was the patronage system so long as they were the dominant party in the Church. About half of the livings were in the gift of patrons who saw to it that only the 'right sort' of young ministers were presented to these livings. Henry Mackenzie draws an amusing sketch of one of these candidates and his patron.

'When I arrived at the baronet's, I found him and his lady a good deal disappointed with my appearance and address, . . . Sir John and Lady F— . . . delivered me over to the valet de chambre to make me somewhat smarter, as they called it, by having my hair more modishly dressed, and the cut of my coat altered . . . These preliminaries being adjusted, I was suffered to come into company, where ... I discovered to my infinite mortification, that my former studies had been altogether misapplied, and that in my present situation they availed me nothing ... It was found that I could neither carve, play whist, sing a catch, or make up one in a country dance. A young lady, a visitor of the family, who was said to be a great reader, tried me with the enigmas of Lady's Magazine, and declared me impracticably dull. Geography, astronomy, or natural history, Sir John and his companions neither understood nor cared for; but some of them reminded the baronet, in my presence, of a clergyman they had met with in one of their excursions, a man of the most complete education, who was allowed to be the best bowler in the county, a dead shot, rode like the devil (these were the gentleman's words), and was a sure hand at finding a hare.

'. . . . I find from the discourse of the family, that some other things are required of Sir John's parson, which it would not be so easy for a good conscience to comply with. He must now and then drink a couple of bottles, when the company chooses to be frolicsome; he must wink at certain indecencies in language and irregularities in behaviour; and once when Sir John had sat rather longer than usual after dinner, he told me that a clergyman, to be an honest fellow, must have nothing of religion about him.' [The Lounger, No. 40. Saturday, Nov. 5, 1785.]

Sometimes, where there was a wise patron and the candidate was acceptable, the results were happy; but often they were not. Sometimes the people resented bitterly having a minister foisted on them when they had absolutely nothing to do with his choosing. When the Earl of Selkirk appointed Thomas Blacklock, the friend of Burns, to the parish of Kirkcudbright, the parishioners flatly refused to accept him for two reasons — the young man was blind and he was not the people's choice. When Thomas Reid, the philosopher, was "intruded" in the parish of New Machar in 1737 the mob ducked him in a horsepond! The most amusing account of the "settlement" of an unwanted minister is to be found in John Gait's Annals of the Parish.

'First, of the placing. It was a great affair; for I was put in by the patron, and the people knew nothing whatsoever of me, and their hearts were stirred into strife on the occasion, and they did all that lay within the compass of their power to keep me out, insomuch, that there was obliged to be a guard of soldiers to protect the presbytery; and it was a thing that made my heart grieve when I heard the drum beating and the fife playing as we were going to the kirk. The people were really mad and vicious, and flung dirt upon us as we passed, and reviled us all, and held out the finger of scorn at me: but I endured it with a resigned spirit, compassionating their wilfulness and blindness. Poor old Mr. Kilfuddy of the Breaehill got such a clash of glar on the side of his face, that his eye was almost extinguished.

'When we got to the kirk door, it was found to be nailed up, so as by no possibility to be opened. The sergeant of the soldiers wanted to break it, but I was afraid that the heritors would grudge and complain of the expense of a new door, and I supplicated him to let it be as it was; we were, therefore, obligated to go in by a window, and the crowd followed us, in the most unreverent manner, making the Lord's house like an inn on a fair day, with their grievous yellyhooing. During the time of the psalm and the sermon, they behaved themselves better, but when the induction came on, their clamour was dreadful; and Thomas Thorl, the weaver, a pious zealot in that time, he got up and protested, and said, 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.' And I thought I would have a hard and sore time of it with such an obstrapolous people. Mr. Given, that was then the minister of Lugton, was a jocose man, and would have his joke even at a solemnity. When the laying of the hands upon me was a-doing, he could not get near enough to put on his, but he stretched out his staff and touched my head, and said, to the great diversion of the rest, 'This will do well enough, timber to timber,' but it was an unfriendly saying of Mr. Given, considering the time and the place, and the temper of the people.'

In the end the policy of the Moderates failed. The French Revolution with its new concepts of liberty and equality and its insistence on the supremacy of the people was one of the great spear-heads of democratic sentiment in Scotland. As Burns put it

'A fig for those by law protected!
Liberty's a glorious feast!'

