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Dr Brown
Article from the North British Review


The long list of books, great and small, learned and popular, exegetical and doctrinal, experimental and polemical, tracts tor the times and discussions on truths of permanent moment, proves their author to have been, at least, a busy man. But when it is borne in mind that he was, during the period of this prolific production, pastor of a very large congregation in Edinburgh, doing constant duty, and liable to perpetual interruptions, teaching it "publicly and from house to house,” occupied also with ecclesiastical matters, and bearing his part in such religious and benevolent associations as every great city sustains, the preceding catalogue shows him to have been a man of incessant and extraordinary labour. Nor was it with Dr Brown as with men of an earlier period, who seem to have published all they wrote as a thing of course; for large stores of his manuscripts remain behind, not in the shape of note-books, discourses, meditations, or diaries jotted down “at sundry times,” but treatises and commentaries, formally and finally prepared for the press. Nor are these books named at the head of this article collections of sermons first preached, and then cunningly remoulded and thrown into printed circulation. Each of them has a specific object,—is the elaborated defence of some truth, or the definite exposition of some book of Scripture. We could name several series of popular books, both practical and prophetic, which resemble stucco images flung out of the same mould, all very like, but none of any value, and scarce to be distinguished from one another by some slight variations of feature or attitude. But Dr Brown’s works are like a gallery of statues, in which, indeed, you may see the style and mannerism of the same hand; but each piece has a history, unity, individuality, and purpose of its own. The mere ambition of authorship aid not move him to this fertile diligence—it was not in youth, but in age, when he was midway between sixty and seventy, that he published the majority of his works—not to let the world see what he could do, or what he had been doing, and what now was the harvest of his life. No; he employed the press, as solemnly and prayerfully as he had used the pulpit, for the work of his Master, the welfare of the Church, and the service of the age. And he had been in no haste to assume the responsible task—one of his finished Expositions had lain in his repositories twice the Horatian period. His earliest productions, too, are the smallest; he made no precocious effort to astonish or dazzle the world when a younger man. He walked in the river when a the waters were to the ankles,” ere he threw himself on the deeper billows and swam. In a word, this wondrous and successful industry sprang from the profound and unsleeping consciousness of his being a servant, with whom sloth is treason, and whose hiding of the talent is as wide a breach of trust as the squandering of it, for he felt himself bound to trade to the best advantage with all his gifts, in the hope of being greeted at length witti his Lord’s approval. Few men have better realized, or more steadily laboured and prayed to realize, what it is to “serve his own generation by the will of God,” ere he a fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers,” than he whose life, character, and works, are the subject of the following paragraphs.

Few incidents are furnished to a biographer by the life of a faithful and diligent minister, especially it he has not kept a diary, engaged in an extensive correspondence, or been tossed into stormy prominence by the current or events, but has clung to his proper functions, and tried to fulfil his course, or, like Dr Brown, has lived in his library, and not gone much into the stirring world around him. His Life, written by a devoted and admiring pupil, himself of no mean eminence and promise, will not startle any of its readers. Dr Cairns has not made an idol of his minister and theological teacher. He does not place him in a niche, bend the knee, and call upon others to emulate his idolatry. He has evidently written under great self-restraint, and has studiously kept himself out of view. He never kindles as he narrates, or deviates into eulogy as he advances. He breaks into no enthusiasm, but has compiled a plain unvarnished tale chiefly about the outer life of Dr Brown. He has tracked him from home to school and college, from the Divinity Hall to license and ordination, from Biggar to Rose Street and Broughton Place, from the pulpit to the professorial chair, and from health to sickness and death, and has briefly and honestly chronicled how he did his duty in these successive scenes,—what trials he met with, and how bravely he rose above them; how he preached, visited, and lectured, and what success attended his labours; how he gathered, loved, and handled his numerous books, and entertained visitors and students in his library; what volumes he has published, and what their character and their general reception. We dissent from scarcely a single word which Dr Cairns has written; but we confess we should have liked some fuller exhibition of Dr Brown’s mental and spiritual progress, something more than the mere footprints of his visible career, some deeper glimpse into his inner nature, some analysis of those minute and complex elements that make ft man what he is, and which, in carving out his work for him, gird him with ability to do it. Dr Cairns will, however, be thanked by the Christian public for his calm, impartial, and graceful story, in which he simply narrates without pronouncing a verdict, presents the premises quietly and unaffectedly, and permits his readers to form their own conclusions.

The Browns have been a famous name in Scottish Dissent, or perhaps, as we may be allowed to call it, Scottish theology. The name has passed through more than one generation, like that of the Casaubons, Scaligers, Buxtor's, Vitringas, and Turretines of other times, and the Lawsons, Heughs, Bonars, M‘Cries, Gilfillans, Cooks, Vaughans, and Hills of a more recent period. The first John Brown of Haddington, so well known for his "Dictionary of the Bible” and his “Self-interpreting Bible,” was a self-taught man, cradled in hardship and battling with difficulty, while he gathered in boyhood his Latin and Greek as he followed the sheep on the braes of Abernethy. Though never within the walls of a college, he acquired remarkable erudition, and was chosen at length to occupy a chair of theology. He was known throughout Scotland for his piety and learning, his retired and studious habits, and his earnest desire to throw such light on the sacred volume as should make all ordinary readers feel it to be an instructive and blessed book. It may, indeed, be said of his literary and biblical labours, as was said of his Divine Master’s preaching, “the common people heard him gladly.” The second John Brown, of Whitburn, was a man of primitive worth and manners, who lived and laboured in a rural district with quiet, lowly, and unostentatious zeal. The doctrines and the memory of the "Marrowmen,” and other divines of Boston’s period, were dear to him, and he laboured to spread and perpetuate them; for those spiritual heroes of his admiration did good work in a former day, and bore up the banner of evangelical theology when it was about to fall from other and feebler hands. His sermons were filled with quaint and pithy illustrations of Divine truth, hallowed with a savoury unction, and delivered with that musical cadence and modulation which the older people lovingly called a song.

The third and greatest John Brown has left a name more illustrious than that of his father or grandfather. Having finished his academic course at the age of sixteen, when he should have been only commencing it, he was sent out into the world to fare as best he might; for, like the majority of Scottish students, he was obliged to support himself by teaching during his theological curriculum. Leaving home with a guinea and his good theris benediction, the stripling went to Llie, on the east coast of Fife, and there taught himself and the village boys and girls for several years. The plan so largely followed by English Nonconformists, of giving gratuitous board and education to young men studying for the ministry, is the other extreme to our thrifty mode. The Anglican way is, however, very expensive, and is attended with many failures; for after the term of study is completed, many lads of piety and promise are found to be deficient in such gifts as are essential to popular preaching. True, indeed, with us the prime student does not always turn out the prime preacher, while he who passed through the Hall unnoticed may astonish by his audacious elocution, and his self-command in the pulpit. Still, the youth who in early life is left to his own resources, and thrown into the current either to sink or to swim, is drilled into the best of lessons—that of self-reliance under the Divine blessing; for he is brought face to face with wants which nothing but his own ceaseless toil can relieve: is taught how to value money rightly, and to calculate how best to spend it, for he has earned it; and thus comes to learn what nerve and resolve are in him, and to take the measure of himself by means of those suggestive experiences and conflicts through which he has passed. Such to a young man is the lesson of lessons, and he can get it only by a process which may humble him far oftener than it may flatter him. Cramming for a competitive examination cannot impart it, and success in such rivalry is no proof that it has been mastered; for a competitive trial, which from its very nature shows the possession only of cleverness and memory, but not of general talent, leaves ungauged the noblest elements of moral tuition and discipline.

On being licensed, John Brown became at once a popular preacher, and was called to Stirling, but by Synodical decision was ordained at’Biggar, 6th February 1806, the congregation there having also chosen him. Thence, after fifteen years’ service, was he removed to Rose Street, and thence, after a ministry of seven years, to Broughton Place, in the pastorate of which he spent the remaining thirty years of his long life. His removal to Edinburgh gave the Secession Church a position which it had not hitherto enjoyed in the critical and literary metropolis of Scotland. Hall, indeed, was there, a man of popular gifts and dignified eloquence; and Peddie, proverbial for the ingenious inferences and the keen practical sagacity of his expositions,—qualities not confined to his discourses, for his reply to Dr Porteous of Glasgow was declared by Dugald Stewart to be one of the best specimens of the reductio ad abmrdum in the English language. Jamieson was there too, renowned for his Scottish erudition, and not less noted for the massive thought and the earnest gravity of his sermons. We abstain on purpose from saying a word on others not belonging to Dr Brown’s denomination, or we might have referred to the shrewd and discriminative preaching of the historian M‘Crie, one of whose printed discourses Dr Brown declared to be among the best ever published; to Henry Grey, so tender, impressive, and catholic; to the fervid ana spiritual Gordon; and to Andrew Thomson, whose robust genius clothed itself in a fitting masculine style, and spoke with a fresh and manly elocution. Dr Brown’s pulpit appearances soon attracted large audiences, many of whom came to enjoy his discourses as a literary treat; for they were clear, accurate, sober, and ratiocinative—now working out some thought with steady skill and accelerating progress, now proving some doctrine from Scripture with accumulative energy, and now urging truth on heart and conscience with the honest vehemence and majestic authority of one who felt it to be his function to “persuade men,” to “pray them in Christ’s stead.”

