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vated the sin, if we rest short of a sure and scriptural persua sion that we are in Christ, and se ready to die. The decisive interview between God and the soul must soon take place let us see that we are prepared for it. "Prepare to meet thy God."
THE POWER OF RELIGION,
Exemplified in the Heart-Exercises of some Eminent Saints of God.
JOHN WICKLIFFE, the Father of the English Reformation, was born A. D. 1324, died A. D. 1384. The following citations from his works will prove the creed of his heart. "He that followeth Christ, being justified by his righteousness, shall be saved by his offering." "Except a Christian be united to Christ by grace, he hath not Christ the Saviour." "If God will give me a teachable heart, a persevering constancy, and charity towards Christ, towards his Church, and towards the members of the Devil, who tear the Church of Christ, so that I may rebuke them out of pure charity, how glorious a cause shall I have to die for!"
JOHN HUSS, Rector of the University of Prague, in Bohe mia, was martyred at Constance, A. D. 1415. In a letter, which has been preserved, he addresses his divine Lord in the following terms, anticipating his sufferings: "O most merciful Christ, draw us weak creatures after thee; for except thou draw us, we are not able to follow thee. Give us a strong spirit, that it may be ready, and that it may be willing: and although the flesh be feeble, yet let thy grace go before us, go with us, and follow us; for we can do nothing, and much less enter into the death for thy sake.”
MARTIN LUTHER, the great German Reformer, died in peace, A. D. 1546. The principal doctrine of Luther's theology was, free justification by faith in the obedience and sacrifice of Christ. Perceiving his last moments approaching, he breathed forth an edifying prayer, of which the following is a part:- My heavenly Father, who art the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, thou God of all consolation, I give thee thanks that thou hast revealed to me the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom I have believed, whom I have professed, whom I have loved, whom I have preached, whom the Bishop of Rome and all the impious crowd persecute and put to an open shame. I beseech thee, my Lord Jesus Christ, receive my poor soul. O, my heavenly Father, although I leave this life, although I
am now to lay down this body, yet I assuredly know, that I shall live with thee for ever, and that none shall pluck me out of thy hands."
JOHN CALVIN, the French Reformer, is commended, even by his enemies, as "a man on whom God had conferred the most eminent talents," and as exhibiting in his life a rare example of holiness. He was regarded throughout Europe as the chief of the Reformers, after the death of Luther. He died A. D. 1564, at Geneva. The following is an extract from his will:-"I give thanks to God, that, taking pity on me, he hath delivered me out of the deep darkness of idolatry, into which I was plunged; and hath brought me into the light of his Gospel, and made me a partaker of the doctrine of salvation, of which I was most unworthy. And he hath not only greatly and graciously borne with my faults and sins, for which I deserve to be rejected of him, and cast out, but hath treated me with such meekness and mildness, that he hath vouchsafed to use my labours in preaching the truth of his Gospel. And I witness and declare, that I intend to pass the remainder of my life in the same faith and religion which he hath delivered to me by his Gospel; and not to seek any other aid or refuge for salvation than his free adoption, in which alone salvation resteth. And, with my whole heart, I embrace the mercy which he hath used towards me for Jesus Christ's sake; recompensing my faults with the merits of his death and passion; that satisfaction might be made, by this means, for all my sins and crimes, and the remembrance of them be blotted out. I witness also and declare, that I humbly beg of him, that, being washed and cleansed in the blood of that highest. Redeemer, shed for the sins of mankind, I may stand at his judgment-seat under the image of my Redeemer.
PATRICK HAMILTON, one of the earliest Reformers in Scotland, was related to the royal family. He was condemned and martyred in the same day, A. D. 1528, lest his interest with the king should procure his pardon. He suffered joyfully, calling on the Lord Jesus to receive his departing spirit. In a judicious tract on the principal points of evangelical doctrine, he "Since Christ, the Maker of heaven and earth, and le says, all is therein, behoved to die for us, we are compelled to grant, that we were so far drowned and sunk in sin, that neither our deeds, nor all the treasures that ever God made or might make, could have holpen us of them; therefore, no deeds or works may make us righteous. Now, seeing he hath paid thy debt, thou needest not, neither canst thou pay it, but
wouldst be damned if this blood had not been shed for thee O, how ready we would be to help others, if we knew his goodness and gentleness towards us! He is a good and gentle Lord, for he doth all for nought. Let us, I beseech, you, therefore, follow his footsteps, whom all the world ought to praise and worship. Amen.'
JOHN KNOX, the great Scotch Reformer, He died A. D. 1572. A few days before his death, he sent for all the ministers in the several churches in Edinburgh, to whom he delivered an affectionate exhortation. "That day is now at hand," said he, "which I have so often and intensely longed for; in which, having finished my labours, and gone through my various sorrows, I shall be dissolved, and be with Christ. And do ye, my dearest brethren in the faith and labours of Jesus, persist in the everlasting truths of his Gospel. Look diligently to the flocks, with whose oversight God hath entrusted you, and which he hath redeemed to himself by the blood of his Son." Perceiving his death approaching, he poured forth his soul in prayer as follows:- "Lord Jesus, sweetest Saviour, into thy hands I commend my spirit. Look, I beseech thee, with favour upon this Church which thou hast redeemed, and restore peace to this afflicted commonwealth. Raise up pastors after thine own heart, who may take care of thy Church; and grant that we may learn, as well from the blessings as from the chastisements of thy providence, to abhor sin, and to love thee with full purpose of heart."
