Excerpt from The Church of Scotland, Past and Present: Its History, Its Relation to the Law and the State, Its Doctrine, Ritual, Discipline, and Patrimony
The history of the Church of Scotland has been so often written, that a new book on the same subject may perhaps be thought unnecessary. The histories of Dr. George Cook, of Mr. Grub, of Principal Cunningham, and the lectures of Principal Lee, leave little, indeed, to be desired in the way of careful and impartial narrative of events, and exhibition of principles, from the writers' respective points of View. But a glance at our title-page will Show that these volumes are constructed on a plan more com prehensive than that of any existing history of the National Church. That plan embraces not only a narrative of events, drawn from the most authentic sources, and tracing the develop ment of the Church from its first planting by Saint Ninian ou wards to the present day; but, in addition to, and distinct from this, a full exposition of the Church's relation to the Law and the State, of its Doctrine, Ritual, and Discipline, and of the nature of the property it holds in its Teinds, or tithes.
Each of these subjects is separately treated, in a section of the work devoted to itself. The obvious advantage of this method is that the information upon each of them, which, otherwise, the reader would have to search for and disentangle from other topics at various points of the general history, is presented to him in one continuous sequence, uninterrupted by the intrusion of matters with which it has no necessary connection. Its incidental disadvantage is that each treatise, upon these individual subjects, runs some risk of overlapping.
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