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Metadata for text 126
No. words in text10609
Title Leabhar Cheistean mu Nadur a Bhaistidh, airson Seòladh agus Cuideachadh Pharantan ’n an Dleasnas a thaobh an Ordugh so. Maille ri Earail Dhoibhsan a tha Cuir an Dleasnas ’s an Ni so ann an Beag Suim.
Author Beith, Rev. Alexander
Editor N/A
Date Of Edition 1840
Date Of Language 1800-1849
Publisher M. Ogle
Place Published Glasgow
Volume N/A
Location National and academic libraries
Link Digital version created by National Library of Scotland
Download File PDF / plain text 
Geographical Origins Argyll
Register Religion, Prose
Alternative Author Name N/A
Manuscript Or Edition Ed.
Size And Condition 14.4cm x 9.5cm (Bound with other items of the same size)
Short Title Leabhar Cheistean
Reference Details NLS: 3.2421(4)
Number Of Pages 36
Gaelic Text By N/A
Illustrator N/A
Social Context Alexander Beith was born in Campbeltown in 1799. He attended Glasgow University and was ordained in Oban in 1822. In 1824, he went to the Gaelic church at Hope Street in Glasgow. In 1825 he married Julia Robson. He later moved to Kilbrandon in Argyllshire (1826), Glenelg (1830), and Stirling (1839). Beith left the Established Church at the Disruption in 1843. In 1858 he became Moderator of the Free Church General Assembly, after which he retired to Edinburgh. Thomson (1994, p. 23) records that Beith ‘published a number of books on Highland church affairs between 1823 and 1869, including two Gaelic works on baptism’. He died in 1891.
Contents The text is presented in two sections as follows:
Leabhar Cheistean mu Nadur a Bhaistidh, &c. (pp. 3-27), comprising 91 questions and answers.
Earail Do na Parantaibh sin a tha Cur an Dleasnas a thaobh a Bhaistidh ann an Beag Suim (pp. 28-36), written in plain prose, addressing those parents’ who are neglecting their duty with regard to the Baptism of their children.
Sources
Language This text is written in a religious register, and contains quotations from the Bible and other religious texts. The first section is presented in a question and answer format.

The Catechism begins with questions on the nature of ‘sacrament’. The following questions and answers are typical: ‘C. Ciod e an sacramaid eile a tha ann fuidh fhrithealadh an Tiomnadh Nuadh? F. Sacramaid suipeir an Tighearn’ (p. 3); ‘C. Ciod e sacramaid? F. A deir leabhar aithghear nan ceist gur sacramaid “ordugh naomh a chuireadh air chois le Criosd, anns am bheil Criosd agus sochairean a ’chumhnainte nuaidh, air an samhlachadh, air an daighneachadh, agus air an cuir ris na Creidmhich, le comharaibh faicsinneach.”’ (p. 4); ‘C. Ciod na dh’iarradh air Criosd chum an t-Slainte so ’choisinn airson dhaoine? F. Dhiarradh gu’m bitheadh esan do nach b’aithne peacadh air a dheanamh na pheacadh air ar sonne; gu’m fuilingeadh è fearg neo-chriochnach Dhè—agus gu’n co-lionadh e a lagh naomh, chum ’s gu’m bitheadh ceartas Dè gu h-iomlan a’ faotainn dioladh’ (p. 5).

The Catechism deals next with the symbolism of Baptism. The following questions and answers give its flavour: ‘Nach iad an dà nithe àraid a tha air an samhluchadh leis a bhaisteadh, mata, Fireanachadh agus Naomhachadh?’ (p. 7); ‘Tha an t-uisge, ata na chomharadh anns a bhaistidh, a teachd nuas gu saor as na speuraibh—agus ’se Criosd saor thiodhlac Dhe, a chuir è nuas ’o neamh’ (p. 8); ‘Nach eigin gu’m bith Criosd air a cho-chuir ri anam gach duine fath leth, air a shon fein; dìreach mar a tha an t-uisge air a cho-chuir ra chorp, anns a bhaisteadh? F. ’S-eigin; tha co-chuir an uisge anns a Bhaisteadh, ris an neach a tha ’ga fhaotinn, a’ teagasg so’ (p. 10). The other questions posed include: ‘Ciod a tha thu cialluchadh ’nuair a deir thu gu bheil am baisteadh na sheùl air sochairibh a chumhnant nuaidh?’ (p. 11); ‘Ciod a thacharas do na naoidheanaibh sin a tha bàsachadh gun a bhi air am baisteadh?’ (p. 14).

