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except as the effect of withchcraft ; and of an old man, saying, like the Hebrews, hence they lament bitterly when any one “ He is gone to sleep in peace, old and is prematurely cut off ; while on the full of days, and has been gathered to his contrary, they rather rejoice at the death fathers.”
UNITED SECESSION CHURCH. ture was adopted. Next ordinary meet
ing of presbytery was appointed to be at PRESBYTERIAL NOTICES.
Ayr, on Tuesday, the 9th of June.
Kirkcaldy.—This presbytery met in London. At the meeting of the pres. Kirkcaldy, on March 31st. Called for bytery, held at Albion chapel, on Monday, the reports of congregations, respecting March 23, 1846, Mr Callender, student their collections for the Synod's general of divinity, delivered the remainder of fund, when it was found that all the his trials for license. These consisted congregations had collected, with the of a lecture on 1 Thes. iv, 13, a popular exception of the congregation of Betheldiscourse on Psalms xxix. ll, the field, Kirkcaldy, from which there was reading of the 103d Psalm, in Hebrew no report. The clerk, agreeably to tho and of the Greek Testament, ad libitum. directions of the Synod, was instructed The whole of the exercises were highly to write to said congregation, inquiring approved, and after the usual questions “ whether said collection had been made, of the formula, the vote of the presbytery and if not made, what reasons had pre. was taken, and Mr Callender was ad- vented it from being made.” The clerk mitted to be a preacher of the gospel, reported that, in compliance with their under the inspection of the United Se- request, he had transferred Mr Greig, cession Church. A petition for aid was student, to the presbytery of Edinburgh, also presented from Pell Street chapel. and Mr Logie to the presbytery of SelIt was agreed to transmit it to each of kirk, of which conduct the presbytery the sessions for consideration, and that approved. Entered into consideration of also an answer should be requested the overture respecting the eldership, to the following queries from each ses- when, after some deliberation, it was sion :-Ist, Whether the session thinks agreed to enjoin sessions to take the it desirable that an extension fund should overture into consideration, and to report be formed in connexion with the United on or before the 20th of April ; and to Associate Presbytery of London, and if appoint Messrs Hardie and Crawford a 80, what measures would the session re- committee, to receive said reports. It commend for its formation and establish- was reported that Mr Pollok, late of ment. 2d, Whether the session deem it Buckhaven, had joined the communion advisable, that the present chapel in Pell of the Scotch established church, when, Street should be retained for that con- after a long and animated discussion, gregation, or that they should be advised a motion was made, seconded, and agreed to seek for one in another locality. I to, declaring Mr Pollok to be no longer
Kilmarnock. - The Presbytery met, I a minister or member of the United March 31. Mr David Young having Secession Church ; and expressing the gone through the usual trials for ordina- disapprobation of the presbytery of the tion to the satisfaction of the presbytery, inconsistency of the step taken by him his ordination was appointed to take place with his former zealous profession and at Muirkirk, on the 21st of April ;-Mr advocacy of secession and voluntary prinMathewson to preside, Mr Dalrymple to ciples ; and with his statement to the preach, and Mr Forrest to give the ad- presbytery on his demission, that he dress to Mr Young and to the congrega- meant to support his family by teaching, tion. Mr Thomas proposed an overture at the same time that he brought, as the to the Synod, for measures to provide in ground of his resignation, calumnious every congregation a library for the use charges against the congregation of Buckof its minister. A remark or two were haven. Messrs Halley and Johnston made by some members about “ too reported that, as a deputation from this many irons in the fire ;" but the over- presbytery, they had visited the Relief
presbytery of Dysart, and been very at variance with the letter of the divine graciously received.
