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Second Edition, 



“The Righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance, ”— 

PSALM exil. 6. 


‘| heology Library 

: California 


Tut North-East Coast of Scotland, of which Aberdeen 
is the educational centre, has long, and especially since 
the Revolution of 1688, been the stronghold of Scotch 
Episcopacy. Till quite lately, Aberdeen had, like 
England, its two Universities, and throughout Scotland 
there was scarcely a single Episcopal Clergyman of native 
birth who did not bear a northern name, and write after 
it M.A. (King’s or Marischal College), Aberdeen. So late 
as 1830-38, all the six Bishops of the Church belonged to 
the North-East or Aberdeen district, and three of them 
lived within the Cvuunty and Diocese of Aberdeen. 
Everything indigenously Episcopal throughout Scotland 
bore the Aberdeen mark; Scotch Episcopalians, in 
whatever part of Scotland, looked to Aberdeenshire as 
the true home and centre of their faith,—‘ the hole of 
the pit whence” they had “been digged” ; and it is told 
of one enthusiastic Bishop from the south, that he no 
sooner crossed the Bridge of Dee than he began to carry 
his head higher, and step out with a bolder stride.* 

*In the South and West of Scotland, there were comparatively 
few Episcopalians, and the duty of toleration was as yet but very 

imperfectly understood there. In Conolly’s Life of Bishop Low, 
it is related that the Bishop, “passing by a hedge which 



Thus it has happened, that in the annals of post- 
Revolution Scotch Episcopacy, the history of the Church 
has been, to a great extent, the history of Aberdeen men ; 
and conversely, the history of Aberdeen men has been 
the history of the Chureh. It is impossible to write the 
life of any one of the more eminent of these Northern 
men, without giving a pretty full account of every event 
of importance that happened within his Church during 
his lifetime, Hence it follows that, apart from their 
proper interest as biographies, the lives of these men may 
be made to serve the very desirable purpose of diffusing a 
knowledge of Church history among a large class of 
readers who would never think of opening a regular work 
on the subject. 

Nor should the interest of the lives be confined merely 
to Scotland, or Scotch Episcopalians. The annals of the 
down-trodden Episcopal remnant at the period chiefly 
embraced in this volume, when they at last began to 
struggle into toleration, and “repair the waste places,” 
have a deep interest, not only for the lover of “ primitive 
truth and order,” but also for the friend of religious 

separated him from a number of workmen who had observed his 
approach, overheard their subdued expressions of dislike, and 
the more violent of the number actually proposed to fling stones 
at him, remarking that ‘It was not right to let such creatures live 
on the earth’ ; but the remonstrance of another, who resided near 
Pittenweem (the Bishop’s place of residence), that ‘this was a 
quiet, inoffensive body, though he was a Prelatist,’ saved him from 
so rough and dangerous a salute, and he passed on in safety”. 
Nothing of the sort, probably, ever happened in Aberdeenshire, 


liberty ; and. some of their leading men, especially Bishop 

Ile antiquorum talis imago Patrum,— 

deserve to rank, if not with the greatest Prelates, yet with 
the greatest Saints, of any age or Church—with the Kens 
and Wilsons, the Leightons, and the Bernard Gilpins, who 
“shall be had in everlasting remembrance”. The great 
interest and value of Bishop Jolly’s unique primitive 
example has been freely reeognised by eminent members 
of other Anglican Churches. Bishop Hobart said he 
would have “held himself greatly rewarded” had he 
“gone from America to Aberdeen and seen nothing but 
Bishop Jolly”. Thirty years ago, the present dis- 
tinguished Bishop of Lincoln expressed a hope that 
certain materials for a biography of Bishop Jolly might 
not be lost, as “his history belongs to the records of 
primitive Christianity, on account of the devout simplicity 
of his character”.* In his lectures on the Church of 
Scotland, delivered in Edinburgh in 1872, Dean Stanley 
selected Bishop Jolly ‘as a choice specimen of the Old Epis- 
Matted Clerg 7”. The late eminent Dean of Chichester, 
Dr. Hook, wrote of him, as early as 1825, as the vener- 

* «¢ After the English service walked to Bishop Luscombe’s, No. 
19 Rue des Vignes, Champs Elysées. The Bishop spoke with great 
interest of Bishops Gleig and Jolly, whose portraits he has, and 
also many of their letters. It is to be hoped that the materials he 
possesses for the biography of Bishop Jolly, whose history belongs 
to the records of primitive Christianity, on account of the devout 

simplicity of his character, may not be lost.”—Diary in France, 


able primitive and Apostolic Bishop of Moray”; and 
having only a few months before his death read the small 
first edition of this Memoir, he wrote to the writer of it, 
advising him to enlarge the sketch and have it brought 
out by a London publisher, as then “it would obtain 
circulation and do good ”.* 

Fortunately the writer had just come into possession of 
a mass of materials most serviceable for the enlargement 
of the sketch, including—Ilst, The Torry collection, or 
the letters received during a period of about sixty years 
by the late Bishop Torry from Bishop Jolly, and other 
Bishops and Presbyters. For the use of this collection 
the writer is indebted to the kindness of the venerable 
Dean Torry of St. Andrews. 2nd, Twelve packets of 
autograph copies of Bishop Jolly’s most important letters, 
during the earlier years of his Priesthood, and the latter 
and more important half of his Episcopate, and some of 
his private prayers, memoranda, &c. For this invaluable 
aid—obtained from the Jolly collection at Glenalmond— 
and for other like services, the writer is indebted to 
the courtesy of Dr. Dowden, Pantonian Professor of 
Theology, Edinburgh. 3rd, Additional particulars of 
interest from other contributors, especially from the Rev. 
Charles Pressley—the very intimate and esteemed friend 
of the Bishop, whom, in fact, he first assisted, and then 
succeeded, in the Fraserburgh Charge. 

*See also the lines on Bishop J olly in the Rev. Isaac Williams’ 
Thoughts in Past Years, p. 122, second edition, 


The unpublished letters—and not least those of Bishop 
Jolly’s Episcopal brethren—not only supply new matter, 
but throw much light on the old. In particular, 
they bring out very distinctly the great influence 
produced on the Church by Bishop Jolly, through sheer 
weight of character. 

In order to interweave the fresh matter, it has been 
found necessary to re-write the whole Memoir ; but the 
writer has endeavoured, as much as possible, to avoid 
adding to the bulk of the volume. 

Not a few of Bishop Jolly’s letters would, if printed in 
_. extenso, be very interesting to a certain class of readers ; 
but the extracts from them have mostly been eonfined 
to such short passages as are of general and permanent 
interest, or are strikingly illustrative of the venerable 

writer's character. 

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For some readers a few introductory words may be 
desirable on the previous history of the disestablished 
Episcopal Church. According to the most trustworthy 
recent historians, whether Episcopal or Presbyterian,* the 
ecclesiastical state of Scotland at the Revolution of 1688, 
was not such as to warrant the establishment of any one 
Church. If the existing Establishment was to be pulled 
down, no other should have been set up. There should 
have been complete equality before the law of all Churches 
and Sects; and if any one Church was endowed, all 
should have been endowed concurrently, as is now the 
case in France. 

It was not simply that the Episcopalians were nearly, 
if not altogether, as numerous as the Presbyterians, 
though undoubtedly as a whole less zealous ; they were 
also to a great extent located by themselves in one end of 
the country. The North, especially the North-East, was 
chiefly Episcopalian ; while the South-East was chiefly 
Moderate Presbyterian, and the South-West Cameronian. 
«“ Had the religious powers in the country been permitted 
with some modification and restraint to adjust themselves,” 

says Dr. Hill Burton, “ Episcopacy would have prevailed 

* Dr. Grub, Dr. Cunningham (Crieff), and Dr. Hill Burton. 


north of the Tay; in Fife, and along the East coast a 
Moderate Presbyterianism might have developed itself. 
The western shires would have been such as they have 
described themselves in the quotations made in these pages 
from their testimonies,”—7.e., Cameronian.* 

But to permit the religious powers to “adjust themselves,” 
was what no Church, no party, and probably no individual 
in Scotland at that time ever dreamt of doing. There was 
no idea of toleration. The Church should be one, and it 
must be so, if not by agreement, then by compulsion. 
The North must now be concussed into agreement with 
the South, as formerly the South had been concussed into 
agreement with the North. Thus the Episcopalians not 
only failed to obtain concurrent endowment or justice in 
any shape from the dominant powers in Scotland, but 
they would not from them have obtained bare toleration, 
William of Orange, however, insisted on their obtaining 
“an indulgence similar to that which was enjoyed by the 
Dissenters in England.” + Anne was still more favourable ‘ 

* History of Scotland, Vol. 1. (from Revolution), p. 263. See 
also Dr. Cunningham’s account of the General Assembly of Jan. 
15, 1692. ‘‘Its sederunt of the Northern Synods is a perfect 
blank. Some have attributed this to the length of the road, &c., 

But a much better reason for no Presbyterians coming 
from the north, is simply that there were no Presbyterians to come. 

The septentrional regions of the country were almost entirely 
Episcopal.” History, II. 298. See also Grub, ITI. pp. 3815-16-17. 

+ See Macaulay’s History IV.—186. “The Presbyterian 
preachers were loud and vehement against lenity to Amalekites. 
Melville shrank from uttering a word so hateful to the theological 
demagogues of his country, as Toleration.” 


and but for the attempts of 1715 and 1745 to restore the 
Stuarts, the Northern Episcopalians would, as Dissenters, 
have occupied an exceptionably favourable position. 
These risings, however, one after the other, wrought a 
complete and disastrous change. Most of the Episcopalians 
sympathised with the Jacobite cause, either from principle, 
or from interest, or from both. Many of them gave it their 
open and active support. All of them were punished for 
it, directly or indirectly. It was at their religion that the 
Government in its acts of repression chiefly struck, 
evidently regarding their religion as the root of their 
disaffection, amd it struck hard. Its enactments—excep- 
tionally barbarous for the 18th century, seemed to aim 
at extermination. Its agents began by burning the chapels 
of the Episcopalians, wherever they could be burnt 
without risk to adjacent property, and where the burning 
of a chapel endangered the loss of a street, they compelled 
the Episcopalians to pay men to pull down their own 
chapels.* Government finally (1748), passed an Act 
which virtually proscribed altogether the public worship 
of Non-juring Episcopalians—forbidding more than five 
persons (or four and a family), to meet together for 

(1.) Thus, besides disestablishment, one consequence to 
the Episcopalians of their long and unshrinking witness 
to the Stuart cause, was to bring down upon them a 

crushing and disabling persecution from the State. 

* As at Peterhead.—See Bishop Gileig, Chap. I. 


(2.) A second consequence was to strengthen, and make 
inveterate * a notion which through the persecutions of the 
Jameses and Charleses had got rooted in the ordinary 
Scottish mind, that there was a natural affinity between 
Episcopacy and despotic government, and that the eccles- 
iastical rule under the Stuarts was the natural rule of the 

(3.) A third consequence was the derangement of the 
Church’s administrative machinery, and the indefinite 
postponement of any effectual attempts to adapt it to a 
state of disestablishment. The exiled King’s authority 
was still recognised. The Church and State Government 
was regarded as only suspended, and so the actual admin- 
istration was looked upon as merely provisional, and all 
important arrangements and appointments, as only tem™ 
porary and incomplete. In 1705, after consultation with 
the exiled court, two Bishops were consecrated in’ order 
to continue the succession and perform the necessary 
Episcopal offices ; but they received no local jurisdiction 
or appointment to any particular dioceses. This in the 
Church and State theory, could not be done in the 
abeyance of the lawful Civil Government. 

The Episcopal College went on recruiting itself in this 
way for nearly 40 years after the Revolution, consulting 
with the agent of the exiled Court, selecting a Presbyter, 

*«*Bishops, no matter of what sort are hereditarily odious to 

him (the Scotsman), It was they who squeezed his thumbs and 

legs a few years ago,”—Lord Cockburn to Mrs. Fletcher, Nov., 


consecrating him and adding him to their number 
whenever they thought proper; and as a body they 
governed the whole Chureh. They seemed to regard 
themselves as the representatives of both Church and State, 
and they certainly ruled after the centralised fashion of 
the Stuart Church and State. It may be supposed that 
to abolish a system of this sort; when once thoroughly 
established, was a very slow and difficult work. And so 
it proved. Professedly the College system was abolished 
by concordat in 1732, but to root it out entirely, in fact 
and in practice, demanded the efforts of nearly another 
hundred years. The diocesan system was nominally 
restored. Each diocese had its Bishop, and the clergy had 
by canon the election of him; but the College retained 
such an unlimited power of review and of dispensation, that 
after all, everything may be said to have depended upon 
it. There was no check upon the College, for there was 
no law in the Church except a few canons framed chiefly 
for determining the relations of the Bishops towards each 
other, and there was far from a sufficiency even of these. 
The Bishops seemed to wish to keep affairs always in a 
provisional state, settling every matter as it came up by a 
majority of the votes of their number. When in 1746 
persecution set in with unmitigated rigour, all attempts 
at reform were indefinitely postponed. The utmost that 
could be done then for many years was to keep the Church 
in existence—rester debout—to secure in some way the 
performance of the most indispensable services, and 
prevent the complete dispersion of the devoted remnant. 


The two eminent men whose memoirs follow, were born 
at the period of the Church’s very greatest depression 
(1753-6), the severest penal enactment having been lately 
passed (1748). Twenty years afterwards when they took 
orders in the Church, the fury of persecution was spent, 
and the Church had begun to rally. Twenty years more, 
however, had yet to elapse notwithstanding the decline of 
Jacobitism both as a cause and a theory, before the first 
effective step towards progress was taken by such an 
abjuration of Jacobitism as secured the passing of a Relief 
Bill. Another long period passed before the Church fully 
complied with the requirements of the Relief Bill by 
adopting the English Articles as its standard of doctrine. 
From that period (1804), the middle point of the long 
public life of Bishops Jolly and Gleig—the Church took a 
new departure. It had now a fair field, and by the union 
of the qualified congregations, a considerable accession of 
numbers. There is observable also now the gradual 
drying up of a fruitful source of dissension, due doubtless 
to the late comparative freedom from doctrinal restraints, 
—viz., the tendency to free speculation in deep mysteries 
after the manner of the 4th and 5th centuries. On the 
other hand a new element of division was introduced. 
There were now “two nations struggling” in the Church’s 
“womb,” the Non-jurors, and the Anglicans—the former 
walking by their own traditions, clinging especially to 
their own communion office, and taking for sole model and 
pattern the primitive Church, the latter looking chiefly to 


the existing English Church for their type of Church- 
manship and their supply of Clergy, and in fact regarding 
themselves as English rather than as Scottish Churchmen. 
This state of things was unfavourable to progress. There 
was little sympathy between the two classes of Churchmen, 
and little corporate spirit and still less corporate action in 
the Church. 

These obstacles might have “been greatly smoothed 
down had there been in the Church any such institutions 
as General Councils or Conventions, periodically bringing 
together all orders and degrees of Churchmen to discuss, 
in common, their common affairs, and “ provoke one 
another to love and good works”. But every approach 
to the introduction of such modern expedients was resisted 
through fear of infringing in any way on the primitive 
pattern, or encroaching on the Episcopal prerogative. 

As forty years have elapsed since the period which is 
illustrated in these memoirs, it must be comparatively easy 
to take a calm retrospect of the events, and to point the 
moral of the Chureh’s history from the Revolution to the 
close of the period. The leading impressions which such a 
survey will leave on most candid minds will probably be 
these—that the little Church though on the whole very 
zealous and earnest, yet witnessed more effectually to its 
principles by suffering than by doing; and to a great 
extent neutralised its efforts by a somewhat exaggerated 
Conservatism, a stubborn clinging to temporal accidents 

as well as divine dogmas, and a uniform backwardness 


in adapting its administrative machinery to changed times 
and circumstances. Such timid over cautious policy was 
in the circumstances very natural, almost inevitable. 

The very existence of the Church was a sort of witness 
and protest against over reform, and it was easier in the 
case of such a body, than it is in most cases to represent 
every reform as a revolution. It was, as it were, the very 
mission of the Church not to go with the times, but to 
witness against them. Now it was not to be expected 
that with such timid action and slow movement, the 
Church could make much impression on the mass of the 
Scotch people. It also failed, however, adequately to 
utilise the zeal of its own members, and develop its own 

This seems to be the point in which our fathers— 
excellent and much tried men—chiefly failed, a too timid, 
negative, and passive policy. Each generation can 
generally learn most from the failures of the generation 
immediately preceding it. It is very possible, however, 
in this case to exaggerate the effect of our fathers’ over 
cautious policy. The Church was so circumstanced that 
no line of policy could probably have greatly accelerated 
its progress. It had been reduced to a mere fraction of 
the native Scotch population—a few tens of thousands 
scattered through millions; and this smallness alone 
formed an almost insuperable barrier to rapid and healthy 
progress. It added immensely to the difficulty of working 

any scheme, and it raised a prejudice against the Church 


in the minds of the less instructed, who judge very much 

by appearances and results, and naturally “follow the 
multitude”. The little church was apt to be regarded as 
a strange and exceptional institution—an alien and exotic 
body—a survival of a bygone age—eccentric in its usages, 
and fitted only to be the Church of a class or caste. 

Since the period under review the condition of the 
Church has undergone considerable change,—no doubt in 
many respects for the better. More life and movement 
have been infused into it ; and of late especially, effectual 
steps have been taken to arouse the zeal and interest of 
the Laity. The prospect, however, of becoming in any 
true sense national, and obtaining a real hold of the 
Scottish people cannot be said to be greatly improved. 
Nor can it be otherwise, probably so long as the Church 
depends to so great an extent, as it now does, on England 
for its supply of Clergy. However good the supply may 
be in its kind, it cannot be altogether the right kind, at 
least so long as the characters of the two peoples, and the 
positions of the two Churches, differ so much as they still 
do. Zeal, when not according to knowledge of the 
national character, works necessarily at a great disadvan- 
tage, and seldom effects much permanent good, usually 
repelling the mass of the community as much as it 
attracts a particular class. Situated as the Church is, 
solid and lasting progress can be at best but slow and 
gradual, and for many years will probably be measured 

rather by indirect influence than by actual extension. 

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CHAPTER I.—1756-1777. 

Birth—Destination for the Ministry—Depressed State of Church— 
Jacobite Anecdotes—Marischal Oollege, Aberdeen—Prayer used 
by him when a Student—Tutor in Rothie Family—Anecdotes 
—Bishop Petrie as ‘‘a Striker”—Reads for Orders with Bishop 
Petrie—Ordained—Appointed to Charge of Turriff. 

In every sense of the word, as a man and a Churchman, 
Alexander Jolly belonged to the North-Eastern or 
Aberdeen district of Scotland. He was born 3rd April 
1756, at Stonehaven, the county town of Kincardineshire, 
sixteen miles south of Aberdeen. His father, at the time 
of his birth, carried on business in Stonehaven ; but, on 
falling into difficulties, he afterwards gave up his busi- 
ness, and sought to maintain himself by teaching, 
depending a good deal latterly on help from his son.* 
He had, probably, never been in very easy circumstances ; 
but the proximity of the two Aberdeen Universities, 
with their numerous bursaries or scholarships—the 
lowest of which paid all the fees—made it no very 
difficult matter for him to give his son a good education. 

He appears to have destined the youth, or, according 
to Bishop Walker, Alexander “devoted himself to the 
services of the Church from the earliest dawn of his 
reason ”, 

*The elder Jolly married twice after the death of Alexander’s 
mother, but he had no issue by his second and third marriages. 
Besides Alexander, he had one or two sons and one daughter by 
the first marriage. These, and many other particulars, not always 
specially acknowledged, the writer owes to Mr. Pressley. 


It could only have been from the purest motives that 
he was so destined or devoted. The Church was then at 
the lowest depths of depression, and it was no sordid 
ambition for a parent to hope to see his son “wag his 
pow in a pu’pit”. 

Not much is known of the early life of Mr. Jolly, 
except that he was chiefly prepared for the University at 
Stonehaven School ; and that he had the advantage of a 
careful religious training by the clergyman at Stonehaven. 
“ He always acknowledged himself,” says Bishop Walker, 
“ much indebted, in the commencement and progress of 
his religious education, to the pastoral care and guidance 
of the Rev. Alexander Greig, Episcopal minister of his 
native place.” Bishop Walker adds that he knew person- 
ally that Mr. Greig’s “memory was long held in great and 
reverent respet in that quarter”. 

Mr. Greig was, in fact, one of those clergymen who had 
come through the furnace of persecution; having, in 
addition to the minor restraints and disabilities of the 
Penal Laws, endured six months’ imprisonment for 
officiating before more than four persons at a time. A 
glimpse into Mr. Greig’s prison life gives a better idea 
than mere description could of the condition of the 
Church at the time that Mr. Jolly was born, and of the 
influences that moulded his early Churchmanship. 

Tt was in the winter of 1748-9 that Mr. Greig was 
imprisoned. Two of his neighbours, the Rev. John Petrie 
of Drumlithie, and the Rev. John Troup of Muchalls, 
shared with him, for the same offence, the same cell of 
Stonehaven Tolbooth. During their confinement they 
never ceased, when opportunity offered, to perform all 
necessary Church offices for the members of their 
respective flocks. They baptized children, and joined 


with them in prayer and praise, both on Sundays and 

Pastors and flocks were alike zealous and persistent. 
The fishermen’s wives from Skateraw might be seen 
trudging along the beach with their unbaptized infants 
in their creels, “wading at the ‘Watter Yett’ the 
combined streams of the Carron and the Cowie, which 
could only be done at the reflux of the sea,” then 
clambering over rugged rocks till they reached the back 
stairs of the Tolbooth, where they watched a favourable 
opportunity for drawing near to their pastor’s cell, and 
securing the bestowal of the Baptismal blessing.* 

“‘ After divine service on week-days, Mr. Troup (one of 
the imprisoned three) entertained the audience on the 
bagpipes with the spirit-stirring Jacobite tunes that, more 
than any other cause, kept up the national feeling in 
favour of the just hereditary line of our natural 
sovereigns. + 

These scenes are most characteristic of the times in 
which Jolly was born and brought up—especially the 
playing of the Jacobite airs after divine servive. We see 
here that indomitable faith which was the life of the 
Church, carrying her safe through every trial; we see, 
along with it, that perilous mixing up of political with 
religious matters, which all but worked her ruin, leaving 
her, at the close of her hundred years’ witness for the ill- 
starred Stuarts, with the mere framework of a Church. 
No doubt our good fathers would have stoutly denied 
that their allegiance to the “king o’er the water” was a 

* Black Book of Kincardine—Stephen’s History, pp. 837-8. 

+ Ibid. As Bishop Jolly used to tell the story, it was not the 
bagpipes, but the violin, that Mr. Troup played. No doubt be 
was right. Mr. Troup was, judging by the name, a Lowlander, 
and doubtless used the Lowland instrument. 


political matter at all:—it was “a principle of Christian 
morality”. Well: it was certainly not so easy to draw 
the line in such matters then as it is now. 

We do not know very much of Mr. Jolly’s career at 
the University. He gained at entrance a £5 bursary or 
_ scholarship. The bursaries at Marischal College were 
never large, and possibly this one may have stood pretty 
high in the list at that time. Small as the bursary was, 
its real value was probably greater than the nominal, and 
anyhow, as has been said, it paid all the fees. 

As to Jolly’s standing at the University, we are simply 
told that he “made good progress in his studies,” and was 
“a good scholar”. The standard at Aberdeen then was 
much lower than it has become in recent times, especially 
since the union of the Universities.* But even in those 
days, a good foundation was laid, and if a student had a 
taste for any of the branches of study, he got a grounding 
and an impetus that carried him on to proficiency. This 
was eminently the case with Mr. Jolly at least as regards 
the learned languages. He continued a student of languages 
all his life, and latterly read Greek, Latin, and Hebrew 
with the greatest facility. There is no proof, however, 
that he ever attained to proficiency in any of the physical 

Characteristically enough, the only traces of his Uni- 
versity career to be found amongst his own papers, are the 
prayers, which he wrote and made use of during his course. 
Of these there are at least two still extant, in his own 
handwriting—a “prayer for a student,” dated July 21, 

*The Pass or ordinary (M.A.) degree at Aberdeen is said now 
to be quite equal to the Pass (B.A.) at Oxford or Cambridge, 
though the Class or Honours degree is greatly inferior. Students 

enter Aberdeen University now, on an average, three years older 
than they did thirty or forty years ago. 


1772 ; and a prayer on his birthday. The latter has no 
date upon it, but it is in his handwriting of the period, 
and it has upon the back a form of receipt for the last 
‘payment of his bursary. The prayers are excellent and 
appropriate, and were probably both more or less adapted 
by him from published forms. Such proofs of early piety 
enable us to understand how it was that Jolly was 
“ venerable and venerated even in his youth”. 

After leaving the University, he acted for some time as 
tutor in the family of Mr. Leslie of Rothie, a member of 
the Meiklefolla congregation, which was then under the 
pastoral shperintendence of Bishop Petrie. 

Not a few interesting reminiscences of Jolly still linger 
in the memories of the Churchmen of the Folla district, 
all illustrative more or less of his piety, his gentle manners, 
and genuine amiability of disposition. 

His pupils at Rothie appear to have been youths of 
gigantic proportions, veritable sons of Anak. The four 
brothers, with their two sisters, averaged six feet in height 
each, and, as a family, were usually spoken of somewhat 
later by the Folla people as “the sax-an’-therty feet”. 
“‘ Here’s the sax-an’-therty feet,” was the usual exclama- 
tion as they drew near the Church door on a Sunday 

It was only too natural that such pupils, living in a 
country house,and surrounded with temptations to sport 
and amusement, would be little amenable to the mild rule 
of the gentle Jolly. Accordingly, discipline got relaxed, 
progress slackened, and the conscientious Jolly, despairing 
of being ever able to restore order and diligence, made up 
his mind to leave. : 

He was spared the necessity. of this extreme step by the 
potent intervention of Bishop Petrie. One day when the 


Bishop dined at Rothie, the housekeeper gave him a hint 
of the critical state that matters were in. ‘Che Bishop at 
once acted on the hint. He stepped into the schoolroom, 
and asked Mr. Jolly how his pupils were getting on. The 
answer, though reluctantly given, let out the truth. The 
Bishop instantly called up the eldest boy, and, in presence 
of Mr. Jolly, put him tothe question. The youth was over- 
whelmed with confusion, and confessed his disobedience. 
The Bishop then locked the door of the room, put the key 
in his pocket, and turning to Mr. Jolly, asked if he had a- 
strap (“ tards”). “ Yes,” was the reply, “ but I never use 
it.” “Hand it to me,” said the paternal Petrie. Receiving 
the strap, and bidding the young Laird “ hold up his 
hand,” he rapidly administered (our readers know how) a 
severe and very effectual castigation. The other boys 
were had up in turn, and dealt with in the same summary 
way ;—the Bishop literally “ whipt them all round,” the 
process occupying the greater part of an afternoon. He 
then left the room with the significant hint that he would 
“soon be back again”. But he never needed to go back. 
The rebellion was crushed. The boys, having once tasted 
of its quality, had no desire to wake up again 
The might that slumbered in a Prelate’s arm. 

They continued tolerably tractable, and Mr. J olly 
remained at Rothie superintending their education, till 
he went to Meiklefolla to read for orders with Bishop 
Petrie. To that excellent man Mr. Jolly owed much 
besides this timely intervention ; and to the last day of 
his life he could never hear or mention Bishop Petrie’s 
name without an ardent expression of affectionate esteem, 
Petrie’s character, with everything that was venerable, 
had also in it “the stalk of carle hemp,” or the element 
of vigour, which formed the needful complement to Jolly’s 


own character. Had the Japanese custom of making 
officials always go in couples prevailed here, Petrie would 
have made the fitting companion for Jolly. Though 
Bishop Petrie occupied a very humble dwelling, he had 
an excellent library, having inherited that of his uncle, 
Bishop Alexander. He prepared many of the clergymen 
of that time for orders. 

How long Mr. Jolly read under him does not appear ; 
but his preparatory course came to an end about mid- 
summer, 1776. On July Ist of that year, Mr. Jolly was 
ordained Deacon at Peterhead, by Bishop Kilgour of 
Aberdeen. As his letters all through his life prove, 
Jolly had always a very high idea of the responsibilities 
of the clerical office, and ordination was to him a very 
solemn event indeed. Amongst his papers there is a 
prayer preparatory to his ordination. Like all his prayers, 
this one is partly adapted from published sources 
(Spinckes, Prayer on Ember Weeks, &c.). It is a very 
comprehensive and appropriate prayer. Mr. Jolly re- 
- mained in Deacons’ Orders only a little more than eight 
months, having been raised to the Priesthood by Bishop 
Kilgour, on March 19th, 1777. Immediately afterwards 
he was appointed to the charge of the congregation at 

CHAPTER II.—1777-1784. 

Ministry at Turriff — Letters — Crippled Condition of Church— 
Scarcity of Clergy— Communion Offertories — Book-buying— 
Reminiscences of him in the Turriff district-—Anecdotes. 

Or Mr. Jolly’s “manner of life -and conversation” at 

the commencement of his ministry, we have less detailed 

evidence than we have in later times, but what evidence 
we have is of a very emphatic and decided character. 

Nicholas Ferrar “got the reputation of being called St. 

Nicholas at the age of six years”. Of Alexander Jolly 

it is said, on the best authority, that ‘those who knew 

him in youth remembered no time when he was not 
venerable”. ‘‘ Venerable and venerated even in his 
youth,” are the emphatic words of his most intimate 
friend. There is much to corroborate this striking testi- 
mony in his letters of the period, and in the traditional 
anecdotes and reminiscences of him in the Turriff district. 

These records all witness, each in its own way, to a 
character which, in a young man, was sure to attract 
veneration—a grave, earnest, single-minded, unworldly 
character—absorbed in study, in duty and devotion— 
rigorously professional, yet in no wise morose or reserved 

—as yet, in fact, in no way peculiar, exhibiting none of 

these rigidly strict and systematic habits and practices 

which latterly seemed part of his being. The letters, 
indeed, contain little that is in any way specially charac- 
teristic of the man. They derive their chief value and 
interest from the light which they throw on the state of. 
the Church and the position of a young clergyman at that 
period of depression. There are extant autograph copies 


of about twenty of his letters of this period. The first 
letter is dated St. Peter’s Day, 1778—just sixty years 
before the close of his honoured life. The letters appear 
to be first draughts or scrolls, from which a clean copy 
was taken and despatched. They contain not a few 
corrections, interlineations, and alternative phrases, evi- 
dencing at once care in weighing words and inexperience 
in composition. Most of the letters are addressed to the 
Bishop of Aberdeen, whom the writer always styles 
“Right Reverend Father” at the commencement, and 
“ Your Reverence” in the body of the letter. They are 
chiefly taken up with the affairs of his own congregation 
at Turriff, or those of the one or two neighbouring con- 
gregations to which, during a vacancy, he was continually 
ministering. The state of affairs which they disclose was, 
as regards externals, of a very humble and primitive style. 
The Church had begun to rally from its worst penal 
trials, but it was still in a very crippled condition. The 
chief difficulty was how to find a sufficient supply of 
Clergymen. There seemed to be a large proportion of 
charges vacant at all times. Sometimes they continued 
vacant a long time, and each had to wait its turn fora 
Clergyman. The vacant charges had service once a fort- 
night, or once a month, from each of several neighbouring 

Then the remuneration of the Clergy was miserably 
inadequate. Poor as stipends are still, the Clergy of 
these days are paid in pounds where the Clergy of those 
days were paid in crowns. 

From the time of his settlement at Turriff till the 
summer of 1778, Mr. Jolly appears to have done duty 
at least once a fortnight at Parkdargue (Forgue). That 
congregation then obtained a pastor of its own ; and Jolly 


was immediately detailed for occasional duty at Banff and 
Portsoy—two places distant respectively 11 and 19 miles 
—at each of which there was a vacancy. In a letter to 
one of his correspondents, Mr. Jolly expresses a hope that 
the Bishop wili soon be able to settle a Clergyman 
between the two. ‘Till now it had not been their turn. 
More than a year before, he says, the Portsoy people 
“‘ sot from the Bishop the promise of the first Clergyman 
at his disposal, after supplying Parkdargue, which was 
then vacant”. Truly there was small choice of Priests in 
those days! It is, perhaps, to be taken as an additional 
proof of the scarcity of Clergymen, and the consequent 
irregular supply of service, that the Parkdargue people 
“had not been in use of communicating at Christmas”. 
They could appreciate the privilege, however, when it 
was put in their offer. ‘I gave them,” Mr. Jolly writes 
to the Bishop, “‘an opportunity at that season, and had 
the comfort of a congregation almost as large as what is 
usual there at Pentecost.” 

He gives a’very clear account of his remuneration. 
“As to my temporal emoluments from the Parkdargue 
congregation,” he says, ‘ your Reverence ordered for me a 
crown out of the collection every time I officiated there, 
which I have duly received.” The whole amounted to 
55 crowns (£14 5s.), to which was added £5 “raised by 
private contribution of the people ”. 

Mr. Jolly always states the amount of the communion 
offertories, and this, considering the higher value of 
money at that time, was much greater than the average 
amount at the present day. No doubt the Holy Com. 
munion was less frequently celebrated in those days, but 
making all allowances, this fact of larger offertories is a 
pretty sure index of larger congregations. There are, 


indeed, many other proofs that most of the congregations 
of the Diocese of Aberdeen were then much larger than 
they are now, and though the number of charges is now 
about doubled, it is very doubtful if the aggregate of 
souls is increased.* 

Mr. Jolly states the amount of the Easter offertory at 
Parkdargue at £3 5s., and that on the 21st Sunday after 
Trinity at £2 5s. 3d. 

Judging from Mr. Jolly’s practice, discipline was ad- 
ministered at that time with rigid strictness, serious cases 
being referred to the Bishop. Mr. Jolly writes to the 
Bishop of Aberdeen—“ Your Reyerence’s order of Ash 
Wednesday, respecting the admission of George Allan and 
his wife to Penance, I obeyed, and have had two con- 
ferences with them, but all circumstances considered, I 
intend, if it please your Reverence, to put off their recon- 
ciliation till Pentecost ”. 

In these early letters, Mr. Jolly is too much taken up 
with official matters to give full or frequent expression’ to 
his thoughts on general subjects. As he was also as yet 
a very young man, and was writing mostly to his seniors, 
we cannot look in his letters for those strikingly pious 
and devout sentiments— those fervent invocations of 
blessing on his correspondents and others whom he names 
__those earnest prayers for his correspondents, and equally 
earnest requests for their prayers in return—which form 

* If we can believe the statistics of the time, and judge by 
communicants, there were as many Episcopalians in the Diocese of 
Aberdeen at the repeal of the Penal Laws, while there were still 
within it six qualified congregations outside the Church, as there 
are there still. Writing to the Gentleman’s Magazine in 1792, the 
Rev. Roger Aitken of Aberdeen said, ‘‘in the Diocese of Aberdeen, 
there are 5000 communicants”. There are not quite 5000 com- 
municants in that Diocese now. The number for the present year 
(1876) is given as 4953 ; souls = 10,577. : 


so edifying and unfailing a feature in his later letters. 
We can see in the letters, however, several of his chief 
later characteristics in the germ. There are quaint touches 
indicative of his great love for books. He appears to be 
always on the outlook for some particular book—always 
ready to give a commission for the purchase of one to any 
correspondent in a town. To a Clerical correspondent he 
writes— I sincerely sympathise with you in your disease 
of buying books”. The Bishop had remonstrated with 
him on this subject, but in vain. “Though I am well 
convinced,” he writes, ‘‘of the goodness of your advice as 
to the buying of books, yet I must confess with shame I 
find it hard to digest, and it is the only thing wherein I 
would fain beg a dispensation. When I see a good book 
at a low price, as Marshall’s St. Cyprian for five shillings, 
I cannot let it pass.” Probably this was indeed “ the 
only thing” in which the good man needed a dispensa- 

‘In this collection there are some letters to his relations. 
These are all very kind and affectionate. One of them is 
evidently to his father, though the only address is D. F. 
It corroborates Mr. Pressley’s statement that his father 
became in the end somewhat of a burden to the son. No 
son could do more than Mr. Jolly here promises. “I will 
ever be ready to do all that lies in my power (as in duty 
bound) for your support and comfort. My ability at 
present is but very small, having so much debt to dis- 
charge, which, however, I will not consider, if your 
necessities require my assistance, as my debt to you cum 
to be discharged in the first place.” 

In addition to Mr. Jolly’s own letters, the writer has 
obtained some trustworthy anecdotes and reminiscences of 
him during his Turriff Pastorate. For these he is chiefly 


indebted to an aged churchman who was “ baptised by 
Bishop Jolly, and named after him,” and had excellent 
opportunities of collecting reminiscences of him—Mr. 
Alexander Thomson, Greens, Monquhitter. Some of the 
anecdotes have not much interest in themselves; but 
they have all an interest as illustrations of the good man’s 

When he came first to Turriff, Mr. Jolly had living 
with him a sister, and a younger brother named James, 
who commenced business as a shopkeeper in the village. 
During the absence of Mr. and Miss Jolly, on a visit, it 
is supposed, to Bishop Petrie at Meiklefolla, their brother 
James was unfortunately drowned while bathing in the 
“water” of Turriff. A messenger was instantly dis- 
patched for the bereaved. brother and sister. They 
returned with all speed. “On his arrival, Mr. Jolly 
went immediately into the appartment where his brother's 
corpse was laid, bolted the door, and remained several 
hours alone with the dead body. How those hours were 
spent was known only to himself and to Him who is the 
hearer of prayer.” As we shall see, this most melancholy 
event made a deep and lasting impression on Mr. J olly’s 
affectionate heart. 

One day a neighbour's cow strayed into Mr. Jolly’s not 
very well-fenced garden, and ate so voraciously that fears 
were expressed lest she should “ burst ” Miss Jolly said 
she hoped she would. But Mr. Jolly, rebuking this 
spirit in her, sent her off instantly to ascertain what state 
the cow was in, saying he would rather that every green 
thing in the garden had been eaten up than that any 
evil should befall the cow. ; 

Walking one day near Turriff, he came upon a rough 
Turriff carter named John Edwards, in much the same 





state of distress as the fabled waggoner. J ohn’s cart, 

- laden with stones from Delgaty quarry, had stuck in a 

hole in the ford below the Mill. As his team consisted 
of a piebald pony in the shafts, and a cow in traces, 
John’s great difficulty was to get both animals to pull 
together. While he, sitting on his cart, belaboured the 
pony, the cow, well beyond the reach of his. whip, quietly 
browsed the tempting green grass on the brook’s brink. 
“ Can I do anything to help you, John?” said Mr. Jolly. 
With rough language and uncivil doubts, John indicated 
that Mr. Jolly might perhaps do some good, either by 
taking his place and “ layin’ upo’” the pony, while he 
himself urged on the cow, or by going into the water and 
leading out the cow. Mr. Jolly preferred dealing with 
the cow ; so he “stepped into the ford over his shoes in 
water,” took the cow by the halter and tugged, till, with 
his and John’s combined exertions, the two animals put 
forth their united strength, and the cart was soon extri- 
cated and on dry land. John had previously spoken of 
Mr. Jolly as an ‘“eeseless tarlach”. He was now heard 
to mutter patronisingly, “There is some eese o’ that 
minister body efter a’”. 

To the readers of Izaak Walton this simple incident 
will recall a like and equally characteristic incident in the 
life of good George Herbert, whom, in many respects, Mr. 
Jolly so much resembled.* 

* In one of his walks to Salisbury, George Herbert saw a poor 
man with a poorer horse that was fallen under his load ; they were both 
in distress and needed present help ; which Mr. Herbert perceiving, 
put off his canonical coat, and helped the poor man to unload and 
after to load his horse. ‘The poor man blessed him for it, and he 
blessed the poor man. When he came into Salisbury, one of his 
friends told him that he ‘‘had disparaged himself by so dirty an 
employment”. But his answer was, ‘‘that the thought of what 


Mr. Jolly would have borne very patiently an imputa- 
tion on his horsemanship, though Sir Walter Scott says 
most men would rather bear an imputation on their 
morality. Yet it was necessary in those days to have 
some skill in riding, since, for the Clergy at least, there 
was no other mode of locomotion than riding or walking, 
even for the longest journeys. Mr. Innes of Meiklefolla 
rode all the way from Meiklefolla to Hawthornden to 
visit Bishop Abernethy Drummond on a small Highland 

“‘There’s a heap o’ ridin’ in a borrowed beast,” says 
our Scotch proverb; but then you must be able to take 
it out of him. Mr. Jolly was found one day some way 
out of Turriff sitting patiently on the back of a borrowed 
pony, which, having come to “know his rider,” and once 
got his head down, would, in spite of his utmost exer- 
tions, keep grazing at the road side, and thus made 
scarce any progress. Like the man who caught the 
Tartar, Mr. Jolly could not get forward either with the 
pony or without it. He was therefore glad to take advan- 
tage of the first man that passed on his way to the village 
to have the pony taken back to its owner, while he him- 
self prosecuted his journey on foot. 

Riding on one occasion with some of his clerical 
brethren to Aberdeen to attend Synod, Mr. Jolly kept 
continually falling behind, to the considerable detention 
of the party. “Come along, Mr. J olly,” shouted one of 
the Brethren, “what’s detaining you?” “ My horse is 
not inclined to go faster,’ was the reply. ‘“ Let me get 
behind him with the whip,” said Mr. Christie of Wood- 

he had done would be music to him at midnight, and that the 
omission of it would have upbraided and made discord in his con- 
‘science whensoever he should pass by that place”. 



head, a lively, jocular brother, “ and I’ll soon give him 
another inclination.” 

This was a lesson in vigour, like Bishop Petrie’s flagel- 
lation of the young Leslies. 

On a certain Sunday, and on the occasion, it is supposed, 
of some ecclesiastical solemnity, Mr. Jolly and two of his 
clerical neighbours met at Macterry, a place where, it 
appears, the present congregation of Woodhead, Fyvie, 
formerly met for worship. After dinner, the conversation 
turned upon agricultural matters. This was a subject in 
which Mr. Jolly never probably took much interest. 
Having been brought up in a town, he had no practical 
acquaintance with it. Indeed, we have been told, that 
on one ocession, when questioned by some Meiklefolla 
farmers as to the state of the crops in his neighbourhood, 
he confessed that he did not know barley from oats. 
Nevertheless, on any other day of the week, he would 
probably have submitted patiently to hear his brethren 
“talk of bullocks” by the hour. Even on this sacred 
day it is not to be supposed that he would have objected 
to a few passing remarks on any such subject, for, as will 
appear hereafter, his views did not by any means approach 
the rigidity of Sabbatarianism. It is evident, however, 
that the subject had been dwelt upon at inordinate length, 
to the exclusion, of course, of subjects of a more appro- 
priate and edifying nature ; for it is said that Mr. Jolly, 
after a lengthened and expressive silence, left the room, 
and remained. out so long that one of the brethren went 
in search of him. When asked to re-enter the house and 
rejoin their brother, Mr. Jolly said he would do so on one 
‘condition, viz, that the subject of farming should be 
dropped for the day. It need not be added that the 
justice of the rebuke was felt and acknowledged, and that 


the offence ceased at once. The offending brethren were 
not probably by any means in the habit of forgetting 
themselves in this way.* 

* Johnson’s friend, Dr. Taylor of Ashbourne, offended the great 
Moralist in much the same way, and evidently had met witha 
more or less explicit rebuke in consequence. ‘‘ Sir,” said Johnson 

- to Boswell, ‘*. . . my regard for him does not increase. As it 
is said in the Apocrypha, ‘his talk is of bullocks’. I do not 
suppose he is very fond of my company. His habits are by no 
means sufficiently clerical : this he knows that I see ; and no man 
likes to live under the eye of perpetual disapprobation.’’—Boswell’s 
Johnson, VI., 825-6. Hd. 1835. ‘ 

& CHAPTER IIJ.—1784-1798. 

Reads hard—Publishes Pamphlet on Constitution of Church—His 
Prayers on special occasions—Seabury Consecration, dc.—Is 
proposed as Coadjutor to Bishop Petric—Mode of appointing 
Coadjutors—Preaches Bishop Petrie’s Funeral Sermon—Letters 
on Character of Bishop Petrie—Removes to Fraserburgh— Church 
submits at last to Reigning Family—Anecdotes—Oliphant of 
Gask—Is appointed Coadjutor to Bishop Macfarlane—Obtains 
separate Diocese of Moray. 

From the very earliest period of his ministry, Mr. Jolly 
was a most diligent and systematic reader—a perfect 
helluo librorum —turning to account every spare moment 
for the storing of his mind with professional, and especi- 
ally with patristic, learning ; and the result was that, even 
at this early period, he had acquired a great reputation 
for learning, and much was expected of him. He was 
always, however, too much disposed to hide his light 
under a bushel ; and the only thing that he published in 
his presbyterate days was a pamphlet of 37 pages on 
: The Nature and Constitution of the Christian Church ; 
the Divine appointment of its Governors and Pastors, and 
the Nature and Guilt of Schism”. The pamphlet was 
published at Edinburgh when the writer was in his 28th 
year. It is mostly taken up with the scriptural and 
patristic proofs of the divine authority of the three Orders 
of the Ministry ; and the tone and spirit of it are mild 
and persuasive rather than dogmatic and controversial. 
It is distinguished by a primitive simplicity and earnest- 
ness, and (to use his own words) “a spirit of meekness” 
and the “absence of any bitterness of expression ”. 


Notwithstanding the comparatively antiquated style of 
the little work, it has been twice reprinted since the 
author’s death—by Parker of Oxford, in 1840, and by’ 
the Scottish Tract Society, in 1849. 

Mr. Jolly’s path may be followed at the obscurest 
periods of his history by the track of prayer which he 
left behind him. Every occasion of importance appears 
to have been sanctified by a special prayer to God. 
There is to be found amongst his papers a prayer, which 
was evidently drawn up for.use on the occasion of the 
consecration of Bishop Seabury—as first Bishop of the 
American Church—by the Scotch Bishops at. Aberdeen, 
November 14, 1784. The prayer is highly appropriate. 
After an exordium, which is partly taken from the first 
prayer “in the Ember Weeks,” it proceeds—“ Bless and 
prosper the endeavours of all who . . . labour 

to propagate the Truth, and promote the 

interest and enlargement of the Church and Kingdom of 
Christ. In an especial manner bless and prosper the 
labours of . . . him who, by the Divine Providence, 
is now commissioned and appointed to promote 

the interests of that Church and Kingdom in the western 
parts of the habitable world. Grant him a safe and 
prosperous journey and voyage, and a happy arrival in 
that country. Inspire him, and us, and all who are or 
shall be commissioned for that great work, with an 
apostolical zeal for Thy glory in maintaining that doctrine, 
government, worship, and discipline, entire, pure, and 
unblemished, which Thou hast committed to their trust ! 
Give us grace to consider from whom we are sent, and 
whose successors we are, and endue us with the apostolical 
spirit of courage and boldness, together with such a holy 
and heavenly suffering frame of mind, that we may be 


ready, not only to be bound, but to die for the Lord 
Jesus,” &c., &e. 

Judging from its form, the prayer was probably used 
in the public services of the Church ; but it is plainly 
Mr. Jolly’s own composition, containing, as it does, 
several alterations and corrections. 

The petition for a “suffering frame of mind” was 
certainly no vain form in those trying times. 

Though not yet thirty years old, Mr. Jolly had already 
—1785—a prospect of being raised to the Episcopate ; 
and it was from no fault or deficiency in himself that the 
prospect was not realised. “ Bishop Petrie,” wrote the 
future Bishop Watson,* “has pressed Bishop Kilgour 
(the Primus) again and again for a coadjutor, and wishes 
Mr. Jolly for the man.” This is the way in which 
Bishops were still very commonly appointed, especially in 
the smaller dioceses. The Clergy had now obtained, by 
Canon, the right of electing their own Bishops; but in 
practice, through the system of coadjutors, they were 
frequently deprived of it. An aged or infirm Prelate 
had seldom much difficulty in persuading his colleagues 
to appoint him a coadjutor of his ewn nomination ; and 
once appointed, the coadjutor became, almost as a matter 
of course, the successor; the Clergy were practically 
shut up to the choice of him. There would probably 
have been no hesitation on the part of the Bishops to 
comply with the application in favour of Mr. Jolly, but 
for the peculiarity of the diocese which he’ would have 
had to administer. Bishop Petrie’s diocese embraced the 
greater part of the Highlands, and hence it was most 
desirable that the Bishop should be a Highlander— 
understanding the people and their language, and, ‘if 

* Letter to Mr. (afterwards Bishop) Torry, July 19, 1785. 


possible, also living amongst them. All these qualifica- 
tions, along with general fitness, were united in Mr. 
Macfarlane of Inverness, who had also the good fortune 
to be strongly recommended by Mr. Skinner of Longside,* 
then and long afterwards a power in the Church. Against 
these special qualifications of Mr. Macfarlane no general 
qualifications of a Lowland man and Lowland incumbent, 
like Mr. Jolly, could weigh in the balance, and thus 
eventually Mr. Macfarlane was preferred to Mr. Jolly. 
He was not consecrated to the coadjutorship, however, 
till two years after this time—too late to be of any 
service to Bishop Petrie, who died six weeks after the 
consecration, April 9, 1787. 

The death of Bishop Petrie was a great grief to Mr. 
Jolly, who most deeply revered and loved him. Mr. 
Jolly had called to see the Bishop some time before 
his death, and found him composedly and cheerfully 
“ endeavouring,” with the aid of Jeremy Taylor's Holy 
Dying, “to make up his account” for eternity. Six of 
Bishop Petrie’s old pupils met at the funeral ; and Mr. 
Jolly, it is said, was the only one of the six who would 
consent to preach the funeral sermon—but this may mean 
no more than that the other five considered’ Mr. Jolly 
the fittest for the duty, and insisted on giving way to 
him. Anyhow Mr. Jolly performed the duty, and, 
according to a: still fresh tradition, he did so in a 
singularly impressive manner. A hearer of the sermon, 

* © Honest Mr. Skinner, seated by Bishops Kilgour and Petrie, 
with each hand on one of their thighs, told them plainly that Mr. 
Jolly was not a fit man—that in all the three dioceses of Aberdeen, 
Moray, and Ross, Mr. Macfarlane was the only person.” _( Letter of 
Mr., afterwards Bishop Watson, 9th July, 1785.) With Mr. 
Skinner, Mr. Macfarlane’s strong Hutchinsonianism and very 
decided anti-‘* Eternal Generation ” views were doubtless additional 
recommendations. See Postea, Chap. 


who survived till comparatively recent times, said that 
during the delivery of it, there was not a dry eye in the 
Church but the preacher's own. To a great extent, no 
doubt, the effect was due rather to the subject and the 
occasion than to the preacher. Almost any sort of 
funeral sermon on Bishop Petrie, preached in Bishop 
Petrie’s pulpit, would have been impressive. The 
slightest touch would open the fountain of tears. Mr. 
Jolly’s sermon (which the writer has perused in the 
original manuscript), appears to’ have been written and 
delivered on the principle on which the preacher always 
acted, of avoiding any excessive excitement of the 
feelings. It contains no stirring appeals or pathetic 
touches, and to all appearance the preacher entirely 
refrained himself. But doubtless, though his eyes were 
dry, his “ voice wept”. It was not possible altogether to 
conceal the emotion, which, it is known, worked power- 
fully in the preacher’s heart; and then, though he avoided 
exaggeration, he certainly paid a very high tribute to the 
memory of the departed. Bishop Petrie was “one of the 
best men he ever knew”. He “ had the most ardent zeal 
for the Church”. He “went about doing good, and 
journeying unweariedly and without consideration of his 
bodily health”. If all “went well” with the Church, 
‘he rejoiced, in the midst of pain and bodily weakness”. 
If any detriment or hurt seemed to threaten the Church, 
no outward thing could make him cheerful. “The 
pleasures of the body he had so entirely got above, that 

such a thorough conquest of them has been 
rarely seen in these later times.” Such words as these 
from such a man, plain and guarded as they were, doubt- 
less struck a responsive chord in every heart of the 
sympathetic audience, Yet, on looking over the 


preacher's late correspondence, one is disposed to wish 
that he had on that Sunday spoken to the Folla people 
with as much affectionate warmth as he, forty years after- 
wards, wrote on the same subject to two old Folla students. 
To Mr. Buchan, Elgin—then on his death-bed—he wrote 
(January 12, 1829), in words already partially quoted— 
“Neither you nor I can ever forget our highly and justly 
~ beloved and venerated Friend and Father, good and worthy 
Bishop Petrie, whose name I never mention but with senti- 
ments of endearment. When I visited him, in his ailing 
state, and felt the dread of his being translated from us, hav- 
ing at his hand Bishop Taylor’s Holy Dying, composed and 
cheerful, his expression was, ‘I am endeavouring to 
make up my accounts’. Saintly soul! His accounts he 
kept ever short, and awful though our responsibility be, 
having to give account of the souls of others as well as our 
_own (Deus misereatur!) I firmly believe he had nothing 
to fear. But the best of men are ever the most humble, 
and make their appeal to mercy only-—cleaving in firm 
Faith, humble Hope, and penitential Love to our 
Redeemer’s Cross, the sure anchor of salvation in the 
hour of death and in the day of judgment.” To Dean 
Walker, Huntly, he wrote (March 17, 1830)—“ Mention 
of our highly-mansioned and ever-memorable friend, whose 
paternal attention was a blessing from God both to you 
and me, ever touches my heart-strings, where his dear 
‘remembrance is ever firmly fixed. May we, by the same 
spirit that guarded him, so spin out our thread, as that 
we may, in some lower mansion, be re-admitted to his 
Next year (April, 1788) Mr. Jolly, at the urgent desire 
of the Bishop of Aberdeen, left the congregation of 
Turriff for that of Fraserburgh, The exchange, Mr. 


Pressley says, was greatly against his own inclination ; 
but a sense of duty constrained him. The congregation at 
Fraserburgh was then in a somewhat critical condition, 
very uninviting to a Clergyman. The then Incumbent, 
the Rev. John Durham, had lately, through various 
failings and misfortunes, including an accident’ which 
resulted in the fracture of a leg, became incapacitated 
for duty, although there was every prospect that he would 
live a good many years, a burden on the congrega- 
tion, making the small stipend smaller. To Mr. 
Jolly this drawback was probably less of a dis- 
couragement than it would have been to most men. 
Anyhow he “agreed to allow Mr. Durham the greater 
part of the slender” salary, ‘which was” accordingly 
“regularly paid over to him till his death,” somewhere 
about eight years afterwards. Mr. Jolly appears to have 
had some additional allowance from Church funds, on 
account of this great burden upon him; for on his 
removal from Turriff to Fraserburgh, Bishop Walker says 
his name is entered in the Register of Administration of 
the fund “for the Indigent Episcopal Clergy,” &c., for 
seven guineas, instead of six or nine crowns, which was 
the usual grant. After Mr. Durham’s death, Mr. Jolly 
acted the part of a father to his destitute family ; and, in 
fact, he may be said to have adopted his son, John 
Durham, paying for his maintenance, education, and 
settlement in life. 

The year which saw Mr. Jolly settled for life at 
Fraserburgh was a notable one in several ways. It was 
the anniversary of the Revolution of 1688, which drove 
the last Stuart from the British throne ; and it witnessed 
the death of the last. active Stuart claimant for that 
throne, and also the close of the Episcopal Church’s 


hundred years’ barren witness to the Stuart claims. 
Prince Charles Edward died at Rome on the 31st of 
January, 1788 ; and his death was the signal for almost 
immediate and complete submission of the Church to the 
reigning family. It is evident, from the letters of the 
period, that the majority of Churchmen had for some 
time contemplated submission, and only waited for the 
demise of the Prince as a natural though not very logical 
opportunity for accomplishing the purpose. There was a 
small but keen minority against submission, and they had 
something to say for themselves. Jacobitism, as a cause, 
was indeed hopelessly lost; but it might still be main- 
tained as a theory. Charles was dead, but Henry, his 
brother, lived, and though a Cardinal, might still , be 
King, and have .a legitimate successor. “You know,” 
wrote Oliphant of Gask, “ye King of England never 
dies, and were Henry ye 9th to do so, unquestionably ye 
King of Sardinia is our lawfull Prince.” Nothing could 
take away Henry IX.’s “right,” “were he even 
Mahumetan and a Turkish Priest”.* General sub- 
mission on a certain day was agreed to by the Bishops 
and the Diocesan Synods; but such sturdy Jacobites as 
Gask continued to hold out, refusing either to pray for 
King George themselves or to let others do so in peace, 
trying in Church to drown the Clergyman’s voice at the 
obnoxious petition by coughing, blowing their noses, slam- 

ming their books, and other and less seemly interruptions.t — 

* Jacobite Lairds of Gask, p. 409. 

+ When King George was first prayed for by name in Meiklefolla 
Church, Charles Halket of Inveramsay sprung to his feet ; vowed 
that he would never pray for ‘‘ that Hanoverian villain,” and» 
instantly left the Church, which he did not re-enter for twenty 
years. —See Bishop Gleig, Chap. 1]. A Mr. Roger, of St. Andrews, 
‘Aberdeen, said Bishop Skinner might ‘‘pray the cknees aff his 
breeks” before he would join him in praying for King George. 
—(Auctore, Dr. Grub.) . 


ff ye 
iw wae a 

hy ou Pe & 

\ I 


Some of the Clergy who had themselves gone on to 
the last proclaiming no surrender must have found 
it somewhat difficult to deal with these stern out- 
standing lay brethren, who had taken them at their 
word, and were only too consistent.* But with Mr. 
Jolly it was very different. The part he acted on this, 
as on subsequent critical occasions, appears to have been 
eminently modest and conciliatory. The speech which 
he delivered in the Diocesan Synod of Aberdeen, which 
met (at Longside, April 9, 1788) to consider the 
question of submission, was couched in a style at once 
becoming the occasion, and calculated to persuade the 
doubting—expressing, as it did, simply a hope that 
submission was not wrong, and would not imply, on the 
part of the Churchmen, either a recognition of the 
principles of the Revolution or an abandonment of their 
own principles—“ the principles,” as he believed, “ of 
Scripture as illustrated by the practice of the primitive 
Church ”.+ 

On the first occasion that Mr. Jolly did duty in 
Fraserburgh Church, it would seem that his slight frame 
and’ weak voice rather detracted from the effect of his 

* Mr. Cruickshank of Muthil was a good instance of this class. 
He had been in the way of acting as Chaplain to Gask, and had 
assured that uncompromising gentleman, when there was a talk of 
submission, that he would never submit. Within a few days he 
abruptly wrote Gask that he had ‘‘ begun nominal prayers”. Gask 
replied instantly that ‘‘as he has incapacitated himself from 
officiating at Gask, his gown is sent by the carryer, and . 
as Mr. Cruickshank has received his stipend to Whitsunday, there 
is no mony transactions to settle between him and Mr. Oliphant”. 

+ Here Mr. Jolly enunciated the principles by which his whole 
views were governed through life, and the application of which 
many will think he sometimes carried too far, not making sufficient 
allowance for changed times and circumstances. ‘‘It even seems to 
me,” says Sir J ohn Coleridge of his friend, Keble, * a fallacy to refer 

everything, as he did, to the standard of the primitive C , and 
to be unwise because unpractical ”—( Memoir of Keble, p. 466). 


ministrations. At least, he used himself, Mr. Pressley 
says, to tell a story to that effect. On coming out of 
Church, he overheard one man saying to another, “ Fat’n 
a cheepin’ body’s that ’t the Bishop’s sent ’s?” No event 
of much interest marked the first eight years of his 
Fraserburgh incumbency. He kept the even tenor of his 
primitive way, entirely absorbed in duty, devotion, and 
study, creating no sensation, but impressing every one 
with a conviction of his eminent saintliness of character. 
The very natural result, especially for those times, was 
his elevation to the Episcopate. clear, we think, 
that it was rather to the prevailing belief of his singular 
fitness to adorn the Episcopal office, than to any proved 
need of an additional Bishop at the time, that his con- 
secration was mainly due. Charles I. said that William 
Forbes, first Bishop of Edinburgh, deserved to have a see 
created for him. It was chiefly because Mr. Jolly was 
thought to deserve a see, that a see was provided for him. 

This seems clear from the circumstances of his appoint- 
ment, first and last. It was to the very same office to 
which, eleven years previously, Bishop Petrie had wished 
him appointed, that Bishop Petrie’s successor now had 
him appointed. And if the appointment was objection- 
able then, it was still more objectionable now. For to 
the old objections of uon-residence and ignorance of 
Gaelic, there was now added the yet more cogent 
objection of superfluousness. It is impossible to show 
that there was any reasonable cause for the appointment 
at that time of a coadjutor to the Bishop of Moray and 
Ross. Bishop Macfarlane was as yet a comparatively 
young man, having, as it turned out, still three-and- 
twenty years of life and work in him, and the united 
diocese contained only nine small charges. The proposed 


appointment was, in truth, rather a glaring abuse, even 
for those days, of the very irregular coadjutor system. 
The Primus (Bishop Skinner) set his face like a flint 
against it, steadfastly refusing to give it his sanction, or 
to take any part in carrying it out, and maintaining that 
it would be better to send the diocese two or three more 
Presbyters than a second Bishop. The rest of the 
Bishops admitted that the objections urged by the 
Primus had great weight ; but they held that, weighty as 
they were, the great merits of Mr. Jolly overbalanced 
them. No reference appears to have been made to the 
Presbyters of the diocese over whom the proposed 
coadjutor was to have rule. The majority of the Bishops 
settled the matter amongst themselves. They over-ruled 
the objections of the Primus ; met at Dundee on the eve 
of St. John Baptist’s day, 1796, elected Bishop Abernethy 
Drummond Primus for the occasion, and next day, June 
24, they (Bishops Abernethy Drummond, Strachan, and 
Macfarlane), consecrated Mr. Jolly. 

One cannot help regretting that one who was himself a 
pattern of order and regularity should not have been 
appointed to his high office in a more regular manner. 
But the fault was not in him, but in the system of the 
age ; and never, perhaps, was a Presbyter raised to the 
Episcopate who felt more deeply the responsibilities of 
the office. Mr. Stephen says a Priest informed him that 
he slept in the same room with Mr. Jolly the night 
previous to his consecration, and that when that venerable 
man thought his room-fellow was asleep, he rose soon 
after midnight, dressed himself, and continued on his 
knees in prayer till morning.* 

It is quite in harmony with the working of the 

* Stephen’s History, Vol. IV., p. 447. 


coadjutor system to find that, after all, “ Bishop Jolly 
never officiated as a coadjutor”. As usually happened, 
a separate see was soon provided for him. After two 
years of nominal coadjutorship he was appointed to the 
“ sole Episcopal charge” of the Lowland diocese of Moray, 
which the Bishops had for that purpose disjoined from 
the Highland dioceses of Ross and Argyll. He was then 
“unanimously elected to Moray” by the Presbyters, “on 
the 14th February, 1798, and regularly collated to that 
charge on the 22nd of said month by the Primus and all 
his colleagues ”.* 

The diocese of Moray is small, and it had then very 
few and no large congregations—it is such a diocese, in 
fact, as a man of delicate health, retiring disposition, and 
studious habits would, if he had the choice, select for 
himself. Bishop Jolly was destined, in God’s Providence, 
to rule over it just forty years. 

* There was really very little difference between the manner of 
Bishop Jolly’s promotion and that of most of his colleagues. It is 
not too much to say that, directly or indirectly, they were all 
Episcopal nominees. Of the five, three (Bishops Macfarlane, 
Strachan, and Skinner) had, like Jolly, been. consecrated as 
coadjutors, though only one of them (Bishop Skinner) had really 
acted as such; and the two latter (Bishops Skinner and Strachan) 
according to Bishop Low,* had never been elected by the Presbyters 
of their dioceses at all. In the case of Bishop Abernethy 
Drummond of Edinburgh, and still more in that of Bishop Watson 
of Dunkeld, the election by the Presbyters could in no sense be 
called free.—See Life of Bishop Gleig. 

* Letter in Torry Collection. 

CHAPTER IV.—1798-1838. 

His whole manner of life during his Episcopate—Domestic Economy 
—Havbits of Study and Meditation—Visiting—Preaching— 
Administration of Sacraments— Eucharist —Baptism—Occa- 
sional Services, dc. 

Now that he enters on his Episcopal career, it seems 

proper to present the reader with a distinct account of 

Bishop Jolly’s whole manner of life, domestic, literary, 

pastoral, and Episcopal. To know his habits for even a 

single day, is to know much of his life, and to have the 
key to more. 

To begin with his domestic economy. This was 
perhaps the most peculiar and characteristic thing about ~ 
him, and it was the very essence of simplicity and 
plainness. It may in fact be doubted, if there was a 
single Clergyman in Scotland—even at the period of 
depression—-whose living cost less. He literally kept no 
establishment whatever, and during most, if not the whole 
time of his residence at Fraserburgh, he had no person 
living under the same roof with him. His sister, who is 
said not to have possessed his meekness of temper, kept 
house for him during a part of his Turriff incumbency ; 
but after a time she left him, having accepted the situa- 
tion of companion to some ladies, who at their death left 
her an annuity, on which she lived in her later days, in a 
house of her own, beside her brother’s church at Fraser- 

“Tt is well known,” says Dr. Neale, “that Bishop 
‘Jolly lived in a cottage by himself, having no servant in 

the house, nor any kind of attendant, except a woman 


who came in during the course of the day to put things to 
rights. As he was very fond of tea, he kept in his fire 
all night with a peat, so that he could light it up, when 
he rose before five o’clock.”* 

This account is substantially correct. ‘The Bishop rose 
at 4 o’clock, and in several of his later letters, he speaks 
of having been hard at work, “ since half-past four in the 

The house also which still stands (in Cross Street, off 
Mid: Street, in which the Church stood and stands), was 
not exactly a cottage. 

“Bishop Jolly’s residence in Fraserburgh,” says Mr. 
Thomson, “‘ was a large two story high house about the 
middle of the town, of which he was the sole inhabitant, 
occupying however only the upper flat. As he kept no 
servant, his only attendance was the occasional services 
of a mason’s wife, who came every morning, opened his 
door, made his fire, arranged his bed, and did any other 
menial services he required. He prepared his own break- 
fast, and then was left alone till dinner-time, when the 
_ woman was again seen coming down the street, carrying 
a very small pot in her hand, with a wooden cover on it, 
and something else beneath her apron, which was the 
whole ‘preparation for the Bishop’s dinner. If any person 
had to call on the Bishop, there was no admittance to 
him but by the agency of Mrs. Rettie, who came with her 
pass-key, opened the door, and went up and told him who 
it was that wished to see him. When his visitor departed, 
he conducted him downstairs himself, locked the outer 
door, and was again left in his usual solitude.” 

With such domestic arrangements, it is plain that, 

* Neale’s Torry, p. 111. 

+ Communication to writer of Memoir. 


however much the recluse Prelate might be “a lover of 
hospitality,” it was only to a limited extent that he could 
exercise that Scriptural duty. Yet he certainly did not 
neglect it. Every year, on the day of their annual 
meeting, he gave to the Trustees of his Chapel an 
entertainment, which was concluded with a huge bowl 
of rum punch, usually mixed by Mr. Pressley, during 
the period of that gentleman’s assistantship. 

One of his old pupils, the Leslies of Rothie, once 
called upon the Bishop, and was treated to a cup of tea. 
The tea was very good; but, said Mr. Leslie, “‘I wouldn’t 
have given a groat for all that was upon the table”. 

A better proof, however, of his every-day hospitality 
was his kind attention to Mr. Thomson, then a youthful 
private in a Militia regiment, on a short stay at Fraser- 
burgh. “In the summer of 1811, I was at Fraserburgh 
doing service in the Local Militia. When I left home, 
my parents gave me strict injunctions to wait upon 
Bishop Jolly, for whom they had great respect and 
veneration. I was then a very young man, and not 
much accustomed to the society of such dignified 
personages, and I felt rather nervous at the idea of 
intruding on his Reverence. However, I plucked up 
courage, and with the assistance of Mrs. Rettie got 
introduced to the Bishop.. When I told who I was, and 
thé reason for my waiting on him, he received me with 
the greatest kindness. After giving me his blessing, a 
great deal of good advice, and an excellent book to read 
(it was Nelson’s Practice of True Devotion), he said, 
‘Now you must drink with me’. So he opened his 
cupboard, and took out a bottle of spirits, some sugar, 
and spring water, and compounded a tumbler of the 
most delicious grog I ever tasted. I have tried to mix 


spirits and water, and have seen others do the same, but 
I never tasted anything of the kind so palatable as that 
mixed by Bishop Jolly.” 

The chief reason why the Bishop maintained so 
rigorously this monastic seclusion was, without doubt, 
the ardour of his devotion to his sacred studies and 
meditations. He continued now, as in his Presbyterate 
days, to adhere, both in reading and devotion, to the 
most strict, regular, systematic course; though now, 
his additional duties broke in upon it more fre- 
quently. One portion of his day’s reading, Mr. Pressley 
assures us, was never suffered to fall far in arrear 
viz., a daily fixed and unvarying number of pages 
of the Hebrew Bible and the Greek New Testament. 
This he called his “ work”—and if from illness, absence 
from home, or a press of duty, any part of it had been 
left undone, he took the first opportunity to bring up his 
arrears. No part of his “‘ work” was long neglected. He 
appears to have read in somewhat the same regular 
systematic way in the Primitive Fathers, especially in 
St. Augustine, and Chrysostom. It is at least certain, 
both from his letters, and from the testimony of his 
most intimate friends, that he was very familiar with the 
writings of these Chiefs of the Fathers; and that he 
could not endure to have any volume of his copy of their 
works long out of his sight. On one occasion he had 
lent out Chrysostom on the Priesthood, amongst his 
Moray Clergy, fixing as usual a time for its return— 
the fixed time came, but not the book. Great was his 
annoyance, and he wrote instantly, and with unusual 
sharpness, demanding the book by its Greek title, and by 
its Latin title—and at last fixing the period of three 

weeks, by the end of which it must be returned to him. 
4 : 



It is needless to say that he was thoroughly versed 

~in the writings of the great English Divines; Bishop 

Bull being on the whole his favourite—the teaching of 
that Prelate, especially in the Harmonia Apostolica, being 
regarded by him as“‘the truly Scriptural and primo-primitive 
theology”. Waterland also “ranked high with him,” as 
‘‘a second Bishop Bull,” though he thought his teaching 
on the Sacrifice in the Eucharist imperfect; his own 
views on that subject agreeing rather with the Non-jurors.* 
He was also familiar with the writings of the German 
Reformers ; in short, as his friend Bishop Walker—no 
mean authority—said of him, he was “ripe and ready 
on every subject in the wide and varied range of 
theological study, especially in Christian Antiquity”. 
But for long it seemed as if he read and plodded only 
for himself, hoarding up his treasures like the miser, as 
if he could take them with him. He was very slow to 
let the Church reap the results of his learned researches. 

With» the exception of the pamphlet of 1784, he 
published nothing, till he had reached the three score 
and ten, and even then he was drawn out reluctantly by 
his friends. No doubt the chief cause of his backward- 
ness ‘was his great humility. Most truly said Mr. 
Maclaurin of him, that he “fell into the most uncommon 
fault of greatly under-valuing himself”. His self-deprecia- 
tion in his letters is continual, and but for its manifest 
sincerity, would be somewhat wearisome. Bishop Gleig 
is reported to have said of him, that “Bishop Jolly 
would be perfect but for his excessive humility ”. 

But there was another and not less"péwerful cause of 
his unproductiveness. His mind was naturally of the 

* Hickes, Brett, Dodwell. Johnson of Cranbrook, who was of 

the same theological school as the Non-jurors, was also a great 
favourite with him. 


receptive rather than of the productive order; and close 
_and long-continued study had weakened in some sense 
the natural power of production. It seems to be possible 
fora man to “lay so many books on his head that his 
braincannot move ”. 

The Rev. Josiah Cargill was “jist dung donnart wi’ 
learnin,” and Bishop Jolly was undoubtedly somewhat 
overburdened with it. It choked rather than stimulated 
the natural growth of his mind, and made him sometimes, 
instead of thinking for himself, consider what others 
thought—look without for “an authority,” rather than 
within for “a reason”. 

Regular habits of devotion pervaded his whole life. 
He sought by these means to keep God always before 
him. In the only possible sense he “prayed without 
ceasing ”—asking God’s blessing upon everything he did, 
and on every person with whom he came in contact— 
sanctifying every act and deed of his life by the spirit of 
prayer. Besides daily stated periods for private prayer, 
“he made use of Bishop Andrews’ short ejaculations for 
the different hours of the day”. When about to enter 
into conversation with a friend, he, after the example of 
godly George Herbert, invoked mentally the divine 
“blessing on him” ; and in writing a letter, whenever he 
had occasion to mention the name of a friend, he invari- 
ably added a pious ejaculation—such as (Lord bless him !). 
His practice was similar when he referred to the Church, 
or to any divine ordinance ; for instance mentioning the 
Church of England, he says, “ Lord, mercifully preserve 
in every point that grand Bulwark of the Reformation !” 
“ Before commencing the perusal of any work of import- 
ance, he presented his solemn petition to God, for grace 
to enable him to convert it to his spiritual improvement.” 

Prnner her 


Latterly, especially in writing to a friend, he scarcely 
ever fails to close his letter with a request for his corres- 
pondents’ prayers ; often stating that he himself remem- 
bers his correspondents daily in his prayers. Bishop 
Walker says, “ regularly every day did his prayers rise up 
to the throne of grace, in behalf of all and each of his 
friends, of his Church and of his flock ”. 

It might be supposed that from his love of nay and 
retirement, Bishop Jolly would have been somewhat lax in 
visiting his congregation. But the contrary was the fact. 
Bishop Walker who frequently spent a large part of the 
year at Fraserburgh, says he was “ remarkably attentive ca 

Living witnesses corroborate this statement ; and one 
of these assures the writer that at one time the Bishop 
visited, however briefly, all the members of his congrega- 
tion who were resident in Fraserburgh, every day or 
every otherday. As he set apart a stated time for visiting, 
his studious seclusion did not so much hinder him from 
visiting his people, as it hindered his people from visiting 
him. It made access to him a slow, roundabout and 
uncertain process. The door-keeper had to be sought 
out, and when found was not always very civil or 
obliging; and if admittance was refused, it was often 
doubted whether it was the Bishop’s engagements, or the 
door-keeper’s convenience or caprice, that was the real 
obstacle. Thus it came about, Mr. Pressley says, that 
many of the people, however anxious they might be to 
see the Bishop, ceased to-seek admission to his presence, 
through the medium of the door-keeper. 

The evil of inaccessibility was considerably mitigated 
in later times, through the instrumentality of Mr. Pressley, 
who on becoming curate, obtained a key to the Bishop’s 
door, wherewith to admit himself whenever he chose ; 


and who, in his kindly obliging manner, was always 
ready to use the key for the convenience of members of 
the congregation. Still, at best, the Bishop’s studious 
seclusion did tend to the obstruction of free intercourse 
between him and his flock, and this was a misfortune for 
both. Doubtless the Bishop himself did not fully realise 
the fact. He speaks indeed in some of his late letters of 
reading more as a student than as a pastor; but by this 
expression he can only have meant to indicate the ardour 
and closeness of his application to study. The full 
difference, however, between reading as a student and 
reading as a pastor, is much more than the difference 
between greater and less application. It is the difference 
between making study and making professional duty the 
great business of life, making duty give way to study, 
instead of study giving way to duty. There can hardly 
be a case where a pastor would be justified in refusing to 
see a parishioner on the ground that he was “at his 
studies”. The countryman who called to see the literary 
French Bishop Huet, and being told that he could not see 
the Bishop then, because he was at his studies, naively re- 
marked that he wished the King had sent them a Bishop 
who had finished his studies. Bishop Jolly, we may be well 
sure, would have been the very last man to sanction the 
direct refusal of an interview to a parishioner because he 
was at his studies, but yet the result of domestic arrange- 
ment was practically, in many cases, an indirect refusal ; 
and the Fraserburgh people would probably have been 
well content, that he should have been only half as learned, 
had he been twice as accessible. 
His manner int Church, in conducting the ordinary 
services—in preaching the Word, and in administering 
the Sacraments—was strikingly solemn. This is the 



account of Bishop Walker, who often assisted him at 

“Bishop Jolly’s manner,” says Bishop Walker “was 
peculiar at all times; naturally serious and solemn, but 
never sour or surly. At Church, his manner was 
singularly remarkable, as if his whole soul was con- 
centrated, and his whole man outward and inward 
devoted to the duty before him, under the deepest 
impression of the promised presence of the Divine 
Mediator. Every thought was evidently absorbed in 
the sense of this presence, and in the performance of 
the duty before him. There was nothing eloquent in 
his preaching ; but as there was nothing peculiar, or at 
least offensive, even to strangers, in his voice or manner, 
his seriousness and earnest sincerity were such as to 
interest all who saw and heard him, even for the first 
time, and to carry them along with him to more 
permanent effect, than many a lauded preacher, whose 
eloquence is admired and immediately forgotten. Preach- 
ing he never neglected, and his preaching was ever 
sound and salutary; but he never gave it that pre- 
eminence which it has too generally acquired over more 
important and essential points and services in the 
Christian Minister’s commission.” 

Mr. Thomson’s account* is substantially the same— 
“ His discourses were plain and impressive, delivered, with- 
out any attempts at rhetorical flourishes or bursts of 
oratory. His voice was somewhat feeble and hollow in 
sound, yet as he spoke deliberately and with distinct 
articulation. he could be heard without difficulty by an 
attentive congregation”. Mr. Pressley sayst—‘“ The style 

* Private Communications to writer. 
+ Funeral Sermon on Bishop Jolly, pp. 12, 13. 


of his preaching was peculiarly earnest and impressive, 
but it owed its power . . . in an especial manner to 
that fervour and spirituality which pervaded the whole”. 
From what Mr. Pressley says we think it is very likely 
that in preaching, as in other matters, the Bishop’s hard 
reading tended somewhat to the detriment of his effective- 
ness. In the earlier stage of his Ministry, Mr. Jolly 
devoted four hours a-day to the preparation of sermons— 
but latterly he scarce ever made a sermon at all. Mr. 
Pressley does not believe he “wrote ten sermons all the 
time he was at Fraserburgh”. 

