Anne Lister diary transcriptions Anne Lister's diary 1828 Anne Lister's diary May 1828

Sunday 25 May 1828

Foolish last night. Felt her bosom but she was not very angry and I thought to myself I might contrive to go any lengths I liked, tho since being at Redford I have often alluded to M-’s living with me. Breakfast at 10¼. At 10¾ Miss McL- & I off to St. John’s church (Bishop Sandford’s). It being Whitsun Sunday & consequently sacrament [Sunday] we had no sermon so that missing hearing the Bishop preach, but heard him read the chief part of the communion service. An old man with weakish voice. Handsome modern gothic church but inside the clustered shafts of the columns long & lanky and too thin & the pointed arches too short & dumpy and outside the tower looking too long & lanky for the rest & the proportions some how not pleasing.

From church called at the Thackeray’s. They were out. Then took a little round about by Murray Place, the royal circus, Queen Street, etc. Home. Called on Mrs & the Miss Clarks, McDonald’s friends. They speak very queer broad Scotch. Mentioned Mr Irvine’s preaching. Offered me a seat – their pew at St. Gro’s this afternoon & to send a young nephew to go with me. Got home at 1. Sat talking to Miss McL-, the young gentlemen not coming.

Off by myself at 1¾. Found the church vestibule completely full, impossible to gain admittance. Spied Mr Trotter the great upholsterer and he got me in. Took the 1st vacant seat in the first unfilled pew. The church already crowded tho’ 20 minutes before the service began. The service lasted 1¾ hours beginning with the 100th psalm read aloud by Mr Irvine then sung. Then a prayer by Mr I-. Then the 62nd psalm as before. Then Mr I- opened the bible (thick [volume?]) & read something, I think from Luke, but somehow not being aware he was really beginning to preach I lost the text chapter & verse if they were given out at all. The discourse seemed a continuation of some former discourse on the same subject. However Mr I- began by stating the end or purport of the creator to have been for the glory & worship of God, & that his subject would naturally divide itself into 3 parts: the knowledge of God, the worship of God & the communication of God, by which last I suppose he meant our connection with God. God could not be known but thro’ Christ & yet not by the tale that he told, but by his actions well might Christ & the resurrection by so put together. It was the resurrection which proved him to be God. Mr I-’s short answer to an atheist would be whence his sensation has joys, griefs etc? He (the atheist) would tell [him?] they were from life. Well! But whence that life? Mr I- would say it was not from the atheist himself or he would never die; it was not from another man for then that man could prevent death. It must therefore be from some invisible being & that being was God. Therefore Christ being able to die & rise again had the power which could belong to God alone. God could be worshipped only thro’ a religion the basis of which the trinity. Much to prove the necessity of the fall & scheme of redemption lest man should have confounded himself with God. 3 persons in 1. Substance was required for our proper union with, yet distinction from God. No other notion than 3 persons could do. The doctrine of distinction much insisted on. Christ the head of the redeemed church which is united to him thro’ the holy ghost & to God thro’ Christ. Thus the 3 distinctions. The redeemed church joined with the holy ghost, the redeemed church & holy ghost joined with Christ & the 2 former joined with the almighty father. Then the unredeemed form a 4th distinction or division. Seemed to call God the father the will, Christ the suppression of the will & the holy ghost the fulfilment of the will. All this seemed to be in illustration of what was in the commencement of the discourse styled the communication with god. It seemed to be insinuated that the fallen angels had confounded themselves with God, therefore not payed proper worship to God & were thus cast out. Combatted the idea that the 2nd [death?] would not be eternal damnation. If at the end of an cycle of time sin could be as it were worn out, then there would in fact be no positive sin at all since all could be atoned for. Every system of religion not founded on the basis of the trinity must lead to materialism, materialism which made God in everything & every thing God. A very singular enthusiastic, fanciful? Discourse. Delivered with a [and out?] of a manner which made one almost apt to say art thou beside thyself? Acting at times theatrical yet not ungraceful. Handsome looking dark man in the pulpit, yet said to squint very much. Should think he preached 1¼ hour. Waited ten minutes before attempting to get out & perhaps 5 minutes more before all the congregation was out. Church said to contain 3,000 people. Church heavyish within. A large dome with 4 circular wings, the square filled up at the great entrance (west) with the vestibule.

In returning walked round St. Andrew’s Square. Got home about 4¾. Found Colonel & Lady Elizabeth Thackeray here. Went with them to walk in Princes Street gardens & got back again in ¾ hour at 5¾. Dinner at 6. Tea at 9. Sat talking to Miss McL-. Finish day. West wind the 1st time since my arrival & therefore warmer & clearer. The only clearish day we have had.  

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