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And no forgetting Wabster Charlie,
And her kind stars hae airted till her
Tell them, frae me, wi' chiels be cautious,
And lastly, Jamie, for yoursel',
And steer you seven miles south o' hell.
Now fare ye weel, and joy be wi' you;
Assist poor Simson a' ye can,
ROB THE RANTER.
1 "Fortune, if thou 'll but gie me still
Hale breeks, a scone, and whisky gill,” etc.
ADDRESS TO THE TOOTHACHE.
My curse upon thy venomed stang,
And through my lugs gies monie a twang, ears
Tearing my nerves wi' bitter pang,
When fevers burn, or ague freezes,
But thee thou hell o' a' diseases,
Adown my beard the slavers trickle!
To see me loup;
While, raving mad, I wish a heckle
O' a' the num'rous human dools,
Or worthy friends raked i' the mools,
The tricks o' knaves, or fash o' fools
Where'er that place be priests ca' hell,
Thou, Toothache, surely bear'st the bell
O thou grim mischief-making chiel,
Gie a' the faes o' Scotland's weal
A towmond's toothache! twelvemonth
THE KIRK'S ALARM.
Dr. William M'Gill, one of the two ministers conjoined in the parochial charge of Ayr, had published in 1786, A Practical Essay on the Death of Jesus Christ, in Two Parts; containing, 1, the History, 2, the Doctrine of his Death, which was supposed to in
culcate principles of both Arian and Socinian character, and provoked many severe censures from the more rigid party of the church. M'Gill remained silent under the attacks of his opponents, till Dr. William Peebles of Newton-upon-Ayr, a neighbor, and hitherto a friend, in preaching a centenary sermon on the Revolution, November 5, 1788, denounced the essay as heretical, and the author as one who "with one hand received the privileges of the church, while with the other he was endeavoring to plunge the keenest poniard into her heart." M'Gill published a defence, which led, in April, 1789, to the introduction of the case into the presbyterial court of Ayr, and subsequently into that of the synod of Glasgow and Ayr. Meanwhile, the public out of doors was agitating the question with the keenest interest, and the strife of the liberal and zealous parties in the church had reached a painful extreme. It was now that Burns took up the pen in behalf of M'Gill, whom he looked on as a worthy and enlightened person suffering an unworthy persecution.
Wha believe in John Knox,
Let me sound an alarm to your conscience;
Has been blawn in the wast,
That what is not sense must be nonsense.
Dr. Mac, Dr. Mac,
You should stretch on a rack,
To strike evildoers wi' terror;
To join faith and sense,
Is heretic, damnable error.
Town of Ayr, town of Ayr,1
To the church's relief,
D'rmple mild, D'rymple mild,
Though your heart's like a child,
And your life like the new-driven snaw;
1 When Dr. M'Gill's case first came before the synod, the magistrates of Ayr published an advertisement in the newspapers, bearing a warm testimony to the excellence of the defender's character, and their appreciation of his services as a pastor.
2 John Ballantyne, Esq., banker, provost of Ayr, the prime mover, probably, in the testimony in favor of Dr. M'Gill the same individual to whom The Twa Brigs is dedicated. There could not have been a nobler instance of true benevolence and manly worth than that furnished by Provost Ballantyne. His hospitable mansion was known far and wide, and he was the friend of every liberal measure.
3 Mr. Robert Aiken, writer in Ayr, to whom the Cotter's Saturday Night is inscribed. He exerted his powerful oratorical talents as agent for M'Gill in the presbytery and synod. 4 The Rev. Dr. William Dalrymple, senior minister of the collegiate charge of Ayr-a man of extraordinary benevolence and worth. If we are to believe the poet, his views respecting the Trinity had not been strictly orthodox.