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Hector MacKinnon, A Memoir
Chapter V - Campbeltown


"The Father worketh hitherto,
And Christ, whom I would serve in love and fear,
Went not away to rest Him, but to do
What could be better done in heaven than here,
And bring to all good cheer."
WALTER C. SMITH.

On the thirteenth of March, 1897, Mr. Mackinnon was inducted to the First or Highland charge of Campbeltown, as assistant and successor to the Very Rev. J. C. Russell, D.D. At the dinner which followed the induction, Dr. Russell remarked, in his address, that Mr. Mackinnon came to the Highland Church of Campbeltown as the thirteenth minister since the Revolution in 1692. Whether that number was unlucky or not, he was sure that Mr. Mackinnon, by his talents, devotion to duty and general abilities, would compel the number to be a successful one. Seventeen years later a member of the Highland church wrote— "Mr. Mackinnon's ministry here was one long, glorious triumph."

On the Sunday following the induction the services were conducted by the late Rev. Dr. Robert Blair, who told the congregation that in their new minister they had got a splendid general, and he did not think that, supposing they had searched broad Scotland, they could have found a better man than his young friend Mr. Mackinnon.

The Highland congregation of Campbeltown took the young minister to their hearts at once, and he had a warm and enthusiastic welcome from all classes of the community.

The Duke of Argyll, in a most kind letter, expressed his very great pleasure with the appointment, and wished him a successful and happy ministry.

The Highland Church in Campbeltown had for many years been ministered to by men of considerable distinction and ability. Dr. Norman Macleod, of St. Columba's, had been minister there for sixteen years, having succeeded the cultured and scholarly Dr. Smith, of whom we read that he was the most powerful and eloquent Gaelic preacher of his day. And as these lines are being written, a letter from Campbeltown tells of the highly appreciated services of the venerable Dr. Russell, ministering during the vacancy caused by the translation of the Rev. J. M. Munro to Edinburgh: "How we did enjoy the sermons and prayers of the good old man. He looked so well and vigorous, and many thought his voice stronger even than in his younger days."

The church, a massive square building, stands on an eminence facing the bay—beautiful indeed for situation. To its quiet and peaceful surroundings we sometimes resorted on summer afternoons.

As in Stornoway, the forenoon service was a Gaelic one, at which the attendance was small. But at two o'clock in the afternoon the large church as a rule presented a spectacle sufficient to inspire any preacher. This was the service from which Mr. Mackinnon expected greatest results, and had them. After he was married we never left the manse without his asking that we should kneel down together and pray that souls might be given him for his hire. Then he preached as if his lips had been touched with alive coal from off God's altar.

The monthly evening services begun by Mr. Mackinnon were attended by people from all the churches and were very greatly blessed. It was at one of these services that he preached a remarkable and rousing sermon against raffling at church sales and bazaars. It was a courageous thing to do, but he was absolutely fearless wherever Christian principle was concerned his motto was, "Be ye clean, ye that bear the vessels of the Lord"; and "his strength was as the strength of ten, because his heart was pure." Mr. Mackinnon's sermons on Temperance were not less remarkable. His arguments were always sound and convincing; with infinite care he would marshal all his facts, gather together statistics from every available source, cite judicial and medical opinion of indisputable authority, and crown the whole with an irresistible appeal to the highest and best in the hearts and natures of his hearers. "If you support the cause for which I plead," he cried, on one occasion when preaching a temperance sermon, "you will strike a blow for freedom, for the Church, for God, and for humanity, as well as for yourselves. May each of us have grace to say with a great poet—

"The storm-bell rings, the trumpet blows,
I know the word and countersign;
Wherever Freedom's vanguard goes,
Where stand or fall her friends or foes,
I know the place that should be mine.

"Shamed be the hands that idly fold,
And lips that woo the reeds' accord,
When laggard time the hour has tolled
For true with false, and new with old,
To fight the battles of the Lord."

The week-night prayer meeting in Campbeltown was the best we have ever known. There was always a good attendance, men and women, and young people from the Guild and Christian Endeavour Society. The Minister could call upon any one of his elders, deacons, or endeavourers to engage in prayer, and they were always ready and always reverent. There was a steady glow about that meeting throughout the whole ministry, and we take leave to say that nothing helps a minister so much as a real live prayer meeting.

In July, 1898, the kindly Carnpbeltown people had another welcome for us when we went down together, and if the Lowland wife had any misgivings as to how she would be received by a Highland congregation, they swiftly disappeared. From first to last, it was loving kindness all the way. The ties which bind us to dear old Campbeltown are very sacred and tender now, and we thank God we were privileged to be there.

The wedding gift to the Minister from his people was a beautiful gold watch and chain, which were treasured to the last. The watch was never left lying about, and no one was allowed to wind it up save himself. It hangs pathetically just where he always hung it at the close of each day's work, and is still kept going. It bears the inscription—

PRESENTED
TO THE
REV. HECTOR MACKINNON, M.A.,
MINISTER OF THE FIRST CHARGE
OF THE
PARISH OF CAMPBELTOWN
BY HIS
LOVING AND DEVOTED CONGREGATION
ON THE OCCASION
OF
HIS MARRIAGE."

It was here, in Campbeltown, that the golden years were lived, and we both had grown to look back upon them with a wistful tenderness, knowing, somehow, that nothing like them would ever come again in time. How pleasant it was to visit together amongst all the kindly church folk! "Can you be ready at two o'clock?" the Minister would say; "the visiting is as easy again when you are with me." If we could only have done more to help.

The Sunday evening services at Drumlemble, the Pans, and Peninver were opportunities for getting to know the country people. What kindnesses we received as we went from house to house in town and country! And how glad the people always were to see their minister. Sometimes in the country two or three, or more, would be gathered together in one house and a short service held; sometimes there were babies to be baptised, or an invalid to cheer.

