Proceedings of the Fourth
Congress at Atlanta, GA., April 28 to May 1, 1892
The Scotch-Irish in
America—Who are they? and what are they?
By Dr. A. Given, of
It is generally supposed
that the race called "Scotch-Irish" had its origin from the union of the
Scotch and the Irish. That is to say, if a Scotchman marries an Irish lady
from the South of Ireland, who is a Celt of the ancient tribe of Tuatha De
Danann, the offspring will be Scotch-Irish. While that is true, yet there
was originally an unmixed race called "Scotch-Irish."
A writer has lately
advanced the idea that there is not a distinct race known in history as
"Scotch-Irish." If we have with us German-Americans, then upon the same
principle there was once a people in Ireland called "Scotch-Irish." That
is to say, a race called "Milesians" or "Scoti," located in Ireland and
became world-renowned as advocates of learning, morals, and Christian
civilization which has never been surpassed by any other race.
The Scots, as a distinct
race, are supposed to have migrated from Asia to Europe in an early day.
Their history, however, is obscure until we find them located on an island
called "Ireland.' That is to say, they were Scots by origin, and Irish by
choice. They called the island "Scots" or "Scotland." Hence after the
island took the name of "Hibernia" or "Ireland," the inhabitants were
called "Erse" or "Irish." So also, when the Scots who were born in Ireland
settled in Caledonia, they were called "Erse" by the Caledonians (Caledones
and Picts) to distinguish them as being of Irish birth. Therefore, the
Scots of Scotland and the Irish in the North of Ireland, who are descended
from the ancient Scoti, are the real Scotch-Irish; and when the race was
crossed by intermarriage with the Caledonians, the offspring was said to
be of Scotch-Irish descent. In history, however, the people of Scotland
are known as "Scots," and those of Ireland are called "Irish;" and yet the
people of the North of Ireland are a distinct race from those of the
South. That is to say, the former are said to be a Celtic race called
"Scotch-Irish," while the latter are Celtic Irish, belonging to an
entirely different tribe.
The history of the
Scotch-Irish race is exceedingly interesting to those who admire all that
is lovely in a true Christian character, all that is elevating in morals
and honorable in politics. They are indeed a chosen race, for all through
the ages they have had a sublime regard for civil and religious liberty,
and a devotion to a code of morals unsurpassed by the Hebrews in their
When Christianity dawned
upon a world in moral darkness, the Scotch-Irish were among the first to
catch its refulgent rays as they began to beam upon Europe, and by
accepting its teachings they were soon converted into a noble race of
Christian men and women.
History reveals five
principal or grand characteristics in the life of the Scotch-Irish race.
1. They are of ancient
origin. It is said that Japheth, the third son of Noah, was the father of
the Indo-pelasgian race, and that Gomer, his eldest son, was the
progenitor of the Gaelic or Celtic race, five branches of which settled in
Hibernia and Caledonia. Hence we have those countries to examine in search
of the history of the Scotch-Irish race.
Hibernia, or Ireland.
We learn from "Alden's
Manifold Cyclopedia" that "Irish historians claim that their country was
first inhabited by Celts under Nemedius, and after remaining two hundred
and seventeen years they left the island in three bands or tribes: the
Firbolgs, Tuatha De Danann, and Cymri. The Firbolgs returned to Ireland
and established a kingdom, 1934 B.C.; but after thirty-six years they were
driven out by their kinsmen, the Tuatha De Danann."
It is supposed by many
historians that the Milesians or Scoti under Heber and Hereman came over
from Galicia, Spain, 500 B.C. and conquered Ireland, and set up a kingdom
which had one hundred and seventy-one reigning kings. They called the
island "Scotia" or "Scotland," and held undisputed sway for several
hundred years. I think it probable that when the tribe left the plain of
Shinar they first settled in Iona, Asia Minor, and near or in Miletus, and
when they went into Spain under their King Milesius, they assumed or were
given the name of "Milesians" or "Scoti." After establishing themselves in
Ireland, they sent out colonies to settle Caledonia and Britain, as we
shall see hereafter.
The Scoti embraced
Christianity soon after the apostles were scattered from Palestine; and
they maintained their own ecclesiastical polity until finally subdued by
the missionaries of Rorne.
