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privileges and example which the fol- neither charged with authority nor relowing words describe should be lightly plete with grace. It is not the universal esteemed : “ Blessed is the man that and constant practice to have the family heareth me, watching daily at my gates, assembled on the Lord's day for religious waiting at the posts of my doors ;"- instruction and where this custom is “ These all continued in prayer and sup- unknown, it cannot be supposed that plication with the women, and Mary the heads of families will talk with their mother of Jesus, and with his brethren." children of divine things on other days,
Many of us must recollect the prac- when they sit in the house and when tice, at no very distant day, in the Se- they walk by the way, and when they lie cession, when, in coming to and going down and when they rise up; nor is it from the place of the holy," the engross- wonderful that the young, growing up ing subject of discourse was the one untaught, unrestrained, undisciplined, thing needful, and when, to drop an un- should soon become ungovernable—the necessary remark respecting the common prey of soul-destroying opinions, of coraffairs of life, would have been met with rupting society, or of ruinous indulgences the look or tone of indignant rebuke. -the means of the temporal ruin of And yet an elder informed us that pious families, and of bringing down the gray conversation on the day of the Lord had hairs of their parents with sorrow to the almost entirely given way to talk on se grave. cular matters in the congregation to In the year 1841, it was ascertained which he belonged-a state of matters that there were in the congregations 173 which, as indicating disrespect to God's prayer meetings of various kinds, inholy day, and the encroachment of a cluding a goodly number of fellowship worldly spirit, is too sure an evidence of meetings. In 1845, it was found that the a low state of piety wherever it prevails : latter had in some instances gone down, “For out of the abundance of the heart and in others, maintained only a lanthe mouth speaketh.”
guishing existence. The business and It is apprehended that the duty of privileges of such meetings, indeed, have family worship, though by many per- too often been committed by the many formed, may by some be neglected, and to the few—the few honoured persons on the part of others not m that re- who walk in the steps and inherit the gular, devout, and cheerful service which blessing of those of whom it is said, it ought to be. If genuine religion exist " Then they that feared the Lord spake at all, it must chiefly operate in the do- often one to another, and the Lord mestic circle, as in the discharge of mu- hearkened and heard it”-as one who tual duty, and in the manifestation of feels an interest in the mention of his christian tempers, so also in that ha- own name," and a book of remembitual social acknowledgment of God brance was written before him for then which nature itself might teach us, and that feared the Lord and that thought which, were there not the examples of upon his name. And they shall be mine, Job, and Abraham, and Joshua, and saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when David, and Cornelius, and our Lord, I make up my jewels.” would receive sufficient explanation and The growing interest in Missions is one sanction from two sentences of the sacred of the most pleasing features of our time. volume: “ The voice of rejoicing and To all who are engaged in this cause, salvation is in the tabernacles of the let us apply the apostolic counsel and righteous ;” “ Pour out thy fury on the encouragement, “ Be ye stedfast, imfamilies that call not upon thy name.” moveable, always abounding in the work
Parental instruction and government can of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that not surely be in very efficient operation, your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” when so many of the young are unwilling All irreligious works are in vain-no to come to the help of the Lord against christian service is lost. As regards the mighty-when so much requires to pecuniary contributions for this object, be done for them by others than parents for the support of the gospel, and for the themselves, and when there is confessedly relief of the poor, it would be well for us 80 much ignorance in the land. “ Train to study the example of the people who up a child in the way he should go, and brought too much” for the service of when he is old he will not depart from the tabernacle, and who had to be “ it:” “Ye fathers provoke not your chil- strained” (Ex. xxxv. xxxvi.), -the exdren to wrath, but bring them up in the ample of the Macedonian churches (2 nurture and admonition of the Lord,” Cor. viii. 1-5), and, above all, the example are words which appear to some parents of the Saviour (2 Cor. viii. 9).