With all the other ministers of the town, Mr. Mackinnon lived on terms of genuine cordiality, and it was delightful when one and another of them would drop into his manse, as they very often did. The ' Clerical Club "of those days met once a month in all the manses by rotation. The ministers gathered in the study at three o'clock on Monday afternoon for religious conference and discussion of any particular paper which had been read by one of them. By five o'clock the ladies had arrived, and all met together in the dining- room for tea. These meetings were a source of much happy fellowship. The Rev. J. A. Baird, M.A., at that time minister of Longrow United Free Church, now of Broomhill, Glasgow, says of them :-

"I have none but pleasant memories of Mr. Mackinnon. I recall happy days together in Campbeltown, where we were associated in all sorts of Christian effort. The pleasant afternoons and evenings in the Highland manse; the hospitable way in which he was wont to welcome us; his kind and genial manner which at once put the visitors at their ease; his hearty, ringing laugh which was so infectious; his anxiety that all should be properly attended to, and made to feel at home. It was always a pleasure when he paid a visit to us on these interesting occasions, when the Clerical Club met at our house, and at other times. Mr. Mackinnon was one of the most regular attenders at the meetings of the Club; his contributions to the subjects under discussion were always helpful and suggestive, and a distinct want was felt when he happened to be absent. To be in his society for any length of time was a high privilege. One always left feeling the better for the conversation and fellowship."

The coming of his little son was a great joy to the Minister; all the father seemed to waken in him at once, and his deeply affectionate nature broadened and expanded in this new relationship. The Minister wished him called Donald; some one remarked that he was the first boy to be born in the Highland manse since Norman Macleod, and without troubling to verify this statement, we called him Donald Norman. And how every one's arms seemed to open wide to the little stranger How his aunties hovered over him, and " oh,poor wee thing, poor wee thing," just as if his father and mother were ill-using him ! how he behaved best with his grandfather, and how every one in the old manse, including the Minister, if he thought no one was listening, seemed to go about crooning the lullaby, picked up from the aunties-

But the angel-visits to the manse of Campbeltown at this, and all its other times of need, were those of the one whose name we speak softly in our hearts, to whom the Minister was as her own son, and whom

"We have loved long since
And lost awhile."

Mr Mackinnon always said that never before had he been able so fully to enter into the feelings of the fathers and mothers he visited, whose little ones were ailing, or had been taken away. Often on returning from the funeral of a little child, he would say, "Oh, these poor people to-day! I thought of our boy, and of what it would mean to us if he were taken like that."

And as the child grew, the patter of little feet and the prattle of baby talk filled the big manse with sunshine. And once, when we had to be away for a week or two, the Minister remaining behind, because as he said, he could not leave his work, two or three days in the empty house were enough—"dreich dreich" he wrote, and came after us.

One of the numerous kindnesses we received from our Campbeltown friends was the use of a dear little cottage, most comfortably furnished, for a month every spring. It stood close to the water's edge, about a mile and a half from the town, and had a garden back and front. The Minister cycled to and fro, and the parish work went on as usual. It was a delightful change without the fatigue and expense of travelling, and a welcome relief to be away for a little from the incessant clanging of the manse door bell. We used to leave the quiet cottage a little sadly sometimes; once when we had finished shutting up, and were ready to start, one of the children, who was just beginning to talk, kept up a half mournful sing-song all the way as he was being wheeled home in his perambulater—"vee cottage avay, aw blinds down." But the Minister strongly disapproved of long absences from the manse.

It was about this time that a special Children's Mission was conducted in connection with the Highland Church. The missioner was Mr. John Hutchison, temperance evangelist of the Church of Scotland, and the meetings were conducted mostly in the open air. It is not possible to tell how much good was done, but many, very many, parents expressed their gratitude for the helpful teaching which their boys and girls had received. There are people, no doubt, who think it is useless to try to evangelise children, but Mr. Mackinnon felt strongly that the earlier children were brought under the influence and teaching of religion the better. The writer remembers being asked as a girl of twelve to attend special meetings for children. The missioner was in downright earnest, and captivated us all by his perfectly natural and unstrained talks about religion. The early good impressions still remain, so that such efforts must surely be worth while.

But better still we think than the open-air mission for children were Mr. Mackinnon's own homely talks and short sermons to the little ones from the pulpit on Sundays. One such occasion we recall when the theme was "selfishness." In order to give point to his remarks, the preacher told the story of the little girl who was one day out visiting with her mother, and had two apples given her, one of which was bad. On the way home the child was eating the good apple, when her mother said, "Mary, are you not going to keep some for Charlie? ' "Oh yes, mother," said Mary, "I am keeping the rotten one for Charlie!" It was a very broad smile which went round the faces of the congregation. Mr. Mackinnon used to say lie had far more freedom in speaking to children after he had boys of his own. And the little fellows seemed to imitate their father in everything. One of them would sometimes sit for a long time (as children reckon time) holding a book, invariably upside down, under pretence of reading "like daddy." And every Sunday, without fail, a "service" was conducted either in the dining- room or the nursery, while the Gaelic service was proceeding in the church. At one of these "services" Mrs. Hutchison, of Coatbridge, was present, and as the very diminutive preacher appeared, marvellously arrayed in an old black cassock, a pair of bands, and a large white handkerchief folded three corner-wise to represent a hood, and took up his position on a chair in front of a revolving book-case, he gravely opened the proceedings by administering a very pointed rebuke to the two ministers' wives who were "talking in church." Sometimes the "congregation " wished to remain seated during the singings, but no such indulgences were tolerated. The subject of the address on this particular occasion was, "Jesus stilling the storm." It was a wild day, and we were requested to look out at the window and observe for ourselves how the angry waves were heaving and tossing the little boats in the bay. Then followed a very lucid remark on the "walking on the water" "it was not like little children wading, with their feet down through the water on to the sand, oh no, it was like this" (here the little hands were held up and the open palms made to pass across each other) "walking on the very top of the water." There was absolutely no thought of questioning in the child mind—" He who holds the waters in the hollow of His hand" was quite able to walk on the top of them, So "trailing clouds of glory do we come from God who is our home." May the child faith never grow dim. After another singing it was abruptly announced, and with somewhat indecent haste we thought, that the "collection would now be taken," and the ministers' wives found themselves in disgrace again, but were allowed to go upstairs for their offerings.

