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464
SCOTLAND, CHURCH OF

per annum, increased in George IV.'s reign to £2000, and continued to the present day; its original object was to Religious condition of Highlands. assist the reclamation of the Highlands from Roman Catholicism by means of catechists and teachers. The Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge, incorporated in 1709, with a view partly to the wants of the Highlands, worked in concert with the Church of Scotland, setting up schools in remote and destitute localities, while the church promoted various schemes for the dissemination of the Scriptures in Gaelic and the encouragement of Gaelic students. In these labours as well as in other directions the church was sadly hampered by poverty. The need of an increase in the number of parishes was urgently felt, and, though chapels began to be built about 1796, they were provided only in wealthy places by local voluntary liberality; for the supply of the necessities of poor outlying districts no one as yet looked to any agency but the state. In every part of the country many of the ministers were miserably poor; there were many stipends, even of important parishes, not exceeding £40 a year; and it was not till after many debates in the assembly and appeals to the government that an act was obtained in 1810 which made up the poorer livings to £150 a year by a grant from the public exchequer. The churches and manses were frequently of the most miserable description, if not falling to decay.

With the close of the 18th century a great change passed over the spirit of the church. The new activity which sprang The Haldanes. up everywhere after the French Revolution produced in Scotland a revival of Evangelicalism which has not yet spent its force. Moderatism had cultivated the ministers too fast for the people, and the church had become to a large extent more of a dignified ruler than a spiritual mother. About this time the brothers Robert and James Haldane devoted themselves to the work of promoting Evangelical Christianity, James making missionary journeys throughout Scotland and founding Sunday schools; and in 1798 the eccentric preacher Rowland Hill visited Scotland at their request. In the journals of these evangelists dark pictures are drawn of the religious state of the country, though their censorious tone detracts greatly from their value; but there is no doubt that the efforts of the Haldanes brought about or coincided with a quickening of the religious spirit of Scotland. The assembly of 1799 passed an act forbidding the admission to the pulpits of laymen or of ministers of other churches, and issued a manifesto on Sunday schools. These acts helped greatly, to discredit the Moderate party, of whose spirit they were the outcome; and that party further injured their standing in the country by attacking Leslie, afterwards Sir John Leslie, on frivolous grounds—a phrase he had used about Hume's View of causation—when he applied for the chair of mathematics in Edinburgh. In this dispute, which made a great sensation in the country, the popular party successfully defended Leslie, and thus obtained the sympathy of the enlightened portion of the community. In 1810 the Christian Instructor began to appear under the editorship of Dr Andrew Thomson, a churchman of vigorous intellect and noble character. It was an ably written review, in which the theology of the Haldanes asserted itself in a somewhat dogmatic and confident tone against all unsoundness and Moderatism, clearly proclaiming that the former things had passed away. The question of pluralities began to be agitated in 1813, and gave rise to a long struggle, in which Dr Thomas Chalmers (q.v.) took a notable part, and which terminated in the regulation that a university chair or principalship should not be held along with a parish which was not close to the university seat.

The growth of Evangelical sentiment in the church, along with the example of the great missionary societies founded Church extension. in the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century, led to the institution of the various missionary schemes still carried on, and their history forms the chief part of the history of the church for a number of years. The education scheme, having for its object the planting of schools in destitute Highland districts, came into existence in 1824. The foreign mission committee was formed in 1825, at the instance of Dr John Inglis (1763-1834), a leader of the Moderate party; and Dr Alexander Duff (q.v.) went to India in 1829 as the first missionary of the Church of Scotland. The church extension committee was first appointed in 1828, and in 1834 it was made permanent. The colonial scheme was inaugurated in 1836 and the Jewish mission in 1838, Robert Murray M'Cheyne (1813-1843) and Andrew Alexander Bonar (1810-1892) setting out in the following year as a deputation to inquire into the condition of the Jews in Palestine and Turkey and on the continent of Europe. Of these schemes that of church extension has most historical importance. It was originally formed to collect information regarding the spiritual wants of the country, and to apply to the government to build the churches found to be necessary. As the population of Scotland had doubled since the Reformation, and its distribution had been completely altered in many counties, while the number of parish churches remained unchanged, and meeting-houses had only been erected where seceding congregations required them, the need for new churches was very great. The application to government for aid, however, proved the occasion of a “Voluntary controversy,” which raged with great fierceness for many years and has never completely subsided. The union of the Burgher and the Anti-burgher bodies in 1820 in the United Secession—both having previously come to hold Voluntary principles—added to the influence of these principles in the country, while the political excitement of the period disposed men's minds to such discussions. The government built forty-two churches in the Highlands, providing them with a slender endowment; and these are still known as parliamentary churches. Under Thomas Chalmers, however, the church extension committee struck out a new line of action. That great philanthropist had come to see that the church could only reach the masses of the people effectively by greatly increasing the number of her places of worship and abolishing or minimizing seat-rents in the poorer districts. In his powerful defence of establishments against the voluntaries in both Scotland and England, in which his ablest assistants were those who afterwards became, along with him, the leaders of the Free Church, he pleaded that an established church to be effective must divide the country territorially into a large number of small parishes, so that every corner of the land and every person, of whatever class, shall actually enjoy the benefits of the parochial machinery. This “territorial principle” the church has steadily kept in view ever since. With the view of realizing this idea he appealed to the church to provide funds to build a large number of new churches, and personally carried his appeal throughout the country. By 1835 he had collected £65,626 and reported the building of sixty-two churches in connexion with the Establishment. The keenness of the conflict as it approached the crisis of 1843 checked the liberality of the people for this object, but by 1841 £305,747 had been collected and 222 churches built.

The zealous orthodoxy of the church found at this period several occasions to assert itself. John M‘Leod Campbell (q.v.), minister of Row, was deposed by the assembly of 1830 for teaching that assurance is of the essence of faith and that Christ died for all men. He has since been recognized as one of the profoundest Scottish theologians of the 19th century, although his deposition was never removed. The same assembly condemned the doctrine put forth by Edward Irving, that Christ took upon Him the sinful nature of man and was not impeccable, and Irving was deposed five years later by the presbytery of Annan, when the outburst of supposed miraculous gifts in his church in London had rendered him still more obnoxious to the strict censures of the period. In 1841 Thomas Wright of Borthwick (1785-1855) was deposed for a series of heretical opinions, which he denied that he held, but which were said to be contained in a series of devotional works of a somewhat mystical order which he had published.

The influence of dissent also acted along with the rapidly rising religious fervour of the age in quickening in the church that sense of a divine mission, and of the right and power to carry out that mission without obstruction from any worldly