I am still, two years later, working through all of the pictures that I took of documents in the Glasite archive at the University of Dundee. I am slowly consolidating photos of books and other documents, curating them, and uploading them to the Glasite Digital Archive in a secure, private collection, since these documents are still under British copyright.
However, I wanted to share a picture of one artifact that I found at the archive. In all of my readings about the Glasites, I have never come across a description of John Glas being a charismatic leader. However, it is hard to imagine him surviving his defrocking from the Church of Scotland with his congregation intact, and then his ability to found congregations all over Scotland, without him being a charismatic leader of some magnitude. Especially considering that some of his main tenants: Christian non-participation in government, and pacifism, were very much outside the mainstream, then and now.
While at the archive, I discovered a locket that the staff was unaware of. I opened it up, and found that it contained a picture of John Glas. It also features two latin phrases, “crux christi nostra salus,” which translates “The cross of Christ, our salvation,” and “Ita pro nobis,” which translates “So for us.”
This little artifact lends credence to the idea that John Glas was much, much more than simply a reformer of what he saw as first century Christian doctrines. Glas was a charismatic leader, loved by his followers, and immortalized in writing and in pictures.