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Christian church, with its bishops or elders, and deacons, is subject to no jurisdiction under heaven. He also differed from them in some other essential points, both of doctrine, constitution, and discipline. The publicity and steadiness with which he declared his sentiments, occasioned his being deposed by the synod of Angus and Mearns, in the month of April, 1728. The immediate cause of this measure was his refusing to subscribe the formula of the church, and also some passages in the confession of faith. Mr. Glas's views on various subjects of doctrine, and illustrations of many passages of scripture, were published in detached pieces, as occasion offered, chiefly for the use of a few little companies with which he associated.
After his deposition, Mr. Glas left Tealing, and went to Dundee, where he was joined by several other persons; and it was here that the formation of churches in other places first came in contemplation. But the question was, How these churches could be supplied with elders? By exhortations which they held among themselves, many of the brethren were found to be possessed of gifts, by which they much edified the church; and in comparing their characters with the rules laid down by Paul and Titus, some of them were found to be possessed of those requisites, and were accordingly set apart for the elder's office. Upon this being known, a great ferment was raised. The clergy were alarmed, as if their province was encroached upon. That tradesmen, and others, who had not obtained a college education, should pretend to preach, was thought highly ridiculous. James Cargill, a glover, was the first unlearned member called to the office, and 'many went to hear him merely from curiosity. But they were greatly surprised to find him contend for the doctrine of salvation by Christ, with so much boldness, and yet sobriety. He was many years an elder at Dunkeld, and went with Mr. Sandeman to America, in 1764; but returned in 1766, and died at Dunkeld in 1777, aged 74.
In 1733, Mr. Glas erected a church at Perth, when it was thought very arrogant for a small number of people, united together, thus pretending to be a church of Christ. Some endeavoured to extirpate him from the town, and an inflamniatory sermon was preached, from Take us the foxes, the little foxes, &c. A certain lady, in the height of her religious zeal, on seeing Mr. Glas walk in a street of Perth, was heard to say, "Why do they not rive (tear) him in pieces."
When Mr. Glas travelled, he was generally attended by some friends, who delighted to be with him, on account of his being so entertaining a companion. Some charged him with levity of mind, as contrasted with the gravity of other ministers, whom they admired. To which he used to reply, "I too can be grave at times, when I want money, or want righteousness." By this he intimated, that covetousness and self-righteousness, were, perhaps, the foundation of that gravity they so much delighted in. Mr. Glas being one time at a friend's house, happened to speak upon divine sovereignty; when a sprightly young lady, who had been much in the gay world, observed, "If that doctrine were true, I should go mad;" to which he replied, "Perhaps I may see the day when you will be thankful for this doctrine." It was very remarkable, that some years afterwards, on taking a severe illness, she was comforted by this very doctrine, He hath mercy on whom he will have mercy. She expressed a desire to see Mr. Glas, who immediately went, though about twenty miles distant. On seeing him, she cried out with great joy, "O, Mr. Glas, what would I do, were it not for that doctrine I so much spurned at?" She died in full hope of finding mercy.
Several ministers of the establishment of Scotland, were much impressed with the doctrines and practices of Mr. Glas, as being consonaut to the scriptures, and corresponded with him on this account. But few, however, were disposed to give up their livings, excepting Mr. Byers, of
St. Boswell's, Teviotdale; and Mr. Ferrier, of Largo, in Fife.
Mr. Glas died at Perth, on the 2d of November, 1773, aged 78. In the prospect of death, it is very common for people to comfort their dying friends, by reminding them of their well-spent life, or some such evidence. The following letter, which Mr. Glas wrote to Mr. Cant, a few days before he died, affords such a contrast to the language commonly used on addressing sick people, and at the same time displays some of his tenets so forcibly, that we are induced to lay it before our readers.
"O. B. D.
March 5, 1744.