Dr Brown’s preaching, then and afterwards, had four marked characteristics. It was clear, always clear. Its clearness was its brightness. No hearer was ever at a loss for his meaning: every paragraph stood out with mathematical precision and distinctness. It was the truth given out with luminous prominence— not delicately shaded off, on the one hand, into clouded obscurity, or feebly fading away, on the other hand, into dim and intangible vagueness and uncertainty. He felt with good old Richard Baxter, that “it takes all our learning to make things plain.” He spoke of God’s grace, man’s guilt, Christ’s love, the Spirit’s influence, and the nature and necessity of faith and holiness, so lucidly, that nobody could misunderstand him, or wonder what he meant. No paragraph ever resembled the impalpable image of which Eliphaz says, “It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof.” Dr Gillies, in his biography of his father-in-law, the eminent Maclaurin, says that his style, which was dear in his younger days, grew more obscure as he grew older. No one could make such a complaint about Dr Brown. Even in those critical dissertations in which he sometimes, perhaps too often, indulged, he was easily followed step by step by a trained and intelligent audience. He had no long and involved constructions, like those of Milton, Hooker, or Sir Thomas Brown, “with many a winding bout of linked sweetness long drawn out,” but clause came after clause, each very distinct in itself and in its connection. His expositions of Divine truth were, in their uniform clearness, like the sharply-defined edges and ridges of a hill seen against the cloudless sky of a summer evening. His preaching was also “with power.” Even when, in advanced years, he took to the slavish reading of his manuscript, his “natural force was not abated.” Nothing was weak, tawdry, or effeminate about him in the pulpit: he was vigorous, elevated, and effective. A living energy pervaded all his discourses. His style was felicitous, because it was the exact transcript of his thoughts, without any spasmodic abruptness, or any affectation of classic purity and grace. In the mere manufacture of periods he had no pleasure. He was a slave neither to the chaste and tuneful charms of Addison, nor the sonorous and measured parallelisms of Johnson—the twin-gods of literary homage at the commencement of the century. He did not imitate the concealed art of the one, or the open effort and laboured sweep of the other. His loud, hale, and hearty tones were no less m keeping, while his quick eye, noble form, symmetrical figure, and snowy “crown of glory,” contributed to the general impression. At the same time, he employed no rhetorical arts of intonation and gesture. He would not stoop to discharge such mimic thunder. Occasionally he raised his voice to such a pitch that one might call it a shout, and the ceiling rang again; and occasionally, as he warmed into a climax of argument or indignation, he stamped his foot so lustily, that it stilled and overawed the congregation. He preached the Gospel in its simplicity and majesty. He knew full well that the giving of mere instruction was not his whole duty, but that men’s spirits must be aroused and dealt with, and that the preacher must use every effort, work on every passion, enlist every motive, and bring every appliance to bear on those to whom he appeals. In doing this, he trusted to the power of the truth. He never entranced his audience by a series of dissolving views of marine or rural scenery. He did not wander among woods and meadows, and tell of the song of the bird or the hum of the bee, the hue of flowers or the scent of herbs; nor did he ever flit like a meteor over regions on which hovered a light that u ne’er was seen on sea or shore.” You never thought of complimenting any sentence by saying, "That’s fine but you were often inclined to say of a paragraph, “That’s masterly.” His power was not that of imagery, passion, or pathos, but that of ripe and solid thought. Every listener felt that the preacher had something to say, for the “burden of the Lord” was upon him, and that he must say it. His occasional hesitancy for want of the right word or selected epithet, made him all the more emphatic and memorable. A sermon of his, when in his better days, was not like a lazy rivulet, creeping in stillness through a level English landscape, but like a Scottish stream, that battles its way over every obstacle, sometimes leaps and foams, and is always showing itself to be “living water,” by its forcible current and visible speed.

Dr Brown’s preaching was eminently scriptural. We mean, not merely that he preached the truth of Scripture—a compliment due to every evangelical minister—but that, in a full and felicitous way, he made Scripture its own interpreter. He had a special tact in “comparing spiritual things with spiritual;” and his frequent and favourite illustrations of Scripture were taken from Scripture. The emphatic way in which he quoted a clause was often a striking commentary upon it. We remember, for example, hearing him many years ago on Heb. viii. 1, and on the cause, “We have such an high priest.” He was telling how the sacerdotal office of Christ had been modified, explained away, and denied; how the Socinian spoke of having a friend, a counsellor, and a sympathizer, and how the Jew imagined that Christianity had no one like Aaron to stand between the living and the dead, when he gradually warmed to a white heat, and, repeating the clause, pronounced “We have” with such a resolute accent, and in a tone of such assertatory vehemence, that the delivery of the two words not only contained the whole sermon within it, but gave edge and life to the subsequent illustration. His sermons were rich in apposite quotations, the “golden pot” was filled to overflowing with the precious manna. While his discourses ranged through every portion of the Bible, its central truths were his chosen theme. To him the cross was the centre of revelation, to which all its doctrines are united in happy harmony, and from which emanate their life and splendour. He delighted to expatiate on the Gospel as the Divine scheme of mercy, and often said of the Law, in contradistinction from the Gospel, “The law never made a bad man good, nor a good man better.” “Law doctrine was never in his blood,” said one of his venerable rustic admirers. His wras no negative Gospel—no tossing of Christ’s cross out of view into His tomb. He nad great faith in the old Gospel—the Gospel of Peter and Paul—and had no sympathy with those philosophical harangues which sometimes either take its place, or profess to adapt it more thoroughly to the wants and tendencies of the present age. If such an attempt was only to simplify the system or improve its nomenclature, he might not object; but if, with insidious change of terms, there was also a change of belief, then he would “give place by subjection, no, not for an hour.” He held that what had achieved such triumphs in the first century could repeat them in the nineteenth century; and that the Gospel was not to be set aside by civilisation as unnecessary or superseded by philosophy as antiquated. For the spiritual relations of man to his Maker are unchanged by such adventitious circumstances; so that what was preached in Antioch, Athens, Corinth, and Rome, must be preached still in Edinburgh, London, Paris, and New York. The moral disease being radically the same, the same benign remedy must still be applied. The enlightenment of these times no more alters man’s relation to God, than it changes the elements of his humanity; and there is no need, therefore, for “another Gospel, which is not another.”

Lastly, Dr Brown’s preaching was, as his biographer also remarks, distinguished by its tone of authority, not that there was any assumption of sacerdotal prerogative in it, or any attempt to acquire or wield dominion over men’s faith. It was not dogmatism, on the one hand, nor the feeble and uncertain teaching of the scribes, on the other. But he did not speak in hesitation, as if he doubted what he said, or needed formally and cautiously to prove it. He was not for ever appealing to evidence, and fencing with logical parade, as if his statements were liable to challenge; but, with his open Bible before him, he solemnly and boldly announced its truths as eternal and indisputable verities. His own mind was made up; and he could not but appropriate the Apostle’s motto, “We believe, therefore we speak.” he was never like one arguing a case, resting it on probabilities, or placing it at the hazard of succeeding experiments; for he knew that the Gospel has a witness in every man’s conscience, and he fearlessly appealed to what Tertullian has called testimonium animce natur-cJiter Christiana. Therefore his teaching was, to use the epithet which Longinus applies to the style of Paul, anapodeictic, undemonstrative—not searching for truth, but pointing it home; not deducing it, but applying and commending it as “worthy of all acceptation.”

According to universal testimony, Dr Brown’s preaching differed much in his riper years from what it was at the commencement of his ministry. Not that, as was the case with Chalmers at Kilmany, it ever wanted the evangelical element, or was only ethical and discursive; but it was couched in scholastic phrase, and embroidered with juvenile ornament. As the style of Edmund Burke, from its naked simplicity in his youth, grew more and more luxuriant in imagery, till in his old age it had the stiffness and the almost ungracefiil richness of brocade, so Dr Brown’s preaching became more and more wealthy in evangelical statement and unction, and had shed around it more and more the incense of a devotional spirit. Some of his later sacramental addresses, in tenderness and simplicity, equal, if they do not surpass, the apostolic pastorals of the late Principal Lee. We should not, therefore, call Dr Brown’s preaching philosophical, in the ordinary acceptation of the term, or in the sense in which it might be applied to the sermons of Archer Butler, which, in magnificence of thought and in moral grandeur, have rarely been surpassed. Nor should we call it intellectual, in the vulgar acceptation of the epithet, as when it is applied to a style oŁ discoursing which apes the "enticing words of man’s wisdom,” and strives to mitigate the offence of the cross by obscuring the view of it, or speaking of the agonies endured upon it more as a tragedy than as an atonement, rather as a martyrdom than as a propitiation. But if the meaning be, that there is grasp of thought, visible and positive vigour of mind put forth—no dull or jejune repetition of commonplaces, but mental action creating sympathy with itself, and calling forth a hearty response and acquiescence—then Dr Brown’s preaching was intellectual beyond that of many. He never neglected nor tampered with pulpit preparation, self-indulgence or procrastination was not among his sins. His commission was, “Give ye them to eat,” and he strove to store up nutriment for them, m the hope and dependence that He who gave the commission would lay liberally to his hand. He never, at any period of his life, trusted to extemporaneous utterance. Every discourse was carefully thought out, and the ideas, and often the exact words, were committed to memory. A sermon was to him a solemn work, involving immense responsibility, and not merely a task to be got over on Sabbath as easily and as passably as he could. The pulpit was the scene of his power; and he would not weaken its-influence by negligent preparation; “saying away,” as the phrase is; filling up the prescribed period with a succession of words and sentences so loosely strung together, and so utterly inane and devoid of consecutive thought, that if a hearer falls asleep and in the course of twenty minutes wakens again, he will find the preacher much about where he left him. Dr Brown was always roused into unwonted rage when he referred to such slovenly and unfaithful practices. To show his idea of the importance of a sermon, and the anxious care and toil which it of necessity demanded, he used to (juote a saying of Robert Hall’s to himself: “A man of genius, sir, may produce one sermon in the week; a person of average talent may compose two; but nobody but a fool, sir, can write three.” 66 This witness is true,” though couched in the form of a paradox. Every one remembers how Lord Brougham, in his recent inaugural address as Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, insists on earnest and continuous preparation and study as indispensable to successful public speaking.

