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would have said, “ If he can listen to such a communication, so opposite to my whole spirit and conduct, he is unworthy of any explanation:" but, with a patience truly admirable, and with all the dignity of honourable feeling, he wrote to him ; and the letter breathes the noblest spirit of integrity, candour, and kindness. After stating the manner in which the offence taken had been made known to him, he says :
“Now, my dear brother, as the simplest and shortest way of removing the suspicion, I beg leave, in the most solemn manner, to assure you that I never, in the whole course of my life, wrote an anonymous letter; that I never was concerned in, or privy to, the writing of an anonymous letter to any human being; that I was, and am, an utter stranger to the authors or contents of any letters that came by post, or otherwise, to you, through my hands, during the time you were in London; that your ministry or preaching never was a subject of conversation, deliberation, or discussion, in the Session of Wells Street. If a word was ever spoken, it was expressive of personal esteem, and of concern lest you should hurt your own health by the frequency and fervour of your preaching. There is not one of my elders but is as incapable of so foul a measure as myself. We may be well assured that an enemy hath done this. Perhaps the great enemy of souls, fearing that his kingdom might suffer by our affectionate union and co-operation, is trying to create jealousies of each other, in order to cool our hearts, and weaken our hands. If so, it is my firm purpose, in a dependence on Divine grace, to thwart his malignant aims, and to cleave to you personally, to your interest, and the success of the Gospel under your ministry, with more ardour than ever; and be well assured, that it will be my unceasing concern to evince the sincerity of my heart; and
I will look for a cordial return, and assure myself of it, from you.
“Let me just add, what you know very well, that I expressed to you in conversation my conviction, that preaching in other chapels than our own was quite suitable to our ministerial obligations to preach the truth wherever Providence opened a door,— especially in London, where it is never considered to be a dereliction or abandonment of our peculiar views as to church order, to preach in a church of a different fellowship from our own.
“ Now, my brother and my affectionate friend, I hope I have effectually removed every unpleasant feeling from your mind, and trust we shall both of us improve the event for strengthening our mutual love, and putting us on our guard against every thing that would create jealousy or heart-burning in our bosoms for the future; and that should ever any similar occurrence take place, we shall frankly and openly make mention of it, that its unhappy influence on our minds may be immediately prevented. Ever and most affectionately yours.
“ London, March 11, 1811.”
How many heart-burnings would be quenched, how many misunderstandings removed, and how much mischief prevented, by explanations thus prompt and friendly! Anonymous letters are often the vehicle employed by the malicious to wound the feelings of persons whom they envy, and to create jealousy and alienation betwixt those whose friendship they regard with dislike. The wise and the good should unite in indignant contempt of a practice which, while it evinces a malignity capable of any deed of cruelty, exhibits it associated with a cowardice which can only stab in the fancied security of silence and darkness,
GOOD-HUMOURED LETTER OF CAUTION.
GOOD-HUMOURED LETTER OF CAUTION.
a treachery which can fawn and smile on him whom it has laboured to wound,—and a hypocrisy which can justify its baseness, when exposed, as a zeal for God.
We shall now give a specimen of the happy dexterity with which Dr. Waugh performed one of the most delicate offices of friendship. The minister to whom the letter that follows is written is a man of high talent, eminent in the fear of God, and most upright, candid, and ingenuous. However liberal his views of church fellowship may be, his good sense would have kept him from obtruding them at an unsuitable time. It was to quiet the fears of those who had misconceived his intentions, or who did not know the man, that Dr. Waugh sent him this letter, in which good sense and Christian feeling are most happily blended with kindness and pleasantry.
“ Salisbury Place, Sept. 1st, 1820. “ MY DEAR SIR, “ A worthy neighbour of mine brought what you will think a strange report to me the other day, and he prevailed on me to present this strange request to you:You are to preach the Synod sermon this year, and your subject, he told me, is to be the communion of saints in the church below. An opinion, he says, prevails among some of his brethren in the west of Scotland, that you are rather a latitudinarian on that point. The good men are afraid, that if you go the full length of your tether, you will sweep into the fold a mixed multitude, like Jacob's flock, of ring-streaked, spotted, and speckled, and brown,- Independents, abjured Prelatists, and even black Papists, over and above the adherents to the corrupt Kirk of Scotland. This, they fear, will create such alarm as may
greatly bazard the consummation of the good work which lies so near the heart of all good men. He told me, also, that they wished me, in the faith of my powerful influence over you (a thing I am by no means disposed to call in question), to give you a hint, in the words of a greater man than either of us, ' That we who are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. I told him, very frankly, that I was sure you would designedly say nothing that could hurt the weakest mind, especially on an occasion when the object is to bring forward the level sides, and not the sharp angles, of the materials in this building of mercy, forbearance, and love.
“ Now I have executed my commission ; and were you not the man I know you to be, I would say a great deal about the liberty I take with you, about my hope that you will not be offended, and other froth of that kind. I am very grave, however, when I say, that I assure myself you will have better aid in your public service than your notebook. Every blessing, my dear good man, be in your cup, and in that of your affectionate friend and faithful servant !”
On the occasion to which Dr. Waugh has referred, this excellent man delivered a most judicious and appropriate discourse on the headship of Christ over his church,—a discourse which gave universal satisfaction; and while he presided in the measures which were taken for the consummation of the union already alluded to, conducted himself with dignified propriety, and with that affability and kindness which shewed how much he delighted in that scene of reconciliation in which the strife of seventy years was closed, and an earnest was given of the power of charity going forth to bear testimony to that purity of doctrine by which
the Secession Church had been uniformly distinguished.
It is proper that we should give a specimen of his ordinary correspondence with his friends; and we select the following letter to a lady he highly valued for her piety, kindness, and beneficence:-
“ Tunbridge Wells, Sept. 1, 1826. “ MY DEAR FRIEND, “When I left your peaceful happy home, I expected in a few days to visit Harrowgate ; but the sudden illness of Mrs. Waugh's sister, who was to accompany us, obliged us to defer our departure for a little. After we thought the way was clear, a relapse made us again call a halt. At length we resolved to abandon Harrowgate altogether, on account of the distance, and the weakness of our invalids, and we set off for this place a month yesterday. The chapel is to be re-opened on Sabbath the 17th instant; and be assured that, as soon after as possible, I shall throw myself on your hospitality,
“This is a lovely place; and, through the indulgence of the Rev. Mr. Finlay, the resident minister of the chapel in the Countess of Huntingdon's connexion, I have been allowed to recommend the person, office, grace, and laws of our Divine Master from the pulpit every Sabbath evening. Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound,- the sound of pardon, liberty, life, and salvation. It is this Gospel that marks the importance in which man is held in the universe ; for, as the Rector of Wellwyn justly observes, • If a God dies, he dies not for a worm.' This sentiment we admit, and are willing to rise into the importance it refers to ; but, alas ! how little we feel of the elevation of desire and hope of the future grandeur, sanctity, and blessedness, of our redeemed nature! Head, heart, and hands, still in the clay; the atmosphere still cloudy ; but I bless God, this is not iny home. I have seen the seventy-third