The Moderates were succeeded by the Evangelical party which stood for the rights of the people as against the privileges of the classes. The leaders of the Evangelicals represented the quickened religious zeal of the times. The influence of the Reform Bill of 1833, which gave thousands the right to vote, did not end with mere politics; it was felt in ecclesiastical circles as well, where it was argued that if men were to have the right of electing members of Parliament they should also have the privilege of choosing their spiritual guides. There were clashes between the conservative and liberal parties in the General Assembly. In 1841 there was a motion to abolish patronage; it was defeated by a small majority. In 1843 the final breach was made. On May 18 of that year Dr. Chalmers with more than four hundred ministers left the Assembly and constituted themselves the Free Church of Scotland. The Disruption, as this historic event was called, was a spiritual tragedy for the Church, but it was at the same time a proof that the ancient spirit of independence was not dead in Scotland, and that there were still many in the land who were prepared to sacrifice position and comfort and to sever life-long associations and friendships for a principle.

* * * * * *

The Disruption was a national movement, but it was more powerfully felt in the North and West than in other parts of the country. There were various reasons for this. At the time of the cruel clearances in the Highlands, many ministers of the Church of Scotland sided with the proprietors, who were their patrons; some had probably been appointed for the purpose. In the North the Reverend Alexander Sage of Kildonan in Sutherlandshire, who staunchly took the part of his people, stood almost alone among the parish ministers. And the Highlanders did not forget. Indeed, their memories went back still farther, to the days after Culloden, when the very name of Government was to them a symbol of cruelty and oppression. They had little cause to respect or trust the State and its officials, and the State Church came under the same condemnation.

* * * * * *

The Disruption had its influence across the Atlantic. The Synod of the Church of Scotland in Canada — i.e., Upper and Lower Canada, the modern Ontario and Quebec — which in 1841 had founded Queen's College at Kingston to train ministers in Arts and Theology, lost a considerable number of ministers and elders; they went out to form Free Church congregations and to set up Knox College in Toronto. Yet the Kirk in Canada remained strong and active. But the Synod of the Church of Scotland in Nova Scotia — which comprised congregations in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick as well — was for a time almost shattered. It had never been strong or influential enough to obtain such a measure of Government recognition as had the Synod in Canada, where a definite part of the "Clergy Reserves" was secured to help ministers of the Kirk. In Nova Scotia the most numerous congregations had been founded by Presbyterians of another branch; missionaries were sent out from Scotland by the "Seceders", who had left the parent Church a century before. In Pictou County, which was predominantly Scottish, there were two outstanding "Anti-Burgher" ministers, Dr. Macgregor and Dr. McCulloch, the latter noted as the founder of Pictou Academy.

In 1845 the Church of Scotland sent out three of her ablest ministers to strengthen the congregations, Dr. John Macleod of Morven, his nephew Norman, and Dr. Simpson. All three were in Pictou for the administration of the Sacrament. The scene is described in a recent book which shows the life of that time:

'The service was held in the church and also in the open air. Nearly five thousand Highlanders had come from all parts of the country, and as they sat 'and listened to these notable servants of their Church speaking in their own language, as they sang the Psalms in Gaelic with the precentor and the ancient antiphonal singing, and as with reverent, exulting hearts they came to the Holy Table, their joy was deep and intense.' [Daniel M. Gordon; His Life, by Wilhelmina Gordon, p. 26. (1941).]

