Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 42 > Page 50 - Presbyterianism in Old Cape Breton

Page 50 - Presbyterianism in Old Cape Breton

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1986/6/1 (205 reads)

al reasoning on the point, that the Church that gives place and support to the like of your charac? ters, in her highest office, must in fact be any? thing other than a living Church of Jesus Christ. This has been my most serious and deliberate view of the subject for the long space of forty years together, and every day confirms me more in this grievous though unavoidable determination." It would unduly prolong the length of this essay were I to attempt even a slight sketch of each of these historical ministerial personalities; but I feel that I should incorporate in my story a short account of the Rev. Peter McLean, as he was probab? ly unique among them and, perhaps, the most famous of the noble band. He was the son of a Scottish crofter, and was born in 1800. Becoming converted at a revival meeting, he left his home immediately, and spent a week in the wilds. On his return he made the following announce? ment: • "I hereby earnestly purpose, in the strength and grace of God, before the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, before God's angels in Heaven, the saints on Earth, the wicked in the world and the devils in Hell, to dedicate my soul, my body, and my talents to the Lord and his service for time and for eternity ' At the age of 32 he had finished his Arts and Divinity studies, and a year or two later was invited to go to Cape Breton. He responded with great readi? ness, arriving at Whycocomagh in 1836 Two years later a deep religious move? ment became apparent in his congrega? tion. People were so overwhelmed under his preaching that they fell down and had to be carried out of church. Like a gale this movement spread throughout the whole island, and from eyery quar? ter people thronged to Whycocomagh. Those Sabbath days witnessed devout and eager multitudes, as if they were trav? elling to the Passover at Jerusalem. On the occasions of his attendance at the Open Air Communion he would make a dash? ing appeal to the emotional side of the entrapped sinners, and a moral convul? sive seizure would soon become apparent on the hillside. He early came into con? flict with the celebrated St. Anns prophet. Rev. Norman McLeod, and felt the force of the opposition keenly. Mr. McLeod hated revivals, and fiercely de? nounced them and Rev. Peter McLean with a vehement vocabulary. But Peter McLean was not a man to be silenced, or to be wiped off the map; he had seen the heav? enly vision, and could not be disobedi? ent to it. On he continued with all the flames of life burning white and red un? til 1842, when his strenuous labors re? duced him to a physical wreck, and he was obliged to return to Scotland. By the following year, however, he had re? covered his wonted energy, as we find him then taking a leading part in the memorable Disruption in the Church of Scotland, and later accepting a minis? terial charge in the Free Church--as the new organization was called--in one of the Western Isles. In 1853, as the representative of the General Assembly of the Free Church, he revisited Cape (50) Breton, and once more preached in his former sphere of consecrated memories. Again crowds pressed in from every side to hear him, and wherev? er he appeared he had triumphal processions. What cheered him most now was not, however, the present crowds; but rather the good news that the converts of the great revival under his previous ministry still stood true and sure. On his return to Scot? land he was transferred to the parish of Stornoway in the Hebrides, where he continued to labor, with his old time intensity, until he died in 1868. Mr. McLean was by far the most noted of these ear? ly divines, principally because of his evangelis? tic fervour, his remarkable personality, his drama? tic actions on the public platform, his wonderful voice which, on such occasions, vibrated with emo- tion. If he had lived in St. Paul's time, he would UNDER ANY NAME INDUSTRIAL CAPE BRETON YOUTH EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY WORKS! In 1985 YOUTH JOB CORPS completed one full year. The par? ticipants received academic upgrading, shared in a life and work skills program, practised good work habits, and had a chance to focus on their career goals. The results: 85% of the participants who completed the course have been placed in employment or employment-related training. More important, these are permanent jobs, not part-time. In Year Two, YOUTH EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY continues with more participants, a wider range of programs and train? ing, and further outreach. And these are jobs that last. Our graduates not only find jobs but also retain them. Our Success Is the Community's Success AN EDUCATIONAL ALTERNATIVE FOR EMPLOYMENT PREPARATION INDUSTRIAL CAPE BRETON YOUTH EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY 269 Charlotte St., Sydney 539-2630 Sponsored by Industrial Cape Breton Board of Trade Funded through the Ministry of Employment & Immigration Minister: Hon. Flora MacDonald
Cape Breton's Magazine
  View this article in PDF format Print article

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to the PDF version of this content. Click here to download and install the Acrobat plugin
Acrobat Reader Download