Nothing could have been more pleasing than the affectionate interest the people showed in the manse children. Picture books and toys were continually finding their way into the nursery, and once a very indulgent young lady brought a doll—a boy-doll in full Highland costume. He was straightway named "Onnond Adonand "—Ronald Macdonald—and was lovingly cherished. But Daddy, in whom, notwithstanding all his tenderness, there was much of the Puritan, disapproved of too many toys, and especially of dolls for boys. Coming in late one evening and observing that " Onnond" was in the cot with the sleeping child, "These be thy gods, O Israel! he exclaimed, and in the morning nothing was seen of Ronald Macdonald, for he had been spirited away.

Another very indulgent lady was one who had followed the Minister from Stornoway and taken up residence in Campbeltown. She had been one of the most active promoters of the Stornoway presentation, and indeed was the first to propose that it should take the form of a pony and trap. Nothing pleased her so much as a talk with the Minister's little boy, who was at this time between three and four years of age. One day he was regaling the old lady with a description of his various horses, each of which had its own name and its own special duties to perform. He was careful to emphasise the fact that they would not "go" unless you pulled them by a string. It was only a "live" horse that would "go"; then with a touch of unconscious pride, "Daddy had a live pony and trap in Stornoway 'but (in tones of real disappointment) it was just a white elephant!" "Umph," said the listener with a chuckle, "we'll pluck that crow with him the next time he comes." It was as well for the Minister that she was one of his most ardent admirers, in whose eyes "the king could do no wrong."

The Woman's Guild and the Christian Endeavour Society in Campbeltown were each a source of much encouragement to the Minister. None of the organisations indeed ever gave any cause for anxiety. Of the Christian Endeavour Society, which was inaugurated by Mr. Mackinnon himself, one of its members writes:-

"We Endeavourers still regard Mr. Mackinnon as our spiritual father, and speak of him often at our meetings in terms of sincere affection and esteem. It is due to his influence that the Christian Endeavour Society of the Highland Church still exists as a healthy, energetic organisation within the church, whereas the same Societies of the other churches in the town, inaugurated at the same time, have ceased to be."

The Endeavourers were an earnest band of bright young people, and helped their Minister in very many ways.

Mr. Mackinnon opened a class for Bible study in the church hail on Sunday mornings at ten o'clock. This class was the means of great blessing to large numbers of young men and women. He also taught a Bible Class, taking the subjects set for the young Men's Guild; and one year a pupil in this class, a lady, took first place in the examination for Scotland, gaining a gold medal and five pounds. The other members of the class all gained honourable distinction.

The Woman's Guild worked steadily and quietly from year to year; the poor of the parish were their special care ; and they annually collected from house to house subscriptions in aid of the Women's Association for Foreign Missions. The minister never had to beg for money from the pulpit. Whatever was required was given quite willingly and without any ado.

It is interesting to observe that this ready generosity has always been characteristic of the Gaelic congregation of Campbcltown. In the Life of Dr. Macleod we read that when he became minister of Campbeltown, the church had not been completed, and before Communion services could be held, it was necessary to be at the expense of providing a large tent in which to accommodate the people. An announcement to this effect was made, and the people were at the same time informed that the elders and others would call upon the members of the church, and would receive from such as were willing to give subscriptions for the payment of the tent, but that no individual was to give more than one shilling. In the course of a few days £14 beyond the cost of the tent was subscribed.

And again, when Dr. Macleod proposed to have the Communion celebrated twice a year instead of once, as the custom then was, the Presbytery opposed him in this, and the heritors refused any allowance for Communion elements. Nothing daunted, he again appealed to the people, upon whose support he could at all times rely. Communion cups and flagons were brought down from Glasgow and a most solemn service was held. The separate collection which was made at the door of the church, for money to defray the expenses incurred, was so liberal that a balance was handed over to the Poor Fund.

And we remember that this liberality still prevailed in Mr. Mackinnon's time; always something over from year to year, which the people were pleased and proud to hand to their minister at the annual social meeting. We recall, too, how one year the Women's Association for Foreign Missions had issued an appeal from headquarters for money which was unexpectedly required. What could we do ? The session's work was almost over, and the annual contributions to the funds of the Association had already been given. Could we each do an extra piece of work and have a small sale? Then one quietly told another, and soon it was evident that all the women of the congregation, in town and country, were eager to have a share in sending the Gospel to those who "sit in darkness and ignorance." We could never forget how even the poorest came to the manse with their voluntary offerings, and in less than six weeks there was a sum of £40 to send to Edinburgh. It had all been done so quietly, and the Minister was gladdened on his way, more especially as the contributions for the year following suffered not at all.
In Campbeltown we had several special missions but the most notable was a month's united mission for the whole town, arranged by the ministers of the various denominations in concert. If we are not mistaken, the idea of a united mission emanated from the "Clerical Club " already alluded to. But it was quite impossible for Mr. Mackinnon to live and work in other than the most friendly relations with all his brother ministers of whatever denomination. His dear desire ever was that all should work unitedly and harmoniously. Had he been associated in any way with the Bishop of Zanzibar—well, "it's an ill wind that blows nobody good "—we should probably not have heard so much of the Kikuyu Conference.

We had in Campbeltown during the mission seasons the services of such men as the late Rev. William Hutchison, of Coatbridge; Mr. Watt, of Powis, Aberdeen; Mr. Houston, then of Cambuslang, and Mr. Mackenzie, now of Coatbridge. At the meetings for prayer, the afternoon Bible readings, and the crowded general meetings, the good seed was sown into ground which had beforehand been carefully prepared, and the ministers had their harvest of souls garnered into the Kingdom.

There were no more welcome guests in the manse of Campbeltown than Mr. and Mrs. Hutchison, of Coat- bridge. Once every year latterly Mr. Hutchison was the assisting minister at the Communion ; his sermons and addresses at these solemn seasons seemed to lift us all up and draw our hearts and thoughts into the Unseen. We can see him yet as he stood in the large square pulpit for the last time, his face aglow with a light which was not of earth, and held us spellbound with the thoughts and words of the two wayfarers on the road to Emmaus, who had unconsciously companied with the Master—"Did not our hearts burn within us as He talked to us by the way."