The pope of Rome, having
gained ecclesiastical sway over Ireland, suppressed Culdeeism and issued
his bull 1174, granting the temporal kingdom of Ireland to Henry II. of
England upon the payment of a stipulated fee. Thus was combined the throne
of England and the ecclesiastical power of Rome to overthrow the civil and
religious authority of the Scotch-Irish in Ireland. As one province after
another had to submit to a foreign yoke, the Scotch-Irish retreated to the
north, leaving the invaders and the ancient Celts to inhabit the conquered
territory. The last kingdom to submit to England was Ulster.
About the year 1175 De
Courci, an English knight, determined to try to subjugate Ulster. "It is
said that in defiance of all authority, he set off at the head of a band
of soldiers for Downpatrick, the capital of Ulster. The inhabitants of the
city were aroused at daybreak from their sleep by the sound of the English
bugles, and starting up saw the streets filled with armed troops. The
houses were forced open and plundered, and the soldiers were soon masters
of the town. O'Niel, the king of Ulster, came forward boldly to oppose the
invaders, and a hard-fought battle took place, which ended in the complete
overthrow of the Irish, and the establishment of De Courci's authority in
Ulster." It is proper to say that the people of Ulster were taken by
surprise, as they were then obedient subjects of ecclesiastical Rome, and
King Henry II. had agreed to allow every province to remain undisturbed
that paid its tribute for the pope.
The Scotch-Irish of Ulster
having been overpowered by England and being forced to adopt the
semichristian civilization of Pagan Rome, soon relapsed into idolatry, and
became demoralized as a race. It is not true, however, as some would have
us believe, that the old Culdee faith was wholly obliterated from the
minds and hearts of the ancient Scotch-Irish of Ulster during the Dark
As their progenitors had
kept the faith untarnished in the Highlands of Scotland, it is highly
probable that they kept up a communication with their brethren in Ireland,
and thus by tradition some of them at least were aware of the struggle of
their forefathers to maintain the old Culdee faith of civil and religious
Caledonia, or Scotland.
Amid the conflicting views
of historians we may reasonably conclude that Caledonia was first settled
by two Celtic tribes, the Caledones and the Picts. The former wore
probably the first settlers, from whom the country took its name. It
appears that the Picts became the ruling power, and established the
Pictish monarchy, and the inhabitants were afterward known as
The views of writers
conflict as to the early history of Caledonia. It is probable that the
Caledones and the Picts had petty kingdoms. But finally the Picts
conquered the Caledonians and established the Pictish monarchy over the
whole of Caledonia, except that portion which had been subdued by the
Scotch-Irish. It appears from undoubted history that the latter conquered
the Britons in the Lowlands and laid the foundation for the Caledonian or
It is difficult to arrive
at the exact date when the Scotch-Irish emigrated from Ireland to
Caledonia. In looking over "Hayden's Book of Dates," we find it stated
that Fergus I. founded the Caledonian monarchy 330 B.C. As evidence that
he was neither a Cale-done nor a Pict, I quote from Anderson: "Fergus, a
brave prince) came from Ireland with an army of Scots, and was chosen
king. Having defeated the Britons and slain their king, Coelus, the
kingdom of the Scots was entailed upon his posterity forever. He went to
Ireland, and having settled his affairs there, was drowned on his return,
launching from the shore near the harbor called "Carrick-fergus to this
Thus we find the
Scotch-Irish invading Caledonia 330 B.C., or about one hundred and seventy
years after their forefathers, the Scoti, settled in Ireland.
After the death of Fergus
I., we know but little of the history of the Scots in Caledonia until the
second importation from Ireland. Venerable Bede, in speaking of Caledonia,
says: "It retained this name until A.D. 258, when it was invaded by a
tribe from Ireland and called 'Scotia.' The ancient inhabitants appear to
have been Caledonians and Picts, tribes of the Celts." In speaking of the
third importation of Scotch-Irish from Ireland, A.D. 306, Bede says: "The
Scots, having driven the Picts into the north, settled in the Lowlands and
gave their name to the whole country. Hence the remarkable distinction of
language, habits, customs, and persons between the Highlanders and the
southern inhabitants." This distinction is due, in a great measure, to the
fact that the Scotch-Irish intermarried with the Caledones and the Picts
in the north, and became one people in language, etc.; while on the other
hand, the Scotch-Irish also intermarried with the ancient Britons in the
north of England, and hence the difference between the north and south of
Scotland at the present time. Thus, then, the Highlanders of to-day are
Scotch-Irish as well as the Lowlanders and those in the North of Ireland.
