« PreviousContinue »
Union Brethren, of the 5th May, very pointedly alludes to the proposal, as one worthy of serious consideration, and says, “ Looking at the matter from our own individual stand-point, we can see many advantages that would accrue to the Evangelical Union by the carrying out of such a proposal, but we are not blind to the many difficulties that are in the way. We would fondly hope, however, that the most, if not all, of these difficulties could be overcome by mutual concessions and arrangements. Both bodies can now afford to bury all past things in the ocean of oblivion. Present duty demands that both bodies should unite and gird up their loins afresh for the important work that lies before them.”
It may be possible that many of the members of our Churches do not really know the material of which the Evangelical Union is composed. From their published report, we find in fellowship 80 Churches, and a series of schemes, each with separate committees, and all in active operation, namely, a Theological Academy, with four Professors, a Chapel Debt and Building Fund; Home Mission ; Ministers Provident Fund : Augmentation Stipend Fund, and other organizations. And for publications, they have the Christian News, the Evangelical Union Record, monthly for one penny, a Hymn Book in course of preparation, and a Sabbath School Hymn Book, all indicative of activity and life; and in re-echoing the sentiments so well expressed in the Christian News, we counsel careful, deliberate, and dispassionate consideration. Three questions naturally suggest themselves : Is such a union possible? Is it desirable ? And is it practical ? We will endeavour to answer these questions in next number. The possibility involves the practice and faith of both. We have always held that in faith they are essentially one with us.—WALSAL GRAY.
OPENING SERVICES OF THE “HENRY WIGHT MEMORIAL,
OR HOPE PARK CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH.” The congregation which has worshipped for thirty-six years in Richmond Place, Edinburgh, has now removed to a New Chapel in Hope Park Terrace. The want of proper accommodation for Sunday-school and other meetings, long felt by the members, has mainly induced them to proceed with the erection of this new church where these conveniences are supplied. It has been considered appropriate that the new building should be known as the
Henry Wight Memorial, or Hope Park Congregational Church.” The congregation owed its origin to the efforts of that revered minister, who, during twenty-eight years, was their pastor. The site of the new church, which is an excellent one, was obtained at the cost of £ 1000, including which the total outlay on the building will be £6300. The chapel is an elegant work of architecture in the French-Romanesque style, and is constructed to hold about 750 persons. On the basement floor there is a Church-officer's house, ladies' room, large hall for Sunday-school and other meetings, deacons' room, and minister's vestry. In the entrance lobby a mural tablet of chaste design has been erected in memory of Henry Wight, recording his connection with the church.
Dr Cairns conducted the Opening Service on Friday, the 16th June. The Church was quite filled in every part, and among those present in the communion-seat, were Rev. Mr Wemyss, Pastor of the Congregation; Rev. Mr Rankine, Moderator of the United Presbyterian Synod; Revs. Dr W. Lindsay-Alexander; Professor Robbie; Rev. Messrs Pulsford, Albany Street
Stark, Dalry; Allen, Leith ; and Wight. The service was opened by the choir singing the anthem, The Lord is my strength and my song.” Dr Cairns took for his text Deut. xxxii. 31, “For their rock is not as our rock, even our enemies themselves being judges." After an introduction to prove that Moses was a real historical person, and not a creation of the mind, the preacher stated his subject to be the difference between the true people of God, and those who were opposed to them and to their Lord. He illustrated this under four heads-First, Our rock was not as their rock in respect of what God asked them to believe; second, that our rock was not as their rock in respect of what God required of them to do; third, in respect of what God enabled them to suffer ; and fourth, in respect of what God encouraged them to hope for.