Of these times Mrs. Hutchison writes --

"It was always a great joy to my husband to go to Campeltown and assist Mr. Mackinnon in any way, especially at a Communion season. My husband used to say that there was no house he stayed in where he felt so much at home as in the manse of Campbeltown. I remember once, while the Gaelic service was going on in the church, we had a meeting in the manse nursery. We were told to sit very quiet by a wee mite of a minister, who went through the whole service, then lifted up his little hands in blessing and stepped down from the pulpit, telling us we could 'talk now as the people were all gone.' I told his father all about it when he came in, and daddy took his wee boy in his arms, pressed him to his heart, and carried him off to the study. Another time was when one of the wee boys had been naughty, and would not say he was sorry, and the minister went to church a little sad. After along time I peeped into the nursery and found him taking some one for a drive with his brown horse and a wooden stool. I tried to get him to say he was sorry, but he said, 'I can't, for I don't feel it here yet,' pointing to his heart. But when his father returned from church, he ran to him at once saying, 'Daddy, I am sorry,' and was in his father's arms almost before the words were out.

"When Mr. Mackinnon used to come to us every one was delighted. He was our preacher once during a special mission in Coatbridge. In all the public works he addressed the men during their dinner hour, the women at three o'clock in the afternoon, and then the church meeting in the evening. The people turned out in great numbers, and many were led to Christ through his words. He won the hearts of the people in Coatbridge, and was more and more beloved by them as years went on. I remember once when he preached for my husband, a doctor in the town said to me, 'I would not have missed that sermon for £50.' He preached as if he stood between the living and the dead. Lady Carrick Buchanan once told me how much she had been helped by his sermon, ' The bow in the cloud.' He used to comfort so many hearts. We were always sorry when the time came for him to return to his dear ones. He used often to say, 'Oh, I must tell my wife that.' I used to chaff him about his love letters, and he would laugh and say, 'My wife's letters are all love letters.' In the home he was so thoughtful for others and tried to avoid giving trouble. He endeared himself even to the servants during the times he stayed with us. I remember when he and Mr. MacFarlane attended the Bridge of Allan Convention the year my husband and I were in charge of the Ministers' House there. They were as full of fun and frolic as two schoolboys; I said I would have to separate them. But at the meetings Mr. Mackinnon was so much in earnest, and was always the one to inspire his fellows."

It was in March, 1902, that Mr. Mackinnon's second son was born. In the midst of a sudden and blinding snow storm, Donald Norman playing happily in his nursery was told by his father that he had now a little brother. The big blue eyes opened wide with wonder and the horses were all forgotten, as with eager hurrying feet the two mounted the stairs to see the baby of the snow, who was by this time protesting loudly against everything in general.

Some weeks later, both the little ones were taken to church, and the baby brother, receiving the name of Robert Somerled, was baptised with water from the River Jordan, kindly sent for the purpose by one of the ministers of the town, who had just returned from Palestine. And the Carnpbeltown people will always remember how soft and tender the Minister's face looked on these occasions, as he kissed his little Sons and handed them back to their mother. And the manse nursery was now a happier place than ever; for it was not until its occupants were transferred to the manse of Shettleston that there were "wars and rumours of wars! " The time came when we had to redeem our promise and visit the manse of Coat- bridge, and one murky night we found ourselves standing in the smoke and grime of a low level station in Glasgow; into the same carriage with us was brought the infant son of the Rev. Thomas Kearney, of the China Mission, Ichang, both babies about the same age, and both enlivening the journey with lamentations loud and long. Reaching the town, we found ourselves wondering when we would get out of the smoke, and were told that here in Coatbridge there was a perpetual "pillar of cloud by day and fire by night." How glad we were of the warmth and hospitality of the manse on the hill amongst the trees, and the kindly faces of its merry group. Then next day Lady Carrick Buchanan sent for us all to go to Drumpellier, and was so kind and sweet.

The following winter was one of considerable anxiety. The Minister's throat was giving trouble; but indeed he had been doing much hard work joyfully and ungrudgingly in various parishes, and had undertaken many a stormy voyage. He had barely recovered when one of the children developed " Ophthalmia" of so persistent a nature, that for many weary weeks it seemed as if it might not be overcome. The little eyes could bear no ray of light, all food was refused, and it was only the wasted form of the merry little boy that was wrapped in blankets each day, and carried in Daddy's strong arms into the darkened study until the sick-room could be freshened. The kindly doctor was anxious too, though he assured us it would all come right. Then one Sunday things looked very, very bad, and when the Minister came in after a day's work harder than usual, we could only look at each other mutely, but dared not say what we feared. And somehow we were on our knees by the little bed in the dark room ; no words were uttered, but the heart of the great pitying All-Father understood. Slowly, very slowly in the weeks that followed the little life was given back with the sight unimpaired.

Then when the sunny days came round, what drives we had into the country, while Daddy visited all the people, and now and again we would come upon a pale-faced mother bending anxiously over her sick child, and we could speak as never before with a great, understanding sympathy.

After this came a visit to Tiree in the lovely summer days, where the little ones revelled in the temporary possession of "live" horses which would "go." How kind all the homely island people were. And Lady Victoria would send for the "Reverend Hector" almost every day to consult him about one or other of the many activities in which she was engaged. Being devoted to children, she had the Minister's boys with her for hours on several occasions, and their father was so concerned lest they might not behave properly; but Lady Victoria sent off a note to reassure him, declaring that they were "splendid little fellows" and that she had "failed absolutely to discover any traces of original sin!"

Driving along the sands next day, we met her ladyship in the Buckboard. Amused at the frantic efforts of a little Jehu to get a big horse to "go faster," she called out," Well, how are you getting on?" "Oh, very well, thank you, Lady 'Atoria,' but this is just a stupid old mare, you see, it won't go fastI " We could hear her ladyship's merry musical laugh as we cantered along the shore.

