Presbyterian polity is a method of church governance typified by the rule of assemblies of presbyters, or elders. Each local church is governed by a body of elected elders called the session or consistory, though other terms, such as church board, may apply. Groups of local churches are governed by a higher assembly of elders known as the presbytery or classis. Responsibility for conduct of church services is reserved to an ordained minister or pastor known as a teaching elder, or a minister of the word and sacrament. Presbyterian polity was developed as a rejection of governance by hierarchies of single bishops, but differs from the congregationalist polity in which each congregation is independent. In contrast to the other two forms, authority in the presbyterian polity flows both from the top down and from the bottom up; this theory of governance developed in Geneva under John Calvin and was introduced to Scotland by John Knox after his period of exile in Geneva. It is associated with French, Dutch and Scottish Reformation movements, the Reformed and Presbyterian churches.
Among the early church fathers, it was noted that the offices of elder and bishop were identical, were not differentiated until and that plurality of elders was the norm for church government. St. Jerome "In Epistle Titus", vol. iv, said, "Elder is identical with bishop. After it was... decreed throughout the world that one chosen from among the presbyters should be placed over the others." This observation was made by Chrysostom in "Homilia i, in Phil. I, 1" and Theodoret in "Interpret ad. Phil. Iii", 445. Presbyterianism was first described in detail by Martin Bucer of Strasbourg, who believed that the early Christian church implemented presbyterian polity; the first modern implementation was by the Geneva church under the leadership of John Calvin in 1541. Presbyterian polity is constructed on specific assumptions about the form of the government intended by the Bible: "Bishop" and "elder" are synonymous terms. Episcopos means overseer and describes the function of the elder, rather than the maturity of the officer.
A bishop holds the highest office of the church. Preaching and the administration of the sacraments is ordinarily entrusted to specially trained elders in each local congregation, approved for these tasks by a governing presbytery, or classis, called by the local congregation. In addition to these ministers, there are "others … with gifts for government … call "elders" or "ruling elders". Pastoral care, church discipline and legislation are committed to the care of ruling assemblies of presbyters among whom the ministers and "ruling elders" are equal participants. All Christian people together are the priesthood, on behalf of whom the elders are called to serve by the consent of the congregation. Presbyterianism uses a conciliar method of church government. Thus, the presbyters and "elders" govern together as a group, at all times the office is for the service of the congregation, to pray for them and to encourage them in the faith; the elders together exercise oversight over the local congregation, with superior groups of elders gathered on a regional basis exercising wider oversight.
Presbyterians have viewed this method of government as approximating that of the New Testament and earliest churches. However, sometimes it is admitted that episcopacy was a form of government, used early in the church for practical reasons. Presbyterianism is distinct from congregationalism, in that individual congregations are not independent, but are answerable to the wider church, through its governing bodies. Moreover, the ordained ministry possesses a distinct responsibility for preaching and sacraments. Congregational churches are sometimes called "Presbyterian" if they are governed by a council of elders. Thus, these are ruled by elders only at the level of the congregations, which are united with one another by covenants of trust. There are two types of elder. An excerpt from Miller expands this. In every Church organized, that is, furnished with all the officers which Christ has instituted and which are necessary for carrying into full effect the laws of his kingdom, there ought to be three classes of officers, viz: at least one Teaching Elder, Bishop, or Pastor — a bench of Ruling Elders — and Deacons.
The first to "minister in the Word a
Religion in Scotland
Christianity is the largest religion in Scotland. In the 2011 census, 53.8% of the Scottish population identified as Christian when asked: "What religion, religious denomination or body do you belong to?". The Church of Scotland, a Presbyterian denomination known as The Kirk, is recognised in law as the national church of Scotland, it is independent of state control. However, it is the largest religious grouping in Scotland, with 32.4% of the population according to the 2011 census. The other major Christian church is the Roman Catholic Church, the form of Christianity in Scotland prior to the Reformation, which accounts for 15.9% of the population and is important in West Central Scotland and parts of the Highlands. Scotland's third largest church is the Scottish Episcopal Church. There are multiple smaller Presbyterian churches, all of which either broke away from the Church of Scotland or themselves separated from churches which did so. In recent years other religions have established a presence in Scotland through immigration and higher birth rates among ethnic minorities.
