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were delivered by the Revs. J. Troup, J. Drummond, A. Smith, J: M. Jarvie, and J. Douglas. An efficient choir rendered some sacred anthems admirably. On the following Sunday, the 19th, the Rev. George Moir, Greenock, introduced the Pastor to his congregation.

BROUGHTY FERRY.—The Rev. David Russell has declined the call received from this church. Those who know his position in Glasgow will not be sur

rised at this decision. Besides the strong attachment of a church to which he has ministered for thirty-four years, he has a representative position to occupy in that city, which in the interest of the denomination it is not desirable he should vacate. We trust the brethren in Broughty Ferry will not be long without a pastor. The career of the church has hitherto been unfortunate, but unjust strictures and indiscriminate censures are not likely to improve matters. The field is an excellent one, and we ought not to rest satisfied till there is a flourishing Congregational Church in that populous suburb of Dundee.

GLASGOW.—Wardlaw Congregational Church, Bellgrove.--A soiree of this church was held on December 16th, in connection with the return of the pastor, the Rev. Alex. Craib, from America. The attendance was large and hearty. The people had not only improved to good purpose the period of Mr Craib's absence, in internally repainting and adorning their place of worship, but also in preparing a surprise for their pastor on his return home, by subscribing for a tangible proof of their esteem to be then given to him. This took the form of a very elegant gold watch and chain, which was presented at the meeting by Edward Simpson, Esq., one of the deacons. In the course of his address Mr Simpson stated that when, four years and a half ago, Mr Craib undertook the pastorate of the church, they were burdened with a debt of £1200, and that through the devoted efforts of Mr Craib the whole of that debt had now been discharged. Mr Craib, who on rising to respond to the gift was greeted with repeated hearty cheers, spoke with much feeling of the invariable cordial co-operation and kindness of his people. The meeting was also addressed by the Revs. D. Gardiner, Pārkhead; T. Brisbane, Cambuslang; J. M‘Munn, and J. Douglas, Congregationalists ; and Fergus. Ferguson, D.D., and R. Hood, E.U. The enjoyment of the meeting was considerably promoted by an excellent choir singing a number of sacred pieces.

EDINBURGH-Dalry Church.—The Annual Soiree of the Sabbath School in connection with this church took place on 9th December, the Rev. James Stark, pastor of the church, in the chair. The Superintendent, Mr Martin, read the report of the school for the year, in which it was stated that there was an average attendance of 160 scholars and 31 teachers. The Meeting was afterwards addressed by Mr Wareham of the London Missionary Society and other friends.

GLASGOW.—The Rev. Mr Wight, at the request of the Managers of the Chapel Building Society, has during the last month been preaching in several of our Glasgow churches and making personal calls with the view of awakening a livelier interest in the work of this society, and calling forth increased subscriptions. We believe much more could be done for this and the other societies of the Denomination by the visit and personal appeal and application of brethren like Mr Wight, whose services can be secured for such important work.

WICK.-We see from a newspaper that there are no fewer than five vacant charges in Wick at the present time—two Established, one U.P., Reformed Presbyterian, and our own the Congregational. We trust our brethren in that town will not be the last to obtain an efficient and earnest man. The church is worthy of an able Minister.

WESTERN ASSOCIATION.—The Annual Meeting of this Association was held

on Tuesday the 14th December, in the house of the Rev. David Russell. There was a large attendance. The Rev. David Gardiner presided. The Rev. James M'Lean read a suggestive Essay on The Religious Education of the Young in our Churches.” A lengthened and interesting conversation followed.

EASTERN ASSOCIATION.—The Quarterly Meeting of Ministers in the Eastern part of the country took place on Tuesday, 14th December, in the house of Rev. John Wemyss, Edinburgh. An essay was read by Rev. A. Auchterlonie on the Authorship of the Fourth Gospel, which was the occasion of a most interesting and valuable discussion.

THE NORTHERN ASSOCIATION.—The Annual Report has come to hand, as we are preparing for the press. It shows that a considerable amount of evangelistic work has been done during the year. Insch, Culsalmond, Portsoy, Nairn, Rhynie, New Pitsligo, and Frederick Street Church, Aberdeen, are mentioned as places where Agents of the Association have been labouring. No fewer than a hundred meetings have been conducted during the year, under the auspices of this Association. It appears that Mr MʻKay, their Canadian Missionary, has not, as the Newspapers represented, been ordained as a Pastor but simply set apart as an evangelist.