We find Eugenius I. on the
throne of Caledonia, A.D. 357. He was killed in battle by Maximus, the
Roman general, and the confederate Picts. Boece and Buchanan say that
"with this battle ended the kingdom of the Scots, after having existed
from the coronation of Fergus I., a period of seven hundred and six
Anderson tells us that
Fergus II. again revived the Caledonian monarchy, A.D. 404. Hayden says
that "after many wars, Kenneth II., king of the Scoti, subdued the
Caledonians and Picts, and united the whole country under one monarchy,
A.D. 838, then named Scotland, and in A.D. 843 he became the first sole
monarch of all Scotland."
Historians tell us that
Kenneth was the son of Alpin, king of the Scots, who was descended, in the
female line, from the ancient sovereign of the Picts. Thus we see the
early amalgamation of the Scotch-Irish and the Caledonians, and hence the
disagreement of historians as to the real founders of the Caledonian
monarchy. Or in other words, they failed to make the proper distinction
between the Pictish kingdom in the north and the Scotch-Irish kingdom in
the south, which was afterward called the "Caledonian Monarchy," of which
Fergus I. was the founder, and Kenneth II. became the first sole monarch.
It is probable that
Caledonia was divided up into petty kingdoms until the establishment of
the Pictish monarchy in the Highlands. Prior to that time, however, the
Scotch-Irish had founded the Caledonian monarchy in the Lowlands.
From A.D. 843 the
Caledonians and the Scotch-Irish became one nation, and were afterward
known in history as "Scots," while the Scotch-Irish in Ireland were known
as the "Irish" until after the "plantation of the Lowlanders in Ireland,"
when the term "Scotch-Irish" was revived, and is now applied to all those
who have any Scotch-Irish blood in their veins.
The question, "Who are the
Scotch-Irish?" having been answered in accordance with the best light
before us, and as the origin of the Milesians or Scoti is obscure prior to
their coming to Spain, I wish to state the fact that, as their history is
being unfolded, there is some evidence that they may have been of Semitic
origin instead of Japhetic, as heretofore taught. It is believed by some
that the Scoti descended from the Danites or Danes, and the reasons given
It is said that an old
Celtic manuscript has been found in the North of Ireland, which when fully
deciphered will probably throw some light on the subject. It contains some
Hebrew words or phrases, thus showing that the writer at some time was
acquainted with the Hebrew language by tradition or otherwise.
It is evident that the
Scoti were much more refined and intelligent than the Celtic tribes by
which they were surrounded, and made much more rapid progress in Christian
civilization, thus showing that their ancestors must have been civilized
at some time prior to their leaving Asia.
It is a remarkable
coincident that the Hebrews took their name from Heber, the great-grandson
of Shem; and it is said "that Heber, a Milesian prince from Galatia,
conquered Ireland and called it 'Scotia' or 'Scotland,'" thus showing that
they must have been familiar with the Hebrews at some time in order to
adopt their names.
There is a legend that
after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, a high priest took the
ark of the covenant, the breastplate of the high priest, Aaron's rod,
etc., and secreted them. Many years afterward those emblems, together with
a female descendant of the deposed king of Judea, were carried to the
North of Ireland for safety; where the Jewess married the king of the
Scoti on condition that her heirs should inherit the title of the throne.
After her death, the remains, together with the emblems of the temple,
were deposited in a mound or tomb, and no one was ever allowed to stick a
pick in the sacred spot, and for ages the spot has been forgotten. Whether
there is any truth in the story or not, there is a fascination surrounding
the subject that is worthy of a critical examination by expert
If such emblems were found,
the mystery so long surrounding the lost tribes and the Jewish race would
begin to unfold, and the prophecy relating to their return to their native
land, and the reestablishment of their theocratic government in Palestine
would seem probable in the near future, as we shall hereafter see that it
is claimed that the Anglo-Saxon race is descended from Joseph's sons, and
hence is a part of the lost tribes. If that is true, and if it be true
that the Jewess, who married the king of the Scoti on condition that her
heirs should inherit the title of the throne, was in the line of Jewish
monarchs, and if, according to prophecy, the lost tribes and the Jews are
again to be united under one government, then is it not evident that the
throne has been partially reestablished since Victoria of England, who
descended from the Scotch-Irish in the line of the Jewess queen of the
Scoti, is now supposed to be reigning over two branches of the lost tribes
The prophecy will not be
complete until the Jews unite with the lost tribes in reestablishing the
Hebrew throne in Palestine. This can be accomplished at any time by the
aid of England, when the Jews are prepared to accept the result.
