St. Mary's Church.
ST. MARY’S ESTABLISHED
Is the most interesting
erection in the old town. It was built, as already mentioned, in 1644,
and adopted as a parish church in lieu of the very ancient church of St.
Ninian’s at the Old Aisle; which after that was abandoned to the
rapacity of the inhabitants of the neighbourhood, who made a free quarry
of it Tor their own purposes, and gradually swept away every vestige of
Before saying anything of
St. Mary’s itself, we give a list of readers and clergymen in succession
from 1525 till the present day. Of course they officiated in St.
Ninian’s Church down till 1646, when Mr. Bennet was ordained, who would
probably be the first minister of St. Mary's. The other extracts also
bear upon the history of the church.
From 1592 to 1610 was
pure Presbyterianism in Scotland. From 1610 to 1638 was Episcopacy. From
1638 to 1662 was pure Presbyterianism. For twenty-eight years, from 1662
to 1690, during a period of terrible persecution, Episcopacy was
maintained by military power. Since 1690 Presbyterianism has been the
established religion in Scotland.
1st Mar. 1525. James Lyn,
canon of Dunkeld, received investiture in the perpetual vicarage of the
parish church of St. Ninian of Lenze.
7th Apr. 1527. Duncan
Burnet, made perpetual vicar instead of James Lyn, resigned.
22^ d Sep. 1530.
Alexander Annand, made perpetual vicar instead of Duncan Burnet,
resigned. Annand inducted 25th Sep. (Sir Andrew Simson curate).
The parish was supplied
in 1567 by Mark Edgar, reader, and by William Struders, reader at
Glasgow and Exhorter on Sunday at Lenzie, at Lammas, 1569. The church
was ordered by the Presb. 26th Feb. 1607, to be rebuilt. It was removed
to St. Mary’s chapel in the village of Kirkintilloch in 1644, which had
been proposed 47 years before.
1585. Ninian Drew, Reader
from 1574 to 1580 pres, to the Vicarage by James VI. before 1st, and
coll. 8th Oct. 1594; deposed 23rd Jan* 1598 for “his inabilities He
protested and appealed 22nd Apr. 1600 against the appointment of Presb.
to inaugurate his successor. He served the cure 18 years.
1600. George Slowan, or
Aslowan, A.M., was laureated at the Univ. of Edinburgh 30th July 1597,
and on the Exercise there 27th March 1599, nominated 30th Jan., pres, by
John, Lord Fleming, and Adam, Commendator of Cambuskenneth 21st, adm.
22d, and inaugurated 27th April 1600: died before 21st Jan. 1607, aged
about 30, in 7th min.
1607. William Struthers,
A.M., a native of Glasgow, probably son of the Reader there, brought up
at the schools, and had his degree from the Univ. there in 1599; he was
an expectant in the Merse in 1602, and on the exercise at Glasgow 21st
Mar. 1607; demitted the Vicarage here 29th Sep. 1611, and was trans.' to
Glasgow 22nd Mar. 1612.
1613. Joseph Laurie,
A.M., son of Mr. Blaise, L., Professor of Greek in the Univ. of Glasgow,
whence he had his degree in 1606, adm. before 29th Sep. 1613. He gave in
a supplication 24th Sep. 1617, against Duncan Bimet, reader and
musician, alledging that he called him “ane dissembled hypocrite, one
whose conscience was so wyde, that cairtes and wains micht go throw it,
ane teacher of the word that was vnworthie, ane beggar, and ane beggars
burd, and that he had als meikle silver as micht buy him from the
gallows, lastlie, that he would break his head at the kirk of Leinze.”
Duncan compeared, confessed, and submitted himself to the Presb. 1st
Oct., who referred him to the Archbishop: Mr. L. was trans. to Stirling
1620 John Forsythe, A.M.,
graduated at the Univ. of Glasgow in 1609, was on the Exercise there 9th
June 1613, pres, by James VI. 12th Feb., and adm. (by the Archbishop in
the College Kirk of Glasgow) 29th Aug. 1620; he gave I merk towards
erecting the Library in the College of Glasgow about 1632, and was
deposed in 1645.
1646. David Bennett,
A.M., obtained his degree at the Univ. of St. Andrews in 1644, licen. by
the Presb. of Dalkeith 4th Jan. of that year; trans. to Stirling 2nd
charge in 1650, getting the stipend for that year.
1653. James Ramsay, A.M.,
son of Principal R. of the Univ. of Glasgow, “a very able and sufficient
youth as we have of his age” attained his degree at the Univ. of Glasgow
in 1647, and was ord. and adm. (by the Presb. with a Committee from the
Gen. Assembly) 19th Feb. 1653. He was charged by the English “not to
preach in that church, and the people not to hear him under high paynes,”
and by Judge Moysley “discharged to preach in the neighbour churches,”
yet the parishioners adhered to him with very few exceptions: he was
trans. to Linlithgow in 1655.
1653. -Beverlie, was
appointed by the English, at the desire of 27 persons, with the promise
of the stipend, and ord. (by the Protesters) before 28th Apr.; he
removed in 1655.
1656. Henry Forsyth,
A.M., “lately a baxterboy, very feckless-like in his person, and mean in
his gifts, but the son of a Gillespy,” was laureated at the Univ. of
Glasgow in 1654, and adm. in 1656; deprived by the Act of Parliament nth
June, and of Privy Council 1st Oct 1662. Orders were given by the Privy
Council 4th June 1674, for his apprehension as a conventicle preacher,
but it does not appear that they succeeded.
1665. Robert Bennett,
A.M., trans. from Gargunnock, adm. in May; died in Mar. 1679, aged about
39, in 16th min. The insicht, &c., amounted to xx ti, awand out to
doctors and apothecaries for drugs, &c., in the tyme of his sickness, xl
ti, Frie gier, <Ld., v« ix ti vi s. viij d. He mar. Helen Hamilton, who
survived him, and had a son George, appointed to a bursary of philosophy
in the Univ. of Edinburgh 17th Feb. 1682.
1679. Alexander Wood,
A.M., trans. from Wamphray: pres, by -in Sep. 1679, and adm. soon after:
trans. to Cockpen in 1681.
1681. Robert Fleming,
A.M., trans. from Meams, pres, by John, Earl of Wigton, in May, and
afterwards adm. in 1681; demitted in
1689. He received from
the Kirk-session of Cramond 27th June, 1703, when he had a “ great
family ” vi ti xiij s iiij d., and another sum 25th
May 1705. A daugh. Helen,
marr. George Stirling, one of the magistrates of Glasgow.
1687. William Cunningham
e, marr. 2nd June, Lilias Mackgill of Kilsyth.
1690. Thomas Rob, A.M.,
brother of Mr. Michael R., min. of Kilsyth, took his degree at the Univ.
of Edinburgh 19th July 1661 : was a member of the General Assembly 16th
Oct. 1690; died in Glasgow in 1705, aged about 64. The Frie geir
amounted to ij" iiij1 liij ti ix s viij d. He
left to the session for the use of the poor j«ti. He marr. 24th Sep.
1688 Janet Lawson, who survived him.
1709. Samuel Telfer,
A.M., trans. from Johnston, called in Jan.
1708, and 16th June 1709,
and adm. 17th Nov. after: died 20th Aug. 1726, aged about 50, in 25th
min; The Inventar amounted to j" vi* ti. He marr. Janet Car frae, who
died 19th Jan. 1751, and had a son, John, merchant, Edinburgh, who died
abroad, and two daugh. Julian, marr. Mr. Alexander Wardrop, min. of
Whitburn, and Janet, Mr. David Stevenson, min. of Glendevon.
1727. John Forbes, called
28th Feb., and ord. 4th May: died 28th Mar. 1733 in 6th min.
1735. William Fleming,
held a bursary of divinity on the Dundonald foundation in the Univ. of
Glasgow; licen. by the Presb. of Hamilton 31st July 1733, pres, by John,
Earl of Wigton, 22nd Sep. following, ord. 1st July 1735 : trans. to
Paisley Abbey (2nd charge) 4th June 174a
1741. James Burnside,
licen. by the Presb. of Haddington 25th Sep.
1739, pres, by John, Earl
of Wigton 29th Nov. 1740, and ord. 19th Mar. succeeding: died in Aug.
1743, in 3rd min. He was esteemed an able, judicious, and pious
minister. Under his auspices, during the season of revival, “ many were
awakened and brought under great spiritual distress.”
1744. John Erskine, A.M.,
eldest son of John E. Esq. ofCarnock, the constitutional writer on
Scottish Law, was educated under a private tutor, and afterwards at the
High School and Univ. of Edinburgh, licen. by the Presb. of Dunblane
(Mr. Duchal, Logie, Moderator), 16th Aug. 1743, pres, by John, Earl of
Wigton 27th Jan., and ord. 31st May 1744: trans. to Culross, 8th Oct.
1753* James Stoddart,
A.M., formerly of Culross, 2d Charge, pres, by the Trustees of John,
Earl of Wigton—, and adm. 16th Aug : died 2ist Dec. 1773, in 26th min.
He marr. 18th Sep. 1756, Mary Euphan Douglass, and bad two sons, and two
daugh., Alexander, George Alexander, Isobel, and Marion— Publication—The
Revival of Religion, a sermon, Glasgow, 1764, 8vo.
1774. William Dun, A.M.,
licen. by the Presb. of Kintyre, 3rd Sep. 177a, pres, by Charles, Lord
Elphinstone, and Lady Clementina, his spouse, 7th June, and ord. 18th
Aug. 1774. He was imprisoned for three months in the tolbooth of
Edinburgh, by sentence of the court of Justiciary nth Mar. 1793, “ for
having torn three leaves out of a book which contained minutes of a
society for Reform in the village of Kirkintilloch, at the time when the
Sheriffs of Lanark and Dumbartonshire were making investigation to
obtain that book/' He died 3rd Nov. 1798, in his 54th year, and 25th
min.—Publications—Sermon preached at the opening of the Synod, Glas.
