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the arts of reading and writing, he must have left them there ; for the service of the Church could not be carried on without them. In like manner every little centre of Christian activity, in those rude times, became necessarily a Christian school. The Scriptures had to be copied, or at least such portions of the sacred writings as were used in the service of the Church. The Gospels especially were largely transcribed. So were the Acts of the Apostles, the Psalms, the Song of Solomon, and an abstract or condensed commentary of Genesis. Nor did the transcriber confine himself to the contents of the sacred volume. The works of Origen, the “Sentences” of St Bernard, and other devotional writings were much sought after, and copied with pious care.
Thus beginning at Iona, the blessed work of education and enlightenment spread to other centres of light and leading throughout the land—to Abernethy, St Andrews, and Loch Leven ; to Stirling, Perth, Dunkeld, and Aberdeen ; and, in due time, to Beauly, Fortrose, and Baile Dhuthaich. Under the shadow of the Church, and springing out of the exigencies of the Christian worship, the School sprang up, a weak and humble sapling at first, ill-fitted in itself to battle with the rude blast of rough and stormy times ; but sheltered by the walls of the monastery, and nurtured by the piety of the monks, it grew in strength and stature, spreading out its branches on every side, and lifting them high towards heaven, till at last it overshadowed and helped to crush the mother that gave it birth and sheltered its tender youth.
But I must not anticipate ; nor here dare I enter upon debatable ground. Suffice it to say that the seat of every great church or monastery thus naturally became also the seat of a growing school, each with due array of “scoloc," " master,” and “ferleyn." The scoloc was not yet à mere “scholar” in the modern school sense. At a date as late as 1265 there is proof that, if still in training for higher service, he was already in some real sense an ecclesiastic, or “clerk.” The late Dr Joseph Robertson traces the “scolocs” back to the previous century, when he finds the Latin “ clerici” described in the book of the Miracles of St Cuthbert, as “scolofthes in the Pictish language,” clerici illi, qui in ecclesia illa commorantur, qui Pictorum Lingua. Scolofthes cognominantur. The master, or rector, was an ecclesiastic of high dignity, as may be gathered from the fact that in one of our oldest charters his name stands side by side with the names of Malcolm Canmore's three sons. It may be added that in 1212 Pope Innocent III. addressed a bull to the archdeacons of Dunkeld and Dunblane, and "magistro scholarum de Pert” —to the master of the schools at Perth
appointing them to act as arbiters in a dispute between the clerk of Sanquhar and the monks of Paisley, concerning the ownership of the Church of Prestwick. Dr Joseph Robertson thinks that in the Irish aud Scoto-Irish Churches the Ferleyn was the same as the Chancellor in the English and Scoto-English Churches ; and he points to the fact that, as late as 1549, in St Andrews, where there was no Chancellor, the archdeacon, “in right of his office of Ferleyn,” enjoyed certain rights, and was still under certain responsibilities, in regard to the grammar school of that city.
Who was this Ferleyn, and what his position, duties, and the origin of his name? The name is obviously Gaelic, and in Scotland it is found only in the churches which derive from Iona. A learned but somewhat eccentric friend of mine will have it that the Ferleyn is simply “the shirted-man ;” and on this simple basis of very simple philology he founds a learned argument for the place in the Celtic Church of “the simple white surplice !" You will, however, agree with me that in all probability the Ferleyn was the “reader” in the simple service of our primitive Celtic worship. That he may also, later on, have had his place and work in the scriptorium, or transcribing room, of the early Christian brotherhoods, I will not deny ; but whatever in the way of parallel there may be traced between the scriptorium of the monks and the sanctum of the modern sub-editor, it cannot be conceded that the “reader” of the old Church establishment and the modern press can claim any kinship, whether of origin or vocation.
For many long years there must, however, have lingered on one slender bond of brotherhood between the schools and schoolmen of the ancient Celtic Church on the one hand, and the potential idea of that newspaper on the other, which in our day aspires to show men a better and higher way than the old pagan pathway of vulgar English, and the humdrum commonsense of the common people. The Saturday Review aspires to be “written by gentlemen for gentlemen.” Even so is it with the old schools of which we have been speaking; they were at first taught by ecclesiastics only for eccl-siastics. For the gross ignorance of the common hordes of men around them they do not seem to have taken much concern, and on the thick darkness of that gross ignorance of the common people they certainly made little perceptible impression. It is not till near the close of the thirteenth century that we find much evidence of any serious attempts to educate laymen
“ Thanks to St Bothan, son of mine,
So sings the Douglas bold, and if he did not exactly speak the sentiments of his order and his day, he certainly dil not belie to any great extent the prevailing practice, and the prevailing opinion of times but a little earlier. The earliest direct evidence of any provision for the education of a layman in Scotland is found in the chartulary of Kelso, under date of 1260. In that year a certain devout widow, named Matildis of Molle, made over to the abbot and convent of Kelso certain life-rent interests of hers, on condition that they should“ provide victuals” and training for her son William-ut exhibuerint in victualibus. In 1383-4 there is found similar evidence of certain payments to the bishop of St Andrews, on account of James Stewart, son of Robert II., then under his Grace's charge. By the end of the century the education of laymen was more common, and a stray layman now begins to show himself also among the schoolmasters. At this time too there is evidence that lavmen as well as churchmen resorted to the great schools of the Continent for that higher education which was not available at home. In 1411 was founded at St Andrews the first of our Scottish Universities. The sister University of Glasgow followed in 1450, and Aberdeen in 1494. They were all the creations, and the gifts to Scotland, of the Church ; being founded by Papal Bull, and their professed object, in the words of the Bull, “the extension of the Catholic faith, the promotion of virtues, and the cultivation of the understanding by the study of theology, canon and civil law, the liberal arts, and every other lawful faculty.” It were too long to tell, even were this the place, how this feather from the Roman Eagle's wing was used to speed the arrow which, not long after, pierced the breast of Mother Church in Scotland.
