Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 42 > Page 51 - Presbyterianism in Old Cape Breton

Page 51 - Presbyterianism in Old Cape Breton

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1986/6/1 (187 reads)

have been mentioned in the Epistles. The other min? isters of his time were fully his equal in piety, pastoral ministration, spiritual devotion; while they excelled him in scholarship, business in? stinct, and talent for organization. While he used to be compared with John the Baptist, there was one respect in which the comparison failed. In the matter of clothing he differed much from the Bap? tist's camel-hair raiment and leathern girdle. Mr. McLean was always faultlessly attired with high collar and white stock, with snow-like shirt that shone out from his black vest and morning coat, and with shining cuffs and tall silk hat. My task is completed. I have endeavoured to des? cribe conditions and to present circumstances in the early days of Presbyterianism in Cape Breton, when the hearing of a preached Gospel was desired with as much avidity as the craving of a starved man for foodo At that time these various condi? tions and circumstances made the people realize that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the greatest thing in the world, and made them willing to suf? fer, toil, and sacrifice for it, yea lay down their lives, if necessary, in the cause. Does not the converse now make us sometimes think that in our own day and generation the Gospel is made too easy for us, that we are prone to become mere para? sites living on the bounty of our host, without proper and adequate exertion on our part to earn our spiritual living? Are we satisfied to build beautiful churches with stained glass windows and, from cushioned or at least from exceedingly com? fortable, pews to listen with dull ears and pas? sive minds to a sermon that may not succeed in touching up, to a point of ignition, a single sin peculiar to the community? The questions are worthy the serious consideration of us all. Dr. M. D. Morrison's essay first appeared in The Dalhousie Review, 3u'y' 1940, under the title of "Religion in Old Cape Breton," and is reprinted here with their permission. Several, related arti? cles have been published in Cape Breton's Magazine, including "Letters of Rev. Norman McLeod" (Issue 13), "Alexander Munro,. Early Boularderie School? master" {Issue 20), "Gaelic Precenting on the North Shore" (Issue 27). A soundsheet record of North Shore Gaelic precenting is included in Issue 27. Each of these issues is still available for $1.00 each from Cape Breton's Magazine. The Well-Watered Garden is back in print. The University College of Cape Breton Press has an? nounced the second printing of Laurie Stanley's history of the Presbyterian Church in Cape Breton, entitled The Well-Watered Garden. This is good news. When it first appeared (1983), Norman MacDon? ald, Professor of Celtic Studies, U.C.C.B., wrote: "It's rare to read a local history book that com? bines theological, educational and philosophical rationale. Laurie Stanley's achievement is that she has succeeded in doing this in a thoroughly scholarly way with an impressive span of hitherto untouched original sources. Whether 4,500 people attended a Communion service in Whycocomagh in Ju? ly, 1855, will no longer be a matter of conjecture; the evidence is drawn to our attention as being in the September 1855 edition (Vol. 3) of the Ecclesi? astical and Missionary Record of the Free Church of Nova Scotia. Whether Rev. Norman McLeod actual? ly did cut off the ear of a boy who stood accused of petty theft is finally settled, too; the contem? porary records indicate clearly that he did not. The rivals of the 1840's and 1850's, the extraordi? nary educational and religious achievements of Mr. & Mrs. Hugh Munro in Boularderie, the work of "the Men" as the focus, not only of dogmatic Presbyter? ianism in Nova Scotia, but also of religious dis? sension, and the influence of the great Scottish thinker. Dr. Thomas Chalmers, Professor of Logic and Mathematics at Edinburgh and St. Andrew's Uni? versities, on the early Ministers in Cape Breton, are all carefully examined. "It's seldom that an academic thesis has the mak? ings of a best seller, but The Well-Watered Garden is a book of such class and quality that no stu- dent of history, theology, sociology or philosophy, especially if his interest in these fields is in Scotland or Canada, can afford to be without it." You won't believe that difference wearing the correct colours can make in your appearance. Men as well as women are discovering the difference. Are you spring, summer, autumn or winter? Call 539-5859 for your personal consultation. SEASON -1 BOUTIQUE ABOVE COLOURS Beautiful Designer Fashions and Accessories All conveniently grouped 'according to your season. 394 George St., Sydney 539-5859 FEATURING THE WHEN TRAVELLING IN THE SYDNEY AREA, BE SURE TO STAY AT HOME DOUINTOUN 539-3700 Theatre Project WANDLYN INN FINE DINING AND WARM HOSPITALITY 100 KING'S ROAD, SYDNEY. NOVA SCOTIA 1-800-561-0000 (902) 539-3700 (51)
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