Many years ago I became
interested in the history of the "Lost Tribes of Israel," and I determined
to examine the history, habits, peculiarity, and family relations of every
known tribe and nation on earth to see if a trace of them could be found.
After a careful examination of the origin, character, and peculiarities of
that remarkable race called "Scotch-Irish," and their similarity,
religiously, to the ancient Hebrews, I came to the conclusion that if they
are not a part of the lost tribes, then I know not where to find them. One
thing is certain: I know of no race which will be better prepared by
religious training, faith, and morals than the Scotch-Irish, to meet and
welcome the Saviour at his second coming to Jerusalem.
The fact that the manuscript referred to is written in the Celtic language
cuts no figure, other things being true, as to the probability of the
Scoti being Shemites. For the lost tribes were expelled from Palestine 721
B.C., and hence, having been wanderers among so many nations, and having
lived so long with the Colts, they naturally adopted their language, as
the Jews have done in every nation to which they have been scattered.
2. The Scotch-Irish
embraced Christianity soon after its promulgation by Christ and his
apostles. This fact is admitted by all writers on the subject; and,
strange as it may seem, nearly all Church histories that are written for
the general public fail to give the distinctive characteristics of the
early religious training and faith of the Scotch-Irish, and the reader is
led to infer that their civil and religious views were the outgrowth of
the Reformation; while the reverse is true.
Baronius, the Roman
Catholic historian, says that "Christianity was carried to the British
Isles A.D. 35." Others state that the Scots received the gospel A.D. 63.
Spotswood, Buchanan, and others assert that during Domitian's persecution
(A.D. 95) some of John's disciples preached the gospel in Scotland.
Tertullian, who was born sixty years after the death of the apostle John,
says that during his day, Scotia, meaning Ireland and Scotland, were
subject to Christ.
The early Christians among
the Scotch-Irish, the English, and the Welsh were called "Culdees"—"Cultores
dei, worshipers of God."
3. The Scotch-Irish have
always been a missionary people. This is fully demonstrated by the fact
that at a very early period we find their missionaries Christianizing
Britain and other countries. About the year A.D. 525, Succathus, afterward
called "Patricious" or "Patrick," son of a Scottish deacon, visited
Ireland, where he did a wonderful work, not only among his brethren, the
Scotch-Irish, but also among the Celtic-Irish.
It was that illustrious
personage who introduced the "shamrock" as a "simile of the Trinity, to
give the Irish an ocular demonstration of the possibility of three uniting
in one, and one in three."
After the Saxons subdued
the Britons, they established the pagan religion in the country, and the
Christians were driven into Scotland and Wales. It was not long, however,
until the Culdee missionaries began again to Christianize England.
About the year A.D. 564
Columkille or Columba, a Scotch-Irishman from the North of Ireland, went
over with twelve companions to the isle of lona and established a
theological college with a view of preparing missionaries to help their
kinsmen convert the Picts in the North of Scotland.
The Rev. J. V. Moore, D.D.,
in his history of the "Culdee Church," says: "The institutions of lona
were not designed to cultivate eremites and solitary ascetics, but to
train Christian scholars and missionaries, who would go forth as soldiers
of Christ, trained to conquer and occupy the outlying territory of
heathenism. This it did to an extent that is amazing, and only beginning
to be understood by the laborious researches of German scholars, who show
that this Scottish Church did more to carry a pure gospel to all parts of
Great Britain, France, Germany, and Switzerland during the sixth and
seventh and eighth centuries than all Christendom besides, and with this
gospel, to diffuse letters and science, industry and civilization." Some
of their distinguished missionaries of an early day were Columba, founder
of the famous college at lona; Columbanus, founder of Bobbis, North Italy;
Gallus, of St. Gall, in Switzerland; and Ferghal or Virgillius,
evangelizer of Corinthia, a part of ancient Illyria.