Conscientious and incessant preparation was all the more needed by Dr Brown, for he was not an orator in the high sense of the word, or in the sense that Mason, Hall, and Waugh were orators. To speak of the last, as he belonged to Dr Brown’s own communion, there was no comparison in many points between the two men. Dr Waugh was not simply a consummate speaker—he was an orator. While he prepared sermons with care, and could deliver them with ease and effect, still he could, on the inspiration of the moment, throw off gleaming thoughts, and pour out streams of tenderness. He did not need, in such moods, to think continuously what he was to add, or to ponder prospectively how he was to get to a rounded conclusion. What next to say, never troubled him ; how to say it, was born with him. Idea led on to idea, sentence linked itself with sentence, image rose after image, his eloquence baptized into the Spirit of Christ, and his sermons as devout as other men’s prayers. His subject hurried him along, and he yielded to the impulse. Ordinary speakers, though they are good speakers, never venture far from snore, or lose sight of the headlands; but orators such as Dr Waugh, fearlessly leave all known landmarks, and commit themselves to the deep, assured that they will neither sink nor lose their way, but can return at will after their adventurous wanderings. A great deal of our best preaching, even when not given from a paper, is but the reading of manuscript by the eye of memory; but in genuine oratory, every power is brought into tense and vigorous play: not only are previous trains of cogitation brought up, but new trains are suggested and ardently pursued; the reasoning faculty soaring on the pinions of imagination, and having a wider sweep of view from its height; every fact within reach being laid under contribution, and many a stroke suggested by the consciousness that an impression is being made; language all the while starting up as it is wanted, and not waiting to be pressed into service,—the right word leaping into the right place without efibrt or confusion. Dr Waugh often realized tnis description. Earnest, self-possessed, and imaginative, he often surprised his audience by some felicitous and unexpected allusion, frequently a Scottish one,—as when illustrating the second verse of the 46th Psalm, he exclaimed, “What!” says distrust or weak faith, “were the Cheviot hills to be cast into the sea, could the shepherds be blamed for trembling it” or when, describing the revulsion of soul in the prodigal, he pictured him casting a glance at his squalid countenance and tattered robes reflected in the streamlet, then starting, looking up to heaven and shrieking in ruic, "God of Abraham, is it I? To what a wretched plight have brought myself.” We might also have referred to Shanks of Jedburgh, spoken of by the elder brethren as unsurpassed in vivid description and appeal—“an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures” when preaching from a tent at a sacrament; to Jameson of Methven, a man of uncommon stamp, sometimes creeping indeed, but majestic when on the wing; and to Young of Perth, whose ardent and philosophical mind did its grandest achievements of oratory when left to itself, and unfettered by the Dotes of preparatory meditation.

From what has been said, it will be inferred that Dr Brown’s mind was distinguished more by its vigour and clearness, than by its depth and acuteness. His ideas were always judicious, if not always original or profound. He cared not to range among subtle and daring speculations, and though he could appreciate and admire them, he did not indulge in them. His devotion to the useful kept him from being fascinated by the novel and the recondite, by what was too high to be bound down to immediate utility, or too fine to be yoked to every-day business. Locke and Edwards seem to have been his favourite metaphysicians, on account of their clear and palpable reasonings. We say not, that he held all their views, but he reckoned them masters of thought, and maintained that it was only by a wicked and one-sided interpretation of Locke, that Condillac, Helvetius, and Comte could claim him as a patron of Sadducean sensationalism. Idealism of every form he could not away with; Berkeley, Kant, Hegel, or Ferrier, had no attractions for him. Owen, Howe, and Baxter were a triumvirate which, from familiar knowledge, he delighted to extol. Dugald Stewart also moved his admiration, though he had not been allowed to attend his class, there being the impression among evangelical men of that day—an impression not without foundation—that teachers of moral philosophy were often little better than baptized pagans. It was apparently forgotten, however, that moral obligations spring out of man’s nature, and exist independently of Christianity, though it is very far wrong to refuse the light which Christianity casts on man’s being and relations, and ignore the existence of that new motive power to which faith gives existence and permanence within him. Dr Brown relished the elegance and culture of Stewart’s mind, the grace and purity of his style, and the precision and distinctness of his views; for he never hides himself in cloud-land, or vanishes from view amidst transcendental subtleties. Dr Brown was fond of poetry in his youth, and some of the minor

Poets, such as Langhome, Penrose, and especially Charlotte imith, were among his favourites. But his tastes grew more select as he advanced in years, though we do not think that the ethereal beauties of Wordsworth, Shelley, or Tennyson, could ever captivate him. In his later writings, as we have already intimated, there was little of the garniture of fancy. He rarely employed imagery; his illustrations were plentiful, but usually homely, and it is surely a mark of his good sense that he did not strew his pages with faded garlands. He coveted beauty of form more than luxuriance of drapery—the severer beauty of unity and life which belongs to just or striking conceptions. His mind was not like the orchard in the rich bloom of spring, but like the orchard plenished with fruit in autumn; not like the parterre, gay with colours and laden with perfume, but like the fiela of grain which presents a harvest to the sickle.

From the days of Knox, and Melville, the Church of Scotland had endeavoured to secure a learned ministry, trained to a knowledge of the sacred tongues and of the languages of the earliest and best versions of Scripture, and instructedin the canons of criticism, as well as in the principles, history, and application of exegetical erudition. The First Book of Discipline sketched a plan of study, wiser and wider by far than had hitherto been attempted. The literary history of the University of Glasgow begins with Melville’s regency. An improved curriculum, which had been advocated by no less a man than Buchanan, was introduced into St Andrews; the College of St Mary, with four professors, was to take charge of theological tuition, in which the interpretation of the Old Testament and comparison of it with the Chaldee paraphrases and Septuagint, and the interpretation of the New Testament and collation of the original text with the Syriac version, occupied a prominent place. But the example set by the early reformers was lost in succeeding troublous times. None rose up second to Buchanan, the translator of the Psalms, and none appeared like Andrew Melville, the reformer and principal of two universities—qui Athena* et Solymam in Scotiam induxit. Thus the original purpose of these noble remodellers was neither definitely nor successfully carried out. No chair for the special study of the New Testament existed in any of the colleges. Systematic Theology became the engrossing study; and so minute, metaphysical, and protracted was the treatment of it occasionally, that the story goes of an Irish student, who had been a session under Dr Finlay, at Glasgow College, and who, on being asked by his presbytery, preparatory to examination, what theme had occupied the professor's time, naively answered, “Half an attribute.” At the period of the first Secession, theological tuition was a subject anxiously pondered. Wilson, the first professor, was the most scholarly of the u Four Brethren but his life was short, and the Professorate was held from time to time bv different persons, as by )wn of Haddington on the one side, Moncrieff of Alloa and Bruce of Whitburn on the other. Lawson of Selkirk, the Christian Socrates, as Dr Brown terms him, held a chair for above thirty years. Paxton, author of the well-known “Illustrations of Scripture,” was teaching at the period of the union of the Burgher and Antiburgher parties, but did not join the united church; in connection with which, and by an extension of the system, Biblical Literature was first formally lectured on by Dr Mitchell, who in 1804 had won the Claudius Buchanan prizefor the best essay on the Civilisation of India, and whose praise is yet in all the churches; while Dogmatic Theology was taught by Dr Dick, whose published system has gained for itself general approval. At Dr Dick’s death, the Synod, urged mainly by Dr Brown, appointed a committee to consider the whole subject of theological education; and that committee, guided also by him, proposed an enlarged scheme which was at once adopted. Four chairs were agreed on: one of Hermeneutics, that of Dr Mitchell; one of Exegesis, to which Dr Brown was chosen; one of Systematic Theology, filled by Dr Balmer; and one of Pastoral Theology, occupied by Dr Duncan. The arrangement still continues, but is so far modified that Pastoral Theology is joined to Systematic Theology; and to the fourth chair is appointed the important subject which the Germans call Dogmengesch ichte, or the history of doctrine, ritual, and government.

Dr Brown had a special talent for exegesis, and it is by his exegetical labours and publications that his name will be perpetuated. It was not till some time after his ordination that he turned his mind to the critical study of Scripture, and there seem to have been few previous symptoms of such a latent taste within him. What first developed the liking it is difficult to say, but once developed, it never paused—was never satiated. Onward and onward for forty years did he advance, day after day being given to the careful and prayerful exposition of the word of Goo. Commentary, either more popular or more academic, became “everywhere and in all things” the business of his life, and “This one thing I do,” might have been inscribed over his study. Not only were his lectures in the pulpit exegetical, but his sermons had no little of the same aspect and character. His thoughts and conversations ranged round the unvarying themes,—editions of the Greek Testament, introductions, grammars, dictionaries, concordances, commentaries, disputed passages, difficult clauses, reconciliation of textual difficulties, better translations, and comparative merits of expositors. Dr Brown had many qualifications for an expositor besides his ardent attachment to the study—that attachment being itself the sure token of possessed qualification. The Bible was the book on which his life’s labour was spent. He felt the necessity of such a record and disclosure of God’s purposes and acts, and was wholly and vehemently opposed to all theories which taught the possibility of subjective piety without an objective revelation,—a form of spiritualism which places all religions on the same low level, and pictures each as the native outgrowth of the soul modified by temperament, experience, and education. In the inspiration of Scripture he had a firm faith. Perhaps he had no precise theory which he could minutely and scientifically expound, but he held the Bible to be God’s book—not in thought only, but in language—prophets, evangelists, and apostles, being guided by the Divine Spirit to those words by which ideas divinely communicated were expressed without any possibility or shade of error. Therefore, in his view, the Bible could not deal loosely with facts, or fallaciously with arguments. In the Old Testament the religious revelation is imbedded in the common history, but it is never, as some pretend, like truth set in falsehood. The one cannot be disengaged from the other. If the prophet deliver a religious message not m naked purity, but in connection with some event in the annals of the people, then if the outer illustration is liable to error, the thing illustrated is not secure against corruption. How can we accept the truth expounded, if we may not receive the expository material with implicit confidence? Dr Brown therefore held to a plenary inspiration producing a book of universal and unchanging truth. Unchanging we say, for though the books of Scripture were specially adapted to the age in which they appeared, they never me their adaptation to all ages. They may be stripped of their Hebrew costume, but eternal truth remains behind. The altar, victim, blood, vail, and priest may be taken away, but there remains behind a foreshadowed atonement in the Old Testament, and an actual propitiation in the New. Dr Brown, therefore, could not yield to the theory of Jewett, which regards the Bible as behind the age, and he has entered his stout protest in the preface to his Exposition of Homans.