1792, 8vo. (which was answered by “ Political Preaching; or, the
Meditations of a Well-meaning man” Glas. 1792, 8vo). Account of the
Parish (Sinclair’s St. Acc.)
1799. James Jack, licen.
by the Presb. of Auchterarder 20th Aug. 1793, Pres* by John, Lord
Elphinstone 16th Apr. and ord. 12th Sep. 1799 : died 13th Nov. 1810, in
48th age, and 12th min. He marr. 24th Dec. 1799, Ann Stewart Erskine,
who died 21st May 1801, aged 26, and had a daugh. Jane.
1811. Adam Forman, trans.
from Carmunnock, pres* by the Commissioners of the Hon. Charles
Elphinstone Fleming of Biggar and Cumbernauld, in Feb., and adm. 6th
June; died 27th May 1843, &ge<l 83, in 52nd min. lie marr. 8th Aug.
1792, Margaret Brodie of Edinburgh, and had four sons and two daughters,
of whom Adam the eldest was min. of Innerwick, and Robert, a merchant in
1844. George Little,
inducted 25th February 1844, died 12th Sep. 1871.
1872. James Caven,
inducted 25th January 1872. Died 23rd July 1893.
1893. T. Angus Morrison
ordained and inducted 14th Nov. 1893.
Dr. Erskine afterwards
attained great eminence. He was bom in 1720. “It would be difficult to
say whether he was most distinguished by the fervour, the assiduity, or
the ability with which he applied himself to every department of his
pastoral duty.” Many of his sermons preached at Kirkintilloch are
published, and he had an extensive correspondence—both while there and
afterwards—with divines and eminent men in all parts of the world.
The celebrated Jonathan
Edwards was one of his earliest and most esteemed correspondents, and
many of Erskine’s letters to him were written at Kirkintilloch. The
greatest part of the works of President Edwards, Dickenson, Stoddart,
and Fraser of Alness, were edited by Dr. Erskine. He married, 15th June,
1746, the Hon. Christian Mackay, third daughter of Lord Reay, an amiable
lady, by whom he had a large family. He was translated from Culross in
1758 to Greyfriars Church, Edinburgh, where he officiated for nine
years, and delivered three sermons each Sunday. On 28th November, 1766,
he received the degree of D.D. from the University of Glasgow; and in
1767 was translated to Old Greyfriars, becoming then colleague to the
celebrated Principal Robertson, leader of the moderate party; while he
himself was devoted to the doctrines and aims of the evangelical party
in the church. It was a testimony to the amiability of both, that they
should have been friendly colleagues in the same congregation for
twenty-six years under such circumstances. Dr. Erskine is recognised as
the leader of the party whose opinions and actions eventually culminated
in the Disruption, and the erection of the Free Church of Scotland. He
died 19th January, 1803.
He is “photographed” by
Sir Walter Scott in “Guy Mannering”:—
“The colleague of Dr.
Robertson ascended the pulpit. His external appearance was not
prepossessing. A remarkably fair complexion, strangely contrasted with a
black wig without a grain of powder; a narrow chest and a stooping
posture; hands which, placed like props on either side of the pulpit,
seemed necessary rather to support the person than to assist the
gesticulation of the preacher,—no gown, not even that of Geneva, a
tumbled band, and a gesture which seemed scarce voluntary, were the
first circumstances which struck a stranger.
‘The preacher seems a
very ungainly person,' whispered Mannering to his new friend.
“Never fear, he's the son
of an excellent Scottish lawyer—he’ll show blood, I'll warrant him.'
“The learned counsellor
predicted truly. A lecture was delivered, fraught with new, striking,
and entertaining views of Scripture history— a sermon, in which the
Calvinism of the Kirk of Scotland was ably supported, yet made the basis
of a sound system of practical morals, which should neither shelter the
sinner under the cloak of speculative faith or of peculiarity of
opinion, nor leave him loose to the waves of unbelief and schism.
Something there was of an antiquated turn of argument and metaphor, but
it only served to give zest and peculiarity to the style of elocution.
The sermon was not read—a scrap of paper containing the heads of the
discourse was occasionally referred to, and the enunciation, which at
first seemed imperfect and embarrassed, became, as the preacher warmed
in his progress, animated and distinct; and although the discourse could
not he quoted as a correct specimen of pulpit eloquence, yet Mannering
had seldom heard so much learning, metaphysical acuteness, and energy of
argument, brought into the service of Christianity.
“‘ Such,' he said, going
out of the church, I must have been the preachers to whose unfearing
minds, and acute, though sometimes rudely exercised talents, we owe the
“ ‘And yet that reverend
gentleman,' said Pleydel, ‘whom I love for his father's sake and his
own, has nothing of the sour or pharisaical pride which has been imputed
to some of the early fathers of the Calvinistic Kirk of Scotland. His
colleague and he differ, and head different parties in the kirk, about
particular points of church discipline, but without for a moment losing
personal regard or respect for each other, or suffering malignity to
interfere in an opposition, steady, constant, and apparently
conscientious on both sides.'"
A laughable incident is
related of Dr. Erskine, which shows his good nature. For several Sundays
he had returned from church without his pocket handkerchief, and could
not account for the loss. Mrs. Erskine, suspecting an elderly-looking
poor woman who constantly occupied a seat on the stair leading to the
pulpit, sewed a handkerchief to the pocket of Dr. Erskine’s Sunday coat.
On the following Sunday the doctor was proceeding in his usual manner
towards the pulpit when, on passing the suspected person, he felt a
slight tug from behind. He only turned gently round, and, clapping her
on the head, said: “ No the day, honest woman ; no the day.”
Extracts from Cartulary
of Cambuskenneth Abbey.
“Letters by Robert (Blacader)
Archbishop of Glasgow, directed to the Dean of the Lennox, narrating
that Mr. John Stirling, who had been presented by the Abbot and convent
of Cambuskenneth for collation to the perpetual vicarage of the parish
church of Kirkintilloch, vacant by the preferment of Mr. Robert Forman
to the precentory of Glasgow, had been invested in the cure by the
Archbishop personally, and charging the dean to give Mr. John, or his
procurator for him, actual and corporal possession of the vicarage, and
to defend him in the same. Dated at Stirling 31st May 1500.”
“Letter by the Official
General of Glasgow, to the curates of the parish churches of Lenzie and
Nionyabrun, or to any other chaplain or notary public willing to
undertake the execution thereof, narrating that in consequence of a
complaint made to him by the Abbot and convent of Cambuskenneth, the
Official General had summoned before him John, Lord Fleming, Great
Chamberlain of Scotland, and the whole parishioners of Lenze or
Kintulach, and on their failure to compear, had excommunicated them, and
directed the letters of excommunication to the curate of Lenze, who
received and read them, but refused to cause them to be put to due
execution; and that one Thomas Flemying laid violent hands on the
messenger and bearer, beat him, and forcibly seized and carried off the
letters, thus incurring the sentence of the greater excommunication; and
further, that the curate of Lenze, Sir John Reid, and other clergymen
named, continued to perform divine service when the said Thomas Flemying
and other excommunicated persons were present, in contempt of
ecclesiastical censures; and therefore charging the receivers of his
letter to summon the said Thomas Flemying, Sir John Reid, curate of
Lenze, Alexander Crestesone, and three other presbyters therein named,
to compear before the Official General or his commissaries in the
consistory of the Metropolitan Church of Glasgow, to hear sentence of
excommunication passed against themselves, or to show reasonab e cause
why the sentence should not be pronounced. Dated at Glasgow 20th March
Extracts from Bannatync
Presbytery of Glasgow
Register 27th Mar. 1593. “Quhilk daye the brethrene ar nocht satisfeit
with the doctrine teichit be Mr. Niniane Dreive m nister at Leinyae this
present daye, and findis him to have bein als unprofi abille in handling
the text prescryvit to him as of befoir.”
7th Sep. 1596. “The
presbiterie ordenis Helein Bull, in the parochin of Leinyae, refusing to
marie Johne Miller, with quhome scho has bein proclaimit twyse as scho
has confessit hir self, now being of mynd to marie Patrik Bryce, to mak
her repentance in hir paroche kirk of Leinyae for hir inconstancie; and
forder, to paye penaltie to the thesaurer of hir kirk the nixt Sondaye,
afore scho enter to hir repentance, lykas wes doune afore scho was
proclaimit with the said Johne Miller. Quhilkis being done, ordenis hir
bandes of manage to be proclaimit with the said Patrik Bryce, gif the
said Patrik will crave the same; and the said Johne can not find
ressonabill cans to staye the same."
29th Mar. 1597. Anent the
chapel in Kirkintilloch to be ane kirk— “Quhilk daye, anent the
summondis grant it upone ane supplicationne gevin in before the
presbiterie of Glasgow be the baillies of Kirkintilloch, quhilk is
sub.scry vit be ane nobill lord my lord Fleming, and certane (parochineris)
of the parochine of Leingae, as the said supplicationne in the self
beiris; quhairin the parochineris of Leingae in general, and Robert
Boyde of Badinhethe, Robert Boyde of Drwme, Johnne Park of Achinvuiil,
Thomas Sommervell in Bourtiey, Robert Fleming in Baloche in special), ar
ordenit to be summoundit to this daye, to thair counsale and
deliberatioun anent the chapell within the toun of Kirkintilloch, to be
maid ane kirk quhairin the word of God may be preichit, the sacrament is
minist rated, and wther benefites of the word therein exercised.
Compearit personalie (the) saidis Robert Boyd of Badinhethe, Robert
Boyde in Drwme, and Robert Fleming in Baloche, quha heirand the contends
of the said summoundis and supplicatioun, quhairupone the samin wes
groundit to tend to ane novationne, and thairfore presentlie can give (na)
ansuer, thairfore desyrit ane terme to give ansuer to the samin, quhilk
terme is maid and assignit the xij. daye of Aprile nixt to cum,” etc.