Had it not been for the
interference of the Church of Rome, the Culdee missionaries would have
Christianized the Anglo-Saxon pagans of Britain, and hence England would
to-day be under the ecclesiastical polity of the Scotch-Irish. As evidence
of this fact, I again quote from Dr. Moore: "When Gregory became pope, he
remembered the vow he had made, and sent a deputation to convert England,
which, after laboring for a time in the South of England, met these Culdee
laborers at work in the north." The radical difference between the Culdee
faith and the Romish is shown by the fact that they could not labor
together, and that the Romish missionaries found that the expulsion of the
Culdees was necessary to their success. Milman, in his "Latin
Christianity," in speaking of this collision, says: "One half of the
island had been converted by the monks from Scotland; the other, by those
of Rome. They were opposed on certain points of discipline, hardly of less
importance than vital truths of the gospel."
Thus we see that the
Scotch-Irish Church was a missionary Church from its foundation until
driven from its field of Christian civilization by the iron hand of an
The pure gospel flame,
however, which had been kindled by divine power in the East, was destined
at last to consume the dross of a worldly churchism and a corrupt
semichristian civilization. Its brilliancy, which was intended to light up
every nook and corner of the earth, and expel the moral darkness from the
human family, was only hidden for a time by the dazzling robes of a frail,
backsliding hierarchy and a debauched throne, in union with a corrupt
amalgamation of paganism, superstition, and a semichristian civilization.
At the dawn of the
Reformation, the descendants of those old Scotch-Irish, who had ever been
true to their faith all along the Dark Ages, again came out from their
forced seclusion, and once more unfurled the Culdee banner of the
"shamrock and the thistle," and by the old missionary spirit rolled back
the dark pall that hung over Church and state and retarded their progress
and prosperity so long.
The efforts of the Culdee
missionaries in England, though retarded, were not lost, for the doctrine
of civil and religious liberty of the Scotch-Irish gained a permanent hold
on the minds of the people. The Wickliffites or Lollards continued to
agitate the subject which eventuated in the rise of the Reformed
Presbyterian Church, the Puritans, and the Independents, and thus the
Scotch-Irish leaven shaped, in a measure, the ecclesiastical and political
destiny of England, and made it one of the greatest nations on the earth.
The political rulers of England have always been of a composite nature.
First ruled by ancient Britons, then the Anglo-Saxon line, then the Danish
line, then the Normans, and from 1603 the descendants of the Scotch-Irish,
mixed with other nations, have continued to reign until the present time.
It is a remarkable fact
that King James VI. of Scotland was a Scotch-Irishman and began to reign
in England in 1603 as James I., and every king and queen who reigned on
the throne of England and Scotland, as separate or united kingdoms, were
either pure Scotch-Irish or their descendants.
Victoria, the noble
Christian Queen of Great Britain, was granddaughter of George III. of
England, who was grandson of George II., who was son of George I., who was
a descendant of James VI, of Scotland. That is to say, George I. was the
son of Sophia, a granddaughter of James VI. of Scotland, who was also King
James I. of England. Thus we have a rightful claim to Queen Victoria as of
Dr. McCarthy, in his "Lost
Tribes of Israel," gives a very plausible argument in favor of the idea
that the Anglo-Saxons were the descendants of Joseph, through his two
sons. Hence if that is true, and if it be true, as I believe, that the
Scotch-Irish race is another branch of the lost tribes, and if it be true
that a Jewess in the line of the kings of Judah married the king of the
Scoti, then indeed have the kingdoms of Israel and Judah been "partially
reestablished, and Queen Victoria is now reigning by right of her descent
from the Scotch-Irish and the Jewess Queen of Scoti.
While the Scotch-Irish were
unable to fully divorce the ecclesiastics of England from all the forms
and ceremonies of the Church of Rome, and bring them back to their ancient
Culdee faith, yet they adopted the Culdee doctrines, and England became a
To-day the old Culdee
banner is being planted in every land by Scotch-Irish missionaries and
their co-workers, the Reformed Churches, and wherever it waves, the gospel
in its simplicity and a pure code of morals are being preached.
4. Culdeeism is essentially
Presbyterianism. That is to say, a government by Presbyters, and a parity
of bishops. I do not mention this fact in the spirit of sectarian bigotry;
but simple to illustrate the fact that from the dawn of Christianity the
Scotch-Irish have been the loyal and unflinching advocates of a government
by Presbyters, both lay and ministerial.