As an expositor, Dr Brown had but one desire, and that was to discover the mind of the Spirit in His own word. Few expositors have felt this desire so uniformly, or have so consistently carried it out. His two questions were, What was this oracle in sense to those who first received it, and what is it still to us? And he was patient in coming to a conclusion. As when Luther and Melanchthon, in translating the original Scriptures into German, sometimes spent a month over a word, so anxious were they to select the proper term, so Dr Brown, in lecturing through a book, sometimes paused in his course for weeks, when he came to some dark or difficult passage, so conscientious was he in seeking to ascertain its true meaning. This dictum, too, was often on his lips, when referring to some current but false exegesis, “This is truth, important truth, and truth taught elsewhere in Scripture, but not the truth contained in this passage.” No one was better aware than he of the mischief done to interpretation by the application of any reigning philosophy, whether it be Aristotelian, Flatonic, or Neoplatonic, whether it be that of Kant, or Locke, or Hegel; for it twists and tortures revelation to its own uses, and carries with it the sense which it proudly imposes on Scripture. Few expositors, indeed, can thoroughly divest themselves of philosophical or theological predilections, and their exegesis is unconsciously warped. They iee as they wish to see, ana find what they secretly hope to find.

What is in them, they read as being without them. We are bound to say that we find little or nothing of this in Dr Brown’s, commentaries. There are many things with which we may not agree, many points on which others seem to have led him astray, but we do not discover that any statement is the result of a foregone conclusion. These lines of Cowper were often quoted by him:

"Of all the arts sagacious dnpes invent,
To cheat themselves and gain the world’s consent,
The worst is Scripture warped from its intent.”

He valued systems very highly, and had studied the best of them, as Turretine, Mastricht, Stapfer, and Pictet. He estimated creeds and confessions at their due value, but he felt that often, when right in doctrine, they were wrong in the interpretation of many of the passages by which they defended it. He could not, therefore, linger on the cistern, where the water is apt to stagnate, but pitched his tent under the green oak, and by the living fountain. To say that he admitted the necessity of the Holy Spirits influence and enlightenment for the correct understanding. 91 the lively oracles, would be a very feeble and inadequate statement, because his soul was filled with such a conviction, and it surrounded and hallowed all his Biblical toils. For the author of 9 book best knows the meaning of it, and the Spirit of truth is promised to guide into all truth. Bene ordsse est bene studuisse is oftener quoted to point a paragraph, than actually believed and realized. But Dr Brown’s friends knew that he was always as earnest and continuous in asking light from on high, as he was diligent in seeking it by literary study and research. He lived, and laboured in faith, for no man is saved by theology, or a theoretic knowledge of religion. The beggar by the wayside gets as much of the sun’s radiance as the astronomer who studies and understands its physical laws and constitution. Learning is no less indispensable to honest and accurate exposition of Scripture. Dr Brown’s erudition was immense and varied; ever growing, and stretching out into many spheres. For his time, his scholarship was good. In his youth, the means now at hand were not to be had; and the study of the classic tongues was, and, alas, is, pot pursued in our northern universities, till authors are mastered, and the soul of the language is caught; a crude acquaintance with flections and syntax being all that is ever dreamed of. In those days, so far as Greek was concerned, Matthiae, Thiersch, Buttman, Kithner, Madvig, Bernhardy, and Kruger, had not given the fruits of their grammatical studies to the world. Nor did there exist many other philological treatises, that now form the best implements of the exeget. Not a few of them, either written in Latin or translated into English, Dr Brown could use at a later period; and he did use some of them to great advantage. But his scholar* ship was not what it would have been, had such instruments and appliances been found in his earlier years. It was not till 1810 that Planck definitively settled the nature of New Testament Greek; and Winer’s Greek Grammar, now in its sixth edition, appeared first in 1822. The first edition of the Hebrew-German Lexicon of Gesenius appeared in 1810, and the first of his Latin Manuals in 1833; his smaller Grammar was published in 1813, and his larger in 1817, but both in German, No one will suppose us to mean that Dr Brown was deficient in scholarship; out it wanted somewhat of edge, precision, and familiarity with minutiae, which nothing but early culture can furnish. Nor do we think that scholarship forms the distinctive excellence of his commentaries. While there is, generally, the manifestation of it, the exegesis is indebted more to a sound head than to acute linguistic erudition; relies more on a searching and thorough analysis than on grammatical and lexical investigation; and appeals more to what the writer has been saying for the meaning of what he now says, than to the subtle doctrine of cases and particles, idioms and mysteries of syntax. But of this again. Though he was not a Hebrew scholar, like the men of other days, such a9 Lightfoot, Pocock, and Robertson, yet it may be safely asked, who of his contemporaries approached him in Hebrew exegesis, or has even published anything that may afford ground for comparison with his able exposition of the eighteenth Psalm, and of the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah, in his u Sufferings and Glory of the Messiah?” The system of Masclef, Parkhurst, and Wilson, so popular in his youth, had well-nigh banished the study of Hebrew from our country; and we believe that Dr Mitchell was among the first, if not the first, who publicly taught Hebrew as expounded by continental Hebraists. In all the universities at the time it seems to have been taught without points, as the technical phrase is, that is, in a meagre and miserable form.

And for this work Dr Gown had furnished himself with a magnificent library. When in Biggar he originated a ministerial library, which was provided by the congregation, and augmented yearly through its liberality. The plan was adopted in 1852 by the United Presbyterian Synod; and now there are 150 such libraries, each the property of the congregation, yet selected by the minister and kept solely for his use. But his own library was the growth of a lifetime," and its augmentation never ceased. It consisted at his death of about nine thousand volumes,—not confined to one department of literature, but having books of all kinds and ages. Many volumes of rare pamphlets issued in connection with various old Scottish controversies and the stirring questions of the day, are to be found in it; and will make it of great value at some future period, to any plodder given to such researches. By far the larger portion of it, however, was biblical hosts of commentaries; the best grammars, lexicons, and concordances; with seventy-two different editions of the New Testament, and more than a hundred copies of it altogether. There are also in it rare and costly editions of works: nine editions of Thomas a Kempis; first editions—editiones principes of many foreign and English classics. The great majority of these books are in the best order—his tasteful eye liked a fine binding—and one in unison with the age or the character of the book. His library was deficient in the department of the Fathers—for what reason we know not. In the enumeration, in his preface to “Galatians,” of commentators on the Epistle consulted by him, he quotes Chrysostom, with an English title (Oxford, 1845), and makes no mention either of the Latin Jerome or the Greek AEcumenius and Theodoret. Of this immense collection of books he had a perfect mastery; a mastery in our experience unequalled, and as the redundancy of his notes to many of his volumes testifies. This tendency to a farrago of appended notes is peculiar to some men, and seems to grow with them. They tell first what they have to say, and then what all other men have said. We do not refer to such supplementary notes as are attached to Hare’s “Mission of the Comforter,” or to Magee’s “Dissertation on the Atonement" but to Dr Brown’s “Law of Christ,” or to “Parr Spital Sermon,” which last, according to Sydney Smith, had “an immeasurable mass of notes about every learned thing, every learned man, and almost every unlearned man, since the beginning of the world.” In Dr Brown’s volume referred to, notes are found from all sources,—from Hutten and Marvell, Cartwright and Chatham, Atterburyand Clarendon, Gower and Simon Browne, King James and Lord. Melbourne, Sully and Adam Smith, Chillingworth and Usher, with crowds of others far too numerous to be specified.

But we refer to a more special mastery than this ability to gather notes, which may be done from a general knowledge of the contents of a book, and by means or an index—an instrument that often produces a specious and cheap array of erudition. Dr Brown seemed to know not only where each book was, but what was in it. His visitors were usually received in his library, and it was the resort of his evening parties. As the conversation wandered from point to point, or questions were started, or the opinions of other men were doubted or canvassed, he was in the nabit of taking down volume after volume, to verify, illustrate, or diversify the topics of discourse. There might be on the part of some one a reference to John Newton; and then he would lay hold of some forgotten volume, or bound up series of magazines, and read of Newton’s quaint and hu-morons conversations with an aged dame, who lived by keeping poultry, and who, though very poor, yet never lost faith in Goa, her provider, for she felt that He would not feed His chickens, and allow His children to starve. Or he would next, if the theme were started, read one after another of numerous English and Scottish rhymed versions of the Psalms, of which he had a unique collection, and compare their beauties and merits* Or a lady might doubt the propriety of her son’s going to study in Germany; and he would open for her at once one of Tholuck’s most beautiful passages on the Ascension. Or some young aspirant might speak of the rich and gorgeous style of the older English philosophy; and he would immediately bring Henry More, ana recite one of his Platonic paragraphs in his own emphatic style. Or the reformers and their mutual relations might be spoken of; and then would he, with a smile which so well became him, turn to Luther’s apologetic Latin preface to Melanchthon, for stealing and publishing his notes on Homans, and give it with great relish. Or he would show an original copy of the Areopagitica, with what he complacently believed to be John Howe’s autograph upon it. Or he might hand round for admiration some copy or an Elzevir or Foulis classic, which he had recently picked up. Or he would take some book, and give you its pedigree, tell you to what collection it had belonged, and how much it fetched at Pinelli’s, Macarthy’s, Heber’s, or the Duke of Sussex’s sales, and how it had passed from one to another, till it reached himself. Or, in fine, if his favourite studies were asked about, and editions of the New Testament lovingly inquired after, he would open with delight the first edition of Erasmus, the earliest published in 1516; then Stephen’s first, the 0 Mirifica, in 1546; then Beza’s first, in 1565, based on the third of Stephens; then the first Elzevir, in 1624; and then the second Elzevir, which called itself, Textum ab omnibus rsesptum, out of which mendacious statement sprang the received text. No man in Scotland was better acquainted with authors and the various editions of their works. With books out of the way he had uncommon familiarity, and when occasion came he could employ them with astonishing success. It did one’s heart good to see him kindle up in this antiquarian field, for its dust dia not suffocate him, and the rarity of its lore did not unduly elate him.

