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Metadata for text 151
No. words in text19282
Title Searmoin do Mhnai’ Chuaidh a Sgriobhadh ann sa Bhliadhna 1795
Author Crauford, D.
Editor N/A
Date Of Edition 1795
Date Of Language 18th c.
Publisher Seumas (James) Gillies
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 Arran
Register Religion, Prose
Alternative Author Name Crawford, Dugald
Manuscript Or Edition Ed.
Size And Condition 16cm x 11cm (bound with other texts)
Short Title Searmoin do Mhnai'
Reference Details NLS: ABS.1.95.20(11)
Number Of Pages vii + 60 [‘5-65’] + 2 [un-numbered]
Gaelic Text By N/A
Illustrator N/A
Social Context Dougal Crawford was born in Arran in 1752. Little is known of his early years. He served as a British military chaplain during the American Revolution and stayed in South Carolina afterwards to look for a position amongst the many Presbyterian communities that had settled there (p. 1). A community at Raft Swamp in North Carolina happened to be looking for a minister, and a party from the community visited Crawford around 1784, and persuaded him to return with them. Crawford remained at Raft Swamp for seven years.

While in North Carolina, it was said that ‘Rev. Crawford had a severely dignified and cold appearance and would walk straight to the church without speaking to anyone and deliver his sermon as fast as he could enunciate’ (http://www.capefearclans.com/RaftSwampChurch.html). During his time there, Crawford visited Scotland and was awarded the degree of D.D. by Edinburgh University. In 1789, Crawford established Raft Swamp Church and a building was erected on the site where services had been held since around 1750. The church burned down in 1825 and was not rebuilt.

Crawford was also the author of the Raft Swamp Sermons – the earliest printed Gaelic sermons to survive – which were published in Fayetteville (as Cross Creek was named after the Revolution), in the upper Cape Fear Valley, in 1791. The first of these sermons was preached at Raft Swamp in 1790, as, probably, was the second.

In 1795, Crawford returned to Scotland and became assistant minister of Kilmorie in Arran in 1795. In 1799, Crawford moved to Kintyre as minister of Saddell. He returned to Kilmorie in Arran in 1815, where he remained until his untimely death in 1821 – he drowned on his way home to Arran.
Contents This volume begins with Focal no dha do luchd amhairc (pp. iii-iv) by the author, in which he discusses the dedication on the following pages. This is followed by Apology for the following dedication (p. v), this being a short introduction to the dedication which follows, and, finally, the dedication Do Bhaintighearna na Cour ann an Ceantire (pp. vi-vii).

The sermon (pp. 5-65) is followed by two pages of Mearachdan (unpaginated).
Sources
Language This text comprises a sermon, written for women, explaining how to be a good Christian wife. The style is flowing and polished and the tone is engaging.

The sermon opens with the phrase Bean ghlic togaidh i tigh, from Proverbs, xiv. 1 (‘The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down’), and Crawford frequently returns to this theme, e.g.: ‘Bean ghlic togaidh i tigh, tha na briathra so co maiseach annta fein, air na ’n cean-gal [corrected to ceangal in Mearachdan] co dreachail ra cheile as gu n’ ann a dheanamh eidirdheallachadh sa ’m bith am maise lughdachadh, ann an aite cur ra ’m fionaltachd. Bidh searmonachadh air mnaibh tha ra rireadh na ’n creideas do ’n aidmheil, na ’n aobhar gairdeachais aig an duiche, cairdean, ’s luchd eolas, airson an deadh ghiulan ’s fonnmhuireachd am beathaidh, ca do tha a leithid so a chleachduin a nis na ni nuadh ma rannsachas sinn na sgriobhtairean [sic] le bheag idir do thairt fanear, cha d’ theid sinn fada air bhur ’naghaidh nuair a chi sinn co-duchagh gu leor ’s bunnachar air son teagaisg mar so: amhaircibh air an Litir chum na Romhanaich, caib. xvi. I. Molam dhuibh, Phebe air Piuthair, …’ (p. 6).