Those with the most adherents in the 2011 census are Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism. Other minority faiths include small Neopagan groups. There are various organisations which promote humanism and secularism, included within the 36.7% who indicated no religion in the 2011 census. In July 2017, the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, conducted by ScotCen Social Research found that 58% of Scots identified themselves as non-religious, compared to 40% in 1999. Since 2016, humanists have conducted more weddings in Scotland each year than either the Catholic Church, Church of Scotland, or any other religion; the statistics from the 2011 census and the 2001 census are set out below. Christianity was introduced to what is now southern Scotland during the Roman occupation of Britain, it was spread by missionaries from Ireland from the 5th century and is associated with St Ninian, St Kentigern, St Columba. The Christianity that developed in Ireland and Scotland differed from that led by Rome over the method of calculating Easter and the form of tonsure, until the Celtic church accepted Roman practices in the mid-7th century.
Christianity in Scotland was influenced by monasticism, with abbots being more significant than bishops. In the Norman period, there were a series of reforms resulting in a clearer parochial structure based around local churches; the Scottish church established its independence from England, developing a clear diocesan structure and becoming a "special daughter of the see of Rome" but continued to lack Scottish leadership in the form of archbishops. In the late Middle Ages the Crown was able to gain greater influence over senior appointments, two archbishoprics had been established by the end of the 15th century. There was a decline in traditional monastic life but the mendicant orders of friars grew in the expanding burghs. New saints and cults of devotion proliferated. Despite problems over the number and quality of clergy after the Black Death in the 14th century, evidence of heresy in the 15th century, the Church in Scotland remained stable. During the 16th century, Scotland underwent a Protestant Reformation that created a predominantly Calvinist national kirk, Presbyterian in outlook.
A confession of faith, rejecting papal jurisdiction and the mass, was adopted by Parliament in 1560. The kirk found it difficult to penetrate the Highlands and Islands, but began a gradual process of conversion and consolidation that, compared with reformations elsewhere, was conducted with little persecution. James VI of Scotland supported the bishops. Charles I of England brought in reforms seen by some as a return to papal practice; the result was the Bishop's Wars in 1639–40, ending in virtual independence for Scotland and the establishment of a Presbyterian system by the dominant Covenanters. After the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, Scotland regained its kirk, but the bishops. In the south-west many of the people began to attend illegal field conventicles. Suppression of these assemblies in the 1680s was known as "the Killing Time". After the "Glorious Revolution" in 1688, Presbyterianism was restored; the Church of Scotland had been created in the Reformation. The late 18th century saw the beginnings of its fragmentation around issues of government and patronage, but reflecting a wider division between the Evangelicals and the Moderate Party.
In 1733 the First Secession led to the creation of a series of secessionist churches, the second in 1761 to the foundation of the independent Relief Church. These churches gained strength in the Evangelical Revival of the 18th century. Penetration of the Highlands and Islands remained limited; the efforts of the Kirk were supplemented by missionaries of the SSPCK. Episcopalianism declined because of its associations with Jacobitism. Beginning in 1834 the "Ten Years' Conflict" ended in a schism from the church, led by Dr Thomas Chalmers, known as the Great Disruption of 1843. A third of the clergy from the North and Highlands, formed the separate Free Church of Scotland; the evangelical Free Churches grew in the Highlands and Islands. In the late 19th century, major debates, between fundamentalist Calvinists and theological liberals, resulted in a further split in the Free Church as the rigid Calvinists broke away to form the Free Presbyterian Chu
The Scottish Reformation was the process by which Scotland broke with the Papacy and developed a predominantly Calvinist national Kirk, Presbyterian in outlook. It was part of the wider European Protestant Reformation. From the late fifteenth century the ideas of Renaissance humanism, critical of aspects of the established Catholic Church, began to reach Scotland through the contacts between Scottish and continental scholars. In the earlier part of the sixteenth century, the teachings of Martin Luther began to influence Scotland. Important was the work of the Lutheran Scot Patrick Hamilton, executed in 1528. Unlike his uncle Henry VIII in England, James V avoided major structural and theological changes to the church and used it as a source of income and for appointments for his illegitimate children and favourites, his death in 1542 left the infant Mary, Queen of Scots as his heir, allowing a series of English invasions known as the Rough Wooing. The English supplied books and distributed Bibles and Protestant literature in the Lowlands when they invaded in 1547.
