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“ That older one,
And takes its time from heaven.” Another form of inscription seems almost to repeat the lessons of our third classification; they rouse to action, they stir up from inactivity and sloth; some are very sharp, curt, and concise, like that at Elsworth, near Cambridge, repeated also at Dennington, in Suffolk, “Mox nox,” “ Soon comes night," and therefore the wisdom uttered by the old dial at Ellerslie, near Chichester,
Nulla dies sine linea," “ No day without its mark," sometimes repeated, “Nulla hora sine linea,” “No hour without its mark;" and then that famous old motto, on the church at Northallerton, “ Ora et labora,” “ Pray and work.” If such advice is followed, moralizing on the old dials becomes very useful ; they stand like quaint, witty old preachers, with not a great deal to say but saying what they say well. One says, “ Aspice ut aspicias,"
" See that you see.” And another, “ Septem sine horis," “ Seven without the hours," i.e: the longest day has seven hours in which the dial is useless. And another speaks out its morality in poetry. Like the tombstones, the sun-dials have often been fond of speaking in verse, and these lines are to be found on a dial in Oldham :
“ Abuse me not, I do no ill ;
I stand to serve thee with good will ;
To serve thy God, as I serve thee.” But how singular it is, yet characteristic, to find that some dials have only been used to serve the purposes of pleasure, perhaps of sin; a dial over a public-house bears the inscription " Hora bibendi,” “ The hour for drinking;” and another dial in the grounds of a villa says, Hic licet indulgere genio,” “Here you may indulge your taste-do what you like. These seem to be the last lessons we should think any one could learn while looking at the silent, solemn creeping shadows, stealing over the dial. How much more natural that over a gate at Constantinople, “ Didst thou not see the Lord, how He extended thy shadow ? " or that prayer in verse over the library window, Arley Hall, Cheshire :
"May the dread book at our last trial,
Which virtue, like the sun, makes bright." Much more might be said upon this entertaining subject, so full of memories of old days when the shadow was the natural clock, as we suppose it is in many places in the East even now. Ask a man what it is o'clock, he steps into the light of sun, stands erect, then looks where his shadow terminates, then measures the length with his feet, and so tells you pretty nearly the time. A person wishing to leave his work, says, “How long my shadow is in coming," " He earnestly desires the shadow ;” or, if you inquire “Why did you not come sooner ?” Probably the answer may be, “Because I waited for my shadow."
SUNLIGHT IN THE HEART.
THERE is sunlight on the hill-top,
There is sunlight on the sea,
On the soft and verdant lea.
All the chambers of my heart, For thou art there, my Saviour,
And 'tis sunlight where thou art.
Thou hast whisper'd thy forgiveness
In the secret of my soul, “Be of good comfort, daughter,"
For I have made thee whole. The fowler's snare is broken,
And loosed my captive wing ; And shall the bird be silent
Which thou hast taught to sing ?
In the dust I leave my sackcloth,
As a thing of other days;
And thou robest me with praise.
Thy blood hath won for me,
My spirit follows thee.
My bitter and my sweet;
I will drink it at thy feet;
The brightest and the best,
From thy footstool to thy breast.
Oh ye who sit in darkness
Ever mourning for your sin, Open the windows of your soul,
Let the warm sunshine in; Every ray was purchased for you
By the matchless love of one Who has suffered in the shadow
That you might see the sun.
Lord Jesus ! thou hast bought me,
And my life, my all, is thine,
To thy praise and glory shine-
Pointing upward where thou art,
THE HISTORY OF THE “NORTHERN ASSOCIATION.” 27
THE HISTORY OF THE “NORTHERN ASSOCIATION."
A MEETING, preliminary to the formation of the Association, was held in George Street Chapel, Aberdeen, in October 1848, and the formation was effected at a meeting held in Peterhead, on January 10, 1849. At this meeting the following was agreed to as a basis for the institution :1. That the Association shall have for its objects—Pastoral Intercourse,
Brotherly Communion, the Revival of Religion in the Churches, and
the spread of the Gospel in Aberdeenshire and Banffshire. II. That the Association be one of Pastors and Members of the Congre
gational Churches in the above-named counties. III. That the means of sustaining the objects of the Association be-the
M‘Phail Bequest, an allowance from the Congregational Union of
and the Collections of the Churches, IV. That it be agreed at each meeting of the Association when and where
the next meeting be held. V. That an address be drawn up by the Secretary, setting forth the nature
and objects of the Association, the desirableness of having it in efficient working order, and the benefit to be derived from it; and to be sent to the churches in the two counties a few weeks before the
Mr Wight, Blackfriars Street, Aberdeen, Secretary.
