History of the Restoration Movement

Scotland’s Influence Of Reformation



A. John Wyclif’s Reform In England – 14th Century.

B. Introduction into Scotland of Lutheranism in the 16th Century by Patrick Hamilton and George Wisehart.

C. John Knox’s Introduction of Reformed Church – 1559


I. Background To Glas Movement in the 18th Century.

A. The Protestant insistence upon absolute authority of Scriptures.

B. Ecclesiastical (Church) independence & autonomy of churches.

C. The development of the presbytery.

D. The assimilation of Calvinistic belief in Scottish churches while rejecting Catholicism & Lutheranism.


II. The Earliest Reforms Of Scotland

A. John Wyclif – 1329 – 1384

1. In 1365, 1 yr. Prior to Wyclif’s resignation, 81 passports were granted to Scottish students to study at Oxford.

2. In 1415, French Catholic theologian & President of the University of Paris, Jean Gerson (1363-1429), complained about the uprise of Wycliffe’s ideas in Scotland.

B. Luthranism

1. Lutheran books were entering Scotland to the point that in 1525 the Scottish Parliament banned the bringing in of any Lutheran material into Scotland.

C. Tyndale’s Bible In Scotland – 1525 — This new English translation was widely used in Scotland by 1530.

D. Patrick Hamilton, 1504-1528 – 1st Reformer

1. Ordained priest who led the first reformation in Scotland.

2. He had spent 6 months in Germany with Luther.

3. Debated an envoy from the Catholic church, Alexander Alesius and converted him as a result.

4. He believed the concept of celibacy in the church was wrong.

a. Pressing the point by marrying.

b. Archbishop Beaton of St. Andrews strongly opposed it.

c. Led to his being seized and burned at the stake, Feb. 29, 1528

d. Such did not sit well with the people of Scotland.

E. George Wisehart – 2nd Reformer

1. Forced into exile in 1538 due to a heresy charge by Catholic Church.

a. Fled to Strasbourg, and on to Zurich, influenced by Swiss reformers.

b. Influenced to hold to Biblical Authority for faith and practice.

2. Through him, many Reformers in Scotland heralded Biblical authority.

3. Returned to Scotland in 1544.

a. Preached Protestantism.

b. Calvinism (Swiss influence)

c. Authority of Scriptures

d. Presbyterian (elders) form of Church government.

e. Local autonomy of churches.

4.  Between 1544 and 1546, John Knox began following Wishart on preaching tours.

a. Was present at Wisehart’s arrest on Jan. 16, 1546.

b. Wisehart defended himself before accuser (Cardinal Beaton)

c. 18 articles read against him.

d. He was against purgatory, mass, transubstantiation, the sacraments, veneration of saints, & celibacy.

5. He was sentenced to being burned at the stake.

a. Furious uproar among the people as a result.

b. Cardinal Beaton was murdered on May 28, 1546 in retaliation of Wisehart’s death.

F. Scottish Catholicism was a factor in bringing on Reform.

1. Immorality

a. Cardinal Beaton of St. Andrews had nine children.

b. Bishop Hepburn had ten by different mothers.

2. In 1558 the Catholic General Provincial Council enacted several statutes condemning concubines, rearing children in households, designating money to rear illegitimate children.

3. Not only were the religious leaders immoral, but also incompetent.

4. As a result many Catholics stayed away from masses.

a. Problem so bad that in 1558 the council passed a statute of punishment for those who willfully absented themselves from mass.

5. As much as any factor that lead to the reformation in Scotland, the internal decay of the Catholic Church greatly contributed as much as any.

G. John Knox – 1514 –

1. Ordained priest after attending University of Glasgow and St. Andrews.

2. 1546 – associated with Wisehart.

3. 1547 – The next year entered the Protestant stronghold at St. Andrews (where Cardinal Beaton had been murdered) for protection.

a. In July, 1547 the Catholics overtook the stronghold with French naval help.

b. Knox served the next 19 mos. as slave in the galley of a French naval vessel – released in 1549

4. After release received a Protestant preacher’s license from English King Edward VI (son of Henry VIII) in 1549.

5. In 1553, (Catholic Queen Mary Tudor came to throne in England he fled to Europe and met John Calvin in Geneva.

a. Calvin’s influence on Knox was what carried Calvinism to Scotland upon Knox’s return after the death of Mary.

b. Close friend to Calvin until his death in 1564.

6. 1559 – Knox returned to Scotland

a. Political Crisis in Scotland at the time

1) Elizabeth came to English throne in 1558.

2) Mary, Queen Of Scots, recently recognized as queen of France was regarded as the rightful heir to the English throne.

3) The French plan to use Scotland as a base to overtake England failed as a result of Scottish Protestants who were aided by the English fighting against them.

b. Knox believed that the TRUE church had 3 distinct marks:

1) True preaching of the Word of God.

2) Church discipline was to be administered as God’s Word prescribes.

3) The right administration of the sacraments of Christ.

c. The Scot’s Confession was passed by the Reformed faith.