If my remarks under this
head seem a little too sectarian to meet the conservative views of the
Scotch-Irish Congress, my apology is that the two grand principles, civil
and religious liberty, which have ever characterized the Scotch-Irish in
all ages, have been so intimately connected that to attempt to divorce
them at this late day would mar the beauty and utility of their historical
record, which shows them to have been the great exponents of Christian
civilization, education, and morals for nearly nineteen hundred years.
Hence, if their history seems to run in a sectarian groove, it is owing to
the providence of God and the peculiarity of that chosen race.
As prelacy and parity now
divide the Christian world, and as they shaped the destiny of many
nations, both ecclesiastically and politically, it is absolutely necessary
to the proper understanding of the Christian character and political
history of the Scotch-Irish to show what relation they sustained to that
There had been but few
innovations into the Christian Church prior to A.D. 325, when Constantine
the Great, Emperor of Rome, called the Council of Nice, and united Church
and state by proclaiming himself Moderator or Pope of that Council. He had
only been a convert to Christianity the year previous, and hence knew but
little about the doctrines and polity of the Christian Church. Hence when
he united Church and state, and issued his proclamation that his empire
must be Christian, many pagan temples were converted into Christian
churches with all their paraphernalia of pagan worship, and some priests,
in order to retain their patronage, became professed Christians without a
change of heart, and continued their worship, partly pagan and partly
Christian. Thus, then, the difference between the apostolic Church and the
semichristianized Pagan Church of Rome during the Dark Ages.
It may be stated that at
that time the whole Christian world was under the Roman Empire, except
Ireland and Scotland, which had never been conquered by the Romans, and
hence a deflection from the apostolic simplicity occurred everywhere
except in Ireland and Scotland.
As we have already seen, it
was when the missionaries of Rome met the Culdees at work Christianizing
the Anglo-Saxons in the North of England that the Scotch-Irish made their
protest to the doctrine of the union of Church and state, and pagan
innovations into the apostolic Church. Thence there were Protestants years
before Luther was born.
We have already shown that
the Scotch-Irish received their Christianity direct from the early
apostolic Church, and as they were afterward called "Culdees" on account
of their peculiar zeal and religious character, we shall see that that
those Culdees maintained their opposition to Rome until 1297, when they
were suppressed. They, however, reestablished their independence in 1527,
and revived the old controversy, and continued it until the present time;
thus showing that the Scotch-Irish Church and the Church of Rome were two
distinct branches of Christianity since A.D. 325, when Rome began to
deflect under Constantine the Great.
Well may it be said that
the Bark Ages dawned upon the political and Christian worlds when the
Culdees, the true Christianizers and civilizers of the world at that time,
were driven from England by a secularized Church.
The ancient Israelites were
once the great religious civilizers of the world. All nations to-day that
are really civilized and Christianized owe their progress and prosperity,
in a great measure, to Israelitish literature, and the Christian
civilization of the Scotch-Irish.
As autocracy became popular
with the ministry, and the people became proud and vain of the pompous
autocrats, both of Church and state, the Church began to backslide, and
the bishops and priests lost moral influence over themselves and the
politicians, and hence all alike became corrupt.
Thus, then, when moral
principle failed to be the guiding star of Church and state, they both
became morally bankrupt, and hence the great need in different ages of
such reformers as Waldo, Wycliffe, Huss, Zwingle, Luther, Knox, Calvin,
If it can be shown that the
Scotch-Irish bishops or pastors maintained a parity of rank and authority
from their conversion until the twelfth century, then St. Patrick and
Columba were both Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, notwithstanding the effort
of some historians to claim them for the Church of Rome. We need no
further evidence that they were Culdees than the fact that when St.
Patrick left Scotland, about A.D. 425, he began preaching and organizing
Culdee Churches in Ireland. Archbishop Usher says: "We read in 'Nennius'
that at the beginning St. Patrick founded three hundred and sixty-five
Churches, and ordained three hundred and sixty-five bishops and three
thousand presbyters or elders." That is to say, one bishop or pastor and
about eight elders for each Church, which is Presbyterianism pure and
simple. Thus it is evident from Usher and others that as Patrick ordained
one bishop for each Church, they were Presbyterian and not prelatic
It is, however, probable
that before the death of St. Patrick he was induced, as some say, to
accept the office of diocesan Bishop of Armagh. But there is nothing
positive on this subject, for we have proof, as already stated, that he
was organizing Culdee Churches up to his departure to Rome, A.D. 453, if
he was ever in Rome at all.
