Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

Ann, daughter of George and Nancy Gordon, aged 21 years 1 month and 3 days.

The deceased was extensively known, and universally beloved. In her death, her family have lost a dutiful daughter and an amiable and affectionate sister---her acquaintances, a pleasant compan ion and an interesting associate."

The above notice appeared in a July No. of a paper published in Xenia, Greene County, Ohio. The parents of the deceased had been residents in Greene County, and members of the Associate Reformed Church in Xenia for nearly thirty years. Having early dedicated their children to God, they endeavored to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” In reference to the subject of this notice we may entertain the hope that their labor has not been in vain in the Lord. It is not for us to mark the period when the spirit of holiness took possession of her youthful heart. It is more important to be satisfied of the reality of a spiritual change, and observe the effects of the Spirit's operation. However long she may have been a subject of grace, it was near the close of her earthly existence particularly that she evidenced that bright hope which was an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, entereth into that within the veil.” During a period of four or five months' affliction, part of which time her sufferings were severe, she manifested an unusual degree of patience and submission to the will of her heavenly Father. At no time during her sickness did she speak with assurance on the subject of her spiritual state, but expressed the hope that “if the earthly house of her tabernacle were dissolved, she had a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." Though she at first entertained a hope of recovery, yet for the last few weeks her mind was impressed with a sense of her approaching dissolution, and her thoughts were more seriously turned to preparation for the better world. She told her friends that death had no terror to her, and the calmness and ccenposure of mind with which she met death, manifested that she spoke as she felt. At one time she expressed a dread in reference to parting with her earthly friends. She feared she could not bear the painful separation. But the grace of God was sufficient for her, and his strength was made perfect in her weakness, And now we come to speak of that affecting scene. On the evening of the day before her death, parents, brothers, sister, and other relatives and acquaintances were there, assem bled in her room, supposing that the time of her departure

room.

was at hand. She lay apparently unconscious of what was passing around her, not seeming to notice any person in the

We were waiting for the last breath, and scarcely did we expect to hear her voice again. Suddenly she revived, and spoke the word farewell. She then extended her hand, and embracing each member of the family and other friends in her arms, gave a particular farewell to each, accompanied with some word of advice. She also sent messages to some of her absent friends. These remarks on the general subject of preparation for death and the enjoyment of heaven, were characterized by a remarkable variety of expression. The strength which she possessed at the time in the midst of her general debility was surprising. And though all were weeping around her, she maintained the utmost composure of mind.

We cannot but think that when her flesh and her heart were failing, God was the strength of her heart and her sure portion.

About twenty-four hours after this most affecting interview with her friends, she breathed her last, without a murmur or a struggle. Next morning, which was Sabbath, her earthly remains, attended by a numerous train of friends and acquaintances, were conducted to the house of silence. And we trust her spirit has entered upon that elernal Sabbath which she shall spend in the enjoyment of God.

J. M. G.

REVIEW

Hetherington's History of the Church of Scotland. The present is a period particularly characterized as a time of inquiry, of reflection, and of earnest investigation in reference to the great principles of christianity; and also as a time when the gospel is putting forth its most vigorous, reforming, and harmonizing energies; and when the life and reviving pow. er of expansive and spiritualized charity begin to draw the hearts of christians together ; so that union in the Kingdom of Christ can now be discussed with a greater degree of the confidence of hope. And while this regenerating and harmonizing proeess is steadily, and surely progressing, it is of the utmost importance, that the public mind be fixed and retained on the first grand article of Christian Confederacy-the Supreme Headship

of Christ, as the King of Zion. On this deep, and firm, and glorious foundation, and on it alone, may we expect to behold the mighty Church of universal christianity established.. Remove from the great system of christian Theology the Leg. islative and Judicial supremacy of the Divine Mediator, and there would be nothing left but the scattered fragments of a dig. membered and ruined Empire. Christianity would remain forever disjointed and enfeebled, and the incubus of schism resting on her vitals would paralyze her spiritual might. But let christian principle, and christian energy, and christian love rally around this great central and commanding Truth; and soon the sun of righteousness will shine with meridian splendor.

