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traditions of Dunnelog and Bothwell Brig were still freshly repeated at their firesides, and swords and pistols that had done service against Claverhouse were their treasured heirlooms. The weavers were of a totally different stamp, being keen politicians, and as a rule advanced Radicals. Their trade was being gradually extinguished by the great factories, and the men were consequently poor; but they were full of enthusiasm, fond of reading, and had that quaint intelligence, strongly coloured with self-conceit, which was characteristic of the old race of Scotch websters. Most of them were keen Chartists, some violent infidels, who, with Tom Paine as their text-book, were ready for argument on any question of Church or State. The morality of the parish was at the same time very low, and vital godliness was a rarity."
The years which the young pastor passed in this sphere was a time of excitement and revolution, culminating in the great disruption of 1843. His diary and letters, written while the conflict was raging, afford the reader some glimpses behind the scenes, such as ordinary history seldom gives, though without them the narrative of the Ten Years' Conflict can hardly be said to be complete. Had it been possible, he would have avoided the controversy ; but to do that and remain in the church, or even in the country, was an impossibility. With his whole heart and soul Mr. Macleod hated controversy. “I hate above all things a Presbyterian revolution,” he said. “ There is always something Chartist or fanatic about it.” When the cry “Christ or Cæsar rang throughout Scotland, he deliberately chose to remain in the Establishment; and while we doubt not that he acted according to his light and the dictates of conscience, we sadly miss his form in that illustrious company, who, with Chalmers at their head, constituted the first General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland.
He removed to Dalkeith in 1843, to find himself among the wynds and a teacher among the very poor. Here he laboured with well-sustained success until 1851, when he was presented to the Barony parish, Glasgow.
His new sphere was one that entirely accorded with his tastes. He loved Glasgow, and rejoiced in the practical sense, the enterprise and generosity which characterised its kindly citizens. The very noise of its busy streets was pleasant to his ears. In Glasgow he was something more than a pastor; he entered into mission work among the working and lapsed classes with a zeal worthy alike of his profession and name. The church during these mission services on Sabbath evenings was always crowded. We are told that “The results of these services were remarkable. Many hundreds were reclaimed from lawless habits, some of the more ignorant were educated, and a large number became communicants."
With work enough in his parish to tax the energies of more than one strong man, the pastor imprudently accepted the editorship of Good Words in 1860, and paid the penalty incurred by those who yield to the temptation of going beyond their strength. As regards the magazine itself, its popularity may in part have arisen from the vindictive bitterness with which it was assailed by the evangelical section in the Church of England. The Saturday Review may have also aided the sale of Good Words when it apologised to the reader for even alluding to the immoral tendencies of one of the novels in the magazine. We have, however, neither the space nor
the inclination to criticise the editorial labours of Dr. Macleod, but are convinced that he laboured incessantly to bring the work up to the ideal sketched by Arnold—a collection of papers on common subjects, written with a decidedly Christian spirit.”
As one of Her Majesty's chaplains for Scotland, Dr. Macleod on several occasions visited Balmoral, and his reminiscences of his interviews with the Queen are among the most interesting passages in the Memoir-e.g.:
“I am never tempted to conceal any conviction from the Queen, for I feel she sympathises with what is true, and likes the speaker to utter the truth as he believes it. May 8, 1862.-I am commanded by the Queen to visit at Balmoral from Saturday till Tuesday. Few things could be more trying to me than, in present circumstances, to meet my afilicted Sovereign face to face. But God, who calls me, will aid me. My hope is in Him, and He will not put me to shame. ...
"... All has passed well-that is to say, God enabled me to speak in private and in public to the Queen in such a way as seemed to me to be truth-the truth in God's sight; that which I believed she needed, though I felt it would be very trying to her spirit to receive it. And what fills me with deepest thanksgiving is that she has received it, and written to me such a kind, tender letter of thanks for it, which shall be treasured in my heart while I live. Prince Alfred sent for me last night to see him before going away. Thank God, I spoke fully and frankly to him-we were alone of his difficulties, temptations, and of his father's example ; what the nation expected of him; how, if he did God's will, good and able men would rally round him; how, if he became selfish, a selfish set of flatterers would truckle to him and ruin him, while caring only for themselves."
