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the exercise of his conciliatory spirit he might persuade the stern men of the West to embrace Episcopacy. He failed, and failed disastrously. When Leighton was unsuccessful there are some who think that the reconciliation of prelacy and presbytery may well be finally abandoned. This may be, but still it is impossible not to observe whilst acknowledging his charity and devotion, that Leighton's character was too partial and one-sided to commend itself strongly to the northern mind. Leighton had no want of love to God, but he miserably lacked a real love to man. He was formed for contemplation, and stood aloof from human sympathies and ties. In the Scotland of that time there is nothing to be wondered at that Leighton was misunderstood, that the energetic ministers of the day thought, when he allowed them to hold sessions and presbyteries, "he was straking cream in their mouths," or that "they should have judged him void of any doctrinal principles, and very much indifferent to all professions which bore the name of Christian." At an earlier date Leighton might have been the Erasmus, never the Luther of the Reformation. In devotion and piety Walter M'Gill was a reflection of his bishop, but he possessed that which Leighton wanted, a sympathetic disposition, a warm heart, and of a consequence he commended Episcopacy to his parishioners with a success which his ecclesiastical superior had never known. There is undeniable testimony that, so far from being misunderstood, M'Gill was greatly appreciated. When, after a reign of twenty-eight years, Episcopacy was again thrown off, and the Presbyterians found themselves in the ascendant, they proceeded to depose the Episcopal clergy wholesale. Amongst others, sentence was passed on M'Gill, and the Presbytery of Glasgow elected one of their number to preach the
church vacant. It was, however, much easier to depose him in the presbytery than to oust him from the parishThe matter was bruited abroad, and when the eventful Sunday came, from far and near the people began to congregate in the churchyard. It soon became apparent from the eager disputations that the crowd were about equally divided into two factions. The one party was for the Presbyterian order, and the other was against the deposition as a harsh and unwarrantable step. The latter not only embracing all the Episcopalians but also those favourable to Mr. M'Gill personally, were probably the larger and stronger party. Again they were led by Lord Kilsyth's chamberlain, and animated by the presence of Lord Kilsyth himself. When the deputy of the presbytery was seen drawing near, the noise of the crowd greatly increased, and a regular hubbub immediately ensued. Those favourable to the new order cheered the advance of the delegate, those in favour of the incumbent greeted his approach with derision. In the excitement men forgot the holy associations of the church and the graveyard. When the emissary of the presbytery approached the church, it was through a lane formed by the factions grouped on either side. When he was Hearing the door, Lord Kilsyth's chamberlain stepped forward and stood in front of him. The minister demanded to be allowed to go about his duty, but the chamberlain denied him access to the church. After this altercation the pent-up feelings of the crowd could be no longer restrained, and with such weapons as they could muster, they flew at each other, infuriated by the wildest passion. The shouts of the men, the screaming of the women, the rapid movements of fists and sticks, strong men wrestling together amongst the grave-stones, and all about a form of church government, may all be taken as illustrative of a peculiar but distinctive trait of the national character. The fracas continued for a considerable time, and so violent was the struggle that one man was killed and many severely injured. The strife terminated in favour of the M'Gill faction. They drove their opponents from the churchyard, and prevented the service of the edict of the presbytery.
Feeling running high, the presbytery wisely desisted from taking further action in the case, and it would have been well if Mr. M'Gill had been allowed to spend the remainder of his days in the doing of the work he loved so well, and which was so warmly appreciated by his parishioners. This, however, he was not allowed to do, or rather, could not do after a manner consistent with his own honour. The party opposed to the continuance of his ministry, smarting under the pain of their defeat, so utterly lost command of themselves as to offer him personal violence. Not being cast in the heroic mould, he demitted his charge, February, 1691, three years after the rabbling. At this crisis two hundred curates were expelled, but it is matter of regret that so faithful a pastor as Walter M'Gill should have been one of them. He retired to Edinburgh, but did not long survive the trying ordeal through which he had passed. He died on the 20th June, 1694, aged 57. He was thrice married* First, to Janet Keir, daughter of Captain W. Keir, on the 1st April, 1664. Secondly, to Janet Bell, January, 1691. And, thirdly, in the August of that same year to Janet Chein, who survived him and subsequently married the minister of Tranent.
With the resignation of Walter M'Gill, Episcopacy came to an end in Monyabroch. It not only ceased to be represented by a public minister, it became extinct altogether, and from that time until the time of the present incumbent, no Episcopal clergyman has conducted the public worship of the parish. It may not be wholly correct to describe the Rev. Michael Robe, M.A., as the successor of Walter M'Gill. He was sprung from a Cumbernauld family who held those estates now in the possession of Messrs. Brown and Duncan. He studied at the University of Edinburgh, and was a young man of good parts and ripe scholarship. He became a tutor in the family of the distinguished James Wodrow, afterwards Professor of Divinity in the University of Glasgow. Robe was appointed to a meeting-house in the Newtown of Monyabroch, and received ordination 7th December, 1687. He ministered to the parishioners who rejected Episcopacy. His stay was short. After three years he was appointed minister of the parish of Easter Lenzie (Kirkintilloch) and Cumbernauld in 1690. Seeing he was the father of the renowned James Robe, one of the foremost ministers of his time, it is interesting to note in this connection that he attacked with great vigour those who fostered schismatical divisions in the Church, and frequently proclaimed against the stage as a spring of vice and leading to error and profanity. Whilst in Monyabroch he married Isabella Dundas, the 6th February, 1688, and besides James had another son Thomas. He died 1718, in his 74th year.
The Rev. James Hay was translated from Kilmalcolm, and his induction took place the 29th December, 1692. He was a laborious and faithful minister, and in the yellowing leaves of the parish records there is to be obtained many an interesting glimpse into the habits and circumstances of the people. The names of the elders are names still familiar in the parish. These, amongst others, may be mentioned: John Murdoch, James Rennie, Walter Rankine, John Young, William Gray, John Provan, Andrew Adam, Patrick Grindlay, John Baird, John Burns, John Shearer. They had to deal with many a curious case, but there is not one, excepting those where parties were fugitives from discipline, that was not brought to a satisfactory termination. A parishioner was accused "of using charms to cure his beasts that were not well." He had employed a professional charmer, but there being a paucity of witnesses, he was "seriously exhorted to beware of these things " and dismissed. Lists were regularly given in of those who habitually absented themselves from public worship. The elders had difficulties with the poor, and they decreed that " no poor should have charity unless they came to kirk and attended diets of examination if able." They became unmannerly, and troubled the members of session, privately blaming them for uncharitableness. To put an end to this, they had to appear before the session before receiving their allowances. The new arrangement only lasted for a short time. Intimation was made that " no burials were to be brought into the churchyard after the sermon was begun, and that all who did not partake of the sacrament were to be deprived of the privileges of baptism." They took steps against those "who vagued and wandered to the woods and parks after public worship on the Lord's day." Penny weddings were prevalent. The minister discouraged them, and one held at Auchencloach gave rise to much scandal. Mary Lyle and Janet Sinclair were before the court on the charge of promiscuous dancing. The former confessed that " she danced a springe with Wigtoun's footman." They were admonished that "if they did not carry better in tyme comminge, they would be made publick examples." A scandal was tabled against a farmer that " he had thacked and crowned his stacks on the Lord's day." Witnesses were examined