« PreviousContinue »
sionate admirer. After a course of pre- and by prayer, when not unduly extend. paratory study in the classics, under ed so as to fatigue his attention. It is charge of his father, he, at the age of an interesting fact, illustrative of the fourteen, entered the university of Glas- state of his mind, at this time, that since gow, and continued his attendance there bis death, there were found, in one of his for two sessions. Last winter he resolved pockets, the following lines written in to attend the prelections of Professor | pencil :Wilson, in moral philosophy; and it was Oh! Death, thou spectre of despair, thou king
or his residence in Edinburgh, with O'er grisly shades! Yes, we can look on thee this view, that the first symptoms ap
Without e'er taint of fear, and watch thy arm,
As, with uplifted shaft, thou shiv'rest all peared of that malady, which, in the This clay, and send'st it to its home of earth course of a few short months, closed his Unthoughtful and unheeding as it came. earthly career.
Scenes of my youth farewell ! this frame
Will pass to earth, as shades to dusk, Thomas was nerer of a hardy or vigor.
And ne'er return, till all is gone ous
That was, and is : till worlds on worlds time to which we have just alluded, he
Shall blaze forth, in eternal space, and moons
And stars shall turn to ashes. enjoyed comparative health. It appears,
Put on thy direst scowl, and let thy dart however, that, after spending the usual Strike keen, we fear thee not, Christmas holidays in the country, he Christ is our stay! had no sooner revisited the scene of his For the last two weeks of his life, such studies, than he became so unwell, from was the extreine exhaustion under which a pain in his left side, that he was unable he laboured, that every day, almost to leave his room. Unwilling to abandon every hour, his death was anticipated. his favourite pursuits, and hoping that Notwithstanding, however, the entire every day would bring relief, he sought to prostration of his bodily strength, his conceal his illness from his parents ; mind retained all its vigour, and never till, alarmed by the altered tone of his for a moment does it seem to have been letters, they despatched a younger darkened by a cloud. Having expressed brother to visit him, who found him so to a christian friend his undoubted asseriously indisposed, as to insist on his surance of his final happiness, he was immediate return home. He reached asked, on what he rested that delightful Hamilton on the 24th February, when persuasion ; when he replied, “ I have it was but too evident, that the hand of no ground of hope but the righteousness death was upon him. This, indeed, was of Jesus Christ," -- " all my righteoushis own impression : and, soon after his ness are as filthy rags.” The same state return, an occurrence took place in the of mind hę repeatedly expressed, during family, that tended to deepen the solemn the last stages of his illness. Only a few impression which his own situation had evenings before his death, when his evidently awakened. This was the death friends were gathered around him, in of a much loved brother, who was cut expectation of witnessing his departure, off in a moment, by congestive apoplexy. his father, after repeating various proThomas acutely felt the painful and mises of God, which gave him evident sudden loss: he seemed to regard it as a delight, quoted these words of the last premonition of his own dissolution ; but hymn :still maintained that calm and ever cheer- " Stretch forth thine everlasting arms, ful composure, which he had always ex And shield me in the last alarms,” hibted in the days of his health.
when the dying youth, making a painFrom this period, the mind of Thomas ful effort to speak, said, “I have no seems to have undergone a very marked | fear.” “Have you not, Thomas ?" was and decided change. Always serious, the father's reply; when he answered he was now profoundly so; and the most emphatically, at the same time attempt. valued of his enjoyments were the visits ing to raise his arm, “ None.” “I am of christian ministers, and pious friends, happy at that,” said his father, “ for the of which he was accustomed to speak best of men have sometimes had their with gratitude and delight. While his fears at last;" when, looking earnestly cough permitted, he was much engaged for a moment, he said, “ Can there be in reading the scriptures, and in prayer. such a thing as fear in faith ?” On the About three weeks previous to his death, evening before his death, being very low, he became so weak that he was no longer and his pulse scarcely perceptible, he able to read himself, but he still delighted most solemnly and affectionately took to listen to select portions of the word farewell of the friends around him, sayof God, and felt peculiarly comforted by ing, “ We shall meet again,” and immeshort conversations on divine subjects, diately added, “ Into thy hands, O!