In closing, Dr Cairns remarked that it was cheering to think that so many of Christ's people and Christ's servants had gone before them, and left them an example that they might follow their steps in humble subordination to that great example which must ever be their highest and their best. This place of worship was erected in connection with the memory of one whose name he must ever revere and gratefully cherish, Henry Wight. That name must ever be dear to him, because it was the name of one who was his personal friend in youth and true benefactor. Mr Wight introduced him to the circle of his family, honoured him with his intercourse and kindly advice, and in many other ways helped him onwards in life's journey; and he therefore felt that he was bound to stand there and acknowledge his obligations to him. He had also a call to speak of him in relation to his grand work and service in the Church of Christ-first in the Church of Scotland, from which he did not go out before he had taken part in those evangelistic works which so far connected him with that National Church; and then with the body of Congregationalists, in connection with which his energetic labours for so many years were prosecuted. He spoke not so much of his labours as a pastor and minister, but rather of his wider, more striking, and perhaps more useful labours—certainly more useful on a large scale--as an evangelist, as an out-of-door preacher, going from one city to another. Even yesterday he heard of his labours from time to time in the great city of Dundee, of his zeal and fervour which could not be surpassed, of the clearness with which he set forth the gospel, and his manner of urging it, which was rarely equalled, seeking to make known among the outcast and the neglected first the Lord Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Well did he recall his figure ; well did he recall some of his words when he was thus engaged. More especially he had never been able to forget a verse of a hymn which he heard him repeat one afternoon-having found his way into the neighbourhood of what was now known as Spittal Street. There Mr Wight had his little pulpit, addressing the people, when, in closing, he repeated the lines containing, as it were, the sum and substance of all his preaching and evangelistic labours
“ When thoughtless thousands choose the road
To live and die entirely thine.” O that the memory of such a man were cherished as it ought to be, and his example were imitated, standing as he did an intermediate figure between the days of the Haldanes and the period in which their own lot had been happily cast !
The Opening Services were continued on Sunday, the 18th June. In the morning the Rev. Dr Alexander preached with great clearness and power from the text, “The Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost." The Rev. Mr Wemyss preached in the afternoon, and the Rev. Mr Wilson, Barclay Church, in the evening. Special collections were made at all the opening services on behalf of the Building Fund, which realized £100. Of the sum of £6300, which the building and site cost, £450 is still required.
NEWS OF THE CHURCHES. EDINBURGH-Richmond Place.--A very interesting social gathering was held here on Tuesday evening the 30th May, composed for the most part of the members of the Church and Pastor's Bible Class, which alone numbers about 100. The Chair was filled by the pastor, the Rev John Wemyss. Addresses were also delivered by the Rev. Ninian Wight, the Rev. Dr Lowe, the Rev. George Allen of Leith, and Mr Cockin of the London Missionary Society. During the evening the pastor was presented with a handsome gold watch by the members of his class, as a token of their esteem. Several anthems, sung by the choir, also added to the pleasure of the evening.
GLASGOW-Great Hamilton Street.-Services were held on Sabbath the 4th June, in connection with the Induction of Rev. J. B. Johnstone, late of Inverurie, to the pastorate of this church. Rev. John Douglas of New City Road, delivered an address appropriate to the occasion in the morning—Mr Johnstone himself occupied the pulpit in the afternoon—and the Rev. Robert Campbell, of Calton U.P. Church, preached in the evening.
A Soiree of the members and friends was held in the church on the evening of the Thur
ay preceding. Rev. Dr Pulsford occupied the chair, and was surrounded by the various Congregational ministers of the city and also by ministers representing the different denominations in the immediate vicinity of the church. Addresses were delivered by the chairman, and by most of the clergymen present, congratulating the church in securing the services of so experienced a pastor-giving to Mr Johnstone a warm welcome, and expressing their desire for his success in the work to which he has been called.
INVERURIE.—On Sabbath, May 21st, the Rev. J. B. Johnstone, who, as will be seen in our columns, has become pastor of Great Hamilton Street Church, Glasgow, preached his farewell discourse from 2 Corinthians xiii. 2. At the close of the service Mr Robert Ironside said he had been deputed to read on this occasion an address expressive of their appreciation of his high character and labours as a minister. Before leaving Inverurie, Mr Johnstone was presented with a marble time-piece.