ARCHBISHOP CRANMER, martyred A. D. 1556. The following is part of a letter which he wrote while in prison, to a pious lady:-"The true Comforter in all distresses is only God, through his Son Jesus Christ; and whosoever hath him hath company enough, if he were in a wilderness all alone; and he that hath twenty thousand in his company, if God be absent, is in a miserable wilderness and desolation. In him is all comfort, and without him is none; therefore, I beseech you, seek your dwelling there, where you may truly and rightly serve God, and dwell in him, and have him ever dwelling in you. And the Lord send his Holy Spirit to lead and guide you wheresoever you go, and all that be godly will say, Amen.”
ORDINATION.-On Tuesday, the 18th inst., the Rev. William Graham was ordained to the pastoral charge of the congregation of Dundonald. The services of the day were conducted by the Rev. John M'Aulay, Rev. John Hanna, Rev. John Orr, and Rev. Hugh Woods.
CHARACTER AND WRITINGS OF THE
BY THE REV. C. J. BROWN.
[The following interesting communication from the Rev. C. J. Brown, on the life, character, and writings of Dr. M'Crie, we copy from "The Scottish Guardian," with the following remarks from the talented Edi tor of that excellent paper.-ED.]
"By the death of this eminent man, whose funeral took place on Wednesday last in Edinburgh, the Church sustained a loss like that which it suffered in the fall of Dr. Thomson, both whose deaths were sudden and unlooked for. As there was no one upon whom the mantle of Dr. Thomson fell, so there is no hope of a successor to the spirit of Dr. M'Crie. His spirit was one of deep discernment of wisdom and of counsel. His mind was not of this superficial and agitated age, but had the riches and repose of the olden studious times. How delightful it would have been, how instructive to the Church and world, to have received a full record of the dying thoughts of so great and good a man! They might have been a lesson and comfort to many. But God's thoughts are not as man's thoughts. It has pleased him to give us a lesson in a different way."
VIEWING Dr. M'Crie as a Christian man, we look back on one, the whole tenor of whose life gave evidence of deep, and elevated, and humble piety. His personal character was not only irreproachable, but eminently exemplary. If his profession was high and peculiar, it was borne out by his life. What he taught so ably and eloquently from the press and the pulpit, his conduct exemplified. He was often brought into circumstances fitted to put the strength of his Christian principles to the test and he as often showed that neither personal ease nor reputation among men, was so dear to him as the service of Christ and a good conscience. We should add here, what could not fail to make his character and example the more influential, that he was a person of the most amiable and every way winning manners in the intercourse of private life.
As a minister of the Gospel, Dr. M'Crie was of no common eminence. If his preaching was not distinguished for that particular kind of eloquence which has of late years become fashionable in Scotland, yet was he, in our judgment, one of the best preachers in the country. A rich and exalted tone of doctrine, deep seriousness, and affectionate, though calm earnestness, copiousness of Scripture illustration, an elegant and chaste simplicity of diction, together with fulness of practical application to the hearts and consciences of his hearers,--these were qualities which appeared prominently in his discourses. Jn lecturing on the historical Scriptures, he was peculiarly
happy, bringing to bear on the lives of Jewish patriarchs and kings the same acuteness of perception, knowledge of the heart, and accurate discrimination of character, which shine in his biographies. If in other departments of preaching he excelled most men, in this he seemed to excel himself. How he acted in the other duties of the pastoral office, and in the important situation of Theological Professor, which he long filled in the excellent body of Seceders with which he was connected, we have no particular means of knowing; but his faithfulness in the former was sufficiently evinced, by the affectionate attachment of that flock which now deplores his loss; while the superior character of the younger ministers generally of his connexion, bears witness to his eminence in the latter.
But worthy of high respect and esteem as Dr. M'Crie was, both as a Christian man and minister, he was remarkable chiefly as a writer, in which character, as his fame had extended beyond the limits of this country, so his loss will be felt, not in Scotland only, but in Europe and America. His lives of Knox and Melville form specimens almost unrivalled, in that interesting department of writing which may be termed historical biography, and which combines what in history is enlarged, comprehensive, and publicly important, with what is minute, and graphic, and spirited in biography. In a very high degree the lives of Knox and Melville unite the peculiar excellencies of both. The history is marked by profound research, by extensive erudition, by unwearied care in the unravelling of controverted facts, by a generous candour, and by enlarged and truly philosophic reflection, pointing the mind of the reader to the great practical uses of the events narrated. The biography is characterised, not only by the same successful care in clearing up the events in the individual's life, but by an admirable tact in laying open the springs and motives of his actions, showing their bearing on the history of the period, and, generally, portraying his character with vigour, minuteness, and accuracy. But principally are these works important for the mighty service they have done to the cause of the Reformation in Scotland. They have rescued from unmerited obloquy the character and actions of our leading Reformers: they have shown what a debt of gratitude is owing to them, under God, not only by the cause of religion, but of liberty also, and learning: they have exposed the erroneous and partial character of those statements, by means of which Hume and other historians had occupied the minds of the English, and multitudes of the Scotch also, with the idea that Knox and