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Dr Alexander Cameron
Chapter V. Pastorate at Brodick

Arran is divided into two parishes—Kilbride and Kilmory. The former comprises most of the east side, including Holy Island, and extending from Lochranza to Dippin Head. Its utmost length is about 20 miles ; its utmost breadth is 6 miles ; and its area is 38,985 acres. Its population in 1801 was 2183, and in 1881, 2176, of whom 971 were Gaelic-speaking. By far the largest proprietor is the Duke of Hamilton, under whose uniformly kind sway the people live happily. Brodick, on account of its central situation, though, like Edinburgh, not on account of the number of population, claims to be the capital of Arran. It was here with such surroundings that a new sphere was presented to the energies and gifts of Mr Cameron, who was inducted as colleague and successor to the well-known and highly respected Rev. P. Davidson on 3rd Sept., 1874. On this auspicious occasion there were present many representatives of several denominations, indicative alike of regard for the newly-inducted pastor and of the general sympathy the settlement evoked. It proved also predictive of the good feeling and mutual appreciation that existed in after years between the accomplished preacher and the vast variety of visitors from all quarters that frequent this very popular summer resort. A good deal of hard work lay before him. Lamlnsh and Corrie claimed a share in his services, and received attention to the full amount of their claim. In addition to three services on Sabbath and the superintendence of the Sabbath School, two and sometimes three prayer meetings were held in different parts of this wide district during the week. Bible classes were likewise set agoing, and the young people attended admirably. Diets of catechising were regularly held at convenient centres during the winter months— an “exercise” recommended by long established usage and the example of many worthy predecessors, and calculated to keep fresh in the memories of the people not only the Shorter Catechism, but the whole of the Westminster theology. He endeavoured to visit all the families of his flock once a year at least and sometimes much oftener, but I am afraid, like most ministers, he did not wholly escape criticism on this ground. Wherever anyone was sick he called very frequently at whatever cost of personal inconvenience to himself, and dealt very tenderly with the suffering and dying, as well as gently comforted the bereaved and sorrowful. It is said of Dr Guthrie that he remarked on his death-bed that if he had realised what it was to lie dying he would have dealt far more tenderly than he had been able to do with those near the end of life.

Although pressed with pastoral work, Mr Cameron succeeded in finding time to take a deep interest and a very active part in educational matters. He unhesitatingly advocated the retention and teaching of the Bible and Shorter Catechism in schools as an indispensable part of all adequate training of youth. He took a special delight in examining children in religious knowledge, and did all in his power to secure prizes for them. But the Government Inspector has now almost entirely superseded the time-honoured annual ministerial visitation and examination of schools.

It will readily be admitted that Hr Cameron took a fair share in the discussions incident to Church Courts, but it is not so well known that he took an important part in all Presbyterial business and more solemn duties. He acted for a time as clerk to the Presbytery of Ivintyre, and was, if anything, too minute and accurate. The following address to a newly-ordained pastor will indicate his high ideal of the duties incumbent upon those who break the bread of life to men :—

“I have now to address to you a few words in connection with the interesting position in which you now stand. You have now been solemnly set apart to the work of the ministry—the most responsible and at the same time the most honourable work in which anyone can be engaged. ‘We are unto God,’ says the apostle, ‘a sweet savour of Christ in them that are saved and in them that perish. To the one we are the savour of death unto death, and to the other the savour of life unto life.’ Need we be astonished that he added, ‘and who is sufficient for these things'?’

“My brother, you have now been appointed to an office for which you are not sufficient—for which no one in the world i strfficient—for which the might and wisdom and zeal of angels are not sufficient, and, therefore, that in that office you may be found a worker that will not need to be ashamed, it is necessary to tell yon that your sufficiency, like that of the apostle, must be of God. He alone can give you success. I have no intention of addressing you a lecture on pastoral theology, although hints as to the division of your time, for example—what proportion of it should be devoted to study and what proporion to pastoral work—would not be out of place, but might be useful to one beginning his ministry. I would not, however, discharge the duty laid upon me, nor would I be faithful to you, were I not to address to you a few simple exhortations bearing upon the position in which you now stand, and the office to which you have been set apart.

“1. Be much in private, praying to God for grace to enable you to fulfil your ministry. This exhortation is so common-place that it is apt to be regarded as unnecessary ; and yet I dare not pass it over, but, on the contrary, I give it the first place. The apostles appointed deacons in the Church to attend to its outward and secular affairs, that they might give themselves continually to prayer and to the preaching of the Word. Prayer and preaching must go together. Without being frequent in prayer you need not expect to be successful in preaching. If you be not given to secret prayer, your ministry, you may depend upon it, will be fruitless. Speaking generally, a praying minister is easily known. He is full of life—his preaching possesses heavenly unction —and many other things will show that he is much with God. Earnest and believing prayer moves heaven itself. Jacob wrestled with God, and as a prince he had power with God and prevailed. Yon likewise will have power with God, and will prevail to bring down spiritual blessing upon yourself, upon your people, and upon the district in which you are to labour, if you will be a wrestler with God.

“2. Cherish habitually a holy frame of mind. This is the duty of all Christians, but without it a minister of God’s Word need not expect to be successful. Thorough preparation for the Sabbath by the study of the word is very good—is indeed absolutely necessary—and ought not to be remitted even for a single Sabbath ; but all your preparation will be of little avail to render you an edifying preacher to God’s people, if you neglect to give your utmost diligence to cherish habitually a frame of mind suitable unto the work in which you are to be engaged. The means to be used for cherishing a right frame of mind I need not occupy your time in setting before you, for no one can know anything of the life of God in the soul who does not from experience know by what means that life is to be sustained in vigorous and healthy exercise.

“3. In regard to the preaching of the Word, let me earnestly gnard yon against being a mere professional sermon-maker. I do so, because this is a growing evil in our day. The faithful minister of Christ seeks to preach the truth upon which his own soul lives—the truth which he loves. The mere professional man preaches because that is his business. His sermons come from his head rather than from his heart, and, therefore, they do not reach the hearts of the hearers. They may instruct them—they may increase their knowledge—but they do not edify their souls. The article may be very good of its kind—it may show great natural gifts and resources—but it is not relished by the discerning Christian whose spiritual instincts inform him that the truth which the preacher sets forth, perhaps with eloquence and earnestness, does not come out of the treasures of a mind richly furnished with grace. He plainly sees that it has been prepared like any other article of merchandise to serve a purpose—perhaps for popular effect, To him it is lifeless and uninteresting, for it is artificial. No art in its composition, no earnestness in its delivery, no affected unction can render it edifying to his soul—hungry for the bread of life.

“4. Preach the truth of God. Avoid ingenious speculations. God will acknowledge only His own truth. Let Christ and Him crucified be the burden of your preaching. Give prominence in your teaching to the doctrines of grace. There never was a time when there was greater need for exhibiting fully and faithfully and fearlessly the truth of God in our preaching; for many keep it in the background, as if they were ashamed to own it, while many openly oppose it. It is unnecessary to tell you that you need not expect your ministry to be a fruitful one unless you honour the truth of God ; for, assuredly, if you do not, God will not honour you in your work. Be distinct and explicit in declaring what the truth is. Do not be afraid that in so doing you may offend some of your hearers. Faithfulness to Christ and to His truth and to the souls of those whom you have undertaken to instruct in the truth is your first duty. From the very outset of your ministry plant your foot firmly on the truth as set forth in the Confession of Faith and in the Larger and Shorter Catechisms. Do not be afraid of being called an exclusive preacher, if you be not more exclusive than God’s Word is. I press this upon you. With all my soul and heart I urge it upon you, for I believe that your ministry and mine will be unsuccessful — will be worse than unsuccessful—will prove a delusion and a snare to souls, unless we give due prominence in our preaching to the cardinal truths of the gospel, such as the sovereignty of God in choosing sinners unto salvation, the vicarious sufferings of the Mediator, man’s utter inability to save himself, either in whole or in part, the necessity of the Spirit’s work in quickening and sanctifying the soul, the obligation which rests upon the Christian to lead a life of holiness in the world. Let no one. be in doubt as to the value which you attach to these truths, and the esteem in which you hold them.

“5. Be not one-sided in your preaching. You cannot, of course, cram all the doctrines of the gospel into every sermon you preach, but that is not necessary in order to give full justice to every truth and full opportunity to your hearers to learn the truth as a whole.

“6. Ill all your preaching be plain and pointed—explicit and direct. Be faithful to the consciences of your hearers. Ever realise the preciousness of their souls. Let your great aim be to bring them to Christ, Be not, therefore, afraid to tell them the truth. Warn the careless of their danger. Seek to lead those anxious in regard to their personal salvation to Christ in whom alone salvation is to be found—to be found freely by the chief of sinners. Strengthen the weak hands and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, ‘Be strong, fear not. Behold your God will come with vengeance, even your God with a recompense ; he will come and save you.’ Let your preaching be discriminating, and for that end seek the wisdom which will enable yon to distinguish between the precious and the vile, and to give to the saint his own, and to the hypocrite and sinner their own. Insist much upon personal holiness—holiness of heart and holiness of practice, 011 the part of your hearers, that God may be glorified by the fruit which they may bring forth in the world. And, in this respect, seek that yon may be yourself an ensample unto your flock.

“7. Forsake not, either in preaching or in worship, the good old ways in which our fathers walked, and in which they were owned and blessed of God. You hear much said now-a-days about presenting to the people the truth under new forms or aspects suited to what is called the growing intelligence of our time; but, for my part, I prefer the old aspects of the truth to the so-called modern aspects of it, Indeed, when I closely examine these modern aspects of the truth, I am often at a loss to discover the good old truth under them. The truth needs nd pompous and affected style to recommend it. It disdains the conceited phraseology of philosophy. It rebel upon its own native lustre—its own intrinsic glory ; and, indeed, one is tempted to conclude that lie who thinks that to please modern taste the old time-honoured truths must be cast into new moulds and uttered in new forms of expression, must have little confidence in the native power of the truth or in his own acquaintance with it, and that, therefore, to cover his own weakness and deficiencies, he affects originality by means of a copious use of new forms of expression which are but wretched substitutes for those which the Church, after great care and deliberation, has adopted, and which our excellent Shorter Catechism has rendered familiar to every child in the land.

