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The Scots in Germany
The Church (Part 2)


Thus we see that the precursors of Knox during the first period of the Scottish Reformation, when the foremost question was the separation from Rome, turned to Wittenberg and Luther, whilst in the second period, when the new ideas were to be embodied into a sharply defined doctrine and system of Church government, the Scottish theologians flocked to Geneva and Calvin. Wishart was the first of these. He was followed by John Knox.

The connection of the latter with Germany is, though slight, not without interest or importance. It was in the year 1554 that the call reached him at Geneva to be one of the preachers of the English-Scottish Congregation of refugees at Frankfurt-on-the-Main. Driven out of England during the persecution of Bloody Mary, they had settled in this city and obtained permission to worship in the same church with the exiled Walloons and French, provided a common form of divine service could be arrived at. After a good deal of bickering, the English Prayer-Book in a modified form had obtained the sanction of Knox and Calvin. The new order of worship was provisionally adopted for one year; differences of opinion during that time were to be decided by Calvin and Bullinger. All went well, until the year 1555 when a certain Dr Cox, afterwards Bishop of Ely, arrived at Frankfurt. He at once commenced a quarrel about the liturgy; grave breaches of decorum occurred during service, and Knox saw himself obliged to rebuke his adversary sharply. Apparently he gained his purpose; the conditional permission to use the church may have prevented the opposite party from open rupture. But in secret they agitated and continued to agitate against the new preacher. Cox even went so far as to inform the Magistrates that in Knox’s Admonition to the true Professors of the Gospel, there occurred a passage in which the German Emperor was compared with Nero. Thereupon the senate, being afraid the Emperor, who was then at Augsburg, might issue an order to surrender Knox, banished him from the city. It was on the 26th of March 1555, that the Scottish reformer, accompanied for some miles by a number of friends, proceeded on his return journey to Geneva. On the previous night, before an audience of some fifty people, he had preached a powerful sermon in his own lodgings on the death and the resurrection of Christ and the blessed reward of believers after the tribulations and persecutions of this world. In the whole affair he had acted with rare moderation, and Calvin in a letter to Cox complains of the rough and arbitrary treatment of his friend.

Before we complete our account of the Scottish Reformers in Germany by giving a short sketch of the brothers Wedderburn, who by their spiritual songs and psalms contributed so much to the popularising of the new doctrine, a word or two must be said about John Willock, a friend and companion of Knox. He had fled from London to Emden in Friesland in 1553, the disastrous year of the English Mary’s accession. Here he practised the art of medicine, in which he was an adept, and having recommended himself to Anna, the energetic ruler of the duchy by his skill and discretion, he was sent twice to Scotland by her on diplomatic business, to congratulate the queen on her accession and to promote better commercial facilities between the two countries. After 1558 he supplied the place of Knox in Edinburgh, became moderator of the General Assembly in 1563, and died in 1585.

John Wedderburn was descended from an old family of merchants at Dundee, where he was born in 1500. Early already he showed an inclination towards the new teaching, which was still further strengthened by the influence of John Major at St Andrews, and by the cruel death of Hamilton. He evaded persecution by timely flight in 1539 or 1540, and turned his feet, like so many of his friends, towards Wittenberg, "the city of the prophets." The name of "Joannes Scotus," entered in the University album between those of Alesius and Maccabaeus, is very probably his own. During a stay of two years’ duration in this place, he doubtless acquired that fixedness and depth of principles and that clear insight into the fundamental requirements of the Protestant theology, which shows itself so distinctly and repeatedly in his book of songs. Being, like his brothers, poetically gifted, he was especially influenced by the German sacred poetry, and Luther, in his masterly, terse and homely employment of the German language, became his prototype. After the model of the German "Geistliche Gesange, Psalmen und Lieder "(Spiritual songs, psalms and hymns), especially those that had appeared in the hymn books of Magdeburg and Strassburg, he resolved to publish a collection of songs in the Scottish vernacular. In doing so, he proceeded in the same manner that the development of German hymnology had taught him: he started from the secular poem, the love-song, the hunting-song, and so forth, and filled these songs with a new spiritual meaning, whilst very frequently retaining the tune of the old popular song also. To this he added a large number of translations from the German. It is to this wise, if to modern readers sometimes startling, adaptation of that which was already living in the people’s hearts, and was affectionately cherished by them, that his collection owed its enormous and until recently not sufficiently acknowledged success and influence on the newly awakening religious life of the nation; a nation to which the divine arts had meted out their gifts more sparsely, indeed, than to other nations favoured by a milder sky and softer surroundings, but a nation that had in this great struggle not a mind only to be convinced, but a heart also to be cheered and warmed and filled with the soft glow of enthusiasm.

The book of the brothers Wedderburn, the first hymn book of the Scottish Church, was published in 1567, under the title, "Ane compendious Booke of Godlie and Spiritual Songs," or shortly called the "Dundee Psalms."

It contains first a calendar; then follows the catechism; the ten commandments, the Apostolic creed and Lord’s Prayer, baptism, etc., being translated from the text of Luther. These six items are succeeded by five hymns on faith, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, the originals of which are also to be found with Luther. A number of graces before and after meat, such as appear in many of the old German hymn books, conclude the first part. The spiritual songs begin with two on the confession of sins; they contain, besides songs on the war of the flesh against the spirit and on the cross, a metrical paraphrase of the parables of the prodigal son and of Lazarus; and finally, a hymn on the passion of our Lord. Then follow the acknowledged translations from the German, twenty-two psalms, and several hymns.