INNERLEITHEN.-On Sabbath, May 14th, Mr Cree preached his farewell sermon previous to his removal to Ware, Hertfordshire. On the Wednesday following, a Soiree was held, when Mr Cree was presented with a gold watch, and Mrs Cree with an elegant silver kettle. Interesting addresses were delivered by ministers present of various denominations and hopes expressed for the future success and prosperity of Mr Cree.
TILLICOULTRY.—The New Congregational Chapel was opened on Sabbath, the 11th June, by the Rev. Dr Pulsford of Glasgow, who preached an able and impressive discourse from these words in Isaiah lvi. 7, ' Mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.” In the evening, he chose for his text, 2 Corinthians vi. I,“ We beseech you also, that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.” Mr Solomon, the esteemed Pastor of the Church, preached in the afternoon from 2 Chronicles vi. 18. The Chapel was filled at all the services, and the collection amounted to £129, 18s. A Soiree was held on the Tuesday following, which was also a great success, about 450 being present.
Most interesting and instructive addresses were delivered by the following gentlemen Rev. W. D. Knowles, Perth ; Rev. P. G. Grenville, Glasgow; Rev. Alex. Nairn, Stirling; the Rev. David Smith of the Established Church; Rev. James Davidson, Evangelical Union; and Rev. James Brown, Free Church, Tillicoultry. Letters of apology were read from Professor Robbie, Dunfermline; Rev. John Hunter, Aberdeen; Rev. J: Allan, Leith; and Mr M‘Kenzie, Stirling, who were unavoidably prevented from being present.
Mr Gilñllan, the Secretary, read the following report :-
history and present position of our Church. I need not enter into all the details of the steps taken by us in leaving the U.P. Church, as these are so well known, and must be fresh in the minds of the most of the present audience.
This only I will say, it was principle that made us leave the U.P. Church, and join the Congregational Union of Scotland. Yet still we cherish the most charitable feelings towards those brethren, with whom we were so long associated ; and we hope all the events that have transpired may be overruled by the Great Head of the Church for the good of both Congregations.
After leaving, we met frequently together in the hall of the Popular Institute, and ultimately resolved to connect ourselves with the Congregational Union. On the 21st day of July 1872, the first services were conducted by the Rev. John Hunter, of Aberdeen, brother of our late beloved Pastor, the Rev. George Hunter. We afterwards made application, and were admitted into the Union, our respected friend, the Rev. Mr Craig being appointed at a conference of the Sister Churches, to form us into a Church.
On the afternoon of the last Sabbath of December, the first communion was dispensed, when above 100 sat down at the table.
The Rev. Mr Solomon, our present and deservedly esteemed Pastor, was inducted on the roth day of August 1873, and under his faithful ministry the Church has continued to grow, and prosper ; in all, 211 members have joined the Church. We have collected during the 3 years and 10 months as offerings at the Church door for Church purposes, £902, 175., averaging about £230 per annum.
About three years ago we commenced to collect funds to build a Chapel. The beginning was small as a mountain rill but it has flowed on unceasingly, þeing greatly augmented by tributary streams, until we have reached the handsome sum of £1354, 18s.; this includes the £129, 18s. collected at the opening of the Church last Sabbath, to which if we add the £902, 178. collected at the hall door, the amount will be £2257, 155. As we have not received all the tradesmen's accounts, we cannot state the exact cost of the New Chapel.
We all feel thankful that our wishes have been realized, and all our efforts crowned with success, and that we are now in possession of this comfortable and beautiful Chapel.
I am sure we all feel indebted to Mr Keir who has done his part so well. He has acted like King Hiram of old at the building of the Temple, who did all the desire of Solomon “concerning timber of cedar, and concerning timber of fir."
Our success has far exceeded our utmost expectations, and though conscious of many imperfections and shortcomings, we are gratified to think, that the same self-sacrificing spirit, that actuated us at first, still continues, enabling us to bear with each other, and also to give into the treasury of the Lord.