“Finally, my brother, I commend you to God, to whose service you have this day publicly devoted yourself and have been solemnly consecrated. May the Holy Spirit fill you with all grace so that you may prove a worker that will not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Cast all your care in connection with your work upon your Master and He will care for you. He will make His grace sufficient for yon, and His strength perfect in your weakness. Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and then whatever difficulties you may have to encounter—whatever trials you may have to endure—however arduous may be the duties you will be called upon to perform—in all the variety of your circumstances and experiences, He will help and deliver you, until at length you shall have been enabled by His grace to fulfil the ministry which you have this day received of the Lord.”

The Re-union of the Presbyterians of Scotland, on the basis of the Confession of Faith and of the old statutes, was a matter on which his heart was set, and he fervently hoped that the Patronage Act of 1871 could be so improved as wholly to meet and adequately recognise the position and protest of the Free Church of Scotland in 1843. He took an active part in all the discussions and conferences bearing upon this question, and intensely regretted what he regarded as a departure or resiling from the Presbyterian principle of State-acknowledgment and support of religion on the part of the majority of the representatives of the Free Church as demonstrated by voice and vote in different assemblies. In the Assembly of 1875, he stated that he heM that the Disruption became a necessity after the decision of the House of Lords in the Auchterarder case. Supposing there had not been another decision by the civil courts encroaching upon the domain of the Church, it was impossible for the evangelical party to remain in the Church after that decision, without sacrificing both the rights of the Christian people and the jurisdiction of the Church. The Stewarton decision did not touch so sacred a matter as the Auchterarder one. Sir II. Moncrieff had candidly admitted that the Patronage Act would have satisfied the non-intrusionist leaders in 1842, but it would not have satisfied them after January, 1813. He thought it should, for they never had any idea of getting such an Act, which had completely eliminated the Erasdan element contained In the previous statutes, and, therefore, the Church was now thrown back upon the statutes which formed the bulwark of her liberties. He then adduced the testimony of Mr H. Mon crieff of East Kilbride in April, 1843, who, in moving to overture the Assembly for the repeal of the Veto Act, said he attached much more importance to the principle of non-intrusion than to anything else, for if he could get an Act which would protect that one principle he was not for breaking up the Church. The recent legislation had swept away the whole foundation of the decisions against the Church, and the principle of spiritual independence was not sacrificed by the Church not being able, proprio motu, to change the constitution of her own judicatories without consulting the other party.

Writing to a friend three years later, he says:—

“The recent lectures of Dr Kennedy, and more especially his speech last week in the Free Synod of Ross, seem to me sufficiently clear and explicit. When you find a man of his strong views in regard to the present condition of the Established Church— especially in the North—declaring publicly that, were he to get the modification of the Constitution which he regards as necessary to meet his principles, he would feel bound for the sake of his country and for the sake of national religion, to sacrifice his private feelings to his conviction that it would then become his duty, us a Free Churchman, to enter into alliance with the State, it seems to me that you and youl friends are bound to do all in your power to satisfy him and those who agree with him.” He then indicates what is desiderated from the Legislature. “On the difficult subject of spiritual independence (excepting the matter of the Stewarton decision) we want nothing more than what you believe an I what I believe the Established Church at present possesses. The Duke of Argyll has admitted that if there be any doubt as to the Church having been thrown back by the Patronage Act on the old statutes, it is but reasonable that the doubt should be removed. This can be done without any new definition of spiritual independence—without, in fact, anything of the nature of an abstract resolution on the subject A clause in the preamble of an Act to the following effect, which merely states an undoubted fact, with a sufficient repealing clause, would suffice :—

“Whereas the government and supreme and exclusive jurisdiction of the Church of Scotland in all matters spiritual (causes ecclesiastical) as founded on the Word of God and set forth in the Confession of Faith (chaps, xxv. 6, and xxx. 1 and 2) have been recognised, ratified, and confirmed by divers Acts of Parliament, and, in particular, by the Act 1592, entitled ‘ Ratification of the Liberties of the True Kirk,’ and by the Act 1690, entitled ‘Act Ratifying the Confession of Faith and Settling the Presbyterian form of Church Government :

“And whereas by the Act 37 and 38 Vic. c. 82, entitled ‘Church Patronage (Scotland) Act,’ the Acts of Anne c. 12 and of Vic. c. 6 and c. 7, and also all other statutes or parts of statutes inconsistent with the provisions of said Act of 37 and 38 Vic. c. 82 were repealed, and the right of congregations to elect their own ministers, and of the Courts of the Church to decide finally and conclusively upon the appointment, admission, and settlement of ministers, was recognised and declared:

[“And whereas it is desirable that the right of the Courts of the Church of Scotland to decide finally and conclusively upon all other matters that come within the province of the Church as recognised and ratified by the aforesaid statutes of 1592 and 1690 should be re-affirmed :]

“And whereas the Act 7 and 8 Vic. c. 44 is productive of much inconvenience in the erection of parishes, and is a barrier in the way of the union of Presbyterians in Scotland wrho approve of the standards of the Church of Scotland:

“Be it enacted ... as follows:—

“I. This Act may be quoted as the New Parishes (Scotland) Act.

“II. It is hereby declared that the right to erect parishes quoad sacra, and to invest the ministers of said office, including ruling in the Courts of the Church, belongs to the Church of Scotland in the exercise of her supreme and exclusive jurisdiction as recognised, ratified, and confirmed by the aforesaid statutes of 1592 and 1690.

“III. The Act 7 and 8 Viet. c. 44 shall be repealed from and after the passing of this Act: and also all Acts inconsistent with the provisions of this Act: and also all Acts and laws inconsistent with the aforesaid supreme and exclusive jurisdiction of the Church of Scotland in all matters spiritual as recognised, ratified, and confirmed by the aforesaid statutes of 1592 and 1690, and, in particular, the Acts Rescissory 1661 c. 15 and 62 c. 1-2.”

In regard to the Bill prepared by Sir' A. Gordon and Mr F. Mackintosh, to make further provisions in regard to the Church of Scotland; to facilitate reunion therewith of other Presbyterian Churches in Scotland; and submitted to the House of Commons in 1879, Mr Cameron writes in reply to a newspaper criticism as follows:—

“In your leading article on Sir A. Gordon’s Bill, you gave as an illustration of the great powers proposed to be conferred upon the General Assembly that it could ‘ expel the Burgh Elders who represent the ratepayers at large.’ The General Assembly, projnrio motu, admitted the Burgh Elders. It does not, therefore, seem a greater exercise of power to reject them, if it see cause, although there is not much probability of its destroying an element of representation created by its own exclusive action. Further, why should not the General Assembly, which admitted as members Professors of Theology who had no charges, and Burgh Elders who, as you hold, represent the ratepayers, not have power to admit ministers of chapels, if it see cause ? In reference to the possible admission of ‘lay assessors,’ it is sufficient to remark that that would be un-Presbyterian.”

When another attempt was made in 1886 to pass a Bill to declare the Constitution of the Church of Scotland, Mr Cameron was energetic in his advocacy of the proposal presented with such ability and cogent reasoning to Parliament by Mr Finlay, and afterwards associated with his name. The important representative Conference of Free Church office-bearers opposed to Disestablishment and Disendowment, held in Tron Free Church, Edinburgh, on 16th February, 1886, and presided over by Mr (now Sir) William Mackinuon, Bart, of Baliuakill, approved of Mr Finlay’s Bill, “ which is to remove obstacles to the reunion of Scottish Presbyterianism,” and considered that, if passed into law, it would afford “a sufficient basis for cordial conference with a view to reunion among all who hold by the principles of the Reformed Church of Scotlaud.”

The final form which this great and comprehensive, and necessarily difficult question took in the mind of Mr Cameron may be gathered from the subjoined propositions of which he approved :—

“1. Legislation which would declare the Constitution of the Church of Scotland to be such as is set forth in the C aim, Declaration, and Protest adopted by the General Assembly of 1842 ; such legislation to be accompanied by a measure which would render adequate justice to all the practical interests involved.

“2. That it is necessary for such legislation that it secure the following points:—

“(1) A clear declaration as to the divine source of the Church’s jurisdiction.

“(2) The repeal of all statutory enactments at present encroaching upon the Church’s jurisdiction in spiritual matters.

“(3) The restriction of the action of the Civil Courts to the civil effects only of ecclesiastical jurisdictions.

*3. That it is at the same time most desirable,

“(1) That such legislation should contain an express reference to the aforesaid Claim, Declaration, and Protest.

‘(2) That such legislation should in some manner effectually recognise the just claim of the Free Church to participate in the civil benefits of the ecclesiastical establishment.

“4. That the Bill introduced into last Parliament by Mr Finlay would, with suitable amendments, secure the above provisions.

“5. That a Committee be appointed to confer with Mr Finlay, and also, if thought desirable, with any representatives of the Established Church in regard to the various heads of these resolutions.”

It would almost appear that Mi’ Cameron was destined to have on hand questions of law and liberty wherever he went—matters of moment, or the reverse, in regard to which some of his brethren and himself were hardly able to see eye to eye. When he left Renton he was promised—informally, perhaps—that a new manse should be built for him at Brodick. The first step towards the realisation of this desirable object was taken in 1881, when a large and very successful bazaar—the first held in the Island of Arran, and opened by the Duchess of Hamilton—realised over £1100. It is admitted that no small part of the success was due to the high estimate formed far and near of the genially popular pastor and widely known Celtic scholar, for whose comfort the proceeds were intended. The late author of “John Halifax, Gentleman” (Mrs Craik), who opened the bazaar on the fourth day, pictured in prospect the erection of a fine home for a hospitable and good man. As sometimes happen, differences of opinion arose on this occasion, which rapidly developed somewhat later, when the report, amplified by rumour, got abroad that the Deacons’ Court had decided to devote the interest, if not a small part of the principal sum so obtained, under ample guarantee, to the building of a private house for the minister. The only foundation for this damaging story was, as the Deacons’ Court records attest, a request by the minister that, as His Grace the Duke of Hamilton had offered him a site out of personal regard, the deacons, if they deemed it right, might permit him the use of the interest, and, if necessary, of a small additional sum to be collected by himself, for a few years. Three weeks later, apart altogether from outside pressure, or, indeed, knowledge of the proposal, he made a statement to the Court to the effect that he had thought the matter over, and deemed it undesirable that his private affairs should be in any way mixed up with their public proceedings. And yet how much obloquy and unmerited remark he had endured for this comparatively trivial incident It even formed an element in the Lamlash case, of which it is difficult to give a condensed and consecutive account.

