Continuation, breadth and impact of evangelicalism in the Church of Scotland, 1843-1900
Jones, Andrew Michael
This thesis examines the nature and role of evangelicalism within the Established Church of Scotland between the Disruption of 1843 and the end of the nineteenth century. It focuses on three prominent evangelical clergymen within the Church of Scotland and three contemporary religious periodicals. The thesis argues that the Church of Scotland developed theologically, socially, and culturally away from the conservative Calvinism of the Westminster Confession of Faith toward a more inclusive theology, while still maintaining typical evangelical views on missions, conversion, atonement, and the Bible. It further argues that the increasingly liberal evangelical movement contributed greatly to the post-Disruption recovery of the Church of Scotland. Chapter One considers the role of the evangelical Middle Party and especially the Edinburgh clergyman William Muir (1787-1869) in the initial recovery of the Establishment following the secession of a third of the clergy and nearly half her members in 1843. Chapter Two discusses the work of the Church’s missionary organizations in the wake of Disruption, drawing on the reports of the Church’s Home and Foreign Missionary Record. Chapter Three examines the life of Norman MacLeod (1812-1872), minister of the Barony Church, Glasgow, and argues that his Romantic sympathies greatly influenced the confessional liberalization of the Church. Chapter Four shows how the influence of this more theologically liberal evangelicalism was further advanced by MacLeod’s religious periodical Good Words. Chapter Five focuses on Archibald Hamilton Charteris (1835-1908), a parish minister and later university professor whose efforts to democratize evangelistic and social work and encourage spiritual life strengthened and revitalized the Church at large. Finally, Chapter Six examines the Church of Scotland periodical begun by Charteris – Life and Work magazine – and considers its theological, spiritual, and social impact on the Church between 1879 and the turn of the new century.