It is hardly possible that the effect of his preaching 
should not have been impaired by the constant use of old 
materials. There is all the difference in the world 
between speaking from old notes and the uttering of fresh 
thoughts in fresh words. No. doubt the difference was 
less in the case of a man of Bishop Jolly’s solid character 
and early matured powers, than it is in the case of most 
preachers. The Bishop’s matter, at whatever time 
composed, was always sound and practical ; his manner 
was always earnest and impressive ; and, to those who 
knew his saintly life, 

Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway. 

Of his administration of the Lord’s Supper we have 
from Bishop Walker a short general, and from Mr. 
Pressley a full and particular, account, both very 
interesting. Bishop Walker says—“He was ever most 
anxious to explain the nature and obligation of the 
Christian Sacraments as the ordinary means of divine 
grace,” And “it was a delightful sight to see the good 
yman administer the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, and 
especially on any of the great Festivals, when, in addition 
to the deepest devotion, which the participation of the 


‘Lord’s’ Supper always demands and excites, there 
‘was added the exhilarating recollection of the birth 
of the Son of God as the Son of Man, of His resur- 
rection, and triumph over death and the grave,” W&e. 
Mr Pressley’s very minute and particular account is as 
follows :— 

“ At Fraserburgh, the sum total of public celebrations was 
only jive in the course of the ecclesiastical year—i.e., 
three on the great Festivals of Christmas, Easter, and 
Pentecost, and two on the Sundays after Trinity, without 
any regard to the first of the month—generally the 10th 
and 21st, the last being regulated by the course of the 
harvest, whether early or late. On these five separate 
occasions the attendance of communicants was generally 
full—more so, in fact, than at present, when the 
administration is more frequent. Till he grew feeble, he 
would not allow me to take any part in covering the 
altar, &c., or in preparing the elements, and in the 
coldest Christmas morning he was to be found in the 

Church, at about 6 a.m., with a large lantern which he « 

kept for the purpose, making his arrangements, and 
carrying from his lodgings, at two different journeys, all 
the necessary materials—the bread previously prepared 
and kept in a box for the prothesis, and the wine (port) 
in bottles, carefully drained when poured into the 

The whole was concluded by an office of devotion for 
the purpose, aud given memoriter. In the performance of 
the entire office of the altar, the whole spirit and soul 
of the venerable man was called into action, and fixed 
and consecrated on the adorable subject before him ; 
but there was no visible exhibition, no elevation, no 
prostration or genuflexion, or the slightest approach to it 
in any part of the office, with the single reserve, which I 

c. ee, / 






daresay I have pointed out to you,* when the appearance 
of the whole man was so wrapt in devotion, as to suggest 
the idea of a pure spirit in prostration before the throne, 
while speaking in the name of the Christian people 
_kneeling around him as their priest and mouth-piece. 
The passage in the office to which Tallude is this—‘And 
here we humbly offer and present unto Thee, O Lord, 
ourselves, our souls, and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, 
and lively sacrifice unto Thee’; and certainly never were 
words uttered by any Priest more pregnant with meaning. 
The remembrance I have of such scenes as they occurred 
will ever be present with me. The consecrated elements, 
if the reserve was large, were partly partaken of by several 
of the Churchwardens who remained for the purpose, 
and the remainder carried to his lodgings, and reserved 
for future use. He told me that he learned the practice 
of reserve from some writings on the Greek Church with 
which he got acquainted in the course of his researches, 
and ever after, on every Sunday and holiday when 
an epistle and gospel were appointed by the Church, he 
brought forth from their usual receptacle as much as was 
required for the single act of communion, with none but 
God and good angels for his companions. There was in 
no case any fresh celebration, because he conceived none 
to be needed; and in the single act of reception in both 
kinds of what had to be consecrated weeks before, he had 
no doubt but that a full and complete communion with 

* Mr. Pressley has often pointed this out to the writer. It is 
very probable that the manner of the most pious amongst the 
English Reformers resembled that of Bishop Jolly at this point of 
the service. (See Dean Hook’s Life of Cranmer, pp. 150-1.) “*‘The 
Reformers, one and all, . . maintained . . . that the 
sacrifice was the offering of themselves, their souls and bodies, to 
God’s service, in common with the hosts of Heaven.” 


his God and Saviour had been made.”* It would be 
difficult to conceive anything more entirely characteristic 
of this “holy and humble man of heart” than his manner, 
as thus described, on those solemn occasions, exhibiting as 
it does the deepest reverence and the most fervent 
devotion, manifested in the simplest and quietest way. 

As to his administration of the other Sacrament, 
Bishop Walker says—‘ In administering the Sacrament 
of Baptism, it was manifest that he looked to the thing 
signified ; but then he felt that the sign is the seal 
thereof, unless we throw some obstacle in the way, as 
those men so clearly do who repudiate Baptismal Regener- 
ation as a wretched figment”. The Bishop appears also 
to have been always most anxious to have an assurance 
that every person who joined his congregation had been 
regularly baptised. A clergymen now living tells an 
anecdote illustrative of this fact, which he had from the 
parties concerned. A member of the Bishop’s Fraserburgh 
flock married a woman who had been brought up in a 
sect, of the regularity of whose baptism the Bishop 
entertained doubts. She agreed to join the Church. 
The Bishop insisted upon her.submitting to (hypothetical) 
re-baptism. The woman refused for a long time, and the 
Bishop had recourse to something like gentle violence in 
order to ensure compliance. 

In the performance of all the services, ordinary and 
occasional, the Bishop was undoubtedly more strict and 
rubrical than most Clergymen of his day. He read the 
prayer for the whole state of Christ’s Church, and a member 
of his congregation still living says that his reading of it 
was singularly impressive, especially the passage, “ And 
we most humbly beseech Thee, of Thy goodness, O Lord, 

* Letter from Mr. Pressley to the writer of the Memoir. 


to comfort and succour all them who in this transitory 
life are in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other 
adversity ”. 

In one of his late letters,* he states that in marrying a 
couple he always read the whole of the English Marriage 
Service from beginning to end; in another, that he had 
_ begun, during his Turriff ministry, and had always 
continued the use of the prayer in Ember weeks. In 
intimating Holy Communion, he read the whole of the 
Exhortation, with the significant exception of the clause 
in which the reader is made by implication to speak of 
himself as “a discreet and learned Minister of God’s 
Word”. ‘The Bishop read the passage thus—“ Let him 
come to me and open his grief”. 

* To Bishop Skinner. In Bishop J olly’s early days, the English 
-/Marriage Service was probably very seldom used in the North. 
Manuscript forms, both of the Marriage and Baptismal offices, were 
in common use by the Clergy. The Rev. John Skinner of Longside, 

Mr. Pressley says, continued to the last to use such forms, adapted 
by himself. : 

CHAPTER V.—1798-1838. 

The Government of his Diocese—His Manner towards his Clergy— 
Visitation of his Diocese—Mode of Travelling while Visiting— 
Anecdotes—Bestowal of his Blessing—His Policy in the General 
Government of the Church—As an Administrator, as a Legis- 
lator—His Manner in Society—Anecdotes. 

From the many extant copies of the Bishop’s letters, both 
to his brother bishops and to the clergy of his diocese, 
during the last twenty-two years of his life, a very distinct 
idea may be formed of him as a ruler both of his own dio- 
cese and also of the whole Church. As regards his own 
diocese, the Bishop, like most bishops of the time, took 
entirely the paternal view of Episcopal authority, hold- 
ing that the Bishop’s power should be in no way limited 
or controlled, except by his own free consent, and 
hence that he need never assemble his Presbyters in 
Synod, unless he wishes their advice, and of course need 
not follow the advice when he gets it unless he pleases. 
It is needless to say that with such a Bishop as Jolly, and 
such a diocese as Moray, paternal government worked well, 
except, perhaps, as regards Church progress. "When the 
Bishop had only four or five Presbyters, and they mostly 
about the same age, and of the same way of thinking as 
himself, it might well seem too much of a mere formality 
to assemble them in Synod once every year, still more to 
address to them a regular charge. The Bishop, though a 
great upholder of “decency and order,” was also by nature 
a lover of simplicity, and avoided all avoidable formalities. 


Hence, he seldom convened a Synod of his diocese, and 
never delivered acharge.* In fact, he only visited his dio- 
cese once in three years, when he held a Confirmation in 
each of the churches of it. In the intervals he did most 
of his diocesan work by letter. In the best sense of the 
word, however, his government of his diocese was fatherly, 
or perhaps still more correctly, brotherly. He treated his 
Clergy as brothers, writing to them always in the most 
affectionate terms—taking the liveliest interest in them 
and their families, and never letting slip an opportunity of 
doing them a service. “ Our very few, but very dear dio- 
cesan Brethren” he writes of them on one occasion to one 
of their number. Some of them were sometimes rather 
hard pressed by the res angusta domi. The Bishop sought 
assistance for them from every available fund, and from such 
ever open-handed friends of the Church as Mr. Bowdler, 
of Eltham, seldom failing also to draw first upon his own 
slender resources. A very common injunction of his ina 
letter to a clergyman was, “ Pray take no more notice of this 
[a £5 note] than merely to say that you have received it”. 

It can hardly be needful to say that when he paid a 
visit to his diocese, he was received with the utmost respect 
and reverence. Bishop Walker accompanied him on one 
occasion, and this was what he saw— 

“JT had once the high satisfaction of attending Bishop 
Jolly through his diocese as his Chaplain, when I saw as 
fine a specimen of a Christian Bishop as the most vivid 
imagination could well picture. There was no pomp. 
There were no adventitious circumstances to excite at- 
tention, or to demand respect ; but wherever and whenever 

* Diocesan Synods, and still more Charges, were very irregular 
and infrequent in those days, except in the diocese of Aberdeen, 

where the Clergy were comparatively numerous, and the Bishop able 
and energetic. 


the holy and humble man appeared, he was received by 
all, old and young, by persons of every rank and degree, 
with an evident fervour of reverence, respect, and regard. 
In performing the duties of his high office, particularly on 
this occasion, the simple and impressive ordinance of Con- 
firmation, there was in his whole manner, a sinking of self 
so evident, and an unaffected fervour of devotion so attrac- 
tive, and so impressive, as seemed to carry every heart 
along with him to the promised and special presence of 
the divine Mediator. I heard too at the same time his 
occasional notes of exhortation to his Clergy; and such 
_was the manner of the man, and such the matter of his 
counsel, that even I felt no want of a formal Charge. Yet 
he was by reading and reflection, so admirably qualified for 
the task, that we may be permitted to regret that he did not 
give us, at least triennially during his Episcopate, a series 
of Charges on such important and interesting topics as were 
familiar to his mind, but not equally familiar to those 
ministers, whose pastor he was, though he in his modesty 
thought differently.”* 

The impression produced on Dr. Walker by what he 
witnessed: was precisely what we should have expected. 
Whatever Bishop Jolly did was well done; but much that 
he could have done well was not attempted. There was in 
him a reserve of edifying power which he never put forth. 
Dr. Walker’s report of the visitation, however—the report 
of an excellent judge—presents a picture which the pious 
heart will dwell on with delight. 

The report from the side of the visited Clergy is less 
full, but not substantially discordant. It is thus that Mr. 
Maclaurin, of Elgin—an able man and keen observer— 
spoke in his funeral sermon on the Bishop. ? 

* See Memoir prefixed to Sunday Services. 



“His (Bishop Jolly’s) holy simplicity and charity made 
him of all men the most humble. Constantly occupied 
with thoughts of good to others, he fell into the most un- 
- common fault of greatly under-valuing himself. It was 
this that made him a better specimen of the solitary saint 
than of the Christian Bishop. Such was his humility, in- 
deed, that he would not perform the ordinary duty of giving 
periodical Charges to his assembled Clergy. His conscious- 
ness of sin as a descendant of Adam was so deep, that no 
sense of official honour was sufficient so far to overcome it ; 
and he contented himself with individually exhorting the: 
inferior pastors, more in the language of the most affec- . 
tionate equal, than in the authoritative tone of one to 
whom they had solemnly vowed obedience.” 

It is clear that, on the whole, Mr. Maclaurin had a just 
appreciation of the good man’s character ; but some readers 
will probably think that the Bishop showed not only true 
humility, but also a just sense of the fitness of things 
by “individually exhorting his ” four or five “inferior 
pastors” “in the language of the most affectionate equal,” 
rather than collectively in a formal charge and in “an 
authoritative tone”. 

The good Bishop’s mode of travelling while visiting his 
diocese was, latterly at least, quite becoming the dignity of 
his office. For some time he usually hired a carriage from 
one charge to another—ordering through the clergyman 
the “Huntly chaise,” or “ the Keith ” or “Elgin chaise,” 
as the case might be. Latterly, however, he hired ‘the 
chaise from Fraserburgh” for the whole journey, “ out and 
in”. On one occasion, indeed, Mr. Pressley says the 
carriage he had from Fraserburgh was not a regular post- 
chaise but a certain old-fashioned, long-unused, nondescript 
vehicle, which was furbished up for the occasion; and 


which became “the cause of” much “wit” during the 
Bishop’s progress. When about to start one morning from 
the inn at Huntly, where the party had staid over night, 
the innkeeper said to Mr. Pressley (who accompanied the 
Bishop), “ Well, I suppose you think us a set of half- 
civilised Highlanders up here, but I wouldna’ be seen in a 
thing like that !” 

Of course, in earlier times, the Bishop usually made his 
diocesan journeys on horseback; and had he done so on 
foot, he would have been none the less respected by the 
native churchmen. But with strangers from the south, 
accustomed to the high style and state of an English 
Bishop, the very simple equipage of Bishop Jolly was 
scarcely realisable. A story is still told in the Moray 
diocese of the awkward effect produced by the sudden con- 
tact of the English ideal with the Scotch reality. The 
Bishop was expected by a certain hour at the shooting-box 
of an English gentleman resident in his diocese. He was 
somewhat late, and some of the servants (all English) had 
stationed themselves at the gate on the outlook for him. 
As they stood peering into the distance to catch a glimpse 
of his lordship’s carriage, a little man rode up, upon a 
little pony, and asked them a question. In turn, they 
asked him the question whether he could tell them if the 
Bishop was drawing near? ‘I am the Bishop,” was the 

There is a function of the Episcopal office which was at 
one time much prized in the Seotch Episcopal church, but 
which is now little known, wiz., the bestowal of the 
@ishop’s.blessing. Bishop Jolly was possibly the last of 
the Bishops whose blessing was much sought after.* A 

* In the early stage of the Oxford movement there was great en- 
thusiasm for the little Church that had long faithfully kept up somuch 



lady, now living in Aberdeen, occasionally attended the 
Bishop’s church in Fraserburgh in 1834-5, and at that 
time it was usual for some members of the congregation 
(generally four or five) to remain after service every Sun- 
day, in order to receive the blessing. They knelt down 
for the purpose at the altar rails. When Dean Hook 
visited the Bishop in 1825, he says, “ When I gepar§ted, 

I knelt down at the threshold of the door, and he gave me~ 

his blessing with tears in his eyes ”.* 

As to the part which Bishop Jolly took in the general 
government of the Church, as a member of the Episcopal 
College, opinions may differ somewhat, with the differing 
views of the true nature of Episcopal government, but it 
will probably be generally admitted that his merits— 
though high—were yet not of the very highest order. 
This is the testimony of Bishop Walker on the subject :— 
“Tn addition to the care of his diocese, each Bishop had 
his share in the general government of the Church, which 
involves very important duties, and a very high responsi- 
bility. In this respect Bishop Jolly was a most important 
member of the Episcopal College. 

“With profound learning, a clear head, and a sound 
judgment, he was never at fault ; and when. he had once 
made up his mind on any important question, he remained 
firm as a rock. Ihave known him, on more occasions than 
one or two, tried by argument in every shape, by influ- 
ence, by ridicule, even under the name of Cunctator, or the 
drag on the carriage wheel. Nothing, however, could 

that Oxford was then striving to restore. When Bishop William 
Skinner visited Oxford in 1843, it was said the calls that were made 
upon him for the Episcopal blessing were so numerous and frequent, 
us to cause him serious bodily fatigue! Ludicrous exaggerations of 
the alleged fact were repeated by the unsympathetic. 

* Letter of Dean Hook to Writer. See Poste. 
; 3) 


move him. He ever stood steadily opposed to rash legis- 
lation and to novelties, however plausible, maintaining 
firmly but mildly that ‘Cunctator’ is a very necessary 
officer, especially among ecclesiastical legislators, and that 
a drag on the carriage wheel is in many circumstances the 
only means of escaping very serious disasters.” 

Most readers will probably gather from Bishop Walker’s 
account that the Bishop’s merits as an administrator were 
great, but as a legislator only of a secondary order. 

In-administering the general affairs of the Church, he 
evinced great judgment, prudence, caution, temper, and 
courtesy—ever leaning to the side of mercy, and, when 
party feeling ran high, acting the part of a peacemaker, 
and quietly settling envenomed disputes. 

His merits as a Church legislator may be safely inferred 
from the fact that he was named Cunctator, or the drag, 
by his by no means over-progressive colleagues. The part 
he took was almost entirely negative or repressive. He 
put on the drag whenever there was an attempt to accele- 
rate the Church’s movement. During the latter and more 
influential period of his Episcopate, he set his face de- 
liberately against every attempt to convene a General 
Synod, and this—as plainly appears from his letters—not 
from any distrust of his brethren, to whom the task of 
canon-making or canon-mending was entrusted ; but from 
a vague dread of innovation—a fear lest the Synod should, 
in spite of itself, be influenced by the spirit of the times, 
and legislate too much in accordance with modern ideas, 
and ‘thus enact something unprimitive ; something in- 
consistent with the original constitution of the Church, 
and. involving an encroachment on the Episcopal preroga- 
tive. In short, to avoid the risk of bad legislation the Bishop 
would fain have avoided all legislation, and postponed the 


meeting of the Synod indefinitely —(“till seven times seven- 
teen years”). But over-Conservatism is apt to degenerate 
into obstruction, and obstruction to end in stagnation.* 
‘For a period now of nearly thirteen years, the Church as 
a corporate body has been in a state of total inaction, while 
every other denomination of Christians in Scotland has 
been assiduously busy on schemes of self-enlargement and 
of individual concern.” So wrote, in 1826, the zealous 
son of a zealous father—Dean Skinner of Forfar. 

To complete the portraiture of the Bishop in his public 
character, it is proper to add some account of his manner 
in society. This, it appears, was much better than could 
have been expected. Considering how recluse and studious 
his life was, and that 

His days among the dead were passed — 
it might have been thought that in society he would be shy, 
awkward, and ill at ease. But according to Bishop Walker, 
who is substantially corroborated by the Bishop’s other 
most intimate friend, Mr. Pressley, he was the direct re-' 
verse. Bishop Walker says:—“If a person who had 
heard of his general character, of his solitary cell, and life 
devoted to study and piety, had seen him for the first time 
in society, he would probably have supposed that he had 

* Let the reader consider the general state of the Episcopal Church 
during Bishop Jolly’s Episcopate. His rule extended over forty 
stirring years. Roughly speaking, it commenced about eight years 
after the first French Revolution, and closed about eight years after 
the second. These two mighty convulsions made themselves felt— 
in the shock or in the recoil—throughout the whole period. It was 
a time of great and general ferment and activity. Most institutions 
showed that they felt the call upon them to bestir themselves, and 
adapt their machinery to changed times. Much might have been 
done by the Episcopal Church had it shown more corporate spirit, 
following up the excellent precedent of the Laurencekirk Conven- 
tions, and thus preparing—by a thorough union and organisation of 
its forees—to take advantage of the coming ecclesiastical convul- 


been misinformed, or that he misunderstood the charac- 
ter described to him. For he would find him exhibit 
all the ease of manner, cheerfulness of mind, and perfect 
self-possession which belongs to those who ate habitually 
in what is called the best society. . . ~ I have 
sometimes wondered at the perfect ease and readiness 
with which he would converse on every variety of general 
subjects, whether literary, scientific, or social.” 

Quite corroborating this, Mr. Pressley (when questioned 
by the writer) says—that he was “ well informed on 
general subjects,” and very “fluent in conversation ” ; 
and, when occasion called, could take an effective part in 
the discussion of any subject that might be stated. 
Bishop Walker goes further, and maintains that his 
society was courted even by “the most fashionable 
people”. “There never was anything shy or awkward in 
his manner. On the contrary, to my mind, he exhibited 
as perfect a specimen of a Christian gentleman as I have 

‘ever seen. Everything was easy and natural. Nothing 
was assumed or affected. There was great judgment and 
discretion in his social intercourse and conversation, and in 
effect his society was courted by the most fashionable 
people who became acquainted with him.” 

Then, in conversation, the Bishop displayed a rare pro- 
fessionol tact—of immense importance to his influence, 
and much to be envied by all clergymen. 

“He did not drag in religion or religious questions, as 
is frequently done most injudiciously. But occasions will 
frequently—almost always—occur when, even in ordinary 
society, religion and religious questions may, by such men 
as he was especially, be most properly introduced. Often 
have I been present on such occasions, and often have I _ 
admired the tact with which the Bishop took advantage of 


some apt allusion, and the judgment with which he im- 
parted the most important instruction, without wearying 
even the young and the naturally gay. On the contrary, I 
ever found that he carried all his hearers along with him, 
not to a task which they would avoid, but to an interest- 
ing lesson, which they were as willing te learn as he to 
teach.” On such occasions the Bishop probably appeared 
to more advantage as a speaker than he did in the pulpit, 
his manner being easier and his matter fresher. Mr. 
Pressley says he spoke with such accuracy and fluency 
that his “words might have been printed as they fell 
from his lips”. And Bishop Walker adds yet more 
emphatically, “ On such occasions he was eloquent— 
eminently eloquent, because every auditor perceived at 
once that the speaker felt all which he uttered, and no 
man or woman, I believe, ever heard him speak on such 
occasions once who did not desire to hear him again and 
again. There was eloquence in the very modulation of his 
voice, in his manner and attitude, and there was especial 
eloquence in his modesty—not the shyness of an awkward 
man, but the genuine modesty which is consistent with 
great firmness of character, because it isa Christian grace.” 
Where his character was known, it may easily be con- 
ceived how persuasive “ the old man eloquent ” could be. 

It may be supposed that, with his great seriousness of 
character, the Bishop seldom seasoned his talk with a 
pleasantry. It would be a mistake, however, to imagine 
that he never did so. He was not without a sense of 
humour, as is proved by his letters, which, grave as they 
generally are, yet contain an occasional lively sally ; 
and he was said to be by no means unaccustomed to en- 
liven his conversation also in the same way. The writer 
knows of two well-authenticated instances on which he 


condescended to the use of a pun. They are interest- 
ing chiefly as showing with what ready good humour he 
could turn the edge of an unpleasant incident. One day 
one of his clergy, Mr. Walker of Huntly, essayed to drive 
him somewhere ina gig, but upset him ina ditch. The 
Bishop bore the accident with great good humour, merely 
saying to his driver that he “‘ knew he was a good Walker, 
but he shouldn’t attempt driving”. On the other occa- 
sion referred to, the Bishop was walking on the streets of 
Peterhead at a time when political excitement ran some- 
what high, and found that the boys took a rather trouble- 
some interest in his bushy white wig. ‘Look at the 
terrible wig,” he heard muttered behind him. “I’m nota 
terrible Whig, boys,” said the Bishop good humouredly, 
turning round, “ but a good old Tory.” 
Mr. Pressley says the Bishop used often to mention an 
- instance of a play upon words, used not by but to himself, 
which illustrated his tact in introducing religious counsel 
or instruction, and also, it may be added, the stolid 
— ’ worldly-mindedness which is often proof against all tact 
a & and persuasion also. Walking in from the country one 
. (Vy) day, he fell in with a sailor boy, with whom he entered 
into conversation. The boy recounted to him several 
marvellous escapes which he had had from “ perils on the 
sea”. ‘You seafaring men,” said the Bishop, “ are often 
in great jeopardy ; you ought to live well.” “ We do live 
very well,” replied the boy, “we have beef and pudding 
three days in the week, and pea soup and pork on the 
other days, with plenty of grog every day !” 

CHAPTER VI.—1798-1816 

Adoption of XX XIX. Articles—Peculiar Views of some of Clergy— 
Bishop Macfarlane—Laurencekirk Convocation —Article X VI1. 
Address to Convocation—His Opinion of Reformation—His 
ready application of his Learning—Generally referred to as “the 
Good” —Consecration of Bishops Torry and Gleig—Reforns 
promoted by latter—Jolly’s opposition to Calling of a General 
Synod—How he spent his Spare Money—Dr., Routh—Death 
of Bishop Skinner. 

Bisnop Jorzty entered the Episcopal College at a time 

when there was rather a lull in ecclesiastical affairs. Six 

years had passed since the Repeal of the Penal Laws; but 
six more were to elapse before any effectual attempt was 
made to take full advantage of the Act. The chief step 

required by the Act was subscription of the XXXIX. 

Articles by the Clergy. But the Clergy were by no means 

forward to subscribe. They had not hitherto had to sub- 

scribe any such “ Confessional”. They were in fact, as 
some of them loudly complained, without any standard or 
test—each man taught what seemed good “in his own 
eyes”. They were indeed very much in the condition of 
the early Christians, and not unnaturally some of them, 
speculating on abstruse subjects, made a perilous approach 
to certain of the early heresies. They were driven by their 
antipathies, however, rather than drawn by their sympa- 
thies, and had evidently nothing in them of “ heretical 

‘pravity’”. Dr. Gleig and some of the Edinburgh Clergy, 

in their recoil from the extreme Calvinism of the day, 

ran into something like Pelagianism. Some of the nor- 


thern Hutchinsonians, and notably Bishop Macfarlane— 
and the famous John Skinner of Linshart, father of the 
Primus—through antagonism to the Socinianism of the 
century, fell into something hke Sabellianism and denied 
the eternal generation of the Son. 

Bishop Jolly’s well-balanced mind and deep learning 
rendered him proof against both these extreme tendencies. 
He stood almost alone among the northern clergy in en- 
tirely opposing Hutchinsonianism. His firmness was 
well tried. It appears from the letters of Bishop Mac- 
farlane* that that ardent Hutchinsonian had striven 
hard to bring Bishop Jolly over to his own views on the 
Eternal Generation question. To no purpose, however. 
At one time he writes that “ Bishop Jolly is hopeless” ; 
at another that he “writes me not”; at another that he 
does write him, but only to confute him! “TI had lately 
a long learned letter from Bishop J., wherein in his way 
he contends for the obnoxious tenet! I have not yet 
made an answer, but will, D.V. . He lays great 
weight upon Hebrews 1. 1, 2, 3—3rd especially ; on 
Romans i. 3, 4, with chap. ix. 5; also Col.i. 15. Ido’ 
not see these passages with his eyes. But what do you 
think ? he attempts to turn the noted passage of Ignatius’ 
ipistle to Ephesians, beginning ¢cs catpos, to his purpose. 
The attempt is vain,” &e. Vain, no doubt, it was as re- 
garded Bishop Macfarlane himself. Reasoning is weak 
against an ardent theorist like him. But where within 
the Church, north or south, shall we now seek for the 
supporters of Bishop Macfarlane’s views? They have died 

* Passages of these letters are printed in Neale’s Torry, but 
they give rather a weak idea of the strong language which the good 
man usually employed. 


out and been forgotten. In fact, neither Bishop Mac- 
farlane’s peculiar views nor those of Dr. Gleig were ever 
very widely prevalent among the Clergy ; nor did the sup- 
porters of either, so far as appears, have any clear idea that 
those views were inconsistent either with the definitions 
of the English Articles or the Decrees of the early Coun- 
cils. Hence when it became a question of subscribing 
the English Articles no difficulty appears to have been felt 
on the score of those views. 

The meeting of the Clergy for the purpose of deciding 
as to subscription of the Articles, and adoption of them as 
the standard of the Church, was held at Laurenckirk, 
October 24, 1804. It was called the Laurencekirk Con- 
vocation, no doubt to distinguish it from the two Lau- 
rencekirk Conventions of 1789 and 1792, which were 
mixed clerical and lay meetings. The Convocation was 
solely a clerical meeting, no doubt because the Clergy 
alone had to subscribe the Articles : hardly, however, a 
sufficient reason, the Chureh’s standards being a Layman’s 
question as well as a Clergyman’s. 

Of the Convocation Bishop Jolly was undoubtedly 
magna pars. 

It was found when the subject was fully considered in 
prospect of immediate action, that all the obstacles to sub- 
seription were either merely formal or such as were 
susceptible of ready removal by obvious explanations, 
with one exception. This was the Seventeenth Article. 
The English Calvinists, confidently claimed this Article 
as a clear and authoritative enunciation of their views ; 
and the language of the Article is, to say the least of it, 
quite open to a Calvinistic interpretation. The real ques- 
tion, however, was, is the Calvinistic the only admis- 
sible interpretation? For if so the Article was an effectual 


bar to subscription, the Scotch Clergy being to a man 
anti-Calvinistic. But the presumption was entirely the 
other way. It was very unlikely that the English Church, 
with its tolerant comprehensive spirit, would on such a 
subject as Predestination—one so completely beyond 
man’s full grasp and power of definition, and involving 

‘ such gloomy doctrinal consequences—have shut its Clergy 
up to one narrow interpretation. The true course there- 
fore in settling the admissible interpretation was that 
which was urged by Bishop Jolly in a learned and per- 
suasive address, viz., to appeal to the history of the 
Articles and the known views of their framers, revisers, 
and imposers, and those also of the long succession of 
eminent non-Calvinistic English subscribers. This was 
undoubtedly the most satisfactory mode of solving the 
difficulty. Bishop Skinner, the Primus, had proposed 
another. He had prepared a statement explaining the 
sense in which all the doubtful points in the Articles were 
to be understood, which statement he intended to propose 
should be prefixed to the Articles asa preamble, and sub- 
scribed along with them by the Scottish Clergy. This 
intention he happily abandoned on the eve of the Convo- 
cation, in consequence of a letter which he received from 
Sir William Forbes*, Had the Clergy resolved to sub- 
scribe with a preamble or explanation, the Convocation 
would have failed of its chief object. Subscription with 
an explanation would have been regarded as no subscrip- 
tion at all. The English Clergy would not probably in 
that case have considered the Scotch as bound by the 
* It was by mere accident that this good Lay advice was brought 

to bear upon the decision. Sir William Forbes only returned from 
England aud heard of the Convocation three days before it met. Had 

the Convocation been a Convention including laymen as well as 
Clergymen it would have been otherwise. _ 


same standard as themselves ; and would not have ‘‘ come 
in”. Further, the preamble, in so far as it tended to ex- 
clude Calvinists, would have been an unwise and unwatr- 
rantable restriction. It was quite enough that the Ar- 
ticle was open to a non-Calvinistic interpretation ; and if 
the English non-Calvinists subscribed it without an ex- 
planation so surely might the Scotch. 

Bishop Jolly’s address was well calculated to produce a 
good effect not only on the members of Convocation, but 
also on the whole Church, and likewise on “ those with- 
out,” especially the members of qualified congregations. 
For it not only justified the Church in ‘its interpretation 
of the Articles and the Clergy in their subscription of 
them, but it also vindicated for the subscribing Church 
the character of a Reformed as well as a Catholic body. 
- On this point the Bishop spoke with unusual decision, no 
doubt because he felt that it was a point on which, from 
the structure and phraseology of her Communion office, 
his Church was open to misconstruction, and had in fact 
been persistently misconstrued. “ Our belief,” he says, 
“ig diametrically opposite to the corrupt sacrifice of the 
Mass, which, with ail the errors and corruptions of the 
Church of Rome, none more heartily renounce and detest 
than we in Scotland do,” &c. 

Dean Stanley mentions * an anecdote which was told 
to him of Bishop Jolly, that “when he was asked at the 
beginning of the stir occasioned by the Oxford Tracts, 
what he thought of the Reformation, he said that ‘he 
had not come down so far in his regular course of ecclesi- 
astical history’”. This anecdote is probably one of those 
humorous inventions which have their origin in the de- illustrate the peculiarities of an eminent man. If 

* Lectures in Edinburgh in 1872. 


the Bishop ever really said anything of the sort it must 
have been in joke, and for. the purpose of silencing a 
troublesome questioner or avoiding an unprofitable discus- 
sion. He is said to have on one occasion silenced a young 
man, who asked him if he believed the members of a cer- 
tain sect which he thought very unsound would be saved, by 
referring him to our Lord’s answer to a similar question of 
St. Peter’s—* What is that to thee?” Anyhow this ad- 
dress, which was delivered and printed thirty years + 
before the stir of the Oxford Tracts, and reprinted and 
circulated nearly twenty years before that event, could 
leave no doubt as to “what he thought of the Reforma- 
tion,” especially of the English Reformation. “ When 
the dismal night of Romish error and delusion began to 
be dispelled by the dawn of Reformation, access was not 
at first and in all places so easy as could have been wished — 

to those early monuments, which would have most clearly 

detected and exposed the innovations and corruptions 
whereby the primitive faith and practice had been go 
grossly adulterated, and happily furnished the uniform 
standard of doctrine and discipline stampt with an- 
tiquity, universality, and consent, the safe and golden 
rule of Reformation.” “The Church of England has 
been justly called the Bulwark of the Reformation ; and 
her superior strength and beauty consist in her wise re- 
gard to primitive antiquity, whereby she threw off the 
adventitious morbid matter which burdened her consti- 
tution, and returned to her early health and vigour.” 

The Laurencekirk Convocation thus furnished Bishop 
Jolly with an opportunity of turning his great theological 
learning to account for the good of the Church. He had 

+ In Appendix to Bishop Skinner's Consceration Sermon (1804), 
and Appendix to Annals of Scottish Episcopacy (1818); see also 
Grub, 1V., pp. 116-120. 


sometimes a like opportunity in private, his literary 
brethren occasionally applying to him for an authority 
or the verification of a quotation. The following is an 
instance :—‘“‘I passed the winter,” says Dr. Walker, “from 
November, 1806, to May, 1807, in Fraserburgh, where I 
enjoyed the high satisfaction of being able to assist Bishop 
Jolly (for he had then no assistant) in his Sunday duty, 
and the still higher satisfaction of seeing and conversing 
with him daily. On every subject in the wide and varied 
range of theological study, especially in Christian Anti- 
quity, and wherever an accurate reference to authorities 
was necessary or desirable, he was equally ripe and ready. 
In my wey to Fraserburgh I passed a week with Dr. 
Gleig at Stirling, who was then employed in some contro- 
versial writing in the British Critic, which brought on 
him the accusation of Pelagianism, by persons who evi- 
dently did not know what Pelagianism really is. He was 
anxious to furnish an accurate account of that heresy ; but 
his principal authority was Collier’s Church History, and 
he had not the means of tracing the original authorities to 
which Collier refers. He furnished me with a long list of 
queries, with an earnest request to Bishop Jolly to com- 
pare the original authorities with which he was familar, 
and which he knew he possessed, and to furnish him with 
the result, which, of course, I was to copy and transmit, 
The good man instantly applied himself to the task, and 
we devoted an hour or two for several days in consulting 
St. Augustine’s folios, which the Bishop was regularly 
reading at the time. What was required was accordingly 
furnished, in less, I think, than a week ; and I recollect 
that we found Collier quite correct in all his references 
and in all his quotations.”* 
* Memoir prefixed to Sunday Services. 


It is not unlikely that Dr. Gleig made similar applica- 
tions to the Bishop on other occasions. In a letter which 
he wrote to Bishop Torry a few years later (December 26, 
1810) he says—“ I had a short letter some time ago from 
our excellent brother at Fraserburgh. . . . Short as 
his letter was it was satisfactory, as everything of his has 
always been to me. I wish that Fraserburgh and Peter- 
head were within a day’s journey of Stirling,” &c. 

Indeed the notices of the Bishop which occur in the 
letters of his colleagues and contemporaries from this time 
onward are uniformly of a very respectful and kindly 
tenor. They prove beyond a doubt that, secluded and 
retiring as he was, he yet wielded a powerful influence. 
““Good Bishop Jolly” is their almost invariable way of 
speaking of him. This is the style alike of the ultra- 
Hutchinsonian Macfarlane and the anti-Hutchinsonian 
Gleig, and both of them seem equally anxious to have the 
good man’s good. opinion*. 

On June 16, 1807, the famous John Skinner of Long- 
side, father of the Primus, died, and after his death his 
works, in three volumes, were published by his son. 
When the volumes were about to issue from the press, 
Bishop Macfarlane, who had failed to make an impres- 
sion on Bishop Jolly on the subject of Eternal Generation, 
exulted in the probable effect which these writings would 
produce on Bishop Jolly, who he knew had a great regard 
for the author. After saying (in a letter to Bishop Torry, 
6th Sunday after Trinity, 1808), “ Eternal Generation, 
Bishop Jolly’s idol, shall do much yet against God in 

* Had Bishop Jolly lived in England, and in the 17th century, 
he would have probably had the epithet of ‘‘ good” inseparably at- 
tached to his name, and been handed down as ‘‘the good Jolly,” 
like ‘‘the judicious Hooker,” ‘‘the immortal Chillingworth,” or 
“the ever-memorable John Hales of Eton”. 


Christ @cos ev xpiotw, before it is cast out,” &e., he goes 
on—‘ TI shall be sadly mistaken in case the work doth not 
cause much noise. My good brother in Fraserburgh’s 
spirit shall be sadly grieved to see it asserted that 
one Person in Jehovah, who is Eternal God, is not 
begotten of another person who is unbegotten. S. Ignatius, 
though the good Bishop will not allow it, says of Christ, 
that He is yevvytos cai ayevvytos, yevvytos is a S.S. term 
in the O. Test. 70 for begotten. (See Gen. v. 4, &., &., 
and S. Matt. i. et al.)” 

This same year (1808) his neighbour Mr. Torry, of 
Peterhead, became Bishop of Dunkeld, thus making the 
third Aberdeenshire Incumbent who had also the charge of 
a diocese. A very short time afterwards, Dr. Gleig, of 
Stirling, who had been three times elected to Dunkeld, was 
at last consecrated as Bishop-Coadjutor of Brechin. Bishop 
Jolly was always very friendly with both of these two col- 
leagues, and usually acted in concert with them. The 
elevation of Dr. Gleig was the first step towards redressing 
the balance between the North and the South. Dr. Gleig 
was a Northern man long domiciliated in the South, and 
thus understood both North and South, sympathised with 
both, and could mediate between them. He was a man 
of great learning and commanding abilities ; and he quickly 
made his influence felt. There were two crying disorders 
in the Church, for: which he advocated an instant remedy. 

1. The habit, chiefly prevalent among the Clergy in the 
North, of making alterations ad libitum in the Prayer Book 

2. The practice of the Clergy of one diocese interfering 
with those of another. 

There can be no doubt that in his attack on both these 
irregularities, Bishop Gleig had the cordial support of 


Bishop Jolly. The Bishop’s letters everywhere show how 
jealous he was of any interference with diocesan rule, and 
also how great a stickler he was for rubrical strictness. In 
this latter point especially he sympathised far more with 
the South than with the North. 

In another reform advocated by Bishop Gleig, we may 
be pretty sure he had not the active support of Bishop 
Jolly ; but at best his reluctant acquiescence. This was 
the provision of Canon V. admitting the Representatives 
of the Presbyters to a seat and vote in the General Synod. 
There can be no doubt but that this Canon was one of the 
chief grounds of an opinion which the Bishop expressed 
in his latter days, that “the Episcopal prerogative was, in 
some respects, diminished by the Synod of 1811,”* and also 
a chief cause of the marked disinclination with which, as 
will be seen, he always contemplated the convocation of 
another General Synod during his time. 

After the General Synod, the Church had rest for five 
years. No event of much importance took place. Oc- 
casionally, however, there occurs a passage in the Bishop’s 
letters which is interesting and illustrative of his character. 
A short letter written by him hurriedly in the Epiphany 
season of 1813, in answer, as it would appear, to an inquiry 
by Bishop Torry regarding a book, exhibits a little variation 
on his usual style, containing as it does some touches of 
quiet humour, and disclosing a wider range of reading 
than would be inferred from his other correspondence. The 
allusion to Bishop Petrie is very touching, and confirms 
what has been said as to the tender regard which he eyer 
cherished for the memory of that exemplary Prelate, 

“An English translation of Aristotle’s Poetics,” he 

*(March 28, 1828. Letter to Bishop Low.) 
¥ \ 


writes, “I never saw, although I know that there is such, 
and one of great merit, according to the review of it 
which appeared,’ I think, not many years back. 

His whole works I have in two vols. folio, and do highly 
value them, more especially his Ethical performances and 
his three excellent books of Rhetoric ; convinced that the 
discreet use of his wonderful writings, which of late have 
been too much neglected, may be turned to good ad- 
vantage. . . . It gave me pleasure to hear of you 
the other day by our friend Mr Cruickshank, Excise 
Episcopus. It delights me to fall in with anybody who 
knew Bishop Petrie, to think of whom refreshes me ; 
‘that we be not slothful, but followers of them who through 
faith and patience,’ ” &e. 

There are many proofs in the Bishop’s letters that all 
the money that came into his hands, with the exception of 
what was absolutely necessary for his own humble require- 
ments, was speedily devoted to some pious or charitable 
use. A marked instance occurred in the early summer of 
1814. At that time an unexpected grant of money appears 
to have been made to each of the Bishops, from what 
source does not clearly appear, and after a time the Primus, 
it would seem, wrote to each of his Colleagues, proposing 
some common mode of appropriating the grants, or parts 
of them, to some public, and no doubt ecclesiastical pur- 
pose. “It puzzled” Bishop Jolly “not a little,” as he wrote 
to Bishop Torry (June 12, 1814) to answer the Primus ; 
“and gladly,” he adds, ‘ would I have consulted with you 
upon the proposal, which I presume he has made to each 
of us. The thought is grand, but to me it is grovelling, 
and came too late, as you will see by my answer, of which 
I beg leave to send you a copy, as follows :—‘ While I ad- 
mire the generosity of sentiment which your letter expresses, 


T have sadly to lament that it comes too late for my con- 
currence, and in order to explain my inability, I am forced 
to reveal what otherwise I would in great measure have 
concealed, that I have already actually given nearly the 
one-half of this wonderful Bounty, and destined the rest 
to such uses as shall leave for me personally little more, if 
not less, than a tenth of the whole,” &c. No doubt great 
part of Bishop Jolly’s share was given to his poorer Clergy. 
In this year (1814) Dr. Routh, President of Magdalene 
College, Oxford, published his Reliquic Sacre, which he 
dedicated to the Bishops and Presbyters of the Scotch 
Episcopal Church (Doctis, piis, Orthodoxis). The dedica- 
tion was expressly meant as a tribute to the primitiveness 
of the Scotch Episcopal Clergy—the same tribute, in fact, 
as that paid to them by Bishop Horne, when he said he 
. believed that if St. Paul were to return to the earth, he 
would join himself to them, “as most like to the people 
he had been used to”. No honour could have been more 
to the mind of Bishop Jolly ; and he expressed his gratifi- 
cation in the warmest terms. In a P.S. to a letter to Bishop 
Torry (May 5, 1815) he writes—“ Admirable Dr, Routh 
I caress with the highest esteem, and most affectionate 
Regard—astonishing !” 

The writer has before him several excellent letters of 
condolence from Bishop Jolly to Bishop Torry, on occasion 
of deaths in the family of the latter. The following ex- 
tract indicates the state of Bishop Jolly’s own health at 
this time (July 23, 1815) :—“ You well know whither to 
resort for the healing balm, which the God of all consolation 
will not fail to give you, and so strengthen you, that the 
trial of your faith may be found in praise, and honour, 
and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ; whom you 
love and serve in the dolorous way, which however thorny, 


dark, and gloomy, meanwhile leads by His Cross to joy and 
glory eternal! My poor prayers attend you, who am for 
my own part a poor, ailing creature at present, and going 
on with a struggle in my weak attempts at duty,” &e. 

The zealous and energetic Primus (Bishop John Skinner) 
died in harness, on the 13th of July, 1816. He had the 
day before posted with his own hand an address of con- 
gratulation to the Prince Regent on the marriage of his 
daughter, the Princess Charlotte, little thinking what a day 
might bring forth. 

Few churchmen probably mourned the loss of this faith- 
ful servant of God and the Church more sincerely than 
Bishop Jolly. ‘‘ We are conjunct,” he writes to Bishop 
Torry, ‘in condolence over our heavy loss. . . . Could 
you spare but one quarter of an hour, I would beg to know 
the principal circumstances of our venerableand most worthy 
Primus’s departure from us, which I feel very heavily.” 

On Bishop Jolly, who, next to the now superannuated 
Bishop Macfarlane, was the senior Bishop, devolved the 
duty of issuing mandates for the election of a successor to 
the late Primus both in his primacy and in his bishopric. 
Had his own administrative energy been equal to his other 
high Episcopal qualities, the choice would probably in 
both cases have fallen on Bishop Jolly himself. 

As it was, he remained Bishop of Moray, while the 
Primus was succeeded as Bishop by his son, and as Primus 
by Bishop Gleig—probably the very ablest Bishop whom 
his Church has produced. At this time Bishop Jolly’s 
health, never robust, appears to have been considerably 
more broken and feeble than usual, and he writes as if he 
believed his days would be few. “At the time of the 
worthy man’s (the Primus’s) death, I was much out of 
order, but now (D.G.) am in my usual feeble state.” 

CHAPTER VII.—1816-1820. 

Takes more Active Part in Affairs—Moderates between North and 
South—Election of Bishop William Skinner—Southern Bishops 
hesitate to Confirm Election—Northern in favour of Conjfirma- 
tion—Labours for Peace—Publication of Skinner's Annals— 
Death of Bishop Macfarlane—Declines the additional Charge of 
Ross and Argyle—His Views as to who shall Succeed Bishop 
Macfarlane—Bishop Low's Election—Bishop Skinner's Protest 
against Confirmation of it—Labours to Prevent the growth of 
Ili-feeling between his Colleagues—Extracts from his Letters 
of this Period. 

Tue death of Bishop John Skinner, who had so long 
borne almost undisputed sway, especially in the North, 
had the effect of drawing Bishop Jolly more out from his 
retirement, and compelling him to take an active part in 
the conduct of affairs. The Primus was now on the banks 
of the Forth, not of the Dee; the North and South were 
more nearly balanced, and a succession of exciting questions 
soon arose, on which the North generally differed from the 
South. . Now, as all the Bishops, North and South, not 
only respected, but also revered “ good Bishop Jolly,” they 
all, without exception, paid great deference to his opinions ; 
and there is no doubt that from this time forth, and es- 
pecially for the next three or four years, he acted a most 
important part as a peacemaker. We find him writing a 
great number of official letters, of which he keeps copies. 
From these it is plain that he was continually pouring oil 
on the troubled waters, North and South. The first bone 
of contention in the College sprung out of the election of 


a new Bishop for Aberdeen. The North had already one- 
half of the Bishops. The South wanted it to be content 
with one-half, and let the next Bishop be chosen from 
among the able and learned Presbyters of Edinburgh. The 
Aberdeenshire Incumbents had already two Bishops in their 
own number. If they would not choose a Southern man, 
they were urged to choose one of these (Bishop Torry or 
Bishop Jolly) as their future head; and thus make a 
vacancy elsewhere for a Southern man. Instead of doing 
this, however, the Aberdeen Presbyters elected as their 
Bishop one who was not only an Aberdeen Presbyter, 
but also the son of the late Bishop, and thus presumably 
too favourable to the North and its traditions. This shut 
the door to the men of the South, and according to modern 
notions there was no recourse. Canonically, there was 
nothing irregular in the election, and there was nothing 
objectionable in the Elect. Quite the reverse. A good 
man was elected by 12 to 2. But things were managed 
differently in those days. The Canons permitted the 
Bishops an unlimited power of rejection, and the power 
had been freely exercised on at least one member of the 
existing College. Under the presidency of Bishop Skinner, 
the College had twice* rejected Dr. Gleig, when unani- 
mously elected. It seemed now, for a time, as if, under 
the presidency of Bishop Gleig, the College would reject 
Bishop Skinner’s son, when all but unanimously elected. 
But the times had changed more than the Canons, and the 
North was still strong. The Primus, though very much 
averse to accept the Bishop-elect, soon became con- 
vinced that to reject him would be both unwarrantable 
and impracticable. Bishop Macfarlane was in a paroxysm 

* See Life of Bishop Gleiy, Chaps. I, and Il. 


of indignation at the very idea of rejection, and made use 
of strong language. The Primus soon felt that he had 
made a mistake by hesitating, and speedily brought the 
matter to an issue by referring it to Bishops Jolly and Torry, 
promising to “be guided” by their “joint testimony ”. 
That testimony was quickly given, and led to immediate 
confirmation of the election and early consecration of the 

All through the controversy Bishop Jolly had been 
quiet, and striving to calm and “soothe” others. Writing 
to Bishop Torry, October 4, 1816, he quotes part of 
Bishop Macfarlane’s letter to himself, and appends this 
note—* A soothing answer from Fraserburgh—to prayer 
for peace and safety !” 

On the same wrapper (enclosing letters from the Primus 
and Bishop Sandford) he writes to Bishop Torry, “ Pray 
for peace and good understanding —Lord grant !” 

On the other hand, when all was settled, the Primus, 
whose whole conduct in the matter of the election hail 
been, as he believed, greatly misrepresented, sent to Bishops 
Jolly and Torry a justificatory narrative, with corroborative 
letters and copies of letters. These documents were to be 
read or shown to other influential parties. But Bishop 
Jolly, who knew the danger of ripping up old sores, wrote 
to the Primus expressing an earnest wish “that the nar- 
rative . . . should not pass further than Bishop Torry 
and” himself. In the letter in which he mentions this, the 
Primus expresses his willingness to accede to the wise wish, 
but at the same time his determination to have all the do- 
cuments carefully preserved, to vindicate his “ fair fame”. 
He shows, however, that he thoroughly appreciated Bishop 
Jolly’s motives. He says—‘“T had a very affecting letter 
this morning from Bishop Jolly. I am much afraid that 


good man does not take the proper care of his valuable 
life, and in the enclosed note, which I beg you will for- 
ward, I have taken the liberty to say so. Whenever 
his day shall come, it will to himself be blessed, but to 
the Church it will be an irreparable loss.” 

The Primus took advantage of him as a peacemaker. 
Writing to Bishop Torry about the consecration of Mr. 
W. Skinner, he says—“ Mr. Walker has actually carried 
his threat into execution, and formally resigned his office 
of Dean of Edinburgh . . . but... Lam inclined 
to think that he might be induced to meet Bishop Jolly 
here, and I am not without hopes that the united efforts 
of that excellent man and myself, aided by your good 
offices, might prevail with him to re-assume his office.” 

The Bishop’s transparently single-minded zeal was a 
most powerful element of persuasion and influence. With 
many Churchmen, Bishop Jolly’s word was probably 
weightier than an argument; but sometimes, of course, 
personal interest was weightier than either. The Bishop 
was unspeakably grieved when a young man, receiving a 
call from a larger and richer congregation, obeyed the call, 
at the risk of the total extinction of the poor flock which he 
left. A double case of this sort gave great trouble to him 
at this time. The congregation at Duffus, near Elgin, was 
by far the poorest and smallest charge under his care, 
and he had the utmost difficulty in keeping it supplied 
with a Clergyman. It was at this time in charge of a 
young man, Mr. Fyvie, who was very acceptable to the 
people. Bishop Macfarlane, however, wanted an assistant 
at Inverness, and Mr. Fyvie was offered the situation. At 
the same time Bishop Macfarlane had a son a Clergyman 
serving in England. It seemed to the Bishop altogether 
unnatural that in order to supply Inverness Mr. Fyvie 


should consent to leave Duffus, and Mr. Macfarlane should 
refuse to leave England. Mr. Fyvie’s removal would prove 
“the total extinction of ” Duffus, while Mr. Macfarlane’s 
return to Inverness “would be supremely comfortable to his 
father, and beneficial to our poor, old, and rapidly-decaying’ 
Church”. “Sadly indeed,” he adds, “has our poor 
mother to lament that she has almost ‘none to guide her 
among all the sons whom she hath brought forth, neither 
is there any that taketh her by the hand, of all the sons 
that she hath brought up’” (Letter to Mrs. Macfarlane, 
Oct. 21, 1818). Mr. Fyvie, however, went to Inverness, 
and Mr. Macfarlane remained in England. 

This year (1818) Mr. John Skinner, of Forfar, published 
his Annals of Scottish Episcopacy. Considering how re- 
solutely Mr. Skinner’s father, the late Primus, had opposed _ 
Bishop Jolly’s promotion, it was not unnatural that the 
latter should feel some anxiety as to the way in which 
Mr. Skinner should refer to that event. He therefore 
wrote (Feb. 15, 1818) to Mr. Cruickshank, Arbroath, ask- 
ing that gentleman to request Mr. Skinner, “salva veritate,” 
to “draw a thick veil over the unpleasant circumstances ”. 
The result was highly satisfactory to him. Writing to 
Mr. Skinner’s brother, the Bishop (June 15, 1818), he 
says—“I have received your brother's affecting Book. 
Looking at 1796, I thank him for his just, yet gentle and 
delicate account—such as his excellent and ever-memorable 
father, I am convinced, from the cordial kindness that sub- 
sisted between us—of the kind that death itself cannot 
diminish—would have dictated ”. 

On the death of Bishop Macfarlane, Bishop Jolly wrote 
to Bishop Torry (August 3, 1819)—“You now feel as 
we all must upon the blank made at Inverness—to me 
particularly affecting as having survived all with whom I 



set out—so rapid is the succession! Lord bring us all 
to meet where friendship is in perfection, and shall never 
end or be interrupted !” 

It had been the natural wish of the Primus that Ross 
and Argyle should now be re-united to Moray, and that 
Bishop Jolly should take charge of the whole three. 
The Bishop, however, declined the additional charge, on 
the ground of failing health and strength. 

The Primus had then written to consult him and Bishop 
Torry about a successor to Bishop Macfarlane. Bishop 
Jolly forwards to Bishop Torry the Primus’s letter, with a 
copy of his own answer to it. The answer is an excellent 
illustration of the active interest which the Bishops in 
those days took in the supply of a vacancy in their num- 
ber. For the Bishopric he says, “ Of Mr. Maccoll I never 
would have thought, but of Mr. Dean Paterson I own 
I had thought”. Then discussing the claims of Dean 
Paterson, he concludes him to be, so far as he can judge, a 
fit person for the office. Then he proceeds “ Mr. Buchan, 
of Elgin, whom I know to be a very respectable Clergy- 
man, was some years ago pointed out by the late Primus 
as a proper successor, upon the proposal that was then 
made of my removal to Stonehaven, and taking charge 
of Dunkeld. Failing Mr. Paterson, I would wish that 
the Clergy would turn their attention to him, that upon 
the event of my death, which cannot be far off, he might 
take the charge of Ross and Moray, conjoined as before. In 
that case the sixth might be found amongst those of whom 
you make mention.” 

The proposal thus referred to, to remove Bishop Jolly to 
Stonehaven, was, no doubt, one of the many plans enter- 
tained by the Bishops in those times for securing, by ex- 
changes, a fit Bishop, resident in, or as near his diocese as 


possible. Probably the plan required the consent of too 
many different parties to be successful. 

The recommendations which the Bishop makes seem 
very judicious, the parties being all resident in the district, 
and one of them, Dean Paterson, knowing Gaelic. But 
this time the South was destined to prevail in the election. 
Mr. Low, of Pittenweem, was chosen. His election was 
due, without doubt, chiefly to Lay Edinburgh influence,* 
working through local gentlemen connected with Edin- 
burgh. The manner of the election was certainly not very 
satisfactory. There were only four electors, and yet there 
were three candidates proposed. The Bishop-Elect can 
thus have had only two real supporters—his proposer and 
seconder. Not on this ground, but on the ground of 
the lay influence by which it was brought about, Bishop 
Skinner protested against the confirmation of the election. 
He stood alone, however, amongst the Bishops. Bishop 
Jolly wrote Mr. Low, offering him his “ most cordial con- 
gratulations on your election to be of our humble number”; 
and told him that he would go to Stirling to his consecra- 
tion, that “my hands, as well as my heart, may be in the 

Meantime, Bishop Skinner was far from acquiescing 
patiently in the consecration of Mr. Low against his pro- 
test. He wrote to Bishop Jolly (Nov. 20, 1819) enclosing 
two letters from Mr. Bowdler, of Eltham, which he averred 
“completely justified all that he had said or written on 
the subject of the late election”. He had, he said, trans- 
mitted to Bishop Low “a fair and candid statement of his 
reasons for dissenting from his election,” and had copied 
for his perusal both of Mr. Bowdler’s letters, adding, “as 

*The influence of the Trustees of the Episcopal Fund. Letters 
of Bishops Gleig, Skinner, and Russell.—Zorry Collection. 


although he is obviously indebted for his own promotion 
to the exercise of undue lay interference, I trust he may be 
made sensible of the danger of it, and on another similar 
occasion . . . he may be induced to join with his 
Brethren in resisting more manfully, and successfully, 
I trust, than they have now done, such a glaring encroach- 
ment on their rights, such an open subversion of the Con- 
stitution of the Church”. This was a pretty plain reproof 
of his elders! Bishop Jolly received it with a mild touch 
of humour. “Thus,” he writes, “our younger Brother 
corrects our reputed stumbling, and seems inclined to do 
it with a pretty smart rod, were it in his hand. Yet after 
all, I still think, and hope, it shall appear that we have 
walked very uprightly, and so very surely. But in every 
case, feeling the frailty of poor human nature, let us love 
as Brethren, pitiful and courteous” (Letter to Bishop 
Torry, Nov. 23, 1819). 

Bishop Jolly meantime did all he could to prevent the 
unpleasant feeling between Bishops Skinner and Low, 
consequent on the election controversy, from hardening, 
into permanent estrangement. Mr. (afterwards Bishop) 
Walker, of Edinburgh, who had been somehow mixed up 
in the matter, wrote him that Bishop Low and he, after 
visiting the diocese of Ross, were to hold on to Fraserburgh 
to visit him ; that they would pass through Aberdeen, and 
stay there a day or two, but would not call on Bishop 
Skinner. It made the good man “uneasy to think of 
his dear friend’s resolution, in which he was much afraid ” 
that Bishop Low and he “were conjunct 246 would 
much rather,” he wrote, “dispense with the great happi- 
ness of the visit proposed, and wish that they would take 
the upper road on their return also, than pass through 
Aberdeen, and even spend a day or two there, without see- 


ing the Bishop, or calling upon him”. Neither party was 
disposed to take the right course for conciliation. Bishop 
Low, by passing Bishop Skinner’s door, would add offence 
to offence. Bishop Skinner on his side seemed to require 
as due to him an apology to be made by Bishop Low ; 
“Whereas,” wrote the Bishop, “they should, without 
saying a word of that unfortunate affair, dictated upon the 
sharp spur of the occasion, meet upon terms of general 
civility, and so open a door to cordial coalition, without 
which the glory and service of our Divine Master cannot 
well be promoted by us” (Letter to Bishop Torry, May 
6, 1820). 

To Mr. Walker himself he wrote (May 8, 1820) in 
very decided terms—* Still, I trust that when the cireum- 
stances of the case are made clear to you, you will be pre- 
vailed upon, in company with the good Bishop, (whom 
God support and long preserve !) to make a passing call of 
civility for our Colleague in Aberdeen, leaving your names 
if you shall miss him, as probably may be the case. The 
two Bishops may soon in duty be called upon to meet, 
and should keep the way open, and decently paved for it ; 
to which such summary interview would tend. Well 
do I know that you never infringe the principle of Christian 
love, and that you are not actuated by any improper prin- 
ciple in the resolution which you have imparted to me. 
But no man knows better than you, that we are responsible 
for appearances as well as realities.” Whether the con- 
ciliatory call was or was not made, does not appear ; but 
no one can doubt that the good man’s wise words, sooner 
or later, produced their effect. 

From his letters of this period it becomes easier to ob- 
tain a clearer insight than formerly into the Bishop’s whole 
life and conversation. His health was very delicate, and 


he appeared to live in almost constant expectation of an 
early call, for which he was continually lamenting his 
insufficient preparation. ‘If you knew all my infirmi- 
ties,” he writes to Mr. Cruickshank, Arbroath, May 18, 
1818, “you would give very little for me, observing that 
I am drawn to the dregs”. 

In the Holy Week of the year following he appears to 
have had a shock of paralysis. Writing to Bishop Torry 
(May 3, 1819)—‘ It was on that day (Wednesday in 
Holy Week—the same day that Mr. Fyvie married a 
couple) that I myself (such was the good and holy will of 
God !) was in the strangest state that I ever experienced ; 
my sight and senses failing me for the time by something 
like a slight paralytic shock, of which now I cannot well 
form the idea. But wonderfully was I comforted, and 
ever wish to be thankful for my speedy recovery.” He 
scarcely ever refers to his health without giving fervid ex- 
pression to his deep sense of imperfection and unworthi- 
ness, and earnestly desiring the prayers of his correspon- 
dents. The responsibility of office also weighs heavily in 
the balance with him. Writing (Dec. 5, 1818) to Miss 
Rattray, “grand-daughter of the truly primitive Bishop 
Rattray and the renowned Mr. Lockhart of Carnwath,” 
he says, “I read my own case in what you describe as 
yours, and I do think that the penitentially humiliating 
past is much more applicable to me than to you. Most 
awful is my responsibility who have been a clergyman for 
upwards of 42 years, and so little good fruit of my labours— 
the longer the less.” “I was lately aroused,” he writes 
to Mr. Cruickshank, Arbroath (Feb. 20, 1818), “and 
awfully agitated by reading of Gibbon, the declining and 
fallen historian, that he was wont to say, ‘Tf he could believe 
the truth of Christianity, he would set the clergy an 




example that should shame them’. I confess that I read 
the words with shame and confusion, and wrote them on 
the blank leaf of my copy of The Parish Priest's Manual, a 
most excellent little book.” There are many expressions in 
his letters which show that he took a very gloomy view of 
the Church’s prospects. Painful exclamations to this 
effect are wrung from him by facts indicative of the pau- 
city of candidates for holy orders, and the difficulty of 
obtaining a permanent clergyman for a poor congregation 
like Duffus, which generally fell vacant every second or 
third year. On such occasions he was wont to write des- 
pondingly of “our poor declining Church ”—“ our poor, 
old, and rapidly decaying Chureh”. To a colleague he 
writes—“ Our destitutions and declining state must sadly 
affect our. hearts”. <‘ Lord,” he exclaims in a letter to 
Bishop Gleig (Wednesday before Easter, 1818), “look on 
mercy on our desolate state, and raise us up from our dust 
and ruins.” . Every now and then there is a quaint indi- 
cation of his great love of books, and of his inveterate 
bookish habits, with a half-playful admission of his own 
over-application to study. 

Books, indeed, he appears to have treated as loved com- 
panions, whom it was painful to have long out of his sight. 

He “likes to have them at his hand,” and when he 
lends a book, if it is not returned soon, he writes for or 
asks some one to call for it. Writing of books (to Mr. 
Cruickshank, Arbroath, May 18, 1818) he says, “I myself 
have as keen an appetite as ever, but a much worse diges- 
tion”. He writes of himself to a: i correspon- 
dents as “your book-diseased friend ”—* your idle-busy 
friend”. He describes himself as “ operose nihil agendo ”.* 
and as “spinning out his short thread with application 

* The motto of Grotius was ‘‘ Vitam perdidi operose nihil agendo”’, 


resembling rather that of a student than of a pastor”: 
George Herbert's poems was one of the books that he 
“ liked to have at his hand”, | 

Solid works of piety were great favourites with him. 
Writing to Miss Rattray, Dec. 5, 1818, he speaks of her 
“nourishing her piety on such solid books as Mr. Nelson’s 
Practice of True Devotion and The Whole Duty of Man, 
which the oftener I read the more I do admire it”. “The 
mention,” he adds, “ of this most excellent book puts me 
in mind of what the late worthy Sir W. Forbes told me 
of Baron Smith’s wish to obtain such clergymen for the 
Cowgate chapel (Edinburgh) as should preach agreeably to 
the doctrine of that book.” 

His allusions to points of doctrine indicate the prevail- 
ing views of the “ old Episcopalian clergy”; only he was 
generally more strict and rubrical than most of his con- 
temporaries—more rigidly observant of Church days and 
seasons, and had a greater horror of irreverence, either in 
word or deed. The first extract shows on what grounds 

chiefly the old clergy valued the Scotch communion office. 
They thought it more primitive and more Protestant than 
the English. 

His friend, Mr. Walker of Edinburgh, had spent the 
winter of 1817-18 at Rome, and from Nov. 30 onwards, 
had held regular service with the English Liturgy in a 
temporary chapel, being apparently the first Anglican 
clergyman who had thus officiated in the Eternal City. 
The Bishop was highly interested in the event, and wrote 
thus concerning it to Mr. Cruickshank, Arbroath (Feb. 
20, 1818)—* Among the strange occurrences of the day, 
Mr. Walker celebrating the Eucharist in that renowned 
city is certainly one—raising its voice against the high 
mass of the day. But inter nos, the office which, as I 


presume, our brother there performed [the English office] 
did not speak so loudly against the other as our Scotch 
communion office would have done; fora real Romanist 
would a thousand times rather adopt the English, which 
may be accommodated to transubstantiation, whereas ours, 
by retaining the ancient invocation in its proper place, 
bears irrefragable testimony against the corporal presence.” 
In sending, by request, to Bishop Skinner a copy of 
Deacon’s offices, he mentions how both he and Dr. Deacon 
had given in different ways practical proofs of their high 
appreciation of the marriage service in the English Prayer 
Book. “I use the threefold office of matrimony in 
ordinary from beginning to end, beautifully expressive of 
the threefold implication and aspect of that sacred state, 
unity, society, and mystery. The extravagantly primitive 
Deacon, you see, when he alters, and new models all the 
other offices of the English Liturgy—in some things to the 
better, and in some to the worse—left that as he found it, 
not being able to improve or amend it.” (April 13, 1818). 

Bishop Jolly was probably the only clergyman in Scot- 
land at that time who, in celebrating a marriage, ‘“ used” 
the English office “in ordinary from beginning to end ”. 
Mr. Fyvie of Inverness, “a raw lad, prematurely (alas !) 
ordained,” was probably the only one who made use of it 
in any shape in the week before Easter. Bishop Jolly was 
greatly shocked on seeing the announcement of such a 
marriage. ‘ Is it possible that Mr. Fyvie could have been 
guilty of so gross a desecration of the Holy Week as the 
Aberdeen Journal announces? So barefaced an insult 
upon the solemn commemoration of our Divine Lord’s 
cross and passion is a singularity in our church. I blush 
and grievously hang down my head upon it—loth to 
believe it. At anyrate, he should have prevented the 



publication of his shame. Do not say I am hot—I am 
heavy upon it.” 

There are repeated references in the Bishop’s letters to 
the evil produced by extreme Calvinism on minds that are 
repelled by it—the repulsion carrying them into the oppo- 
site extreme. Bishop Gleig, the Primus, was greatly re- 
pelled by the popular Calvinism of the day, and it was 
thought that in his case the pendulum swung some- 
times rather far the other way. He had lately published 
a charge, in which he treated the subject in his usual 
style, and Bishop Skinner wrote to Bishop Jolly, taking 
exception to it. The Bishop answered him (Feb. 7, 1820), 
“Your opinion of our Primus’s charge I acknowledge 
startled me, not having perceived in it anything obnoxious. 
On the contrary, when I hastily read it, I considered it a 
seasonable caveat against that species of Calvinism which 
seems to spread, and would draw in its train very danger- 
ous consequences ; but I will read it again, and consider 
it better—reverencing your judgment, which it was kind 
to impart me. According to the trite observation, endea- 
vouring to make straight what is crooked, one is apt to 
bend the other way ; and on those subjects particularly it 
is not easy to steer the middle course between Seylla and 
Charybdis. They have agitated and embittered theology 
since the days of Augustine, who, bending the other way 
against Pelagius, introduced a statement of the doctrine of 
grace, whence consequences have been deduced of which I 
well believe the holy man never thought. It’s pity that 
nobody has attempted to draw out from his works an 
Augustinus of a different complexion from that of Jan- 
genius. Being a warm admirer of St. Augustine, I once 
had the vanity to think that it would not be a very diffi- 
cult task. “But now I desire to acquiesce in his pious 


observation in the 53rd Tract on St. John’s Gospel, which, 
if you have, pray look into it. These words which, in 
case you have not, I will take leave to extract for you, I 
think beautiful, in connection especially with the con- 
text: ‘Audiamus Dominum et precipientem et opitulan- 
tem, &c. Libera nos a malo.’” There are many passages 
in the letters showing the loving and sympathetic, and 
even social, nature of the writer. Here is one of several 
almost identical in expression: ‘‘ Had I a tear to shed— 
as I never had, however sorrowful—I could have wept 
like a child the other day at the sight of a sweet babe 
under agonising pain. What a dismally distressing scene 
were all, did not the suffering innocence of the cross throw 
light and pour comfort upon the vale of misery.” (To Mr. 
C., Arbroath, May 18, 1818. To the same, May 22, 
1819.) “Tso firmly believe that most comfortable article 
of the Creed, ‘the communion of saints’ in the Holy 
Catholic Church, as to be persuaded that death itself shall 
not diminish our social intercourse, but only exalt and 
refine it. T.ord, purify and prepare us for that wondrous 
inconceivable felicity !” » 


CHAPTER VIII.—1820-1826. 

Opposes the Summoning of a General Synod—Reasons—Congratu- 
lates Dr. Walker on his Marriage—George IV. visits Edin- 
burgh—Anzxicty of Bishops as to their duty on the Occasion— 
Bishop's Wig—Makes favourable impression on King—Held in 
veneration by all Classes— Consulted as to Treatment of Eng- 
lish Evangelical Preachers in Edinburgh—Reecives Applica- 
tion for Orders from Mr, Aitken, afterwards famed as a 
Revival Preacher—Comes to Aberdeen to mect Bishop Hobart 
—-Congratulatory Letter to Bishop Torry. 

Towarps the close of 1820 the Primus (Gleig) urged upon 
his colleagues the expediency of calling another General 
Synod for the revision of the Canons. Upwards of nine 
years had elapsed since the last General Synod—amply 
abundant time to demonstrate the deficiencies of the small 
Code which was enacted on that occasion. 

Bishop Jolly opposed the proposal, as did also Bishop 
Low. The chief reason which Bishop Jolly assigned for 
his opposition was that which we have already indicated 
as likely to prevail with him on every occasion the 
kind, viz., the fear lest the evil of legislation se 
balance the good. 

“From various considerations,” he writes to Pishop 
Low (Dee. 22, 1820), “I am fully convinced that the pro- 
posed Synod is earnestly to be declined, as not only 
unnecessary, but highly inexpedient, and rather of hurtful 
tendency under present circumstances. Verbum sat, Gc., 
Our strength (verily) is to sit still in quietness and in con- 
fidence ; each in humble dependence studying and labour- 

ove r 


ing at his post, to do all the good he can; and so the 
whole shall prove good and happy. . . . The times 
are cloudy and threaten storm; but when we look up, we 
know that the sun shines above the cloud, and will in due 
time dispel it. Faxit/ Remember me at the altar,” &c. 
To the Primus he writes a little later, ‘“ Having with 
reverential attention perused the second part of your 
letter, which adverts to the proposal of revising and new- 
editing our little Canons, allow me to say that it gives and 
has given me no little pain to differ in judgment on that 
point from one who is so superior to me in abilities and 
attainments. Yet after the most deliberate consideration 
of which IT am capable, I am forced to adhere to the senti- 
ments on that head which I formerly wrote to your 
Reverence, and more fully detailed to Mr. Skinner, who 
pressingly calls for the Synod. And truly, good Sir, my 
friendship for you, my regard for your quiet and calm 
evening of life (near its period in natural course to us 
both), enters strongly into my aversion to the proposal. 
We are all by subscribed consent harmoniously united in 
submission and obedience to the Canons as they stand at 
present ; and it is, I humbly think, our wisdom to cherish 
the observance, and by quiet, prudent conduct promote 
the spirit and practice of them. However capable of im- 
provement they may be, and apparently deficient in 
minute particulars—as every human constitution must be 
—it is to be well considered, whether the advantage that 
may be gained by alteration is likely to countervail the 
inconveniences and dangers that may result from agitat- 
ing and attempting a change. It is stability that gives 
strength. Jachin and Boaz are the two pillars of the 
temple, which stablish, strengthen, and settle it ; whereas 
pulling down, although with design to raise up better, 


threatens without great caution and circumspection, some 
degree of ruin. The very suspicion of deficiency in any 
establishment excites distrust, which may as strongly 
cleave to the new frame ; for among other things, which I 
noted when I read Fa. Paul’s History ef the Council of 
Trent (replete, as I daresay you think, with maxims and 
wise observations worthy the attention of every Synod), 
the following struck me as it isin my copy of the Latin 
translation :—“ Axioma pervulgatum est novas leges sibi- 
ipsis plus existimationis quam veteribus detrahere.” Most 
wisely, therefore, in my opinion, does the venerable 
Church of England adhere to her old Articles, Canons, and 
Rubrics, and turn a deaf ear to all suggestions of altera- 
tions, that have been made: not knowing where or when 
alterations may end. Mild firmness is the life of autho- 
rity. Our strength in such case is to sit still.” 

Had the Bishop lived in these times, he would probably 
have come to see that “sitting still” is generally, in the 
long run, more dangerous than going forward. Anyhow 
‘the venerable Church of England,” whose Convocation 
had been silenced for a hundred years,* and which had 
therefore no adequate means of adapting itself to altered 
circumstances, and which besides had, through the State, 
an assured position, whether it adapted itself or not, was 
hardly a fit example for a free and disestablished Church. 

About this time (Dec., 1820) the Bishop’s dearest friend, 
~ Mr. Walker, of Edinburgh, now of the mature age of fifty, 
wrote him a long and ‘gloomy letter “upon the posture of 
the present times, civil and ecclesiastical,” and at the close 
told him that he was going to be married! The intima- 
tion probably took the Bishop a little by surprise, and 

* From 1717. 


congratulation on such an event was not much in his line ; 
yet his congratulation was prompt and graceful. He 
wrote the very day he received the intimation, Dec. 19, 
1820—*“ The latter part of your much valued letter ex- 
cited in me joy beyond what for a long time I have ex- 
perienced. Of folly in your happy resolution there is not 
the smallest spice. It is the dictate, I doubt not, of that 
‘wisdom from above, pure, peaceable, gentle, full of 
mercy, and good fruits,’ and as such it shall be found by 
the Divine blessing, for which to rest upon. it, and bring 
it speedily to full and happy completion, I fervently pray 
and will pray. It was, like yourself, most friendly to 
impart this joy to me, which refreshes my heart beyond 
what you may conceive. The hope which: you hold out 
of seeing you double, attended by the dear Captain,* is 
wonderfully delightful . . .  Ishall dream of my 
dearest Mr. Walker and his wise and happy choice,” &e. 

Next year (1821) the Bishop had an: application for 
ordination from a clever and zealous young man named 
Aitken, who afterwards became famous as a revivalistic 
or missionary preacher in England. He was some time 
with Dr. Hook at Leeds, and afterwards held a living 
of his own in the South-west of England. The Bishop 
had some correspondence with him, and instructed his 
Dean, Mr. Buchan of Elgin, to “converse freely and easily 
with the good youth, and draw out his opinion on the 
most prominent points”. I would not pose him with all 
Bishop Marsh’s Interrogatories, but I should be glad that 
he felt his mind to agree with his doctrine in sum.” The 
examination appears not to have been satisfactory, and 
Mr. Aitken had to seek orders elsewhere. + 

*No do ubt Captain Walker, Mr. Walker’s brother. 

+ Mr. Aitken married a lady of the Arndilly family. He died 
suddenly about two years ago at the Paddington Station, London. 


The visit which George IV. paid to Scotland in the 
year 1822 was an event which must have excited rather 
a mixture of emotions in those elderly Churchmen who 
like most of the Bishops, had in their youth been open 
and avowed Non-jurors. Not that the Bishops at least 
were now deficient in loyalty or backward to present 
themselves with a dutiful address at Holyrood. But the 
shadow of the past hung over them. Their appearance in 
the Royal presence might wake up awkward memories, 
and let loose. unfriendly tongues. The preparation of a 
suitable loyal address thus became to the Bishops a sub- 
ject of considerable anxiety, as did also the manner in 
_ which they would be received by the King, and the vest- 
ments in which they should present themselves. 

All the difficulties were very happily got over, especi- 
ally the wording of the address, in which the skilled and 
vigorous pen of the Primus neatly turned the J acobite 

Bishop Jolly’s anxieties in regard to the whole matter 
probably more than equalled those of his southern col- 
leagues. Writing to Bishop Torry respecting the expe- 
dition to Edinburgh, he spoke of it as “this astonishing 
journey,” praying that all might,‘‘aim and end well”. 

His southern colleagues, very needlessly added to their 
other anxieties a lively apprehension lest their recluse 
brother from the North should not appear at Holyrood in 
sufficiently courtier-like costume. 

Writing to Bishop Torry, the Primus, after dwelling 
upon a number of particulars which the deputation had to 
attend to, added, “ But there ig another thing about which 
Bishop Sandford is distressing himself exceedingly. It is 
Bishop Jolly’s wig. About this the Bishop seems abso- 
lutely nervous ; alleging that the King will not be able to 


_ stand the sight of it, and assuring Dr. Russell that it 
‘would convulse the whole court ’.” 

The wig referred to was no doubt the one which the 
Bishop was in the habit of wearing on ordinary occasions 
when Mr. Thomson visited Fraserburgh in 1811, or some 
-years afterwards. ‘The most noticeable part of Bishop 
Jolly’s costume was his wig. It was indeed something 
remarkable. It was of a snow-white colour, and stood out 
behind his head, in numerous curls of six or eight inches 
in depth.” 

