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Title: Sabbath Defence Tactics: a manual

Author: James Bridges

Release date: May 22, 2020 [eBook #62200]

Language: English


Transcribed from the 1849 Johnstone and Hunter edition by David Price,, using scans from the Bodleian Library, Oxford.

Pamphlet cover





“Be ye wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”











The observance of the Lord’s day partook largely of the general religious declension which characterised the conclusion of the eighteenth century.  Fresh invasions were constantly made on its sanctity; and practices which a century before would have startled the most careless, were unconsciously acquiesced in even by the religious.  England, as a nation, never made the large professions of strictness which marked the north, and its remembrance of the day, such as it was, became feebler as time progressed; while in Scotland, which always had a name as a Sabbath-keeping land, the evil influence grew visibly in its populous towns, and was seen gradually diffusing itself throughout the country.  The Post-Office, with its mail-coaches, runners, letters, and newspapers, and the hackney-coach, are among the standing memorials of this falling away.  Happily, however, for the cause of every thing sacred and expedient, a revival of religion took place in both ends of the island, which, manifesting itself first in the Churches, did not fail speedily to embrace within its action the great matter of the observance of the Lord’s day.

p. 4To the honour of England, the practical Sabbath movement among the people began in that great country.  A few pious men, taught by its religious societies, of which they were distinguished members, the superiority of united over insulated action, formed themselves into “The Lord’s-day Society,” which has ever since exercised a very wholesome influence.  An early step on its part was to establish a connection with Parliament, through the medium of an influential member who might choose to be officially connected with the Society.  After unsuccessful efforts in different quarters, they were directed to the late Sir Andrew Agnew of Lochnaw, Bart., then member for Wigtonshire, who, after many doubts and fears, prompted by the modesty of his nature and his deep sense of the responsibility attaching to every more prominent part in the cause of God, consented to their application; and he soon became established, as he continued to his dying hour to be, the rooted and grounded friend of the Sabbath, and of every institution and effort, whether made by many or few, for its observance.

The author had the happiness to renew an earlier acquaintance with this excellent and distinguished person under the gallery of the House of Commons in the year 1833, when, in the playful language which was a characteristic of the man, he was “enlisted as a Sabbath recruit, the smart-money being a cup of tea in Bellamy’s.”  From that night to the last hour of this lamented gentleman’s active life, he had the happiness of serving under him in the struggle; and having seen more intimately than most persons the nature of his principles and policy, which were eminently wise and practical, and their gradual systematising, he records in these pages such particulars as may be of use to others; taking up the pen, as he does, singly, because much that is valuable may otherwise be lost, now that death has interposed.  If p. 5they be found to refer mainly to the Railway question, this obviously is because the portion of the field which has latterly engaged the chief attention of Sabbatarians, and has demanded most largely their practical combination, is that important point.  It will be felt by all, that while Sabbath desecrations of every kind require to be sharply looked after, very many of them are so slight or rare that they may be sufficiently met—as indeed all great as well as small must be—by the blessing of God upon the faithful preaching of the word, and upon the honest indignation of the people in their several neighbourhoods.  But where great numbers are united, by selfishness or any other bond, for the protection of any particular Sabbath wrong, they must be met, or at all events they may most effectually be met, by an opposite combination; and therefore these pages, leadingly devoted as they are to the railway, and to the principles and practice of combined acting there, will be found useful in every other serious Sabbath question.

It is proper to add, in order to prevent misconceptions, that this paper in no way bears on, or is affected by, the question of Establishment or Voluntaryism, compulsion or free action.  In some quarters the name of Sir Andrew Agnew has come to be so associated with Sabbath legislation, that his general measures have too often been regarded with some prejudice, even by good men yielding to an undefined alarm about voluntaryism.  It is due, however, to his memory to say, that while adhering to the last, with fresh constancy, to his original principles on the subject of legislation, he freely, and as faithfully as freely, held these in suspense in all those Sabbath enterprises where men of opposite views on that point agreed to act together.  And, in regard to these pages, let no doubt or suspicion arise in any quarter.  Their sole object is to promote harmonious action on the part of lovers of the Lord’s day in p. 6the practical promotion of its sanctity by means of moral suasion efficiently directed.  The Churchman or the Dissenter who objects to this, because it does not compel, or because it is suspected as compelling, is no true friend of the Sabbath.

It has been stated that the agitation of the Sabbath question took its origin in England.  It was soon, however, imported into Scotland.  Various causes had both delayed the measure there, and at length made way for it.  Scotland had long, and for long deservedly, possessed the character of a Sabbath-observing nation; and, notwithstanding its days of declension, the people had been so accustomed to this character, that they lived very complacently on the strength of it.  Nor was it till circumstances had awakened them to the sense of the change that had come over their dream, that it was felt necessary to do something in the north actively, as well as elsewhere.  The publication of the evidence of Sir Edward Lees, the secretary of the Post-Office, in regard to the Edinburgh mobs which crowded Waterloo Place every Sunday in quest of their letters, and which excited much surprise and not a little displeasure, but was all the while too true, was one of those circumstances which stirred up the Scotch mind to active resistance of the evil.  It may also be added, that the very constitution of the Churches in the north tended for a time to lull the people into quietness; for the popular character of these Churches, with their parochial, provincial, and General Assemblies and debates, might well be regarded as in some measure superseding popular agitation.  Accordingly, when the English fire crossed the borders, it did not spread at first with any exemplary energy, nor did it burst out with force at all, till a movement took place within the Scottish railway companies to run coaches on the Sabbath-day, in the face of the long-settled convictions and habits of the country.  Then, indeed, was shown the efficacy of p. 7the popularly constituted Churches in the north, which, if a cause at first of delayed action by the people, speedily proved themselves to be a stimulating force of no small energy.

The English movement within the railways for Sunday coaching had long preceded the Scotch attempt.  But coming in the rear of other prevailing habits, it failed in exciting that indignation which was its rightful due; and so long as the iniquity was limited to the south, the people of Scotland, strong in their imagined security, and slow of uptake as to any new thing—though quite learned enough to know the force and meaning of the Tua res agitur dum proximus paries ardet—failed to take active alarm for a very considerable time.  In regard also to England, it of course must be allowed that the religious classes there did certainly feel aggrieved, and took some quiet steps, even within the companies—though of a very courteous, timid, and hesitating kind—to induce these companies to abstain from their railway trading.  But with that certain peculiar spirit in public religious things, which, pious and excellent as in itself it is, so often evaporates there in mere adjuration and protest, instead of embodying itself in earnest “contending for the faith,” the struggle in England, saving here and there in the pulpit and press, ceased altogether as a public thing; and the very men who had maintained the controversy for a time within the railway companies, mistakingly deeming it Christian to cease from godly strife, withdrew from that field whenever the first success was effected by the enemy.  They sold out their stock, under the baseless notion that they would become partakers of the iniquity by remaining at their posts and endeavouring to bring their fallen shareholders to righteous dealing; thus leaving these parties undisputed masters of the Lord’s day, and henceforth acting on the gainsaying public merely by their Lord’s-day Society’s p. 8very excellent tracts and meetings, though the very last things of the very existence of which the Railway Stock Exchange was ever likely to become cognizant.

