‘No more a Presbyterian than the horse he rode upon’: Criticism of Cameron & Cargill #History #Scotland

Covenanters Preaching

In 1681, James Currie heard criticism of Richard Cameron and Donald Cargill’s militant platform from field preachers in Edinburghshire. Among the critics was George Barclay, who later made it his mission to oppose the militancy of the Society people. At that time, Currie still followed the moderate field preachers. He would later join the Society people in 1683,  leave them for the Russellite societies in 1684 and rejoin them, via his future wife, Helen Alexander, in 1686.

‘In this year, 1681, July 27 th, Mr. Donald Cargil was execute [in Edinburgh]. I had allways a respect for the honest cause and for that dissenting party [of the Society people], though I did not joyn with them with them till afterward [in 1683/4]; but was hearing the [moderate presbyterian] minifters, though with much dissatisfaction. One time when I was desiring a minister to come out and preach in the country, he said, that Mr. Donald Cargil was the worst sight that ever the Church of Scotland saw; with what satisfaction could I hear them? […] Then, in the next year, viz., 1682, while following my [new] employment [as a travelling merchant], I had great debeats with the ministers; for they did allways condemn that poor party [of the Society eople] for the Declaration at Lanrek, which was this year Jany. 12th. One of them, viz., Mr. [George] Barcl[a]y, said the like of that doth no good. I went sometimes to hear them, yet with great reluctance, and sometimes not. I was going one time to hear, and by the way the minister, Mr. Alexander Burnet, said to me, that Mr. Richard Cameron was no more a Presbyterian than the horse he rode upon. At this time the persecution and tryall was great. I do not remember any more remarkable things this year. (Passages in the Lives of Helen Alexander and James Currie of Pentland, 29-30.)

Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved. Please link to this post on Facebook or other social networks or retweet it, but do not reblog in FULL without the express permission of the author @drmarkjardine

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~ by drmarkjardine on January 17, 2016.

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