Sunday, June 22, 2008

Killaughey Mission Hall

David Gilmore and I were speaking there tonight (it's beside Ballycopeland Windmill, the only working windmill in Northern Ireland). Some pics attached from after the meeting - a wee window into mission hall life in the Ards Peninsula.

Saturday, June 21, 2008



Took this photo outside the fancy new multi-million-pound-cathedral-of-retail Victoria Square centre in Belfast recently. "Tulchan" was once a term of abuse that the Ulster-Scots used in the mid 1600s to describe their enemies - the "Tulchan Bishops" of the established church. Now it's a cardigan brand for middle aged women!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Irish News at it again

From yesterday's paper. I presume meant to be Nelson McCausland and Gregory Campbell meeting in the Agency offices? Here's the previous attack, and an earlier one...

Of course it just again shows the intellectual laziness and ignorance of both Ian Knox and the Irish News. The Ulster-Scots Agency has said nothing negative about the additional funding for Irish - but once again, Ulster-Scots is the default whipping boy of choice for these people.

The Perfect Name for an Ulster-Scots Festival Weekend

"Festival" is an odd thing - suggests lots of people having lots of fun, bright colours and happiness. Perhaps a bit shallow, but well intended. All of which is not very Ulster-Scots. Here's the one we need!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Willie Drennan - Big Lang Danner

Willie BLD Cover.jpg

Willie's new book, Big Lang Danner, is out next week. It's record of a two week walking trip he made from Stranraer through south west Scotland to Dumfries, then north west through Moniaive, Sanquhar and Cumnock to Ayr. An amazing series of stories and discoveries unfold in the pages - plenty of encounters with Covenanter tales and monuments forbye! He asked me to write the foreword for it. Here it is, and it might (perhaps) get me into a wee spot of bother:

by Mark Thompson, Chairman, The Ulster-Scots Agency

Forget government agencies and public bodies. The real face and heart of Ulster-Scots is not the suited “professionals” and bureaucrats that trip over themselves to get their photographs as big as possible in the newspapers, it’s Willie Drennan. Go up to anybody in the street in Northern Ireland, and they’ll at the very least say “the wee man with the Lambeg”!

I have the utmost respect for Willie and for what he has done in lifting Ulster-Scots from being a fringe interest of the dedicated few, to many new audiences - in schools, at mainstream festivals, on radio and of course television. I have even had the privilege of playing mandolin onstage and recording music with him over the years. “Big Lang Danner”, his second book, takes his work to another level.

If you’ve never read the 1998 worldwide bestseller “A Walk in the Woods” by the famous American author Bill Bryson, you should get a copy. It’s his personal experience of walking the Appalachian trail from Maine to Georgia, and describes the people and places he meets along the way. “Big Lang Danner” is just as good, and for an Ulster-Scots or Scottish readership, it’ll open your mind. I’ve spent a bit of time travelling the roads that Willie walks in this book, and reading his unique fusion of history, humour, culture and people has honestly made me want to retrace his steps (although I might skip the part where he sleeps in the phone box!).

1.5 million people travel by ferry between Ulster and Scotland each year - but virtually all of them just hurtle through south west Scotland - that triangle from Stranraer to Dumfries to Ayr, on their way to somewhere else. This needs to change. I would encourage everyone to plan some extra time into their journey, to turn off the A77 or the A75, to visit the places and meet the people that Willie talks about in this book. Go to Glen Trool, go to Moniaive, spend a day in Kirkcudbright, and take “Big Lang Danner” with you. There’s no better introduction to the Ulster-Scots connections - the pages will come to life as you walk through the villages and landscapes that Willie has described so well.

Finally, I want to draw your attention to Willie’s conclusion - he poses some big questions, challenges and ideas at the close of this book that we would all do well to consider. There is so much more yet to be done for Ulster-Scots. Government might think it will deliver, but in actual fact, it’s the ordinary people who will. In "Big Lang Danner", Willie shows us the way.


Willie's new "A Danner Wi Drennan" tv series is due to be broadcast on BBC Northern Ireland during July. Meanwhile,you can pre-order your copy of "Big Lang Danner" here, for just £10.00.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Paisley and the Covenanters

"...Knowing about the covenanters and seeing graves of people who lost their lives because of their beliefs made the word heritage understandable..."

