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from Satan and the world, to seal my ministry upon the hearts of not a few of his people, and especially in the station wherein I was last,-I mean the congregation and presbytery of Stirling. Jesus Christ is my light and my life, my righteousness, my strength and my salvation, and all my desire. Him, O Him, I do with all the strength of my soul, commend unto you. 'Bless him, O my soul, from henceforth, even for ever. He concluded with the words of old Simeon-' Now let thy servant depart in peace, since mine eyes have seen thy salvation. "—Crookshank's History, vol. i. p. 119.
The next of the Scottish tragedies is the battle of Bothwell Brigg; a skirmish rendered memorable, not only by the pen of history, but of romance. It is unnecessary to give particulars that have been so often described. They make a bloody page in the book of civil and ecclesiastical tyranny. The probability that not a few of our readers are acquainted with this event, chiefly as described by the late Sir Walter Scott, justifies us, however, in recording a protest here against his representation of the religious character of his oppressed and suffering fellow-countrymen. To know the whole truth, our readers should peruse a valuable pamphlet on this subject, by the late Dr. M'Crie, the author of the lives of Knox and Melville, which includes a review of Scott's "Old Mortality." The pamphlet, which is reprinted in a volume of Dr. M'Crie's smaller pieces, is, with the rest of them, richly deserving of attention, and we discharge an agreeable duty in recommending the volume to our readers.
But our Scottish notices close with a matter of another and a deeper interest-an account of the results of one of the most memorable sermons which has been preached since the days of the apostles.
It was credibly ascertained that nearly five hundred persons had a discernible change wrought on them by this discourse, as Mr. Fleming testifies. The same author, who had the very best opportunity of knowing the whole case, adds, that "it was the sowing of a seed through Clydesdale, so as many of the most eminent Christians in that country could date either their conversion, or more remarkable confirmation in their case from that day." The occasion was a communion service at Shotts, a small place between Edinburgh and Glasgow; and what follows is from Dr. Gillies, who has recorded the principal circumstances, which he considered to be well attested, in his "Historical Collections."
"It was not usual, it seems, in those times to have any sermon on the Monday after dispensing the Lord's supper. But God had given so much of his gracious presence, and afforded his people so much communion with himself, on the foregoing days of that solemnity, that they knew not how to part without thanksgiving and praise. There had been (as was said before) a vast confluence of choice Christians, with several eminent ministers, from almost all the corners of the land, that had been many of them there together, for several days before the sacrament, hearing sermon, and joining together in larger or lesser companies, in prayer, praise, and spiritual conferences. While their hearts were warm with the love of God, some,
expressing their desire of a sermon on the Monday, were joined by others, and in a little time the desire became very general. Mr. John Livingstone, chaplain to the Countess of Wigton, (at that time only a preacher, not an ordained minister, and about twenty-seven years of age,) was, with very much ado, prevailed on to think of giving the sermon. He had spent the night before in prayer and conference, but when he was alone in the fields, about eight or nine in the morning, there came such a misgiving of heart upon him, under a sense of unworthiness and unfitness to speak before so many aged and worthy ministers, and so many eminent and experienced Christians, that he was thinking to have stolen quite away, and was actually gone away to some distance; but when just about to lose sight of the Kirk of Shotts, these words, Was I ever a barren wilderness or a land of darkness?' were brought into his heart with such an overcoming power, as constrained him to think it his duty to return and comply with the call to preach, which he accordingly did with good assistance, for about an hour and a-half, on the points he had meditated from the text, Ezek. xxxvi. 25, 26, Then I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.' As he was about to close, a heavy shower coming suddenly on, which made the people hastily take to their cloaks and mantles, he began to speak to the following purpose: If a few drops of rain from the clouds so discomposed them, how discomposed would they be, how full of horror and despair, if God should deal with them as they deserved; and thus he will deal with all the finally impenitent. That God might justly rain fire and brimstone upon them, as upon Sodom and Gomorrah, and the other cities of the plain. That the Son of God, by tabernacling in our nature, and obeying and suffering in it, is the only refuge and covert from the storm of Divine wrath due to us for sin. That his merits and mediation are the alone screen from that storm, and none but penitent believers shall have the benefit of that shelter.' In these, or some expressions to this purpose, and many others, he was led on about an hour's time (after he had done with what he had premeditated) in a strain of exhortation and warning, with great enlargement and melting of heart.