It is plain from the favourable impression which, by 
every account, Bishop Jolly made upon the King and 
court, that he wore on the occasion no such bizarre article 
of dress as this “objectionable wig”. Further, we have 
good reason to believe that before this time the Bishop 
had in his possession a very handsonie spare wig, which 
had been presented to him by his friend and parishioner, 
Lord Saltoun. This wig, it was remarked, the Bishop, 
for a considerable time, never put on on any occasion, 
but when he went to visit at Philorth House. Of course, 
however, he would not have it in his possession without 
putting it on when about to visit at Holyrood House. He 
was not a man to fail in doing anything to “honour the 
King,” as was indeed shown by his bearing on the 

“His Majesty,” says Stephen, “was particularly struck 
with the venerable appearance of Bishop Jolly, whose 
reverential deportment in the royal closet was very re- 

That “venerable and primitive appearance ” struck many 
more besides George IV. One of the Dukes of Gordon is 

* Stephen, Vol. IV., p. 503. 


said to have remarked that the sight of Bishop Jolly al- 
ways recalled to his mind the thought of him who “did 
no sin ”.* 

However it might be elsewhere, in his own immediate 
sphere of labour, where men judged him by his deeds and 
his life, no peculiarity of dress or manner ever detracted 
in the least from the deep reverence with which the Bishop 
was regarded. “He was held,” says Mr. Thomson, “ in 
the utmost respect and veneration by all classes of the 
community.” The strength of this feeling of local venera- 
tion is curiously illustrated by the following anecdotes. 
There lived in Fraserburgh a man of a sceptical tun of 
mind, who never went to Church ; but who always re- 
verently lifted his cap when he met Bishop Jolly. When 
asked chow it was that he, who paid so little respect to the 
Master, paid so much to the servant, he replied, “My hands 
winna keep frae my cap”. 

’ Another man of like character, or the same man on 
another occasion, is said to have given to the same question 
the similar answer—“ Bishop Jolly commands respec f 
The veneration of one of the Bishop’s Catechumens, now 

* While these sheets are passing through the press the writer has 
received from a clerical friend a statement by a living eye-witness 
which seems fully to corroborate the above account of the appearance 
which Bishop Jolly made in Edinburgh, and also the general im- 
pression that it was “ venerable and primitive”. ‘‘ My informant is 
Sheriff R—, who, when the Bishops were in Edinburgh. at the 
General Synod in 1829, was, ” he says, ‘* an Edinburgh lawyer, and 
quite confirms the tradition that Jolly was the most observed of all 
our Bishops. The wig was curled and bare, i.¢., unpowdered, He 
wore a thin single breasted coat, and plain bombazine apron and 
had a simple black stick—I think he said a knobby stick. When 
he appeared with the others in the Parliament House one of R—'s 
friends whispered in his ear the single word ‘‘ Waverley! ” meaning 
plainly, ‘There is a figure from the Waverley period. “Tis sixty 
(or then rather eighty) years since,’ This account ‘‘ was not got 

by questioning, but spontaneously in the course of conversation ”. 


belonging to the Cruden Congregation, was lately expressed 
with equal foree—‘ Eh, Mr. Low, ye wouldna’ ha’ thocht 
him a human cratur !” 

But perhaps the most pleasing home picture of the 
Bishop is the account which Mr. Thomson gives of his 
manner towards the Fraserburgh children, recalling Gold- 
smith’s Pastor’s manner towards the children of ‘The 
Village,” who 

“* Plucked his gown to share the good man’s smile ”. 

“When he walked out,” says Mr. Thomson, “as he oc- 
casionally did on a chilly day, he sometimes wore a brown 
top-coat very long in the body. As he passed along the 
streets, the children would frequently run after him and 
take hold of the skirts of his coat, when he would look 
round and with a kindly smile, smooth down their curly 
locks, generally giving them any halfpence he might have 
in his pocket.” 

The practice is witnessed to by another friend ; but Mr. 
Pressley’s idea is that it was rather sweets than coppers 
that the Bishop was in the habit of distributing. Very 
probably he gave sometimes the one, sometimes the other. 
The late Bishop Stanley, of Norwich, seems to have fol- 
lowed a similar practice—at least he recommended to one 
young Clergyman, who has recorded the fact, always to 
carry with him a box of sweets to give to children. 

In June 1822, Bishop Jolly was consulted by the Primus 
on a matter which gave that venerable man some trouble. 
This was the excitement produced in Edinburgh by the 
introduction into that diocese of the doctrines of the 
English Evangelical party. That party had, of late, ex- 
ercised great, and, on the whole, beneficial influence 
on the Church of England, partly by recalling attention 


to a neglected phase of divine truth, but chiefly by rousing 
the Church from its lethargy, and promoting the spread of 
piety and devotion—an effect which a morally earnest party 
whatever its views may be, seldom fails to produce. 
Amongst the long persecuted and well-catechised Epis— 
copal remnant in Scotland there was little scope for the 
peculiar influence of this party. With them, the party 
narrowness and exaggeration of view, which in England 
had as yet helped much more than it had hindered the 
moverient, cculd be little but a hindrance. Still, in such 
a place as Edinburgh there must always be a certain num- 
ber of people ready to fall in with any new and-exciting 
movement ; and as the preachers of the new views, Noel 
and Craig, were eloquent and earnest men, they did not 
fail to create a sensation and secure a following. It was 
not to be expected that they would pay much respect to 
the traditions of Scotch Episcopacy, or the feelings of the 
Episcopal Clergy. Irregularities ensued, and old-fashioned 
Churchmen became alarmed as if the Church were about 
to be turned upside down. Bishop Sandford took the 
matter very quietly; but the Primus, a native Bishop, 
meditated some act of repression. Tt was thus that he 
wrote to Bishop Jolly—“ You have not at Fraserburgh 
any notion of the state of the Church in the South of 
Scotland, since the modern Evangelists have found their 
way into every family more noted for the appearance of 
fervent piety than for soundness of judgment ; and unless 
we do more than we are doing to stop the progress of this 
fanaticism, and do it with prudence combined with firmness 
and unanimity, I will venture, without the spirit of pro- 
phecy, to predict that the Episcopal Church, if the vestiges 
of the Episcopal Church remain in Scotland, will, ina few 
years, no more resemble what she was in our younger days 


than the present Church of Rome resembles that Church 
in the age of St. Cyprian”. 

No formal step was taken by any of the authorities of 
the Church ; but this application to Bishop Jolly may be 
said to have borne fruit four years later, when the Bishop, 
urged by his Brethren, took the right way to still the con- 
troversy by publishing a learned treatise on the subject on 
which it chiefly hinged, viz., Baptismal Regeneration. * 

Perhaps the most interesting incident in the whole of 
Bishop Jolly’s life was his meeting at Aberdeen in the be- 
ginning of January, 1823, with the eminent Bishop Hobart 
of New York. Besides the similarity of their positions as 
Bishops of unestablished Churches, there was much in the 
character and principles of both to give to both a deep in- 
terest in their meeting ; but even those best fitted to enter 
into their feelings cannot butbe struck with the almost en- 
thusiastic terms made use of by each of these staid elderly 
men in regard to their actual meeting. 

Bishop Jolly tells us with what interest he looked for- 
ward to the meeting ; Bishop Hobart with what interest 
he looked back upon it. When Bishop Jolly heard of 
Bishop Hobart’s arrival in this country, “he wrote to a 
friend that the expectation of seeing Bishop Hobart, in 
whom he hoped to find a second Seabury, was more like a 
pleasing dream than a reality, and that rather than miss 
a meeting which was arranged at Aberdeen, he would 
make a six days’ journey thither on foot”. 

The two spent at least two whole days in each other’s 
society under the roof of Bishop Skinner at Aberdeen. 
Bishop Hobart pronounced Bishop Jolly “one of the. 
most Apostolic and primitive men he ever knew”, And 

i, * See ,ostea, Chap. X. 

ae \ 



“in answer to the question of an Edinburgh Clergyman 
whether what he had seen at Aberdeen had rewarded him 
for his long journey in the middle of winter, he said, ‘You 
go from the extremity of Britain to America to see the 
falls of Niagara, and think yourselves amply rewarded 
by the sight of this singular scene in nature. If I had 
gone from America to Aberdeen, and seen nothing but 
Bishop Jolly as I saw him for two days, I should hold 
myself greatly rewarded. In our new country we have no 
such men, and I could not have imagined ‘such without 
seeing him. The race, I fear, is expired or expiring even 
among you.” 

Of course the energetic American Bishop made the most 
of the much prized opportunity of this meeting. Regarding 
his brother Bishop not simply as a very learned and 
exemplary man of God, but as a sort of a primitive father, 
differing in character and habits from the Christians not 
only of his own country but also of the existing age, he 
naturally sought to learn all that he could about him. He 
did not confine his inquiries to matters of general interest, 
on which Bishop Jolly’s ample stores of knowledge could 
throw light—he questioned the Bishop closely in regard 
to his own private habits. The following dialogue, recorded 
by Dr. Neale, is, we believe, substantially: correct, though 
doubtless exaggerated as to manner. 

Br. Hosart—‘“I wish to know, Bishop, how you spend 
the day. Iam told you rise very early : what do you do 
when you get up”! 

Be. Jouuy—“I say my prayers.” 

Hopart—“Oh ! of course, but what do you do next?” 

Jouty—* I take a cup of tea..” 

Hopart—‘ Very well, what next Y 

Jorty—*I read the Lessons.” 


Hosart—“Good, what next ?” 

Jotty—“I read a portion of the Fathers. ” 

Hoxsart—‘ Excellent, what next?” 

Jotty—“T sit down to my writing.” 

In this way the question was plied till the good Bishop 
had given a full and particular account of the way in which 
he spent his whole day. Yetitis very unlikely that Bishop 
Jolly took this close questioning at all amiss. He must. 
have felt that it was prompted bya feeling of deep respect 
for himself and his primitive example; and that it was 
not every Bishop’s mode of spending his time that Bishop 
Hobart would have cared to inquire into so particularly. 

The Bishop continued to cherish a very lively and affec- 
tionate interest in Bishop Hobart, as appears from occasional 
allusions in his letters ; and when the news reached him of 
the comparatively early death of Hobart, he wrote (Nov. 
4, 1831) to Bishop Walker—“ With due submission, we 
must lament the death of dear, good Bishop Hobart— 
happy for himself, after his unwearied prot of love, but _ 
a great loss. to the Church below”. 

The following letter of the Bishop (Jan. 7, 1823) to 
Bishop Torry, congratulating him on the elevation of his 
son (John, now Dean of St. Andrews) to the priesthood, is 
very characteristic :—“ My dear, Right Reverend Brother— 
While I wish you and your family many happy returns of 
the New Year, with all joy and comfort, I congratulate the 
Church in general, as well as you in a particular manner, 
upon the high and acceptable New Year’s gift of your 
amiably promising son’s accession to the Priesthood. 
Long and with shining lustre, may he support the onus 
and honos of it, by the Almighty grace which is given to 
the humble and ensures the crown of glory inaccessible ! 

“T need not say that my heart accompanied your hand 


in the grand work of the great Festival, a most auspicious 
- eommencement whence to date the sacred Ministry, the 
purpose of which, as was given in charge to the Apostle 
of the Gentiles, is to open men’s eyes, and turn them from 
darkness to the light,” &e. “ Most cordially do I salute 
my dear Sacerdotal Brother, whose prayers T request, as 
well as those of the Bishop.” He then proceeds not to. 
“subjoin an admonition,” but to make a few quotations 
from the Speculum Sacerdotis, “ in which he delighted ”. 

CHAPTER IX.—1824-1826. 

Continental Bishopric—Supports Scheme against his two ‘Northern 
Colleagues—Receives visit from Rev. W. F. Hook—Greut 
mutual gratification—Dean Hook’s Account of interview— 
Aneedote—Suggests to Bishop Skinner recommendation of Obser- 
vance of Ember Seasons—Receives from Bishop Kaye a copy of 
his Ecclesiastical History—Extracts from Letters — Receives 
degree of D.D. from Washington College, Connecticut. 

In the later months of 1824 and the earlier of 1825, the 
Bishops were much occupied with the proposal to conse- 
crate Dr. Luscombe of Paris as Bishop of the British 
Residents in France and the neighbouring continental 
countries. This was a proposal to which the Bishops 
were naturally disposed to accede with the utmost readi- 
ness, if only it could be accomplished in accordance with 
ecclesiastical order. Bishop Jolly hailed it with enthu- 
siasm tempered with caution. ‘‘ The surprising communi- 
cation conveyed to me by your most obliging letter and 
that accompanying it,” he writes to Bishop Low, Dee. 3, 
24, excites in my mind a grandly expanding idea. If it 
pleaseth Him ‘who alone worketh great marvels’ and is 
Head over all things to His Church to realise it, it shall be 
productive of much good by His over-ruling Providence, 
and the guidance of His grace. May He, therefore, pros- 
per the design, and conduct it to a happy conclusion! 
Your observations upon it, I think most just, and do agree 
with you that the utmost prudence is requisite upon the 
occasion. For want of that cardinal virtue, supported by 


its theologic sister, many a good design has been frustrated 
or greatly retarded. Among numberless others in that 
Divine Storehouse, a favourite text with me is ‘1 Wisdom 
dwell with Prudence ’.” 

The great problem was how, in the peculiar circumstances 
of the case, to procure a deed of election by the clergy 
over whom Dr. Luscombe was to preside, or some other 
appointment sufficiently regular to confer jurisdiction. To 
insist on such regular appointment as a condition to con- 
secration, was, in Dr. Luscombe’s opinion, to risk the mis- 
earriage of the project. To him his proposed labours 
appeared to partake sufficiently of the nature of mission 
work to justify the Bishops in consecrating him as a 
" missionary Bishop ; and his reasoning at last removed the 
scruples of Bishop Jolly. This the Bishop acknowledged 
in a letter to Bishop Low, the original, and the keenest 
promoter of the scheme (January 31, 1825). “ The packet 
{a long letter from Dr. Luscombe], sets my mind at rest, 
by giving me clearer insight into the grandly important 

The following letter to Primus Gleig, gives his matured 
views on the subject (March 5, 1825). “ Upon receipt of 
your last, I wrote to our two worthy Brethren, my good 
neighbours ; and now I find that Bishop Torry, as he 
informs me, has written to you his consent to Dr. 
Luscombe’s consecration. Mine you had before, and have 
it now, and I do not despair of Bishop Skinner’s, to whom 
the matter has appeared in a more forbidding light. The 
design contemplated is certainly grand and glorious in its 
aspect ; but in the way of its accomplishment there have 
appeared difficulties which ‘tis easier to state than to 
obviate or remove. ‘The Canon of Chalcedon, at least, in 
its letter looks unfavourably upon it—no previous elec- 


tion, no immediate collation to any precise charge being 
possible as it appears to me, without breach of Canons 
still more formidable. It will, therefore, require a little 
stretch of interpretation which, however, may be devised, 
I hope, to accommodate expressions in the office of con- 
secration to the present case, as, ‘This our brother elected,’ 
‘admitted to government in the Church of Christ,’ and 
furnished with the spiritual rod ‘ within the Diocese, to 
correct and punish, &c.’. We have not forgotten the jingle 
and play of words which Dr. Campbell made,* upon what 
he reckoned the vague and indefinite doings of our pre- 
decessors ; and as the good Archbishop in friendly caution 
says, ‘ We still have our enemies, who will, no doubt, be 

ready to ring all the chimes of ridicule against us, that 

they can lay hold of.’ But no such must move us, nor 
any dreaded difficulties make us decline a good work, of 
hopeful tendency, to enlarge the kingdom of Christ; which 
our Lord, we trust, has put into our hands. The good 
Doctor’s own statement of it pleases me best, who, desiring 
the office of a Bishop, for the accomplishment of a good 
work, resorts, in humble guise, to receive it from the 
humble Church in Scotland, and being supernumerary 
there (meanwhile), is sent abroad, that he may look and 
go about, like the Lord who sends him, to do all the good 
he can; and He will be with him, according to His infal- 
lible promise, to guide him by the works of grace to the 
Crown of Glory! It is in this sweet hope that I rejoice, 
and wish that I could give my hand as well as heart to the 
work, which I pray God to prosper for the Glory of His 

The good man was most anxious that there should be 

_* «That the Bishops consecrated after the Revolution of 1688, by 
Bishop Rose, *‘ were solernnly made the depositories of no deposit, 



as he expressed it, unanimity, as well as majority for the 
consecration. For this object, he earnestly pleaded and 
prayed in every letter to a Colleague, but in vain. He 
must have misunderstood Bishop Torry when he supposed. 
that Prelate to say that he had written to the Primus, 
giving his consent to the consecration. Bishop Torry had 
never given distinct and unconditional consent, though 
both he and Bishop Skinner appeared to have so expressed 
themselves in letters to the Primus, as to convey the impres- 
sion that, if the majority of the Bishops should agree, they 
would not stand out. But in the end they did both stand 
out for the unattainable deed of election. Their scruples 
might have been overcome had the matter been better 
managed. It was hurried on too fast; the Northern Bishops 
were too little consulted ; and above all, Dr. Luscombe 
delayed too long his attempt to obtain the only attainable 
substitute for an election deed, viz.,a promise of “due 
obedience ” from some of the Continental Clergy. 

Thus these two Bishops dissented from the consecration, 
and insisted on their dissent being recorded along with the 
consecration. This, Bishop Low, the Clerk of the Epis- 
copal College, at first refused to do, and his refusal led to 
the interchange of some very sharp recriminatory commu- 
nications between him and Bishop Skinner.* 

The state of feeling existing at that time between certain 
of the Northern and Southern Bishops, consequent on the 
election proceedings of 16 and ’19, was, as may be sup- 
posed, somewhat unfavourable to the harmonious trans- 
aetion of church business. It impeded the free interchange 

commanded to be diligent in doing no work, vigilant in the over- 

sight of no flock, assiduous in teaching and governing no people, 

and presiding in no Church.” 
* Letters of Bishops Low and Skinner.—Torry Collection. 


of sentiment, and it aggravated the evil of any little mis- 
understanding or technical irregularity. On this oceasion, 
therefore, not less than on the last two occasions, which 
divided the College, the Church owed in a great degree the 
comparatively quiet and seemly settlement of the matter, 
to the mild counsels, the mitis sapientia of Bishop Jolly. 
On each of these occasions he was found on the side of 
concession and conciliation ; pouring oil on the troubled 
waters, whether the wind that troubled the waters blew 
from North or South. 

The Continental bishopric was a scheme which took a 
deep hold of the good man’s imagination. He was not 
blind to its irregularities, but he saw in it great possibi- 
lities: He hoped much from it; others feared much. 
The result was a very moderate measure of success) A 
felt want was supplied to a certain extent and for a 
time. An example was set, and though the continental 
‘Episcopate ceased for a time, with the life of Dr. 
Luscombe, it was revived, and lives on in the Gibraltar 

One happy result of the Luscombe Consecration was, 
that it incidentally helped to make Bishop Jolly better 
known in the south. “That inimitable young man,” the 
Rev. Walter Farquhar Hook, afterwards the famous Vicar 
of Leeds and Dean of Chichester—a friend of Dr. Lus- 
combe’s—came north to preach the Consecration Sermon. 
At Edinburgh, Mr. Hook met Bishop Low, who, he says 
(in a letter to Mr. Blatch), “ delighted us by the numerous 
anecdotes which he related of the Scotch Episcopalians, 
and especially of Bishop Jolly”. In short, Mr. Hook 
became so interested in the Bishop, that he came all the 
way to Fraserburgh to visit him. 

The following is his own interesting account of his 


visit, written about six months before his death.* “I 
waited upon the Bishop with good Mr. Pressley, and we 
both received his blessing. He asked me to preach, but I 
told him that I had travelled far for the purpose of re- 
ceiving his instructions. He then said, that he would not 
permit an honoured priest of the honoured Church of 
England to be in his Church, without taking part in the 
service. He desired me, therefore, to be his Epistoller, 
while he was the Gospeller. After service, I spent some 
time in his company, when he left me to catechise the 
children. I wished to attend, but he said it would make 
him nervous, and that he would prefer my remaining with 
Mr. Pressley. After afternoon service, I remained with 
him till ten o’clock. When I departed, I knelt down at 
the threshold of the door, and he gave. his blessing with 
tears in his eyes.” It is a proof of the solid qualities of 
the Bishop that the effect of actual intercourse was to 
heighten rather than lower the high opinion which Mr. 
Hook had formed of him from report. In a letter to 
Bishop Low written after his return to England, May 
1825, he says, “ With my visit to the North, and with the 
good Episcopalians there, Mr. Walker will have told you 
how much I was delighted. My visit to the venerable, 
primitive, and Apostolic Bishop of Moray (Dr. Jolly), 
Ile idem Presulque probus, Pastorque fidelis, 
Tile antiquorum talis tmago patrumn, 

has left an impression on my mind which will remain in- 
delible to my dying day. Such a union of the most ex- 
tensive learning, with the most unassuming modesty, of 
the most Christian meekness with the most orthodox 

*In a Letter to the present writer, dated Maunday Thursday, 


firmness, is seldom, in these degenerate days to be found, 
—but when found will always be had in honour.” 

The visit left a deep and most pleasing impression on 
Bishop Jolly also. To him it was an event to have his 
solitude broken by the voice of a stranger ; and when the 
stranger was one so much after his own heart—so able 
and ardent a supporter of his most cherished principles 
—the pleasure of the visit was great as it was rare. Ina 
letter to Bishop Low, Nov. 14, 1826, Bishop Jolly speaks 

of “that short dream of pleasure, which dear Mr. Hook 
brought me, by his delightful visit, the relish of which I 
shall ever retain”. And all unconsciously he goes on to 
supply a rather amusing proof of the interest and trust 
with which he had drunk in his honoured visitor’s words. 
“When . . . . he (Mr. Hook) and I were talking of 
you and your exertions, he wound up our eulogy by an 
expression that was quite new to me, ‘ Bishop Low is a 
house’. A large house indeed you are, well furnished and 
completely occupied, but &c.” Bishop Low explains the 
mistake thus:—“A wrong hearing in the good man, in taking 
house for host”. Mr. Hook, no doubt, applied to Bishop 
Low the well-worn Miltonic phrase, “ himself a host,” and 
Bishop Jolly’s ear, dulled with age and little accustomed 
to the soft southern accent, thought he said “ himself a 
house ”, 

Mr. Hook published his Luscombe Consecration Sermon, 
prefaced by a short history of Scotch. Episcopacy, and 
sent the Bishop a copy. On this the Bishop wrote him a 
very affectionate letter (September 17, 1825). ‘“ My dear 
Reverend Brother—-The wonderfully pleasing interview, 
with which you so kindly favoured me, has in the live- 
liest manner taken hold of my heart, and shall never be 
erased from my memory! The time was short, but the 


day was remarkable, the Octave of Easter, sealing the as- 
surance of our own Resurrection, in virtue of our Lord’s, 
to celebrate an endless day of joy and praise inexpressible”. 
The sermon, “in its peroration,” “rising to the sublime of 
true Christian eloquence,” pleased him mightily. “ God 
preserve,” he exclaims, “to a good old age the beloved 
Preacher . . . to the glory of our Divine Master and 
the good of his Church!” “It is upon his profound 
humility, of which I have the fullest conviction, that I 
found my firm hope of his rising to useful and highest 
elevation ; ascending by the steps which lead from Bethel 
below, to Paradise and Heaven, the House of many Man- 
sions above !” 

In a like strain of mingled prayer and prediction, he 
addresses Mr. Hook in subsequent letters—“ Lord pre- 
serve and support you,” he writes, February 1, 1833; “in 
health and holy comfort to be a very old man, bringing 
forth fruit in your old age !” 

How would the good man’s heart have rejoiced, could he 
have forseen the fruitful literary old age at Chichester, fol- 
lowing up the “ epoch-making ” middle-life pastorate at 
Leeds ! ; 

Notwithstanding the unfailing courtesy and delicacy 
with which the Bishop invariably wrote and spoke, he yet, 
where the interests of the Church were concerned, did not 
fail to speak out, even at the risk of giving offence. We 
have seen an instance of this, in his letter to Mrs. Macfar- 
lane, regarding the appointment of an Assistant at Inver- 
ness (p. 88). There is another more decided instance at 
this period. In a letter to Bishop Skinner (September 
16, 1825), he takes the liberty to suggest to that Prelate, 
his “dear worthy Brother, that he would stir up his good | 
Clergy—the far greatest number in any one Diocese, to 


set the example of canonical compliance” in the observance 
of the Ember Seasons., He, himself, had always observed 
those Seasons since he had been in orders. ‘ While I was 
in Turriff, and ever since I came here,” “ of late especially” 
he adds, he had observed them “ very lamely as to fasting, 
but by the use of the proper prayer morning and evening, 
throughout the week, beginning on Sunday.” He humbly 
thought that “the observation of the four times in respect 
of the prayer should be universal among us ; ” “were we 
all and every one,” he continued, “ engaged in these 
prayers at the same time with one accord, such sympathy 
which has the promise of our Lord’s gracious audience 
would be well-pleasing in His sight, and draw down His 
blessing ; while our private reflection suited to the Season 
would induce us to confess and lament before Him the 
coldness of our pastoral love to Him, and make us try to 
inflame it by devoutly reading, on every Ordination Sun- 
day, the affecting office and vows of our own ordination ”. 
«TY write thus freely,” he concludes, ‘‘ because I know 
that you will not suspect me w&s d\ozproerioKoros.” Cer- 
tainly he, of all the Bishops, was the least likely to 
encroach on the rights of a Colleague. 

Bishop Kaye of Bristol (afterwards of Lincoln), pub- 
lished this year (1826), his Ecclesiastical History of the 
second and third centuries—illustrated from the writings 
of Tertullian—and he sent the Bishop a copy, through 
their common friend, Dr. Walker of Edinburgh. The 
Bishop sent him a letter of thanks (September 15, 1826). 
He “received with astonishing surprise, his Lordship’s very 
highly valued gift”. He had “read the book with great 
pleasure and profit,” “holding out,” as it did “a perfect pat- 
tern of the fruit to be reaped, and the best manner of reap- 
ing it from the works of the ancient Ecclesiastical Authors ”. 



He was delighted “to find that his Lordship’s opinion 
of St. Augustine, and his distance from the doctrine and 
spirit of Calvin,” agreed with his own. ‘“ Where,” he 
adds, “divine love burns so clear and strong, as in St. 
Augustine, one cannot anticipate the spirit of Calvin’s 
horrible decree, which chills the heart, and throws a cold 
damp upon the love of God, who is love itself !” 

Then he took the liberty to suggest that His Lordship 
should undertake the task of proving that Augustine was 
not a Calvinist. ‘‘ Albertinus upon the subject of the 
blessed Eucharist has, I think, perfectly cleared his sense, 
and fairly recovered him from the Romanists, who claim 
him as theirs, upon their astonishing doctrine of Transub- 
stantiation, as much as the Calvinists do under their dismal 
decree. And another Albertinus, who studies the Fathers 
to better purpose than the former, may rescue him from 
the imputations of the Calvinists. Your Lordship’s great 
powers . . .. are equal to the task.” 

Almost every letter he writes contains some edifying 
thoughts. Whatever may be the subject on which he 
writes, he extracts from it some pious reflections, usually 
connecting his remarks with the subject of the passing 
Christian season; of course, he lost no opportunity of 
improving a solemn event of the day. At the beginning 
of the year (1826), he lost his neighbour, Mr. Sangster 
of Lonmay. In aletter to Bishop Low (January 4, 1826), 
he states the fact, and says that from his great age, Mr. 
Sangster was disabled from “ exhibiting that example in 
dying, which otherwise was to be expected from his long 
cultivation of the christian and clerical life”. “ Humble 
penitence,” he adds, “ under our very awful responsibility 
is our best exercise in life and death, with firm trust in 
that only saving Name; which we now particularly com- 


memorate. I never forget St. Augustine’s use of the seven 
Penitentials on his death-bed ; nor the good and great 
Dr. Hammond’s making the Miserere his midnight devo- 
tion.” ; 

Bishop Low, who was in. friendly correspondence with 
some of the American Bishops, made, at this time, suc- 
cessful application through Bishop Kemp of Maryland to 
the authorities of the American Colleges for honorary 
degrees for Bishops Jolly and Torry. ‘The degree for 
the Bishop of Moray was procured by the kindness of 
Bishop Brownell from Washington College in Connec- 
ticut, the only pure Episcopal College in the United States. 
The vote . . . was unanimous.” The first intima- 
tion Bishop Jolly had of the application was the communi- 
cation of its successful result; which he received with 
his usual humility ; never anything “ more astonishingly 
surprised” him. He was “quite abashed and silenced by 
the exorbitant honour conferred upon him”. It “could 
serve only to humble him under a sense of his own empti- 
ness”. ‘He would not have known how to accept, if his 
worthy brother and neighbour had not equally shared with 

The good man, in his humility and ignorance of the 
world, wrote as if he thought himself all unworthy of an 
American doctorate. But American degrees would rank 
high in this country had they never graced a less worthy 
name than that of Alexander Jolly. 

CHAPTER X.—1826-1828, 

Visited and described by Robert Chambers—Publishes his work on 
Baptismal Regeneration—Argument of the Work—Makes over 
his Library to the Church—Church Institute—Panton Trust— 
General Synod convoked in June, 1828—Declines to attend— 
Synod enacts a “barrier act,” and a quinquennial General 
Synod Act— Objects to these enactments—Agitates for their repeal 
—Srucceceds—General Synod of 1829 repeals them. 

In Chambers’ Book of Days (Vol, L, p. 166) there is an 
account of a call which the writer—no doubt Mr. Robert 
Chambers himself—made on Bishop Jolly. It is interesting 
to note the impression which the Bishop made on this 
visitor, who writes as one who was outside the Com- 
munion of the Episcopal Church, and altogether regarded 
the Bishop from a different standpoint from that of the 
other witnesses to his character whom we have cited. 
The points of view are different, but the pictures, it will 
be seen, are perfectly harmonious. 

“ Byen in Scotland, chiefly from the introduction of 
English clergymen of fortune into the Episcopate, a Bishop 
is beginning to be, typically, a tolerably well-off and com- 
fortable-looking personage. It therefore becomes curious 
to recall what he, typically, was, not many years ago. The 
writer has a perfect recollection of a visit he paid in the 
year 1826, to the venerable Dr. Jolly, Bishop of Moray, 
who was esteemed as a man of learning, as well as a most 
devoted officer of his church. He found the amiable pre- 
late living at the fishing town of Fraserburgh, at the north- 
east corner of Aberdeenshire, where he officiated to a small 


congregation. The Bishop having had a little time to pre- 
pare himself for a visitor, was, by the time the writer made 
his call, dressed in his best suit and his Sunday wig. In 
a plain two-storey house, such as is common’ in Scotch 
towns, having a narrow wooden stair ascending to the 
upper floor, which was composed of two coomceiled apart- 
ments, a but and a ben, and in one of these rooms the 
beautiful old man—for he was beautiful—sat, in his neat 
old-fashioned black suit, buckled shoes, and a wig as white 
as snow, surrounded entirely by shelves full. of books, most 
of them of an antique and theological cast. Irenzeus or 
Polycarp could not have lived ina style more simple. The 
look of the venerable prelate was full of gentleness, as if 
he never had an enemy, or a difficulty, or anything else to 
contend with in his life. 

“His voice was low and sweet, and his conversation 
most genial and kindly, as towards the young and unim- 
portant person whom he had admitted to his presence. 
The whole scene was a historical picture which the writer 
can never forget, or ever reflect-on without pleasure. 
Bishop Jolly lived in a style nearly as primitive as Bishop 
Low ; but the savings which consequently arose from his 
scanty income were devoted in a different way. His pas- 
sion, apart from the church, was for books, of which he 
had gathered a wonderful quantity, including many that 
were of considerable value for their rarity.” 

In the summer of this year (1826), the Bishop published 
a short treatise entitled “A Friendly Address on Baptis- 
mal Regeneration”. He was urged to the composition of 
this work by his friend Mr. (afterwards Bishop) Walker 
of Edinburgh, and other influential churchmen in the 
South, with the view of repelling the sweeping attacks 
which had just been made on the whole system of Scotch 



Episcopal teaching by the Rev. Edward Craig of Edinburgh. 
The Bishop treats the subject with copious learning, with 
exemplary calmness and moderation of statement, and with 
a persuasive earnestness and unction. 

It is hardly necessary to say, that in his argument he 
lays great stress on the authority and witness of the early 
Christian Fathers,-—those “holy men and martyrs of the 
purest times, immediately after the Apostles”. It is 
surely a sound and safe rule, in seeking for pure water, to 
go as near as possible to the fountain head. It was also 
part of the Bishop’s humble and modest nature to trust 
greatly to those whom he venerated highly ; though the 
epigrammatic saying regarding him, quoted by Dean 
Stanley, that he “had an authority for everything and an 
argument for nothing,” has m it probably less than the 
usual modicum of truth that is to be found in such 

After carefully examining the Scriptural authorities on 
the subject, the Bishop quotes Justin Martyr, Ivenzeus, 
Theophilus of Antioch, and Tertullian, “ who unanimously 
testify that baptism received from Christ and His Apostles 
is the mean or sacrament of our regeneration, or birth from 
above, raising us to the spiritual life ”. And after the 
Fathers, he cites the testimony of the liturgies: “In all the 
liturgic forms for the administration of baptism, East and 
West, Greek and Latin, . . . regeneration is insepa- 
rably connected with the reception of baptism ”. 

“Tt appears then,” he concludes, “ from Scripture, as 
interpreted in the earliest and purest times by those who 
came nearest in succession to the Apostles, and best under- 
stood the sense and import of their inspired writings, that 
the word regeneration means the grace or supernatural 
gift, which God, the sole author of life, spiritual as well 


as natural, confers by the holy sacrament of baptism ; so 
that baptism and regeneration are what we call convertible 
terms, the one may be used for the other—the outward 
effectual sign attended by the inward grace.” 

The Bishop then goes on to show that the Church, 
through her other ordinances, supplies the means of gra- 
dually unfolding and maturing the germ of life thus 
breathed into the soul. According as it is or is not thus 
developed, the baptismal gift is everything or nothing. It 
may lie for ever dormant, or it may bloom into the most 
vigorous “life of God in the soul”. But, “all originates 
in baptism, and our whole Christianity is there summed 
up, and thence grows, as all the branches of a tree from 
its seed and root”. 

It was natural that the friends who had urged the 
putting forth of the “Friendly Address” should have 
spared no pains to ensure it a wide circulation. “Iam 
happy to announce to you,” wrote Mr. Walker of Edin- 
burgh, May 27, 1826, “that Bishop Jolly’s Tract is 
finished. . . . I trust that all parties, Bishops, Pres- 
byters, and orthodox Laymen will bestir themselves in 
giving to this work of the venerable Bishop all the circu- 
lation and influence in their power. That it will be 
attacked we cannot doubt, and must even desire. If we 
al do our duty, this will do good, &.” _ 

The circulation of the Tract was, however, far from 
being limited to the occasion which called it forth. At 
least two editions were published after the Bishop’s death, 
one by Burns of London (1840), and another by A. 
Grown & Co., Aberdeen (1850), both with a short memoir 
by Mr. Cheyne prefixed. 

Shortly before this time the Bishop had made over to 
the Church his valuable library, thereby divesting himself 


of almost his sole earthly possession. For the remainder 
of his life, though retaining the books and adding to their 
number, he regarded himself less as their owner than as 
their custodian. In this character, indeed, it seems that 
from some church source a certain annual sum (£15) was 
paid to him during the remainder of his life. 

Very soon the Bishop’s ‘ zeal’ in this matter ‘ provoked’ 
other contributors: “On the 28th of December last,” 
wrote Mr. Walker of Edinburgh, in the letter of May 27, 
1826, already quoted, “‘ Bishop Low transmitted to me the 
sum of £100 towards a fund for procuring a house for the 
library which Bishop Jolly has actually made over to us, 
and for other purposes of the Pantonian Institution. Good 
Mr. Cruickshank of Muthil transmitted to me an equal 
sum for thesame purpose. On the 16th current, I devoted 
in like manner a similar sum, the whole in the meantime 
bearing bank interest. If it please God to guide me in 
my way, to prosper my journey, and bring me happily 
home, I mean to draw up a memorial, to be circulated, in 
order to raise contributions for this pious and very neees- 
sary purpose.” Thus originated that guasi Church Insti- 
tute in Hill Street, Edinburgh, so well known to the 
Theological Students of prae-Glenalmond times, where the 
Pantonian lectures were delivered, where the good Bishop’s 
books were kept and his portrait hung, and whither the 
clergy of Edinburgh resorted to read the Church papers 
and periodicals, and hold fraternal converse. 

It may, indeed, be said that the whole Panton Trust 
in connection with which these contributions were made, 
was due to Bishop Jolly. Miss Panton was a friend and 
parishioner of the Bishop’s and there can be no doubt 
that it was chiefly by his influence that that pious lady 
was guided in making her handsome and very useful 


bequests ; including provision for a theological professor 
in Edinburgh ; bursaries to Students, both in Arts and 
in Theology ; and annual grants to poor incumbencies. 

Bishops Jolly and Low continuing steadily to oppose 
the Convocation of a General Synod, the Primus decided 
at last not to wait for the consent of the whole of his col- 
leagues, but to act on that of the majority. He accordingly 
summoned a General Synod to meet at Laurencekirk, on 
June 18, 1828. The Synod met; but Bishop Jolly did 
not attend it, nor did Bishop Low. The general result of 
the Synod’s deliberations certainly countenanced the belief 
that, for the time the “drag” had been removed from the 
wheel. The Synod went faster and farther than it had 
ever done before, or has ever done since. Two important 
provisions borrowed from the American Code were em- 
bodied in Canon XVL—a barrier act, requiring that~ the 
acts of the General Synod, should be submitted to the 
Diocesan Synods, and be approved of by them, before they 
had the force of law, anda clause providing that a General 
Synod should be held every fifth year. 

It was the fear of such new laws that had made Bisho 
Jolly steadily oppose all proposals for-a General Synod. 
The “ Episcopal prerogative ” had been, he thought, “ dimi- 
nished” by the Canons of 1811—and on any new legisla- 
tion, modern ideas would prevail and diminish it still 
more. The barrier clause would, he thought, do so to a 
ruinous extent—it would “lay our Episcopacy in the 
dust ”. 

It is one of the most conclusive proofs of Bishop Jolly’s 
great moral influence, that he speedily procured the repeal 
of this, and of all the other important legislation of 1828. 
He again turned the scale between North and South. Of 
the four Bishops that met at Laurencekirk, the two Nor- 


thern Prelates, Skinner and Torry, were favourable to the 
provisions of Canon XVI. The two Southern Bishops, 
Gleig and Sandford, were at best only indifferent. The 
Primus, indeed, avers that he was decidedly opposed to the 
barrier clause, and only suffered it to pass through inad- 
vertence. There can be little doubt, however, but that for 
the opposition of Bishop Jolly, and that of his friend, 
Dr. Walker of Edinburgh, the XVIth Canon would have 
remained law, and there would have been no Synod of 
29, to undo the work of the Synod of ’28. The following 
letters show how the Bishop worked to bring about the 
desired result. To Bishop Low he writes :— 

“Long may you enjoy that great blessing [health], with 
every strengthening comfort, which you will employ to 
promote the good of ourChurch, and watch over and guard its 
primitive Constitution, without the preservation of which, 
its well-being, its very. being is in danger. I do confess 
that, in the present circumstances, I dreaded the convo- 

cating of a Synod, but I did not dream that it could at 
once have taken courage to raise a batteying-ram, the im- 
pulse of which, if it shall go into operation, must certainly 
shake our frame. Avertat Dominus! Our judiciously 
wise and penetrating professor [Dr. Walker], saw through 
it at once, as soon as it met his eye, while others seem to 
have shut theirs, while it was constructing. The Primus 
has been outwitted, and now seems to be ashamed of 
his inadvertency. God help us in all we design and do, to 
have a single eye unto Him, that we may be enlightened, 
and so our faces shall not be ashamed, while we seek not 
our own glory, but the Glory of Him whose commission 
we bear, and must preserve, as from the Apostles it has 
been transmitted to us; whereas, this new modification 
paves the way for Presbytery. But I presume it had an 



aspect, in the first place, towards the American model. 
That is all, perhaps, that the republican State would bear. 
But we may venture to say, that they that have drunk the 
old wine, will not readily desire the new, but say the old 
is better. May we ever will and acquiesce in the old 
path. This, meantime, inter nos vigilant observers calm 
and clear, that we may see the better.” . To the same 
(Nov. 10, 1828), “I began to carp even in the Title page. 
I would have humbly objected to the Prefix of Protestant, 
which implies, and seems to admit, that there is another 
Episcopal Church in Scotland, under a different denomina- 
tion ; but we acknowledge no ‘other, whether from Rome 
or Getevs (for the Presbyterians, as their American Bre- 
thren did, may say they are Bishops, each of his Parish, 
with his Elders and Deacons, so-called), and, therefore, 
it appears to me, that it would have been more dignified, 
more suitable I mean, to the honour which we claim in 
our Lord’s name, to have kept our Church’s Title as it 
stood before, simply, without seeming to divide or com- 
pound with any. This, however, is but a trifle, easily to 
be yielded. But I see other things, which I think of more 
serious considerafion. . . . The 16th Canon at one 
blow lays them all prostrate; and renders the Synod felo 
de se. But to be very serious, all wit aside, our present 
circumstances seem to require very great wisdom (Lord 
mercifully guide by His light and grace), to extricate us 
out of a very perplexing dilemma. . . . Every Epis- 
copalian must rise up against the dmpossible enactment 
(for Id possum, quod jure possum) which in effect would 
lay Episcopacy in the dust; but not a ‘member of the 
Synod could have so fifbanitied? and yet such is the plain 
construction of the words, which totally exauctorate and 
nullify the Synod itself, till the voice of the Church at 


large shall speak and breathe life and spirit into it. 

I pray you, therefore, fur our Divine Master’s honour, con- 
sult with our most excellent friend [ Dr. Walker], as to the 
best expedient. . . . He is now of our Council.* 
Much do the Bishops stand in need of his vote in their 
number. But let us all be very calm, and a) oa <> tepite 
cordially as one man, to study the things that make for 
peace and mutual edification.” 

It was chiefly through Dr. Walker that the Bishop 
worked upon his southern colleagues. To him he wrote 
(Nov. 13, 1828), “I have gone over the Canons with 
care. . . . I wonder that they seem to have passed. 
But the 16th surpasses wonder. I have been favoured 
with two letters from our worthy friend of Ross—both of 
us are perfectly at a loss how to account for the striking 
of such a blow as lays our Episcopacy lifeless in the dust 

To me Bishop Skinner’s opinion is perfectly 
astonishing, as is the supine oversight of the Primus.” 

The Bishop wrote to Bishop Low (Dec. 19, 1828), “I 
am very glad to hear of Bishop Sandford’s rejection of the 
blot, and I wish that, in an easy epistolary way, you 
would draw from him his testimony in writing”. To keep 
‘all cordially united we must earnestly strive, our hearts 
firmly knit together in love, however our heads may 
differ in size”. He at last wrote to his two Northern 
neighbours, Bishops Torry and Skinner, through whose 
influence chiefly the obnoxious Canon had been passed, 
and finally (Jan. 23, 1829), he wrote to the Primus on 
the subject. “But truly, my good sir, in this new code, 
there appears to me an innovation, which amounts to a 
total change of our Constitution, and opens a gap to let 

*The Pantonian Professor of Theolugy had now (by the Canons 
of 1828) been made an ex officio member of the General Synod. 


in an overwhelming flood of innovations. But 
I have been comforted by hearing repeatedly that this 
clause of the astonishing Canon you utterly deprecate. 
Truly, it appears to me, that without delay, 
proper steps it is absolutely necessary to take, in order to 
rectify this prejudicial oversight which . . . wunhinges 
our Constitution, and in its practical tendency would 
nullify our Episcopacy . . . and prostrate it to. the 
level of the Congregational Scheme.” 

This letter drew forth an early and most satisfactory 
reply. The Primus assured the Bishop that he had never 
really given his assent to “that Canon,” nor in fact ever 
seen it “till he received it in print from Edinburgh ”—and 
expressed his resolve to call another General Synod to 
reconsider it. This “touched” the Bishop’s “heart, and 
excited his tender sympathies”. All his reluctance to a 
Synod vanished at once. He wrote to Dr. Walker (Jan. 
29) to do him the favour “to report my most ready and 
hearty accession to the proposal of a Synod, and my 
solemn promise to attend (God willing) at any time and 
place that shall be appointed”. The Synod met at 
Edinburgh, June 17, 1829—and Bishop Jolly had his 
own way. in almost everything. The barrier clause and 
the Quinquennial General Synod disappeared from Canon 
XVI. The prefix “Protestant” was not indeed as yet 
extracted from the title of the Church, but the reason 
probably was that amid the pressure of such serious work, 
it was overlooked. The Bishop in fact admitted that it 
was “but a trifle”; and his objection referred not to 
what the term Protestant expressed regarding his own 
Church, but to what it implied regarding other Churches— 
an objection, which in these days of division must in some 

degree cleave to almost any possible title. It is very 


uulikely that any title that could now be framed for the 
Church, especially with a view to assert its claims and 
define its position would be acceptable even to a majority 
of its own members. It would express too little or too 
much. It would be too modest and “humble,” or too 
aggressive and provocative.* It is “more dignified,” - 
therefore, to retain the name which has been sanctioned 
by time and general use, and which at least answers 
sufficiently the purpose of a proper name. 

*The objection of those who dislike the prefixing of the term 
‘Protestant’ or (though the case is not exactly the same), that of 
‘Catholic’ to the title of a particular Church may perhaps be 
stated thus :—‘‘ There ought to be but one Church in a nation ; but 
to be complete and pure, the one church should be both catholic 
and protestant. It should maintain all the articles of the faith, 
and also repudiate all the errors which have been engrafted upon the 
faith. Do not, therefore designate your Church by a title, which 
may seem to imply that it has a claim to only one of these essential 
characteristics. Do not call it ‘Protestant’ lest you suggest that 
it is not also ‘Catholic’ nor Catholic lest you suggest that it is 
not also Protestant.” 

Before the meeting of the Pan-Anglican Synod of 1867, the late 
Bishop Forbes, of Brechin, wrote a letter to the Archbishop of Can- 
terbury objecting to the title ‘‘ Protestant Episcopal as applied to 
* the Scotch Church”.—Life of Bishop Gray of Cape Town, \1., p. 337. 

Shortly before leaving the Communion of the Episcopal Church 
of Scotland, the late Mr. Drummond, of Edinburgh, issued a protest 
against the action of the Bishops of that Church in styling them- 
selves in a pastoral letter, ‘Bishops of the Reformed Catholic 
Church of Scotland”. 

CHAPTER XI.—1828-1837. 

Publishes a Work on the Sunday Services—Origin of the Work—Its 
Success—His friend Dr. Walker made Bishop of Edinburgh— 
Publishes his Treatise on the Sacrifice i the Holy Ewucharist— 
Teaching of the Treatise—Displays unabated Mental Vigour 
and Activity—Alttention to Candidates for Orders.—Extracts 
from his Letters of the Period—Fervent Confessions of Imperfec- 
tion and Shortcoming—Oxford Movement of 1883—Becomes 
unfit for Active Duty—Consents to the ‘* free election” of 
a Coadjutor. ’ 

Towarps the end of 1828, the Bishop published the most 
popular of his works—“ Observations upon the several 
Sunday Services and Principal Holydays, &e”. It forms 
a prose Christian Year, the only thing wanting to its com- 
pleteness being that “the Inferior Holydays” instead 
of being treated separately, are dismissed with “a few _ 
general remarks upon” their “design”. No doubt it is 
correctly stated in the “ Advertisement” that the materials 
of the work were made use of by the Bishop in a part of 
his Sunday Evening Catechisings. But from the account 
of the origin of the work furnished to us by Mr. Pressley, 
it does not appear as if catechetical instruction -was the 
original, or at least the sole object of the compilation of it. 

“My uniform practice,” says Mr. Pressley, “for the 
almost twenty years that I officiated as his curate was to 
wait upon him at about half an hour before service, and 
hold conversations on the various points connected with 
it; and it came up at one particular time that he had 
been in the habit of writing down week by week some 


short thoughts on the various Sunday Services ; and hav-— 
ing them on his table, I begged him to let me have the 

benefit of hearing them on the particular Sundays to which 

they applied. This was done for months, to my great 

edification. On mentioning the circumstance at one of: 
our Aberdeen, the Bishop there suggested the 

propriety of Bishop Jolly’s publishing his Reflections for 

the benefit of the Church at large, which on my return 

I mentioned to him, and I rather think that the Bishop of 

Aberdeen urged him by letter to the same effect”.* 

When the Bishop had agreed to publish, Mr. Pressley 
gave him valuable assistance in preparing the work for the 
press. . He transcribed the manuscript, a service which the 
Bishop acknowledged in the following characteristic terms 
on the fly-leaf of the printed copy of the work which he 
presented to the Transcriber :— With affectionate Regard 
and Goodwill, Presented to the Revd. Charles Pressley, en- 
titled to the hearty thanks of his Friend for having— 
amidst the studies and duties of his Place, to which he 
pays unremitting attention—transcribed with great ac- 
ewacy, the following little work for the Press. May he 
long survive, guided and strengthened by the Divine 
Grace, to set forth the Glory of God, and set forward the 
Salvation of men !” 

There is no doubt but that Mr. Pressley is “ entitled to 
the hearty thanks of” the Reader of the work as well as of 
the Writer. For though he makes light of it himself, he, 
in the course of transcription, made such emendations in 
the style, as could not fail to render the work much more 
readable. The chief of these was the occasional division of 
a rather long and straggling sentence into two—an emen- 
dation which the readers of the old English Divines, on 

* Letter to the Writer of this Memoir. 


whose style the Bishop’s was mainly formed, will highly 
appreciate. Mr. Pressley did not expressly ask permission 
to make these little corrections, but left it to the Bishop, 
_ who read the transcript as it was made, to say whether he 
approved of them or not. The Bishop read and approved, 
but made no remark as to the alterations. It may be 
safely assumed, however, from the high terms in which 
he expressed himself regarding the transcription both of 
this work and of that on the Eucharist, that if he noticed 
them at all, he regarded them as corrections and improve- 
ments. When the work was going through the press in 
Edinburgh, some critics under whose eyes it came, wished 
to have the style still more modernised. ‘The style is 
peculiar,” says Bishop Walker, in the advertisement to the 
first edition, “and some literary friends suggested the pro- 
priety of somewhat altering and modernising it. This, 
after serious consideration, however, was at length declined 
with their perfect concurrence,” for three reasons, the chief 
of which was, that “any essential and general alteration 
in the style, as it would interrupt the uniformity, might also 
change the spirit, and impair the influence of the work ”. 

The work was published by Grant & Son, Edinburgh, 
and within twenty years it reached a fourth edition—surely 
a conclusive proof of popularity, especially if, as we believe 
was the case, the circulation was chiefly confined to the 
very limited Episcopalian public of Scotland. 

In February, 1830, the Bishop was highly gratified by 
the election of his very dear and intimate friend Dr. 
Walker, Pantonian Professor of Divinity, to the bishopric 
of Edinburgh, vacant by the demise of Bishop Sandford. 
Dr. Walker was a native of Fraserburgh, to which place 
he occasionally paid rather lengthened visits, which visits, 

_ from his ready professional help and congenial companion- 


ship, were always a source of great comfort to the Bishop. 
The Bishop showed how much his heart was in the event, 
by going to Stirling in the trying weather of early spring 
to attend the ¢onsecration of his friend, which took place 
there on the 7th of March. 

Next year the Bishop published his work on the Eu- 
charist, entitled ‘‘ The Christian Sacrifice in the Eucharist, 
considered, as it is, the Doctrine of Holy Scripture, em- 
braced by the Universal Church of the First and Purest 
Times, by the Church of England, and by the Episcopal 
Church in Scotland ”. 

This work “was suggested,” says Mr. Pressley, “by 
Lord Medwyn and* some other friends in Edinburgh, as a 
set-off to the very lax notions which then prevailed on the 
subject, and strange to say, it was accounted a rather high 
view of the subject, far in advance of what was then 
generally maintained ”. 

The Bishop’s doctrine of the Sacrifice is, as has been 
observed that of the English Non-Jurors. It is that also 
of the highest school of Scottish Episcopal Divines which 
had prevailed up to that time—the school of Rattray, 
Innes and Petrie.* The Bishop himself thus distinguishes 

* Bishop Rattray not only influenced opinion by his published 
works, but also to some extent through manuscript treatises of his 
which were circulated among the clergy, and some of which are 
still extant in Bishop Jolly’s handwriting. Bishops Innes and 
Petrie took a yet more effectual way to disseminate his and their 
views. They inculcated them in two catechisms—the forty lesson, 
and the nine lesson catechisms, which were pretty largely used in 
the North. ‘The forty lesson Catechism was the work of Bishop 
Innes, based upon the teaching of Rattray, and was first printed in 
1765—afterwards in 1802 and 1819. The nine lesson Catechism 
was abridged from the forty lesson one by Bishop Petrie, and 
adopted by Bishop Jolly ; and this little work was reprinted by 
the Rev. G. H. Forbes, Burntisland, as Bishop J olly’s Catechism.” 
Rev. George Sutherland of Wick to writer. Mr. Sutherland says he 
had his information from the late Rev. Nathanael Grieve of Ellon. 


his views from the Roman view—‘ The astonishing doc- 
trine, which to the horror of the enlightened mind pretends / 
to sacrifice in the Mass, the very substantial flesh and 
blood of Christ—a sacrifice in itself, and by its own in- 
herent merit and virtue, propitious which had usurped 
the truly Scriptural and primitive Mremorran or Breap 
AND WINE, representative of the Body and Blood of 
Christ”. The “truly Scriptural and primitive view ” 
makes the sacrifice an offering not of the actual Body and 
Blood of Christ, but of bread and wine representing the 
body and blood. The sacrifice is a “Memorial of Bread 
and Wine”. This is not a view which could at any 
time he regarded as very high, and twenty years afterwards 
it would by High Churchmen have been generally con- 
sidered low. Yet there is no reason to doubt Mr. Press- 
ley’s statement that it was then “accounted a rather high 
view of the subject”. In his preface the Bishop quotes a 
“brief historical detail” of a “learned and judicious 
friend,” probably Bishop Walker, who says—“The pre- 
vailing notion in the Church of England at present I be- 
lieve to be that of Cudworth [also of Warburton and 
Waterland| which is ‘that the Lord’s Supper is not a 
sacrifice, but a feast upon a sacrifice’”. The Primus, 
Bishop Gleig, in his “Directions for the Study of 
Theology,” published two years: previously (1829) stated 
that he rather inclined to this view.* The fact probably 
was. that though Churchmen generally continued to have 

The above two Catechisms were superseded in the Diocese of Aber- 
deen by other two compiled by Bishop John Skinner, which used to 
be known as the ‘‘The Muckle Bishop’s,” and ‘The Little Bishop's” 

* “Of these three views. . . . I perceive little or no essential 
difference between the first and the third (Johnson’s and Cudworth’s); 
though I should certainly prefer calling the Lucharist, or Lord’s 


as high a view as Bishop Jolly of the Eucharist, as a 
means of grace to the worthy receiver, many of the Clergy, 
and most of the Laity, had come to think of it only as a@ 
Communion, not dreaming of any other sacrifice in connec- 
tion with it than the “living sacrifice”’—on which the 
Bishop himself laid so much stress—the offering “of them- 
selves, their souls and bodies ”.* 

The Bishop’s view of the mode in which the grace of 
the Eucharist was bestowed was this :—After the invoca- 
tion of the Holy Ghost on them, the elements “become 
the body and blood of Christ in spirit and power—made 
what they are by the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit, 
for the communication or conveyance of pardon, grace and 
glory ”—(p. 106). Thus the Bishop’s view of the presence, 
as that‘of the Sacrifice, is the view of the Non-jurors, 
English and Scotch—maintained by the Bishop, as by those 
learned divines, to be “the truly Scriptural and primitive 
doctrine”—the doctrine of the primitive Fathers and the 
early liturgies—tree alike from the excess of the mediwval 
and from the defect of the modern doctrine. 

Such is the tone and spirit of the work, that even those 
who cannot accept the Bishop’s conclusions, may yet peruse 
it with pleasure and profit. “One of the most learned 

Supper, a feast on the sacrifice, rather than a sacrifice itself”’ (p. 
317). Bishop Gleig, though living in the South, was a Northern 
man, and also used the Scotch Office all his: life. 

*This was, perhaps, with scarce an exception, the view of the 
English Reformers. _‘‘ Protestants of all shades of opinion were 
united in this one point, that the Mass should be turned into a 
Communion. The Mass was regarded as a sacrifice of our Lord for 
the quick and the dead ; this the Reformers one and all denied ; 
they maintained that it was a Communion through which the faith- 
ful were united unto God, and that the sacrifice was the offering 
of themselves, their souls and bodies to God’s service, in common 
with the hosts of heaven ”.—Hook’s Lives of the Archbishops. New 

Series, Vol. IL., p. 150. 


divines of the age,” says Stephen, “remarked of this book 
that it reminded him so forcibly of the writings of the 
ancient fathers, that he could have imagined that they 
were still speaking.” * 

In the bringing out of the work the Bishop gave several 
striking proofs of the strength and permanence of his at- 
tachments. He dedicated it, not to any living friend, but 
“to the memory of Sir William Forbes, Baronet of Pitsligo,” 
who had been dead a quarter of a century. It was thus 
that the dedication commenced :—‘ With the most pro- 
found veneration, and with the warmest feelings of my 
heart, I venture to inscribe this little Work, with the 
wish that it were more worthy of such a dedication, to the 
Memory of a Man whom in my mind I have uniformly 
classed with those righteous men, who, as divinely declared, 
shall be had in everlasting remembrance ”. 

Mr. Pressley copied the manuscript of this work also 
for the press; and when thus employed the Bishop occa- 
sionally called upon him with some addition or emendation 
that had occurred to him. On such occasions he would 
enter the room with some such greeting as this on his 
lips—“ More last words of Richard Baxter”. 

When Mr. Pressley’s work was done, he said to the 
Bishop, “ Now, Bishop, Pll give you my copy, and you'll 
give me yours”. The Bishop readily complied, and Mr. 
Pressley still possesses the original MSS. When the work 
was printed, the Bishop also presented Mr, Pressley with 
a copy containing an inscription, which is yet more affec- 
tionate and characteristic than that in the copy of the 
Sunday Services.t 

* Stephen's History, Vol. IV., p. 554. 

+ With kind regards, and grateful feeling of his aid at all times, 
and particularly his unwearied pains in transcribing for the press 


Tn looking over the Bishop’s letters at this time, and on 
* to 1836, when he completed his eightieth year, it is im- 
possible not to be struck with the healthy vigour and 
activity which he unceasingly displayed. 

Though growing infirmities made him unfit for much 
bodily activity, of him it may be said with almost as much 
truth as it was ever said of any one, “Tntentum animum 
tanquam arcum habebat, nec languescens succumbebat 
senectuti’”. He visits his diocese at the usual triennial 
period, though always in the autumn, as the hot weather 
was unfavourable to his “bilious habit ” He keeps up 
an active correspondence with his Clergy, and any lay 
member of the Church who helped in the work of ad- 
ministration—as, for one instance, with the Duchess of 
Gordon, who, on the death of Mr. Buchan of Elgin in 
1829, looked out a successor to him. He goes on eagerly 
reading and buying books ; making application, for in- 
stance, for a copy of Bertram On the Eucharist in the 
original, though he had had a translation of the book in 
his possession for a long time; and with all this, he 

wrote for the press as he had never done in his best days. 

It should be added that, after the manner of those days, 
he continued to take the most lively interest in any can- 
didates for the Ministry belonging to his own congregation 
or diocese, addressing them as his “sons,” and treating 
them with more than fatherly indulgence. There is now 
before the Writer a note (of date about 1833) to the Bishop 
by one of these candidates, then in his second year, at 
College; and on the other leaf there is the scroll of an 
and correcting it very carefully—this little book is most affection- 
ately presented to the Rev. Charles Rressley, whom God ever bless 
and long preserve to promote the Glory of His Name in the faithful 

service of His Church.—ALEXANDER Jouty, Fraserburgh, Nov. 
19, 1831. 


answer toit in the Bishop’s own hand. The student . 
addresses the Bishop as his “Right Reverend Father,” 
and says that “having torn” a ‘certain part of his best 
suit, he takes the liberty of asking the Bishop to supply 
him with the means of replacing it. On account of the 
circuunstances of his father, he wants the matter concealed 
from him, and adds—“ TI have always been accustomed to 
speak my mind more freely to you than to my father”. 
The Bishop replies thus :—“ My very dear Son—My heart, 
which is daily with you, yesterday attended you in a more 
particular [manner] at the H. Altar. The Blessings and 
unspeakable Benefits there received He who purchased 
them for us by His blood, has taught us by the two words 
which he gave in charge that awful night, how we shall secure 
them against all the temptations of the enemy ypyyopetre 
kai zpooedxec0e. May His heavenly grace ever defend and 
guide you! My heart being firm, excuse my old jhand ! 
Accept the accompanying £3, which with great pleasure I 
present to [you].” The Bishop was occasionally deceived 
by a protegé ; but such was his unsuspecting nature, that 
usually nothing short of the “plucking” of a student for 
his degree could open his eyes. Mr. Pressley mentions 
the case of one student to whom the Bishop occasionally 
sent a present of wine, to be taken in moderate daily doles, 
to support his health under the pressure of severe study ; 
but who, on receipt of the wine, generally held high carnival 
on it with his fast friends, urging them to drink freely, as 
“the old boy would soon come down with a fresh supply”. 

The following extracts from his letters indicate his views 
on the topics and occurrences of the time, and especially 
on his own state, in the near prospect of eternity. 

He was a good deal excited by the remark of a writer 
in the Gentleman’s Magazine for December, 1828 (p. 


578), who referred to “ the popish custom of turning 
to the east;” and writing February 20, 1829, to Mr. 
Bowdler of Eltham (Rector of Addington, Kent), he says 
_«“Jf the decent custom symbolical of turning from 
darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, 
by faith in Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, be really 
popish, it exalts popish practice to a very high antiquity, 
ranked as it is by Tertullian among the immemorial 
church practices of his day”. ‘ But,” he proceeds, “ this 
is of minor consequence. Many more essentially important 
Doctrines and Practices of the truly Catholic Church. . . 
have been disused as popish, because the Church of Rome 
has grafted her corruptions upon them.” He therefore 
urges Mr. Bowdler, if he cannot find time himself, to “ex- 
cite some sound divine like himself” to write a book 
setting forth the true state of the case, as regards such 
practices—the work to be “very clear and strong in argu- 
ment, but very meek and gentle in language, for the rail- 
ing, fiery manner of some—in itself very blameable and 
disgusting—perfectly counteracts the intention ”. 

On the death of Mr. Buchan in 1829, the congregation 
of Elgin came in rapid succession under the charge of two 
young English Clergymen,” with each of whom the Bishop 
corresponded pretty frequently, carefully explaining to 
them the peculiarities of the Northern system, so as to 
avoid misconstruction and dispel prejudice. To the former 
of the two, Mr. Boswell, he writes (January 10, 1831) — 
“Tp the Consecration Prayer, I confess that I change ‘con- 
gregation’ for what at the time of compilation that word 
really meant, and say, ‘ Regard, we beseech Thee, the suppli- 
cations of Thy Church’”. 

* Messrs. Boswell and Cole.—Both seem to have been very deli- 

cate. The latter (Mr. Cole) ‘ Went from Elgin to England and 
died there. Mr. Boswell died in India.” 


To Mr. Cole, who took Mr. Boswell’s place when that 
gentleman’s health gave way, he writes (July, 1831) :— 
“ Our Episcopacy is perfectly the same as that of England 
(Lord, mercifully preserve in every point that grand bulwark 
of the Reformation !) in point of spiritual power, but hap- 
pily (shall I say) divested of all temporal honours. Our 
Liturgy [the Scotch Communion Office] you will find upon 
a little investigation to be altogether in the truly genuine 
spirit of the Reformation.” Mr. Cole had addressed him 
as ‘your Lordship,’ but he writes him—Never again 
think of Lordship when you write to me”.* 

With all his fervent attachment to his own Church, the 
Bishop had a deep love and reverence for the Church of 
England, and its noble army of erudite Divines, and he was 
greatly pleased by any mark of attention from a living 
English theologian. In a letter to Bishop Walker (Aug. 
6, 1831), he mentions that his neighbour, Mr. Hagar of 
Lonmay, having been taken by his brother-in-law to the 
Bishop of Lincoln’s visitation, was introduced to his Lord- 
ship, “ who finding he was from this neighbourhood, con- 

* The Bishops of the last generation, discouraged all such titles 
as the above—not, we may be well sure, from ignorance of all that 
could be urged in favour of their use from ecclesiastical precedent ; 
but from reasons of policy and expediency which those. who know 
Scotland best will most readily appreciate. They knew that times, 
circumstances, and the meaning of words change. ‘Bishop’ or 
‘your Reverence,’ was the usual simple style of address in those 
days—varied sometimes perhaps in the Highlands by ‘your 
Righteousness”. At Ballachulish Bishop Ewing was welcomed 

by a Quarryman with the greeting, ‘‘ We always feel so strong, 
your Righteousness, when you are among us.”.—Ross’s Memoir 
of Bishop Ewing, p. 144. 

The Deans of iast generation seldom took the title. Mr. Buchan, 
of Elgin, when Dean of Moray, desired Bishop Jolly not to style 
him Dean on the outside of a letter. The Bishop, in a letter to him 
of October 22, 1818, gives him the title at the close of the letter, 

and adds, ‘It is at your own desire that I omit your title on the 
outside ”, 


descended to inquire about your servant, and desired Mr. 
Hagar to transmit his affectionate regards—no less, Mr. 
Hagar precisely said”. Then he is always very anxious 
to have the devotional treatises of the old English Divines 
put upon the list of the Society for Promoting Christian 
Knowledge, and kept there. He writes to Mr. Bowdler 
(August 9, 1834), urging him to endeavour to procure a 
reprint by the Society “of Bishop Ken’s feelingly-deyout 
work upon the Catechism, which I think should ever 
stand upon their list, with his directions for prayer an- 
nexed. His piety is devoid of enthusiasm, giving light 
to the understanding, while it feelingly tends to kindle the 
heat of divine love in the heart, the perfecting and ever 
beatifically enduring sequel of Faith and Hope.” 

He had written with still deeper fervour on the subject 
eleven years previously. To Bishop Skinner (July 28, 
1823) he says—* But now what you tell me of the ven- 
erable Society’s rejection of good Bishop Ken’s Catechism 
of Divine Love struck me very differently, and the in- 
telligence, I must confess, has thrown a degree of heaviness 
into my heart. What can be exceptionable in the little 
work, which the heavenly man submitted entirely to the 
Church of England, and would have it no otherwfse under- 
stood than as in perfect unison with her doctrine? Can 
it be the glow of devotional warmth which pervades the 
whole? But surely there is abundance of Light as well 
as Love; and a more lucid and logical, though short 
analysis of the Catechism, I do not know.” 

In a subsequent letter he speaks of the work as ‘the 
seraphic Bishop’s heavenly exposition of the best Text 
Catechism in the world” (Nov. 18, 1823). 

As he draws on to his eightieth year, the Bishop 
“ most seriously and solemnly confesses and bewails” his 



own sins and shortcomings, especially in letters to the clergy 
of his own diocese, whose prayers on his behalf he 
earnestly solicits, ‘ 

Writing to Mr. Walker, Huntly (March 2, 1832) 
about a form of prayer for a Fast on account of the ravages 
of cholera he says—“ May we not dread [lest the plague] 
as in similar cases may have its order to begin at the 
House of God? You and others exert yourselves to the 
utmost; but for my own part I most seriously and 
solemnly confess and bewail my great sloth and negligence 
in that sweet service of so infinitely kind and loving a 
Lord, and have sadly failed to testify by more diligent 
labour and industry amidst His flock my love to Him 
return. I am not gloomy, I assure you, but seriously 
sorrowful when I reflect upon His forbearance towards me, 
even beyond the term of life, and desire to repent in dust 
and ashes for my manifold sins, errors, and negligence in 
His service—more especially in the season of penitence at 
hand, and while my short day of salvation by His mercy 
still lasteth. . . I am greatly afraid that the clergy in 
general have to answer for the greater part of the sins of 
Christians. We watch for souls as they that must give 
an account. Lord, mercifully and graciously watch over 
us all, both clergy and people, without whose keeping we 
watch in vain.” 

To Mr Cruickshank, Muthil, he says (Feb 28, 1833)— 
“For my part I tremble when I think of that day, after 
so long a day during which He has borne with the 
deficiency of His wretched servant. But I throw myself 
upon His ever-emduring mercy ; and, with my penitentials, 

say ‘There is mercy with Thee, therefore shalt Thou be 

feared ; although I am sometimes, afraid, yet put I my 
trust in Thee’. With such feeling I earnestly beg your 
prayers in my behalf.” ; 


To Mr Murdoch, June 10, 1833—“ After so long a 
course during which He has borne with me, I do sadly 
lament that I have served Him so ill and loved Him 
so little. But His mercy accepts penitential love, and 
that I desire to make my daily exercise. Be instant in 
your daily prayers for me.” 

With equal penitential fervour did he pour out his con- 
fessions in private, as may be seen from the following 
scrap of diary found among his papers— 

“March 17, 1831.—In the latter part of this day (the 
penult. of the 54th of my priesthood) I have been pecu- 
liarly uneasy under an unfavourable habit of my body. 
But the thought of my spiritual state (after so long expe- 
rience of the divine forbearance and long-suffering) covers 
me with shame and sorrow, and confusion of face. 

“19th.—Through the great mercy of my Saviour I 

celebrate the anniversary of my Presbyteration with com- 
posure, and I humbly trust in His grace that henceforth I 
shall be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the 
work of the Lord—grant, O gracious Lord, for the 
glory of Thy name !” 
- A short diary of the Bishop’s, which the present writer 
has not seen, was, says Mr Pressley, who had an. oppor- 
tunity of reading it, mostly taken up with confessions and 
bewailings of his own sins and shortcomings, particularly 
in the matter of temper ; though, as Mr. Pressley says, he 
was to all outward seeming, the most placid-tempered of 

It need scarcely be said that the great High Church 
revival of 1833, so far as it was developed during the 
Bishop’s closing years, was such as to fill him with lively 
interest and satisfaction. The movement began where he 
ended. Yet there is scarce any notice of it in his letters 



of the period. He was, in fact, getting too old and feeble 
to write more than was absolutely necessary. Some of 
the originators of the movement, however, knew and 
highly appreciated him. “The Bishop of Aberdeen,” 
writes the Rev. A. P. Percival to Bishop Low, March 
22, 1834, “conveyed to me melancholy tidings respect- 
ing the great and good Bishop of Moray (Dr Jolly). 
There is probably hardly an individual at present in 
existence, who will carry with him to his rest, love, 
esteem, and veneration to the degree in which they will 
accompany the Apostle of Moray. May God raise up 
among you many worthy successors to him.” 

The Bishop continued all his habits of life to the very 
last, especially his ‘‘work” in the systematic reading of 
the Holy Scriptures in the original languages, and his 
stated exercises of prayer and meditation. He also carried 
on the administration of his diocese—as far, at least, as 
was possible by correspondence. But for a journey, or 
any prolonged exertion, he was altogether unfit. It was 
high time, solvere senescentem, both in his case and in that 
of the Primus, who was three years older, and considerably 
more infirm. But there was no proper machinery for the 
purpose. The last work of these two leading Bishops had 
been to repeal the stated General Synod Act, which would 
have supplied their own deficiency of initiative. The 
Church, therefore, remained in a state of stagnation till 
May, 1837, when Bishop Gleig was persuaded to resign the 
office of Primus. It was to Bishop Jolly, as the senior 
Bishop by consecration, that the Primus sent in his deed 
of resignation, and the good man, who through the whole 
negotiations about the resignation, had counselled the 
utmost tenderness and consideration for the Primus, 
now wrote Bishop Torry that “it touched his heart to 


receive the deed”. It was thus a second time Bishop 
Jolly’s office to make arrangements for the election 
of a Primus, but he was: unequal to. the effort. He 
wrote to Bishop Torry that he was “utterly unable 
to take any part, either of the head work or hand- 
writing at present,” and so he requested him to arrange 
with Bishop Skinner for a meeting of the electors, 
exhorting that “love be our universal cement”. It was his 
earnest wish that his friend, Bishop Walker, of Edinburgh, 
should be the new Primus, and so apprehensive was he 
lest through accident or infirmity he himself should fail to 
record his vote for his friend, that he may be said to have 
lodged his proxy separately with each of his other four 
colleagues. He had done so by letter at first, though not 
formally, with the retiring Primus, then formally with 
Bishop Torry, and “upon his silence” with Bishop 
Skinner, sending at the same time to Bishop Low a copy 
of his letter to Bishop Skinner. His letters, however 
short, are never mere business letters. “Thus studying 
and acting the things which make for peace and love,” he 
says to Bishop Skinner, “ the God of peace and love shall 
be ever with us.” And his few sentences to Bishop Low 
conclude thus—‘“ Lord, ever accompany all our steps in 
life and death, and bring us at length to rejoice in‘ 
festivity eternal !” 

The meeting for the election of the Primus was held at 
Aberdeen on May 24, 1837, and its result was what 
Bishop Jolly had so ardently desired. Bishop Low pro- 
posed Bishop Walker for the Primacy, and with the 
proxies of Bishops Gleig and Jolly carried him against 
Bishops Torry and Skinner, who dissented and voted pro 
formé for each other. Other important business was done 
at the meeting. The Bishops agreed to suggest to their 


absent colleagues the propriety of convening a General 
Synod for the amendment of the canons, their chief object 
being to obtain some canonical provision for the appoint-. 
ment of Coadjutor Bishops; and, as some time must 
elapse before the Synod could be convened, they further 
agreed to recommend to Bishops Gleig and J olly to assent 
to the “free election” of coadjutors by the clergy of 
Brechin and Moray. yang 

A recommendation under such circumstances was equiva- an injunction ; and so both Bishops yielded, and 
each signed a deed agreeing to the issuing of a mandate to 
his clergy empowering them “ freely to elect a coadjutor 
and successor ”, 

The deed which Bishop Jolly signed contained a condi- 
tion which, whether laid down by himself or framed by 
his colleagues to meet his wishes, was, no doubt, known 
to be necessary to secure his signature. It was this— 
“While I expressly retain, however, my full rights and 
status as Bishop of Moray and minister of F raserburgh as 
long as I live.” 

The feeling that dictated this condition will always com- 
mand respect, if not sympathy. It is the touch of nature 
that makes all the superannuated kin—the last infirmity 
of unwordly minds. But in no case probably is it an 
unmixed’ infirmity. Its roots lie deep in the better part 
of our nature. 

To him who had been forty years Bishop of Moray and ° 
fifty years minister of Fraserburgh, it was much to be per- 
mitted to die Bishop of Moray and minister of 
Fraserburgh. And so it was in the fullest sense. 
He remained to the last not only Bishop of Moray, 
but sole Bishop of Moray. No coadjutor was 
appointed to him; his colleagues, on further reflec- 


tion, deeming it better that Moray should cease to be 
a separate see, and at the Bishop’s death be re-united to 
‘Ross—an arrangement in which the Bishop himself fully 
concurred. Thus his compliance with the coadjutor 
arrangement led to no direct change in his own immediate 
sphere, but it was far from being without result. It facili- 
tated the compliance of the Primus and the general re- 
arrangement of offices and dioceses which: took place at 
this time. The Primus received as coadjutor Mr Moir, of 
Brechin. Glasgow diocese was disjoined from Edinburgh, 
and obtained for its Bishop Dr. Russell, of Leith. Fife 
was also separated from Edinburgh, and annexed to St. 

CHAPTER XII.—1837-1838. 

Last year of his life—Feeble state of his health—His anxiety in pros- 
pect of a General Synod—‘ Message from the tomb’—Striking 
circumstances of his last houwrs—Death—Buried in his brother’s 
grave at Turrif—Tablet to his memory in St. Congan’s— 

THE good Bishop’s work was now done. Only one year of 
life remained to him, and that, in his feeble state, was 
spent in almost unbroken retirement and inaction. As 
was usual with him, on the approach of a General Synod, 
“his heart trembled for the ark of God”. Something 
“unepiscopal” and unprimitive might be done; and the 
risk was greater now that the State had, at last, in spite of 
vall risks and dismal predictions, set the example of reform. 
But though his friend, Bishop Walker, was now at the head 
of affairs, and his own moral influence was unequalled, the 
Bishop could do but little. He issued an occasional note 
of warning in a short letter to a colleague, or in a message 
through a friend. It was chiefly with Bishop Walker* that 
he thus kept up communication ; and that Prelate’s account 

* James Walker, the dearest and most intimate friend of Bishop 
Jolly, did not long survive his saintly colleague, having entered 
imto his rest, March 5, 1841. He was born at Fraserburgh about 
1770, and after passing through Marischal College, Aberdeen, he 
went under the auspices of a rich uncle to St. John’s College, Cam- 
bridge, where he graduated B.A., M.A., and finally (in 1826), D.D. 
He returned to Scotland in 1793, and settled in Edinburgh, where 
he became (in 1807) incumbent of St. Peters, then rather a small 
charge. With his pastoral labours, however, Mr. Walker had always 
some literary, tutorial or professorial work conjoined. He became 
under Bishop Gleig, sub-editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica 
(8rd edition), writing not a few valuable articles for that important 
work. ‘Towards theend of last century he went abroad for two or 



of his latter days is very interesting and affecting. ‘ Within 
less than two years of his death,” he says, “ he wrote me 
that he was as eager at his books, and was able to enjoy 
his work, as he called it, with as high a relish as ever. 