word ; at deeper variance still with the Edinburgh.—The presbytery of Edin- spirit and genius of the gospel, and deburgh met on 7th April. The Rev. Mr serving an expression of distinct and Cooper read a draft of the letter proposed decisive condemnation from every Christo be read to the congregations, explana- tian, and from every court of Christ. tory of the intended presbyterial visita- 2, That, American slavery, from the tions. He was thanked for his services ; multitudes it holds in bondage, from the and after some observations, the letter extremely aggravated form it assumes, was ordered to be printed, and distri- and from the lamentable antithesis it buted. At same time, the questions to presents to the professed principles and be proposed to sessions under the scheme, constitution of that country, is, on the were ordered to be printed, -the queries whole, the most foul and hideous kind of of the mission board of the presbytery, slavery the world has ever seen, and to be embraced. The Rev. William deserves from us the most profound and Thomson gave notice, that at next meet- unmitigated reprobation. 3, That the iug, he would propose an overture on the conduct of the various churches in the subject of ministers' libraries, for trans- southern states of America, on this sub. mission to the Synod. A letter was readject, in admitting slave-holders to comfrom Mr William Cowan, probationer, munion, in defending and supporting declining the call to West Linton. The slavery, in restraining the utterance of call was then laid aside ; and the fact the truth on this topic, in permitting appointed to be announced to the congre- ministers and even congregations, in gation. At this meeting, Messrs William some instances, to hold slaves themselves, Ballantyne, Gilbert Meikle, John Scott, and in drawing the deepest line of deand William Inglis, were licensed to marcation between the two races at the preach the gospel, and to act as proba. blessed table of him, in whom there is tioners. Rev. Mr Dyer was appointed neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, to preside in the dispensation of the Lord's is altogether indefensible, implicates them Supper in the second congregation, Dal- in the sin of slavery, and renders it imkeith, on last Sabbath of the month; possible for this presbytery to recognise and the Rev. Jos. Brown to constitute the them as sister or christian churches. session there, and to preside in their 4, That this presbytery feel themmeetings, when requested to do so. The selves called upon, from the circumRev. William Thomson, Slateford, was stances of the times, from the state of chosen moderator for next six months ; public feeling in the country, as well as and next meeting of presbytery appointed from their own convictions, and their to be held on 28th curt., at eleven o'clock regard to the general cause of Christ, to A.M.
record their special protest against all Dundee.-This presbytery met on the attempts to palliate slavery, by perver7th April. A moderation of a call was sions of the word of God, from whatever granted to the Rattray congregation, to quarter these come, and against all take place on the 230 April : Rev. Robert measures, by whatsoever church adopted, D. Duncan to preach and preside. Pub- which may have tended, or do still tend, lic worship to begin at seven o'clock to perpetuate and uphold a system which p.m. Called for reports from sessions, lies under the ban alike of nature and of regarding the overture on the eldership, God's word. 5. That the presbytery which were given in, and the presbytery agree to memorialize the Synod, respectunanimously approved of said overture. fully craving it to take up, at the ensuing The committee on the revival of religion meeting, the question of American slavery, in the presbytery and bounds, reported and particularly the state of our conprogress; to this committee Messrs Dun- nexion with the slave-holding churches can and Ogilvie were added. Resolutions of America, and with their abettors and from the School Wynd congregation, advocates at home, and to prosecute the Dundee, against American slavery, and subject as their wisdom seems fit.” After fellowship with its abettors, were laid on the members of presbytery had expressed the table and read. When the following their views on the subject, it was moved were proposed and seconded :-), That, and adopted," That the presbytery exin the opinion of the presbytery, slavery, 'press the substance of these resolutions in every shape, form, and degree, is at in a memorial to the Synod, respectfully once an enormous evil and a deadly sin, craving it to take up at its ensuing meeting, the question of American Busby, gave in part of his trials, which slavery, and particularly the state of were sustained, and intimated his accepour connexion with the slave-holding tance of said call. A moderation was churches of America, and with their granted to the congregation of Lismore, abettors and advocates at home, and pro- Rev. David MʻRae to preside, on the secute the subject as their wisdom seems 30th instant. Rev. A. W. Smith of fit.” From this decision Messrs Ogilvie, Cambuslang laid on the table the deDuncan, and M‘Gavin dissented. The mission of his pastoral charge of that next ordinary meeting of this presbytery congregation. It was agreed that the to be held in Dundee, on Tuesday, the congregation of Cambuslang receive notice 9th June.
of this, and be summoned to appear for Stirling and Falkirk. The presbytery their own interests at next meeting of met at Stirling on the 7th of April. Mr presbytery, to be held in Edinburgh on Smith was chosen moderator for the year. the evening of Tuesday, 5th May. It A considerable part of the day was spent was also agreed to overture the Synod as on a case of appeal by an elder against a to Ministers' Libraries, and as to the deed of his session, and in considering the propriety of petitioning parliament in report of a deputation sent to inquire into favour of the abolition of university tests. the circumstances of one of the congre- It was also resolved to overture the gations which had applied to be recom- Synod, that further steps be taken with mended to the Synod for pecuniary aid. a view to expedite the union with the The presbytery, after some conversation Relief church. respecting the overture on the eldership, which, from a press of other business,
CALL. could not be considered at an earlier meeting, agreed to express their appro- l'On the 30th March, the United Associate bation of its object, and to transmit to congregation of Methven gave a unanithe Synod's committee on the subject amous call to the Rev. John Millar of copy of measures adopted by the presby- | North Middleton, in the Presbytery of tery in 1839, for promoting, among other Newcastle, to be their pastor. The Rev. objects, the greater efficiency of the D. Young of Kinclaven preached and eldership. Mr M‘Dowall having ex-presided in the moderation of the call. pressed an earnest desire that the presbytery should proceed to dispose of the
OBITUARY. case of John Melvin, elder in the first congregation of Alloa, it was resolved to
MR GEORGE DOUGLAS SYME take it up at a meeting in Edinburgh Was born at Kilconquhar, Fifeshire, on during the sitting of the Synod. The February 5, 1814. His father was poor, presbytery adopted an overture on the but a man of decided piety, and an effi superintendence by the church courts of cient elder during a long period of years, students while prosecuting their course until his death. His son was, educated at college with a view to the ministry, in the village-school of Kilconquhar, and and agreed to transmit it to the Synod. in 1829 entered the University of St Appointed next meeting to be held in Andrews, where he distinguished himself Edinburgh on the 5th of May, at the as a Greek scholar. Before he had ended close of the evening sederunt of Synod ; his college curriculum, he became asand the annual meeting for missions and sistant teacher in the grammar school at revival (to which all the elders in the Rothesay, where also he acted as tutor in bounds are invited), to be held at Falkirk a highly respectable family. It was here on the 2d day of June.
