Argylls in Jerusalem

Soldiers of 1st Battalion The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders arriving for parade at St. Andrew's Church, Jerusalem, Palestine, 26 May 1940.
Soldiers of 1st Battalion The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders arriving for parade at St. Andrew’s Church, Jerusalem, Palestine, 26 May 1940.
Highlanders and congregation exiting St. Andrew's Church, Jerusalem, Palestine, after service, 26 May 1940.
Highlanders and congregation exiting St. Andrew’s Church, Jerusalem, Palestine, after service, 26 May 1940.
Dr. Norman MacLean with Colonel Anderson, inspecting troops of 1st Battalion The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, St. Andrew's Church, Jerusalem, Palestine, 26 May 1940.
Dr. Norman MacLean with Colonel Anderson, inspecting troops of 1st Battalion The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, St. Andrew’s Church, Jerusalem, Palestine, 26 May 1940.
Dr. Norman MacLean, quondam Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, then chaplain of St. Andrew's Church, Jerusalem, Palestine, addresses troops of the 1st Battalion The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 26 May 1940.
Dr. Norman MacLean, quondam Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, then chaplain of St. Andrew’s Church, Jerusalem, Palestine, addresses troops of the 1st Battalion The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 26 May 1940.

Pray that Jerusalem may have
peace and felicity:
let them that love you and your peace
still have prosperity.

First verse of Hymn 82 in Church Hymnary, 4th ed.; Psalm 122 is invariably sung annually at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland at Edinburgh.

God of Our Race, Give Audience

The Prophet Daniel by Niccolò Alunno (Walters Art Museum).
The Prophet Daniel by Niccolò Alunno (Walters Art Museum).

Prayed I then to the Lord my God, and made confession of my sins, in these words following: Mercy, mercy, Lord God, the great, the terrible; to those who love thee, so gracious, with those who keep thy commandments, troth keeping still! Sinned we have, and wronged thee, rebelled we have, and forsaken thee, turned our backs on decree and award of thine, nor heeded thy servants, the prophets, that spoke to us in thy name, to king and prince and the common folk that gendered us. Fault with thee is none; ours, Lord, to blush for the wrong-doing that has offended thee, men of Juda, citizens of Jerusalem, Israel near at hand, Israel banished far away, in what plight thou seest! Blush we, king and prince of ours, fathers of ours that did the wrong; be it thine, O Lord our God, to have mercy and to forgive. So far we have strayed from thee, so deaf to the divine voice, when the prophets that served thee bade us follow thy law! A whole people that would transgress thy command, turn a deaf ear to thy calls! What wonder if it fell on us, drop by drop, the avenging curse God’s servant Moses wrote of? Our sins had deserved it, and if yonder unexampled punishment befell Jerusalem, it was but a threat fulfilled; warning we had of it, we and the princes that governed us. No misfortune overtook us, but the law of Moses had foretold it; and yet, O Lord our God, appease thy anger we would not, nor leave our sinning, nor bethink ourselves, how well thy word thou keenest; what wonder if bane, not blessing, the divine regard brought us? Be our punishment what it will, not ours to find fault with the God we have disobeyed.

Thou art the Lord our God, whose constraining power rescued thy people from the land of Egypt, who hast won thyself glory, too, in this our day; we, Lord, have been sinners, we have shewn ourselves unworthy of all thy faithful dealings with us. But wilt thou let thy indignant anger fall on Jerusalem, on that holy mountain of thine? Too long, for our sins and the sins of our fathers before us, all our neighbours have held Jerusalem, and us thy people, in contempt. God of our race, give audience at last to the prayer, the plea thy servant brings before thee; for thy own honour, restore the sanctuary, that now lies forlorn, to the smile of thy favour. My God, give ear and listen to us; open thy eyes, and see how desolate is this city of ours, that claims to be thy own. No merits of ours, nothing but thy great love emboldens us to lay our prayers at thy feet. Thy hearing, Lord, and thy pardon; thy heed, Lord, and thy aid! For thy own honour, my God, deny thyself no longer to the city, the people that is called thy own!

— Daniel ix. 4-19.

A City of Freedom

Christ in Majesty and the Heavenly Jerusalem, fresco, c. 1120; Église Saint-Theudère de Saint-Chef.
Christ in Majesty and the Heavenly Jerusalem, fresco, c. 1120; Église Saint-Theudère de Saint-Chef.

Tell me, you who are so eager to have the law for your master, have you never read the law? You will find it written there, that Abraham had two sons; one had a slave for his mother, and one a free woman. The child of the slave was born in the course of nature; the free woman’s, by the power of God’s promise. All that is an allegory; the two women stand for the two dispensations. Agar stands for the old dispensation, which brings up its children to bondage, the dispensation which comes to us from mount Sinai. Mount Sinai, in Arabia, has the same meaning in the allegory as Jerusalem, the Jerusalem which exists here and now; an enslaved city, whose children are slaves. Whereas our mother is the heavenly Jerusalem, a city of freedom. So it is that we read, Rejoice, thou barren woman that hast never borne child, break out into song and cry aloud, thou that hast never known travail; the deserted one has more children than she whose husband is with her. It is we, brethren, that are children of the promise, as Isaac was. Now, as then, the son who was born in the course of nature persecutes the son whose birth is a spiritual birth. But what does our passage in scripture say? Rid thyself of the slave and her son; it cannot be that the son of a slave should divide the inheritance with the son of a free woman.