With increasing feebleness, and occasional palpitations of 
the heart, his mind continued clear and unclouded to the 

three years as tutor to Sir John Hope of Craighall, and appears to have 
visited all the chief countries of Europe. He was in Italy in 1801-2, 
and he spent also a considerable time in Germany, sojourning chiefly 
at Weimar, then the literary capital of that country, and mixing 
freely with the high and intellectual society of the place. He seems 
to have made an excellent use of his opportunities. When he came 
home he wrote an able article for the supplement to the Hneyclope- 
dia on the system of Kant. In the winter of 1817-18, he appears to 
have got as colleague in St. Peter’s Mr. (afterwards Bishop) Terrot. 
and he then paid a second visit to Italy for the benefit of his health 
(see p. 95). After his return, he wrote a series of ‘Letters from 
Rome,” giving at considerable length, the outcome of his impressions 
and experiences during both visits. These letters were published in 
the Scottish Episcopal Magazine—the first on Feb., 1820. Besides 
a volume of sermons published in 1829, when he resigned the charge 
of St. Peter’s, Dr. Walker gave to the church a number of 
occasional sermons, pamphlets, charges, &c., all evincing sound 
theological learning, wide general culture, solid sense, and sober 
earnest piety. He was the first Pantonian professor of Theology. 
He was also Dean of Edinburgh, and like his successor in re- 
cent times, Dean Ramsay, he long held a position of unique and 
exceptional influence, not only in Edinburgh but also in the 
whole of the little Church, ‘His Northern birth, English edu- 
cation, European culture, and great knowledge of the world, 
made him at home with men of all ranks, classes and districts ; and 
before he was made a Bishop (1830), he probably wielded more in- 
fluence than most of the Bishops. His word had great weight 
with the majority of the Bishops. To Bishop, Sandford of Edin- 
burgh he was for many years indispensable ; noman had so much 
sway with Bishop Jolly; and in spite of some disagreements and 
misunderstandings, he continued to the last on intimate and friendly 
terms with Primus Greig, and Bishop Low. On the whole, though, 
from his valetudinarian habits, and tutorial experiences, he may 
have been, as Mr. Pressley said of him to the present writer, ** rather 
much of the chaplain style of Clergyman” ; the Church has had 
few dignitaries to whom she can point with more confidence, as 
being in so many ways helpful and creditable to her—both a decus 
and tutamen. Bishop Walker left two daughters ; both of whom 
are still living. 

me fa 


last ; and his anxiety for the church which he loved con- 
tinued unabated. "When it was determined to summon a 
General Synod in 1838, he expressed his anxiety repeatedly, 
in the short letters which he was then able to write ; and 
when he was unable to use his own pen, he employed 
that of his assistant. I had besides a message through the 
medium of an excellent lay friend of the church, which 
now lies before me, dated and received the 29th of June, 
the very day on which the venerable man died. I tran- 
scribe it. ‘The following is the substance of a conver- 
sation, which took place between Bishop Jolly and myself 
on Sunday, the 24th instant, when he requested me to ex- 
press to you how glad he was to learn that your general 
health was good, and to say, that whenever you found it 
convenient, he should have much pleasure in hearing from 
you, although he was not now equal to the task of writing 
you in return. He hoped you would remember him in 
your prayers, which he never failed to do of you. “ Tell 
him,” he said, “Iam dying, getting weaker and weaker ; 
and I trust to his taking care that things are so managed 
at the ensuing Synod, that the principles of the Church 
may be preserved entire, and in no way infringed upon. 
I am more and more convinced of the awfully responsible 
situation of the clergy, and generally speaking (not excep- 
ting myself), I greatly fear they are extremely deficient, 
and fall far short of what they ought to be, and will have 
much to answer for.” I took the liberty of remarking 
that if all the clergy performed their duty as he had done 
his, they might have confidence. Upon which he said, he 
had no confidence in anything, but the merits of our 
Saviour, and on these he solely trusted. “This day” 
(St. John Baptist’s), he added, “is a day to be had in par- 
ticular remembrance by me. It was on this day in 1796, 


that I was consecrated at Dundee.” I took down the above 
the same evening, and believe it to be correct.’” “It is an 
affecting message,” adds Bishop Walker, “ coming as it 
were from the good man’s tomb, for it did not reach me 
till he was no more.” 

The Bishop’s death was singularly in harmony with his 
life, so far, at least, as the manner of it was known to 
man, and though long looked and longed for, it was rather 
unexpected when at last it did come. A few days pre- 
viously he had been worse than usual, Mr. Pressley says, 
but on the day before he was better. Mr. Pressley called 
upon him on the afternoon of that day, and conversed with 
him a considerable time ; but nothing that he saw or heard 
led him to suppose that the end was near. The Bishop 
talked much, as usual, on any subject that turned up. 
There was a public dinner in Fraserburgh on that day in 
honour of the Queen’s coronation. Mr. Pressley men- 
tioned that he was on his way to the dinner, and as it was 
the eve of St. Peter's Day, the Bishop gently remonstrated 
with him on the impropriety of attending a feast on that 
day, which the Church had appointed to be kept as a 

Neither the Bishop himself, nor any one that saw him 
on that last evening, appears to have had any apprehen- 
sion of immediate change. “He felt so well,” says Mr. 
Pressley, “that he insisted on being left alone all night, 
after his attendant had put him to bed about nine o'clock.” 
But though he was not expecting it, death could not find 
him unprepared. The last book which he had in his hands 
on that last evening was Sutton’s Disce Mori,—‘ Learn to 
die’. “It was an art,” it has been well said, “which he 
had been learning all his life long ;” and never, probably, 
had the art been more fully mastered, There were “none 


but God and good Angels to witness his departure”.* When 
his attendant “returned in the morning about seven 
o'clock, he found him dead; but as the body was then 
quite warm, it was supposed that the soul had taken its 
flight about an hour before. He was discovered lying in 
the most placid and easy posture, with his hands folded 
across his breast, and from the serenity of his countenance 
it was quite evident that he had died without any struggle 
or convulsion.” + 
There appears to have been no doubt that he was con- 
scious of the approach of death, and calmly prepared to 
meet it, Anyhow his attitude was that of solemn prayer, 
as if he had died in the very act of commending his departing 
soul to God. Bishop Walker, who knew him so well, was 
“disposed to believe” that this was the manner of his death, 
‘and that he, who may be said to have prayed always, 
took his flight from earth to paradise in an act of that 
duty, which no man ever more fervently and faithfully 

* Nothing of earthly mould must linger here, 
Lest it should mar the comings on of sleep, 
And break that solemn stillness grave and deep, 
Where God, and his good Angels draw more near, 
And that small Voice is heard which mortal ear 
Cannot discern. Slumber, the hour doth steep, 
And heaven is opening ; Let no eye to weep, 
Nor fleshy tongue be there, nor ear to hear 
Divine Communions! Spirits of the good, 
Come round him on the heaven-descended stair ! 
Martyrs and Fathers old and Saints be there. 
—Williams’ Thoughts in Past Years, p. 122 (2nd edition) ; ‘* Death 
of the Bishop of Moray,” &c. 
+Other accounts give additional particulars—‘‘ He had been 
strong enough to close his own eyes, and draw over his face a small 
white napkin, which he had carefully kept under his pillow for some 
time, and which his attendant had noticed, though he could not 
ess what it was for, and did not like to ask. He had then crossed 
is hands upon his breast.” (Plain Sermons, Vol. VII., pp. 284-5.) 
Similarly Dr. Donne, before he expired, closed his eyes with his 
own hands, and ‘‘ disposed himself into such a posture, as required 
not the least alteration of those that came to shroud him”. 


performed from early youth to a late old age”. And pas- 
sing away thus, “ communing with his own spirit,” and 
pleading alone with God “in his chamber,” “I am per- 
suaded,” he says, “that he died precisely as he wished ”. 
“There was nothing,” he adds, “which the good man 
more disliked, than display in any Christian duty, but 
especially did he dislike it, though from the foolish offi- 
ciousness of friends and attendants it is so common, in 
the hour of death. I have heard him express himself very 
forcibly on some lauded scenes of this kind,* which he 
justly thought most injudicious and most injurious to sound 
and sober Christianity, because in general they are made 
up by enthusiasm, urged on by various delusions, in which 
pure and practical religion has no part.” 

It might have been expected that the Bishop would have 
desired that his remains should rest at Fraserburgh, which 
had been so long his home, and his chief sphere of labour ; 
but it was not so. He wished to be laid beside his 
brother James, in Turriff churchyard. It has been seen 
how deeply he was affected by the melancholy death of 
that beloved brother; and time never altogether healed 
the wound. He continued to visit his grave at intervals 
during his life, and on his last visit “anticipating that his 
living eyes would look upon it no more, he had plucked 

* The reference here is doubtless to “‘ Death-bed Scenes, &¢.,” by 
Dr. John Warton. The Bishop's sentiments regarding the 
demeanour suitable to a death-bed recall those of Archbishop Leighton 
—a prelate, whom in all the holy graces of character he so closely 
resembled. Leighton ‘‘used often to say, that if he were to choose 
a place to die in, it should be an inn, it looking so very like a 
pilgrim’s going home, to whom the world was all as aninn. It was 
his opinion also that the officious care and tenderness of friends was 
an entanglement to a dying man, and that the unconcerned atten- 
dance of those who could be procured in such a place, would give 
less disturbance :—this wish was granted ; it was at the Bell Inn, 
Warwick Lane, where he expired.” 


a portion of the rank grass growing on it, which after his 
decease was found in his escritoire, carefully wrapt in paper, 
and on it written, ‘Grass from my brother’s grave’—* All 
flesh is grass, and all the goodliness of it as the flower of 
the field—the grass withereth, the flower fadeth, but the 
word of our God shall stand for ever ”.* 

Thus all that was mortal of the good man “sleeps in 
the churchyard” of Turriff. A handsome mural tablet 
was erected to his memory in the then Chapel at Turriff, 
and which may be now seen in the chancel wall of the 
present Church (St. Congan’s). The tablet was “ erected 
by his surviving sister,” and this was not the only nor the 
most important service which Miss Jolly rendered to his 
memory at the time. Learning, after his death, that the 
Bishop had come under obligations on behalf of some of 
his poorer parishioners, which he did not live to discharge, 
she, at once, paid down the whole sum required, though it 
was by no means inconsiderable in amount.+ The inscrip- 
tion on the tablet concludes thus—“ Deeply learned in the 
ancient wisdom of the Church, he taught his flock to 
adhere to the old paths of Catholic and Apostolic truth ; 
while, by a life of holiness, devotion, and self-denial, he 
gave to a declining age a pattern of primitive piety; living 
in a holy celibate, he renounced the world without for- 
saking its duties ; devoting his days and nights to prepara- 
tion for heaven, he conversed with God in retirement 3 and 
was taken to his rest when no mortal eye was near to wit- 
ness his departing moments, having been found on the 
morning of the Feast of St. Peter, 1838, calmly reposing 

_ * Mr. Cheyne’s Memoty—Mr. Cheyne makes the Scripture quota- 
tion stop at field, but Mr. Pressley says it concluded as above. 

+ Though not living with the Bishop at Fraserburgh, Miss Jolly 
was continually doing little services for him 


in death. R.LP. Born 1756, ordained Deacon 1776 and 
Priest 1777, consecrated 1796.” 

The reader has now—it is hoped—sufilicient materials 
for forming a due estimate of the character of this saintly 
man. . It was character, in the strict sense, that was his 
strong point—not learning, though he was very learned, 
nor talent, though he had “a clear head,” and a “beautifully 
balanced mind”.* He was a good rather than a great 
man. Bonum virum facile crederes, magnum libenter. 
That in which he excelled others is intelligible to all, and 
with God’s help attainable by most. 

The weight of his character was felt through the whole 
Church, but with different effect in the different depart- 
ments. As has been seen in the course of the sketch, 
his influence was least beneficial in Canon making, because 
from his very cautious and conservative turn of mind; he 
was always prone to check rather than to forward or regu- 
late a movement. ‘There was small need for a Cunctator 
or drag, in those quiet unenterprising days. 

In administration, however, the Bishop’s character told 
on the Church, with great, and almost invariably with 
beneficial effect. His voice was always for peace and con- 
ciliation, and his word weighed like an argument. It was 
always spoken in love, and with a single mind; and hence 
his Colleagues were generally averse to oppose him, and 
anxious if possible to support him. Thus he was enabled 
to smooth the conduct of affairs, to mediate between per- 
sons and parties—to hold the balance of power, and earn 
for himself the blessing of the peacemaker. 

Character has been a no less potent element in his in- 
fluence through the press. Even more than his learning, 

* Mr. Pressley’s words to writer. 


and in spite of his style, it has attracted readers to his 
works, North and South, and given a wide currency to his 
views. “Good Bishop Jolly’s” opinions, especially on 
any primitive or practical question, must, it was thought, 
be just and edifying, and miglt be taken on trust, 

After all, probably, the Bishop’s character has seldom 
had full justice done to it. The highest exceHences are so 
generally linked with corresponding defects, that by many, 
the existence of the defects is invariably assumed. It has 
been assumed in the case of Bishop Jolly. With his decided 
views on Church and Sacraments, and his -very primitive 
mode of life, it has been taken for granted that he was 
narrow, formal, and intolerant—devoid of the true spirit of 
the gospel—* sinking all vital religion in the mere external 
and ceremonial part”, Never, perhaps, had assumption 
less real foundation in fact. Every glimpse into Bishop 
Jolly’s inner life, proves how carefully he distinguished 
between the means and the end—between the ceremonial 
and the spiritual—between the outward and the inward— 
between the Church and Christ—between that which saves 
and that which fits for salvation ; and then how bright an 
example he ever set of charity, the crowning grace of the 
gospel! How singularly free he was from the usual be- 
setting sin of the zealous and earnest—the indulgence of a 
bitter and intolerant spirit! The tone of his letters and 
the testimony of his most intimate friend, are alone con- 
clusive in this point. As to personal religion—“ A man 
more devoted to real practical religion,” says Bishop 
Walker, ‘“ to that personal and progressive holiness, with- 
out which, no man shall see the Lord, and which he yet 
felt, as all who happily acquire it will feel, to be the gift 
of God’s grace—than Bishop Jolly never, I believe, lived, 
and I cannot even imagine,” 


Again, “I have said, and I fervently believe, that a 
purer Christian in every stage of life never breathed—yet 
I can as truly affirm on the most certain evidence, that in 
’ youth, in maturity, and in old age, while he was eagerly 
-ranning the race set before him, he never for a moment 
relied on anything in himself. He pursued the course 
indicated with unabated assiduity, and blessed God at every 
step for the grace which prepared and aided his progress. 
But he felt in every stage of life, he felt habitually, that 
he was God’s workmanship in Christ ; and in the imme- 
diate anticipation, and as it were in the awful hour of death, 
he emphatically declares, ‘I have no confidence in any- 
thing but the merits of our Saviour, and on those I solely 

And as to his charity —“ With all his exclusive attach- 
ment to his own Church, and to the forms and peculiar 
institutions of that Church, there was nothing in the 

slightest degree sectarian in Bishop Jolly’s composition. 
The keenest scrutiny would never have detected anything 
sectarian in this good man’s system, nor in his practice, nor 
in his most confidential conversation.” Again: “ With 
all his exclusive attachment to his own Church, I most 
sincerely believe that a mind of more extensive and expan- 
sive charity never existed in any human being”. 

It would be impossible to have better authority in regard 
to these cardinal points than Bishop Walker. It is clear 
that in matters of faith and Christian practice, Bishop 
Jolly’s mind preserved a “beautiful balance”. . He was 
an example of a man who, in controverted matters, could 
be firm without being uncharitable, and charitable without 
being indifferent ; a man who laid much stress on forms, 
without being a formalist, and was “careful to maintain 
good works,” while he yet had “no confidence in any- 



thing but the merits of the Saviour,” on which “he solely 

The reader who has gone patiently through even this 
very imperfect presentment of a unique life will confess 
that it is the life of a satnt—the life of one of the very 
few, out of the many good, who are not simply pre- 
eminently good, but so good that a good man “ cannot 
even conceive ” a better—the life of one “ who makes his 
religion absolutely and inflexibly, and in ways little 
familiar to his generation, the rule of his whole life ”—* 
one who supplies an all but perfect example. One such 
life—one such example is a precious boon and inheritance 
to any church. May the little Church, which he loved 
so well and so greatly adorned, long continue to ponder 
the life and example, and reverence the spotless memory 

* Let the reader substitute Jolly for Wilson in the following 
passage—to which the writer’s attention has been called by Professor 
Dowden—and say if, by the substitution, the true and eloquent 
words do not become yet more emphatically true and eloquent. 
“There were many good men in Wilson’s as in every age, whose 
lives have been all the more unnoticed because they were hid with 
Christ in God; but a_saint is one who makes his religion, abso- 
lutely and inflexibly, and im ways little familiar to his generation, 
the rule of his whole life ; and who with a perfect absence of all self- 
consciousness, does this in such a manner as to seize the imagina- 
tion, and influence the character of his own and other generations. 
Berkeley and Butler were men of pre-eminent goodness, and men of 
a thousand times the ability of Ken and Wilson ; yet we do think 
of Ken and Wilson, and we do not think of Berkeley and Butler as 
Saints of God ”.—Canon Farrar’s Classic Preachers of the English 
Church, p. 182. 



Tue Reverend Charles Pressley, who is so often referred 
to in the preceding memoir, and to whom the memoir 
owes so much, was taken to his rest while the little work 
was passing through the press (Nov. 14, 1877). Mr. 
Pressley had attained to the ripe age of seventy and seven 
years, having been born in June, 1800. For the last two 
years of his life, however, he was entirely ab agendo— 
being quite incapacitated for duty and confined most of 
the time to his room, and much of it latterly to his bed, 
by a painful internal malady, which he bore with charac- 
teristic Christian patience and resignation, “looking unto 
Jesus”. Mr. Pressley was, in all the essentials of his faith 
and practice, a most faithful representative of the “Old 
. Episcopalian clergy ”—the Jollys, Skinners, Gerards, and 
Rattrays. He was “brought up at the feet of Gamaliel,” 
having, as the son of a member of St. Peter’s, Fraser- 
burgh, been watched over and tended in the Church’s 
ways by Bishop Jolly from his earliest years, guided and 
directed by the same venerable prelate in all his studies 
and pursuits through school, college, and theological 
course, and then admitted by him to the sacred office of 
the ministry, and associated with him as long as he lived 
in the charge of St. Peter’s.. Thus the uniquely happy 
influence and example continued, not only through youth 
-and early manhood, but well into middle life. Mr Press- 
ley was only nineteen when he was ordained deacon, He 


was nineteen years assistant to Bishop Jolly ; and he held 
the charge of St. Peter’s as incumbent for a little above 
twice nineteen years more. He continued, through all the 
vicissitudes of nineteenth century ecclesiastical opinion, to 
hold and teach the primitive principles instilled into him 
by Bishop Jolly, though in the application of them he was 
less stiffly and uncompromisingly primitive than the 
Bishop—more ready to submit to timely adaptations to 
altered circumstances, feeling that each age has its own 
particular “form and pressure”. He followed his revered 
master also faithfully, though not indeed passibus aequis, 
in all the high essentials of his practice. He did not, as 
is too often the case with ardent disciples, aim chiefly at 
copying that which was striking and singular in his 
master’s example. On thecontrary, his imitation was limited 
mainly to the higher and more solid graces—such as 
charity, humility, meekness, gentleness, patience, tolerance. 
Very few Christian men probably ever wore more steadily 
than Mr Pressley “the ornament of a meek and quiet 
spirit,” or more uniformly followed “after the things which 
make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify 
another”. But his chief characteristic was humility. In 
this, if possible, he even surpassed his very humble 
master himself—ever keeping in the background, ever 
seeking to efface himself and hide his light under a bushel. 
He thus seldom did. justice to his sound judgment and 
solid acquirements. He had, as it were, to be dragged to 
the front. This was done sometimes; for though Mr. 
Pressley scarcely ever opened his mouth in a Synod or any 
public meeting, he was at least twice chosen to represent 
the diocese of Moray, and once to represent the diocese of 
Aberdeen in the General Synod, when there was only one 
diocesan representative. 


Mr. Pressley resembled the Bishop farther in that he 
belonged rather to the studious and meditative than to the 
active class of pastors. Like the Bishop also, he was 
rather too fond of studious. retirement—too apt to be 
absorbed in meditation and lettered ease—but he never, 
like the Bishop, appears to have carried his retirement to 
quasi-monkish seclusion. He always kept up a suitable 
establishment, and was social, hospitable, and easy of 
access. | He married (Sept. 19, 1842) Miss Mary Collie, 
a Turriff lady, and his married life was happy in every 
respect except in the brevity of its duration. Mrs. 
Pressley died March 3rd, 1849, leaving her disconsolate 
husband with the charge of four children, two of whom 
survive,-a son, a settler in Australia, and a daughter who 
was the great comfort of her father’s declining years. 

It will be seen from the memoir of Bishop Jolly how 
cordially and efficiently Mr. Pressley co-operated with the 
good man; and how warmly and affectionately the Bishop 
testified to this fact, and also to My. Pressley’s general faith- 
fulness in the discharge of his official duties.* He writes 
often in the same eulogistic strain of Mr. Pressley in his 
unpublished letters to the clergy of his diocese, and in 
other communications which were never meant for Mr. 
Pressley’s eye. The truth is, that to a man of the Bishop’s 
habits and temperament such an assistant as Mr. Pressley 
—so mild, so gentle and unassuming, so ready to defer 
not only to his superiors, but even to his equals—was an 
unspeakable comfort, and contributed greatly to the happy 
literary activity of the good man’s latter years. My. 
Pressley not only abstained from worrying his peace- 
loving principal by opposition and contradiction, as too 

* See (Chap. xi.] the inscriptions in the presentation copies of the 
Bishop's works. , 


many young assistants would have done, but in many ways 
he every day soothed and supported him, and, as has been 
shown in the memoir, gave him valued literary help. 

Mr. Pressley was a great lover of home and of the quiet 
round of daily duties, and seldom, except at the annual 
synod, slept a night out of his own house. Latterly, 
however, till incapacitated by illness, he moved about a 
good deal more than in his earlier days amongst his 
clerical brethren, having become a member of an associa- 
tion of them who met in turn at each other’s parsonages, 
partly for the discussion of professional topics, partly for 
a friendly interchange of thought and experience on things 
in general. These meetings Mr. Pressley sometimes made 
a great effort to attend ; and latterly, when growing infir- 
mities made it inconvenient for him to leave home, he 
prevailed upon his brethren to hold a meeting at his house 
occasionally, whether it was his turn or not. The 
brethren were only too happy to comply. They were 
always anxious to secure his attendance at a meeting, so 
highly ‘did they venerate his character and value the 
influence of his mild wisdom. His manner alone was a 
lesson to his younger brethren. Whether he said little or 
much, the tone in which he said it, and the spirit which 
manifestly prompted his words, were always of most excel- 
lent example and influence. 

Some of the anecdotes with which Mr. Pressley used to 
enliven these meetings with his brethren gave occasionally 
a vivid impression of the peculiar ways and customs of 
churchmen towards the end of last, and the beginning of 
the present century. One story, which he had often heard 
Bishop Jolly relate, illustrated a peculiarity of old Scotch 
pronunciation. The Bishop consulted Principal Campbell, 
of Marischal College, Aberdeen (obit. 1796), about the 



best books for the elucidation of- a certain subject. 
Amongst others the Principal mentioned one work, but 
added, “It is of no autority, however”. This pronuncia- 
tion, the Bishop said, was not uncommon amongst the 
elderly men of that period. Possibly it was a relic of the 
French connection.* 

When the Rev. W. F. Hook (afterwards the Dr. Hook 
of Leeds and the Dean Hook of Chichester) as a young 
man went to Fraserburgh in 1825 to visit Bishop Jolly, 
Mr. Pressley was introduced to him, and was with him 
during most of his visit. Mr. Hook refused to preach in 
St. Peter’s, but read prayers, and Mr. Pressley was rather 
disappointed in his reading. When he left, Mr. Pressley 
accompanied him to the coach, and on their way Mr. Hook 
chanced to mention that one of his godfathers had pre- 
sented him with a book, on the title page of which he had 
written a passage in Greek, which struck Mr. Hook as 
being very interesting and appropriate, and he was very 
anxious to know whence the passage was taken. He was 
greatly pleased, and rather astonished, when Mr. Pressley 
told him on the spot where the passage might be found 
and who was the author of it. In telling this interesting 
reminiscence (to the writer of this notice), Mr. Pressley 
deprecated all idea of his being familiar with the whole of 
the writings of the Greek author in question. He just 
happened to remember this passage. But it is known that 
he happened to remember other telling passages. at the 

* Another peculiarity, the opposite of the French, was—The 
writer was assured by the late Colonel F , quite common in. his 
younger days in Scotland, viz., the insertion of a vowel between the 

and the » in snch a. word as dignitas. Hence, he said, Lord 
Erskine’s punning remark to a friend, who found him digging in 
his garden, that he was enjoying his “‘otiwm cum dignitate,” had 
far more point to a Scotchman of those days than it has to the 
present generation, being pronounced ‘‘ o¢iwin cum diggin-i tate,” or 
“ diggin-a-tate.” j 


critical moment. An intimate friend* of his has described 
to the writer how completely Mr. Pressley on one occasion 
astonished and disconcerted a friend, who was bantering 
him on the unrivalled merits of a recent eloquent address 
of a certain public speaker, by taking down a book, and 
reading from it the identical admired production, word for 
word, making it. perfectly clear that the only original _ 
thing in the address was a single epithet, indicative of the 
speaker's peculiar views, which was dragged in at every 
opening, and gave a sort of colour to the whole. From 
the description the exposure must, in its quiet way, have 
been as complete and effective as Father Prout’s exposure 
of the real source of the “flood of Thier’ s” which a bril- 
liant rhetorician poured out in the Howse of Commons 
over the death of the Duke of Wellington. 

The salaries of the clergy in those days, though generally 
very small, were often greater than theyseemed. The money 
stipend seldom represented the whole income from the 
congregation. There were payments in kind; solid pre- 
sents at certain stated periods; and not unfrequently, 
when a bachelor, the clergyman almost lived in the houses 
of the members of his congregation, passing from one to 
the other, aud staying a week or two with each. Toa 
great extent this was the case with Bishop Low till a late 
period in life. Sometimes there was a regular arrangement 
amongst the well-to-do members as to how long—so many 
weeks or months—the clergyman should remain with each. 
This happened at Ellon during the first year of the incum- 
bency of the late Mr. Grieve. 

Sometimes the clergyman had a small farm on yeasy 
terms, which, if le was a good manager, added greatly to 

* The Rev. Alexander Low, Longside, who xd the whole par- 
ticulars of the incident from Mr. Pressley himself, 


his comfort. A genius like the Rev. John Skinner of 
Linshart apparently found farming as unprofitable* a busi- 
ness as his brother poet and correspondent Burns. It was 
otherwise with a man who understood farming, and who 
“Jaboured, working with his own hands,” like Mr. Cruick- 
shank of Kinharrachy who, according to an old woman 
who had been a member of his congregation, ‘ quarried 
steens a’ the week an’ thunnert oot o’ the pu’pit on Sun- 
day, like a protty chiel”. The clergy had not only, in 
addition to their regular duty, to give frequent occasional 
service in vacant neighbouring charges ; but many of them 
held constantly two or more small charges—such as Mel- 
drum and Chapelhall—Chapelhall and Bernie (now the 
united congregation of Ellon). 

The usual condition of the clergy in those days being © 
that of “honest poverty,” their poverty was no discredit 
to them in the eyes of the people, but on the contrary 
rather a positive recommendation. In proof of this the 
late Mr. Grieve, of Ellon, used to tell an interesting anec- 

During last century a young clergyman, with a dash in 
his character of the improvidence of genius, married before 
he had obtained a charge or any home to take his wife to. 
He came to Oldmeldrum “ with ten shillings in his pocket; 

* See his “‘ Letter to a friend ” :— 
prepared am I, 
And now resolved another course to try : 
Sell corn and cattle off ; pay every man ; 
Get free of debts and duns as fast’s I can ; 
Give up the farm with all its wants, and then, 
Why, even take me to the book and pen. 

+ The writer has received a trustworthy account, or at least the 
fullest confirmation of this and all the other anecdotes connected 
with the Ellon district from the Rev. George Sutherland, Wick, 
who had them all, and a great many more, from the late Rev. 
Mr. Grieve, and from aged members of St. Mary’s, Ellon. 


_ took a room in the Cowgate ; bought a firlot of meal arid 
a barrowful of peats, which latter he wheeled home him- 
self.” Just at that time “ The Bishop of Aberdeen held a 
synod or some other meeting of the clergy, at which he was 
lamenting the want of clergy, and especially the difficulty 
of finding a fit person to fill a certain important charge, 
which for some reason (probably the burden of a super- 
annuated incumbent) could at the time offer but a very 
small salary. On this “the incumbent of Meldrum said 
that there had lately come to that place a very clever 
young man, apparently in every way fitted. for the charge 
in question ; but he was very poor, and hada young wife 
to support.”  “ He’s the very man for the place!” said 
the Bishop, “‘he knows what poverty is, he has learnt to 
endure hardness, and he will patiently put up with the 
small salary.” Thus, through the recommendation of 
poverty, the right man was speedily got into the right 
place, and continued for long “a burning and a shining 
light” in the Church. 

Poverty seldom stood between a reading clergyman and 
books. One well-known hard reader of the generation 
between Mr. Skinner and Mr. Pressley —“ an Israelite, in- 
deed, in whom there was no guile”—used always, when he 
had occasion to go to Aberdeen (nearly 20 miles distant), 
to walk there and back, book in hand.. On one of those 
oceasions his too confiding wife entrusted him with the 
sum of three pounds, which she had “ scraped together” 
to buy a carpet. The good man took the money, read his 
way to Aberdeen, entered an old bookshop, invested every 
farthing of the three pounds and all the other loose money 
in his pocket on some tempting volumes, and then walked 
home again, borrowing eighteenpence at the neighbouring 
village to pay a man to wheel his books home in a barrow 


from the carrier. Arrived at home, he felt the gravity of 
the situation. He did not dare to face his wife, all-expec- 
tant of a new carpet, with nothing but a barrowful of old 
books! He therefore deposited the books in an outhouse : 
then he went into the house and got the dreaded interview 
over as well as he could, chiefly by judicious silence, say- 
ing little about the carpet and nothing at all about the 
books. These he afterwards smuggled into the house 
volume by volume, so as not to attract attention. He 
got no more such commissions, however. 

The clergy of those times were not, of course, all hard 
readers or accomplished scholars. Most of them, indeed, 
were graduates of Aberdeen, and generally, at least, fair 
scholars ; but some there were who had been but imper- 
fectly educated, and had but little taste for pen and book- 
work, These were not greatly given to burn the mid- 
night oil in painful preparation for pulpit exercises. They 
found a royal road to their object; and there were certain 
works very popular about the beginning of this century 
which, if they could, they would probably have placed in 
an “index expurgatorius” for the laity ; such as the 
sermons of Bishop Horne and Jones of Nayland, and. 
Stanhope’s Commentaries on the Epistles and Gospels. 
Of Mr. Cruickshank of Kinharrachy it is said that his 
“ oreat quarry for sermons was Romaine,” but doubtless 
this was an entirely exceptional case. Of the risks attend- 
ing such “quarrying” Mr. Pressley had some good anec- 
dotes, of which the following is a specimen :— 

Thirty years ago an aged clerical neighbour of his—an 
excellent man, but one who had been bred to a different 
profession—used to tell with great glee (the writer once 
heard him) a compliment which he received from a farmer 
of his congregation one Monday morning. He met the 


farmer on the road, and after the usual greeting, the latter 
said, “‘ Yon was a fine sermon you gave us yesterday, Mr. 
H » «Tm glad you liked it, John.” “ Aye, sir, 
Bishop Horne writes capital sermons. I happened to read 
that one the Sunday afore. Ye couldna preach better 
_ sermons than Bishop Horne’s, sir. I’m aye glad when ye 
gie’s ane 0’ his.”* 

The above compliment was paid in good faith, and with 
the utmost seriousness and gravity. In truth it appeared 
from some anecdotes which Mr. Pressley told as if some 
of the congregations in the olden time disliked, rather 
than preferred, a spice of originality and freshness in their 
pulpit pabulum. A clergyman of the Stonehaven district, 
who had in early life been chaplain and tutor in the 
Arbuthnot family, had, in those days of comparative 
leisure, thrown his whole mind and strength into the com- 
position of a set of four Advent sermons, with which, 
when finished, he was himself so well satisfied that when 
he got a church it seemed as if he would never tire of 
delivering them. He went on preaching them to his 
people every year as Advent came round, season after 

*The practice above referred to has no doubt been more or less 
prevalent among preachers at all times. One of the most trying 
situations resulting from it occurred ina case which was related to 
the writer about 25 years ago, by an elderly gentleman, who 
as a boy was a witness of it. The minister of a parish on Donside 
had as usual a service in the kirk on New-years Day, and preached 
an appropriate sermon to a congregation, which included the family 
from the mansion house, where the minister dined in the evening. 
After dinner the lady of the house, according to her usual custom 
on ‘Church days,’ asked her husband to read a sermon to the 
family circle. He took the book and naturally selected a sermon 
with the heading ‘for New-year’s day’. He read the text—it was 
the same as the minister’s In the forenoon—nothing wonderful in 
that ; he proceeded with the sermon—that also, however, was the 
same, sentence for sentence, word for word, from beginning to 
end. The confusion of the whole party was great; and the pro- 
longed agony of the minister may be conceived. 


season, without a single break, till at last they became a 
weariness to himself. The style got stale and antiquated ; 
it “made him an old man,” and he determined upon 
‘change. He put forth another great effort. He wrote a 
fresh series of Advent sermons, and delivered them with 
fresh life and vigour. The people, however, were more 
astonished than gratified by this unexpected outburst of 
energy ; and they did not conceal their feelings. A depu- 
tation of them waited on their pastor and, in the name of 
the congregation, besought him not to preach again those 
new and ‘strange Advent sermons, but to stick to the old 
ones which they had heard so often and “‘kent so weel” ! 
One clergyman at least of those times, of whom Mr. 
Pressley knew a great deal, seems to have confined him- 
self for years and years to the use of a single set of 
sermons, not for four Sundays, but for all the fifty-two 
Sundays of the year, insomuch that his older hearers came 
to know beforehand every Sunday what they would hear 
from the pulpit, as well as what they would hear from the 
desk, and might be heard discussing the sermon of the day 
on their way to church as well as on their way from it. 
And much amusement was caused in the congregation 
when a new member, lately returned from the colonies, 
took it into his head one day that “the minister was 
preaching at him! »__preaching at him, a stranger, in 
words which had been preached twenty times in the same 
pulpit in twenty years !* The reader will see that these 

* The writer has heard of some cases of a like nature in other 
churches. A thoroughly trustworthy friend was present when the 
following colloquy took place at the door of a Deeside Parish Church 
one Sunday morning, about thirty years ago, between two men, one 
of whom had not been at church the previous Sunday :—‘* What is’t 
that we get to-day, John ? The dog?” (meaning a sermon on the 

text, “Is thy servant a dog?”) ‘* Na, min, we got him last Sun- 


anecdotes all illustrate a different state of things from the 
present. Most of the incidents were doubtless rare and 
exceptional at the time. But they were possible then. 
Few of them would be possible now. 

From what has been said of his humble and retiring 
disposition it may be understood that Mr. Pressley was 
very averse to give any of his productions to the world 
through the press; and, in fact, as far as the present 
writer knows, the funeral sermon which he preached on 
Bishop Jolly was the only thing that he ever published. 
Much that-was of interest to the Church has died with | 
him. Many of those who knew him well had but an 
imperfect idea of the extent of his acquirements in several 
subjects; and not the least in that of music. “The 
hymn ‘Jesus lives—no longer now can thy terrors, death, 
appal us,’ which was sung at Mr. Pressley’s grave, was a 
favourite one of his, and was sung to a tune composed by 
himself. Mr. Pressley was distinguished for his thoroughly 
scientific knowledge of music, which was only equalled 
by the purity of his musical taste.” He may be said to 
have introduced among his fellow-townsmen the cultiva- 
tion of the higher branches of the art, and, in recognition 
of his services in this direction, when the Fraserburgh 
Musical Association was established in 1869 he was unani- 
mously elected its honorary president, and continued to 
hold that office till his death. ‘In addition to some musical 
instruments of rare value and great age, he has left behind 
him one of the most extensive and valuable libraries of 
musical works in the North.”* 

Mr. Pressley was not only beloved and venerated by 
his own congregation, “among whom” he had so long 
“gone preaching the kingdom of God”; he was also, as 

* Scottish Guardian, Dec. 14; 1877. 


may be gathered from the above extract, highly respected 
by his townsmen of all denominations. This was proved 
in a way that was very gratifying to his friends, when 
the Church’s last office was performed for him. His 
funeral was attended not only by the Bishop and a large 
proportion of the clergy of the diocese, but also by the 
whole of the leading men of the town and neighbourhood ; 
while all the shops were shut and the town’s bells tolled. 
Between them, Bishop Jolly and he, held the charge of 
St. Peter’s for close upon ninety years. The memory of 
both will long continue fragrant in the remote borough 
on Kinnaird’s Head. 





I eep ee scares ete e We 




Dedicated to his Son, 



‘ BY 

“The bush burned with fire; and the bush was not consumed,”— 

Exodus iii, 2. 


fei at ves ‘sages 

. Re oon Pe ye 
\ Lot uF ie eee 5 wm 3 nee 
4 ‘ Fa me. eas an ery ad we pera liebe Ae ei be 4 

_ = 2 Dé, 
. ~ ‘ . A ‘ 
2. > = fy - 
ae ‘ so ne te 
¥ : 4 
; q>e 7 
or ‘ : 2 
‘ ’ 

- . P he 4 PRINTED AT 7 } 4 Pe 
7 — ‘ a 
i x 7 
: i 

ei aa ae Agee 7 cus ie Tae aoe 
‘7 *. sania aia ae Re PSO wth erected “ant 

' ' es 
: ve St re a 
ea * , i Ay 

he Te oh Ma o8 AW Lange. Be ait ‘, 

‘s oe al ot al ie ms a is r 
; = a2, ‘es a Ps, 7 + 
_ . - ’ ‘ > . mony ee) , 
Sees ats ett ae Karel {Ponce iid Wut vk le 

] se : oy eo alll” aie 9), 

pa, ; Be 
toe lo 
Ei ; iy hive du int ssi a 

ate vee a ee ee 


As the active part of the long lives of Bishops Jolly and 
Gleig very nearly coincided in point of time, it is im- 
possible, in writing separate memoirs of the two, to avoid 
some repetition, especially towards the close of the period, 
when both of them took a prominent part in Church 
affairs. It is hoped, however, that there will not be 
found in this memoir much unnecessary repetition, or, 
indeed, much matter of any sort which is not of value for 
the illustration of the Bishop’s character, and the Church 
history of the period. The materials, however, which 
have been at the Writer’s disposal for the preparation of 
this memoir have been rather abundant ; and it is only 
too possible that some of them may not have been fully 
sifted and compressed. In addition to the MS. letters 
and papers made use of in preparing the memoir of 
Bishop Jolly, the Writer has had access to the following 
unpublished documents :— 

1. The Minute Books of the diocese of Brechin— 
obligingly submitted to his inspection by the Rev. James 
Crabb, Synod Clerk of the diocese, and containing, besides 
information on administrative details, a series of long and 

"very characteristic letters of Bishop Gleig, addressed to 

his clergy, and read at their “ annual meeting.” 


2. A packet of Bishop Gleig’s letters, relating to the 
affairs of one of the congregations of his diocese (Drum- 
lithie) during a troubled and unsettled period—for the 
use of which packet the Writer is indebted to the kind- 
ness Bf the Rev. James Gammack, Drumlithie. 

3, A series of interesting letters, chiefly regarding — 
incidents in the earlier and later periods of Bishop Gleig’s 
life, written during the preparation of this memoir by the 
Bishop’s distinguished son, the late Chaplain-General of 
the Forces, in reply to applications for information made 
to him by the Writer. Mr Gleig invariably told promptly 
all that he knew ; but he manifested a scrupulous anxiety 
to avoid the risk of communicating a bias to the work. 
When requested, in order to ensure greater accuracy, to 
revise the proof sheets of the memoir as it passed through 
the press, he declined, on this ground, to look at more 
than the slips which contained the information supplied 
by himself. 

For the middle portion of the life, in addition to MS. 
authorities, there exist excellent materials in the multi- 
tude of publications—letters, articles, reviews, sermons, 
charges, &c., which Bishop Gleig was continually putting 
forth, and in which it is easy to read the whole mind and 

heart of such an open and out-spoken writer. 


CHAPTER I.—1753-1786. 

Bishop Walker on Bishops Jolly and Gleig—Whut the Two Men . 
had in Common—How they Differed—Early Life of Gleig— 
* Arbuthnot School—King’s College, Aberdeen—Proposal to 
make him a Professor—Early Jacobitism—Reads for Orders 
—Is Ordained and Settled at Pittenweem—Circwmstances 
of the Oharge—Becomes a Contributor to several London 
Periodicals—Defends Scotch Bishops in “ Gentleman’s Maga- 
zine”?—Oriticises Bishop Skinner's Consecration Sermon— 
BisHop WALKER, who knew both men intimately, ex- 
pressed his “astonishment” that two “such men as George 
Gleig and Alexander Jolly, who would have reflected 
credit on the most splendid Church Establishment,” should 
have “taken their lot in” such “a Society ” as the Epis- 
copal Church of Scotland, when “depressed beyond the 
hope of rising.” The fact he thought “ creditable to the 
Church, and creditable to them.” 

Tt is natural to link together the names and lives of 
these two eminent men, for the reasons which Bishop 
Walker assigns* (not altogether with strict accuracy), 
and for others. Both were born in the Stonehaven dis- 
trict, and nearly at the same time. Both became Aberdeen 

* See postea p. 3, note f 



students and graduates. Both took orders in a Church 
which was, at the time, all but extinguished by persecu- 
tion ; both became, and for many years continued, influen- 
tial rulers in it; both lived toa great age, and died about 
the same time. Lives that had, ecclesiastically, so much 
in common, if truly told, and read consecutively, cannot 
fail to throw much light on the Church history of the 
period, especially as the men, though agreeing substan-_ 
tially in principle, yet differed greatly in their characters, 
and in the nature of the influence which they wielded ; 
and often looked at events from a different stand-point. 
The diversity in the men ought to be borne in mind 
by the reader, and it may be well to note here the 
leading characteristics of both. Readers of Bishop Jolly’s 
memoir can have no doubt as to “ what manner of man ” 
that consistent Christian was from first to last! From 
his earliest days he was ever the same, through school, 
college, tutorship, priesthood, and episcopate, till that last 
(St Peter’s) morning, when, with hands crossed on his 
breast, and “alone” in his two-storey house, “ with God 
and good Angels,” he breathed out his saintly soul in 
prayer—ever the same humble, gentle, retiring, primi- 
tively pious, and devout man of God, “ venerable and 
venerated even in his youth,” and thus even in retire- 
ment like “the silent finger” of the cathedral spire, 
‘‘ pointing to Heaven ”—-exerting incalculable influence 
for good ; yet, if anything, foo silent, and foo retiring ; 
too much of a mere student, and recluse ; “passing his 
days” too much “among the dead”; too much devoted 
to mere receptive reading ; deficient in energy, initiative, 
knowledge of the world, and adaptability ; living in the 

past, rather than in the present; a primitive father 
“born out of due time,” 


The elder of the two, George Gleig, will be found to 
be also a very good and consistent, but yet a decidedly 
different man ; less conspicuous (as which of his contem- 
poraries was not?) for the higher graces of character, 
especially “the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit ;” 
less perfect as a pattern of primitive piety and devotion, 
and a centre of moral influence; but, in other respects, 
undoubtedly the superior of his saintly brother ; a man 
of more commanding talent, and versatile powers; of 
wider mental sympathies, and more varied culture ; 
possessed also of more energy and decision of character ; 
of greater knowledge of the world, and readier discern- 
ment of the signs and needs of the time; in short, not 
only a divine, but a philosopher and a critic; a man of great 
general literary power and culture; master of a clear and 
forcible English style; “a robust genius, born to grapple 
with whole libraries.” 

The writer is happy to be able to present the early life 
of Bishop Gleig, to a great extent, in the words* of his 
distinguished son, the late Chaplain-General to the Forces 
—the heir of his literary power and fame. 

“George Gleig was born at Boghall,” in the parish of 
Arbuthnot, about 74 miles from Stonehaven, “on the 
12th of May 1753. He received his early education at 
the School of Arbuthnot,t and was much noticed by the 
eccentric old Viscount, whose sons were his class-fellows 
and companions. “He was always head of his class; and 
went at a very early age—I do not know exactly, but 
believe at about 13—to King’s College, Aberdeen. It 
was the custom in those days for a Professor who taught 

* In a private communication to the writer. 

+ If, as Bishop Walker says, he was at Stonehaven School with Alex- 
ander Jolly, it must have been only for a short time preparatory to entering 
the University. 



a class, while in the Junior Department of Latin or 
Humanity, to carry it on through Greek, Logic, Mathe- 
matics, and Metaphysics. My father early established 
such a reputation for himself, that the Professor, when 
occasionally obliged to absent himself, entrusted the care 
of the class to young Gleig.” This may sound strange in 
the ears of Aberdeen students of the present day ; but the 
latter fact, Gleig’s being occasionally entrusted with the 
care of the class, sufficiently attests his high academical 
standing. But of this we have abundant other proofs. 
«“ Fig career was one of the most brilliant on record. His 
scholarship was of a high order ; and in Mathematics, and 
the Moral and Physical Sciences, he carried off the first 
prizes.”* Nor was the University slow to recognise the 
merits of her’gifted son. ‘‘ There is good reason to believe 
that Mr Gleig, after taking his degree, might have aspired 
(in good hope) to the office of Assistant Professor, with 
the certainty of succeeding to the first chair which should 
fall vacant. In that case, however, it would have been 
necessary for him to subscribe to the Confession of Faith 
of the Established Church of Scotland, and to take the 
oaths of allegiance and abjuration.”’t 

In the notice of Mr Gleig’s life in the Hncyclopadia 
Britannica, it is said that he “ was selected, while yet an 
undergraduate, to assist Professor Skene in the instruction 
of his class.” No doubt it was in Professor Skene’s class 
that his curriculum was passed ; and it was probably as 
assistant and successor to Professor Skene that it was 
proposed to continue him at the University. The pro- 
posal could not be entertained ; but, naturally, it was one 
that greatly flattered and pleased the youthful graduate. 

* See Encyclopedia Britannica, article George Gleig. 
+ Ibid, 


It continued through life to be one of his happiest reminis- 
cences, and, in conversation, a frequent and favourite 
topic with him. “The Bishop often spoke,” says his 
son, “of the proposal to make him a Professor, and used 
to tell with great glee of the disorder which prevailed in 
the class when he was left in charge of it.” 

No doubt, in the dark and poverty-pinched days of his 
earlier ministry, his thoughts often reverted to that chair 
of lettered dignity and comfort, which might have been 
his. The sacrifice, though great, was not perhaps quite 
so great as it may now seem. A professorship in King’s 
College a hundred years ago, and before “ the division of 
labour ” among the chairs, was not the same position as a 
professorship in the University of Aberdeen now. Yet 
it was probably not much less an object of high ambition 
to the graduates ; for there was not then the same ‘ open 
career” for talent that there is now. Anyhow, situated 
as he was, Mr Gleig gave an incontrovertible proof of 
principle in resisting the attractions of such a position, 
“ choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of” 
his own persecuted and down-trodden Communion. 

As intimated in the extract from the Encyclopedia, the 
principle to which Mr Gleig then witnessed was not 
wholly, though chiefly, a religious one. There was in it 
a mixture of the political. In his youth, Mr Gleig ‘ was 
a great Jacobite.” He could hardly have been other. 
Jacobitism had been instilled into him from his tenderest 
years. His ancestors had fought and suffered for the 
cause. “His father,” says the Chaplain-General, “ rented 
‘ a farm under Lord Arbuthnot. I have heard my father 
say that it belonged to his family till 1715, when his 
grandfather went out with Lord Mav’s force, and escaped 
being hanged as a traitor, only through the kindness of 


his neighbours, and by changing the spelling of his name 
from Glegg to Gleig.” Bishop Gleig’s grandfather no 
doubt fought side by side with Bishop Low’s great-grand- 
father at Sheriffmuir*; for both were from the same dis- 
trict. Sufferings and losses for the cause probably only 
burnt their Jacobitism deeper into them. It is not said 
that any member of the family was “out” in the Forty- 
Five. But all Episcopalians, and not least those in the 
Stonehaven district,t: were grievous sufferers by that last 
disastrous rising, whether they were personally implicated 
in it, even by sympathy or not. Young Gleig was not 
born till seven years after Culloden, and five years after 
the enactment of the most stringent law against his 
Church. Yet, in his younger days, he must have seen 
much, and heard more of the vexatious and disabling 
effects of that exterminating measure. For one thing, he 
must oceasionally have experienced considerable difficulty 
in attending the Church service at all. When four or 
five was the legal congregation, all sorts of shifts had to 
be resorted to in order to evade the law, such as having 
service in a house with four persons inside, and any 
number outside listening at doors and windows; and 
when this was not possible, the clergyman was sometimes 
driven to have service sixteen times in one day. Even as 
late as the earlier years of Bishop Low, who was fifteen 
years Gleig’s junior, petty annoyances to peaceable church- 
men were very common. When walking to church with 
his father, the Bishop said» “he well remembered the 
frequent remonstrances which his father received from 
neighbours whom he met for “ guiding the laddie so ill a 

* See Blatch’s Bishop Low, p. 17. 
+ See Bishop Jolly, p. p. 4and 5. 
t Blatch’s Bishop Low, p. 17. 


It was inevitable that, growing up thus amid the 
rankest Jacobite influences, and knowing the actual Go- 
vernment only as a relentless persecutor, young Gleig 
should, “in early life,” have been “a great Jacobite.” 
And so his son says he was ; “ but,” he adds, “ as years 
adyanced upon him, he saw how hopeless the cause of the 
Stuarts was, and advocated complete submission to the 
reigning family.” 

The only other particulars which have been preserved 
of Mr Gleig’s early life are that, “in his boyhood, he 
was an excellent horseman, which he continued to be till 
old age ;” and that “he had one brother, who went to 
Jamaica as a planter about the same time that Mr Gleig 
was ordained, and died there soon afterwards.” 

If Mr Gleig entered the University as early in life as 
his son believes, he must have left it, or at least have 
taken his degree, several years before he was ordained. 
How he spent the interval, and where, and with whom 
he read for orders, is not known. All that we know is, 
that he read to some purpose. “ He gave himself up for 
a while to the careful study of theology, and a severe 
course of patristic reading.” —(Hncyclopedia Brit.) 

He was ordained in 1773,* and was appointed almost 
immediately to the charge of Pittenweem, or Crail and 

The poorest Church has generally some charges which, 
if not lucrative, are yet very eligible. Mr Gleig, it appears 
to us, was very fortunate in both the charges which he 
held. They were especially eligible as regards situation 
and society. Pittenweem, on the north shore of the Firth 
of Forth, at an easy distance from Edinburgh, surrounded 
by the seats of old families mostly members of his own 

* Just 200 years after the ordination of Richard Hooker, 


congregation, and generally resident all the year round, 
had great advantages in these respects. 

It was especially suitable as a first charge to a man of 
Gleig’s varied tastes and capacities. It presented every 
facility for the development of his powers, both as a pastor 
and a man of letters. He had free intercourse with all 
classes of society, easy access to well-stocked libraries, and 

abundant leisure and retirement for study. The conse- 
quence was that he soon became successful and popular as 
a clergyman, and also distinguished in literature. 

“T was taken,” says his son, “as a child, early in the 
century, to Crail for sea-bathing, and remember the 
heartiness with which they all received and greeted at 
their houses their former pastor.” ‘“ He early conceived,” 
he adds, “a great taste for literature. When incumbent 
of Crail, he contributed to the Monthly Review, at that 
time a leading periodical, edited by Gifford, some of whose 
letters are still in existence.” “His parishioners at Orail 
consisted of the oldest Fifeshire families, few in number, 
and their servants,” including “The Earl of Kelly, Sir 
John Sinclair, Mr Hamilton of Kilbrackmont (one of 
whose daughters he afterwards married), Mr Lindsay of 
Balcarres, and others.” 

Of course there were drawbacks, for it was yet nearly 
twenty years to the repeal of the Penal Laws. “In 177 3, 
the fury of persecution was past; but the Episcopalians 
conducted their services under difficulties, and subject to 
many annoyances.” The chief difticulty for Mr Gleig and 
his people was the want of a proper church, and the im- 
possibility of erecting one in face of the stringent enact- 
ments of the Penal Laws. To build a church to hold a 
congregation, when by law the clergyman was prohibited 
from officiating to more than four persons (in addition to 


his own family), would have been to defy the law and 
court persecution. The only possible course was to 
officiate in some “large upper room” or other part of a 
dwelling-house, or in a barn or shed, or any other building 
which was generally used for some other purpose. This 
was what Mr Gleig did during his whole incumbency. 
The church at Crail had been burnt down by the military 
in 1746, and, of course, had never been rebuilt. The 
“ meeting house” at Pittenweem had been spared, because 
it was really no church or separate building at all, but 
literally an “upper room” in a dwelling-house in the 
town, which could not be destroyed without involving in 
its destruction valuable private property. Had it been 
a self-contained and separate building in the street, the 
congregation would, no doubt, have been compelled, at 
the point of the bayonet, as the Peterhead congregation 
was,* to pay workmen to pull down their own church. 
As it was, they appear, from entries in the Church Account 
Book, to have got off with the payment of some small 
charges for repairs, and for “ watching the meeting-house 
windows.” Inthe notices of his life, Mr Gleig is generally 
spoken of as Incumbent of Grail ; and it appears that Crail 
was at this time, and even as late as 1805, regarded as the 
principal charge of the two ; but the burning of its church 
was really the ruin of Crail as a separate charge. Mr 
Gleig made Pittenweem his headquarters, and had service 
at Orail only every third Sunday. This occasional service 
was continued by his successors till the erection of a 
regular church for the churchmen of both charges at 

* «The Chappell of Peterhead was destroyed the seventh, eighth, and 
ninth days of May 1746, and the Managers were obliged to employ workmen 
and pay them, in order to prevent its being sett on fire, which would 
endanger burning the town. Tt was done by Lord Ancrum (Lieutenant- 

Colonel of Lord Mark Keir’s Dragoons), who was at the entering of the 
people to work.””—Note in Minute Book of St Peter’s, Peterhead. 


Pittenweem in 1805, when service ceased altogether to be 
held at Crail. Of course, till the Penal Laws were 
repealed, the erection of a church could not be thought 
of ;* and thus Mr Gleig, however zealous he might be, 
could do little during his incumbency to improve the 
church accommodation of his flock. 

On. Mr Gleig’s settlement, there was a great and sudden 
rise in the Pittenweem subscriptions for the clergyman’s 
salary. So far back as 1726,t the date of the first entry 
in the Pittenweem Chapel cash book, there is a list of 
subscribers who “had oblidged y™selves to pay” the 
clergyman, Mr Carstairs, “25 lbs. sterl. per annum.” 
But this sum was with difficulty kept up, and when the 
dark days of persecution returned, it fell to a third ‘part 
of that sum. In 1765, “the whole subscriptions amounted 
only to £8 ,, 3s.” For a considerable time after they “fiuc- 
tuated between £15 and £16;” but in 1772, they had 
again fallen to £8 ,, 3s. Next year was that of Mr Gleig’s 
appointment, and the subscriptions rose at once to £30. 

This sum did not include any portion of the Communion 
or ordinary weekly offertories, of which, no doubt, a part 
was assigned to the clergyman ; and these more regular 
sources of ecclesiastical revenue would appear to have been 
proportionately more productive than the subscription list. 
Mr Blatch shows that a wonderful amount of support was 
granted from these sources to the poorer members of the 
Church, even when the congregational funds were at the 
lowest ebb. The Pittenweem people evidently gave of 

* Not till 1795 was there a church “separate from a dwelling-place’’ 
in the town of Aberdeen, and to this want and “ the danger of legal inter- 
ruption’ Stephen attributes the fact that Bishop Kilgour held the conse- 
cration of his coadjutor, John Skinner (1784), ‘‘ in the remote chapel of 
Lutherwuir, not far from Laurencekirk,” which, being in a secluded place, 
“had probably escaped the notice of the Duke of Cumberland’s army during 
the reign of military law, and therefore had not been burnt or dilapidated.” 

+See Blatch’s Bishop Low (p. 24, et seqq.), for many interesting details. 



their substance as freely as most people, and Mr Gleig’s 
salary, though it may sound small in these days, was then 
above, rather than below the average. And as he con- 
tinued a bachelor all the time he occupied the Pitten- 
weem charge, he probably found no very great difficulty 
in making ends meet. 

It has been already stated that during his first incum- 
bency Mr Gleig contributed to the Monthly Review. He 
appears also, at one period or other, to have been an 
occasional contributor to at least three other London 
periodicals—The Gentleman's Magazine, The British 
Critic, and the Anti-Jacobin Review. He wrote reviews 
of theological and philosophical works, and letters in 
defence of his own Church and its doctrines. His letters 
did excellent service, for there was at that time great need 
for a competent Scotch correspondent for the English 
periodicals. The great majority of Englishmen at that 
time, even among the educated classes, knew nothing 
whatever of the Scotch Episcopal Church, and few of 
those who did, could, from their Church and State habits 
of thought, realise its position and claims. Those who 
were aware of the penal laws in force against the Church, 
probably believed that those laws had already quite 
crushed the life out of it. Anyhow, ib appears to have 
been almost forgotten, when, by a rather bold step, it for 
once asserted itself. The little outlawed Church did what 
the great Established Church of England, through its long 
day of power and opportunity, had never done ; it conse- 
crated a Bishop for America. This was done at Aberdeen, 
in the “large upper room” which constituted the Longacre 
Chapel (Nov. 14th, 1784), by the three Aberdeenshire 
Bishops —Kilgour, Skinner, and Petrie. The effect of 
this act on the Consecrating Church was to draw all eyes 


on it, and excite an interest in its fortunes by some who 
had power to relieve it. Of course, the act was very 
differently regarded by different Church parties. In Eng- 
land, the High Church party alone decidedly approved of it. 

In the March number of the Gentleman’s Magazine for 
1785, a correspondent of a very Erastian cast of mind, 
who signed himself L. L., made it the subject of a fierce 
attack. Mr Gleig answered him in the June number of 
the magazine (vol. lv., p.p. 437-40), under the signature 
of “ An Episcopal Clergyman of the Scotch Church.” L. 
L. rejoined, and so the controversy went on between the 
two for months ;* the letters being afterwards re-published 
in a collected form by Mr Gleig. Mr Gleig’s first letter 
was honoured by a very flattering notice by the Editor of 
the Magazine, who wrote, in a foot-note—‘“ We think the 
correspondence of this learned writer an honour, and shall 
be happy in the continuance of it—Sit anima nostra cum 
sud.” The letter was indeed a very creditable production, 
both as to matter and manner—thoroughly to the point, 
temperate, courteous, and in style clear, natural, and 
forcible. It is thus that Mr Gleig disposes of L. L.’s 
great argument from “the laws of Scotland.” 

“<The Laws of Scotland,’ however,” says your corre- 
spondent, “have excluded all Episcopacy,” and, therefore, 
he seems to think that there can be now no Bishop on the 
north of the Tweed. But if the office of a Bishop was 
instituted by the Apostles, and that it was, the Scotch 
non-jurors think there is abundant evidence, I am humbly 
of opinion that it cannot be excluded by any human legis- 
lature ; nor do I think that any power inherent in the 
office can be taken away by any authority, but that by 
which it was originally given. The Scotch Convention 

* Till September 1786, 


which voted Episcopacy a grievance might likewise have 
voted Christianity a grievance, and have established the 
religion of Mahomet in its stead ; but Christianity would 
not, in consequence of that vote, have become false, nor 
Ishmaelitism a true religion ; an Act of Convention could 
not have made the Bible a collection of fables, nor the 
fictions of the Koran the truths of God. At the Revolu- 
tion, the Scotch Bishops were deprived of their titles of 
honour, and of all legal jurisdiction, by an Act of Parlia- 
ment, and for that deprivation an Act of Parliament was 
certainly competent ; but the powers of preaching, of ad- 
ministering the sacraments, and of “sending labourers into 
Christ’s vineyard, as they were received from no human 
authority, by no human authority could they be taken 
away, &c., Xe.” 

What he says regarding the most recent State attempt 
to “exclude” Episcopacy from Scotland—the exterminat- 
ing Penal Law of 1748—is important as a witness not 
- only to the evil effects of that law, but also to the general 
decay of Jacobitism amongst his fellow-churchmen. 

“That the framers of the law enacted in 1748 meant 
well, I shall not controvert ; but the consequences of that 
law have not been beneficial. It was, no doubt, intended 
to crush disaffection to the Government, but I know 
nothing which it has really crushed but religion, as it has 
driven out of the Episcopal Church many persons of con- 
sequence, whose principles or prejudices will not allow 
them to communicate with another. At the period when 
it was enacted, the species of disaffection, which it was 
meant to eradicate, was not confined to one denomination 
of Christians ; at present it has hardly a place among any ; 
and the little that may remain among a very few old people, 
an event daily to be expected, will certainly banish.” 


There can be little doubt but that this statement as to 
the decline of Jacobite feeling is substantially correct. 
The Church, as a body, had become weary of its long and 
barren witness for the Stuarts, and was ready to welcome 
the “daily expected” demise of Prince Charles as a relief. 
Still, some of the leading men do not appear to have been 
as yet prepared for complete submission, but rather dis- 
posed to stand out for inadmissible terms, and to them it 
is probable that this outspoken admission was not alto- 
gether palatable. This offence, however, if offence it was, 
would, had it stood alone, have been soon forgotten ; but, 
unfortunately for the Church, if not for himself, Mr Gleig 
animadverted rather strongly on the consecration sermon 
of Bishop Skinner, who was then all-powerful in the 
Church. The sermon had given offence to some of the 
Church’s friends in England (Annals of Scot. Epise., p. 
61, &.), and Mr Gleig asserted that “some parts of it 
were as little approved by the generality of Episcopalians 
in Scotland as they could be by those in England.”* In 
a subsequent number of the magazine, he writes not to 
defend the sermon, but the doctrines taught in it. After 
noticing some attacks upon it, he says, “ From all this I 
would not have any one to imagine that I intend a 
panegyric on the sermon ; I intend not even to attempt a 
defence of it. It contains many things against which the 
most solid objections lie; and in unity of subject and 
perspicuity of style, which, to a pulpit essay, are perhaps 
more essential than to any other species of composition, it 
_ is so miserably deficient, that although I have read it 
again and again with the closest attention, I can only 
hazard a probable conjecture what are the main doctrines 
which its author means to inculcate.” He then proceeds 

* Gentleman’s Magazine for 1785, pt, Ist, p. 438. 


to sketch out what “seem to be the three great points 
which the right reverend preacher labours to establish ;” 
which three points he goes on to prove. 

It is impossible to deny that this criticism, as regards 
the style of the sermon at least, is in the main just. The 
sermon was probably hastily got up, and certainly it is 
deficient ‘‘in unity of subject and perspicuity of style,” 
its great length (50 pages) aggravating its deficiency in 
these cardinal requirements. But however just the criti- 
cism was, it was rather uncalled for, and would have been 
well forborne. The sermon was merely a fugitive produc- 
tion, and the Church was too small a body to admit of 
free criticism of each other by its leading men in such 
secondary matters as style and manner. It will be seen 
in the next chapter that this critique probably cost Mr 
Gleig twenty-two years’ exclusion from the Episcopate ! 

CHAPTER II.-—1786-7. 

Turning point in his History—Is unanimously Elected to the See 
of Dunkeld—Sends a Tardy and Hesitating Acceptance— 
Bishop Skinner opposes the Confirmation of tne Hlection— 
Recalls his Acceptance—Cause of Bishop Skinner’s Opposition 
—Mr Gleig’s Trenchant Criticism of the Bishop’s Seabury 
Consecration Sermon—Offends Bishop Skinner a Second Time 
—Seems to counter-work him in high places in London—Goes 
to London (1786), and obtains from Archbishop Moore the 
Draft of a favourable Bill—Draft not acceptable to Bishops 
—Bishop Skinner Endeavours to obtain a Bill giving relief 
without requiring prayer for the King by Name—Mr Gleig 
communicates to Archbishop the Nature of this Proposed Bill 
—Consequent Collapse of Attempt—Probable Misconstruction 
of Mr Gleig’s Motives—How it was that Bishop Skinner could 
keep Mr Gleig so long out of the Episcopate—Deficiency of 
Law—Party and Personal Prejuwdices—Church Parties—Cross 

We have now reached an era in the life of Mr Gleig. 
He was as yet only thirty-three ; but had promotion had 
its free course, he would this year have obtained a seat in 
the Episcopal College, where there was great need of a 
second able and energetic Bishop, especially one having © 
southern sympathies and affinities, and duly alive to the 
inevitable tendencies of the time. It was early in life to 
have such an offer of promotion ; but amongst the forty or 
fifty Presbyters of the poor and down-trodden Church, 
there was but small choice for the Episcopate. Mr Gleig 
was indeed marked out for early promotion by the posses- 


sion of superior learning, great abilities, and general fit- 
ness; and had the unanimous choice of a diocese been 
sufficient to secure promotion, he would have been pro- 
moted now. 

Bishop Rose having resigned the diocese of Dunkeld, 
the clergy of that see elected first Dr Abernethy Drum- 
mond, and then, on his declining, Mr Lyall, one of their 
own number; and when he also declined,* they unani- 
mously elected Mr Gleig, Nov. 9, 1786. 

In communicating to Mr Gleig the intelligence of his 
election, the clergy wrote as follows :—“ We hereby 
earnestly beseech you will accept, by which you will not 
only very much oblige us, but also, upon your promotion, 
you will find all canonical obedience paid you with readi- 
ness and cheerfulness.” 

Mr Gleig, after considerable delay, sent a hesitating and 
reluctant acceptance. Here is part of his letter :—“My 
Reverend and Dear Brethren,—The time has long elapsed 
at which you had reason to expect my final answer respect- 
ing my acceptance of that high and sacred office to which 
I have the honour to be chosen by your unanimous 
suffrages. For this delay I can plead no other apology 
than the fluctuating state of my own mind, which resolved 
upon one thing to-day, and changed that resolution on the 
morrow. . . . . Theimportunities of my too partial 
friends have prevailed, and I have reluctantly resolved to 
acquiesce in your election, of which, I pray God, you may 
never have cause to repent. Indeed, so low is my opinion 
of my fitness for so weighty a charge, and go little 
is my ambition of being a ruler in the Church, that I 

* Mr Lyall had an excellent excuse, © one foot in the grave, and the 
other fast following it.’ Dr Drummond assigns no reason for his declina- 
ture, but it may be gathered from his answer that the hostility of the 

Bishops had something to do with it, 



shall even yet think myself released from a very heavy 
burden if you will be so good as transfer your suffrages 
to another.”* 

This Volo Episcopari was no doubt perfectly genuine. 
Mr Gleig lived to give further proofs of it. But it is 
one thing to wish to decline, and another to be forbidden 
to accept. The latter was, in the end, Mr Gleig’s case, as 
may be seen from the following extract from the Minute 
Book of Dunkeld Diocese. 

“A copy of this letter was sent to the Primus (Kil- 
gour), and he signified, in a private letter to the Dean, his 
approbation of the Clergy’s choice. But, m the mean- 
time, Bishop Skinner, of Aberdeen, having objected to 
Mr Gleig’s promotion, on account of some expressions in 
a late publication of his, entitled ‘Am Apology for the 
Church of Scotland,’ inserted in the Gentleman's Maga- 
zine, Mr Gleig wrote a letter to the clergy, recalling his 
acceptance, from which the following is an extract :— 
‘ Pittenweem, Monday in Haster Week, 1787.—My dear 
and Reverend Brethren,—You probably know, in con- 
sequence of a letter of mine in answer to one from your 
Dean, that objections were unexpectedly started to my 
promotion by Bishop Skinner. Although many letters 
have passed between his reverence, the Primus, and myself 
on the subject, I do not even yet know what these objec- 
tions are. Butas I am conscious of my own unworthi- 
ness, as the Bishop seems extremely averse to receiving me 
as his colleague, and as the Episcopate is an honour of 
which I never was ambitious, and which I should feel a 
very heavy burden, you will have the goodness to accept 
my resignation of all claims to the dignity to which your 
partial suffrages have elected me. I entreat you to be as- 

* See the whole of this letter, with the accompanying documents.— 
Neale’s Torry, pp. 59, 60, &c, 


sured, that while I liye, I shall ever retain a grateful sense 
of the honour done me by the Diocese of Dunkeld, and that 
the sole reason of my resignation is to prevent disturbance 
on my account in this miserable and afflicted Church.’” 

The publication that contained the offending “remarks” 
was the reprint of Mr Gleig’s controversy with L.L., 
already referred to, entitled “ Letters containing an Apo- 
logy for the Episcopal Church of Scotland.” The pam- 
phlet, besides a great many notes, contained an additional 
letter by the Rev. J. K., Rector of L , and it extended 
to 136 pages.* 

The writer has not seen the reprint; but there can be 
no doubt that the “remarks” which gave offence to 
Bishop Skinner were those which have been quoted from 
Mr Gleig’s first and second letters, animadverting on the 
Seabury Consecration sermon ;f or that the sting of the 
remarks lay in the strictures on the defects of style 
and arrangement in the sermon. The offence was ap- 
parently altogether literary and personal—not ecclesias- 
tical ; and thus it could not, in specific terms, be assigned 
as a reason for refusing to confirm Mr Gleig’s election. 
Hence Mr Gleig wrote the Dunkeld Clergy that, “ though 
many letters had passed between the Primus (Kilgour) 
and himself, he did not even” then “know what the 
objections started to his promotion by Bishop Skinner” 
were. It was quite enough, at that time, however, if 
Bishop Skinner opposed a man or a measure, whether he 
did so-with or without reason. His word was law. He 
was not only the ablest and most energetic Bishop in the 
College ; but also the only one in it that was really fit for 
active duty. All the rest were actually or virtually super- 

* Gentleman’s Magazine, part 1 (1787), p. 332. 
+ See chapter I., pp, 192-3. 


annuated. It was to succeed the retiring Bishop Rose* 
that Mr Gleig had been elected. Bishop Kilgour had 
two years previously resigned the diocese of Aberdeen to 
Bishop Skinner. Bishop Petrie was very near his end, 
and had for some time back been making urgent applica- 
tion for a coadjutor. 

These men were thus all practically ab agendo; and 
they were the whole of Bishop Skinner’s colleagues. With- 
out Bishop Skinner’s consent and co-operation they could 
do nothing. Bishop Skinner, therefore, wielded the power 
of the College, and could thus, by a word, veto the election | 
of the ablest presbyter in the Church, though unanimously 
elected. And for some time to come his power was 
strengthened rather than weakened, and he could, 
within a few years, as will be seen, repeat the high- 
handed veto. About the time that Mr Gleig forwarded 
his retractation of his acceptance of the Dunkeld Bishop- 
ric, Bishop Petrie obtained a coadjutor—Mr Macfarlane, of 
Inverness—and died a few weeks afterwards. Now Bishop 
Macfarlane, as an extreme Hutchinsonian, was favour- 
able to Bishop Skinner, and antagonistic to Mr Gleig. 

Some time also, during the course of the year, Mr Gleig 
had the misfortune to again give Bishop Skinner grievous 
offence by appearing to counter-work him in his attempts 
to obtain the Repeal of the Penal Laws. 

In this matter Mr Gleig, so far as can be judged, 
was entirely free from blame; unless it may have been 
in his manner of advocating seasonable, but unpalatable 
truths. It was his misfortune to be “ before his age ”— 
to see sooner than the Bishops the only possible course 

* Bishop Rose retired upon the nominal diocese of Dunblane. Bishop 
Low affirms that he never had more than one Presbyter under him. (See 

postea chap, xi.) ; but the remark was surely meant only to apply to the 
period subsequent to his resignation of the See of Dunkeld, 


open to the Church in the matter of the Penal Laws. 
It was thus inevitable that, with his out-spoken, inde- 
pendent manner, he should come into collision with the 

In the same year (1786), Mr Gleig attempted, in con- 
junction, apparently, with other Churchmen (of whom 
his parishioner, Lord Kellie, was one) to negotiate for 
the repeal of the Penal Laws. He went to London 
chiefly, if not entirely, for that purpose. He had already, 
mainly through his literary reputation, a good many 
influential friends there, including Dr Berkeley, Sub- 
Dean of Canterbury, and son of the famous Bishop 
Berkeley. Through these friends he obtained an intro- 
duction to Archbishop Moore, and appears to have 
procured from him, after consultation with leading 
Statesmen, the draft of the sort of Relief Bill that the 
Government would assent to. This was a better bill than 
was finally obtained, after six years expensive and trouble- 
some negotiation. The Bishops, however, were not pre- 
pared to accept such a bill at that time; and they proceeded 
soon afterwards to ask for a measure of Relief not involvy- 
ing the requirement to pray for the King by name. This 
“foolish attempt,” Mr Gleig always believed, ruined their 
chance of obtaining a favourable bill.* It raised a suspi- 
cion against the Bishops and the Church, and was one 
great cause of the determined opposition of Lord Thurlow, 

* The remembrance of his father’s (Bishop Skinner’s) conduct to 
myself upwards of thirty years ago, with which you are well acquainted, 
and but for which, we should at this moment have had a much more liberal 
toleration than we have, or are ever likely now to obtain.”—Letter of 
Bishop Gleig to Bishop Torry, Sept. 18th, 1816. Bishop Skinner was 
conscious of the dissatisfaction with which the Relief Bill was received 
by many Churchmen, and made a laboured defence of it in his address to 
the Convention of 1792. The Convention passed a resolution to the 
effect that he “‘had obtained the best Bill which, in the present circum- 
stances, could be expected.” This was probably true; but a better Bill 
might possibly have been obtained six years earlier. 


and the consequent clogging of the Relief Bill with the Dis- 
abilities Clause, which stuck to the Clergy for seventy years. 

But let us hear what Mr Gleig himself says of this 
matter in a letter to Bishop Torry of August 15, 1817. 

“ Tt is the foolish attempt which was made in the years 
1786 and 1787, 10 get an Act of Toleration passed in our 
favour, without obliging us to pray for the King by name. 
That project originated, as perhaps you know, and I can 
prove, in some correspondence between the late Bishop 
Skinner and his father with Mr Boucher, to whom they 
had been introduced by Bishop Seabury. Mr Boucher, 
who had been useful on some occasion to one of the Edens, 
brother-in-law to Archbishop Moore, stood well with his 
Grace, and unfortunately supposed that his interest with 
him was great. He accordingly seems to have persuaded 
our two Clergymen that their project was practicable, and 
that the Archbishop of Canterbury would support it ; and 
the consequence was, that they communicated it to some 
of the other Bishops, perhaps to all but Bishop Rose, and 
to many of the inferior Clergy, of whom I had the honour 
to be one. The whole project, together with the reason- 
ing by which it was attempted to be made plausible, 
appeared to all the Edinburgh Clergy, as well as to me, in 
the highest degree extravagant, and fraught with the 
utmost danger to the Church; it was likewise so very 
different from the plan which the Archbishop, Dean, and 
Vice-Dean of Canterbury had, a few months before, laid 
down to myself for obtaining’ a repeal of the Penal Laws, 
that, after consulting Dr Abernethy Drummond and Mr 
J. Allan, I detailed it to the Vice-Dean, Dr Berkeley, and 
requested him to show my letter to the Dean, Dr Horne, 
and one or other of them to learn cautiously from the 
Archbishop, whether he would support such a measure, 



should it ever be attempted to be carried into effect. The 
consequence was, that the Archbishop severely reproved 
Mr Boucher for coupling his name with so absurd a pro- 
ject, and also blamed Bishop Skinner’s opposition to my 
promotion to the Episcopate. This, however, was the very 
least evil that flowed from it. Hither Archbishop Moore, 
or some other person, to whom the extravagant scheme 
had been communicated, must have communicated it to 
the Lord Chancellor, Thurlow; for in his speech in opposi- 
tion to our Act of Toleration, he charges our Clergy, in 
the very words of old Mr Skinner, with contending that, 
before the conversion of Constantine the Great, the 
Christian Clergy did not, in their assemblies, pray for the 
Roman Emperors by name. To this precious project, too, 
may, perhaps, be attributed the extreme dread of the 
Archbishop himself, of our Clergy finding their way into 
the Church of England ; for when I saw him at Canter- 
bury, he appeared to have no such dread, being privy to 
my preaching at Peckham,” 

It is clear from the answer which Bishop Torry makes 
to this letter that the part which Mr Gleig acted on 
this occasion gave, somehow, very great offence to Bishop 
Skinner. “What you mention,” he says, “of the attempt 
made in 1786 and 1787, explains to me the ground of an 
expression, which I heard so frequently, that, even now, 
it is as fresh in my recollection as if I had heard it yester- 
day. I was then too young to be admitted into any 
secrets. But I saw that the minds both of Bishop 
Skinner and his father were galled by some severe disap- 
pointment; and the old man particularly was at that 
time bitter in his resentment against you. The expression 
which I allude to was, ‘that you had sacrificed a Bishop 
of your own Church on the altar of Canterbury;’ the 


meaning of which I never understood till now.” “It 
would certainly,” Bishop Torry adds, “be the height of 
imprudence to tell, the public that such a hopeless and 
illjudged project was ever seriously entertained in the 
mind of the late Primus, whose character would thereby 
suffer in the judgment of many.” 

