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Metadata for text 136
No. words in text39256
Title An Ceangal Eaglais a tha eadar creidich agus an clann bheag; agus, na lorg sin, a choir a tha aca air baisteadh. Searmoin air a searmonachadh ann an tigh coinneamh na h-Eaglais coimh-thionalach ann an Obair-Rhethain; le Seumas Spence, A. M., agus a nis air a h-eadar-theangachadh gu Gaidhlig, le C. Mac Lauruinn, Glascho
Author Spence, James
Editor N/A
Date Of Edition 1825
Date Of Language 1800-1849
Publisher Aindreas Og
Place Published Glasgow
Volume Ardchattan, Argyll
Location National Library of Scotland
Link Digital version created by National Library of Scotland
Geographical Origins Argyll
Register Religion, Prose
Alternative Author Name N/A
Manuscript Or Edition Ed.
Size And Condition 17.2cm x 10.5cm
Short Title An Ceangal Eaglais
Reference Details NLS: KK.8/2.41(1-11) Imperfect copy: pp. 1-2 (title page) and pp. 87-92 missing. Bound with other tracts. This text is no. 12, at the end of the volume.
Number Of Pages 92 (NB The pages between 14 and 21 are wrongly numbered 15, -, 16, 17, 18, 20.)
Gaelic Text By Maclauruinn, C. (MacLaurin, Malcolm)
Illustrator N/A
Social Context The English title of this work reads: The Church-connexion between believers and their infant offspring; and the consequent right of the latter to baptism. A sermon, preached in the meeting-house of the Congregational Church, Blackfriar’s Street, Aberdeen, August 18, 1822.

James Spence was born in Huntly on 20th February, 1792. He studied at Marischal College in Aberdeen from 1808 to 1814, and went on to serve as a Congregational minister in Inverness, from 1818 to 1820. He was in Falkirk for a short time, and later served at Printfield in Aberdeen (1820-21), Blackfriars St. Congregational Church in Aberdeen (1822-35), Cork (1835-36), and Node-Hill Chapel in Newport, Isle of Wight (1837-40). He died on 9th December, 1843.

Malcolm MacLaurin, the translator of this work, was born in Ardchattan in Argyll in July 1785. He studied at Rotherham Independent College and at Glasgow Theological Academy. He was an itinerant preacher from 1818 until 1822, when he became minister of Port Charlotte Congregational Church in Islay. He died in Islay in November 1859. MacLaurin translated at least two other religious works into Gaelic: William Dyer’s Christ’s Famous Titles and Leigh Richmond’s The Dairyman’s Daughter.
Contents This volume begins with an address Do’n Leughadair leis an Ughdar (p. 3) which notes, ‘Bha ’n t-searmoin a leanas air a searmonuchadh air feasgar an latha sin, air a cheud uair san do fhritheil an Scriobhadair ordugh a Bhaistidh gu follaiseach. … Tha e ’g asluchadh air an leughadair na h-argumaidean o’n scriobtuir a tha air toirt air an aghaidh an so airson a cheangail-eaglais aig parantan agus aig cloinn, a thoirt fainear le seimhachd agus ro aire’.

There follows an address Do’n Leughadair o’n Eadar-Theangair (pp. 4-15), in which MacLaurin discusses his reasons for translating this sermon, and explains some of the background to the argument and his own thoughts on it. He frequently quotes from the Bible in order to back up his arguments.

Searmoin (pp. 16[recte 17]-86): The sermon is based on ‘Esaiais lxv. 23 “Oir is iad siol dhaoine beannuichte an Tighearna, agus an sliochd maille riu”’ (p. 15).
Sources
Language This text contains terms and language deriving from Scripture and relating to the beliefs of differing Christian traditions regarding baptism. The sermon begins ‘Tha briathran a chinn-theagaisg air an toirt fainear anns a cho-cheangal sam bheil iad a seasamh, gu soilleir a ’g amharc ri linn an t-soisgeil. Tha iad, uime sin, aig roimh-innseadh, agus a dearbhadh buanachadh a cheangail eaglais fhaicsinneach agus le ughdaras neamhaidh a tha eadar creidmhich agus an sliochd fuidh fhrithealadh an t-soisgeil, agus a bha ann ’nuair a chaidh an scriobhadh’ (p. [15]).