6th Nov. 1598. “Quhilk
daye it is fund that the parochia of Leingae is dissolut and gevin to
all kind of impietie, for laik of exercise of the word of God wiihin the
saming, and of all gud ordour in discipline (in) the samin, and
thairfore hastie remeid is cravit for the weale and salvatioun of the
soules of the parochineris within the samin.”
8th April, 1600. “To pas
to inaugurat Mr. George Slovan minister of Leingae.—The moderator and
brethrene ordenis Mr. Patrick Scharp, principall of the college of
Glasgow, Mr. Alexander Rowat, and Mr. William Levingstoun of that
presbiterie, to pas the nixt Sondaye to the kirk of Leingae, and thair
to inaugurat Mr. George Slovan minister of the said kirk, according to
the canon of the aposlill Pauli."
16th May, 1604.—“To speik
the Lord of Badinhethe.—The presbiterie ordenis Mr. Patrik Scharp,
principall of the college of Glasgw, and Mr. David Wemes, ane of the
ministers of Glasgw, to speik in Glasgw, Robert Boyd of Badinhethe,
anent his not keiping of his kirk, he being ane elder and ane speciall
gentilman of his paroche; and for halding of Robert Falconer in Deirdeik
on his ground, the said Robert Falconer being excommunicat; and for the
profanation of the Sabothe daye wsit about his place be playing at the
futeball, toleratit and oursein be him; and anent the erecting of images
in the yle of his paroche kirk, committit and authorized be him, to the
sclandeir of God his kirk, and greiff of the saming: and farder, to
crave the said Robert Boyd of Badinhethe contribution to the persecuted
kirk of Geneve, etc., and to report,” etc.
4th March, 1607.—“Anent
ane kirk to be within the toun of Kirkintilloch.—Quhilk daye, seing that
it is fund meit and expedient be the erle of Wigtoun and presbiterie of
Glasgw, that thair be ane kirk situat and buyldit within the toun of
Kirkintilloch, for mony respects and cawssis, and the exercise of the
word and sacramentis in the present kirk to be left af thair, and
translated to the kirk to be buyldit in the said toun; thairfor the said
presbiterie ordenis this to be intimat the nixt sondaye, in the said
present kirk; and that all and everie ane of the parochineris of Leinzae
be summondit to the nixt
Weddinsdaye, to object
and say aganis this overture quhairfoir it aucht not to be fiillelie
perfyted; with certificatioun to thame that sail not compeir, thai sail
not be farder hard, bot the said Erles intentioun and mynd for the
situating and buylding of the said kirk in the said toun, to have the
full force and effect in tymes to cum.”
From Rev. Mr. Format?s
Repot t in “New Statistical Account” 1845:— “The present parish church
is in a very miserable state of disrepair. The walls are time-worn, and
ungainly; the timbers in general fragile and insufficient; the galleries
inconvenient and crazy, one of them having been lately taken down at an
inconvenient season ; the seating is fast crumbling into ruins; the
walls outside filled up with the dust of former generations to the
height of four or five feet from the spring of the roofing, and with the
walls and flooring, of course, intolerably damp.2
Under these circumstances, the Presbytery of Glasgow, some years ago,
gave a deliverance enjoining the heritors to provide the parish with a
new parish church; but a few of the heritors objecting, carried the
matter to the Court of Session, where the decree of the Presbytery was
reversed. In this case the architect reported, that the existing fabric
might be repaired so as to be a serviceable church for from 25 to 35
years at an expense of ^660, while a new church of the same size wouid
cost ^1280. Mr. Dunlop, advocate, is of opinion, that the same decision
would have been given here as in the case of Roskeen, had the architect
reported in regard to Kirkintilloch church, that, in consequence of
raising the level of the floor, which was required there as in Roskeen
case, it would be necessary to heighten the walls, in order to afford
proper accommodation to the sitters. The architect however had ommitted
all notice of this matter in his report; and when the chargers, on the
cause coming into the Inner House, proposed to put additional queries to
him to bring out the facts as to this matter, the Court held them
foreclosed, by their not having previously objected to the report and
refused to allow additional queries to be put. It was on this point that
the case for the Presbytery was lost; and the church, accordingly,
remains in its present ruinous condition. It contains about 800
sittings. No free sittings, and only a very few pay for their seats. The
glebe amounts to 8 acres, including the garden. About 6 acres of the
glebe were lately let for £14 10s. per annum.
“The Report of the
Commissioners for Religious Instruction in Scotland calculate the teinds
as follows :—
“Gross amount of teinds
belonging to proprietors:—Meal, I boll, 2 firlots, I peck, 2 lippies, at
£1 6s. 6d.; money £904 5*., total £905 11s. 6d.
“Applied to minister's
stipends and communion elements out of the gross teinds:—Meal, 123
bolls, I firlot, 1 peck, at £1'2 9s. 4d.; barley, 121 bolls, 2 firlots,
3 pecks, 2 lippies, at £133 4s. 5d. ; money £26 7s. 6d.; total £262 1s.
“Value of the
unappropriated teinds belonging to other persons, £643 1 0s. 3d. The
church lands in the parish are, vicarland on the East croft of
Kirkintilloch, 2 acres; Priest land, 2 acres at Auchinvole, held
anciently of the Prebends of Biggar: Lady-yard, half an acre in middle
of burgh-holm, held of chaplains of Kirkintilloch. ”
The church, which is
built in the form of a cross, was closed for repairs in 1890, and was
reopened on Sunday 30th November, after having undergone thorough repair
and renovation, outside and inside.
The whole of the old
grave-stones that used to stick up at all angles, and crowd the space
around the church doors, have been laid flat, each over its particular “
lair,” so that no one’s right has been disturbed. This did not interfere
with the operation of levelling the ground, although no soil was carried
away. Two steps were added to the height of the entrance-stair, and the
whole enclosure presents a gentle slope from back to front, with good
walks and neat grass plots. A room for the elders, and a vestry for the
minister, are also provided.
The rough casting was
picked off the old walls of the church, revealing the substantial
masonry of former days— the joints being scraped out and repointed.
Several of the original windows are also shown, which have been built up
when galleries and outside accesses have been added to the original
plan. A fine old doorway also appears on the west side, which no doubt
has been the principal entrance, as it shows an O G beaded opening, with
a square panel above it, on which has been the coat-of-arms of the Earl
of Wigton, although now obliterated.
The church is lighted
with gas, interior and exterior, and four handsome outside lamps appear.
It is also heated by hot water from a neat apparatus erected outside,
concealed in a substantial building. The old skylights are superseded by
eight dormer windows, and the stone flags of the passages are replaced
by wood, covered with matting, the hot air from the pipes for heating
ascending on each side through iron gratings.
Accommodation for the
choir is now provided on a slightly raised platform, enclosed by a
handsome railing, and a powerful harmonium is used for leading the
music. The pulpit is still in the same place, but both it and the access
to it are much improved. The whole interior is painted from top to
bottom, the pews and wood-work of olive colour: the upholstery work of
the fronts of the galleries and pulpit being of Utrecht gold velvet. All
the alterations have been judiciously carried out. Everything has been
made better, and nothing made worse.
improvements on the “kirk,” outside and inside, are so marked as to be
startling, and reflect much credit on Mr. Small, architect, Stirling,
who designed them.
Besides the increased
light, comfort, and elegance which the church now affords, the services,
by the help of the harmonium and other subsidiary arrangements, are in
keeping with modern ideas—in fact, the “auld kirk” has fairly surpassed
These improvements, as is
generally the case, must have had a main-spring behind them, and we
understand that Mr. James Main (we mean no pun) deserves the credit of
having taken the most active part in them, seconded by Mr. Whitelaw of
Gartshore. We may just add that the heritors and people have now some
reason to be proud of their church, and putting the change that has been
effected into s. d.—which is the most customary standard for everything
now-a-days, including honour, love, and even religion—the church is
worth £1,000 more than it was ten years ago.
UNITED ASSOCIATE CHURCH
This church has a
memorable history, the greater part of which was coincident with the
life of the late Dr. Andrew Marshall, D.D., LL.D., and the church as a
separate body may be said to have ended with his death. It was
established about 1770, the first minister being Mr. John Thomson, a
native of Port-Glasgow.3 He continued till
about 1789, when he lost his voice, resigned his charge, and retired to
Glasgow. He had a numerous family, and one of his granddaughters became
a peeress of Ireland. In the autumn of 1799, a disruption took place in
the Associate Synod. Messrs. Willis of Crawfords-dyke—Taylor of
Leven-side—Watson of Kilpatrick—Hyslop of Shotts—with some others, left
its communion, and formed themselves into a separate body. Of this
movement Mr. Thomson was the reputed father. His writings had the credit
of having brought it about.
Mr. Thomson’s successor
was Mr. James Kyle; ordained in 1792, but became unfortunate, and was
obliged to withdraw—he was succeeded in November, 1802, by the Rev.
Andrew Marshall, afterwards D.D., LL.D.
It is to be regretted
that as yet no biography of this distinguished divine has appeared; such
a production written by some one of his contemporaries, having the
requisite talent and courage for the task, would have superseded our
present feeble efforts.
Dr. Marshall was born at
Westerhill, parish of Cadder, 22nd November, 1779, and studied divinity
under the late Professor Lawson at Selkirk. He was licensed by the
Presbytery of Glasgow, and received a call from the United Associate
Congregation at Kirkintilloch, which he accepted.
He was in the habit of
writing carefully his discourses, but he used no notes in the pulpit—his
forenoon discourse being invariably a lecture, and afternoon a sermon.
He also delivered
lectures once a month during summer in the evening, and these became
very popular; strangers coming sometimes from considerable distances to
hear them. He also preached to people in their working clothes, and
these “ bareheaded sermons ” as they were called, were much appreciated.