Crawford first establishes the foundation in scripture for his sermon. His expansive style of writing can be seen from the following excerpt relating to house building, presumably based on Luke, vi. 48.: ‘Anois feadaidh sin innseadh co ris an cosmhail an te so, co ach risean ann ’s na sgriobtairean a thog a thigh, chlaidhaich gu domhain ma thiomchioll, sa leag gu seolta tearuinte am bunchar air a charruig, le cladairt ’s druich dhat ’s bhruchd na huisgeachan, dh’amhairc na neoil ann an a trusgan gruam-ach, on ciurineachadh dubhlidh bhrist a ghaoth laidir ma ’n sgaoil le srian … uime sin sheas i gu daingean bunailteach gun chrathadh gun aomadh; measarrachd, treimhdhireas ’s foighidin ’s litir mholaidh shonruight na subhailcean so, ’s comhartha soilleir iad air cridhe maith, air inntin ghlan fhoirfidh, …’ (pp. 10-11). The application of this reference is given as follows: ‘An tigh a tha air na Thogail leis na buaidhean oirdheirce so, feadar a radh gun amh’rus gu bheil e air na chur ra cheile le tuigse, air na dhaingneachadh le gliocas. Se Criosta cloch chinn na h oisin ann an togal na ’n sgriobtairean ’s sona ise agus sin gu siorruidh tha a ’h earbsa air bhunchar so’ (p. 11).

Crawford next describes the relationship between Christ and the Church: ‘Bha Criosta agus Eaglais mar aon chorp, tha i na teampuill, coisreagte dhasan, le fior chordadh ’s lan saor thoill dh’aidmhich e i mar bhunchar iomlan fionalta a thlachd gun cheilg; mar tha e air na fhoillseachadh araon leis na Faidhean, ’s na h Abstoil dh’fhulling ē cuid a sharuchadh chum ise a chrunadh le coran graidh …’ (p. 12). He returns to this relationship later in the sermon: ‘Thug an t ATHAIR cumhachd do ’n mhac bhi’ na cheann air Eaglais, uime sin bha e’ dleasdanach ise bhi’ ceanguilt, risean chum an t iomlan do ’n obair bhi freagarach daithoil. Anna foilseachadh a mais; measg gach cosmhalachd fionalta chum a buaidhean ’sa sgeimh a thaisbeanadh; tha i air na samhlacha ri Cathair ’s ri Tigh dhia …’ (p. 18).

The remainder of the sermon examines the role of women in society and, more particularly, in the family. Crawford tells us how a good Christian woman should behave so as to revere God, and best serve her husband and her children, e.g.: ‘Creideamh glan fallan, deagh chaitheamh beatha air an taisbeineadh gu laitheil ’s gu soilleir, le firinn, foighidin ciuineas, ’s saoeilachd, ’s subhailcean ainmeil iad so, fionalta mar tha ’m bunchar, agus ’s sonna ise gu cinnteach a tha a tigh air a thogail do sheorse co riomhach’ (p. 26). The good wife can be described in the following terms: ‘Cridhe na bean shaoi’eil cha charuich le giorac na gealtachd, beul na firin, cha chlaoidh droch run, ’s cha tilg a bonn. A bhean fhonnmhor cheillidh, gheibh thu i ’n diugh far an robh i ’n de gu ciuin bannail, cha ’n ann le aghaidh ur, ach daonan leis an aon sgeudachadh’ (p. 28). In the same way, ‘nuair tha i aig dol chum teambull Dhia dia-donuich tha i aig teachd a dh’ ionsuidh na h Eaglais, ach cha ’n ann a dh’ amharc uaithe, no chum ’s gu ’m biodh i fein air na faicsin le feodhain eile, no shealtuin air fasan ur, no lorgaireachd sgeultaibh na du’cha, a dh’ fhiosrucha’ tiomchill slainte cairdean, a dh’ iarruidh fear-ealain, no thagradh ain-fhiacha’ no ghabhail airgiod iasaid, ach an toir air cusboir is fionalta agus is mo’ airidh air tlachd agus toirt fa’near no h aon do na nithe suarrach so: tha i teachd a lorgaireachd beannacha’ a Dia, … Tha i aig amharc air an eaglais mar aite coisrighte chum seirbheis Dhia a thoirt fa’near, ’s a chur air aghaidh’ (p. 48).

Throughout this part of the sermon, Crawford castigates and admonishes women who do not behave as a good Christian woman should, e.g.: ‘Tha ’n taobh eile ma’choinne so aig ciallachadh amideachd ’s baoibhilachd, cainnt shuarrach gun sult, mianuibh truaillidh, aig leanmhuin breugan, ’s gach seorse do chleachduin mhichreideas ach mar sin, cha bhi ’s cha robh an togail so buan no maiseach, cha ’n ’eil ann ach feur, ’s cuinnlein nach seas le urram ann an la a cheasnachaidh’ (p. 27); ‘A Bhean ghrasmhor buanaichidh i ann an onoir, is bheir i fear gu creideas, ach an struitheir is an amaid tha i na di-meas da h ainm, se ceum na droch mhna an t slighe chum amh’air, sa sealladh an casan sios gu seomra truaillidh na triobloid’ (p. 31); ‘Ise tha baoibheil guannach, cha ne ’mhain gu mill i cuid fein, ach bu mhiannach le ea-coir dhaoine eile dheana’ mar an ceudn’’ (p. 55).