Often, too, throughout the Campbeltown years the Minister was cheered by the visits of his early and lifetime friend—then of Glencoe and Arrochar. And you felt you wanted to shake the two of them, they were so frolicsome and light-hearted. But presently, when they had retired to the study, there would be a softened silence, and subdued tones, for these two, whose souls were knit together, could "dwell deep" with each other in sacred things. "As iron sharpeneth iron, so a man's countenance sharpeneth the face of his friend."

The ministers and assistants of the various other bodies in the town all found their way into the Highland manse ; and we like to think that the "fellowship of kindred minds," and the always helpful conference, have still their fragrance in many manses throughout the country. "He was such a big man in every way," says a minister of the United Free Church, "a giant in the ministry, and nowhere was he more beloved than by the men in our church. We expected so much from him in time future, as we had received so much from him in the past."

"I always associate with Mr. Mackinnon," writes another United Free Church minister, "the idea of manliness. There was nothing weak or small about him. He was absolutely fearless in his defence of what appeared to him to be the truth, unsparing in his denunciations of sin and his exposure of shams, a straight fighter and a hard hitter who did not shun to declare the whole counsel of God. At the same time there was also a tender note in his preaching, as he sought to set Christ before the sinner as an all-sufficient Saviour, and pleaded with him to come and find rest in Him. There was the clear ring of conviction in all his preaching. One felt that he was speaking out of his own deep experience of the things of God. That which he had seen and heard he declared unto others. Another characteristic of Mr. Mackinnon was his broad-mindedness. Although perfectly loyal to his own denomination, he was quick to recognise the good in others, and was on the friendliest terms with all the neighbouring ministers in Campbeltown. United Free Churchmen had cause to be grateful to him for the sympathy and support he extended to them in their time of trial. He was always ready to co-operate with any of Christ's servants to whatever denomination they might belong. A truer friend one could not have. He was so unselfish and unassuming, so broad in his sympathies and so optimistic in his outlook upon life, that he drew out the esteem and affection of all who knew him. The memory of his diligence and faithfulness is a lasting inspiration to us."

On the walls of what we still lovingly call "the Study" hangs an illuminated address in the following terms
"At Campbeltown, the twenty-ninth day of March, 1905, which day the Kirk Session of the Lorne Street Congregation of the United Free Church of Scotland met and was constituted.

"Inter alia.

"It was cordially and unanimously agreed to, that in view of the approaching translation of The Reverend Hector Mackinnon, M.A., Minister of the Highland Parish Church of Campbeltown, to theParish Church of Shettleston, the Session place on record their warm appreciation of the kindly sympathy and help which Mr. Mackinnon, from his own pulpit and from that of Lorne Street and elsewhere, has so opportunely rendered to Lorne Street Congregation in their time of special difficulty and trial as a Congregation of the United Free Church of Scotland, and that they express their earnest prayer that his work may be as richly owned of God in his new pastorate as it has been in his former spheres of labour.
The Clerk was instructed to have an extract of this minute signed in name of the Session by the Moderator and himself, and suitably prepared and presented to Mr. Mackinnon.

"J. A. BAIRD, Interim Moderator.
"CHARLES C. MAXTONE, Session Clerk."

Mr. Mackinnon was not a candidate for Shettleston Parish Church, but had been asked by the Vacancy Committee to preach before the congregation, who, after he had done so, were very decided in their choice. But we had not realised what it would cost us to leave the people of Campbeltown; and it was not to be wondered at that when the Minister came to preach his farewell sermon, so overcome was he by his feelings that his voice trembled, and then stopped. On the morning of our departure the people assembled on the pier, but as the steamer moved slowly off not a cheer was raised ; in mute silence handkerchiefs were waved, and each one strove to look as brave as possible. But time does not dim the tender memories of Campbeltown, and the dear old home, enshrined as they are " in the old gold glorious radiance of the happy long ago."

The last time Mr. Mackinnon came down to preach to us," writes a member of the Campbeltown congregation, his text was, 'Watchman, what of the night?' The church was packed to overflowing; his earnestness on that occasion will long be remembered and his words ring in our ears yet. We love our dear old church more than ever now, because it is hallowed by memories of him."

EXTRACTS FROM THE CAMPBELTOWN SUPPLEMENTS (1902)

REVERENCE

I hope to speak to you from the pulpit about reverence some time soon, but there is one phase of reverence which I wish to impress upon you by referring to it here. When you enter the church on Sunday and take your seat in your pew to wait for the service to begin there is one duty which you should never fail to perform. That is to bow your head in prayer and ask God's blessing upon yourself, your fellow-worshippers, and the minister. God's house is God's house, remember, a place hallowed by many sacred associations in the history of a congregation, and from the moment you enter it to that at which you take your departure your demeanour should be that of one who is conscious that he is in the Lord's own presence. This leads me to ask what you do when the benediction has been pronounced. Do you forthwith pick up your hat and join in a general stampede to the door, or do you first sit reverently down, again bowing your head, thanking God for privilege enjoyed and blessing received, and committing yourself to His care during the week upon which you have entered? I have seen people enter and leave the church as if it were a music hail or a theatre. This is surely not becoming, and what is not becoming should not have a place in the behaviour of any member of the Highland congregation. H. M.