"By the accounts I have from Edinburgh, it seems you are ready to engage with the last enemy, the last trial of your faith. The Lord has been preparing you I think by his providence; humbling and proving you to know what is in your heart, and to make you understand, that it is not for "your righteousness you can go in to possess the inheritance." Yet your being kept in the faith of the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ, must be entirely owing to grace helping in that very time of need. It needs no merit, or effort of your's, to make it effectual. You are not weak enough to be helped by it, if you think to assist it in the least. Yet it is sufficient to make you strong in weakness. The boundless merit of the blood of Christ, needs not the least grain of aught from you added to it, to make it outweigh the demerits of all your heinous sins. It scorns the least offer of assistance from the sinner, to make him perfectly just in the sight of God. And if you believe it to be the blood of the Son of God that is exhibited to you in the divine testimony, you cannot suspect that you lack any thing to make you inherit eternal life. When once you have ceased to walk by faith, being present with the Lord, and seeing him as he is alive from the dead, by his own blood, the brightest light of the Father's face, that shines on him,
will fill your soul; and so shall your spirit live, because of his righteousness, when your body dies, because of sin. If you keep the faith but a very little, and that would be impossible for you in the conflict with the last enemy, if Jesus had not said, "I have prayed for you." Now that your eyes may be opened to see more for you than against you; that mercy may compass you round; that the eternal God may be your refuge, is the desire of your's, &c."* (G)
ROBERT SANDEMAN was born at Perth, in the year 1723. Being intended for one of the learned professions, he received a liberal education in the University of Edinburgh. After he had been two years at college, he returned to Perth, and married Catherine Glas. As his fortune was small, he entered into trade, and manufactured linen cloths, in partnership with some of his relations. He early imbibed the sentiments of Mr. Glas, and became an elder in that connexion. After residing some years at Perth, he removed to Dundee, and soon afterwards to Edinburgh. In 1757, he published his well-known " Letters on Theron and Aspasio," which gave great offence to many religious parties, both Calvinistic and Arminian. In the next year, he commenced a correspondence with Mr. Samuel Pike, of London, an eminent Independent minister, and a lecturer at Pinners'-Hall. In 1760, Mr. Sandeman went to London, preached in various places, and attracted great notice. Mr. Romaine, and many others, had the curiosity to go and hear him preach, their attention being excited by the books which he had recently published..
The fame of Mr. Sandeman's writings having reached America, he received a pressing invitation to visit that country. With this request he complied in 1764, and was ac
Theol. Dict. Perth. Art. GLAS.
(c) In 1761, Mr. Glas's writings were collected together and published in 4 vols. 8vo. and a second edition of his works was printed at Perth, in 5 vols. 8vo. in 1782.
companied thither by two other persons; Mr. James Cargill, and Mr. Andrew Oliphant. They first visited a society at Danbury, and continued there thirty days, preaching the gospel; but perceiving no genuine fruits of their ministry, they quitted that place, after leaving with the people a striking address, which is printed in the third volume of the Liverpool Theological Repository. After this, Mr. Sandeman visited other parts of America, and erected several churches, particularly in New-England, where his sentiments mostly gained ground. Yet the few years he resided in that country, were not so comfortable to himself as his friends could have wished. The political disputes between America and Great-Britain had become very serious, and Mr. Sandeman being loyal from principle, thought it his duty to exhort the Americans to obedience, which irritated them to such a degree, that when he died, they would scarcely suffer his body to be decently interred. He died at Danbury, April 2, 1771, aged 53 years. Besides his "Letters," before-mentioned, Mr. Sandeman published some other pieces, which will be particularized in the note. (H) The following epitaph was composed for his tomb
Until the Resurrection,
A native of Perth, North Britain;
From all sorts of men,
Long and boldly contended
For the ancient Faith,
That the bare work of Jesus Christ,
Without a deed, or thought on the part of man,
Is sufficient to present
() WORKS.-1. Letters on Theron and Aspasio, in reply to Mr. Hervey. 1757. 2 vols. 8vo.-2. An Epistolary Correspondence between S. P. and R. S. 3. Thoughts on Christianity.-4. The Sign of the Prophet Jonah.5. The Honour of Marriage, opposed to all Impurities.-6. On Solomon's Song.