This is the only book-length history covering the period after 1680 (to 1876), when the majority Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland merged with the Free Church of Scotland.
The history after 1822, when the Auchensaugh Renovation was removed as a term of communion, merely chronicles the wholesale backsliding of the church and eventual split in 1863; from which a majority emerged which joined with the Free Church of Scotland in 1876.
A remnant of the minority of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland still exists, however they never returned to the original position of the church from which it began to depart in 1822 (with the removal of the Auchensaugh bond -- which bond is the Auchensaugh Renovation).
This book is a fine illustration of the "footsteps of the flock," (as seen in the Protesters [paleopresbyterians] and their spiritual posterity), during the period of which it deals, while at the same time serving as a clear warning to those who have declined from Reformation attainments (i.e. the Resolutioners [neopresbyterians] and those who continue their deformation of the faith).
Thomas Sproull writes,
"By the National Covenant our Fathers laid Popery prostrate. By the Solemn League and Covenant they were successful in resisting prelatic encroachments and civil tyranny. By it they were enabled to achieve the Second Reformation... They were setting up landmarks by which the location and limits of the city of God will be known at the dawn of the millennial day... How can they be said to go forth by the footsteps of the flock, who have declined from the attainments, renounced the covenants and contradicted the testimony of 'the cloud of witnesses.'... All the schisms (separations) that disfigure the body mystical of Christ... are the legitimate consequences of the abandonment of reformation attainments -- the violation of covenant engagements."
Understanding where the faithful covenanted servants of Christ have been historically, not only helps individuals to separate between truly constituted churches and the those that are false (because they have constitutionally backslidden from Reformation attainments); but is a necessary component to the keeping the fifth commandment, as the Reformed Presbytery has pointed out, "Nor otherwise can a Christian know the time or place of his birth, or the persons whom God commands him to honor as his father and mother, than by uninspired testimony; and the same is true of his covenant obligation, if baptized in infancy.
Against all who ignorantly or recklessly reject or oppose history as a bond of fellowship, in the family, in the state, but especially in the church, we thus enter our solemn and uncompromising protest" (Excerpted from: The Act, Declaration and Testimony for the Whole of Our Covenanted Reformation... by the Reformed Presbytery, pp. 177-178 -- a SWRB rare bound photocopy , reprinted 1995 from the 1876 edition).
This edition of The Reformed Presbyterian Church in Scotland: Its Origin and History, 1680-1876 also contains an introductory note by William Goold (the editor of John Owen's Works). In introducing this book Goold writes,
"This volume may claim attention as supplying an essential link in the ecclesiastical history of Scotland. It is the history of that body of men who adhered to the civil part of the Second Reformation, according to which Presbytery was established and recognized by the State between 1638 and 1649... The Church of which this volume is a history took its rise in its distinctive character at this period, and on the ground that it could not, while acknowledging the relief from oppression which the Revolution (of 1688) afforded, acquiesce in the arrangements made by the State for the recognition of the Church and the due exercise of its authority within its own spiritual domain (because the so-called 'glorious revolution' was Erastian to the core and also denied the previous national covenant engagements--RB)....
Apart, however, from their testimony in regard to this evil and danger, resulting from a Civil Government in which Prelacy was continued as an essential element, those who dissented from the Revolution Settlement, and from whom the Reformed Presbyterian Church arose, were animated with an earnest zeal for the maintenance of religious ordinances. They strove to exist as a Church, and how far they succeeded, and what difficulties they had to surmount in the attempt, is the interesting story recorded in this volume" (pp. v-vi).
In summary, this book (of 464 pages) is a one-of-a-kind chronicle of an integral part of the history of the battle for the "Crown Rights and Royal Prerogatives of the Lord Jesus Christ."