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Memoir of Norman MacLeod, D.D

IN 1857 he began to hold evening services for the poor, to which none were admitted except in their everyday working clothes. The success of a similar experiment, made many years before in Loudoun, encouraged him to make this attempt in Glasgow, in the hope of reaching some of those who, from poverty or other causes, had fallen away from all church attendance. For the first winter, these services were held in the Martyrs' church, which was filled every Sabbath evening by the very people he wished to get; the following year they were transferred to the Barony, where they were continued till a mission church was built. It may be safely asserted that this work gave him more interest than any other he ever undertook; and that he never addressed any audience with greater effect than that which he gathered from "the streets and lanes of the city." The pews were filled with men in their fustian jackets and with poor women, bareheaded, or with an old shawl drawn over the head, and dressed most of them in short-gown and petticoat. Unkempt heads, faces begrimed with labour, and mothers with infants in their arms, gave a strange character to the scene. The police sometimes reported that several well-known thieves were present. But, however large and various the audience might be, he seemed to hold the key to every heart and conscience ; and so riveted was the attention he secured, that not unfrequently an involuntary exclamation of surprise or sympathy would pass from lip to lip over the crowd. The following description of one of these evenings in the Barony is taken from an English newspaper:—

"I found I would not be admitted except I was dressed as a working man. The uniform of a dragoon was offered and accepted, but on second thoughts I preferred the cast-off working-dress of a coach-builder—a dirty coat, a dirty white flannel vest, striped shirt, red cravat, and Glengarry bonnet. Thus attired, I stood waiting among the crowd of poor men and women that were shivering at the gate biding the time. Many of these Women were very old and very frail. The night being excessively cold, the most of them had the skirts of their gowns tucked over their heads. Not a few of them had a deep asthmatic wheezel, most distressing to hear. Poor souls! they were earnestly talking about the Doctor and his sayings. I conversed with several working men who had attended all the series from the first, three or four years back. I asked one man if they were all Scotch who attended? He said, 'All nations go and hear the Doctor.' Another said, 'Highland Scotch and Lowland Scotch, and English and Irish,—in fact, a' kind o' folks come to the Doctor on Sabbath nichts.' 'A body-likes the Doctor,' said another. One man, a labourer, I think, in a foundry, said, 'He kent great lots o' folk that's been blessed by the Doctor, baith Scotch and Irish. I ken an Irish Catholic that wrought wi' me, o' the name o' Boyd, and he came ae nicht out o' curiosity, and he was converted afore he raise from his seat, and he's a staunch Protestant to this day, every bit o' 'im, though his father and mother, and a' his folks, are sair against him for 't.'

"On the door being opened, a sudden rush took place in that direction, I found a posse of elders stationed as a board of inspection, closely examining old and young, male and female, and turning back all who had any signs of respectability. All hats and bonnets were excluded. My courage almost failed me, but as I had from boyhood been in the habit of doing what I could among the poor, and being so bent on ascertaining the 'way' of the Doctor with that class, I resolved to make the effort. My weakness arose from the fear of detection by any of the elders I spoke to in the forenoon. Pulling my hair down over my brow, and, in the most slovenly manner possible, wiping my nose with the sleeve of my coat, I pushed my way up to the board, and ' passed.' I found that none of the seat cushions, black, red, green, or blue, were removed; no, nor the pew Bibles or Psalm books, a plain proof that, by the test of several years, the poor of the closes and wynds could be trusted. The contrast between the forenoon and evening congregations in point of appearance was very great and striking; but in regard to order and decorum there was no difference whatever. When the time was up, a little boy was seen leading a blind man along the aisle towards the pulpit. On the boy placing the blind man in the precentor's desk, a poor man sitting next to me nudged me on the elbow, and asked,' Is that the man that's to preech till 's?' 'Oh, no!' said I. 'You'll see the Doctor immediately.' 'But surely,' says he, 'that canna be the regular precentor?' 'Oh, no!' said I. 'This man, I suspect, is the precentor for us poor folks.' Here the Doctor—stout, tall, and burly—was seen ascending the pulpit stairs. He began by prayer. He then gave out the 130th Psalm for praise. Before singing, he commented at great length on the character and spirit of the Psalm, dwelling very fully on the first line, ' Lord, from the depths to thee I cried!' Nothing could have been better adapted for his auditory than the Doctor's consolatory exposition of that Psalm. The precentor by this time had got very uneasy, and had several times struck his pitchfork, and was ready to start, but the Doctor, being so full, and having still this, that, and the other thing to say, he could not commence. At last, the Doctor looking kindly clown upon him, said, 'You'll rise now, Peter, and begin.' He rose, and began. He, tracing the lines with his fingers on his ponderous Psalm book of raised letters, 'gave out the lines,' two at a time. It was a most gratifying spectacle, and said much for the advance of Christian civilization. The Doctor next read the first chapter of the first epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians. The commentary on the chapter was most strikingly effective in point of consolatory and practical application to the condition of his auditory. In referring to the mother and grandmother of Timothy, he made a grand stand for character, which made the poor man next to me strike the floor several times with his feet by way of testifying his approbation. Had the Doctor's remarks on the subject been delivered from a platform, they would have elicited thunders of applause. He said the most valuable thing Prince Albert left was character. [This description was written in 1861.] He knew perfectly well that very many very poor people thought that it was impossible for them to have a character. It was not true; he would not hear of it. There was not a man nor a woman before him, however poor they might be, but had it in their power, by the grace of God, to leave behind them the grandest thing on earth, character; and their children may rise up after them, and thank God that their mother was a pious woman, or their father a pious man. The text selected was 1 Timothy vi. 12—14. The discourse was very plain, explicit, pointed, and amply illustrated, as by one who knew all the ' outs and ins,' difficulties and trials of the people before him, and they listened with breathless attention, and appeared to drink in all he said, as indeed,' good words ' for them. Some of the children-in-arms sometimes broke the silence by their prattle or their screams, but the doctor, though uncommonly sensitive, never appeared the least put about."

The results of these services were remarkable. Many hundreds were reclaimed from lawless habits, some of the more ignorant were educated, and a large number became communicants. There was a nobility of character displayed by several of these working-men which moved him to tears as he spoke of them, and gave him a deeper love than ever for the poor. Some of them took ways of showing their gratitude, the very oddity of which gave touching evidence of the depth of the feeling. [I remember on a Sunday evening returning with him, after one of these services, to our father's house. When the cab stopped, a rough hand was pushed in at the window. Norman understood what was meant, and on taking what was offered, received a warm grasp from some unknown working-man, who had come from the Barony church, a mile away, to express by this act more thankfulness than he could find words to utter.]

His method of instruction was admirably adapted to the character of his audience. He was never abstract, but threw his teaching into objective or descriptive form, and not seldom dramatized the lesson he was enforcing. His counsel was not confined to things spiritual, but embraced such practical matters as the sanitary condition of the houses of the poor, healthy food, and the treatment of children, and was given so forcibly that the meanest intelligence could understand the rationale of his advice. The unaffected sympathy with the poor and ignorant in all their wants and difficulties was the secret of his power over them His frankness and large human-heartedness commanded their confidence and won their affection.

