31 MAY 1930, Page 23

A brief but illuminating survey of The Kirk in Scotland,

1560-1929 (Hodder and Stoughtcin, 5s.) deserves attention, for it is the joint work of Mr. John Buchan, M.P. and Sir George Adam Smith, the Principal of Aberdeen University. Mr. Buchan sketches the history of the Kirk clearly and dis- passionately. He treads so lightly on the ashes of controver- sial volcanoes that few will criticise his outline, though it may be suggested with all due deference that he underrates the strength of the opposition to the Covenant of 1638. The English reader will profit by Mr. Buchan's admirable account of the successive secessions and the later reunions. Principal Smith describes the memorable sessions of last year, at which the Church of Scotland and the United Free Church were merged into one. At the close Mr. Buchan indicates the tasks and opportunities that lie before the United Kirk in a Scotland that is moving away from the old paths and is faced by new problems.—A very different note is struck in Mr. G. M. Thomson's challenging pamphlet, Will the Scottish Church Survive ? (Edinburgh : Porpoise Press, ls.). The author compares the Scottish Church unfavourably with the Church of England, accuses it of sloth and snobbery, declares that it has lost the upper and lower classes and the educated middle class, and complains that it " is the active Opponent of any real recrudescence of Scottish national spirit," by which Mr. Thomson appears to mean the agitation of a little clique for " Scottish Home Rule." Mr. Thomson concludes by suggesting that " there are many resemblances " between the present state of the Scottish Church and that of the Roman Catholic Church in Cardinal Beaton's Scotland in 1540. Macedon and Monmouth were no more unlike, though there was a river in both.

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