All his discourses were marked by great ability, his knowledge of the
scriptures being unusually profound, and his sentiments being always
clothed in beautiful language.
It was as a
controversialist however that Dr. Marshall became famous, and made
Kirkintilloch known over this, and other countries, in connection with
In 1829 he delivered a
sermon called the “Voluntary Sermon,” which was afterwards published and
widely circulated. It was the “first shot” fired in a controversial war
that raged over Scotland, and lasted for about fourteen years; many
distinguished champions on both sides being engaged; and Dr. Marshall
being one of the foremost and most ardent.
No one can read the
“Voluntary Sermon” without acknowledging that it is written by a man of
consummate ability and very great sagacity. Many of the opinions which
he expresses have since attained wonderful growth; and are large factors
in shaping the policy of Great Britain at the present day. In 1841 the
degree of D.D. was conferred on him by Jefferson College, U.S., and
afterwards that of LL.D. by another College.
In 1846 the union between
the United Associate and Relief denominations took place, but Dr.
Marshall and a large majority of his congregation declined to join in it
A few of his people approved of the union, and formed themselves into a
separate congregation in connection with the United Presbyterian Church,
but the bulk of the congregation remained with their pastor.
The recusant party raised
an action to have it declared that Dr. Marshall’s church belonged to
them of right, and that he and his congregation ought to vacate it; but
the Court of Session decided that Dr. Marshall and his people retained
rightful possession, and that the property was theirs.
Dr. Marshall sustained
great affliction in the death of his son Andrew, and in eight months
after, a still more severe stroke, in the death of his wife, both
happening in the year 1847. In November, 1852, Dr. Marshall’s jubilee
was celebrated at a very enthusiastic meeting held in St. David’s
church; his son, the Rev. William Marshall, Free church, Leith, being in
the chair; when he was presented by the congregation with an
affectionate address; and by them, and other friends, with a handsome
service of silver plate. Bailie Bankier also appeared from Glasgow, with
a deputation, and congratulated the doctor and his people on the event.
On that occasion Dr.
Marshall acknowledged their kindness in an eloquent speech, embracing
the history of the church, and an account of his ministry; but bewailing
the loss of friends—he said:—“But where are they who might have been
here—who might have been expected to be here ? Where are the tens, the
hundreds, I may say the thousands, ministers and laymen, who, had I
stuck to them till now, and sanctioned their doings, would doubtless
have been the foremost to gather around me on such an occasion, and to
offer me their congratulations? I have made a sacrifice, my friends; a
very considerable sacrifice: yet I do not regret it. Considering the
cause, so far from regretting it, I glory in it”
Now, while making due
allowance for the atmosphere of controversial strife in which Dr.
Marshall lived—and with a feeling of reluctance to differ with a man of
his eminence— there is something in all this that is, to an ordinary
Here was a man numbering
friends by the thousand, who all deserted him because “he did not stick
to them, nor sanction their doings”—or in other words because they
differed in opinion from him.
Is that the inevitable
penalty that follows, or ought to follow, friends who happen to take
different sides in any controversy, be it theological, political, or
municipal? We see it often enough to be sure, but* it is by no means
universal, and is wholly unnecessary, if people could only state their
opinions with calmness, and courtesy; and in the end, if they cannot
agree, they may at least agree to differ.
From Dr. Marshall’s
writings it is apparent, that while he was an able, he was also a bitter
opponent—whatever view he took, he took strongly, and expressed it
strongly—and the wounds he inflicted, rankled in those who received
them, as much from the manner and temper in which they were given, as
from the pain, or it might be the sense of defeat, in those who
Nor was he a reluctant
combatant, whose motto was “Defence not defiance”: firm and rooted in
his own convictions, he was at all times prepared, not only to defend
them, but to attack those who differed from him ; he conceived that it
was his duty to do it, and he did it.
Notwithstanding what we
have said, however, he had naturally a kind heart, and was entirely
devoid of malice : he acted under a high conviction of duty, worthy of
admiration; although we cannot admire his discretion as we do his zeal.
It is not by such means,
however, that any man can retain friends; he may reconcile himself to
their loss, and think that all happens through his sense of duty; but
the loss is there all the same, and opinions may differ from his as to
its true cause or its necessity.
We may regard Dr.
Marshall as a type of the old Covenanters; a well-educated David Deans;
the one being a diamond rough from the mines; the other a similar jewel
cut and polished by the lapidary, but both having the same
Both were upright,
fearless, and unwearied in the discharge of what they considered to be
their duty. Both possessed the same stern inflexibility of character;
the rooted and immovable convictions; the honest and fearless avowal of
them in season and out of season; the outspoken contempt of those who
differed from them; and the readiness—speaking metaphorically—to throw
After all, however, Dr.
Marshall's faults were only those of frail human nature—and who is free
from them? It is said that, “in the controversies into which Luther was
dragged, that great reformer was wont to vent his worst feelings in
alliance with his best convictions; and to damage the noblest cause by
the coarsest language—a part of his conduct which he lamented with some
compunction in his latter days. Calvin, Toplady, and Wesley had also
faults in this respect.”
An incident may be here
related, trifling in itself, but illustrative of the doctor's
temperament, as a straw shows how the stream flows: the author being
perhaps the only living witness who now remembers it. The doctor was
officiating at a baptism on the occasion, and on entering the room where
the ceremony was to take place, he courteously saluted the company.
Strolling towards the table, on which several books lay, he lifted the
nearest, and, glancing at the title on the back, he hastily threw it
down, with a thud, as if it had burnt his fingers. Fortunately, all
present knew the doctor, and only smiled in wonder at the incident. The
book which had given visible offence happened to be Sir Walter Scott's “
We turn, however, with
pleasure to contemplate Dr. Marshall as a minister, and there he shines
Apart from his great
talents, of which his people had the benefit, he was blest with a
vigorous mind, in a vigorous body, and, for the long period of fifty-two
years, he was able to fulfil all his duties, with little interruption.
Besides his pulpit
ministrations already alluded to, he took much interest in the young,
and had regular classes for their instruction in religious knowledge.
Many even at this day look back upon these with gratitude. He was also a
regular and diligent visitor of his people, and most kind and attentive
to the sick. From first to last he fulfilled all his duties as a
minister faithfully, diligently, and regularly.
One beautiful trait of
his character was his entire freedom from a mercenary spirit; and the
fact of a man of his calibre remaining in a small town like
Kirkintilloch, would of itself prove this : for he had more than one
opportunity of bettering his condition had he thosen to avail himself of
It is little wonder
therefore that his people became strongly attached to him, and even when
the storm of litigation shook the church to its very foundation, the
great bulk of them still stuck faithfully by him.
An old lady remarked of
him that “ he was a lamb in the house, but a lion on paper and it may be
said that those who knew him best loved him most. Dr. Marshall latterly
made application to be admitted to the Free Church. The Glasgow
Presbytery wished him to make some concession of his voluntary
principles, which—as might be expected— he declined to do, and the
negotiations ceased. The doctor lived for two years after his jubilee,
and died peacefully on the evening of a Communion Sabbath, 26th
November, 1854, aged 75.
His funeral was attended
by a large number of his congregation and friends from a distance—many
coming uninvited—who accompanied his remains to Cadder burying ground.
evil that men do, lives after them; the good is oft interred with their
bones.” Tried by this standard the old doctor comes out well; for his
virtues still flourish green in the memories of his people; while his
faults are long ago withered and forgotten.
Dr. Marshall was a
voluminous writer. Besides editing the “Voluntary Magazine” for many
years, and the “Banner of Truth ”; he published an immense number of
sermons, addresses, etc.; and was a large contributor to the reviews and
other periodicals of the day. The following are some of his publications
Sermon which originated
the Voluntary Controversy in 1829.
Ecclesiastical Establishments considered.
Ecclesiastical Establishments further considered.
Letter to Dr. Andrew Thomson.
Reply to Dr. Inglis.
The Nature and Extent of the Atonement.
Catholic Doctrine of Redemption Vindicated.
Review of Chalmers’ Astronomical Discourses.
Review of Cunningham of Lenspaw on Millenarianism.
Posthumous work—The Atonement; or, the Death of Christ the Redemption of
Miss A. M. N. Young thus
writes of him :—
“In massiveness of
thought and speech refined
Fired by the genius of true eloquence,
No feeble metaphor e’er marred his strain—
Caught from the echo of Heaven’s own high tones,
Fraught with rich droppings of immortal truth,
And unadulterate as its own pure source,
Free from the meretricious tricks of words
That please the ear, but fail to reach the heart.
Brave as Elijah in his Maker’s work,
As jealous of the honour of God’s name ;
Content to suffer and be much misjudged,
If but the cause fop which he lived were bless’d.
A wreath of names in Heaven’s just record kept,
Shall give eternal lustre to his fame,
And long shall rural Cadder’s quiet church-yard
Have hallowed memories blended with his name.
A type most rare in these degenerate days—
Of truth inflexible, and faith unstained.”
As the litigation in
connection with the United Associate Church caused intense excitement in
Kirkintilloch at the time, and will still prove interesting to many; we
present our readers with a copy of the proceedings in the Court of
Session from the authorised report. The case is remarkable for the
galaxy of legal talent engaged in it.
For the Pursuers there
Dean of Faculty M‘Neill,
afterwards Lord Colonsay, and latterly Lord President.
John Shanks More, Professor of Scots Law, Edinburgh University. George
Graham Bell, afterwards of Crurie, Langholm.
For the Defenders—
Rutherfurd, afterwards Lord Rutherfurd. James Moncrieff, afterwards Lord
John Inglis, afterwards Lord President.
COURT OF SESSION REPORTS.
25th January, 1850.
Robert Craigib and
Others, Pursuers. D. F. M‘Neill, More, G. G. Bell.