Not so in the north.  When the first attempt was made to establish systematic railway traffic on the Sabbath day, the country rose en masse against it, and to this hour the fight for the faith has been maintained, if with various success, still with unvarying fervour and firmness, not to cease, it is trusted, till the cause of truth shall prevail.  General indignation was excited, and every where expressed itself in debated remonstrances from public bodies, civil and ecclesiastical, and from popular meetings.  It, at the same time, broke forth most significantly in a “declaration” or pledge not to use the railway at all, or at any rate, not while any other practicable conveyance was attainable, so long as it continued to violate the religious feelings of the country by desecrating the Lord’s day.  Whatever may be thought on the subject of the principle of this declaration, the fact that it was adopted, and, at the risk of much personal inconvenience, speedily signed by more than a hundred thousand, is honourable to the religious zeal of Scotland; and that it was steadfastly observed for years by multitudes till the change came, in the face of great annoyance and privation, operated, we know, powerfully on the minds of the English gentlemen who at length brought about that change.

It has since been the general opinion, that the “declaration” rested thus far on an erroneous principle, that, instead of addressing the consciences of the violating directors, it assailed their selfishness, and for the good of the Sabbath did the evil of interfering with the business of the six days in which there is a command to work.  But it was a noble, self-denying ordinance, and was so regarded by the honourable baronet to whom reference has been made, p. 9by whom it was scrupulously observed, though before its adoption, and in the face of opposition and of some obloquy, he opposed it as not being within the legitimate line of Sabbath operations.

The railway company addressed was deaf to remonstrance.  The evil was established on one important line, and was likely to spread as new lines were opened.  The efforts of the pulpit and of the press also were redoubled; but while these served gradually to indoctrinate the land, and, through the blessing of God, might stay the evil in the lapse of time, still, on the other hand, the iniquity was in the mean time being firmly established, the country was being familiarized with it, and no reflecting person could fail to fear the effect of familiar habit in undermining even the most rooted principle.  It became of importance thus not only to meet it by the general pressure of religious principle, but to encounter it within the walls of the offending companies, by arguments addressed in their presence to the consciences and interests of directors and shareholders, in the hope of prevailing on them, through moral suasion, to abandon the obnoxious policy, and return to right dealing.  For this end, the writer of these pages submitted to his honourable friend and leader—who, in his letters at this time, was constantly grieving over his inability to work in the wake of the “declaration,” and exclaiming every now and them, “False position! false position!”—the scheme of purchasing as much railway stock as would give a voice in the half-yearly meetings of companies, and there maintaining the cause of truth and godliness.  A prompt and animated reply was the immediate result, and a commission to purchase the requisite stock.

Was this not a proof of what the world did not know, the practical business-like tact, no less than the deep-founded principle, of this lamented man?  p. 10When the Lord’s day railway traffic was first sanctioned in England, good men, it has been seen, ran away from the field, and left it in the hands, and delivered it over to the tender mercies of speculators, who sought with greed, and talked with complacency, of the gains in prospect when “Sunday traffic should be fully developed.”  The churches also, and the religious press, complimented the pietistic self-denial of those estimable persons who sold out their stock, that the enemy might retain an uncontroverted possession of the field; and to this hour the Lord’s-day Society remains paralysed, [10] and the English Sabbath railway cause prostrated, through the melancholy panic which actuated this flight.  Not so the stout judgment of him who, strong in his piety, gentle in his affections, and earnest in his zeal, but clear in discernment and practised in business, at once saw that so long as the constitution of the railway companies remained sound, and only their voluntary actings were vicious, it was not merely lawful, but praiseworthy, to join them for the purpose of bringing their impure actings into accordance with their pure principle; and it was felt that the proposed stockholding afforded a legitimate and excellent opportunity, as well as a right and privilege, to bring before all stockholders the highest principles of moral and religious law, in their bearing on a question of traffic which affects, more or less, all trading, and is as much forced on a company of coblers or coal-heavers as on a company of railway coach-owners; viz. that of determining whether they shall pursue or abstain from traffic on the Lord’s-day—a question and a discussion affording direct opportunity and lawful right, by moral suasion, to influence the hitherto unreflecting or hostile to adopt the course of truth and p. 11soberness.  And if, in so doing, honourable gentlemen did convert the half-yearly railway meetings into capitally reported Sabbath meetings, with the immense superiority of having a practical question to discuss, and to discuss most religiously, which interests even worldly men, instead of being limited, as in the others, to the grave exposition of things general, abstract, and clerical, though certainly most savoury, doctrinal, and eternally interesting—this was not only not the fault of the Sabbatarians, but it was a mighty benefit impressed on their policy by the nature and necessity of things, or rather by the very will of God himself. [11]

The struggle began under the auspices of Sir Andrew Agnew in the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway Company.  It was continued—it was successful.  It spread, as new Scottish lines opened, into the North British under the charge of Mr Blackadder—the Caledonian (alas!), of Sir Andrew Agnew—the Northern, of Mr Maitland Heriot of Ramornie—and the Central, of Mr Campbell of Monzie.  It crossed the border, and it is now maintained as an English question p. 12in the Newcastle and Carlisle line by Mr Graham of Edmond Castle—in the North-Western by Mr Thomas Greig of Manchester, the associate of Mr Cheetham of Staleybridge in the deliverance of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway from its Sabbath bondage—and in the Eastern Union by Mr Andrew Johnston of Halesworth, who was long Sir Andrew Agnew’s devoted coadjutor in Parliament.  These may be little-looking things in contrast with the gigantic railway interest which broods over the land, nestling within the palace of the prince as well as in the cabin of the peasant, and in all that is between.  But they are a beginning.  They have an existence.  They have secured a standing for themselves in the country and in the companies.  They possess an indestructible principle of life in their magic symbol, “Remember the Sabbath-day, to keep it holy”—words which render the little band as unconquerable as if they were cheered on by thousands and had the command of millions, and as confident of success—unless the country be under judgment—as the word and promise of the living God can make men to be.