In the third part we are introduced to the spiritually remodelled popular songs. It is now no longer the girl that calls out: "Quho is at my window? quho? quho?" but God. In the hunting-song: "With huntis up," the Pope is the fox, the hounds are Peter and Paul. It is only natural that here we should find much that sounds to our ears intolerable in its rudeness. As to the tunes, Wedderburn took them where he could find them, in Scottish popular songs and in German hymns.

As we mentioned above, the circulation of these songs was at once rapid and wide, and this in spite of a prohibition in 1549, which ordered a search for them to be made, and "the books of rhymes and songs containing such abominable defamations of the priests and heresies of all kinds," to be confiscated and burned, and in spite of the Act of Parliament of the year 1551, against the unauthorised printing of books of "Ballatis, sangis, blasphematiounis, rhymes, etc."

Of John Wedderburn we have to add, that he was at Dundee in 1546, but was obliged to flee again. He died in England in banishment (1546).

The Reformation in Scotland has been spared the humiliation of having reared in its bosom brothers destined to be each other’s bitterest foes. It is true, that in Scotland the episcopal form of worship was not finally abolished until 1688, after severe and obstinate struggles; but then this form never was the popular one, the one advocated by the reformers of the nation, but only something foreign, something obtruded from without. In Germany, on the contrary, the war was raging between Calvinists and Lutherans, amongst the people, the teachers, and the rulers. It infected and poisoned social intercourse, it was a matter affecting the hearth, the pulpit and the throne. For about three hundred years, two Protestant Churches, both having gained their independence from Rome after cruel struggles only, could and would not take the step towards a friendly union, nay, not even towards mutual forbearance; and when at last it was accomplished by royal command, it was considered an act of Caesar and Pope combined, a violent measure, that could not be conducive to any peace.

This Calvino-Lutheran feud with all its cruel bitterness forms indeed one of the saddest and most disgraceful chapters of German history. No Calvinist was admitted a godfather, whilst a Roman Catholic was. The question was seriously and obstinately argued whether children of a mixed marriage, that is of a Calvinistic father and a Lutheran mother, or vice versa, should be buried with Christian ceremonies, it being a heretic’s child. ("Ketzerkind"). In the church of St Nicholas at Berlin, the condemnation of the Catholics and Calvinists was shortly condensed into the words: "he who is not Lutheran, is cursed."

We admit that this condition of things was deeply felt and mourned over by the nobler natures in the nation, especially by laymen. Not a few well-intentioned rulers, even tried to cut it short by edicts against the Lutheran wranglers, but with small effect. The idea of a union of the evangelical confessions would have remained a monstrosity, or at best, only the dim, timidly expressed hope of some gentle scholar, but for the persistent, unselfish, almost fanatical labours of John Durie or Duraeus, the Scot. What the liberation of Jerusalem was to the crusader, this peaceful union was to him: it filled his whole soul; it became the watchword of his life; the fountain in which his drooping courage was rejuvenated, and an ideal, which he never surrendered, though famishing by the roadside, weary of war and surrounded by enemies.

Let us now communicate to the reader what the most recent research has brought to light about the stirring life of this international Scotsman.

The father of John Durie was Robert Durie, an Edinburgh clergyman of the strict Presbyterian type. He was known for his efforts in the cause of the evangelisation of the Orkney and Shetland Islands. When King James VI insisted upon introducing Anglican bishops into Scotland, he was banished with many others in the year 1606, and betook himself to Leyden in Holland, where he preached to a congregation of Scottish exiles. In this town, his son John, born in Edinburgh in 1595 or 1596, received his education. After having finished his course of divinity in Holland and at Sedan, he became tutor to the son of one Mr Panhusen, who was then pursuing his studies in France. This office he filled until the year 1624, when he was called to Elbing in the East of Prussia, as minister of a small congregation of Scottish and English Presbyterians. We cannot, however, exactly state the date of his arrival there. At all events in this small, out-of-the-way town Durie arrived at the turning-point of his life, which gave a peculiar direction to his whole future career. The King of Sweden, Gustavus Adolfus, of whom we have spoken so much in the second part of this book, had established at Elbing, then occupied by Swedish troops, a High Court of Justice, of which a certain lawyer and Doctor of Laws, Godemann, was the president. This learned man, being deeply interested in religious matters as well, became Durie’s friend and sent him on one occasion a pamphlet, written by himself on the union of the Calvinists and the Lutherans in the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper (1628). In this Durie saw the hand of God, and his work in the interest of this union he henceforth considered a divine call, (‘vocatio interna‘). With unwearied courage, and an optimism which left him only towards the close of his long life, he dedicated himself entirely to this task, convinced to the last of its practicability with a blindness almost tragic.

