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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 20

No. VI.—The Organ Question

No. VI.—The Organ Question.

In regard to the allowing of instrumental music in public worship, Dr Cairns, in the U.P. Synod of 1867, said—"In 1858, when the subject came up before, I was one of those who supported the granting of liberty in connection with this matter, and not only so, but my name stands as one of the protesters against the decision of that year. . . . . From the time we entered into negotiations with other Churches, we forewent our right of discussion and judicial decision on this question, until either these discussions might be resumed by an unfortunate breaking off of these negotiations, or our liberty of discussion was restored to us by our meeting on the floor of a United Christian Church. . . . . I therefore cannot support the view which I held before, which I hold still, and which, if I were on the floor of a United Church, I would slate afresh, and endeavour to the best of my ability to defend." On the contrary, Dr Candlish holds, in his Preface to the Essay of Dr Porteous (1856), that "we are bound to resist the introduction of it," i.e., the organ, "in all other congregations of the Church as well as in our own." He adds—"All who are conscientiously opposed to it, who regard it as inexpedient and unlawful, unauthorised and unscriptural, must feel themselves bound, as Presbyterians, to do their utmost against a proposal to have it even tolerated." Dr Buchanan, in the Assembly of 1858, declared, that "if the Presbyterian Church in England should actually sanction the introduction of the organ . . . . . he page 40 would take the responsibility of moving the repeal of the law by which ministers in the Presbyterian Church in England could be translated to charges in the Free Church."—Blue Book, 1858, p. 220.