Page images
PDF
EPUB

addresses. He was ardently attached to the spiritual independence of the Church, and the right of the Christian people to elect their pastors, though he “expressed his fear that they were not qualified to use it.” He anticipated the Disruption, though he did not live to see it.

His last days were as industrious as his first; but he often spoke of his death, and prepared his people as well as himself for that event. His last text on the Sabbath was Rev. iii. 20, and on the Tuesday evening he preached one of several discourses from, “We are come to God, the Judge of all” (Heb. xii. 23).

His illness was of short duration. When it came, he laid himself down to die. “His work was done, he knew that his eternal rest was nigh; and with his eye fixed on the glory that was dawning on his vision, he awaited with joyful expectation the coming of death. His only reply to all inquiries about his health was, “I'll soon be quite well!'” On the Sabbath evening, roth January 1841, he passed away to glory, where he was made quite well and happy for evermore.

He had finished his course with joy, and the ministry which he had received of the Lord Jesus, after forty years of faithful service.

Many of his people came to take a last look of their beloved minister; and amidst the tears of thousands they laid him in his grave. He wrote no books, but his memory is embalmed for ever in many living epistles who were the seals of his ministry. He inscribed many prayers on the tablets of the Divine remembrance; and how many may be reaping now the benefit of these earnest intercessions! He was one of a band of faithful ministers, whose labours transformed the county of Ross, and bequeathed so large a band of earnest worshippers as now fill the churches of that denomination to which almost all the people adhere. He was eminently holy, and it is becoming that the pen of his like-minded son should have preserved his spiritual character in a volume by which“ being dead, he yet speaketh.” In these days of revival, may many be led by a conversion as real to a piety as deep and distinguished, and a ministry as abundant in labour and as useful to souls as characterized the minister of Killearnan! 66 WE DESIRE THAT EVERY ONE OF YOU DO SHOW THE SAME DILIGENCE TO THE FULL ASSURANCE OF HOPE UNTO THE END: THAT YE BE NOT SLOTHFUL, BUT FOLLOWERS FAITH AND PATIENCE INHERIT THE PROMISES!”

OF THEM WHO THROUGH

There was a sadness at my heart, and He

Knowing its bitterness, drew very near

Folding me in His arms, and soft and clear
His voice told through the silence thrillingly
Of“ love that passeth knowledge.” Straight from me

I felt the cloudy shadow disappear,

And to its place sent back the coming tear,
While I, reposing on that mystery
Of love ineffable, contented gazed

Upon His even sky's pale pensive blue,
And murmurously my lips their gladness phrased

In words which still came thronging ever new,
And all night long my heart one song upraised;-

“On the bruised reed most freshly falls the dew."

[blocks in formation]
[graphic][merged small]

THE REV. JOHN MORISON, D.D., LL.D.,

MINISTER OF TREVOR CHAPEL, LONDON, AND EDITOR OF THE

EVANGELICAL MAGAZINE."

[graphic]

were won.

HE evangelistic labours of James Haldane proved

the means of spiritual life to many throughout

Scotland, and in the spheres where spiritual darkness had most prevailed, some of his greatest trophies

Aberdeen and Banff were counties that lay long in the shadow of death. At the period of the covenant, few witnesses for the truth were there, and the curates who supplanted the persecuted clergy of the Church of Scotland had not many to disturb them. When the Revolution of 1688 came, and the liberality of the Presbyterian Church permitted conforming curates to retain their parishes, the district referred to was blighted by an unevangelical and careless ministry which left its influence for generations. Nor was there much improvement when the cures were supplied by thorough Presbyterians. Coldness had by that time settled upon the Church. Winter had set in, and the latter end of the last century found these districts still devoid, to a large extent, of evangelical light. Nor had the awakening become general till much later, for when a minister of our acquaintance was asked by Dr. Chalmers, where

66

of

he studied theology, he replied, at the Universities of Aberdeen. Frigid zone!" said the Doctor. Some of the seceding ministers had gone into that district, however, and a few had profited by their preaching; but there remained much to be done. Captain Haldane visited Banff in 1797, and held an open-air service for the preaching of the gospel. Among his hearers was a child six years

age, who was much impressed by his earnest manner and fervent appeals. That child was John Morison, afterwards the honoured minister of Trevor Chapel, London, and for thirty years editor of the Evangelical Magazine.

The serious impressions thus produced never wore away, and, after ten years, bore their fruit in the spiritual awakening of the youth. As a result of Mr. Haldane's labours, a Congregational Church was established in Banff, and thither the family of John Morison were wont to go, and there the youth was born again.

The subject of our sketch was born on the 8th July 1791, at Millseat, in the parish of King Edward, Aberdeenshire. His father was a man of very superior mind, and shortly after his son was born became decidedly pious. The vigour of his mind and depth of his feelings characterized his godliness, and he became an honoured instrument of usefulness to the cause of Christ in the locality where he resided. He joined the Secession Church, but felt its terms of communion by covenanting too narrow for his liberal soul. He therefore united himself to the Independents, and made his house the temporary home of many earnest evangelists.

After the usual period of instruction in the parish school, where he was initiated into the classics, as well as the common elements, young Morison was apprenticed

to a watchmaker in Banff. He attended the ministry of the Rev. Joseph Gibb, at the Independent Chapel, and was brought to the Lord Jesus, by means of his pastor's faithful and affectionate instructions. Of his first communion he thus spake at his ordination, "I shall ever remember, to the latest moment of my mortal existence, and even when death shall have broken all those ties which now bind society together, the unspeakable delight which I experienced the first time that I sat down at the table of the Lord, after I was received as a member of the church at Banff.”

His new life was soon active in the service of the Lord. He gathered a large class of persons—some of them twice his own age, and taught them the way

of salvation. He often accompanied his minister to the neighbouring villages, and acted as precentor. His abilities for public usefulness manifested themselves so strikingly to Mr. Gibb, that he urged him to devote himself to the holy ministry. It was with great diffidence that the purpose was entertained, nor did it gain his full consent until he allowed his case to be submitted to two ministers, who afterwards rose to eminence in the Church of Christ, and who were then visiting Banff. They were Messrs. Wardlaw, afterwards of Glasgow, and Philip, afterwards of South Africa, and both honoured as doctors of divinity. They strongly advised him to study for the ministry, and he at length consented.

In 1811, he entered Hoxton College, anıl remained there for three years and a half, profiting greatly from the prelections of his respected tutors. During this period he often exercised his gifts in preaching, and thus qualified for public address, as well as for learned ex

« EelmineJätka »