RAFFLING

I had occasion recently to make a passing reference from the pulpit on the practice of raffling so widely prevalent at sales of work and bazaars. But this subject calls for more than a passing reference, and I feel that I ought to say something about it in our Supplement. To condemn raffling at sales is not of course to condemn these sales themselves. Far from thinking that there is anything evil in a sale of work, I venture to express the opinion that there is no benevolent enterprise which may become a more suitable and efficient channel of mutual goodwill among human beings than such as is furthered when loving hearts and nimble fingers combine to make and fashion useful articles, the proceeds of the sale of which are devoted to upholding a deserving cause. But an enterprise good in itself may be demoralised by its being made the cause or the occasion of practices which are evil, and I have no hesitation in expressing my conviction that sales of work are lamentably corrupted when countenance is lent, as is not infrequently done by their promoters, to a method of securing funds so utterly at variance as raffling is with the most elementary principles of righteousness. It has been argued—and this is the only argument worth referring to which defenders of this system have the boldness to advance—that at benevolent sales of work raffling is utilised simply to secure more extensive aid than could otherwise be obtained for objects which are alike worthy and needful of support. It has thus been contended that in this particular instance a good end justifies a questionable means. This argument is very plausible but very shallow. Let us look into the matter. I resolve, say, to build a church, hail, or hospital. To carry out my resolution I need money, and money I do not possess. But I find that there are many sympathisers with the cause I have at heart who, although they cannot subscribe to my enterprise in hard cash, are yet willing to contribute " in kind," articles the value of which on my disposing of them I shall be at liberty to devote to the purpose I have in mind. I accordingly organise a sale of work, and I get it opened with all possible éclat. I am successful in selling a large portion of my goods. But a considerable quantity remains which cannot be disposed of because the prices asked are beyond the purses of those who patronise my sale. Now what do I do? I resort to raffling as an expedient to get rid of my goods. I furnish the people who visit my bazaar with an opportunity of taking their chance in winning for a trifle articles which previously they were unable or perhaps unwilling to purchase. And thus I manage to clear my tables, or stalls, as the case may be. But I have been guilty of gambling! There is no gainsaying the fact. In my dictionary I find raffling defined as "a game of chance or lottery in which several persons deposit a part of the value of a thing in consideration of the chance of becoming sole possessor by casting dice or otherwise, the money deposited going to the first owner of the article." And no sane person can detect any difference between that and gambling either in spirit or in method. The whole thing is therefore immoral, whitewash it as you please. The immorality consists in this, thatfrom those who lose in the game I receive money for which I give them nothing in return, and those who gain take from me goods which they have neither bought nor earned. In no circumstances—not even at a benevolent sale—is it honest for a man to take money for which no equivalent has been given, or to possess an article for which he has neither paid nor toiled. How earnestly that great prophet of righteousness, John Ruskin, tried to impress upon the mind of a benighted nation the principle here inculcated. It is a principle according to which all games of chance, raffling included, are essentially dishonest. People in general may not see this, but their blindness does not alter the fact. It has been contended, as I have already indicated, that subscribers to a raffle give their money for the sake of the cause, not for the sake of the raffle, and I am not going to question that in some cases this may be true. But what is implied in this contention and the manner in which it is advanced is that a righteous cause sanctifies an unrighteous means; and according to this doctrine you may trample underfoot every one of the commandments, not only with impunity, but also without blame, provided that in doing so you can show that you have a good end in view. You may rob a man of his property provided you devote the same to charitable purposes. This is the old heresy that you may sin and should sin that grace may abound—a doctrine from which you may deduce justification for all the sins of humanity, not excepting the treachery of Judas. You say the end in view is deserving. 'What more deserving end, for instance, could a man have in view than the support of his wife and family? Are you ready to admit that this end may be legitimately compassed by exercises in games of chance? If not, no more are you entitled to claim that benevolence as the chief end of a sale of work justifies the use of a game of chance to enable you or any other person to reach that end. Again, why in the name of goodness and commonsense are the supporters of a bazaar not permitted, or, if need be, persuaded to give their help in a straightforward manner, without the mutual befoolment amongst parties which resort to such a trick as raffling involves? If they are willing to contribute a sixpence or a shilling in connection with a raffle, and that for the sake of the enterprise in hand, why should they not contribute either of these sums without the stimulus and excitement provided by the raffle? As a matter of fact that stimulus is used to extract from them that which otherwise they are unwilling to give, so that the advancement of the plea that they are only supporting the cause while they are really countenancing the raffle is simply one more example of "an organised hypocrisy." It is worthy of note that if, as a private individual, one were to engage in this practice for his own benefit it would soon find for him a bed among thieves within one of the walled areas which the law of the land prescribes for such characters, but because one engages in it in conjunction with others—a congregation or association—he escapes this visitation. And because he escapes he imagines he is free from blame. Just as a limited liability company may commit most of the iniquities forbidden in the decalogue without a single member of it being put under the ban of public opinion, seeing a company is mistakenly supposed to have no responsibility; so a number of individuals may as an association play fast and loose with an essential principle of right, and no one says them nay. This is one of the ways by which the devil drugs the twentieth century moral sense with his sulphurous opiates, killing or vitiating moral feeling. This is how he inoculates the generation that now is with the absurd delusion that wrong may become right provided you have a laudable end in view and provided that in reaching that end you are one of a considerable number of individuals working together. And as Ruskin says, "Men love to have it so." They fail to see that the devil is the devil still, though he present himself as an angel of light, clad with the tapestry of heaven's high chambers. One of the saddest features of gambling practices at bazaars is that young people- often mere boys and girls—are employed to go round and sell the tickets, and get into a whirligig of excitement over the sums gathered and the destination of the articles. These young people are soon to go out into the world, many of them far from home and home influences. If a temptation to embark upon a career of gambling comes their way, as is quite possible, even likely, will they not find it more difficult to resist that temptation for their having practised raffling at sales of work and thus having that method of obtaining money associated in their minds with commendable enterprises? I may be mistaken, because I have no statistics to go upon; but I entertain a strong suspicion that if the first step taken in gambling on the part of many who have thereby made shipwreck of their lives could be accurately traced it would be found that not rarely it was taken in the shape of interest manifested in raffling at a benevolent bazaar. Surely our young people have enough temptation to withstand when the devil shows himself in his darker hue without their being rendered specially liable to be assaulted by the gilded methods of a transfigured Satan. What then can we do to better a state of things which we must all deplore? There are two suggestions which I venture to make. The first is, never price bazaar articles above their market value. To do anything else is to practise dishonesty at a crucial point and demoralise the whole proceedings. The second is, do not make expensive articles for a sale of work. At least let them not be too expensive for the purse of the average buyer. It is the dear articles that occasion the raffling, as everybody knows. If men, and women too, are not prepared to do what in them lies to bring raffling to an end by acting upon such simple suggestions as these, then they must follow their own course, but let them at least remember that "God will bring every work into judgment" and that "every man must bear his own burden." Before I close let me add that I do not anticipate that it will be an undertaking easy of accomplishment to deal effectively with raffling. The evil has already a tremendous hold. It is fashionable, and the average man and woman would rather die than resist fashion. There are few sane enough or brave enough to make a stand against that which is fashionable. This applies even to leaders, whether in state or in church. Many political leaders talk and talk and do little else, as if there was little else to do, so that the legislative machinery of the country almost stands still. Ecclesiastical leaders are little better. Few of them consider any interests beyond those of that mighty organisation "the church." As long as "the church" progresses as They understand progress, whatever the means may be by which the supposed progress is realized, they are content. "They speak smooth things and prophesy deceits." We rejoice, however, that there are honourable exceptions both in the state and in the church. To these men we look for leading in the holy crusade that will cause such an evil practice as raffling to cease to the ends of the land. A beginning should surely be made at the temple of God whence the rafflers should be driven, with a scourge of cords if necessary.

