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The Scots Worthies (Classic Reprint)

The Scots Worthies (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from The Scots Worthies

John Howie, the Author of the "Scots Worthies," was born at Lochgoin, in the parish of Fen wick, and shire of Ayr, on the 14th day of November, 1735. According to the tradition of the family, his ancestors were of French extraction. In consequence of the severities exercised against the Waldenses during the twelfth century, multitudes were obliged to flee from the homes of their fathers, and to seek safety in distant countries. Among these were three brothers of the name of Howie, who valuing the truth as much as their lives, were induced to leave their native country, and seek refuge in Scotland, rather than relinquish their religious sentiments. One of them took up his residence at Lochgoin, and during more than six centuries, his descendants have occupied the same farm. From its sequestered situation, this place must have been exceedingly suitable to the feelings of a foreigner, desirous to escape from the cruelties of relentless persecution, and longing for the enjoyment of religious retirement.

Whether the Howies retained, for any length of time, their Waldensian doctrines - whether they maintained intercourse with the Lollards of Kyle - or whether they yielded to the zealous abettors of Popery, cannot now be determined. It is probable that secluded as they were, by their retired situation from the more influential and cruel propagators of the Romish faith, they would retain several of their primitive opinions, although some of them no doubt would be lost, through the corruption and deceitfulness of the human heart, as well as from the darkness and superstition of the times.

No sooner, however, did the Reformation in Scotland commence, than the Howies shewed themselves the friends of civil and religions liberty, by hospitably sheltering many of those faithful witnesses of the Redeemer, "who foiled a tyrants and a bigots bloody laws."

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