Annals of the Disruption P.459
It is difficult for the younger generation to understand
what the Free Church of 1843 owed to that noble band of influential laymen who
stood forward in her support, and to whom we have already referred. Nowhere was
the revival of evangelical religion more marked than among the upper circles of
Edinburgh society. Dr. Erskine, Sir H. Moncreiff, and Dr. Jones had done much
during the former generation, but it was when Dr. Andrew Thomson
appeared in St. Georges and was joined by Dr. Gordon and other men of
similar power in the Edinburgh pulpits, and by Dr. Chalmers and Dr. Welsh in
the Professors chairs, that the array of intellect and genius on the side
of Gospel truth made its influence felt through all classes of the community.
The general feeling changed. A series of sermons by Dr. Thomson on the evils of the stage had such effect that the Edinburgh theatre was almost deserted. Many of the leading lawyers, physicians, bankers, and merchants were earnest Christian men, keeping up family worship regularly in their houses, and devoting themselves to Christian work in the different congregations with which they were connected. This was the class who instinctively, in the great majority of cases, rallied round the Free Church in her contendings.
What admirable men these Edinburgh laymen were as a class, all Scotland knew.
Annals of the Disruption 1843
By Revd. Thos. Brown D.D.
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