— Epistle to the Galatians, iv. 21-30.

That Britain Might Not Totally Be Enveloped in the Dark Shades of Night

The martyrdom of St. Alban from a 13th Century manuscript of The Life of St. Alban (Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS E. I. 40, folio 38r). Matthew Paris was both scribe and illuminator for this manuscript.
The martyrdom of St. Alban from a 13th Century manuscript of The Life of St. Alban (Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS E. I. 40, folio 38r). Matthew Paris was both scribe and illuminator for this manuscript.

Chapter X.

magnificauit igitur misericordiam suam nobiscum deus uolens omnes homines saluos fieri et uocans non minus peccatores quam eos qui se putant iustos. qui gratuito munere, supra dicto ut conicimus persecutionis tempore, ne penitus crassa atrae noctis caligine britannia obfuscaretur, clarissimos lampades sanctorum martyrum nobis accendit, quorum nunc corporum sepulturae et passionum loca, si non lugubri diuortio barbarorum quam plurima ob scelera nostra ciuibus adimerentur, non minimum intuentium mentibus ardorem diuinae caritatis incuteren: sanctum albanum uerolamiensem, aaron et iulium legionum urbis ciues ceterosque utriusque sexus diuersis in locis summa magnanimitate in acie christi perstantes dico.

Chapter XI.

quorum prior postquam caritatis gratia confessorem persecutoribus insectatum et iam iamque comprehendendum, imitans et in hoc christum animam pro ouibus ponentem, domo primum ac mutatis dein mutuo uestibus occuluit et se discrimini in fratris supra dicti uestimentis libenter persequendum dedit, ita deo inter sacram confessionem cruoremque coram impiis romana tum stigmata cum horribili fantasia praeferentibus placens signorum miraculis mirabiliter adornatus est, ut oratione feruenti illi israeliticae arenti uiae minusque tritae, stante diu arca prope glareas testamenti in medio iordanis canali, simile iter ignotum, trans tamesis nobilis fluuii alueum, cum mille uiris sicco ingrediens pede suspensis utrimque modo praeruptorum fluuialibus montium gurgitibus aperiret et priorem carnificem tanta prodigia uidentem in agnum ex lupo mutaret et una secum triumphalem martyrii palmam sitire uehementius et excipere fortius faceret.

ceteri uero sic diuersis cruciatibus torti sunt et inaudita membrorum discerptione lacerati ut absque cunctamine gloriosi in egregiis ierusalem ueluti portis martyrii sui trophaea defigerent. nam qui superfuerant siluis ac desertis abditisque speluncis se occultauere, expectantes a iusto rectore omnium deo carnificibus seuera quandoque iudicia, sibi uero animarum tutamina.

De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae, ii. 10-11., Gildas.

Continue reading “That Britain Might Not Totally Be Enveloped in the Dark Shades of Night”

To the Monastery To Which He Belongs

Cross of the Scriptures, Cathedral, Temple Doolin and South Cross at the Monastery of Clonmacnoise (Cluain Mhic Nóis) situated in County Offaly, Ireland, on the River Shannon south of Athlone.
Cross of the Scriptures, Cathedral, Temple Doolin and South Cross at the Monastery of Clonmacnoise (Cluain Mhic Nóis) situated in County Offaly, Ireland, on the River Shannon south of Athlone.
  1. The jurists say that tithe of cattle should be offered once and on that account it will be most holy, i.e., the tithe should not be offered again. But others of the true faith affirm that we should give tithes of living and mortal things to God every year, since every year we enjoy His gifts.
  2. Also, of all fruits of the soil a tithe ought to be offered once a year to the Lord, for as it is said: “Whatever has been once consecrated to God, will be most holy in the sight of the Lord.” For the tithe should not be offered repeatedly from those things, as the learned Columman has taught. But of the fruits of the soil a tenth part ought to be offered every year, because they are produced every year.
  3. Also, tithes are from all living things. So the first fruits of everything, and the animal that is born first in the year should be given. For the first born of animals are like first fruits; and the first born of men and of animals may be offered.
  4. Also, concerning tithes in herds and first fruits. First born are those which are born before any others are born in that year. It should be known how great is the weight of the first fruits, i.e., nine or twelve measures. Hence, the measure of the offering should be sufficient material for nine or twelve loaves. But of vegetables it should be as much as can be carried in the hand. It ought to be paid at the beginning of the summer, just as it was offered once a year to the priests of Jerusalem. But in the New Testament each would offer it to the monastery to which he belongs. And toward this would be especially charitable; of the first-born let males, never females, be offered.
  5. Also, if any have less substance than the tithe they shall not pay the tithe.
  6. Also, in order that all might find it convenient to offer tithes in some way to God, if they have only one cow or ox, let them divide the price of the cow into ten parts and give a tenth part to God. And so let it be done for other things…

— The Irish Canons: Collection of the Tithe, c. 750.

(Source: J. P. Migne, ed., Patrologiae Cursus Completus, (Paris, 1862), Vol. XCVI, pp. 1319-1320; reprinted in Roy C. Cave & Herbert H. Coulson, A Source Book for Medieval Economic History, (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Co., 1936; reprint ed., New York: Biblo & Tannen, 1965), pp. 378-379.)