It was only too natural that Bishop Skinner and his 
father should have taken offence at Mr Gleig’s interference 
on this occasion, though there can be little doubt but that 
he did them and the whole Church a service, by nipping 
in the bud their “hopeless and ill-judged project.” The 
further such a measure was pushed, the more would it 
have compromised its authors and the Church. It never 
could have passed, and the ventilation of it might have 
excited an over-powering prejudice against the suffering 
Church, and postponed relief indefinitely. Bishop Skinner 
probably realised this truth, but very faintly at the time ; 
and regarded Mr Gleig as the cause as well as the occasion 
of the failure of his project. Anyhow, the incident widened 
the breach between the two men, and strengthened the 

determination of Bishop Skinner to keep Mr Gleig out of 

the College. Without doubt, he had the power to keep 
him out for the next ten, or even the next twenty years. 

In order to understand how this could be, it will be 
necessary to advert briefly to certain divisive influences. 

1. The condition of the Church at the time as regards 
law, Church parties, and schools. 

2. Lhe personal qualities of the two men which predis- 
posed them to antagonism. 

1. The reign of law could scarcely be said to prevail in 
the Church as yet. The few Canons which had been 
enacted* bore almost entirely on the rights of the Bishops, 

*See the XVI, Canons of 1743, Grub IV. 1-17, 



and their duties towards one another, singly and collec- 
tively. They contained but very scant references to the 
rights of the Presbyters, and these so vague and incidental, 
as to be open to great latitude of interpretation. There 
was, in fact, nothing in the Canons that could put any 
real restraint either on the power of a Bishop within his 
own diocese, or on that of the majority of the College in 
the Church at large. There was no specification of the 
grounds on which the College might refuse to confirm the 
election of a Bishop; and, generally, the Bishops seem to 
have refused, simply on the ground that the Bishop elect 
was not quite satisfactory to them, or not in their opinion 
the best man. They acted, in fact, as if they had been a 
second Chamber of Electors, with much the same right of 
choice as the first, and with much greater authority and | 
responsibility. Further, by the frequent appointment of 
coadjutor Bishops—usually the nominees of their princi- 
pals,—and by the occasional re-arrangement of dioceses, 
by which an old diocese was enlarged or lessened, or a 
new diocese formed, the free choice of the Presbyters was 
yet more encroached upon.* From these various causes 
the appointment of a Bishop, at this period, really rested 
more with the Bishops than with the Presbyters; and, in 
fact, a diocese was as often found for a Bishop, as a Bishop 
for a diocese. The system worked pretty well in the then 
circumstances of the Church; but it was liable to abuse 
even in the best hands, especially when party and personal 
prejudices came into play. 

2. Party prejudices prevailed at this time to a much 
greater extent than is generally supposed. The Church 
was very far from being a perfectly united and homo- 
geneous body. It contained two pretty distinct parties— 

* See (chap. xii.) a striking letter on this subject by Bishop Torry. 


a Northern and a Southern,—though the latter was as yet 
but small. The Northern party in general held firmly by 
the principles of the English Non-jurors, and in matters 
of ritual, deviated considerably from the English Book 
of Common Prayer. The Southern party held generally 
the views of the then English High Church party, and 
in worship, aimed at conformity with England, and 
uniformity at home. In the great practical question of 
the time, how to obtain relief from the Penal Laws, 
the Southerns generally advocated unconditional submis- 
sion to the Government, the Northerns generally stood 
out for terms, such as exemption from the duty of praying 
for the King by name. 

Besides these two regular parties, there were certain 
cross divisions, neither running on the regular Church 
lines, nor yet confined altogether to Church limits; in 
short, semi-metaphysical schools rather than ecclesiastical 
parties, such as the Hutchinsonians in the North, and 
the Quasi-Pelagians in the South. 

Most of the Clergy in the North, especially in the 
diocese of Aberdeen,* were Hutchinsonian, and some of 
them, such as Bishop Macfarlane and the famous John 
Skinner of Linshart, appeared not only to reject the 
Newtonian philosophy, but also to deny some received 
definitions of the faith, such as the Eternal Generation of 
the Son. Mr Gleig and some other of the Edinburgh 
Clergy, in their violent antagonism to Calvinism, ran into 

* The late Dr Pratt, of Cruden, assured the writer that the Clergy of 
the diocese of Aberdeen were all Hutchinsonian when he was ordained (in 
1820). He used to amusing account of the way in which he, when 
a young man about to take orders, was catechised by Dean Sangster as to 
his reading. Had he read the works of Hickes? No. Of Brett? No. 
Of Johnson of Cranbrook? No. These no’s greatly shocked the good 
man; but he lost all patience when he received another no, inanswer to the 

crucial question, ‘* Well, sir, have you read the works of John Hutchinson 
Esquire ?”” 


a sort of Pelagianism, or at least made use of language 
which savoured of certain Pelagian doctrines, and laid 
them open to a charge of Pelagianism. 

Tn those days there was considerable latitude for specula- 
tion on certain of the deeper mysteries of the faith, the 
Clergy not being bound to subscribe the XX XIX. Articles. 
Speculation, however, appears to have produced but very 
little effect on the practice, the worship, or the general 
belief of even the boldest speculators in the Church. The 
only appreciable results were the occasional interruption 
of harmony, a want of ready sympathy and co-operation 
between the different theological schools, frequent com- 
plaints of the violence of party spirit,* and now and then 
a somewhat high-handed action. 

Tt must be observed that on every one of these questions 
that divided the Church, Bishop Skinner and Mr Gleig 
were ranged on opposite sides. But perhaps no views or 
principles tended to divide them so much as their personal 
characteristics. Both were born to command, and neither 
of them was very patient of opposition or contradiction. 
The Bishop, like most Bishops of those days, was very sensi- 
tive to public criticism of his words and of his Episcopal 
acts, especially by members of his own Church ; the Pres- 
byter was a watchful and trenchant critic, who had the ear of 
the ecclesiastical public both in Scotland and England, and. 
who, in his critical capacity, wasno great respecter of persons. 

The reader must now see that the men and the times 
being what they were, a misunderstanding was almost 
certain to arise between the able Bishop and the able 
Presbyter, and if it did arise, the Presbyter was sure to 
suffer. He was placed at a great disadvantage, and how- 
ever good his cause might be, it was of little use to “argue v 

*E.g.—By Bishop Macfarlane on one side, and Mr Gleig on the other, 


it “with the Master of” an Episcopal College. He had 
not only prejudice and prepossession, but also power 
against him. 

Thus Bishop Skinner’s influence was quite sufficient to 
keep Mr Gleig out of the Episcopal College. And that 
influence chiefly, if not solely, did keep him out during 
the best years of his life—years of trial for the Church— 
during which it had pressing need of the best services of 
its best men. The Penal Laws Repeal Bill, and the 
gathering in of the separated congregations, were measures 
of primary importance which, notwithstanding the zeal of 
their chief promoters, were very slowly, and, after all, but 
imperfectly accomplished. Mr Gleig, with his literary 
talent and Anglican sympathies, could, in high position, 
have greatly helped forward both. Even those who are 
readiest to admit the great merits of Bishop Skinner will 
probably agree that it would have been well, both for him 
and for the Church, that he had had, at this time, as col- 
league an equally able Southern Bishop. The Bishop him- 
self would probably have admitted as much twenty years 
later, when Mr Gleig had at last become his colleague, and 
on the whole, co-operated very harmoniously with him. The 
Church, indeed, was the chief loser by this summary rejec- 
tion. The Clergy of Dunkeld remained without a Bishop 
five years longer, and showed by their action at the end of 
that period that they had not forgotten the treatment 
which they had received. Mr Gleig turned his thoughts 
from general Church affairs to literature, which for the 
next twenty years was not only a solace for professional 
disappointments, but also, probably, his chief source of 
pecuniary support. He was perhaps the only clergyman 
in the Church at that time who could have supported 
himself by his pen. 


CHAPTER III.—1787-1792. 

Removes to Stirling—Advantages of place—Situation—Society— 
Condition of Charge—Church, Congregation, Residence— 
Literary purswits—Marriage—First Lawrencekirk Convention 
—Letter to Mr Torry—Account of his Contributions to 
« Encyclopedia Britannica”’—Metaphysics—Passing of Relief 
Bill—Backwardness of Clergy in complying with requirements 
of Bill—Edinburgh Clergy and Original Sin—Is again wnani- 
mously elected Bishop of Dunkeld, and again “ rejected.” 

Towarps the close of this, to him eventful, year 1787, 
Mr Gleig was appointed to the charge at Stirling, and 
resigned that of Pittenweem, which he had now held for 
fourteen years. He soon removed to Stirling, which, for 
fifty-three long years, continued his home, and the sphere 
of his immediate duties. And for him, scholarly and 
literary as he was, this final settlement at Stirling was 
certainly a most happy event. 

For one thing, the lines had fallen to him in a very 
pleasant place. Situated in the centre of Scotland, in the 
natural pass between North and South, and sheltered from ~ 
the East and the North by the lofty Ochills and Gram- 
pians, Stirling is preeminent among Scotch’ towns for 
scenery, for historical associations, for salubrity of climate, 
and for easy intercommunication with the chief cities, 
and the most interesting localities of Scotland. It has 
almost every natural advantage. 

At that time it had also, it appears, in a high degree, 
the advantage of intellectual and well cultured society. 


“There was excellent literary society in Stirling 
when he was there. Dr Doig, the Headmaster of the 
Grammar School, was an admirable classic. Mr Ramsay 
of Ochtertyre, a great antiquary, the prototype indeed, in 
some respects, of Scott’s Antiquary. Mr Moir* of Leckie, 
Mr Graham of Micklewood, Sir William Stuart of 
Allanton, and Lord Woodhouselee were members of this 
select body. They used to meet from time to time, and 
hold literary and scientific discussions.”t 

Thus there was much in and around Stirling to stimu- 
late and foster the intellectual energies of Mr Gleig. And 
then Edinburgh, the great literary centre of the North— 
“the second city in the Empire for learning and science ”t 
—at that time fast growing in importance, was near ; and 
Glasgow was nearer still. 

But after all, to Mr Gleig, the chief object of interest 
in Stirling was the Church—the humble charge which he 
had just come to fill. Of the whole condition of that 
charge then and for more than ten years after, his son, the 
late Chaplain-General, gives a full and particular and 
most graphic account, which is interesting, not only in 
connection with the life of Mr Gleig, but also as illustrat- 
ing the general condition of the Church and society at an 
important and picturesque transitional period. 

This is what he says of the state of the congregation 
previous to Mr Gleig’s settlement in Stirling :—“ The 

* Mr Moir is described as ‘‘a devout Jacobite”? (Conolly’s Bishop 
Low, p. 138.) He was also something of a humourist, and his humour 
naturally savoured of Jacobitism. He acquired the Estate of Leckie by 
marriage, and he used to point to his own small Patrimonial estate—at 
some distance from Leckie—and say “Yon’s my Hanover!” Sir W. 
Stuart published an édition de luxe of Sallust See postea, chap. V. The 
literary talent of the Woodhouselee family (Tytler) is well known, Lord 
Woodhouselee was the author of “ Elements of General History,” &c. 
His son, Patrick Fraser Tytler, wrote the “History of Scotland,” 
“ Seottish Worthies,”’ ‘Life of Raleigh,” &c. : 

+ Letter of the late Chaplain-General to Writer. 
= Cockburn’s Memorials, p, 213, 



Stirling congregation was so far broken up by the Penal 
Laws that for many years after 1746 there was no place 
wherein worship was performed to the general public. 
The clergyman, I think his name was Skene, used to go 
by stealth to the houses of his flock, and administer to 
them the Holy Sacrament at the risk of being arrested, 
imprisoned, transported. . . . One of the houses in 
which these furtive services used to be held was Murray’s 
Hall. I think that another family, which inhabited a 
house near the Flesh Market which has a circular staircase 
or turret in frent of it, was in the habit of thus receiving 
Mr Skene.”* ‘The latter was, it seems, the regular place 
of meeting when Mr Gleig went to Stirling. “There was 
no regular church at Stirling when -Mr Gleig went there. 
The congregation used to assemble in a room which 
formed part of an old turreted house,t adjoining to what 
was then the ‘ Flesh Market,’ but is now the High School 
of Stirling. It was not an ‘upper,’ but a lower room, for 
you descended to it by a flight of steps, the house standing 
on the edge of a declivity, and having, therefore, a greater 
number of stories in rear than in front. 

“T think I see the roomt while I write to you. It 

* Letter to Clergyman at Stirling printed in Trinity Church Magazine, 
Feb, 1872. 

+ The house still stands, it appears. “The Scottish congregation met 
in an old house in Broad Street, bearing the motto, ‘Nisi Dominus 
frustra’ It is now altered; but a man tells me he remembers the room 
which was used asachurch. It was about 30 feet long, and was divided 
into five compartments, with glass sashes, holding four or five each, so 
that the clergyman might keep within the letter of the law, forbidding 
more than five persons to meet for gervice.’—Letter from the Rev. 
Clement Lee Coldwell, April 30, 1875, to Writer. 

+ Mr Gleig had doubtless often seen the room after it had ceased to be 
the regular place of meeting. ‘The room may also have been used for 
occasional service, or for other congregational purposes, after the regular 
church was built, The latter building was begun in 1795, and certainly com- 
pleted in 1798. Mr Gleig was born in 1796. In another communication 
he says, ‘(I fancy that 1 remember being carried as a child to that room, 




was large, low, and somewhat dark, being lighted by 
windows only on one side. A little space railed in at one 
end enclosed the altar, and one tribune served for both 
reading-desk and pulpit. The congregation numbered 
about 50 people, and consisted of county families and 
about 20 poor persons, some of them emigrants from the 
Highlands. There were also two or three old ladies, 
Jacobites to the heart’s core, who, long after the regular 
church was built, continued as often as the Royal Family 
were prayed for to shut their books with a slam, rise from 
their knees, and yawn audibly.* The members of that 
little congregation clung to one another as if they had 
belonged to the same family. They were particularly 
attentive to their pastor, making him constant presents of 
fruit, game, and, if I recollect right, occasionally wine. 
“Mr Gleig, when first inducted into the cure at 
Stirling, resided in the Baker's Wynd, now called Baker 
Street, The house which he occupied belonged to a baker 
called Sawers, a most respectable man, whose shop com- 
prised the whole of the lowest flat. For in those days 
the habit was as common in Scotland as in France for 
gentlemen who lived in town to live in flats; and the 
house in which I was born consisted of two flats and the 
garrets. Subsequently, in 1800 or 1802, Mr Gleig pur- 
chased a house before it was completed, in Bridge Street, 
which the builder finished under his directions, and in 
which he lived to the day of his death. It was a very 
comfortable, unpretending edifice, on the outskirts of the 
town, and commanding from the windows in the rear one 
of the most beautiful views in Scotland—the valley of the 
* Compare this account with the following :—‘* Well do I remember 
the day on which the name of George was mentioned in the Morning Ser- 
vice for the first time: such blowing of noses, such significant hums, such 

half-suppressed sighs, such smothered groans, and universal confusion can 
hardly be conceived,’?—Neale’s Torry, p. 12, 


Forth, with the ruins of Cambuskenneth Abbey and the 
Ochills, Lamond and Touch-hills bounding it on every 

We see how low, through the long-continued pressure 
of the Penal Laws, the native Episcopal cause had fallen 
in Stirling ! how scant the numbers, how humble the out- 
ward machinery, and the worldly environments! It was 
much the same in most Scotch towns, especially those in 
the South.t The wealth, the rank, and the numbers 
mostly sought the safe precincts of the qualified chapel. 
But who can doubt that the fervid zeal and the sturdy 
principle were to be found chiefly in the humble “ upper” 
or lower “ room”—in the small flocks, where “the mem- 
bers clung to one another as if they had belonged to 
the same family ;” and the ladies “slammed their prayer- 
books,” and “yawned audibly” at the prayer for King 
George? Mr Gleig suffered from the proximity of a 
qualified chapel in Stirling till 1804, when all the require- 
ments of the Repeal Bill were complied with by the 
Church. Nevertheless, under his fostering care, his small 

* Letter to writer, Nov. 23, 1874. 

+A very interesting question was raised about this time, and rather 
acrimoniously discussed iz the Gentleman’s Magazine, viz., What were the 
relative numbers of the English and Scotch, or the Non-juring and the 
“ qualified’? Episcopalians? No statistics were supplied, however, for a 
satisfactory decision of the question. But from all that can be learned 
upon the subject now, it may be concluded that the numbers were not far 
from equal, In numbers the Scotch congregations were about double the 
English (48 to 24); but in size, the English were probably rather more 
than double the Scotch. The whole Episcopalians of both classes did not, 
it may be safely assumed, number more than from twenty to twenty-five 
thousand souls—a small fraction of the population of the country. Is the 
fraction larger now ? Most probably not, especially if we count only Epis- 
copalians of native birth. In the diocese of Aberdeen the proportion is 
doubtless less; nay, the actual numbers are probably less. See Bishop 
Jolly, chapter ii., p. 27. The true condition of the Church as to numbers 
may be somewhat difficult to ascertain even now. And if exactly known, 
some false inferences might possibly be drawn fromit. But, on the whole, 
more good than evil must always result from the exact knowledge of the 
truth. The Church must know better what to do, and what not to do. 
Truth is the safest guide, 



flock grew and multiplied till, in no great length of time, 
it had doubled itself, But a congregation of fifty, or 
of twice fifty, mostly resident in a small town, could 
furnish no adequate scope for the energies of such a man. 
From the higher and wider sphere of Church work he had 
been shut out. Unless, therefore, he was to let his great 
powers run to waste, he must seek out for himself some 
additional field of labour. Literature was his only 
resource, To literature, therefore, he now devoted him- 
self more and more. In addition to his frequent contri- 
butions to the English periodicals, he in the year 1788 
became a regular and very voluminous contributor to the 
Encyclopedia Britannica, the tnird edition of which began 
to be issued about that time. The year following (1789) 
Mr Gleig married. The lady, who was said to be possessed 
of great personal charms, was “ Janet, the youngest 
daughter of Robert Hamilton of Kilbrackmont, and 
widow of Dr Fullton.” She continued a congenial help- 
meet to her husband for five and thirty years, and bore 
him four children, “three sons and one daughter. The 
eldest son died in infancy. The second entered the Indian 
Army in 1810, and died of cholera during the war with 
the Mabrattas in 1818. The daughter married Arch- 
deacon Bailey of Colombo, and died in 1838, leaving one 
gon and a daughter. The youngest son, after keeping six 
terms at Oxford, entered the army in 1812, served in the 

Peninsula and in America, and in 1818 returned to . 

Oxford, took his degree, and was ordained in 181 as 9 

Though excluded from power, Mr Gleig could not be 
divested of influence. To his suggestion may be distinctly 
traced the adoption of a most necessary measure for facili- 
tating the passage of a Repeal Bill. 

+ Letter to writer from Chaplain- General, 1874, 


The Bishops had just failed (July 1789) in their attempt 
to pass a bill, They had acted alone; not associating 
with them any representatives of the other clergy, or of 
the laity. The business, however, was of far too serious 
a nature to be settled satisfactorily by any one Order of 
men in the Church. The Bishops appear to have come to 
see this themselves. It may be doubted, however, whether 
they would have thrown themselves so soon as they did 
upon the whole Church, had they not been stimulated 
from without. The stimulus came from an inmate of Mr 
Gleig’s house, and was no doubt more or less prompted by 
Mr Gleig. Mr George Monck Berkeley, a son of Mr 
Gleig’s friend, Dr Berkeley, canon of Canterbury, being in 
delicate health, came to live with Mr Gleig at Stirling. 
When the Bishops’ attempt failed, this gentleman circu- 
lated an address ‘To the Clerical and Lay Members of 
the Episcopal Communion in Scotland,” suggesting “ the 
propriety of a second application to Parliament,” and 
proposing “a plan of procedure.” 

The plan was—“ That each of the two orders (presby- 
ters and laymen) should elect a representative to super- 
intend, on its behalf, the next application to Parliament 
for a repeal” of the Penal Laws. 

2. To direct the attention of the inferior clergy to the 
preservation of their own rights, &c. 

He added, “ That the Bishops undertook their embassy 
without the concurrence of the clergy and laity over whom 
they preside ; that they constituted themselves sole and 
absolute governors of the Church in Scotland ; that they 
concerted measures for the relief of the Church without 
the advice or approbation of the inferior clergy, who with 
themselves were equally interested in the success of these 
measures ; and that they have plainly evinced their utter 



incapacity to execute their own plans, are facts I need not 
call to your recollection,” dc. 

The author of the “ Annals of Scottish Episcopacy,” 
after quoting the address at length, adds, “The Primus 
had previously meant to assemble a convention of the 
Church, to be composed of all the clergy, with a lay dele- 
gate or delegates from every congregation . . . ; and the 
above paper determined him to assemble it without delay.” 

Hence the first Laurencekirk Convention, the chief 
result of which was the appointment of a Committee 
“with full power to manage and carry on the measures 
still held necessary for obtaining a repeal of the penal 
statutes, which Committee should consist of three Bishops, 
three Presbyters, and three Lay persons.” This was all, 
and more than all, that Mr Berkeley had suggested. Mr 
Gleig was one of the three Presbyters appointed. 

From this time onwards we have light thrown upon Mr 
Gleig’s history from one of the best of all sources—his own 
private letters. 

In the year 1790, Mr (afterwards Bishop) Torry wrote 
to Mr Gleig, offering to wait upon him (on his way to or 
from Edinburgh), and return to him the letters which he 
had written to the late Bishop Kilgour, Mr Torry’s father- 
in-law. Mr Gleig replied, thanking Mr Torry warmly, and 
inviting him to stay some time with him at Stirling. This 
was the commencement of a friendship which appears to 
have subsisted for fifty years without break or coolness, 
and was only terminated by death. To it we owe many 
letters of much interest and value. 

Next year, in answer toa letter from Mr Torry, Mr 
Gleig writes that gentleman a letter containing a full and 
particular account of his chief literary labours during the 
three last years, 


“Stirling, Oct. 7th, 1791.--You are very good to 
suppose me capable of instructing the public; but though 
my opinion of my own talents is perhaps as high as it 
should be, I am far from thinking of them as you profess 
to do in the letter which is now before me, I am, how- 
ever, anything but idle; and since it will gratify you to 
know upon what subjects I am employed, I shall tell you 
what I have lately done, and what I am now doing, 
Besides the task of occasional sermon writing, which, 
being part of my duty, I hope shall always, when neces- 
sary, have place of my voluntary pursuits, I have within 
the compass of these three last years written for the 
Encyclopedia Britannica the following articles :—1, Epis- 
copacy ; 2, Grammar ; 3, Instinct ; 4, The Life of Dr 
Johnson ; 5, An Inquiry into the Origin of Language ; 6, 
Large Additions to the former system of Logic ; and I am 
at this moment engaged in Metaphysics, of which about 
one-half is written. For great part of the article Episco- 
pacy I was indebted to the sermon preached by Dr 
Berkeley at the consecration of Bishop Horne, which, 

appearing to me a very conclusive piece of reasoning, I 
adapted, with the author’s consent, because I thought the 
arguments would have more weight as coming from him 
than from an author without a name. In the enquiry into 
the origin of language, | was much indebted to some hints 
from Mr Skinner ;* not that I have followed, or from the 
nature of the work could follow, the plan sketched out by 
him ; but by a different road I arrived at a conclusion, 
which I should be sorry if he did not approve. In the 
other articles I have had no assistance but from books, of 

* Rev. John Skinner, Longside, father of Bishop Skinner. Mr Gleig 
had a very high opinion of Mr Skinner’s abilities, and in spite of occasional 
differences of view, continued in friendly terms with him to the last. 
They had much learned correspondence on the subject of articles for the 
Encyclopedia. See Memoir of Mr Skinner by his son, p. lxiii., et seqg.— 
Theological Works, Vol, I. 


which you may believe I have read many and looked into 
more The article Metaphysics will be a long treatise 
comprehending a vast variety of subjects, and of intricate 
reasonings ; but as I shall differ very widely, and without 
ceremony, from some popular metapbysicians in this 
country, I should not much wish to be known for the 

author, at least for some years to come. The Grammar, 
which some time or other I mean to republish in a 
different form, is likewise of some length ; but it is not so 
well arranged as it might have been, because Dr Gregory 
and some other writers, whose opinions I controvert, had 
not published till after the whole article was written. I 
was therefore under the necessity of either passing these ~ 
opinions unnoticed, writing the whole article over, or 
engrafting what I had to say in the best manner that I 
could on my former composition. Of the three alterna- 
tives, I adopted the last, as I had neither time nor incli- 
nation for the second, and the first would have been 
unjust to the purchasers of the Hneyclopedia. Hence, 
many things are stated in notes which would have 
appeared with more propriety in the teat, and hence, too, 
some of the notes are of very uncommon length. The 
analysis of the relative pronoun I have never met with in 
print, and the account of the modes of verbs are likewise 
to me original. I know that to many these disquisitions 
will appear by much too subtle; but he who likes not 
subtle disquisitions should content bimself with the plain 
rules of every grammar, without enquiring into the why 
or the wherefore. . . . Tsuppose your new chapel is 
finished and opened. Mine is not begun to be built, and 
will probably never be begun unless the Penal Laws be 
repealed, or our present house be blown down by the wind.” 
The article on Metaphysics referred to in the above 


letter was one of two or three, including those on Jnstinct 
and on Z'heology, which brought Mr Gleig great and 
lasting credit. The article on Metaphysics extended to 
229 double columned quarto pages, and would have made 
a considerable volume if published separately. It needs 
not that the reader should be an expert in Metaphysics in 
order to appreciate the merits of this article. Clear and 
forcible statement of the leading metaphysical theories was 
the first requisite in such an article ; and clear and forcible 
statement was one of Mr Gleig’s strong points. 

Further it is impossible not to see that the writer is no 
mere compiler, but a thinker who has revolved the subject 
thoroughly in his own mind, and has formed views of his 
own, even on the most abstruse points ; and never shrinks 
from measuring arguments with the greatest metaphysical 
authorities of the time. All this is obvious to the general 
reader. But beyond this is the question, to be settled 
only by competent critics—Was there anything in the 
writer’s views, or in his manner of supporting them, 
sufficiently original, or striking, to entitle him to rank as 
a metaphysician? This question, it would séem, received 
a most decidedly affirmative answer from contemporary 
critics. The article was so highly appreciated, we are 
assured, that it was continued, with little alteration, 
through two or three of the subsequent editions of the 
Encyclopedia. And the writer certainly enjoyed con- 
siderable reputation as an authority in metaphysics. “As 
a metaphysical writer, even in metaphysical Scotland,” 
says Dr Neale, “he enjoyed a considerable reputation.” 
“ Aga metaphysician he deserves to take rank with Dr 
Reid and Dugald Stewart.”—Encyclopedia Britannica. 
The last estimate is, no doubt, an exaggerated one ; but 
then there can be no just comparison between the native 


philosophical capacity of a clergyman who has written 
only an occasional article on metaphysics, and that of a 
Professor who has devoted to the study and exposition of 
the subject the labour of a lifetime. Had Mr Gleig, 
during his best years, filled a Chair of Moral Philosophy, 
his contributions to the science of mind would, without 
doubt, have been incomparably more important, and his 
name might have stood high on the roll of Scotch meta- 

The article on Metaphysics was (or was believed by the 
writer of it to be) half-written in 1791; but the volume 
of the Encyclopedia containing it did not appear till 1797. 
By that time Mr Gleig had written many more articles, 
and was already probably the leading contributor to the 

In the year after writing this letter (1792), several 
events happened in the Church which deeply concerned 
Mr Gleig, but which, in their results, all tended more and 
more to withdraw him from active interest in Church affairs. 

On June 15, a Bill for the repeal of the Penal Laws at 
last received the Royal assent. It was not such a measure 
as it might and ought to have been ; and it was long before 
it produced much appreciable effect upon the Church. The 
laity were, indeed, now quite freed from all restrictions 
and disabilities. But the clergy, besides being jealously 
shut out from England, were’ still left liable to penalties, 
unless they took the oath of abjuration, and signed the 
_ XXXIX. Articles, neither of which things they were, as 
a body, prepared to do. 

The Church thus remained much as it had been for a 
dozen years to come. 

The backwardness of the clergy to sign the XX XIX, 
Articles formed the chief obstacle to union with the sepa- 


rated congregations. It was due mainly to the belief 
that certain of the Articles were susceptible only of a 
Calvinistic interpretation. To the majority of the 
Edinburgh clergy, however, and to Mr Gleig in parti- 
cular, the [Xth. Article was probably a greater obstacle 
than the XVIIth. According to Mr (afterwards Bishop) 
Watson, they were at that time very lax on the subject of 
original sin. “ Do ye know that the Allans and the other 
Edinburgh clergy are already hovering on the confines of 
Socinianism, expressing, with great modesty, their objec- 
tions to the received doctrine of original sin, as delivered 
in Bishop Skinner’s lectures, and explaining away the 
pointed phraseology of Scripture concerning it? I speak 
not from report, but from my own knowledge. Their 
Bishop is not what he should be as to bis ideas to [on] 
original sin; but he is orthodox and humble compared 
with Mr Gleig. So little are we hurt by the crime of 
Adam, that Mr Gleig says he is born with no more taint 
in his nature than Adam was created with. Ah, Mr 
Gleig, pride it was that ruined Adam, and beware lest 
pride ruin you, after Christ has recovered you, for no 
humble man would say what you have done.”* 

There can be no doubt but that the Edinburgh clergy 
mininvised too much on the doctrine of original sin; and 
Mr Gleig, who had a great horror of the extreme form of 
the doctrine—the total depravity of human nature—then 
very intolerantly taught, sometimes expressed himself in 
conversation with extreme laxity on the subject. But he 
is not to be judged by reports of his conversational 
remarks, especially in those early days. Afterwards, as 
will be seen, he expounded his views on the subject in 
every variety of form—in articles—in sermons and reviews 

* Letter to Mr Torry (July 7, 1792), in Torry Collection, 


—and furnished the Church with abundant means of 
judging as to his soundness or unsoundness. The Church 
sometimes doubted the propriety of his language ; but, as 
a whole, it never ceased, “ through good report and evil 
report,” to beap on him the surest marks of its confidence. 

In September of this year (1792), Mr Gleig was again 
subjected to the indignity of having his unanimous election 
by the clergy of Dunkeld vetoed by the Episcopal College. 
The circumstances of this second case are not nearly so 
well known to us as those of the first. It would seem, in 
fact, as if care had been taken to keep all notice of it out 
of the Church’s Records, There is no account of a second 
election of Mr Gleig at this time in the Diocesan Minute 
Book of Dunkeld ; and the Church historians are silent 
regarding it.* 

Of the fact, however, there can be no doubt. Mr Gleig 
repeats and reiterates it with all circumstantiality in 
letters written to Mr Torry and Dean Robertson, sixteen 
years after this time, when he was a third time elected to 

In his letter to. Dean Robertson (Sept. 6, 1808) he 
says, “‘ Having been twice unanimously elected to the 
diocese of Dunkeld before any clergyman now of that 
diocese was: admitted, I believe, into holy orders, and as 
often rejected with circumstances of insult, to which you 
are probably a stranger, and I am myself desirous to for- 
get, I formed a solemn resolution, on the promotion of 
Bishop Watson, never again to give any man an oppor- 
tunity of treating me as I had then been treated, and as, 
I must be permitted to think, no part of my conduct as a 
clergyman had merited,” 

* Dr Neale, in his life of Bishop Torry, publishes the letters which 
establish the fact, but does not draw attention to it. 



The word then seems to show that it was at the time of 
Bishop Watson’s promotion that the second veto took place. 
But all doubt is removed by the following passage in his 
letter (Sept. 19, 1808) to Mr Torry. “To prevent un- 
necessary and dangerous delays, I have requested Messrs 
Robertson and Buchan, when they letter 
declining the honour they intended me, to signify to the 
Primus that they transfer their votes from me to Mr 
Torry, to prevent the necessity of another meeting of the 
clergy. This, perhaps, is not a very formal or regular 
way of proceeding ; but something similar to it, though less 
regular, was sustained on the election of Bishop Watson to 
Dunkeld.” Thus, at Bishop Watson’s election, the votes ' 
of the clergy were transferred to that gentleman from 
some other candidate. That candidate was, of course, Mr 

The fact is farther corroborated by the opening sentences 
of the letter to Dean Robertson. “TI sincerely condole 
with you, on the loss you have sustained by the death of 
Bishop Watson. I knew him well after he became a 
Bishop ; and his manners and principles were such as very 
quickly to root out from my mind some slight prejudices 
excited by the singular mode in which he suffered himself to 
be elected by the See of Dunkeld.” 

There seems, then, no reason whatever to doubt 
that, in September 1792, Mr Gleig was regularly and 
unanimously elected Bishop for the second time by the 
clergy of Dunkeld, and that the Episcopal College de- 
cidedly, and “ with circumstances of insult,” refused to 
confirm the election ; that then the clergy were worked 
upon by some influence to transfer their votes to Mr 
Jonathan Watson, a young man (of 31) lately come from 
the diocese of Aberdeen; that they, or a part of them, 


consented to do so, and thus, without a second meeting of 
the clergy, Mr Watson was held to be duly and regularly 
elected, and was consecrated to the See. Finally, in order 
to preserve appearances, in extending the minutes, Mr 
Gleig’s name was altogether omitted, and Mr Watson’s 
only inserted!* Proof will be given later (chap. vi.) that 
this was not the only suppression of the kind, nor Dunkeld 
the only See to which Mr Gleig was elected more than 

* Jonathan Watson (1761-1808), a native of Banffshire, held first the 
charge of the congregation, which at that time met at Blairdaff, now at 
Monymusk ; then that of Banff; and lastly that of Laurencekirk ; to which 
he removed in 1791, the year before he was raised to the See of Dunkeld. 
All accounts agree in representing him as a good, amiable, serious-minded 
man, with a turn for scholarly and theological disquisition. Some of his 
early letters (which now lie before the writer), are in every way very 
creditable productions. 

CHAPTER IV.—1792-1804. 

General State of Church Matters from 1792 to 1804—Continues 
Contributions to “ Encyclopedia”—Article on Theology— 
Analyis of Article—Becomes Editor of “ Encyclopedia’? — 
Receives Degree of LL.D., and is elected F.R.S.E.—Remunera- 
tion of his literary Labowrs—Has a Church built for his 
Congregation—Character of the Building, Sc.—State of the 
Church in Edinburgh—Reviews Dr Campbells Lectures on 
Ecclesiastical History—Publishes a Volume of Sermons—Con- 
temporary Notices of Sermons—Laurencekirk Convocation. 

Tur twelve years that passed between the Laurencekirk 
Convention of 1792, and the Laurencekirk Convocation of 
1804 were, ecclesiastically, rather barren of interest and 
incident. The Church was very slow to realise the 
benefits of the Relief Act. No doubt the Clergy needed 
some time to make up their minds to take the oaths and 
sign the Articles ; but less time might surely have sufficed. 
Another Convention* or two would probably have accele- 
rated greatly the meeting of the Convocation. As for Mr 
Gleig, little, if any, help toa general Church movement 
could be looked for from him. No suggestions emanating 
from him would probably have been well received by the 
Heads of the Church. The Church at large he could serve 
only in a general way, and through the medium of the 
press. And through this medium he served well both the 
Church at large and the world at large. It was a great 
thing that the chief articles connected with religion in the 

* The Conventions were mixed meetings, containing both Clergy and 
Laity. The Convocation was only a Clerical Meeting. 


Encyclopedia, should be in such hands as his. His next 
great article, after that on Metaphysics, was on Z'heology. 
This article occupied nearly 70 pages of the Lncyclopedia 
(vol. xviii.), and considering the time and circumstances 
under which it was written, it certainly is a production 
of great merit. No doubt it would have been a more 
complete, and better proportioned compendium, had it 
been intended to appear as a separate publication. The 
restraints, imposed by the nature of the work, prevented 
the writer from expressing himself, with perfect. fulness 
and freedom, on some points, while, on other points, the 
desire to be strictly fair, and impartial, led to great 
copiousness of quotation. On the whole, however, the 
article gives a very correct and just view of “the prime 
articles” of the faith. It is divided into two sections, 
Natural and Revealed Theology, prefaced by an introduc- 
tion, in which the writer traces out a somewhat ideal 
course of study for a student of theology, and recommends 
books. In recommending Leslie’s short method with the 
Deists, he tells an instructive anecdote which he had 
from his friend Dr Berkeley, who had it from Archbishop 
Secker. “The celebrated Dr Middleton confessed [to 
Secker| that, for twenty years, he had laboured in vain to 
fabricate a specious answer” to Leslie’s Work. 

Part I., on Natural, Theology, states very clearly and 
forcibly the arguments by which, eighty years ago, “The 
existence and attributes of God” were deduced from the 
works of God. It is needless to say that, for these times, 
that part of the article would have to be entirely re-cast. 
Since then, nature has yielded up to science many more of 
her deeper secrets, and we are getting nearer to the true 
“footprints of the Creator.” 

Part II., on Revealed Theology, is divided into five 

EE ————————— 


sections, the first four of which treat of revelation before 
the coming of Christ. The only one of these four sections, 
that contains much controversial matter, is that on “ The 
fall of Adam, and its consequences.” This was a subject 
on which, as already stated, Dr Gleig himself held very 
strong and rather peculiar views. It may be said, in fact, 
to have been the favourite mysterious subject of the day, 
on which, as is usual on mysterious subjects, very extreme 
opinions were held and taught on both sides, one extreme 
provoking the other. The writer discusses the subject at 
considerable length, quoting the leading authorities on 
both sides, with their contradictory interpretations of the 
Scripture proofs, especially those from Psalms xiv, and lh. 

Some of the illustrations, made use of on both sides, 
seem more quaint than apt. The most striking, perhaps, 
is an illustration from Delany's Revelation Examined with 
Caution, of “the depravity of human nature” “upon the 
principles of natural knowledge.” “ We are told that the 
Indians are acquainted with a certain juice which im- 
mediately turns the person, who drinks it, into an idiot, 
leaving him, at the same time, in the enjoyment of his 
health, and all the powers of his body.” 

The important thing, however, biographically, is Dr 
Gleig’s summing up of the controversy, and statement of 
his own opinion. “Thus have we given as full and com- 
prehensive a view as our limits will permit of the different 
opinions of the Calvinists and Arminians, respecting the 
consequences of Adam’s fall. If we have dwelt longer on 
the scheme of the latter than of the former, it is because 
every Arminian argument is built on criticism, and 
appeals to the original text; whilst the Calvinists rest 
their faith upon the plain words of Scripture, as read in 
our translation, If we might hazard our own opinion, we 


should say that the truth lies between them, and that it 
has been found by the moderate men of both parties, who, 
while they make use of different language, seem to us to 
have the same sentiments. That all mankind really 
sinned in Adam, and are on that account liable to most 
grievous torments in soul and body, without intermission 
in hell fire for ever, is a doctrine which cannot be 
reconciled to our natural notions of God. On the other 
hand, if human nature was not somehow debased by the 
fall of our first parents, it is not easy to account for the | 
numberless passages in Scripture which certainly seem to 
speak that language. . . . Nor do we readily perceive 
what should induce the more zealous Arminians to oppose 
so vehemently the general opinion of the corruption of 
human nature. Their desire to vindicate the justice and 
goodness of God does them honour; but the doctrine of 
inherent corruption militates not against these attributes ; 
for what we have lost in the first Adam, has been amply 
supplied to us in the Second, &e.” 

In section 4— View of Theology from the Fall of Adam 
to the Coming of Christ—-the writer controverts stoutly 
the conclusion, supported chiefly by Bishop Warburton, 
that, “in the whole Old Testament, there is not a single 
intimation of a future state.” 

Warburton maintained that it was sufficient to enable 
the Israelites to understand the “ sublime song” in Isaiah 
xxvi. 19, “Thy dead men shall live ; together with my 
dead body shall they arise, &c.”; that they had “ distinct 
ideas of a resurrection from the dead, without knowing 
that the natural body is indeed to rise again.” “The very 
supposition,” he says, “is one of his lordship’s most irre- 
concilable paradoxes, and it isa paradox which his system 
did not require him to support,” 


Of the great fundamental articles of the Faith—the 
Trinity, the Incarnation, the Divinity of the Holy Ghost, 
the Atonement—the writer gives a very clear and sound 
exposition, with answers to objections. 

On Justification, and the doctrine of imputed sin and 
certain kindred controverted subjects, he, as usual, cites 
at full length, and in their own words, the views both of 
the Calvinists and the Arminians. 

On certain other subjects as to which there exists great 
diversity of view—e.g., the ordinary channels of grace to 
the soul ; the sacraments and the ministry of the Church— 
he, as was natural, touched somewhat lightly, yet in such 
a way as to indicate pretty distinctly both his own and 
the general moderate Anglican views. 

He specifies six operations, or oftices, of the Holy Ghost. 
On the second of these—Regeneration—he says, “The 
ancient fathers of the Church, as well as some very eminent 
divines, generally speak of baptism as the instrument in 
God’s hand of man’s regeneration.” Of another—“Union 
with Christ through the Sacraments ”—he says, “ A fourth 
operation of the Holy Ghost, as He is the sanctifier of 
Christians, is. to join them to Christ, and make them 
members of that one body of which He is the head, ‘ For 
by one Spirit are we all baptised into one body, &c.’ ; and 
as, in the ordinary course of His dealing with Christians, 
the Spirit is first given in baptism, so it is continued to 
the faithful by the instrumentality of the Lord’s Supper, 
vc.” The sixth operation respects the Christian ministry. 

“ Ag the gifts of grace are generally annexed to means 
to the proper use of the Word and Sacraments, it is a 
sixth office of the same Spirit to sanctify such persons as 
are regularly set apart for the work of the ministry. The 
same Spirit which illuminated the Apostles, and endowed 



them with power from above to perform personally their 
Apostolic functions, fitted them also for sending others as 
they were sent by their Divine Master, and for establishing 
such a constitution of the Church as was best adapted for 
preserving Christians in the unity of the Spirit and the 
bond of peace. They committed a standing power to a 
successive ministry, to be conveyed down to the end of 
the world, &c.” 

There can be no better proof of Mr Gleig’s position in 
the staff of contributors to the Hneyclopedia than the fact 
that, on the death of the original editor, he was appointed 
to succeed him. The editorial chair was a position for 
which, by his critical acumen, by the great extent and 
variety of his knowledge, and his untiring literary indus- 
try, he was eminently fitted. And all accounts agree that 

he discharged its duties with marked efficiency. He ac- 

complished the task ‘‘of bringing the work to a conclu- 
sion” “with consummate ability, no slight portion of the 
matter being supplied by his own pen. The two supple- 
mentary volumes he wrote almost entirely, without any 
assistance whatever.”* 

His position as the editor of a work of so much import- 
ance brought him many friends, and much distinction. 
“‘Tt brought him into familiar intercourse with the lead- 
ing men of Scotland—Professor Robinson, Dr Kiley the 
great anatomist, Dr Gregory, &c.”t 

His own University of King’s College, Aberdeen, con- 
ferred upon him the degree of LL.D. He was also 
elected a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, at 
the meetings of which body “‘he read several able papers 
on literary and scientific subjects.” +} 

* See Encyclopedia Britannica. 

+ Letter to Writer from\the ex-Chaplain General, Noy. 12, 1876, 
t Letter te Writer, Jan: 21, 1875; 


Besides fame, distinction, ‘‘and troops of friends,” the 
editorship brought him solid gain. “The exact amount 
of remuneration received by him,” says his son, “for his 
contributions to the Hneyclopedia, I have no means of 
stating. It was, however, considerable for those days. I 
think that for editing the two supplementary volumes he 
was paid £500. What he received for his own articles I 
never heard.” 

The remuneration of his other literary labours, before 
and about this time, was on a rather less liberal scale. 
“His connection with the British Critic brought him in 
somewhere about £5 or £6 a month. The Anti-Jacolin, 
to which he was an early contributor, paid still worse. £2 
or £3 a sheet was the uttermost they ever gave.” “ Bear 
in mind,” adds the writer, “that literary labour was not 
compensated at the beginning of the century as it is now.” 

’ Amid all this abounding literary work, Mr Gleig was 
far from neglecting his proper clerical duties. He ap- 
pears to have set to work, as soon as the Repeal of the 
Penal Laws (1792) opened the way for him, to procure the 
erection of a regular church ; for the building was begun, 
if not finished, within three years. ‘The first’ regular 
church was built in Stirling in 1795, on a piece of ground 
called Friai’S“Carse, given by Dr Walter Stirling, a phy- 
sician in Stirling, on which the present church was after- 
wards built.” There is still extant “a disposition of the 
site by Dr Walter Stirling to certain Trustees, of which Dr 
Gleig was one in 1798, after the chapel was completed.” Dr 
Gleig’s “ register of baptisms and burials began in 1806.”* 

The following is the late Chaplain-General’s account of 
the new church :— 

“Tt was a plain structure, oblong in form, without a 

* Fetter from Rey, Clement Lee Coldwell, April 30, 1875. 


chancel, but for the age, and under the circumstances in 
which it was built, by no means unsightly. It was 
capable of containing about 200 people, and the morning 
congregations were excellent. In the afternoon, only 
residents in the town attended; but these gradually 
increased in number, till before the Bishop ceased to be 
Incumbent, the service in the afternoon was almost as 
well attended asin the morning. . . . The original 
church occupied the same site as that which is now on the 

The following additional particulars were communicated 
by the Chaplain-General to the clergyman at Stirling, and 
printed in the Trinity Church (Stirling) Magazine for Feb. 
1872. The building had “a railed-in Communion Table 
at the east end between two tall arched windows. The 
reading desk faced the north entrance, and had a clerk’s 
desk below, and the pulpit above it. There was a very 
cracked bell. After this church was built the congrega- 
tion increased amazingly. Indeed, but for the setting up 
of a new congregation at Alloa about the year 1807, of 
which the late Bishop Russell, then a young man, took 
charge, it would have compelled the building of a new 
edifice, many years prior to the erection in which you now 

In a letter to his friend Mr Torry, dated Stirling, May 
2nd, 1800, Dr Gleig mentions, incidentally, some «facts 
which throw light on the state of the Church in Edinburgh 
at that time. Mr John Allan—Bishop Abernethy Drum- 

‘mond’s assistant—“a friend whom” Dr Gleig “ valued 
highly,” had lately died, and the Bishop, he wrote, would 
be fortunate if he could find a successor to him, equally 
disposed “to bear with his own peculiarities, &c.” He 

* Letter to Writer, Nov. 12, 1874, 


adds, “we have much need of some respectable clergyman 
in the Metropolis; for I do not hesitate to say that, 
except the Bishop, we have not now one in that city 
whom it is not painful to hear preach or read prayers. 
The consequence is, that the other two congregations have 
dwindled away to nothing.” Thus it appears that there 
were at that time only three native congregations in 
Edinburgh, and two of the three had “dwindled away to 
nothing.” There were at the same time, it seems, three 
English congregations in Edinburgh. 

In the same letter, Dr Gleig mentions the death of his 
“excellent old friend Dr Doig,* whose knowledge of 
ancient literature far surpassed, both in extent and 
accuracy, that of any other man whom [I have ever 
known.” “I am to write his life,” he adds, “for the 
transactions of the Royal Society, of which he was a 
fellow,” &c. Dr Gleig wrote a good many biographical 
sketches of his eminent friends, which were inserted in 
the leading periodicals of the day—one of Professor 
Robinson, one of Lord Kellie, &e. 

By far the most important of his biographies was a Life 
of Principal Robertson, prefixed to an edition of that 
distinguished author’s Works. 

At this time the Episcopal Church was thrown into a 
fever of excitement by the posthumous publication of 
Lectures on Ecclesiastical History by the late Dr Camp- 
bell, of Aberdeen. In these lectures Episcopacy in general, 

* David Doig, LL.D. (1719-1800), for forty years Rector of the Stirling 
Grammar School, wrote for the Encyclopedia Britannica, articles on 
Mythology, Mysteries, and Philology. A dissertation of his on the 
‘Ancient Hellenes’”’ was published in the Transactions of the Royal 
Society of Edinburgh. His most famous literary effort, however, was his 
controversy with Lord Kames, as to the Original Condition of man,— 
‘Letters on the Savage State, &c.’”’ Dr Doig corresponded with Mr 
Skinner, of Longside, both in Latin and iu English, and in 1795 he paid 
him a visit. 


and Scotch Episcopacy in particular, was treated with very 
scant respect. Church government was affirmed to be a 
mere circumstance or “circumstantial, nowhere either 
expressly declared or implicitly suggested in all the Book 
of God.” 

So far, Dr Campbell argued, as could be gathered from 
its records, the primitive Church appeared to have been 
Congregational or Independent—anyhow it was Presby- 
terian. Its ministers were all equal. Such Episcopacy 
as existed was Congregational Episcopacy. Of this early 
Episcopacy, diocesan Episcopacy was a corruption. Scotch 
Episcopacy after the Revolution, when the College system 
was adopted, and Bishops were consecrated “at large,” was 
no Episcopacy at all. The consecrations were “ farcical.” 

Dr Gleig reviewed the Lectures in six consecutive 
numbers of the Anti-Jacobin (February to July 1801). 
Prefixed to the Lectures was a Life of Dr Campbell by 
Dr Skene Keith, the clever and versatile minister of 
Keith-hall, who, as Dr Gleig said, “because his hero was 
a good and a great man,” was “ determined to make him 
one of those faultless monsters whom the world never 
»* On account of “ this extravagant panegyric” Dr 
Gleig, before examining the lectures, pointed out many 
defects in Dr Campbell’s Translation of the Gospels, for 
instance, his rendering of verse Ist, Matthew vi. “Take 
heed that ye perform not your religious duties before men.” 

The arguments of the Lecturer regarding the constitu- 
tion of the primitive Church Dr Gleig discussed with his 
usual learning, and power of argument and illustration. 


*The Anti-Jacobin admitted with reluctance two letters from Dr 
Skene Keith, in defence of himself and Dr Campbell. But after its 
manner it accompanied the text of the letters, with a running commentary 
of foot-notes, in the following pedagogic style. + What sir, &. t+ Really 
sir, we know not what to answer to this. It is such an instance of 
effrontery, &c. * But nothing can be more clear, sir, &e. 


On the general question of the Constitution of the Early 
Church there was not much originality, either in the views 
or in the arguments of the lecturer. He appears, indeed, 
to have followed pretty closely the lead of Lord King. 

The argument by which he maintains that the consecra- 
tions of the Post Revolution Scotch Bishops were “ farci- 
cal ceremonies,” Dr Gleig terms “a pitiful mixture of 
sophistry and ridicule.” “Originally,” Dr Campbell 
argued, “the terms ordination and appointment to a purti- 
cular charge were perfectly synonymous. If one in those 
truly primitive times found it necessary to retire from the 
work of a bishop, he never thought of retaining either the 
title or the emoluments. To be made a bishop, and in 
being so, to receive no charge whatever, to have no work 
to execute, could have been regarded no otherwise than as 
a contradiction in terms.” It was like being made a 
Sovereign without subjects, a husband without a wife, a 
shepherd without sheep. To this reasoning Dr Gleig 
applied the reductio ad absurdum. 

“Tn the year 1654, Charles II. had no subjects in 
Treland, where his authority had never been recognised. 
Yet we find him in that very year exercising acts of 
royalty by creating Irish peers;” hence “the Earl of 
Inchiquin’s patent of peerage is a farcical deed.” 

Again, when the Sovereign raises a colonel to the rank 
of a general, without giving him the command of an army, 
the promotion is a farcical ceremony. 

«When:a man is created Doctor of Physic, whether by 
an English or Scotch University,” he may not “ exercise 
his profession,” either in London or Edinburgh, “ till he 
be admitted to the Royal College of Physicians.” “ All 
diplomas, therefore, by the University of Aberdeen, creat- 
ing men Doctors of Physic, are farcical deeds,” &c. 


“ When an English Bishop is translated from one See 
to another, there is necessarily a period when he is 
Bishop of neither. During that period, therefore, he is a 
mere layman,” &e. Of course the conclusion was, that 
“in 1654, Charles II. had a right to the Kingdom of 
Treland.” A general has a right to command an army 
—<&ec.; anda Bishop, though not consecrated to any par- 
— ticular Diocese, has a right to exercise his office wherever 
opportunity is given. He has general authority, though 
not particular jurisdiction, “Those Bishops at large, who 
were consecrated by the Archbishop of Glasgow, the 
Bishop of Edinburgh, and the Bishop of Dunblane, re- 
ceived by their consecration, authority to ordain priests 
and deacons, and to consecrate Bishops in any country on 
earth where no orthodox Episcopal Church was already 
planted. No maxim was more universally received in 
the first three centuries, than that every Bishop had a 
pastoral relation to the whole Catholic Church.” 

The Constitution of the primitive Church is a subject 
that had been much discussed before the time of Drs 
Campbell and Gleig. It has been much discussed since, 
with very slender results. The subject has its difficulties, 
in the comparative obscurity of the Scriptural intimations, 
and the scantiness of the historical records ; and controver- 
sialists usually aggravate the difficulties by coming to the 
solution of them with a clean-cut theory, with which all 
authorities are made to square. 

Dr Campbell made much of the case of Cyprian, who, ' 
“from the beginning of his episcopate, resolved to do no- 
thing without the advice of the Clergy and the consent of 
the Laity—Sine consilio vestro et sine consensu plebis.” 
The practice of Cyprian, Dr Gleig explained by compar- 
ing it to the action of an absolute Sovereign “ consulting 


his ministers and nobles ” before taking an important step ; 
or “a cautious commander,” “first hearing the opinion 
of a council of war,” before hazarding ‘“‘a desperate battle.”* 

When he had brought the publication of the Encyclo- 
podia to a close, Dr Gleig naturally turned his thoughts 
to a literary undertaking more strictly in his professional 
line. He thus announced his intention in a letter to Mr 
Torry of May 11th, 1802 :—“ Now that I have got rid of 
my Herculean task, I am meditating a volume of sermons, 
preached on various occasions since 1793. If they have 
no other attraction, the subjects will be at least un- 
common and striking, and such as it is to be wished 
rather than hoped that I shall have no occasion to handle 

The volume of sermons appeared next year, under the 
title, “Sermons preached occasionally in the Episcopal 
Chapel, Stirling, during the eventful period from 1798 
to 1803: By George Gleig, LL.D., F.R.S., Edinburgh.” 
The sermons were 21 in number, and were mostly on 
subjects of the day. “A few of them were preached on 
occasions of National Fasting and National Thanksgiving, 
during the late war and at its conclusion.” Others dis- 
cussed the vexed theological questions of the hour. Some 

* It is needless to say that the practice is equally consistent with a 
thoroughly constitutional Episcopacy, such as was recommended by the 
Committee of the Pan-Anglican Synod of 1867. Had no other Episcopacy 
than that of this Cyprianic type ever prevailed in the Church, less would 
have been heard of Presbyterianism and Independency. *€ Council of war’”’ 
Episcopacy is more honoured in theory than in practice. In all the 
Anglican Churches that possess freedom of action, with the exception of 
the Scottish Episcopal, (which, however, is too much a mere dependency 
of the English Church to be quite free), the Bishop’s Synod is a Constitu- 
tional Court; and, generally, the personal element in Episcopal govern- 
ment has been greatly circumscribed ; apparently, too, with the very best 
effect, The Bishop’s power is lessened, but his influence is increased. 
The change would be equally beneficial in this country, being entirely in 
accordance with the habits of the people in civil affairs; but it need hardly 
be looked for, till inevitable disestablishment comes upon the Church of 


of them had been published before, separately. And “all 
but one” were now “published as they were preached, 
without additions or alterations of any kind, except here 
and there a verbal correction.” 

If we are to judge from the reviews in the leading 
English Church periodicals, the sermons were very well 
received, at least by the critics. 

The Anti-Jacobin Review, in its number for July 1803, 
devotes upwards of twenty pages to a review of them. 
The review is highly eulogistical, but not indiscriminat- 
ingly so. 

The following passage may be accepted as a somewhat 
flattering, but substantially just, contemporary estimate, 
both of the merits of the sermons, and also of the literary 
standing of their author. 

“To our former valuable stock of sermons Dr Gleig 
has added_another volume, which, in many respects, will 
bear to be compared, without much danger of suffering by 
the comparison, with those of the ablest English divines. 
The name of the writer is already familiar to the literary 
world; and his volume is such as might have been expected 
from his eminent talents, learning, and taste. Those readers, 
it is true, will be disappointed who hope to find in it a 
studied display of that profound erudition which the 
author is so well known to possess ; but they will find in 
it, what is more useful to themselves as well as more 
honourable to him, an ample fund of most valuable 
instruction on topics moral, religious, and political ; 
adapted to the circumstances of common life, and most 
closely connected with their best interests, both temporal 
and eternal. In this respect, indeed, these sermons are 
entitled to praise of the highest kind. They are all in 
their tendency strictly practical, and discover in their 


preacher an ardent desire of being instrumental in pre- 
vailing with his hearers to approve themselves as honest 
men, as loyal subjects, and as good Christians. The topics 
which he has selected for discussion are in themselves 
important ; his illustrations of them are happily chosen 
and forcibly applied ; his reasoning throughout is perspi- 
cuous and close ; whilst his general manner is most serious 
and impressive. 

«The style of Dr Gleig in these compositions is, with 
very few exceptions, distinguished by uncommon excel- 
lence. Though everywhere easy, flowing, and natural, it 
is gracefully elevated and philosophically correct, &c.” 

After noticing most of the sermons either singly or in 
sets, and quoting freely from some of them, the reviewer 
proceeds to specify a few of “ those slighter blemishes from 
which no human work was ever free,” those “ pauce 
macule ” “ quas aut incuria fudit,” &e. 

In one passage, in reprobating the not unfrequent 
frivolous and empty talk of “fashionable companies,” 
Dr Gleig “approaches too nearly the vulgar phraseology 
of colloquial discourse.” The reviewer could have wished 
“that this elegant divine and moralist had conveyed the 
censure in different terms.” Dr Gleig also “sometimes 
employed wild where an Englishman would employ shall,” 
and the reviewer remarks on “the curious circumstance ” 
that “the most learned and correct of the Scotch literati” 
should thus misuse “ those two little auxiliary verbs.”* 

* If the misuse of these two little words was a curious circumstance 
seventy years ago, it is still more curious now, when there is so much more 
communication between Ergland and Scotland, and when English books 
and periodicals circulate so freely in Scotland. Will and would used for 
shall and should still betray the nationality of the best “ Scotch literati.” 
Presently also used in the sense of at present or now is another unmistake- 
able mark ; and the peculiarity of this Scotticism is that it is rarely if ever 
used in conversation. It seems to be thought superfine English, too good 
for common use. While, however, will is in Scotland often used instead 
of shall, shall is seldom if ever used instead of will. It seems to have been 
often so used 60 or 80 years ago—witness the letters of Bishops Macfarlane 
and Jolly. 


There is a somewhat shorter and less eulogistic, but 
still very favourable, notice of the sermons in the British 
Critic (Dec. 1803). The reviewer hits the blot in the 
doctrinal sermons. “ Dr Gleig argues with vigour against 
the Antinomian system, and those violent exaggerations 
of the doctrine of original corruption, which, by implica- 
tion, seem to make God the author of sin; but in doing 
so, he appears occasionally to pass the line of truth, and 
to give at least opportunities for a rigid interpreter to 
accuse him of denying the doctrine itself; nor is it very 
easy to see how some of his positions can be reconciled 
with the ninth and some other Articles of our Church.” 

Thus thought and wrote the critics of the time, who 
were probably the best judges of the sermons, which were, 
indeed, emphatically sermons for the times, being to a 
great extent occupied not only with the theological con- 
troversies of the hour, but also with exciting political, 
moral, and social questions, which, during that stormy 
decade, had been stirred to their depths by the tornado of 
the French Revolution. A large proportion of the ser- 
mons, indeed, were preached on fast days or thanksgiving 
days connected with the French war; and probably the 
chief interest of the volume now lies in the insight which 
it gives into the way in which the French Revolution and 
the principles of its promoters were then alluded to in the 
pulpit. There was no measure in the language which was 
used on the subject. Atheism and democracy were linked 
together, as cause and effect. ‘Their democratical prin- 
ciples are the offspring of Atheism, and where they have 
prevailed they have led to Atheism again” (Sermon 8, p- 
130). In this country, “ those wild clamours for political 
reformation which pervade all the lower orders of society 
may be traced to the single source of envy engrafted on 


ignorance” (Sermon 10, p. 176). Those clamourers 
“ embraced every opportunity of proclaiming the right of 
the French nation to adopt whatever form of government 
the people might choose to erect, &c. (Sermon 12, p. 
212). ; 

For other reasons, however, these sermons are still very 
readable. You feel in every line that you are in the hands 
of an original and vigorous thinker. 

The next year, 1804, was an important year to the 
Church and to Dr Gleig. The Laurencekirk Convoca- 
tion, which was held in October, decreed the adoption of 
the XX XIX. Articles of the Church of England as the 
Standard of the Church—a measure which led to an 
almost immediate and general ingathering of the separate 
or “qualified”* congregations. This re-union tended to 
redress the balance between North and South, and give to 
the Southern Clergy their due weight and influence in the 
Church. The effect on the position of Dr Gleig was soon 

Notwithstanding the great importance of the Lau- 
rencekirk Meeting, Dr Gleig, it appears, was not 
present at it; why, it is impossible to say. He had 
apparently stood entirely aloof from Church politics for 
the last dozen years ; but this was an occasion on which 
the ruling influences and he might have been expected to 
be at one. His absence may have been unavoidable. 
Anyhow, he was absent; and such a man could not but 
be “conspicuous by his absence.” Much, indeed, was 
made of his absence. The English periodicals were some- 

* The ** Qualified” Congregations were such as complied entirely with 
the requirements of the Government ; the Clergyman taking the oaths of 
allegiance and abjuration, and signing the XXXIX Articles, &c. The oaths 
formed the great crux. The Jacobites would not take the oaths; and 
hence they were called Non-jurors; and were so far outlawed. 


what severely critical on the addresses made at the meet- 
ing, and as, with the exception of Bishop Jolly, Bishop 
Skinner and his son were the only speakers whose 
remarks were reported, it seemed to be assumed that the 
reviews had been written or inspired by some opponent of 
the Skinner family, and, if so, by whom but by Dr Gleig ? 
Bishop Macfarlane, writing to his friend Mr Torry (May 
15, 1805), says—“I confess I was hurt on reading the 
review of our Laurencekirk sermon; it is a reflection 
indirectly on us all. Hadthe . . . Dr (G.G.) been 
with us, it is probable no fault would be found. He hath 
an old grudge, &ec.” 

Considering his literary activity and influence, and the 
“old grudge,” it was natural to blame Dr Gleig in this 
matter ; but he had had nothing to do with the reviews 
in question. 

From annoyance at having every review and notice of 
the sort fathered upon him, he had some time previously 
withdrawn from the Anti-Jacobin Review, and even ceased 
to take it in; and he did not so much as know who the 
reviewer in the British Critic was. All this and more he 
explains in a letter to Mr Torry (May 18, 1805.) 

Mr John Skinner, Forfar, had published a pamphlet in 
vindication of himself and his father, the Primus, from the 
strictures of the reviewers both of the Laurencekirk ad- 
dresses and also of “ Primitive Truth and Order.” Dr 
Gleig says, “I have read Mr Skinner’s publication with 
some attention ; but really like not to give an opinion of 
any part of it. . . Of the sermon, I shall say nothing, 
but that I do not understand it. With the replies to the 
Anti-Jacobin Review and British Critic, I am much better 
pleased than I expected to be. I had reason to believe 
that the author affected to consider me as the reviewer of 


his father’s book,” and that his reply would be a tissue of 
petulance and personality. In that case I must have 
taken some notice of it; because the unlucky discovery, 
made first by the Primus, and afterwards by Bishop A[ber- 
nethy] D[rummond], to Skene Keith, of the name of the 
reviewer of Dr Campbell’st lectures, was attended with 
consequences to me which I hope these prelates did not 
wish to ensue, and which I am certain one of them never 
dreamed of. I was supposed to be the author of everything 
that was called severe in that journal, especially if it re- 
lated to the Constitution of the Church ; and I suspect 
that even the review of Dr Hill’s Synonyms was given to 
me, though I had retired, I may say, from the Anti-Jacobin 
before that work was published. This procured to me so 
much coldness from different persons, whose friendship I 
had long enjoyed and highly valued, and was attended 

*  Pyimitive Truth and Order Vindicated’’—a reply to Dr Camppell’s 
attacks on Episcopacy in his Lectures. The reviews, both of this work, 
and of the Laurencekirk sermon in the British Critic and the Anti-Jacobin, 
appear sufficiently friendly and appreciative. Little is found fault with 
beyond the Bishop’s style, which was his weak point. ‘‘ The style is con- 
fused, not always intelligible, often inaccurate, and occasionally even 
ungrammatical’’—British Critic, vol. xxv., p. 265, on Primitive Truth and 
Order. ‘‘The learned Prelate’s style still continues to be, in numerous 
instances, disfigured by the same inaccuracy and slovenliness of manner, 
of which, on a former occasion, we complained ’’—Anti-Jacobin, vol. xx., 
p. 176—Review of Laurencekirk Sermon. Much the same is said of the 
Bishop’s style by his son—‘‘ Annals of Scotch Episcopacy, p. 34”— 
“ diffuse and tautological, though always impressive.’”” The references to 
Mr John Skinner in the reviews of the Laurencekirk publication seem 
decidedly unfair. Too much is made of his “‘ putting himself forward.” 
It is not pretended that by coming forward he kept any other Presbyter 
back ; and it was certainly desirable that the Presbyters should find some 
mouthpiece in their number. 

+ George Campbell, D.D. (1719-1796), made Principal of Marischal 
College, Aberdeen, in 1759, was a man of great ability, and was distin- 
guished in other walks of literature besides the ecclesiastical. Whateley 
characterises his ‘‘ Philosophy of Rhetoric” as the most important work 
that had been produced, on the subject, in modern times, for * depth of 
thought and ingenious original research, &c.” Had he lived to see his 
© Lectures”? through the press, the language would doubtless have been 
more guarded. Reference is made (Bishop Jolly, p. 169) to his peculiar 
pronunciation of authority. On account of other peculiarities of a like 
sort, connected with the ancient classical sound of the ¢, he is said to have 
been known among the students as “ The Prinkipal,”’ 


with other disagreeable circumstances of more importance, 
that I found myself under the necessity of withdrawing 
my regular contributions from the Anti-Jacobin, and cir- 
culating among my friends an assurance that I had done 
so. Wad Mr Skinner introduced my name into his vindi- 
cation of himself and his father, or even made to mea 
pointed allusion, I should certainly have contradicted him 
in that journal; stated how very little connection I had 
had with it for years; given a full detail of the circum- 
stances which induced me to withdraw any little aid I 
could give to a miscellany so meritorious ; and called upon 
the Editor to confirm my statement.” He was, therefore, 
‘happier than” Mr Torry “ could conceive” that he had 
been spared the necessity of doing this. 

Dr Gleig took a wise step in withdrawing from the 
Anti-Jacobin. No doubt he had hitherto given too much 
time to periodical writing, which can seldom, especially 
when it is of a controversial nature, be entirely satisfac- 
tory to the writer. He often writes in haste, and regrets 
at leisure. Dr Gleig apologised on one or two occasions, 
when he had written in heat and haste, and made “ the 
ridicule too pointed.” 


CHAPTER V.—1804.8. 

Is proposed for the Diocese of Edinburgh by Dr Sandford, when the 

latter was elected—Versatility—Contributes to ‘ British 
Oritic’’—Is charged with Pelagianism, on account of Reviews 
in “ British Critic ’’— Elected once more to Bishopric of Dun- 
keld—Letters—Minority dissent—Grounds of Dissent—De- 
clines Dunkeld—Is wnanimously elected Coadjutor Bishop of 
Brechin—Is required to ‘‘emit a declaration” regarding 
Scotch Ofice—Oonsecration—Circular letters to the Brechin 
Clergy—Uniformity—Scheme for promoting Theological dis- 
cussion among the Clergy. 

In less than a month from the Laurencekirk Convocation 
(Oct. 24—Noy. 19, 1804), the Rev. Dr Sandford, of Edin- 
burgh, and his congregation came over to the native 
Church, and within two months (Jan. 15, 1805) Dr Sand- 
ford was elected Bishop of Edinburgh. 

At the meeting at which he was elected, Dr Sandford 
did Dr Gleig the honour to propose iam for the Bishopric,* 
and if the question had been a general one as to the fittest 
man among the Edinburgh Presbyters for the Episcopal 
office, there could have been no doubt as to Dr Gleig’s 
superior claims. But the question was, which Presbyter’s 
appointment was most likely to promote reunion. And 
there could be no doubt that it was Dr Sandford’s., The 
acceptance of a Scotch Bishopric by an English Presbyter 
could not but produce a great effect on the outstanding 

* © Wy own amiable and excellent diocesan . . . proposed me for 
the diocese of Edinburgh, when he was himself elected to it.” Letter to 

Dean Robertson, Sept, 6, 1808. 


English Clergy and congregations throu ghout the country. 
Churchmen generally had for some time laboured to bring 
about such an appointment, and in fact Dr Sandford’s 
election had been altogether a pre-arranged affair, Dr 
Abernethy Drummond having at the Convocation resigned 
the See of Edinburgh to make way for him. The appoint- 
ment appears to have given great and lasting satisfaction 
to Dr Gleig. 

Writing to Mr Torry (May 24, 1806), he says, “I 
have had no occasion to write you since the consecration 
of Bishop Sandford, an event which promises to be pro-— 
ductive of very beneficial effects, though it has excited 
some ridiculous alarm in the Kirk. The Bishop, however, 
proceeds on his even tenor with that seriousness and 
mildness for which he is remarkable, &c.” And shortly, 
before ceasing to be under his Episcopal sway, he (as just 
quoted), speaks of him as “ my own amiable and excellent 

The P.S. of the above quoted letter gives a good idea of 
the versatility of Dr Gleig, also of the pursuits of the 
Stirling literati, and of the exorbitantly expensive way in 
which books were occasionally got up in those days. “TI 
am reading with attention, and for a certain purpose 
[doubtless for a review] Mr Stewart’s* Sallust, which is 
in every sense of the word an elegant book ; but for men 
of small fortunes, £4 ,, 12s. isa high price. I think our 
friend judged wrong in loading it with so many notes, and 
likewise in publishing it in so splendid a form, and in this 
instance he has certainly given the lie to a fayourite 
maxim of his own, that “in elegance there is no expense.” 

It appears from an incidental notice by Bishop Walker 
that Dr Gleig still continued his contributions to the 

* Mr (afterwards Sir Heury) Stewart of Allanton, 


British Critic. “TY passed the winter from November 
1806 to May 1807 in Fraserburgh . . . . On my 
way to Fraserburgh, I passed a week with Dr Gleig at 
Stirling, who was then employed in some controversial 
writing in the British Critic, which brought on him the 
accusation of Pelagianism, by persons who evidently did 
not know what’ Pelagianism really is. He was anxious to 
furnish an accurate account of that heresy ; but his prin- 
cipal authority was Collier’s Church History, and he had 
not the means of tracing the original authorities to which 
Collier refers.” 

The article on which Dr Gleig was then engaged did 
not appear till January 1808 (see Britesh Critic, Vol. 31). 
It was a review of an anonymous work on “ Primitive 
Truth, &c., in which the question concerning the Calvin- 
ism of the Church of England is determined by positive 
evidence.” Why Dr Gleig was so anxious to verify 
Collier’s quotations is apparent from the review. He 
prints in a foot-note a summary of Pelagianism, “ which,” 
he says “on a former occasion was sent by a Calvinist to 
the present writer, as containing, he supposed, the sub- 
stance of his creed! It is taken from Collier’s Kcclesias- 
tical History, and as we were at some pains to compare it 
with the authorities to which Collier refers, we can with 
confidence pronounce it to be a very accurate summary 
of the opinions of Pelagius, though we surely need not 
add that it is very different from the creed of any writer 
in the British Critic, as well as of any English Arminian, 
of whose works we have ever written in terms of appro- 
bation.” (B.C. 31, p. 49). 

«¢ The controversial writing in the British Critic which 
had brought” on Dr Gleig “the accusation of Pelagian- 
ism” was—as clearly appears from this article—a review 

F 2 


of Overton’s True Churchman (British Critic, vol. 21); and 
a review of Laurence’s Bampton Lectures. (B.C., vol. 24). 

These reviews are both very decidedly Anti-Calvinistic, 
and we need not probably go beyond this fact for the 
origin of the charge of Pelagianism. Calling Dr Gleig a _ 
Pelagian might be simply a zealous Calvinist’s “ way of 
saying that he differed from him in opinion.” It is clear 
from these articles in the British Critic, as well as from 
all else that he wrote on the subject, that any apparent 
Pelagianism of language into which Dr Gleig fell was his 
way of expressing difference of opinion from the extreme 
Calvinists of the day, especially on the subject of the guilt 
of original sin. Their exaggeration of the guilt provoked 
his minimising of it. 

The time was now drawing near when Dr Gleig was at 
last to find the natural and fitting sphere for his great 
talents. In the summer of 1808 Bishop Watson of Dun- 
keld died; and for the third time the clergy of that 
diocese chose Dr Gleig for their Bishop. Sixteen years 
had elapsed since the last election, and during that time 
the personnel of the Dunkeld clergy had undergone a 
complete change. Yet the diocese continued true to 
its old choice ; and but for the opposition of Mr John 
Skinner, who had lately entered the diocese, Dr Gleig 
would, almost to a certainty, have been unanimously 
elected once more. 

- Fortunately, we have in this instance ample documen- 
tary proof of all the steps in the election ; and the reader 
will probably agree that everything said and done on the 
occasion by Dr Gleig redounds highly to his credit. 

The first intimation which Dr Gleig appears to have 
had of his proposed election was “a letter from Mr 
Robertson, the senior clergyman of the diocese of Dun- 


keld, requesting to know if I would accept the office of 
their Bishop if I should be elected, as he had reason to 
think I would be by a decided majority—indeed, he said, 
by all but Mr Skinner.” 

To Mr Robertson’s letter Dr Gleig sent the following 
reply, regarding which, and the other letters on the same 
subject, the,reader will probably agree with Dr Neale in 
thinking that “it is impossible to avoid admiring the 
straightforward manliness of Dr Gleig’s conduct and ex- 

“ Stirling, Sept. 6, 1808.—Rev. and Dear Sir,—I 
sincerely condole with you and your diocesan brethren 
for [sic] the loss you have sustained by the death of Bishop 
Watson. I knew him well after he became a Bishop ; 
and his manners and principles were such as very quickly 
to root out from my mind some slight prejudices excited 
by the singular mode in which he suffered himself to be 
elected tot the See of Dunkeld, and even to command my 
sincere love and esteem. 

“To be thought worthy to succeed such a Bishop, by 
the clergy over whom it was his fortune to preside, is on 
several accounts very grateful to me; for the man must 
possess either a larger share of pride, or a smaller regard 
for honest fame than I trust shall ever be laid to my 
charge, who would not be gratified by the steady attach- 
ment of a whole diocese for upwards of twenty years 
‘through good report and evil report.’ Yet I hope you 
will not deem me ungrateful though I beg leave to decline 
the honour which you intend me, and recommend to you 
and your diocesan brethren some clergyman who is more 
acceptable to the leading members of the Episcopal College 

than there is reason to believe me to be. 

" * Neale’s Torry, p. 63. 
+In Neale’s Torry this is, by mistake, printed ‘‘by the See of Dun- 
keld.” By and to were by no means equivalent in this case. 


“ Having been twice unanimously elected to the diocese 
of Dunkeld, before any clergyman now of that diocese was 
admitted, I believe, into holy orders, and as often rejected 
with circumstances of insult, to which you are probably a 
stranger, and which I am myself desirous to forget, I 
formed a solemn resolution, on the promotion of Bishop 
Watson, never again to give any man an opportunity of 
treating me as I had then been treated, and as I must be 
permitted to think, no part of my conduct as a clergyman 
had merited. 

“Were I, therefore, unanimously elected to-morrow, I 
could not accept, unless the majority of the Episcopal 
College should declare it to be their opinion that it is my 
duty to accept ; and I have not the smallest reason to 
believe that the majority of the present College are dis- 
posed to make such a declaration. My own amiable and 
excellent diocesan probably is, for he proposed me for the 
diocese of Edinburgh when he himself was elected to it, 
and since that period has often expressed an earnest wish 
that I were one of his colleagues rather than one of his 
presbyters ; but I am not aware that we have another 
Bishop who concurs with him in such a wish. On the 
other hand, I have reason to know that Mr Torry of 
Peterhead would be most acceptable to the Primus and 
Bishop Jolly ; and that Bishop Sandford will cheerfully 
concur with them in promoting him to the Episcopate. 

“From this statement,.on the accuracy of which you 
may rely, you must perceive the impropriety of electing 
me your Bishop, since there is not the smallest probability 
of the condition being complied with, on which alone I can 
accept of an election to the Episcopate. If, on the other 

‘hand, you elect Mr Torry, whom I know to be as well 
qualified to fill the high station as any presbyter in the 


Church, I have reason to believe that his promotion will 
meet with no opposition whatever; whilst the present 
weakness of the Episcopal College, and consequent danger 
of the succession, proclaims aloud that this is not a time 
for altercation or delay. . . . I must request you 
and your brethren to accept my thanks for the honour that 
you have done me, and to give your votes to Mr Torry, 
or any other deserving clergyman. With great regard, 
I am, rev. Sir, your affectionate brother, &ec., Geo. Gleig.” 

Eight days from the date of the above letter—Sept. 14 
—the election was held at Alyth. The following is an 
extract from the Minute of Election, 

« After prayers,” the constituting of the meeting, and 
the reading of the mandate, “the Dean proposed the Rev. 
George Gleig, LL.D., Presbyter in Stirling, as a proper 
person to fill the vacancy in the College occasioned by the 
death of Bishop Watson. Immediately after, Mr Skinner 
proposed the Rev. Patrick Torry, Presbyter of Peterhead. 
After some deliberation, it was put to the vote which of 
the two should be elected, when there appeared for Dr 
Gleig, the Rev. James Somerville, chaplain to Sir George 
Stewart; John Buchan of Kirriemuir, and the Dean ; 
for Mr Torry, the Rev John Skinner of Forfar, and 
David Moir. In consequence thereof, the majority is in 
favour of the Rev. Dr Gleig, who is declared to be duly 
elected, and now to be recommended accordingly to the 
College of Bishops, with all convenient speed. In testi- 
mony whereof we subscribe the Deed of Election, day and 
date aforesaid.—(Signed) John Robertson, John Buchan, 
James Somerville.” 