(Thanks to Jack Greenald for this article)

In his farewell speech, Ian Paisley paid tribute to his father, a Baptist Pastor, and his mother, who he said was ‘of Covenanter pedigree’. According to Ian Paisley, the Covenanters have been a central influence in his life and career. One commentator speaks of a religious ideology which Paisley imbued in his youth which originates ‘in the bleak Scottish Borders and the lush meadows of Ayrshire with the seventeenth century Covenanters’.

Paisley makes numerous references to the Covenanters in his preaching. In a sermon preached in 1982, he said: ‘We as Presbyterians today rejoice in the Covenanting struggle. We thank God for Richard Cameron the Lion of the Covenant. We bless God for the galaxy of the Covenanting martyrs. What did they do? They opposed the King. They opposed his Parliament. They opposed the Magistrates. They opposed the soldiers in the Army. They opposed the authority - the constituted authority law forces of the Crown’.

In another sermon he said: ‘There is in my heart a wonderful affinity with Richard Cameron’. And he described the Covenanters as ‘bold, courageous, strong men ... these were not the putty paper men of the 20th century – these were the rugged men of the Reformation’.

At the Wigtown Book Festival in 2007, Paisley spoke of the Wigtown martyrs, and said that their deaths had ‘influenced his life’. He was reported as saying: ‘Margaret Wilson and Margaret McLauchlan have obtained in our time and in the time of our fathers a celebrity such as their accusers, their judges, their persecutors and their cruel murderers never dreamed of ... I believe that the blood of the martyrs is the seed that has brought a blessing to my country and to yours ... Ulster, the Province that I love and you in Scotland owe our freedoms to these women and others who fought the battle in their day and who refused to bow the knee to false religion, and were determined to do as God would have them do’.

In 1988 Paisley republished a copy of the National Covenant of 1638. In the introductory notes he wrote: ‘The binding of ourselves under God in solemn and holy covenant to resist the tyranny of Rome and to stand true to the principles of the Protestant Reformation is our task today as it was the Covenanters task in their day ... All who accept the Scriptures as the Word of God, must renounce the errors condemned by the Covenants and contend for the truths those who subscribed them pledged themselves to maintain’.

When his children were growing up Paisley took them on holidays to Scotland to visit Covenanter graves. In her biography of her father, Rhonda Paisley wrote: ‘Many a holiday we spent trekking over the moors to be photographed at some covenanter’s grave in Scotland. It was always cold and blowy and the ground uneven and difficult to walk over. There were cowpats galore, and the occasional bull to navigate gingerly – all just to look at some weathered, green, moss-covered stone with a railing around it... I do appreciate the sacrifice made for religious freedom and I am thankful for those men and women of the past who died because of their faith... Knowing about the covenanters and seeing graves of people who lost their lives because of their beliefs made the word ‘heritage’ understandable’.

(Illustration above is an oil painting I found one day when clearing out an old cupboard in the GCAS Design studio in Belfast - don't know who the artist was, but it's a great piece of work)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Bush breezes by Belmont in Belfast

Sitting in traffic this evening at the roundabout at the end of the Belmont Road, gazillions of PSNI traffic cops everywhere, holding the flow of traffic. I couldn't work out why until I realised that the motorcade of President Bush must be about to sweep past on its way back to the airport.

It was obvious we were going nowhere for a while, so I turned off the ignition and turned on Radio Ulster, where the usual Northern Ireland battalion of complainers were emailing and texting like billyo, giving off about what a nasty man George W is, and how outrageous it was that his visit was delaying them getting home on time. This place is FULL of people who do nothing but gurn.

So the motorcade eventually drove past, with about 30 police motorbikes in front, then the three or four big sleek black American cars with flags on the front (a Union Flag and a US Flag) carrying the President and First Lady, followed by sinister looking black trucks that were probably carrying enough weaponry to shoot everybody in the world at least twice over, and a few dozen police cars behind. In about 3 minutes it was all over and we were on our way, up the hill towards Craigantlet and back hame.

I did think it was kind of ironic that when I was down at the front of Belfast City Hall today there were protestors with posters which had a picture of Bush along with the headline "World's No. 1 Terrorist" - to then come home and see him on the news having met at Stormont Castle with... ahem.