H. M.

CHURCH SERVICES AND CLOTHES (1899)

We hear a good deal nowadays about lapsed masses, and their existence is all too real and much to be deplored. They meet us not only in our large cities but in our provincial towns. They have come into being owing to a combination of causes. But one cause I believe to be the carelessness of parents in rearing their offspring. "Like priest like people," said the prophet. It might be added, like parents like children." When the fathers and mothers are guilty of neglect themselves what is to be expected of their offspring? It is only natural that they should neglect religious ordinances. Of course difficulties will present themselves to many who earnestly desire to do their duty in this matter. There is, for example, the difficulty of clothes in homes where there are large families and the bread-earner receives only low wages. Oh, these clothes ! they are becoming the curse of our modern church life. They have already driven from our churches many of the people for whom salvation was, in the first instance, designed. There was a day—alas that it is gone— when a poor woman with her mutch could enter a church with as much comfort as a rich lady with her feathers when a boy barefooted and bareheaded was not made to feel by word, look, or gesture on the part of his neighbour that the two were not made of the same flesh and blood. But nowadays everything is sacrificed to clothes. The whole structure of society etiquette is reared upon clothes. The very rate at which Christ's cause is to advance in the world is made by some to depend on clothes. Surely this is a misfortune. It is of course not wrong to wear good clothes, but the wrong comes in when either the person who has them or the person who has them not ascribes to them an importance which does not belong to them. What does God care about clothes? He looketh not upon the outward appearance of a man. He looketh upon the heart, and we also should strive to form our estimate of a person not by clothes but by character. It is a literal fact that dress is sometimes only a cloak for snobbery and conceit, whereas under a patched garment often beats a brave and noble heart. And in regard to church attendance we should endeavour to stamp out of existence the false ideas abroad in the minds of rich and poor alike with respect to clothes. Men and women should be made to feel that they are as welcome in church clad in thread- bare garments as they would be though arrayed in the most gorgeous finery; and as far as boys and girls are concerned I see no reason why they should not attend church in the clothes in which they attend the Sabbath School. All we insist upon is cleanliness and tidiness, and, thank God, these are cheap in the land in which our lot has been cast.

H. M.

UNION OF THE CHURCHES (1898)

In one of the leading religious journals of the country, which has hitherto advocated disestablishment, the following paragraph appeared lately:- "One evidence of the growing friendliness of our Scottish churches is given in the references which have been made in various Free Church Courts to the loss sustained by the Established Church through the deaths of Dr. Caird and Dr. John Macleod. Not so long ago these events would have been passed in silence. But in the Free Church Commission, recently held, expression was given to a feeling of brotherly sympathy, and this example has been followed since in the Free Church Presbytery of Glasgow. If a re-adjustment of things could be accomplished by mutual consent, without having to go through the political agony of disestablishment, there would be cause for thanksgiving." I feel grateful to this journal for such a paragraph. The simple truth is that if ecclesiastics of all churches would pocket their petty ambitions, and have the manliness to disown the sentiments of wrath and jealousy to which they have often given expression, the church question would be settled in a very short time. "The wrath of man will not work the righteousness of God." In no connection is this truer than in connection with the church question. We sincerely trust that expressions of sympathy will continue to be interchanged from time to time between our Scottish churches. We yearn for a united ecclesiastical Scotland. The best men in all the churches are sick tired of this wretched controversy which has often furnished an occasion for the worst possible exercise of the worst passions of which human beings are capable. If the churches would agree about what is common, or at least not alien, to the spirit, if not to the letter, of the constitutions of them all, union would soon be an accomplished fact. At this time we owe it to the Free Church to acknowledge the Christian manner in which her courts have made reference to our loss. And be it mentioned that no more eloquent or sympathetic tribute to the worth of Dr. John Macleod was given than that of his neighbour, the Rev. R. Howie of the Free Church of Govan. We are thankful for these references and tributes, and we pray that the time may soon come when we shall all be one.

H. M.

DUTIES OF CHURCH MEMBERS

At this solemn season of communion it is right that church members should be reminded of their duties towards Christ, the church, and the world, in a manner more permanent, as I hope, in its effects than. even an address from the pulpit. I accordingly take the liberty of stating in this supplement some of these duties in the confidence that members of the Highland congregation will endeavour to fulfil them:-

1.—Have before your mind a high standard of Christian life, and act up to that standard as God gives you grace. If you are content to remain at the low level which satisfies some of your neighbours, you will make no progress. Remember that you have been called to be a saint, and ponder well all that word implies. Be always a saint, and never anything less than a saint. Let Christ Himself be your ideal. Do not act upon the principle—which is no principle, properly speaking—of giving God as little of your life as possible. Give Him it in its entirety. He gave His whole life for you, and He now gives you His life in all its fullness.

2.—Be careful to read your Bible every day, and to pray in secret. Do not read the Word of God with less interest than you read the newspaper. God's veracity is the foundation of your faith. That veracity finds expression in the Bible. Study the Bible therefore. "And when thou prayest enter into thine inner chamber, and having shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret shall recompense thee." You can tell God things which you cannot tell a fellow- creature. Always make a clean breast of it at His footstool. You can have no peace otherwise.

