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Darling Memorial Sketch Book

Minutes and Letters of Sympathy.
Broughton Place United Presbyterian Church, Edinburgh.
Church Offices, 20th October 1890.

The Monthly Meeting of Session was held this evening at 7.30, and was constituted by the Rev. John Smith, Moderator.

Inter alia,—The Session having received intimation of the death of Mr James Darling, agreed to place on record their deep sense of the great loss sustained by them, in the removal from their midst of one so energetic in labour for the Master, and so generally beloved. They fondly recall the many Christian graces which adorned the character of their departed brother; his warm and self-sacrificing philanthropic spirit; his joy in service, especially among the poor, the afflicted, and the young; his strong sympathy with social reform; his eager usefulness in evangelistic work; his readiness to undertake the most unwelcome tasks for the good of the Church and the glory of Christ; and the brotherliness of disposition which endeared him to all who were associated with him in the oversight of the congregation. They deeply sympathise with the bereaved widow and family, and pray that they may receive the abundant consolation of Divine grace. The Clerk was instructed to send excerpt of this minute to Mrs Darling and family, with the kind regards and sympathy of the Session.

Extracted from Minutes of Session of Broughton Place Church.

Alex. White, Session Clerk.
Broughton Place Band of Hope.
Meeting of Committee, 19th November 1890.


The Committee of the Band of Hope record with deep regret the loss sustained through the death of Mr 'James Darling, on 17th October.

Mr Darling was one of the founders of the Band of Hope in Broughton Place, and it was meet that when it was formed he should be elected one of its Vice-Presidents. In its progress he took the warmest interest, and its success was no doubt helped considerably by his hearty co-operation and support. The increasing number of members from session to session seemed to cheer his heart: and when it was found desirable to form a Senior Section, he rejoiced in this new departure. His readiness to help in every way available was most marked, and the recollection of his kindly smile and cheery word will long be cherished by young and old alike.

The Committee recall with satisfaction the many meetings in which he took part, but more especially the happy occasion, two years ago, on which, with many friends, they celebrated together his Jubilee as a total abstainer. In the removal of Mr Darling, they feel that they have lost a friend indeed; and his example, as an earnest and devoted worker in the total abstinence cause, they trust will prove a stimulus and encouragement to them.

They unite in expressing their deep sympathy with the family, who have thus been bereaved,—and their prayer is, that the God whom he delighted to serve may comfort and sustain them.

Carrubber's Close Mission.
Edinburgh, October 1890. Extract from Minutes.

By the departure from among us of Mr James Darling, one of our Directors, a loss has fallen upon the Mission, and upon the city, of no ordinary kind.

He was a man who was so singularly transparent and unassuming, that he could without difficulty be "known and read of all men." His faith was of that simple character which ensures admission to the kingdom; while the lowly service which he was ever ready to render to the least of Christ's brethren, was of that kind which paves the way to true greatness in that kingdom. His well-known figure will be greatly missed in evangelistic and other meetings, where he seemed to charge himself with getting every one comfortably seated, while he himself was content to stand or sit down in some obscure corner.

Now he has received the call from the Master to "Come up higher."

He manifested the most disinterested concern in helping forward many enterprises with which he might be supposed to have nothing to do, thereby exemplifying the manner in which might be fulfilled the Apostle's exhortation, "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others." He made himself the friend of all, and the servant of all. The practice which he regularly observed of conducting family worship in his Hotel drawing-room, and the manner in which that service was performed by him, has made the visit to his house a memorable one to many. One who had passed a night in the Hotel, alluding to this practice, aptly remarked that Mr Darling truly "made room for Christ in the inn." The Hotel was a kind of Christian club, to which eminent Christian workers from all parts of our own and other lands found their way. There many a "plan of campaign" against the drink curse, and other forces of evil in the city, were devised. He engaged the interest, the pecuniary support, and the active co-operation of his visitors in aid of this Mission, the Drill Hall Free Breakfast, and other religious agencies. The blessing to this community which accompanied the addresses of those speakers who lodged in his Hotel, and whom he introduced to various meetings in the city, cannot possibly be estimated.

Servant of God, well done!
Rest from thy loved employ;
The battle fought, the victory won,
Enter thy Master's joy.

The following Resolution was unanimously passed at the Gospel-Temperance Demonstration held in Carrubbers Close Mission, on Saturday, 18th October 1890, and at which there was an attendance of about fifteen hundred:

"This Gospel-Temperance gathering, representing friends of the Gospel and of Gospel-temperance, belonging to all evangelical denominations in the city of Edinburgh, learns with deep regret of the death of Mr James Darling, and desires to convey to Mrs Darling and family the sincere expression of their sympathy with them in their severe loss.

"This meeting recalls the great services Mr Darling rendered to the cause of Christ and to the Temperance Reformation, and further remembers the hearty and disinterested work he has long accomplished in connection with the Carrubbers Close Mission. Mr Darling's death is a severe loss to our Mission, and will make a great blank in Christian circles in Edinburgh, where he was universally respected and loved.

"It is a sad thought that never more on this side of Time will his happy smile and devoted life be brought into personal contact with the victims of our downgrade, who were his special care; but the very recollection of what he was, will inspire fresh hope and zeal in the hearts of his fellow-labourers who remain, and who will feel his removal laying a special obligation upon them to devote themselves more and more to the work he had so much at heart."

Signed in name of meeting,

T. R. Marshall, President. G. A. Barclay, Vice-President.

Edinburgh Band of Hope Union.
5 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, 22nd October 1890.

