Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

as well as chairman of the committee of examination. There too, till age and infirmity forbad, he was wont to attend with most exemplary punctuality. Nor did he sit as a silent and uninterested spectator. Though he carefully avoided that loquacious impertinence which ultimately renders the individual contemptible who indulges in it, he was, at the same time, most strictly watchful over all great interests, and never failed to interpose his paternal advice when his judgment dictated the propriety of the measure. Sharing equally in the good-will of all who listened to bim, his words fell with acceptance upon every ear; and if any differed from him in judgment, none felt alienated in heart. He knew how to advocate any particular measure without rousing the jealousy of its opponent, whose 'good mind' was always taken for granted, and whose practical wisdom was not so much as brought under suspicion. The advantage gained by this method was immense. While it lulled all peevish anxiety, on the one hand, it gave full force to every legitimate argument, on the other, and shed an air of loveliness over even controversy itself. It is firmly believed, that during all the years in which he sat in the missionary direction, he was never known to use a harsh epithet to any one who felt it his duty to oppose his particular views. Sometimes, indeed, he would venture on a well-chosen repartee, at the expense of his opponent; but his entire deportment was so much that of a Christian gentleman, that no feeling of asperity could survive the immediate occasion of its excitement.

[ocr errors]

“ There were certain measures which carried along with them his enthusiastic admiration. He was a warm friend to the progressive improvement in the system of missionary education. He loathed the very idea of sending forth ignorant men and novices to propagate the faith of Christ among the heathen; and therefore, whenever a fit opportunity offered of expressing his sentiments on this head, his uniform advice was, “Let the lads have the very best drilling you can give them; for after all you can enable them to pick up in three or four short years, they will find it sutticiently difficult to cope with their poor ungodly countrymen, to say nothing of their mission to the heathen.'

“ He was also greatly disposed to countenance every proposition which contemplated the legitimate comfort of the missionary, whether in his native country, or after his arrival upon the heathen shores. Invariably did he strive to preserve a tender link of attachment between the directors and all their agents. Highly did he estimate the claims of the missionary office; and he was ever anxious to secure for it all the honour and all the accommodation to which it was entitled. He could not endure to hear any thing said that tended to detract from that spiritual dignity with which Christ has invested it. He wished all the servants of the Society to go forth under the high and sacred feeling, that they were the ministers of the Lord Jesus, patronised by their attached brethren and equals. Let not,' he would often say, 'the poor lads be cowed; for who ever knew

a cowed man do any good in this world ? Of their personal, domestic, and ministerial equipment he was most tenderly careful; and always deeply regretted that the funds of the Society compelled the missionaries, generally, to leave their country with such a scanty supply of useful books. In all cases he was a friend to liberal measures; and he had an undisputed right to be so, for the spirit of British benevolence had generously responded to his manly and eloquent appeals.

The fund recently established for the benefit of the widows of missionaries had his most determined support. He did not look upon the establishment of such a fund in the light of a welltimed charity; but maintained, often with ardour, that it was a positive act of justice to those men who had sacrificed their all for the good of souls, and whose widows and orphans were, therefore, the real property of the Society, and had an undoubted claim upon its support. He lamented, to the hour of his death, that the income of the widows' fund was so utterly inadequate; and did not fail, whenever be advocated the interests of the Society, to press its peculiar claims.

“But in nothing, perhaps, is Dr. Waugh a more distinct object of remembrance in the board of direction, than in his addresses to missionaries and their wives previously to their quitting their native shores.* On these solemn occasions every ear was attentive, every eye glistened with deep

not takiety, to pred

perhaps once in the cries

* See the brief specimens of addresses to missionaries inserted at pp. 283–288.

interest, and every heart was thrilled with Christian emotion. He was tender as a dying father to his weeping children; the missionary and his beloved wife felt instantly that they lived in his generous heart; his words fell with more tban patriarchal solemnity and affection upon the ear; the love of Christ constrained him, and he spoke as if his lips had been touched with a live coal from off the altar of God; the duties, temptations, trials, encouragements, attendant upon missionary labour, were all most vividly depicted. But every thing was mild, persuasive, and affectionate; there were no grating words of authority; it was a moment devoted to the meltings of prayer, and to the full exercise of Christian love. He seemed to know the actual feelings of a missionary, and he made his appeal to them in a manner never to be forgotten: there was nothing cold — nothing reserved — nothing indicative of suspicion, in his manner. He took for granted the existence of the noblest principles and the best affections of the mind, and brought to bear upon his weeping and penetrated auditory all the high consolations and encouragements of the Divine word. Some of the most faithful of the Society's missionaries have been known to speak with lively feeling of his parting counsels to the close of their earthly pilgrimage; and, indeed, that must have been an unfeeling heart upon which a lasting impression had not been made. The entire scene was one of the heart, and bore a striking resemblance to the parting interview of Paul with the elders of the church at Ephesus. Intense sympathy was

I

awakened in behalf of those devoted servants of Christ, about to bid adieu for ever to the endearments of kindred and of home; the warm current of human and sanctified affections flowed generously towards them; and the spirit of prayer rose to Heaven on their behalf. The venerable counsellor was himself forgotten, and every bosom heaved a sigh of tenderness over those who might never be expected to revisit their native shores.

“ In closing this necessarily brief reference to the standing which Dr. Waugh occupied in the London Missionary Society, it is but simple justice to affirm, that he considered his connexion with that highly honoured institution as contributing most essentially to the early developement and the subsequent usefulness of his ministerial character.

“On the other hand, it is equally certain, that his early efforts in behalf of the Society did much to establish it in the Christian confidence and affection of the public, particularly in that influential denomination to which the Doctor himself belonged, and among his beloved countrymen in general, both in England and north of the Tweed.”

To the above able and accurate sketch of Dr. Waugh in this connexion, we shall subjoin an extract from a very interesting communication (of which we have also availed ourselves in other parts of the memoir) from the Rev. Dr. Philip, distinguished for his important missionary labours in Southern Africa. The passage here given is par

« ZurückWeiter »