Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
EXERCEESE, n., v. Sc. form and usages of Eng. exercise (Hdg. 1892 J. Lumsden Sheep-Head 67; Abd.21, Ags.19, Slg.3, Edb.1, Rxb.4 (obsol.) 1944). The Eng. form is gen. used in religious contexts. [′ɛksər′si:z]
‡1. Family worship, prayers (Abd.21 1890; Bnff.2, Abd.2, Slg.3 1944). Obs. in Eng. since 17th cent. Also phr. †to make exercise, to hold family prayers.
Sc. 1701–31 R. Wodrow Analecta (M.C. 1842) II. 180:
He used still to have exercise, as it is called, in his house, to which the best of his people used to resort. Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail xix.:
As ye're no used wi' making exercise, it may be as weel for us at the beginning to read a chapter intil oursels. Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet II. xii.:
There was heard within the uplifting of a Scottish psalm; and the boy saying, “They are at exercise, sir,” gave intimation they might not be admitted till prayers were over. Lnk. 1853 W. Watson Poems 32:
Syne the Minister cam' to inquire what was wrang, He made exercise, too, an' converst wi' her lang. Bwk. 1856 G. Henderson Pop. Rhymes 97:
One of the decent neighbours . . . was called upon to make an exercise on the occasion. Knr. 1925 “H. Haliburton” Horace in Homespun 246:
An' at the family exerceese, When auld gudeman, on bended knees, Wrastled as Jacob did langsyne For favours temporal an' divine.
2. An exegetical sermon or discourse delivered to a Presbytery by one of its members or by a divinity student before ordination. In mod. usage now largely superseded by trial for licence (see Trial).
Sc. 1709 W. Steuart Collect. and Obs. Ch. Scot. 30:
The Presbyterial Exercise and Addition; the Exercise gives the Coherence of the Text and Context, the Logical Division, etc. The Addition gives the Doctrinal Propositions or Truths. Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xliv.:
Reuben Butler . . . will doubtless desire instantly to retire, that he may prepare his mind for the exercise of to-morrow, that his work may suit the day, and be an offering of a sweet savour in the nostrils of the reverend Presbytery. Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxxv.:
Some parts of the exercises to which Mr MacCassock was subjected were confessedly beyond Johnny Gibb's intelligent comprehension. Sc. 1927 Manual U.F. Ch. Scot. 40:
The Presbytery which takes a student on trials for licence shall require from him the following exercises on subjects which it has prescribed: — (a) a Lecture; (b) a Sermon; (c) a Thesis.
‡II. v. To engage in prayer; to expound the Scriptures; “to conduct family worship” (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.; Bnff.2 1944). Vbl.n. exerceesing, public worship. Also found in Lan. dial.
Sc. 1721–4 Covenanters Knr. (1895) 13:
A considerable number who were met together at Robert's house to hear Mr Hepburn exercise. Abd. 1828 “J. Ruddiman” Tales and Sk. 68:
As long as my legs can carry me twal miles to the laigh kirk of F . . ., even though I am bereaved of the outpouring of the forenoon's exerceesing.
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"Exerceese n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Sep 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/exerceese>
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