Then the minority entered their reasons of dissent. 

“ Dissentient for the following reasons : 

“ Primo, We consider Mr Somerville as no Presbyter 


of this diocese. His residence is in Edinburgh, and he is 
unpossessed of letters of collation to any charge in the 
Church. His being employed, moreover, by Bishop Sand- 
ford is tantamount to his being a recognised member of 
that Bishop’s diocese, more especially as his letters of 
Presbyteration bear Bishop Sandford’s signature. 

'“ Secundo. That, having stated to our reverend brethren 
the sense of the Episcopal College at large on the subject 
of Mr Torry’s election, and having informed them of the 
engagements which were about to take place for his 
removal (in the event of his becoming Bishop of Dunkeld) 
to the vicinity of his diocese, we conceive it to. be an 
unbecoming measure on the part of the Presbyters of 
Dunkeld to intrude, at the present time, any other person 
as a candidate for admission into that venerable body, be his 
merits what they will, and weacknowledge Dr Gleig’s merits 
to be not a few.—(Signed) John Skinner, David Moir.” 

Some of these reasons of dissent are very characteristic 
of the period. Under two heads, at least three reasons 
are given; but only the first one, the objection to Mr 
Somerville’s vote, is at all relevant. It may be a ques- 
tion—not easily determinable now—whether, according 
to the rule and practice of the time,* Mr Somerville’s vote 

* According to Canon IV. of the Code of 1743, then in force, the right 
to elect the Bishop belonged to “‘the Presbyters of the district”? or 
diocese, without any requirement as to their holding a charge or incum- 
pbency. Mr Somerville doubtless officiated in Edinburgh in winter, and in 
Dunkeld diocese in summer; thus being a Presbyter of two dioceses, and 
having two Bishops. This was the case with the late Rev. James Smith 
of Forgue, in the diocese of Aberdeen, who held, in addition to Forgue, 
the charge of Aberchirder, in the diocese of Moray ; and who took in every 
respect the position of an incumbent in the diocese of Moray, as well as in 
that of Aberdeen; thus having two Bishops, and voting in two Synods. 
He was Dean of Moray for a good many years. The present Canons, of 
course, define much more precisely the qualifications of voters; and a 
Presbyter, in the position of Mr Somerville, would probably be held to be 
disqualified, by not having “‘ officiated continuously in the diocese anes 
for not less than two years immediately preceding’? (Canon III. 5); 
though it might be disputed whether removal to town with his patron in 
winter was a breach of continuity in the sense of the Canon. 



was altogether regular and valid. But the question is not 
of material consequence ; for, even had Mr Somerville’s 
vote been altogether null, it could not have invalidated 
Mr Gleig’s election, as without it the deliberative votes 
were equal, and Mr Gleig had, in addition, the Chair- 
man’s casting vote, which gave him the majority. 

No one in these days would dare to bring forward either 
of the other two reasons. The proposal to remove Mr 
Torry to the vicinity of the diocese, through, as it appears, 
an exchange of charges, was one, on which, from the im- 
probability of realisation, no stress whatever could be laid. 
Too many consents were necessary. It was, in fact, a 
mere proposal of Mr Skinner’s own, and nothing more 
seems to have been heard of it.* Even had it been suc- 
cessful, however, it would hardly have put Mr Torry in a 
better position with regard to “ vicinity” to the diocese 
than that in which Dr Gleig already stood. Dr Gleig 
had lived for twenty years, and continued to live for thirty 
more, in the very immediate vicinity of the united diocese 
of Dunkeld and Dunblane. He had only to step out of 
his house and cross the bridge of Stirling to be 7m it. 

Mr Torry, on the other hand, lived, and by all the 
rules of probability, would continuet to live the breadth of 

* See Neale’s Torry, p. 54. The letter there printed is one written by 
Mr Torry in answer to one suggesting his removal to Forfar, with the view 
of becoming Bishop of Dunkeld, on the demise of Bishop Watson, ** then 
in declining health.” This letter, Dean Torry says (Letter to Writer, 
May 15th, 1875), was addressed to Mr John Skinner, as indeed is pretty 
clear from internal evidence. The proposal was, it appears, one for an 
exchange of livings by Mr Torry and Mr Skinner ; and Dean Torry says 
it fell through in consequence of his father’s disinclination to leave Peter- 
head. Most likely it was this proposal that gave rise to “the unjust 
suspicions regarding him and his family,’ to which the Primus refers, 

See postea, p. 257. 

+ Bishop Torry never left Peterhead. He had, during his whole 
Episcopate, to cross the diocese of Aberdeen and that of Brechin to reach 
his own diocese. Bishop Gleig again had to cross the diocese of Dunkeld 
in order to reach his diocese. Thus, for thirty years, the two Bishops, in 
all their visitations, continued to cross and recross each other’s dioceses. 


two dioceses from Dunkeld diocese. In these circum- 
stances it certainly must have required some boldness on 
the part of the objectors to speak of ‘intruding’ Dr Gleig 
into the diocese of Dunkeld. But, doubtless, all parties 
felt that the real strength of the objections lay in what 
the objectors called “ the sense of the Episcopal College.” 
The Bishops favoured Mr Torry. A declaration to this 
effect by Mr Skinner—the Primus’s son—was probably 
regarded as decisive of the contest.* Hardly any candi- 
date in those days, least of all Dr Gleig, would have held 
out against the College Candidate, if that candidate was 
backed by any show of diocesan support. The following 
letters to Mr Torry show how Dr Gleig acted in face of 
such opposition :— 

“ Stirling, Sept. 17, 1808.—My dear Sir,—Some time 
ago I received from Mr Robertson, the senior clergyman 
of the Diocese of Dunkeld, a letter requesting to know if 
I would accept the office of their Bishop, if I should be 
elected, as he had reason to think I would be, by a decided 
_ majority, indeed, he said, by all but Mr Skinner. I had 
formerly recommended you warmly to Bishop Sandford 
for that office, of which I am myself anything but am- 
bitious ; and I wrote to Mr Robertson a letter, of which 
I send a copy, with this. I was therefore surprised this 
morning by a letter from Mr Skinner, informing me that 
I was elected by a majority of three to two; that he was ~ 
in the minority ; and that he had recorded his reasons of 
dissent, some of ‘which are sufficiently strong. I have not 

* Mr Torry, in this answer to the letter suggesting his removal to 
Forfar, &c., shows that he felt that the favour of the College was all- 
important, and wanted to be assured of it beforehand. “ But supposing,” 
he says, ‘‘that I should be acceptable to the clergy, is it clear that I 
should also be acceptable to the Bishops? Your friendly partiality makes 

you say so, but I suppdse you say it only asa matter of opinion, and not 
from any positive declaration to that effect.” 


got the deed of election, and of course have it not in my 
power yet to give in either a formal acceptance or a formal 
refusal of the honour intended me; but I shall, most 
certainly, decline that honour, provided you will accept of 
it. I would decline it at any rate, having no desire for 
squabbles about promotion, were there not danger, if it 
should be declined by both you and me, of its falling into 
very improper hands. I know, that if I decline, you will 
be unanimously elected ; but if you and I both decline, 
God knows on whom the election may fall. Let me then 
hear from you by the return of post, that I may be pre- 
pared to write a decided answer to Mr Robertson as soon 
as I receive from him the deed of election ; and that they 
may proceed to another election on the same mandate 
without loss of time. Be assured, my dear sir, that it 
will give me unfeigned pleasure to see you Bishop of 
Dunkeld, and let not something like a preference given 
by the clergy to me prejudice you against accepting of an 
office of which Mr Skinner assures me they all acknow- 
ledge you worthy, at the very instant that three of them 
voted for me. This is not a time for standing on punctilio 
or delicacy of feeling ; and the Clergy of Dunkeld are the 
more excusable for betraying a partiality for me, from 
their knowledge of the- manner in which I was formerly 
treated when elected to that See, and when I could have 
been of infinitely greater use to the Church there than I 
could now be as a Bishop.” 

This letter was followed up two days later (Sept. 19) 
by another, which was still more decided. Dr Gleig had 
received the deed of election and the protest, and he now 
conjured Mr Torry to accept; he could not. The letter 
was as follows. ; 

“My dear Sir,—-I received this morning the deed of 


election from Dunkeld, together with Messrs Skinner and 
Moir’s protest against it. Of the protest it is needless to 
speak ; but it is proper to say that of such an election, so 
protested against, I cannot accept. Let me, therefore, 
conjure you by our old friendship to accept of the office, 
which I have declined ; for, by doing so, I verily believe 
you will render a greater service to the Church than most 
individuals have had it in their power todo. You will 
certainly do a thing acceptable to all the Bishops, most 
acceptable to me, and, I have reason to believe, tending 
to the harmony of the diocese of Brechin at their ensuing 
election. Trusting that you will do so, and to prevent 
unnecessary and dangerous delays, I have requested Messrs 
Robertson and Buchan, when they forward my letter de- 
clining the honour which they intended me, to signify to 
the Primus that they transfer their votes from me to Mr 
Torry to prevent the necessity of another meeting of the 
clergy. This, perhaps, is not a very formal or regular 
way of proceeding ; but something similar to it, though 
certainly less regular, was sustained in the election of 
Bishop Watson to Dunkeld*; and as all the clergy at their 
late meeting declared you worthy of the office, no man but 
myself has a right to object to the informality of the pro- 
evedingst . . .—Iam, &c., G. G.” 

The result was that Mr Torry, thus pressed, agreed to 
accept Dunkeld, and was elected without further opposi- 
tion. No doubt, as Dr Gleig said, all the clergy of the 
diocese acknowledged that he was “worthy of the office” ; 
still he was in a manner forced upon the majority, and a 
feeling of soreness remained, blended with bitterness 

* The reader will please note this statement, which has been already 
quoted. Antea, Pp. 222. 

+ This letter is printed at length in Neale’s ‘Torry, but with some 
omissions of words and pte, which are supplied in the portion which is 
given above, 


towards Mr John Skinner, which apparently extended to 
his father the Primus also. 

The latter, writing to Bishop Torry (Nov. 17, 1808) 
says, “ My son at Forfar writes me that he had been 
favoured with a letter from you, wherein you wish to 
know from him the state of things at Perth, of which it 
seems he can give you no information. His words are, 
‘Were I in Siberia, I could not know less of Church matters 
in this diocese than I do.’ To tell you this, he thinks it 
needless to put you to the expense of a postage, and there- 
fore begs of me to mention it the first time I write. 
Perhaps the Dean and his co-adjuter at Kirriemuir have 
not yet got over the opposition which was made to their 
first election, the more alarming, it seems, as coming from 
one of my family, of which it would appear that suspicions 
have been lately circulated, as unjust with respect to me 
or mine as unexpected from the quarter where they are 
said to have arisen.”* What the unjust suspicions were 
does not appear; but, doubtless, they were connected 
somehow both with the persistent opposition of the 
Skinner family to the promotion of Dr Gleig, and also 
with the proposed exchange of livings by Mr John 
Skinner and Mr Torry. However unjust the suspicions 
might be, they were by no means unnatural. The only 
real ground for them, however, was doubtless of a public 
rather than of a private nature, springing chiefly, if not 
entirely, from an excess of zeal for the Northern tradition. 
—a strong desire to retain the chief Church power in the 
North, and gradually, by administrative action, to mould 
the South to the pattern of the North. Certainly a belief 
now pervaded the Church that this was the settled policy 
of the Primus and his friends ; and as such a policy was 

* Letter in Torry Collection, 


hardly consistent with the understanding on which the 
qualified congregations had been recently admitted, the 
mere suspicion of it was sufficient to rouse opposition. 
Anyhow, opposition was not wanting ; and from this time 
the old Northern ascendancy declines. Elsewhere than 
in the diocese of Dunkeld there was a feeling that Dr 
Gleig had been unjustly treated. Hé soon had practical 
proof that his late opponents had little sympathy from 
their neighbours. While the diocese of Dunkeld was as 
a Siberia to Mr John Skinner, the neighbouring diocese 
of Brechin was with one voice calling on Dr Gleig to 
become its Bishop. Bishop Strahan was now ab agendo, 
and the clergy of the diocese met at Montrose, Sept. 28, 
1808, and unanimously chose Dr Gleig as ‘“ successor to” 

Such a well-timed tribute to his merits could not fail to 
be most highly gratifying to Dr Gleig. Doubtless, by 
him and by others, Brechin was taken as an exponent of 
the feelings of the whole Church—and the election 
regarded as a testimonial and protest. 

One is apt to suppose that, as the two elections came so 
closely together, Dr Gleig must have had some inkling of 
the probable result of Brechin before he finally declined 
Dunkeld. But he himself distinctly negatives this sup- 
position ; affirming, in a letter to Bishop Torry, that at 
the time that he declined Dunkeld, it was believed that 
Mr Walker, of Edinburgh, would be the elect of Brechin. 
Tn the same letter, as in others, he repeats his nolo Epis- 
copart with every appearance of sincerity. 

This time he certainly had it in bis power to accept or 
reject. But even now the choice was not so free as it 

* In their address to Dr Gleig, the clergy say, “‘We . . . earnestly 

entreat of you to accept the office, to which, by our unanimous suffrages 
you have been elected,” The address is signed by seven Presbyters., ae 


ought to have been. The Primus does not appear to have 
ever entertained the idea of vetoing this election. Even 
if he had had the wish, it is doubtful if he would have had 
the power; for the Church and College too had greatly. 
changed within the last sixteen years ; but though he did 
not interpose a direct veto, he imposed a test, binding the 
Bishop elect to the maintenance of the Scotch office —a 
test against which had Dr Gleig stood out, as he had 
every right to do, the result might have been a veto. 
The origin of the test is very characteristic of the times. 
Though of vital importance to the whole Church, North 
and South, especially South, there was no attempt made 
to consult the Church—least of all the South. The matter 
was apparently settled in an offhand manner at a sort of 
chance meeting of the three Northern Bishops.* This is 
the account which the Primus himself gives of the matter 
in his letter to Dr Gleig—‘“ With a view to the faithful 
discharge of this sacred trust (the preservation of what is 
pure and primitive in the Church), I have had some con- 
ference with my two colleagues, the Bishops of Ross and 
Moray, who have been with me for two days past, on an 
occasion, which rather brought us unexpectedly together. 
The former (Bishop Macfarlane) having come this length, 
with a son returning to Oxford for his education, it chanced 
that the deed of election from the Clergy of Dunkeld 
arrived at the same time, I thought it a pity to put 
Bishop Macfarlane to the trouble of returning to this 
place, for the consecration of the person elected, and there- 

* That the three Bishops took counsel with the Bishop-elect, whose 
declaration was to be ‘‘a precedent for our future proceedings,” does not 
add to the regularity of the proceeding. No such test, propounded 
suddenly to a Bishop-elect by his Consecrators, on the very eve of his 
Consecration, could be expected, in those days, at least, to receive an 
entirely calm and unbiassed consideration. It could hardly fail to be 
regarded chiefly from the personal point of view. 


fore wrote immediately to Bishop Jolly, who very readily 
came up hither on Monday, and brought Mr Torry along 
with him, whose consecration took place in my chapel 
yesterday, with all due solemnity. 

Having this favourable opportunity of communicating 
our sentiments to each other, and after fully discussing 
the subject of our deliberations, Mr Torry, animated by 
the same spirit, which pervaded all our proceedings, gave 
in to us the following declaration, written and subscribed 
by himself, viz., &c.” 

After transcribing the declaration, the Primus adds, 
“ Having now such a plain rule before us, and so satisfac- 
tory a precedent for our future proceedings, J am deter- 
mined, with God’s help, to abide by it in any future 
promotion, at least of a Scottish ordained Presbyter that 
may take place in our Church. If you then can sincerely 
and conscientiously emit a declaration similar to that above 

Thus the Primus at once makes it perfectly clear to Dr 
Gleig that he is “determined” not to consecrate him, 
unless he shall “emit” such a declaration as the above, 
The “ plain rule” on which he went, was little more than 
the sic volo sic jubeo. There can be no doubt that the 
‘“‘yule” was adopted in this hasty irregular way as a test 
and safeguard against Bishops elect of too pronounced 
Anglican sympathies. Mr Torry’s signature was doubt- 
less obtained asa “satisfactory precedent.” It had not 
been thought necessary to lay down any conditions to him, 
all the arrangements for his consecration having been 
completed before the matter was discussed. 

It is pretty plain from Dr Gleig’s letters on the occasion, 
both to Bishop Torry and the Primus himself, that he was 
quite conscious not only of the irregularity of this measure, 

, you may rest assured, &c.” 


but also of its impolicy. He affirms distinctly that he is 
as much attached to the Scotch office as the Primus him- 
self, but intimates not less distinctly that he would pro- 
bably “take different ways of recommending it.” 

But as the required declaration “ bound him to nothing 
but what he had uniformly practised since he was a clergy- 
man, and what,” he added, “he would be strongly inclined 
to practise were his excellent diocesan to forbid him to do 
so,” to sign the declaration was for Dr Gleig himself a 
very simple affair. And in the circumstances, he might 
be well excused if he gave himself little trouble about the 
irregularity of the proceeding on the part of the Bishops. 
He could not prevent them from taking their course for 
the maintenance of the Scotch office. He could only 
reserve to himself the liberty to take his own course. 
This he did. “I am, therefore,” he wrote to the Primus, 
“perfectly ready to subscribe and deliver to you a declara- 
tion similar to that which has been delivered to you by 

- Bishop Torry, and to do so whether I am promoted to the 
Episcopal Bench or not ; but I trust,” he added, “ that T 
shall be left at liberty to recommend the office by those 
means in my power which appear to my own judgment 
best adapted to the end intended. Controversy does not 
appear to me well adapted to this end, unless it be managed 
with great delicacy indeed. . . Public controversy I will 
never directly employ, nor will I encourage it in others.”* 

* Annals of Scottish Episcopacy, pp. 476-7-8. For the text of the 
declaration, see Annals, p. 475. The gist of it is—‘* The use of which (the 
Scotch office) I will strenuously recommend by my own practice, and by 
every other means in my power.” Bishop John Skinner did not live to 
confirm or consecrate another Bishop-elect ; and the present Bishop of 
Glasgow, (who has kindly made investigations for the writer), is of opinion 
that this declaration was never again exacted from a Bishop-elect. It was 
‘a temporary expedient,” and was “‘ never recorded in the Episcopal 
Register.” The writer had been under the impression that it continued 
to be exacted till it was objected to as uncanonical by a Bishop-elect, and 
that then it was quietly dropt, 
: G 


It is clear from this letter, and, if possible, still clearer 
from another letter written some time after his consecra- 
tion, that in Dr Gleig the old Northern Churchman 
remained unchanged in principle, though somewhat modi- 
fied in manner. He had maintained, and would maintain, 
the Scotch office—he was the only clergyman in the 
diocese of Edinburgh that made use of it—but it was only 
by private moral suasion that he would maintain it. 
Times were changed with the introduction of the English 

Dr Gleig’s letter was, it is said, “‘ deemed satisfactory.” 
Tt is hard to see how any other conclusion could have been 
come to. But it is probable that, as yet, the Northern 
Bishops but faintly realised the great change which their 
closer connection with the English Church had wrought 
in their position. When once the Church had “two 
nations struggling in her womb,” one great and powerful, 
the other small and weak, the result should not have been 
long doubtful to any observer. 

Now, however, all hesitation ceased, and the just and 
the right thing was done at last. The Brechin election 
was confirmed, and Dr Gleig was consecrated. His 
consecration took place on Sunday, October 30, in St 
Andrew’s Church, Aberdeen, the officiating Bishops being 
the Primus, and Bishops Jolly and Torry. He him- 
self had requested that the place might be Stonehaven, 
and the day the Festival of St Simon and St Jude (Oct. 
28); but this request had not been complied with, pro- 
bably because the arrangement was more or less incon- 
venient for all the Bishops. The consecration sermon was 
preached by Mr Horsley of Dundee, son of the famous 
Bishop ; and afterwards published. 

The new Bishop at once attacked the old abuses. It 


seemed as if the long pent-up zeal for conformity—stirred 
to intensity by recent contact with Northern irregularity 
—must have immediate vent. He had no meeting with 
his clergy immediately after his consecration, as he “ lay 
under the necessity” of “returning by Edinburgh”; but 
he was no sooner home than he wrote them a long 
circular pastoral letter (dated Noy. 18, 1808)*—a sort of 
primary charge, in fact—in which, with much force and 
plainness of speech, he expressed—as he says—‘‘ my 
thoughts on some parts of your public duty—thoughts, 
which I confess were suggested, by what I saw and heard 
whilst I was in your neighbourhood.” 

The letter is, in fact, an earnest and vigorously reasoned 
exhortation against deviations in public worship from the 
words of the English Liturgy, which forms “a collection 
of the most perfect liturgical offices that were ever used in 

» the Christian world.” “Yet I am afraid,” says the 
re Bishop, that some of us deviate widely from the words of 
that Liturgy ; that we destroy the effect of its venerable 
antiquity, by modernising some of its expressions ; that 
we interpolate the Liturgy, and other parts of the public 
service, with petitions, or clauses of petitions, composed 
by ourselves ; and that we introduce occasionally, even 
into the most solemn offices, long prayers, which we have 
either copied from some private book of devotion, or 
received from some clergyman, to whom we have been 
accustomed to look up with reverence.” The Bishop goes 
on to explain that, though he says we, he does not include 
himself. “I myself make no such interpolations.” He 
would not attempt to improve the Liturgy in any way. 

* The letter is engrossed at full length in the Minute Book of the 
diocese of Brechin (from which these extracts are taken), and it occupies 
upwards of nine closely-written quarto pages. The Bishop’s letters to 
the clergy are all about the same length, and, with one exception, they 
are all entered in full, Z 



“T do solemnly assure you that I feel myself utterly 
unable to compose a long prayer fit to be offered up to 
God in public; and that I would undertake to com- 
pose ten sermons fit to be preached before the most 
learned and accomplished audience on earth, rather than 
one prayer fit to be incorporated with our venerable 

~The English Liturgy “owed its excellence wholly to 
the judicious selection, which, at its revisal, from time to 
time, was made from all the Liturgies that have come 
down to us in the Greek and Latin Churches.” 

Herein also consisted the excellence of the Scotch 
Communion office. He preferred it to the English, “and 
I do so for the very same reason, that in the daily service, 
I prefer the naked Liturgy, to the same Liturgy disguised 
by the patches and interpolations of modern innovators.” 
“Tt is a more faithful copy of the ancient offices, especially 
in the Greek Church”; ‘and were it in my power, 
without disturbing the peace of the Church, 1 would 
introduce it, not only into every Chapel in the diocese, 
but into every Church and Chapel in the British Empire.” 
Yet, he continues, “truth compels me to add that TI 
believe that the Lord’s Supper may be validly, though not 
with equal solemnity and edification, administered by 
either form.” 

After recommending strict adherence to the English 
Liturgy, not only in the Daily Service, but also in the 
occasional services, he concludes with an earnest exhorta- 
tion to careful catechising of the young, and preparation 
of them for confirmation. 

An authoritative epistle of this description, either cir- 
culated among the clergy, as this one was, or read to them 
at their “annual meeting,” two years out of the three 


appeared, in those days of non-residence, to be the best 
substitute for personal presence and superintendence, 
Bishop Gleig, in the early years of his episcopate, sent a 
good many such letters to his clergy, and they are all dtly 
engrossed in the minute book. 

None of his writings are more characteristic of the man 
and the time. The style is in general clear, pithy, and 
direct, though occasionally somewhat disfigured by a rather 
stiff and formal Johnsonian period. The tone is authorita- 
tive, never warmly affectionate like Bishop Jolly’s, yet it 
is in general sufficiently sympathetic and friendly, except in 
one or two cases, when he refers to certain unnamed, 
but incorrigible, offenders against order and rubrics ; and 
then he waxes stern and minatory. The letters, as a 
whole, evince learning, sound sense, and decision. Like 
St Paul’s, they are “ weighty and powerful.” 

The next letter of this description was addressed to 
his Synod in 1810; and as it refers, like this one, 
wholly to diocesan matters, the notice of it will be most 
fitly introduced here. The letter sketched out what the 
minute terms “a plan by which their future meetings 
ought to be regulated.” In reality, it was a scheme for 
putting the clergy through a regular systematic course of 
divinity, beginning with Natural Theology, and proceed- 
ing regularly through all the truths of Revealed Religion ! 
The Bishop proposed that the Clergy should, if possible, 
meet twice a year, have service, with a sermon by one of 
their number, on a subject which he (the Bishop) should 
prescribe ; and then, ‘at dinner,” discuss the subject, and 
the treatment of it, among themselves. Going on, in this 
systematic way, and taking advantage of the excellent 
library left to the diocese by Bishop Abernethy Drum- 
mond, they would be able to “ supply the defects of their 



theological education”—acquire facility in “the not easy 
art” of composition ; and learn to “think for themselves.” 
“The power of thinking closely,” he says, “has long 
appeared to me the great desideratwm in our Church.” 

The Bishop began at once, and at the beginning, by 
propounding, with great precision, three theses in Natural 
Religion on the subject of the Being and Attributes of 
God, as to whether they are discoverable, and, if discover- 
able, demonstrable by human reason, independent of 
written revelation, &c., &c. 

The clergy, at the meeting (at Montrose, May 2, 1810) 
at which the letter was read, “unanimously agreed to 
adopt the plan, and appointed to meet at Laurencekirk 
on the first Wednesday of August next.” 

They met there and then accordingly (August 1, 1810), 
and Mr Murray, whom the Bishop had suggested as 
preacher on the occasion, did preach ; but this is the only 
indication given that the assembled clergy in any way 
carried out “the plan.” The minute of the meeting 
consists of one short sentence, and does not even give the 
text or the subject of the sermon, far less any account of 
the discussion “at dinner.” No reference whatever is 
made to the scheme, and none can be traced in the minutes 
of subsequent meetings. For the next two years, indeed, 
the diocesan Synods were much taken up with General 
Synod work; and a matter of this description might 
easily be overlooked. Probably the scheme was dropt 
after a short trial; and, in fact, it could hardly have been 
successfully carried out but by a resident Bishop. Non- 
resident administration—difficult at all times—was doubly 
difficult in the days ‘of stage-coaches, dear ge and 
small salaries. 

CHAPTER VI.—1808-1811. 

Immediute effect of his promotion—Endeavours to banish Party 
Spirit” from Church—Proposes Meeting of Episcopal Synod— 
Synod meets—Delivers Primary Charge—Account of Charge 
—Its effect on Church—Applauded by Primus’s Son—Criti- 
cised by Primus—Correspondence on Subject between Primus 
and Author—Between Primus and Son—General Synod of 
1811—Bishop Gleig’s part in same—Inportant letter to his 

Hiau office had at last come to Dr Gleig. Sera tamen 
respexit inertem. Though still strong, both in mind and 
body, he was past the years of elastic vigour and adapta- 
bility ; and could hardly, in this higher sphere, “make full 
proof of his ministry.” Bishop Skinner, who was only 
eight years his senior, had been already twenty-four years a 
Bishop. Still, such a man as Dr Gleig could not enter the 
College of Bishops, even at fifty-five, without soon making 
his influence there felt through the whole Church. And 
this he did happily with the best effect, and with general 
approbation. He, as has been seen, at once introduced 
into his own diocese some much-needed reforms; and 
he very soon took steps which paved the way for the 
introduction of like reforms into the constitution of the 
Church. He accomplished all this with the smallest 
possible party irritation and friction. He had himself 
suffered much from the influence of party spirit ; and at 
times, no doubt, he yielded to the natural impulse to 
retaliate. On this occasion, however, he appears to have 
thought only of forgetting and, as far as possible, of 
effacing party altogether. 

The following letter to Bishop Torry (June 19, 1809) 
breathes the true Christian spirit, and the reader will 


presently meet several practical proofs of the sincerity of 
its averments. 

“T wish we could hold a Synod on the Thursday [after 
the triennial meeting of the Friendly Society], for the 
purpose of revising owr Canons, and contriving some 
method, if possible, of banishing for ever from the Church 
that party spirit which has prevailed in her to a greater or 
less degree ever since I had the honour to be one of her 
clergy. Iam the more earnest in this because I had not 
been forty-eight hours a Bishop, when I was accosted by 
a leading Presbyter,* in a tone which to me indicated very _ 
plainly that he expected me to thwart every measure, good 
or bad, that might be proposed by the Primus! The 
gentleman to whom I allude never more completely mis- 
took his man. When I agreed to be a Bishop, and the 
Primus agreed to consecrate me, I take it for granted that 
we both had resolved to bury in perpetual oblivion every- 
thing disagreeable that had formerly occurred between us; 
and I have no hesitation to say that, with respect to every- 
thing relating to the Church at large that has ever passed 
between the Primus and me, I agree with him to the 
minutest dota ; Iam not sure, though I wish to believe, 
that I do so with a// my brethren. If we can banish 
party spirit from among us, and ambition, which, in such 
a Society as ours, is ridiculous as well as unchristian, we 
may yet, through the goodness of God, be able to raise our 
heads; and I wish to be the instrument, or one of the 
instruments, for accomplishing this good purpose.” 

The Synod,t which Bishop Gleig so much desired to see, 

* Most probably the Rev. David Low. See postea the i 
regarding the election of Bishop William Skinner” if i 

+ Of course, this: was only an Episcopal Synod, or meeti 
Bishops. There had been no General Synod for sixty-six palates. Tt =H 
certainly high time to summon another; for the work doue by this Epis- 
copal Synod was pure General Synod work, ; 


met at the time and place suggested by him ; and in the 
conduct, as well as in the calling of it, he appears to have 
had matters very much bis own way. The Synod met on 
Thursday, August 26. On the Tuesday, the Bishop had 
delivered, at Stonehaven, his primary charge to the Clergy 
of Brechin.* In the charge he indicated clearly the reforms ~ 
which he thought most necessary for the Church at that 
time; and for these reforms provisions are found in the 
Canons passed by the Synod, mostly expressed in the very 
words of the charge. 

In the charge (p. 17), the Bishop had said—“ You all 
know that we are pledged to one another, and to the 
public at large, to make use of the English Liturgy in 
every office of the Church—that of the Holy Communion 
excepted ; and some of you, doubtless, know that our 
Primus, when he was in London soliciting the repeal of the 
Penal Laws, and a legal toleration for our long-oppressed 
Society, solemnly assured those who were most active in 
carrying the bill through Parliament, that we adhere 
strictly to the English forms in everything, except the 
administration of the Lord’s Supper, in which the Clergy 
are left at liberty to make use either of the English or of 
the Scotch form, as shall be most agreeable to themselves, 
and most edifying to the people amongst whom they 
minister. This assurance, and this pledge, I should con- 
sider as binding on my conscience, were the Book of 
Common Prayer a much less ‘perfect form of public 
devotion than it.confessedly is. . . . . Whilst you 
make use of these offices without additions, diminutions, 
or improvements of any kind, let me exhort you, &e.” 

Thus much for uniformity and conformity— 

Then for order and legality, 
*A charge . . . to the Clergy of the Episcopal Commitnion of 
Brechin, Edaburgh, 1809, 


After stating (p. 29) that “a party spirit, were it once 
to prevail among us, would infallibly and speedily be pro- 
ductive of our utter extinction as a society,” he proceeds, 
“such a baneful spirit cannot, indeed, be widely spread 
among us, if we keep constantly in our recollection the 
unquestionable truths, that the Clergy of one diocese have 
nothing whatever to do with the affairs of another ; that 
every diocese, under its own Bishop, is a particular 
church; . . . and that” the “union” of “dioceses 
into National Churches is maintained only by the union 
of the several Bishops under the Divine Shepherd and 
Bishop of our souls, and by Canons enacted for the 
government of the several dioceses thus united in one 

‘From these facts,” he continues, “ . . it follows 
that when discord arises in any diocese, it belongs solely 
to the Bishop of that diocese, with the advice of his own 
Presbyters, to take what steps he may judge proper to 
restore peace and harmony—that neither the Bishop nor 
Clergy of any other diocese have the smallest right to 
interpose, unless expressly directed to do so by Canon, on 
behalf even of what they may think the injured party ; 
and that, when any Presbyter deems himself injured by 
his own Bishop, the way to obtain redress is not secretly 
to stir up a party, either in the diocese to which he 
belongs, or in any other, but openly to appeal to the 
comprovincial Bishops and the representatives of the other 
clergy met in Synod, whose interest it is, as well as duty, 
in such cases to render impartial justice.” 

Of the six Canons passed at the Synod, the Ist, 2nd, 
5th, and 6th were as follows, 

1. That the clergy of one diocese receive no rule or 
direction from any Bishop or Priest of any other diocese, ke, 


2. That they do not interfere directly or indirectly in 
the affairs of any other diocese, &c. 

5. That they attend strictly to the Rubrics prefixed to 
the Communion office. 

6. That they make no innovation on the services of the 
Church presently [at present] in use, but by the Bishop's 
consent and direction. 

Thus, it is plain that this very needful and respectable 
measure of reform was due almost entirely to Bishop 
Gleig. And, by the publication of his charge, the Bishop 
paved the way for a larger and more complete measure. 

The charge was well fitted to accomplish that purpose. 
Tt was a calm and dispassionate survey of the whole 
position of the Episcopal Church at the time, accompanied 
with wise counsels and practical suggestions as to the 
duties and difficulties of the clergy. 

The Bishop had had abundant experience of the futility 
of controversy as a means of settling a theological or eccle- 
siastical dispute, and so the gist of his advice was preven- 
tion—the seeking, by clear law and regulation, to cut off 
the causes of disputes. ‘Theological controversy,” he 
said, “very seldom produces much good, and is almost 
always productive of some evil” (p. 25), and “TI have 
more than once, since I have been in Orders, known this 
poor Church brought to the brink of ruin by party spirit 
fermenting among her ministers ” (p. 31). 

The charge, though firm in tone, being yet far from 
dictatorial or aggressive, produced a great effect on the 

Tt was listened to not only by the Brechin clergy, but 
also by some of those from other dioceses. Many of the 
clergy from the south of course passed through Stonehaven 
that day, on their way to the meeting in Aberdeen on the 


day following, and could thus, without inconvenience, 
attend the Synod and hear the charge. 

Amongst those extra-diocesan clergy was Mr John 
Skinner of Forfar, the Bishop’s late opponent at the 
Dunkeld election, and probably the Bishop had no more 
appreciative hearer. Mr Skinner says in his Annals (p. 
484), “The whole clergy who heard” the charge, “as 
well as the parties to whom it was immediately addressed, 
requested the Bishop to publish it with all convenient 
speed.” Mr Skinner himself was quite enthusiastic in his 

But Mr Skinner’s father, the Primus, viewed the matter 
with different. eyes. The earnest counsels to close con- 
formity did not approve themselves to his mind. “ For 
the continuation of” “verbal alterations in reading the 
English service,” “no man could have been a more zealous 
stickler than” he. And not unnaturally, “he having had 
not only the example and sanction of his own venerable 
father in framing his opinion as well as practice, but the 
example of the Bishops Alexander and Gerard—men for 
whom he ever entertained the greatest filial reverence.” 

No doubt, all those good and zealous men did what, in 
their difficult circumstances, seemed to them best for the 
good of the Church, and for the edification of their indi- 
genous flocks, Adaptation is always a most difficult and 
complex question. On this occasion, the Primus thought 
Bishop Gleig wanted to carry conformity too far, “ bind- 
ing us down to a slavish resemblance of the Chureh of 
England in all but one point.” This part of the charge, 
he thought, “seemed to have been framed with a parti- 
cular view to its appearance on the south side of the 

Any assurance that he (the Primus) gave his friends in 


England was only general, and could not be understood 
to imply strict adherence to “the English rubrics, or to 
the ipsissima verba of all the offices.” Further, the 
Primus objected to the publication to an unfriendly world 
of the existence of diversity of practice and party spirit 
among the clergy. He wrote to Bishop Gleig (Jan. 3, 
1810) to say all this and more to the same effect, sending 
him at the same time a copy of his charge of 1806, “ plainly 
intimating his opinion of these matters,” of which he “ had 
never yet seen any cause to be ashamed.”* 

Bishop Gleig’s answer to the Primus’s letter the Primus’s 
son pronounces admirable. And it certainly is so in every 
respect —matter, expression, spirit, and tone. It is an 
excellent specimen of the Bishop’s style, being throughout 
clear, direct, and vigorous ; but its chief value lies in the 
undoubted proof which it supplies, Ist, of the sound and 
sensible view which he took of the ritualistic question 
which tended to divide the North and South ; 2nd, of his 
entire freedom from arrogance or factiousness in the main- 
tenance of his view. 

“Stirling, Jan. 15, 1810.—I received your letter of the 
third instant, together with your charge, &c. : 

“There was not the smallest occasion for an apology for 
your remarks on my charge. I could make as many on 
yours, and support them, perhaps, with as cogent reasons ; 
put I deprecate everything like controversy between us ; 
which, as Johnson somewhere observes, though it may find 
men friends, seldom leaves them so ; and I do think it of 
importance, not so much to ourselves as to the Church, 
that we continue friends. Let me, therefore, only state 
the principles and motives which guided me in the few 

* Annals of Scottish Episcopavy, pp. 486-7, et seq., where the whole 
correspondence is given at full length 


points on which you remark, and then drop the subject 
for ever. I admit that the words to the “ brink of ruin ” 
are strong, and I wish that they had been less so; but I 
really cannot admit that the whole of what is said on the 
baleful effects of party spirit . . . can lessen us in 
the estimation either of friends or foes. 

“There never was aChurch since the days of the Apostles, 
and never will be till the Millennium, totally free from 
party spirit ; and to have held up ours as perfect in that 
respect would, I apprehend, have exposed both her and her 
panegyrist to contempt and ridicule. I might, indeed, 
have omitted the subject altogether ; but in that case the 
charge would have wanted that which, not in my opinion 
only, but in the opinion of abler and less partial judges, is 
by far the most valuable thing init. At your suggestion, 
I struck out or changed that clause in the manuscript 
which mentioned “a party spirit fermenting among us 
just now,” a clause, by the way, for which your son 
thanked me even with tears in his eyes, and squeezed my 
hand in a manner that indicated gratitude, which I can 
never forget. You are so completely mistaken when you 
suppose that any part of the charge was framed with a 
view to its appearance on the south side of the Tweed, 
that I assure you there is not in England a copy for sale. 

That I am desirous to enforce on the diocese of 
Brechin uniformity in reading the service of the Church is 
indeed most true; but that desire proceeds from no 
partiality to the Church of England, nor from a vain hope 
to equal her in anything but piety and sound principles ; 
and IT beg you to be assured that, though I hope to give, 
from time to time, such imstructions to the clergy under 
my inspection as to my own unbiassed judgment appear 
requisite or expedient, I will never interfere with the 


clergy of other dioceses, far less attempt ‘to lay my col- 
leagues under restrictions.’ 

“ T am perfectly convinced in my own mind, and I have 
been so these thirty years, that nothing has done so much 
injury to our Church as the useless alterations which are 
made by many of the clergy in the daily service ; but you 
seem to be of a different opinion, and have undoubtedly 
the same right to regulate your conduct by your convic- 
tion that I have to regulate my conduct by mine. Were 
these alterations the same in every chapel, or were they 
made upon any principle that could regulate the conduct 
of a stranger when occasionally doing the duty of his 
brother, something (I certainly think not much) might be 
said for them ; but as every man in my diocese varied the 
form according to his own judgment or caprice, I found 
that I could not officiate for some of my own clergy with- 
out either showing the people that he and I think dif- 
ferently of our forms of prayer, or taking a lesson from 
him how to read before going in the morning into chapel ! 
To such a length was this (to me most unaccountable) rage 
for innovation carried in some of the chapels of the diocese, 
that I was assured that the very communion service was 
interpolated with long prayers which, from the specimens 
of them, repeated by different people to me, surely were 
unworthy of a place in that solemn service ; and to put a 
stop to such an absurd and pernicious. practice, I wrote on 
coming from my consecration the letter which I now 
enclose to you. 

“ You and I have peed pleaded the cause of Catholic 
unity, and I hope we shall both do so again ; but I do not 
see how we can do it with any effect among the people at 
large, if we set, I know not what kind of patriotism, in 
opposition. to uniformity in prayer, or even uniformity of 


dress, The people at large make not nice distinctions ; 
and I see not why we may not adopt the daily service of 
the English Church verbatim, and even the decent habits 
of her clergy, to show that we are in full communion with 
her ; as well as St Paul circumcised Timothy and purified 
himself in the Temple, to show that he was in full com- 
munion with the Church at Jerusalem.” 

This letter was at once respectful and firm. The 
Primus must have seen that the writer was not to be 
shaken in his resolution ; so he sent “no direct reply ” to 
the letter. He “alluded to the contents of” it “in his 
correspondence with his son at Forfar.” But if he looked 
for any sympathy from that quarter, he found himself 
entirely mistaken. Instead of opposing Bishop Gleig in 
this matter, Mr John Skinner gave him his most ardent 
support. He was convinced that “the zeal of Bishop 
Gleig was according to knowledge ;” and so he sat down 
and penned to his father a very long letter, in which he 
made it clear that, on the disputed points, his sympathies 
lay entirely with Bishop Gleig ; and further, that he con- 
sidered it his father’s duty to convene a General Synod to 
settle these and all other disputed matters by authority, 
and “ establish a general rule of conduct for all and sundry 
within the pale of the Church.” “ Were I,” he wrote, 
wo a Bishop’ “the Church-or God= "> eee 
would not rest until an Ecclesiastical Synod or Convoea- 
tion should be holden for the purpose of canonically 
settling all these points of Church discipline.” : 
“T have no remedy within my reach ; you, my dear Sir, 
certainly have. You can bring the matter to an imme- 
diate issue. You can assemble the parties who have the 
power of decision.” 

Tt was not to be expected that the Primus, who had so 


long in Church matters been almost literally “a law unto 
himself,” should take well these plain counsels as to law- 
making and law-abiding, even from his own son, and when 
accompanied with the most profuse professions of filial 
respect. Nor was it in human nature that he should 
escape a twinge of jealousy at.the manifest predominant 
influence of Bishop Gleig in all these practical questions of 
the day. In answer, therefore, to his son’s “long and 
elaborate epistle,” he took only a brief and ungracious 
notice of his arguments, and then declared, “I must 
decline all further discussion of this subject, unless it 
come from another quarter. You have a Bishop of your 
own, . . . . and you would need to be cautious in 
appealing to me, as able in my official capacity to ‘ bring 
the matter to an issue,’ lest you thereby confirm a 
jealousy, perhaps already excited, that another is, in fact, 
the Senior Prelate, and that I am only the late venerable 
Scottish Primus—Bishop Skinner !” 

Notwithstanding his not unnatural hesitation to fall in 
at once with this onward movement from the South, a 
year had not elapsed before the Primus had agreed to 
convene a General Synod. He had come to see that this 
was the regular way to settle the disputed points, and 
once convinced of this, he acted with his usual decision 
and energy. All accounts agree that he presided over the 
Synod with great ability, impartiality, and tact. 

The Synod met at Aberdeen, June 19th, 1811. The 
result of its labours was a Code of Canons, which, though 
still very imperfect, yet formed a great advance on the 
Code of 1743. 

Canon XIII. made provision for the uniformity so much 
desiderated by Bishop Gleig. Canon V. at length con- 
ceded the claim of the Presbyters to a potential voice in 



making the laws of the Church. This claim they had 
urged in vain for the last seventy years. There can be 
little doubt that it was chiefly to Bishop Gleig that this 
concession was due. 

Speaking of this Synod of 1811, in his charge of 1829, 
he says, “ As our Bishops are, and must be, in the present 
state of the Scotch Church, but few in number, it occurred 
to some of them, and to myself in particular, that her 
discipline might probably be more generally respected, if 
the Canons, by which it must be administered, were 
sanctioned as well by the Presbyters as by the Bishops.”* 

Thus, to a great extent, through the exertions of Bishop 
Gleig, had the Church been provided with improved 
Canons, and an improved instrument for Canon-making. 
But to do any good, the instrument must be used. The 
Synod must meet. The Canons, however, contained no pro- 
vision for a stated or periodical meeting of the Synod. If 
there was to be a meeting, it was to be a special meeting, 
called by the Bishops when they saw fit. This is an arrange- 
ment which probably would not, in any circumstances, 
work quite satisfactorily. A council of war never fights ; 
and a College of Bishops ever shrinks from the risks of 
change. How much trouble the difficulty of obtaining a 
meeting of the General Synod gave Bishop Gleig through- 
out his whole Episcopate—and how far it served to para- 
lyse the energies of the Church, will be seen in the sequel. 

The Bishop had no meeting with his clergy during the 
year 1811; but he addressed them a long letter (Sept. 19). 
explanatory of the recent reforms in the Code of Canons ; 
and at the commencement of the letter he makes some 
incidental statements, which throw unexpected light on 

* Charge of 1829, p. 12. 


his past career, especially in connection with the diocese 
of Brechin. 

1. He adds his own express authority to the indirect 
proofs which have been given, that he was the prime 
mover in those Canonical reforms. 

2. He states, and, in fact, may be said to call his clergy 
to witness, that he had advocated those reforms five-and- 
twenty years before. 

3. He further states that, as the advocate of those 
reforms, he had been elected Bishop of Brechin five-and- 
twenty years before, as well as three years before 1811. 

After explaining what was meant by “ decisive votes,” 
the Bishop says—“ The defective constitution of the 
Scotch Synods has appeared to me in a striking point of 
view ever since I was capable of forming any judgment on 
the subject ; and I had determined, upwards of 24 years 
ago, that if ever I should be an officiating member of a 
Synod, I would propose the constitution which is now so 
happily, I hope, established. But whilst I take to myself 
the merit of first suggesting the election of delegates from 
the presbyters, and the division of the Synod into two 
Chambers,* that the clergy might have, by their represen- 
tatives, a decisive voice in the enactment of Canons by 
which they are to be governed, let me not fail to do justice 
to my colleagues. The proposal was no sooner made than 
it was adopted by the Primus with the utmost alacrity ; 
nor was there a word said against it, except by one Bishop, 
who immediately acquiesced as soon as he understood 
what was meant by the Primus and myself, when we 

* He lived to doubt the wisdom of “the division of the Synod into 
two Chambers.” (Charge of 1829, p. 13). The arrangement was con- 
fessedly adopted in imitation of the ‘‘ Mother Church” of England (p. 12). 
Of course, it was the large Southern Convocation that was the model—not 
the small Northern one, which meets in one Chamber, as did the old 
Scotch Assembly. 

H 2 


talked of giving a decisive voice to the representatives of 
the clergy. 1 have thus, my brethren, performed what I 
believe you expected of me so long ago as the year 1786, 
when you first did me the honour of electing me your 
Bishop,* and again when you elected me lately with 
greater success.” 

It is somewhat startling to come, for the first time, in 
1811, on a statement in the Minute Book of the diocese, 
made by the Bishop, and in an incidental way, as if it were 
quite familiar to the clergy, that said Bishop had been 
chosen as Bishop by the clergy of the diocese twenty-five 
years before, as well as “more successfully” three years 
before. It is such a thing as this that indicates best the 
loose and careless way in which official Church proceedings 
were chronicled in those days. The Minute Book of 
Brechin diocese, which ought, on a mere reference to the 
date, to settle this question conclusively one way or the 
other, offers no real or positive evidence whatever on 
the subject. Such negative evidence, however, as its 
appearance presents is not only quite consistent with the 
truth of the Bishop’s statement, but is even decidedly 
favourable to it. There occasionally occurs a gap of a few 
years in the Minute Book; in which case, instead of 
entries, we find blank pages. There is a gap of this sort 
from July 25, 1781, to Sept. 27, 1786; five pages and a 
half are left blank, and then a leaf has been cut out. 

We see, therefore, that supposing the Bishop’s alleged 
former election took place, as affirmed by him, there is 
nothing strange in our finding no entry of it in the 
Minute Book. The entry was either left out, or cut 

* The italics here are not the Bishop’s, but are used in order to draw 
attention to the statement. 


But considering the way in which, and the peculiar 
circumstances under which, the Bishop’s statement 
was made, it is hardly possible to conceive that there 
' could be a mistake about it. The Bishop was address- 
ing men to whom every circumstance connected with 
the elections in the diocese, at the time referred to, were 
either already familiarly known, or could, if a doubt 
was raised, be at once ascertained beyond question or 
cavil. The Minute Book shows that, at least, three of 
these Presbyters of the diocese, to whom the Bishop 
wrote, had been Presbyters and electors of the diocese in 
1786. These men knew whether or not they had elected 
him that year ; and the Bishop knew as well that he wrote 
subject to their certain, immediate, and authoritative cor- 
rection. In point of fact, as has been already observed, 
he so wrote as if not they only, but all the clergy whom 
he addressed, were quite familiar with the fact of a first, 
as well as of a second, election of him by the clergy of 
the diocese. 

The reality of that former election cannot, therefore, be 
reasonably doubted. It is certainly as well authenticated 
as any ecclesiastical event, not of first-class importance, 
could be expected to be, in a period of depression and con- 
fusion, when accurate records formed the exception and 
not the rule. It may be safely assumed to be as certain 
that Dr Gleig was elected for Brechin twice, as that he 
was elected once. And if so, he was in all elected Bishop 
at least five times—three times for Dunkeld, and twice for 
Brechin—before his election was at last confirmed, and he 
was actually made a Bishop. No single fact in the 
Church’s annals probably is more characteristic of the 
times ; nothing could give a better idea of the difference 
between now and then. 


In his explanations as to the meaning and application of 
the new Canons, the Bishop is very precise, distinct, and 
decided. Times and Canons are changed ; but some of the 
Bishop’s remarks have still an interest, as showing the de-_ 
cisive stand which he took against liturgical irregularities. 
“The sixteenth Canon refers you to me for such devia- 
tions as may be made in the morning and evening service 
from the English Liturgy, in consequence of our Church 
not being legally established ; but I see no reason for any 
such deviations. . . . On this subject, I refer you to 
my former pastoral letter, to which I expect the strictest 
obedience to be paid. You have not, and never shall recewe, 
my authority for changing even a which into a who, or 
making any other change whatever.” 

He did not “approve of that custom, which the 
eighteenth Canon says prevails in most congregations of 
the Church, of having a particular collect for the days 
immediately preceding, and following, the administration 
of the Lord’s Supper. No such collect, I believe, is used. 
anywhere in the dioceses of Edinburgh, Glasgow, and 
Fife ; and I am not sure that such a practice does not 
contribute to deter the timid from approaching the Lord’s 

Yet, in the administration of baptism, “ when children 
in health and vigour are baptized at home,” he does not 
insist on the use of the whole office. ‘I would recom- 
mend the use of the whole-office, omitting only the exhor- 
tation at the end ; or, if that be thought too much, as by 
some parents it may be, you may say the well-known 
collect, ‘Prevent us, O Lord, in all our doings,’ &e. ; 
then proceed to the questions, ‘ Dost thou, in the name 
of this child,’ &c., and so thence through the whole public 
office, omitting the exhortation at the end, as formerly.” 

CHAPTER VII.—1811-1817. 

His relations with other Bishops—The Primus and Mr Milne, 
Banf—Administration of his own Diocese—Transition troubles 
—Stonehaven—Perth—Letter to Clergy—Death of Prinws 
Skinner—Is chosen Primus—Aberdeen Election—Views of 
Bishops—Desires the election of a Southern man—Means by 
which this end was to be attained—Sides taken by Bishops— 
Discusses question of confirming Aberdeen Election—Leaves 
decision to Bishops Jolly and Torry—Consecrates Mr William 

THERE is in the Bishop’s letters, of this period, satis- 
factory proof that, as a general Church ruler, he most 
rigorously observed his own Canon against meddling in 
the affairs of another diocese ; and also that he continued 
to co-operate very harmoniously with the venerable 
Primus. The Primus had occasion. to deal with Mr 
Milne, the clergyman at Banff, against whom a rather 
serious charge had been preferred, and Mr Milne looked 
for help to the southern Bishops. Bishop Gleig stead- 
fastly refused to allow himself to be mixed up in . the 
matter, and acted a manly, straightforward part towards 
both parties. 

He wrote to Bishop Torry, Jan. 30, 1813—“TI am 
exceedingly sorry for the difference which subsists between 
the Primus and Mr Milne; but I am an absolute stranger 
to the origin of the quarrel. Many months ago, I received 
from Mr Milne a letter informing me that he had proposed 
to refer the matter wholly to the arbitration of Bishop 
Sandford and me, and that he was preparing for us a 
statement of the case. I instantly wrote to him not to 


give himself the trouble of writing out the case for me ; 
because I had laid down a rule for myself never to inter- 
fere in the affairs of another diocese, nor to permit any of 
my colleagues to interfere in the affairs of mine. In con- 
sequence of this resolution, J assured him that I would 
not read his case were he to send it to me, and that I had 
reason to believe that Bishop Sandford would act on the 
same principle ; and to convince him that I was influenced 
by no partiality to my own order, I added that I would 
make the very same reply to Bishop Skinner, were he to 
propose a submission of the case to my arbitration. I 
_ then exhorted him to reconcile himself to his own diocesan, 
if possible ; because I neither would nor could do any- 
thing in the case unless it should unfortunately be brought 
before the whole College in the form of an appeal from the 
judgment of his own diocesan. That no misrepresentation 
might be made of my letter to the Primus, I sent it open 
under cover to him; and he was pleased to express his 
highest approbation of my conduct. 

“ As I heard nothing more of the matter for some time, 
I thought that the parties had been reconciled to each 
other, till about two months ago that the Primus wrote a 
long letter to me, relating in general terms Mr Milne’s 
insolence and contempt of the Canons, his own journey to 
Banff, his resolution to suspend Mr Milne in terms of the 
Canon, and the legal threat and protest held out to him, 
if he should presume to pass any censure upon Mr Milne. 
As he asked my advice how to proceed in such a business, 
I earnestly recommended him to lay the whole case before 
Mr J. H. Forbes* before he should proceed any farther 
than he had done, offering, if he or Mr Forbes should 
wish it, to go to Edinburgh and converse with Mr Forbes 

* Afterwards Lord Medwyn, father of the late Bishop of Brechin. 



on the whole business, should he want for any information 
respecting the constitution of the Church. 

“T was sorry to learn, from a letter which I had from 
him lately, that he has not followed my advice, though he 
writes in terms of real gratitude for the attention which I 
had given to the case, and for the promptness of my letter ; 
but he could not think, he says, of giving so much trouble 
to Mr Forbes, and had resolved to suspend Mr Milne if 
he should not make the proper concessions in three 
weeks.”* ' 

Though sometimes failing in patience and forbearance, 
the Bishop, on the whole, administered his diocese, not 
only with energy and firmness, but even with tact. There 
was need for these qualities, in a ruler, at the time when 
he entered on office, It was a transition period. Since 
1805, union with the separate congregations had been going 
on ; but in some places the union was as yet only mechant- 
cal. There was little sympathy between the two classes of 
Churchmen. Old prejudices took time for their removal. 
Each party had something to learn, and something to 
forget ; and the general obstacles were sometimes aggra- 
vated by personal and local causes ; for instance, when in 
a small town, two small congregations—one English and 
one Scotch—existed side by side—and personal antipa- 
thies or incompatibilities prevented their union into one 
strong congregation. This appears to have been the state 
of matters at Stonehaven, which at this time gave Bishop 
Gleig much trouble. Stonehaven contained two congre- 
gations—one, no doubt the late qualified one, presided 
over by an old clergyman, Mr Memyss, a Churchman only 

* From all that the writer can learn about Mr Milne’s case, it appears 
to have been one of discipline in the strictest sense. The result of it was 
that Mr Milne’s connection with the Banff congregation came to an end, 
and he himself went abroad in the following year (1814). 


in name—the other the native Scotch, the clergyman of 
which Mr Garden, whatever his principles might be, 
did not seem to be fitted by professional character or 
qualifications to unite the people. Then the two clergy- 
men appear to have entertained’a bitter feeling of antipa- 
thy towards each other, and everything tended—not to 
union, but to disunion and dispersion of both flocks. 

The Bishop gives a full account of the state of matters, 
as they became known to him, on a visit to the place, and 
nothing could be less satisfactory. We, doubtless, see 
here the worst trials and troubles of the time. 

It must be premised that Mr Memyss, though far better 
off than most of the clergy, had yet made application for 
one of the small grants which the Episcopal Fund then 
made to the more necessitous incumbents. This paltry 
matter seemed uppermost in his mind, prompting every 
word and act. The following is the Bishop’s report of 
the state of matters :— 

“On my arrival in Stonehaven,” he writes to Bishop 
Torry, Dec. 6th, 1813, “in the course of my late visita- 
tion, I took an early opportunity to call upon Mr 
Memyss, whom I found, with his three daughters, 
extremely kind and attentive, not to myself only, but 
also to Mr Russell, of Leith, who was with me. As I 
was to remain over Sunday in the town, I told the old 
man that I would preach in his chapel in the forenoon, 
and confirm in Mr Garden’s in the afternoon, expressing 
a hope that he would send his candidates thither. To 
this he most readily agreed ; but observed that he had 
only five candidates for confirmation, a number which I 
faintly hoped to increase by my sermon, . . , , Mr 
Russell and I weve often with them at breakfast and 
supper, and were always treated with the greatest kind- 


ness, and with greater respect to me than I had looked for, 
or indeed could have desired from a man so much older 
than myself. We soon, indeed, had proofs of what I had 
long known—the deepest-rooted prejudices cherished by 
them all against Mr Garden, who, indeed, displayed 
prejudices at least as deep-rooted and rancorous against 
them. It. was my wish, as well as my duty, to remove 
all these prejudices, or at least so far to lessen them as to 
prevent them being, what I am afraid they will be—the 
ruin of Episcopacy in Stonehaven. 

“On Sunday forenoon Mr Russell and I took the 
whole of the old man’s duty——Mr Russell reading prayers, 
and I preaching on Confirmation, a sermon as high as 
ever was preached by the Highest Churchman. Mr 
Memyss, his family, and indeed the whole crowded con- 
gregation (and it was very crowded), listened with the 
utmost possible attention ; and instead of five candidates, 
twelve gave me their names in the vestry immediately 
after the sermon, and were all confirmed by mein Mr 
Garden’s chapel in the afternoon. With my sermon Mr 
Memyss professed to be delighted, and made a kind of 
extempore exhortation to his people, to profit by what 
they had heard, and to attend me in the afternoon. As 
many of them as Mr Garden’s chapel could hold in addi- 
tion to his own congregation did attend, Mr Memyss’s 
daughters being of the number ; but none of the Memysses 
were confirmed, because (as the youngest informed Mr 
Russell), her sisters were Presbyterians, as she meant to 
become at the death of her father ! 

“ We dined with Garden, and supped with the old man 
and his daughters ; but neither of the two brethren asked 
the other to come along with us. In the evening the old 
man expatiated, with much apparent sincerity, on the 


good that I had done that day ; said that I had probably 
preserved the Church in Stonehaven, &c. Before I left 
the town, I exhorted Garden to humour the Memysses, as 
far as truth and duty would permit, and to be less austere 
and distant to the members of Memyss’s congregation. 
This he promised faithfully, but probably performed it no 
more than another promise which he gave. 

“ After I had been six or eight weeks at home, wittiont 
hearing from Mr Memyss, I felt it my duty to write to 
them both, exhorting them to unite the two congregations 
in the large chapel, each receiving from the joint emolu- 
ments a sum equal to what, on an average of some years, 
he receives at present from his separate flock. Perfectly 
aware, however, that neither of them can endure the 
other ; that Garden is bent on bringing both congregations 
at Memyss’s death to his own chapel, which would not 
contain the half of them; and that Miss Memyss, who 
seems to be her father’s ordinary, dislikes Garden’s read- 
ing, which is indeed very bad—I proposed to admit a - 
young man, who has been urging me to ordain him 
these two years into Deacon’s orders, provided he could 
obtain in the meantime a school in Stonehaven to 
support him, and succeed to the chapel at Mr Memyss’s 
death. I even offered to procure for Memyss an annuity 
in the meantime. This alternative was proposed to 
the old man only in the last resource, should the two 
congregations refuse to coalesce into one; and I was 
at the utmost pains in the dictation of my letter to 
keep out of sight my Episcopal authority, and to offer 
my advice in the mere language of friendship, dictated by 
what he had so often said to me in his own house.” But 
nothing could be done. ‘That Garden would oppose both 
these plans IT was perfectly aware.” He “talked of build- 


ing a cross-aisle to his chapel to enable it to contain” both 
the congregations. “The congregation, however,” the 
Bishop adds, “which at present adheres to Memyss will 
be lost long before his death, if something be not done 
immediately ; and Garden’s manners, both in the pulpit 
and out of it, are so generally disliked, that I am con- 
fident he would obtain not above halfa-dozen of that con- 
gregation to his chapel, were Memyss to die to-morrow. 
But whatcanI do? . . . Yet there is a fine field for 
a young man of decent talents and manners in Stonehaven 
—a field, indeed, so fine that Mr Russell said he would, 
if he had not been already settled, have offered himself as 
assistant to Memyss, and undertaken to make the congre- 
gation in a few years the best in the diocese, after 
Arbroath; Dundee, and Brechin.”* 

A few years previously (1810), the Bishop, acting for 
Bishop Torry, had had experience in another town of a 
state of Church matters, varying somewhat from this, but 
equally characteristic of that trying transition period, and 
even more discouraging. The remedy proposed by the 
Bishop was the same. In Perth the qualified congrega- 
tion, after a good deal of negotiation, had as a body refused 
to “come in ;” while “the few faithful” Churchmen, pro- 
bably in prospect of union, had ceased to maintain a 
separate church. “Depending on a plan formed for 

* The result appears to have been that, on the death of Mr Memyss, a 
few years after this period (about 1818), the two congregations formed a 
more or less complete union under Mr Garden, who held the united 
charge of Stonehaven till 1835. Mr Garden, though not shining as a 
reader or preacher, probably possessed considerable counterbalancing 
claims to respect and attachment, There is a very respectful reference to 
him in the Brechin Minute Book on the occasion of his death; and some, 
at least, of his people confided greatly in him. One of them told the Rev. 
George Sutherland that her sister used, when troubles came upon her, ‘‘ to 
goto Mr Gairu’s grave and pour them all out to him.” The old lady 
“ seemed to think it a great privation that she (living at Banchory), could 
not go and do likewise.” (Letter to Writer from Rev. G. 8.) 


compelling the whole (qualified) congregation to do their 
duty,” the Bishop had “advised the good people to go 
quietly for some time to the chapel.” He had, however, 
at the time of writing (Jan. 14, 1810), more faith in a 
plan of Mr (afterwards Bishop) Low’s, “to get a young 
man of decent manners and respectable talents to open a 
chapel in Perth under” the Bishop’s authority. This 
would soon make the qualified people “ glad to do their 
duty.” “But, unluckily,” he adds, “what was Mr 
Walker’s (the late clergyman’s) chapel has fallen down, 
and I know not where the rent could, for some time, be 
found for another house sufficiently large.” “ Something,” | 
he continues, “‘must be done, and done soon, or the few 
faithful people will be for ever lost to us.” 

“The young man of decent manners and respectable 
talents ” was the great desideratum at Perth, as at Stone- 
haven.* A young man, untrammelled by inveterate pre- 
judices and embarrassing claims, could at once fall into the 
new order of things, and thus might speedily cement a 
union between the two parties. 

The clergy of the diocese of Brechin met at Brechin, 
August 3, 1814. The Bishop was not present, but the 
Dean read a letter of ten quarto pages from him on two 
subjects, both of great interest to the clergy and the 
diocese. The first was a fresh supply of books for the 
Diocesan Library, which the Bishop had obtained, by 
“exchanging the worst copies of such books as you have 
duplicates and triplicates of, for others of value which you 

* There was no congregation in Perth, subject to Bishop Torry’s 
jurisdiction, till 1846, when a mission was opened in Atholl Street, by the 
Rey. J. C. Chambers. The English Congregation, under the Rev. G. 
Wood, united with the native Church in January 1849. The Cathedral at 
Perth was consecrated in December 1850, being, “‘ with the single exception 
of St Paul’s,” the only Cathedral that had been consecrated in Great 
Britain since the Reformation, See Neale’s Torry, pp. 300-338.367. 


have not at all.” The Bishop had encountered much 
greater difficulty than he had anticipated in negotiating 
this exchange, for he says, “I find that no bookseller will 
exert himself on any occasion when his own interest is not 
at stake.” 

But now, the books being procured, how were they to 
be read? This was an important question, as there was 
not one of them that was not more or less unsound. They 
were books for readers that could “think for themselves.” 
The Bishop, therefore, explains in what manner, and for 
what purpose, such books should be “ read at all.” Then 
he points out the leading error in each of the principal 
works, and concludes by putting in an earnest caveat 
against too confiding and receptive reading. 

“ As T chose these books for you,” he says, “‘and some 
of them are deemed not orthodox, you will readily forgive 
me for explaining to you the way in which they may be 
read with advantage, as well as the view with which such 
books should be read at all. 

“J begin, then, with telling you that there is not one 
of the volumes which you will receive that does not con- 
tain something that is exceptionable, as well as much that 
is excellent ; but every one of them is calculated to compel 
the serious and attentive reader to think for himself; and 
it is such reading only as produces this effect that is really 
valuable. Clergymen who wish to improve their know- 
- ledge in divinity do not read one or two approved works 
with the view of committing their contents to memory, as 
a child commits to memory the contents of the Catechism. 
It is the business of those who are to be the teachers of 
others to prove all things, that they may hold fast that 
which they really know to be good; and not to adopt as 
good, arid without examination, the opinions of a mere 



man, however eminent either for natural talents or ac- 
quired knowledge ; for the Scriptures alone are entitled to 
implicit nopfidenoss a 

Of Warburton, he says—“‘ There are more paradoxes in 
Warburton’s Divine Legation than in any other individual 
work which it would be easy to name ; but there is like- 
wise much useful truth, and a greater variety of learning 
and ingenuity, displayed in that work than in any other, 
perhaps, with which I am acquainted. In his great 
principle that the law of Moses, considered by itself and 
unconnected with the gospel, holds out no prospect of a 
future life to its votaries, he is unquestionably right ; and, 
therefore, you find that the Sadducees were regular mem- 
bers of the Jewish Church in the days of our Saviour, and 
that occasionally they filled even the office of High Priest. 
But when he pushes this principle so far as to contend 
that none of the ancient Jews knew anything about a 
future state, he is as unquestionably wrong; for such of 
them as could pierce through the veil of the law to the 
reality of the gospel must have had the same notions of a 
future state that we have, though certainly not so clear 
nor so accurate. The number of those evangelized Jews, 
however, was certainly not so great as some of us suppose, 
though, I am persuaded, much greater than the Bishop 
imagined. Had he written his ninth book in the vigour 
of life before his astonishing talents began to decay, it 
would have been the most valuable of the whole ; even as . 
it is, if you throw away the childish hypothesis about the 
time necessary for the trees in the garden of Eden to 
grow, and some other superficial paradoxes, it is perhaps 
the best rationale that we have of the fall and redemption 
of man. 

As the Bishop first taught me to think for myself, 


unawed by the authority of great names, I have a regard 
for his memory, and attempted, J think successfully, to 
vindicate his notion of Justification from the cavils of 
Archdeacon Pott, in his remarks on the Bishop of 
Lincoln’s Refutation of Calvinism. My defence of War- 
burton’s theory is in the British Critic for April 1812.* 
: Warburton was a very inconsistent Churchman. 
His view of the Lord’s Supper, which was excellent, 
certainly implies the divine authority of the Christian 
priesthood ; and yet his sermons on Church Communion 
are suited only to the liberality of the present day. 
Taken altogether, he was undoubtedly a great man.” 

After stating his opinion of Paley’s works, especially his 
Moral Philosophy, and saying that he sends them “ Pear- 
gon’s remarks on it ” ‘‘as a kind of antidote ” to the latter 
work, he concludes—‘‘In a. word, the books you will 
receive you ought to read with attention, but, at the same 
time, with caution; for my wish is that you think for 
yourselves, and not swear by any sect, or the founder of 
any sect. We are all Christians, and one is our Master, 
even Christ. We ought all to be humble, and even difii- 
dent ; for not one of us is very learned, very acute, or of a 
judgment uncommonly sound. . . . . In human 
systems let us be ecclesiastics, and doymatists only in what 
we are certain was taught by the Apostles and their 
immediate successors.” 

The other subject on which the Bishop wrote was that 
of the Royal Bounty, or Regium Donum,t a sum of 
£1200, which had been recently obtained from Govern- 

* British Oritic, First Series, vol. xxxix., p. 393—Review of “ Remarks 
on two Particulars ina Refutation of Calvinism, &c., by a Friend to the 
Principles of that Work.’ The review occupies 16 pages of the Critic, and 
the latter half is entirely devoted to a defence of Warburton’s Theory. 

+ See Bishop Jolly, p, 81. 


ment for the Bishops and Presbyters—£600 for each 
order. “I wrote myself the petition which procured it,” 
says the Bishop. He had aiso suggested a plan for the 
distribution of it ; and he says, “ My plan, if it be carried 
into effect, will convince you that I have not been biassed 
‘by favouritism, the rock on which Bishops are too apt to 
split.” He had for this time recommended for the, grant 
all the clergy of his diocese, whose circumstances entitled 
them to it, whether they were faithful and deserving or 
not; but he would not do soa second time. He had “kept 
his own secrets this time, it would be criminal to keep 
such secrets again.” The delinquencies must in future 
“be faithfnlly reported to the stewards of this bounty.” 

These threats were directed against two unnamed 
offenders, who, he feared, could not, or would not be 
present to profit by them. “One of those to whom I 
allude cannot be present, and it is doubtful whether the 
other will chuse to be.” 

Bishop Gleig’s policy was now decidedly in the as- 
cendant, and the time was at hand when he himself was 
to be called to occupy the highest place in the Church. 
The venerable Primus, Bishop John Skinner, was eut off 
suddenly, July 18, 1816. Notwithstanding his advanced 
age (72), his death was an undoubted loss to the Church.* 
Age had but slightly abated his energy, whilst it had 
greatly enlarged his tolerance. His sympathies had 
widened with the widening of the Church under his own 
hand. This was made manifest at the Synod of 1811. 
The men from the South found him a different man from 
what they expected—by no means unconciliatory, but 
to agree with the Writer in thing that the death of Bishop Stinnex was 

a greater loss and misfortune to Bishop Gleig than t i 
apres 2 = Oo any other man in 


quite ready to yield what “he might have retained with- 
out reproach,” ‘for the sake of peace and union,” and 
* general conciliation,”* 

The late Primus had found the Church shackled, and 
he left it free. It was still, however, very far from being 
completely united and homogeneous. Matters were still 
in a transitional state. The removal of such a man 
was therefore a trial of the Church’s stability and 
cohesion. Two important offices had to be filled—the 
Primusship and the bishopric of Aberdeen. The first was 
filled very quickly and very quietly, and apparently with 
the general concurrence of both North and South. Bishop 
Gleig was appointed Primus at an Episcopal Synod held 
at Aberdeen, August 20, 1816. The election appears to 
have been unanimous. Bishop Sandford had aspired to 
the office; but it is not said that he, or any one else but 
Bishop Gleig, was proposed for it. There were other good 
men in the College ; but not one of them had the com- 
bination of high qualities the learning, the abiity, the 
energy, the zeal, and the business capacity which are 
always desirable in a first Bishop. Bishop Gleig had 
them all, and a name to adorn the office. “The distine- 
tion,” says Lawson, ‘“ was justly conferred on one of the 
most distinguished theologians and metaphysicians of the 
day, whose high reputation shed a lustre on the Church, 
ke.” (History, p. 381.) 

The appointment to the diocese of Aberdeen was not 
settled in so quiet and satisfactory manner. There was, 
indeed, no difficulty with the diocese itself, which made 
its election quietly and regularly, and almost unanimously, 
the majority being twelve to two. The Bishop-elect was 
the Rey. William Skinner, son of the late Bishop. The 

* Annals of Scottish Hpiscopacy, p. 485. 


difficulty arose as to the confirmation of the election by 
the Episcopal College. Unfortunately for himself, the 
Primus, notwithstanding his own bitter experience of the 
evils of undue interference with the free choice of a 
diocese, showed a disposition to continue the mistaken 
practice. Whatever the Canons in their vagueness might 
permit, the day was past for such things. It must be 
said, however, in justice to the Primus, that his action on 
this occasion never went beyond influence and persuasion, 
It has, undoubtedly, been much misunderstood. Probably 
the impression left by the history of the Aberdeen election 
of 1816, as usually related, is, that the Primus stood alone 
in his opposition to the promotion of Mr William Skinner, 
and that the only ground of his opposition was an Apostoli- 
cal Canon (to which he made some reference) forbidding a 
~ gon to succeed his father in the Episcopate. In reality, 
the case, as regards both the election and the confirmation 
of the election, stood thus,, 

I, With the exception perhaps of Bishop Macfarlane, 
probably all the Bishops were, for one reason or another, 
unfavourable to the election of Mr William Skinner for 

The Southern Bishops, backed by all the leading 
Southern clergy, opposed it for these reasons :— 

1. The North had already its own share of Bishops— 
Aberdeen diocese had still two; and, in justice to the 
South, the new Bishop, it was thought, should be taken 
from the South, where there were, at the time, two or 
three able, learned, and zealous priests admirably fitted 
for the Episcopal office. 

2. The Skinner family were still generally somewhat 
unpopular in the South ; it being thought that they were 
too much wedded to the Northern tradition to work har- 


moniously with the South, and carry on the work of 

It was chiefly, if not entirely, by the first of these 
reasons that the Primus was influenced. He was exceed- 
ingly anxious to have one or other of his two friends, Mr 
Walker, Edinburgh, or Mr Low, Pittenweem, raised to 
the Episcopate. For this reason, he used all his influence 
to have Bishop Torry chosen for Aberdeen ; and when 
that Prelate’s election seemed improbable, he then worked 
for Mr Walker, Edinburgh, who, he suggested, might be 
Bishop of Aberdeen, and co-adjutor Bishop of Edinburgh. 

Had Bishop Torry become Bishop of Aberdeen, Dun- 
keld would have become vacant ; and either Mr Walker 
or Mr Low would, it was confidently expected, be elected 
to it. But to provide against the possibility of an 
election altogether unacceptable to the South, steps 
were taken by the Southern Bishops to provide a trust- 
worthy sub-diocese.* The district of Fife was to be 
disjoined from Edinburgh, and Mr Low, it was believed, 
“would certainly be elected” to it. Had Mr Low 
been consecrated to Fife, the number of the College 
would have been complete, “as by the regulations of the 
Episcopal Fund, the College was restricted to the number 
six.” Dunkeld would then have been united to Fife, as 
Fife has since been united to Dunkeld. And “ the pres- 
byters of Aberdeen,” if they had not already done so, 
would have been “ under the necessity of electing either 

* * Bishop Sandford, hoping, as we all hoped, that you would be chosen 
Bishop of Aberdeen, resigned, by a formal deed, addressed outwardly to 
me, but inwardly to us all equally, the district of Fife . . . earnestly 
recommending Mr Low to succeed him,” &c,—Primus Gleig to Bishop 
Torry, Sept. 18, 1816. The same project was revived, at the next vacancy, 
three years afterwards. It was not carried out on this occasion, because 
no opening was made for it. Aberdeen did not elect Bishop Torry, and so 
Dunkeld did not become vacant ; neither did the Bishops, as a body, decide 
to nullify the election of Mr William Skinner for Aberdeen, Had either of 
these events taken place, a mandate might have been issued to Fife, and, 
in that case, either Dunkeld or Aberdeen would, for the time, have been 
deprived of its choice of a Bishop, , 


you (Bishop Torry) or Bishop Jolly, or of contenting 
themselves without a proper diocesan, you two as Prowimt 
performing Episcopal offices among them.” 

II. Thus matters stood till the result of the election was 
known. Then came the question of confirmation. Of the 
five Bishops, Bishop Macfarlane, it was quickly known, 
was decidedly in favour of confirmation; and Bishop Sand- 
ford decidedly against it. The two Aberdeenshire Bishops 
had not spoken.* The Primus himself, though it was plain 
that he was exceedingly averse to confirm, yet manifestly 
felt that it would, in the circumstances, be altogether 
unjustifiable to reject. He therefore stood uncommitted 
to absolute rejection ; but he had unfortunately, and, as 
he afterwards confessed, very wrongly, “ promised to 
Bishop Sandford that, if any two of the College be against 
him, he cannot and shall not be consecrated.” He had 
made the same promise to Messrs (afterwards Bishops) 
Low and Walker, who had, he said, sent him a message 
by Mr (afterwards Bishop) Russell, threatening him with 
the loss of their friendship, should he consent to consecrate 
Mr Skinner. 

The confirmation now depended on Bishops Jolly and 
Torry ; and certainly the Primus did nothing to influence 
either of these Prelates against it, but the reverse. When 
he heard from the Rev. Mr Annand, Aberdeen, that Mr 
Skinner was likely to be elected, he wrote a letter to 
Bishop Torry,t which, he said, might also be shown to 
Bishop Jolly, in which he said—“ Everything that I have 
seen or heard of Mx William Skinner induces me to 

* That is, they had expressed no opinion as to the duty of officially 
confirming the election, now that it was regularly made. This was a 
different question altogether from that of approving, as individuals, the 
making of the election. (See letter of Primus’s, p. 300.) 

