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The people were therefore warned against Mr Barclay's supposed errors, and enjoined not to
receive his opinions; which, in the Presbytery's · judgment, were erroneous and contrary to Scrip
ture. But as the whole document was unsupported by one single proof from Scripture, the people paid no attention to it; and Mr Barclay, therefore, continued, during Mr Dow's lifetime, to teach his people, as formerly, and carried on his weekly examinations to the great profit of all who attended.
In 1769, he wrote a treatise, entitled, Without Faith without God;' also, a letter On the « Eternal Generation of the Son of God,' addressed to Messrs Smith and Ferrier; and another letter in 1771, 'On the Assurance of Faith,' * address ed to a gentleman who was a member of Mr Oudworth's congregation in London. In the same year also appeared ' A Letter on Prayer, '. addressed to a certain independent congregation in Scotland.
Mr Dow, to whom Mr Barclay acted as assist. ant, died in 1772. No sooner did this event take place, than the Presbytery not only prohibited Mr Barclay from preaching in the kirk of Fettercairn, but would scarcely allow him to preach in any kirk in the Mearns.
kirk in the Mearns. He continu.
1 his letter, with his letter on prayer, and his Dissertation on the book of Psalms, were 'republished at Kirkaldy, about the year 1800.
The above letter on the Assurance of Faith was again pub. lished at Glasgow, in 1825.
ed, however, in the neighbourhood till the beginning of next summer, and preached through most parts of Angus; for although the minis ters of Fordon were incensed against him, those in Angus were more friendly; and one or other of them allowed him the use of a pulpit every Lord's day, during the autumn, winter, and spring following; at which times, multitudes of people, from all parts of the country, thronged to hear him.
After the death of Mr Dow, the people of Fettercairn joined, almost unanimously, in calling Mr Barclay. to be their pastor, and presented their call to the heritors of the parish. The principal heritors were, at the same time, however, warmly solicited by the Presbytery of Fordon, to reject Mr Barclay, as they would not agree to his being settled among them. The heritors thus pressed, and in order to make a show of conciliation to the people, called a meeting of the parishioners on a week day, and proposed to give them a trial of six young men, any of whom they might choose for their pastor ; but it was distinctly notified to them, that Mr Barclay should not be one of the number. To make sure of their object in another way,
it resoly. ed, that no person in the parish should have a vote but such individuals as held land from the heritors, and all the others were to be bound by their decision, whether they agreed to the proposed trial or not. To this, however, they would not assent, and unanimously declared that they
had made up their minds; that as they were perfectly satisfied with Mr Barclay, they had fixed their choice on him to be their pastor, and, therefore, they wanted no trial of any other. .
They were then told by the principal heritor, that as they refused his proposal, they should be excluded their choice of any other. Application was then made to the heritors of the parish, by Mr Robert Foote, minister of Eskdale-Muir, and his friends, in order to obtain the presentation to the church and parish of Fettercairn. This application was successful. On the 5th February 1773, a meeting of Presbytery was held at Fettercairn, and the inhabitants of the parish were requested to attend, for the purpose of voting for Mr Foote, although he had before this time actually received the presentation. The votes of the congregation being called for, there were, notwithstanding the influence which had been used for the purpose, only three in the whole parish that would vote for him; other three votes, however, were afterwards procured from among non-jurant Episcopalians, who never intended to be members of the congregation. The parishioners then, by a notary public, took a protest against the settlement of Mr Foote, and appealed to the Synod ; declaring that Mr Barclay was the person they had chosen as their pastor, and to him the presentation ought to be given.
The Presbytery at the same time took measures to prevent, as far as in their power, the settlement of Mr Barclay at this place. They
had formerly libelled him for his doctrines, and they now refused him a certificate. This arbitary measure, on their part, was persevered in, notwithstanding all the efforts and representations of Mr Barclay and his friends. The Presbytery had decided on the matter, and accordingly they refused to alter their resolution. Mr Barclay, therefore, had no choice left, but to appeal to the Synod.
Both appeals thus came before the Synod at the same time, and in both cases the Synod confirmed the decisions of the Presbytery. Protests were taken against the decisions of the Synod, and two several appeals were now carried to the General Assembly. That by the parishioners against the heritors, the Assembly at once decided in favour of the heritors ; and on Mr Barclay's appeal being taken up, though it was ably supported by several members of the Assembly, yet it was ultimately decided that the Presbytery were justified in withholding the certificate. It was then that Mr Barclay finally left the communion of the Church of Scotland.
As he had, however, while before the Assembly, an opportunity of vindicating the doctrines which he taught, and also of preaching several times during his stay in Edinburgh, many were brought to the knowledge of the truth, and gave him the right hand of fellowship. But in proportion as his doctrines were circulated abroad, and in many cases favourably received, so were his enemies aroused to more vigorous exertions in sup
port of their own system. Instead, however, of referring for proof to the Scriptures alone, as should have been the case, the zealous of every denomination drew all their arguments from the sentiments of their favourite authors, which afforded but a feeble bulwark against that torrent of evidence, which Mr Barclay, in support of his doc. trines, so abundantly poured forth, from the ample resources of the sacred Scriptures. Mr Bar. clay uniformly explained and maintained his doctrines with an eloquence and energy peculiar to himself; and on this account he soon acquired a popularity in Edinburgh, equal to that which he had attained in any place where he had former, ly made his appearance.
Several hundreds, who were brought to the knowledge of the truth, formed themselves into a church upon those very principles for which Mr Barclay had been censured by the Presbytery of Fordon. These, however, Mr Barclay thought proper to leave for a short time, and to comply with the earnest invitations of his many friends in Fettercairn, who still remained firmly attach, ed to those doctrines which he had so long de clared among them. Accordingly he went thither about the beginning of July; and during two Sab baths preached in the open air to many thousands who had collected from the country around.
He was warmly pressed to remain with his friends in this place; but as they had not as yet procured a place of worship, and as he had left his people in Edinburgh rather abruptly, he was