No doubt his chances appeared favourable in the commencement. Godemann perceived that the precarious position of the Protestants after the battle near the White Mountain, after the successes of the great Wallenstein and his consequent endowment with the Duchy of Mecklenburg in 1629, rendered a close harmony between the Protestants absolutely necessary. And when Sir Thomas Roe, the English Ambassador, who was to mediate between Poland and Sweden, embraced the cause of the union likewise, gaining over to his side the powerful Swedish Chancellor Oxenstierna, success did not seem altogether impossible, especially when calculating upon the expected energetic assistance of the King. To secure this success with a still greater probability it seemed of first-rate importance to the Swedish statesmen, that the work should be undertaken by a State which had remained neutral during the internal strife of Germany. Such a State they conceived England to be; and, after having persuaded Durie to resign his position in Elbing, they sent him to London, well furnished with letters of introduction from Roe (1630). Here Durie succeeded in gaining the assent of Archbishop Abbot and three other bishops; only about twenty scholars and clergymen of the English and Scottish Church gave in their adhesion to his plans of unification. But it never occured to him, that Abbot was no longer a man of commanding influence, and that, the number of English friends won over to his cause being infinitely small, his mission had proved, if not altogether a failure, yet only a very partial success. He took with him the letters of commendation and assent of these clerical dignitaries, and, calling himself a delegate of the English Church, he returned to Germany. There matters seemed to have improved in the meantime. At the Church Conference held at Leipzig in 1631 the Court Preacher of Brandenburg, a Calvinist, had declared himself in favour of peace, and the Lutheran champion, Hoe of Hoenegg, Court Chaplain at Dresden, lamenting the interconfessional quarrel, had advocated an amicable settlement. Durie himself, if he was present at the conference, does not appear to have taken a prominent part in it. It is certain, however, that in the same year he went to Gustavus Adolfus, then at Wurzburg, to deliver a letter from his friend Roe. The King received him kindly and conversed with him for several hours. He also perceived the great advantage that would accrue to the Protestant Church, if the hostile parties could be reconciled. Yet he committed himself to no more than promising Durie a letter of recommendation to the Protestant princes of Germany, and commissioning a Lutheran clergyman to confer with the Lutherans, whilst Durie himself undertook to do the same with the Calvinists. Unfortunately the promised letter, written by Sadler, the private secretary of the King, never reached its address. Durie thought he would first come to an understanding with the theologians before applying for it, but when in the following year King Gustavus had been killed at the battle of Lützen, neither his nor Oxenstierna’s signature could be had any more. Durie’s correspondence with the Calvinistic preachers and academies in Germany and elsewhere was of an amazing bulk; his efforts on journeys here and there to convince his friends of the nobility of his aim by word of mouth were no less surprising. But his hopes were still concentrated on the King of England as the chief promoter of his scheme, especially since, after the death of the Swedish Royal Champion, his expectations in the direction of Sweden had been considerably brought down, if they had not entirely collapsed. On a second journey to England in 1633 he found everything sadly changed. The gentle Abbot had died. In his place there ruled Laud as Archbishop of Canterbury, who refused to have anything to do with Durie, a Presbyterian; so that the latter had no other course open to him than to embrace the Anglican creed, unless he wanted to relinquish his cherished plans of a union of the Protestant Churches with the help of England. He did not do so without misgivings; he even thought it necessary to defend the step he took with the excuse, that the confession of the two Churches, the Presbyterian and the Anglican, was really the same, and that mere outward forms and ceremonies had to give way before higher purposes. The immediate effect of his ordination as clergyman of the Church of England was his appointment to a living in Lincolnshire, the income of which seems to have been very acceptable to him just then. As to the rest, we may well doubt if Durie’s changed attitude in Church matters really procured him the wished for advantages. In the meantime he only received a letter of commendation, written in general terms by Archbishop Laud and endorsed by the learned Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh in Ireland. On the other hand his Presbyterian friends called him a Proteus, whilst his Anglican fellow-clergymen looked upon him very much as upon a Presbyterian spy.

In the retinue of Roe he returned to Germany in 1634 and went to Frankfurt where a great meeting of Evangelical States was being held, called together by the Landgrave William of Hesse, who at the same time had invited the Prince of Orange and the States General of Holland to this "work of peace." Here he presented his "Judicia Theologorum Anglorum et aliorum de Pace Protestantium sacra," and being supported by Oxenstierna procured at least the resolution of the eight delegates that "the efforts for peace were laudable and necessary, and that both parties were to use moderation until the views of their respective sovereigns could be ascertained and full powers be received." Then came the terrible news of the Swedish defeat at Nördlingen; the meeting was dispersed, and Durie saw very clearly that at the present moment Germany offered a very unfavourable basis for his peaceful experiments. He therefore went to the Netherlands, where, at the Synod of Utrecht in April 1636, his efforts on behalf of "the good and sacred" union between the Church of the Augsburg Confession and the Calvinists met with the warmest and most genial approbation. Moreover, Durie enjoyed the renewed friendly intercourse with the famous Hugo Grotius, who suggested to him the idea of an English-Swedish Confession of Faith as the counterpart of the political alliance to be concluded in the near future between the two countries. He also made the acquaintance of Petrus Figulus Jablonski, a Bohemian, known as the son-in-law of Comenius. This faithful friend accompanied him henceforward for seven long years on all his journeys as secretary. But his visit to Holland did not practically bring him nearer the realisation of his plans. Still less successful was his journey to Sweden in 1636. Notwithstanding the friendship of the Chancellor and the favour of the Queen during the first months of his sojourn, he could neither overcome the intolerance of the Synod nor the enmity of Bishop Rudbeck who hated "the stranger confessing the cursed heresy of Calvinism." Moreover, he had drawn upon him the disapproval of many by his inordinate love of publishing matters not ripe for publication as well as by his attempts to pose as a Lutheran. Oxenstierna was at last obliged to discard the former favourite, and Christina, the queen, published a decree on the 7th of February 1638 to the effect that the English clergyman, John Duraeus, having given much offence to the Swedish clergy during his stay in the country, was ordered to leave the kingdom without delay. A severe illness, however, brought about by over-exertion and excitement, compelled Durie to postpone his departure until the month of August. He had consecrated himself anew to his sacred task, and his undaunted enthusiasm served him well, for in Lübeck also and in Hamburg, whither he went after having left Sweden, he was unable to win the clergy over to his plans. The same spirit of harsh intolerance, which caused the poor English fugitives under John a Lasco, the pious reformer of Poland, to be driven out of these cities in mid-winter 1554, was still ruling.

