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At the close of Mr. Hill's curriculum pit had been occupied in succession, for of four years, at the Glasgow College, a longer or shorter period of time, by and the theological lectures, and Biblical three or four excellent men. The term criticism, &c., dispensed at the Academy, of service of neither was of long conhe was sent for a short season over to tinuance; not, it is presumed, from any Sligo, in Ireland. He gained the ac material defect, or fault on their part. quaintance of a few excellent persons in But there have often been serious difficulDublin. He did not, however, remain ties to find a suitable successor to occupy long in that country. He "who deter- the place of a great and good man. About mines the times before appointed, and the period above-mentioned, the pulpit fixes the bounds of man's habitation, be was vacant ; and Mr. Hill was sent foryond which he cannot pass," had fitted ward from Aberdeen to supply it. On him for, and in due time brought him to, the 24th of May, 1816, he arrived in an important field, in which to live and Huntly for the first time. labour, in the northern part of his native Mr. Hill, though then but a young land. And from the commencement to man, and one who had but little practhe close of a pastorate of more than tical exeperience as a preacher, yet he thirty-one years, “he never changed nor was, in many respects, a man suited to wished to change his place.”
the people and the place. Mr. Cowie Before Mr. Hill got any settled station had published a Tract, some time before to supply, he spent a short time, after he his death, as a kind of legacy to his left the Theological Academy, in 1815, people to direct them in the choice of a with the late Mr. Orme of Perth, and pastor. The young candidate who then afterwards with the late Dr. Russell of supplied his pulpit, possessed not a few Dundee. His intercourse, though brief, of those elements of character which the with these two energetic men and able venerable father and founder of the flock ministers of Jesus Christ, we have no had described as requisite, in the man doubt was useful, in observing their habits who would “win souls to Christ,”of study and pastoral labour before he re “ feed the Lord's flock," and "know ceived a charge of his own. Subsequently how to behave himself in the house of Mr. H. was invited to give assistance God, which is the Church of the living for a time to Dr. Philip, then pastor God, the pillar and ground of truth.” of the church in George-street Chapel, The sphere, however, was not quite a Aberdeen. In that temporary sphere bed of roses; it required
« Christian his ministrations were "acceptable to the simplicity and godly sincerity," a large saints.” It was only the next step, how share “of faith and patience," of firmness ever, in the leadings of a gracious Provid- and meekness, to harmonize materials that ence, to his getting an invitation for some did not seem quite ready to amalgamate time to supply the vacant pulpit of the together. With all the solid judgment and late Rev. George Cowie, at Huntly. He experimental piety that existed among was a man of no ordinary theological the flock and in the congregation, it was resources and pulpit power. His weight a situation by no means void of certain and worth of moral character were very peculiar difficulties, difficulties that great. He was honoured of God to might have seemed to require gray hairs, gather many eminently godly people into deep judgment, long experience, and church-fellowship with him in that town, firm nerve, to adjust and overcome. and to kindle up a taste for evangelical In his preaching Mr. Hill gave a fulpreaching and hearing to a wide extent in ness and prominency to the great fundaall the surrounding regions. He was a mental verities of the common salvaman of moral worth among a thousand. tion.” He laboured to expound and From the time of his death, in April, enforce evangelical truth with plainness 1806, till the autumn of 1816, his puls and pathos, upon the consciences of
saints and sinners. His doctrinal state-, took part in the ordination services, were ments were clear and correct, sound the following:--the Rev. Messrs. James and searching, faithful and affection- | Dewar, of Nairn; John Wilson, of ate; and, whether he addressed the con Greenock; William Orme, of Perth ; verted or the unconverted, tender and Joseph Gibb, of Banff; and John melting. He had drunk deeply into Philip and Richard Penman, of Aberthe spirit of the old Puritanic divines, deen. A brief notice of the services and those of the Nonconformist school. will be found in the Christian Herald After preaching to the Huntly friends for for August, 1817. The services were a season, he received a call to take the solemn and enlivening : it was a time oversight of them in the Lord. There were of refreshing from the presence of the some few points connected with the order Lord. He gave to “the remnant of of the Lord's house on which my young his heritage " "a nail in his holy place, friend differed from some of the senior / to lighten their eyes, and give them a friends who then composed the church. | little revival in their bondage.” The For their deep and decided piety he had a