Several influences at work resulted in a petition for the erection of Lamlash into a mission station coming before the Presbytery of Kintyre, on 20th January, 1885. Mr Cameron’s attitude towards it is best given in his own words. On the part of the-petitioners,

“There was shown 110 desire to have a separate mission station at Lamlash, and, therefore, no difference of opinion existed, until after I had expressed, in January, 1883, my decided disapproval of a proposal by members of Whitingbay Free Church, and some others, to place services which I had commeuced at Lamlash some months previously, and which were admitted by all to have been giving entire satisfaction, both to the native population and to the summer visitors, under the charge of the Free Church minister of Whitingbay and myself conjointly. But joint-moderatorships never work well, when, as in this case, it would be giving the minister of another congregation equal rights with myself within a district which had always formed part of the charge of Kilbride. It is true that I was of opinion that, in the interest of the Free Church itself, Lamlash should continue to form part of the charge of Kilbride; but, at the same time, I was willing that the new church, which my office-bearers and myself were preparing to erect, should be available, when finished, for special services for such as might not be satisfied with the services already regularly held at Lamlash in connection with the Free Church, and who might consider it too far to walk to Brodick or Whitingbay. This ought sufficiently to meet the case of any who might be 'persuaded that their comfort and edification could not be satisfactorily provided for’ by the Free Church services regularly held within comparatively easy distance of all the people at Brodick, Lamlash, or Whitingbay.

"The statement that while the question of the erection of a station was in dependence, I closed an arrangement for the site behind the Established Church, is entirely erroneous. Between the time in January when, as stated in the preceding paragraph of the petition, the question was carried to the Presbytery for •decision, and the time when three of the petitioners went to Mr Murray, the factor, about a site, I had no communication of any kind, directly or indirectly, with anyone connected with the management of the Arran estate.

"The statement that I closed an arrangement for the site referred to, £ without the knowledge of the petitioners,’ seems to imply that, in negotiating about a site for Lamlash, I was acting upon my own responsibility and without the knowledge of parties who ought to have been consulted in the matter. Now, the fact is that at every step in these negotiations, from first to last, I regularly consulted my office-bearers, who were the parties entitled tu be consulted in such matters. All the meetings of the Deacons’ Court, at which these matters were discussed, were publicly announced both at Brodick and at Lamlash. It is not quite •correct to say that the site accepted is £behind the Established Church.’ It would be more accurate to say that it is behind the Whitehouse, the grounds of which it overlooks.

"In support of the prayer of the petition above referred to, two reasons were urged: (1) That I was not proceeding with the erection of a church at Lamlash, although I had undertaken to provide one; and (2) That if Lamlash were separated from Kilbride, the contributions of the Lamlash people to the Sustentation Fund of the Free Church, would be available for the support of the station. The Presbytery, without any reference to the merits of the case, and without citing the Kirk-Session of Kilbride to appear for their interests, granted the prayer of the petition by a majority of five to two votes. Against this decision Mr Inglis, the elder from Kilbride, and myself dissented, and complained to the Free Synod of Argyle.

“The case came before the Synod on 22nd April. The main argument stated in support of the decision of the Presbytery was the importance of Lamlash as a favourite resort for summer visitors. The Synod, after hearing parties, £ sustained the dissent and complaint, but in respect that the petitioners laid no statistics before the Presbytery relative to the population and financial capabilities of the district intended to be erected into a station, and that the Kirk-Session of Kilbride was not cited to appear at the Presbytery for its interests, remit the ease baek to the Presbytery and instrnet them, if they see cause, to proceed in the matter according to the laws of the Church.’ In this decision, Mr Inglis and myself acquiesced, and the Presbytery protested and appealed against it to the General Assembly.

“The Presbytery having met by leave of the Synod, immediately after the rising of the Synod, agreed to fall from their protest and appeal. A motion was then made to cite the Kirk-Session of Kilbride to appear for their interests in the case at a meeting of Presbytery to be held at Campbeltown on 12th May, and to request the petitioners to supply for that meeting the statistics referred to in the Synod’s deliverance. This motion having been carried by a majority, I dissented, and complained against it to the General Assembly, chiefly because the Presbytery proceeded in the case (1) without a certified extract of the Synod’s deliverance; (2) in the absence of the petitioners; (3) without showing cause why further action should be taken, especially before there was sufficient time to elect the lay members of Presbytery; and also because (4) the names of representative elders, who ceased to be members of Presbytery when the Synod rose, were put in the sederunt, and these elders sat and voted as members of Court; because (5) a petitioner sat and voted in the Presbytery in his own case ; and because (6) the resolution of the Presbytery to proceed in the case with sueh undue haste, was contrary to the spirit and intention of the Synod’s deliverance, which contemplated, as stated by its supporters, giving parties in the case time to consider their respective positions in reference to the question in dependence.

“Although, in view of the undoubted irregularities in the Presbytery’s procedure, I would be fully justified in carrying my complaint to the Assembly, still, on finding that no practical advantage was likely to result, seeing that the General Assembly could not competently deal with the merits of the case when adjudicating as a Court of Review in a ease of complaint against irregularities in the procedure of a lower Court, I fell from my complaint, and thus the decision of the Presbytery of 22nd April, citing the Kirk-Session, and requesting the petitioners to supply the statistics referred to in the Synod’s deliverance, became final. The ease would then come up in ordinary course at the first meeting of Presbytery after the General Assembly, to be dealt with under the Synod’s remit, ‘according to the laws of the Church;’ and should any complaints or appeals arise in connection with it,, the services at Lamlash, which admittedly had given general satisfaction for two years, would in that case be continued on the same footing for possibly another year, or until the meeting of the-next General Assembly, when the case, I have no doubt, would be finally disposed of on its merits. This, however, was prevented by the proceedings which I shall now mention, and the matter was brought into the unfortunate position in which it now stands.

“Some time previous to the meeting of Presbytery, held at Campbeltown on 12th May, the Moderator of Presbytery wrote to parties at Lamlash, requesting them to get up another petition, and to forward it to the Presbytery. This petition, as afterwards appeared, was a new step towards the splitting up of the congregation of Kilbride, which is comparatively small, and has never been self-sustaining, into two still smaller congregations; and yet neither the Kirk Session of Kilbride nor myself have ever received any notice of it. It was not until the 22ud May, and then only incidentally, that I came to know that the Moderator of Presbytery had written to Lamlash, and my informant could tell me nothing of the petition thus got up.

“Crossiug from Ardrossan to Brodick on Tuesday, 26th May, I learnt, also quite incidentally, that a petition from Lamlash was to come before the General Assembly, then sitting. But the friend who informed me of this, having only heard that there was such a petition, could tell nothing in regard to the nature or object of it. After I arrived at Brodick, I learned from the newspapers that the petition was to come before the Assembly that very day at the forenoon sederunt. This petition, I afterwards ascertained, was the same which was got up at Lamlash two weeks before by direction of the Moderator of Presbytery. In the interval the Presbytery Clerk apparently had charge of it; but, although he had written me twice between 12th May and the meeting of Assembly, on matters connected with the Lamlash easel he never alluded to the petition to the Assembly. It was not until about a week after the rising of the General Assembly that I learned that, at the evening sederunt of the Assembly, on Monday, 25th May, leave was granted to the Presbytery of Kintvre to meet at the close of that sederunt for the purpose of considering matters connected with the petition of members and adherents of the Free Church at Lamlash, and that, at the same sederunt, the Assembly ‘appointed the Committee on Bills to meet on the following day a quarter of an hour before the meeting of Assembly.’ The petition stated explicitly that there was a division in the Presbytery on the question of the erection of Lamlash into a station, and complained that, in consequence of my disseut and complaint to the General Assembly, the erection of the station had been ‘ withheld or delayed ;’ and yet one of the parties in that division, unknown to the other party, ask leave of the Assembly to meet as a Presbytery when it was impossible for the other party to be present, or even to know of the meeting, and the Assembly grant leave, and also appoint a special meeting of the Committee on Bills, to facilitate the action of the party who had thus obtained leave to meet as a Presbytery.

“The meeting of Presbytery was held that night, 25th May, between 11 and 12 o’clock, and it was then agreed to ask the General Assembly to appoint assessors to the Presbytery in the Lamlash case, and to empower the Commission at any of its stated diets to dispose of any complaints and appeals which might arise in connection with the case. On the following day, at the forenoon sederunt, the petition which had apparently been passed through the Committee on Bills into the Assembly without any relative extract minute of either Kirk-Session or Presbytery, which, indeed, although asking the General Assembly to take action with a view of dividing an existing congregation, and of having a new one formed, did not pass through any of the inferior Courts, was taken up by the General Assembly, and parties were heard in support of it, although those chiefly interested, the minister and Kirk-Session of the congregation proposed to be divided, were absent, and had no knowledge of their proceedings. The main argument used at the bar of the Assembly in support of the prayer of the petition was the importance of Lamlash as ‘a place of large summer resort,’ The Assembly also took up the application of the Presbytery for Assessors, which, on recount of the extraordinary haste in these proceedings, made it necessary to have the Standing Order anent the printing of papers suspended, to allow the minute of Presbytery of the previous night to be received m manuscript. The Assembly granted the application, and appointed Rev. Dr Rainy, Rev. Dr Adam, and others, Assessors to sit and vote in the Presbytery in the Lamlash case. It does not appear, however, that any action was taken in regard to the Lamlash petition. Even the resolution of the Presbytery of 22nd April, citing the Kirk-Session of Kilbride to appear for their interests at a meeting of Presbytery to be held at Campbeltown on 12th May, which became final, when I fell from my complaint, was not, so far as appears from the printed proceedings, altered or amended. The statement in the petition, therefore, that the Presbytery, when they erected Lamlash into a mission station, were ‘ acting under a remit from the General Assembly,’ does not seem to be correct, unless by ‘remit’ the appointment of Assessors be meant. The Presbytery, along with the Assessors, having met by leave of the General Assembly in Edinburgh, on Saturday, 30th May, agreed then to meet again at Lamlash on 11th June, and to cite the Kirk-Session of Kilbride to appear for their interests at that meeting. The Kirk-Session did not appear at the bar of the Presbytery, but gave in an extract minute, in which, while still retaining the views previously expressed by them to the effect that there was no necessity for a separate station at Lamlashl and that the erection of one would, by weakening the existing congregations, prove injurious instead of beneficial to the Free Church cause in the district, they agreed to offer no opposition to the Presbytery sanctioning, should they see proper, a mission station there, the whole responsibility in the matter resting upon the Presbytery. After hearing a statement from the petitioners, the Presbytery agreed to form the district into a mission station. From this decision Mr Inglis, the elder representing the Kilbride Kirk-Session, and myself, recorded our dissent ; but we did not appeal to a higher Court. The newly erected station was placed under the charge of the Rev. Mr Johnstone—a member of the Presbytery of Greenock—one of the Assessors appointed by the General Assembly to the Presbytery of Kintyre.”