"March 15, 1857.—I began, four weeks ago, my sermon to working-men and women in their working clothes, on my old Loudoun plan, of excluding all who had clothes fit for church by day. And by God's great mercy I have crammed the Martyrs' Church with such. I never experienced more joy than in this service. It is grand. I do not envy Wellington at Waterloo.

"I have just published 'Deborah,' a book for servants. What is written with a single eye, and seeking God's blessing, must, I think, do such good as will vindicate the publication. We shall see.

"Sunday, 29.—On the Monday after the former journal I was seized with dreadful neuralgia (as it was called). I spent the night in my study; on the floor, sofa, chair—anywhere for rest. It left me Tuesday, and, then till Sunday I suffered several hours each day, the only agony I ever experienced. I spent another terrible night. Sunday last I was in bed. Since then I have been confined to the house, but, thank God, feel able to preach this afternoon and evening, though I have been writing with much sense of weakness of body. Then scarlet fever attacked my beloved boy on Tuesday. But oh ! the awful mercy of God to me, he has had it as yet most gently. Was I sincere when I gave him up, all up to God last week? I hope so. As far as I know, I desire Jesus to choose for me; and, as far as I know, there is nothing could make me alter that calm resolution; but, as far as I know, there is also no man whose flesh winces more under fear of affliction, or who would more require the mighty power of God to keep him from open rebellion. Amidst all confusion, darkness, doubts, fears, there is ever one light, one life, one all—Jesus, the living personal Saviour!"

With the desire of promoting increased life in the Church, he wrote a series of articles in the Edinburgh Christian Magazine, in which he proposed the formation of a Church Union for the purpose of discussing questions connected with practical work, and for earnest prayer for the outpouring of God's Spirit. He believed that there were many ministers and laymen who were mourning in secret over faults in the Church which were a continual burden to his own soul; and that the best results might be expected if such men were only brought together for conference and prayer. The state of the Church seemed to call for some such movement. "What most alarms me is that we are not alarmed. What most pains me is that we are not pained." "Whether we are the Church of the past, or the true representatives of the Second Reformation, or any other reformation, is to us a question of comparatively little importance; but it is of infinite importance that we be the Church of the present, and thereby become the Church of the future. Let the dead bury their dead, but let us follow Christ and be fellow-labourers with him in this world."

After several preliminary meetings, the Union was formed, but it existed only two years, and the only memorial of it now remaining is to be found in the missionary breakfast, which is held during every General Assembly.

From his Journal:—

"The second meeting of the Union is to-morrow. I have prayed often that out of that weakness God may ordain strength, to aid my dear but sore wounded and suffering Church; but, best of all, to help Mis Church, by saving souls and uniting saints.

"April 11, 12 p.m.—Sunday last I finished my winter's course in the Martyrs' Church, and invited all who wished to partake of the Lord's Supper to intimate their wishes to me on Tuesday in the vestry. On Tuesday evening seventy-six came for communion! Of these forty-seven had never communicated before. Fifty-two were females; twenty-five males. I never saw such a sight, nor experienced such unmixed joy, for all had come because blessed through the Word, and a great majority seemed to me to have been truly converted. Bless the Lord! To-morrow, please God, I shall give them the Communion in their working clothes at five in the church.

"I am persuaded that to succeed in doing permanent good to such it is necessary (1) To preach regularly and systematically (with heart, soul, and strength, though!;. (2) To exclude well-dressed people. (3) To keep out of newspapers and off platforms, and avoid fuss. (4) To develop self-reliance. (5) To give Communion on creditable profession, as the apostles admitted to the Church, and then to gather up results, and bring the converts into a society. (6) To follow up by visitation, stimulating themselves to collect for clothes.

"Tuesday, 13th.—What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits?

"Sabbath was a day of peace and joy, and my sermon on ' God forbid that I should glory, &c,' preached in great peace by me—and I believe found most profitable by my dear people. How could I convey to any other the profound and undying conviction I have of God being verily a hearer of prayer and a personal God? Whatever arguments were capable of shaking my faith in this, would shake my faith in God. I gave the Communion to sixty-seven working people in their working clothes. Having kept my intention secret, as I was terrified for fuss and a spectacle, none were present but the elders. I went through the regular service, occupying about seventy minutes. The whole scene was very solemn, very touching. I believe all were sincere.

"But now comes the great work of training them to habits of self-reliance and self-denial. I shall watch and labour, and before God shall tell the truth of my results. Failure may teach us as well as success. If I fail, then I will set a buoy on my wreck to warn others from the rock, but not from the harbour. My new elders were with me—God bless them!

"Last evening all was ended with a prayer-meeting of the Union, I in the chair. My good and valued friends, William Robertson and Smith of Lauder, with me, also dear James Campbell.

"Then prayer and thanksgiving alone with my beloved wife for the end of these five weeks since the night I sprang up in agony and spent a night of great pain in this room—my study!

"May.-—I go to London this evening to speak for Tract Society. I preach twice for Herschell. On Monday, for the London Missionary Society ; then home, dear home! And now, Father, I go forth again in Thy name, and desire to be kept true, humble, and unselfish : seeking Thy glory and Thy favour, which verily is life ! Amen, and Amen.

"May 17.—I have returned, and give thanks to God! I spoke on Friday evening—very lamely indeed—for I was made so uncomfortable by a narrow and vulgar attack by------on------; and then by as narrow and more vulgar attack by------on modern novels. I had to stick up for Jack the Giant Killer. I think I shall never enter Exeter Hall again on such occasions. The atmosphere is too muggy for my lungs."

The year 1857 was notable in his own spiritual history. He was attacked by an illness which for a time gave his medical advisers considerable anxiety, and was attended with such pain, that he had frequently to pass the greater part of the night in his chair; yet, during the day, when the suffering had abated, he was generally at his port of labour in the parish. For a while he took the worst view of his own case, but anticipated its issue with calmness. An autumn tour, however, in Switzerland, in which he was accompanied by his wife, and by his valued friends, Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Campbell, in a great measure restored him. But, shortly after his return, Mrs. Macleod was laid prostrate by typhoid fever, which rendered her delirious for several weeks, and reduced her to so critical a condition that on several occasions her life was despaired of. He recognized the solemn teaching which these days of terrible suspense contained, and his journals record the mental agony he passed through, as he tried to render willing obedience to his Father's will. It seemed a period when all the lessons of his past life—all his own sermons and teaching to others—all he had known of God and of the nature of Christian life as a life of Sonship —were gathered into one decisive question for his own soul. He literally wrestled in prayer, and fought inch by inch against self-will, until he was able to say, in peaceful submission, "Thy will be done." The effects of this time were immediate and enduring. He lived henceforth more entirely for God, and became much more tender, considerate, and patient towards others than he had ever been. There was no lessening of the old joyousness and genial humour; but he seemed to care less for the opinions of men, and looked more than ever to God alone.

It may now appear that the experience of this epoch in his life was as opportune as it was powerful. It came when he was about to enter a wider sphere of influence than he had hitherto occupied, and to encounter greater difficulties than those with which his past career had made him familiar. It was well, therefore, that his character should have been fortified, as it was at this period, to withstand the shock of conflicting opinions; and that, having been thrown so completely on God, he was able henceforth to be freer than ever of the influence of parties and their leaders.