young pastor had a high veneration for very high respect; he looked upon them the father, and, under God, the founder as in many respects his superiors; but of the flock, “upon whose labours ” he at first did not see how he could give up had just entered. He was honestly and principles and social practices, which he earnestly anxious to imitate his excelhad considered sacred, and had practised | lences, to embody his virtues, feed the ever since he had become a Congrega. | flock, and carry forward the evangelical tional Dissenter. His conscience startled work which that great and good man at the idea of relinquishing or compro- | was honoured under God to originate, mising a sacred principle;—but to exer and so successfully to pursue. There cise patience and Christian forbearance had been a noble foundation laid. The with brethren in Christ, whose piety he spirit of piety and prayer was cherished more than respected, was what the ser- | among the Aock. Much valuable matevant of the Lord might be often called rial lay around, almost ready to be to do. He took time for deliberation consolidated with “God's building and and prayer, and consulted with some of husbandry," which the young pastor his senior brethren in the ministry. In knew how to appreciate. It only required a word, in finding himself one with the patience and prayer, pastoral skill and lachurch in all the great principles of bour, to form them “into living stones” “the faith once delivered to the saints," a "spiritual house to offer up spiritual and in all the essential principles of a sacrifices unto God acceptable by Jesus Congregational church, with the excep Christ." The living results of a pastorate tion of the frequency with which one of thirty-one years can attest, that the institute should be observed, he accepted Lord was with the under shepherd, and the call : “ Whereunto ye have already that “his labours have not been in attained let us walk by the same rule, vain in the Lord.” He was "for them a and mind the same things. And if in faithful minister of Jesus Christ." anything ye be otherwise minded, God | Not long after Mr. Hill's ordination he shall reveal even this unto you." Mr. married Miss Christian Marshal, an early Hill's letter expressing his acceptance of acquaintance, a member of the same the call, is dated Perth, Feb. 4th, 1817. religious body with himself, and countryHe went to Huntly in the end of that woman of his own. She was a suitable month.
helpmeet for him; and the endearing Mr. Hill having accepted the call, he relation was productive of a large meawas ordained to the pastoral oversight | sure of reciprocal conjugal enjoyment. of the church, on the 3rd of July, Mrs. Hill had admirable talents for 1817. The ministers present, and who | household management. She entered
warmly into the sentiments and sympa- | the ministry be not blamed. But in all thies of her husband. “She was a vir- | things approving ourselves as the minituous woman! The heart of her husband sters of God in much patience in afflicdid safely trust in her,--so that he had | tions, in necessities, in distresses, ..., no need of spoil. She did him good and by pureness, by knowledge, by long-sufnot evil all the days of her life.” They fering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, had eight children, four of whom died in | by love unfeigned." These were aposearly life, and three who had arrived tolic principles and maxims which Mr. H. at woman's estate. They each, some studied to imbibe and conscientiously to time before their death, gave evidence copy: “The servant of the Lord must that they knew and loved the Saviour, and not strive, but be gentle unto all men, the two eldest had connected themselves apt to teach, patient,-in meekness inwith the Church of Christ. The youngest structing those that oppose themselves." daughter, who died only some eight He conquered combatants by calmness or ten days before her mother, afforded and kindness : “In all things showing very pleasing evidence of having under- | himself a pattern of good works; in docgone a gracious change. They were a trine showing uncorruptness, gravity, lovely family. They were early dedicated sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be to God, and conscientiously trained for condemned; that he who was of the conhim. The parents were mutually blessed trary part might be ashamed, having with "faithful children, not accused of no evil thing to say of you." riot, nor unruly." The deceased father | Pastoral visitation from house to house, was one “who ruled his own house and diets of catechising in different diswell, having his children in subjection." tricts of the town and country, somewhat Firmness, calmness, and kindness, were | modified from the formality of “ the the chief elements, that regulated this olden time," formed a laborious, but very little family circle. Broils and strife were important branch of Mr. Hill's pastoral unknown. The household, as well as duties. To a certain extent, it had been the pastor, “was an example to the “use and wont" in the days of George flock.” “If a man know not how to rule Cowie. Mr. Hill loved it, and enjoyed it his own house, how shall he take charge very much. His charge resembled much of the house of God?"