It is important in this connection to call attention to a document signed by Mr Cameron on 29th May, and given into the custody of Principal Rainy, as it figures repeatedly in the progress of the case:—

“Edinburgh, 29th May.—Mr Cameron explained that he was willing to consent to the Presbytery taking charge of Lamlash, erecting it into a station, if they see cause ; that he agrees to abandon the site, leaving it to the Presbytery or people to negotiate for the same site or a better one, promising at the same time to do nothing to hinder their obtaining it.

(Signed) “Alexander Cameron.”

It was expected that this proposed agreement, amicably arrived at, would end or tend to terminate the difficulty. But when the matter came before the Duke of Hamilton’s Commissioner, the elasticity of interpretation was subjected to the following criticism by Mr Cameron, in a letter to Dr Rainy, of date 27th August :—

“You can see from Mr Jamieson’s letter that the memorandum which you wrote in Edinburgh, on 29th May, and which I agreed to sign, has left on his mind the impression that I had proposed, and even actually arranged, to make over, so far as I could, my interest in the site given me for a preaching station at Lamlash to the Presbytery. I was certainly pressed by yourself and friends to do what Mr Jamieson thinks I did; put, as you are aware, I positively refused, because, as I stated to you, I believed that if I were to do what you wished me to do, I would be breaking faith with the Duke of Hamilton. What I agreed to was, as you knowr, to give back the site to the proprietor, and to leave him free to give it, if he thought proper, to the Station. It is clear, therefore, that your document which I signed is liable to misconstruction, and that consequently it is better for all parties that it should be withdrawn, which, as the party who signed it, I accordingly now do. It was an irregular thing from the first, for clearly you had no right to propose to me, and I had no right to agree, to sign a document of the kind without my Kirk-Session having been first consulted. I signed it, as you know, with the view of my being at once relieved of my obligations in connection with the church ordered for Lamlash; and when that purpose failed, no further use should have been made of it ; nor should it have been engrossed, as it was, in the Presbytery Record without my express sanction. But although I now formally withdraw the memorandum., [ still adhere to the resolution of the Kilbride Kirk-Session, of date 10th June, which was so highly commended by yourself and the other Assessors at the meeting of Presbytery on the following day. Of course, in agreeing to that minute, the Kirk-Session did not surrender their right to make such provision its they might consider necessary for supplying ordinances to their own members and adherents at Lamlash. This was also expressly understood when I signed your document on 29th May.”

The question of motive in the whole matter will probably with most people be somewhat set at rest by an undoubtedly genuine expression of feeling in the following communication to the Duke’s Commissioner, a most genial and learned lawyer:—

“The obligations under which I have come in regard to a church for Lamlash were undertaken entirely in the interest of the people and of the Free Church cause in the district, and were the natural and necessary result of arrangements entered into, and of responsibilities assumed, long before the petition to the Presbytery for the separation of Lamlash from Kilbride came into existence. Of the fact of these responsibilities the Presbytery was informed as early as the 20th January, when the case came first before the Presbytery. I am satisfied chat His Grace will not allow me personally to suffer in this matter. I am likewise satisfied that he will not be the less disposed to protect my interests in this matter, if he should come to know, as Mr Murray and yourself have all along known, that in negotiating for a site for Lamlash I acted as faithfully to the Free Church as I could have done if I approved as sincerely as I, for the most part, disapprove of the public policy of those who now guide her counsels.”

On the 26th of October the following note was addressed to the Moderator of the Free Presbytery of Kintyre:—

“Rev. Dear Sir,—In reference to the citation to the Kirk-Session of Kilbride to appear at a meeting of Presbytery to be held at Campbeltown to-morrow evening, to explain and defend, if it sees fit, the course it may have taken in connection with the erection at Lamlash of a building ‘alleged’ to be ‘a place of worship ’ ‘in connection with the Free Church,’ I have been instructed by the Kirk-Session to inform you that it takes nothing to do with the erection of buildings whether in connection with the Free Church or not, that being a matter which does not come within its province as an Ecclesiastical Court.—I am yours most respectfully.”

The reply was this :—

“At Campbeltown, 27th day of October, 1885, which day the Free Presbytery of Kinttyre met and was constituted.

“Inter alia,—It was moved, seconded, and unanimously agreed to:—

“1. That though neither Mr Cameron nor the Kirk-Session of Brodick appeared to answer the citation of the 13th inst., the Presbytery understood, from information furnished to them, that a place of worship is being erected at Lamlash under the direction of the Rev. A. Cameron, of Brodick, which erection has not been authorised or sanctioned by the Presbytery.

“2. That no such building can lawfully be opened for public worship in connection with the Free Church of Scotland without the sanction of this Presbytery.

“3. That the Presbytery, disapproving of the way in which this building has been proceeded with, so far as it has been disclosed or ean be gathered, hereby prohibit the opening of it for public worship.

“4. The Presbytery appoint intimation hereof to be made to the Kirk-Session of Brodick to the congregation at Lamlash, and also to His Grace the Duke of Hamilton.

“Extracted by (Signed) Alex. Macrae, P.C.”

There must have been some mistake oil misunderstanding as to the precise position of affairs at this juncture, as appears from the view taken of this deliverance by Mr Cameron, which was :—

“At a meeting of Presbytery in October a motion was agreed to ‘prohibiting the Iron Church from being opened for public worship.’ This was quite incompetent, as the building was not Free Church or denominational property.”

Accordingly, about the middle of Januaiy, 1886, the Iron Church was opened by the Rev. Dr Williamson, Aseog, Bute, who preached in the forenoon from Ephes. ii. 19 and 22, and in the evening from Rom. i. 16. The day was very unfavourable, but the attendance was most gratifying, and the collection amounted to ,£32 13s 1 Old. The structure presented an elegant appearance was most comfortable, and well lighted.

The Free Synod of Argyll met at Lochgilphead on 28th April, 1886, and took up the reference from the Presbytery of Kintyre in the Lamlash case.

It was moved and seconded—“That the case be referred simpliciter to the Assembly.” It was also moved and seconded— “That, inasmuch as the abandonment and acceptance of sites for buildings, and also questions directly affecting the erection, owner ship, and possession of property, come within the province of the Civil, rather than of the Ecclesiastical Courts, the Synod decline to interfere in this case, more especially as it appears that the building in question at Lamlash is not Free Church property, and that there is no evidence that it has been opened in connection with the Free Church denomination.” Fourteen voted for the first motion, and three for the second. From this finding Mr Cameron dissented.

In May he stated that, although no money consideration could make up for the annoyance to which he and his people had been subjected, he was yet willing to acquiesce in any reasonable terms as to a satisfactory arrangement at Lamlash. But nothing came of any overtures that may have been made on behalf of either party in the somewhat complicated case, ft is not unknown that pecuniary difficulties affecting the Iron Church began, at and after this period, to press so heavily that at one time he contemplated the necessity of selling his furniture in order to meet all obligations. But such a sad pass -was fortunately and opportunely avoided by the generous intervention of unfailing friendship.

The reference from the Synod of Argyll in the case of Lamlash came before the Assembly on Tuesday, June 1st, 1886. Mr Cameron was asked to go to the bar, but pointed out that he -was not a party in this case, as it came before the Assembly by reference from the inferior Court. When members refused to hear him in the House but at the bar, he protested strongly against his having been compelled to take the place which he then occupied, stating that that was the first time he had ever known, in all his experience of Church Courts, of such a course being followed; and he appealed to the Cheifs of Assembly whether it was not as a member of the House, instead of as a party at the bar, that he should be taking part in this case.

After parties had been heard, it was moved and seconded— “ That Mr Cameron be asked whether he had received a title to the ground at Lamlash from the Duke of Hamilton in his own name and favour?” It was also moved and seconded—“That this question be not put to Mr Cameron.” The first motion was carried by a large majority. But from this judgment Mr M'Ewan and nineteen other members dissented, because the Assembly had no right to interfere with the individual and personal rights of Mr Cameron, and because the question put to Mr Cameron involves another party, namely, the Duke of Hamilton. Two others dissented because “we are not entitled to know whether the titles be in his own name.”

To the question put, Mr Cameron replied that this was a matter in which other parties were concerned, and that he did not feel himself at liberty to answer the question without their consent. He asked for time to obtain this, and then promised to reply.

Dr Moir Porteous asked whether the Presbytery would now be willing to take over the Iron Church, provided the site could be secured, along with the consent of Mr Cameron! Mr Johnstone replied that the Presbytery could not undertake to answer the question without communicating with the local parties.

Mr John M‘Ewan, Edinburgh—Is it a fact that Mr Cameron or his Deacons’ Court has done anything to prevent the parties interested from obtaining a site?

Mr Cameron—We have done nothing whatever to prevent a site being got. The Duke of Hamilton decided that matter on his own responsibility, and after making enquiry for himself.