The publication of Hetherington's History of the Church of Scotland, in this country will be hailed with high gratification by all who pray for the Union and extension of the church, on account of its able and zealous advocacy of the above princi. ples. The Author enters on the duties of the historian with his eye fixed firmly on the sacred truth; that the LORD JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONLY HEAD AND KING OF THE CHURCH; and never for a single moment does he lose sight of this all-important and divine principle. And with the comprehensive grasping of an expanded intellect, the warm enthusiasm of christian zeal, and an exhaustless store of eloquent and mighty language, he pours a stream of light from every point, and every period of the church of Scotland's history on this sacred thought, for its illustration and defence. While he does not design to give us a minute history of christianity in Scotland, but simply of the Scottish church, yet he impresses the mind of the attentive reader, with the accidents of history, and with the peculiar character of each transpiring age. So that the student of church history will find in this volume, a vast amount of useful and interesting information presented in the style of highly adorned and finished composition.

But while the work is most cordially recommended, as an excellent and able defence of the fundamental principles of Presbyterianism; there are some features in its general character, to which we wish to call the readers attention, as not harmonizing entirely with the enlarged feelings of christian liberality. which characterize the great body of the work.

1. There is a large class of the reading community, who will doubtless find fault with this work on account of its one-sided character. It is indeed to some extent the history of a party,

[ocr errors]

ers.

and in consequence of its strong partizan character it does not do entire justice to the other fractions of the Scottish church. It is certainly true that the prelatic historians have not rendered full and satisfactory justice to the true hearted, high-souled Presbyterians of that intelligent and pious Presbyterian kingdom. Indeed they constantly endeavor to place their rival brethren in the most unfavorable light their ingenuity could devise. And it is only in later years, since the labors of McCrie, and others have unfolded the matter more clearly to our view, that the reader of church history has been able to appreciate fully the principles, and struggles of our venerated fath

Hence it should not surprize us, if we should find our author true to nature's instinct, and his soul fired with ardent devotion to his mother church, and burning with indignation for her wrongs, painting his narrative with the deepened colors of his own fervid feelings.

But where shall we seek an apology-where shall we find a pretext, for the exhibition he has given us of the character of the fathers of the first secession-the Erskines and their noble compeers. They sacrificed their all in defence of the identical principles for which the Free Church now contends. And yet this zealous advocate of Free Church principles, brands the memory of the Erskines with having indulged in “bitter reproach and angry vituperation,” as narrow minded and prejudiced men,” (page 375.) If tbose eminent authors were “narrow-minded and prejudiced men,” where in the church of God shall we find men of expanded intellect, profound Theological learning, and evangelical piety. It is truely to be regretted, that this excellent and interesting author should have sullied his glowing pages with a solitary word, injurious to the memories of those men of God, who will be remembered with a sacred regard; while true piety warms the heart of saint on earth.

But we should allow the author to stand before the public in the most favorable light his labors will authorize. The whole work bears the appearance of having been designed to promote the cause of the Evangelical party of the Establishment (now the Free Church.) It should rather be regarded as an historiwhelming and triumphant vindication of Free Church, or rather the Free Church principles, especially in reference to the Sovereign Headship of Christ,

2. There is another feature in the character of this volume, which must be obnoxious at least to American prejudice. It is the manner in which the Author employs the phrase, the Church. There is such a seeming arrogance in this pretension, that it sounds too aristocratic for plain-hearted Presbyterianism; yet this author writes about Popery, Prelacy, Secession, Dissenters, and the Church. We do not feel surprized to hear a Roman Catholic, or a High Church Prelate talk about the church, but the expression comes with an exceeding bad grace from an humble minded Presbyterian.

But on what ground does the author rest his complacent assumption in behalf of the church of Scotland? It cannot surely be because it is the Established church. No. The Free church is, according to this author, the church. But why is the Free church by way of eminence the church? It cannot be because it has seceded from the “Erastianized Establishment.” On that principle the thousands of Cameronians who came forth from the cares and glens, and mountain rocks of Caledonia, on the accession of King William to the Throne of England would be ihe church. They stood aloof from the Establishment on ground very nearly similar to that occupied by the Free church. On the same ground those "narrow-minded and prejudiced men,” the Erskines, would become the leaders of the church. They led on the First Secession. A precisely similar ground was taken by the Relief Presbytery. Why then are they not entitled to be regarded as the church? Does the claim of the Free church to the designation the church grow out of her superior numbers? According to our author, the Old Secession ministers number about six

hundred, while the Free church numbers about five hundred,

While the church of Christ is split up into fractions almost innumerable, for one very small fraction to assume to be the church savors too much of the spirit of Popery, to be tolerated

tonalihanalit

« ElőzőTovább »