The execution of the Zwingli-influenced George Wishart in 1546, burnt at the stake on the orders of Cardinal David Beaton, stimulated the growth of these ideas in reaction. Wishart's supporters, who included a number of Fife lairds, assassinated Beaton soon after and seized St. Andrews Castle, which they held for a year before they were defeated with the help of French forces; the survivors, including chaplain John Knox, were condemned to serve as galley slaves. Their martyrdom stirred resentment of the French and inspired additional martyrs for the Protestant cause. In 1549, the defeat of the English with French support led to the marriage of Mary to the French dauphin and a regency over Scotland for the queen's mother, Mary of Guise. Limited toleration and the influence of exiled Scots and Protestants in other countries, led to the expansion of Protestantism, with a group of lairds declaring themselves Lords of the Congregation in 1557 and representing Protestant interests politically; the collapse of the French alliance and the death of the regent, followed by English intervention in 1560, meant that a small but influential group of Protestants had the power to impose reform on the Scottish church.
The Scottish Reformation Parliament of 1560 approved a Protestant confession of faith, rejecting papal jurisdiction and the Mass. Knox, having escaped the galleys and having spent time in Geneva, where he became a follower of Calvin, emerged as the most significant figure; the Calvinism of the reformers led by Knox resulted in a settlement that adopted a Presbyterian system and rejected most of the elaborate trappings of the Medieval church. When her husband Francis II died in 1560, the Catholic Mary returned to Scotland to take up the government, her six-year personal reign was marred by a series of crises caused by the intrigues and rivalries of the leading nobles. Opposition to her third husband Bothwell led to the formation of a coalition of nobles, who captured Mary and forced her abdicate in favour of her son, who came to the throne as James VI in 1567. James resisted Presbyterianism and the independence of the Kirk; the Reformation resulted in major changes in Scottish society. These included a desire to plant a school in every parish and major reforms of the university system.
The Kirk discouraged many forms of plays, as well as poetry, not devotional in nature. Scotland's ecclesiastical art paid a heavy toll as a result of Reformation iconoclasm. Native craftsmen and artists turned to secular patrons, resulting in the flourishing of Scottish Renaissance painted ceilings and walls; the Reformation revolutionised church architecture, with new churches built and existing churches adapted for reformed services by placing the pulpit centrally in the church, as preaching was at the centre of worship. The Reformation had a severe impact on church music, with song schools closed down, choirs disbanded, music books and manuscripts destroyed, organs removed from churches; these were replaced by the congregational singing of psalms, despite attempts of James VI to refound the song schools and choral singing. Women gained new educational possibilities and religion played a major part in the lives of many women, but women were treated as criminals through prosecutions for scolding and witchcraft.