It is impossible, and it would be most ungrateful, to overlook the eminent services of “The Sabbath Alliance,” itself a fruit of the agitation of the question of the Lord’s day, and a powerful agent in its cause.  Its basis is thoroughly orthodox, recognising, as it expressly does, the whole truth of God in regard to the Sabbath, its divine institution, and the perpetual obligation of the Fourth Commandment of the Moral Law.  While thus it excludes from its membership all who deny any portion of the truth, it includes in the matter of its actings all who differ on the point of the civil magistrate’s authority to interfere in regard to the observance of the day.  It thus so far restricts its actings as an Alliance as to avoid all application to the law or the legislature, save only to the effect of rescinding existing laws whose purpose is to compel p. 13disobedience to the divine law.  Nothing can be more pure or more catholic in constitution than this.  It has enabled Sir Andrew Agnew, the advocate of legislation, to embrace excellent Mr Henderson of Park on its platform, the originator and munificent endower of the Workmen’s Sabbath Essay Scheme, and of every purely “voluntary” effort, though the foe of judicial or state interference.  And that the Alliance has been practically most efficient, is proved both by the progress of the principle all over the land, and by the stir of hatred excited among the enemies, as against all its actings, so especially against that most sagacious, effective, and self-remunerating arrangement whereby the whole services of two men have been secured for the working of its work—the one resting at the centre and the other revolving round the provinces, to concentrate at once and to scatter the light of the principle, and bring the darkened masses to its enjoyment.  Let our friends be assured, that the bitter derision and invective of the infidel press directed against the “two secretaries and their salaries,” are the transparent exhibition of the sense entertained in these quarters of the power and efficacy of the labours of these two Christian gentlemen.  The country ought to support this institution more effectually than it does, and to make more true than the state of its funds and the generosity of Dr Greville and Mr Lyon admit, their gibes at the “large and lavish (!) allowances” voted to them.  The English localities likewise should, no less than the Scotch, have their “Sabbath Alliances;” and it would be honourable to the Church of England if it did not leave the work of originating them to the unestablished communions.

And so these “little people” will go vigorously on, undismayed, even though, in the inscrutable providence of Almighty God, their beloved leader be taken away from their eyes with a stroke; or though p. 14an ungodly Parliament decree, like him of old, that at what time the sound of its Act shall be heard, all people who are firemen, and stokers, and pointsmen, and railway directors, guards, or clerks, shall forsake the service of God on his holy day, and fall down and worship their golden image, and shall seduce all vagrant men and foolish maids to scorn the Word of God and do the like; certifying whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he shall, the same hour, be “fined the sum of £200 to our Sovereign Lady the Queen!”  No, no; none of these things shall influence the struggle.  Be it known, that the Sabbath observers will not regard thee, O Joseph Locke, and thy bill!  Let your bill pass to-morrow; still, not merely in our modern Babylon and over our whole land, shall the God-fearing people rise up against you for the vindication of his honour, but (be under no mistake) we will continue at our stock-holding posts, and raise our voices in your companies as of old: we will in no respect alter our tactics; we will only enlarge our position.  We will continue to move in your companies—for no human legislature can abrogate the divine law or compel conscience—‘that no systematic railway work be done on the Lord’s day;’ and we shall, in addition, there also move, ‘that the companies do petition both Houses of Parliament to rescind’ your iniquitous law.  You thus will just duplicate our motions; you will just enlarge the field of discussion.  Do your worst; “to this complexion must you come at last.”

Seriously, it is earnestly to be hoped that religious shareholders will take warning from the miserable experience of the past, and hold on, should Mr Locke’s bill pass—not giving way to a second panic, and betaking themselves to foolish flight, intimidated by the bugbear of an anti-Deity act of Parliament.  And again, while we say this in reference to the p. 15event of the bill becoming law, neither, we entreat, let the friends indulge now in any false security that it never will pass.  If it ultimately fail, it will fail only through the blessing of God on an energetic pull from the religious world at large.  Who can doubt that, if the country be quiet and seem acquiescent, the formidable minority of 122 to 131—one of the most successful openings of a new agitation ever witnessed in Parliament—will soon become a majority?  O let our friends be firmly persuaded, that no man will more please the adversary than he who counsels to withdraw from the railway companies when the bill shall pass into a law!  The great drift of the engineering interest, and secret of their bill, is to drive strife and controversy (which tell awkwardly on the share-market) out of the railway companies.  If the enemy once believe that the good men will fly, their efforts will be redoubled for its passing.  If they be given to understand that the good men will continue, after it passes, to meet them at the railway Philippis as of old, and will there treat them to two motions (and perhaps two movers—fresh Richards in the field) in place of one as before, their courage will cool, and the righteous indignation of the country against their selfishness will have time to arise for the hiding of their diminished heads, so that the truth may prevail.  Up then, we say, and be doing.  The measure may be yet discomfited.  But let it pass; let it become the law of the land—no matter; it will share the fate of Judge Jefferies’ law and James’s proclamations.  It is contrary to God’s law; it cannot stand.  It will be overthrown through the force of the Evangelical principle, which shall yet, steam-power-like, burst the bonds asunder that may have been imposed on it by engineering artifice, and stream forth on the right hand and on the left to hallow the day of sacred rest, and to refresh the land with showers of blessing.

p. 16The fact itself of the bringing in of this bill ought to be regarded by the friends of the Sabbath as a favourable indication of the state of the question in the country.  Parliament is not troubled with bills about trifles.  The Sabbath controversy was long regarded by the country, and of course by Parliament, with indifference or contempt; and had its advocates limited their efforts to the abstract question and to Exeter Hall, and mere tractism and preaching, this would have remained the prevalent mind of the country for a generation.  But so soon as the spiritual principle came to embody itself in a practical measure—so soon as the world met the Sabbath as an active agent in what is regarded as its own department, its railway coaching—indifference became abhorrence, and contempt fright; and feeling itself to be worsted from half-year to half-year in argument, and seeing its proxy-power to be sliding from under its feet, the evangelical monster came so to bulk, that it became conquerable only through the brute force of parliamentary law.  What better sign can there be than this of the stringent force of the internal railway controversy? what higher premium on its prolongation!  And if the House of Commons, on the first appearance of the hateful thing within its walls, has been a bear-garden rather than a deliberative assembly, reducing the Cowans and M‘Gregors, the Scottish representatives of the Scottish religion, pretty much to dumb-show in their moving and seconding—what is this but the Queen Street chambers of the old Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway over again, where, amidst the din of strife, was to be seen stout Macgill Crichton stretched to tiptoe height, that he might elude the circle of infuriated anti-Sabbatarian fists which compassed him about like bees, and straining his trumpet-like tones to the very crack of eardrums that he might drown their variegated vociferations?—p. 17futile attempt to ordinary-voiced mortals!  But let honourable members take courage.  This was in the railway affair, the mere surf of the near shore on the first launching of the Sabbath boat, which, once battled through, conducted to the deep-founded calm beyond.  Such, no doubt, will be the comfortable experience of the good men in Parliament, if they will but hold on and persevere.  The railway lions after a time became lambs when they were confronted in a lion-lamb like spirit; and now as they have become sober and well-behaved, so will also the worldlings of Parliament, whether titled or trading, when they shall once have made their little bully-like play.  They will soon condescend to be silent, if not to listen.  Speeches, besides, made in Parliament, should they discontent the honourable House, have the quality of telling on the country at large through the pleasant echoes of the reporters’ gallery, and the cause stuck to, will, like every other based on the rock of Bible truth, in the wisely appointed time prevail.