"June 4.—For some days I have felt pain, and feared the return of my complaint. I have seen Dr. Laurie. I know it to be very serious, and I feel now how this may be the beginning of the end.

"Yet how awing is the thought of the gift of life being rendered up! The opportunities of receiving and doing good here gone for ever; pain to be encountered, and then the great secret revealed! But every question is stilled, every doubt answered, all good secured, in and through faith in the name of the Father, Son (Brother), and Comforter!

"Oh, God, enable me to be brave, unselfish, cheerful, patient, because trusting Thee!

"Evening.—I feel a crisis in my illness is passed. O my God, let not two such days of thought be lost to me, as those occasioned last month by my mistaken fears about myself."

To J. G. Hamilton Esq.:—
"Craigie Burn, Moffat, July 7th.

"Here I am, like a blackbird reposing in my nest in a green wood, beside a burn, surrounded by pastoral hills, musical with bleating sheep and shadowy with clouds. My chicks all about me, some chirping, some singing, all gaping for food, with my lady blackbird perched beside me, her glossy plumage glittering in the sun, a perfect sermon on contentment.

"Blackbirds put me in mind of bills, and bills of money, and money of those who need it, and then of those who are willing to give it, and that brings me to you. It is not for schools, churches or schemes, but for charity, to help a needy gentlewoman.....

"I am sorry to say that my complaint has not left me. I had a learned consultation in London with the great authority in such cases. He has put me on a regimen so strict that it would make a hermit's cell almost comfortable ; and he commands rest. But this I cannot command for a month yet."

From his Journal:—

"December.—I am alone, with nothing to occupy me but my own thoughts, and come what may, perhaps it may help on God's work in my soul if I try to express even in a very inadequate and crude way the solemn crisis through which I am now passing.

"Wednesday night my beloved one became so alarmingly ill that I lost all hope. The night was a memorable one to me. It was one of those awful soul struggles between life in God and the creature, which seem to compress the history of years into minutes. The only thing that gave me light was the one thought of doing God's will, and it did seem to me right, beautiful, good, that it should be done any way. I was able to look up to my Father and say, 'Thy will, not mine.' But oh! oh! the struggle now! To be willing in truth, to bury my life out of sight, how hard! To have my true life in God alone—impossible! I am supported, I think (dear God, pity me!) I can say, 'Thy will, not mine!' But to do this truly; to do it always; to do it in all things ; to hang loose from life to all but Thee! O my Father, help me, teach me, for I desire faith and patience to have their perfect work. I desire to be made Thine wholly, and to learn obedience and meekness as a son; but O God, my Father uphold me under Thy loving, but sore and necessary dealing. If she is taken away! If she is spared! 'Lord, into Thy hand I commit my spirit,' as unto a faithful Creator. Glorify Thy name!

"My Father, I lie at Thy feet, and desire to be led as a child, and to follow Jesus—to die with Him. Yet lead me not into deeper trial lest I perish. Yet, Amen—Amen—I trust in Thee! In the depths, in darkness, I trust in Thee. God forgive my fears; Thou rememberest I am dust."

To his Sister Jane:—
"22nd November.

"The nervous, distracted outward man is one, and the inner rest in God belongs to another being. They both sadly cross. But my faith is not shaken in Him. May it be found to His glory at His appearing.

"This a quiet, peaceful day. Without—wind, rain, mist. Within— peace.

"All that man can do for her is done. She is watched every hour, and I am told there is hope, and that it is a mere question of time. Can the vessel weather the long storm?

"The mental history of this time to me is unparalleled. First the awful nervousness; then the soul battle, then the peace; the doubts, fears agonies ! and this day peace—perfect peace."

From his Journal:—

"Beloved John Campbell and Dr. Macduff have been a great strength and stay.

"It is hard to describe my feelings. I now hope, yet fear least for one moment I should be kept off the one life, the living God ! I have resigned her into His hands. I know he will prepare me, for I desire first (as far as I know) that His kingdom shall come in me and by me. Then, on the other hand, should she be given back! A solemn battle has then to be fought whether or not I shall attempt to rebuild my house or die daily. I feel that God's grace will be required just as much for me if the precious gift is restored as if taken away.

"Lord, undertake for us. Thou seest our strength is gone. We lean on Thee, mighty and merciful one."

To his Sister Jane:—

"Saturday night and Sunday morning was my third burial of her. I gave her up again, and the third was more than the first. God alone knows what such a night is. Yet His grace has been more than sufficient, and I hope I have been taught what years have failed to do.

"You see, dear, what a trying time it is, and you cannot wonder if the tension of the brain should make mine very hot at times.

"Everything is confusion—night and day mingled."

From his Journal:—

"Thursday.—All going on well.

"I hardly know what I think. The apparent actual return to health does not at all affect me as its hopes did, for these quite convulsed me, while the reality only affects me by producing a sense of deep calm and thanksgiving.

"Certainly this has been without comparison the most solemn period of my life. Never have I so realised sorrow. I am anxious to gather up the fragments in any manner, however confused. I should like, if possible, to meet and sympathize with God in His teaching, lest it be lost to understand what the will of the Lord is, and what is His loving kindness.

"God was teaching me (1) where my true life ought to be—in Him, and in Him only. (2) The sufficiency of His grace, to support and give peace in the most trying hour. (3) How beautiful His will is—how right it is that His glory should be the grand end of creation, and the sole ambition of the spirit of man. (4) How I deserved to be, not chastised, but punish ed for sin; and how hard it was for one who trusted in 'riches' to enter into the kingdom, or to sell all and follow Him!

"But my comforting thoughts were—

"(1) God's glory. What was right and beautiful in His sight was often very consoling. (2) That Jesus was in the house, and saw all, planned all, and would do all most tenderly, lovingly, and wisely. (3) That there was no depth to which He had not descended. If I made my bed in hell, He was there. I was much touched by the 22nd Psalm, in which, after uttering His own deep sorrow ('My God,' &c.) and recounting how our fathers had trusted God, he says, 'But I am a worm, and no man!' Think of that! As if His case was too desperate. (4) That patience must have her perfect work, and that faith must be tried and found precious. (5) That God wished me as a child to open my whole heart and tell Him everything. When David was told by Nathan that his child should die, he still prayed to God for its recovery. 'I doubt not,' says Hall so beautifully, 'God His Father took it kindly.' (6) That God was feeling keenly for me, even when afflicting me. As I heard of a father who used to suffer agony in dressing the wounds of his child; yet his love alone enabled him to do it, while putting her to so much pain.

"I have met extraordinary and wondrous sympathy; it utterly amazes me, and has given me a new and most touching view of my neighbour. Hundreds called to read the daily bulletin which I was obliged to put up. But everywhere it was the same. Free-Church people and people of all Churches called; men I never spoke to stopped me; cab-drivers, bus-drivers, working-men in the streets asked after her with such feeling. I have heard of ministers in Edinburgh praying in public for us. I pray God this may be a lesson for life to make me most tender, meek, kind, and charitable to all men. O God, keep my heart soft toward my brethren of mankind. I never could have believed in such unselfishness. And so I have felt its good, for my heart warms to all good men more than ever, and more deeply do I hate and loathe sectarianism.