Professor Thomas Smith moved :—

“That the Assembly do not find that the Presbytery of Kintyre was called to interfere with Mr Cameron’s exercise of that right which appertains to all ministers of the Free Church of conducting religious services at any place within the district assigned to him ; while it is competent to the Presbytery, if they see cause, to take steps in the regular way for the disjunction of Lamlash from the congregation of Ivilhride, and for the institution of a station there.”

Mr (now Dr) Stewart, Glasgow, seconded.

Mr R. G. Balfour, Edinburgh, proposed :—

“That the General Assembly find that Lamlash has been erected into a station; that Mr Cameron has secured a site and erected a church at Lamlash, and alleges that a few families there still adhere to him; that the securing of this site and the erection of this church, which is understood to be the property of Mr Cameron, or under his control, constitute the obstacle which has rendered it impossible as yet for the station at Lamlash to obtain from the proprietor a site for a place of worship; that Mr Cameron has erected the building in question without the authority or approbation of the Presbytery, and has caused it to be opened and kept open for public worship against the prohibition of the Piesbytery :—

“The General Assembly find that Mr Cameron’s conduct has been highly censurable, and all the more so because, on the plea of caring for some persons at Lamlash still adhering to the Brodick congregation, he has inflicted a grievous wrong upon the body of the people at Lamlash adhering to the Free Church. The Assembly prohibit and discharge Mr Cameron from opening the said church for worship on the Lord’s Day, without the leave of the Presbytery, under pains of process for contumacy, &c.”

Mr Lawrie, Tulliallan, seconded.

Mr Neil Taylor, Dornoch, proposed :—

“That the General Assembly, having heard parties, and considering the peculiarities in the case, find that Mr Cameron was justified in providing a place of worship for the convenience of the adherents of the Brodick Free Church congregation residing at Lamlash, and authorise the Presbytery to take over the Iron Church, with Mr Cameron’s consent, and on the understanding that Mr Cameron be relieved of the pecuniary obligations connected with the undertaking.”

Mr Macaskill, Dingwall, seconded.

Professor Smith having withdrawn his motion, it was found that 104 had voted for Mr R. G. Balfour’s motion and 39 for Mr Taylor’s motion. From this judgment 10 members dissented.

“I. Because the motion of Mr Balfour is unnecessarily severe and stringent. 2. Because the second motion was sufficient to meet all the purposes contemplated by Mr Balfour’s motion without pain to any party.”

The last reason is very significant and far-reaching; and a nrid light is thrown upon it by this personal reference:—

“After returning home from the General Assembly, I was attacked by a sort of nervousness which completely unfitted me— although in other respects quite well—for any mental exertion— even the small amount of exertion necessary for writing letters of any importance. This feeling, the result, I believe, of the annoyance and worry to which I was subjected in Edinburgh, went off all at once when I went north to assist Mr Baillie at his Communion ; and during all the time I was there I was perfectly well. I preached seven times in five days, and on five of these occasions to very large congregations in the open air. When I reached this (Brodick) the nervous attack returned, and except on the Saturdays and Sabbaths, when I have been obliged to exert myself, I have since felt quite helpless, so far as any mental work is concerned. I am ashamed to own all this, but it explains my delay in writing you. I ought, of course, to have overcome this feeling, but it is not easy to do so. You have asked how the case of Lamlash stands since the General Assembly’s decision. That decision prevents me from using the building for public worship; nor can 1 give the use of it to any other party. I can preach to my own adherents at Lamlash in any place in the district except in the building erected by myself on the site given to me by the proprietor as a matter of personal favour. It will, therefore, be necessary for me to divest myself of the control of the building, at least for a time, so that my people may have the use of it without giving an opportunity of bringing a charge of contumacy against me.”

It was some consolation to him while thus suffering that he received a large amount of sympathy both from private sources and from the public press. To mention only two newspapers, which may be taken as representative, by way of contrast—the Scotsman and the Signal. A few sentences from the latter will suffice :—“ If the preamble was designed to give a true representation of the facts, it would have stated that Mr Cameron had received a site and had contracted for the church before the Station was erected.” “Where is it that a Free Church minister comes under obligation not to open a church or hall for public worship within his own district without the approbation of the Presbytery ” “In the preamble the Assembly say that the church is ‘understood to be the property of Mr Cameron or under his control,’ and then they prohibit him, under pain of Church censure, from opening his own property for worship on the Lord’s Day!” “He may preach anywhere about this building, and he may even enter it and preach on any day of the week except Sabbath.” “When the reference from the Synod of Argyll was stated and sustained, the Synod, of which Mr Cameron was a member, ceased to be parties, and he was entitled to deliberate and vote in the Assembly, of which he was also a member, when the case was taken up upon the merits. Instead of this, however, he was compelled to go to the bar, and was not allowed as a member of the House to speak or vote upon the case. In this way he was not only subjected to censuring and inquisitorial questions, but was deprived of his constitutional rights.”—(Moncrieff’s Manual, pp. 60-63).

On the 24th of June an authoritative proposal was submitted to Mr Cameron to take the Iron Church—the site to be included— off his hands, at a sum to be fixed by valuation. But, considering all that had taken place, it is hardly to be wondered at that he seemed to find it difficult all at once to reconcile this line of action with the interests of the members and adherents of Kilbride resident at Lamlash, not to refer to personal considerations.

On April 16th, 1887, an appeal—not without authority, and not in an unfriendly spirit—was urgently addressed to him to-come to a just and generous settlement, in view of the forthcoming meeting of the Supreme Court of the Church, to which he replied on 18th April, clearly stating his position ; and wuth this communication may fitly close the case and correspondence, as far ashe was concerned :—

“It was about half-past ten o’clock on Saturday night when I received your letter, and, therefore, I had not sufficient time to reply to it before the steamer left this morning. Besides, I would like to have more leisure to bring out more clearly (1) whether or not the General Assembly ought as a matter of simple justice, and apart altogether from any questions as to the future use of the Iron Church, to cancel the decision of last year in the Lamlash case, and (2) whether or not I have acted all along in this business, not only justly, but also generously towards the interests, which you advocate, although I have often had sufficient provocation to dispense with the generosity. These are the two main questions raised by your letter ; and the first of them may easily be decided by reference to facts and documents, with which Dr Rain! must be as well acquainted as I am, for he acted a principal part in connection with all of them, whilst a brief narrative of the actings of the Church Courts on the one hand, and of my actings on the other, in connection with this matter, will enable any unprejudiced person to form a correct opinion in regard to the second question. It is sufficient at present to say that, assuming that I am right in thinking that the decision of the Assembly has inflicted on me a grievous and cruel wrong, your proposal about taking ‘ the sting’ out of it would only have the effect of adding insult to injury, although I know very well that that is not your intention. 1 cannot therefore be a party to any proposal in regard to that decision which will not, in effect, remove every trace of it from the Records of the General Assembly.

“I find in your letter a mistake which it is necessary to correct. I did not say that the parties into whose hands, as I expect, the control of the Iron Church will soon pass, are to act for me. They will act not for me, but for themselves, and on their own responsibility. They have a material interest in the building, which entitles them to assume the control of it; but I am confident that they will deal both generously and wisely with any applications for the use of it, that may be made to them on behalf of any Free Church residents at Lamlash, who may wish to have special services there for their own benefit. I hope that this arrangement will result in giving satisfaction to all parties. When Dr Rainy called here in August, I informed him of my intention to divest myself entirely of the control of the building, and he considered that that arrangement would do, if the matter were to pass into the hands of responsible persons. Of course any parties who may have to decide on applications for the use of the building must feel that they will have to deal with a very responsible matter, although they will not be answerable to Church Courts.”

The only services held in the Iron Church after this, while it remained at Lamlash—from which it was ultimately removed to Glasgow—were one or two prayer meetings, over which, on a week day, the late Dr Smeaton of Edinburgh genially and profitably presided.

In October, 1888, Mr Cameron was beyond the pale of controversy. The subsequent steps in the conduct of the Lamlash case were not wdthout considerable intricacy and difficulty; but only a very brief summary of results can be given here—for the sake of completeness. Rev. M. P. Johnstone, Greenock, represented the Lamlash people, and the present writer conducted the case for the representatives of the late Dr Cameron. It may not be inappropriate, without attempting to cover a tithe of the ground or of the various interests involved, to give one or two extracts from a correspondence that shows how the situation was simplified. In reply to a request by a deputation from the Free Church station at Lamlash for a new site on which to build a church, the Duke of Hamilton’s Commissioner wrote on 24th July, 1889 :—

“I wish in the first instance to make it plain to you and the other adherents of the Free Church in Lamlash, that whatever views may be entertained by you and others regarding the acting of the late Dr Cameron in connection with the existing site and the Iron Church on it, His Grace would never at the time that site was given have agreed to give any site which did not in his opinion meet the wishes and requirements of the late Dr Cameron and those whom he was supposed to represent in Lamlash; and having —as the Duke has always had—a very great regard for Dr Cameron while alive, and a sincere respect for his memory now that he is dead, he will do nothing which would in the very least degree indicate a lessening of that regard or a diminution of that respect in connection with these arrangements; and the only feeling which prompts His Grace to agree to the request of the deputation on this subject is the unanimity with which, as you represented, the adherents of the Free Church in the district make a request for another site, and the Duke feels, looking to that unanimity, he can without the least reflection on Dr Cameron’s memory agree to the request, but upon the conditions I am to name.” .

(1) Refers to locality of site to be pointed out and approved.

“(2) As a preliminary to any such selection the Duke must insist that Dr Cameron’s representatives shall be relieved of all the expenses which were incurred by him in absolute good faith in connection with the existing site, and with the erection of the Iron Church upon it. His Grace feels that in making this condition he is only doing what is fair and right by the memory of the late Dr Cameron, and in the interests of his representatives, and because he is satisfied that whatever may be the views entertained by some of your body regarding Dr Cameron’s actions, he (Dr Cameron) acted in this matter, so far as His Grace is aware, in the most absolute good faith, and in the belief that he was doing the best he could for the interests of the Free Church of which he was minister. ” ,

The site offered met with warm approval and appreciation of His Grace’s kindness on the part of the people; but the condition attached was submitted to some criticism, which was answered by an intimation that the cost incurred in getting and erecting the Iron Church “may be ascertained, if a difference of opinion shall arise, by arbitration between the representatives of the late Dr Cameron and those who desire the new site.”