Quitting preliminaries and generalities, it is now time to present to the Sabbatarian soldier the manual of his exercise and tactics, to which all that goes before is introductory.  The manual shall be narrowed within the closest practicable compass.  “Be practical, be practical!” then—the frequent exclamation of our departed leader—shall be our steady aim—in medias res, our watchword.

I.  Principles of Action.

First of all, the strength of our position, the foundation on which we rest, the star which is our guide, the stay in defeat, the hope in adversity, the confidence in weakness, the power that makes invincible, is the word of God: “Remember the Sabbath-day, p. 18to keep it holy.”  The divine authority and perpetual obligation of the Fourth Commandment of the Moral Law, is the creed and test of the true Sabbatarian.  This is the sacramentum of our legion.  None who does not take it is worthy to contend in the Sabbath ranks, or will stand firm in the shock of conflict.

2.  The Sabbath contended for is one natural day in seven, every single portion of which is as sacred as every other portion; and no distinction of canonical and uncanonical, or morning and evening hours exists, or is to be listened to.  All the day is the Lord’s day.

3.  Works of necessity and mercy are not exceptions to the Sabbath rule; they are a part of the commandment implied in its terms, and authoritatively sanctioned by the Lord of the Sabbath.  But the necessity must be real, and the mercy unquestionable; the one not such as prudent foresight or patient waiting would supersede, nor the other mere trifling or mawkishness.

4.  Such being the doctrinal test of the true Sabbatarian, it may not be amiss to add, that there is a practical test which has been found valuable, viz., that he repudiates all systematic Sabbath railway traffic, whether morning or evening, and whether for man or mail—hating post-office traffic equally with railway traffic.  He rejects the morning and evening scheme both on principle and on policy—on principle, because he holds all portions of the day equally holy; and on policy, because he knows that the iniquity once insinuated into a portion of the day will diffuse itself over the whole; and that the public, once swallowing the little bait, and committing the little sin, will become familiarised with the whole evil, and soon have neither moral principle nor courage left to oppose its out-and-out establishment.  In regard, again, to the mail train, this is certainly, in the Sabbatarian’s p. 19eyes, as bad; he probably regards it as worse than the other.  The combination of both is just a double iniquity, with this aggravation, that the post-office work is a national offence, sending worldliness in all the infinite varieties of correspondence into houses and families, which, but for it, might have enjoyed the blessing of one day’s repose in seven from the destructive tear and wear of life.

5.  It follows, as a portion of the Sabbatical principle, that it never yields—no, not by a hair’s-breadth.  The command is exceeding broad, and no apparent good is a real good which involves the slightest concession.  The absolute purity of the principle is the talisman of success, never to be tarnished without ruin to the cause.

6.  It farther follows, in the memorable words of the departed Baronet, “That we have nothing to do with success; that is in better hands than ours.  We have only to do with means.”  The consequence of which is, that we never trouble ourselves with the anxious inquiries of the timid—“What chance is there of succeeding?  Have you got any more votes?  Is it worth while to try?  Is it not hopeless?” &c. &c.  Contending for the command and honour of God, these things affected our Sabbath course practically in no way; they generally were the snare of the half-and-halfers alone.  No doubt we counted our numbers, glad of their increase; but the less carefulness about these things, and the more confidence in the impregnability of the principle there is, the better for the cause, and the better for the man.

7.  Decided firmness thus is of unspeakable value in this work.  But it is not all.  It must ever be tempered with courtesy.  Temper indeed and courtesy, beautiful ornaments of the Sabbath defender, are powerful aids to his argument—“Remember, gentlemen,” said our late leader, “these men are just as well entitled to hold their opinions as we are to hold p. 20ours.  To be sure you know (smiling) they are wrong and we are right; but they must be met fairly and respectfully.  Who knows but they may come round?”  Things did indeed now and then occur to stir up his indignation, but few and far between were the rufflings of his benign heart.  To ordinary mortals they are very rarely lawful.  The practice of a friend, with whom the author was once associated in an important negotiation, is worth following on occasions of trial of temper.  When an exceedingly irritating or impertinent thing was said, he pulled out his very handsome snuff-box, and, expending his wrath in a violent rap on the lid, and noisy draught of its contents within his inflated nostrils, proceeded thereafter to the reply, which was not the less effective for the pause.

II.  Mode of Action before Meetings.

1.  Two men (or any greater number, ad libitum) thus principled, having established themselves in a railway company by the purchase of (at least) as much stock as will yield a vote, may proceed to action without fear.  The whole agitation in the railway companies so began; and, for many a long day, it was carried on but by a handful. [20]  They were strong, however, in the strength of their position and foundation; and the band grew and multiplied.

2.  Let the men who enter the arena be assured that it is very good to arrange with the clergy and religious classes of the town where railway companies have their headquarters, to hold meetings for public and private prayer, and to appoint these especially for the Sabbath preceding the railway meetings; for it must be reiterated to satiety, that the struggle is a religious one; and while there is even worldly policy p. 21in ever keeping this prominently before the public mind, there is undoubtedly a blessing on believing prayer.  It cannot fail.

3.  In the same way, the little band must meet before the hour of the company meeting, and join in prayer.  The Edinburgh and Glasgow handful never appeared in the Queen Street Chambers without having previously in the Bath Hotel, or other rendezvous, prostrated themselves before Almighty God, in earnest seeking of his guidance.  And then, come weal or come woe, every thing came right.  This previous meeting is useful for other than the business of prayer.  Here it is right to arrange the order of battle for the day.  The parties to move and second, for instance, must here be fixed, as well as the skirmishers who are to be ready to support them.  The motion to be made must also be determined on.

4.  On this subject, it may, after all experience, be stated that the best motion to make is, “That no systematic traffic be carried on on the Lord’s-day.”  This form of words excludes the obnoxious thing, meets the commandment, and leaves an opening for all needful arrangements for “necessity and mercy” cases—a class multiplied and magnified to worldly vision, but scarce known in fact and truth.