I must, however, crave your indulgence if for a moment I advert to one special reason issigned by the Pope for erecting the University of Aberdeen. It was because it had been represented to his holiness by “our dearest son in Christ, James, the illustrious King of Scots,” that in the northern or north-eastern part of his kingdom there are certain parts separated from the rest of the kingdom by arms of the sea and very high mountains, in which dwell men rude and ignorant of letters, and almost barbaroushomines rudes et literarum ignari et fere indomiti—nay, are so ignorant of letters that, not only for the preaching of the Word of God to the people, but also for administering the Sacraments, proper men cannot be found.” On this complaint, by no means a flattering one to the memory and character of our ancestors in these northern parts, the King of scots appealed to the Pope to erect a University in Old Aberdeen, “where many men, especially of those parts,” above described, “would readily apply themselves. to the study of letters, and acquire the precious pearl of knowledge;" thus “ would provision be made for the salvation of souls, and the rude and ignorant people would be instructed in honest. life and manners by others who would apply themselves to such study of letters.”
Such was the picture drawn about a century before the: Reformation, by a not unfriendly hand, of the social, religious, and intellectual condition of our North Celtic forerathers.
Of the history of the Reformation in Scotland, as of the sub sequent bickerings of Prelatist and “ Priest writ large,” I have nothing here to say. The truly catholic aims and constitution of your Society very rightly forbid it.
But when the thunderstorm of the Reformation had passed away, and when the subsequent storms-in-a-teapot had subsided-when the public life of Scotland was again settling down, so far as. peace and settlement could then be looked for—what provision do. we find for the education of the Scottish people ?
Of actual provision, at least outside the larger towns and royal burghs, there was in truth very little left. With the rich patrimony of the Church, the nobles and barons had gobbled up. also the little provision of oatmeal, already grievously attenuated by lay impropriation, on which wholesome “victual” the scoloc and ferleyn had formerly contrived to cultivate their modicum of literature. But the General Assembly did not long sit down with folded hands while this work of spoliation was being consummated. For the new clergy the rescue of the tiends, or of what little of them remained, was naturally a matter of first importance. They did not, however, at all neglect to make inquiry about the “schoollands” and other special endowments for education. In 1616 the Privy Council had, no doubt, ordained the erection of a school in every parish in Scotland. But for long years in the Highlands, and largely also in the Lowlands, the Act was a dead letter. For this neglect the Highland proprietors had an excuse which would naturally carry great weight with the Highland people ; for to the Highlanders the Act of the Council was grossly insulting. Its. one great professed object was “that the Ingleshe tong be universally planted, and the Irishe language, which is one of the chieff and principall causes of the continuance of barbaritie and incivilitie among the inhabitants of the Isles and Heylandis, may be abolished and removit.” Among Highland landowners there were already not a few who really had little regard for their native tongue. But they jumped eagerly at this excuse, and clung to it with stubborn tenacity, which was so convenient and so serviceable in saving their pockets. In 1638 the Assembly, which that year met in Glasgow, “recommended” the several Presbyteries to see to the settling of schools in every parish, and the providing in such schools of " men able for the charge of teaching the youth, public reading, and precenting of the Psalm, and catechising the young people.” In 1642 the Assembly “appointed,” that is, ordered, that this should be done, and they demanded that “the means formerly devoted to this purpose” should now be applied to their proper use. The Assembly's Act of 1649 is so significant that I will quote the words of the authorised abridgment—“'Tis recommended to Parliament or the committee for plantation of church:s, that whatever either in parishes of burgh or landward was formerly given for maintenance of those who were readers, precentors in congregations, and teachers of schools, before the establishment of the Directory of Public Worship, may not, in whole or in part, be alienated or taken away, but be reserved for maintenance of sufficient schoolmasters and precentors, who are to be approven by the Presbytery; and Presbyteries are required to see that none of that maintenance given to the foresaid uses, or in use to be paid thereunto, before the establishing of the Directory for Worship, be drawn away from the Church.”
Thus did they, whose duty it was to preach the great text, “Ask and ye shall receive," themselves plead, pray, and remonstrate for the disgorgement of some part of the stolen endowments of church and school. They asked, but in the Highlands, at least, they received nothing. On paper, no doubt, the parish schools had already, as we have seen, been erected by Act of the Privy Council, but all over the Highlands and Isles the Act was almost universally evaded. The Church had therefore no alternative but to turn from the landowners to the people. In 1704 the General Assembly ordered contributions and collections throughout her bounds, in order that, by the funds thus voluntarily raised, the scandal of the Highlands might be removed. Again and again, from 1704 to 1709, was this order of the Assembly renewed and earnestly pressed on all her members and congregations.
It is in the midst of all this concern and urgent solicitude of the Church for the deplorable ignorance of the Highlands that the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge first emerges on our view. In response to the repeated appeals of the General Assembly, and more especially in reply to its pointed