It was with the German princes that Dune found the readiest approval and support. The dukes Frederick Ulrich (1635) and August, the founder of the famous library at Wolfenbuttel, in the arranging of which he lent a helping hand, showed a warm interest in his work, as did the princes of Anhalt, of Zweibrücken, the Land-grave of Hesse-Cassel, the counts of Isenburg and Solms, and above all the Elector of Brandenburg. In the meantime, however, he had been called to London to assist in the work of the Synod of Westminster. So studiously and unnoticed by the world did he apply himself to the labours of this assembly, that many of his friends on the Continent believed him dead. Politically he had done his utmost to save the unfortunate King Charles I by preparing a set of documents for him which were to prove his innocence.

After Cromwell had taken up the reins of government Durie yielded to pressure and for the sake of his one great object turned Puritan. He was appointed librarian of St James’s, and received not only friendly letters from the Protector, but also a yearly stipend, which was to enable him to continue his journeys in the interest of religious peace. But it soon became clear that these recommendations, far from being a furtherance of his objects, became, in part at least, a danger and a snare. Many of the princes, as well as the Lutheran divines, turned from him as from a murderer of the King. Only in Switzerland his reception was enthusiastic. At the General Church Assembly of Aarau in 1654 he was celebrated as the "famous ambassador of the Protector." At Zurich a considerable sum was handed to him as a national gift of honour towards his travelling expenses. From almost all the reformed cantons he received commendatory letters, and his cause was spoken of as one worthy to be promoted by every Christian believer. The above-named Calvinistic princes also received him warmly, only the Elector of Brandenburg, influenced, no doubt, by the attitude of Bergius, his Court Chaplain, who discountenanced Durie’s fickleness in joining a party of murderers, preferred to treat with Cromwell direct about the Evangelical Union through his ambassador in England. The senate of Frankfurt presented him in 1655 with bread and wine; that of Bremen promised him support. In the Netherlands also he found ready consent. Thus he returned loaded with documents and full of hope—a hope which was, however, raised only by the Calvinistic parties—in the following year to England. In London there was satisfaction with the results of his efforts, and steps were taken to make use of the new connections formed by him as a basis for further international and inter-protestant deliberations, when Cromwell died. After the short rule of his son Richard, Charles II entered London in triumph. It was a cruel dissappointment for Durie. Neither the Archbishop of Canterbury nor the Bishop of London nor the King himself noticed his letters. He, as a friend of Cromwell had no longer any chance in England. Accordingly he left London in 1661. Hence-forward he could no longer count on the support of this country. But not even then did his courage fail him. Though ageing fast he took up the work of reconciling Lutherans and Calvinists in Germany with renewed zeal. On the one hand the time chosen did not seem to be inopportune. In the religious assembly at Cassel in 1661 the divines of Rinteln and Marbung had adopted the "Tolerantia ecclesiastica," and the University of Rinteln had been handed over to the Reformed or Calvinistic Party. Frederick William, the Elector of Brandenburg, had not only forbidden his subjects to study at Wittenberg, in consequence of the most violent and scurrilous polemic of the learned Lutheran, Doctor Abraham Calovius, a professor at the said seat of learning (1662), but had also strongly commended peaceableness and moderation in their pulpit utterances to his clergymen, and a more "amicable" attitude towards Calvinists. All uncharitable references to the latter as "heretics," "syncretists," were to cease, and instead of them, the sermons were to contain exhortations towards true Christian piety. In the opinion of this wise prince the "dissension" of the Evangelicals was "not fundamental."

On the other band Durie had not sufficiently taken into account the growing enmity of the orthodox Lutheran clergy. This was the barrier which the most strenuous labour of a man, even in conjunction with powerful rulers, could not break.

A colloquy at Berlin, for the purposes of a union, took place under the presidency of Otto von Schwerin, a distinguished statesman and Durie’s friend. But already during the discussion of the first question Reinhardt, a Lutheran clergyman and member of the consistory, declared, that "he could not recognise the Calvinists as brethren," whilst Paul Gerhardt, the famous author of some of the finest German hymns, added: "nor as Christians either."

The assembled representatives of the two persuasions wrangled and debated until May 29th, 1663. Finally, the Elector, getting tired of all this, issued his so-called "Toleranz-Edict" in 1664, which punished with instant deprivation such recalcitrant clergymen as continued to decry their evangelical brethren. The solution of the question by a mere arbitrary "Le roi le veult" was, however, not what Durie insisted upon. He wanted a union based upon conviction, and a conviction based upon brotherly love. He made a last attempt. Aided and supported by the Landgravine Hedwig Sophia, the pious sister of the Great Elector, he commenced new negotiations in the City Chambers of Berlin on the 21st of August 1668; but these also remained without result, partly, it must be owned, through the vagueness of Durie’s own proposals. His unselfish zeal was praised; the hope was expressed that his good intentions would yet be rewarded; he was even presented with a gift of 100 thaler; but that was all. He received not even a written communication, owing to his old well-known weakness of rushing into print, and the Elector indirectly sent him this message: "It has been represented to His Electoral Highness, how Joannes Duraeus, an English clergyman and a member of the reformed church, has been endeavouring to promote peace among the evangelical persuasions in his quality as a private individual, and has been devoting all his life to this end. In this his Christian zeal deserves duly to be praised, whilst H. H. confidently hopes that his efforts will in no way be prejudicial to the Church. We therefore wish him the blessing of God Almighty, and remain always his gracious sovereign."