III.  Mode of Action at the Meetings.

1.  On this subject, it is of great consequence for the party to be well versed in the forms of conducting the business of a public meeting.  These, in general, are borrowed from the admirable, and most just, and time-saving forms of the House of Commons, more or less acknowledged, and, it may be added, increasingly adopted at all public meetings in this country.  The genius and principle of these forms is, and the duty of a faithful chairman ever is, the protection of the minority.  A majority is always safe, and can protect itself.  But the form of business throws a shield p. 22over the minority by securing a hearing, or a standing at least, for all, in spite of clamour and violence.  It is to be remembered that on every new question there is a right to speak once; and it is advisable that no friend should attempt to speak more than once.  He can thereby better challenge the like liberty when taken by the obstreperous opponents.  He may indeed “explain;” but a good chairman will rigidly enforce the rule against multiplied speeches.  Where, indeed, a gentleman says merely, “I second the motion,” he is not thereby exposed on rising afterwards to the “Spoke, spoke,” which ordinarily shuts mouths; on the contrary, he is understood as having reserved his fire for an adversary, and must have his full swing.  But the great protection is, the right of moving an amendment to any effect, and upon any motion; and, an amendment moved and seconded, the chairman must allow to be debated and put.  Where two or more amendments are moved, the two last are put against each other till the ground be cleared of all but the original motion and amendment, which are then voted.  This is not quite the House of Commons’ amendment system; but it is a very good one, well adapted to Scotch ideas.  The mover, it will be kept in view, has always a right of reply; and this suggests the practical remark, that the party, having chosen a leader, should always stick by him; for much depends on his judgment and tact as to the time to speak or to be silent, the time to ask for more or to ask for less, as the tide ebbs or flows, and so forth.

2.  Where the business of the meeting is conducted with fairness, it is advisable to allow the directors’ report to be discussed and disposed of, and to leave the secular business proper to be settled before the Sabbath motion—which is the secular-sacred—be tabled.  But where there are symptoms of unfairness, and of a disposition to suppress the discussion, then the safe p. 23course is to move an amendment on the motion for approval of the report, to the effect that it be disallowed in so far as it sanctions Sabbath traffic.  A strictly courteous mover and seconder cannot be overborne, even where there is force and unfairness.  A protest tabled with the clerk, or, if rejected by him, taken (as once the Friends were driven to) in the hands of a notary-public, will put all right.

3.  One thing to be added is, that the Sabbath party ought to make a point at all meetings of dividing.  Generally the personal attendance of friends is greater than their proxy strength; and it is very encouraging to the friends to know one another by face.  On the contrary, there are not a few of the opponents who feel themselves somewhat in an awkward predicament—professors not quite relishing the exhibition of themselves as enemies of the Sabbath; and who knows but that, where this feeling is found, it is symptomatic of incipient change?  At any rate, the division brings all the real friends into prominent action; and so, their names being dotted down at the time by the whipper-in, they may be summoned henceforth to the private meetings, and become doubly efficient; as much more so than before, as a party of drilled soldiers are than an awkward squad of recruits.

4.  And this leads us to say, that all friends should, where possible, attend in person, instead of resting at home and flying their mere proxy into the field.  The moral influence of the living man is great.  It ought always, besides, to be remembered, that where directors fight within a wall of majorities, personal and proxy-form, the defenders of the faith are exposed to an overbearing pressure, which is to be met with a serried strength on their side.  Their great point is, to be heard, that they may speak the words of truth in the ears of the company and of the country.  But this the adversary instinctively hates; and this, p. 24therefore, he shifts where he can.  But where the Sabbath phalanx is not only compact but strong, it makes itself to be respected and heard.  Therefore the friends are exhorted to come to the meetings.

5.  We add a word on the subject of the proxy system at large, which gives an unlimited preponderance to wealth over number.  Bad as this is, it would be tolerable if wealth must always hear before it strikes.  But the proxy system acts without hearing.  Directors spending the monies of companies in providing themselves with proxies, establish for themselves a sort of despotic power, which, even after an argument that would have reached the conscience of wealth itself had it been there to listen, declares its pre-determination, and proceeds in its reckless course, regardless of reasons.  This is a system which ought to be stopped by act of parliament.  The power of granting proxies should be taken away; and then the truth on every question, secular as well as sacred, would have fair play.  For the wholesome effect would not be limited to the Sabbath question.  There are many things coming home to worldly business and bosoms which the ventilation of personal attendance would greatly tend to rectify.

6.  The Sabbath party had better not generally incur the expense of proxies; they should merely ask individual proprietors to send them in extraordinary cases.  Their best general policy is, to request friendly shareholders, prevented by necessary causes from giving personal attendance, to address letters to the leader expressive of their adherence to the cause, and adding the number of shares held by them.  These the leader will put in by way of exordium to his speech, naming a few of the more influential and conspicuous.

7.  It is necessary to add, that the debate having proceeded, and the motion being disposed of—it may for the present be assumed unfavourably—the p. 25leader then publicly intimates that he will renew it at the next ordinary meeting.  It will be right for him to see that this notice is minuted, for thereby it enters the advertisement of the following meeting.  He must, at the same time, give a public notice on the adjournment, that there will be a meeting of the friends at a place and hour to be then named; for in addition to the preparatory meeting, before the assembling of the shareholders, already adverted to, it is always good to hold another after their adjournment; first, for the purpose of unitedly rendering thanks to Almighty God for what may have taken place, confessing the sin that may have mingled itself, and asking strength and counsel for the future; and secondly, for the purpose of arranging the course of policy for the ensuing six months.

8.  One important point remains to be considered.  What ought to be the subject-matter of the railway debate?  On this point it is proper to bear in mind, that while, at the opening of the controversy, the discussion most properly assumed a polemical form, embracing questions of Christian faith at large as opposed to dissolute infidelity, latterly the field has been considerably narrowed.  Whether the enemy were driven from the infidel position by the power of argument or the force of shame, we know not; but latterly the line of defence has fallen back very much on the “necessity and mercy” plea, which of course assumes the divine authority of the day of rest.  And most certainly it is advisable to follow their lead, and address the argument as to Christians frankly and avowedly, leaving all others to vindicate and vote for their Sabbath traffic at pleasure.  This saves the necessity of a great deal of preaching; for if, according to the standards of all evangelical churches, the Lord’s day is to be kept as a sacred day of rest—the institution of God himself—then it must be vain to argue with men professing to be members of these p. 26churches who advocate its breach otherwise than as a question of mere necessity and mercy; because, when they go farther, they in the very act violate their own principles.  This pre-eminently applies to all members of the Church of England, all of whom, after having read the fourth commandment in its solemn particulars, are accustomed to exclaim on their knees, “Lord have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law!”