Cyclopedia," in speaking of St. Patrick, says: "The story that he went to
France, where he became a monk, first at Tours, afterward in the
celebrated monastery of Lérins, and that he went, A.D. 431, to Rome,
whence he was sent by Pope Celestine to preach in Ireland, is entirely
without evidence, although long the received account. Much obscurity has
arisen from confusing two other men of the name "Patrician" with this
saint. One of these, under the name "Palladius," was sent by Pope
Celestine, as bishop, to Ireland, A.D. 431. St. Patrick's mission, on
which he entered probably about A.D. 425, was eminently successful."
It is probable that St.
Patrick, before his death, in some way fraternized with the Church of
Rome, in carrying on their mission work in Ireland, or else Catholic
Ireland would never have accepted him after death as their patron saint.
We learn that Columba left
Ireland A.D. 564, and established a Culdee college on Iona. Thus, then, if
Columba and St. Patrick had any connection whatever with the Church of
Rome during their missionary labors, why did they not preach the doctrines
and polity of that Church, instead of teaching Presbyterianism, as is
shown by Bishop Stillingfleet, when he says: "Some whole nations seem to
have been without any bishops at all. So if we may believe the great
antiquarians of the Church of Scotland, that Church was governed by their
'Culdei,' as they called their presbyters, without any bishop over them."
In the year 650 the Prelate
of Rome again renewed his effort to bring the Culdees into his fold.
Finally, in the year 1150, by the aid of the secular power, popery was
established in Ireland and Scotland. Culdeeism, however, was not
overpowered until 1297, when the Culdees of St. Andrews were suppressed.
McLauchlin, an able
historian, says: "It requires but little acquaintance with Scottish
history to observe that the principles of the old Culdee Church never were
eradicated; that during the reign of the Roman Church in the kingdom they
continued to exist, exhibiting themselves occasionally in such outbreaks
as the letter to King Robert Bruce and his nobles to Pope John, on the
uprising of the Lollards of Kyle, and finally culminated in the events of
the Scottish Reformation."
I have thus emphasized this
branch of my subject because it has been the studied purpose of some
historians to ignore or fail to give the Scotch-Irish credit for their
early struggle for civil and religious liberty, which is, and always has
been, the crowning glory of the race.
Thus we see that they have
made themselves memorable both in Church and state.
5. Wherever the
Scotch-Irish went they were the undaunted advocates of civil and religious
liberty, education and morals. If those doctrines had not been of God's
own planting, they would long since have been trodden under foot by savage
nations, and ignored by a corrupt, ecclesiastical, and monarchial
despotism. But thanks to the indomitable will of the Scotch-Irish, as
instruments in the hands of Providence, the banner of the "shamrock and
the thistle" waves triumphantly over many nations, and civil and religious
liberty is now the watchword of many that once opposed the doctrine.
It makes the heart faint to
read of the struggle and persecution unto death of those who upheld the
glorious principles of Christian civilization, and who had only the
welfare of the human family at heart.
Patrick Hamilton was burned
at the stake A.D. 1527, because he refused to recant his views of civil
and religious liberty. A papist afterward said that " the smoke of Mr.
Patrick Hamilton infected as many as it blew against."
John Knox, the great
champion of the Scotch-Irish faith, after a long and eventful struggle,
had this eulogium passed upon his life at death: "There lies one who never
feared the face of man."
Hew Michail, a zealous
preacher, was tortured to death, A.D. 1666, for his Culdee faith. Just
before he expired, he exclaimed: "Farewell, sun, moon, and stars;
farewell, weak, frail body; welcome, eternity; welcome, Saviour of the
world; and welcome, God, the Judge of all! "
Argyle, as he walked to the
scaffold, was heard to exclaim: "I could live as a Roman, but I choose to
die as a Christian."
Notwithstanding the fearful
struggle, the old Culdee lamp was kept burning, though dimly at times,
through the Dark Ages by the Vallenses and Waldenses in Italy, and the
Waldenses in France, Wycliffites or Lollards in England, Welsh in Wales,
Hussites in Bohemia, Swiss in Switzerland, Hollanders in Holland, Germans
in Germany, and the Scotch-Irish in Scotland, until the Reformation, when
it was retrimmed by Zwingle, Luther, Hamilton, Knox, and others, and
became a beacon to all lovers of civil and religious liberty.
