On the doom of Sabbath breakers

Jason had my interest at ‘doom’!

Sabbath Breakers, 1671An oft-recalled feature of nineteenth-century life in Scotland was reverence for the Lord’s Day. This, of course, in itself, was no new phenomenon. It had long been part of Scottish (and indeed British) Christianity. Nor was it either particularly distinctly Presbyterian, or even Protestant. But this reverence took on new passion and legal seriousness in Victorian society. And the unearthing and recalling of such stories – in their various incarnations and evolutions – makes teaching church history a heap of fun. Consider, for example, the horrifying testimony of Robert Wallace (who had been minister of two Edinburgh parishes, professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University, editor of The Scotsman, and Member of Parliament) from his Life and Last Leaves:

It would be impossible for me todescribe the feeling which was created in my mind by the weekly recurrence of our Sabbatic observances. All of a sudden everything…

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