Abbildungen der Seite

or chiming in with the popular follies of the day, I know no church in which a good man might be more agreeably as well as beneficially engaged than in the Secession. The character of her ministers for learning and knowledge of Divine things, the general good behaviour of professors, the scriptural foundation of her doctrines and ecclesiastical polity, with her disinterested and generous appearance in behalf of a good cause against an enslaved body in the establishment, are very pleasant things indeed. But your own mind must pronounce the way in which you are to walk.

Let your eyes be towards God for counsel and direction; and make the views of the Bible, and not the maxims of a degenerate world, your standard of judging.”

Nothing can be more judicious than such counsels, or more necessary; for the pride of science is unwilling to bow to the Cross; and knowledge, especially in the young, puffeth up. If this letter evinces a strong partiality to the religious society with which he was connected, it must be remembered that the expression of this was necessary at that period, when dissent was likely to expose a young man to petulant ridicule. It is a proof how firmly Dr. Waugh was attached to the church to which he belonged, that he cherished and avowed such sentiments in a place where, at that time, he stood almost alone, and when he was far removed from the scenes where his fathers and brethren were striving together for the faith of the Gospel. The object of the letter was not to foster blind bigotry, but to lead his correspondent to

prove all things, and to hold fast that which is good.”

Those of his young friends who went abroad,

his heart followed with the most affectionate solicitude: he eagerly embraced every opportunity of writing to them; and his letters were not the gloomy suggestions of a monk - but cheerful, sagacious, and affectionate. To a youth in a strange land, where, amidst the cold civilities of general society, or the depressing influence of loneliness and solitude, the heart sighs for the voice of affection, counsels thus kind must have been peculiarly solacing : while the conviction of his wisdom and piety caused them to be received with the highest respect; and the idea that they came from his heart would open the whole soul to welcome their influence. Authority may awe, but love wins the heart.

We give the following specimens from letters written to a young man who had been brought up under his pastoral care, and who had gone to India in a medical capacity. The reader cannot but be struck with the suitableness of their counsels.

At sea, June 12, 1819. “ MY DEAR WILLIAM, “ Your account of your views and feelings in your last letter gave me much satisfaction, as it evinced a mind which change of scene and of society had not corrupted. I have always considered it as an indication of something good, when a young man, separated from his family, loves to look back on the days of youth, and innocence, and nature. Dr. Leyden's Scenes of Infancy,' on this account, have created a deep interest in the hearts of the good ; as · The Seasons,' by Thomson, had done before.

“ In your intercourse with the natives of Hindostan, you will see the baneful effects on a simple and tractable


people of superstitious sentiment combined with despotic power. You will perceive also, and deeply feel, the necessity of the assistance which Christianity affords in delivering the mind from both. You saw in England, and still more clearly in Scotland, the height of moral and manly worth to which the instruction and discipline of the Gospel raises the character of man. In truth, it requires only that we surrender fully and perseveringly our souls to the authority of God, in order to feel the transforming influences of Christianity on all the active principles of our souls, and to introduce the heart into a scene of enjoyments pure as their heavenly source, and enduring as our deathless natures. Connect, then, my dear William, with the object and services of our holy religion, every sentiment, feeling, and principle, that is dignified, good, and useful, the perfection of our nature, and the security of our happiness. In the possession of the principles of regeneration you find the surest foundation of usefulness and honour, of credit to your name, and of the most sacred joy to your excellent parents and all who share in your blood. These principles, however, must be suckled and fostered by reading, by habits of profitable thinking, and by the exercises of secret devotion. The daily reading of the Holy Scriptures, and the honest application of the laws, the facts, and the promises, which they contain, to the regulation of our conduct and the increase of our consolation, are indispensably necessary. The mind needs to be as constantly recruited as the body. It is by drinking in the sincere, or unadulterated, milk of the word, that the soul grows in piety and goodness, as truly as it is that the infant grows by partaking of the provision with which the God of nature hath supplied the mother's breast. There are diseases, also, that affect the mind as well as the body. I am convinced that you will be as much on your guard against an infectious atmosphere as any young man, but you cannot exceed in your caution. There is in our fallen nature a melancholy predisposition to catch moral infection, against which it will require more care than our own to defend us. By prayer and trust, we engage the guardianship of Heaven on our side.

“ These thoughts I know you will receive as they are intended : you will not ascribe them to profession, but to a heart that tenderly feels for your best interests.

“I must account for the strange date of my scrawl. I am off the Yorkshire coast, on a journey to the North, for the purpose of pleading the cause of the sons of the strangers, and replenishing the funds of our Missionary Society. I fear your road of duty has kept you at a distance from the stations of our missionaries at Surat, Calcutta, Madras, Bellary, Vizagapatam, Travancore, &c. As I know all our friends at those stations, I beg you will give, to such of them as you may see, my kindest remembrances.

The news of London I need not state to you. There is, however, one interesting event which will awaken your kind concern for a friend's future success in his important station. The people in Miles's Lane have invited my namesake to become their minister, and the Synod has approved of the choice, and ordered his settlement. The charge is great; and the situation of so young a man, and without experience, in London, is very hazardous. The only security he can have must arise from the guardianship of Heaven, and the promised presence of the Son of God. This, I trust, he will ever and earnestly implore, and with his supplications all who love him will kindly and cordially unite.

“ Now, farewell, my dear William. The God of your excellent father and mother be your God; his everlasting arms be around and underneath you. Live near to God in your thoughts, your confidence, your desires, and your hopes, - and you will be happy. I remain, with much unfeigned affection, your faithful friend.”

Dr. Waugh had a mind peculiarly susceptible

of delight in the contemplation of nature; and the survey of the coast of England, as it presented itself in the bold grandeur of its precipices, or the beauty and richness of its fields, and of the swelling deep as it lifted up its waves around him, elevated his mind in pious wonder : yet could he forego the holy pleasure of such prospects at the impulse of friendly solicitude; and the partial separation he now felt from his family and people seems to have rendered his sympathy more lively and tender with those whose distance was greater, and whose return was less likely than his. To the same young man he thus writes :

“I was truly happy to find your mind in so suitable a frame as that which your kind letter to me disclosed. Be well assured, my dear young friend, that just views of the holiness, the wisdom, and the goodness of the Divine government, lie at the foundation of all solid happiness. These views are given to us in the volume of Divine Revelation. Read that inspired volume, my dear William,-read its inestimable contents daily; read them with humility, and with eyes lifted to heaven, for the aid of God's good Spirit to enable you to understand their meaning, and relish their worth. Bring the promises home to your heart, for strength and consolation; the examples, that you may feel their attractive and transforming influence, especially the perfect example of the Son of God; and the laws, for regulating every movement of the heart, as well as the external deportment. On this foundation will you rear a structure of rational enjoyment while your life below remains, and of heavenly hope to illume its latest and darkest hours. In your public official capacity you will be a blessing to your country and a credit to your name. The

« ZurückWeiter »