A Minute of Reference was then drawn up (by Mr J. A. Stuart, solicitor, Edinburgh) between the Rev. John Kennedy, on behalf of the owners of the Iron Church, and the Rev. M. P. Johnstone, on behalf of the congregation of the Free Church of Scotland at Lamlash, whereby they submitted and referred to the final decision and award of James S. Napier, Esq., Glasgow, sole arbiter, mutually chosen by them to fix and determine the value of the said Iron Church.

The arbiter’s findings were given on 5th February, 1890, fixing the present value of the Iron Church at two-thirds of the original cost—a judgment in which both parties acquiesced. It is only right and what is due here heartily to pay a high tribute for perfect fairness and frankness to the respected arbiter and to the corresponding representative.

The final stage in this protracted case was reached when, on 1st June, 1891, the General Assembly took up consideration of a petition by members of the Kirk-Session of Kilbride, Arran, and by a large number of people, representing that the decision come to in this case by the General Assembly on June 1st, 1886, involved, in a way most painful to them, the name and memory of the late Rev. Alexander Cameron, LL.D., as also their Deacons’ Court ; and requesting that the decision complained of should be rescinded, at least as far as it bore upon the office-bearers of their congregation and on the respected memory of the late Dr Cameron. I appeared in support of the petition, and briefly stated the history of the case, emphasising the desirability and necessity of granting the prayer of the petitioners.

Principal Rainy said there was no new element set before the House. He hoped Dr Cameron had not suffered appreciably in health from that judgment, but undoubtedly he felt it. He was •disposed to think that, however unable to review the judgment of 1886—it must be an exceptional case that would lead them to do that—the Assembly would be willing to come to any finding that would have a solacing effect upon the minds of those to whom the memory of Dr Cameron was dear, or who had regard for him. He accordingly moved:—“Find that no charge against any of the office-bearers was made or suggested in the judgment of 1886 which is referred to in the petition. With regard to Dr Cameron, the Assembly declines to review the judgment of 1886, but they willingly express their respect for the memory of Dr Cameron, and disclaim any desire to reflect on the motives under which he acted.”

Mr (now Dr) William Balfour, Holyrood, Edinburgh, seconded the motion, and animadverted on the harshness of the judgment of 1886, in the case of one who was doing his utmost to further the interests of his people; but he gladly acquiesced in the tribute now paid to Dr Cameron’s memory, for whom he had the greatest possible respect and regard. The motion was unanimously agreed to.

The home life of Mr Cameron was a complete contrast to the estimate formed by some of him from casual acquaintance or from rumours about his ecclesiastical contendings. Rev. Dr Goold, Edinburgh, in a time of deep bereavement, begins a letter to him thus:—

“We don’t often meet, and we sometimes do not see eye to eye, but I hope there is no lack of personal friendliness between us. In this belief I venture to trouble you with an enquiry.”

It was, like that of many others, in reference to summer quarters—a matter that he readily and gladly attended to—as he could thereby often oblige both strangers and natives.

The following note to Mrs Kennedy, Dingwall, at the time of her sorest trial—the death of her beloved husband and his dearest friend, Dr Kennedy—shows the same sympathetic and deeply-touched heart-chord :—

“I am sorry not to have been able to call, were it only to-shake hands with you, for I did not wish at present to intrude upon you, nor even to refer to your great affliction, which, notwithstanding all the sympathy that friends may show, you must long bear alone. And yet not alone; for the Master, whom he who has been taken from you so long and so faithfully served, will, I trust, be Himself with you and yours, according to His promise.”

As is well and widely known, liis hospitality hardly knew any bounds. It was a great pleasure and a literary treat for him to meet many of those who frequently called, and in this way he sometimes formed life-long friendships. He was exceptionally liberal and mindful in giving money to any who were in need; and occasionally, as often happens, some of those not the neediest or most deserving succeeded in sharing in what could not always well be spared. At all events, as he sometimes playfully remarked:—“Money does not remain long with me.” In regard to a proposed new hall at Lamlash he writes:—“I regret that in consequence of several calls of a similar kind which I have at present to meet, I cannot contribute a larger sum than one guinea, which I now enclose.

In 1887 he was busy endeavouring to secure a suitable site for a hall at Brodick mainly for prayer-meetings ; and also arranging as to a central site for a new Free Church at Corrie; but as in the case of building a new manse for personal comfort, all these long-thought of proposals were destined to be handed down to his successor—one soweth and another reapeth.

In writing to two literary and life-long friends—Rev. Mr and Mrs Auld, Olrig—under date 6th August, 1887, in connection with communion services, Mr Cameron confesses he would not like to leave Caithness without having the pleasure of seeing them, and adds—“I have not had an idle Sabbath for years, and I would enjoy one, if I shall not be in your way.” All who have had the privilege of even a brief day in the happy home and society so much appreciated by Dr Kennedy will readily acquiesce in the above estimate and prospect.

During 1888, in spring and in summer, the doctors—local and visitor—repeatedly recommended him to rest, and pressed him to remove to some retired place to recruit. But he put off from day to day in hope that when the strangers should be gone it would be easier for him to take a change. It was noted by many that he seemed to devote the summer wholly to pastoral work—writing out admirable sermons in full, and occasionally reading a large part of them from the pulpit on account of failing health. It was remarked by visitors and natives alike that he never preached more powerfully or profitably than during the last year of his life.

Probably lie felt that his opportunities of pleading with men were fast passing away, and, therefore, put all his ardour into his appeals.

On the 18tli of April the University of Edinburgh, his alma mater, conferred upon him the honorary degree of LL.D., in recognition of his great services to Celtic scholarship. It is no secret that the University of Glasgow had in view to bestow a similar honour upon him had it not been that it was anticipated by Edinburgh. Along with Mr Cameron was capped ;n old fellow student, Mr Oliver, of Dennistoun, who received the D.D. degree. Many congratulatory letters reached him on this occasion. One wrote :—"Your old friends rejoice with you in your promotion, and hope that you will long be spared and known as Dr Cameron. What a pity that you had not a lady to share the charms of it with you.” It need hardly be added that he was never married. In this he was like Immanuel Kant and many other distinguished men, who seemed to dread the possible rivalry between books and looks. Nevertheless it is scarcely regarded as the ideal life. Another remarks:—“I have very great pleasure in offering you the hearty congratulations of myself and family on your having had conferred on you by the Edinburgh University the distinguished degree of Doctor of Laws. It is extremely gratifying to us all, as it must also be to your other friends, that you should have received such a well-merited honour.” Another says —“Will you allow me to congratulate you most enthusiastically on the honour which the University of Edinburgh has conferred upon you? It must be a cause of eager gratification to every former student of yours that your work for Celtic Philology and your attainments in that department are at length officially recognised. But to one who has so long known and proved you, not only for a master, but for a true friend, it is doubly pleasing to hear of the distinction proposed to be conferred.”

One other note will suffice :—

“At Campbeltown, 27th March, 1888, which day the Free Presbytery of Kintyre met and was constituted inter alia, Mr Macquecn called the attention of the Presbytery to the fact that the degree of LL.D. had been conferred on one of their number, Mr Cameron, of Brodick, and he moved that the Presbytery express their congratulations with Mr Cameron on receiving from the most illustrious University in the kingdom its highest degree. Conscious that this brother has well earned this honour by his well-known abilities, and especially by his labours in connection with Celtic literature, they hope that he may be long spared to enjoy the distinction so honourably conferred upon him.

“The motion was seconded by Mr Mackenzie and unanimously agreed to.

“Extracted by A. Macrae, P.C.”

A melancholy and pathetic interest attaches to this kindly and appreciative record: for this was l)r Cameron’s last, and the writer's first appearance at the Presbytery. He was not destined to wear the honour long; but it was well that his ripe scholarship had received this lasting mark of recognition.

In reply to the congratulations of Dr Aird—so soon to be the venerable and honoured Moderator of the Inverness Assembly, and in answer to his desire for information about Gaelic Bibles aud Psalm-books, regarding which he is pleased to say—“No other man but yourself can tell accurately the dates,” Dr Cameron writes :—

“I beg to thank Mrs Aird and yourself very sincerely for your kind congratulations. The honour of which the Senatus of the Edinburgh University have judged me worthy, I neither sought nor expected; and I can say without any false humility that I do not consider myself to be really deserving of it. It is not for me, however, to quarrel with the opinion of the Senatus and of yourself and other friends on this point, but rather by more application to work in the future, if the Lord will be pleased to spare me for a few years longer, to endeavour to make up, to some extent, for my shortcomings in the past.

“I have to apologise for not sooner acknowledging your kind letters. The last—that of the 27th nit.—I received on Saturday last on my return home after some days’ absence ; and during the past days of this week I was very busy with work which I was anxious to get out of my hands before sitting down to acknowledge the congratulations of yourself and other friends. Your letter of the 23rd I received before leaving home to attend our Presbytery meeting in Campbeltown, and I expected that while there I might be able to get definite information in regard to the date of the publication of the first complete edition of the Synod of Argyle’s metrical translation of the Psalms. Dr Russell, one of the Established Church ministers of Campbeltown, is the Presbytery Clerk of the Synod of Argyle, and has in his custody the Synod Records. I had hoped that I might have been able to call on Dr Russell and see the Records, which contain much valuable information in regard to the efforts of the Synod to get the Scriptures and Psalms circulated among the Gaelic-speaking people. I was not, however, able to call in consequence of our sitting having-been a very lengthy one, and of my having to make some preparation for a discussion on the overture on ministerial inefficiency, which I regard as wrong in form, wrong in principle, and not fitted to serve the end which it is intended to promote] Our Presbytery, however, passed it by eight votes against four. My opposition was in vain, and I might have been more profitably employed searching the Records of the Synod of Argyle : but of course it was my duty to be in the Presbytery.

“It was astonishing that so few ministers in the Northern Presbyteries refused to conform to Episcopacy in 1882. I believe of the Established Church ministers of the present day would become Episcopal if they could; but the Presbyterian Constitution of the Church of Scotland, as contained in the Statutes of! the Scottish Parliament, prevents them.