Rev. Dr. Andrew Marshall and Others, Defenders. Lord Advocate Rutherfurd,
Church—Trust—Contract.—The title to a dissenting meeting-house was
vested in trustees “for behoof of the members of the Associate
congregation in Kirkintilloch, commonly called Seceders, and presently
in connection with the United Secession Church.” The minister of the
congregation declared his separation from the Secession Church, and a
majority of the congregation adhered to him. Shortly thereafter a union
took place between the Secession and the Relief churches, the two bodies
taking the name of the United Presbyterian Church. In an action by a
minority of the congregation, who adhered to the United Presbyterian
Church, against the minister and the majority,—Held, that the defenders
having separated from the Secession Church, was not a violation of the
conditions on which the property of the meeting house was held in trust,
so as to lead to a forfeiture of their rights to it, they still
continuing to hold the doctrines and opinions originally maintained by
that body, and that they were entitled to refuse to concur in the union
with the Relief Church, and were not bound to submit themselves to the
change in the church government consequent upon it
A congregation, belonging
to that sect of Seceders known by the name of Burghers, was formed at
Kirkintilloch about the year 1765. This sect had its origin some years
after the Secession from the Church of Scotland in 1733, in consequence
of discussions which had arisen in the body of Seceders in regard to the
burgess oath, and which ultimately resulted in a separation taking
place, and a division of the Seceders into two sections, commonly called
Burghers and Anti-Burghers. This congregation acquired right in 1793 a
piece of ground, upon which a meeting-house and other buildings were
erected, and which continued thereafter to be occupied by the
congregation. The titles to this ground were taken in favour of
trustees, for behoof of the members of the Associated Congregation in
Kirkintilloch, commonly called Seceders.
The causes of difference
between the Burghers and Anti-Burghers having ceased to exist, the two
bodies were again united in 1820, under the name of the United Associate
Synod ; and the congregation at Kirkintilloch became at that time one of
the congregations of that body.
In the year 1832, in
order to keep up this trust, the surviving trustee conveyed the property
vested in him to certain other parties as trustees, “for behoof of the
members of the aforesaid Associated Congregation in Kirkintilloch,
commonly called Seceders, and presently in connection with the United
Secession Church,” upon which the trustees were infeft. A piece of
ground had also been acquired by the congregation as a burying place,
which was also held by the trustees under a title in the same terms.
Dr. Andrew Marshall
became minister of the congregation in the year 1802. For some years
prior to 1845, various doctrinal discussions had taken place in the
United Secession body, in regard to the nature and effect of the
Atonement; in the course of which (it is alleged by Dr. Marshall in the
action to be mentioned) many views tending to the doctrine of universal
pardon, and at variance with the recognised standards of the church, and
with repeated declarations of both branches of the Secession, were
avowed by individual members of the body, and allowed to pass without
the censure, and even with the implied sanction, of the Synod. For
several years measures had been in progress for effecting a union
between the United Associate Synod and the Synod of the Relief Church,
and the congregation of Kirkintilloch had previously sent an overture to
the Synod in favour of this union. In October, 1846, an extraordinary
meeting of the United Associate Synod was held in Glasgow for the
purpose of discussing the proposed basis of union; and on that occasion,
at a committee of the whole house, Dr. Marshall, who attended as a
member of the Court, moved that, as a preliminary step to union on the
part of the Synod either with the Relief or with any other body of
professing Christians, it was necessary that the Synod should review and
rescind some of its recent decisions in regard to the doctrinal points
above mentioned. This motion having been put to the vote, it was
supported only by Dr. Marshall and the elder from Kirkintilloch, and was
consequently rejected. Dr. Marshall then stated that this decision
terminated his connection with the Synod, and read and laid upon the
table a paper of protest, in the following terms:— “Whereas this church,
the United Secession, has for several years past, as her public deeds
testify, departed from the doctrine taught in her standard books, and
embraced errors contrary to said doctrine ; Whereas she has persisted
resolutely in this course, refusing to be reclaimed, and treating the
efforts of those who have sought to reclaim her with insult and scorn;
And whereas, slill cherishing the same headstrong spirit, she is now
taking measures to form a union with another religious body, by which
she will leave altogether her former position, and probably drop her
very name without having given proof of the smallest repentance, or done
anything to retrieve the grievous injury she has inflicted on divine
truth—the subscriber of this paper, while he protests against her
unfaithfulness, while he denounces her obstinate perseverance in error,
hereby declares in his own name, and in the name of all who shall adhere
to him, that he* can no longer walk with her in the bonds of fellowship
till she shall retrace her steps, and give credible evidence of
returning to the principles from which she has departed : Further, he
declares that in the meanwhile he remains exactly as he was, having made
no change of any kind, occupying the position he has hitherto occupied,
maintaining the doctrine he has hitherto maintained, claiming and
asserting the various rights and privileges of a civil and of a sacred
nature which have belonged to him as a member and minister of the United
Secession Church, and holding out the right hand of fellowship, not only
to all other members of that church who shall be pleased to join with
him, but also to all Christians throughout the land, of every
denomination, who maintain an honest adherence to the doctrine of the
The committee, having
recorded this statement and protest, recommended to the Synod to declare
that, in consequence of it, Dr. Marshall was no longer a minister or
member of the Church, and that ministers and preachers should be
prohibited from preaching for him, or employing him in their public
administiations, and remit to the Presbytery of Glasgow to take what
steps might be necessary in consequence of this decision, according to
the rules of the Church. The moderator having thereafter resumed the
chair, the recommendations of the committee of the whole house were
reported and adopted. At a subsequent sederunt of the United Associate
Synod, the moderator was appointed to go to Kirkintilloch, and declare
the church vacant; but having been denied access to the church by
certain of the managers of the congregation, he made the appointed
intimation at the church door.
The union between the
United Associate Synod and the Relief Church was thereafter completed,
the two bodies assuming the name of “The United Presbyterian Church."
Immediately before the union took place, the United Associate Synod
recorded a minute, from which the following is an excerpt—a minute in
the same terms having been also entered into by the Relief Synod: — “The
Synod having for a considerable number of years had the question of
union with the Relief Synod under consideration, and having long and
anxiously inquired into the extent of their agreement with each other in
doctrine, discipline, worship, and government, have great satisfaction
in declaring, as the result of their deliberations and enquiries, that
any differences in opinion or practice which were formerly supposed to
exist, and to present obstacles in the way of a scriptural and cordial
union of the two bodies, either never had an existence, or have, in the
good providence of God, been removed out of the way; and that the
Synods, and the churches whom they severally represent, are agreed in
doctrine, discipline, worship, and government; and, therefore, that the
Synods, without compromising or changing the principles they hold as
parts and portions of the visible Church of Christ, may unite with each
other in carrying out the great ends of ecclesiastical association, etc.
And this Synod declare that the Synod of the United Church shall be
considered identical wiih this United Associate Synod, and shall be
entitled to and vested in all the authority, rights and benefits to
which it is now, or may become entitled; and that each of the
congregations under its inspection, whether they shall adopt the name to
be hereafter fixed, or shall retain, as they shall be permitted to do if
they shall deem it proper, the name by which they have hitherto been
designated, shall not be held, though coming, in consequence of the
union, under the inspection of the Synod of the United Church, as in any
respect changing their ecclesiastical connection, or affecting any of
their civil rights.”
Two of the articles of
the Basis of Union which was adopted by both Synods, were in the
following terms 6. That with regard to those ministers and sessions who
may think that the 2nd section of the 261I1 chapter of the Confession of
Faith authorizes free communion—that is, not loose or indiscriminate
communion, but the occasional admission to fellowship in the Lord’s
Supper of persons respecting whose Christian character satisfactory
evidence has been obtained, though belonging to other religious
denominations—they shall enjoy in the United body what they enjoyed in
their separate communions—the right of acting on their conscientious
convictions. . . . 10. That the respective bodies of which the church is
composed, without requiring from each other any approval of the steps of
procedure by their fathers, or interfering with the rights of private
judgment in deference to these, unite in regarding as still valid the
reasons on which they have hitherto maintained their state of secession
and separation from the judicatories of the Established Church, as
expressed in the authorised documents of the respective bodies; and in
maintaining the lawfulness and obligation of separation from
ecclesiastical bodies in which dangerous error is tolerated, or the
discipline of the church, or the rights of her ministers or members, are
A majority of the members
of the congregation of Kirkintilloch adhered to Dr. Marshall, and
continued in possession of the chapel and other property of the
An action was brought at
the instance of Robert Craigie and two other parties, being “ three of
the trustees and fiduciaries for behoof of the members of the Associated
congregation in Kirkintilloch, commonly called Seceders, in connection
with, and under the inspection of, the United Associated Synod of the
Secession Church,” and of certain other parties composing a minority of
the congregation, against Dr. Marshall, and the three other trustees,
and the majority of the congregation that adhered to him. The summons in
this case set forth—“That the defenders having separated themselves from
the said United Secession Church, and being no longer in connection with
or under the charge, jurisdiction, and discipline of the United
Associate Synod, or other judicatories of that body, have thereby
violated the conditions on which the property belonging to the
congregation was acquired and held in trust, whereby they have ceased to
have any right or title to the same : That the pursuers above described
as being members of the said congregation, have always adhered, and do
still adhere, to the said United Secession Church, and to its principles
and doctrines, and to the jurisdiction and discipline of the said United
Associate Synod and other judicatories of that body, in accordance with
which the said congregation have continued since the union of the two
bodies above mentioned, and have been and are recognised by the said
synod and presbytery, as the United Associate congregation of
Kirkintilloch, for whose use and behoof the said subjects were acquired
and held in trust as aforesaid. That the pursuers are in consequence
entitled to vindicate the property belonging to the congregation from
the defenders, and all others pretending to have a right thereto, in
manner undermentioned, and to have the said meeting-house exclusively,
and in all time coming, appropriated to the use of a minister, and of
themselves and others who have already joined or who may join them as a
congregation, adhering to the said United Secession Church, and
remaining under the jurisdiction and discipline of the said United
Associate synod and presbytery, and other judicatories of that body:
That the said United Secession Church is now called the United
Presbyterian Church, and the said United Associate synod is now called
the synod of the United Presbyterian Church, composed of the United
Associate synod of the Secession Church and of the synod of the Relief
Church.” The conclusions of the action were, inter alia, for declarator,
that the meeting-house and other heritable property of the congregation
were “held exclusively for the congregation adhering to, and in
connection with, the said United Secession Church, now called the said
United Presbyterian Church, and in subordination to the said United
Associate synod, now called the said synod of the United Presbyterian
Church, composed as aforesaid, and other judicatories of that body, and
subject to the jurisdiction and discipline thereof; . . . . and that the
defenders had ceased to be in connection with the United Secession
Church, now called the United Presbyterian Church, and withdrawn from
the jurisdiction and discipline of the United Associate synod, now
called the synod of the United Presbyterian Church, and other
judicatories of that body; and had in consequence amitted, lost, and
forfeited all right and title to the meeting-house, and whole property
of the congregation ; . . . and that the pursuers, members of the
congregation adhering to the United Secession Church, now called the
United Presbyterian Church, had for themselves, and such as might join
them, the sole right and title to the meeting-house, and other property,
and to the exclusive possession and management of it.”
