I'm finalizing the Collected Sermons of James Durham and have come across a serious allegation against John Carstares, editor of his later works, his brother in law, and fellow minister at Glasgow who preached his funeral sermons. Who was Andrew Clarkson and why did he make the following allegation without proof in Plain Reasons for Presbyterians Dissenting from the Revolution-church in Scotland (1731)? It’s a serious charge and thus one would think the ninth commandment would dictate, show proof or don’t say it? The original statement in Clarkson’s work in reference to the Resolutioners’ deposing Protestor ministers from their ministries,* reads "which malignant resolutioners excommunicated worthy, pious and zealous Colonel Strachan also (for his adherence to the Remonstrance, agreeable to sound Covenanted principles, against the Public Resolutions) with design to gain the favour of the court: and by Mr. John Carstares, in the High Church of Glasgow, was that unjust sentence pronounced; the man that doth preface all Mr. Durham's posthumous works, some of which are alledged to be vitiated [adulterated] by him, particularly that upon scandal, which seems inconsistent with itself, and clearly opposite to his other works, especially his writings upon the Revelation, Chap. ii. but particularly on the church of Pergamos." This was unfortunately repeated in a form by John Howie in his Biographia Scoticana. In his life of Guthrie, Howie reduced this to, “This unjust sentence was pronounced in the high church of Glasgow by Mr. John Carstairs, who prefaceth Mr. Durham's posthumous works some of which are supposed to be vitiated by him especially his treatise on scandal.” M'Gavin in his revision of Biographia Scoticana reduced this again to just the first clause, which may or may not be true, but which the full historical context would render a meaningless fact. Whatever the demerits of the actions of the Resolutioners, this seems mainly to be geared to cast doubt on the integrity of James Durham's treatise on scandal, presumably because it was perceived to cut against the stance of remaining out of the settlement church (Glorious Revolution, 1788). First, Carstares is painted as some unworthy character because of his reading of the notice of Strachan’s excommunication, and then because he is supposed to have had a hand in the text of the work on scandal, the ‘rumor’ is suggested that he adulterated the true text. I know of no evidence for this smear against Carstares’ character. I have compiled the facts to dispute it but wondered if anyone actually addressed it in the past? It's pretty scandalous, to turn a phrase. This ring a bell with anyone? *The Protester-Resolution schism in the Church of Scotland took up most of the 1650s. "In contrast to the religious pluralism in contemporary England, a large majority of Scots agreed on matters of theology, worship and piety, and most accepted the essentials of presbyterian government. In 1650-51, however, the Church split into two parties, the Protesters and Resolutioners. At stake were the compromises made by the men governing Scotland to reach an agreement with Charles II after his father's execution, and to defend the country from conquest by Oliver Cromwell. The majority, the Resolutioners, accepted the king's promises to uphold presbyterianism, and were prepared to allow former royalists to hold civil and military offices. The Protesters dissented from the Resolutioners' judgements in both respects, and refused to obey the church courts controlled by their opponents. To justify their actions, the Protesters argued that conscientious individuals and members of the lower church courts had a right to disobey what they saw as sinful commands issued by the higher courts. This called into question the presbyterian principle of majority rule within a hierarchical court structure. Nevertheless, most of the adherents of the two parties continued to advocate a national presbyterian Church. Alasdair Raffe, The Culture of Controversy: Religious Arguments in Scotland, 1660-1714. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 2012. 30-31.