that he made a public confession of his Glasgow. This presbytery met on the faith, by joining the church under the pas14th April - Rev. John Inglis, modera- toral care of the Rev. Samuel Macnab. tor. The Rev. Andrew Johnstone nar- In the autumn of 1834, he entered our rated his procedure in a moderation at Theological Hall, where he prosecuted Campbelton, and laid on the table a his studies with assiduity and success; unanimous call from that congregation, and in May 1839, he was licensed to addressed to Mr James Anderson, preach- preach the gospel by the United Associate er. The conduct of Mr Johnstone was Presbytery of Cupar. approved of, the call sustained, and sub- His public labours were everywhere jects for trial assigned to Mr Anderson, highly acceptable ; and towards the close Mr James Dick, preacher, under call to of 1840, at the urgent request of the con
gregation of Mainsriddle, Galloway, he sickness. His room and attendance in was located there for two months. Here the Institution befitted the station of a he preached generally three times on Secession preacher; and all which skill the Sabbath, conducted a weekly prayer could suggest, or money command, was meeting, and visited much from house to done first for his recovery, and when that house. These labours were appreciated became hopeless, for the alleviation of by the people ; but they exceeded his his sufferings. The hand of Providence strength, and probably contributed to must here be thankfully acknowledged, bring on that malady which necessitated as much christian liberality was displayed his removal, on the 230 November 1840, by kind friends, particularly in the first to the Royal Crichton Institution near United Associate Congregation of DumDumfries, where he died January 23, of fries, who, aided by an annual grant from the present year.
the Synod Fund, by contributions from During the five years of his seclusion, Rothesay and Paisley, by collections from without having any lucid interval, he most of the congregations in the Presbycould generally recognise the ministers tery of Dumfries, and from several in that and preachers of his former acquaintance, of Annan and Carlisle, generously supwho called to see him. A few weeks be-plied what was required for his comfortfore his death, whilst one of our ministers able maintenance. was with him, he said, amid much that He was interred in the churchyard of was incoherent, “ I hope the great Spirit St Mary's, Dumfries, where a neat monufrom on high will come down with power mental stone, bearing the following into save me ;” and when the minister sup- scription, is about being erected :posing, from the firm grasp of his hand, « George Douglas Syme, Licentiate of that he wished something, asked if he the United Secession Church, died in the should like him to pray, he readily an- Royal Crichton Institution, Dumfries, swered in the affirmative ; the prayer was 230 January 1846-Aged 32. offered up, but it was evident that Mr « The urbanity of his manners, the Syme did not join in it. A few days be worth of his character, and the excellence fore his death, the same minister called, of his public ministrations procured him accompanied by a preacher whom Mr many friends. They accompanied him Syme had formerly known : Mr Syme to the place of his retreat with their recognised him, and said, " I once was a prayers and attentions; and as a last preacher too, and I liked it well.” Gleams token of their affection and esteem, they of reason and piety these which made the dedicate this stone to his memory.” set darkness, that extinguished them in a What a tragedy of human life ! less moment, only the more visible
gloomy, however, because its scenes were Bodily disease was not wanting to witnessed by human sympathy, and its aggravate the mysterious sufferings of his last act closed by the tears of friends. mind, and so gradually did he sink, that Let us not forget that there is a tragedy he was only two days confined to bed in more common in human life, and more his last illness.