"I have had inexpressibly solemn teaching from my own sermons. How solemnly have they preached to me! Such as the first, on 'Raising of Lazarus,' [Afterwards published under the title, "The Mystery of Sorrow," in "Parish Papers."] and my article written, without thought of this sorrow, for the December number of the Christian Magazine. O my Father, I desire to learn to speak with deep awe and modesty, as one to whom Thou mayest address his own words.

"The difference between preaching and knowing by experience in affliction, is as great as between being a soldier in peace and fighting at reviews, and a soldier in war and actual battle.

"How awful the trial is of even the hope of returning 'prosperity.' It is not—Oh no!—as if my Father grudged to make me happy, or as if affliction was His rule, and not His strange work; but I know that in His love He has been designing good for me—life, and life more abundantly; that to produce this He has sent sorrow; that His purpose has not been hid from me, but that I have seen it and approved of its righteousness; and that in answer to prayers, many and fervent, from His people, who desired first that He should be glorified, He has been pleased to remove (in hope as yet) this great sorrow. I feel it will be a terrible loss, an abuse of God's grace, a receiving of it in affliction in vain, unless my life is rebaptized, our relationship far more inner and spiritual, and our walk more in the light of heaven. I have been called to a higher, purer, nobler life. I have had three burials of her, and on each occasion Jesus seemed to say, 'Lovest thou me more than her V and thrice he has given her back, but with the awful reservation, 'Follow thou me,' 'Feed my sheep.' And now I feel God's grace is required for each day; for what should my future life be? not an occasional funeral, but a daily dying!

"O God omnipotent! let Thy strength be perfected in my weakness." "Friday. — I am still full of anxiety, and feel the rod yet on me. Father, let patience have her perfect work, and prepare me to meet as a child all the changes of Thy providence. Remember I am dust, and help me according to the riches of Thy grace!

"The same. My hope is in Thee—in Thee only. God sustain. Under take for me, my Father!

*  *  *  *  *

"The Doctor has just left me, and he says, 'Well, I think all is safe.' This I have been hoping for during the last week. With what feeling do I receive the news?'

"What means this? I have never shed a tear of joy. I who was wrung with grief, and could not, in prospect, bear the light of deliverance—who was crushed by the bare idea, 'maybe she will yet get better!' Yet I have never felt a throb, or the least of that excitement or tumult or leap of the heart which would seem so natural. Wherefore 1 I really know not. Is it the body, and collapse from over excitement! The Lord knoweth! But I shall not work myself up to an outward form of what might seem to be the right thing, but seek to be led by God into that state of spirit which is becoming in His sight. I feel as in a dream.

"Monday, 21st.—This day Sir George Grey informs me I am made a Chaplain to the Queen."

To Mr. Waddell (a Member of the Session, on the death of his eldest child):—
"Saturday, 12th Dec, 1857.

"I most deeply feel with you, my afflicted brother. God will enable you by-and-by, if not in the first darkness of the affliction, to know that it is a Father who sends the trial; and from your own tender love to your child you can in some degree realise the deep mystery of a Father's love to yourselves, and in your own hearts see a dim reflection of that love which pass-eth all understanding. You will remember, too, with new feelings, how His own well-beloved Son was a man of sorrows, how, (see the 22nd Psalm) there was no depth but He Himself was in a lower; how He is thus able to carry our burdens, understand us, feel for us and with us as a brother. You will be taught also how God is seeking our whole hearts, and will put us to pain even at the moment of our greatest earthly happiness, just because it is then we are most apt to forsake Him as our eternal life, and to seek life in the creature ! Nay, He will teach you to see how deep and true that love is which will give pain to those dearly loved in order that they shall not lose a full blessing, but see life more abundantly.

"I feel assured that God is dealing towards you in great love, though it is hard to see it at first, and most trying to flesh and blood to say Amen to this discipline by the cross. But do not go away sorrowful from Him ! Hold fast your confidence. His purpose is mercy, and good. Seek first of all, that His will should be done in you, His purpose of good be realised by you. Your child is certainly with One who is more gentle, tender, and loving than a mother—One who was a child, who knows a child's heart, who was in a mother's arms. Your babe will be trained up in a glorious school; when you meet she will be a fit companion for you, and rejoice with you for ever.

"I have myself during these four weeks endured the greatest sorrow I ever experienced in life. I twice gave up my beloved wife to the Lord. I can witness to you of the power of God's grace to give peace in the darkest hour, and of how affliction is indeed sent for our ' profit,' that we might be partakers of His holiness."

From his Journal:—

"March 15, 1858.—It is this day twenty years ago that I was ordained minister of Loudoun ! I bless God for calling me to the ministry as He did my father and grandfather before me, and for giving me a place in my nation's Church. Donald is to be ordained on Thursday, and I introduce him on Sunday."

To the Rev. W. P. Stevenson (on his recovery from fever):—
"March 24th, 1858.

"I do not know from experience what a man's feelings are when coming out of such a death in life as you have passed through, but from what I personally know of sorrow, or escapes from danger, there is little of that joy or excitement of any kind which most people picture to themselves. I have always felt my nervous system exhausted, my feelings listless, my intellect dull, and my moral being shut up to a quiet thankfulness, a simple leaning on Christ, with little more in my mind than that I was nothing and He was all, and no stronger desire than henceforth to be kept by Him and in Him. Everything about our Ich-heit is so base, earthy, mean. He must be all in all. Yet how difficult and perplexing a thing to the vain, proud, self-willed man is the simplicity which is in Christ!"

From his Journal:—

"April 5.—On Sunday night I finished my second winter's course of sermons to the working classes. The church was full. I preached about an hour and a half to them. Yet though I had preached twice during the day, I felt as if I could have gone on till midnight. There is something over-poweringly interesting in seeing fourteen hundred people in their poor clothes drinking in the word! I never preach as I do to them. I feel what it is to be an evangelist.

"Last night I had a meeting of my old communicants, and a very delightful one it was.

"I admitted a year ago sixty-nine to the communion for the first time. These sat down at a separate service, in their working clothes. At the next communion upwards of twenty had got clothes, and joined other churches, as I had no sittings for them. A large number, about twenty, I think, sat down in their working clothes. At my ordinary communion others had got good clothes. Now I find that, with the exception of nine, all are attending church, fit to join at the ordinary communion. These nine are too much in difficulty from want of work to get good clothes yet. They will sit down in their working clothes. I have steadfastly kept aloof from giving clothes, lest it should be looked on as a bribe and injure themselves and others. See the result!

"I am now collecting for my Mission Church at Kelvinhaugh, and God is greatly blessing me in it."

