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deserves more weight upon any disputed point; but the formality and coldness of his style, and his want of appreciation of some of the broader and more picturesque aspects of the subject, warn off any but those who are really determined to read his volumes. Others again, such as Dr. Hetherington, have only given life to the subject by the infusion of a spirit of polemical zeal, and a warmth of contentious sophistry, which it requires a Scotchman to understand, and a very true blue' Presbyterian to reciprocate.
It is the great merit of the first of the works placed at the head of this paper, that it has for the first time given a sufficient interest to the subject, without the least tincture of polemical bitterness of any kind. In its method of treatment and style, it rises above the didactic and formal treatment of Dr. Cook, while it is entirely free from the intense Presbyterian one-sidedness of Dr. Hetherington. The author says in his preface, that he has endeavoured to purge his heart of all • leaven of polemical and party hatred, and to follow faithfully both truth and charity.' We believe that he has really done this: his volumes throughout show no traces of the controversial narrowness of mind and opinionative vehemence so apt to beset such a subject. Even where he is mistaken, and fails to comprehend the full meaning of certain phenomena, he is always good-tempered, candid, and fair in intention. Considering the length of time over which he travels, and the multiplicity of details which he has to group, the sustained interest and liveliness he has imparted to his narrative are particularly deserving of notice. There are few dull pages there is no barren detail; yet. there is a constant reference to sources, and the traces everywhere of conscientious and laborious investigation. The style is clear and flowing, if somewhat wanting in dignity and here and there in accuracy; the liveliness inclines to be jaunty ; and in hitting off a portrait or characterising some crisis of ecclesiastical conflict the handling is apt to be too free and easy. The diversity of topics that arise for treatment, and the attempt of the author to embrace within his design the præ-Reformation period of the Church History of Scotland, have necessitated a vagueness and slightness of touch at some points. This is, perhaps, especially apparent in his view of the progress of Christian opinion and manners, and the rise and progress of Dissent from the Kirk in the seventeenth century. Notwithstanding Mr. Burton's volumes", and what our author has here done, this is a part of the Church History of Scotland that really yet remains to be written.
* The History of Scotland from the Revolution to the Extinction of the last Jacobite Insurrection (1689–1748).
The volumes of Principal Lee are of a different character from those of Mr. Cunningham. Although both writers traverse so far the same ground, they scarcely interfere with one another. Mr. Cunningham's work forms a history in the usual sense, and comprises both what are called the external and internal aspects of the subject — the former particularly. Dr. Lee's are only · Lectures on the History of the Church of
Scotland, and mainly-according to his own statement, “almost entirely, confined to the internal history of the Church,—viz: • its learning, its theological doctrines, its modes of worship, its
government and discipline, or what has been called its ecclesiastical polity.'
By general admission no man was more entitled to treat of these subjects than the late venerable Principal of the University of Edinburgh. Possessed of great learning and patience of research, with a singular affection for every detail of Presbyterian antiquities, and a most omnivorous capacity of collecting and treasuring them, he had accumulated in the course of a long life a minute and special knowledge of the history of his Church which no one pretended to rival. He could tell the lists of members in General Assemblies, while others had forgotten the very existence of the Assemblies themselves. The most obscure work or document of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was more fresh to him than the newspaper of yesterday. Dr. M'Crie, in his labours on the Life of Andrew • Melville,' acknowledged his great obligations to him, and expressed a wish, then, in 1819, that he would devote his exten
sive acquaintance with the subject, and his habits of patient and discriminating research, to a history of the literature of Scotland. When we add to these qualifications the advantage of general cultivation and knowledge of the world, and the command of a style of great compass and power of expression, although with a tendency to monotony, it may be said that his country was entitled to look to him for some enduring work devoted to the history of its literature or religion. This hope, however, was destined to disappointment. Like many men besides, Dr. Lee kept so constantly filling his cup of special knowledge, and stirring its contents, that he seemed to lose all sense of the important uses to which it might be applied. The very riches of his information became an embarrassment to him, and he stowed them away in his mind as he did rare books in his library, in such multiplied forms that he forgot their due
distinction and proportion, and above all their historical unity and aim.
The work before us, although we are grateful for it, and readily acknowledge its peculiar merits, does not answer our expectations. Written more than forty years ago, in the shape of lectures to his Divinity class in St. Andrews, it was not possible that it should meet the present exigencies of the subject. It is valuable for the insight and carefulness with which it discusses the constitution of the Scottish Church, and its primitive documents of faith and worship; the notes and appendices, selected with judgment and care from the author's papers, are in some cases very curious and interesting. But as a whole, it must be confessed, the work merely suggests what Dr. Lee might have done had he mastered his literary irresolution and bound himself to the task, without showing any adequately accomplished result.
