MARROW CONTROVERSY, THE: A Scotch ecclesiastical dispute occasioned by the republication in 1718 by James Hog of Carnock of The Marrow of Modern Divinity, . . . by E. F. (2 parts, London, 1645-19), possibly wrongly ascribed to Edward Fisher, an English Calvinist of the seventeenth century noted for spirituality and learning (cf. DNB, xix. 55-56). The work consists of religious dialogues of an original and sprightly kind, discusses the doctrine of the atonement, and aims to guide the reader safely between Antinomianism (q.v.) and Neonomianism. A copy of it was brought into Scotland by an English Puritan soldier, and years afterward found by Thomas Boston (q.v.), who was much pleased with it, and spoke of it to several; and so it was republished with a commendatory preface by James Hog. The book displeased the Neonomians, and they were the leading men in the Church of Scotland. One of their number,


Principal Haddow of St. Andrews, assailed it in his opening sermon at the Synod of Fife, Apr., 1719; and a " committee for preserving the purity of dootrine " was chosen at the Assembly that year, the business of which was to discredit the book. This was attempted by garbled extracts. In their report in 1720 the committee condemned the book as Antinomian, and the Assembly approved. Then the friends of the book rallied to its defense. Twelve men, who were called " the Representers," formally called the attention of the Assembly to the anomaly that it had condemned, because taught in the book, propositions which were couched in Scripture language, and others which were expressly taught in their symbolical books. The Neonomians, however, gained a moderate victory, and in the Assembly of 1722 the twelve Representers were solemnly rebuked; subsequently every effort was made by the Neonomians to prevent the settlement of ministers holding the Marrow doctrines. No action was taken against the Representers, and the controversy in the church courts ended. But the irritation lasted, and ultimately led to the formation of the Secession Church (see PRESBYTERIANS).

BIBLIOGRAPHT: W. M. Hetherington, Hist. of the Church of Scotland, chap. ix., pp. 342, 344-347, New York, 1881; C. A. Briggs, American Presbyterianism, pp. 254 sqq., ib. 1885.

MARSAY, mdr"sv, CHARLES HECTOR DE ST. GEORGE, MARQUIS DE: Quietist and mystic; b. at Paris 1688; d. at Ambleden (an estate near Wolfenb(lttel), Brunswick, Feb. 3, 1753. He was a descendant of a noble family of Reformed faith, which had emigrated from France to Germany and Switzerland, and from childhood he was acquainted with such books of devotion as those of Thomas & Kempis and Jurieu. He served as an ensign in an Anglo-Hanoverian regiment in Belgium during the Spanish War of Succession. During a severe illness he was urged by two friends to resign his commission and withdraw entirely from the world. The three retired in 1711 to Schwarzenau, in the county of Wittgenstein, where they lived as hermits, praotising self-castigation, observing silence so far as possible, and toiling diligently. Not receiving from this mode of life the edification which he sought, De Marsay withdrew from his companions and in 1712 entered into a marriage of absolute continence with Clara Elisabeth von Callenberg. The pair lived in a small house near Gersdorf, suffering the extremes of poverty and distressed by fears concerning their spiritual welfare. After 1713 De Marsay and his wife made repeated visits to his kinsmen in Geneva in the hope of reconciling his mother, who was displeased with her son's course of life. In Switzerland they came in frequent contact with the " awakened," and De Marsay learned

of the writings of Madame Ouyon, which were henceforth to control him. Gradually withdrawing from ascetic extremes, De Marsay and his wife devoted themselves more to practical work, became partially reconciled with his family, and accepted a pension from his father's estate. Now all his former struggles seemed to him self-righteousness, and he regarded himself as a child with neither light nor certainty. Then began, according to his convio-


[Page 207]


[Page 208]


[Page 209]


[Page 210]


[Page 211]


[Page 212]


[Page 213]


[Page 214]


[Page 215]


[Page 216]


[Page 217]


[Page 218]


[Page 219]


[Page 220]


[Page 221]


[Page 222]


[Page 223]


[Page 224]


[Page 225]


[Page 226]


[Page 227]


[Page 228]


[Page 229]


[Page 230]


[Page 231]


[Page 232]


[Page 233]


[Page 234]


[Page 235]


[Page 236]


[Page 237]


[Page 238]


[Page 239]


[Page 240]


[Page 241]


[Page 242]


[Page 243]


[Page 244]


[Page 245]


[Page 246]


[Page 247]


[Page 248]


[Page 249]


Mathew Matilda

and avowedly preachers' expositions: The Spiritual Development of St. Paul (1890; 4th ed., 1897), a study of the thirteen epistles of Paul, but not of the literature on them; The Lady Ecclesia, an Autobiography (1896; 2d ed., 1896), an allegory; Sidelights from Patmos (1897; 3d ed., 1903); Studies of the Portrait of Christ (2 vols., 1899-1900; vol. I., 10th ed., 1907, vol. IL, 6th ed., 1907), a very interesting study of the life of Christ as an aid to faith and not as a contribution to scholarship, generally considered his best piece of work; The Representative Men of the Bible (2 series, 1902-03; first series, Adam to Job, 6th ed., 1907; second series, Ishmael to Daniel, 3d ed., 1907); The Representative Men of the New Testament (1905); and The Representative Women of the Bible (1906). But it is likely that he will be longer useful as author of a third class of books, the devotional, for these have had a very wide sale and reached many who were not attracted by his other books: My Aspirations (1882); Moments on the Mount (1884); Voices of the Spirit (1888); Searchings in the Silence (1895); Words by the Wayside (1896); Times of Retirement (1901); Leaves for Quiet Hours (1904); Rests by the River (1906); Messages of Hope (1908); Thoughts far Life's Journey (1908); and. Day unto Day (1908), prayers. He wrote also poetry: Sacred Songs (1890; 3d ed., 1904); and one hymn (not in this collection), "O Love that wilt not let me go," will be sung long after all his other compositions are forgotten. It was written at the Innellan manse in five minutes on the evening of June 6, 1882, and only changed in a single word, "trace"for"climbed" in the third stanza. But four other hymns which are in this colleotion have been incorporated into several hymn-books. BIBLIOGRAPHY: D. Macmillan, The Life of George Matheson, London, 1907.


CCEL home page
This document is from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at
Calvin College. Last modified on 10/03/03. Contact the CCEL.
Calvin seal: My heart I offer you O Lord, promptly and sincerely