Mr WILLIAM MURRAY, Aberdeen, At a meeting held at Huntly, on July 24, 1849, the following extended and more definite constitution, was adopted :1. The name shall be—“The ABERDEEN AND BANFFSHIRE COUNTY
ASSOCIATION." II. It shall consist of Pastors and Members of Congregational Churches in
the above-named counties, who become annual subscribers to the funds of the Association, however small the sum of subscription. All the members of those churches that give an annual collection
shall be considered members of the Association. III. Half-yearly meetings shall be held in different parts of the district; the
time and place to be agreed upon at the previous meeting. IV. Arrangements shall be made by the Secretary for one or more of the
ministers, to visit the churches and stations in the neighbourhood where the half-yearly meeting is held, for the purpose of preaching
and holding public meetings. V. The services at the half-yearly meetings shall be :-A Sermon, to be
preached by the ministers, in turn, beginning with the youngest ; a Conference Meeting, open to church members only, for devotional exercises, and the discussion of business connected with the Association; and a Public Meeting, at which addresses shall be delivered
on subjects suited to the occasion. VI. At all the services, the ministers of the place where the meeting is held,
shall preside. VII. The funds shall be raised by the annual subscription of members,
collections at the half-yearly meetings, and the annual collections of
the various churches. VIII. The funds shall be expended in the purchase of Bibles and Tracts,
and in the maintenance of itinerating labours in the above-named
counties. In keeping with the above Constitution the Association continued to carry on its efforts, with a view to evangelistic operations and Christian fellowship, within the counties of Aberdeen and Banff, until the year 1870, when the field of its operations was extended so as to include the whole district from Aberdeen to Inverness. This extension necessarily involved a change of name, and the designation resolved upon was—“ The Northern Association of Congregational Churches." The arrangement by which the counties of Moray, Nairn, and Inverness, were embraced in the bounds of the Associaation was suggested by Mr. Stark, while pastor of the Elgin Church, who expressed, by letter, a strong desire to secure for himself and the Church at Elgin the advantages to be derived from affiliation with the Association. The brethren, while anxious to meet the views of Mr Stark, felt that it might appear uncourteous to annex Elgin without also giving the pastors and churches of Nairn, Inverness, and Avoch, an opportunity of becoming connected with the Association. After corresponding with the various parties interested, the difficulty was overcome by including the whole district.
Throughout the period of the institution's existence, its meetings have been held without interruption : the annual meetings being conducted in early winter, usually in some one of the larger towns, and the half-yearly meetings in summer, generally in a village or rural district. The fellowship enjoyed by the ministers at these meetings is stimulating and instructive, and forms a most important element in their pastoral life, while the season when the services are being conducted is generally felt, by the Church enjoying them, to be a time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord.
A very great amount of evangelistic work has been done directly under the auspices of the Association. In some seasons as many as 400 separate services have been conducted through its agency. Pre-eminent among those who have taken part in this form of service has been the Rev. Mr Murker, of Banff, who for years in succession, has conducted about 100 such services annually. The reports of his itinerances in the north would form one of the most cheering and interesting records of evangelistic effort ever given to the district. [From a printed statement which the Committee of the Northern Associa
tion have lately published, we extract the above account of their constitution and history, that may be useful in the way of suggestion to other Associations.—ED.]
NEWS OF THE CHURCHES. THURSO.—The new Congregational Chapel, which was opened last month, is a very substantial structure. The side windows are high and narrow, while a beautiful oriel window adorns the east gable. This window is set with a very elegant tracery, and has a good effect. The vestry which is a very neat structure, is built on the north side of the church, and tends very much to relieve the principal building. While the outside looks exceedingly well, and will form an important addition to our principal buildings, it is the neat and comfortable manner in which the interior is fitted up which forms a special attraction. The ceiling is supported by main beams and is lined with wood, beautifully varnished. The pulpit is a neat and handsome structure, and is surrounded by a very neat lectern, the whole being finely varnished, and the panels relieved by red lines. The pews are roomy and comfortable, the wood-work of which is also varnished, and on the ends next the passages the numbers are painted and adorned with beautiful ornamental scrolls. The architect was Mr Matthew, of Aberdeen, who has, we understand, made out the plans and specifications free of expense. The building has cost about £1200, and was opened almost free of debt, on the 9th of December, by the Rev. Barton Bell, of Aberdeen. The rev. gentleman took for his text the words Worship the Lord in the beauty o holiness,' from which he preached a most able and appropriate sermon. A meeting was held in the church in the evening, when the Rev. Mr Prentice gave an able and interesting address in which he made reference to the important position which the congregation had long held, and the numerous trials and struggles through which it had to pass. He spoke of the visit of Mr James Haldane in 1797, and the important work which he performed, of the opening of the old chapel in 1799 under the pastorate of Mr Ballantyne, and of the work which was performed in diffusing the light of Gospel truth amidst the surrounding darkness. He concluded by exhorting them to hold fast the form of sound words which the Congregational body had been honoured to proclaim, and while holding by their distinctive principles, to recognise as brethren and co-operate in every good work with all those who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity and truth. The Rev. George Mackie, at present officiating in Wick, gave an address on the secret of a church's power, and was followed by Mr Bell, who spoke on Congregationalism. Evangelistic services were held on Friday in the Chapel and on Saturday evening in the Town Hall. The services on Sabbath were conducted in the forenoon by the Rev. B. Bell, who preached an able sermon from 1 John iv. 14, on the duty of personally testifying for Christ. The Rev. A. Prentice preached in the afternoon from Isaiah ii. 23, and the Rev. Mr Bell in the evening from John iii. 16. Special collections were made both on Thursday and Sabbath, which were very liberal. The services throughout were exceedingly interesting and were well attended. We have to congratulate the congregation on the spirited manner in which they have carried out all the arrangements for the building and opening of their new place of worship, and trust it may long be a place in which good work will be done for the Lord and Master.
ALEXANDRIA.—Ordination Services.-On Thursday, 16th December, Mr E. Marshall Tennant, Edinburgh, was ordained Pastor of the church here. The Rev. J. Douglas, Glasgow, presided. After the ordination prayer, by the Rev. J. Troup, M.A., Helensburgh, the charge was given to the Pastor by the Rev. D. Russell, Glasgow, and an address to the people by the Rev. J. M. Jarvie, Greenock. Of the local clergymen, there were present the Rev. Messrs Smith and Drummond of the U.P. Church, and Sutherland of the Free. A cordial welcome was given to the newly-ordained Pastor by the members and adherents of the congregation. In the evening, a Public Soiree was held in the church in honour of the occasion. Interesting addresses