He was made deeply thankful by receiving from the working-men themselves, on more than one occasion, such testimonies as the following to the benefit they had derived from his teaching:—

" . . . . We thank God for having led you in the midst of your multifarious and onerous duties to think of us, and we thank you for having been the willing instrument in His hand of first rousing us from our indifference, and leading us to take a manly and straightforward view of our condition. Though the novelty which at first attached to these meetings has passed away, some of us know that their influence for good has been. most enduring. . . Not content with bringing us, as it were, to the entrance of the Saviour's Church and leaving us to go in or return as we pleased, you have led us into the great congregation of His saints on earth. and have invited us to take our places among our fellow-believers at the Lord's table, so that we might enjoy similar privileges with them. Those of us who have accepted this invitation have nothing of this world's goods to offer you in return, but we shall retain a life-long gratitude for your kindness—a gratitude which shall be continued when we shall meet in that eternal world which lies beyond the grave. . . . "We beg you will accept of these expressions of gratitude in place of 'the silver and gold' of which ' we have none,' and we subscribe ourselves, with much regard,

"The Working-Men."

A working-man, who signs his own name "on behalf of a number of others," writes—

"We are not aware whether you know of any case in which your labours have been successful in arousing the careless, and in effecting reformation in character and disposition; if not, we can assure you that such instances are not rare, as even in our own neighbourhood many have been brought, through your instrumentality under God, to bethink themselves and mend their ways."

From his Journal:—

"April 30.—The University of Glasgow has this day conferred the honour on me of the degree of D.D. How sad it makes me! I feel as if they had stamped me with old age, and that it was a great cataract in the stream leading more rapidly to 'the unfathomable gulf where all is still And it is so. I have at best but a short time for work. O my God, brace every nerve of my soul by Thy mighty Spirit that I may glorify Thee on earth, and as a faithful servant redeem the time and finish the work which Thou hast given me to do '"

To the Rev. J. E. Gumming:—
"2nd June, 1858.

"I have not myself found travelling congenial to much inner work. The outer world of persons and things I always relished so intensely that I required an extra effort to keep to quiet reading and prayer. One possesses such an 'abundance of things,' that they are apt to become ' the life' for the time. But I doubt not that the sobriety of weak health may act as a counterpoise, keeping the soul in hourly remembrance of its true and abiding life. I have no doubt you will find a blessing in going thus to 'rest awhile.' It is good to be made to feel how God's work can go on without us, and to be able to review from without our past work, and to be more cast on God Himself, and thus be more emptied of our own vain selves.

"When we are weak, then are we strong. The least are the greatest. I pray you may every day be drawn nearer Christ, and return to us stronger in body and soul."

From his Journal:—

"June 3, again!—I am now forty-six, and the future uncertain ! And so this life of mine, which seems to me about to begin, is fast ending! I declare it makes the perspiration break out on my brow. Oh, cursed idleness, desultory study, want of hard reading and accurate scholarship when young,—this has been a grievous evil, a heavy burthen to me all my life! I have wanted tools for my mental powers. Had my resources been trained by art, so that they could have been wisely directed during my past life, I feel that I could have done something to have made me look back with more satisfaction on these bygone years.

"Oh, my Father, if I but felt assured that I should be a little child, then would I never mourn the loss of my first childhood, nor fear the coming on of my old age!

"Glory to Thee now and for ever that I have been born twice in Thy kingdom!"

To Mrs. Macleod (during her absence with his family in the country):—

"The Study, July 26th, 1858. "Why do you leave me here to be devoured with rats and grief? The house is horrible. I am afraid of ghosts. The doors creak in a way that indicates a clear connection with the unseen world. There are noises too. How slow must Hades be if spirits find Woodlands Terrace at this season more exciting! How idle they must be if to frighten a parson is their most urgent work! And yet on my honour I believe there is one going at this moment up the stairs."

From his Journal:—

"September 6.—I have been too busy to be at rest with my family at Elie. I start to-day with Leitch [The late Principal Leitch.] for a dash into Switzerland. May God guide me and keep me holy and wise, that I may return home fit in mind and body for my winter work!"

To Mrs. Macleod:— "Paris.

"Drove to Bois de Boulogne, paid considerably, and saw nothing but the driver's back. My money goes as usual—like snow. Mammon was no doubt a devil; he enters into the coin, and it rushes down steep places for ever into the abyss, and never returns. Best love to my mother, who, were she here, would go on the stage, or think she was dead, or if not, that the Champs Elysees were theologically so."

"Zurich, Friday, 10th September, 1858.

"At Basle I called for Auberlen. We spent the rest of our time in the Institution for training Missionaries, and had all my principles confirmed and illustrated.

"Had a most exquisite drive by railway to this place. As we were crossing a valley, the range of Bernese Alps burst suddenly on our sight, every mountain-side and peak gleaming on their western sides with the intense furbished gold we saw at Mont Blanc. I gave a cry of wonder and joy that started the whole carriage—all but a Cockney, who kept reading all the time a Swiss guide-book. I shall never forget that second introduction to the Alps. When we arrived at Zurich we drove to the old hotel; but we did not look fine enough, and only a double-bedded room was offered, and refused. Angry at this, I would not go to the Baur, but came out at the first hotel the 'bus stopped at. This Gasthof, you must know, presents to the Gasse but one enormous gable with seven stories, covered by a projecting roof. Within, it contains a combination of short stairs, passages, kitchens, bed-rooms and eating-rooms, utterly indescribable as to their relative positions.

"There is a daily paper with the names of all the hotels and their guests. I see in ours '8 Militar.' These are common soldiers; the town is full of them, and a dozen are billeted in our lobby. I hear the drummer practising in the Speise Saal. At first I was disposed to be sulky, but Boss so thoroughly enjoys it, and is so thankful for having come to this sort of hotel, that he has brought me to his own mind. My window commands a glorious view of the lake, and the roofs of half the houses. Well, I find I am nowhere so happy as at home. Very truly I say that, even here. My own fireside and my home parish work are the circles within which is my earthly Paradise."

"Ragatz, 12th September. "The baths of Pfeffers are, I think, in their way, the most wonderful scene I ever beheld. Conceive a huge fissure about five hundred feet deep; the edges at the top uniting like two saws—now in contact, and then an open hole through which you see the blue sky and the intense green trees waving in light some hundreds of feet above you—fifty feet below, the raging stream. It is a wondrous gorge that! We ascended by a zig-zag path about a mile higher, and came up to the pastures. Oh! what a sight of green uplands, villages, church steeples, ranges of precipices, snowy peaks, mountains lighted up with the setting sub, and what tinkling of hundreds of goat-bells! I could have sat down and wept. As it was, I lifted up my heart in prayer, and blessed God for this one glorious sight, and I felt I could return home with thankfulness."

"Cannstadt, 20th September, 1858.

"I preached yesterday forenoon in Stuttgart, and in the afternoon here. The English clergyman read the liturgy in the morning. The congregation excellent; afternoon crammed. I know not when I felt a Sabbath more truly peaceful, happy, and profitable to myself, and I hope and believe also to others. Walked by moonlight along the old street, stood before the house, went to my old post [The point to which he and John Mackintosh walked every day. ] beyond Hermann's Hotel; recalled all the past year we were there with its dark sorrows and great joys, the past eight years with its constant sunlight; prayed, and looked up to the old stars which shone on me, and brought me then such true light in the same spot.

