The "Marrow men" were marked by the zeal of their service and the effect of their preaching.
It is largely to researches on the bone marrow that we owe our present knowledge of the origin and the classification of the different cellular elements of the blood, both erythrocytes or red corpuscles, and the series of granular leucocytes or white corpuscles.
Whatever be the ancestral cell from which these cells spring, it is in the bone marrow that we find a differentiation into the various marrow cells from which are developed the mature corpuscles that pass from the marrow into the blood circulation.
That sacred communication of His flesh and blood whereby Christ transfuses into us His life, even as if it penetrated into our bones and marrow, He in the Supper attests and seals; and that not by a vain or empty sign set before us, but there He puts forth the efficacy of His Spirit whereby He fulfils what He promises.
This was the famous Marrow of Modern Divinity, by Edward Fisher, a compendium of the opinions of leading Reformation divines on the doctrine of grace and the offer of the Gospel.
On Boston's recommendation, Hog of Carnock reprinted The Marrow in 1718; and Boston also published an edition with notes of his own.
- Of these the thyroid gland, the suprarenal bodies, the spleen, the bile, the bone marrow, the ovaries and some others have been investigated fully.
The Marrow was discouraged as verging on Antinomianism (1720); and in 1722 its protesting admirers were rebuked by the Assembly.
A Glasgow professor, the Rev. Mr Simson, was attacked for Arminianism and Socinianism as early as 1717; and the battle raged between the more severe Presbyterians - who still hankered after the Covenant, approved of an old work The Marrow of Modern Divinity (1646), and were especially convinced that preachers must be elected by the people - and the Moderates, who saw that the Covenant was an anachronism, thought conduct more important than Calvinistic convictions, and supported in the General Assembly the candidates selected by patrons, as against those chosen by the popular voice.
The boy was afterwards entrusted to the care of Chiron, who, to give him the strength necessary for war, fed him with the entrails of lions and the marrow of bears and wild boars.
The Marrow men put in protests, and were clearly on the way to secession from the kirk.