Defences were given in
for Dr. Marshall, the majority of the congregation that adhered to him,
and for three of the trustees.
The defenders stated the
following pleas :—
1. The pursuers, whether
as trustees for the congregation, or as members of the congregation, had
not libelled, and did not possess any sufficient title to pursue. 2.
Even if the pursuers had ever such a title, they had lost it, by having
submitted themselves to the jurisdiction and discipline of the United
Presbyterian synod, and its subordinate church judicatories. 3. The
statements in the summons were not relevant to support the conclusions
deduced from them. 4. The defenders being a majority of the congregation
to whom the property belonged, were entitled to the control and
management of it, so long as they continued to retain the character and
maintain the doctrines on which the congregation was originally formed,
and apply the property to the purposes for which it was designed ; and
as the defenders had done so in all respects, there was no ground in law
for interfering with their possession. 5. It was not an implied
condition in any of the grants of the property in question, that the
congregation should remain subject to the jurisdiction and discipline of
the United Secession Church ; and there was no ground in law on which
the declaratory conclusion to that effect could be maintained. 6. Even
if such condition had been implied, fulfilment of it had been rendered
impossible, and the defenders were liberated from the effect of it, by
the union of the Secession Church with the Relief body; and the
conclusion 'to have it found and declared that the pursuers still
adhered to the jurisdiction and discipline of the Church, was altogether
inept 7. The conclusion to have it found and declared that the property
in question was held for behoof of a congregation in connection with the
United Presbyterian Church, had no foundation in the titles libelled on
in the constitution of the congregation, or in the true principles and
discipline of the United Secession Church. 8. It lay with the pursuers
to show that the defenders had departed from the doctrine and standards
of the United Secession Church. But farther, and separately, the
defenders pleaded, that the United Secession synod having abandoned
their doctrines and standards, and having directly sanctioned essential
doctrinal error, the course adopted by the defenders was in every view
justifiable and incumbent upon them.
The pursuers pleaded
:—The defenders were not entitled to maintain any objection founded on
the union between the Secession and Relief churches, on the ground of
its being an unconstitutional act, or of its involving a departure from
the tenets of the Secession Church, inasmuch as they had left that
Church before the union took place, and ought at that time to have
surrendered the property in question. Dr. Marshall’s act was a
voluntary, deliberate, and complete separation from the Secession
Church. By this proceeding he had put himself out of connection with the
United Associate synod, and had ceased to be a minister of that body.
Those who adhered to him also put themselves out of connection with the
Church. They had charged the rest of the Church, as the ground of
separation, with holding erroneous doctrines. A charge of heresy of this
description made by one congregation, or part of a congregation, against
the whole body of the Church, was not to be assumed unless supported by
some prima facie evidence of its validity. And it was necessary for the
parties making the charge, in order to entitle them to possession of the
church, under the terms of the trust, to be able to show that they alone
constituted the true Secession Church, as being the only parties who
held by its original doctrines.
But the union was not in
any respect at variance with the principles or constitution of the
Secession Church, nor did it imply any departure from the original
contract amongst the members of that church. Both bodies, the Seceders
and the Relief, had left the Established Church on substantially the
same grounds—the relaxation of discipline in the Establishment, and the
oppressive use of patronage. Both bodies continued to adhere to the
standard of the Established Church. Whatever minor differences there
might at one time have been between the bodies, they had now ceased to
exist. It was not from controversial work, where* immaterial points of
difference were often magnified into undue importance, that the court
were to look for a true statement of the principles held by the
churches, but to the authoritative profession of these principles by the
churches themselves. Previous to their union, the two churches had
declared that they agreed in doctrine, worship, and government, and that
without changing their principles they were to unite together. There was
nothing in the original act of Secession importing a prohibition against
a union with another body of Christians holding the same principles with
themselves; and there was nothing in the doctrines or standards of the
churches to debar them from such a union. In uniting, neither church
conceded or adopted anything at variance with its original principles.
It was said, that the very fact of a union having taken place was a
sufficient bar to the title of the pursuers. Had it been the case of a
bequest to the Secession Church, would it not have gone to the united
body? Could it be said that the identity of the Secession Church had
been destroyed by the admission into its body of a number of ministers
holding the same tenets with itself? It was nothing more than an
extension of the Church, the United Associate synod remaining still the
pleaded:—That the case of the defenders, the members of the
congregation, and the trustees, was to be considered separately, in the
present discussion, from that of Dr. Marshall, as his acts as a
constituent member of the Church court could not affect their rights and
interests under the trust under which the property in question was held.
The preliminary question to be disposed of was, What was the situation
of the pursuers who were attempting to disturb the defenders in their
possession of the property in question ? They were not the parties in
the trust-deed for whose behoof the property was to be held, but a new
body including in it the Relief Church. The pursuers were not entitled
to place the congregation under the jurisdiction of the Relief synod.
There had been all along very great and important points of difference
between the Secession and the Relief Church, as wa6 to be gathered from
works upon these Churches—more especially as regarded the subject of
communion with other bodies—the Secession excluding from communion all
who did not concur with them, and the Relief admitting many who differed
from them, even in some essential particulars. The ground upon which the
Relief had separated from the Establishment, was solely that of the
exercise of the right of patronage, and not upon any grounds of
doctrinal difference; while the case of the Secession was different.
Looking to the nature of the union, it was impossible to sustain the
pursuers1 title to sue. They were not the parties for whom the property
was held in trust. To entitle them to claim the property, they must show
that the Secession and the United Presbyterian Church were identical and
the same body. It was not an extension of the Secession that took place
at the union, but a fusion of both bodies into one ; the effect and
result of which was, that both the original churches lost their
identity, and an entirely new body, the United Presbyterian Church was
Lord Justice-Clerk. . . .
1st. I am not prepared to hold that the course followed by the Synod
was, in form, regular, complete, and sufficient to dissolve Dr.
Marshall’s charge, and to infer, from the date of his protest and that
meeting, loss of civil rights, if he any had, in this property. When
forfeiture is dated from a certain punctum tcmporis, the proceeding must
be at that date sufficient, correct, and complete, according to the
forms and usages of presbyterial discipline. I think it was not. But on
this point I do not rest my judgment.
2nd. As against the
majority of the congregation, so as to date, as a legal result,
forfeiture of the property from a certain day, there is no act of the
Synod whatever. The congregation, I shall assume, adopt and adhere to
Dr. Marshall's protest, and notify that to the Synod—by which act, they
say we remain as we were, true and proper Seceders. Now, against the
congregation no step whatever is taken by the Synod to throw them out of
the Church, or by the pursuers even by protest, so as to enable the
pursuers to maintain that the forfeiture took effect irrevocably from
and after a certain date before the institution of this action. The
case, therefoie, foils here as against the congregation.
But, thirdly, and mainly,
As regards both Dr. Marshall and the congregation—and on this ground I
rest my judgment—supposing separation to involve prima facie any
violation of the conditions of the trust, to the extent of requiring
reasons for the separation to be established, the separation was not, in
truth, from the United Secession Church such as it had existed, but
withdrawal from it in a proposed act of union with another distinct and
separate sect of Christians.
It appears that, owing to
certain opinions which Dr. Marshall ascribed to some eminent men in the
Secession Church, he apprehended dangers to the truth, and brought these
opinions, or modes of expressing opinions, before the Synod of the
United Secession Church at last in the form of a libel. More important
errors than those he imputed could not well be stated by those holding
the standards of that Church; but the more important the doctrines, the
less, others thought, was heresy to be presumed and the more were
expressions, though perhaps thought to be incautious, novel, or
ambiguous, to be favourably construed, as others thought, especially
when the errors imputed were disclaimed by the parties, and they met the
charge by declaring their agreement in doctrine with the person imputing
heresy. I hope I avoid the slightest indication of opinion or remark on
this part of the case, in what I am stating. Dr. Marshall thought the
Synod erred grievously in not, by severe sternness of expression,
repressing what he thought had (to say the least, in his opinion) the
appearance of countenancing the errors in question; and he plainly
thought that the leniency proceeded from secret but unavowed tendency in
the majority of the Synod, or those leading them, to the errors
themselves. Still, that was disclaimed by the Synod ; and hence,
whatever Dr. Marshall might dread or suspect, he then, it appears, saw
no cause for separation from the United Secession Church, which
professed to agree in the views he held; and hoped, probably, that what
he thought sounder doctrines, or sounder exposition of them, would be
gradually restored. At all events, whatever his views, he did nothing in
May 1845. But a general movement was going on for union with the Relief
Church—proposals had been sent round to all the congregations,
seemingly, of the Secession Church—committees of both bodies had met,
aud had framed articles of agreement or union to be proposed to, and
considered by, the synods of the two bodies respectively. These, of
course, must have been well known, in substance at least, to every
intelligent minister of the Secession Church, especially one taking an
active part in polemical or theological discussions in that body.