1) Abolished papal rule in Scotland

2) Abolished all doctrines and practices contrary to new confession.

3) Forbade the celebration of mass.

d. By year’s end the General Assembly for the Reformed Church of Scotland was formed.

7. Wrote Two Disciplines

a. The Book of Discipline - 1560

1) Baptism and the Lord’s Supper could be administered where the word of God was preached.

b. The Second Book of Discipline – 1575

 H. Scotland’s Reform After Knox.

1. In May, 1597, King James VI of Scotland became involved strongly in Reformed church affairs.

2. In 1603, he ascended to the English throne as King James I

3. He sought to unite the Scottish Reform church and the English church.

4. In August, 1647 the General Assembly of Edinburgh adopted the Calvinistic document intended to bind the churches in Britain together called the “Westminster Confession of Faith.”


III. John Glas

A. Background

1. Born Sept. 21, 1695, Fife, Scotland

2. Father, Thomas was a minister for the Church of Scotland.

3. John attended grammar school at Perth and later attended St. Leonard’s College at St. Andrews. M.A. – May 6, 1713

4. Then attended University of Edinburgh

5. Received a Calvinistic education both at home and from University.

6. Licensed as a Presbyterian minister at Dunkeld Presbytery on May 20, 1718, later at Tealing in Forfarshire May 6, 1719.

a. There 5 years.

B. His ministry.

1. Determined early on to make the Word of God his sole rule of conduct.

2. Very early at Tealing he began preaching a series of lessons from the Shorter Catechism (Presbyterian Manual)

a. Noted there were strong differences in it at the Bible.

b. He remained silent at first.

3. In 1727 he wrote The Testimony of the King of Martyrs Concerning His Kingdom.

a. Opposed state churches and

b. Intervention of civil authorities in church matters.

4. Came to realize concerning the church:

a. It was composed of those who had experienced the grace of Christ.

b. Separated themselves from the world

c. Gathered themselves in the church

d. Therefore, no place for Civil affairs.

5. Ultimately separated from the Tealing church and started an Independent church, July 13, 1725. – 100 persons attended.

a. They agreed to follow Christ the Lord.

b. Work together in brotherly love.

c. Subjecting themselves to Mr. Glas as overseer in the Lord.

d. Observed the Lords Supper monthly. (rather than quarterly in Scottish church.

e. Follow the practice of church discipline found in Matthew 18

f. Formed themselves into a Society of believers – Still a Presbyterian.

C. Divisions Continued

1. August 6, 1726 at Strathmartine.

2. Began at John 6:69 and went to John 18:36,37 showing that Christ’s kingdom was not of this world.

a. Therefore No earthly kingdom.

b. No earthly civil designation of authority — Keep in mind that the prevalent thought of the day was that the nature of the Kingdom was physical. e.g. William, The Conqueror, 1066 – “Domesday Book” commissioned in 1085 to list all the businesses of G.B. for the purpose of readying for the kingdom of Christ on earth.

c. This was close to treason

3. He was brought before a number of synod meetings.

a. Sept. 6, 1726 – Presbytery of Dundee

b. Oct. 1726 – Synod of Dundee

c. April, 1727 – Synod of Angus and Mearns

d. Oct, 1727 – Synod of Montrose

e. April, 1728 – Synod of Angus and Mearns.

1) Members submitted 26 questions to Glas and his reply was discussed.

2) Glas suspended as minister

f. Appeal at General assembly in Edinburgh, May 2, 1728.

g. October 17,1728 – Synod of Dundee

1) Should they continue the suspension of depose Glas?

2) They voted to depose, (kick him out of the church.)

i. He appealed to the highest church court, but on March 12, 1730 the high court confirmed his deposition.

j. In 1739 the General Assembly broke precedence and revoked the sentence of deposition.

1) Though it restored Glas as a minister, it didn’t restore him as a minister of the church of Scotland.

2) Glas never requested this, but it’s happening showed a sign of softening against Congregationalism.

E. The Last Years Of His Ministry.

1. In 1730 he continued to minister to the new Tealing Society.

2. Moved to Dundee and opened a bookstore to support himself.

3. Moved to Perth in 1733

a. His independent reputation was not quickly accepted here.

b. When opening his new meetinghouse there, some of the town people threw mud at the attendees.

c. The town clerk, George Miller, intervened and kept the meetinghouse from being destroyed.

4. In 1734 Glas established a congregational church in Edinburgh.

a. There met a man named Robert Sandeman.

b. Later Sandeman became his son-in-law.

5. Churches sprang up all over Scotland – though Dundee church remained the strongest.

6. John Glas died November 2, 1773 – 78 years of age

a. Survived by 15 children, wife had died in 1749

b. Most of family is buried at Dundee in “Old Howff” cemetery.


