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The Case of Mr. Ebenezer Erskine, founder of the Secession church in Scotland

The Case of Mr Ebenezer Erskine B.a.b.1912

The Case of Mr Ebenezer Erskine
B.a.b.1912

Ebenezer Erskine (1680–1754), a founder of the Secession church, died in Stirling on 2 June 1754. A celebrated preacher,  his opposition to patronage, when a local landowner could choose the  parish minister without the approval of the people of the parish, set him against the established Church of Scotland.  In 1733 Erskine joined other Scottish ministers to form the Associate Presbytery, remaining in active ministry in Stirling. By 1742 the number of seceder congregations in Scotland had grown to twenty.

New College Library holds this pamphlet from 1733, recently catalogued online as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects, which is typical of Erskine’s sermons published during the controversial times of the early 1730s.  New College Library also holds Erskine’s manuscript notebooks in the archives.

Sources

J.H. Oldham (1874-1969) : Missionary and Ecumenical Pioneer

Faith on the frontier : a life of J.H. Oldham / K.W. Clements. New College Library BX6.8.O54 Cle.

Faith on the frontier : a life of J.H. Oldham / K.W. Clements. New College Library BX6.8.O54 Cle.

Today, 16 May, is the anniversary of the death of J.H. Oldham.

Joseph Houldsworth Oldham (1874-1969) was a missionary and pioneer of ecumenism. The organising secretary for the 1910 World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh, he also founded the journal International Review of Missions. During the Second World War the meetings of his ‘Moot’ group initiated new thinking about Christian responsibility in modern society.

New College Library holds a substantial collection of J.H. Oldham’s papers,  which include correspondence, material relating to the Moot including minutes (1938-1947), lectures, sermons, papers and reports.

You can read more about J.H. Oldham and the Oldham Papers here , or in Faith on the frontier : a life of J.H. Oldham  by K.W. Clements, in  New College Library at BX6.8.O54 Cle.

Happy Birthday New College Library

Seventy six years ago on the 8th of October, New College Library, Edinburgh, was formally opened to students and staff in its current building, the former Free High Kirk. The earth under the church floor had been excavated to allow the three stackrooms below the Library Hall.

The New College Archive preserves this original admission ticket to the inauguration ceremony, as it also preserves the suggestions books, committee minutes and account books of the business of New College Library since its foundation back in the 1840s.  The ticket bears the arms of Edinburgh University on the left and the Church of Scotland’s burning bush emblem on the right. This represents the union which had been effected in  January 1935 of the Church of Scotland’s  New College with the University’s Faculty of Divinity in the New College building.

To Africa with Love

Reports of the Glasgow African Missionary Society
New College Library Special Collections Z Collection Z.858/9-16

Today’s Centre for the Study of World Christianity Research Seminar is presented by Dr Jack Thompson, ‘African mission photography: Light on Darkness’.

This item, Reports of the Glasgow Missionary Society, from New College Library’s Z Collections, is a printed record of missionary activity, evidence of the hundreds of Missionary Scots at work across Africa.  I was charmed to find that among them was a Dr John Love (perhaps an ancestor of mine?) one time secretary of the Glasgow Missionary Society. The Church of Scotland’s first important missionary station in Africa, at Kaffaria (established in 1830), was named Lovedale after him.  New College Library also holds in its archives a volume of illustrations of Church of Scotland missions in South Africa (Gen. 827F), which features Lovedale. Further details can be searched online at www.mundus.ac.uk.

Scotlands oldest documents online

Looks like a very interesting project …

University of Glasgow Library

A new interactive online database, which will make thousands of the oldest documents in Scotland’s history available to the public, is being launched by the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Michael Russell MSP, today at the University of Glasgow.

The People of Medieval Scotland (PoMS) project has catalogued over 21,000 individuals mentioned in 8,600 documents. The documents, written between 1093 and 1314, tell the story of Scotland’s transformation from a land of patchwork regions to an established kingdom with fixed borders and modern systems of government.

Films crews from BBC Scotland and STV have visited the Archive Services searchroom over the past couple of days to film some of our oldest documents. Dauvit Broun, Professor of Scottish History at the University of Glasgow, was also filmed here discussing the significance of some of these documents.

The database of documents can be accessed through the following link. We will…

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New College Library Archives

An image from the New College Archive of New College Library as it appeared in 1946

Did you know that New College Library holds significant collections of archives and manuscripts?

These  collections include the papers of Thomas Chalmers, J.H. Oldham, James S. Stewart and Norman W. Porteous.  Hidden among the older archives are gems such as the  last speech and testimony of the covenanter James Renwick (1662-1688).  The Archives also include a New College Archive which includes group photographs of students and staff, and of the New College buildings.

Recently added to our collections are the papers of Rev Tom Allan (1916-1965), Rev. Professor Alec Campbell Cheyne (1924-2006), Rev. Professor John McIntyre (1916-2005), and the Very Rev Professor James Whyte (1920-2005). The listing of these papers was funded by a generous bequest from the estate of Rev. Professor Alec Campbell Cheyne .

See the New College Archives web page to find out more.

How an Olympic champion became a missionary

The BBC Scotland programme Eric Liddell: A Champion’s Life http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01lb63b  on BBC2 tonight (Monday 23rd July) at 10pm features items from University of Edinburgh Collections.

RUNNING THE RACE: Eric Liddell Olympic Champion and Missionary. John W. Keddie.

New College Library recently received a donation of a biography of  former Olympic Champion Eric Liddell, by John W. Keddie.  Immortalised in the film Chariots of Fire, Liddell won gold in the 400 metres at the Olympic games in Paris 1924, but famously refused to compete in his best event, the 100 metres, because it was held on a Sunday. He went on to study at the Scottish Congregational College and in 1925 went to China as a missionary with the London Missionary Society.

New College Library holds a  letter (30 June 1940) from Liddell to Mary and George Cameron, Heriot, Midlothian describing his movements during his last trip with his family. After two years in a wartime  internment camp with other members of the China Inland mission, he died on 21 February 1945, five months before liberation.

Liddell’s Olympic medals were donated to Edinburgh University by his daughter Mrs. Patricia Russell. A new Sports Scholarship at Edinburgh University, the Eric Liddell High Performance Sports Scholarship, was launched recently in his memory.