But this proposed union
plainly might alter, and very reasonably, the the whole aspect of
matters in Dr. Marshall’s opinion. He might have ascribed the judgments
of the Secession Synod, to which he objected, to the influence of
eminent and learned individuals in his own body, or to the natural
reluctance on the part of the body to believe in any heretical views, or
even objectionable expressions, on the part of those who had long been
able and faithful ministers of the Secession ; and so he might think,
that when the influence of these men died away, the doctrines preached
would be more in conformity to his views of their standards of faith.
But if another and powerful body of dissenters were ready to join the
Secession without objecting to what had been done as to these doctrines,
during the very time the discussion as to union was going on, Dr.
Marshall might naturally dread, on the part of that body, a tendency to
favour the same errors, and might think that, if the union were formed
without a distinct acknowledgment of these tenets being erroneous, the
standard of faith would be for ever and seriously impaired, and most
dangerous doctrines come to prevail. Hence the occasion of the proposal
for union seemed at once to suggest and require a preliminary
declaration, as he might think, from the Secession, to secure the purity
of their own faith, and to test the views and tendencies of those with
whom they were about to unite......
The desire to keep
separate—to keep one sect apart from all others —as in itself a good way
strictly to maintain certain peculiar opinions, especially if of a
severe and stern character—to stand by a name as recalling for ever the
struggle in which the sect had its origin, and fixing down, as it were,
in stern, exclusive, and deeply graven characters, the aspect and tone
of language even, as well as of devotional sentiment, which that very
name forces on every one—the desire to prevent the risk of defection in
faith or in zeal for that rigorous exposition of doctrine, which the
very name of such a sect as the Secession may be thought to guard
againsf, by a sort of standing reproach to all who do not utter the very
language of Erskine, Wilson, Fisher and Moncrieff, and the resolution to
make no union with any body, but steadily to require all to join
distinctly to the name of the Secession, in order to proclaim that, as
it was formed in 1733, so it remains, and, on that footing, that all
must enter it as members thereof, without separate pretentions, notions
or origin ;—such desire may be unreasonable—it may be to many
unintelligible—it may appear idle caprice: But it is the first privilege
of every congregation of such a body—it is their right—it is a desire
springing from attachment to the causes which led to the formation of
the Church, and the constant commemoration of which, as the true (and,
they may think, the most important) distinctions from all other
churches, they may deem the best safeguard for the maintenance of the
principles involved in these causes of secession. It seems to me utterly
repugnant to every notion of such a sect to suppose that their
congregations can be compelled to unite with any other church or sect
whatever.....On the whole, the defenders must, in my judgment, be
Lord Moncrieff.— . . . .
If it is thus to be inferred that the defenders have, on just and fair
grounds, refused to concur in this union with the Relief, and to refuse
to acknowledge the Synod of the United Presbyterian Church as being in
any sense identical with the Synod of the United Secession Church, it
may now be inquired, what title these pursuers, as members of the United
Presbyterian Church, and in connection with the Synod of that church,
can have to insist for a conveyance of the heritable subjects, which are
held in trust solely for the members of the congregation which was in
connection with the United Secession Church, and has no connection,
except that recently formed, with the newly constituted Synod. The
pursuers cannot escape from this point of title, by running to the other
point of argument, on the idea that the defenders had left the Secession
Church. That is quite a different question. But the defenders are in
possession of the property, and the pursuers have to evict it from them.
Can they so evict it, when, by the showing of their own summons, they
would not constitute the members of a congregation in connection with
the United Secession Church, even if it were true that the defenders had
separated from the Synod before the union took place ? Still, the title
of the property would remain as it was, and it could not be claimed by
the pursuers, seeing that they are in no sense the parties for whom the
trust was constituted and held. The pursuers seem to have overlooked
this difficulty in their case. By the proceedings of the Synod, it has
been rendered impossible for the defenders, at present, to be in
connection with the Synod of the United Secession Church, because that
Synod, and that Church are, qua such, extinguished by the act of the
pursuers. But the defenders hold the property as it was before, and have
done no act by which it can be forfeited to any one, and least of all to
the pursuers, who have assumed a character which excludes them from it.
Consequently, wherever the true title of property may be, it is not in
the pursuers, and they can have no right to insist in such an
action.....I think, therefore, that the defenders ought to be assoilzied
from the conclusions of the action.
I wish to say, before
concluding, that, while I have studiously avoided saying anything of the
doctrinal controversy in which Dr. Marshall had been engaged with some
of the members of the Synod,
I think with your
Lordship, that in some eventual results there might be a question
remaining behind on that subject, on which I should think reserve
Lord Cockburn— .... The
defenders’ main battle is, that the union with the Relief implies an
abandonment of principle, or of system, by the Synod; and so gross a
one, that it destroys the identity of that bodyt and entitles the
defenders to be considered as the persons for whose use the chapel was
acquired. There can be no doubt of the relevancy of this plea.....
In order to ascertain
whether the junction involves a change of ecclesiastical nature, two
things are necessary, 1st, that we should know—and know exactly—what the
peculiar principles of the Synod at the period of the union, or at least
in 1820, were. And 2nd, what deviation from these principles is implied
in the amalgamation with the Relief. And in proving either of these
facts, we must be guided chiefly, if not entirely, by what are referred
to in the proceedings of the two sects, as “ the authorised documents of
the respective bodies.” These are, their standards, or testimonies, or
declarations, or acts, or other authentic evidence, which
authoritatively records, or discloses the principles of the two
But hitherto we have had
a total absence of anything approaching to precision on these matters.
There is no statement in the record, or anywhere, of the exact
peculiarities that constitute the principles either of the Synod or of
the Relief. Of course there is, and can be, no precise statement of the
changes implied in the union of these two bodies. Almost the only
repugnance between them that the record specifies, is in their different
views about the atonement; but this seems to have been forgotten in all
the subsequent discussions. Then it turns upon differences about
patronage—next about the theological doctrine—then about laxity of
discipline, and so on. But the exact number of these alleged abhorrences
has never been given; their exact nature has never been explained; and
as to proof of their existence, we have not had a legal particle of it.
We had the opinions of each community as represented by its opponents,
or by its injudicious and unauthorised friends; or we have been asked to
gather it, as a matter of general history, from any of the sources,
direct or indirect, from which general history flows. But I defy both
parties to point out one single atom of admissible and authoritative
evidence hitherto produced upon this subject.
If there be nothing
better than this to be obtained, we must proceed on what we can get; and
the matter will probably depend on where the burden of proving lies. But
it is very improbable that the principles of two bodies, so large and so
old, cannot have their essences proved by some simpler and weightier
evidence. The discussion at the bar was conducted with great ability,
and with much desultory learning. But the only result upon me was, that,
at the end of it, I felt myself seated in a thick fog.
How many religious sects
are in a state of disjunction, and even of fierce hostility, from mere
mutual ignorance. Both the Synod and the Relief declare, as the reason
for their uniting, that “ any differences in opinion or practice which
were formerly supposed to exist, and to present obstacles to a cordial
and scriptural union of the two bodies, either never had an existence,
or have, in the good Providence of God, been removed.” Whether this be
true or not, it is at least possible, and I think not improbable. Each
party may, therefore, still keep its own opinions, and yet the two need
If we must proceed on
what we have, there is nothing to remove from my mind the prima facie
evidence of the identity of their principles, which is supplied by the
mere fact of their uniting. That religious parties should differ on
imaginary or immaterial grounds is no uncommon occurrence; but that,
with real differences, they should unite, is, I suspect a case without
example, unless where secular considerations have extinguished
ecclesiastical feelings. No such considerations have been averred to
operate here. And, so far as appears, the junction has been acceded to
by the whole members ot both bodies, except the defenders. The
defenders, nevertheless, may certainly be right, and every one else
wrong. But, prima facie, the probability is the other way.
The Court then pronounced
this interlocutor:—“Sustain the 4th, 5th, and 6th pleas in law stated on
record, in defence against the present action : Assoilzie the defenders
from the conclusions of the summons, and decern: Find the defenders
entitled to expenses.”
ORIGINAL SECESSION CHURCH
I. Robert Aitken was
ordained as the first minister, 5th September, 1811, and translated to
Dundee, 5th June, 1816.
II. John Russell,
ordained 9th November, 1819; died 25th February, 1824.
III. William Tannahill,
ordained 10th October, 1826; united with the Original Secession Synod,
18th May, 1842; died 27th November, 1846, in the fiftieth year of his
age, and twentieth of his ministry.
IV. John Blakely, D.D.,
ordained 2nd August, 1848; died 27th November, 1866, in the fifty-first
year of his age, and eighteenth of his ministry.
V. Thomas Gilchrist,
ordained 29th April, 1869, but after a brief ministry died.
VI. Andrew Millar,
ordained 1873 ; went abroad in 1890.
VII. David Matthew,
inducted 5th June, 1890.
The old church where
these clergymen officiated is now a thing of the past; it has been taken
down and removed, and on the same site a handsome church has been
erected, of an elegant design, seated for 500, and costing upwards of
^2,000. The number of members is 230.
WESLEYAN METHODIST CHURCH.
The Methodists have never
taken root in Scotland so strongly as in England, and have always been
weak in Kirkintilloch; but since 1817 they have continued as a small but
They have never been able
to sustain a settled pastor, being supplied by lay-preachers, and other
brethren. The church has accommodation for 180, and there is a
missionary resident at present.