(illustration above from The Scotch-Irish in History by James Shaw, 1899)

Car parking in Belfast

Car parking is very expensive. So today, as I was handing over my £6.30 to the elderly attendant in the pay booth of the multi storey car park behind the Holiday Inn, I couldnt help but smile at the PostIt note he'd stuck on the glass, to fend off the impatient customer or two. (click the photo to enlarge)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Jacob's Pillow / the "Stone of Destiny"... it's a fake!

ssstone.jpgSo says Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond. It's one of the most potent symbols of Scottish Independence, and was the stone that many Scottish Kings were crowned upon. It was nabbed by King Edward I of England in 1296 during one of his many invasions of Scotland, making the crowning of King Robert the Bruce the first one not on the stone. It was kept under the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey, London, and was returned to Scotland in 1996. It's now on public display in Edinburgh Castle. Salmond says that what was taken in 1296 wasn't the real stone, but a replica. The real stone must therefore still be out there somewhere... (cue Scooby Doo-like suspense music clip) da, da, DAAA!

The timing of Salmond's announcement will be great news for the movie industry with a film about the Stone due to hit cinemas in the Autumn (starring Robert Carlyle and the brilliant but always-typecast-as-the-mysterious-or-enigmatic-scary-old-man, Christopher Lee)

The legends of the stone are many; here's a summary from the article:

According to mythology the Stone of Destiny, also known as the Lia Fail, originated in Palestine and was transported through Egypt, Sicily, Spain and Ireland before arriving in Scone in the 9th century where it was used when Scottish monarchs were crowned.

Legend has it that it was used by Jacob as a pillow in biblical times. According to others, it was used as a coronation stone by early Gaels in Ireland, and as a travelling altar by St Columba. It has even been linked to Robert the Bruce and to the Blarney Stone.

I'm not impressed at all by the veneration of relics like this, it doesn't sit that comfortably with the rural Ulster-Scot evangelical Prod mentality - Old Testament connections or not! It all strays a bit too close to British Israelite theory for me, which some people I know seem to be into, and which some, let's just say, eccentric websites try to explain.

The story goes that the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah left the Holy Land and brought Princess Tea Tephi with him from Jerusalem, fleeing from King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon whose armies had just taken control of the city. Tephi was the daughter of King Zedekiah, the corrupt last King of Judah. Having stopped off at a number of locations en route, they ended up in Ireland - on the 18th June 583 BC to be precise, with a precious cargo that included the Stone and also King David's Harp (which later became one of the national symbols of Ireland). She later married the High King of Ireland, and when she died was buried inside Tara hill. The stone remained in Ireland for about 1000 years before being taken to Scotland around 500AD.

From 1899 - 1902, the British Israelites carried out some excavations at Tara in County Meath, believing that the Ark of the Covenant was buried in there too. There's an excellent book about the whole episode, published by the Royal Irish Academy.

I have a solution to it all:
• A huge 10 year project, seed-funded by the Ulster-Scots Agency (to cover the cost of the taxi fares for kilt-wearers to visit Tara, well it's cheaper than a taxi to Dublin) and submitted as a proposal to INTERREG IV European funders, for
• Alex Salmond to come across with a shovel to personally dig up Tara, leading a workforce of Scottish Nationalists and British Israelites. (First to find the Stone gets to keep it)
• clearing the controversial route for the proposed M3 motorway, thereby improving North/South relations, and
• giving the Orangemen a new place to walk along close to the new Battle of the Boyne visitor centre at Oldbridge...

However these people may not be so happy about that!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Stuart Kings

(this is a working draft I'm going to come back to)

Over the past few years I've changed my mind about a lot of things. One of them is about King James I. I was brought up - like many people in the western world during the 20th century - with the highest regard for the King James Version / Authorised Version of the Bible, and by association King James VI of Scotland / I of England benefitted from that. It was probably something of a backlash against the dodgy modern translations that caught on like wildfire around the same time.

These days I have a different view about him, although I still think the KJV is a masterpiece. King James I and his three successors are collectively known by the term "The Stuart Kings". Here's an overview (which needs further refinements):


King James I of Scotland
• Born 19 June 1566
• Crowned 24 July 1567
• Became King of Scotland 1585
• Became King of England and Ireland 24 March 1603
• Died 27 March 1625

George Buchanan (1506 - 1582): was King James VI of Scotland's personal tutor during his childhood years; John Knox had preached at his coronation service in 1567. Buchanan published De Jure Regni in 1579, in which he wrote that the source of all political power is the people, and that it is lawful to resist, even to punish, tyrants. However when he "properly" took the throne in 1585, aged 19, James dumped the beliefs that Buchanan had worked to instil in him, and took on the notion of the "Divine Right of Kings" - that he was God's man and could do whatever he wanted to.