Scottish Protestantism was focused on the Bible, starting in the seventeenth century there would be efforts to stamp out popular activities viewed as superstitous or frivolous. The Kirk became the subject of many Scots saw their country as a new Israel. Christianity spread in Scotland from the sixth century, with evangelisation by Irish-Scots missionaries and, to a lesser extent, those from Rome and England; the church in Scotland attained clear independence from England after the Papal Bull of Celestine III, by which all Scottish bishoprics except Galloway became formally independent of York and Canterbury. The whole Ecclesia Scoticana, with individual Scottish bishoprics, became the "special daughter of the see of Rome", it was run by special councils made up of all the Scottish bishops, with the bishop of St Andrews emerging as the most important figure. The administration of parishes was given over to local monastic institutions in a process known as appropriation. By the time of the Reformation in the mid-sixteenth century 80 per cent of Scottish parishes were appropriated, leaving few resources for t
Protestantism is the second largest form of Christianity with collectively between 800 million and more than 900 million adherents worldwide or nearly 40% of all Christians. It originated with the 16th century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy and sacraments, but disagree among themselves regarding the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, they emphasize the priesthood of all believers, justification by faith alone rather than by good works, the highest authority of the Bible alone in faith and morals. The "five solae" summarise basic theological differences in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church. Protestantism is popularly considered to have begun in Germany in 1517 when Martin Luther published his Ninety-five Theses as a reaction against abuses in the sale of indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church, which purported to offer remission of sin to their purchasers.
However, the term derives from the letter of protestation from German Lutheran princes in 1529 against an edict of the Diet of Speyer condemning the teachings of Martin Luther as heretical. Although there were earlier breaks and attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church—notably by Peter Waldo, John Wycliffe, Jan Hus—only Luther succeeded in sparking a wider and modern movement. In the 16th century, Lutheranism spread from Germany into Denmark, Sweden, Latvia and Iceland. Reformed denominations spread in Germany, the Netherlands, Scotland and France by reformers such as John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, John Knox; the political separation of the Church of England from the pope under King Henry VIII began Anglicanism, bringing England and Wales into this broad Reformation movement. Protestants have developed their own culture, with major contributions in education, the humanities and sciences, the political and social order, the economy and the arts, many other fields. Protestantism is diverse, being more divided theologically and ecclesiastically than either the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, or Oriental Orthodoxy.
Without structural unity or central human authority, Protestants developed the concept of an invisible church, in contrast to the Roman Catholic view of the Catholic Church as the visible one true Church founded by Jesus Christ. Some denominations do have a worldwide scope and distribution of membership, while others are confined to a single country. A majority of Protestants are members of a handful of Protestant denominational families: Adventists, Anglicans, Reformed, Lutherans and Pentecostals. Nondenominational, charismatic and other churches are on the rise, constitute a significant part of Protestant Christianity. Proponents of the branch theory consider Protestantism one of the three major divisions of Christendom, together with the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodoxy. Six princes of the Holy Roman Empire and rulers of fourteen Imperial Free Cities, who issued a protest against the edict of the Diet of Speyer, were the first individuals to be called Protestants; the edict reversed concessions made to the Lutherans with the approval of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V three years earlier.
The term protestant, though purely political in nature acquired a broader sense, referring to a member of any Western church which subscribed to the main Protestant principles. However, it is misused to mean any church outside the Roman and Eastern Orthodox communions. Protestantism as a general term is now used in contradistinction to the other major Christian traditions, i.e. Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. During the Reformation, the term protestant was hardly used outside of German politics. People who were involved in the religious movement used the word evangelical. For further details, see the section below. Protestant became a general term, meaning any adherent of the Reformation in the German-speaking area, it was somewhat taken up by Lutherans though Martin Luther himself insisted on Christian or evangelical as the only acceptable names for individuals who professed Christ. French and Swiss Protestants instead preferred the word reformed, which became a popular and alternative name for Calvinists.
The word evangelical, which refers to the gospel, was used for those involved in the religious movement in the German-speaking area beginning in 1517. Nowadays, evangelical is still preferred among some of the historical Protestant denominations in the Lutheran and United Protestant traditions in Europe, those with strong ties to them. Above all the term is used by Protestant bodies in the German-speaking area, such as the Evangelical Church in Germany. In continental Europe, an Evangelical is either a Calvinist, or a United Protestant; the German word evangelisch means Protestant, is different from the German evangelikal, which refers to churches shaped by Evangelicalism. The English word evangelical refers to evangelical Protestant churches, therefore to a certain part of Protestantism rather than to Protestantism as a whole; the English word traces its roots back to the Puritans in England, where Evangelicalism originated, was brought to the United States. Martin Luther always disliked the term Lutheran, preferring the term evangelical, derived from euangelion, a Greek word meaning "good news", i.e. "gospel".