“ I will
give liberally," says Nevins. “When I heed unto thyself and unto the doctrine; have ascertained what justice requires continue in them; for in doing this thou me to give, I will add a little to my shalt both save thyself and them that donation out of generosity. And when hear thee.” “ They watch for your souls I have counted out what justice requires, as they that must give account.”. and what generosity of her free will Now, the God of peace, that brought offers, then I will think of him who, again from the dead our Lord Jesus, though he was rich, for our sakes became that great Shepherd of the sheep, through poor, that we through his poverty might the blood of the everlasting covenant, be rich; and I say not that I will add a make us perfect in every good work to little more, but how can I keep back do his will, working in us that which is any thing?
well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus "Were the whole realm of nature mine, Christ; to whom be glory for ever and
That were at present far too small : ever. Amen. Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.'»
There were, of course, no reports on the personal exercises of religion. It is the prerogative of Omniscience to discern what is done in the “ closet,” “ under Arbroath.—This presbytery met at Arthe fig-tree,” in the heart. But where broath on the 7th of October, when the these are regularly and cordially attended Rev. Henry Hyslop was appointed moto, there must be visible effects-holi- derator for the next twelve months. A ness, diligence, wisdom, and success. moderation was granted to the congreThey are also to the individual the evi- gation of Carnoustie, to take place on dence of christian character: for “ there the 23d current, Mr Eckford to preside. is scarce any trial of uprightness more In conformity with interim regulations sure and undeceiving than a general adopted by the Synod at its last meeting, relish for, and constant application to, a standing committee of presbytery on the unseen parts of religion.” All good missionary affairs was appointed, conmen-in every age, and under every sisting of four ministers and two elders; variety of circumstances Abraham the namely, Messrs Eckford, Sorley, Murray, master, and Eliezer the servant-David and Hay, with Messrs John Lumgair the shepherd, the outcast, the king, and John Garie, elders ; Mr Sorley, conMoses, and Aaron among his priests— vener. The presbytery held a special Peter on the house top-Paul in the meeting at Brechin on the 10th of prison, by the sea-shore, in the ship November, when the name of the late and even Jonah in “ the belly of the fish” Rev. James Renwick, who had been -have been the generation that sought removed by death on the 22d of October, God's face. “ The prayers of all saints !” was dropt from the roll of presbytery. A So, while 6
a neglected bible is too sure unanimous call from the congregation a sign of an unsanctified heart,”-while of Carnoustie to Mr James Cursiter, rather“ than come to its holy light, the preacher, was sustained; and the clerk ungodly man retires into the shades of instructed to intimate the same to Mr guilty ignorance,”-they are noble in the Cursiter. The condition of the congreeye of God who search the scriptures gation of Muirton, now vacant by the daily—they are blessed whose delight death of their pastor, Mr Renwick, and is in his law. If we would belong to the very destitute circumstances in which the generation of the righteous, and be Mr Renwick's family were left, occupied fitted for, and prospered in all other a good deal of the attention of the memduties—if we would not live in vain, bers of presbytery at this meeting, and and fail of praise from God when the such measures adopted as seemed best secrets of all hearts shall be revealed-fitted to meet their necessities. A plan let us daily commune with our own of presbyterial visitations was considered hearts, and cultivate fellowship with the and adopted ; to be carried into effect Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. by committees of presbytery, with a view
Thus exhorting and admonishing to the excitement and general benefit of others, how necessary is it that we who the congregations under their inspection. are office-bearers in God's house should At an ordinary meeting of presbytery,— remember these words of the Holy Ghost: held at Arbroath on the 6th of January, " And say to Archippus, take heed to a letter was received from Mr Cursiter, the ministry which thou hast received of declining the call to Carnoustie; in conthe Lord, that thou fulfil it.”-“ Take sequence of which, the call was laid