Next was Andrew Melville (1545 - 1622), who in 1596 had an audience with the increasingly arrogant King James VI. Melville told him:

"Sir, ye are God's silly vassal; there are two kings and two kingdoms in Scotland: there is king James, the head of the commonwealth; and there is Christ Jesus, the King of the Church, whose subject James the Sixth is, and of whose kingdom he is not a king, not a lord, not a head, but a member."

You can imagine the reaction of King James. Melville was later imprisoned for four years in the Tower of London. When James became King of England and Ireland in 1603, his earthly ambitions expanded rapidly. He set about "planting" new colonies in America, the Carribbean and of course in Ulster too.

He also set about creating his own version of the Bible. Why? Well, the Bible that most people used at this time was the Geneva Bible. It was first published in 1560, and first printed in Scotland in 1579; its footnotes included over 400 references to "tyrants" and encouraged the people to rise up and overthrow them. King James couldn't have his subjects getting any ideas, so he commissioned his own "King James Version" or "Authorised Version" replacing the word "tyrant" with the more innocent "king". He outlawed the Geneva Bible and then swamped the country with thousands and thousands of copies if his own "authorised" version.


King Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland
• Born 19 November 1600
• Crowned 27 March 1625
• Executed 30 January 1649

James' son, Charles I, succeeded him and he inherited his father's furious ambition - many historians say he was even worse. So another Scottish scholar and minister, Samuel Rutherford (1600 - 1661), stepped up to the plate and in 1644 wrote "Lex Rex", following in exactly the same approach as Buchanan and Melville. It was a brilliant assault on the "Divine Right of Kings". Charles demanded that it should be burned - and that anyone who owned a copy was a traitor.


King Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland
• Born 29 May 1630
• Crowned 29 May 1660
• Died 6 February 1685

Charles I's son, Charles II, was the man who unleashed the brutal fury of "The Killing Times" in Scotland in an attempt to finally finish off the opposition to the King's authority. 18,000 people (Covenanters) were either executed or deported overseas. During his reign, Rev John Crookshanks of Raphoe translated De Jure Regni into English and manuscripts of it were in circulation. Then in 1664, the Privy Council of Scotland banned Buchanan's De Jure Regni, and ordered it to be burned in 1683. On 22 June 1680, the Covenanter Richard Cameron published his Sanquhar Declaration - a declaration of war on Charles II. Cameron was killed one month later, his head and hands were cut off and were delivered to his father.


King James II of England, Scotland and Ireland
• Born 14 October 1633
• Crowned 23 April 1685
• Deposed (by the arrival of William of Orange) 13 February 1689
• Died 16 September 1701

Charles II's brother, James II, again banned Buchanan's De Jure Regni in 1688.


De Jure Regni (1579) English translation
Geneva Bible (1560) as a PDF
Lex Rex (1644) as a PDF on GoogleBooks
Sanquhar Declaration (1680) website

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My great uncle Hugh Wilson and Mister Noah

My great uncle and I met only once, when I was about 9. He moved to the Isle of Man to be Baptist pastor in Douglas.

When he was a younger man, he wrote a new verse to the chorus "Mister Noah", which as I'm sure some of you know goes like this:

Mister Noah built an ark
The people thought it such a lark
Mister Noah pleaded so
But into the ark they would not go

Down came the rain in torrents
Down came the rain in torrents
Down came the rain in torrents
And only eight were saved

The animals went in two by two
Giraffe and the bear and the kangaroo
All were safely stored away
Against that great and awful day

Down came the rain in torrents
Down came the rain in torrents
Down came the rain in torrents
And only eight were saved

(here's Hugh's bit:)

Midst the storm of that great day
The ark it safely sailed away
When the judgement hour was past
It safely came to land at last

So whenever you see a rainbow
Whenever you see a rainbow
Whenever you see a rainbow
Remember God is love

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Covenanters Weekend in Carrickfergus

For those of you who weren't there, or who don't visit the Covenanters in Ulster blog, you can see some photos of last weekend's events here, and also a couple of (blustery) video clips on YouTube

Saturday, June 07, 2008

From Belfast to Belhelvie?