Mr. Cunningham has embraced in his volumes, as we have said, the history of the Church of Scotland before the Reformation, and this on the ground that the Church before the Reformation, Roman as it was in its architecture and usages, was yet built on Scottish ground, and had for its worshippers
Scottish men and women.' 'It is impossible,' he adds, 'to * understand our Church History subsequent to the Reforma• tion without knowing something of our Church History prior
to it.' Every one will admit this Complete as the Reformation was in Scotland — having altogether displaced the old ecclesiastical conditions of the country, and brought a new moral and religious life to the surface, the Reformed Church was in many ways, and even by various external links, connected with the old Papacy. Every old idea was not rooted out, every ancient landmark was not carried away. To mention nothing else, the universities remained as points of visible connexion between the old and new faith. Nevertheless, if anywhere the Reformation may be held to be a valid beginning of Church history, it may certainly be held to be so in Scotland. The history of Scottish Presbyterianism presents in itself a distinct and complete subject. It is sufficiently large, important, and interesting. It is a separate drama, with its own plot, its own heroes, its own dénouement we may say. In like manner the early missionary and Culdee Christianity of Scotland, and again its mediæval Catholicism, are separately important subjects, which demand and would reward by themselves detailed and full treatment. No part of the line of Scottish ecclesiastical history can be quite disjoined from the rest and viewed apart; but at the same time there is perhaps no country whose national Christian life along its course, from the time of its commencement, is less continuous, coherent, and compact. Disruptions meet us everywhere as we survey it; and as we try to hold the line of connexion in our hand, it escapes us at various points.
In themselves, however, Mr. Cunningham's chapters on the early Christian history of Scotland are both interesting and instructive. With a rapid and easy hand he sketches the introduction of Christianity into the country, and the labours of those self-devoted missionaries who planted the seeds of a higher faith among a rude and barbarous people. From the fabulous twilight that invests the figure of St. Rule as he landed with the bones of St. Andrew on the rocky shore which has henceforth borne the name of St. Andrews, and the clearer morning in which are seen St. Ninian with his glistering stone church on the shores of the Solway-an object of wonder to the people who had never seen any structures more imposing than their mud and log cabins, and which has perpetuated itself in the name of the parish till this day * ; and St. Columba in his island home; and St. Kentigern by the waters of the Molendinar where the great city of Glasgow now stands; to the comparative daylight of the twelfth century, in which the fabric of Roman Catholicism under David I, is beheld everywhere displacing the primitive and degenerate form of the Culdee worship, down again to the overthrow of this same Catholicism, crushed under the burden of its own sins; all is set forth in a plain and impressive narrative, without any parade of learning, yet with an ample reference to the best authorities.
Of the earliest missionary period of the History of Christianity in Scotland, ranging from about 400 to 600 A.D., it is impossible to distinguish the true history. The facts loom in dim and shadowy perspective, shrouded in a veil of legendary miracle which it is hopeless to penetrate. Yet it is rather the proportion of events, and the exact features of creed and worship and ecclesiastical government that are lost in the distance, than the characters of the Missionaries. These shine as lights amid the darkness. Through all the later myths that have surrounded them, they plainly exhibit a rare simplicity, holiness, and high-hearted devotedness. St. Columba and St. Kentigern are genuine heroes of the Cross, preaching mercy, and purity, and righteousness to a rude, savage, and disorderly people. In a time when “ might was right,' and there
* Whithorn ; in Saxon, Hwhitherne: in Latin it was called Candida Casa.
was no power of civil adjustment but the sword amongst the conflicting tribes of Picts and Scots, who fought for mastery in the country, these men were the representatives of a principle of moral order amidst the chaos; and by the magnanimous simplicity of their character more than anything else, contributed to spread around them a beneficial influence, and to bring into some measure of harmony the discordant elements.
One interesting relation of this early missionary Christianity of Scotland is brought out with distinctness by Mr. Cunningham. It extended from Iona as a centre not only throughout Scotland, but into England. A special mission settled in Lindisfarne or Holy Isle, off the Northumbrian coast.
Aided by Oswald King of Northumbria, the Ionian monks laboured to spread the truth among the heathen Saxons of the North of England, and greatly succeeded. Many of the Scots,' says Bede, 'came daily into Britain, and with great devotion
preached the Word to those provinces of the English • Churches were built in several places; the people joyfully · focked together to hear the Word; money and lands were 'given of the King's bounty to build monasteries; the English * great and small were by their Scottish masters instructed in
the rules and observances of regular discipline.' Thus shortly after St. Augustine arrived in the island of Thanet off the coast of Kent, and began from the South his great work of evangelisation among the Saxons, the Scottish monks of Iona began the same work from the North. Two separate streams of Christian enterprise from different directions were poured into the country, destined ere long to meet in conflict. The Kentish monks of course were altogether Roman in their modes of worship, and especially in their observance of Easter - that famous point of dispute and asserted prerogative on the part of Rome from the beginning. The King of Northumbria had taken his queen from the South, and she had brought a southern priest in her scanty train. This was enough to kindle the controversy about Easter as about other things. A synod was convened at Streaneshalch (now Whitby): the king opened it in a sensible speech, counselling to moderation and unity; the Ionian monk stated his case ; the Kentish monk replied; and the result was a decision in favour of Rome. The text, · Thou * art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,' made a strong impression upon the mind of the king ; Rome found these words now as so often afterwards a charm potent to work her purpose.
The Culdee monks retired from the field, even abandoned their home in the Holy Isle, and Italian priests and practices were left dominant in England. This issue is a subject