aside. Mr Rankin was appointed to Entered on consideration of Mr M Lel. preside in the moderation of a call in lan's demission of his pastoral charge, the congregation of Muirton, on the 22d which was tabled at last meeting of current. Certificates were received of presbytery, in consequence of his having the transference of two students of théo-received and accepted of an appointment logy to this presbytery; and subjects of to proceed as a missionary to New South discourse, for their improvement, were Wales. After reading a memorial from assigned to them. Inquiry was made, the congregation of Braehead, expressaccording to appointment of Synod, ing regret at the prospect of losing the whether or not the congregations of the services of their pastor, hearing Mr presbytery had made the annual collec- M'Lellan and the commissioners from tion for the Synod's general fund; and the congregation, the presbytery having measures were taken to have it made deliberately considered the case, prowithout delay, in any of the congregations ceeded to give judgment, when it was which might have omitted it. It was agreed to accept of the demission, and recommended to all the congregations of loose Mr M‘Lellan from his charge. In the presbytery, to make some contribu-l accepting their brother's demission, the tion on behalf of the family of the late presbytery agreed to express in the Mr Renwick. Appointed a special meet- minutes their unfeigned regret, that Mr ing of presbytery to be held at Montrose M‘Lellan should have seen it to be his on the 3d of February, to receive the duty to resign a charge which, for twelve report of the moderation at Muirton, years, he had filled with so much useful. and hear the discourses of the students; ness to the church, credit to himself, and and next ordinary meeting to be held at comfort to all his brethren ; and to state Arbroath on the 7th of April.
that they had accepted his resignation Perth-This presbytery met Nov. 4, only from the consideration, that he had and the meeting was opened with prayer been specially invited by the board on and an address by the Rev. Dr Jameson. missions to enter upon a very important The presbytery sustained a call to Mr sphere of labour abroad, and had corJames Cursiter from the congregation of dially complied with the invitation, and Comrie, and appointed his trials for or- that it only remained for them to give dination; and also a call from the con effect to the arrangement entered into gregation of Methven to Mr Robert between the board and him, and comM‘Laurin, and appointed his trials for mend him to the grace of God, in referordination. Appointed also trials forence to the great work to which he had licence to Mr John Buick, student in devoted himself. The moderator and divinity. Granted a moderation to the clerk were appointed to prepare a cercongregation of Pitrodie, and appointed tificate for Mr M‘Lellan, and furnish Mr Lamb to preside in it, on the 3d of him with it. The presbytery met again, December; and a part of Mr Scott's on January 6, 1846. After the usual congregation, Leslie, having applied for preliminary business, it was intimated sermon in connexion with the Synod, the from the chair, that it had pleased God presbytery agreed to grant it, and ap- to remove suddenly by death, since pointed accordingly. The presbytery last meeting, the Rev. William Fleming, met again on the 13th of January, and the respected and venerable father of sustained a call to Mr William Cowan the presbytery, who had laboured in his from the congregation of Pitrodie, and master's service faithfully and usefully, appointed his trials for ordination. Mr for the long period of rather more than Buick delivered two of his discourses for forty-seven years in the congregation of license, which were approved and sus- West Calder. The presbytery cannot tained; and queries addressed to ses- allow the name of their highly respected sions respecting the state of religion in and esteemed father to drop from their congregations within the bounds of the roll without expressing their deep sympresbytery, prepared by a committee pathy with the congregation, who have appointed by the presbytery, were di- lost such a faithful and able pastor, rected to be printed, transmitted to ses- and with the family who have been sions, and answers appointed to be bereaved of such an affectionate and returned before the 1st of March next. tender relative; nor without recording, at
Lanark.--This presbytery met No- the same time, their strong sense of the loss vember 18—the Rev. David Smith, which they themselves have sustained, moderator. Heard Mr Russell, student, in the removal of one who, both as a deliver a discourse on John vii. 37, minister and member of presbytery, in which was received with approbation. his ministerial intercourse and ecclesi
astical business, had by his piety, wis. the 3rd December, for the ordination dom, amiableness, and good sense, com- of Mr J. B. Ritchie, as pastor of the mended and endeared himself to all his Charlotte Street Congregation, Aberbrethren."