Crawford counsels against putting too much emphasis on worldly goods, e.g.: ‘Thusa tha beartach na h earb as do storas oir cha ’n ’eil feum ann ’n uair tha n t anam ’s an corp dol a dhealachadh ra cheile, tha gach cuid do ’n t sealladh gu laidir aig earralach neo-bhasmhorachd a bhuidhin le cursa subhailceach beatha am feadh, is tha laithean na saothair aig maireachdain’ (p. 23); ‘Tha beartas agus storas an t saoghail so gu laitheil buailteach do iomad tubaisd is caochla; cha toir iad furtachd no fuasgladh seachad air aon mhodh o ghath lot mhor bais, ’s cha n’eil ionta ach caraid gun eifheachd ann an la bhreitheanais, no ann an lathair Dhia’ (p. 32).

There are occasional references to, and quotations from, the Bible in this section, e.g.: ‘Beannaichidh Dia saothair an teaghlaich a ghluaiseas ann a shlighe, aig am bheil tlachd do gach ni riaghailteach, mar chi sibh san 128 sailm, ’s aoibhneach gach neach a ghradhaicheas an tighearna, le cridhe glan gun cheilg; ’sa stiuras an ceumana do reir a lagh, oir bidh an aite taimh tearuinte is ithidh iad gu sabhailt do thoradh an saothair. “Bidhidh a bhean cheillidh mar chrann fion torach an taobh stigh da teaghlach, sa clann mar chrann ola timchioll a buird gu laitheil: mar so biaidh i air na beannacha’ a ghradhaicheas Dia, cuimhnichidh eisan i ann an Sion, chi i maith a teaghlaich, agus laithean fada; ’s clann a cloinne sonas sioruidh ann an Israel”’ (pp. 42-43).

A few passages are marked as quotations but no source is given, e.g.: ‘“Cha ’n ’eil teanga’ ’n fhoghlum feimeil a dh’ fhoillseachadh cliu na mna aig am bheil ciuineas na gnuis, ann a conaltradh gliocas, suarceas ann a giulan, ann a beatha subhailce, agus ann an geamhnuidheachd, trei’dhireas. …”’ (p. 40); ‘“Am fosgladh onorach sin a chridhe, is na gnuis a tha na choigreach air foill, an lamh chinnteach, a chumas greim do ’n treimhdhireas giulain sin nach ’eil ra leigeil mu sgaoil air son riochd gun fheum, …”’ (p. 36).

There are also occasional footnotes glossing certain words. For example, on p. 18 blas is glossed blas no togradh and codach is glossed codach na comh’dachaidh (i.e. còmhdach, còmhdachadh).
Orthography The orthography of this text is fairly typical of late eighteenth century religious texts. Note such forms as aig teachd (e.g. p. 44), teachd a lorgaireachd (p. 48), aig dol ni is faide (p. vi), Cad nach eil and cad nach tig (p. 5), and ca do tha a leithid so (p. 6). Also of interest are the omission of final -adh in words like beannacha’ (e.g. p. 48); the use of gh rather than ch in words like shonruighte (p. 51); and the regular use of air na instead of air a, e.g. in gu bheil e air na chur ra cheile (p. 11) and tha i air na samhlacha (p. 18), where most Scottish Gaelic sources have air a. Accents are not used; the only diacritic mark used is the macron, e.g. ē (p. 12). Some of the spellings, along with certain grammatical forms and lexical choices, may well reflect Crawford’s Arran Gaelic. But the text as a whole cannot be called dialectal; rather, it aspires to be a work of eloquent advocacy, and its models are the Bible itself and the tradition, well established by 1795, of Gaelic religious writing.
Edition First edition.
Other Sources
Further Reading Meek, Donald, ‘Sermons from the Swamps’, CHB News 3, Autumn Term 2003.
Hodgin, Henry Jr., ‘Raft Swamp Presbyterian Church’, retrieved from http://www.capefearclans.com/RaftSwampChurch.html.
 
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