9.  The question of necessity and mercy then, which alone remains, is capable of much and varied illustration, and deserves and will repay careful study.  In a few words, it may be stated as a question, Whether, in order to provide for the few and far between real cases of this description, it is necessary or expedient to entail on the railway staff of the whole island, the tyrannical burden of a toil which knows neither interval nor remission, from week to week and from year’s end to year’s end, save the middle of the night—if that—and as completely deprives unhappy railway officials of the moral and religious blessings of God’s appointed Sabbath as if they were so many beasts.  London proclaims that the land needs no Sabbath post.  Old Scotland proclaims that it needs no Sabbath coach.  Where then is the necessity? where the mercy?  Echo answers, Where?

10.  On the subject of motions for statistics bearing on the number of Sabbath travellers, and the expense, and consequent profit (or loss) of Sabbath traffic, let the Sabbath leader free himself as much as possible of either.  The profit or the loss forms no portion of his principle, just because it forms no part of the commandment; and he is apt, entering into this walk of inquiry, to be ensnared into secularity, whereof the enemy always takes strong and sometimes unfair advantage.  Besides, through the process of “cooking” (using this technical term in the gentlest and honestest sense of which it is susceptible), p. 27he can always be defeated in his attempt to establish a loss.  He knows, that “in keeping of the commandment there is great reward;” and that is his strength even on the profit and loss account.

11.  It may be very right, however, for some skirmisher in his band to call for Sabbath statistics; and it is believed that these, when perfectly fair, will support the good cause.  But the less the leader has to do with them the better.  The more indeed he can, in a missionary way, penetrate into the dwellings of the stokers and switchmen, and there learn, for the public good, the Sabbath statistics of the man, with his declension from the washed face and decent garb, family worship and patriarchal walk to neighbouring church with wife and children, downwards to the greasy hand and clouded face, and cast clothing, and hasty meal, and testy temper, and troubled wife and larking children, of the now Sabbath-breaker—the more of this the better.  O, surely, as the Sabbath was made for man, so pre-eminently was it made for the working man, for the poor man!  To him, however, the railway director says: “Thou shalt not remember the Sabbath-day; thou shalt not keep it holy; in it thou shalt not only not do no work, but thou shalt do much work.  To the poor the gospel shall not be preached.”

Lastly.  One point of policy, resting on a solid truth, is, while addressing shareholders and proprietors at large, to lay the responsibility of all the Sabbath delinquencies of railways leadingly on the directors.  There is not a doubt of the general fact, that where directors take a righteous view of the matter, they easily carry the proprietors, who relieve themselves by devolving responsibility on their boards, and thinking by proxy.  Then it is to be remembered that the mass of monied men, who invest for gain, covet Sabbath gains; and so whenever a body of directors quietly have the same wish, but do not relish the shame, they tell the p. 28shareholders that the matter is left to their decision, and down comes the desired proxy power, to which they, “nothing loth,” blushingly consent.  Now, were such a course as this adopted by the Sabbatarians, they would be, in no measured terms, charged with hypocrisy.  Good men, however, must use good words; and therefore all we say is, that directors would be safer in their position, and more respected, if they frankly avowed their opinions, whatever these might be, and claimed the support of the constituency to them.  It is right, therefore, that all talk about directorship impartiality, when the Sabbath is left by them to the tender mercies of the Stock Exchange, should be courteously rejected, and the charge of the evil fastened on the right shoulders, and pressed on their consciences in the face of all, even the most pathetic, disclaimers.

The office of the directorship is equally delicate and important; and it is a singular fact that the chairmen, now or lately, of the whole line from London to Aberdeen (Mr Carr Glyn, Mr Hasell, Mr Hope Johnstone, Lord Breadalbane, and Lord Wharncliffe), are men of decided religious profession.  Now, where the Breadalbanes and Forrests, the Hendersons and the Grahams, the Greigs and the Campbells, take office with the purpose of protecting the Sabbath, they merit the homage of the whole Christian world for placing themselves on their vantage ground in the fore-front of the battle; and we entreat them to allow no adverse circumstance whatever to withdraw them from their post of influence and power.  To all others who, like these, make a religious profession, but support the Lord’s-day traffic, we say, “You have no call of duty compelling you to be railway directors.  Your churches condemn the traffic which you maintain; you paralyse their discipline, and greatly weaken them by your public counteraction of their principles.  Put your practice in accordance p. 29with your profession; protect the Sabbath in your place of power, or come out from among them and be separate.”

IV.  Miscellaneous.

1.  Careful regard should be had to the due reporting of the Sabbath debates in the newspapers.  It is impossible to overrate the importance of this department of the agitation.  Its difficulty almost equals its importance; for generally the newspaper press is hostile.  However, if the speeches be short, pithy, and pungent, seasoned with facts, at once good-humoured and high-principled, the reporters will insert them; and, as the question grows in intensity and in public interest, the debate will command attention.

Expense ought to be liberally devoted to this branch of the work; and the best way is, to order large numbers of such of the papers for circulation as give tolerable reports.

2.  On this subject of newspapers, it ought not to be at meeting times alone that they should be cultivated, but at all times.  Whenever any matter of fact bearing on the question occurs, let it be communicated to the newspapers; and in a quiet, impartial way, not in that inflated partisan tone so natural to an ardent zeal.  Let the fact tell, and not the way of telling it.  In this way the fact, if interesting at all, will re-appear, through the excellent process of scissaring, in other public journals, and possibly in some which would be scared by any high seasoning, or what they would call cant.  Letter-writing is an excellent and necessary thing in an agitation.  Sir Andrew Agnew used to say that, when he lost his seat in Parliament and his franking power, his wings were clipt.  Mr Rowland Hill has given wings to all men (and women) by his penny postage; and there is not a moral or religious cause in the land which has not p. 30benefited by his scheme.  But, if letter-writing be good, paragraphing is much better.  In the Sabbath cause, when any thing new occurs, people oppress themselves by writing numberless letters to impart the intelligence.  They do well, for in this way they reach a little circle.  But were they, for their many letters, to substitute one considered “paragraph,” they would do better, for they would at once inform a thousand correspondents; and not only so, but secure the publication of their tale in newspapers by dozens, each of which might have its thousand readers.  A letter slays its thousands, but a paragraph slays its tens of thousands.  “Paragraph! paragraph! paragraph!” then, say we to all the friends.  And not only paragraph the information you yourselves possess; but when any misjudging friend sends you a letter with his tale, paragraph it too, and without delay, ordering of course a few copies of the paper to friends—themselves, in their turn, to become new sources of light.  Should they get also from the paper a few slips of the article (costing the mere paper and pressmen’s wages), they might, with good effect, fly them off with their ordinary letters, and still wider disseminate the truth.