This was satisfactory as far as it went; but it did not go far, did not even go any distance.

Nor was Durie’s reception in Heidelberg in 1667 by the otherwise broad-minded Elector Karl Ludwig more promising. The probable reason assigned for this is that the wife of the Elector, separated from him by all sorts of scandalous facts, was at present living at Kassel, the same town where Durie had his home and enjoyed the favour of the Hessian Court.

The last years of this apostle of peace were embittered not only by the growing enmity of the Lutherans, of which we have spoken, but by the desertion of some of his Calvinistic friends. The former called him "Apostolastruin," "an interpreter of peace fallen from the sky," "a bird without wings," "a weather-cock," "a new Thomas Munzer," "a regicide." The latter had taken it amiss that he accepted the Lutheran doctrine of free grace, as opposed to the predestination of the sister Church; they were incensed at his later dream of admitting even Roman Catholics into his universal union, and at the hearty reception he had given to William Penn, the Quaker, when he visited Kassel in 1677.

In these circumstances it was fortunate for Durie that the Landgravine Hedwig Sophie had offered him a permanent resting-place at her Calvinistic court, granting him a free house and board, and even paying the large expenses incurred by his incredibly extensive correspondence.

His courage, however, and his hitherto unconquerable optimism, after having supported him during sixty years of a laborious life, left him in the end. "Le fruit principal qui m’est revenu de mon travail," he writes in 1674, in the dedication of his commentary on the Book of Revelation to his sovereign-lady, "est ceci, qu’au dehors je vois la misêre des Chrétiens, qu’elle est beau-coup plus grande, que celle des payens et des autres nations; je vois la cause de cette misére, je vois le défaut du remêde, et je vois la cause de ce défaut, et en dedans je n’ai d’autre profit, que le témoignage de ma conscience." And in a Latin letter to the senators of the Swedish Kingdom he adds: "I have done what I could to advance the union of saints. Henceforth I shall solicit the help of no one because I have asked them all. Neither do I see any Patron in Germany, whom God would point out to me as fit for the work."

John Durie died in his eighty-fifth year on the 28th of September 1680 at Kassel, where he is also buried. It is sad but intelligible, that, at a time when intolerance was considered strength, tolerance weakness; when people thought they could confine absolute truth in the long-necked, narrow bottles of confessions of their own manufacture, Durie’s attempts to restore unity and peace must end in failure. Many of his proposals, too, lacked definiteness and clearness. And yet his unwearied testimony has not remained without fruit. To him as to the champion of freedom of conscience and of the political equality of religious creeds, the great achievement of our times, under the protection of which the adherents of the various confessions, united not by the same form of certain articles, but by the conviction that they are brethren in love and charity and branches of the one Catholic Church, live and have their being: to him and to his memory, in Scotland as well as in Germany, honour is due for his self-denying labours.

It is curious and reads like a belated recognition of Durie’s work by the voice of history, that it was another Scotsman, who more than one hundred and thirty years afterwards played an active part in the realisation of the Union between the Protestant parties in Prussia by the King’s command.

Descendants of the old Scottish family of the Earls of Ross had settled in the Netherlands and on the Lower Rhine as far back as the XVIIth Century. One of these, William John Gottfried Ross, was born on the 7th of July 1772 at Isselburg. He was the son of a clergyman, studied at Duisburg, then a Calvinistic University, and, having been ordained, worked with the greatest acceptance as pastor of the small parish of Budberg for thirty-three years. He was so active in promoting the education of the people and the welfare of his whole district, that he not only won the love and esteem of all classes and all creeds, but also attracted the attention of the King of Prussia, Frederick William III, who summoned him to Berlin, to consult with him about the condition of the Evangelical Churches in Westphalia and the Rhine Provinces, and after some pressure even persuaded him in the following year to leave Budberg and to settle in the capital. Here Ross devoted himself with untiring energy to the cause of the Evangelical Union. The King made him first Bishop of the new Church and General Superintendent of Westphalia and the Rhinelands. Ross was also greatly interested in the cause of education and of the orphanage, persuading his cousin, Count Ross, [This Count Johann Ross (1787-1848) saved the life of the King of Prussia at the Congress of Vienna when threatened by a would-be assassin. There have been several officers in the German Army, who belonged to this family. A Count Ross died in 1883 at Bonn, in consequence of injuries received at the explosion of the powder magazine when the Germans entered Laon in 1870. Two brothers Ross, an archaeologist and a painter, both born in Holstein, are also descended from the old Scottish stock.] an eccentric, rich, old man then living at Berlin, to leave a considerable legacy to the latter. The title of Count was offered to him also by the King, but he always refused it as being incompatible with his calling. In 1843 he received a congratulatory address from the University of Bonn thanking him for his long-continued efforts and his conciliatory attitude in Church matters. In appearance he was imposing; goodness and benevolence were seen in his eyes. His influence on Frederick William was very marked. Finding, however, that his advice was neglected under King William IV, he resigned his offices and retired into private life. He died on the 27th of October in 1854 and was buried in the Protestant cemetery at Budberg.