The followers of
The First Secession was an exodus of ministers and members from the Church of Scotland in 1733. Those who took part formed the Associate Presbytery and the United Secession Church, they were referred to as seceders. The First Secession arose out of an Act of the General Assembly of 1732, passed despite the disapproval of the large majority of individual presbyteries; this restricted to Heritors and Elders the right of nominating Ministers to vacancies where the Patron had not nominated within six months. When Ebenezer Erskine wished to have his dissent recorded, it was found that a previous Act of 1730 had removed the right of recorded dissent, so the protests of the dissenters were refused. In the following October, Ebenezer Erskine, minister at Stirling, and, at the time, Moderator of the Synod of Stirling preached a sermon referring to the act as unscriptural and unconstitutional. Members of the synod objected, he was censured. On appeal, the censure was affirmed by the Assembly in May 1733.
He was joined in his protest by Alexander Moncrieff and James Fisher. They were regarded by the Assembly as being in contempt; when they still refused to recant, in November the protesting ministers were suspended. They replied by protesting that they still adhered to the principles of the Church, whilst at the same time seceding. In December 1733 they constituted themselves into a new presbytery. In 1734 they published their first testimony, with a statement of the grounds of their secession, which made prominent reference to the doctrinal laxity of previous General Assemblies. In 1736 they proceeded to exercise judicial powers as a church court, published a judicial testimony, began to organize churches in various parts of the country. Having been joined by four other ministers, including the well-known Ralph Erskine, they appointed Wilson Professor of Divinity. For these acts proceedings were again instituted against them in the General Assembly, they were in 1740 all deposed and ordered to be ejected from their churches.
Meanwhile, the membership of their'Associate Presbytery' increased, until in 1745 there were forty-five congregations, it was reconstituted into an'Associate Synod'. A Second Secession from the Church of Scotland occurred with Thomas Gillespie and others; this was called the Presbytery of Relief. In 1847, this denomination united with the United Secession Church to form the United Presbyterian Church. Marrow Controversy Thomas Mair Acts of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland 1730, 1732, 1734. Church Law Society, Edinburgh, 1843, British History Online Knight, Charles; the English Cyclopaedia: a New Dictionary of Universal Knowledge, Volume VIII, pp. 487-494. Bradbury and Evans, London, 1861. Fraser, Donald; the Life and Diary of the Reverend Ebenezer Erskine, A. M.: of Stirling, Father of the Secession Church, to, prefixed a memoir of his father, the Rev. Henry Erskine, of Chirnside. W Oliphant, Edinburgh, 1831. VanDoodewaard, William; the Marrow Controversy and Seceder Tradition. Reformation Heritage Books, Grand Rapids, 2011
Christianisation of Scotland
The Christianisation of Scotland was the process by which Christianity spread in what is now Scotland, which took place principally between the fifth and tenth centuries. Christianity was introduced to what is now Lowland Scotland by Roman soldiers stationed in the north of the province of Britannia. After the collapse of Roman authority in the early fifth century, Christianity is presumed to have survived among the British enclaves in the south of what is now Scotland, but retreated as the pagan Anglo-Saxons advanced. Traditional narratives depict Scotland as converted by Irish missions associated with figures such as St. Columba, from the fifth to the seventh centuries, but many of these figures were constructs or founded monasteries and collegiate churches in areas to which Christianity had spread. Scholars have identified a distinctive form of Celtic Christianity, in which abbots were more significant than bishops, attitudes to clerical celibacy were more relaxed, there were significant differences in practice with Roman Christianity the form of tonsure and the method of calculating Easter, although most of these issues had been resolved by the mid-seventh century.
