Welcome to
Burns Country - Home
 
Search This Site
 

Everything you wanted to know about Robert Burns, Scotland's national bard (and lots more besides). Please let us know if anything's missing, wrong, or just plain wonderful

Burns Country Collage

AULD LANG SYNE
Words | Karaoke!

Burns Shop
Poems and Songs
Burns Encyclopaedia
Burns Suppers
Burns Cottage and Park
Burns in English
Burns Chess Set
Burns Links
Scotweb Mall
 
robert burns store
View our exclusive range of distinctive Robert Burns related products.

Register with our Shopping Club for further offers and unique member offers.

Contact us:
info@robertburns.org


The Burns Encyclopedia
Home | Introduction | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

McMath, The Reverend John (1755-1825)

'Guid McMath' was assistant to Dr Peter Wodrow at Tarbolton Parish Kirk, and later Dr Wodrow's successor. McMath was a liberal, who supported Gavin Hamilton in that lawyer's conflict with the kirk authorities. In his middle years, however, he took to drink, and had to resign his charge in 1791, when he enlisted as a private soldier. He died in retirement at Rossul, Mull.

On 17th September 1783, Burns sent McMath a copy of 'Holy Willie's Prayer', and with it an 'Epistle' addressed to McMath. The 'Epistle', apart from its intrinsic merit, is important in that it sets out clearly Burns's attitude to sectarianism and to religion. Confessing his own weaknesses frankly, the poet pays homage to Religion, 'maid divine', but says he would rather be an atheist than use the Gospel as talking of Mercy, Grace and Truth while at the same time ruining, pitilessly and hard-heartedly in the name of religion, an innocent man. Of such hypocrites the poet tells McMath:

"But I gae mad at their grimaces,
Their sighin', cantin,' grace-proud faces,
Their three-mile prayers, an' hauf-mile graces,
Their raxin conscience,
Whase greed, revenge, an' pride disgraces
Waur nor their nonsense.'
Buy the Burns Encyclopedia online
Home | Introduction | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Robert Burns Store

NEW!! robert burns store View our exclusive range of distinctive Robert Burns related products. Register with our Shopping Club for further offers and unique member offers.Click here...


Complete Burns Songs

linn recordings of burns Linn Records have completed their landmark recording of all 368 Burns songs, available as individual CDs or a 12 volume presentation box set. We have full details. Click here...


Burns Music & Recordings
Search our huge CD and music store for any Burns-related phrase!
Hint: Type "lang syne" or "peck maut" etc. into the Search box there for all artists, titles, descriptions or track listings with the words entered.
Burns Chess Sets

Burns Chess SetsUnique collectors' pieces based on Burns' life and works. (The ideal gift for your Burns Supper guests!) Click here...

Scotweb Store

ScotwebThe finest Scottish shopping site in the world, with the world's largest choice of kilts and tartans, exclusive jewelry, Highland Dress, Bagpipes and piping supplies, cashmere, and much more. Buying from these sites helps pay for the upkeep of Burns Country! Click here...