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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

REFORM, v., n. Sc. usages:

I. v. In derivs. reformed, reformer, applied to the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Reformed Presbytery, — Synod, the church or any of its constituent courts which descends from those Covenanters of the period 1670–1688 who continued in their opposition to the majority of the Church of Scotland when it accepted the Revolution Settlement in 1688 and who consider themselves to be the surviving remnant of the true Covenanted Kirk of Scotland (see Macmillanite). The majority of this body entered into union with the Free Church in 1876 and the church has been reduced at the present day to a Synod of some seven congregations in Central Scotland. Hence Reformer, a member of this church.Sc. 1744 M. Hutchison Ref. Presb. Ch. (1893) 187:
The Rev. Mr John M'Millan and I, . . . upon the 1st of August, 1743, did erect ourselves into a Presbytery under the name of “The Reformed Presbytery.”
Knr. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XX. 134:
In the village of Millnathort there are no fewer than 4 places of worship, viz. the Establishment, the Antiburghers, Burghers, and Reformers, commonly called Cameronians.
Sc. 1825 Jam. s.v. Hill-folk:
They, however, consider these names, as well as that of Cameronians, as nick-names; acknowledging no other distinctive designation but that of the Reformed Presbytery.
Abd. 1827 Aberdeen Star (25 May) 152:
The Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church.
Sc. 1888 J. Rankin Handbk. Ch. Scot. 246:
Because the Government of Great Britain was not bound by Solemn League and Covenant to the Presbyterian Church and to Jesus Christ its Head, the Reformed Presbyterians from 1690 till 1863 persistently described our civil rule as “immoral and anti-Christian”, and refused to take part in it.
Sc. 1914 J. Mackay Church in Highlands 214:
The formation [c.1781] at Kilbrandon of the only congregation which the Reformed Presbyterian Church had in the Highlands previous to 1838-39, when a small number of persons who favoured Reformed Presbyterian principles formed a congregation at Pultneytown, Caithness.
Sc. 1934 J. Barr U.F. Church Scot. 48:
There still remained the strict Covenanters, known later as Reformed Presbyterians, and others, who stood out of the settlement [of 1688] because it did not repeal the obnoxious Act Rescissory of 1661, nor declare Prelacy to be contrary to the Word of God, nor own the perpetual obligation of the National Covenants.
Sc. 1960 Scotsman (27 Sept.) 6:
The Reformed Presbyterians, for example, regard the Scottish nation as still bound by the principle (although not the letter) of the National Covenant of 1638, and Britain as still bound by the Solemn League and Covenant of 1643; and they hold that it is the duty of the churches to renew the covenants.

II. n. As a proper n., the Reformation. Nonce.Sc. 1817 Scott Rob Roy xix.:
If the same [the preservation of Glasgow Cathedral] had been done in ilka kirk in Scotland, the Reform wad hae been just as pure as it is e'en now, and we wad hae mair Christian-like kirks.

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"Reform v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jul 2024 <>



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