"The following particular instances are well attested, and, if it were proper, some of the persons could be named. On that remarkable Monday, three of our young gentlemen in Glasgow, had made an appointment to go to Edinburgh, to wait upon the public diversions there. They alighted at Shotts to take breakfast. One of the number proposed, as there was a young man to preach that day, (Mr. Livingstone, the Lady Wigton's chaplain,) if the rest would agree, they might go and hear sermon, probably more out of curiosity than any other motive. And, for the more expedition, they proposed to come away just at the end of the sermon, before the last prayer. But the power of God was so felt by them accompanying that sermon, that they could not come away till all was over. When they returned to the public house to take their horses they called for some drink before they mounted, but, when the drink was set upon the table, they all looked to one another; none of them durst touch it till a blessing was asked; and as it was not their manner formerly to be careful about such things, one of them at last proposed: 'I think we should ask a blessing to our drink.' The other two readily agreed, and put it upon one of the company to do it, which he readily did. When they had done, they could not rise until another should return thanks. They went on their way more sober and sedate than they used to be, but none of them mentioned his inward concern to another, only now and then they would have said, 'Was it not a great sermon we heard?' another would have answered, 'I never heard the like of it.' N. 8. VOL. IX.
They went to Edinburgh, but instead of waiting upon diversions or company, they kept their rooms the most part of the time they were in town, which was only about two days, when they were all quite weary of Edinburgh, and proposed to return home. Upon the way home they did not yet discover themselves to one another; and after they were some days in Glasgow, they kept their rooms very much, and came seldom abroad. At last one of them made a visit to another, and made a discovery of what God had done for him at Shotts; the other frankly owned the concern he was brought under at the same time. Both of them went to the third, who was in the same case; and they all three agreed directly to begin a fellowship meeting. They continued to have a practice suitable to their profession (so far as my informer heard) as long as they lived; and some of them lived to advanced age, and were eminent and useful men in the place. "Another instance was of a very poor man, a horse-hirer in Glasgow, whom a gentlewoman had employed to carry her to Shotts. In time of sermon he had taken out his horse to feed at a small distance from the tent. When the power of God was so much felt in the latter part of the sermon, he apprehended that there was a more than ordinary concern amongst the people. He hastily rose up and ran into the congregation, where he was made a sharer of what God was distributing among them that day."-Gillies' Historical Collection, vol. i. pp. 310–312.
We have already given, in our January number, the chief particulars of Kajarnak's conversion. Some interesting additional details may be found in Crautz's "History of Greenland and of the Mission of the United Brethren" in that country. Those details show him to have been remarkably superior, in intelligence and energy of character, as well as piety, to his fellow-countrymen in general. His subsequent behaviour, and his death, gave admirable evidence of the truth and consistency of his religious profession.
The birth-days of Pascal and John Howe occur in the month of June. Both are memorable days; for those two great men were both of them distinguished ornaments and blessings to their country. Pascal, by his immortal "Lettres Provinciales," did more to expose the corrupt morality of the Jesuits, and subvert their influence in society, than was ever done by any other writer. Howe, in his invaluable writings on many subjects-writings whose depth and vigour are equalled only by their purity and catholicity-has left imperishable monuments of ministerial fidelity and zeal. His life, too, like the apostle Paul's, is an impressive and inviting example of evangelical holiness.
We must pass, almost in silence, the remaining notices in our list. Philip Henry, Flavel, Francke, Oberlin, and Carey, sweetly slept in Jesus, having most of them been honourably and fully occupied in the service of their Master. They remind us of the innumerable company which shall be gathered from every nation, kingdom, tongue, and people under heaven, to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Each one of them left a fragrant memory behind him. Francke's was a peaceful end. He died surrounded by his friends, whom he comforted with many precious texts of holy
Scripture. Henry suffered greatly towards the last, but faith and patence triumphed over pain.
"I am tormented,' said he once, but blessed be God, not in this flame;' and soon after, I am all on fire,' (when at the same time his extreme parts were cold) but he presently added, Blessed be God, it is not the fire of hell.' To some of his neighbours who came in to see him, he said, 'Oh, make sure work for your souls, by getting an interest in Christ while you are in health, for if I had that work to do now, what would become of me? But I bless God I am satisfied."
