"Amen, for ever!"

Desperation, c.1305-6
Public DomainDesperation, c.1305-6 - Credit: Giotto di Bondone
Though suicide was not considered a crime under Scots Law as it was in England, it nonetheless represented a violation of the moral, social and religious order. Christianity regards suicide as a sin as it represents a desecration of the sanctity of life and an abandonment of faith in God, though Calvinism does not treat it with the same condemnation as the Catholic Church. Perhaps because of the belief that humans are unable to influence their ultimate fate through their works, Protestants until recently represented a disproportionately high percentage of suicides. Interestingly, they believed it to be one of the ploys of the devil and Calvin himself went as far as to ascribe cases of self-murder to satanic possession.