It is taken for granted that, when a paper or other periodical will admit a controversial article of argument, admission is earnestly to be sought for it.  But facts shortly stated tell best, at least in the general newspaper press; and particular care should be taken at all times to suffer no hostile statement or article to pass without its correction or answer.  It is always undesirable, in a labour of this kind, to allow any evil impression to settle down undisturbed on the public mind.  It may not look formidable at first, but it festers and ferments, and by and by comes to bulk large, or explodes in a formidable way.  In an arduous Edinburgh struggle some years ago, the p. 31author knows that three gentlemen, in a manner, beat the town, by meeting every day, with every newspaper laid before them, and following up every statement with an instant answer and exposure—a sort of incessant battery against which nothing can stand.  So annoyed was one worthy opponent by the clatter, that, fastening on the obnoxious three, he said, “There will be no rest for the toon, till H., B., and C, are hanged on a gallows on the Castlehill!”

The power of the newspaper press is infinite.  It is like the caloric of nature; it overspreads the whole face of society; it insinuates itself into the darkest and coldest, and penetrates the most obtuse, regions.  The ever-recurring “article” is like the water-drop, which, small and light in look, will, oft repeated, pierce the hardest rock.  To the religious press the obligations of the friends of this cause are unspeakable; and the irreligious helps it too, if not by its violence, at least by its constrained spreading of intelligence, for, with exceptions, the newspaper press at large is fair.

3.  Let it be a rule at the headquarters of each of the contested railways—the town where its meetings are held—to keep a list of the Sabbath friends in all the other towns, in each of which it is very important to have some one known leader, or medium of communication; [31] and during the interval between half-yearly p. 32meetings, care should be taken, by mutual interchanges, to keep them one and all in full information of every important thing that happens, or suggestion that occurs, in any place.  Lists also should be kept of all the friends in the different places; and the way to secure this is for every one, when he hears of a new Sabbatarian, to dot down his name on the instant, and send it every where.  This is an excellent freemasonry.

4.  It is, in one sense, needless to say—but it is most important—that every effort should be made to prevail on friends to buy into railway companies.  Let not the smallness of the purchase in any case lead to indifference about making it.  Its true value may be great, though in numerical worth it is little.  Sir Andrew Agnew fought the battle of the Sabbath at Glasgow on a £50 stock certificate; and at periods of depression the qualification may be acquired for much less.  Moral weight ever tells; and, when it also has a tongue, it tells more emphatically.

5.  In this view, it would be of admirable effect if churches would collect, and invest their clergymen with railway qualifications.  Where, for example, a railway, in passing through a parish, annoys the clergyman by the falling away of this good man and that good man, tempted to his soul’s ruin by the holiday p. 33pastimes or comfortable berths thrown in his way by the railway managers, how influential would it be if the bereaved shepherd of the flock came to the directorship wolves, and upbraided them to their faces—if conscience were too steeled for entreaty—on account of their unhallowed leading of the poor into temptation!  And how impressive is the doctrinal lecture of the godly minister at the meeting, as he answers the flippant sophistries issuing from the chairs of railway power, or from its monied benches!  Dr Mackellar, Dr M‘Farlane, Mr Leake, and Mr Macnaughtan, have often sent the enemy away with that dart in the heart or confusion in the face, which, through a blessing from on high, may yet reach even an obdurate railway nature.

6.  Great good has been experienced from the presence of clergymen at the railway meetings.  Some of them, indeed, shrink from the railway contest as if it were out of their sphere.  But Parliament has consigned the Sabbath to the keeping of the railway shareholders; and is there a solid ground for doubting whether clergymen are in the way of duty when they qualify, for the purpose of lifting their voice in its defence?  They are not injured when worldly men speak all manner of evil against them for the Lord’s sake, unless they revile again when they are reviled.  On the contrary, their Christian graces are stirred up by the exercise; and they shine more bright—their enemies themselves being judges—when subjected to the friction of rough usage.  But of this they will experience little.  It is the laity who form the object of attack; and clergymen may be assured that their respected presence less exposes them than it shields the laity.  Clergymen speak authoritatively on points of doctrine, and few even of the boldest laymen presume to controvert their doctrine openly, or, if they do, they injure their own cause more than they shake the p. 34truth.  Ministers thus preach the gospel in season and out of season.

7.  Parliament having taken up the Sabbath subject, it is well to bear these two advices in mind.  First, To send petitions, not to the Plumptres and Breadalbanes of either House because they are known friends; but to the member for the particular locality petitioning, or to any one of the lords who may be resident in the neighbourhood, and known to, or interested in, the people.  And, second, to see that letters be written to these noble and honourable persons by electors, or other influential individuals of the district (ladies included), as numerously as possible.  If similar letters be also written to the known friends in Parliament, apprising them of the petition, and requesting their attendance and support when it is presented, practical good will by and by be the result.

Last, but not least, the doing of these things requires money.  It shall not be believed, that if the doing of them be right, the means of doing will be wanting; for they must be done by religious men; and religious men will not withhold money where it is wanted for the service of God.


Resuming this whole matter, we urge on the religion of the country, and with equal earnestness and confidence, the conviction, that it is always easy to establish an efficient Sabbath railway action in any railway company, however cold or hostile the country may be.  If two gentlemen of principle and determination take as much stock as will afford to each a vote, and one of them give notice that, at the next meeting, he will move against Sabbath traffic; if he and his second be at their post on that occasion, and make their speeches—no matter how long or how short—calmly, resolutely, and with imperturbable good temper; the thing is done.  They lose, of course, at first; but the question is entered.  They renew p. 35their notice quietly for next meeting after each defeat; the affair moves forward, gathering strength as it goes; and there is a sort of awe about the commandment, which tells on the most hostile: the motion becomes a subject of talk, possibly of annoyance: but the leaven works; it appears in the actings of other companies, spreading encouragement all around: the power of reiteration is felt: the religion of England is roused, and minds are indoctrinated with the truth which might never otherwise have come in contact with it: the enterprise looks formidable at first; but the Word of God prevails; and, if the triumph be long of coming, its postponement is but a trial of faith.

Let our two imagined shareholders, thinking over the matter in their homes, stir up themselves to see, that while England boasts, with justice, of its May meetings, they may yet give it its Spring meetings and its Autumn meetings.  They may, by their introduction of the Sabbath question into the railways, be the instruments of establishing Spring meetings and Autumn meetings, not less efficient in their own sphere than those of May, in drawing out and diffusing and consolidating the righteous principles of the country, and its holy practice in regard to the observance of the Lord’s-day; that test, cause, and fruit of the religious character of any people.  For the practical use of all such devoted men, wherever they may be, they are here presented, within a little compass, with

A Summary of Railway Spring and Summer Preparations.