Excerpt from the Minutes of Meeting of Directors of the Edinburgh Band of Hope Union, held here on Tuesday, 21st October 1890.

On this the first meeting of the Edinburgh Band of Hope Union Directorate after the death of Mr James Darling, one of their number, the Directors desire to place on record the high esteem which they entertained for him, the sorrow with which they have heard of his death, and the sympathy which they feel for his bereaved family.

Quiet, humble, and unostentatious, but earnest and laborious, Mr Darling early threw himself into the Band of Hope movement, bore it up in prayer, supported it by contributions, and helped to carry it on by his personal exertions.

Never can his brother-workers forget him; lovingly will they cherish the memory of his unwearied co-operation: and long will they miss his kindly help, his wise advice, and his godly influence.

W. G. Bruce, Secy.

Edinburgh Parochial Board.

Excerpt Minute of Monthly Meeting of the Parochial Board of Edinburgh, held within the Board Room, 2 Forrest Road, on Monday, the 20th October 1890.

William Officer, Esq., S.S.C., in the chair.

Inter alia,—The Chairman stated that it was with deep regret he had to announce the death of one of their number, Mr James Darling, who had been connected with them for the past four years, during which time they had ample opportunity of observing the earnest manner in which he advocated the interests of the poor. He therefore moved that the Board record their appreciation of Mr Darling's services to the parish, their deep sense of the loss which they have sustained by his decease, and their sympathy with his bereaved widow and family,— which was agreed to, and the Inspector was instructed to send an excerpt of this Minute to Mrs Darling.—A true excerpt.

G. Greig, Insp.

Edinburgh Total Abstinence Society.
Committee Rooms, 52 Nicolson Street Edinburgh. 21st October 1890.

Dear Sir,

May I be allowed, in the name of our Committee, to convey to yourself and the members of the late Mr Darling's family, their deep sympathy with you in your bereavement. Mr Darling for many years was a real supporter of temperance work and our Society, and as such his way-going has left another blank to fill up with kindred devoted life. The past few weeks have been a harvesting time of the old and tried heroes of the temperance movement, and it is a blessed comfort to know that beyond the silent valley, and up the sunny slopes of the mountain of the Lord, there can follow the love of those who have been blessed by his example and strengthened by his kindly aid. Accept our deepest sympathy and regard.

I remain,

Your faithful Servant,

William Todd, Secy. Dr Darling.

Besides the above Minutes from Public Bodies, Mrs Darling and Family have received nearly five hundred letters of sympathy from friends in this and other countries, which they wish gratefully to acknowledge. Only one of these can be given here, along with a tribute of regard from the Servants at the Regent Hotel.

Scottish Temperance League.
108 Hope Street, Glasgow, 31st October 1890.

Dear Mrs Darling,

It was with very deep regret that I received intimation of the death of your dear husband and my dear friend of thirty-four years' standing, and I was very sorry that I could not be present at his funeral. I had a very warm regard for Mr Darling. I first visited Dalkeith on the 4th of September 1856—thirty-four years ago. I stayed in your hotel, and I shall never forget the great kindness that I received from yourself and him on that occasion. On the following day he spent some hours in introducing me to all the members of the League in the town. During the time that you were at St Andrews I stayed several times in your hotel. I have often stayed with you since you came to Edinburgh, and the kindness which I received from you at the first has not only been sustained, but has abounded more and more. Mr Darling was one of the best and most lovable of men. I look back with a melancholy satisfaction upon the hours spent in his company, and esteem it a great privilege to have enjoyed his friendship. I thank God for all that he was as the head of his family, as the head of his hotel, as a friend, as a temperance reformer, as a philanthropist, as a Christian, as an office-bearer in the Christian Church, and as a Christian worker.

He will be greatly missed in all these circles; I shall miss him much; but he will be missed most of all at his own fireside by you and your dear family, by whom he was best known and most deeply loved. You have the

great consolation that the parting is not final, but only for a little. He has only gone home by an earlier train, and in due time we shall follow and meet him again to part no more.

Dear Mrs Darling, I hope that you and your dear family will all be comforted and sustained under your great bereavement by the hopes and consolations of the glorious Gospel. I hope yourself and family are all keeping well.

With deepest sympathy and warm regards,

I am,


Yours faithfully,

Wm. Johnston, Secy.

From the Hotel Servants.
Regent Hotel, 11th April 1891.

Dear Mrs Darling,

Hearing that a memoir of your late esteemed husband is about to be published, we, as representatives of your servants, take this opportunity of paying our humble but sincere tribute to his memory. We, more than most, have cause to lament his death, for he was a master such as we are not likely to find again. He made the welfare and happiness of his servants his especial care, and though master he was ever ready to lend a helping hand. He was no task-master, but rather a kind and sympathetic friend, who stood to us in the relation of a parent rather than of a master. This was especially the case when any of us were laid on beds of sickness. At such a time his kindness and care were very acceptable to those who were far removed from their own homes and parents.

When we gathered round the family altar all distinctions were for the time abolished, and we felt that we were worshipping God in deed and in truth. Many of us will never forget the many lessons learned, and the many happy and hallowed hours spent there. All the servants join us in expressing their sorrow at your great loss, and in hoping that God will comfort you and all your family.

Again we thank you all for all past kindnesses, which we have ever appreciated.

We remain, Madam,

Your obedient Servants,

James Whitehead. John Macgregor.

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