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£230 for the Regent Square Church, £ 300 for the building of the Free Church at Hawick, £ 1550 for the North Parish Church at Kelso, £ 1000, at the Disruption, for the Free Church of Scotland ; and by personal exertion he collected from other parties -£210 for the Idiots' Asylum, £ 297 for the Presbyterian Church at Woolwich, £800 for the North Parish Church, Kelso, and subscriptions for the Caledonian Asylum which yield a yearly revenue of £245.
With great care I have looked into the details of one of the ponderous subscription-books which he kept in his own place of business ; and judging from that and other records he has left behind him, I find that, during the course of about thirty years, he was in the habit of collecting for more than five hundred schemes, or churches, or societies, or cases of destitution ; and adding together the various items, many of them small sums, it appears as the result, that there has actually passed through his hands the large amount of £145,339, 16s. 4d. Of course, none of all the books which he kept, and kept with great care, though remarkable for the accuracy and minuteness of their details, can give the least idea of the vast amount of gratuitous labour to which they subjected him, and which, but for his habits of early rising, and the amazing energy and activity of his character, might have occupied every hour of the
day, to the utter neglect of his own business con
And apart from the labour inseparably connected with the raising and the distribution of so large an amount of money, where is the man who can calculate the influence it has already exerted, or the blessings it may still continue to diffuse through all time, and to a certain extent through all eternity ?
It is a blessed thing for any one to have it in his power to give even a cup of cold water to the least of the little ones for whom Christ died; but what a privilege for a man, neither of high rank nor of splendid possessions, to be the instrument, by means of continuous labour in the devising and the prosecution of liberal things, of gathering many thousands of pounds into the treasury of Christ ! It is not needful that his name and his righteous deeds be recorded in monuments either of marble or of brass; but his works follow him, and his record is on high.
'I am thy creature, Lord,
And made by hands divine ;
Of this great world of Thine.
Thou usest all Thy works,
The weakest things that be ;
For all things wait on Thee.
Thou usest the high stars,
The tiny drops of dew,
My God, oh, use me too!
All things do serve Thee here,
All creatures great and small; Make use of me-of me, my God,
The meanest of them all.
"There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth.'--PROV. XI. 24.
R. NISBET was of much service to the
cause of vital religion, by the republication of valuable works on theology,
which were very scarce, or print, and by the establishment of a circulating library, the books of which were carefully selected, and open, I believe, gratuitously, for the use of any minister of the gospel. But apart from these, it would not be easy to reckon up the number of good books which he presented to little children, or to young men when leaving the shores of England, and setting out for far distant lands ; the village or Sunday-school libraries which he furnished with useful publications, either freely, or at a very cheap rate, or the tracts which, in all his journeys, he circulated,
far and wide, in every district through which he passed.
It is interesting to notice, that this habit, like many others, was formed in early life. On his first arrival in London, one of the earliest entries in his accountbook was an item of 4s. 2įd. for religious tracts. On his visit to Scotland, a few years after, his diary contains such records as the following: Monday.Rose this morning at six, left Kelso for Melrose, and in my way dispersed several tracts. Tuesday.— Walked to Spylaw, my old place of residence, and dispersed a few tracts. Wednesday.—Had a long and profitable conversation with Aunt Nanny, a good, pious, old woman, and found it very refreshing. In my ride, dispersed many tracts, and conversed with some shepherd boys. May the Lord bless the dispersion of these little seeds of truth to those into whose hands they may come.'
At a later period, when God was pleased, by the outpouring of His Spirit, to visit various districts of Scotland with seasons of revival from His own presence, he sent large packets of tracts, descriptive of the movement, to every minister within the bounds of the Presbyterian Synod in England, that, by making their congregations aware of the great things which God had been doing in other places, they also might be encouraged to use similar means, in the faith and hope that the work of divine grace might be revived