File:Robert Burns 'Holy Willie's Prayer' - page 3 (5372887586).jpg
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English: Holy Willie's Prayer (pages 21-25 of the The Glenriddel Manuscripts, which contain a selection of Burn’s poems and letters, compiled in two volumes, for presentation to Burns's friend, Robert Riddell of Glenriddell (1755-1794), during the years 1791 to 1793.) The first volume, contains copies of poems both in Burns's hand and in that of a scribe. It contains over 50 poems, most famously a full version of Holy Willie's Prayer. This is the most devastating and amusing of Burns's diatribes against the apparent hypocrisy of certain sections of his native Church. It is directed against William Fisher, a farmer in Montgarswood and an elder of Mauchline Kirk. Burns uses this hypocrite - who had initiated disciplinary action against the poet's friend, Gavin Hamilton, for failing to attend the Kirk regularly - to savage the orthodox Calvinist doctrine of double predestination. The satire was so severe that it circulated in handwritten form for some three years before its publication as part of a pamphlet. Written in August 1785, this is one of the poet's earliest satirical works on orthodox Calvinism and is the only version of the poem in Burns's hand.
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