Turning now to the religious organisation of the Scots, who had settled in such great numbers in Poland and Germany during the XVIth and XVIIth Centuries, as we have seen in the first part of our book, we have reluctantly to confess that not very much is known about it. The old records in Germany have been partly lost during the turmoil of endless wars, partly buried beyond the hope of speedy recovery under cart-loads of official paper rubbish. In Scotland we have to content ourselves with an occasional reference. What we have been able to glean under such discouraging circumstances will be put before the reader in what follows.

The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has sometimes taken notice of its scattered countrymen on the Continent. One of the most interesting references is that of the year 1587, when Andrew Melville, who was then Moderator, was ordered "to pen a favourable writing to the ministrie in Danskine (Danzig) congratulating their embracing the treuth in the matter of the Sacrament." From this notice it appears that already in that year there existed at Danzig a Scottish-Evangelical Church. But more than that, it did not only exist but prove its inner life and its keen religious interest by rejecting the Lutheran doctrine of consubstantiation; for this is the meaning of the last clause.

About sixty years later, on the 31st of August 1647, the Assembly writes the following interesting letter to the Scots in Poland and Germany:—"Unto the Scotch merchants and others our countrie people scattered in Poleland. . . . and among other things of this nature we have here particularly taken into account the sad and lamentable condition of many thousands of our countrymen, who are scattered abroad, as sheepe having no shepherd, and are, through the want of the meanes of knowledge, grace and salvation, exposed to the greatest spirituall dangers. . . . We have therefore thought, it incumbent to us to put you in mind of the one thing necessary, while you are so carefull and troubled about the things of the world; and although we do not disallow your going abroad to follow any lawfull calling or way of livelihood, yet seeing it cannot profit a man, although he should gain the whole world and lose his own soul, and seeing you have travelled so farre and taken so much pain to get uncertain riches, which cannot deliver in the day of the wrath of the Lord . . . we doe . . . most earnestlie beseech and warn you to cry after knowledge and lift up your voyce for understanding, seeking her as silver and searching for her as for hid treasures, and so play the wise merchants, in purchasing the pearl of price and in laying up a sure foundation. . . . We shall hope . .you will rather bestirre yourselves timely to pray that Cod would give you Pastors according to His heart . .to consult also with consent of your superiors . . . for setting up the worship of God and ecclesiastical discipline according to the form established and received in this your Mother Kirk . . . and in the mean time we exhort you that ye neglect not the worship in secret and in your families and that ye continue stedfast in the profession of that faith, in which ye were baptised, and by a godly, righteous and sober conversation adorn the Gospel; and with all, that distance of place make you not the less sensible of your countrey’s sufferings.

"This letter we have thought fit to be printed and published, that it may be with greater ease . . . conveyed to the many severall places of your habitation or traffique.

"ROBT. DOUGLASSE, Moderator."

Finally, we find in the year 1698 a recommendation to those Presbyteries and Parishes "that have not yet sent in their collection for helping to build a church of the Reformed Religion at Konigsberg" to send the same to John Blair at Edinburgh, Agent of the Kirk; and in 1699 the receipt of a letter is duly registered from the consistory "of those of the Reformed Religion at Königsberg," expressing thanks for "the Charity of this Church and Nation to help them build their church."

In German sources we find, as to Danzig, that already in 1577, when the town levied a force of 700 Scottish mercenaries, permission was given them, as being of the reformed faith, to bring with them a preacher of their own persuasion. Now it is very probable that the reformed congregation of Danzig formed itself gradually around this nucleus, till it attained to that independent position, in which we find it ten years later, when the above "friendly letter" was written by the Moderator of the General Assembly. Everything fostered such a formation. The number of Scottish settlers was already great, greater numbers were continually pouring in, and many of the merchants had by this time acquired wealth and position. The privilege of freely enjoying their own religious services was possibly extended, and thus we find in 1587 a body of men with a settled "ministrie," fearlessly discussing the crucial points of evangelical theology. At first, no doubt, the meetings of the members of the Reformed Church met in private houses or in a hall. We hear of a preacher named Jacob Brown, who alternately preached at Danzig and at Königsberg in the time of Charles I. Soon after him Alexander Burnet came to Danzig (1689) and remained there till his death in 1712. He was born in 1654, studied at Aberdeen, and had been minister of Crichton near Edinburgh. During his time of office the amalgamation of the so-called English and Scottish "nations" took place at Danzig, consequently upon the Union of England and Scotland at home. Through the efforts of Robinson, the British Consul, the Churches also were united. The Poor-Box of the Scots, which had been in existence since the beginning of the XVllth Century, became the property of the new "Nation of Great Britain" ("Groszbrittannische Nation"). Five elders were appointed, of which three were always to be Scotchmen. As to the form of divine worship, a happy medium between the Scottish and the English was peacefully adopted. It was arranged that the clergymen should alternately be called out of Scotland and England, and that they should conform to the usages of the Church at Danzig. A new building, called the "British Chapel," was erected in 1706, the Scots throughout Prussia and Poland having most liberally contributed towards it.

Since then the number of members of the "British Nation" gradually diminished, owing to the very rapid absorption of the Scottish into the German element, and to the almost entire cessation of immigration. During the time of the French oppression for sixteen years there was no English clergyman at Danzig. Previous to it the worthy Dr Jamieson, a Scot, had gained the reverence and the affection of the inhabitants, as we are told in the charming Memorials of my Youth, by Johanna Schopenhauer (1768-1790). Now there is hardly work enough for an English Seamen’s Missionary. The descendants of the old Scottish congregation have joined the Reformed Church.