In this sermon, the author examines the question whether children should be baptised, and provides evidence from the Scriptures which, in his opinion, proves that they should. The question turns on whether one believes, as he does, that children are members of the church from the moment when they are born, and that this entitles them to be baptised. He writes: ‘Tha mhuinntir a tha ’nar n-aghaidh a’g aideachadh gu bheil creidich nam buill do dh’ eaglais Chriosd, agus gum bu choir dhoibh bhi air am baisteadh:—air a phuinc so tha sinn a cordadh. Tha iadsan a ’g aicheadh gu bheil naoidheana nan creideach nam buill do dh’eaglais Chriosd, agus na lorg so a cathachadh nach bu choir dhoibh bhi air am baisteadh:—air a phuinc so tha sinn a ’g eadar-dhealuchadh. Is e so an ni a tha dhith orra sinne ga dhearbhadh, agus a dh’ionnsuidh am bheil sinn a nis a dol air ’ar n-aghaidh.—Tha iadsan a cur an ceill, nach ’eil naoidheana nan creideach nam buill do’n eaglais fhaicsinneach. Da so tha sinne freagairt, nach robh e mar sin o thoiseach, fuidh fhrithealadh Abrahaim—na mar sin fuidh fhrithealadh Mhaois—na mar sin fuidh rioghachadh Mhesiais ri linn nan abstol’ (pp. [19]-20). Spence then considers these parts of the Bible in turn, pointing out the passage that support his contention that children of believers are members of the Church. For example: ‘A ’nis bithidh e deacair, seadh, neo-chomasach feuchainn gun do dhaighnich Dia riamh coi’-cheangal sam bith ann an Criosd, saor ’o choi’-cheangal an t-soisgeil, air am bheil esan, agus cha ’n ’eil air aon eile, na Eadar-mheadhonair, agus ni, ann an coimh-lionadh na h-aimsire, a rinn e dhaighneachadh le bhas. Chreid Abraham ann an geallanaibh a choimh-cheangail so; mheasadh a chreidimh dha mar fhireantachd; agus mar so rinneadh e na oighre air a Chanaan neamhaidh, na an oidhreachd’ (p. 21).

This text contains a large number of references to the Scriptures and many quotations from the Bible. For example: ‘Bha ’n timchioll-ghearradh air orduchadh do na h-uile a bha air an ceangal gu faicsinneach ri eaglais Dhe, agus iomchuidh air fhaotainn mar chomhara air ceangal eaglais, co aca bha iad nan Iudhaich na nan Cinnich, agus cha robh do aon neach eile—agus tha’m baisteadh air orduchadh airson na chriche [sic, for criche] cheudna. Gin. xvii. 9-14. Mata xxviii. 18-20. Gniomh. xvi. 15, 33. 1 Cor, i.16’ (p. 48).

In the concluding section of the sermon Spence summarises the doctrinal differences between the different denominations. The position of the Baptists is put thus: ‘Tha na Baistich ag radh gur coimh-cheangal re uine araid a bha anns a choimh-cheangal a rinn Dia ri Abraham: tha Dia ag radh gur coimh-cheangal siorruidh a bha ann’ (p. 81). Note also: ‘Tha iadsan ag radh, gur iad creidich amhain a bu choir a bhi air am baisteadh: tha Dia ag radh, le eiseimpleir abstola Chriosd, gum bu choir do chreidich agus da’n teaghlaichean a bhi air am baisteadh’ (p. 83).
Orthography The orthography is characteristic of the early-to-mid-nineteenth century, e.g. in the absence of accents. Although the religious nature of the text dictates that some conservative forms appear, both in the sermon itself and in the translator’s introduction, there are also some more progressive features, which would doubtless repay detailed scrutiny. In the Introduction (p. 4), note a chleachduinn, fanamaide and gu ro dheas, beside the more ‘biblical’ rannsaichidh se e. In the Sermon (p. [16]), note a’ cheangail fhaicsinneach (genitive), chaidh an sgriobhadh, leanabana, aobhar … carson nach biodh, beside the more ‘biblical’ a ta.
Edition First edition. The original sermon, in English, was published in 1822.
Other Sources
Further Reading McNaughton, W. D., The Scottish Congregational Ministry, 1794-1993, 1993.
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