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The following communications respecting his ministerial services (the first received from a much-respected member of his Session, the other from one of his own family) will be interesting to our readers, by giving a short detail of the numerous and important labours in the congregation which occupied his attention, besides his regular public instructions from the pulpit.
“ His conduct in the Session, as moderator, manifested a constant desire to procure peace and unanimity, and an anxiety to avoid whatever might have a tendency for a moment to interrupt it, either among themselves, or in the congregation at large. And as no one knew better the constitution of man, and how to gain a desirable object, without hurting the feelings or giving offence, he succeeded in a way that often excited the admiration of his brethren.
“ In all their deliberations respecting the spiritual concerns of those committed to their charge, fidelity to the souls of his beloved flock was ever conspicuous. No vague report prejudicial to character was tolerated for a moment. But when truth and evidence brought the conduct of any into serious investigation, this produced feelings and expressions of the deepest
evening, though often much exhausted, in higher spirits than usual, from the consciousness of having been more fully employed in his Master's service; and, on the contrary, when, owing to indisposition or other necessary obstacle, he was prevented from preaching at least thrice, he was depressed with a feeling of not having fully performed his duty, and of being, as it were, “but an unprofitable servant."
sorrow and regret, as well as ardent prayers for restoration.
“ Being seated in the midst of his Session, in the vestry, one Sabbath evening, a stranger came up, and made inquiry respecting some particular point in the character of a member of his congregation. To the extent of the inquiry Dr. Waugh gave a true and most satisfactory answer; but carefully refrained from passing any judgment on bis general character. On the inquirer retiring, a member of the Session - an excellent mancautioned him in these terms: “You know, sir, our Doctor never speaks ill o' ony man ; indeed, I verily believe that if Satan himsel were to ask him for a night's lodging on a cauld oight, he wouldna refuse him.' Dr. Waugh cast a mildlyrebuking look at the speaker, and said, 'Ah! my man; I much fear that you and I have often given him a night's lodging, without his speering * our leave.'
“ While reproof and admonition were given with firmness and fidelity, pity, sympathy, and love formed no small part of this ungracious, but imperative, because commanded, duty; and this happy union of justice and mercy often produced most beneficial effects. Those thoughtless persons, who, after giving themselves to Christ and the church by profession, fall into snares and temptations, are little sensible of the concern and grief such conduct occasions to faithful pastors. who watch for their souls as those that must give an account.
On the preceding Sabbath, he intimated the numbers of the seats the proprietors of which were requested to attend. The service consisted of extensive illustrations of the questions in the Assembly's Catechism, and of answers given to questions asked on such topics as arose in the course of the conversation. However simply, easily, and kindly the exercise was managed, he found that there existed such an increasing unwillingness on the part of the people to come forward on these occasions, that it was, with great reluctance on his part, discontinued.”
The following circular, addressed to each member of his church, will serve to illustrate the deep interest and the minute duties which he cultivated in connexion with his office as their pastor:
“ MY DEAR Friend, “ The church being divided into districts corresponding to the number of the elders, and some little alteration being found necessary in consequence of the late addition to the eldership, I send this to inform you that you are placed in the division which is intrusted to the spiritual care and superintendence of our beloved brother, Mr. —
"We nothing doubt but that the members of the church will, in the language of the apostle, “know them that are over them in the Lord, and esteem them very highly in love, for their work's sake;' in the dark hour of sickness will invite them to pray over them; to comfort them, by conducting the troubled mind to the cross, to the precious promises of the Gospel, and to scriptural views of the holiness, wisdom, and goodness of Divine Providence, in all our tribulations.
“ It is very desirable that the afflicted members of the
church convey information to the minister and elders of their indisposition, as soon as possible; and when other methods fail, it is requested that they send word by the two-penny post.
“ With earnest and growing concern for your spiritual welfare, and the welfare of all who are dear to you,
“ I remain, my dear friend,
“ Al. Waugh.”
“ In the performance of the duty of ministerial visitation,” says one of his daughters, “ much of my dear father's time was consumed. For many months in the year the evenings of two or three days in each week were devoted by him to the visiting of his people from house to house, between the hours of six and ten; after which he would return home with his bodily strength so entirely exhausted as frequently to alarm his family; but with a mind cheerful and happy, his whole heart glowing with gratitude to God for his great kindness in giving him strength to do his work, and in providing him so many comforts when it was completed.
“On the first Tuesday of every month, from four till five o'clock in the afternoon, he met in the vestry the children of his congregation, from five to about fourteen years of age. He heard them all repeat their Catechism, and the younger ones a hymn which he had given them to learn. To the older ones he gave a question from Scripture history, to be answered in writing by the next meeting. He advised them to make their answers simple, and as much in Scripture language as they could, that he might see they had sought in the Bible for their knowledge. This plan he found particularly beneficial, and often expressed his surprise and pleasure at the answers they brought him. His manner to them was most tender and kind; so that instead of seeking to escape from their lessons, they looked forward to the day of meeting him with great delight, and felt disappointed if any thing prevented his attendance.* He was always particularly anxious to keep this monthly engagement with the children; insomuch that, when in health, no state of the weather, although he resided a mile and a half from the chapel, ever detained him from it,- nor indeed from the performance of any other ministerial service in his own chapel, whether he was at home during the day, or out upon other duties, or in social family parties. The last time he met them he was unusually pleased; he himself went and opened the door, patted them each on the
* He was in the habit, twice in the year, of providing a little collation of fruit for the younger children in the vestry, and of distributing it among them with his own hands, accompanied with expressions of parental caution or encouragement to each, suitable to their several capacities and characters. This is noticed merely as a slight trait indicative of his pastoral benevolence.
+ Since the removal of Dr. Waugh, the ministers supplying the pulpit in Wells Street have occasionally resumed the above department of pastoral duty, and have expressed their gratification at the most interesting evidences given by these young children of the uncommon pains which must have been bestowed on their instruction in divine things by their late minister.