We are better informed with regard to Königsberg, the second largest town on the Baltic, although here also the very first beginnings of a Scotch Divine Worship are lost in obscurity. When the "Reformed Congregation" was founded in 1646, out of seven elders three were English, or rather Scotch, two Dutch, and two Germans.

Very soon the want of a preacher became apparent, but whether the above-named Brown ever preached in English at Königsberg, as he did at Danzig, must remain uncertain. We only know that he, during his stay in the city in 1658 or 1659, in "matters concerning the public worship and the rules of the Church," was found wanting and in the wrong. "His errors smacked of the Quakers"; they were chiefly manifest in his disapproval of the praying of children, "who knew nothing about it"; in his rejection of set prayers, of saints’ days and holidays, and of organ music in churches.

In spite of this the Great Elector had appointed Jacob Brown minister of the newly formed Scottish-English congregation, after he, at the urgent request of some Scottish families at Königsberg, had given them permission to have divine service in their own tongue, embracing its "complete ‘exercitium’ with all its actibus catechisationis, visitationis of the sick, administrationis of the Lord’s Supper, Baptism, and other spiritual exercises, appertaining there unto."

This royal rescript was dated the 4th of December 1685; it granted at the same time the use of the "large Hall in the Castle" for these services. In these circumstances the congregation could do nothing else but acquiesce in the appointment of Brown, who, in the meantime, had declared his willingness to abide by the rules and forms of worship as adopted in Konigsberg. Strangely enough we know nothing of his future career there, except that his stay only extended to the year 1689, when he preached at the Scots’ Church at Rotterdam.

In Konigsberg, as elsewhere, the Scots took the most prominent and active share in the promotion of the welfare of the congregation. Without them and their generosity the building of its new church would hardly have been completed. Three men are especially mentioned in connection with this great enterprise: Thomas Hervie, Francis Hay and Charles Ramsay. The first of these, born in 1621 at Aberdeen, had settled in Konigsberg in 1656 as a merchant. When he died in 1710 it was said "that without his zeal this our temple would scarcely have been built."

He also promoted the establishment of a "home, for widows" by advancing considerable sums of money. The two other men were the originators of the collection throughout Scotland for the building of the church, amounting to over 4000 thaler, or nearly £700.

After the completion of the church, to show their gratitude towards the Scottish brethren, the fourteen front seats were handed over to them and their successors by the members, for their free use. They were distinguished by the letters S. B. = "Schottische Blinke" (Scottish seats) and by the Scottish Lion rampant. The latter coat-of-anus, however, disappeared after the French had occupied the church as a hospital.

A school and a poor-fund existed in connection with the church since the XVIIth Century. After the union of the two kingdoms in 1707, here, as in Danzig, the "Scottish and English Nation" formed a "Brotherhood of Great Britain" ("Groszbrittannische Bruderschaft"). Two elders (Alterleute) watched over the welfare of Scottish and English residents or travellers. The poor-fund, which was made up of the interest of an old capital, the amount of annual collections and the pew-rents, served also to support shipwrecked or otherwise disabled sailors, and to provide for the maintenance of Scottish or English poverty-stricken invalids in two separate rooms of the Royal Hospital. The two Scottish burying vaults in the churchyard now became common property likewise.

The same reasons for the rapid decline of the "Brüderschaft" which we adduced when speaking of Danzig were at work in Königsberg. In 1819 there were no longer any British subjects using the pews. Only six, mostly very old persons, four of them Scottish, received a monthly dole out of the Poor’s Box. The British coat-of-arms disappeared from the English pew and went the way of the Scottish lion, and with the 1st of January 1820 pews as well as church funds were taken over by the officers of the German Reformed Church.

As in the two largest Baltic ports, so in many of the smaller towns of Eastern and Western Prussia, we can trace the formation of Calvinistic or "Reformed" congregations back to the Scots.

In Memel, for instance, we hear of a Reformed congregation, consisting mainly of Scottish and Dutch people, since 1640. Three or four families, among them Barclays, Ogilvies, and Fentons, had engaged a sort of domestic chaplain and teacher in the person of one Wendelin de Rodem, a native of the Palatinate. But he was obliged to leave the town in 1641 owing to the complaints of the Lutheran party of the Duchy. It was not till twenty years afterwards that Wendelin obtained the permission of the Elector to come to Memel once in every quarter for the purposes of ministration. By degrees a separate house was acquired for divine worship; and finally a preacher was procured, after the receipt of a "Privilegium" from the prince. The person chosen was one Petrus Figulus, the son-in-law of the famous founder of our modern system of education, Amos Comenius. He knew the English language well, and discharged his duties up to the year of his death in 1670. His successor was Paul Andreas Jurski, a native of Lithuania, who had married a Scotchwoman. During his ministry the house in which the Calvinists hitherto held their meetings was burned to the ground (1678). But a new church was completed in 1681. The members of the congregation were mostly Scottish; there were, however, a few Dutch and French and English. The Germans constituted the minority, though, in later years, only German was used in preaching. Here also there existed a "Poor-Fund of the Scottish Nation," but it became amalgamated with that of the German "Reformed Church."

The Scots in Memel never ceased to show their attachment to the Reformed Church, even long after every trace of Scottish nationality had disappeared. A rich merchant, Ludwig Simpson, presented to it in 1802 the large sum of 8000 gulden, the interest of which was to be set aside for the raising of the schoolmaster’s stipend; and John Simpson, a cousin of Ludwig, gave a large donation in 1760, when the rebuilding of the church had become an urgent necessity after the damage done to it by the Russians.

