334 LAND OF THE LINDSAYS.
muirion that did not, or would not promise to abstain from eating blood, and because
his proposal was rejected, he has not joined in communion here these four or five
years at least ; but that this is no real matter of conscience with him, as he pretends,
may, without breach of charity, be alleged, because he scruples not to join with
other congregations, particularly with that of Brechin, where, considering the many
butchers, there will be more blood eaten in a week than in Fern in a twelvemonth.
" That over and above what is mentioned, that he (Dildarg) began many
years ago to set up conventicles in private houses, and more publicly in the school-
house, on Sabbath-days and other days, when he could get a conveniendum, where
he preached and prayed, and expounded the Scriptures ; and it was the ordinary
way, as I have been credibly informed, to tell them — ' Thus, the minister says, but
that is what I say !'
" * * * * That towards the end of last year my wife sending a portion
of blood and puddings to a poor cripple old woman in the parish, Dildarg, either
following or overtaking the servant on the way, and finding it was blood, said that
my wife or I might as well sent some lewd person to commit fornication or adultery
with her, as send her blood to eat, and in the most serious manner exhorted her to
throw it out (as he has persuaded some in the parish to do), and for this purpose
lectured over to her the 17th of Leviticus. At the same time also he took occasion
to detract from the character of a certain gentlewoman, and to magnify a common
dame whose reputation in this countryside is none of the finest.
" That upon hearing this, your complainer wrote to Dildarg on a slip of paper,
whether he had said such things — not in expectation of his returning me an answer,
but to let him understand that I knew what he had said.
" That he returned me (this) written answer, of date December 13th last (1777) :
— ' I am surprised at a line Avhich you have sent me, wherein you require me to give
you an answer thereto. I am, Sir, under no obligation to answer this line ; for, if I
have spoken any evil of you or your wife, it was your business to prove it. You
are no Roman Inquisitor, and therefore you cannot oblige me to become my own
accuser, and if you had not insinuated that I scandalized a woman of quality, I should
not have taken the least notice of it. Whoever told you this, told you a manifest
falsehood. Seeing you have, Sir, copied after the infallible church in your expiscat-
ing questions in order to make me my own accuser, I hope you will not be offended
at me for copying after you. I have two or three questions to propose, and I hope
you will give a plain and direct answer to them. — 1st. Did you say to any of the
parishioners in the summer harvest 1776, that I did nail my cat to to the wall of
my house in order that I might show the nature of a sacrifice ? If you did, I desire
you will inform me who the hellish person was who invented such a lie ; for all the
devils in hell could not have contrived a greater falsehood. — 2nd. Did you hear
your wife about the same time call me a rascal and villain, or words to the same
import, to any person ? — 3rd. If your wife did give me such names, tell me if her
character is agreeable to the character of a bishop or deacon's wife, 1 Tim. i. 11.
" I did aver to Jean Lyal that the eating of blood was as sinful in the sight of
God as cither adultery or fornication, and I. affirm the same thing again, Sir ; for
you nor no man shall intimidate me from maintaining the truth, and I have as
good reason to judge what is truth as you or any other man ; and I will oppose
every error which I hear broached and propagated, be the consequence what will.
It is my duty to contend earnestly for the faith which was once delivered to the
saints, and to oppose every error that is subversive of this faith.' "