We would now take this opportunity of expressing the heartfelt gratitude we feel, to Christians of all denominations, both in Tillicoultry and elsewhere, who have assisted us. We have felt much strengthened and encouraged, by the kind sympathy and assistance we have all along received. Surely if ever there was a Church which like the Children of Israel in the wilderness, could look back on the past, and through trials and dangers and difficulties discern the leading hand of an all-wise God surrounding them with a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night, it is this Church.
LEITH— Jubilee Services.—Special services were, on Sabbath 11th June, held in the Congregational Chapel, Constitution Street, in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of that place of worship. The Rev. G. Allen, pastor of the congregation, conducted divine service in the forenoon, and from the words, “ Other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours" (John iv. 38), he preached an able and appropriate discourse.
In the after
noon, the Rev. Dr. Lindsay Alexander officiated,
and selected for the subject of an eloquent and highly interesting sermon, Colossians iv. II. The Rev. Mr Mitchell, South Leith, in the evening, preached from the words—“Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these ? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this.” (Ecclesiastes vii. 10.) On Monday evening a public meeting was held in the church, when a number of exceedingly interesting addresses were delivered by the Pastor ; the Rev. D. Russell of Glasgow ; Rev. R. Auchterlonie of Portobello ; Mr T. Sturrock, and Mr George M'Farlane.
ABERDEEN—Belmont Street.—The Rev. J. Barton Bell has resigned the pastoral charge of this church.
WESTERN ASSOCIATION.—The Quarterly Meeting of this Association was held in Ewing Place Vestry, on Tuesday the 13th June. Rev. George Moir of Greenock occupied the chair. After reading portions of the Scriptures, Messrs Brotchie and M‘Murrin offered prayer ; Mr Grenville read an essay on “Scripture Resurrection.” A profitable conversation followed. The meeting was closed with prayer.
NOTICES OF BOOKS. Biblical Commentary on the Pro- and before these verses are expounded phecies of Ezekiel. By Carl clause by clause, and word by word,
Friedrich Keil, D.D. Translated a revised translation of the original from the German by Rev. James is given. The Commentary cannot Martin, B.A.
fail to be useful to all who desire to The two volumes before us help to know what saith the Lord in this part meet a want which is felt by the of Holy Writ. Biblical scholar when studying this The Exodus, and the Wanderings in difficult part of Old Testament pro- the Wilderness. By the Rev. Dr phecy. Not only the book of Ezekiel, Edersheim. London, The Religibut almost the whole of the Old ous Tract Society. Testament, has not yet received that Dr Edersheim does in this book for attention which it deserves from men theExodus, what he has already done whose scholarly attainments and for the Patriarchs and the world before studies qualify them for the arduous the flood. He begins with a descripwork of close textual exposition. tion of the children of Israel in Egypt, We need one to do for this part of and, following the Scripture narrative, scripture what Meyer has done for he conducts the reader down to the the New Testament, The nearest Jordan, which closed the wanderings approach to Meyer's admirable me- of Israel. He brings to bear upon thod as applied to the Old Testa- the subject much learning, which ment, which we have seen, is that elucidates the text of Scripture, and of the Commentary before us. Its makes real and vivid to the mind its pages are not filled with practical descriptive scenes. Yet the book is reflections and homiletical lines exceedingly interesting and popular, of thought ready-made, which are and could be placed in the hands of a substitute for thought on the part a young person as a most excellent of a preacher of the Word, rather than help in the study of this period in the a stimulus; but we have here what history of Israel, which is so full of is far more valuable, an honest, incident and instruction. earnest attempt, with the help of The Judgment of Jerusalem prehigh scholarshipand extensive general dicted in Scripture, fulfilled in knowledge, to open up the meaning History. By the Rev. Dr Patton of this part of Scripture. The of New York. London, Religious arrangement is good. The book of Tract Society. Ezekiel is divided into sections, each A very particular and graphic one having a heading according to account of the scenes in connection the subject of the verses that follow : with the destruction of Jerusalem