living Redeemer, I commend my spirit.” | time are capable of imparting, were of a From this state of extreme exhaustion, more elevated and satisfying nature than he partially recovered during the night, it actually is, it would still, of necessity, apparently much to his disappointment. be fleeting and precarious; for, at best, Repeated attacks of the same kind, how- its continuance wonld be limited to the ever, came upon him. Feeling the scene of our present existence, while in approach of one of these, evidently the progress of life, a thousand incidents thinking it might be the last, he, to the might arise, at any period, to sever us great surprise of those who stood by his from all on earth that we love. But bed-side, repeated with distinct and so- religion, consisting, as it does, in moral lemn intonation these beautiful lines of likeness to God, and in the enjoyment Pope's dying Christian,
of his favour, through union, by faith, to “ The world recedes ! it disappears ! the Redeemer, contains within it all the Heaven opens on my eyes! My ears elements of a lasting and substantial With sounds seraphic ring," &c. &c.
happiness, while its possession can be Soon after, he rapidly sank in strength; permanently affected by no possible but to the last his faith was unshaken, revolution, or change of circumstances. for while he breathed out his soul, from It forms an essential part of the indivi. his lips was heard, in faint accents, the dual possessing it,-it is incorporated prayer, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” with his very being, -so that place him
Thus died a young man of high pro- where, and in what position, you will, mise,-amiable, accomplished, and pious. he carries along with him the ingredients And how impressively does the narrative of his felicity. To all, therefore, but prove the value of religion, and urge on especially our youthful readers, we would all its assiduous cultivation. Religion, say with all earnestness and affection, beyond all question, is the only truly “ Wisdom is the principal thing, therevaluable and permanent inheritance we fore, get wisdom; and with all thy getcan possess. All other acquisitions and ting, get understanding. Exalt her, and attainments leave a painful void in the she shall promote thee : she shall bring human heart. Even supposing that the thee honour when thou dost embrace enjoyment, which the mere advantages of her.”
to the point at which, for the present, NATIONAL AFFAIRS.
they must stand, and has in fact been SINCE our last, there has taken place the giving us provisions, for a number of most momentous event which has occur- months past, much more moderate than red, for several hundred years, in the they would otherwise have been; and civil history of Britain-the passing of the further, the measure itself, as erery one Corn Bill. Besides being a great mea- knows, and as most regret, does not sure of justice and equity, it is unques- come fully into operation for upwards tionably fraught with blissful conse- of two years, nor can its advantages be quences of the most overwhelming mag- completely realised till other nations nitude, not only to this now really great learn, as doubtless they speedily will, to empire, but to Europe and the world—reciprocate, in their commercial codes, consequences not merely of a political the enlightened and beneficent principles and social, but also a moral and religious it embodies. Let no unreasonable exnature, and these extending to all gene-pectations be indulged, and no disaprations of mankind. We trust one sen-pointment hastily felt. It is manifest timent of devout gratitude to God, for that the state of the market for the great so distinguished a boon, prevades the staple articles of sustenance must, for mind of all our readers. It is nothing a considerable time, be regulated chiefly to say that as yet no sensible effects by the abundance of the supply afforded have been experienced-that the cost of by our own country. One of the earliest human food, which might have been and also most lasting advantages of a expected to be first and most directly | merely ternporal nature we should hope affected, is not appreciably reduced. The for, is a revival of trade, the benefits of reasons are obvious. The measure was which would be instantaneously felt by confidently anticipated, and so nicely is every class of the community. every thing calculated, that its certain We trust we are not over sanguine in and regular approach brought prices just regarding the abolition of the corn law
as the commencement of a new and all The change of ministry which has rehappier era. Other large and beneficial cently taken place will be acceptable to legislative acts will surely and speedily most of our readers, and we trust will confollow. Monopoly, in all its forms and tribute, under providence, to the advanceramifications, we verily believe, has re ment of the national welfare. Yet there is ceived a blow from which it can never something painful in the reflection that recover, and under which it must quickly Sir R. Peel and his colleagues forfeited expire. Not only is free trade, in the their places by incomparably the best largest acceptation of the terms, virtually political action of their lives. Sir Rosecured, but such pernicious laws as bert's speech in the House of Commons, those of entail and primogeniture, with on his retirement, was peculiarly affectevery enactment giving landed property ing, and, for the moment, secured for him an unrighteous