In 1875, throughout the Dominion of Canada, all divisions of Presbyterians were reunited. In 1929 the wound in the Scottish Church was largely healed. No doctrinal differences had to be reconciled, and the issues over which the ministers who "came out" at the Disruption had quarrelled with their brethren who stuck by the Establishment no longer mattered. To-day the Church of Scotland is in a true sense a National Church for, unlike the Church of England, the impetus towards reformation came not from the throne but from the people. Its ministers are in direct line of succession from St. Ninian, St. Kenti-gern, St. Columba and John Knox. It is a Church which has bidden farewell to the years of barren dogma and grim austerity of worship, a Church which has caught once again something of the beauty of holiness and the hallowed loveliness of symbolism. The High Church movement, if one may call it that, is the answer to those who exclaim that religion in Scotland is dead and the service of its Church the veriest formalism. It is the very negation of Moderatism. Moderatism was a negative creed and to-day the Church realises that it must not only have a positive faith if it is to survive but the fighting gust of the saints of old. The leader of this new movement in the Kirk is the Rev. George F. Macleod; his aim is to go back to the spirit of the Celtic Church of Columba, to rekindle its earlier "genius for devotion." Many of the younger ministers work and study under Dr. Macleod in the Iona Community during the summer months, and at the Iona Youth Centre in Clyde Street during the winter ... As one walks among the ancient tombstones of the little island or meditates in the Sanctuary of the renovated Cathedral one can see with the eye of the spirit a great procession of the dead who lived and prayed there and whose invisible presence is still an inspiration to their successors. One hears in imagination the rise and fall of their inaudible chants and as one walks along the shore and hears with the bodily ear the shrill crying and flyting of the gulls, one realises that these were the self-same sounds that Columba heard; the ceaseless beat and throb of the tireless waves; the moan and hiss of the winds in the coarse sand grass. Perhaps, like Angus of the Picts, he too had a vision of the white saltire Cross in the blue skies as he set out to confound the priests of Brude as Moses confounded the magicians of Pharaoh. As one is aware of all this, one sees the long centuries rolled back until yesterday and to-day meet and the warriors join forces and go forth with renewed strength and bolder courage.

Dr. Macleod claims that the model which the first Reformers sought to imitate was the Celtic Church of Columba. "How weary we are to-day of theories," he writes......"we must have Certainty or die. The Celtic Church offered the Sacrament of Communion to the faithful every Sunday of the year, that men's eyes might see and their hands might often feel the certainty of Love. Again to offer it so is not merely to meet "our day", but to rediscover the heritage that our very Reformers sought to present. . . Perhaps the first Reformers are to be vindicated at last, in coming days, by a return to what they sought. If not (at least if we just drift on) then there is thunder in the air. But it will not be the passing thunder of warring religious sects, but the thunder of materialism, of Atheism, and all manner of unloveliness."

Dr. Macleod is a baronet in his own right but he has dropped the title. He is an English "public" school boy and a former minister in the fashionable West End parish of St. Cuthbert's. But he left it to become minister of Govan Old Parish, one of the "toughest" districts in Scotland. He preached at street corners, argued with "atheists" and agnostics, delivered his message over the radio, filled his church. He persuaded the town to give him premises which he converted into holiday and play centres for the children, wrote a pamphlet "Are not the churchless millions the Church's fault?", insisted that the parish system of the church in the large industrial centres was quite out of date and that as a consequence Scotland was no longer a Christian but pagan country. Then he went to Iona where he worked out his own plan of campaign, which he explained in his fascinating volume, We Shall Rebuild, Religion, according to Dr. Macleod, has become too formal a thing, a ritual performed every seventh day. Religion must be lived daily. The restoration of Iona, where ministers and tradesmen work together, became the practical application of his theory. [The Abbey Church of St. Mary and the Monastery buildings were originally founded by the Benedictines, c. 1203, near the site of St. Columba's Church, (c. 563). The Abbey Church was almost completely rebuilt and dedicated to St. Mary, c. 1500. It was restored by the Church of Scotland 1902-1910. It is the Monastery buildings that are being restored by the Iona Community.] A man, Macleod teaches, is as good a Christian when he is working at his trade as when he is worshipping in church. He believes that "the Kingdom of God is among you": that it can be carried to the slums and is as effective there as in the Sanctuary. The Disruption took place at a difficult — an almost terrifying time in the history of Scotland. The Highlands were empty; the Lowlands were groaning under the effects of the Industrial Revolution. The ministers who "came out" knew that they and their families faced certain hardship and even possible starvation. But they had faith and the vast majority stuck to their convictions. Theirs was the faith that was able to move mountains. It was this same faith that sustained the Scots in their wars of Independence, and supported the Covenanters in their struggles against murdering thugs like Claverhouse and the incredible Laird of Lag. It was the faith of men who would have nothing to do with the totalitarian theory that the State must be exalted at the expense of the individual. It was the faith of a man like Bishop Macdonell of Kingston, the first Roman Catholic diocesan Bishop in the British Dominions since the Reformation, one of the Grand Old Men of the early great days of colonial life. It was written of Bishop Macdonell after his death, in the old-fashioned style of the times that, "being singularly liberal in his views, of benign temper and unbounded charity, during the period of his episcopate, he had endeared himself to his fellow-subjects of all creeds and ranks, and went down to the grave with the universal regrets of all who had known of his honoured name, his active and blameless life." [Rattray, op. cit. vol. iii, p. 894.] It is the faith of this new Columba — Dr. George Macleod.

