The Stool of Repentance in Presbyterian polity, mostly in Scotland, was an elevated seat in a church used for the public penance of persons who had offended against the morality of the time, often through fornication and adultery. At the end of the service the offender usually had to stand upon the stool to receive the rebuke of the minister.
Humiliation of sitting on the stool, being punished and publicly repenting sins drove some victims to suicide. In the case of pregnant women of such parishes who had not conceived with their husbands they would often elaborately conceal their pregnancy or attempt infanticide rather than face the congregation then Kirk Session.
A harp tune commemorates the tradition.
- Trevelyan, G. M. (1942). English Social History. Pelican Books. pp. 454–455.
- Smith, Sydney (1804). The Edinburgh review: or critical journal, Volume 3. A. Constable. p. 206.
|This Calvinism-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|