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August 10th 1645

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Keeping with the clergy

There was a certain dichotomy in the attitude of many of the parish ministers in the 17th century towards the more important members of their congregations.

Thus it was felt to be quite in order for services at Alyth to be cancelled because of the illness of Lady Airlie. “No session because our minister was sent for to visitat my Lady Airly who was extreame sick.”  A month later it happened again. “No preaching afternoon because the minister is sent for to see and visit my Lady Airly. Like to die.” 

But when the chips were really down, when the well-being of the Presbyterian religion was at stake, all were expected to help and all to conform. It was a time of danger and confusion.

Jan 5th 1645 “No doctrin delivered becaus of the enemie.” 
August 10th 1645 “No doctrin be reason of neirnis of ye enemie.” 

The enemy in both cases being Montrose.

When Lord Ogilvie returned home after serving with General Middleton’s Royalist forces in 1651, this lapse of solidarity was not forgotten or forgiven. He was required to repent publicly “to the fill satisfaction of the wholl congregation for his sinful accession to General Middleton’s rebellion and for his sinful miscarieges against the Covenant.” 

As a matter of historical fact, Mr John Rattray, the minister concerned, was captured by General Monk’s forces later that year and disappeared until June 26th 1652 when he “returned hom owt of prison from England.” 

His Covenanting principles became more flexible as the years went by and when Charles 2nd began his effective rule, Mr Rattray quietly accepted the Episcopalian doctrines he had fought against so zealously ten years previously.

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