Dr Brown had not studied German, and knew little of modem treatises written in that marvellously flexile and expressive tongue. But for many years, up till within the last forty years, the German literati mostly wrote in Latin, and Latin was as familiar to him as English. The recent German commentaries were therefore neglected by him, even for his last work, such as Philippi and Umbreit on Romans, two of the best of their class. Bat with all the divines and critics of the period succeeding the Reformation he had an intimate acquaintance,—Witsius, Deyling, Vitringa, Lampe, Marck, Calovius, Calixtus, CarpzofF, Schultens, Turretine, the elder Michaelis, the authors contained in the immense tomes of the Critici Sacri, and the accompanying Thesauri of tracts and dissertations. He was the first in this country to give an account of the New Testament edited and annotated by Koppe and his coadjutors, Heinrichs and Pott,— an account which, in the form of an extract from the “Christian Monitor,” has been reprinted by Home in the various editions of his “Introduction.” This mass of books was stored and valued chiefly for its connection with Scripture. For its illustration did he become a scholar, and gather large and varied erudition. He had read much, and his reading was at his command; critics and commentators were his daily tributaries. He had many rare books, many old books, many curious and costly books, but the Bible was his book. His delight was with all helps in his power to exhibit the mind of Goa as found in it, so that his literary labours were all professional, and all he wrote was on the Bible or about the Bible. Its life enlivened his own composition; and even other men’s opinions, when reviewed, as must be often done, by the interpreter, appear on his pages, not as a collection of dry twigs without leaves, but rather like so many fruit-bearing branches engrafted into the trunk, and partaking “of the root and fatness.” The wonder is, that among so many books he did not get confused. But he had a very tenacious memory, and, we believe, he would say something of the history and contents of every volume in his vast collection. So quietly did he do the work of consultation, that nobody seems to have caught him at it, even at simultaneous consultation when he was writing his expositions. No one seems to have found him with piles of opened volumes about him. The floor of his study was at no time covered with such miscellaneous litter as often lies about in other literary workshops. He had no slovenly habits; neatness and elegance characterized his book-rooms, his clothes, his handwriting, and his manuscripts.

As the early Manichean notions of Augustine, though formally renounced by him, seem still to mould and modify some of his latest thoughts and images, so we have often thought that some of those commentators whom Dr Brown studied in his first love of Biblical Science, exercised an unfavourable influence over him. Those interpretations which are the least to be commended, are usually found in Koppe or his co-editors. He could instance, in the Exposition of Peter, his making of the phrase, "sufferings of Christ” (1 Peter i. 11), mean u sufferings of the people of God till Christ should come,”—a notion different from that of many who yet identify Christ and His people; and in the Commentary on Galatians his reluctance in some clauses to give to the word "Spirit” its high and distinctive personal sense of the Spirit of God. From the same school he seems to have learned also his habit of transposing clauses, in order, as he thought, the better to bring out the meaning, though he sternly condemned Lowth’s perpetual emendations of the text as unscholarly and unwise; for, as Gesenius has observed, there is not one of the Bishop’s pressing difficulties that a more thorough knowledge of Hebrew Grammar would not have enabled him to solve. Among scholars and exegets, Storr was his special favourite. The two had much in common. Both were untrammelled and patient critics, and both bowed to the supreme and final authority of Scripture, as a Divine and infallible record. The Scottish and German minds resembled each other in the characteristic production of broad and vigorous thought. Both had a singularly full and accurate knowledge of Scripture, especially of illustrative words and clauses, their memory being stored like a volume of marginal references; but both so misled occasionally by the application of parallels as to content themselves with a verbal connection ana analysis, as if one were to trace a river, not by the sight of its water, but by the verdure and willows on its banks.

The exegetical studies begun by Dr Brown in the calm retreat of Biggar were long cultivated by him, ere he thought of publication. Many years passed by, nay, he had been fourteen years a professor, before he sent any learned work to press. But from 1848 to 1857 eleven octavo volumes were issued by him in rapid succession, besides some minor tractates; and all this when he was beyond the grand climacteric. His delight in publishing was equal to what it had been in studying. He did not live, however, to fulfil his task; and there remains among his papers a commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, a work which he sentenced "to sleep till he slept.” To pass a critical and discriminative judgment on all these volumes, would carry us beyond due bounds. A few remarks, therefore, must suffice.

The "Expository Discourses on the First Epistle of Peter” was the first-fruits of the coming harvest. The Epistle had for sixteen years occupied his attention in a variety of ways, while he was expounding it to his people, and it has probably on that account a great fulness of illustration. He had been preceded by Leighton, whom he used so often to call the “good Archbishop” in his course of pulpit lectures, that he did not need to name him. Leighton was a man of refined and spiritual taste and insight, with no little of that holy tact which supplies the want of erudition. Passages occur in him of great depth and penetration, in which the beauty of the thoughts breathes itself into the style—thoughts not unlike those of Anselm and Augustine in their serene unction and ardent piety. Besides hosts of writers of the class with which he was most familiar, Steiger had also gone before Dr Brown; but his work, like many juvenile performances, is ambitious and discursive. Dr Brown’s lectures have many excellencies. They are elaborate and thorough, while they are popular in form. The meaning has been anxiously sought for, and is clearly given out without the parade of learning or the technicalities of exegesis. The spirit of the inspired writer is often vividly caught and reproduced—that bold and chivalrous spirit that stamped its image on every sentiment and action. He loved the Apostle's constitutional ardour, chastened in his age by the memory of his failings. He sympathized with that sanguine spirit which, though sometimes in error as to judgment, always obeyed its first promptings without fear or reserve. He gladly followed him in his numerous allusions to the Old Testament; for, as the Apostle of the Circumcision, he unconsciously clothed his conceptions in the diction and imagery of his nation’s oracles. He was not disturbed by the absence of lengthened demonstration in the Epistle, or by its apparent want of aim,—the marks of an unlettered mind; and he admired the rapid interchange of doctrine with direct and desultory precept and warning, springing out of the old and open-faced honesty of the Galilean fisherman. The commentary is marked by its sound and consecutive arguments; and if there are not many great passages standing out in relief, there is nothing flat or feeble. Though there are no heights in it, a tone of spiritual elevation pervades it. The author says, “If he has been able in any good measure to realize his own idea, grammatical and logical interpretation have been combined, and the exposition will be found at once exegetical, doctrinal, and practical.” But while, from their didactic and practical nature, these volumes do not show a fair specimen of Dr Brown’s critical abilities, they show a marvellous power of putting erudite statement in a plain and unlearned form, and teach us that an expositor needs not be always showing his learning while he is bringing out its results, and that Scottish lecturing, entering so deeply into the subject, and not merely skipping over the surface of the water and only now and then wetting the wing, is the most solid and instructive form of ministerial teaching, it is but right to add what is so touchingly said in the preface: u The author would probably never have thought of offering these illustrations to the world, had not a number of much respected members of his congregation earnestly solicited him, before increasing age should make h difficult, or approaching death impossible, to furnish them with a permanent memorial of a ministry of considerable length, fall of satisfaction to him, and he trusts not unproductive or advantage to them.” But ten years of constant labour were yet before him; and in 1856 he published "Parting Counsels,”—“more last words”—an exposition of the first chapter of 2d Peter—remarking in the preface, that “from the nature of its contents it seems peculiarly fitted to form the subject of a communication from a pastor who has passed more than half a century in official labour to those whose spiritual interests he has ministered to.” He would not, however, venture to expound the remaining chapters till “better informed, and more rally assured,” for many difficulties occurred in them; a token that he was now feeling one of the symptoms of age, in being “afraid of that which is nigh.”

In 1807 Dr Brown had begun to lecture on the Gospel of John; and during the intervening 43 years—that is, till 1850— the Gospels, especially the discourses of Christ other than the parables, had occupied much of his time. In 1850 he published "Discourses and Sayings of our Lord Jesus Christ, illustrated in arteries of Expositions.” The sayings of our Lord—what awe and joy one feels at the phrase! The sayings of our Lord—what He said who spake as never man spake, what words flowed from the lips of incarnate Love, words laden with wisdom and fraught with truth for all ages—words ever repeated, and never losing their bloom and freshness—words familiar as the sunbeam, ana yet, like the sunbeam, bright and welcome every morning—words that find an echo in the heart, and lodge themselves in it as the term and nutriment of a new and spiritual existence—words that ave passed into proverbs, Christendom feeling their weight and edge, and the toil and sorrow of every-day life lightened and cheered by them—words which, like winged seeds wafted by an invisible power, plant themselves where no one dreams of^ and bear such fruit as no one anticipates—words that thrill in their unearthly tone and volume as they burst from the Speaker, looking up to His Father on the hill-top, in the upper room, or on the cross—words that touch us with more than woman’s tenderness, as when He says to the distressed Magdalene, “Why weepest thou!”—words that astound us by their superhuman energy, as when, rising in the storm-tossed skiff, and His locks streaming for a moment in the breeze, He speaks to the billows, and their foaming crests crouch under Him into stillness—words which flashed and pierced like lightning among the masses of people surrounding Him—words, too, of Divine reach and penetration, and serene pathos and charm as he unbosomed Himself to His inner circle—or words, in fine, clothed in those vivid and memorable stories which are read and relished by the child for their simple beauty, and by the sage for their unfathomed depth and disclosures, 'apples of gold in pictures of silver.”