While the vast majority of Ulster/Scotland connections are along the west coast of Scotland and into the Clyde, that's not the only route that the people took. Even as far up the north east coast as Belhelvie (just north of Aberdeen), Ulster folk were turning up.

For example, in June 1643 the parishioners of the area collected £30 for the "manie pitifullie distrest people that had fled out of Ireland". Perhaps these folk did travel initially from Ulster to the west coast of Scotland, and then eastwards and northwards (ie rather than sail all the way round the north of Scotland) but I never thought we'd find Ulster Scots as far up as that. Here's a link to the story of Belhelvie and the Covenanters.

Here's a Google map to show the 300 mile distance.

View Larger Map

Friday, June 06, 2008

William M'Millan - County Down Covenanter

castle.jpgFrom Galloway and the Covenanters by Alex S Morton, 1914

On 7th October 1663, the Privy Council of Scotland passed an act to prevent Presbyterian ministers from Ireland getting shelter in Scotland. There were many arrests.

A William M'Millan of Caldow (possibly a misspelling of Caldons, near Glen Trool) in the parish of Balmaclellan (near New Galloway) fled from his home and lived life as a fugitive. His family had Royal troops garrisoned in their home as a punishment, and M'Millan "...went frequently to Ireland to escape persecution, and was prevailed upon by the Presbyterian ministers of the County of Down to qualify as a minister, and was licensed to preach about the year 1673..." M'Millan was arrested on a return trip to Scotland in November 1676, and was taken to Kirkcudbright on 13th.

He was described as "ane noted keiper of field conventicles" and was held at the Tolbooth in Kirkcudbright, to be transferred to the Tolbooth of Edinburgh. In fact, M'Millan was held in Dumfries for 3 years, until after the Battle of Bothwell Bridge, and was then freed. He carried on living in the open, avoiding the authorities, but was eventually again captured - this time with his wife - and taken once more to Dumfries. He refused to take the Test [this was the 1681 Test Act, passed at the King's orders by the Scottish Parliament, forcing an oath of allegiance to the established, episcopolian or Anglican church, and therefore the King as the head of that church], and was sent to Wigtown for trial. After some further threats he ended up on 18 May 1680 as a prisoner in Dunottar Castle, the Covenanter prison in Aberdeenshire (shown here).

From here there are two possible scenarios:

1) In September 1686, it seems that M'Millan may have finally broke, and took the Test under the threat of being fined 5000 Scottish merks, or about £40,000 in today's money (from The History of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland, by Wodrow p 222), or

2) He was rounded up with other prisoners at Dunottar Castle, forced to walk 66 miles, with hands bound behind their backs, to Leith near Edinburgh, and then forced into the hold of a ship bound for America. A William M'Millan is recorded as having died at sea on the boat
(from The History of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland, by Wodrow Bk 3 p 222)

You can read more about The Covenanters March here.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Covenanter Banners at Greyfriars

Some pics attached of the marvellous Covenanter banners at Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh, from my recent visit. Many thanks are due to Bill, the very helpful tourist guide who helped us when we were there.

The Covenanters in Ulster

(this article appeared in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland magazine "ReachOut", June/July 2008 edition)

"... I assure you, Christ will take possession of Ireland, and not just of a wee nook of it in the North parts as formerly, but Christ will have Ireland from sea to sea..."

ReachOutCover.jpgAs a vision for ReachOut, it’s hard to find something better! These are the words of Rev Michael Bruce of Killinchy, preaching on 27 July 1689 1. Like most other Presbyterian ministers of his generation, Bruce had been ejected from his pulpit by the authorities in 1661. Orders were issued for his arrest, yet he continued to preach at secret gatherings of his congregation. Michael Bruce was a Covenanter.

I can remember going on family holidays to south west Scotland, where my parents made sure to take us five children to Wigtown to see the memorials to the “Two Margarets”. They were the Covenanters who were drowned in the rising waters of Solway Firth in May 1685. The story of the Covenanters and their “50 Year Struggle” has a deep, but little-known, connection with Ireland, and particularly Ulster.