ST. DAVID’S CHURCH
Was built as an extension
church, constituted a quoad sacra parish by the General Assembly 30th
May, 1836. The boundaries of St. David’s parish are as follows:—From the
bridge leading from Campsie on the north, along the Coal Road, and then
up the High Street to the Cross; thence along the Cowgate and down the
Broad Croft to the river Luggie, and by it to the canal; then across the
canal by the Hillhead-bridge, onward by the Longmuir road to the Twechar
road; then up the Board-burn, and onward to the Moss-water: it is then
bounded on the east and north by the parishes of Cumbernauld, Kilsyth,
The church was opened 8th
June, 1837, and cost about ^2,500. It has 1012 sittings.7
The first minister was— “ 1838. Thomas Gray Duncan, a native of
Edinburgh, licen. by the Presb. of Dumfries 2nd Apr. 1833, became
missionary at Leswalt, elected to this charge by the subscribers and
seatholders 15th Mar. and ord. 3rd May 1838. On joining in the Free
Secession, and signing the Deed of Demission he was declared no longer a
min. of this church 28th June 1843, became Free missionary at Stranraer,
was adm. to Free Lockerby 19th Apr. 1844, and to Trinity Church,
Newcastle, in 1850. He died 18th Dec. 1861, aged 52, in 24th min.,
leaving a widow and two sons. Publication —On the present Doctrinal
State of the Church of England, a letter written to the Rev. Clement
Mr. Duncan was
exceedingly popular, and at his demission of the charge of St. David’s
the great bulk of the congregation joined the Free Church, and in
consequence, St. David’s was shut up, and remained so for eight years,
during which time it fell into a state of great dilapidation. The
windows were broken, the buildings in disrepair, and even grass grew in
It was re-opened as a
mission-station in 1851, and the following is a list of the clergymen
who have laboured in it since it was re-opened :—
(1.) As a mission
station, 1851-1853—Rev. Messrs. Smith, Rose, Wallace, and Scott. By this
time the nucleus of a congregation had been formed. It was then raised
to a chapel.
(2.) As a chapel—Rev. Mr.
Wilson, appointed 1853, died 1855 Mitchell, 1855, resigned 1859 M‘Gregor,
1861, translated 1868 Campbell, 1868, 1870 Somerville, 1871, 1873,
(3.) As a parish, quoad
sacra—Rev. Mr. Graham, appointed 1874, translated 1884. „ Reid, „ 1884.
FREE ST. DAVID’S CHURCH.
The congregation of St.
David's quoad sacra church at the Disruption—with the exception of a few
families—threw in their lot, along with their minister the Rev. Mr.
Duncan, with those who came out; but the Established Presbytery of
Glasgow took no measures to eject them from the church till the spring
of 1844, when Mr. Duncan accepted a call which he had received from
In a few weeks the
congregation gave a unanimous call to the Rev. David Cunningham,
probationer, Kilmarnock; then quietly evacuated the church and
worshipped for that summer in a field on which the present church now
stands. They had taken measures at the outset to collect funds to build
a new church, and met with much sympathy and liberality.
Mr. Cunningham was
ordained in presence of a large congregation in the usual field on 29th
August, 1844, and on the same day he laid the foundation stone of the
present church. It is a law of the church that previous to an ordination
the church officer must proclaim at the entrance that all who had any
objections to the life or doctrine of the reverend probationer must
substantiate these on the spot. Mr. Telfer, the officer on this
occasion, proceeded to the gate of the field and went through the
prescribed ceremony. At the end of autumn the Rev. Mr. Tannahill of the
Original Secession, placed his church at their disposal, which offer was
thankfully accepted, and the congregation met there during the winter.
The church—which is
seated for 800—was opened for service on 18th May, 1845, by Dr. Candlish,
the collection for the day being ^102. The total cost of the church was
£1 ,286 6s. 5<1., of which £706 14s. 9d. was contributed nearly all by
the congregation; ^379 1 is. 8d. was received from the Central Building
Fund, and £200 of debt remained but was cleared off within a short time.
Mr. Cunningham died on
9th November, 1868, and Mr. Steel was ordained his successor 26th
August, 1869. Mr. Patrick was ordained as Mr. Steel’s successor on 19th
December, 1878, and on his translation to Dundee he was succeeded by the
present minister the Rev. H. Reybum.
THE UNITED PRESBYTERIAN
Had its origin in a
minority of Dr. Marshall's congregation who were in favour of the union
of the United Associate and Relief Churches, under the name of the
United Presbyterian Church, and kept their connection with that body
after the union. They called Mr. W. Fleming, Brechin, to be their
minister, but he preferred to go to Kirkcaldy. In 1854 a call was given
to Rev. John Mitchell, who had been minister in Leven, Fifeshire, for
seven years, which call Mr. Mitchell accepted, and was inducted 27th
April, 1854, in the Methodist Chapel, Queen Street, kindly granted for
The present church was
opened in 1855 by the Rev. Drs. Eadie and Anderson, of Glasgow, and Mr.
Mitchell. It cost about ;£i,6oo, and is seated for 560 persons.
In June, 1892, the Rev.
Alexander Taylor, M.A., was ordained as colleague with Mr. Mitchell.
ST. ANDREW’S FREE CHURCH.
After the death of Dr.
Marshall, of the United Associate Church, the congregation called his
son, the Rev. William Marshall, of Leith, to succeed his father, which
call he accepted, and the congregation under his charge was, on
application, admitted to the Free Church of Scotland on 15th May, 1856 :
the church being thereafter called the Marshall Free Church.
Rev. William Marshall
died 13th January, 1860, in the forty-seventh year of his age, and
twenty-first of his ministry, and was succeeded by Rev. James Cowe, who
was ordained minister of the congregation on 10th January, 1861, but was
separated from his charge on 6th December, 1865.
Rev. Andrew M. Brown,
M.A., B.D., was ordained and inducted 22nd August, 1867, by the Free
Presbytery of Glasgow.
As the accommodation of
the old church was beginning to fall short of modern
requirements—besides, the surroundings being unpleasant—a movement was
set on foot to build a new and commodious church in a more suitable
locality. Under the active exertions of the pastor, aided by a
committee, the sum of ^1,100 was subscribed, and a suitable site being
secured, a design for a church was furnished by Messrs. Clarke & Bell,
architects, Glasgow, which was adopted, and the church built.
It was opened 16th
February, 1873, by Dr. Robert Buchanan, Glasgow, and is a handsome
building of the Gothic style. The total cost, including bell and
painting, was £2,500, and the sittings number 600. The congregation
resolved to change the name from “Marshall Free Church” to "St. Andrew's
Free Church,” both in honour of Dr. Andrew Marshall, who had been so
long their minister, and of the Rev. Andrew M. Brown, under whose charge
and exertions the church had been erected.
The old United Associate
Church was sold some time previously to Mr. Wallace, of Solsgirth, for
£287 6s., and was ultimately bought by the volunteers, who have used it
since as a drill-hall.
THE BAPTIST CHURCH
Was founded in May, 1887.
For some time previously a number in the burgh holding the distinctive
principles of this body of Christians often met and discussed the
feasibility of forming a church. The result was, that an invitation was
given to the Rev. J. B. Gillison of Largo, and, after consultation with
him and several ot the leading ministers of the denomination, the church
was founded, its membership consisting of twelve.
At first the services
were held in the Conservative rooms, and subsequently in the temperance
hall. Soon, the desirability of building a suitable place of worship was
felt, and ground was secured in Regent Street of sufficient extent to
raise a church capable of seating 500 or 600, and a hall to hold 250.
The hall was erected in 1888 at a cost of ^850. In March 1891 Bellevue
cottage, suitable for a manse, was purchased by the congregation.
The Rev. Mr. Gillison’s
health broke down, and he was obliged to leave this country for
Australia in 1890, carrying with him many tokens of high appreciation
and sympathy from the church and community. The present pastor, Rev. W.
B. Nicolson of Broughty-Ferry, accepted an invitation and was settled in
October 1890. The membership in May 1893 was about 130.
THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY
Is situated in Union
Street, and is the most striking edifice in the town.
It is built of red
Dumfriesshire stone, of a design termed late Gothic—almost Tudor.
The interior, consisting
of an imposing and lofty nave, with two aisles, is supported by handsome
pillars, which, as well as the arches, are of solid stone-work ; the
stone, which is of a pretty white colour, came from Giffnock.
The architects are the
famous firm Pugin & Pugin, Westminster, London, and the design and
execution of the whole work bear the impress of talent.
Messrs. Devlin & Sons,
Glasgow, executed the mason-work, but all the rest was done by local
tradesmen viz., Mr. Graham, joiner; Messrs. Williamson, plasterers :
Messrs. Caldwell, slaters; Mr. Cunningham, plumber; and Mr. Edgar,
painter. The grounds were laid out by Mr. Scott, Lenzie.
The church holds 800, and
the old building, which it has superseded, is utilised for school
The whole cost amounted
to about ,£5,000, and for a congregation of working people, is a
marvellous sum to raise.
The following clergymen
were born in Kirkintilloch parish:—
Rev. David Gemmill,
Gourock. Died at Kirkintilloch, 8th June, 1842. .James Allan, Greenhead
David Chapman. Went to America.
David Watson, Woodside Church, Glasgow.
James Buchanan, B.Sc., Eaglesham.
George Caldwell, Symington.
Rev. William Graham, Bannockburn and Carluke. Died 17th Sept., 1806.
John MacKay, Glasgow.
Charles Findlay, Thurso. Deceased.
Alexander Stirling, England.
Alexander J. Yuill, Bedford Street, Glasgow.
Rev. David Buchanan,
Rev. Robert Scott,
Alexander Stirling, York.
William Reid, Airdrie.
James Scott, Arbroath.
Thomas Calder. Deceased.
Archibald Alexander, M.A., Spittal.
George Faulds, Melbourne.
David Forsyth, Rose Street, Glasgow,
James Stirling, Edinburgh.
James Findlay, M.A., Camlachie. Died 24th July, 1881
John Arnott, M.A., Dailly.