+ Sept. 3, 1816.—Torry Collection. 


believe him to be an excellent young man, worthy of the 
degree to which he probably aspires ; and were he elected, 
I know not how we could refuse him.” After the elec- 
tion, he wrote a very long letter to Bishop, Torry,* 
which he was to “take a ride to Fraserburgh, and show 
to Good Bishop Jolly.” In this letter the Primus goes 
into all the pros and cons of confirmation, and the only 
impression it can have left on his venerable correspon- 
dents’ minds was, to use his own words, “ I know not how 
we can refuse him.” The only reason for “ refusing” was 
this. ‘If we sustain it (the election), we shall probably 
lose for ever the services of two men as Bishops who, in 
my opinion, are decidedly the fittest for the office of any 
two the Church.” 

Something might, in those days, have been made of this 
reason on the elastic plea to which the Primus refers, that 
in a conflict of interests, the individual must always yield to 
the Church ; but the Primus makes no attempt to do so. 
On the contrary, he makes it perfectly clear that to act on 
such a plea would be to inflict a great and certain injury 
on Mr Skinner, in order to compass a doubtful benefit for 
the Church. 

On the two questions of the regularity of the election 
and the Canonical unobjectionableness of the Bishop-elect 
—the only two questions with which in reality the Bishops 
had anything whatever to do—his views were equally clear 
and favourable. Against the regularity of the election he 
had not one word to say; and as to the Bishop-elect he 
was not only, unobjectionable, but good. He was “a 
gentle-tempered, unambitious young man, of moderate 
learning, &e.” Finally, he comes to the most just and 
satisfactory conclusion—‘ To Bishop Jolly and you he 

* Sept. 18, 1816.—Ibid, 


(Mr William Skinner), must be known thoroughly, and 
by your joint testimony I shall certainly be guided.” 
What that joint testimony was likely to be he could have 
had but little doubt; and when it came, he acted on it 
faithfully and promptly. On October 15th he wrote 
Bishop Torry—* TI received your excellent letter in course 
of post, and two days afterwards another of the same de- 
scription from Bishop Jolly. It is a pleasure to corres- 
pond with such men, men who can be firm without vio- 
lence, and who prefer public justice to private prejudices. 
T regret, as you both do, the issue of the Aberdeen 
election ; but I agree with you likewise that, all cireum- 
stances considered, it is our duty to confirm it; and 
Bishop Sandford being now decidedly—z.e., in two letters 
—of the same opinion, I propose that the consecration 
should take place either on Sunday the 27th instant, or 
on Wednesday the 30th.” It took place on the 27th— 
and thus this much vexed and once threatening affair was 
happily settled. 

But it left its evil effects. It gave rise to a temporary 
coolness between the Primus and his two intimate friends, 
Messrs Walker and Low; and to not a little misunder- 
standing and misrepresentation of the Primus’s conduct 
in the matter. In order to set himself right in the eyes 
of the leading men in the Church at least, the Primus 
drew up a narrative of his whole action in the matter of 
the election, with corroborative letters and copies of 
letters. He transmitted the document to Bishops Torry ~ 
and Jolly; but Bishop Jolly, who was ever busy pouring 
oil on the troubled waters, thought it advisable to dis- 
suade the further circulation of it at that time. 

The Primus endeavoured to turn the lesson of the elec- 
tion to account in the best way, by endeavouring to obtain 


more distinct and definite rules and regulations for the 
conduct of elections. At the close of the letter fixing the 
day of consecration, he says to Bishop Torry—“ I have 
another obligation to propose, and likewise an alteration 
in the mode of conducting the election of Bishops, which, 
if approved by my colleagues, will, without encroaching 
on the rights of the Presbyters, go a great way to prevent 
such discussions for the future,” &c. 

What the alteration was does not appear, nor how far 
it was or could be adopted by the Bishops without the 
consent of the General Synod. The great alteration that 
was wanted was one to define clearly and distinctly the 
functions of the Episcopal College in the matter of an 
election. It was vain, however, as yet to expect any 
alteration of that sort. 

The same year, 1816, the Primus had a good deal of 
trouble about the use of the Scotch Communion Office in 
Brechin. In order to preserve peace and harmony, he 
himself wished to authorise the clergyman, Mr Moir, to 
use the English Office ; but the Canon required that he 
should first have the consent of the majority of his col- 
leagues. This he could not obtain—the four Northern 
Bishops opposing. The matter was settled in a very 
friendly way by the Bishops. 

CHAPTER VIII.—1817-19. 

Publishes a new edition of ‘Stackhouse’s History of the Bible—His 
contributions to the Work—Analysis of the Dissertation on 
Original Sin—Notice of his other chief dissertations— Recep- 
tion of the Work in England, and in Scotland—Bishop Howley 
—Bishops Jolly and Torry—Death of his eldest son—His 
younger son conupletes his studies at Oxford, and takes orders 
—Troubles with the office and the title of Primus—Mr John 
Skinner publishes his Annals—Desires “ imprimatur”? for the 
Book from Bishops—Mr Bowdler. 

In the year 1817 Primus Gleig completed another great 
literary undertaking, akin to that of editing the Lncy- 
clopecdia Britannica—the issue of a new edition of Stack- 
house's History of the Bible. It is needless to say that 
this was a work of great labour and research. Many 
years had elapsed since the body of the history was com- 
piled, and much had to be done to bring the work up to 
the standard of the altered times.* Great progress had, 
in the interval, been made, not only in Biblical criticism, 
but in all the sciences that bear on the history and inter- 
pretation of the Bible. Of course, the progress in the 
same sciences since the date of the Bishop’s edition has 
been incomparably greater still ; such sciences as that of 
language and geology, for example, having been entirely 
revolutionised. This is a fact that must be carefully borne 
in mind in estimating the value of the Bishop’s editorial 
labours. The best explanations of his day must now give 
place to better, 

eee ees: of Stackhouse’s History was published in 1732, 
e last edition before that of Dr Gleig was issued, it appears in 176 
Stackhouse himself died in 1752, ; vs a” 


But yet, not a little of the Bishop’s part in the work, 
such as his dissertations on doctrinal matters, remains 
unaffected by the lapse of time ; the authorities being 
much the same now as then. This will be seen from the 
following brief account of the principal dissertations which 
he contributed to the work. Of these dissertations, that 
on Original Sin is the most characteristic, the most 
original and striking ; and it deserves a careful perusal, if 
only for the learning and acuteness which it abundantly 

Original Sin, the Bishop makes out to be, in reality, no 
sin at all, but rather misfortune—the loss of God’s favour 
and help, and the forfeiture of immortality. 

Man was “not naturally immortal ;” but a promise of 
immortality was implied in the threat, “ In the day thou 
eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”* The death here 
threatened was “the death of the whole man—of the soul 
as well as of the body.” This complete dissolution was 
Adam’s punishment. His posterity inherit his mortality ; 
but they do not inherit his guilt.or his depravity. 

“The transmission of real guilt from father to son . . 
appears to be utterly impossible.” No man can be guilty 
of a thing that was done before he was born. And to say 
that guilt is not conveyed but imputed, so “ far from 
lessening the difficulty, aggravates it greatly.” “ Guilt 
cannot be imputed to an innocent person, but through 
ignorance or malice ; from ignorance and malice, the 
wisest of all beings is perfectly free.” 

The Bishop then examines, one after another, all the 
texts of Scripture which are usually adduced in support of 

* These words, “Dying, thou shalt die,’ occur at least twenty-nine 
times in the books of Moses ; but “no man will contend that the words 

imply anything more in twenty-seven of these verses than that death to 
which man and the inferior animals are equally liable, &c.” 



the doctrine of transmitted or imputed guilt, and main- — 
tains that all of them that really apply to the subject, 
admit of a figurative interpretation.* He follows the 
same course with the proofs of transmitted depravity, and 
arrives at the same conclusion. The passages were all 
more or less figurative, and the corruption referred to was _ 
“not derived, but self-produced.”t 

He concludes, therefore, that Original Sin means no 
“more than the loss of immortal Tife—of the grace of the 
Spirit—and the teaching of God; and that this conclu- 
sion, whilst it involves in it nothing contrary to our 
original notions of right and wrong, shall be shown after- 
wards to lay a more solid foundation for the Christian 
doctrine of Universal Redemption, and for the necessity 
of Divine Grace, so resolutely denied by the ancient 
Pelagians and modern Unitarians than the doctrine either 
of imputed sin or of inherited depravity.” (Vol. I. p. 103.) 

The dissertation here referred to, in which the Bishop 
claimed to prove thus the harmony of “the effects of the 
atonement ” with “the consequences of the fall” as here 
explained by him, is that “on some of the principal doc- 
trines of the Christian religion.” (Vol. IIT. pp. 360-90). 
That dissertation ought, in order to do justice to the 
Bishop’s system of doctrine, to be read in connection with 
this one on Original Sin. 

The Atonement, he argues there, restored to man all 
and more than all that he had lost at the Fall. First and 
chiefly it restored “the free gift of immortal life,” and 

* Romans v. apaptia is “often employed to denote suffering for sin, 
and not the guilt of it.” Ephesians ii. 3—Does not ‘‘ make so much as an 
allusion to the sin of Adam.” Psalm li. 5—‘‘ From his earliest years of 
discretion the author had been a great sinner,” 

+ Gen. vi. 5, 11, 12; Psalm lviii. 3; Isaiah xlviii. 8—(against these two 
latter passages the Bishop sets Job xxxi, 18; Eecles vii. 29), 


placed it “on a surer tenure,” it being held now, not “on 
the precarious tenure of any mere man’s obedience to any 
law, whether positive or moral, but as ‘ the gift of God,’ 
once for all bestowed on the human race, &e.”—(ITI. 367.) 
—a gift, not to a part of mankind, but to the whole, 
“ For asin Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be 
made alive.” 

Tt further restored to man the “graces of the Holy 
Spirit,” and “the teaching of God,” necessary to fit him 
for Heaven. “If by the commission of wilful sin we fall 
from that state of Salvation into which we were admitted 
at our baptism, we may be restored to it—by repentance 
and faith, which we are not sure that under the first 
covenant we could have been.” (IIT. 389.) 

And grace is given to help in every time of need. To 
support the life of the soul in us, we may, as in Paradise, 
eat of the tree of life; we may, through the prayer of 
faith, draw constant supplies of grace from the appointed 
fountain. It is plain from all he says that grace was as 
necessary to Bishop Gleig’s system as to any system. 
For he admitted that, however he may have been born, 
“every man naturally engendered of the offspring of 
Adam is very far gone—even before he arrives at the 
years of discretion—from original righteousness.” The 
Bishop differed, in fact, very little from any of his 
brethren as to the state in which the gospel and the 
Church find man.. He would not admit original guilt or 
original depravity, but he freely admitted original “weak- 
ness,” original helplessness, and liability to death. Man, 
as he is, could do nothing ‘“ of himself.” 

Tn addition to these two important dissertations, the 
three volumes contained about twenty others of consider- 
able length, besides foot notes and corrective interpolations 


in the text. Of these papers, the most important were 
the following :— 

1. On the sacred chronology, profane history, the learn- 
ing, religion, idolatry, and monumental writing, chiefly of 
the Egyptians, from the migration of Joseph to the 
Exodus (I., 489-500). 

This dissertation displays great learning, research, and 
acuteness, and, for the age, is a very creditable essay. It 
touches on the origin of written language—‘“ the Bishop 
leaning to the idea of an original language* falling into 
disuse with the dispersion from the primitive settlement, 
and gradually supplanted, through picture-writing and 
hieroglyphics, by a multitude of distinct languages.” 

2. On the conduct and character of Balaam (I., 606-20). 
Contrary to most modern commentators, but in agreement 
with several distinguished ancient ones, the Bishop main- 
tains that “ Balaam was an idolater, who had never been 
a conscientious worshipper, far less a true prophet, of the 
true God.” He shows, also, how naturally the Jews fell 
into idolatry—the worship of their neighbours being only 
a debased worship of Jehovah—and they easily persuading 
themselves that there was little harm in mixing up the 
false with the true—the worship of Baal with the worship 
of El. 

3. On the duration of the Jewish Theocracy (Vol. IL, 
158-161). ‘ An excellent argument.” 

4. Introduction to Vol. IIL., p. i-xxviii. A very able 
defence of the ways of Providence in gradually preparing 
the world for the coming of Christ—merging into a 
defence of the authenticity and trustworthiness of the 
New Testament history. 

* The impossibility of a common origin of language has never been 
proved.’’—Max Miiller’s Science of Language, p. 326, © 


5. A long and able essay on the origin of the first three 
gospels (III., p. 84-113). The writer maintains that all 
the three were written independently of each other. 

6. An able and argumentative essay on our Lord’s 
miracles, dealing chiefly with some new objections to 
miracles raised in a recent review of Laplace in the Hdin- 
burgh Review. (IIT. 240-254.) 

7. An account of the constitution and discipline of the 
Primitive Church, forming an able vindication of Episco- 
pacy. (ILI. 500-507.) 

On the whole it appears that the Bishop’s editorial 
labours were well appreciated ; though, as was to be ex- 
pected, his views on the subject of Original Sin were sub- 
jected to a keen canvass. “The book,” says the Ex- 
Chaplain-General,* ‘“ made a considerable sensation in 
England. In those days, Orthodoxy was very rigid. 
Any theologian who ventured to think for himself, especi- 
ally on the subject of Original Sin and the consequences 
of the Fall, was denounced as a heretic; and from this 
censure the Bishop did not escape. A number of un- 
known writers assailed him, of whom he did not think it 
worth while to take notice. But Dr Howley, afterwards 
Archbishop of Canterbury, and then Bishop of London, 
objected to my father’s views in private correspondence, 
and was besought to publish his criticism, in order that 
out of an amicable controversy truth might be elicited, 
This he declined to do; and my father was thus prevented 
from rebutting, as he desired to do, the charges brought 
against him.” 

With the exception of Bishop Skinner, none of the 
Primus’s Episcopal colleagues seemed to regard his views 
on Original Sin as of much practical significance. 

* Letter to the writer of this memoir, Nov, 80, 1876, 


Two years after this time, the Primus repeated his 
exposition of them in a charge, and Bishop Jolly read the 
charge without “having perceived in it anything ob- 
noxious,” but rather “ the contrary.”* 

What Bishop Torry thought of the views, we learn 
from hig son. “I remember,” says Dean Torry, ‘“ when 
Bishop Gleig published his edition of Stackhouse, he pre- 
sented a copy of it to Bishop Jolly and my father, between 
them, and Bishop Jolly kept it. I was then my father’s 
curate, and he employed me to copy the dissertation on 
Original Sin, before he sent the book to Fraserburgh. I 
remember saying to him at the time, ‘ Do you think the 
Bishop sound on this point?” To which he answered, 
“He is sound enough, but he has his own way of explain- 
ing it.” T 

This year the Primus suffered a great bereavement in 
the loss of the elder of his two sons, Lieutenant Alexander 
Gleig, who died in the camp in Dermeer, India, Sept. 3rd, 
1817. Mr Gleig appears to have been a very amiable and - 
promising youth. The Primus says of him, “ From the 
elder I never received cause for a day’s serious uneasiness 
till I heard of his death.” (Letter to Bishop Torry, 
March 4, 1819). 

The Primus had much comfort, however, from this time 
in his younger son, George Robert,{ who had now left the - 

* See Memoir of Bishop Jolly, chap. vii. p. 97. 
+ Neale’s Torry, pp. 22-23. 

$ George Robert Gleig ‘‘ was born at Stirling, 20th April 1796. From 
the University of Glasgow he proceeded, when scarcely fifteen, in 1811, on 
the Snell Foundation to Balliol College, Oxford, In 1812, his desire to 
join the Duke of Wellington’s army in the Peninsula overmastered his 
taste for the classics, and being appointed to an Ensigncy in the 85th 
Regiment, he took part in its late campaigns. He afterwards served in 
America, and was present at the capture of Washington in the action near 
Baltimore, and throughout the operations before New Orleans. In the 
course of these services he was wounded several times. Returning home, 
he completed his studies at Oxford, and was nominated by the Archbishop 


army, and returned to Oxford to complete his terms. 
“The talents of the younger,” he says in the same letter, 
“were always very superior to those of the elder.” He 
appears all along to have fully understood and appreciated 
the gifts and capacity of his second son, and to have 
grieved greatly when for a time he exchanged the pen for 
the sword. He now took a lively interest in his pro- 
fessional labours and pursuits, and rejoiced with true 
paternal delight in his literary fertility and success. He 
also derived much gratification from an occasional visit 
which he paid to his son in England, and still more, from 
the frequent visits which his son paid to him in Scotland, 
the latter being, when possible, so timed as to fall in with 
the father’s visitation of his diocese, when youthful vigour 
and activity were very serviceable in the smoothing of the 

daily difficulties of locomotion. 
Hitherto the Primus had, as he wrote to Bishop Torry, 


of Canterbury to the perpetual Curacy of Ash, in Kent, and to the Rectory 
of Ivy Church, in the same county. It was during the early years of this 
charge that he wrote his ‘Subaltern,’ in point of time, as of merit, one 
of the first of those military novels, which have since become so popular, 
The ‘ Subaltern’ described, from the author’s own experience, the closing 
Scenes of the Peninsular War. It had been preceded by a narrative of the 
Campaign in America; and its success first brought the earlier work into 
notice. Both works were distinguished, not only by literary skill and 
vivacity, but by a literal accuracy, which gives them a high value in the 
eyes of the professed historian. Onward from the appearance of the 
*Subaltern’ and its signal success, Mr Gleig combined with the discharge of 
his clerical duties an assiduous cultivation of authorship. He has con- 
tributed extensively to fiction, history, biography, periodical criticism, and 
has published more than one volume of sermons, as wellasa history of 
the Bible.’’—Imnperial' Dictionary of Biography. The titles of some of Mr 
Gleig’s works may be added—‘‘ Chelsea Pensioner,’ ‘‘The Country 
Curate,” “The Chronicles of Waltham,” “Allan Breck.’’ Then in 
history—‘ A history of the British Empire in India,” “ Military history of 
Great Britain,” Campaign of New Orleans, “‘ Story of the Battle of Water- 
loo,”’ *‘ Leipsic Campaign,” ‘‘Sale’s Brigade in Affghanistan,” &c., &c., &e. 
Mr Gleig was appointed Chaplain of Chelsea Hospital in 1834 ; Chaplain- 
General of its Forces in 1844; and Inspector-General of Military Hospitals 
in 1846. The two latter important appointments he held with great credit 
for about thirty years. He now lives in well-earned retirement at: Deane 
House, Micheldever, Hants. 



found his “Primacy a source of so much vexation to him, 
that he had a strong desire to resign it.” As to the 
vexation which the office had caused him during his first 
three years’ tenure of it, it was undoubtedly great. It 
would have probably been very small, had he only dis- 
cerned the signs of the changing times, and rigorously 
avoided and discouraged all interference with the free 
choice of.a Bishop by the electors of a diocese. He 
would, in that case, have been spared a deal of worse 
than fruitless trouble and annoyance, and some painful 
disagreements and estrangements. 

But not only the office, but also the title of Primus 
gave him trouble. He thought Primus did not com- 
bine well with Bishop in a signature, and was unintel- 
ligible to an Englishman. He, therefore, cast about for 
an equivalent for the title, taking care to avoid any 
variation which could be mistaken for Primate, knowing 
well that his colleagues were strongly opposed to the 
restoration of the office of Primate, and would look with 
suspicion on the revival even of the title. But while he 
himself was careful on this point, some newspaper writers, 
ignorant or regardless of the precise significance of titles, 
boldly “dubbed him Primate.” They were followed by 
Longman, the publisher of his edition of Stackhouse, who, 
at least, was not ignorant nor regardless of the greater 
commercial value of the higher title. Stackhouse came 
out as edited by “The Primate of the Hpiscopal Church 
of Scotland.” The effect of this misnomer was to excite 
unfounded suspicions in the mind both of the Primus and 
that of, at least, one of his colleagues. Bishop Skinner 
wrote to Bishop Torry (Nov. 1816)—‘ After what was 
said at Stirling about the title of Primate, it was with 
no little surprise, and, I confess, grief, that I see he 


still advertises his edition of Stackhouse with the ap- 
pendage of Primate of the Episcopal Church of Scotland, 
in addition to his other titles. . . . . . Were 
personal vanity only concerned, he might be allowed 
to gratify it; but I confess to you I have my fears of 
something farther lurking under the assumption of the 

The Primus’s own feeling in the matter was, “An 
enemy hath done this!” Writing to Bishop Torry, Dee. 
7, 1816, he says, “ When I found myself dubbed Primate, 
first in an English paper and then in a Scotch one, 1 
immediately attributed this piece of foolish flattery to one 
or other of the two s. . . Whoever acted that foolish 
part was no friend, or, at least, no judicious friend, to me 
or the Church, . . . As my son passed through 
London to Oxford, he called at the shop of Longman & 
Co., and found me styled Primate of the Episcopal Church 
in Scotland on the cover of the first part of my edition of 
Stackhouse’s History ; and of this he gave me instant infor- 
mation, exulting in it, with all the vanity not unnatural 
in one so young. I lost not a moment, but wrote by the 
return of the post to Longman & Co. to cancel that title, 
and design me as I had been designed in the prospectus 
of the work, one of the Bishops of the Episcopal Church in 
Scotland ; and, to make sure of the matter, I wrote by 
the same post to Mr Bowdler to call on Longman & Co., 
and explain the reason of my order more fully than I 
could do to them in a letter. I had immediate answers 
from both assuring [me] that my order should be obeyed ; 
and Longman, who wrote that he took the title of Primate 
from a newspaper, regretted that a few of the numbers of 
the book were in circulation, though he said only a few, 
before the receipt of my letter,” 

K 2 


About two months after this, the Bishop had to sign, 
apparently for the first time, as Primus, a public docu- 
ment, viz., an address presented by the College of Bishops 
to the Prince Regent on his escape from assassination. 
How to designate himself on this formal occasion was a 
difficulty on which he bestowed not a little attention, 
and which, after all, he got over but indifferently well. 
Writing to Bishop Torry about the address (Feb. 14, 
1817), he says, “You will observe that I have called 
myself Primary Bishop; and my reason was that an 
Englishman cannot be made to understand the meaning 
of Bishop and Primus. Had I called myself Primus 
alone, it would have been read Primas, translated Primate, 
and all the obloquy brought on me by the false or inju- 
dicious friend in the newspaper revived. Bishop Sand- 
ford advised me to write, as Bishop Skinner wrote on 
such occasions. Senior Bishop, and this was my own 
intention, till I recollected that, as in one sense, that 
phrase would have expressed what is not literally true ; 
my two quondam friends would, in their present humour, 
have charged me with palpable falsehood. The word 
Primary is a literal translation, and the most modest 
translation that can be given of the word Primus ; and 
therefore I hope, but am far from being confident, that I 
shall escape obloquy on this occasion.”* 

On the next occasion of an address to Royalty, the 
Primus signed himself Premier Lishop ; which seems a 
decided improvement on Primary, though, as may be 
supposed, it was by no means more acceptable to his 
colleagues. Premier, however, lent itself readily to a gentle 

* The letter from which the above is extracted is printed in Neale’s 
Torry (p. 94-5) ; but the word Primary is there misprinted, first Primus 
and and then Primate, thus making utter nonsense of the whole passage. 


Joke or touch of humour, and thus helped to give a good- 
natured turn to the question.* 

The year 1818 was comparatively uneventful in the 
Church. Mr Skinner of Forfar published his Annals of 
Scottish Episcopacy during his late father’s administration. 
Before publication, Mr Skinner had addressed a circular 
to the Bishops, requesting them to grant their imprimatur 
to his book. 

On this subject the Primus had written to Bishop 
Torry (August 15, 1817), “ You remember Mr Skinner’s 
circular, which you undoubtedly received, proposing that 
we, as Bishops of the Scotch Church, should grant our 
umprimatur to bis life of his father! With the greatest 
possible respect for the memory of the late Primus, this 
is a proposal to which I never can agree; but I offered, 
long before the appearance of that circular, to read his 

manuscript, make what observations on it might appear 
proper, and give my candid opinion of the work as a 
private friend ; and this I am extremely ready to do still, 
either in his presence, or, what would be much better, 
studying the MS. at leisure in my own study.” 

* The office of Primate being merely au ecclesiastical appointment, the 
establishment, or the restoration, of it is a question of expediency, to be 
determined in each case by the circumstances. In Scotland the cirvum- 
stances are somewhat peculiar. Consider :— 

1. The history of the office in the country. It was only established a 
short time before the Reformation (1472), and then restored for a time 
under the Stuarts (1610). Thus, it was associated in the minds of the 
people with stormy and divided times, and arbitrary and persecuting rule. 

2. The greatly reduced condition of the Church as to numbers, 
embracing, as it did and does, only about 2 or 23 per cent. of the native 

3. The ingrained habits and ideas of the people in the matter of 
government; accustoming them to strict law and constitutionalism in 
everything, and indisposing them to submit to paternal and personal 
direction and suasion, 

4, The titles and titular appendages which have become associated 
with the primatial dignity. These have rather a repellent effect on the 
native taste in such matters.—See Ross’s Life of Bishop Ewing, p. 492. 

It might be possible, by rigid Canonical restriction of the powers of 
the Primate, to remove, to a great extent, the objections to the office; but, 
in that case, the objections to the title would probably be strengthened, 


The Primus says that, in writing to Mr Bowdler of 
Eltham,* he had mentioned this request of Mr Skinner's, 
“ stating,” he adds, “my reasons for not sanctioning the 
work of any man in my public capacity as a Bishop ”; and 
that Mr Bowdler had agreed with him, thinking the 
request “inadmissible,” and, “ considering Mr Skinner’s 
talents,” wondering “that he should have made it.” 

* John Bowdler was one of a small knot of pious English laymen, 
ineluding William Stevens, John Richardson, and James Allan Park, who, 
co-operating with about an equal number of zealous clergymen—Bishops 
Horsley and Horne, Dr Gaskin, and Messrs Boucher, and Jones of Nay- 
land—helped greatly the little Scotch Church at a time when it stood 
sorely in need of help. Mr Bowdler, and his son after him, the Rev. 
Thomas Bowdler, gave liberally of his means to aid the more necessitous 
of the Scotch Clergy. Mr John Bowdler died in 1823, anda memoir of 
him was published in 1824. See Park’s Life of Stevens for many interesting 
particulars of this band of excellent and zealous workers ; most of whom 
(including apparently the whole Bowdler family) had a decided literary, 
as well ag a theological turn, 

CHAPTER I[X.—1819-22. 

Death of Bishop Macfarlane—Trustees of Episcopal Fund, &c., 
wish Mr Low to succeed him—Hesitation as to which Diocese, 
Fife or Ross, should elect—Mandate issued to Ross—Mr Low 
elected—Bishop Skinner protests against election—Primus 
publishes a charge—Bishop Skinner criticises it—Bishop Jolly 
defends it—Primus urges the Convocation of a General Synod 
—Bishop Skinner seconds—Bishop Low opposes him—Bishop 
Jolly “‘inflemible’’—Visit of George IV. to Scotland—EHuwcite- 
ment of Bishops. 

Next year (1819) there was another Episcopal election, 
which illustrated even more strikingly than the Aberdeen 
election, the way in which such matters were managed in 
those days. Bishop Macfarlane, of Ross and Argyle, died 
at Inverness, July 26th. In former times, as an ardent 
Hutchinsonian, Bishop Macfarlane jad occasionally, in 
his private letters, inveighed in unmeasured terms against 
Dr Gleig, who, in the Lneyclopedia Britannica and other 
works, had borne rather hard upon “ the Scotch Hutchin- 
sonians.”* But after Dr Gleig was raised to the Kpisco- 
pate, the adverse feeling seemed to subside altogether, 
probably because the parties came mutually to know and 
respect each other. 

*** The intolerance of the Scottish Hutchinsonians is the greatest ob- 
jection that Lhave tothem. They might, undisturbed by me, amuse them- 
selves with their imaginary ethereal agents and their fanciful etymologies, 
if they would only permit me to say and think that the will of God is 
sufficient to account for all the phenomena, without the interposition of 
their fluids.” Letter of Dr Gleig to Mr Boucher, 1802. (See Memoir of 
Joshua Watson, vol, i, 40.) , 


At Bishop. Macfarlane’s death, Ross and Argyle would 
at once have been re-united with Moray, had not Bishop 
Jolly, on account of his infirm state of health, declined the 
additional charge. Had he accepted the charge, a man- 
date would have been issued to Fife, and a Bishop 
appointed for that diocese. 

Bishop Sandford resigned Fife as he had done in 1816, 
in order to provide a See for Mr Low, of Pittenweem. 
Circumstances, however, were changed ; and the Primus 
was by no means so anxious for My Low’s elevation now 
as he had been in 1816. There was still a coolness and a 
distance between him and Mr Low, consequent on the 
election proceedings of that year; and some influen- 
tial Edinburgh laymen had on this occasion practically 
taken all management of the election out of the Bishops’ 
hands. The Primus, therefore, would do nothing either 
to “oppose” or to “urge” Mr Low’s election. He 
appeared also comparatively indifferent whether the man- 
date should be issued to Fife or to Ross, though he did 
not conceal his opinion that the Highland diocese had the 
prior claim. He left the matter to the three Northern 
Bishops, who decided for Ross. When the mandate was 
issued to Ross, it was doubtful who would be elected; and 
the Primus this time also entertained hopes that Bishop 
Torry would be elected, and thus the election of the sixth 
Bishop be deferred and simplified. He was very anxious 
that, if possible, an opening should be made for Mr 
Russell, of Leith, whom he “very much wished to see a 
Bishop.” But Mr Russell “fought shy of the office,” 
especially while Mr Low was in the way. The following 
extracts show the progress of the election proceedings, and 
the motives of the parties :— You may remember,” Mr 
Russell had written to the Primus about Sept. 1, 1819, 


“that I constantly insisted upon one condition as pre- 
liminary to the most remote thought of becoming a 
Bishop, that Mr Low should previously have declined 
that office for Fife. . . I have every reason to conclude 
that he would accept; indeed, I am certain he would; 
and, moreover, that he would consider himself as having 
received the mitre from the gentlemen of the Episcopal 
Committee, under the direction, and with the concurrence 
of his present diocesan (Bishop Sandford.)” 

Bishop Sandford had about the same time (August 28), 
written to the Primus—‘“ I have been moved to the step 
of resigning my charge of Fife, chiefly by the expectation 
that Mr Low may be prevailed upon to become a Bishop, 
and by my conviction that, in the present case, his pro- 
motion will be of great advantage to our Church. But, 
unless my resignation is to be attended with this good 
consequence, I do not by any means desire to retire, &c.”* 

As already stated, the Bishops “did not accept of 
Bishop Sandford’s resignation,” but decided to issue a 
mandate to Ross and Argyll. Then the primus wrote 
thus to Bishop Torry (Sept. 29, 1819)—‘ I was favoured 
with your obliging letter of the 25th, and have only to 
unite my wishes with yours that any apprehensions of 
danger from what we have done may prove groundless. 
I had no wish for granting the mandate either to Ross in 
preference to Fife, or to Fife in preference to Ross. My only 
wish is that the new Bishop may be a well-informed man 
of conciliatory manners, and that his place of residence 
may be within a day’s journey of Stirling or Edinburgh ; 
and Bishop Sandford and I are determined not to concur in 
the consecration of any man situated at a greater distance 
from us. That determination I have signified to the 

* Quoted in letter of Primus Gleig, September 4th, 1819, 


Clergy of Ross and Argyle, stating for it our reasons, 
which are so obviously just, that I do not expect those 
Clergy, who seem not to be troublesome men, to make any 
opposition to them. My original plan, proposed to 
Bishop Jolly immediately after Bishop Macfarlane’s death, 
was to unite Ross and Argyle . . . to Moray, and 
get a mandate issued immediately to the clergy of Fife. 
This measure I would have urged with all my might, had 
not John Forbes* prematurely proposed Mr Low for the 
new Bishop ; but the moment that he was brought upon 
the carpet, I felt that I could not, with prudence or pro- 
priety, take a single step either to forward or retard that 
measure. . . . That he (Mr Low) would have been 
chosen by a majority of votes, I knew always to be pro- 
bable, though very far from being certain. . . . Mr 
Low is not really acceptable to any one clergyman in Fife, 
but he is very acceptable to almost all the landed gentle- 
men, among whom he has lived for near thirty years as a 
pleasing visitor. . . . These men have interested in 
his favour the Trustees for the Episcopal Fund; and the 
whole body of laymen united have overpowered the clergy. 
; Were there nobody but the Trustees concerned 
in this manceuvre, I should not mind it much; but it is 
a combination of laymen to take all power out of the 
hands of Bishops, and place it in themselves.” 
Notwithstanding his decided disapproval of the irregular 
influences by which Mr Low’s promotion was being pushed, 
and his own unsatisfactory relations with that gentleman, 

* John Hay Forbes, son of Sir William Forbes, and afterwards Lord 
Medwyn—already referred to (p. 284-5). Another active supporter of 
Mr Low was Mr Forbes’s brother-in-law, Mr Colin Mackenzie of Portmore 
(father of Bishop Mackenzie of the African Mission), who had a connexion 
with the Highland diocese. (See Blatch’s Bishop Low, p. 50, seq.) These 
were leading ‘‘ Gentlemen of the Episcopal Committee.’’ Mr Mackenzie, 
indeed, and Sir W. Forbes, his father-in-law, were the chief originators of 
the Episcopal Fund. (Lawson, p. 366.) 



the Primus seemed to think that it would be for the good 
of the Church that Mr Low should be permitted a chance 
of being elected both for Ross and Fife. “ But if you 
(Bishop Torry) be elected, as I hope you shall, to the 
Highland diocese, what is to be done? Evidently this, 
either you will retain Dunkeld and Ross for a time till 
we see if Bishop Jolly can be persuaded to admit their 
(Ross and Argyle’s) junction again with Moray; or, 
before we release you from your present charge, we will 
issue a mandate to Fife, and fill up the College before a 
mandate can be asked from any other quarter. This is the 
only thing which it appears to me that we can do, with 
any reasonable prospect of preserving peace in the Church,” 
&c, No doubt, in this way the adjoining dioceses of Fife 
‘and Dunkeld might have been united then as they have 
been since ; and there would have been a better distribu- 
tion of Bishops and Bishoprics. 

But it was not found necessary to have recourse to this 
mode of “filling up the College.” Mr Low was elected 
Bishop by the clergy of Ross and Argyle, and so the Fife 
election scheme was dropt. 

Mr Low’s election was not very satisfactory in any way, 
except in its result. There were, it appears, only four 
electors at the meeting, and three candidates were pro- 
posed. There was thus, notwithstanding the powerful 
lay influence, about as little unanimity as possible. Still, 
Mr Low was elected ; and no objection was made to the 
confirmation of his election by any of the Bishops except 
Bishop Skinner, who protested against it, on the ground 
of “ undue lay interference.” 

There were, no doubt, as we have seen from the 
Primus’s letters, pretty good grounds for this protest, 
especially as the Canons of those times did not permit 


even the laity of a diocese a voice in the election of their 
Bishop. But from the influential position of the laymen 
concerned, and from the generally acknowledged fitness of 
the Bishop-elect, rejection in this case would have been a 
very serious matter indeed. The Primus could not have 
entertained the idea of rejection. Indeed, it is very 
doubtful if, after the experience of the Aberdeen election, 
the Bishops, as a body, would now, without the clearest 
case, have rejected the elect of even the smallest diocese. 
The time was past for such things. The vague unlimited 
discretionary power which the Canons allowed the Bishops 
in their corporate capacity was, in the changed condition 
of affairs, becoming a source of anxiety and trouble to the 
Bishops themselves—tending to embroil them with each 
other, and hinder cordial confidence and co-operation. It is 
easy to see from the Bishops’ letters that it was a consider- 
able time before the incidents of the last two elections 
were entirely forgotten by some of their number. 

The Primus published another charge this year.* It 
was almost entirely doctrinal ; and was probably intended 
partly as an indirect reply to some of the criticisms on his 
Stackhouse. After stating that all the different dispen- 
sations of religion “constituted but so many parts of one 
great and progressive scheme for the happiness and im- 
provement of the human race,” be proceeds to maintain 
“that the Church is now, and has long been, disturbed 
by useless, if not pernicious, controversies concerning 

* “Observations on some of the Characteristic Doctrines of the 
Gospel: A Charge delivered in June 1819 to the Clergy of the Episcopal 
Communion of Brechin. By the Right Rev. George Gleig, LL.D., 
F.R.S.E., and F.S.S.A., their Bishop. Edinburgh: Bell & Bradfute 
1819.” There is no record in the Minute Book of Brechin diocese of the 
Synod at which this charge was delivered, or of any Brechin Synod from 
1814 to 1820. Blank pages, indicating omissions, form a sort of negative 
record, After 1820, almost every year has its minute of Synod ; but none 
of the minutes have much interest till that of 1826 : 

i) i 


original sin, regeneration, conversion, election, justification, 
and the perseverance of the saints ; and until the dispu- 
tants shall agree to trace the great progressive scheme of 
revelation from its commencement to its completion, it 
does not appear to me possible to put an end to these 
controversies. In most of them the same scriptural © 
phrases are employed by all parties; but they are 
employed in senses so extremely different, that what may 
be true in one sense is not merely false but perhaps even 
impious in another.” 

He “ gives an instance of this in the use of the word 
justification,” maintaining that there is a distinction in 
Scripture, and “well known to the compilers of the Thirty- 
nine Articles,” between a first and a final justitication— 
the first by faith; the final by “good works, or faith 
which has wrought by love.” This “distinction, how- 
ever, if it is known by those who at present contend for 
justification by faith alone, is wholly overlooked by them.” 

In “the consequences of the first transgression” he 
maintains “will be found the key to all the mysteries that 
have been made about universal or partial redemption, 
election, regeneration, conversion, and justification.”* 

Thus he comes round to his favourite dogma. And he 
not only held that the popular Calvinists of the day 
greatly exaggerated “the consequences of” the Fall, but 
he also thought that the IX. Article of “ original or 
birth-sin” did not happily express those consequences. 
The phrase, “original or birth-sin,” he thought neither 
Seriptural nor well chosen, since sin or guilt, in the proper 
sense of the word, the hereditary taint cannot be. “ But 
although we cannot,” he says, “be considered as sharers’ 
in the guilt of our first parents, our nature, as it is derived 

ep, 14. 


from them, may be so depraved by their fall as to render us 
much more prone than we should otherwise have been to 
the commission of actual sin ; and this, I am persuaded, 
is a Scriptural truth of great importance if consistently 

He maintained that the TX. Article would have been 
expressed in a very different way had the compilers 
known the errors that have sprung upin the Church 
since their day—those of the Quakers, the modern Uni- 
tarians, and Evangelists. “The only errors which” the 
Reformers “ appear to bave had immediately in view were 
those of thé Church of Rome and those of the Pelagians, 
which were then revived by the Anabaptists in Germany; 
and the Articles of our Church, in particular, were drawn 
up with a view to guard the members against the sophis- 
try which might be employed in support of the errors of 
both these parties.” 

The Primus was not, however, entirely successful in 
convincing even friendly critics that his views on original 
sin were perfectly sound. Bishop Skinner wrote to 
Bishop Jolly, taking exception to the language of the 
charge on this subject. Bishop Jolly had read the 
charge, but had not “ perceived in it anything obnoxious. 
On the contrary, when I hastily read it, I considered it a 
seasonable caveat against that species of Calvinism, which 
seems to spread, &c.” But he saw clearly how the 
alleged extreme had arisen, ‘‘ Endeavouring to make 
straight what is crooked, one is apt to bend the other 
way.”t (Letter to Bishop Skinner, Feb. 7, 1820.) 

The reader must have become convinced, if only from 
the incidents of the last two Episcopal elections, that the 

ould 2, 205 
+See Antea, p. 308; also, Memoir of Bishop Jolly, p. 97. 


Canons of 1811, however superior to the former Code, 
were still very defective. The Primus felt this strongly, 
and was very anxious that his colleagues should consent 
to the convocation of another General Synod for the 
revision of the Code. He, doubtless, hoped that, now 
that he had got another Southern colleague into the 
college, there would be no difficulty in bringing the 
Church Laws completely into harmony with the require- 
ments of the times. But, if he did so, he was greatly 
mistaken. Bishop Low, though a very good Bishop, 
especially for a Highland diocese, had manifestly no great 
faith in Church Laws, and leant rather to the theory of 
personal government. He was opposed to the convoca- 
tion of a Synod. So also was Bishop Jolly, whose word 
had great weight with the Primus. It must have been 
to the character, however, rather than to the arguments 
of Bishop Jolly that the Primus yielded. The arguments 
were, in fact, such as would hold good agaiust any con- 
ceivable meeting of the Synod, being the risk of diversity 
of view, and disagreement as to the reform proposed, 
unsettlement of men’s minds, Xe. 

The Primus appears to have renewed the proposal for a 
Synod every year, or every other year, for the next eight, 
endeayouring, if possible, to secure for it the assent of all 
his colleagues. It might, however, have soon been evident 
to him that there was one objection of Bishop Jolly’s that 
no lapse of time would ever obviate. This was the fear, 
lest the next Synod would make further concessions to 
the Presbyters ; and this, in the good man’s view, meant 
farther encroachments on the Episcopal prerogative. 

In writing to Bishop Torry (July 4th, 1821), the 
Primus says—‘I really wish you would persuade our 
venerable and excellent. brother at Fraserburgh to agree 


to the holding of a Synod next year ; for though I trust 
none of us shall be so infatuated as to agree to any ex- 
planation of the third Canon, which might render us ac- 
countable for our conduct to the Presbyters, there are other 
errors which certainly require explanation, and there are 
one or two Canons awanting. I have, therefore, directed 
my clergy to study the Canons with care, to mark each 
what he thinks should be altered in his own copy, &e., &c.” 

But Bishop Jolly continued “inflexible” in 1821 —as 
Bishop Low wrote Bishop Skinner, he also did— “ in ex- 
isting circumstances.” And from delicate health, he was 
“ morally certain that Bishop Sandford could not attend, 
even if the Synod were holden in the vestry of his own 
chapel.” (Letter of Bishop Low, quoted by Bishop 
Skinner, Noy. 9th, 1821.) 

The Primus was now on the verge of the three-score- 
and-ten ; and notwithstanding his excellent constitution, 
he had become, in some respects, physically incapacitated 
for a due discharge of his duties as Primus. Writing to 
Bishop Skinner (March 4th, 1822), communicating a copy 
of a letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury, he says— 
“T will thank you to communicate this piece of informa- 
tion to our more northern brethren; to save me some 
writing, the mechanical part of which has always been to 
me a very irksome task, and daily becomes more irksome 
as I become older.” 

There can be little doubt that the growing mechanical 
difficulty in writing was one great cause of the complaint 
which begins to be heard about this time, that the Primus 
did not, in the transaction of Church affairs, sufficiently 
consult and concert with his colleagues. Doubtless he 
sometimes wrote only two or three letters, when strict duty 
might have required four or five, It was from his two 


youngest colleagues, Bishops Skinner and Low, that this 
complaint of neglect was chiefly heard, and it is curious 
to observe the opposite effect which the alleged neglect 
produced upon them. Bishop Skinner it stimulated to 
plead with his colleagues to agree to more frequent meet- 
ings of the Bishops and Clergy, in order to secure general 
concert and co-operation in the transaction of Church 
business. In particular, he pleaded with Bishop Low 
to consent to the calling of a General Synod this year; 
and if possible, before the period of the King’s arrival 
in Scotland, in order that full opportunity might be 
afforded for agreeing upon a general address to be pre- 
sented to His Majesty. On Bishop Low the same cause 
seemed to produce an opposite effect. It confirmed him 
in his determination to maintain a policy of isolation, 
He not only refused to agree to the convocation of a 
General Synod, but he plainly declared that, if a Synod 
were called, he would not attend it; and if there should 
be any difficulty in getting up a general address to the 
King, he would, he said, present an address from himself 
and his diocese, and each of the other Bishops might do 
the same. To Bishop Skinner this policy appeared incon-. 
sistent and unseemly. “It seems strange that Bishop 
Low should be so properly sensible of the evils arising 
from our present mode of conducting the affairs of the 
Church, of which its governors are kept in such utter 
ignorance from the want of wniversality and concert, and 
yet should be so averse to the only mode of remedying 
the evil complained of, viz, by meeting together and 
acting in concert. What an unhappy effect it will 
have,” he adds, “if the mode proposed by Bishop Low 
shall be adopted,.in the event of a Royal visit, and 
each Bishop go up with a separate address! Where 
- L 



were then the unity of the Church? The one heart and 
one mind,” &e. 

Bishop Low, however, was apparently in no mood to 
discuss those important Church questions in a calm and 
dispassionate spirit. But his opposition would have been 
of. but little consequence had he not been still supported 
by Bishop Jolly. Of the attitude of the latter, the 
Primus wrote to Bishop Skinner (March 4, 1822)— 
“ You cannot be more convinced than I am that, were 
the Bishops and clergy to meet in the unity, of the spirit 
and in the bond of peace, much good might be done by a 
Synod ; and I have stated my reasons for thinking so in 
as strong and clear terms as I could to Bishop Jolly ; but 
he still continues humbly to think his own opinion better 
founded than Bishop Torry’s and yours and mine; and 1 
should as soon think of blowing my old Alma Mater, the 
King’s College, to atoms by the breath of my mouth as of 
changing any opinion of his by argument.” 

The only chance that the Primus could see of bringing 
over Bishop Jolly was this, “If Mr Colin Mackenzie can 
persuade Sir William Forbes to signify to Bishop Jolly 
his approbation of such a measure,” that is, of the holding 
of a General Synod. This proposal is made with an air 
of seriousness ; but probably no more was meant, by it 
than a suggestion that, in this matter of a General Synod, 
the good Bishop was more likely to be influenced by 
authority than by argument. It was hardly, however, to 
any modern authority that Bishop Jolly would have bowed 
in a matter of this sort. 

The Synod was destined soon to be banished for a time 
from the Bishops’ minds, by the approaching visit of King 
George IV. As that event drew near, it entirely ab- 

sorbed their thoughts, throwing most of them ‘into a, 



flutter of excitement. “The Primus,” Dr Neale says, 
“seems to have been the only one who maintained his 
presence of mind on this exciting occasion.” At one time 
there had been cause for apprehending some difficulty 
about the writing of the address to be presented to his 
Majesty. The Primus wrote to Bishop Torry (Sept. 1, 
1821)—“ Bishop Low, whose business it certainly is to 
write such addresses as we may have occasion to make to 
the King, informed me, on his return from Aberdeen, 
that you and Bishop Skinner and he were of opinion that 
I should continue to write such things, but that I should 
send them to all the Bishops for their correction before 
they be drawn up for their subscriptions! I can hardly 
suppose that any man at all in the habit of composition 
could seriously propose such an absurd measure as this. 
No address from such a body as we are should exceed six 
or eight sentences ; all the Bishops have an equal right to 
correct the address; and all of them might be eager to 
display their critical talents! Each of them would, there- 
fore, seize upon some sentence and alter it, or write it 
anew ; and I leave you or any man to conceive what kind 
of a piebald address of six sentences would be written by 
six different men! Addresses should be written by some 
individual ; and as it is unquestionably Bishop Low’s duty 
to be our clerk, as the junior Bishop; I wish you would 
unite, and get Bishop Jolly to unite, with Bishop Sand- 
ford and me in appointing him to that office.” 

This was probably meant, chiefly as, an energetic protest 
by the Primus against submitting to have his compositions 
overhauled by the “two junior colleagues,” who, he 
seemed to think, did some things merely “for the pleasure 

of plaguing the Primus.” 

Anyhow, when the address to be presented at Holy- 



rood came to be written, there was, as will be seen, no 
word of a clerk, though a caveat was certainly entered 
against revision. . 

The address, however—delicate matter as it certainly 
was, considering the Jacobitical antecedents of most of the 
Bishops-—was by no means the matter that gave the 
Bishops most concern. It was rather the matter of 
_ outward personal decoration and behaviour at Court. 
The way in which they should be received at Court, and 
the dress in which they should appear—the wigs, and the 
buckles “on their shoes and at their knees,” exercised 
them greatly. 

The Southern Bishops were apprehensive lest their two 
elder Northern colleagues should not appear in present- 
able wigs. The Primus wrote to Bishop Torry on the 
subject (August 2nd, 1822). About Bishop Jolly’s wig, 
he said—Bishop Sandford ‘seems absolutely nervous, 
alleging that the King will not be able to stand the sight 
of it, and assuring Dr Russell that it would convulse the 
whole Court.” © “But,” he added—‘“ What are you 
[Bishop Torry] to do about your own wig! which no 
wigmaker on earth could reduce to the most distant 
resemblance of an English Bishop’s wig?” He then gives 
him excellent advice—“ If your hair have any length at 
all, I would advise you to lay aside your wig when you 
go to Court, and to fill your own hair very full of powder, 
to prevent your catching cold.” 

Then as to the buckles—“ You are probably aware that 
we must all appear before his Majesty with buckles on our 
shoes and at our knees, and that these buckles must be 
gold, or metal double gilt. At Court all clergymen wear 
yellow buckles, and laymen silver.” 

As to the composition of the address, the course taken 



was this. The Primus first intimated his own intention 
to draw up a scroll address, and expressed a hope that 
each of his colleagues would do the same, and bring his 
copy to the preliminary meeting, that, “from the whole, 
a clean copy might be drawn up.” 

Some time after, he wrote that he had now drawn up 

. a scroll of an address, which should be “ submitted to the 

animadversions of his brethren ;” but he hoped they 
“would either accept it entire, or reject it in toto,” “ for,” 
he added, ‘‘a piece of patchwork, were Johnson, and 
Addison, and Gibbon the writers, would never do.” 

Here again, probably, the Primus meant no more than 
a warning against needless criticisms on the part of the 
Juniors, and the production of such a patchwork composi- 
tion as usually disfigures King’s and Queen’s speeches. 

Anyhow, the question of the address was speedily and 
quietly settled. The Primus’s copy was accepted, and 
apparently “entire.” At least, it bears no marks of 
patchwork. On the contrary, it is clear, flowing, and 
elegant; and “it was,” it is said, “much admired for its 
eloquence, moderation, and historical allusions.” 

The deputation that presented the address consisted of 
the six Bishops and six Presbyters, four of the latter 
belonging to Edinburgh. Bishop Skinner had wished 
that some “respectable laymen” should form part of the 
deputation, but to this the Primus objected, thinking that 
the deputation would be then too like “an American 

CHAPTER X.—1822-1827. 

Dean Torry’s Reminiscences of the Bishop—Amongst his Books— 
On the Street-—Visiting his Diocese—At the head of his table 
—Anecdotes—Dr Parr—Deam Hook, §¢e.—Contributes to_ 
“Scottish Episcopal Magazine ’’—Publishes Charge—Holds 
Visitation at St Paul’s, Dundee—Sprains his knee-joint— 
Vistts his Son “in his own parish” in Kent—Death of Mrs 
Gleig—Again urges the calling of a General Synod—Mr 
Skinner of Forfar’s Cireular—The Luscombe Case—Inherent 
difficulties of case—College divided—Deed of Election wnat- 
tainable—Substitute procured too late to ensure unanimity— 
Consecration of Dr Luscombe—Dissent of Bishops Torry and 
Shinner—Bishop Low refuses to record thew reasons of dissent. 

As yet we have seen little of Dr Gleig save in his public 
and official character. We are now, however, come well 
within the range of living memories, and can happily 
‘enjoy a glimpse into his home life and family circle. The 
present venerable Dean of St Andrews, the Very Rev. 
Jobn Torry, lived in the neighbourhood of Stirling for 
two years (1819-20), and, during that time, saw very much 
of the Bishop. Indeed, he says, “ For two years ‘TI sat 
at his feet,’ and obtained from him my early instruction 
in theology.” He was often in the Bishop’s house and at. 
his table, and was invariably received by him with the 
utmost kindness. He learnt much, both directly and 
indirectly, from this close intercourse ; and he speaks in 
very emphatic terms of the Bishop’s deep learning and 
powerful memory, and of the ready wit and humour with 
which his conversation sparkled. But here are a few of 
his graphic pen and ink sketches of the Bishop at home.* 
* These sketches were obligingly written by the Dean for this Memoir. 




“The Bishop was very jealous of any one interfering 
with the books in his library, which was a very extensive 
one.* Often when I went to call on him [I had the privi- 
lege of being admitted into his sanctuary. I have, in my 
‘mind’s eye, the picture of the great man sitting, not at a 
large and commodious desk, such as is to be seen in modern 
days, provided with all the easy appliances for consultation 
of authors, but at a small table-desk, about 2 feet by 3 feet 
in dimensions, standing near the middle of the room, 
writing out of his capacious head (for he had a very large 
head, with a fine forehead, conspicuous for the bump of 
causality). Whenever he had occasion to consult an 
authority, he knew exactly where to find it ; would go to 
the shelf where it rested, take it down, and, before opening 
the book, give a good blow with his mouth to take off 
the dust ; then lay it on his desk, and having made the 
necessary extract, carefully replace the volume. He was 
very chary of any one interfering with his books in the 
way of dusting or cleaning them ; so that no one dared to 
touch them while he was at home; but when he had 
occasion to be absent for-a considerable time, the ladies 
took advantage of his absence to effect a thorough cleans- 
ing and tidying of the sanctum. 

After he became a Bishop, he was very particular about 
his costume. He always wore a short cassock,t with knee- 
breeches and buckles and silk stockings; and when he 

* Bishop Gleig’s fondness for book-buying did not amount to disease, 
as Bishop Jolly says his did. The latter, says Dr Hill Burton, ‘‘ had one 
failing to link his life with this nether world—a failing that leaned to 
virtue’s side; he was a book hunter.”’—Book Hunter, p. 221, 

+ Bishop Gleig’s “‘apron,” like Bishop Jolly’s wig, appears to have 
sometimes drawn upon itself the unaccustomed eyes of the street boys in 
+he northern towns of his diocese, where a Bishop was seldom seen, in a 
way that was rather embarrassing to the wearer. <A clergyman, once of 
the Bishop’s diocese, remembers an instance of the juvenile crowding and 
staring; but says that the Bishop was amused rather than offended by it, 
and passed on with a humorous remark and gesture. 


had occasion to go out in the town to pay a visit, either 
pastoral or friendly, it was a pleasant picture to see the 
trim old gentleman, pacing along the street, with his 
shovel hat and gold-headed staff. 

How different the garb in which I have seen him 
arrayed, when he was preparing to start on his triennial 
visit through his diocese! It consisted, besides a good 
travelling coat, of a pair of grey cloth breeches, and a pair 
of old rusty top-boots, with very brown leather on the 
upper part, And his mode of conveyance was (similar to 
that used by my father), a horse and gig, hired for the 
continuous journey, and accompanied by his son or some 
other friend to take care of him. 

Often have I dined at the Bishop’s hospitable board, 
and it was a treat to see how, after labouring in his study 
all day, he enjoyed his dinner. A constant accompani- 
ment of the meal was some London porter, which was 
drunk out of a large silver cup, that went round the 
family circle, and when it came to the Bishop himself, he 
lifted it wp with both his hands, and took “a long and 
a strong pull.” Occasionally, also, he indulged in a teny 
dram, generally quoting the authority of his friend, Pro- 
fessor Thomson, of Glasgow, the celebrated chemist of his 
day, as to the great value of the dram at dinner, the 
alcohol being “a solvent of fat,” and therefore an aid to 
digestion. I am not sure that the theory was true, but it 
served the good man’s purpose, as it often has that of 
others, the late Dr Norman Macleod, for instance.”* 

* Tt is said that Dr Norman Macleod happened to dine with some 
, ladies soon after he had had the honour to dine with the Queen at 
Balmoral, and his hostesses pressed him hard to repeat to them some part 
of her Majesty’s conversation with him. Norman was too well bred to 
remember anything. However, being pressed again just after the salmon, 
he said—By the bye, I do remember one thing. At this stage of the 
dinner, Her Majesty said, “‘ Norman, wont you take a dram; it’s an 
excellent thing after salmon,” 


The Bishop wrote a very illegible hand. At a little 
distance his manuscript looks as if written in Greek, 
rather than in Roman characters. Apropos of this, the 
Dean tells the following story. “His neighbour, Mr 
Sheriff, the minister (in 1819) of St Ninians, (close to 
Stirling), who was a scholar like himself, had a corres- 
pondence with the Bishop, in which the latter had, on one 
occasion, to make some quotation in Greek. The first 
time they met afterwards, Mr Sheriff said to him, “ Well, 
Bishop, I got your letter, and I could read your Greek, 
but your Lnglish fairly baffled me.” 

The famous Dr Parr visited Stirling in 1819; and Mr 
Torry saw him in the Bishop’s church, and met him after- 
wards in the Bishop’s house. Mr Torry was not a little 
impressed with the great Doctor’s conversational powers ; 
but what struck him most of all was his behaviour in 
cburch during the delivery of the sermon. The Doctor 
sat in front of the pulpit, and paid the closest attention to 
the sermon ; but he did not confine himself to silent marks 
of respect and approval. Whenever the Bishop said any- 
thing that particularly pleased him, he exclaimed* quite 
~ audibly, “Good!” “That’s very good ! » & Capital!” 
So far as appears, the Bishop's contributions to. litera- 
ture for some years about this time (1820-23) were limited 
to an occasional article or review in the columns of his 
friend Dr Russell’s Church organ, The Scottish Episcopal 
Magazine. The. chief of these articles are to be found in 
Vol. II. (1821), and comprise “ A Historical Outline of 

* Dr Parr was at the time pretty well advanced in years, having been 
born in 1747, and it is probable that he made such remarks as the above in 
a fit of absence. The late Dean Hook, of Chichester, is said to have been 
accustomed, for a few years before his death, to give like audible expres- 
sion to his seutiments during the service in his cathedral. When the 
officiating clergyman said, ‘‘ Here endeth the first lesson,” the Dean would 
sometimes add, ‘ And a very good lesson itis.’ And if the sermon did 
not please him, he occasionally muttered, ‘* What stuff!” &. 


the Episcopal Church of Scotland,” in three instalments 
(pp. 20, 177, 342); a review of Dr Brown’s “ Lectures 
on the Philosophy of the Human Mind,” in two instal- 
ments (pp. 407, 506); and a review of Copleston on 
“ Necessity and Predestination,” (p. 586). 

All these articles, and others in Vol. III., are attested 
by the initials “G. G.,” or “G. G., Stirling,” with the 
exception of the ‘ Historical Outline.” 

At this period (1822-3) we find in his letters and pub- 
lications mary traces of the Bishop’s activity in all the 
spheres of duty ; not a few of them highly characteristic, 
both of the man and of the time. He visited his diocese 
in July 1822, and delivered a charge, which was pub- 
lished ;* and in November he was called to Dundee to 
investigate a case of discipline. 

The subject of the charge was the two mysterious 
doctrines on which the controversies of the day had chiefly 
hinged—the doctrine of the Trinity and that of original 
sin. On the Trinity, the Primus’s views were entirely 
those of the Church ; and all that he aimed at was to 
make the relation between the three persons more level to 
our conceptions by such analogies as that of the sun with 
its light and heat—“ Light of light, heat of heat.” 

On the subject of original sin, his views continued sub- 
stantially unchanged ; but he expressed them in terms 
which harmonised better with the language of the articles. 
“Human nature suffered some deterioration in conse- 
quence of Adam’s fall.” “Unlike all his descendants, 
Adam felt no bias in his mind to evil.” “ Every one of 
them hath been more or less biassed to evil.” “Ag we 
both admit the depravity of mankind in consequence of 

* Observations on some prevalent Modes of contending for the Faith 
once delivered to the Saints: A Charge, &e. Blackwood, Edinburgh, 1822. 


the fall of Adam, we both admit all which the article 
requires of us.” 

“That the Church doth not expect us all to form the 
very same conception of the natwre of this depravity, or of 
the manner in which it is derived to us from Adam, is 
evident from her giving four different translations of the 
same Greek words* by which it is supposed to be ex- 
pressed, without preferring any one of them to the others.” 

Very probably the chief reason why the Bishop selected 
these two most mysterious subjects on this occasion was 
that he had, during the summer, had rather a sharp 
encounter with an old antagonist in the pages of the 
Episcopal Magazine’ on the subject of original sin. The . 
tone of the charge, however, was by no means aggressive 
or dogmatic ; but the reverse—tolerant and conciliatory 
__the tone of a man who has had much experience of the 
utter fruitlessness of controversy on such subjects by 
churchmen amongst themselves, and who sees that the 
only way to peace and union is to let each churchman 
explain the mode of the mystery to himself. 

The only interest the Dundee case has for readers of 
the present day lies in its incidental illustration of the 
state of the times. The preliminary investigation of it, 
which was conducted with the assistance of Bishop 
Skinner and some Presbyters, convinced the Primus of 
the great deficiencies of the then “very imperfect Code” - 
of Canons, and the difficulty of trying such a case under 
them. But the incident most characteristic of the times is 
the fact which the Bishop, after investigation, repeatedly 
affirms, viz., that the case was, in reality, a product of the 
fervid political excitement of the times. The clergyman 
of St Paul’s, Dundee, had written “a very improper 

* Dpovyua Lapxos. See Article IX. 


letter” to a young person of his congregation. Nothing 
was heard of the letter for two years and four months, and 
the Bishop declared that “no real injury would have been 
done to any one by the foolish letter, which never would 
have been heard of, if the layman had not brought forward 
his charge in revenge for the clergyman’s refusing to 
keep his pulpit and desk in mourning for the late Queen 
of precious memory.” The case caused intense excitement 
in the congregation and some secessions; but by the fair 
and judicious management of the Bishop, the result, on 
the whole, was a comparatively quiet and peaceful settle- 
ment. The offender escaped with a “severe reproof.” 

In the spring of 1823 the Bishop met with a rather 
serious accident, of which, and the consequences of it to 
him and his congregation, he gives the following account 
in a letter to Bishop Torry (March 3rd, 1823). 

“The accident was indeed an ugly one, being a very 
bad sprain of the joint of my right knee, and the second 
that I have had of that joint. It was occasioned by 
missing two steps at the bottom of a stair, and falling 
with great violence, and was apparently as bad a sprain 
as the surgeon, a man of much experience, says he ever 
saw ; but after being confined four weeks to my room, and 
mostly to my sofa, I am now getting rapidly better. The 
chapel was shut for three successive Sundays, and likewise 
on Ash Wednesday, for my neighbour, Mr Cruickshank, 
at Muthill,* has long ago laid down for himself a rule never 
to give nor receive assistance; and Mr Walker (Kirk- 

* Muthill, near Crieff, Perthshire, is not so far from Stirling (abo 
16 miles) as to make it difficult for a clergyman to have ei hetee ey 
at the one place, and evening service at the other, on the same day. But 
Mr Cruickshank was rather old to “give assistance”? in this way. It was 
ow 84 i ene he men his gown returned to him by Gask, in token 
of dismissal, for having ‘‘ begun nominal prayers’? for Kin 
Bishop Jolly, p. 42.) poumer, e 


aldy?), being unable to do his own duty, none of my 
Edinburgh friends could be spared from their own charges. 
On the second Sunday in Lent, I did the whole forenoon 
duty of the chapel sitting in the desk.” 

In those days the difficulty of supplying the place of a 
sick or absent clergyman was much greater than it is even 
now. The charges were few and far apart, and the only 
course in general was to “shut up the chapel.” 

The Bishop’s chapel was shut up again for two Sundays 
during the summer. He went to England in the month 
of June, having some Church and family business to 
arrange, and “a strong desire to visit his son in his own 
parish ;” and he was detained longer than he expected to 
be. While in England, he did what he could to forward 
a measure for securing the Regium Donum for the 
Church.* “TI have seen the Archbishop thrice,” he wrote 
Bishop Torry (August 19, 1823), “and was advised by his 
Grace to concert with Mr Colin Mackenzie,f a measure 
for bringing us and our merits before Parliament next 
Session. The outlines of what he suggested 1 shall 
certainly lay before my colleagues as soon as I have had 
an opportunity of considering them with Mr Mackenzie, 
to whom, and to whom alone, I was desired to communi- 
cate them in the first place; but I did not so much as 
land at Newhaven on my return from England, not 
having arrived in the roads till Saturday morning, and my 
chapel having been shut two Sundays by my having been 
detained in Kent a week Jonger than I expected to be.” 

* The Regium Donum (£1200) appears to have been granted for the 
first time in 1814, (See Chap. vii.). It had been discontinued for several 
years, and this attempt to obtain the renewal of it did not succeed till 1828. 
From that time, the grant was continued pretty regularly, but only every 

second year, till 1856, when it was finally withdrawn. It was, to some 
extent, replaced by a Compensation Fund, raised within the Church. 

+ See Antea, p. 318. 


The Bishop suffered a good deal in his passage from 
London, on account of the beds in the steamer being “so 
narrow, that he could not turn himself in them.” He 
had not yet recovered from the effects of his sprain, and 
to remain long in one position was very trying to him. 

The year 1824 was another year of bereavement and 
sorrow to the Bishop. Mrs Gleig, who, as appears from 
the Bishop’s letters, had been in a declining state for some 
time, died on the 15th of June. The loss was keenly felt 
by the Bishop, and for a time he was unable to devote 
himself to Church business with his usual energy and 

_ This was the year of the Triennial General Meeting of 
the Friendly Society at Aberdeen, and the Primus, 
expecting the majority of his colleagues on that 
occasion, had resolved to make another attempt to per- 
suade them to consent to the convocation of a General 
Synod. It was the more desirable that he should take 
advantage of this opportunity, that the chances of the 
Synod had been somewhat damaged of late by over 
zealous advocacy. The Rev. John Skinner, Forfar, who 
had always been an earnest advocate of regular periodical 
Synods of all sorts, and of the general supremacy of law in 
the Church,* had this year issued a circular letter on the 
subject. In that famous document—which is still season- 
able—Mr Skinner advocated not only the calling of a 
General Synod, but the enactment of a Canon making the 
meeting of Synods no longer dependent on the will of the 
Bishops, nor yet composed solely of the representatives of 
the clergy. In short, he recommended the adoption of a 
constitution similar to that of the American Church, of 

* See his letter to his father (Annals of Scottish Episcopacy, p. 494), 
and one to Bishop Torry (Neale’s Torry, pp. 98-99.) 


‘the advantages of which, in promoting a general and 
active interest in Church matters, he had been convinced 
by Bishop Hobart, when that distinguished Prelate lately 
visited Scotland. 

The effect of this circular on the opponents ofa Synod 
was to intensify their opposition. The chief reason why 
Mr Skinner desired a Synod, was the chief reason why 
the most influential of them dreaded it. He wanted more 
law, and less arbitrary will ; and he made light of the 
argument from primitive precedent against imposing 
restrictions on Episcopal power.* 

None of the Bishops were prepared for the more 
advanced suggestions of the circular. “ Extravagant.” or 
“ absurd innovations” were the mildest epithets applied 
to them by any of their number ; and those who had still 
a word to say for the Synod, felt it necessary to begin 
with an earnest disclaimer of sympathy with the circular. 
It was thus that the Primus wrote to Bishop Torry (July 
5, 1824), on the subject of the Synod, and the circulas, 
when he found that he could not attend the meeting in 
Aberdeen. “I certainly expected to be with you at the 
ensuing meeting of the Friendly Society, and I even 
expected that the change of scene might tend to elevate 
my spirits, which I confess are very low. The death of 
Mrs Gleig, however, has made such a change 
that I find I cannot get, away.” “I must, therefore, 
request you to read to our colleagues, but to them only, 
or at most, to them and. the Deans, an address which I 

* ‘©The duty of the Bishop ought in all things to be prescribed by 
Ganon. . . . The independence of the Bishops in the primitive ages 
constitutes no solid objection to the enactment of such a law, any more 
than the natural independence of man constitutes a valid objection to his 
dutiful submission to the laws of his country ; the general good of society 
demands the one, the harmony and general good of the Church demands 
the other,’—See Grub, vol. iv., PP. 276-7. 


had intended to read myself, could I have been present, 
and to carry it with you for good Bishop Jolly’s perusal, 
if he be not present at Aberdeen. If it do not convince 
him of the necessity of occasional Synods, as well as of the 
absurdity of the innovations proposed in the circular, I 
shall certainly be much surprised ; but I shall as certainly 
make no farther efforts to procure what I think so neces- 
sary to the prosperity of our Church, as I am conscious 
of having done my duty, and done all that duty requires 
of me.” 

In the last month of 1824, and the first three months 
of 1825, the Primus was much occupied, and not a little 
distracted by another case of consecration to the Episco- 
pate—that of Dr Luscombe, as Quasi-Missionary Bishop 
of the Anglican Congregations in France and the adjacent 
countries. From the inherent difficulties of this case, the 
Bishops were a good dea] divided regarding it, the two 
“junior colleagues,” Bishops Low and Skinner, taking a 
prominent stand on opposite sides. The great difficulty 
of the case was this, that Dr Luscombe had no title or 
claim to jurisdiction. He was not elected to office by the 
clergy over whom he was to preside, as required by the 
Scotch Canons, nor was he appointed by any other 
recognised authority. 

When told by the Primus* that it would-be neces- 
sary to procure a deed of election by the clergy, and also 
to prevent international complications, submit the scheme 
to the heads of the English Church and State, he main- 
tained that to attempt to do either of these things would 
be to risk the entire miscarriage of the scheme. It would 

* Great part of the correspondence on the subject, including letters to 
the Primus from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Bishop Van Mildert, and 

Mr (afterwards Sir Robert) Peel, will be found in Neale’s Torry, pp. 118- 
138, The quotations in the text are from unpublished letters, 


be sure, through some channel or other, to become known 
to the general public, and then such opponents as the 
French Roman Catholics would raise insuperable obstacles 
to its accomplishment. The Primus, however, wrote to 
the Archbishop, who advised him “ to do nothing in this 
matter without previously consulting some of His Majesty’s 
Ministers.” The Primus, therefore, did consult Mr Peel, 
and Dr Luscombe himself consulted Mr Peel and Mr 
Canning, with no bad result whatever, but the reverse, 
Mr Canning offering him an introduction to the British 
Ambassador at Paris. 

Bishop Low, however, who was the first of the Bishops 
to whom Dr Luscombe applied, and who had been all 
along his ardent supporter, thought this “reference to 
Her Majesty’s Government, and to the Archbishop of 
Canterbury,” ‘“ most unwarrantable;” but none of his 
colleagues appear to have agreed with him in this. 

There remained now only the deed of election difficulty. 
Dr Luscombe contended that his case was too exceptional 
—too much that of a mere Missionary Bishop, to require 
compliance with such “forms” as a deed of election. 
Bishop Low agreed with him, and in arguing with his 
colleagues, pointed with scorn to the “lax” practice of 
other Churches, and of their own in quite recent times.” 


* © T know of no Church existing which has uniformly made election a 
sine qué non for consecration. There is no election in Ireland; there is 
none in the British Colonies; and there is none in England ; for, setting 
aside the pressure of the Royal Congé d’élire, I maintain that to be a farce 
—a mere mockery—which is performed by a Dean and a dozen or so of 
drones of Prebendaries or Canons . . . ~. though the diocese may 
contain a thousand clergymen!! Our own Church has been as lax— 
having been for a considerable time governed by a series of Bishops who 
were never elected or appointed to any particular district. Your own 
father [Bishop John Skinner] was consecrated without an election, so was 
Bishop Macfarlane, so was Bishop Strachan, and so was the present 
Bishop of Moray; and Bishop Macfarlane’s election, when it did take 
place, was made by one solitary presbyter; and Bishop Rose, I believe, 
never presided over more than one presbyter all his life.’ (Letter of 



At last, however, Dr Luscombe made an effort to 
comply with the requirement of the Canon ; but he soon 
came to the conclusion that compliance was practically 
impossible, and that to insist on it was really to refuse 
consecration. In this conclusion, the three Southern 
Bishops and Bishop Jolly acquiesced, the latter with great 
reluctance, but yet in very decided terms. It seems 
strange that the deed of election should have been so 
much insisted on as it was; for a deed from a body of 
presbyters so anomalously circumstanced as the Conti- 
nental chaplains were, would have been a mere form. 
The nearest possible approach to a real compliance with 
the Canon would have been a promise from some of the 
Continental clergy to recognise Dr Luscombe in his Epis- 
copal character, and apply to him for Episcopal functions. 
With a promise of this nature, or an expression of “con- 
currence ”* in the consecration, even the two outstanding » 
Northern Bishops would, in the end, have been contented. 
Dr Luscombe set himself to procure some such promise, 
and succeeded ; but, unfortunately, not in time to be able 
to communicate the result to the Northern Bishops before 
the consecration. He “ produced,” the Primus said, 
“letters promising all due obedience from three clergy- 
men, one in Paris, one at. Caen, and the third at Ostend.” 

It is evident from the letters of both Prelates that, had 

Bishop Low to Bishop Skinner, Aug. 30, 1825.) The Bishop might have 
added to this list that Bishop Petrie was elected to two dioceses by one 
presbyter.—See Grub IV., p. 89. In regard to the election of Bishop 
Strachan, it appears from the Minute Book of Brechin, that, when Dr 
Abernethy Drummond was elected by the Brechin clergy, he requested 
them (on account of his residence being so distant from the diocese), to 
allow Mr Strachan, of Dundee, to be consecrated as coadjutor to him ; 
and that the clergy readily complied with the request. 

* The said Bishops . . . dissent from the mode of Dr Luscombe’s 
consecration without some previous deed of election, or, at least, of con- 
currence on the part of some of the clergy at any rate, &c.’’—Reasons of 
Dissent by Bishops Skinner and Torry. 


Bishops Skinner and Torry been present on the occasion 
of the consecration, and seen these letters, they would 
have withdrawn all opposition. 

It seems all the more unfortunate, therefore, that the 
Primus did not see his way to comply with a request for 
further delay. Bishop Skinner wrote him (Feb. 21, 
1825) that he could not attend the consecration on the 
5th Sunday in Lent, and that he and Bishop Torry 
“ would crave permission to have their reasons of dissent 
recorded in the minutes of the transaction,” if the conse- 
eration should be performed then without a deed of 
election, or any equivalent for a deed. He added, “Could 
Dr Luscombe be even yet prevailed upon to obtain the 
wished-for suffrage from a few of the Continental clergy, 
and if you will consent, in order to give time for obtaining 
this, fo postpone the consecration until some convenient 
Sunday after Easter, I am persuaded both Bishop Torry 
and myself would make a point of attending, &e.” 

Thus it is plain that a further delay of three weeks 
would, in all probability, have united all the six Bishops, 
“heart and hand,” in the work of consecration. 

The Primus, however, had already postponed the con- 
secration for six weeks; and had made all his arrange- 
ments for its performance on Palm Sunday, March 26th. 
On that day, therefore, it took place in his church at 
Stirling, the three Southern Bishops being the consecra- 
tors. Bishop Jolly was unable to attend, but expressed a 
strong wish to be present, that “ his hand as well as his 
heart might be in the work.” 

The consecration sermon was preached by the Rev. W. F. 
Hook, afterwards the well-known “ greatest parish priest” 
of England. 

The consecration did not, by any means, put an end to 

M 2 


the disputes among the Bishops regarding the case. The 
two dissentients adhered to their dissent, regarding the 
fact that an equivalent had at the last moment been pro- 
duced for the deed of election as only another proof that 
the case had been unduly hurried on. It was Bishop 
Skinner who forwarded his own and Bishop Torry’s 
reasons of dissent to Bishop Low, requesting him (April 
16th), as clerk of the college, to enter them in the minute. 
Bishop Low replied (April 30), “I was favoured with 
your letter enclosing your own and Bishop Torry’s pro- 
test, which has not [been], and never shall be, inserted by 
me in our register, out of sheer compassion to the two 
Right Reverend Protesters.” He then proceeded to 
discuss, in the style already indicated, “the reasons of 
dissent ;” but the time for discussion was past, and the. 
dissentients insisted on compliance. As clerk of the 
college, Bishop Low, they maintained, had no discretion 
in the matter ; he must do as he was bid. But such strict 
compliance with rule and form seemed little to the mind 
of the Bishop of Ross. His Northern colleagues were 
struck with his “assumption of power.” “He com- 
plains,” Bishop Skinner wrote, “of the Primus’s as- 
sumption of power, but it is a mere bagatelle to that of 
the clerk !”* 

* Of course, Bishop Low had to yield in the end, being unsupported 
by the other two consecrators, but he did so with a bad grace. At first, 
from the want of law or precedent in the matter, Bishop Skinner had 
rather apprehended an authoritative refusal to minute the reasons of 
dissent. The following extract from a letter of his to Bishop Torry 
(March 7th, 1825) is interesting for more reasons than one. ‘‘ Upon 
looking into the very scanty minutes of our Episcopal Synods, 1 scarce find 
any precedent of such dissent being recorded, not even in the instance of 
Bishop Jolly’s consecration. In that of Bishop Kilgour, in Sept. 1768, a 
protest by Bishop Forbes, and very considerable opposition are mentioned ; 
and what seems very strange, and was hitherto unknown to me, Bishop 
Kilgour was consecrated by only two Bishops—Bishops Raitt and Alexander.’ 
Our Church historians all give three, as the number of Bishop Kilgour’s 
consecrators ; but, doubtless, the register is right. Bishop Forbes had 
himself been elected by the clergy of Aberdeen, but the college had refused 
to confirm his election. Hence the division in the college, and the 
difficulty in finding the due number of consecrators, 


Tt must thus be seen that, though the Primus, 
no doubt, made some mistakes in the management of this 
delicate and anomalous case, he had great difficulties to 
contend with. He had to withstand pressure from both 
sides. And, after all, the mistakes were of no serious 
consequence—certainly not such as to affect In any way 
the successful working of the scheme. 

Bishop Luscombe, by his own acknowledgment, found 
from the first a most promising field of labour in France. 
Jurisdiction, indeed, he could not have ; but his Episcopal 
character was recognised by the British residents of all 
ranks, from the Ambassador downwards. In general, his 
Episcopal offices were thankfully accepted. He obtained 
a recognised position in connection with the English 
Church, by being appointed Commissary of the Bishop of 
London, “for the performance of confirmations on the 
Continent, for receiving stated reports from the clergy, 
and some other official duties.” 