“I do not know much about the religious history of Argyle-shire after the Revolution; but it is a very interesting subject, and well worth study. There was a Mr Donald Campbell in Kilmichael-Glassary, who was an evangelical preacher. The people were very ignorant and irreligious when he went among them. He published some sermons on the ‘Sufferings of Christ,’ which were translated into Gaelic and published before the end of last century. A second edition was published in 1800. I have the English edition and the two Gaelic editions. I have also another volume published by this Mr Campbell.

“I shall write soon again if I can get more information for you. You ought not, however, to let your own stores of valuable information in regard to the traditional religious history of the North Highlands die with yourself.—With kindest regards, I am, yours sincerely, “Alexander Cameron.

“Brodick, 9th April.”

In a letter dated Brodick, 17th March, 188S, addressed to Dr Aird, and referred to in the last, Dr Cameron gives a great deal of valuable information about Gaelic books, that ought to be remembered. He says:—

“I am sorry that I have been so long without replying to your esteemed letter of 12th inst. I was at Lenimore on Sabbath introducing Mr Kennedy to his people there ; and having had to go to Edinburgh on Monday, I did not get home until yesterday afternoon.

“The ‘Caogad,’ or first fifty Psalms, put into metre by the Synod of Argyle, was published in 1G59. The Synod did not complete its metrical version until 1694, but I do not know whether or not the completed version was published in that year. Reid, in his ‘Bibliotheca Scoto-Celtica,’ says that the first completed edition was published in that year, but that he had never been able to meet with it. The first completed edition of the Synod of Argyle’s version that I have seen was published in 1702. This is also the oldest edition Reid had seen. It has the 3rd edition of the Shorter Catechism (same date) bound up with it, the 2nd edition (1659) having been published with the ‘Caogad.’ One would think that if the Synod of Argyle’s completed version was published in 1694, the 3rd edition of the Shorter Catechism would be published along with it, whereas the 3rd edition was not published until 1702. according to the title-page of the edition published in that year.

“The next oldest edition of the Synod of Argyle’s version that I have got was published in 1738, with which the 6th edition of the Catechism is bound up. Between the edition of 1702 and that of 1738, two editions were published, one in 1715 and the other in 1729.

“A metrical version of the whole Psalms, by Mr Robert Kirke, minister at Balquhidder, was published in 1684, but there never was a second edition. It does not appear to have been much used. I have the ‘Viogad’ and also Kirke’s Psalter, but they are very scarce.

“The date of the first edition of the Shorter Catechism is not known. The second edition, as I have stated, was published in 1659.

“The first edition of the New Testament into Scottish Gaelic was not published until 1767. It was prepared by Dr James Stewart, minister of Killin. The first edition of the Old Testament was published in four parts, and It different times. The 1st part, containing the Pentateuch, was published in 1783; the 4th part, containing the Prophets, in 1786; the 2nd part, containing Joshua to the end of 1st- Chronicles, in 1787; and the 3rd part, containing 2nd Chronicles to the end of Song of Solomon, in 1801. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd parts were prepared by Dr John Stewart, minister of Luss, and son of Dr James Stewart, and the 4th part by Dr John Smith, of Campbeltown.

“The Old Testament, translated into Irish by Bishop Bedel, was published in London in 1685. Some 200 copies were sent to Scotland for use in the Highlands. The Irish New Testament was published in 1603, and a second edition, prepared by Bishop O’Donnell, was published in 1681. A copy of this edition is bound up with my copy of Bedel’s Old Testament. The volume belonged to the late Marquis of Breadalbane, at the sale of whose library I purchased it.

“In 1690 Bedel’s Old Testament and O’Donnell’s Ne«v Testament were published in London in one volume, in the Roman character, for the use of the Highlanders of Scotland. There were also copies of the Testament bound separately. Mr Robert Kirke, of Balquhidder, was the means of procuring this boon to the Scottish Highlanders; and hence this edition is usually called after him, ‘Kirke’s Bible.’ Another edition of the Irish New Testament, in the Roman character, for the use of the Scottish Highlanders, was published in 1754. The publisher was John Orr, a bookseller in Glasgow.

“The publication of Kirke’s Bible in 1690, and the reprint of the New Testament in 1754, both in Irish Gaelic although not, like Bedel’s Bible, in the Irish character, were the only steps taken to make the Scriptures available for our Highland countrymen previous to the publication of the New Testament in Scottish Gaelic in 1767—a little over a century ago.

“I hope that these hurried notes will be found to supply the information you wish to get. 1 need not say that I shall be delighted to give any further information that I may possess and that may in the least interest you.”

These letters read like Mr E. Gosse’s “Gossip in a Library”— only Dr Cameron’s is a Gaelic library, but not the less interesting-on that account.

He struggled on through the summer and autumn months, working excessively hard, paying pastoral visits to his people, and regularly calling for the strangers. He did not seem to have secured as many ministers on holiday to take a sermon for him as he was wont to do, for he was almost proverbially successful in persuading reluctant preachers to go to the pulpit for an hour At last, in the early days of October, when he could no longer fight against growing weakness and the rapid advance of several diseases that affected heart, liver, and latterly, lungs, he agreed to go to Strathpeffer; but he was under promise, at the same time, to assist the late Mr Baillie, Gairloch, at his communion, and hoped against hope that he would be able to fulfil his engagement. He only, however, succeeded in arriving at the hospitable home of his old and most kind friend, Mrs Fullarton, Woodside Place, Glasgow—now in her hundred and first year—when violent bleeding at the nose set in, and he was quite prostrated. Only at this juncture did he allow his Gairloch appointment to be telegraphically cancelled; and he managed, with great difficulty, to go through to Edinburgh, where he was at once laid up in Holyrood Manse, under the hospitable roof and genial care of his unfailing and ungrudgingly kind friend, Rev. Dr William Balfour. Here he lingered for several weeks, battling against overwhelming odds, but brave and patient throughout all his trying illness. He had the very best medical advice from Dr George Balfour and Dr T. A. G. Balfour, George Square, who were unremittting in their attendance and kindness. He received visits from many sympathetic and sorrow-stricken friends, who had a few months before hoped and prayed that he might be spared for many years to continue and crown his life-work: but it was otherwise ordained, and he unmurmuring! acquiesced in the will of God. He was nursed assiduously and admirably, under the superintendence of Miss Balfour, by one of her servants, and by his own housekeeper, Miss Jane Currie, who was called to Edinburgh when it became evident that he could never see his much-loved home and people at Brodick. He had also the careful attention and unwearied assistance of Rev. J. Iv. Cameron—who succeeded him in the pastorate at Brodick—during the last three weeks of his heavy trouble; and, being an eye-witness of the closing days of Dr Cameron’s life, he kindly supplied the following touching account:—

“The worth of a man, and the nature of the Christian profession, are always more or less tested on a sick bed, especially when the hope of recovery gradually lessens at the apparent approach of death. The triumphs of faith in such circumstances as these are often very remarkable. To those who were favoured with a measure of the confidence of, and whose painful lot it was to see the late Dr Cameron during the three weeks of suffering, in Edinburgh, which terminated in his lamented death, it was very apparent that his was no mere profession which could not stand in the hour of trial. To a remarkable degree it was seen that it was the man who lived that was there contending with death and the realities of eternity. His patient suffering, and whatever few remarks his painful suffering permitted him to utter, bore ample testimony to the fact.

“For several days he clung to a very strong hope of recovery, but it weakened with a gradual sinking of body under his disease. Notwithstanding all the aid that medical friends did render him, his condition from the first appeared to his friends to be very critical, yet he himself for some time failed to realise that it was so much so. This helped to strengthen his hope of eventually overcoming the disease, at least in a measure. Proof of how little he realised his true condition was afforded by the fact that he proposed to leave Edinburgh on the following morning after his arrival there for to proceed to Gairloeh, in the vest of Ross-shire; which is reached by train to Auchnasheen on the Dingwall and Skye Railway, and thence by coach for a distance of thirty miles. He was to have assisted at the Gairloch Communion services. He intended thereafter to return to the favourite Spa of Strathpeffer, and there lest for some weeks. He had a strong personal desire to be at Gairloeh because of how refreshing the Communion gatherings there, on previous occasions, proved to his own soul. His services, too, were always in request in the north of Scotland, where he was very much appreciated by the Lord’s people as a preacher of the Gospel. It was, however, his promise, given some time previously, to be there which most determined his purpose.

“His ministry at Brodick was not without peculiar trials and difficulties, but the people of his congregation had always a warm place in his heart. They were much on his mind during his last illness; and he desired much, if it were the Lord’s will, to be restored to such a measure of health as that he would be able to go back to work again among them. He left Brodick immediately after the close of a busy summer season; and on account of the many visitors who frequent the place, representing! as they do, so many different classes of society and so many parts of the country, the importance of the place deeply impressed itself upon him, because of the opportunity that is there afforded to a preacher to preach the Gospel to so many of his fellow men. Indeed, the whole interests of the congregation continued to the end to hold a place in his thoughts second only to his own spiritual welfare. Even the night before he died, when he began to calmly put his house in order, his Communion at Brodick was the first thing he arranged for. However strongly, however, he expressed a desire to remain to work among his people, he always beautifully joined with such a desire a strongly expressed prayer for the grace of resignation to whatever the will of the Lord might be towards him.

“His estimate of his own work in the ministry was very low. During his last illness lie dwelt much upon himself as an unprofitable servant. Indeed, to himself that work almost seemed a failure, though there is much testimony to its having been otherwise. However low his estimate was, yet his heart was in the work, and he greatly appreciated all scriptural efforts made by others in it. To many it seemed strange that he should have given so much of his time and talent to the prosecution of his Celtic studies rather than to the real work of the ministry. From his own lips there was the testimony that this was not due to any want of love for the one, or entirely due to his love for the other. However strong his love of Celtic scholarship may have been, it was the desire of doing some service for the benefit of others that caused him to prosecute his studies with such devotion.