Dr Brown’s volumes on the “Discourses and Sayings of our Lord” are freer and less elaborate than some of his other volumes of exposition. Independent judgment is seen in all the opinions; but a good deal of foreign material, as from Brewster on the Sermon on the Mount, is woven, as indeed he intimates generally in the preface. Dr Brown never plagiarized; he quoted from others when it suited his purpose, and thanked the original owners. At the same time, while much of a popular and practical nature fills these pages, a deep critical vein, cropping out in a thousand ways, underlies all the discussions. Were we to characterize the work in a few clauses, we should say that it is distinguished by mature thought and just discrimination; that many passages of stirring and hearty eloquence occur in it; that in the portions explaining the Sermon on the Mount there is a keen and thorough search into the train of the Divine argument as it moves in majesty from topic to topic, with searching descriptions of character and analyses of motive based on a knowledge of human nature which a sagacious and self-recording experience only could furnish; that the sections treating of the Discourses in John are not only solemn and weighty, as is most due, but earnest and joyous, exhibiting intellectual skill and exegetical acumen with a softened splendour, as if they were vailed while illumined by the Sheckinah; and that the entire work, while it presents a full body of evangelical truth, and shows the perfect harmony of law and gospel, as it develops and adjusts the various doctrines of theology, is exuberant in wealth of instructive notes from many a source, striking excerpts from the best of authors, and multitudinous references from Holy Scripture. Especially in the supplemental volume, on the "Intercessory Prayer,” is the fulness of Dr Brown’s heart manifested; for he felt that the place on which he stood was holy ground, and that an exposition on that marvellous prayer was like drawing aside the vail, and passing with unsandalled foot into the inner and awful shrine. It is adventurous to construe such an Intercession, to subject such a Farewell to exegetical handling. "The disposition to inquire,” as he says in the preface, “is lost in the resistless impulse to adore.” These four volumes also show us that the Kedeemer’s Person was to him of living central interest; since He whose words are expounded is not some being far removed beyond the stars, but an ever-present Sympathizer and Saviour. For the Bible does not expound a religion, but it teaches of God; and the New Testament does not vaguely lay down the tenets of Christianity, but it portrays Christ, The merits of Dr Brown in this work are his own,—though there had been before him, as expositors of the whole or parts of these sections of Scripture, such writers as Kuinoel, whose notes, with a show of learning, are often superficial, and sometimes worse than superficial; and Olshausen,-whose merit, as Tholuck says, is his “presenting the thought in its unfolding,” and who is always fresh and spiritual, if not always lucid and conclusive. Lucke had also written his Commentary on John—sincere, learned, masterly, and minute; Tholuck, too, had published several editions of his work on the same Gospel, not tne fullest or most learned of his many worker but simple and delightful, enriched with a glowing spirit of earnest meditation, a true knowledge of the spirit of the Gospel and its adaptation to the spirit of man. The elder Tittmann and Lampe had commented on John years before,—their books very different in form and size as well as materials,—Tittmann excelling in acuteness, and Lampe in breadth,—the one resting moreon strict grammatical investigation and the literal sense, and the other more on the scope and connection which he elaborates patiently and illustrates ponderously in his three quartos. Stier’s "Words of the Lord Jesus” have been given to the world since Dr Brown’s u Discourses and Sayings;” and though he could have no great sympathy with his brilliant peculiarities, they delighted him on his dying bed. For Stieris mind is very singular; subtle and creative, penetrating and profound, rich in allusion, fertile in. suggestion, audacious in deduction, scorning opposition, attracted by the odd and the angular; sparkling and scholarly in his exegesis; often asserting that to be the truth contained, which after all is only an inference; his nervous system so finely strung as to be easily jarred; his thoughts ever and anon blossoming into poetry; inclined to a devout mysticism and looking more to Christ within as Life, than to Christ without as Mediator and Sacrifice; while a fervent piety is ever welling up, and throwing from many jets its prism-tinted spray over all his arguments, vindications, and criticisms.

In 1852 Dr Brown published the "Resurrection of Life,” an exposition of the fifteenth chapter of 1st Corinthians. A wondrous chapter truly,—in which the Apostle, starting from first principles, soars away on daring wing to the heights of ineffable glory ; argues out the truth of Christianity from Uie empty grave of the Reaeemer, and affirms that His resurrection was the pledge, and is the pattern too, of that of His people; describes m sentences dim to us by reason of their splendour the relation of the psychical to the spiritual, and of the animal nature that now is to the ethereal frame that shall be; and then sweeps away in rapture to sing his psean over the death of death, when it “shall be swallowed up in victory.” This expository volume excels incompacted analysis and in wealth of illustration, and, touching many mysteries, occasionally lifts the curtain, if it does not throw it aside. The difficulties are boldly faced; there is no attempt to evade them, or to write round them. If the knot cannot be untied, there is never exhibited the impiety of attempting to cut it. In the course of the exposition many points start up of a kind which Dr Brown delighted to discuss by the light ot the context, the analogy of faith, and the help of previous expositors,—such as “baptism for the dead,” and the “delivering up of the kingdom.” Those sudden changes of person and appeal, not unlike conversational turns, which occur m the chapter, he opens up with great facility—with equal clearness and power. But these mysteries are not as yet to be fully comprehended; and it is to such paragraphs that Peter seems to refer, when he says that in the epistles of his “beloved brother Paul,” when he speaks of “these things,” are “some things hard to be understood.” “These things” transcend all experience, and may not be known till we enjoy them. The life to come is so unlike the present life,—for it shall not be under the same restrictions of time and space; the spirit being freed also from all physical hindrances, so that its powers are augmented and its capacities multiplied; still in contact with matter, but without sensation, and waiting to put on its "house from heaven,”—a lovely pavilion for a lovelier tenant.

The commentary on Galatians, a special favourite with Dr Brown himself, is more academic in its structure than those volumes now referred to, and is marked by its clearness and precision, its terseness and learning, its careful review of opinions, and its firm and decided conclusions. Reasons, brief but strong, are assigned for differing or agreeing with any other commentator, and there is no dogmatic or one-sided exegesis. Every kind of help has been consulted, and his opinions were revised and modified during a long series of years. He had long been fascinated by the Epistle, not more by its vehement and vigorous arguments on behalf of a free and unmutilated gospel than by the glimpses it presents of the Apostle’s mind as he was writing it. For his emotions cannot be suppressed,—surprise that his Galatian converts had been so soon and so easily seduced, sorrow at their perilous state, and indignation at the vile arts by which the Judaizing teachers had imposed upon them. The pains and labour bestowed on the exposition have been immense, though they da not in every case lead to a satisfactory result. Yet if any one read him on the verse, of which above three hundred interpretations have been given, "Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one,” he will see how lucidly he can arrange discordant judgments, and classify and dispose of them; how he can show the weakness of this one and the mere plausibility of that one; point out how one group of opinions is tainted by a radical fanlt, and another group must be given up for want of harmony and adjustment, even though after all he has not adopted what we reckon the view least cumbered with difficulties. He traces very perspicuously and accurately the connection between the law and the gospel; maps out their boundaries, where they seem to touch and where they are remote from each other; smites legal bondage, and vindicates zealously and oft the spiritual freedom and elevation of the Church of Christ. He was not wedded to old opinions or old books: what a hearty welcome he gives in one of his notes to the magnificent quartos of Conybeare and Howson! The only things we object to in Galatians come plainly from the school in which he first studied exegesis, and the influence of that school he was never able entirely to shake off. The volume, it may be added, is very different from the rugged and resolute commentary of Martin Luther, and is a mighty advance upon such expositions as those of Dickson, Slade, M'Knight, Pyle, or Ferguson.

The “Analytical exposition of the Epistle to the Romans” differs wholly in character from the commentary on Galatians. Its history is somewhat singular. He had prepared a regular commentary on the Epistle,—“Grammatical, historical, and logical,” —but he felt that he might not live long enough to complete it; "yet,” as he says, “I was unwilling to go hence without leaving tome traces of the labour I have bestowed on this master-work of the Apostle. Forbidden to build the temple, I would yet do what I can to furnish materials to him who snail be honoured to raise it. For the last twelve months my principal occupation has been, so to condense and remodel my work, as to present, in the fewest and plainest words, what appears to me to be the true meaning and force of the statements contained in this Epistle of the doctrine and law of Christ, and of the arguments in support of the one and the motives to comply with the other; and to do this in such a form as to convey, so far as possible, to the mind of the general reader, unacquainted with any but the vernacular language, the evidence on which I rest my conviction, that such is the import of the Apostle’a words.” Dr Brown confines himself in the main to logical exposition. He tells us, that for more than forty years the Epistle had been an “object of peculiar interest, and the subject of critical study.” He adds, too, that his early illustrations, “corrected and enlarged by an increasing acquaintance with the inexhaustible subject, have in substance been repeatedly, though in different forms, presented to Christian congregations and to classes of theological students.” We believe that even in its present compacted form the exposition was delivered to his congregation; and surely it must have been "strong meat” even to "them that are of full age.” For it naturally assumes the varying character of the Epistle, which is so rich in evangelical statement and so masterly in concatenated demonstration; so melancholy in first pressing home so staunchly and without a word of whispered sympathy, its awful indictment against fallen humanity, ana then so exuberant in reasoning out a free and complete justification,—the previous gloom relieving and yet intensifying the brightness.