The formation of the Reformed congregation at Tilsit proceeded much on the same lines. It was composed first of all of the Scottish; but we are not informed as to the exact year in which this union of the Calvinistic settlers from Scotland took place. It must, however, have been some time before 1667, as a Scottish Poor Fund is mentioned in that year. The treasurer was one Alexander Krichton, but the general supervision lay with the whole "Brotherhood." The fund then amounted to 230 gulden, lent out to three members: Albrecht Ritsch (Ritchie), Peter Kerligkeit (?) and William Schamer (Chalmers). There were other voluntary contributions besides, as well as the proceeds of a collection from house to house undertaken by two prominent men annually about the time of "Michaelmas-fair." Divine service must have been held before 1669, for in that year a small hall in the Elector’s castle is set aside for this purpose. As in other towns, the congregation during the XVIIth Century increased rapidly and drew the Scottish settlers of the district to it, so that the appointment of a special clergyman soon became necessary. We are told that a rich Scottish merchant, a member of the congregation, William Ritsch, went to Berlin in order to obtain the requisite permission from the Elector. Falling on his knees before the sovereign, he obtained by his eloquent pleading a royal edict (16th of March 1679), which not only granted the Tilsiters their own preacher, but allowed a stipend of 200 thaler out of the Electoral purse as well. The first call was given to Alexander Dennis, born at Königsberg, but of Scottish descent. He had been trained in Dutch universities and got ordained at Danzig. From the day of his induction by the Court Preacher Blaspiel on the 11th of October 1679, the Reformed congregation at Tilsit reckons its existence. Eleven days later the first communion was held. Among the 27 communicants there were only two Germans and two French. The number, however, soon increased, there being 160 communicants in 1680 and 206 in 1681. The firm adherence to their own faith, so earnestly inculcated by their General Assembly at home, clearly showed itself on these occasions, when people came from Insterburg, a distance of between thirty and forty English miles, or did not shun the long journey of ninety miles from Lyck. Many did this more than once in, the year. In 1682 Dennis had a service at Lyck, in which about 36 Scottish settlers in Masuren took part. From 1687 onward he visited this place as well as Insterburg annually at regular intervals, until at the beginning of the XVIIIth Century both these congregations obtained their own clergymen. About this time (1711) the church at Tilsit received a legacy of 42,000 gulden from the Scottish member, John Irving.

Whilst we thus meet the Scottish as the founders of the Reformed congregations in Eastern and Western Prussia, they also appear as the supporters and upholders of Protestantism in general. It is clear from this that their lives, opposed as they were in a two-fold way to the religious feelings of the people of their adopted country, must often have been troubled with irksome restraints and threatened with persecution and danger. As they were confounded with the Jews on account of their trading and money-lending, they were thrown together with the heretics on account of their faith.

As an illustration of this we shall quote a case of religious persecution of the year 1620.

On the 9th of June of that year there appeared in the Court House at Putzig, not far from Danzig, the ‘Instigator’ (Public Prosecutor) of the Royal (Polish) House, David Schwarte, contra Jacob Dziaksen (Jackson), a Scot, who declared that His Grace the Woywode had distinctly forbidden Dziaksen to allow any religious meetings in his house, to preach sermons or to have them preached, an order in which Dziaksen at that time acquiesced. "But now he had, contrary to his pledge, made bold to have a sermon read in his house on the Sunday of Whitsuntide last, for which disobedience their book, out of which they had been reading, was confiscated by command of His Grace. On this account the ‘Instigator’ had received strict orders, inasmuch as Jacob Dziaksen had disobeyed the royal command and broken his own engagement, to accuse him before the magistrates and to demand his punishment.

To this Jacob Dziaksen, present, replies that he acknowledges the prohibition of meetings and reading of the sermons. He also admits that in his presence the K.rämers (pedlars) had read their books, but they had been his guests and had never been told not to do so. If the order was to apply to everybody the magistrates would have to send to every house, search it, and take the books away from everybody. He therefore does not think himself punishable."

The following is the finding of the magistrates: "After having heard Jacob Dziaksen’s admission that he had allowed the Scots to read their books in his house, in consequence of which their books had been taken from them; confessing thereby to have acted contrary to the express command of the authorities; and as it is to be feared that through such meetings and sermons more heresy might become prevalent in the town, which must be prevented in due time, the Court decrees, that Jacob Dziaksen, on account of his disobedience. . . be sentenced to pay to the church at Putzig. . . the sum of 20 florins. He as well as other citizens of this town are also strictly commanded not to hold any meetings in their houses or have sermons read, but altogether to abstain from such under pain of heavy fines."

Jacob Dziaksen, considering himself unjustly dealt with, appeals to the higher court.

Examples like these could be adduced in great numbers. Enough has been said to show that the Scottish emigrant was not afraid of his religious opinions. The second generations indeed, was more German than Scottish. Language and even the names changed. But, notwithstanding this, the old attachment to Scotland remained with very many of them, like an old legend, that outlasts centuries.

Looking back upon the long period of religious development, from the foundation of the "Schottenklöster" to the union of the evangelical confessions in Prussia, here also we have to admit, that on the Catholic as well as on the Protestant side, Scotsmen have not been wanting, who have left memorable traces in Germany, without for one moment underrating the enormous and paramount influence of German thought on the world of letters of the Middle Ages.


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