3.—Attend church regularly. When you are absent without a sufficient reason you deal a blow at the very existence of public worship; you set a bad example to others; you discourage your minister; you harm your soul. In this matter a sense of duty and not inclination should be uppermost. It is your duty to attend church whether you feel inclined or not. You must not let moods determine the frequency of your church attendance. Be present every Sabbath if possible. And do not expect to have soft and pleasing words always addressed to you. Sometimes you need reproof more than comfort. Do not flare up in anger when your sins are dragged by the preacher into the light of God's countenance, but rather repent in sorrow and humility.

4.—Attend your own church. Some one has said that roving Christians are "lean kine." It is very true. Yet there are people who always wander from one church to another. Anything new draws them; but nothing new or old satisfies them. We have not many wanderers connected with the Highland congregation, but warning is necessary all the same. Beware of forsaking the services of your church for the sake of any other services or meetings, whatever they be. If your own church fails you, attend a service at another; but as long as you feel that on the whole you are getting good in your own church then stick to it. If you are getting no good at all, you had better cut your connection, and go where you think you can get benefit. But while you remain a member of this or any other church bend your energies to serve it. You have a primary duty to perform towards your own church of which no countenance or help you give to other churches or agencies can relieve you. Of course this does not mean that you are to do no Christian work at all outside your own congregation. It only implies that your own church has always a prior claim. I would like to add—Stand by the ordinary means of grace whenever there is a clash between them and extraordinary means. For all clashes of that description the extraordinary means are responsible. There is never any reasonableness in the idea that ordinary means should be neglected or suspended for the sake of extraordinary effort.

5.—Be present at the prayer meeting as often as you can the oftener the better. We do not make attendance at the prayer meeting or any other meeting an essential in your salvation, but we say that the best Christians enjoy the prayer meeting, and that there is something the matter with you unless you enjoy it. Do not come to the prayer meeting merely to pass the time, or because you have no other place to go for a change, so to speak; but come in an expectant frame of mind, believing that the prayer meeting is the place of spiritual power. The prayer meeting should always be a "previous engagement" in relation to most of the calls made upon your time and attention on Wednesday evenings.

6.—Do some work for the cause of Christ. If asked to become an office-bearer, accept with humility, and fulfil your duties faithfully. If asked to teach in the Sabbath School or help the singing in the church, consent at once, even at the cost of self-denial. Visit the sick and the lonely according to your opportunity. Read with them, or pray with them, or sing with them. Or, if you are not equal to any of these, then speak sympathetically to them. You can surely do that. Be kind to strangers who attend your church. Try and get a hold of the indifferent. They are not far from your door. Persuade them, if possible, to come to church. Make an appointment with them. Tell them you will be glad to call for them if they will accompany you. Go out of your way to suit their convenience. You may thus win their souls. Remember always that there is work for every one to do. Do not stand idle in the market-place. "To complain that life has no joys while there is a single creature whom we can relieve by our bounty, assist by our counsels, or enliven by our presence is to lament the loss of that which we possess, and is just as reasonable as to die of thirst with the cup in our hands."

7.—Give liberally towards the church collections. That means give as much as you can. Now just ask yourself the question whether you are giving to the best of your ability. If you find that you are not, then increase your contributions. Remember that "whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap." Liberality of spirit on your part is food and drink unto God. To be niggardly is to starve God out. Israel of old robbed Him in tithes and offerings and they did not gain by it. In this connection read Mal. iii. 7-12.

8.—Be faithful to your church. Never be a troubler of Zion. Do not make your opinions and wishes the rules for others to follow. Be charitable. Believe that there are other people in the church quite as good as you and perhaps better. Give others the credit of being sincere when they differ from you and defer to the wishes of others where no principle is at stake. It will also do you good to remember sometimes that the cause of God would prosper though you and I were dead and buried.

Never talk down your church. Some people have an eye only to flaws. To hear them talk one would think their church rotten from top to bottom. These people do their best to ruin their church. If they mean to remain in it they should cease from croaking. Croaking within does more harm than cursing without.

Remember that you are a member of a great national institution—the Church of Scotland. Your being so imposes certain responsibilities upon you. Your church has conferred untold benefit upon past generations and it has enormous potentialities for the future. The fact of your being amember of this institution implies, I hope, that you set some value upon the principles upon which it is founded. Lead your fellow-members therefore to understand that your support may be relied upon in the day in which these principles become the objects of depreciation or assault. Remember that the man who cannot be relied on in one set of circumstances in which principle is at stake is but a feeble reed to lean upon in any other set of circumstances. This, of course, implies that you have a principle worth defending, yea, and worth making a sacrifice for. Surely you regard the principle of establishment and endowment for the Church of Scotland as such.

9.—Be faithful to your minister. He loves you. He is very sensitive to indifference. Pray for him; he needs it. Always remember that prayer in the pew makes power in the pulpit. Do not lay on your minister heavier burdens than he can bear. One sometimes comes across church members who would save their own skin by making the minister responsible for lines of conduct of which they themselves are the authors. That is contemptible. It is no doubt written, "bear ye one another's burdens," and a minister is bound to bear the burdens of his flock, but it is also written, " every one will bear his own burden," and in the circumstances before us the latter words are much more applicable than the former.

If you are ill and wish to see your minister send for him. Do not imagine that the birds of the air will carry him news of your illness, or that he will come to hear of it at all unless you adopt means of letting him know.

10.—Above all, be faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ at all times and in all circumstances. Be as interested in His business as in your own. Stand by Him come what may. Discard and discountenance effeminacy and cant. Never talk above your experience. Never play the hypocrite. Never deny your Lord. Be even down in all your dealings with others. Young men, be manly with the manliness of Christ. Young women, be tender with His tenderness. And let young and old alike make it the supreme end of life to honour and obey Him. He is worthy of all your regard and all your service.

H. M.


 


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