Tribute to Anti-Burghers

Dear blog reader

Cairneyhill is of note as it contains Scotland’s first anti-burgher Church so I thought this tribute to anti-burghers might be of interest.





Mr Thomas Shaw, who is no less a Churchman than a statesman, paid a very high tribute to the Anti-Burghers – that stern old sect from whom so much that is admirable in our Presbyterianism of today, has descended – in opening a sale of work in aid of Cairneyhill UF Church at Dunfermline on Friday.

Mr Shaw said he was brought up in Chalmers Street Church, which was Anti-Burgher, and was derived from those sturdy, noble men and women who, for a period of nearly a generation, tramped in support of Anti-Burgher principles from Dunfermline to Cairneyhill, which was the nearest undiluted source of the true and pure gospel in the district, and then, getting numerous, and he supposed getting tired and getting wealthy, they founded the old Chalmers Street Church, in which he had a vivid recollection of being severely chastised for privately playing marbles behind the cushion of the seat (Laughter).

Hard things had been said about the severe and stern people called the Anti-Burghers, but in the history of our country what did they stand for? In the first place, they stood for conscience at a time when it was not very easy to stand for conscience, and in the next place they stood for religious and civil freedom. Some people said they were divided. Yes, they were divided, because they dared to do their thinking for themselves, and not think as every other body thought. That was a characteristic which involved, no doubt, certain troublesome angularities in life, but which, after all, formed the fibre of what was best in Scottish nature and history. All honour, therefore, to those men who, under trying and sometimes sordid circumstances, stood for conscience and freedom in civil and religious affairs. It was in such soil that in later years the tide of civil freedom swept with a free course.

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