"I had great delight in preaching, and had such a vivid realisation of our dear one's life in heaven and his hearty realisation of that 'kingdom and glory,' which I feebly attempted to express."

From his Journal:—

"September 27th, 1858.—I have this day returned, refreshed and invigorated in mind, spirit, and body.

"My route was London, Paris, Basle, Zurich, Wallenstadt, Ragatz, Pfeffers, Bellinzona, Isola Bella, back by St. Gothard, Lucerne, Zurich, Cannstadt, Heidelberg, Mannheim, the Rhine, Rotterdam, Leith. Time, three weeks. Cost, £23 10s. Gain, undying memories, health, and happiness."

"November 2.—On my return I found the command of the Queen awaiting me to preach again at Balmoral. Preached in peace and without notes. After dinner the Queen sent for me. She always strikes me as possessed of singular penetration, firmness, and independence, and very real. She was personally singularly kind, and I never spoke my mind more frankly to any one who was a stranger and not on an equal footing.

"..... The agitation renewed anent non-intrusion. No reform requiring an Act of Parliament will interest me unless it unites Presbyterianism in Scotland. That is the thing to be sought."

"January 16.— -------------'s birthday. God bless my child! Make her simple, earnest, true, and above all other things in the universe, Father, give her love to Thee, that in all her difficulties she may consult Thee and yield to what her conscience tells her to be right, that in all her trials she may trust Thee and honour Thee by grace, and that she may ever seek to please her Saviour in soul, spirit, and body, which are His! Hear us, our God, who daily pray for our beloved children whom Thou hast given us in Thy great love. Amen!"

The centenary celebration of the birth of Robert Burns created immense excitement in almost every region of the earth where Scotchmen could congregate, and in the poet's native land was the signal for the  outbreak of a bitter war between the pulpit and the press. There were fanatics on both sides. Admirers of the poet would not brook exception being taken to their hero-worship; this provoked, on the opposite side, unmeasured abuse of his character and influence. The sacred name of religion was so constantly invoked in the quarrel, that no clergyman could take part in the festival without risk to his reputation. Norman Macleod, however, felt it would be unmanly not to speak what he believed, and, accordingly, accepted the invitation which had been sent him to appear at the Glasgow Celebration. As he was the only clergyman on the platform, his presence was greeted with unusual cheering. Every word he uttered in praise of the poet was, as might have been expected, loudly applauded; but as he had come to utter his convictions, he was quite prepared for the storm of hissing, mingled with cheers, which arose as he adverted, delicately but firmly, to those features of the poet's productions which every religious mind must deplore. His speech was a vindication of his own position as a Scotchman and a clergyman, and before he concluded the audience showed how heartily they appreciated his independence and honesty.

"There are two things," he said, "which to me make Burns sufficiently memorable. One is, his noble protest for the independence and dignity of humanity, as expressed, for example, in that heroic song, 'A man's a man for a' that.' Another is, his intense nationality—a noble sentiment, springing, like a plant deeply rooted for ages in the soil, and bearing fruit which nourishes the manliest virtues of a people. Few men have clone for any country in this respect what Burns has done for Scotland. He has made our Doric for ever poetical. Everything in our land, touched with the wand of his genius, will for ever retain the new interest and beauty which he has imparted to it. Never will the ' banks and braes of bonnie Doon' cease to be 'fresh and fair,' nor the 'birks of Aberfeldy' to hang their tresses in the bright atmosphere of his song. He has even persuaded Scotchmen ' o' a' the airts the wind can blaw' most clearly to 'lo'e the west,' though it comes loaded to us, who live in the west, only with the soft favours of a 'Scotch mist.' So possessed are even railway directors and rough mechanics by his presence and his power, that they send 'Tam o' Shanter' and 'Souter Johnnie' as locomotives, roaring and whistling through the land that is called by his name, and immortalised by his genius. How marvellously has he welded the hearts of Scotchmen throughout the world. Without him they would, no doubt, be united by the ordinary bonds of a common country that cannot anywhere be forgotten—a common tongue that cannot anywhere be easily mistaken—and by mercantile pursuits in which they cannot anywhere be wanted. But still these ties would be like the cold hard cable that connects the Old and New World beneath the Atlantic. The songs of Burns are the electric sparks which flash along it and give it life; and 'though seas between us may be cast,' these unite heart and heart, so that as long as they exist, Scotchmen can never forget 'auld acquaintance,' nor the 'days o' lang syne ' And yet, how can a clergyman, of all men, forget or fail to express his deep sorrow on such an occasion as the present for some things that Burns has written, and which deserve the uncompromising condemnation of those who love him best? I am not called upon to pass any judgment on him as a man, but only as a writer; and with reference to some of his poems, from my heart I say it—for his own sake, for the sake of my country, for the sake of righteousness more than all—would God they were never written, never printed, and never read ! And I should rejoice to see, as the result of these festivals in honour of Burns, a centenary edition of his poems, from which everything would be excluded which a Christian father could not read aloud in his family circle, or the Christian cottar on his 'Saturday night' to his sons and daughters. One thing I feel assured of, is, that righteously to condemn whatever is inconsistent with purity and piety, while it cannot lessen one ray of his genius, is at once the best proof we can give of our regard for his memory. If his spirit is cognizant of •what is done upon earth, most certainly such a judgment must be in accordance with its most solemn conviction and most earnest wishes."

[He afterwards received the following characteristic letter of thanks from the late able and lamented Dr. Duncan, Professor of Hebrew in the Free Church College, Edinburgh.

"29th January, 1859.

"I have just read with delight the extract from your speech at the Burns Centenary Meeting. The works of Burns are a power whose influence is to be felt, and will coutinue to be so, in this country and beyond it; a very mixed one it is true. In all such things we are bid to choose the good (thankfully, as all good is of God) and refuse the evil. 'Abhor that which is evil and cleave to that which is good.' I can deeply sympathize with the moral tone of feeling which turns from the whole with the loathing which the smell of the dead fly causes—the miasma which it spreads. I cannot, however, think that the zeal of some ' abounds in all wisdom.' To abolish Burns is not possible, and it is pleasing to think that the 'non omnis moriar' may be applied to our great lyrical poet, not only with safety, but to so great advantage.

"I beseech you prosecute the idea of printing a purified centenary edition. The Pearls must be rescued. Why should our children not have them clear of the impure dross or sand, and placed in as fine a casket as the hallowed genius of the nation can produce?"]

Some influential members of the Presbytery of Glasgow at this time moved an "overture" (as a formal representation is called) to the General Assembly on the subject of Lay Patronage. At once perceiving the importance of the question thus raised, he supported the proposal in a long speech, and it is interesting, in the light of more recent Scottish ecclesiastical history, to notice the care with which he had already weighed the difficulties besetting the policy, in which he was afterwards to take a conspicuous lead.

" .... I dare not conceal my own honest convictions of the extreme difficulty of getting a hearing in Parliament, a conviction strengthened when I think that, in 1843, we had far stronger claims to be heard than now, and when the evils calling for legislative enactment were far more pressing. I argue from the general temper in which Parliament legislates; the whole tendency of legislation in Parliament, as you will see from year to year, being not for sections of the community. But if Parliament is willing and ready to hear us, I for one would most assuredly be deeply thankful for a legislative measure that should enable us to cure the evil.