Some future historian will be glad to utilise such passages as these :"After dinner I was summoned unexpectedly to the Queen's room.
She was alone. She met me, and with an unutterably sad expression, which filled my eyes with tears, at once began to speak about the Prince. It is impossible for me to recall distinctly the sequence or substance of that long conversation. She spoke of his excellences--his love, his cheerfulness, how he was everything to her; how all now on earth seemed dead to her. She said she never shut her eyes to trials, but liked to look them in the face; how she would never shrink from duty, but that all was at present done mechanically; that her highest ideas of purity and love were obtained from him, and that God could not be displeased with her love. But there was nothing morbid in her grief. I spoke freely to her about all I felt regarding him—the love of the nation and their sympathy; and took every opportunity of bringing before her the reality of God's love and sympathy, her noble calling as a Queen, the value of her life to the nation, the blessedness of prayer.
“On Monday I had another long interview with the Queen. She was much more like her old self-cheerful, and full of talk about persons and things. She of course spoke of the Prince. She said that he always believed he was to die soon, and that he often told her that he never had any fear of death. I saw also the Princesses Alice and Helena, each by herself.”
There are passages in the Doctor's life to which we can give only a passing word-such, for example, as the Sabbath controversy of 1864, and his journey to India in 1867. As regards the first, much of the wrong impression arose from unfair reporting; and the good practical results springing from his visit to the far east have not yet died away. He was intensely solicitous for the welfare of the heathen, and also for the poor at home; and this solicitude intensified as the end drew near. He looked abroad on
Scotland with emotions of real pain when he saw in what trivial disputes the clergy would indulge. “They are squabbling," he said, “about the United Presbyterians, Free Church, or Established, when the world is asking whether Christ is risen from the dead."
Early in 1872 he wrote to a friend, “I feel as if the winding-up were coming soon." His speech on India and Missions delivered before the General Assembly in that year is said to have been “the most powerful and stirring” of his public orations. Pain, lowness of spirits, and debility followed, until it soon became evident that the end was near. On the 27th of May he preached before the Queen at Balmoral.
On the 3rd of June he completed his sixtieth year, and could say, “Life has been to me a mystery of love.” A day or two subsequently, tempted by the genial sunshine of early summer, he drove out with his aged mother and an aunt, when unexpectedly a cold easterly breeze came on, and this gave the Doctor a chill, from which he never recovered. Still he harboured the thought that he would survive the shock, and that his latter days would surpass in usefulness those which had gone before. These hopes were not to be realised, for at noon on Sunday, the 16th of June, he died suddenly while sitting in the drawing-room of his house at Glasgow.
Those alone are able really to appreciate Norman Macleod who were privileged to come into personal contact with him ; that is to say, there was a fascination about the man, the influence of which had to be experienced to be understood. As an author, he was constantly aiming at doing good rather than at popularity ; as a religious teacher, he would seem to have been a compromise between two extreme schools—he was broadly evangelical. The ample biography with which we are now furnished gives : many-sided view of this remarkable Scotchman, such as will be prized by his friends, and may be studied with advantage by his opponents. The book is large, but it is well packed throughout with personal reminiscences in Dr. Macleod's own words, which possess a value peculiarly their own.
It is, in short, for the most part an autobiography, and the autobiography of such a man is a work of national interest.
G. HOLDEN PIKE.
GETTING A PASTOR OUT.
the people, for various reasons, were desirous of a change in the pastorate. A meeting was called to consider how the desired change could be effected. All were agreed that though the pastor was a learned, laborious, amiable, and excellent man, he was exceedingly prosy and uninteresting as a preacher. It was resolved, therefore, that a deputation should be sent respectfully to ask him to demit his charge. No one was ready to undertake the difficult and delicate task. At last two elders were induced to go and talk with the minister about the matter. They went on their mission with no little trepidation ; but were greatly relieved by the cordial manner in which the good minister received them. He listened quietly to their hesitatingly told story, and at once acquiesced in their desire that he would resign. Elated with their success, they hastened to report the result to the people. All were greatly gratified at the prospect of such an amicable arrangement ; and feeling some sense of gratitude to the minister for his many years of service, and especially for his ready compliance with their wishes, they determined to present him with an address and a purse. A public meeting of the congregation was held, at which the pastor was invited to be present, an address was read to him containing strong expressions of appreciation and gratitude for his manifold labours and of strong personal affection for himself, and the purse was handed to him as a token of their continued esteem.