deen. The father of Mr Ritchie, Dr Stewartfield. At the meeting of the Ritchie of Edinburgh, according to represbytery of Stewartfield in December, quest which had been made to him by examinators of the students of divinity the presbytery, preached the ordination in the presbytery were appointed. It sermon ; and took for his text, Eph. ii. was stated that all the congregations in 17. Mr Paterson of Midmar narrated the presbytery had made the appointed the previous steps, proposed the questions collection for the general fund of the of the formula, and offered the ordinaSynod, or had made arrangements for tion prayer; and suitable addresses were making it very soon. It was stated by made to the newly ordained pastor by the clerk that he had made another Mr MʻIntosh of Shiels; and the people, attempt to obtain a located missionary by Mr Sedgewick of Aberdeen. Mr for Gardiner and Penman, which was Ritchie received a most cordial welcome approved of. The Rev. Adam Lind, from the congregation, amid the best Wm. Balfour, and P. Landreth, Mr wishes of his brethren for his comfort Lind, convener, were appointed a com- and success. The congregation held a mittee to superintend the missionary social meeting in the evening, when stations, and report their state occa- the place of meeting, the church, was sionally to the presbytery. As the filled; and addresses on subjects of result of a friendly conversation, re- present interest were delivered by Dr specting the best means of reviving the Ritchie, Mr Landreth from the presinterests of religion in the different bytery of Stewartfield, Mr Callander congregations in the presbytery, the from the same presbytery, and other Rev. J. Hunter, J. Callander, and D. speakers. Allison, with their respective presby- Cupar Presbytery. - This presbytery tery elders, were appointed a commit- met on January 6–Dr Taylor moderator. tee to draw out a plan for this purpose, The Rev. Drs Heugh and Beattie, of the and lay it before the presbytery at next presbytery of Glasgow; the Rev. Joseph meeting for consideration, the Rev. J. Brown, of the presbytery of Edinburgh, Hunter, convener. A letter signed by and the Rev. Mr Burnet, of the Relief George Gordon, jun., long suspended presbytery of Dysart, being present, were from church privileges, was presented invited to correspond. After some rouand read, praying the presbytery to take tine business, Dr Beattie stated, that he his case into consideration, with the appeared, along with Mr David Anderview of restoring him to the communion son, as commissioner from the presbytery of the church, and solemnly denying the of Glasgow, to lay on the table a call from charges which had been brought against Regent Place congregation to the Rev. him, when it was agreed that the pres- Mr Taylor of St Andrews, to be colleague bytery had received no new information and successor to the Rev. Dr Heugh. on the subject, and, therefore, were not The call, and other documents connected in circumstances to warrant them to therewith, were read, and put into Mr resume the consideration of it, or to Taylor's hands; and Mr Rankine was enable them to bring it to a satisfactory appointed to preach at St Andrews on termination; but, at his request, in- Sabbath first, and summon the congregastructed the clerk to give him a certified tion to appear, for their interests, at the statement of his situation, in reference next meeting, which was appointed to be to church communion, as far as the held at Cupar on the Tuesday after the presbytery are concerned. Was pre- first Sabbath of February. The moderasented and read, a statement from the tor, as convener of the standing commitcongregation of New Leeds, showing that tee on missions, reported, that he had not they had raised, for paying off debt, the received answers to the queries sanctioned amount required of them to entitle them at last meeting from more than one-half to the aid promised by the board of of the sessions, and he was instructed to the Synod's new fund, when the clerk apply to the sessions who had not yet was instructed to attest to that board reported, to furnish answers in writing, accordingly. The Rev. P. Landreth without fail, before the next meeting of was appointed moderator, the time of presbytery. next meeting appointed, and all, as usual, Selkirk. —This presbytery met at Mel. concluded with prayer.