IV. Robert Sandeman

A. Background

1. Born April 19, 1718.

2. His father, David, a linen merchant and magistrate in Perth.

3. Attended the University of Edinburgh to prepare for the ministry in the Church of Scotland. - 1734

4. As a youth he became acquainted with John Glas & his ideas.

5. In 1735 he returned to Perth to begin an apprenticeship in the weaving business (now convinced that he would not be a minister)

6. In 1737 he married Katherine, the daughter of John Glas.

7. Set up a weaving business in 1740.

8. In 1744 he left the business and devoted more time to church.

9. In 1756 his brother Thomas married another of Glas’ daughters, Anne Glas.

B. Church Work.

1. In 1744, aged 26, he became elder of Perth Congregational Church.

2. For next 16 years he preached at Perth, Dundee, and finally at Edinburgh.

3. In 1757 he wrote a 2 volume work, Letters on Theron and Aspasio

a. This was a rebuttal to a Calvinistic work called Theron and Aspasio written by James Hervey (England) in 1755.

b. As a result of Sandeman’s rebuttals, many English congregational churches began.

4. This catapulted Sandeman’s significance in the eyes of evangelicals throughout the British kingdom.

5. In April, 1761 he, along with brother William went to London to teach his congregational ideas.

a. United with men such as Samuel Pike and John Barnard who had an independent evangelical movement of their own.

b. By 1766 many Sandeman churches existed throughout G.B.

C. Influence in the Americas.

1. In 1760 Letters on Theron and Aspasio appeared in the colonies of New England.

2. In 1763 Sandeman received a letter from Danbury, Connecticut urging him to visit America.

a. Glas thought the trip would be good.

b. Some in America were being branded as having, “Sandemanian leanings.”

3. August 30, 1764 Sandeman departed Scotland and arrived in Boston Harbor October 18, 1764.

4. Glas/Sandemanian churches were established in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and other New England states.

D. Sandeman died in Danbury, Ct., April 2, 1771, 53 years of age.


V. Robert and James Haldane

A. Background

1. Robert born Feb. 28, 1764 in London, England.

2. James was born in Dundee on July 14, 1768, two weeks after his father died.

3. Mother died when James was 10 years old.

4. Boys were raised by their maternal grandmother, Lady Lundie in Dundee, Scotland.

5. Both spent time in Royal Navy.

a. Robert in 1780

1) While stationed at Gosport, England Robert met David Bogue, a Scottish minister of an Independent church, who greatly influenced him

2) Bogue’s brother-in-law was Greville Ewing, who greatly influenced Alexander Campbell.

b. James in 1785

6. Robert and wife, Katherine, (married 1785) lived at the residence at Airthrey, near Stirling, Scotland.

a. Attended Stirling Congregational Church – William Innes preaching.

7. James gave up naval career and married in 1793, living in London, became friends with John Innes, an English Independent minister.

8. In 1796 Robert H. had heard of great work in Bengal, India.

a. Desired to go there along with Innes, Bogue and Ewing.

b. Travel permits were denied time and time again,

c. Great friendship came from the effort between the four.

9. Meanwhile, James H. came under influence of John Campbell (No relation to Alexander) of Edinburgh, owner of an Iron Works.

a. Operated “Sabbath Schools”

b. J.H. jumped on the idea and within 6 months had 34 such free schools in operation near Edinburgh.

c. Robert soon joined in the effort.

B. Separation From Church of Scotland

1. Nov. 29, 1798 Greville Ewing preached his last sermon for the Church of Scotland. Resigned from church on Dec.1

2. He and William Innes & the Haldanes started a church formed after the Glas/Sandeman Congregational concept.

a. The Tabernacle Church formally began, January, 1799 with 310 people.

b. The Lord’s Supper administered every Lord’s Day (when the minister was present)

c. Weekly collections were taken with deacons dist. to poor.

d. These churches were called Tabernacle churches.

C. Schools

1. In 1798 Robert Haldane sent 10 English boys to David Bogues seminary in Gosport, England.

2. In 1799 R.H. opened his own seminary in Edinburgh with Greville Ewing as head.

3. In May of that year the seminary moved to Glasgow, with 30 students, where Ewing preached for Glasgow Tabernacle.

4. Disagreement in operation and control In 1800.

a. Ewing sought to have school under control of Glasgow Tabernacle.

b. Haldane refuse and returned school to Edinburgh under John Aikman.

c. However in the 9 years it was at Glasgow it developed a strong Glas/Sandeman influence.

D. Beliefs.

1. Stressed that the N.T. contained the pattern for all Christian service.

2. The apostolic churches provided model for Christians in all ages.

3. Thus teaching the concept of “restoration” or “restitution.”

4. Congregational autonomy.

5. Elders served in each congregation, teaching and ruling.

6. Each church had its own deacons and minister.

7. Civil authorities had no authority in the church

8. Weekly observance of the Lord’s supper.

9. By 1808 both Haldanes believed that immersion was the proper mode of baptism.

10. Haldane differed with Glas over discipline taking a more loving approach.

11. The Haldanes were theological descendents of Glas and Sandeman.