[ocr errors]

bowered in charming scenery, is most known and noted throughout the Christian world ? Is it your ducal residence, or historic castle, your 'fine old abbey, or the meeting of the waters, celebrated in Border minstrelsy? Nay, verily. But it is that these twenty years and more there has lived and laboured here one whose winged words have gone forth through many lands ; whose tracts have multiplied to millions ; whose hymns have animated the faith and brightened the hopes of the saints; whose book for anxious souls, Anglican authorities pronounce to be the best ever written ; who has been the comforter of tens of thousands of mourners ; and, in a word, one who has given an impress to the Christianity of the nineteenth century.'

I leave these emphatic extracts to speak for themselves. Had James Nisbet been alive, the crisis to which they refer had no doubt been to him a great surprise and a source of unspeakable regret ; and perhaps, as Mr. Fordyce has hinted, he might have made the whole land ring with the story of the congregation's wrongs. But, after all, he never could have seen cause to repent of the noble efforts he had made, by the erection of such a church, and the calling of such a minister, for the furtherance of the Redeemer's cause. Even though the structure which he so greatly admired were to be razed to its foundations, or swept utterly from the face of the earth, and the bell which bears the name of its generous donor were to become mute and silent for ever, enough, and more than enough, would still remain, in the hallowed memories of Dr. Bonar's earnest ministry, and in the many precious souls converted by his tracts and his preaching, to counterbalance the unexpected disappointment, and to compensate a thousandfold for all the labour, and the anxiety, and the wealth expended in the erection of the structure, within whose sacred courts the congregation, whom he greatly loved and for whom he earnestly prayed, had sat so long, and with such evident delight, under the shadow of the Saviour's wings.

Upon the procedure in this matter of the Established Presbytery of Kelso I pronounce no judgment and no censure. Perhaps they had the honest conviction that they were discharging an incumbent duty to the church to which they belong. But I am sure that many in their own communion, as well as in other denominations, will regret that they, of whom better things might have been expected, are the only parties who have cast contempt on the memory of a man whom all others have sought to honour ; that they, too, even in the place of his birth, which he had done so much to ameliorate, have laid rude hands on the great work which has been so eminently blessed by the great Head of the church, and have thereby become the instruments of raising im


pregnable barriers to prevent his righteous deeds
from following him out of the sanctuary which he
had built, into the great eternity into which he has
now entered. God, no doubt, in the infinitude of His
resources, and in the greatness of His power, will
find other channels through which they may still
continue to flow upon the earth, and other doors,
besides those of the sanctuary from which His de-
voted servant has been ejected, by which they may
enter into the heavenly places where the glorified are
worshipping ; but His, and His alone, will be all the

Upward, where the stars are burning,
Silent, silent, in their turning
Round the never-changing pole ;

Upward, where the sky is brightest,

Upward, where the blue is lightest,
Lift I now my longing soul !
Far above that arch of gladness,
Far beyond these clouds of sadness,
Are the many mansions fair !

Far from pain and sin and folly,

In that palace of the holy,
I would find my mansion there !
Where the glory brightly dwelleth,
Where the new song sweetly swelleth,
And the discord never comes ;

Where life's stream is ever laving,

And the palm is ever waving,
That must be the home of homes !

Where the Lamb on high is seated,
By ten thousand voices greeted,
Lord of lords, and King of kings,

Son of man, they crown, they crown Him,

Son of God, they own, they own Him; With His name the palace rings.

Blessing, honour, without measure,
Heavenly riches, earthly treasure,
Lay we at His blessed feet !

Poor the praise that now we render,

Loud shall be our voices yonder, When before His throne we meet !'

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall

be established.-Ps. xvi. 3.


EING greatly shocked and grieved with the

scandalous and outrageous conduct of the
populace at Hawick during the election of

a member of Parliament for the county, Mr. Nisbet became deeply impressed with the importance of having provided for them an additional place of worship, and an additional minister, being thoroughly convinced that the only effectual method of guarding against such excesses in all time coming was to subject the masses of a neglected population to pastoral superintendence, and to bring them within reach of the ordinances of the gospel. For this, indeed, there was an urgent necessity, the parish church being incapable of containing more than seven hundred, and the population of the town and neigh

« ForrigeFortsett »