rose on Tuesday the 6th of January. Aberdeen. This presbytery met on Mr Thomson was chosen moderator for
the ensuing year, and took his seat accordingly. Mr Jackson delivered his remaining trials, which were unanimously sus- Auchtermuchty, First Congregation.tained, and he was, in due form, licensed The new place of worship belonging to to preach the gospel ; and the clerk was this congregation was opened on Sabbath, instructed to report his license to the 4th January, Dr Taylor preaching in the committee of distribution. Mr Ballan- forenoon, and the Rev. Mr Johnston of tyne also delivered a discourse, which was Limekilns in the afternoon and evening. approved of, and he was encouraged to The building in which the congregation prosecute his studies. The clerk reported formerly assembled was erected in 1750, that, in answer to his communications on and, though repeatedly altered and imthe subject, the congregations of Hawick proved, never made any pretensions to and Lilliesleaf had reported that they had elegance, and was not at all commodious. collected for the synod fund, in obedience The present fabric has a handsome Gothic to the injunctions of synod. At his re- front, is a good deal enlarged, and, in its quest, Mr Cameron, student, of the fourth internal structure, partakes of the imyear, was transferred to the presbytery of provements of the day. The debt occaEdinburgh, within whose bounds he is at sioned by the erection will not be conpresent residing. The presbytery re- siderable, as the congregation have made sumed consideration of Mr Robson's a liberal subscription, and been generousmotion, and, after a lengthened conver- ly aided by a number of friends, chiefly sation, agreed, that it could not be adopt- in the neighbourhood, many of whom, ed in its present form, and appointed not connected with the Secession church, Messrs Williamson, Nicol, and Thomson, have both contributed money and rento take the matter into consideration, and dered valuable assistance by the carriage report ; Mr Nicol to be convener. En- of building materials. On Monday, 5th joined Messrs Douglas, Riddel, Stewart, January, a congregational soiree was and Wyllie, to appear at the next meet- held, in which the Rev. Messrs Wise, ing, to deliver their discourses. The next Stevenson, and Ferries, Auchtermuchty; meeting of presbytery is to be at Selkirk, Johnston, Limekilns; Mackelvie, Balon Tuesday the 10th of March.
gedie; and Brown, Dalkeith, took part. Stirling and Falkirk. — The Presbytery All the speeches were on subjects of a met at Stirling on the 13th of January serious nature, and we exceedingly Mr Alexander Wallace having declined interesting, to a large and respectable the call from Avonbridge, and a petition audience. The collection at the opening, having been this day presented by the and the proceeds of the soiree, amounted congregation for another moderation, the to upwards of L.48.—The congregation presbytery appointed it to take place on being one of the oldest in the district, the 13th of February, Mr Edmond to has frequently given off sections of its preside, and Mr M‘Farlane to assist. members to others which have from time Agreed that the students of divinity to time been erected in the vicinity; but under the charge of the presbytery be the population having increased, it has examined at next meeting on Church suffered no permanent diminution of its History, first three centuries, and, at the numbers; and if, in consequence of a meeting immediately preceding the ses- more enlightened and equitable system sion of the Hall, on the Socinian Contro- of commercial legislation and the conversy,—Mr Smith to conduct the former struction of railways in the neighbourexamination, Mr M‘Dowall the latter; hood, the trade of the place shall become with a view to which the students were less depressed than it has generally been to read M'Gee on the Atonement, Smith's of late, there is a reasonable prospect Scripture Testimony, and Wardlaw's that, under the Divine blessing, this Discourses on the principal points of the portion of the church may continue to controversy. Mr John Kidd delivered enjoy a moderate degree of prosperity. part of his trials for license. The com- As voluntaryism has now given so demittee, appointed for the purpose, re- cided a complexion to the United Se.. ported that they had prepared and cir. cession, it seems not impertinent to culated a statement on practical religion, remark, that the germ of it may be said and their diligence in the matter was to have originated in this congregation; approved. The presbytery disposed of its venerated pastor, the Rev. Jolin some cases of reference and appeal from Fraser, A.M., having introduced into the sessions, and appointed their next meet- Associate Synod, in 1795, his famous ing to be held at Falkirk on the 10th of overture anent the power of the civil March.
magistrate in matters of religion; the NO. II. VOL. III.