Melrose Abbey, only thirty miles away, was an hour drive from our hotel in Gullane.
The winding roads from Gullane to Melrose are an appropriate metaphor for Scottish history in general and the Scottish Reformation in particular.
Melrose Abbey is the place where Robert the Bruce’s heart is buried.
Tony Bennett left his heart in San Francisco, but Robert the Bruce left his in Melrose Abbey.
Melrose is also the place where Cuthbert grew up and later served as prior at the original abbey beginning about 662 A.D..
You may recall we visited Durham on Day 7, the place where Cuthbert is buried.
Cuthbert was known for the miracles the Lord worked through him. Bede notes that Cuthbert was very evangelistic. I believe the two are related. God doesn’t provide the spiritual gift of miracles (see I Corinthians 12:8-10) so Christians can be Spirit-filled Penn & Tellers but to confirm His Gospel and draw people to Himself.
Today though, we were interested in Melrose Abbey, founded in 1136 and completed in 1146 as a place training place for cistercian monks. I believe and have argued here before that monasteries are, as a general rule, antithetical to the purposes of the kingdom of God.
If the kingdom of God is God’s administration for transforming and reconciling the earth to Himself it is hard to understand how the best and brightest withdrawing from society, not marrying, and having no interaction with the lost is a good idea.
Walter Rauschenbusch said of monasticism, “God alone knows where the race might be today if the natural leaders had not so long been made childless by their own goodness.” When clerics started going in instead of going out, Christianity went down.
Melrose Abbey was the extent of our sightseeing today because Dr. H and I had a tee time at North Berwick Golf Club, one of the oldest golf clubs in the world and a golf course I had wanted to play for years. It was everything I hoped it would be.
One more day of site seeing before we start our journey home. GS