The least satisfactory result of the Luscombe case was 
its effect on the Episcopal College itself. It aggravated 
considerably the unpleasant feeling that subsisted between 
the Primus and the two junior members, and still more 
that between the two juniors themselves. The Primus 
complained that Bishops Skinner and Low had blamed 
him unreasonably for his conduct in different parts of the 
transaction, and sought on this, as on former occasions, to 
circumscribe unduly his powers as Primus—denying him 
all initiative and discretion, even in “matters of taste,” 
and reducing his position practically to that of “ clerk or 
amanuensis of the college.” Bishop Skinner had found 
fault with the wording of all the addresses which he had 
written, with the exception of the last, “ which he 
probably supposed had been composed by Bishop Sand- 


ford,” and continued to insist that these addresses ought 
to be submitted to all the Bishops for their revision and 
correction, before being circulated for signature. But the 
' Primus argued, if he was not fit to write a few sentences 
of an address to Royalty, he was not fit for the office— 
and Bishop Skinner's father would never have submitted 
to have his addresses revised by the Bishops all round. 
Unless a better understanding could be come to as to the 
duties of the office of Primus, “no consideration on earth’ 
would induce him to hold it “longer than Whit Sunday.” 

The senior Bishops deprecated strongly the proposed 
resignation. Bishop Torry wrote the Primus, “ We 
cannot do without you.” Bishop Jolly “earnestly pro- 
tested against” resignation, and told the Primus “it 
would be dereliction of his duty.” We are not told, but 
we cannot doubt what was Bishop Sandford’s view 
of the matter, as he invariably co-operated with the 
Primus. Certainly, the seniors showed more considera- 
tion for the Primus than the juniors. 

There was, however, a very marked difference in the 
grounds of the opposition of the two juniors. Bishop 
Low seemed to be guided a good deal by impulse, Bishop 
Skinner generally by a very strict, if not exaggerated, 
regard for rule and order. Bishop Low says in one of his 
letters that the Primus accused him of acting from “ petu- 
lance” or “ pique,” and he certainly sometimes, as in the 
matter of a General Synod, refused to do what he ac- 
knowledged to be right, only, as it appeared, because, in 
his opinion, some other things had not been done right. 
Bishop Skinner’s opposition was far more reasonable, and, 
in fact, was at worst only the excess of a virtue. He was 
a most careful and regular business man, and only asked of 
his colleagues what he himself was always ready to grant. 


The threat of resignation was not carried out by the 
Primus, probably on account of the remonstrances of the 
senior Bishops, and the probability that the matter in 
dispute would soon receive an authoritative settlement 
by a General Synod. 

During the year 1826 the Church was greatly agitated. 
by the outbreak of a controversy, which was new in the 
North. Native Episcopalians had as yet but faintly 
realised the extent to which English Church parties 
differed from each other, and the unmeasured terms in 
which they denounced each other’s teaching. Hence, 
when the Rev. Edward Craig, an English Evangelical, 
who had lately settled in Edinburgh,* attacking a publi- 
cation of Dr (afterwards Bishop) Walker’s, asserted that 
Scotch Episcopalians “ were perishing for lack of know- 
ledge ”—that ‘they had looked for the bread of life in 
the pulpit ministrations of their own Church, and had 
not found it, &., &., they were needlessly excited, and 
called for “judicial measures.” The Bishop of Edin- 
burgh, however, after consulting with his leading clergy, 
who were mostly English, like himself, decided that the 
wisest course would be to take no “ official notice” of the 
attack. The Primus had intended—and, in fact, had 
already begun—to draw up a pastoral letter on the 
subject ; but on learning the decision of the Edinburgh 
clergy, he abandoned his intention. 

At the instance of two of his colleagues, however, he 
called a meeting of the Episcopal Synod, to consider the 
question, in the month of August, when the Bishops had 
occasion to be in Edinburgh on the business of the Pan- 
tonian Funds. The Synod met (August 9th, 1826) ; but 
though it received a strong declaration condemnatory of 
Mr Craig from upwards of thirty of the presbyters and 

* See Bishop Jolly, pp. 106-7. 


deacons, it came to the same determination as the Edin- 
burgh clergy, and nothing official was done.* 

The Primus was not present at the Episcopal Synod, 
but gave his vote by proxy, as did also Bishop Jolly. 

* The Bishops sympathised with Dr Walker, but it was not a case for 
authoritative censure. The time was past when they could with safety 
refuse to tolerate anything that was tolerated in the English Church. It 
appears, however, that the Primus was himself in favour of summary 

In a letter addressed to the Clergy of Brechin, and read at their 
“annual meeting,’’ he said—“ It is my decided opinion that he (Rev. E. 
Craig) should be expelled from our communion, for it is safer to deal with 
an open enemy, than with a treacherous friend; but as he who has a right 
to call him to account (Bishop Sandford) thinks otherwise, and perhaps 
thinks more correctly, &c.’’, nothing would be done by the Church asa 
body. The Bishop would simply act for himself, and his own diocese. 
He therefore desired (did not command), his Clergy to have no communion 
or communication with Mr Craig. ‘*I desire you never to admit into your 
desks or pulpits the Rev. Edward Craig, of St Hdmund’s Hall, Oxford, 
known at present as minister of St James’s Chapel, Broughton Place, 
Edinburgh ; and when you may have occasion to be in Ediuburgh your- 
selves, you will never go to that chapel to worship God in public, so long 
as he shall be the minister of it, unless he retract his calumnies of our 
clergy, and of the doctrines which they preach, as publicly as he has 
circulated, and continues to circulate them.” This amounted to an 
excommunication of Mr Craig within the diocese of Brechin, and the 
Clergy were quite prepared to give effect to it. A series of seven 
Resolutions, in which they pledged themselves to “attend to his exhorta- 
tions,”’ were moved in Synod by Mr Horsley, and ‘‘ unanimously approved 
of.” Resolution 4 ran as follows:—“ That the said Presbyters, with all 
becoming humility and respect, request their diocesan to accept of their 
sincere thanks for his most excellent pastoral letter, and to assure him 
that they are duly sensible of the vigilant attention manifested by him, 
on this and all occasions, to the interests of the Church in general, and to 
the congregations committed to his spiritual oversight in particular.” 

CHAPTER XI.—1827-1830. 

Publishes a Work on the Study of Theology—Nature of the Work— 
Review of it by the “ British Critic”—Swmmons a General 
Synod—Synod makes some important enactments— Quinquen- 
nial General Synod and ‘ Barrier” Provisions—Summons «. 

Second General Synod in 1829—Synod of ’29 undoes work of « 

Synod of ’28—Publishes a Charge giving view of Constitution 
of Church. 

In the spring of 1827, the Primus published a volume of 
465 pages 8vo., entitled “ Directions for the Study of 
Theology, in a series of Letters from a Bishop to his son 
on his admission to Holy Orders.”* 

As the author states in his preface, a good deal of the 
matter of this volume had already appeared in various 
miscellaneous publications to which he had contributed ; 
and three dissertations in the Appendix, including one on 
Original Sin, are taken, with little alteration, from his 
edition of Stackhouse. 

Ecclesiastically, times are very greatly changed since 
the publication of this work; and it is instructive to 

* Prefixed to the work were the following two quotations, which form 
very appropriate mottoes, not only to this volume, but to every work, in 
which the Bishop sought to expound the ways of God to man, especially in 
the punishment of sin, whether original or actual :— 

“Tn all your,sermons and discourses, speak nothing of God but what 
is honourable and-glorious; and impute not to him such things, the con- 
sequents of which a wise and good man will not own,’—Jeremy Taylor. 

' \ > 
eds oddapy ovdapdds ahvxos GAX' he Oloy te Grequotatos, xat obx 

’ \ 4 LY ‘ b) \ yw ft v t ~ we , ow t 
Eotly GIT OU.oLoTEDOY ovdey y Os av 1pOv a evvyrat ov OtXLOTATOS. 


compare it with works of a similar class issued at the 
present day. It came out entirely as an English book ; 
the date (Stirling, Feb. 1, 1827) being perhaps the sole 
indication of its Scotch origin.. The author doubtless 
looked chiefly to England as the field of circulation for 
such a work. His son, to whom the letters were ad- 
dressed, had been a candidate for English orders, and 
was now an English clergyman. The letters were sup- 
posed to be first read in England, and, as Bishop Skinner 
observed in a letter of the period, “ the ‘ Church’ referred 
to in the letters:is not the author’s Church, but his son’s 

As a whole, the work represents very faithfully the 
doctrines of the English Church, the only exception being 
the explanation of original sin, which, as has been seen, 
does not quite agree with the natural interpretation of the 
Articles. On all other leading subjects—Baptism, the 
Holy Eucharist, Justification, &c.—he states fairly and 
impartially the views and arguments of the different 
schools and parties; usually, however, summing up in 
favour of the teaching of the Moderate High Church 
School, which formed then, as it probably does now, the 
great central body of English Churchmen. 

Of Article XVII. he says, “Our article on predes- 
tination is perhaps as perspicuously and cautiously ex- 
pressed as it was possible that any opinions could be 
expressed on so abstruse a subject; but I cannot help 
regretting that it should have ever been deemed expedient 
to introduce the subject into the public creed of any 
Church ” (p. 274). 

On the subject of the Eucharist, after stating the argu- 
ments and authorities for three views—l. That the 
Eucharist is a commemorative sacrifice; 2. That it is a 


mere memorial of our Lord’s passion; 3, That it is a 
feast upon a sacrifice—he concludes, “Of these three 
views of the nature and end of the Lord’s Supper, which 
I believe to be the only views that are taken of that 
ordinance by divines of any eminence in the Church of 
England, I perceive little or no essential difference be- 
tween the first and third; though I certainly should 
prefer calling the Hucharist, or Lord’s Supper, a feast on 
the sacrifice rather than a sacrifice itself” (p. 317). 

On the subject of the Atonement, the Bishop confesses 
that his views had undergone a change in the direction of 
orthodoxy. “It is evident,” he says (p. 220), “that he 
(Bishop Warburton) considered our redemption from the 
death incurred by the fall of our first parents as the sole 
purpose for which a Redeemer was expressly promised to 
the-apostate pair, and for which, in the fulness of time, he 
died on a cross. This, I confess, was for many years my 
own opinion ; but now I think differently, and am con- 
vinced that Christ gave his life a sacrifice as durectly for 
the actual sins of men as for the original guilt of our first 

On the subject of Justification, he maintained, as he 
had always done,* that there is, properly speaking, a first 
and a final justification— one on admission to the Church, 
and one at the last day. 

How far the work expressed the views of the English 
High Church party of the period may be seen from 
the review of ‘it in the British Critic, the then organ of 
that party.t The review was very favourable, yet dis- 
criminating. The writer of it differed from the Bishop as 
to the possibility of such a thing as Natwral Religion 

* See the notice of his charge of 1819. 
+ Vol. I,, new series, 1827. 


having ever been “ professed or practised in the world ”— 
the Bishop denying, he affirming. This, however, was a 
small thing. The only point on which the reviewer 
thought the Bishop rather unsound was, as may be sup- 
posed, the doctrine of original sin. Here he used “lan- 
guage not familiar to divines, and apparently inconsistent 
with the terms of our 9th Article ;” yet the reviewer 
thought the Bishop's dissertation on the subject ‘ perhaps 
the cleverest essay” in the book—in some parts “masterly 
in a great degree,” and “ throughout bearing the strongest 
marks of long and deep thought, as well as an intimate 
acquaintance with the works of the fathers, and the 
learning of the English Church.” 

Of all the more strictly speculative and metaphysical 
parts of the work, the reviewer expresses a high opinion. 

“The chapters on Natural Theology, on the Duties of 
Natural Religion, and the different theories of Moral 
Obligation, contain much learned disquisition on the most 
interesting topics that can employ the attention of a young 
divine. The strictures, particularly on the theories of Dr 
Clarke and Mr Wollaston, are not Jess profound than 
accurate, and manifest, on the part of the author, exten- 
sive reading joined to an uncommon degree of metaphysical 

Of the Bishop’s exposition of the leading doctrines of 
the Christian faith, the reviewer expresses high approval, 
singling out the chapter on the Holy Eucharist as being 
“particularly valuable.” 

Judging from this review, the reception of the book in 
England was as favourable as could be expected at the 
time ; but the time was not auspicious. It was a time of 
transition—the eve of a mighty political change, the fertile 
origin of many other changes, including a High Church 


Revival,* which, in its rapid development, quickly left far 
behind it the moderate High Churchism of Bishop Gleig. 
Old manuals of theology soon became obsolete. Such 
topics as Natural Religion, Original Sin, the Eternal 
Generation of the Son, Predestination, and even Justifi- 
cation, over which Bishop Gleig’s generation had fought 
and wrangled, and of which his book was full, ceased to 
exercise a commanding interest. The chief topics with 
the new party and the rising generation were the Church, 
the ministry, the sacraments, and ritual, or the outward 
and objective side of religion generally. The new gene- 
ration made much of all of which the late generation had 
made little, and vice versd. 

Next year (1828) the Primus, despairing of ever ob- 
taining the consent of the whole of his colleagues to the 
convocation of a General Synod, resolved at last to act on 
the consent of the majority of them. He therefore 
summoned a General Synod to meet at Laurencekirk on 
the 18th of June 1828. The event showed that this was 
the proper course ; and it would have been well if the 
Primus had taken it several years earlier, before deafness 
and other infirmities of age had impaired his business 
energy. Bishop Low and Bishop Jolly did not attend 
the Synod; but when they found that their absence 
not only did not prevent legislation, but, on the contrary, . 

* See the origin of the Oxford movement, as recorded by the Hon. and 
Rev. Arthur Perceval and others. The Reform of Parliament, however, may 
be said to have been the occasion rather than the cause of the movement. The 
Evangelical movement had reached a stage at which, by the law of such 
movements, re-action became inevitable. The early promoters were dying 
out ; the original enthusiastic impulse which bore down all opposition and 
criticism was spent; the defects of the movement became apparent, and 
the usual result followed—viz., not the regulation of the movement, not 
the correction of its defects, but the rise of a counter-movement—a move- 
ment which tended to exalt and exaggerate everything which the ante- 
cedent movement had overlooked and neglected—the running from one 

extreme to the other, 


gave freer play to it, they became eager for another Synod. 
Bishop Low’s reason for objecting to a Synod at this time 
was apparently much the same as on previous occasions, 
viz., some temporary dissatisfaction with the action of his 
colleagues. “It is hinted,” wrote Bishop Skinner (May 
17, 1828), ‘that Bishop Low positively refuses to be 
present, because, forsooth, it has been stated that Dr 
Walker cannot be admitted to a seat in Synod untila 
Canon be formed and passed for admitting our theological 

Bishop Jolly’s reasons were ever the same, and more 
respectable than cogent. 

The Synod met on the day Savoia: and did some 
useful work. By far the most important of its enactments 
were those of Canon XVI., concerning Synods. It pro- 
vided that Diocesan Synods should be held every year, and 
a General Synod every fifth year. Unfortunately, it added 
a provision, taken from the American Church Constitu- 
tion, and substantially the same as the Presbyterian Church 
Barrver Act, that “no law or canon be enacted or abrogated, 
till the same shall have been submitted to the several Dio- 
cesan Synods, and approved of by a majority of the clergy, 
as well as by a majority of those who constitute the General 
Synod in which said enactment or abrogation was pro- 
posed,” &e, 

Probably the whole of these enactments were of too 
modern and constitutional] a cast for such men as Bishop 
Jolly. The “barrier” clause, in reality, could hardly 
have been other than a conservative provision, sometimes 
perhaps only a drag upon legislation ; yet it was regarded 
as quite revolutionary. It “would lay our Episcopacy 
in the dust.” 

It was in this style that Bishop Jolly wrote of it to 


most of his colleagues. He was shy of writing about it to 
the Primus, though he kept saying he was going to do so. 
He had undoubtedly great respect for the Primus, but 
the respect was not unmingled with fear ; and he always 
addressed him as “ Right Reverend and dear Str,” while 
his mode of addressing any of his other colleagues was 
“Right Rev. and dear Brother.” At last he did write 
the Primus, and was agreeably surprised with the answer 
which he received. The Primus, it appeared, had never 
been a consenting party to the “barrier” clause, which 
was passed in his absence from the Synod chamber. 

He wrote that “the first thing that was agitated in the 
Bishops’ Chamber was whether the canons to be proposed 
and agreed on should be enacted as laws of the Church 
immediately obligatory, or kept in abeyance till they 
should be submitted to the Diocesan Synods, and, if ap- 
proved of by the majority of the clergy, be enacted into 
laws by the Synod, which was now to be prorogued, and 
recalled for that purpose next year. This American plan 
of prorogation and abeyance was strenuously urged, when 
I answered that, if such was to be the purpose for which 
the Synod had been called, it should never have been 
convoked by me, and that, if they were determined on 
that measure, J should instantly leave them, when no 
Synod could be held. Bishop Sandford was understood 
to agree with me, so that the majority in the Bishops’ 
chamber was against the constitution of the XVI. Canon.’ 
“The Primus then declares,” says Bishop Jolly, “in most 
solemn terms that ‘he never saw that Canon in its present 
form till he got it from Edinburgh.’ In very humble 
manner, which, from his station among us, to me is very 
affecting, he takes blame to himself, fatigued and ex- 
hausted as he was by close attention to the Meiklefolla 


business* for an hour in the morning, for suffering himself 
to be called out of the chapel, and so missing the hearing 
of that Canon when read.” 

The Primus now spoke of Canon XVI. as “ Anti- 
Episcopal ;” no doubt on account of this obnoxious-clause. 
It was not, therefore, difficult for Bishops Jolly and 
Low and their friends (Dr Walker, &c.) to prevail upon 
him to summon another General Synod to revise the work 
of the last. What Bishop Sandford thought of this step 
does not appear; but Bishops Skinner and Torry were 
highly indignant at it. Doubtless it was very aggravating 
to them to be called upon so soon to overhaul their work, 
especially as the demand for a second Synod proceeded 
chiefly from those colleagues who had refused to attend 
and take their share in the work and responsibility of the 
first. Bishop Skinner, acknowledging (April 8, 1829) an 
“admirable letter” on the subject from Bishop Torry, 
speaks of the proposed second Synod as an ‘absurd and 
uncalled-for scheme ;” and, alluding to the Duke of 
Wellington’s recent sudden concession of the Roman 
Catholic claims, which he calls an “ odious measure,” he 
continues, ‘‘ With Premiers both in Church and State the 
favourite maxim would now seem to be voluntas stat pro 
ratione.” — “ Nor,” he adds, “is the sudden change of 
sentiment in our brothers of Moray and Ross and Argyle, 
who were hitherto such stern and strenuous opposers of 
Synods, less marvellous than the wondrous conversions of 
our Anti-Catholic statesmen. Some baleful influence surely 
affects the atmosphere of 1829.” 

* The “ Meiklefolla business”’ was a dispute between the great body 
of the Folla congregation, and a small minority headed by the chief pro- 
prietor, Mr Leslie of Rothie, about the appointment of a clergyman. The 
people were most anxious to retain the services of the Rev. James Robert- 
son (now Archdeacon of Nova Scotia), who had been assistant to their late 
clergyman ; but Mr Leslie and his friends succeeded in preventing Mr 
Robertson’s appointment, The case caused great excitement at the time, 


Some of the parties who called for a second Synod 
spoke as if their object in regard to Canon XVI. was 
merely the correction of an ‘ambiguous expression ;” but 
it soon transpired that they aimed at a repeal of both the 
chief provisions of the Canon. 

Dr Russell, of Leith, writing to Bishop Skinner (March 
21st, 1829), said, “I am glad to hear that you are to 
attend the Synod in June, for, if I mistake not, there will 
be an attempt made (not by your friend at Stirling) to 
undo more of our labour at Laurencekirk than the 
ambiguous expression of the 16th Canon. The appoint- 
ment of Quinquennial General Synods gave much satis- 
faction in this diocese, and I should be sorry were the 
enactment to that effect repealed.” 

“ Russell,” observes Bishop Skinner, ‘“ would not have 
said so much, were he not well assured that such attempts 
will be made. God grant, my dear sir, that we may have 
sufficient firmness and strength to withstand such in- 
sidious and mischievous machinations. Let us strenuously 
and decidedly oppose any alteration whatever on the 
Canon as now printed, beyond what you most judiciously 
suggest, a proper explanation of any seeming ambiguity 
in the 16th.” 

Dr Russell’s apprehensions were only too well founded, 
“ An attempt” was “being made to undo the work” of 
the Laurencekirk Synod ; not, indeed, as he truly says, by 
the Primus, but by men who had great influence wi ith the 
Primus, and who could now easily bend him to their 
purpose. The attempt proved entirely successful. The 
General Synod of 1829 met at Edinburgh, June 24th. 
It was attended by every person who had a seat in it, 
including Dr Walker, Professor of Theology ; and it very 
effectually “undid” the work of the Laurencekirk Synod, 



repealing both the provision which enacted the holding of 
a General Synod every fifth year, and also that which 
gave the clergy at large a veto on the acts of the General 
Synod, through the diocesan Synods. The Primus, and 
the majority of the Bishops, appear to have yielded 
entirely to the influence of Bishop Jolly.* 

The Synod of Brechin was held this year at Arbroath, 
August 27. It was attended by the Bishop, who, accord- 
ing to the minute, “ delivered an excellent charge, which 
_ he was unanimously requested by the brethren to publish, 
a request which he complied with.” The subject was the 
constitution of the Church, as settled by the recent 
General Synod ; and, in his exposition of it, Bishop Gleig 
spoke as Bishop Jolly spoke of the relations between 
Bishops and Presbyters, and of the danger of encroach- 
ment by the latter on the prerogatives of the former. 
After stating (p. 15) that “ the 30th of the Canons called 
Apostolical enjoins a Synod of Bishops to be held twice 
every year, Wc.,” he proceeds, ‘‘ In the present state of our 
Church, there appears to be no occasion for such frequent 
Synods, which, in this age of the liberal and rapid march 
of intellect, might be as likely to produce, as to put an end 
to, ecclesiastical controversies. It is even not impossible 
that the Presbyters, having obtained—what they had not 
before the year 1811—the right of sitting in a chamber of 
their own as constituent members of every General Synod, 
might be incited by some aspiring but disappointed spirits 
among them in the next generation (far be it from me to 

* In the beginning of April 1829, the Primus wrote to Bishop Skinner, 
in answer to an enquiry what changes were proposed in the Canons, 
“Besides correcting the 16th Canon of our present Code, it is the inten- 
tion of Bishop Jolly and myself to prepare a Canon explaining the consti- 
tution of what is called (not very properly perhaps) Diocesan Synods, 
and defining the respective authorities of the Bishop and Presbyters in 
such Synods.” 


fi. = 



_ Say that there are any such in the present), to claim to 
themselves what their predecessors of the Establishment 
claimed, a perfect equality of order and authority with 
their Diocesans, and a right to sit and vote with them in 
the same Chamber.* Our Church therefore acted wisely, 
when, in the late Synod held in Edinburgh, she left the 
convoking of Synods entirely to the judgment of the 
majority of the Bishops, &c.” Thus far as to the Quin- 
quennial General Synod. The following is substantially 
the shape in which the “ barrier” clause came out of the 
Synod of 1829: “ And though the Presbyters have no 
authoritative voice whatever, but by their representatives 
assembled in Synod, it is surely expedient that every 
Bishop call together a consistory of the clergy in his 
diocese, some weeks before the assembling of the Synodj 
that he may hear their opinions on the subjects to be 
discussed, together with the reasons on which such 
opinions are founded—not to be guided by them against 
his own judgment, even should they be unanimous—but 
to aid him in deciding the question himself.” 

The composition of the Charge, as well as the manage- 
ment of the two Synods, betrayed on the part of the 
Primus a “decline of vigour,” only too natural at his 
advanced age. The long desired opportunity for legisla. 
tion had come too late, and the result of it was to leave 
matters very much as it found them. This is how Bishop 
Jolly wrote of the Charge in a letter to Dr Walker, Jan. 
2, 1830. ‘“ After long delay, I received the desired Charge, 

* Yet the Primus had come to doubt the expediency of having two 
Chambers—as most churchmen probably do now, at least for purposes of 
deliberation and discussion. ‘‘ I am not now so convinced as I then (1811) 
was that this was wisely done. In a Church, not under the control of 
the State, a Synod divided into two Chambers, mutually balancing each 
other, is apt to be disturbed by the rivalry of these Chambers, &c.’’ Note 
to p. 13. Charge of 1829. 

N 2 



which, by God’s blessing, shall have I hope salutary 
effects. But hitherto I have heard little of it. Our 
friend Mr Cheyne, who has been very keen against the 
Laurencekirk doings in a Jetter to Mr Pressley, expressed 
himself as disappointed with regard to it; not in its 
matter, but rather in its manner, which he thinks argues 
great decline of vigour and nervous diction in which the 
Primus excelled. But perhaps the plain didactic alee Is 
best suited to such an address.” 

The reader will probably consider the reasons against 
holding frequent (or periodical) General Synods, given in 
the extract just quoted, as a proof of “ decline of vigour.” 
To refuse a reasonable thing because it may, at some future 
time; possibly lead to a demand for an unreasonable thing, 
is a too common mode of reasoning, but it is not one to 
which, in his better days, Bishop Gleig would have had 
recourse. The infirmities of age grew fast upon him 
now ; and the Synod of 1829 was the last occasion of any 
importance on which he appeared in public. Bishop 
Jolly, the Senior Prelate by consecration, was also very 
infirm ; and both of them continued long in a semi-super- 
annuated state. There was no one to take the initiative 
in anything, and prevent general Church business from 
coming to a dead-lock. Never was there greater need of . 
some self-acting machinery like the periodical General 
Synod provision, which these two good men had just 
repealed. * 

* To the writer, the Quinquennial General Synod enactment appears 
the most important Act that has been passed by the General Synod since 
the admission of the Representatives of the Presbyters in 1811. But so 
little importance seems to have been attached to it, then and since, that 
not one of the historians of the Church takes any notice of its repeal. 
The abortive attempt at “‘ reform’ in 1828 deserves the particular atten- 
tion of Churchmen at this time. Looked at in the light of contemporary 
and subsequent history, it is seen to have been part of a general and wide- 
spread movement, which at the time it was very easy to misunderstand, 
and also to misrepresent as utterly subversive of all that. was old and 


sacred, but which yet was nowhere suppressed by authority, without dis- 
astrous consequences—revolution, disruption, or stagnation. In England 
it terminated with some difficulty in reform; in France, in revolution ; 
in the Established Church of Scotland, in disruption—the effects of 
which the State would, after thirty years, fain undo by granting now 
what it refused then, The result of repression in the Episcopal Church 
was an aggravation of the general apathy or stagnation, which arose 
from the smallness of the body, the want of sympathy between North 
and South, and the sluggish circulation, the feeble corporate life of the 

CHAPTER XII.—1830-40. 

Endeavours to obtain relief from active duties—Anecdote of 
Lauréencekirk Synod—Consecrates Dr Walker to the Bishopric 
of Edinburgh—Desires a Coadjutor, and proposes to nominate 
Dr Russell for the ofice—Brechin Olergy refuse to elect a 
Nominee—Bishops generally discountenance the project of a 
Coadjutor—Bishop Torry on the abuses of the Coadjutor 
system—Commits oversight in transmitting ‘an address to 
Primate of Ireland—Resigns office of Primus—Consents to the 
free election of vu Coadjutor—Begins to show synvptoms of 
mental decay—His Son’s account of his declining years and 
death—Tablet to his memory—Inscription—Sketches of his 
character by Dr Neale and the Hau-Chaplain-General— 

Soon after the two General Synods the Primus began to 
take steps to secure relief from the active duties of his 
offices, from which his growing infirmities, and especially 
his deafness, incapacitated him. Deafness had interfered 
considerably with his management of the Synods, and a 
story is told illustrative of the fact, and also of the 
Primus’s unconscious thinking aloud, or trenchant out- 
spokenness. At the Laurencekirk Synod, the Bishops 
were divided on some question, and Bishop Torry 
“yoared into his ear” the view of one side. When 
he ceased, the Primus exclaimed, “stark nonsense!” On 
which Bishop. Sandford “seized the ear-trumpet, and in 
his choicest language, insinuated the reasons for /zs view.” 
The old man again unconsciously uttered his thought— 
“starker nonsense still !” 

The Primus still performed a few more public acts. 
One of these must have been to him very interesting and 
gratifying, viz., the consecration of his friend Dr Walker. 


to the Bishopric of Edinburgh—an event which took place 
at Stirling on the second Sunday in Lent, March 7th, 1830. 

In August 1831 he* visited his diocese ; but as he him- 
self anticipated, for the last time. In writing to Bishop 
Torry, July 1st, 1831, he says, “Iam to hold my visita- 
tion in the month of August, and so awful are the times, 
and so rapidly are the infirmities of age coming upon me, 
I think it probable it may be my last; and with this 
notion strongly impressed on my mind, I find it more 
difficult to compose a proper charge for the clergy, than I 
ever felt such a composition before.” 

In the course of his visitation he sounded the clergy on 
a matter of great delicacy. He had resigned the charge 
of Stirling Chapel, and he wished to have a coadjutor in 
the Episcopate. The following letter to Bishop Torry 
(Noy. 2nd, 1831) will show how he set about this 
matter :— 

“Something more than two years ago, I was seized 
with fits of giddiness and deafness, such as Johnson in- 
forms us ‘attacked Dean Swift from time to time, began 
very early, pursued him through life, and at last sent him 
to the grave deprived of reason.’ My giddiness did not 
begin early, and till lately the fits were neither frequent, 
nor, with the exception of the first, very violent ; but for 
some months past they have recurred so often, and some- 
times with such extreme violence, as to make me appre- 
hensive either of sudden death or of being gradually 

‘rendered incapable of discharging the duties, either of a 
Bishop or of a Parochial Clergyman. I have accordingly 
resigned my chapel, because my deafness renders me unfit 
to visit the sick and the dying ; and I have long been de- 
sirous of having a coadjutor whom I can trust to think 

* He did not hold a general confirmation this year, but visited some 
congregations, and held a Diocesan Synod at Montrose, 


for me and occasionally to write forme. The case I have 
repeatedly stated to my friend Bishop Walker, naming 
Dr Russell of Leith as the man whom I think fittest for 
my coadjutor and successor as’ Bishop of Brechin. My 
friend at once saw the urgency of the case, and most 
heartily approved of my choice, as, if agreed to by our 
colleagues, might prove very useful to him, as well as to 
me, for his health, though not so precarious as mine, is 
far from being strong. 

“ As I know that no Bishop has a right to nominate his 
successor, and that no power on earth has a right to ob- 
trude on a Bishop of sound mind a coadjutor whose prin- 
ciples and talents are not what he approves, wy friend 
and I agreed that it would be prudent in me to state the 
case to my Clergy individually, and, if I should find the 
majority of them to concur with me in my proposal of Dr 
Russell for my coadjutor and successor, then to state it to 
them in a body, and in their name, and my own, to apply 
to my colleagues for a mandate to the Clergy to meet and 
elect a successor to their present Diocesan, whom I might 
assume immediately as my Coadjutor Bishop of Brechin. 
This course I accordingly followed in my late visitation ; 
and finding Messrs Smith, Garden, Dyce, Spark, Moir, 
Cushnie, and Henderson of Arbroath (I had not then seen 
Messrs Jolly, Horsley, Head, or Hatherton), unanimous 
in opinion, that Dr Russell is the fittest man in the 
Church for the office of my coadjutor, I took it for granted 
that there would not be a single dissentient voice when I 
should state the case to the body when met in Consistory.” 
But it was all otherwise. Before they met in Synod (at 
Montrose on August 26, 1831), the Clergy had had time 
to think the matter over, and could also speak their minds 
more freely. To the Primus’s “ astonishment,” therefore, 


the leading Clergy “objected to the whole measure. 
They agreed that no personal objection could be made to 
Dr Russell, protesting, at the same time (at least Mr 
Moir did so), that they had the greatest desire to oblige 
me; but they objected to the whole measure as contrary 
to the Canons, because the Bishop or his coadjutor should 
reside within the Diocese, and because I had used undue 
influence with the Clergy !! I call God to witness that I 
used no other influence with the Clergy than what was 
implied in my opinion that Dr Russell is worthy of the 
office, and that he would be most agreeable to me.”* 
This the good man, cleaving firmly to the last, to 
the old traditions, could not conceive to be ‘ undue 
influence,” especially as there was not a single Clergy- 
man in the Diocese of Brechin whom he thought fit 
to be a Bishop. And he continued to press his request 

* In the Minute Book of Brechiu we find the clergy’s account of this 
matter. It really differs in no essential particular from the Bishop’s own 
account, The question does not appear to have been put to the vote; and, 
as only a few of the members expressed their objections to the proposal, 
the Bishop probably realised but very imperfectly the strength of the 
opposition. ‘‘ The Ordinary delivered a charge, which was heard with 
great interest and attention, and thanks were returned to him by the 
Presbyters for his excellent and seasonable instructions and advice. The 
ordinary business of the meetivg being finished, the Bishop brought before 
the clergy his proposal to have Dr Russell appointed as his coadjutor and 
successor, and said “if the meeting approved of his proposal, he would 
write to his colleagues, and if he found them willing to concur, ask Dr 
Russell to accept, and proceed as soon as possible to his consecration.” 
** All the clergy heard with deep sorrow this account of their venerable 
diocesan’s health, but some of them . . . . objected strongly to the 
manner in which the Bishop proposed to proceed in appointing a coadjutor 
and successor, a8 uncanonical. They said that, as they were in fact about 
to appoint a new Bishop of Brechin, they ought to proceed in the manner 
which the Canons prescribe in the case of a diocese becoming vacant ; that 
is, that a mandate should be issued, and an election take place inthe, usual 
way. The nomination by the Bishop deprived the Presbyters of the 
opportunity ‘‘ of making the first choice;”” and for the Presbyters to 
pledge themselves on the suggestion of its diocesan, ‘‘ was inconsistent 
with the solemn declaration required by the Canons, that “no influence, 
lay or clerical, has been used with them in determining their choice,’ &.” 
“This reasoning was not satisfactory to the Bishop, and conceiving that 
the mejority of the Presbyters acquiesced in his proposal, he wrote a 
letter to his colleagues requestivg their concurrence.” This minute is 
signed by wine Presbyters, apparently all who were present, 


for a coadjutor. He was prepared to make the necessary 
sacrifices. ‘My coadjutor shall receive nothing from 
the Episcopal Fund whilst I live; nor shall he and 
I both vote in any Synod that may be called of the 
Bishops.” But the times were changed. The coadjutor 
system, having been abused, had fallen into discredit, 
and there was no provision in the existing Canons for the 
election of a coadjutor. These points were forcibly urged 
by Bishop Torry in his very discouraging reply. “ There 
is a strong impression on my mind,” he says, “that at 
Bishop Low’s consecration, when the subject of having 
coadjutors was by some means brought under our view, it 
seemed to be the unanimous opinion of all present that 
that measure ought not again to be revived, as being highly 
inexpedient in the present circumstances of the Church.” 

Again, ‘ when the scheme of coadjutorship was in full 
operation in the Church (much to the disturbance of its 
harmony), each coadjutor was brought forward by Epis- 
copal influence only; and the Clergy complained, and 
with justice, that their right of election was either reduced 
to a nullity, by their being compelled, in a manner, on 
the death of their Diocesan, to elect his coadjutor ; or if 
they judged another jitter, and were resolved to assert 
their privilege, that they were reduced to the painful ne- 
cessity of overlooking a man, who had perhaps for several 
years performed Episcopal offices among them.”* 

The scheme, therefore, “could never have been good,” 
and “ought not to be revived.” This was the conclusion 
of Bishop Torry. He was “compelled to withhold his 
consent from” the Primus’s “ proposal.” Most of his 
other colleagues withheld theirs also, and the proposal 
had to be dropt. 

* Letter to Primus Gleig, December 13th, 1831, Torry collection, 


The Bishops, however, were impressed with the neces- 
sity for doing something to strengthen the Episcopate at 
this time. But they did not meet to discuss the matter. 
Had the Quinquennial General Synod enactment been 
allowed to continue in force, the Bishops and the repre- 
sentatives of the Presbyters would have met soon, and a 
solution would have been found for the difficulty of the 
day. A General Synod in 1833 would doubtless have 
done what was done by the General Synod of 1838—viz., 
provide for a “ free, uninfluenced, and unbiassed election ” 
of coadjutors by the clergy of a diocese. 

When 1833 arrived, however, instead of regulating the 
old coadjutor system by Canon, the Bishops were invited 
to consider an entirely different mode of increasing their 

“ Bishop Low suggested the appointment of a seventh 
and supernumerary Bishop;” and as the Triennial General 
Meeting of the Friendly Society was held in Aberdeen in 
July, it was proposed that the Bishops, when they met - 
in Aberdeen, should hold a. Synod to discuss the project. 
Only two Bishops, however, met in Aberdeen. The 
Primus “made an attempt to reach the place, but failed 
by the way, and was obliged to return home.” It was 
then proposed to hold the Synod in Edinburgh in the 
month of September, on the occasion of the stated meeting 
of the Pantonian and Bell Trustees. Nothing was done 
then, however, nor till 1846, when Bishop Low provided 
an endowment for a seventh Bishopric—that of Argyll 
and the Isles. 

Thus, through the repeal of the provision for a periodical 
General Synod, Church affairs came to a sort of dead-lock. 
There was no self-acting machinery. The two senior 
Bishops, with whom lay the initiative, were practically 


ab agendo. They could not be expected to act; and 
as the most necessary measures touched narrowly the 
prerogatives of the seniors, the juniors bad a delicacy in 
pressing for action. 

The only way in which the Primus could now ad- 
minister the affairs, either of his diocese or of the Church 
at large, was through correspondence, and even that was 
becoming “ very irksome to him.” This fact is brought 
out very distinctly in a series of eleven letters of his 
written at this time (May 27th, 1833, to Nov. 18th, 
1834.) Most of these letters are addressed to a member 
of the Drumlithie congregation (Mr Alexander Beattie, 
Goukmuir), and all of them treat of the affairs of that 
congregation, with its repeated vacancies and changes of 
clergymen, during the short period in question. The 
letters betray an occasional token of old age—impatience, 
querulousness, or slight incoherence; but, on the whole, 
for an octogenarian, they are sufficiently clear and 
business-like productions. Their chief general interest 
lies in the striking way in which they illustrate the great 
and ever recurring difficulty, which, when as yet there 
was neither Church Society nor Church, Council, a poor 
congregation experienced in finding, and still more in 
retaining, a tolerably faithful and efficient clergyman. 
Drumlithie had been for some years in the charge of a Mr 
Dyer, who, however, became after a time discontented, 
and eventually, through losing his voice, unfit for duty, 
“and going off to America, left his congregation under 
the personal care of a curate, whom, he confessed to me 
(the Primus), he thought unworthy of the office.” For 
the support of a successor to Mr Dyer, “thirty pounds 
certain was all that, in a letter written to the Primus, 
the congregation was made to promise.” “No man of 


fortune,” says the Primus, “could get his principal foot- 
man for such wages.” ‘ Had we the zeal of the Presby- 
terian Seceders, double that sum would be offered.” If 
the people would offer £50, or even £40, he would get 
them £10 more from Church Funds, and a fit man might 
be secured. Not only was the salary small; there was 
no parsonage, nor any suitable house to be rented within 
miles of the church. 

That happened, therefore, which might have been ex- 
pected, when the Primus, in default of a suitable native 
candidate, ordained for the charge a Mr Oldfield from 
England, recommended by his son. “ We were all much 
pleased with him,” the Primus wrote to Mr Beattie, 
‘and I shall read to the congregation the testimonials of 
his character, subscribed by three Priests of the Diocese 
of Canterbury, all well known to me, and countersigned 
by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who always writes to 
me, as a friend and brother.” (Letter, July 7, 1833). 
These documents the Primus, of course, meant to read at 
a regular institution of Mr Oldfield, and for this purpose, 
chiefly, he appointed a day on which he would visit 
Drumlithie on his way from Aberdeen, whither he was 
about to proceed to attend a meeting of the 8. E. Friendly 
Society, accompanied by his son. But he was now too 
old and frail to be relied upon for keeping any appoint- 
ments away from his own house and church! As _ has 
been stated, he never reached Aberdeen. Neither did he 
reach Drumlithie. ‘I was taken so ill at Newhaven on 
my way,” he wrote to Mr Beattie (Sept. 4, 1833), “ that 
if my son had not been with me, I doubt if I should 
have been able to return to my own house.” Thus, in his 
settlement at Drumlithie, the new pastor was left 
very much to himself; and so, after three months, the 


Primus was “surprised to learn that Mr Oldfield had, 
without previously informing me, fixed his residence in 
Laurencekirk, because he could not find in Drumlithie a 
house that would accommodate himself, his mother, and 
his pupils.” Laurencekirk is seven miles from Drum- 
lithie, far too distant for “the domestic residence” of 
the minister of Drumlithie. All hints and suggestions 
for a change of residence appear, however, to have been 
vain. Mr Oldfield probably found the arrangement as in- 
convenient and unsatisfactory as either the Bishop or the 
congregation, but he could not see his way to a better. 
Anyhow, the reader of the letter is by no means “ sur- 
prised ” when, after a six months’ gap in the correspon- 
dence, he comes upon the intimation (April 10, 1834), 
that the Primus has “ received Mr Oldfield’s formal resig- 
nation of the chapel in Drumlithie,” and is highly “ imdig- 
nant” “at his abrupt leaving.” 

The correspondence, however, closes happily, by the 
Primus introducing, and then congratulating Mr Beattie 
on ‘the satisfaction of the congregation,” in a young 
clergyman of native birth, who held the, charge with 
credit and efficiency throughout and beyond the remain- 
ing period of the Primus’s Episcopate.* 

The Primus continued to have the whole charge of the 
diocese of Brechin three years longer, doing what he 
could with his pen. For the six years before 1835, no con- 
firmations had been performed in the diocese ; but in that 
year the Bishop asked and obtained help. He wrote 
to Bishop Torry (May 13th, 1835)—“T completed my 
eighty-first year yesterday, and have not been able these 
five years to go into bed or come out of it, and far less to 
go up and down stairs, without help. The consequence 

* The Rev. Wm Webster, now of New Pitsligo. 


is that I have not visited my diocese* these six years, nor 
has the sacred ordinance of confirmation during that long 
period been regularly administered in it. I have learned 
that you intend to visit your diocese this season, and may 
I beg of you to confirm likewise in mine?” . . “TI have 
repeatedly asked for a coadjutor, which I believe was 
never before refused in this Church to any aged and 
infirm Bishop.” He was still most anxious to have Dr 
Russell appointed as coadjutor of Brechin. “I am 
almost confident that Bishop Low would concur with 
Bishop Walker and me in consecrating Dr Russell— 
indisputably the most learned man in our Church.” 

‘Tf an addition be not soon made to the number of our 
Bishops, the regular succession of our Scottish Episcopacy 
will be lost. No doubt but I, as Primus, with the 
addition of any two other Bishops, could regularly and 
canonically consecrate Dr Russell, or any other priest; but 
as I have not the ambition of acting the Archbishop, d&c.” 

In this letter he mentions that his “complaints are 
extreme deafness and almost perpetual vertigo, which, as 
it destroyed the mind of Dean Swift, has so greatly 
weakened mine that I have been twice obliged to stop 
since I began this letter.” 

Bishop Torry made some inquiries as to his mode 
of administering confirmation, so, after specifying the 
places at which the candidates from the various charges 
would assemble, the Primus says, “ I never make use of 
the sign of the cross in administering the rite of confirma- 
tion. Bishop Rait never did; and he performed all his 
Episcopal duties in a more dignified and impressive 
manner than any other of my predecessors whom I have 
witnessed, &c.”—Letter, May 26th, 1835. 

* This must mean visitation of all the charges separately, with confir- 
mation in each.—See Ante p. 363. 


It was now high time that the Primus should be re- 
lieved from the duties both of his Diocese and of the 
Primacy. It was painful to him to neglect the duties 
of either office, and any attempt to discharge them could 
only issue in failure. Something was sure to be over- 
looked. A very natural but awkward oversight, happily 
for all parties, brought matters to a crisis. The Primus 
transmitted an address to the Primate of Ireland, “in 
the name of the Bishops and Clergy of the Scottish 
Episcopal Chureb,” and “ given in their name at Stirling, 
December 29th, 1835.” “ Now,” wrote Bishop Low (Feb. 
26, 1836), “7 never saw that address, nor so much as 
ever heard that such an one was even meditated, till I 
read it in the John Bull newspaper, nor do I believe that 
any Bishop or Clergyman in the Church ever saw it but as 
I did, except Bishop Skinner, who originated, and Bishop 
Gleig, who got it manufactured and sent down from 
London by his son.” It is probable that the Primus, if 
he thought about the matter at all, fancied on receiving 
the address ready for signature, that it had been already 
submitted to his colleagues and approved by them. Be 
this as it may, the oversight proved that the time for resig- 
nation had come, and after some correspondence amongst 
the Bishops, Bishop Torry very delicately gave the hint 
—writing to the Primus as one who had “ always enter- 
tained the most friendly and fraternal regards towards ” 
him, and advising “that, after the example of Bishop 
Kilgour and some others, you may voluntarily lay down 
the oftice of Primus, now that age with its usual infirmi- 
ties renders you unfit for discharging the duties of it any 
longer . . . it is surely no fault of yours, but the 
result of God’s blessed will, that you have outlived the 
period of efficient usefulness in reference to that high 


office.” The hint was well taken, the Primus thanking 
Bishop Torry “from the bottom of his heart for his very 
friendly letter,” and promising compliance as svon as he 
could. make certain arrangements. He, at this time, 
needlessly mixed up resignation of the Primacy with 
resignation of his Diocese. But, as Dr Neale says, ‘he 
seems to have acted most uprightly,” and, on Feb. 15th, 
1837, he sent in his resignation in these words—‘“I do 
hereby solemnly declare myself utterly incapable, as well 
by age as by distress of both body and mind, of longer 
discharging with propriety the various duties of Primus 
of the Scotch Episcopal Church, and, in terms of the 
second Canon of our Church, I resign that office into the 
hands of the Right Reverend Alexander Jolly, D.D., 
Bishop of Moray.” In the same document he recorded 
his vote for Bishop Walker as his successor in the Primacy. 

It “ touched” good Bishop Jolly’s “heart” “to receive” 
this deed from “the venerable man.” He “was trem- 
blingly struck” with the proposal to ask the Primus to 
resign, when it was first communicated to him, and he 
most earnestly recommended that the matter should be 
gone about with the utmost delicacy and tenderness. 
This good man’s bearing towards the Primus was, first 
and last, most respectful and considerate. 

The ex-Primus now urged with redoubled earnestness 
his appeal for a coadjutor. “ For God’s sake,” he wrote, 
“renounce your absolute objections to coadjutors, and 
allow me to nominate immediately a coadjutor Bishop of 
Brechin. I need not tell you that I should nominate Dr 
Russell, whose late publication rates him in England 
among the most learned divines of the age.” But the day 
for nominations was past. “I have ever thought,” wrote 
Bishop Walker, now Primus, “that Bishop Gleig was 



fully entitled to have a coadjutor, when he several years 
ago desired it; but then he was not entitled to nominate 
the person, nor to deprive the clergy of their free right of 
election. Those clergy, and I believe they were the 
majority, who were disposed to vote for the man of his 
choice if they had been left free, refused to do so at his 
dictation,” ' 

Here, again, Bishop Gleig showed himself readier to 
bow to authority than might have been expected. On 
‘the recommendation of the Episcopal Synod, he subscribed 
a deed empowering the clergy of Brechin “freely to elect 
a coadjutor and successor” to him. With this act, the 
long and active public life of Bishop Gleig may be said to 
have been brought to a close, for the record of his few 
remaining years is almost a blank.* When already stone- 
deaf, and almost blind, he began (about 1837) to betray 
symptoms of softening of the brain. From that time his 
mental faculties decayed as fast as his bodily ; and he soon 
became dead to the outward world, though, judging from 
the seeming fervour of his devotional acts, he still “ lived 
mightily unto God.” This is how his son writes the last 
melancholy chapter. ‘My father had suffered for many 
years from enlargement of the prostate gland. As he 
advanced into extreme old age, the malady appeared to 
subside ; but he became subject to fits of sudden insensi- 
bility. He would drop down, and be unconscious for a 
few seconds, and then recover. Once or twice he had 
nearly sustained a serious injury from these falls. They 

* ** At the Synod held at Montrose, July 5th, 1837, a message was 
received through one of the brethren from Miss Fulton, the Bishop’s 
stepdaughter, to the effect that, from his blindness, the Bishop could not 
now read or write, and ‘his deafness had so increased that it was im- 
possible for a third person to make him comprehend the drift of any com- 
munication addressed to him.” ‘This melancholy communication,” 
“decided the clergy to apply to the Episcopal College” for a mandate to 
elect a coadjutor.—Minute Book of Brechin, 


were the premonitory symptoms of a very gradual soften- 
ing of the brain, before which his great intellectual 
faculties gave way. This decay of his faculties began, I 
think; when he was in his eighty-third year ; but it was 
very slow. He was able then, and for some time after- 
wards, to take his daily walk, always leaning on my arm, 
as often as I was able to visit him; and in my absence, 
tenderly and carefully nursed by his stepdaughter, Miss 
Mary Fulton. She was indeed more to him than any of 
his children ; for being unmarried, she never left either him 
or her mother. The reverence which the people paid to the 
old man was very touching. A large stone was placed on 
' the footpath of the road which leads from the old Stirling 
bridge to the village of Causeway Head. It was about 
half-a-mile, or perhaps a little more, from his house.. He 
used to rest upon it before returning. It was called the 
Bishop’s stone ; and if it be still in existence, it retains, I 
have no doubt, the same name. By and bye, strength 
failed him even for this, and for a year or so, his only 
movement was from his bedroom to his study—the one 
adjoining the other. Darkness set in upon him rapidly 
after this, and it is sad to look back upon, that though he 
knew me at first on my arrival, he soon began to talk to 
me about myself, as if I had been a stranger, and often 
with the humour which seemed never to leave him to the 
last. Even then, however, the spirit of devotion never 
left him. Often on going into his room I found him on 
his knees, and as he was very deaf, I was obliged to touch 
him on the shoulder before he could be made aware that 
any one was near him. On such oceasions, the look which 
he turned upon me was invariably that of one lifted above 
the things of earth. I shall never forget the expression, 
it was so holy, and yet so bright and cheerful. I was not 


with him when he died. The last attack of illness did its 
work very speedily; but Miss Fulton told me that he 
slept his life away as quietly as an infant sleeps.” 

The Bishop’s death took place on the 9th* of March, 
1840, when he had nearly completed his eighty-seventh 
year. His remains were placed beside those of Mrs 
Gleig, “in a chapel attached to the Greyfriars’ Church, 
Stirling, which belongs to the Graham Moirs of Leckie.” 
A tablet was erected to his memory in the church at 
Stirling, in which he had so long and so faithfully 
“spoken the Word of Life,” with the following in- 
seription :— 

In Memoriam. 
Viri admodum Reverendi Groreit Guure, LL.D., 
Episcopi Brechinensis. 
Necnon in Ecclesia Scoticanéd amplissimum dignitatis gradum 
In hoe Sacello 
Per annos XLIV. muneribus Sacerdotalibus perfunctus est 
Pietate insignis, doctrindque pura 
Verbi divini gravissimus erat interpres 
Fidei incorrupte Strenuus propugnator 
Literis humanioribus, et artium optimarum disciplinis sednlo 
. Et in reconditis philosophic Studiis subtilis felixque 
Sedens ad gubernaculum. 
Semper erat sibi constans, in Fratres mitis,+ et cum de 
Summa re consuleretur propositi fortiter tenax 
Obiit VII. Id. Mart. anno Domini MDCCOXL. 
Ht etatis Sue LXXXVIL. 
"Anolaviny Str Aadettar. 
Pastori suo dilecto amici superstites hoc marmor 
poni Curaverunt. 
* Some writers give March 7th as the date ; but the best authorities, 
including the above inscription, make it March 9th, 

+ This expression has to be taken with a qualification, the statement 
of which would be rather incompatible with the brevity of a memorial tablet, 


The reader, who has followed the narrative thus far, 
has doubtless a pretty distinct impression in his mind as 
to the character of Bishop Gleig. And, if so, he will be 
glad to compare it with the character given of the Bishop 
by good judges, who had still better opportunities for 
judging. The late Dr Neale, who had access to many of 
the unpublished letters of Bishop Gleig, and his brother 
Bishops of the period, and who was apparently entirely 
free from any bias in favour of Bishop Gleig, thus states 
his view of his character :—‘ Notwithstanding a certain 
hastiness of temper, and a disposition to act without 
reference to his brethren, he (Bishop Gleig) was a great 
as well as a good man; the greatest Prelate, undoubtedly, 
~ whom the Scottish Church had produced since the time of 
Rattray, if not of Campbell, The power he wielded 
among his brethren, as shown in their private communi- 
cations, was most remarkable, and the more so as he had 
been twice, as we have seen, rejected by the College, and 
was elected Primus from his merits, rather than from his 
popularity. As a metaphysical writer, even in meta- 
physical Scotland, he bore no small reputation ; and as a 
critic, he was among the first of the day. We have seen 
that some of his theological opinions, especially on 
Original Sin, were suspected by some of his brethren ; 
on the last-named point they approached curiously to the 
Tridentine dogmas.”* 

In substantial agreement with this brief.sketch is a yet 
briefer one by the Bishop’s own distinguished son. “I 
know that his brethren feared more than they loved him ; 
but he was a true man, and if hasty at times and some- 
what impatient of mediocrities, he was generous and even 

* Life and Times of Bishop Torry, pp. 188-9. 


tender in his feelings, and anxious at all times to bring 
forward merit.”* 

The reader will probably admit that these two brief 
but graphic sketches agree with each other, and also with 
the impression derived from this memoir. Each of the 
two presents the same well-marked character from a 
slightly different point of view. The lights and the 
shades are the same; the strength and the weakness, 
more or less clearly indicated by each, are the same—the 
strength, namely, of a strong mind and a warm heart, and 
the corresponding weaknesses of over-reliance on self, and 
impatience of opposition and contradiction. 

There is, in fact, no possibility of mistake as to the 
character of Bishop Gleig ; for the merits and the defects. 
lie on the surface. They are the merits and the defects of 
an open, honest, energetic nature, that always gives full 
and free expression to its feelings, and goes straight to its 
object. The defects are chietly those of manner and temper. 
They could never obscure the merits or the powers of the 
good man, though they often neutralised their influence. 
They could not hinder his promotion te the Episcopate, 
though they retarded it. They could not prevent his 
elevation at the first opportunity to the high office of 
Primus, though they rendered his Primacy less fruitful in 
Church progress and extension than it otherwise might 
have been. 

In judging of his administration as Primus, however, it 
ought ever to be borne in mind that his best days were 
over before he was raised to the Primacy. He was 
then twenty years older than Bishop John Skinner 
was at Ais accession to that highest office; and he had 
lost the vigour and elasticity of mind necessary to 

* Letter to writer of 22nd October 1874, 


assimilate new ideas and keep abreast of the times, to 
overcome the ultra conservatism of his chief colleagues, 
and introduce such administrative and governmental re- 
forms as would enable the Church to take advantage of 
her altered position in the nation, and fully develop her 
resources. In truth, he did more for Church reform and 
progress during the seven years of bis ordinary Episcopate 
than he did during the twenty years of his Primus-ship. 

The chief cause of his comparative failure in administra- 
tion can be clearly traced to his persistent adherence to 
the fast obsolescent practice of interfering in Diocesan 
elections. Every attempt that he made in that way was 
not only a failure in itself, but it sowed the seeds of failure 
in more legitimate attempts, weakening his influence with 
his colleagues and with the Church generally, and raising 
obstacles to co-operation. On the other hand, from the 
views and temper of most of his colleagues, and the then 
circumstances of the Church, it was highly improbable 
that he could have done very much more than he did do. 
In some important particulars, the churchmen of those days 
realised but faintly the actual condition of their Church, 
and the necessity to real progress of strict adaptation of 
their ecclesiastical arrangements to their own peculiar cir- 
cumstances. They would look for models abroad to 
churches, whose circumstances differed essentially from 
their own.* Thus there were great and undoubted 
obstacles to healthy movement, both within the Church 

* It was after the model of the larger English Convocation that the 
General Synod was (in 1811), divided into two chambers, instead of one as 
used to be the case in Scotland, and is now in York Province and in 
Treland, ‘* Her Prelates naturally concluded that they could not serve 
her more effectually than by bringing her constitution as near as possible 
to that of the Mother Church, &c.’’—Bishop Gleig’s charge of 1829, p. 12. 
He had already come to doubt the wisdom of this arrangemext. “Tam 

not now so convinced as I then was that this was wisely done.”—Note, 
p. 13. See chap xi. 


and without. Hence many and yarious things have to 
be taken into account in judging of Dr Gleig’s adminis- 
tration, whether as Bishop or as Primus. And if we 
seek, with Dr Neale, to fix his place in the order of 
Episcopal merit, we shall have to discriminate ‘more 
carefully. By “the greatest Prelate” ought, doubt- 
less, to be understood the greatest administrator ; and 
no Post-Revolution Scotch Prelate has such high claims 
to that honour as Bishop John Skinner. But if, by 
“the greatest Prelate,” we understand, with Dr Neale, 
the greatest man, who has held the Prelatical office—the 
greatest thinker and writer—the man of the highest 
mental power and capacity—of deepest learning, and 
most extended literary reputation, no name on the roll 
of the Post-Revolution Episcopate stands so high as that 
of George Gleig. 



Aberdeen University Standard, - 
Books, Jolly’s love of, . F 3 
Campbell, Dr, his ‘‘ jingle and play of ‘moxdnss 
Chambers, Robert, visits Jolly, 
Character, ¢ - él - 
Children, his sympathy ih, : - 0 
His manner towards, 
Church, Pamphlet on Constitution of, 
Clergy, his manner towards, 
Consecration to Episcopate at Dundee, 
Conversation, his manner of, . > - : 
Devotion, his habits of, 5 y. 
Diocese, his visitation of, 
East, on turning to, 
Economy, his domestic, 
Ember Seasons, his observance of, 
Episcopate, proposed for, 
Raised to, . 
Eucharist, his work on, : z : 
Sacrifice, . ‘ ‘i f 2 
Presence, . t: 
Gleig, Dr, Jolly’s verification of quotations tor, 
His appreciation of Jolly, 
Charged with Pelagianism, 
Hobart, Bishop, meets Jolly, 
Interrogates hin, 
Hospitalities, ‘ 
Hutchinsonianism, his ation tO,.55 
Ken’s Catechism of Divine Love, his admiration of, 
Last hours, 












Leslies of Rothie, their rebellion quelled, 
Learning of Clergy, 
Life, his manner of, 
Low, Bishop, incidents of his Mostise, 
Luscombe, Dr, incidents of his Consecration, 
Money, his way of spending his spare M., 
Numbers of Episcopalians in Scotland, 
Paralysis, has shock of, 4 
Petrie, Bishop, exercising discipline, . 
Funeral sermon, 
‘* Making up his accounts,”’ 
Preaching, his manner of, 
Pressley, Rev. Charles, transecribes J olly’ 8 at 
Notice of, 
Pronunciations, obsolete, 
Protestant, epithet as applicable to Chureb, 
Puns, rare indulgence in, 
Reformation, his views of, : _ 
Regeneration, Baptismal, Treatise on, 
Revival, High Church, : 
Routh, Dr, his dsdication of Reliquie euldte, 
Ruler, as Ecclesiastical, : 
Sacraments, his mode of adminintelitix ms 5 a 
Salaries of Clergy, ; : F 4 ' 
Seclusion, effect of his, 
Stock Sermons, anecdotes of, . ‘ 5 : F 
Students, his attention to, , . = 
Study, his habits of, , 
Sunday Services, his work upon, 
Synod, General, of 1828, 
Of 1829, 
Of 1838, his anxiety Pascoe: 
Tact, his professional, 
Travelling, his mode of, A 
Titles, Ecclesiastical, how regarded 83 him fad his ebutdin. 
poraries, . 
Turriff, appointment to hater: of, 
Reminiscences of pastorate, 
Burial in Churchyard there, 
Visiting, Congregational, his manner of, 
Walker, Bishop, holds service in Rome, 
Congratulated on marriage, . 
Notice of life, 






68 . 







Aberdeen, University system of teaching there in Gleig’s ere 

time, ° i ; 183-4. 

Aberdeen Diocese, élestion baainersnils in 1816, . ‘ 295 

Banff, case of discipline there (1813), . Fi : ci 283 

Berkeley, Mr George Monck, on Relief Bill, . F é 215 

Biographies, written by Mr Gleig, i ; Aerrl* 233 

Birth, place and time of, fi : ; - 7 183 

Books, Dr Gleig amongst his, . Z r : fe 331 

Bowdler of Eltham, notice of, . r > 4 314 

Brechin Clergy elect Dr Gleig, in 1809, ‘j ‘ : 258 

On a former occasion, : 262 

How they should read their books, . “ 291 

Calvinism, reviews works on, . ; " 247 
Campbell, Dr, of Aberdeen, answers ve leshnesa (0) (Pe 5 234 seq. 

Notice of, Fi A : 243, 

Character, Bishop Gleig’s, ‘ : Fr i 377 

Charge, published, Primary (1809), . - A E 269 

Second (1819), . ; ; 7 320 

Third (1822), . , ; r 384 

Fourth (1829), . 5 . F 359 

Coadjutor, applies for, . . . 7 . 864, 871 

Consents to appointment of, ; 5 : 374 

Bishop Torry on abuses of system of, F 5 366 

Communion Office, Scotch, why he preferred, , , 264 

Death, . : : A 376 

Deviations from eieeah service eaaiteowiess cy F ; 282 

Diocese, his mode of visiting, . , 6 , ' 332 

Visits for last time, . hi 6 4 _ 363 


Donum Regium, first granted (1814), . 
Applied for-again by Bishop Gleig (1823), : 
Dunkeld, unanimously chosen Bishop of, : 
) A second time, 
Elected a third time, : 

Earnings, his literary, .- 

“Encyclopedia Britannica,” conten s ios 

Appointed Editor of, 

Episcopacy, absolute and constitutional, 

Evangelicals, English, controversy excited by, 

Fall of man, his views of consequences of, 

Five elections of Dr Gleig as Bishop before actual aoe. 

ment, - 
Grammar, his article on, in ‘ Testa 
Hutchinsonians, Scotch, Dr Gleig’s strictures on, é 
Incompatibilities, personal, of Bishop J. Skinner and Mr 
Gleig, : 
Influences, divisive in Chisels, : 
Jolly, Bishop, contrasted with Bishop Gleig, 
Opposes calling of General Synod, 
Last days, Bishop Gleig’s, described by his son, 
Laurencekirk Convention (First), 
Convocation, . : ‘ 4 

Law, deficiency of, in Church, . é - : . 
Legislation, Ecclesiastical of 1828, importance of, 

Livings, poverty of, A 5 
L.L., Mr Gleig’s controversy with, . 

Luscombe, Dr, negotiations for his consecration, 

Results of same, 
Marriage, Mr Gleig’s, . 
Metaphysics, article in “ ineyolopatias 

Nolo Episcopari, Mr Gleig’s sincere, : 
Numbers and comparative size of Episcopal Gonyeenetiodl 

Non-juring and Qualified, before repeal of Penal Laws, 

Oxford movement, its origin, &., 

Paley, Dr Gleig’s estimate of his Moral a 
Parr, Dr, visits Bishop Gleig, . 

Parties, Church, cross divisions, G 
Pelagianism, Dr Gleig charged with, 

‘Periodicals, English, to which Dr Gleig donternutea 
Pittenweem, charge, meeting house, &e., 
Primate, Bishop Gleig “ dubbed,” 3 

Office of, ‘ 2 




240 — 






Primus, Bishop Gleig elected, 
Both name and office Poahieseme ms him, 
Resigns office of, °*. 
Professorship, his prospects of, 
Reforms advocated by Dr Gleig, 
Relief Bill, Mr Gleig’s draft of, 
Reminiscences of Dr Gleig by Dean Torry, ; 
** Review, Anti-Jacobin,”’ on Scotch Church matiters, 
Dr Gleig withdraws from, ; 
Ross and Argyle, vacancy of diocese, and consequent con- 
Russell, Dr, of Leith, fesse as Serials iy ipluhen Gleig, 
Scotland, King’s visit to (1822), 
Seabury, Bishop, his consecration and its effects, 
Sermons, Dr Gleig publishes volume of, 
Sin, Original, Bishop Gleig’s dissertation on, 
Skene Keith, Dr, and “ Anti-Jacobin Review,’’ 
Skinner, Rev. John, Longside, notice of, 
Skinner, Bishop John, his Seabury sermon, . 
Objects to Mr Gleig’s Seicesion! 
His power, a r 
His inadmissible Relief Bill, 
Letter to Bishop Gleig, and answer, . 
Presides over Synod of 1811, 
Death and character, 
Son, Dr Gleig’s eldest, Alexander, dies in India, 
Second, George Robert, 
“ Stackhouse,” Dr Gleig issues edition of, 
Stirling, Mr Gleig removes to, 2 
Literary Society, ; f : 
State of Church, Z c f 3 
Congregation, nfs P 
Stonehaven, Transition troubles, 5 
Study, Bishop Gleig’s scheme of, for Clergy, 
Subscription of English Articles, obstacles to, 
Synod, General, Dr Gleig recommends, : 
Again, é 
Synod, General, Quinquenuial, enacted, 
Test imposed on Dr Gleig before consecration, 
Theology, his article on, in “ Encyclopedia,” 
Publishes work on, . 9 
‘Warburton, his theories and paradoxes, 
Watson, Bishop, notice of, , ' 

mana anel 










cA i> Ng I) sar 



Since the completion of the Memoir of Bishop Gleig, a handsome 
Church has been consecrated for the congregation at Stirling, 
replacing the one which replaced the building erected by the 
Bishop soon after the repeal of the Penal Laws. 


The inscription on the above tablet was written, it seems, by 
Bishop Russell, the life-long friend of Bishop Gleig, a fact which 
accounts for the general accuracy of the graceful tribute, and 
also for an occasional exaggeration. It is a pity, perhaps, 
that the inscription was not in English, so as to be intelligible to 
the congregation at large. Dean Moir of Glasgow, who lived in 
the neighbourhood at the time that the tablet was put up, recalls 
a ludicrous blunder made by a member of the Stirling congregation 
in striving to puzzle out a meaning from some part of the inscrip- 
tion. When he came to the sentence which speaks of the Bishop’s 
consistency,—semper erat sibi constans—he took the word sibi for 
a proper name—that, namely, of the pew-opener, an old Highland 
woman, familiarly called Sibbie; and seeing conjoined with sibi 
the very English looking word constans, he jamped at once to the 
conclusion that here was an appropriate commemoration of the 
pastor’s kind appreciation of the humble services of his humble 
servant; and he muttered approvingly, ‘‘ Weel, he was aye kind 
to Sibbie ! ’’ 



Dean Moir, as a young man, living near the Bishop, saw him 
occasionally when his faculties were wrecked, and when ‘“ from 
his eyes the tears of dotage flowed.’ The last time Mr Moir 
called, the Bishop cried like a child, and said ‘‘ Nobody visits me 
now,” ‘‘ but,’’ he added, articulating imperfectly, ‘‘I wish you as 
well as man can, though I’m nota Hutchinsonian like John Skinner 
of Forfar.”’ 


On this subject, the’ writer has received from another clerical 
friend (the Rev. A. Ranken) an anecdote very characteristic of 
Bishop Gleig. The Bishop earnestly advised Mr Garden to take 
lessons in reading. The embarrassed Garden professed his readi- 
ness to comply, but said, ‘‘ From whom shall I take lessons, Sir? ”’ 
“From anybody, Sir,’ was the silencing rejoinder. 


The publication of the life of Bishop Jolly has brought out, 
from various unexpected quarters, striking additional testimonies 
to the deep veneration and esteem in which the Bishop was held, 
especially in his own neighbourhood, where his saintly character 
was best known. 


A correspondent of the London Guardian (Sept. 18, 1878), re- 

lates the following anecdote, which was told to him by the late 
eminent London Conveyancer, Mr Christie, son of the Rev. Mr 
Christie, Woodhead, Fyvie, Aberdeenshire. (See Bishop Jolly, 
pp. 31, 2.) “‘ When a boy of fourteen, he (Mr Christie) was sent 
by his father eleven miles across a rough country, on a horse, with 
a blanket for a saddle, and a halter for a bridle, simply to see 
Bishop Jolly, to kneel down at his feet, and get his blessing, and 
to return ; ‘and,’ said he, ‘it was well worth doing; and now, if 
he were alive, and I had the opportunity, I would do it again.’ ” 
» Probably the halter-bridle and blanket-saddle were Mr Christie’s 
humorous exaggerations of his imperfect outfit; this, at least, 
seems the decided opinion of Mr Christie’s Northern friends ; but 
all else, in this interesting anecdote, may be taken as strictly 
true and typical, 


Another anecdote, equally interesting, has just been communi- 
cated to the writer, on excellent authority. A worthy couple, 
belonging to the same neighbourhood as Mr Christie, after being 
united, set out on their marriage jaunt ; but soon came back again. 
It turned out that they had gone straight to Fraserburgh, asked 
and obtained Bishop Jolly’s blessing, and then came straight home 


A lady, now living in Leith, remembers having once had her 
attention attracted by a commotion on the streets of Banff, accom- 
panied with the cry, “‘ Here’s Saint Jolly !”’ and going to the door, 
she beheld the aged Bishop moving slowly along the street, lean- 
ing on the arm of Mr Pressley on the one side, and of Mr Bruce on 
the other, while the people, flocking from all sides with reverent 
interest, ‘‘ thronged him and pressed him.’’ Soon afterwards, the 
lady made a pilgrimage to Fraserburgh, for the express purpose 
of hearing the good man officiate ; and she tells, with great fervour, 
of ‘‘ the holy delight ’’ with which she listened to the first utter- 
ances of his ‘‘ feeble voice,’? pronouncing the absolution ; of the 
thrilling satisfaction with which she drank in every word of his 
mouth ; and the intense gratification which she felt, when, on 
leaving the Church, she was honoured with “‘ three bows from the 
venerable man.’ The lady never speaks of him but as “ Saint 


Mrs Chapman, of Milton Rectory, Cambridge, daughter of the 
late Rev. Mr Hagar, Lonmay, Bishop Jolly’s nearest clerical 
neighbour, had ‘“‘ long wished for a Life of the venerated Bishop 
Jolly, whose holy hands were laid upon her head ;’’ and she not 
only furnishes convincing proofs that she herself greatly ‘‘ esteemed 
and honoured that truly Apostolic man,’’ but also supplies an 
anecdote which illustrates the strength of the veneration which 
was felt for him by the people amongst whom he had so long gone 
out and come in. ‘I have heard,’ she says, ‘‘ that the Fraser- 
burgh people say, ‘ The Angels laid the Bishop out when he died.’”’ 
—(Letter to Writer, Sept. 30, 1878). 



Rev. Mr Chapman, Rector of Milton, Cambridge, was “ much 
interested in a conversation with the revered Bishop. Having asked 
him his opinion of Prayers for the Dead, which Mr Chapman 
thought had given rise to the error of Purgatory, Bishop Jolly 
admitted it might be so, and only allowed of Prayers for the Dead 
awaiting in Paradise the Consummation of all things.’’—(Letter of 
Mrs Chapman, October, 14, 1878). 


A laudable attempt which was made soon after his death, to do 
honour to Bishop Jolly, and fix attention on his character and 
example, failed in a rather singular way. When it was proposed 
to establish a society like the Spalding Club for the republication 
of old Episcopal works, one of the first names suggested for it 
was that of Bishop Jolly. But the first utterance of the words 
“The Jolly Club ” sufficed to quash the suggestion. The name 
would have been too expressive ; and so for the Jolly Club was 
substituted ‘‘ The Spottiswoode Society.” 


The Historian of Scotland alludes to the above fact in his 
Book-hunter (pp. 220-1-2), and then proceeds to pay his own high 
tribute to the memory of the good Bishop (Robert Jolly, as he 
mistakenly calls him). ‘“‘ He was,” he says, “‘a man of singular 
purity, devotedness, and learning. If he had no opportunity of 
attesting the sincerity of his faith by undergoing stripes and 
bondage for the church of his adoption, he developed in its fulness 
that unobtrusive self-devotion not inferior to martyrdom, which 
dedicates to obscure duties the talent and energy that in the 
hands of the selfish and ambitious would be the sure apparatus 
of wealth and station. He had, no doubt, risen to an office of 
dignity in his own Church ; he was a bishop. But to understand 
the position of a Scottish Bishop in these days, we must figure 
parson Adams, no richer than Fielding has described him, yet en- 
cumbered by a title, ever associated with wealth and dignity, to 
deepen the incongruity of his lot, and throw him more than ever 
on the mercy of the scorners. The office was indeed conspicuous, 



not by its dignities or emoluments, but by the extensive opportu- 
nities it afforded for self-devotion. We have noticed his successor 
of the present day figuring in newspaper paragraphs as “ The Lord 
Bishop of Moray and Ross.” It did not fall to the lot of him of 
whom we write, to render his title so flagrantly incongruous. A 
lordship was not necessary, but it was a principie of his Church 
to require a bishop, and in him she got a bishop. In reality, how- 
ever, he was the parish clergyman of the small and poor remnant 
of the Episcopal persuasion, who inhabited the odoriferous fishing- 
town of Fraserburgh. There he lived a long life of such simplicity 
and abstinence as the poverty of the poorest of his flock scarcely 
drove them to. He had one failing to link his life with this 
nether world—a failing that leaned to virtue’s side; he was a 
Book-Hunter. How with his poor income, much of which went 
to feed the necessities of those still poorer, he should have accom- 
plished it, is among other unexplained mysteries. But somehow 
he managed to scrape together a curious and interesting collection, 
so that his name became associated with rare books, as well as 
with rare Christian virtues.” 




The Life of the Right Reverend Alexander 
Jolly, Bishop of Moray, 2s. 6d. 


‘The Life of Bishop Jolly, while preserving from oblivion the memory , 
of a learned and saintly prelate of a very primitive and now extinct type, 
forms, at the same time, a valuable contribution to the history of Scottish 
Episcopacy. . . . Mr Walker has done good service by writing the life 
of a man of whom all Scotsmen may be proud.’’—Scotsman, 

« The ‘ venerable primitive and apostolic Bishop’ had a singular power 
of winning the affectionate esteem of those who knew him; and his simple 
unworldly life, and constant piety and self devotion, will make the reader 
of this brief and interesting memoir henceforth refuse to Bishop Wilson of 
Sodor and Man the title of ‘the last of the saints.’ »*_Tondon Academy. 

“« We earnestly advise our readers, of whatever denomination, to peruse 
this volume. They will find there an example of learning, piety, and hu- 
mility, such as the world has not frequently seen at any time, and such as 
in our busy and bustling age is still more rare. And the narrative does 
not lose by its setting.’ —Aberdeen Journal. 

“The value of the memoir now before us we think far beyond what 
would be expected from its size and pretensions. Indeed, works of this 
class, and this work in particular, have a twofold value. They present us 
with not only the histories of men, but the histories of Churches,’”’—Aber- 
deen Free Press. 

“Those among us who can look back some thirty or forty years re- 
member that the name of Bishop Jolly was one that we were taught to 
yenerate. The present memoir shows him to us as a meek and gentle old 
man, holding up the light of the Church in some of her most trying times, 
shining, indeed, rather by what he was than by what he did. It is written 
by a loving hand, full of reverence, but with strong appreciation of Scottish 
humour.’—London Guardian. 


««The specific features of the saintly type, the utter unworldliness, the 
purity of soul, the ‘ sweet reasonableness of the Gospel,’ the devoted piety 
of the inner life, the love of souls, conduct in its minutest details ordered 
and regulated by reference to the law of God—these featmres all appear in an 
impressive manner in the character of Alexander Jolly. The workis executed 
throughout with good sense and good taste, and we can heartily recommend 
it, not only as presenting us with the fair image of a type of character now 
seldom met with, but’ as giving an interesting insight into the somewhat 
obscure history of the Scottish Episcopal Chureh from 1756 to 1839.’— 
Scottish Guardian. 

“* We had marked many passages for quotation from this excellent and 
interesting little memoir. We recommend it very heartily to our readers, 
as containing the portrait of a man, pure in his life, studious and retired in 
habits, and a striking example of antique piety, simplicity, and beneyo- 
lence.?’—Dundee Advertiser. 

“This will be a welcome volume to many Scottish Episcopalians. It 
describes briefly, but fully, and in excellent taste, the life of a man, who 
would have been canonised had he belonged to the Roman Catholic Church. 
Mr. Walker has performed the work in an excellent spirit, and with much 
discrimination. The book is one which may be perused with much enjoy- 

* ment by people of all religions communions.”’—Northern Ensign. 

“The book, with its anecdotes and memories of non-juring days, isa 
pleasant contribution to the history of religion in Scotland in one of its 
obseurest bye-paths.’’—Hdinburgh Daily Review. 

* An exquisite picture of the life and character of agood man. . . . 
The work is well written, and will be read with interest by all sections of 
the Christian community.’”’—John 0’ Groat Journal. 

“‘A very interesting and readable book >. . itis well got up, and 
contains many racy anecdotes of a time and generation that have passed 
away.” —Brechin Advertiser. 

“We gladly welcome the little volume now published, giving a sketch 
of Bishop Jolly’s quiet and unostentatious, secluded, but eminently godly 
life. Myr Walker has done full justice to it, and into his interesting nar- 
rative he draws much information about the Church to which Bishop Jolly 
belonged, and about various men of mark connected with it. "—Flgin 
Courant and Cowrier. 


Walker, William, f1.1883. 

The life of the right reverend Alexander 
Jolly, Bishop of Moray. 24a ed. considerab 
enl. Edinburgh, D. Douglas, 1878. 

392p. 20cm. ‘ 

1. Jolly, Alexander, 1756-1840.