"Towards ten or eleven o'clock that night his pulse and sight began to fail. Of the latter he himself took notice, and inferred from it the near approach of his dissolution. He took an affectionate farewell of his dear yoke-fellow, with a thousand thanks for all her love, and care, and tenderness; and left a blessing for all his dear children, and their dear yoke-fellows, and little ones that were absent. He said to his son who sat under his head, Son, the Lord bless you! and grant that you may do worthily in your generation, and be more serviceable to the church of God than I have been.' Such was his great humility to the last. And when his son replied, 'Oh sir, pray for me that I may tread in your steps;' he answered, Yea, follow peace and holiness, and let them say what they will.' More he would have said to bear his dying testimony to the way in which he had walked, but nature was spent, and he had not strength to express it.
"His understanding and speech continued almost to the last breath, and he was still in his dying agonies, calling upon God and committing himself to him. One of the last words he said, when he found himself ready to depart, was, O Death, where is thy With that his speech faltered, and within a few minutes, after about sixteen hours' illness, he quietly breathed out his precious soul into the hands of his dear Redeemer, whom he had trusted and faithfully served in the work of the ministry, about forty-three years."-Life by his Son. Sir J. B. Williams' edition, 1825. 8vo. pp. 222, 223.
He died, as he
The death of Oberlin was in no way remarkable. had lived, in peace. We copy from the concluding chapter of his history, a passage expressive of his deep anxiety for the spiritual welfare of his flock. May it speak to the heart of all who are engaged in the ministry of Christ!
"Towards the latter part of Oberlin's life the infirmities of age precluded his discharging the greater part of his pastoral functions, and he was therefore compelled to delegate the charge to his son-in-law, Mr. Graff, being able to do little more than occupy himself in constant prayers for his beloved flock. That no individual might be omitted in the intercession at the throne of grace, he used in the morning to take his church register of baptisms in his hand, and to pray, at stated intervals during the day, for every person whose name was there mentioned, as well as for the community at large. At all periods of his residence in the Ban de la Roche, Oberlin had a deep feeling of the value of intercessory prayer, and so alive was he on this point, and so fearful lest he should omit any one whom he particularly wished to remember, that he wrote the names of such persons in chalk upon the black door of his chamber."-Life, cap. x. 8th ed. pp. 291-292.
Not having at hand the sermon preached by Howe on occasion of Mrs. Baxter's death, we cannot, as we would have done, append his just appreciation of her admirable character. She was a noble-minded
woman, worthy in every sense to be the wife of the immortal Baxter. But we must leave this passing mention of her with an assurance to our readers that if they would appreciate her distinguished excellences, they should peruse the faithful and instructive memoir written by her husband. It abounds above many even of his writings, in details of Christian experience; and is especially valuable for its tender, wise, and practical discrimination. To Christian women, especially those of a superior station in society, and to Christian wives, this memoir holds forth an exemplary portraiture. It was some years ago reprinted in 12mo., and an abstract of it has since been published by the Religious Tract Society.
LORD BACON'S CONFESSION OF FAITH.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CONGREGATIONAL MAGAZINE.
MY DEAR SIR,-In your last number you inserted some devotional compositions written by Lord Bacon. I now send you his confession of faith. This document I regard as really a gem in theology; and should you find room for its insertion, I feel persuaded that while you thus enrich your pages you will confer a favour on many of your subscribers. I have endeavoured to ascertain whether it is much known or not; and the result of my inquiries is, that comparatively few, even of those who are familiar with books, are aware that Bacon ever published a confession of faith. Except once, in a work which is now become both scarce and dear, it has I believe never before been printed in a detached form. As a denomination, we call no man master on earth. Our cherished maxim is-One is our master, even Christ. To those, however, who take an interest in theological questions, it will afford no small satisfaction to find the doctrinal sentiments which as a body we maintain, so clearly and happily stated by Bacon in his confession. Viewed in this light, it deserves serious consideration. We are aware that many of the opinions which he here avows were found also in the prevailing theology of the age, and continued to be much more generally received before the Restoration than after that period. Yet surely it is needless to say that Bacon was no slave to the current opinions of the times, either in divinity or in any other subject. The great reformer in philosophy appears to have cultivated the most profound deference for the oracles of God, and to have made them his constant and delighted study. If then the founder of the inductive philosophy arrived at those conclusions which we believe to be the peculiar and distinguishing truths of the Gospel, it is a strong presumption that they really are the doctrines taught in the Scriptures of truth. In saying this, of course we do not mean to affirm, that we pledge ourselves to every word and thought found in the confession.