On rising to reply, the pastor was deeply moved, and spoke with a faltering voice. He stated that, influenced by the statements of the elders who had called upon him, he had resolved, at much expense of feeling to himself, to resign his charge. Pausing for a minute as if overcome with emotionnot a few of the tender-hearted betraying their sympathy with him—he went on to say that in view of the affectionate and touching address he had just received, so very numerously signed, and accompanied by so generous a gift, he felt constrained to abandon his purpose, and would therefore remain with them, and devote his future life to the best interests of a people who were so warmly attached to him, and who so highly valued his humble services.
The reply was so obviously dictated by genuine simplicity that no one at the time had the courage to rise and explain. That minister is still pastor of the same place. The incident transpired some ten or twelve years ago, and contains a good moral, and an important lesson both for pastors and churches.
EPISTLES OF CHRIST. A YOUNG man recently expressed a desire to come to the Lord's table. He was asked whether he could trace his awakening to some sermon he had heard. "No," he promptly replied. Was it the result, then, of a conversation with a Christian friend, or did it follow the reading of a book, or did a startling providence arouse him to reflect upon the interests of his soul ? "None of these things,” he answered, “had any connection whatever with my concern and conversion. But in the same boarding-house with myself was Charles S- I soon observed that he had something I did not possess. He was always so gentle, peaceful, the light of so heavenly a joy was upon his face, and the atmosphere of his presence was so full of love and holiness, I was actually won to Christ.”
It would be well for us all to ponder the following definition of a Christian : “Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart” (2 Cor. iii. 3). A
Christian, therefore, is a person upon whose heart the Holy Ghost has written Christ, as Moses wrote the law on tables of stone. It is not a question of natural amiability, but Christ must be engraved there, and exhibited in the thoughts, the words, and the life, just as the law was seen on the stone. Oh, what a calling it is to have Christ written on all our walk and ways, and how careful we should be to maintain this high vocation ! Such an epistle is ever in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, and is of infinitely greater value than human eloquence and energy.
MR. GLADSTONE ON THE SABBATH. A LETTER from Mr. Gladstone on the Sanctification of the Sabbath is well worth preserving here. He had been asked to write a few words of preface to a prize essay on the subject, which was intended for publication in Switzerland. He was not able to comply with the request ; but, in declining the task proposed to be assigned to him, he let it be distinctly understood that it was from no want of sympathy with the object for which the essay was written.
"Believing," he said, "in the authority of the Lord's-day as a religious institution, I must, as a matter of course, desire the recognition of that authority by others. But over and above this, I have myself, in the course of a labourious life, signally experienced both its mental and its physical benefits. I can hardly overstate its value in this view ; and for the interest of the working-men of this country, alike in these and yet higher respects, there is nothing I more anxiously desire than they should more and more highly appreciate the Christian day of rest.”
This is valuable testimony at a time when the tendencies are all in the direction of acclimatizing the continental Sunday in England. Our workingmen, who are seeking the opening of places of recreation on the Lord's-day, do not realize what they are doing. The tide will not stop at the museum, or picture-gallery, or even at the theatre. It will flow on till it reaches the workshop.
PRAYER AND ITS EFFECT. DR. HAMILTON relates the following as symbolic of the effect of prayer :
Among the forms of insect life there is a little creature known to naturalists which can gather around itself a sufficiency of atmospheric air ; and so clothed upon, it descends into the bottom of the pool ; and you may see the little diver moving about dry, and at his ease, protected by his crystal vesture, though the water all round and above be stagnant and bitter. Prayer is such a protector; a trasparent vesture-the world sees it not; a real defence-it keeps out the world. By means of it the believer can gather so much of heavenly atmosphere around him, and with it descend into the putrid depths of this contaminating world, that for a season no evil will touch him; and he knows when to ascend for supply. Communion with God kept Daniel pure in Babylon.",