We have been careful to give Dr Brown’s own account of the origin and character of this work, so simple and unpretentious in his estimate, because he seems to be unconscious that it is really his greatest and most successful effort. It was his last work and it is certainly his best. He was far up in years, and had nigh reached his zenith, when he published it,—his path resembling the sun, who, when highest and farthest from us in summer, pours most light and lustre on the earth. The Analytical Exposition brings out his best powers and peculiarities as an inter-perter. His forte was not in discussing separate words and shades of meaning. His mind, like Calvin’s, was better fitted to trace the course of ideas, and develop the chain of argument; and this he has done with unparalleled clearness, terseness, and cogency. Step by step does he mark out the Apostle’s line of thought, and exhibit it in all its bearings, or, separating from it what is subordinate in detail or parenthetical in position, he throws it out into bold relief. Brevity and maturity characterize the illustrations—one stroke and no repetition, one flash and the cloud closes again. The entire comment shows the perfect mastery of the commentator, his long familiarity with and close study of the book, and his psychological oneness with its author. The book had been the delight of his youth when he began to essay his critical strength, and this was his last work and comfort when he was “an old man and covered with a mantle,” soon to pass into that land where theology is waited on by the eternal melodies, where Scripture has been crowned by higher revelations in a tongue that needs no interpreter, and where logic and analysis are for ever eclipsed and superseded in that light diffused by the throne of God and the Lamb. From explaining and defending a gratuitous justification, as maintained by the Apostle in the earlier chapters, he ascended to enjoy its fruits without pause or end; from insisting on the necessity of sanctification effected by the Spirit of God and inseparably connected with the pardon of sin, as detailed in the wondrous seventh and eighth chapters, he was translated to enjoy for ever its purity and triumph; and from dwelling in profound veneration on the sovereignty of God, in the choice, rejection, and future ingathering of His people, as the Homan Epistle represents it, he was taken to the “general assembly and church of the first-born,” where the hundred and forty and four thousand sealed ones of the tribes of Israel stand side by side with the great multitude which no man can number, out of all the races and kindreds of the Gentile world.

No one can read these voluminous commentaries without perceiving manifold traces of inordinate industry, patient investigation, and independent thought. How consistent and uniform he is even in his errors, as in taking “righteousness” to denote always the plan or way of a sinner's justification, while in many laces it means very plainly not the method but the basis of justification I Dr Brown dealt very cautiously and honestly with the views of other critics, and took special pains to show what was to be accepted and what was to be avoided in them. His aim was, by all means to discover folly and to tell plainly the sense of Scripture. If he wrote much about any clause, it was not for ornament or ostentation, but to set out clearly what was in it, and how he came to hold his expressed views about it. He hammered every inch of the quartz, that he might lose no particle of the precious ore. Learned interpretation was with him the source and fence of true interpretation. Yet his commentaries are to us defective, in that they try to hold a medium between a popular and an academic style, between the concio adplebem and the condo ad clerum. That he has made the compromise as well as it can be made, may be admitted; but our opinion is, that it should never be attempted at all, that what is meant for the people should be in material and texture written for the people, and that what is intended for the scholar should in basis and structure be adapted to the scholar. We grant that in the case of men who, like the Professors in the United Presbyterian and other churches, are unwisely obliged to bear the double burden of a pulpit and a chair, there is a strong temptation to adopt such a diagonal course. And yet it is to be noted to their honour, that some of the greatest Biblical critics and expositors have composed their works while doing duty as ministers. Calvin was as laborious in the pulpit, as he was prolific from the press. Bochart ministered daily while building and filling his erudite storehouses, his Phaleg and Hierozoicon,—his Sabbath lectures on Genesis leading to the one, and his week-day addresses to his people preparing materials for the other places. Owen was incessant in preaching while his Exposition of Hebrews was in progress; Lightfoot never failed in parochial duty while he was amassing his wealth of Talmudic literature; Lardner and Pye Smith had a charge in London, and so has Hartwell Home; Bloomfield is a vicar; Trench, Alford, and Ellicott were among the working clergy when they planned their learned works, and published a large portion of them; Stier was a pastor till lately, and Ebrard is so still; Henry, Scott, Doddridge* and Adam Clarke were assiduous and able ministers. We do not forget that a mere scientific theology is a dead thing ever to be shunned and deplored, and that a working pastor is not liable, as a professor, to adopt and teach it. For, as he is daily brought into contact with humanity sinking and dying and tossing about for comfort, and sees how eagerly it grasps the promises and leans steadily on them,—when he observes how the simplest truths are laid hold of by it in implicit confidence, and in their first and plainest meaning, and how, when it comes to die in this faith, it as nothing to do but to die,—then he surely learns, after all his analysis and penetration, his erudite labour and critical inspection, that it is not truth in its sublimer but in its humbler aspects that blesses and saves—that it is not truth stoled in philosophic phrase, or traced to first principles or ultimate relations, that pacifies a stricken conscience, or soothes a wounded spirit, but the truth which a child may comprehend, and which may be all told in monosyllables. Still we think, that while all this is true in practice,—for theology ought never to be divorced from religion, and while none but a religious man is qualified to interpret a religious record, the case is different in the publication of a work ; for in proportion as it is composed for two opposite circles of readers, it is fitted for neither. The one purpose neutralizes the other. Dr Brown succeeded in this difficult task better than any other man, and he far outstrips such men as Doddridge, Chandler, Pierce, or Benson. That his commentaries will live we have little doubt, though a great portion of theological literature is ephemeral. Books may be popular in one age, as being adapted to it, but wholly uncared tor by another age, not being fitted for it; just as Dr Brown’s early appearance in the pulpit in “ light-coloured corded knee-breeches and Hessian boots ” belonged to a fashion which in his last years would have created blank dismay. But what is written on Scripture, if at all deserving the name of exposition, partakes somewhat of the vitality of Scripture. Chrysostom is more read now than he was for three centuries after he died. What Buchanan says of bards may be applied to divine :—

“Sola doctorum monumenta vatnm Nesciunt fati imperium severi,
Sola contemnunt Phlegethonta et orci Jura superbi.”

Thus, while Matthew Henry is as popular as ever he was, who ever thinks of reprinting “Whitefield’s Discourses” or “Harvey’s Meditations”? “The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away, but the word of the Lord endureth for ever,” and all words inspired by it partake of its life and permanence.

The last ten years of Dr Brown’s life were thus passed in extraordinary diligence, and in the quiet of his “Tusculan” retreat, at the base of Salisbury Crags. His work was incessant, and not done in fits. Every day saw its appointed task completed, but no visitor ever caught him as if oppressed by labour. He had none of the littlenesses of some students, and few of the habits of many of them. He was never ink-stained, slovenly, or unkempt in appearance. He neither rose early nor sat late, but he gave the day to the day’s work. His fame and usefulness are owing as much to toil as to original gift; and, indeed, the love of toil is a special gift of itself. True, without talent there is nothing to trade with, but trading is essential to outcome and "usury.” Genius demands hard study, bends to it, supports under it, and vitalizes all its fruits. The sculptor’s ideal is realized by the patient labour of the chisel and mallet. Dr Brown’s love or labour was with him identical with love of usefulness— as may be seen from his first attempts at village-preaching during his sojourn at Biggar, and his editing two magazines in succession, to his last literary efforts in gathering and publishing three volumes of scarce and excellent tracts, and in 1857 annotating an edition of Culverwel’s “Discourse of the Light of Nature.” His fondness for literature brought him relaxation— his relish for the best productions of our literature and our English classics secured him relief from severer studies—as the virtue of the soil is preserved by rotation of crops. There were few new books of any note that did not find their way to his library table, a literary passion which has come down by intellectual entail to the gifted autnor of the genial and popular “Horae Subsecivae.” At the same time, composition was an easy work with him, and his fluent employment of words in writing was quite in contrast to his want of them in speaking. Usually he had carefully thought over the subject on all sides, and had not to search for ideas and illustrations when he took pen in hand. So that he rarely blotted, though he might interline; he added, but he seldom altered. His three volumes on the “Discourses and Sayings of our Lord” were printed from the first copy, which itself was prepared for the pulpit, and his small and elegant handwriting was a luxury for compositors. Nor must it be forgotten that for by far the greater part of his official life Dr Brown had abundance of work out of doors in visitation, and in the performance of other parts of the pastoral office,—all of which he discharged to the best of his ability. Not that he excelled equally in all departments of official duty, or had the ease, versatility, or conversational fluency which distinguish some men as visitors and preachers to the household. He was somewhat formal both in speech and act in this subordinate sphere of labour, for as in duty bound he gave himself "constantly to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” Yet so for did he strive to make and keep himself acquainted with his large congregation, that he realized what He whom he served gives as the characteristic of a good shepherd, “he calleth his own sheep by name.” And of his congregation, who for so many years joined in prayers so eloquent in tneir formal quaintness, and listened to sermons delivered with his bold and impassioned utterance, it might be said, “they knew his voice.”

We will not affirm that Dr Brown founded an exegetical school in Scotland, but wTe may say that he inaugurated a new era. Commentators and scholars of no mean note had been before him, such as Principals Rollock, Boyd (Bodius), Malcolm, Row, and Cameron, the last one of the most noted scholars and theologians of his time, who, though he taught in the colleges of Bourdeaux, Sedan, and Saumur, held a chair also, at one period, in the University of Glasgow, the city of his birth. One of the Simpsons was the first in Scotland to publish on Hebrew literature, two others of them were devoted to biblical studies, and Weemse made himself useful by various treatises on the illustration of Scripture. We might refer to Cockbum, Ferme, the younger Forbes, Ker, Brown of Wamphray; and to Gerard, Campbell, and Macknight of a more recent period. But no permanent influence was produced by these men, who flourished at various periods during the last three centuries. Dr Brown’s lot was cast in more favourable times, and by his expository discourses from the pulpit, and his prelections from the chair—by his published commentaries, and the impulse and shaping he gave to other and younger minds—he has certainly given popularity to exegetical study. Nay, we read the other day such a sentiment as this in a contemporary journal, that now there was danger lest systematic theology should be neglected in the more favourite and general pursuit of exegesis.