The Rev. A. Galbraith has accepted a call to Brighouse, Yorkshire, and leaves Whitehaven early in January. The Whitehaven' Guardian in making the announcement says, –

We make this announcement with much regreta regret which we believe we only share with Mr Galbraith's large congregation. He has now ministered in the Whitehaven Congregational Church for nine years, with much acceptation to all its members and hearers; and in the rev. gentleman the Whitehaven platform, so far as he appeared thereon, will lose a graceful, ready, and effective speaker, who never spoke on any subject without having something to say, and never failed to say that something well.”

The Rev. William Goldie who owing to ill-health resigned the pastorate of the Grantham Church, has received a handsome testimonial from his congregation, upwards of £200 having been presented to him.

Rev. Thomas Dunlop, late of Ŭ.P. Church, Edinburgh, at his recognition meeting as pastor of the Congregational Church, Bootle, said that passing from Presbyterianism to Independency was like going from Matthew to Mark. Does our brother mean that Mark takes you on a little further than Matthew ?

We have just learned that the Rev. Mr M‘Munn has resigned the pastoral charge of Great Hamilton Street Church, Glasgow.

LERWICK.—Mr Thompson, Student, has, we believe, declined the call received from this church.

NOTICES OF BOOKS. Biblical Commentary on the Proverbs months ago, and the high commenda

of Solomon. By Franz Delitzsch tions which we gave to it, we can D.D. Translated from the German, give also to the second and last by M. G. Easton, D.D. Vol. ii.- volume of this most useful comTheology of the Old Testament. By mentary. Good exegetical comDr Gust Fr. Oehler. Translated by mentaries on this book, which is so Sophia Taylor. Vol. ii. Edinburgh, full of practical wisdom, are scarce. T. E T. Clark.

There are numerous works of a homiThe first volume of the above com- letic and discursive character, written mentary on the Book of Proverbs, with the view of illustrating and enwe had occasion to review some forcing its maxims and precepts, but

one

we

few such as this which attempts to bring out the real meaning of the text, and present the truth with as much as possible of the force and point of the original Hebrew. To one who wishes to understand the muchneglected Book of Proverbs, the volumes before us are simply invaluable. Does the modern pulpit make as much of the Book of Proverbs as it might ? Why should the mine of thought and wisdom in this part of Scripture not be better explored by the teacher and preacher ? Many of the lessons taught are much needed in the present day, and we advise all who seek to influence the present generation to study this part of holy writ with all the helps such as the

are describing. Delitzsch shows an intimate acquaintance with the general literature of Proverbs, and from his accumulated stores showers many sidelights upon the text.

In our notice of the first volume of Oehler's work on the Theology of the Old Testament, we explained that his object is to present in systematic form, the doctrines which underlie or are embodied in Old Testament history, ceremonial, and prophecy. The work is indeed a condensed summary of the teaching of the Old Testament, and will make a most useful handbook. The second volume is quite worthy of the reputation which the first won for the book. Critical and Exegetical Commentary

on the New Testament. By Heinrich August Wilhelm Meyer, Th.D. -The Gospel of John. Vol. xxvii. -The Epistles to the Philippians and Colossians. Edinburgh, T. and T. Clark.

In the two further instalments of this noble commentary, we see the same features of excellency which have given what has already appeared of Meyer's great work, a standing and authority second-to-none. It takes us further on than Alford's. It is a commentary that contains the results of the ripest scholarship and latest research. Occasionally we meet with views which cannot be accepted; but on the whole, his judgment is as sound as his scholarship is accurate. The two volumes

before us have been carefully translated and revised. They have a handsome appearance, and would grace the shelves of any library.

From the Religious Tract Society we have the following :

The Newest Neighbour, and other Stories. We can most cordially recommend this book, having read it with great interest. The first story is that of a brave Swedish girl, whose fortitude and fidelity brought much that was good to her and her friends. Much interesting information is given about Sweden and the Baltic. The Great Salterns. A tale suited to the times, and one that cannot be read without advantage. An excellent story with a sound moral. My Brother Paul. This is book which every boy should read. It is full of incident, and the moral instruction is imparted in an indirect, and therefore in the most effective way for the young. The Upward Path, or Holiness unto the Lord. A book for the times. The subject of personal holiness is one that has been receiving much attention, and as a book that presents in brief compass, the scriptural doctrine on the subject in a pleasing, and yet faithful manner, we can commend it. Angelic Beings, Their Nature and Ministry. A series of discourses on this most interesting subject, presenting all that we know of these friends on the other side, who come on errands of mercy to us, who are on this side the veil.' The Illustrated Messenger is full of excellent reading. As good stories for the young, we can also speak favourably of The Old Brown Book; Only a Beggar Boy; and Mary's Christmas Holiday. Also two pocketbooks, and sheet almanack for 1876; and some beautifully illuminated cards.