awful still. To lose the mind is melanOne who lodged with Mr Syme during choly : to neglect or abuse it, is treason four sessions of the Hall, bears testimony against its Author. We have seen a to the courtesy of his general deportment, clear and active mind eclipsed and arand the strength of his particular attach- rested ; let the still darkness inspire us ments. He had the politeness of a gen- with sympathy and awe; but, before that, tlemen for all, a warm and generous we saw the lustre of a pure heart, and a heart for his friends. His piety was blameless life, let us imbibe their rays, equally removed from indifference and and reflect them back. enthusiasm. It was rooted in a faithful study of the Bible, had grown up under the shade of his closeto devotions, and| ASSOCIATION FOR OPPOSING brought forth the fruits of purity and joy
PREVALENT ERRORS. in his life and ministrations. His family A CIRCULAR lately issued by the comand public prayers were deeply imbued mittee, gives the following interesting with the spirit of the gospel, and could statement of the objects and plans of the have been uttered only by one who took society under the name of the “ SCOTTISH delight in fellowship with God.
ASSOCIATION FOR OPPOSING PREVAIt is pleasing to reflect that one so LENT ERRORS": amiable in health was not abandoned in The designation is general ; but the NO. V. VOL. III.
more immediate design of the society is! The number and character of the new to employ what measures may be deemed ecclesiastical edifices in connexion with advisable to oppose the spread of SUPER- the Romish church, which are found in STITION under the forms of Popery and this country, and the accessions to its Puseyism ; and of INFIDELITY, under the communion, on the part of highly-eduforms of Pantheism, Anti-supernatural cated members of the church of England, ism, and Socialism.
which are daily taking place, also deLittle can be needed to convince any monstrate its growing influence and power. intelligent Christian of the bold and ener-- Within five years, upwards of 100 indigetic efforts now making on behalf of viduals of note, connected with the these erroneous systems. Every one de- English universities, have gone over to voted to the sacred interests of divine the profession of Romanism: and seldom truth, who is in the habit of marking the does a week pass without additional insigns of the times, must be already stances of the same kind. Between three tremblingly alive to the alarming inroads and four thousand of the clergy of the of these forms of superstition on the one church of England are said to be deeply hand, and the insidious progress of scep- tainted with the Tractarian heresy, wbich ticism and disbelief on the other; and differs from popery only in name, and in he must be inquiring, " What can the degree of its development : and all I do to stem their destructive tide ?"- must have noticed that, had it not been “ What more can I do, than I am doing, for the opposition of public opinion, to move, or to co-operate with that Spirit, several of the most distinguished heads who alone can effectually lift up a stand of the hierarchy seemed ready, a short ard against them?” Our association is time ago, to lend their authority and intended to meet the wishes of such names to the same thinly-veiled system inquirers, and with divine assistance, to of Roman superstition. And when we concentrate and direct their exertions to add to these things, the consideration of the preservation of the religion and morals the shoals of Puseyite publications that of our native country.
are issuing from the press, and the numThe gigantic efforts of the church of bers of Puseyite chapels, and Puseyite Rome, in heathen lands,—wherever the seminaries of learning, which have been “ seed of the kingdom” has been sown,- erected, or are in course of erection, in to sow the tares of her own baleful super- Scotland ; and when we reflect that there stition, or to monopolize the field and ga- is little in the piety or principle of the ther the harvest for herself, are well known. mass of the population to which we can But they are, perhaps, surpassed by the confidently look as a barrier to this tide of intensity of desire and the eagerness of superstition ; there seems enough, and hope, with which she is looking for the more than enough, to convince all the restoration of her dominion in Britain, friends of truth, however little disposed to and preparing herself for taking advan- become alarmists, of the urgent necessity tage of every opening which may lead to of immediate and strenuous exertions to that result. Nor are her expectations withstand or counteract that tide. unwarranted by facts. In 1844, the con- Nor does there seem, looking to a diftributions from the British Isles to the ferent region of society, less reason to funds of the “ Society for the Propagation | dread the progress of infidelity, on the of the Faith,” exceeded those of any one hand, than the spread of superstition other country, with the exception of on the other. For a long period, SocialFrance and the Sardinian States. The ism has been labouring to diffuse its deRoman States did not supply half the grading and demoralising tenets among amount derived from the British do- the labouring classes, and it appears to minions; and the amount is yearly aug. have been but too widely successful. menting. Such a fact speaks volumes : Socialism, as an economical system, inand not less instructive is the other fact, deed, has never been able to maintain that upwards of L.5400 of this money its footing in any locality, and perhaps were, last year, devoted to the support of never will be able ; but its infidel and Romish missions in Scotland. As this immoral principles, so congenial to the money must come chiefly from Ireland, corrupt heart, have been, there is reason it becomes doubtful whether rich Britain to fear, extensively disseminated, and be doing nearly as much for the evan- deeply imbedded in the minds of multigelizing of Ireland, as poor Ireland is tudes, and are bringing forth fruits unto doing for the Romanizing of Britain. death. For what other fruits can pro