The "Plantation of Ulster
by Scots from the Lowlands, A.D. 1605," marked a new era in the history of
the Scotch-Irish race. It was a reversal of the order of their ancestors.
At first it was a plantation of the Scots from Ireland into Caledonia by
order of King Fergus I. The Caledonians called them " Irish," and hence
the name "Scotch-Irish," for they were Scots born in Ireland. From A.D.
843 they were known in history as "Scots." It was the modern Ulstermen who
revived the term "Scotch-Irish," and applied it to the descendants of the
Scots who were born in Ireland after the "Plantation." But, as heretofore
stated, the Scots of Scotland of to-day are as much the descendants of
Scotch-Irish as are the Ulstermen.
By the "Plantation of the
Lowlanders in Ulster," God in his providence seems to have had two special
objects in view. 1. To revive their ancient brethren who had remained in
Ireland and relapsed into idolatry and ignorance during the Dark Ages. 2.
To prepare a race to people America and fully develop those grand
principles which ever characterized the Scotch-Irish race. In their new
field of Ulster they revived the faith and spirits of their brethren, and
they became aggressive and progressive.
After many struggles, it
was reserved for the Scotch-Irish colonies of America, together with the
Puritans of like faith, to establish Scotch-Irish civil and religious
liberty beyond the grasping power of kings and potentates. When Patrick
Henry, that eloquent and noble specimen of the Scotch-Irish race, sounded
the tocsin, "Give me liberty or give me death," it reverberated from
mountain to mountain, and from hilltop to hilltop, until the thirteen
colonies heard the echo and resolved to die or be freemen.
While the Scotch-Irish had
enjoyed the blessings of their ecclesiastical republican form of
government which their fathers had adopted in the mother country, yet they
were strangers to the glorious privilege of living under a democratic form
of government both of Church and state, until the adoption of the
Constitution of the United States of America, which was, in a measure,
copied from their Church government.
Thus in looking back from
our standpoint, we see that in all ages blood of martyrs has been the seed
of civil and religious liberty.
While some Protestants may
differ from the Scotch-Irish on many points, yet they all agree with them
in their devotion to civil and religious liberty, education, and morals. I
mention the fact to their honor, that whenever a Scotch-Irishman wanders
into some other ecclesiastical fold, whether he be Baptist, Episcopalian,
Methodist, Congregationalist, or Disciple, he never loses sight of the
grand principles of his forefathers, and trains his family or his flock in
the true principles of education and morals.
I presume that I speak
within the bounds of truth when I say that the Scotch-Irish have been more
devoted to education and morals than any other race that has ever lived. I
am aware that some nations have carried intellectual culture to the
highest point to which aspirants could wish to reach, and yet in all these
the moral and religious training was wanting, which is essential to true
happiness and prosperity to Church and state.
As evidence that I am not
claiming too much for the Scotch-Irish race, I may mention the fact that
while it was in its infancy there were some nations and communities that
were in the zenith of their glory under pagan political civilization, but
are now far below them in the scale of intellectual, religious, and moral
culture. This may be readily seen when we compare Scotland with Italy and
Russia, England with France and Spain, North with South of Ireland,
Scotch-Irish communities in Canada with the French settlements, and the
United States of America with Mexico and South America.
It is a significant fact
that while those non-Scotch-Irish countries all profess to be Christian
nations, yet in all of them the holy Sabbath is desecrated, and piety and
morality are far below par.
Candor compels me, however,
to say that the enemies of good government and morality are continually
harping on Puritans and Puritanical laws when any effort is made to reform
the immorality of society, and thus the Scotch-Irish in some places are
becoming lukewarm in their efforts to keep their faith and works up to
their ancient standard. Politicians, under a mistaken idea of protecting
personal liberty, are neglecting to abate immorality and to enforce Sunday
laws, which are essential to the best interest of Church and state, and
each separate community. Owing to these facts, some communities that were
once models of piety and morality now quietly acquiesce in the desecration
of the holy Sabbath and the demoralizing influences being thrown around
the rising generation.
What we need to-day are a
few more Luthers, Knoxes, and Wes-leys in the Church, and Patrick Henrys
in politics, who would dare to say to Church and state to call a halt and
retrace their steps before our birthright of civil and religious liberty
is bartered for a mess of unsavory pottage.
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