1.  Let our two friends apply to the company for lists of the proprietors of the railways on which it is meant to act.  Having obtained these (as shareholders are entitled by law to have them),

2.  Let them prepare a general circular to railway proprietors, concisely expounding the railway Sabbath p. 36question, and intimating that it is to be brought forward at the ensuing meetings, and asking support.

3.  This circular being printed, may be addressed inside, in manuscript, to each individual, specifying all the railways in the lists of which his name is found.  Being addressed outside to him, one postage will cover many railways.

4.  This circular should be issued early, without waiting the fixing of the day of railway meetings; the parties being requested in it to advert to these as they are notified to them or advertised by the companies.

5.  Let them arrange previously with the movers of the question on each railway; and, if possible, name them (with their addresses) in the circular, requesting interim communications as to each railway, to be addressed to the movers before the meetings.

6.  In the circular inclose a slip (marked private) to known friends, containing an intimation that the friends of the Sabbath will meet to consult one hour before, and also immediately after the ensuing railway meetings, at places named.  Let this slip also state, that the circular is issued in sufficient time to enable friends to get others to buy stock for the meetings, and let it ask a reply containing the number of shares held.

7.  Let the slip farther contain lists of the directors of the different railway companies operated on, and let the friends, male and female, before the meetings, be urged to write to such of the directors or officials as they know (or whether they know them or not), pleading with them against the desecration of the Sabbath, assuring them that they, not the shareholders, are the real authors of the evil, and intreating them to desist.

8.  Let this good system be systematically persevered p. 37in from half year to half year; and it will soon bear fruit in a wide array of Sabbath defenders, and a general diffusion of Sabbath principles.


In conclusion, this manual of policy, which, from its very nature, assumes a worldly aspect, cannot close without one general observation of an important character: That while there is ever much liability to forget, in the active use of means, the earnest exercise of faith, so there is a faith which underrates means, and is, in fact, a tempting of God, and a foolishness.  When Æsop told his waggoner to help himself and Jove would help him, he showed the cloven foot of his heathenism, and despised God.  But when Oliver Cromwell told his men at the fosse of Newark, to pray to God and keep their powder dry, he not only violated no principle, but put himself in thorough accordance with the Scripture principle.  In like manner, under the deepest conviction that all which poor mortals can do is to use the means and pray, while the success of the means used rests entirely with God, it is trusted that in these pages not a sentiment is breathed, or a department of policy recommended, which is not based on this great principle.  Nothing gives such boldness and confidence in a religious struggle, as an abiding sense of man’s impotence and God’s omnipotence: nothing so fortifies against reverses, and gives such light in darkness; and nothing, we will add, so disturbs the enemy as to see the insignificant little band, bolder without visible strength amidst all their littleness, than he is amidst all his Xerxes-like grandeur and profusion of numbers.

Let us hear, however, the conclusion of the whole matter.  “Remember the Sabbath-day, to keep it holy.”  “Contend earnestly for the faith.”  “My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”  “When I am weak then I p. 38am strong.”  “I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.”  “Therefore will not we fear.”  “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.  Selah.”


P.S.—The London Railway Record of 7th July, contains the following important acknowledgment by an enemy, of the value of the Railway agitation:—“Let us admit, however, that the present Sabbatarian movement is remarkably practical in its character, and in its working, if not in its objects.  Sir A. Agnew agitated the question originally by public declamation, with zeal and enthusiasm but without method.  It was not till the Sabbatarians hit upon the plan of buying up railway stock, and proposing and seconding, and sometimes carrying, practical resolutions at railway meetings that any success was achieved.  The originator of this plan, we find from an essay reprinted from the Free Church Magazine, was Sir Andrew Agnew’s fidus Achates, Mr J. Bridges of Edinburgh, who, in the essay referred to, recounts the exploits of his party with emphasis, and who certainly deserves credit for a suggestion which has done so much to serve his cause.  How far we differ—in degree—from those who hold the uncompromising tenets of the ultra-Sabbatarian School we have already stated.  Nevertheless we sympathise with the railway station clerk, who in the Times of yesterday so bitterly denounces the slavery which denies him, and 4000 others, one day of rest from the 1st of January to the 31st of December.”






[10]  The Lord’s-day Society’s recent efforts in the Sabbath Post-Office question have been very excellent.

[11]  Now that death has withdrawn my honoured Friend from the field of mortal strife, it may not be uninteresting to quote a letter from him, written on his death-bed, which may truly be regarded as containing his dying testimony to the truth of these principles, having informed him that the Rev. Dr Begg a powerful friend of the Sabbath, but doubter hitherto as to the soundness of the principle of stockholding, had seen cause to adopt it, Sir Andrew wrote—

“5 Rutland Square,
22d March 1849.

My Dear Mr Bridges.—Many thanks for your kind letter of sympathy and frequent enquiries.  I have had the scarlet fever in all its severities, primary and secondary, and I do not quickly revive, but feel exhausted by the slightest exertion.  I rejoice to hear of Dr Begg’s adherence to the national railway war.  I am confident 7000 more will be raised up to see that the directors are the grand offenders (shareholders their cat’s-paws), and that it is a great privilege to meet the offenders face to face every six months, according to law.  With much gratitude, yours very truly,

And. Agnew.”

He died on the 12th of April.

[20]  It may not be unacceptable to state, that for long Messrs Charles Philip, Smyttan, and Macgill Crichton, with the author, formed the whole of Sir Andrew Agnew’s Sabbath railway band.

[31]  For example:—

Aberdeen—Alexander Thomson, Esq. of Banchory.

Belfast—John Lytle, Esq.

Bath—Melmoth Walters, Esq.




Carlisle—T. H. Graham, Esq., Edmond Castle.

Cupar, Fife—D. M. M. Crichton, Esq. of Rankeillour.



Dundee—William Hay, Esq.

Edinburgh—Dr Greville, 6 York Place.

Folkstone—Alexander Swan, Esq.

Glasgow—W. Guthrie, Esq., West George’s Street.

Greenock—... Macfie, Esq.

Ipswich—Andrew Johnston, Esq., Halesworth.

Leith—Charles Philip, Esq.

London—Joseph Wilson.  Esq.  Clapham Park.  Rev. T. S. Baylee, 2 Exeter Hall.


Manchester—Thomas Greig.  Esq., Cornbrook Park.

Newcastle-on-Tyne—T. G. Bell, Esq.

Paisley—Archibald Gardener, Esq.

Perth—Alexander Campbell, Esq. of Monzie.


Stirling—Peter Drummond, Esq.


Volunteers for the blank towns (and the names of omitted towns with their volunteers) may be sent to the publishers.