" There is another way of looking at this case, which seems perhaps to be the more important, when regarded with reference to Scotland. Many people say, ' What have we to do with other Churches, and with the opinions of the Free Church, or of any other Church 1 We have to do with ourselves.' I say we sink down to be mere sectarians when we say we have only to do with ourselves and not with the country. I say, as a National Establishment, we have to do with the nation ; as a National Scotch Establishment, we have to do with Scotchmen; and I should never like to hear any great question discussed merely with reference to its relationship to our Church, and not in its relationship to our country. When we look at this question in reference to the whole of Scotland, I think it is still more complicated. I believe that the welfare of Scotland, as a whole, is bound up with Presbyterianism. Scotland, as a country, will rise or fall with its Presbyterianism. It is warped into its whole historical past, into the hearts of our people, as not one other element in our national greatness or history is. The second point, I think, you will agree upon, is that the interests of Presbyterianism in Scotland are bound up with the Established Church. I do not say the Established Church exclusively, but I say the Established Church inclusively. The Presbyterianism of Scotland might be the better of a vigorous Presbyterianism always lying outside of the National Establishment, but I think it would be much worse if there was no National Establishment at all. Now what is the present state of our Church in reference to Scotland generally? Episcopacy has unfortunately alienated a very great number of the upper classes, not from the Church of Scotland merely, but from the Presbyterianism of Scotland. I would wish to talk gently and kindly on this subject. I am very unwilling to attribute motives. There are many Episcopalians whose families have been so from generation to generation. Many of these have never belonged to the Church of Scotland, and are yet most hearty friends of the Established Church; some of them are among her kindest and most generous friends. There are others, again, who have become Episcopalians from the fact of English education; and there are others who have become so from— I hardly know how to express my meaning, but perhaps a little flunkeyism would not be a bad term. While there is a great mass of educated gentlemen of this persuasion, many of whom are my personal friends, and for whom I entertain the greatest possible respect, there are, along with these clergy and laity, who are antagonistic for conscience sake, not only to the Church of Scotland, but to Presbyterianism. Looking, again, to Presbyterians, we see that there is a great number of the middle classes who do not belong to the Established Church, and who are even antagonistic to it. In these circumstances, I do not myself see how the Established Church can remain as she is, and continue to be the National Church. There is no use of entering on the question whether it will last your day or mine, but it is perfectly clear that, as a national Church, if she is to represent the Presbyterianism of the nation, this state of tilings cannot last. Should we not deplore, for the sake of Presbyterianism in Scotland, and for the sake of all Churches, that this noble old Presbyterian Establishment should be permanently weakened, or should fall 1 Presbyterianism is linked inseparably with the holy memories of the Reformation. Every Reformed Church in every part of Europe—let me say so to Episcopalians—took the Presbyterian form, either in fact or in theory; in France, in Spain, in Italy, in the National Church in Germany, in Switzerland, in Holland, in Sweden, and Norway, this was the case. Are we now to have no representative National Presbyterian Church speaking the English language—and this, too, in the present state of Episcopacy and Romanism? Well, if we are not to be permanently weakened as a National Establishment, we must gather the masses of Presbyterians now lying beyond our pale. In one word, I think it is the duty of our Church, as a National Church, to entertain not only privately in our hearts, but publicly, the question of union with the Free Church. I assume that such a union is as essential for their welfare as for ours. We should cease without it to be national in the strongest sense of the word, and they would cease to be national in their principles, and sink down to be Voluntaries, instead of retaining the convictions and principles on which they left the Establishment. I do not think we can exist worthily as a great National Church unless some such union takes place. But before that union is possible, there must, in the nature of things, be legislative enactment. It is not possible with the present state of our law with reference to the induction of ministers, not to speak of our laws affecting spiritual independence. The Free Church men have justified to the whole world the seriousness and strength of their convictions on these points; and if we are to be as one again, these convictions assuredly must be respected by us—at all events they themselves will respect them."

From his Journal :—
"February 11.—A girl born to us. We give her to the Lord. Bless His name!

"March 12.—'We give her to the Lord,' and this night it would seem as if the Lord would take her to Himself. She has been seized with cholera and seems very weak.

"March 15.—The anniversary of my ordination twenty-one years ago! I have attained my majority as a minister. Praise the Lord for it!

"In proportion as I realise how the Lord has made me an instrument of good, and ever heard my prayer, and blessed my miserable labours; in that proportion do I feel how deep and real is my sin. Where has been the habitual yearning for souls, the cherishing them as a nurse her children; the constant prayer for them; the carrying their burden; the prompt action; the devotedness; the love to Christ always? I truly feel that the thief on the cross owes no more to God's grace than I as a minister do. My sins and defects as a minister would overwhelm me, unless I believed in that glorious atonement made for the worst: justification by faith alone. Father, in Christ, forgive thine unworthy servant! Enter not, enter not into judgment, for he cannot out of Christ be justified ! I plead Thy free grace alone.

"My dear babe now seems fast approaching her end. I baptised her myself on Sabbath morning.

"How strange that she knows no one in the universe! Yet how known, how cared for, how beloved! How different will her education be from ours! Yet I do not envy it now. The old earth, where Christ himself learned obedience as a child, is the grandest school.

"20th. — Now, though not out of great danger, there is hope. It has been a most blessed time! We gave her to the Lord, I believe sincerely. We give her still, as far as we know our hearts. We prayed beside her; but, with the yearning implanted in our hearts by our Father, we cried to Him to spare her; and God knoweth how I feel it is His doing, and in answer to prayer, if she is spared.

"God bless my sermons to-day on Missions in St. Andrew's and Barony! Hear me, Lord, for my heart is in it! "

There were few important questions brought before the Assembly of 1859 on which he did not speak at length; most of them touched on matters in which he had special interest. The subject of the revival, which followed on the great American awakening of 1858, was then rousing attention in Ireland and in many parts of Scotland. He never doubted the possibility of a great outpouring of the Spirit, and, at the beginning of the movement, he wrote and preached much in its favour. Later phases of it compelled him, however, to modify his expectations as to its results; but the incredulity with which the very idea of a revival was regarded by many of the clergy, grieved him even more than the exaggerations of over-zealous supporters. When the question came before the Assembly of 1859, it did so in a shape which excited in him a feeling of positive indignation. A minister labouring in a poor parish in Aberdeen, had permitted several earnest laymen to address his people from the pulpit; and the Presbytery, avoiding any expression of opinion as to the character of their teaching or its results, had thought proper to rebuke their more zealous brother on the technical ground of having allowed laymen to speak in church. This unsympathetic method of putting down an earnest, and, at worst, a mistaken attempt to do good, touched Norman Macleod to the quick.

"A few Christian men," he said, "came to Aberdeen, and were brought within the sacred walls of one of the churches there. He did not know whether they preached a sermon or not; he did not know whether they stood in a pulpit fifteen feet, or on a platform seven feet high, but he knew that they addressed people upon the unsearchable riches of Christ, and that as Christian men they spoke from their hearts to thousands.