advantage over other the sympathies of all his usual opponents descriptions of honestly acquired wealth, -almost rendered him the darling of the must shortly be erased from the statute nation. “I shall surrender power,” said book; and, unholiest of all, ecclesiastical he, "severely censured by many honourestablishments are visibly doomed of able gentlemen, who, from no interested God to an ignominious annihilation. We motive, have adhered to the principle of see no reason to anticipate any real de protection, as important to the welfare pression of the owners of land, and and interests of the country ; I shall deeply should we be grieved for such a leave a name execrated by every monoresult; but it is clearly impossible they polist who, from less honourable motives, can now retain the relative position they maintains protection for his own indivihave hitherto occupied in society. Our dual benefit; but it may be that I shall aristocracy of wealth will henceforth con- leave a name sometimes remembered sist of tradesmen ; and the nation will be with expressions of good-will in those influenced and governed by an aristocracy places which are the abodes of men of talent-calm, wise, energetic, earnest, whose lot it is to labour, and to earn persevering, Cobden-minded men, pos- their daily bread by the sweat of their sessed of character, and devoted to the brow—a name remembered with exrealization of truth, justice, and humanity. pressions of good-will, when they shall Under such a state of things, the indus- , recreate their exhausted strength with trious, sober, and prudent part of the abundant and untaxed food, the sweeter community ought to be comfortable; because it is no longer leavened with a and, as for the rest, till they are reformed sense of injustice.” In that speech, too, in themselves, it is impossible to preserve he had the enviable felicity of announcthem from being miserable. The cause of ing that he had succeeded in obtaining a Dissent, we are persuaded, never had satisfactory settlement of the dispute bebefore it such prospects as now ; and, if tween this country and America respectit be but true to itself, splendid triumphs ing Oregon. The British government had await it. The circumstances of the coun- made a reasonable and moderate protry impose a weighty responsibility on posal, and our minister at Washington our churches. A great and effectual had just intimated, that “the conditions door for the glory of God, and the spi- offered were accepted by the government ritual and eternal welfare of man, is of the United States, without the addiopening more and more widely. What tion or alteration of a single word.” War wisdom, and zeal, and liberality, and ac- between these two nations, it is to be tivity, does the emergency demand ! Not hoped, is now next to an impossibility. only must all the usual departments of We trust they are destined to be, in the duty by ministers, elders, Sabbath-school | hand of Divine providence, one great teachers, and heads of families, be assi- instrument for extending civilisation and duously attended to, but the augmented religion over the earth. contributions, which improved circum- Lord J. Russell has succeeded in formstances will admit of, must be cheerfully ing a government of liberal minded men, and gratefully poured into the treasury possessed of great talent and influence, of the Lord, and new and unheard-of and seemingly secure of power for a schemes must be devised for the training season. It is well known that he has and supporting of ministers, mission-often strongly declared himself favouraries, and teachers, for service both at able to the endowment of the Roman home and abroad. Our own church, we Catholic priesthood in Ireland. Several feel confident, will arouse and bestir her- members of his cabinet, however, havé self. The denomination which does not, declared that no such measure is in conmust speedily disappear from the earth. templation. Let them rest assured of it, they will be narrowly watched. The long been president, he said, “I trust we most urgent demands will be made for shall see, in the progress of events, and diminishing and withholding endowments by the wisdom of the Legislature, that already granted ; one iota additional will the labouring classes in this country will not be tolerated. One leading object be able to have much greater command of the new government is declared to be of the necessaries of life, that they may the conciliation of Ireland. In that all be able to devote a greater portion of good men will wish it success, provided their earnings to the education of their always the means be justifiable. Another children. I am quite sure they would is to carry out the principle of free trade. wish to do so if they were able; but I “ Our tasks," said his lordship to his have always held that all these great London constituents," I am sure will be questions were connected together, rendered at least more easy to undertake that it were unwise and unworthy to look when we have given up this unprofitable only to a portion of our task,- that the task of attempting to direct the industry man who said, I will attend solely to the of the country better than the industry improvement of the education of the of the country can direct itself, for this, people, and I will not care for their in fact, is all the principle of free trade. physical condition, left out a most essenIt is not, as some choose to represent it, tial element of his task,--and that he, on a strange and dangerous