The Expositor for December is an admirable number. It deserves a large circulation.

We were particularly pleased with the Editor's article on the Book of Revelation.

The Day of Rest, Happy Hours, and the Peep-Show, are well adapted for the classes and purposes intended, the first being for Sunday use, the second an ordinary family magazine, and the third for children.

THE SCOTTISH

CONGREGATIONAL MAGAZINE.

FEBRUARY 1876.

MR BATCHELOR ON ADVISORY COUNCILS.* When it was resolved that this question of Councils should be brought under discussion, no better choice could have been made of one to take the lead in it than that which assigned it to Mr Batchelor. We all know that from him might be expected clearness of statement, orderly arrangement, and the best arguments that could be found in support of his view of the matter. And this expectation is amply fulfilled by the able paper which has at length been extensively circulated among the members of our churches. It deserves, and, we doubt not will receive, the most respectful consideration wherever it may have come. And, fortunately, this is not one of those “burning questions” which inflame men's passions, and convert them into eager partisans on one side or other. Our mood in respect to it is perfectly calm, giving good ground to hope for an impartial judgment, and the practical determination best adapted to meet the real necessities of the case.

Mr Batchelor in his paper, first explains the nature of the Advisory Council, laying just stress upon the qualifying term “ Advisory," as distinguishing such a body from those which in other churches claim to rule. Strictly representative in its constitution, it seeks to enforce nothing on those to whom its decisions refer; it assumes not the right to say " you must,” but only "you ought.” We must refer to the paper itself for the details regarding the composition and working of such a body, only calling attention to the fact, that Mr Batchelor disapproves of any permanent tribunal consisting of the same persons under the name of a Council. It is something which has to be created for each occasion on which it might with advantage be employed.

Such occasions are indicated in the latter part of the paper. The cases enumerated are the following :-If a church member has been wronged by a majority of his church, he might have a right of appeal to

* The above has been received from an esteemed contributor. We shall be glad to insert a paper from one who takes the other side. -ED.

С

such a Council. If a minister has been injuriously treated by the church or its office-bearers, he ought to have the same resource. Candidates for the ministry should be required to have the sanction of such a Council, as well as that of the church to which they belong before being admitted to the advantages of the Theological Hall. “ The enterprise of forming a church ought always to be undertaken by a Council.” Ordinations ought never to be permitted without convening one. And, finally, such a body might undertake the preparation of a manual, containing rules for church procedure, and supplying aids to applicants for church-fellowship, “Especially spiritual aids, such as brief questions which every candidate should be able to ponder before application for membership."

Such is the extensive scope which it is proposed to give to this new addition to our ecclesiastical machinery, and it remains for ministers and members of our churches in Scotland, to indicate their mind concerning it. We hope this may be done promptly and decidedly, so that the question may not remain to haunt us for years, and to give occasion for interminable talk at all our meetings. For ourselves, being persuaded that this all-pervading activity of Councils is foreign to the genius of Congregationalism, and peculiarly ill-adapted to our circumstances in Scotland, we shall briefly indicate some of our objections to it. Before adopting the method suggested, it would be well for us to consider whether we are quite able to encounter all the responsibilities which it involves. The occasions which call for the action of a Council as indicated in the paper before us, are so numerous and so entirely beyond control, that we may well pause before committing ourselves to a task which we, perhaps, should find intolerably burdensome. To take only one instance: when a member of a church, possibly a very unworthy member, knows that he has this right of appeal against the decision of the church, what security have we that this right shall not be exercised in the most vexatious manner? At his bidding, a number of ministers and laymen must leave their ordinary avocations, travel considerable distances, possibly at their own expense, and then, as likely as not find that the man had no case at all.

In order to estimate aright the onerous nature of the task which it is proposed we should undertake, we must bear in mind that for each of the many causes which require the intervention of a Council, that Council has to be created. There is no standing, permanent body, with its machinery in working order, with its forms of process defined, and its members prepared by experience for the discharge of their duties. Some one has to take the initiative of calling it into being with an amount of toil which only those who have tried anything of the kind can appreciate. Still, if it would certainly contribute to the prosperity of our cause in Scotland, we should not allow even all this to stand in the way of its adoption.

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