After the reconversion of Scandinavian Scotland in the tenth century, Christianity under papal authority was the dominant religion of the kingdom. The process of Christianisation was significant in the development of Scottish national identity, the Hiberno-Scottish mission to Continental Europe, the development of Insular art, the introduction of Latin and formal education. Little is known about religion in Scotland before the arrival of Christianity; the lack of native written sources among the Picts means that it can only be judged from parallels elsewhere, occasional surviving archaeological evidence and hostile accounts of Christian writers. It is presumed to have resembled Celtic polytheism; the names of more than two hundred Celtic deities have been noted, some of which, like Lugh, The Dagda and The Morrigan, come from Irish mythology, whilst others, like Teutatis and Cernunnos, come from evidence from Gaul. The Celtic pagans constructed temples and shrines to venerate these gods, something they did so through votive offerings and performing sacrifices including human sacrifice.
According to Greek and Roman accounts, in Gaul and Ireland, there was a priestly caste of "magico-religious specialists" known as the druids, although little is known about them. Irish legends about the origin of the Picts and stories from the life of St. Ninian, associate the Picts with druids; the Picts are associated in Christian writing with "demon" worship, which may be a Christian interpretation of their deities, one story concerning St. Columba has him exorcising a demon from a well in Pictland, suggesting that the worship of well spirits was a feature of Pictish paganism. Roman mentions of the worship of the Goddess Minerva at wells, a Pictish stone associated with a well near Dunvegan Castle on Skye, have been taken to support this case; the roots of Christianity in Scotland were among the soldiers and ordinary Roman citizens who lived in the vicinity of Hadrian's Wall. The archaeology of the Roman period indicates that the northern parts of the Roman province of Britannia were among the most Christianised in the island.
Chi-Rho inscriptions and Christian grave-slabs have been found on the wall from the fourth century, from the same period the Mithraic shrines that existed along Hadrian's Wall were attacked and destroyed by Christians. After the collapse of Roman authority in the early fifth century, four major circles of influence emerged in Northern Britain. In the east, the kingdoms of the Picts stretched from the River Forth to Shetland. In the west were the Gaelic -speaking people of Dál Riata, who had close links with Ireland, from where they brought with them the name Scots. In the south were the British descendants of the peoples of the Roman-influenced kingdoms of "The Old North", the most powerful and longest surviving of, Alt Clut; the Anglo-Saxons had overrun much of southern Britain and held the Kingdom of Bernicia, which reached into what are now the Borders of Scotland in the south-east. While the Picts and Scots would have remained pagan, most scholars presume that Christianity would have survived after the departure of the Romans among the Brythonic enclaves and retreated as the Anglo-Saxons advanced north.
Their gods included Tiw, Woden and Frig, all of whom gave their names to days of the week, Eostre, whose name was appropriated for the spring festival of Easter. While British Christians continued to practice inhumation without grave goods, the pagan Anglo-Saxons are visible in the archaeological record from their practice of cremation and burial in urns, accompanied by extensive grave goods designed to accompany the dead to the afterlife. However, despite growing evidence of Anglian settlement in southern Scotland, only one such grave has been found, at Dalmeny in East Lothian; the traditional view of the Christianisation of Scotland has seen it as carried out by Irish-Scots missionaries and to a lesser extent those from Rome and England. Historian Richard Fletcher argued that motivations for these missions may have included the example of St. Patrick, the idea of Peregrinatio and a growing interest in evangelism. Missionaries from Ireland were operating on the British mainland from at least the sixth century.
This movement is traditionally associated with the figures of St. Ninian, St. Kentigern and St. Columba. However, historian Gilbert Markus highlights the fact that most of these figures were not church-foun
Scottish religion in the eighteenth century
Scottish religion in the eighteenth century includes all forms of religious organisation and belief in Scotland in the eighteenth century. This period saw the beginnings of a fragmentation of the Church of Scotland, created in the Reformation and established on a Presbyterian basis after the Glorious Revolution; these fractures were prompted by issues of government and patronage, but reflected a wider division between the Evangelicals and the Moderate Party. The legal right of lay patrons to present clergymen of their choice to local ecclesiastical livings led to minor schisms from the church; the first in 1733, known as the First Secession and headed by figures including Ebenezer Erskine, led to the creation of a series of secessionist churches. The second in 1761 led to the foundation of the independent Relief Church. In 1743, the Cameronians established themselves as the Reformed Presbyterian Church, remaining separate from religious and political debate. Of independent churches from England that were established in the seventeenth century only the Quakers managed to endure in to the eighteenth century.
