Wednesday, May 05, 2010

James Begg on the Scottish Reformation

Next to the advent of our blessed Saviour, the Reformation from Popery is the most remarkable and glorious event recorded in modern history. The momentous consequences which have resulted from it to unnumbered multitudes can only be read in the annals of eternity.

Yet it is singular that this great event in Providence, to which Scotland owes so much, should never till now have received anything like a formal national acknowledgment. In 1660, when the first hundred years of the Reformation had passed away, no notice was taken of that event, the country being involved in a virtual revolution by the restoration of Charles II. In 1760, when
another eventful hundred years had finished their course, Scotland was sunk in profound torpor under the ecclesiastical dominion of men who have never at any period indicated much sympathy with the spirit of John Knox. Now, however, that 1860 has come, that a new spirit has breathed through the land, and that Rome is making determined efforts to regain her former ascendancy in Scotland, it is matter of earnest thankfulness to God that in a variety of ways the Reformation has been, and is likely to be, worthily commemorated, and the kingdom stirred up on the subject of its dangers and duties to its utmost depths.

[In 2010 the anniversary is given very little notice]

The apathy of the people of Scotland, so far as it exists on the subject of Romanism, is mainly to be traced to the want of zeal on the part of many ministers; and it is pretty evident that were the Reformation to be achieved now, some of them would not be found in the van of the
struggle. " If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, how wouldst thou contend with horses; and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they have wearied thee, what wouldst thou do in the dwellings of Jordan?"

We shall prove ourselves most unworthy descendants of the great Reformers and of God's great
mercies, if we do not seek by every means to stay the plague of evil. Let us especially pray that God himself, with whom is the residue of the Spirit, and who has been so gracious to
our land in ages past, making it the source of unnumbered blessings to the world, may not hide His face from us now, notwithstanding our great unworthiness, but may bring back our captivity like the streams of the south, cause us to see good according to the days in which we have been afflicted, and the number of the months in which we have seen evil, and make our latter end to be more glorious than the beginning. "Return, Lord, for thy servants' sake, the tribes of thine