"The only fault found with these men seemed to be that they addressed immortal souls on the truth of Christianity within the walls of a church, but he had been brought up in the belief that the Church of Scotland attached no peculiar sacredness to stone and lime. It had been pleaded at the bar that these men might go to the street. But there were many laws that were tolerable only because they had liberty occasionally to break them; and surely all Church laws must subserve the one grand end for which all Churches exist. They might have decency, order, regularly appointed licentiates, and regularly ordained men, and death all the while. This was not a time, when there was so much necessity for increased spiritual life, for the General Assembly to occupy a whole night in finding fault because a minister permits a layman to preach the gospel from a pulpit.''

He also spoke upon Home Missions, and in the course of his speech took occasion to repudiate some of the accounts that were commonly given by social and religious Reformers of the condition of Glasgow, and of the state of the working classes there. No one knew better than he the characteristic faults of those classes; but he emphatically denied the exaggerated statements as to their habits, with which sentimental proposals for their improvement were often supported. It must also be confessed that he was hurt by the manner in which his views had been misrepresented by that advanced section of abstainers who were ready to brand a man as an abettor of drunkenness if he did not inculcate their special opinions. His tract on Temperance had been more than once most unjustly handled by these people, and partly provoked by such criticisms, but still more as vindicating for working-men the liberty which was not denied to other classes, he spoke with a warmth and frankness which startled many.

"The city of Glasgow has somehow or other got such a very bad name for its weather and its morality, that one would suppose, from the statements made in some quarters, we sat soaking in water all the day, and soaking in whisky all the night; that we were engaged in cheating our neighbours on week days, and on Sabbath-day sat sulky and gloomy in the house. There has been a great tendency to exaggeration in describing the condition of the working classes. If people wish to advance teetotalism, they generally begin by showing what a dreadful set of blackguards the working classes are. When the question of the suffrage is brought above board, and if men do not wish to concede it, they say, 'Oh, you cannot grant it to the working classes.' These poor fellows are struck right and left, and the impression is given that in such a place as Glasgow there is nothing in the East-end but an enormous mass sunk in degradation, while, in the Terraces, and Streets, and Squares of the West-end there is a population almost entirely intelligent and pious.

"Do not let us fall into exaggeration. We have an enormous mass of ignorant people in Glasgow. We have a mass of Irish, neither under the care of priest or presbyter, and in a wretched, degraded condition; but I feel there is a vast number of steady, sober, God-fearing men amongst our working classes who are never heard of, and who, whilst these drunken fellows may be creating a disturbance in the streets, are sitting quietly by their firesides. Generally speaking, I must say the working classes are very like the upper classes. I find vulgar, dissipated, and indecent people in both classes. I must also state that the working classes have a respect for the clergy, and will always receive one with respect, provided he treats them with respect. But if one goes among the working classes he ought not to do so as if arranging for Popish controversies, or as a controversialist coming from one class to another. I am not going to argue the question, though I am ready to do so, but I hesitate not to say, as the result of my observation of Missions to Romanists as hitherto conducted in cities, that so far from their making Roman Catholics and the lower classes more accessible to the clergy, they have raised up barriers in their way which it is extremely difficult to overcome. So much do I believe this, that in my preaching to the working-men at night, I tell them I am not going to attack Romanism or Popery, because that doing so has driven men from the gospel. I am going to preach the gospel only. And I know that Roman Catholics do come, brought by those who attend regularly. I am very glad that it is proposed to combine the anti-popery agency with the home-mission agency, and I hope the Missionaries will go earnestly and lovingly amongst the people as brethren to brethren, not in the attitude of saying, ' You are wrong and we are right,' or ' We only want you to come from the Popish to the Protestant Church.' ....

"In regard to the means taken to educate the working classes we are too apt to forget that man is a compound being, a social being, and that it is important to help him to better house-accommodation, and a better know-ledge of natural laws. Above all, do not assume too high a standard as to the little luxuries enjoyed by working-men. Some say the working-man, in order to be temperate, must not taste a single drop of fermented liquor; and people, who have themselves their wine, may be heard talking wisely about the horror of the working-man having his glass of beer or porter. I cannot talk in this way. I should feel it hypocritical. I would rather say to them: 'God has given it to you, don't take it as from the devil, but use it as from God. Don't take it in the publichouses. If you wish to use such things, do so frankly, and as in the presence of God, at your own fireside, or before family worship, and if the minister comes in offer him some, and don't be ashamed.' Do not let me be misunderstood as to what I say about temperance, because, remember, there is a tendency among a certain type of teetotalers to spread as facts all that can be brought against any clergyman who dares to lift up his voice against what threatens to be a terrific tyranny in Scotland. Now mark what I do say. Do not suppose that when visiting the houses of working men I am in the habit of taking anything from them; I never do so. Nor would I be understood to say that I would not seek to make teetotalers among the working classes. When I find that any of them drink to excess, I try to make them resolve to be teetotal; but I put it in this form: 'Christ desires temperance, and if you can't be temperate without being teetotal, then you must be teetotal.' In the same way some people, in order to save the working-man from extravagance, say, 'Oh, this is dreadful; you have only from sixteen to seventeen shillings a week and yet I have more than once found you with a pipe in your mouth.' Now why should he not smoke his pipe? Do you imagine we are to have the confidence of the working classes if we speak to them in that fashion? I would rather say to him, ' I'll give you tobacco to keep your pipe lighted, I like one myself.' In order also to have working-men keep the Sabbath, some are in the habit of speaking to them against walking on the Sabbath, as if they were terrified to give them that liberty. But why should they wish to be less liberal than God who has made us and knows our frame? Let us be fair and honest with the working-man, and you will find him display no tendency to pervert your teaching if you deal with him in a spirit of liberality and in accordance with the laws of God properly interpreted. But when you are less liberal than God and draw the bow too much in one direction, it will rebound all the more on the other.'

He concluded a long speech by expressing his conviction that the grand instrument for elevating the working classes, and all classes, is the gospel. Along with the gospel, many plans of doing good might succeed; without the gospel they would certainly fail

To Miss Scott MONCRIEFF:—

"I am sorry to say that my old sciatica has returned, which makes me quite a cripple in mind and body, and neither of these instruments can be well spared by the minister of the Barony. I had an American clergyman breakfasting with me yesterday, and he tells me that the Revival goes on like a great flood, ever deepening and widening without almost an eddy or a wave; churches full every morning at eight in all the great cities, and life universally diffused. If this is from man, he is not so corrupt—not a sinner, but a saint in his disposition. If it is from the Devil—he is not the Devil we have taken him for. But it is from God, and therefore to be desired and prayed for. My American friend will address a prayer meeting in my church on the subject. Surely Scotland will share the blessing."

To the Rev. W. Fleming Stevenson:—
"September 27th, 1859.

"I have every intention of going to Ireland when the seed has reached the blade or full ear of corn. I think I shall then be able to have a truer understanding of the work. In the meantime I heartily recognise it as a work of God. Praise him for it! The one unquestioned fact of universal religious earnestness is itself a grand preparation of the soil for the seed. We must sow with all our might. Who need a revival more than some of us ministers?"

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