Baptist chapels were re-established in the middle of the century and, although Scotland appeared fertile ground for Methodism, it failed to expand as as elsewhere in the Great Britain and Ireland. A number of minor Scottish sects developed, such as the Bereans, Buchanites and Glassites. Episcopalianism had retained supporters through the civil wars and changes of regime in the seventeenth century. Since most Episcopalians gave their support to the Jacobite rebellions in the first half of the early eighteenth century, they suffered a decline in fortunes; the remoteness of the Highlands and the lack of a Gaelic-speaking clergy undermined the missionary efforts of the established church. The eighteenth century saw some success, owing to the efforts of the SSPCK missionaries and to the disruption of traditional society. Catholicism had been reduced to the fringes of the country the Gaelic-speaking areas of the Highlands and Islands. Conditions grew worse for Catholics after the Jacobite rebellions and Catholicism was reduced to little more than a poorly run mission.
There was Evangelical Revival from the 1730s, reaching its peak at the Cambuslang Wark in 1742. The movement benefited the secessionist churches; the Kirk had considerable control over the lives of the people, with a major role in the Poor Law and schools and over the morals of the population. Strict Sabbatarianism was vital to Presbyterianism; the sermon was seen as central and the only participation by the congregation the singing of the psalms. Communion was the central occasion of the church, conducted infrequently, at most once a year taking a week of festivals as part of a communion season. In the second half of the century there were a series of reforms of church music connected to a choir movement. Episcopalians installed organs and hired musicians, following the practice in English parish churches. Catholic worship was deliberately low key, with musical accompaniment prohibited; the religious settlement after the Glorious Revolution of 1688/9 adopted the legal forms of 1592, which instituted a Presbyterian kirk, doctrine based on the 1646 Westminster Confession of Faith.
The early eighteenth century saw the growth of "praying societies", who supplemented the services of the established kirk with communal devotions. These had the approval of parish ministers and their members were drawn from the lower ranks of local society, their outlook varied but they disliked preaching that emphasised the Law or that understood the gospel as a new law neonomianism, or, mere morality, sought out a gospel that stressed the Grace of God in the sense set out in the Confession of Faith. They disliked the role of lay patronage in the kirk; the theological division between neonomian and antineonomian tendencies in the kirk were highlighted by the Marrow Controversy. The Marrow of Modern Divinity was a mid-seventeenth century book with an antineonomian perspective, reprinted in 1718 and promoted by Thomas Boston and others; the book was condemned by the General Assembly. The decision was appealed by 12 "Marrow Men", but the repudiation was upheld in 1722 and although its supporters were not expelled, they were denied advancement and the controversy continued.
There were growing divisions between the Moderate Party. While Evangelicals emphasised the authority of the Bible and the traditions and historical documents of the kirk, the Moderates tended to stress intellectualism in theology, the established hierarchy of the kirk and attempted to raise the social status of the clergy. From the 1760s the Moderates gained an ascendancy in the General Assembly of the Church, they were led by the historian William Robertson, who became principal of the University of Edinburgh and by his successor George Hill, professor at the University of Aberdeen. Evangelical leaders included John McLaurin and Alexander Webster; the most important figure was John Erskine, minister of Old Greyfriars Church in Edinburgh from 1768 and for 26 years a friend and colleague to Robertson. He was orthodox in doctrine, but sympathised with the Enlightenment and supported reforms in religious practice. A popular preacher, he corresponded with religious leaders in other countries, including New England theologian Johnathan Edwards, whose ideas were a major influence on the movement in Scotland.
Judged by the number of books printed in Scotland, Boston was the most popular theological writer in the movement. The eighteenth century saw the beginni