theory; it is the contrary, who said, I will endeavour nothing else than a true system of legis- to improve the wealth of the country, to lation, by which we are enabled to direct increase wages, to increase profits, and the industry of the country to direct will not cast my eyes to see whether this the markets of the country, and to enable shall be an educated, an instructed, and the poor people of this country to be a christian people, that he, likewise, only employed in honest labour. Where they took half a view of his duties, and a should buy, and at what time they should limited and narrow conception of the sell—that is a subject upon which legis- obligations which belong to us all. With lation can do nothing. The wisest House a population in Great Britain nearly of Lords, and the most virtuous House double that which it was at the comof Commons that ever existed, cannot | mencement of the century-let us enlegislate so well upon this subject as the deavour so to raise the condition, so butcher, the farmer, and the artizan, in to improve the education of the people, their own markets and their own shops.” that we may not be thought unworthy Another object of paramount importance, to be the directors of a great people in but encompassed with peculiar difficul. an enlightened age.” His lordship has ties, is National Education. “I think,” long been a zealous educationist, and continued Lord John, “it behoves the probably intends to signalize his adminis. Government-it behoves the Legislature, tration by some great comprehensive to attempt a more extended system of measure on the subject. The attention education in this country. Of course, I of the public, particularly of dissenters, mention no plan, I allude to no scheme; cannot be too early or strongly directed to but, with regard to education, I will only the movement. Let us depend upon its say this, that no plan can be good or sectarianism will make efforts the most worthy of the adoption of Parliament desperate, and the field is worth contestwhich does not sanction and maintain the ing. Now is the golden opportunity for principle of religious liberty. Religious liberalizing our universities and parochial liberty was the subject of many contests; schools. our ancestors fought for it, and gave
RELIEF UNION. their blood to obtain it, and it is not in A joint meeting of the committees of these days that we ought to cripple or in the United Secession and Relief Synods any way to restrain it. It should be on Union, was held at Edinburgb, on ours rather to carry that principle to its the 21st and 22d of July. The meeting fullest extent, and to maintain that, was very full, and exceedingly harmo. whatever civil laws we may enact, man nious and comfortable; and we hope to shall worship God according to his own be able, in our next, to give a detailed belief, and not according to the belief of account of the steps taken towards the others, but his own conscience.” On the formation of the UNITED PRESBYTERIAN 11th of May, when occupying the chair CHURCH OF SCOTLAND; which auspiat the public meeting of the British and cious event will in all probability be Foreign School Society, of which he has consummated in the present year.
ERRATA IN OBITUARY OF LAST MONTH. Page 327, 2d col. 20th line from bottom, for maternal father, read father-in-law. Page 328, 1st col. 16th
... for twenty-second, read twenty-fourth. Page 329, 1st col. 11th ... ... for May 31, read May 13.
UNITED SECESSION MAGAZINE
FOR SEPTEMBER, 1846.
SKETCH OF THE LATE REV. HUGH HEUGH, D.D.
(From Sermon by the Rev. John Brown, D.D., published * along with Sermons by the Rev. Drs Wardlaw and Taylor, on occasion of the death of Dr Heugh, discourses eminently worthy of the reputation of their authors, and peculiarly suited to the solemn occasion on which they were delivered.]
I should feel as if I had left an important part of what might justly be expected from me unperformed, were I not to present you with a sketch, however brief, of the character of the distinguished individual whom we this day so deeply and sincerely lament. Knowing that while the endeared friendship of almost a lifetime has afforded me very good opportunities of knowing Dr Heugh, I could scarcely sustain myself as a very impartial judge of his attainments and excellencies, I solicited some friends, in whose judgment I had confidence, to note down what they accounted the most characteristic features of his mind and conduct. I particularly requested this of one who stood very high in Dr Heugh's estimation (my esteemed friend the Rev. Andrew Somerville), and who had at once, in no ordinary degree, the power and the opportunity of forming a just estimate of his character; and I make free use of the observations he kindly favoured me with, in the brief sketch I mean now to lay before you :
The peculiar character of Dr Heugh was produced not by the decided predominance of one or two faculties or principles, but by a harmonious combination of many qualities, valuable in themselves— doubly valuable in their union. The result was, “a man ready for every good work," and a bright example of what the servant of Christ should be under that dispensation, the great command of which is, “ Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
His natural talents, which were of a high order, were disciplined by a thorough education, improved by careful exercise, and regulated by high principle, sound judgment, and correct taste. The chief feature
* D. Robertson, Glasgow.
No. IX. VOL. III.