Dr Brown more than once in his life felt the disturbing influence of controversy. In the Apocryphal Controversy he took a part against the British and Foreign Bible Society, but ultimately clung to them when they resolved to abandon the course which they had been following in the circulation of the Apocrypha. Dr Brown was a Dissenter because he was a High Churchman, and therefore took an active part in the Voluntary Controversy, not for any political reasons, but on the great spiritual ground of ecclesiastical independence. The extreme view, which he often and emphatically propounded, that church courts should have dealings with Government at no time and on no subject, was never endorsed by many of his brethren. His refusal to pay the Annuity Tax subjected him to no little obloquy, and he nobly defended himself against the most virulent of his detainers in his u Law of Christ respecting Civil Obedience,”—a treatise which vindicates civil liberty on scriptural grounds, and breathes the old Scottish spirit of protest and defiance against tyranny in all its shapes. Well might Lord Brougham write to the late Lord Cunninghame—“I have never seen the subject of civil obedience and resistance so clearly and satisfactorily discussed.” The slavish theories of Hobbes, Parker, and Filmer are exposed and blasted with scorching eloquence; for certainly some of the theories which he refutes vilified the martyrs and murdered patriots of all times, and would, if strictly carried out, have ordained the hundred and twenty members of the Church at Jerusalem to pay an assessment to defray the expense of the execution of their Friend and Master, had Pilate or Caiaphas seen fit to impose it.

Dr Brown’s theology was eminently Calvinistic. We have never heard higher Calvinism from any pulpit than from that of Broughton Place. It was Calvinism after Calvin’s own type, and not after that of some of his successors. The Atonement Controversy in the United Secession Church clearly showed that he held firmly to Calvinism, but held it in perfect harmony with what most other men practically preached, but to which they do not give such theoretic prominence. He did not hold the hypothetic universalism of Cameron and Amyrauld, which had disturbed the Reformed Churches in France, and against which, in 1675, was launched the famous Swiss Formula Consensus. He taught the theology of Boston, of the Erskines and Adam Gib, and taught it in the language of the minor symbolical books of the church to which he belonged. Dr Balmer also, who, as Dr Brown’s colleague, was implicated in certain charges, cheerfully and eloquently defended himself, but was soon removed from the scene of quarrel, hidden by the Master in His “pavilion from the strife of tongues.” We cannot, however, in this journal review the controversy, only remarking, as we pass, that the dispute became at length a logomachy, and that Calvin, in whose system the elective Divine sovereignty holds such prominence, in his testament made four weeks before his death, prays to be purified and washed, sanguine sum mi illius Redemptoris effuso pro hutnani generis peccatis— universal applicability with limited application. Dr Brown, indeed, had peculiar views as to the nature of faith, and it is said that his worthy father was wont to tell him that he had “clipped its wings.” His knowledge of all the various forms and modifications of Calvinistic theology was minute and extensive, and his writings remain a witness that he held tenaciously by the leading tenets of Scottish theology, and regarded it as a system thoroughly compacted, and as imparting strength and symmetry to vital godliness. Yet it is a system which, while disowned by the creeds of some other churches, may yet be read in their hymns and heard in their prayers, for it probes man’s deepest spiritual necessities and supplies them.

Dr Brown was no mere man of books, though he had such delight in them. He loved the scenery of nature—hill and dale, wood and water. During his residence at Biggar, when a thunderstorm occurred, he used to throw up his window, gaze with great delight on the conflict of the elements, and listened to its reverberations among the hills. His soul could not be confined to sect or party; he was a lover of all good men. He hailed the Evangelical Alliance at its origin, and always adhered to it. On the memorable day of the Disruption, he was in Tanfield Hall ready to welcome Dr Welsh and the protesting phalanx which followed him. In the missionary enterprise he was ever fervent, and, along with Dr Heugh, contributed not a little to give the United Presbyterian Church that impulse which is still far from being exhausted.

He was very conscientious, and yet very charitable. But he could not bear pretence and affectation, nor could he admire some German commentators with “their unduly high estimate of themselves, and their unduly low estimate of the sacred books and their authors.” His absorbing interest in his own studies did not weaken his interest in all his friends—in all, especially, who were afflicted or bereaved. Many letters of condolence and sympathy were written by him, in a simple and scriptural style, without extravagance of phrase or feeling. One of these letters he sent to one of the bluntest of his accusers, on whom a severe domestic affliction had fallen; and it so melted him that he spoke of the writer of it in unbounded eulogy, as if up to that period he had grievously misunderstood him. At some inconvenience, and in peculiar circumstances, he went to the funeral of one of the two brethren who had formally libelled him; and it is remarkable that, in the biography of that venerable minister, published some years after, there is not a syllable of allusion to the most momentous and responsible act of his life,—his formal accusation of one of the professors of his Church for holding and teaching grave theological error. Dr Brown’s bearing was manly, generous, and noble, and his smile was a benediction. A prince in Israel, he was a kind and genial host in his own house. He had little outflow of words, and his conversation soon became a professional monologue on books and authors. He was often ludicrously hampered in expressing himself, and seemed sometimes helpless for want of topics of common interest. Key-words, oft recurring, characterized both his sermons, prelections, and ordinary talk. He seemed almost unable to express the same thought in two different Phrases. When he had formed an opinion of a man or a book, e delivered it usually in the same unvarying words. To his old age he retained much of the sensibility and fervour of youth— "a young lamb’s heart amidst the full grown flocks.” Humour sometimes gleamed in his conversation, as when some one, speaking of a certain individual, said, "Some say he is a little vain,” and he replied, "Some say he is not a little vain.” This species of humour depends mainly on the position of words, and the accent given to them. Thus too, after he and Dr James Buchanan exchanged cordial salutations in the Hall at Tanfield on the day of the Disruption, the latter said, "Dr Brown, I am glad to see you here,” he at once replied, "And I am glad, sir, to see you here.” He had passed his ministerial jubilee, which was solemnly celebrated, and at which he gave a last and striking proof of his generous nature, when he became enfeebled, and his constitution began to break up. Yet, as he lay on that couch of suffering, his mind was ever active, and literaiy plans were begun and so far prosecuted, for his faith never wavered, and his hope was never clouded. His was calm and unruffled assurance. Doubts, fluctuations, and uncertainties never perplexed him, for he had the confidence that knows no shaking, and the "perfect love” that "casteth out fear.” After passing through a crisis in which death seemed imminent, he remarked to his daughter how near eternity he had been, but, alluding to the Pilgrim, added, "I felt the bottom, and it was good.” Nor did he ever mourn, as Niebuhr did in his want of faith and spiritual support. Counting himself an unprofitable servant, he still felt that he could not be accused to his Lord of having “wasted his goods,” though he might murmur with Tycho Brahe, Ne frustra vixisse videar. He used to say that the lives of Jeffrey and Sydney Smith were a reproof to Christians, for these men seem to have acted up to their imperfect religious convictions. His bed was often filled with books, but a large print Bible had always the post of honour at his head. He felt, probably as most men do, that he was willing to work, but he was not so sure if he was as willing to suffer. As often happens, too, the simple and more devotional parts of Scripture were his last and favourite readings, so much so, that he remarked to a friend that he thought David was going to displace Paul. At length he passed away peacefully, on the morning of October 13, in the seventy-fifth year of his age, and the city of Edinburgh, with ministers from many churches and denominations in Scotland, did honour to his remains on the day of their interment.

In conclusion, and in estimating Dr Brown’s influence, we are far from affirming that studious minds are incapacitated for active exertion. With Brougham and Gladstone before us as living examples of the combination of scholarship and aptitude for public business, and with the reproof of Socrates to "the handsome and clever Hippias” ringing in our ears, we will not make the assertion. But we must add that it is a common but a fallacious measurement, when it is supposed that a man who has lived more in thought has less influence for good than another who has lived more in action. The latter maxes a more immediate impression, but his own hands may reap the entire harvest which he has sown; whereas the former, by the silent tuition he has imparted to other minds, often transmits through them his influence to distant lands and other ages. The pulpit wields a greater energy than the platform; more power is generated in the study than in the committee room, but the press of to-day may perpetuate thoughts which shall not have grown obsolete or feeble at the end of a century. Few are or can be equally great in all these departments, and little choice of spheres is left to a diligent Scottish clergyman. Dr Brown appeared in all the three spheres. He was good on the platform, better far in the pulpit, and his wisdom was listened to in the midst of counsellors framing modes of business. But though these opportunities have gone, by his printed writings, “he, being dead, yet speaketh,” and will speak. And in years to come, when the children’s children of those who enjoyed his ministry shall have passed away, and traditionary anecdotes of his person and character shall have waxed faint and few, he will yet hold his place as an expositor of Scripture, and wear the title first proudly given to the Grecian Alexander and then to the Arabian Averroes, for he has earned it in a higher sphere than theirs—the title of the Commentator. In a word, it was his consecration to the Master of himself and all his mental endowment and furniture, that made him what he was, one of the most accomplished divines of his age and country; for, to use inspired language, "if such brethren be inquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ.” How delightful, then, the thought, that they who have served Him on earth shall be assembled with Him in the skies, where no alienation shall happen, and no cloud overshadow their intercourse; where they can part from each other no more than they can part from Him; where the coffin, the procession, and the sepulchre, shall never be witnessed; where the services never terminate, and the song never loses its newness; and where the complaint shall never be raised in surprise or sorrow, “Our fathers, where are they, and the prophets, do they live for ever!”


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