The final part of the Catechism concerns the parents’ role in Baptism, as in: ‘C. Co na parantan a dh’ fheùdas baisteadh iarraidh air son an cloinn? F. “Muinntir a ta ’nam buill do’n Eaglais fhaicsinnich.” C. Co a tha thu ’cialluchadh leo sin? F. Muinntir a chaidh bhaisteadh iad fein, a tha deanamh aidmheil air Criosd, agus aig am bheil caitheadh-beatha a reìr an aidmheil’ (p. 18); ‘C. Ciod na meadhonan a tha gu bhi air an gnathachadh airson teagaisg na cloinne? F. O’s ceann gach ni eile, tha leughadh na Scriopturan gu bhi air a chleuchdainn; maille ri so tha leughadh leabhraichean eile a tha air an tarruing o’n Scrioptur, mar a tha “Leabhar aithghear nan ceist,” gu bhi air an cleuchdainn; tha searmonachadh an fhocail gu bhi air eìsdeachd—agus tuille fos tha conaltradh bitheanta air nithe spioradail, agus ann an cainnt so-thuigsinn, gu bhi air a ghnàthachadh’ (p. 23).

The final part of this volume consists of Beith’s admonitions to parents who disregard Baptism. It begins: ‘Cha n-urradh a chuir an teagamh gu bheil sàr-aineolas ann mu’n bhaisteadh—aineolas a tha tarruing mòran dhaoine ann am peacadh nach eil iad a’ meas mar ’thigeadh e dhoibh. […] Bheir mi fanear cuid do na barailean neo-iomchuidh, agus na mearachdan, a tha ann an inntinnibh mhòran dhaoine mu’n Bhaisteadh’ (p. 28). These include the assumption nach eil anns a Bhaisteadh ach cleachd agus fasan na duthcha (p. 28), and the assumption nach eil anns a bhaisteadh ach deasghnath tre’m bheil ainm air a thoirt do’n leanamh (p. 30).

This section includes references to people of other Faiths: ‘Air do pharantan a bhith air an riaghaladh leis an riason a tha aig moran, ann a bhi toirt an clann a’ ionnsuidh a bhaistidh, (se sin fasan na duthcha) bhitheadh iad nam Papanaich, no ’nan Mahomaitiche, no ’nan luchd aoradh bheathaichean agus amhnuichean, no ’nan luchd-iodhail aoradh, a reir mar a thacharadh dhoibh a bhi nan luchd-àiteachaidh do no duthchaibh far am bheil na mearachdan agus na grànaileachdan ud a riaghladh’ (p. 29). He is also scathing about people at home who regard Baptism merely as an occasion for merry-making: ‘’S tric a tha cuideachd air a chruineachadh ’nuair a tha baisteadh gu bhi ann, agus ’se ith, agus òl, caitheamh-aimsir amaideach, eadhon dannsa agus ruitearachd, a tha rompa’ (pp. 32-33).

Towards the end of the text, Beith addresses those who anger God (p. 36): ‘Tha na peacuich so air an gairm gu eagal agus fiòr aithreachas—gu aideachadh pheacaidhean agus gu cul a chuir riu. O! na milleadh iad an anaman feìn le bhi bhrosnachadh Dia gu fearg le’n cionta mòr. Dh’ orduich Dia teagasg air an son—na diùltadh iadsan maitheas agus gràs an Tighearna, strìochdadh iad do fhocal an Tighearna—’se so an sochair, agus am buannachd’ (p. 36).
Orthography The orthography is generally that of the early to mid-nineteenth century. The positioning of accents is sometimes eccentric, e.g.: reìr (p. 18), fiòr (p. 36), and feìn (p. 36). The author’s dialect does not obtrude in this text, though a form like Cha’n urradh (p. 28) could perhaps count as an exception in this context.
Edition An Dara Clo Bhualadh. The Gaelic Union Catalogue indicates that an earlier edition was published in 1827. However no British institution appears to have a copy of this first edition.
Other Sources
Further Reading Ewing, Rev. William, Annals of the Free Church of Scotland, 1843-1900, (Edinburgh, 1914: [n. pub.]).
Thomson, Derick S., ed., The Companion to Gaelic Scotland (Glasgow, 1994: Gairm).
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