“A zeal for the honour of Christ characterised all his work in the Church. And, when he was called upon either in or out of Church Courts to stand in defence of Christ’s honour, he did so fearlessly. The spirit which ruled in him in such matters became apparent during his illness in a conversation which he had with two of his city brethren. Their conversation at one point turned tipon the supply for his pulpit at Brodick. He mentioned one man by name whose preaching met with a measure of acceptance by his people. One of his brethren jocularly asked him whether he were jealous of such a man. He replied in all earnestness that he considered himself honest in saying that he was jealous of no man who might become popular through his truly preaching the Gospel, but that he was jealous of men who became popular whom he knew did not truly preach the Gospel.

“Throughout his illness he appeared to maintain his professed reliance on the merit of the atoning death of Christ; yet his few last weeks of sickness had not for him a cloudless sky. He had his mental strife, and no presumptuous delusion could bring peace to his troubled spirit. Only true peace could satisfy a soul exercised as his then was. An intimate friend called one day to see him, but on account of the weak state in which he found Dr Cameron at the time, he said very little to him. When, however, he rose to leave him, he said :—‘ There remaineth a rest for the people of God.’ ‘Yes,’ replied Dr Cameron, ‘that is true, but it is one thing to speak of it, and one thing even to preach of it, but I can assure you from experience that it is a different thing to make personal application of it.’

“On another occasion he was greatly awed with the thought of eternity, which he saw about to break upon him ; and the solemnity with which he three times in succession uttered the word eternity, is not to be soon forgotten by those who heard him.

“It was well that it was not all darkness. He retained in his illness much of his wonted reticence, yet it was apparent that there was light at times penetrating the darkness, and that he had moments of true joy in the midst of his sufferings. Some such moments as these were enjoyed by him from the visits of the late godly Dr Smeaton, whose prayers were very refreshing to him.

“Towards the close he as much desired to be away as he at first desired to remain. The time seemed long till he should pass in to be with his Saviour.

“The last attempt he made to speak was a few hours before his death, but what he said could not be heard. Thereafter he became unconscious; and after a few hours in this state, he peacefully fell asleep.”

The congregation for whose welfare he felt so anxious on his •death-bed were not unmindful of him, and showed their continued attachment by subscribing a sum of £40, with which they intended to present him on his home-coming if he should recover. But when it became evident that the end was approaching, Mr John Hastings, Lamlash, one of the elders, and a most faithful and attached friend to Dr Cameron, was requested to convey the people’s kindliest wishes, and take £20 to him in Edinburgh—a parting gift which the dying pastor pathetically and thankfully received. This was not unlike the spontaneous action of the Metropolitan Tabernacle flock who, the other day, subscribed £700 for the comfort of one of the world’s greatest preachers. The result proved similar in both cases. Neither preacher returned to enjoy the gift, but passed to the enjoyment of an eternal reward.

On Wednesday morning, the 24th of October, Dr Cameron rallied considerably and seemed much better, and was pleased that another day had dawned after a restless night. He then spoke of a fairer world and a brighter light that knew no night where the Inhabitant shall never say, I am sick. He rested composedly and conversed occasionally until mid-day, after which he spoke little, and towards evening he fell into a deep slumber which ended, as already stated, peacefully in the sleep of the just about nine o’clock.

Many letters of sympathy and condolence were received from men representing many different views of thought and life, but all alike anxious to bear witness to the ability, kindliness, spirituality, and influence of one whose work was widely appreciated, and whose memory will long be held dear. The suddenness of his death—as far as the outer world was concerned—elicited an immediate testimony to the sense of profound loss sustained.

He retained unaltered his great affection for his old home in the North, where he is survived by his younger brother ; but his last wish was to be buried at Kilbride, Lamlash, near the scene of his latest labours—a touching and final proof that he loved Arran well. The remains were removed to Brodick; and many came to take a farewell look of the pale but placid face. On Monday, 29th October, the funeral took place, attended by a great assemblage of sorrowing friends from distant quarters as well as from all parts of the Island.

A handsome granite monument marks his grave, and bears the following inscription :—

Erected by the Free Church Congregation of Kilbride, Relatives, and Friends,
To the memory of the Rev. Alexander Cameron, LL.D.,
Born July 14 th, 1827 ; Died October 24th, 1888.
Free Church Minister of Renton, 1859-1874, and of Kilbride, 1874-1888.

A man of undoubted piety; an able minister of the Gospel; an earnest defender of Reformation principles; a theologian of no mean attainments; the most eminent Scottish Celtic scholar of his day.

Do ghuth cho caoin ri clarsaich thall
An talla Thiira nan corn hall.
I)’ fhocal taitneach mar an druchd
’Tlmiteas ciiun air raoin nan sliabh,
N uair a bhriseas a’ ghrian o mhiiig.
—Fionnghal, Duan v., 468-72.


Aoidheil agus a’ gnathachadh aoidlieachd.
Gath soluis do’n am nach 'eil beo.


Thy voice is sweet as yonder harp
In Tara’s hall of generous bowls.
Thy word is pleasant as the dew
Which gently falls on mountain-plains,
When breaks the sun athwart the gloom.
Affable and given to hospitality.
A ray of light to the time that is gone.

It is appropriate and interesting to add that Dr Cameron’s splendid and valuable library, containing nearly 5000 volumes, chiefly Celtic, was bought by Sir William Mackinnon, Bart., Balinakill, for £600, and presented as the “ Camei’on Collection” to the University of Edinburgh, where it is conveniently located in a separate room. This mode of disposing of it was what Dr Cameron desired, though he hardly knew how it could be accomplished; for he hoped that the books, which cost him so much time and money to collect, would not, if possible, be scattered. It is highly satisfactory to find that his wish has been so perfectly realised. It is also due to the Duke of Hamilton to state that his Grace spontaneously offered the same sum for the same books, and readily acquiesced in the above purchase.

On Tuesday, 8th January, 1889, the Free Presbytery of Kintyre met and “put on record an expression of their sense of the loss they have sustained by the death of their brother, Dr Cameron. While he differed from the majority of his brethren in many of his ecclesiastical views and positions, they cannot but express their appreciation of his earnest piety and his ripe scholarship, especially in the department of Celtic philosophy. Having clear convictions, he held them firmly and advocated them with courage, at the same time maintaining, as all who knew him intimately arc ready to testify, a deserved reputation for genial friendliness and hospitality. The Presbytery, with much sorrow call to remembrance, while now taking notice of their brother’s decease, that so short a time has elapsed since they had occasion to congratulate him on receiving the well-earned honour of Doctor of Laws, and they regret that he has been taken away in the middle of his work, and while he had in hand important literary efforts, the completion of which would have been a great boon to Celtic students.”

Emerson says—“This is what we call character—a reserved force which acts directly by presence and without means.” “Half his strength he put not forth.” “Somewhat is possible of resistance, and of persistence, and of creation, to this power, which will foil all emulation.” “Greatness appeals to the future.” That being so, this chapter may fitly close with the following estimate of Dr Cameron’s character by one who knew him long and well— the Rev. Hugh Macmillan, D.D., LL.D. :—

“Dr Cameron and I were fellow-students in the Divinity Hall of the Free Church College of Edinburgh for four sessions from 1852 to 1856. We sat on contiguous benches, and had frequent opportunities before and after the meetings of the classes of exchanging words with each other. What struck me specially in these days was his great earnestness and quiet thoughtfulness He did not take a prominent part in the work of the classes, nor obtrude himself much upon the notice of his fellow-students. He was shy and self-contained, and seemed to shrink into himself at the approach of any one with whom he was not familiar. But he made a most creditable appearance in all the oral and written examinations, and earned the high respect and esteem of his professors and his compeers. While those who had the privilege of his friendship saw beneath his constitutional shyness and reserve a force of character, a warm and generous nature, a mind of fresh and vivid power, and a capability of devotion to any cause he espoused, that were all the more concentrated and persistent that he was reluctant to give outward expression to them, I was not one of those who were admitted into the inner circle of his friends. He was for one thing older than I was ; and perhaps I was more attracted in my youth by a frank enthusiastic nature than by one whose excellencies were not on the surface but required to be brought out, like precious metal dug up from the depths. But my heart warmed to him on account of the many good qualities which I could not help knowing he possessed and showed, and very specially on account of the dear old mother tongue which we spoke together as often as opportunity offered Even at that time he impressed me greatly with his extensive knowledge of Celtic literature and philology. He gave me glimpses into the wonderful beauty and expressiveness of the language which filled me at once with admiration and surprise. After our college curriculum was finished, we parted ; and we met but seldom, owing to the wide distances between our respective spheres of labour. But I was always glad to see him ; for his conversations on his own favourite topic of Celtic lore, and also on other subjects of more general interest, were invariably most interesting and instructive, and left me richer in the possession of a new thought or a new way of regarding an old thought. I knew 110 one who had such power as he possessed of clearing up some doubtful or obscure question of philology, by the side-lights which he threw upon it, from his studies of comparative language He had a wonderful power of linguistic analysis ; an extraordinary patience and skill in hunting out words and idioms or facts to their remotest origins. He was admirably qualified to make the study of the Beltic group of kindred languages a thoroughly scientific pursuit. The literary remains which he has left behind give abundant evidence of his vast and varied and exact scholarship. And we feel that in him we have lost one who would, had he been spared to labour longer, have shed a new halo of interest and significance round the language and literature of his native Highlands. He did much valuable work in his life time, cut off prematurely, we cannot but think, at a time when his mind was ripest and most capable of arranging and utilising its great stcres of erudition. But we feel sadly that he might perhaps have done more even within the limits of his life-time, had he not unfortunately, as we all have more or less, the defects of his qualities, and the constitutional dreaminess and want of practicality which seems to belong to the Celtic temperament, and is ever, indeed, one of the concomitants and proofs of genius. He could not have found it easy, with his methodical habits, and the very varied and arduous duties that he had to perform as a minister and a pastor in important churches, to find time and energy to carry on his own favourite leisure pursuits. It was astonishing, indeed, that he was able to finish an amount of work which must have required the greatest labour and concentration of mind. We are grateful for the valuable monument of learning he has erected ; but we cannot but regard it as we do the Torso of the Vatican, as a noble relic of what he might and could have finished.”

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