a rural flock. He was dignified, withMr. Hill's constitutional temperament out stiffness or affectation, and lived in the was such as to render him very suscepti- affections of his people. He was a wise ble of inflammatory complaints. In the counsellor and steadfast friend to them all, early part of his pastoral career, he sus without making himself “ a busybody in tained a very severe attack of that nature, other men's matters." He watched for which threatened to prove fatal. Through souls, to warn them and win them to Divine mercy it yielded to prompt and Christ. Paul's appeal to God and the judicious medical treatinent. The Lord church at Thessalonica, might be made had much work for him yet to do in in his behalf, with little or no modificaHuntly and other places, in gaining souls tion : “ Ye are witnesses, and God also, to the Saviour, and gathering them into how holily and justly, and unblameably his fold-as the result has fully proved. we behaved ourselves among you that At the period in question he was for believe. And ye know how we exhorted, several weeks laid aside from labour. and comforted, and charged every one Neighbouring pastors promptly supplied of you, as a father doth his children, his lack of service.
that ye would walk worthy of God, who Of Christian circumspection and pas- has called you into his kingdom and toral propriety of conduct, Mr. Hill enter- glory.” tained very high and just opinions : Since the days of Mr. John Lesslie, "Giving no offence in anything, that who was Mr. Cowie's right-hand man,
and who was 'a host in himself, Huntly I to sound out to all the regions round has been pre-eminently distinguished for about," but the spiritual interests of the the number and efficiency of her sabbath kingdom ought to be extended upon a evening schools. They were prolific nur- wider scale: “A dispensation of the series to the church. From them also gospel has been committed unto us." have arisen successive bands of sabbath The moral health and vigorous pulsation school teachers who have been trained in of a religious body, are ascertained by some of those schools. Those men were what they do and suffer to promote the by no means novices in theology; nor reign of grace over our bleeding, blighted have they spared time or toil in prose- | world. Few of our churches in Scotland cuting this labour of love. The original have formerly and latterly contributed impulse given by Messrs. Cowie and a more ample contingent of ministers for Lesslie, has not merely continued to the home department, and missionaries vibrate—it has increased and extended. for the foreign field, than the congregaInto this system of juvenile tuition the tional church at Huntly. If the late deceased pastor threw a large portion of George Cowie fanned the flame, and sonl. His sympathies embraced their nursed the germ of ministerial and mishighest interests. Almost in each suc- sionary piety and zeal in the young men cessive year of his pastorate he preached who rallied round him, his late and an annual sermon to them. There was remote successor has not been less dea general muster of the children from all voted and successful in this department, the sabbath schools taught by the mem- | It is “God himself who has given the bers in town and from the country. The increase," and to Him belongs all the chapel, on these annual occasions, was glory. Mr. Hill had a large portion of crowded to overflowing. Mr. Hill's dis- the missionary spirit; and he laboured, courses to the young in those seasons not without success, to give the impulse were exceedingly tender, solemn, and and maintain the impetus among his impressive. It was then, especially, that flock. In the summer season, also, he he seemed to rise above himself.
used frequently to take itinerancy excurIt is “a consummation devoutly to be ' sions in different directions, at country desired," that all the churches of Christ, stations in the adjacent parishes. He with their pastors and deacons, should had usually good meetings. He much drink deeply into the missionary spirit, enjoyed this labour of love, while he and be active and liberal in promoting / endeavoured " to do the work of an the kingdom of our common Lord, at evangelist, and make full proof of his home and abroad, in these eventful times. ministry.” Not only from them ought “the gospel
(To be concluded in our next.)
WHY SO MUCH PROTESTANT APATHY? OR, FURTHER THOUGHTS
ON THE ENDOWMENT OF POPERY. Having, in our number for December, I trymen the political injustice, and the conveyed to our readers some of the fatal national consequences of such a anxious forebodings which we entertained measure. in reference to the rumoured project for Why, we would ask, with all the earthe Endowment of the Irish Roman Ca nestness which the occasion demands, tholic priests, we are encouraged, from are the true friends of the Protestant the reception which our remarks have Reformation in this country so partially met with, to address ourselves afresh to roused by the declaration, From The the task of representing to our coun- HEAD OF HER MAJESTY's GoverNMENT,
that opposition to the Endowment of wielded in the spirit of Christ and his
We deeply regret to perceive that the than one million of their fellow-subjects ?