* * * * * *

We have stated that the interests of the Highlander are by no means being neglected in the rehabilitation of Scotland. It is about time, for the Scottish Celt has had to endure much not only from his enemies but from his friends as well. He has been romanticised beyond all belief by the latter and he has been commiserated with. The "fiery Highlander" and the "poor Highlander" have become almost stock phrases. Scott is responsible for many misconceptions about the Highlander: he knew very little about the true nature of the Celt and less about his history. One reason for his romantic conception of the Highlander was that he was

.... 'profoundly out of sympathy with the main trend of Scottish life in his own day. The Industrial Revolution was sweeping the country, filling the Lowlands with mills and foundries, pouring a new proletariat into the cities, emptying the Highlands, creating a large commercial class and great new fortunes. The ugliness of this process shocked and frightened a romantic conservative. Scott turned his back on the Scotland of his own day. His genius, building on his knowledge of history and memories of his youth, created a more picturesque country, several degrees removed even from historical reality — not Scotland, in fact — but Scott-land.' [J. M. Reid, Modern Scottish Literature. Saltire Pamphlets. No. 5, p. 12, (1945).]

The late A. G. Macdonell in his My Scotland poked fun at the Highlanders' perpetual "strutting before the theatrical backcloth of his mountains in everlasting dress rehearsal." The Celt loves colour; he take a pride in his Highland regiments, in their embattled story and the soul-stirring challenge of their pipes. But it is obviously absurd and illogical on that account to insist on regarding him as an impractical dreamer in the northern tip of a land peopled by hard-headed, "go-getting" Lowlanders. Miss Anna Ramsay has a word to say about this in the Foreword of her The Challenge to the Highlander. It will make unpalatable reading for some:

' . . . . Far from being given to dreams, (the Highlander) seemed to be entirely concerned with the more practical aspects of life; money and the ownership of land appeared to be his dominant passions .... Almost every Highland feud took its rise originally about the possession of land. The Highlander excelled in practical work: he made a good colonist, pioneer, soldier, scientist, engineer . . . For poetry, romance, idealism — one must go to the Lowlands.'

The moaning of 'Fiona Macleod' and the Celtic Twilight concept have also done much to give the world a false conception of the Highlander and the Highlander a wrong idea of himself.

'The grey wind weeps, the grey wind weeps,
the grey wind weeps:
Dust on her breast, dust on her eyes,
the grey wind weeps!'

We know that mood well. We recall a lonely moor in the Perthshire Highlands which was our summer boyhood haunt. From time to time we would come across a green patch among the heather. There had been a village there once. Then the Earl decided to put sheep to graze on the moors and the people were forced to leave. The sheep still graze there and the wind blows and the rains fall and the snows come and the mist swirls where once were men and women and little children. One could easily give oneself over to sad reflections there as one scents the bog-myrtle, and gazes at the panorama of loch and mountain. Then, of a sudden, the mood of melancholy vanishes as one remembers that his race, far from being moribund, has grown and flourished beyond the seas, in Canada, in Australia, in New Zealand, in the United States. To quote Ian Finlay again:

'He is in fact the best strain of the Gael, even more faithful to his origins and customs, and in Canada alone there are said to be more speakers of Gaelic than in the Highlands of Scotland . . . The Gael has his moods, but, far from being melancholic, he is an ebullient and even a noisy person. He has always loved gay colour and sound. Caesar noted the 'celerity' of the Celt in mind and body, and anyone who has been present at a social gathering of Highlanders where there was music must have noticed the complete absence of that dreary sentimentality in which the Anglo-Saxon habitually soaks himself, on such occasions. The Gael, indeed, is perhaps less melancholy than any other race would have been in his circumstances . . . The Gael is of a race which cannot be permitted to die out in this country, however much our loss may be another country's gain . . . Until recently at least, his numbers have dwindled because the land and the sea could no longer support him. He has been driven from both in part by deliberate tyrannies, but more by his near proximity to a merciless economic system against which he had no defence ... He must have the means to make his earth fruitful as well as to send the fish from his sea-lochs swiftly and cheaply to a market. Then, perhaps, the Highlanders may begin to flow back again to their homes from the cities they despise even if they prosper in them, for the life of the cities is no life for a pretty man and well they know it.' [op. cit. p. 5 and pp. 94-95.]


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