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to say, You do well to fret and be angry at it, because you find your glory is lessened by it, and your credit beginning to suffer ? Will you be so fearless, can you be so cruel to thousands of perishing sinners, who begin to fly to Jesus Christ as a cloud and as doves to their windows, as in the most solemn and public manner, with lifted hands to heaven, to pray that there may be a restraint upon the influences of the Holy Spirit, and that this outpouring of his grace may be withdrawn, and not spread through the length and breadth of this land? I can assure you that many godly souls with tears cry as Moses did in the rebellion of Korah, Lord respect not their offer. ing. And after our Lord's example: Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Robe, if not named, was still personally assailed as one who, by his missives, attestations, and journals, sought to deceive, if it were possible, the very elect. Conscious of his desire to preach not himself but Jesus Christ the Lord, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, he replied it was his comfort to suffer in this what his Master had suffered before him, He also having been accused of having - deceived the people.” In conclusion, he fully vindicated the position of Whitefield, “whom he loved in the truth," from the aspersions they cast upon him. Then, with a blessing full of the richest Christian sweetness and grace, that they might come to be like-minded one towards another, he brought this controversy with the Seceders to a close.
Of the blessed work of those years Robe published a Narrative. A further account was also given by him in the Christian Monthly History, a magazine which he edited, and of which six numbers were published in 174 , 1744. Being full of ideas, his pen was continually at work in the sphere of religious literature. He published
separately several pamphlets, and in 1750 issued two thick volumes of his sermons, dedicated to the Right Honourable Selina, Countess of Huntingdon. His wife, Anna Hamilton, survived him, dying the 28th April, 1773. In the graveyard there stands a stone bearing the following inscription :—“TO THE MEMORY OF JAMES ROBE, M.A., MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL, KilsyTH. BORN 1688, ORDAINED 1713, DIED 1754. Isa. xxvi., DAN. xii. 3. 1839." The reference to Daniel contains the words :-" And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”
Rev. John Telfer-Manse and School Building-Parish Notes
-Church and State-Carlyle and Hill Burton—Patronage-
Close to the stone of James Robe there is another of a similar design-a grey freestone, with a marble tabletbearing the words :—“IN MEMORY OF THE REV. JOHN TELFER, WHO DIED MARCH 3157, 1789, IN THE 64TH YEAR OF HIS AGE AND THE 35TH OF HIS MINISTRY IN THIS Parish. ERECTED BY A FEW FRIENDS IN THIS PARISH, 25 Oct., 1828."
John Telfer was the successor of Robe. He was licensed by the Presbytery of Edinburgh, 7th March, 1750. Having been for three years a probationer of the Church, he was presented to Kilsyth by George II., October, 1753. He was ordained by the Presbytery of Glasgow, 21st March, 1754. His ministry extended over the long period of thirty-six years, and evidences are not wanting that it was marked by progress in certain departments, and much quiet faithfulness and diligence. During his incumbency the manse was built on the site it now occupies. He was instrumental in opening a school for the people of the town. He carried out the
necessary negotiations between the heritors and parishioners. On the 7th November, 1760, the session “appointed a committee for the purpose of forming measures for building a sufficient school-house and dwelling-house for the benefit of the schoolmaster and scholars, and the
meeting further empowers them to determine on what spot of ground the said school-house is to stand.” Alexander Stewart, "from Colinton," was the first teacher appointed. The meetings of session were held as frequently as in the days of Robe, and the parochial super
vision was equally close and watchful. The Sabbath was carefully preserved from desecration. Farmers were rebuked "for selling their grass to the Highland drovers at the August tryst on the Sabbath day.” “Elders were appointed to go through the town, and challenge and reprove all persons in public-houses and wandering idly about the fields.” Collections greatly improved in amount, and were reckoned in sterling money. The proclamation fees were five shillings for three Sundays, and seven and sixpence for two. The baptism fee was sixpence. There was a graduated scale for the use of the mortcloths. “The best mortcloth, five shillings; the second best, three shillings į the plush one, two and six ; the boys' one, two shillings; the child's one, one and six; the worst one, one shilling.” The bell was rung at funerals, and the bellman was paid a shilling for discharging this duty. Testimonials were rigorously exacted from all persons taking up residence in the parish. If any employer hired a servant who had not produced a testimonial, and he or she afterwards fell into indigent circumstances, the employer was held liable for his provision. “The Session unanimously agreed," 22nd Nov., 1754, “that persons taking up residence in the parish, whether servants or others, produce testimonials to the elders of their respective quarters within fourteen days after the intimation, otherwise the Session will be at due pains to proceed against those persons that can give no satisfactory account of their moral character to get them removed out of the parish.”
The difficulties in Scotland connected with teinds have been considerable, but there have been no secessions from the Scottish Church on their account. The views held of the intimacy of the connection that should exist between the Church and State have been various,