a joke sometimes, those Scotch-Irish clergymen.
One pastor, dining with a new settler, who had no table, and served up his dinner in a basket, implored Heaven to bless the man ‘in his basket
, and in his store;’ which Heaven did, for the man afterwards grew rich.
‘What is the difference,’ asked a youth, ‘between the Congregationalists and Presbyterians?’
‘The difference is,’ replied the pastor, with becoming gravity, ‘that the Congregationalist goes home between the services and eats a regular dinner; but the Presbyterian
puts off his till after meeting.’
And how pious they were!
For many years after the settlement, the omission of the daily act of devotion in a single household would have excited general alarm.
It is related as a fact
, that the first pastor of Londonderry
, being informed one evening that an individual was becoming neglectful of family worship, immediately repaired to his dwelling.
The family had retired; he called up the master of the house, inquired if the report were true, and asked him whether he had omitted family prayer that evening.
The man confessed that he had; and the pastor, having admonished him of his fault, refused to leave the house until the delinquent had called up his wife, and performed with her the omitted observance.
The first settlers of some of the towns near Londonderry
walked every Sunday eight, ten, twelve miles to church, taking their children with them, and crossing the Merrimac
in a canoe or on a raft.
The first public enterprises of every settlement were the building of a church, the construction of a block-house for defense against the Indians, and the establishment of a school.
In the early times of course, every man went to church with his gun, and the minister preached peace and good — will with a loaded musket peering above the sides of the pulpit.
The Scotch-Irish were a singularly honest
There is an entry in the town-record for 1734, of a complaint against John Morrison
, that, having fund an axe on the road, he did not leave it at the next tavern, “as the laws of the country doth require.”
John acknowledged the fact, but pleaded in extenuation, that the axe was of so small value, that it would not have paid the cost of proclaiming.
The session, however, censured him severely, and exhorted him to repent of the evil.
The following is a curious extract from the records of a Scotch-Irish settlement for 1756: ‘Voted
, to ’