Church Planting - 1600s style.
Starting with Rev Edward Brice at Ballycarry in 1613, many ministers were brought across from Scotland to minister to the early Scottish settlers here. One of the most famous of these was Robert Blair of Bangor.

Blair wanted, Jonah-like, to go to France, but God was clearly calling him to Ireland. In his biography, Blair wrote of the voice of God saying to him: “...thou must either preach the Gospel in Ireland, or nowhere at all...”2 Soon after his reluctant arrival in County Antrim, Blair experienced “ sweet a peace, and so great a joy of spirit, that I perceived the Lord welcomed me to that land... lying upon the grass, to rejoice in the Lord, who was the same in Ireland which He was to me in Scotland...” 3

Spiritually, the early settlers were in bad shape. Blair wrote that they were “...drowned in ignorance, security and sensuality...”4. How familiar does that sound when we look the secular society we live in today?

In the face of this, ruined churches were rebuilt, new churches were established, and as the ministers worked among the Scottish colony in Ulster, God blessed their endeavours through the great Sixmilewater Revival of 1625. We could do with revival today!

As the years went by, three consecutive Kings (Charles I, Charles II and James II) grew more alarmed by, and opposed to, the Presbyterians. The people of Scotland rose up in opposition to the King’s interference in their Church, firstly by signing Scotland’s National Covenant in 1638, and then the Solemn League and Covenant in 1643, which in turn was brought to Ulster and was signed by the people here, from Ballywalter on the east coast of County Down to Ballyshannon on the west coast of Donegal. There is a large marble plaque in First Derry Presbyterian Church which records “ 1644 the Solemn League and Covenant was publicly signed in the Diamond...”

Blair and some of the other Ulster ministers went back to Scotland to join the struggle there, but the opposition became outright persecution. At Ballyrashane Presbyterian Church there is a stone memorial to “Robert Hogsherd, Ordained Minister of the parish of Ballyrashane October 1657, and ejected by a troop of Dragoons in 1661 for his loyalty to Christ’s Crown and Covenant, Of whom the world was not worthy”.

The influence of these Ulster Presbyterians was clearly felt back in Scotland. High in the Pentland Hills outside Edinburgh is a small monument to over 50 Covenanters who were ruthlessly cut down by the King’s troops at Rullion Green in November 1666. Only two of them are named – Rev Andrew McCormick of Magherally outside Banbridge, and Rev John Crookshanks of Raphoe in Donegal. On the back of the monument it says:

“ A cloud of witnesses lie here
Who for Christ’s interests did appear…
They sacrificed were for the laws
Of Christ their King, His noble cause…”

The persecutions became even more intense, and culminated in “The Killing Times”. During this period, four older brothers of Wigtown Martyr Margaret Wilson fled Scotland for refuge in Ulster. It’s well known that Rev Alexander Peden, “The Prophet of the Covenant” spent some years in the hills of Glenwherry in County Antrim, where there is a monument to him. The famous Rev Richard Cameron “The Lion of the Covenant” was reprimanded for preaching at open air meetings near Strabane. Rev James Renwick preached in Dublin, and in his published letters he writes of planning to return to Ireland (probably to County Antrim to visit Houston), but Renwick too was captured by the authorities and was executed, aged just 26. A monument in Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh describes the Covenanters as “...18,000 martyrs for Jesus Christ...”

As we’ve seen over the last few weeks, leaders and governments come and go. Hopefully we will never witness the government policies, or experience the state-sponsored religious persecutions, that the Covenanters endured. However, as society on this island becomes ever more secular, the message of the Gospel is likely to come under increasing pressure and opposition. We all should remember the legacy of the Covenanters, for without their courage and their stand, we would not have the freedoms we enjoy today.

1 (The Seven Bruces, Classon Porter, 1885, reprinted by Braid Books & Moyola Books 2005)
2 Life of Robert Blair – the Autobiography, p 52
3 Blair, p 54
4 Blair, p 58

Sunday, June 01, 2008

James Webb and Psalm 1

this from James Webb's new book (page 53):

My sixth grade teacher, Mrs Patsy Savage, made us practice our handwriting by copying Psalm 1 over and over again, all year, until to this day I can remember most of it by heart. Blessed is the man who walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of scoffers... but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in that law doth he meditate both day and night...