While Mr Mack-muckle-o’-little was descanting upon the camp and the actions of the Danes, the Provost’s appearance underwent a great change—his very form seemed to dilate, and his face became radiant with enthusiasm, as he stood in wrapt admiration gazing on the valley beneath. At length he burst out with great eloquence and said—do we not much resemble Moses when on Mount Pisgah? he saw the fertile plains of the land of Cannan spread out before him, inhabited by the Cannanites, and looking forward in imagination to the time when the children whose wanderings ho had led and guided so long, would be occupying the houses and citadels that by in the vista beneath. For here we stand on a hill with a scene before us that may well carry us back in imagination to a time when the valley under us occupied a more prominent position in our country than now. To think that in yonder quiet glen, and on the very site of yon church, where, for hundreds of years, succeeding generations of the inhabitants have weekly met to worship and praise their Maker,—there the  first note of Christianity was sounded in the north of Scotland, and startled by its fervour and simplicity the benighted mortals who, from the King in the halls of Balvenie downwards, were bowing in circles and groups to those that were no gods. Oh, it is a grand thing to try and realize the idea of the first toll of the bell call­ing upon them to assemble and receive the true light, like Lite first twinkle of the morning star in the darkest night.

Pagan priests may have snarled, and fanatic devotees may have scowled as the stormy clouds sought to darken the light of approaching day; but still the star had arisen in Mortlach, and gradually the day burst upon it and the surrounding provinces.Nor could the battle field have been in a more appropriate place than beside the church which St Columbus founded. There the war of truth against error commenced, and there it was most befitting that the last invading army that dared to set foot upon our northern shores should be vanquished. Other battle fields that record but the force and ferocity of human pride and passion, call forth rather lamentation than exultation; but the spot where the polluting foot of a foreign foe was turned, and the altar of a people protected and secured is hallowed ground, and down there beside that church it is to be found. From this spot, too, we see three ancient castles, one of them once the residence of kings and princes, another the favourite abode of the favourite of a king : and all of them exhibiting, now in their ruins, the estimate in which this valley must have been held by the great ones of the earth in former days.