« ZurückWeiter »
« On the subject of your last letter, I shall lay down two or three general principles, on which it will be found wise to rest. One fundamental principle is this, that the finished work of Christ is the sole foundation of all our hope, Isaiah, xxviii. 16; 1st Peter, ii. 6, 7. Another principle is this, that the man who builds on this foundation — who reposes trust and confidence in the atoning sacrifice of the Son of God, shall be pardoned, blessed, and saved, Romans, v. 1; Acts, xiii. 38, 39. Another principle is this, that true faith in Christ will diffuse peace over the mind in proportion to its strength, and will induce a man to resist the power of inward corruption, and to cultivate a spirit of love to the Saviour, to his laws, to his institutions, and to his people, 1st Peter, i. 22. Another principle is this, that sensible joy in true religion does not always flow even from real faith in Christ. It may be hindered by the weakness of our faith, by the state of our animal spirits, by the pressure of outward calamity, and other causes. It is very dangerous, therefore, to lean on frames, which are always insecure and changeable. Our duty is calmly to place our humble, but firm confidence in the obedience and death of the Son of God, and go forward, with holy determination of soul, amidst the spiritual fogs and mists which God may occasionally suffer to envelope us. The foundation of God standeth sure. Let us rear our hopes on this foundation, and in the end all shall be well. Remember that God is sovereign in disposing of the sensible joys of religion, and bow down to that sovereignty.”
“ Salisbury Place, August 29, 1817. “ In regard to the places which you wish to see, I fear that, by the associations in my mind, I have attached to them more interest than you will think them entitled to. The ruins of Norham Castle are important in themselves, and as the first scene in Marmion. The view down and up the Tweed from Coldstream Bridge — the view from
Kelso Bridge up the Tweed and Teviot — the ruins of Roxburgh Castle, and view from it. Pinel Haugh, near Ancrum, on which the monument to the Duke of WelJington is reared, is said to command a singularly fine view up the Jed, and up and down the Teviot. When you reach my brother's, you must go over to Dryburgh Abbey, and up to the colossal statue of Wallace; but above all to Auld Meuross. I feel some apprehension of difficulty in getting permission, unless Mr. Elder, our worthy minister at Newtown, attend you. You should go down into the Haugh about five or six in the afternoon, when the sun shines over, and leaves Gledswood Bank in impressive shade. It must be a sunshiny evening to see it to advantage. Inquire for Holywell and Halydean Mill, the habitation up in the Gate Heugh, scaur of the fox and the hawk. Go into the summer-house, and mark in how many directions you see the river. Look up the river from the back of Colonel Lockhart's house towards Drygrange Bridge. Go to Drygrange Bridge, and, with the sun at your back at five o'clock, look down to Auld Meuross, and along the banks of the Tweed. Leave the scene in an hour, if you can. Go to Melrose; the guide will shew you all : you see the place where Michael Scott lay, where the banners waved without the wind; and go over Melrose Bridge, and come east on the north side by Gattonside, till you come back to Drygrange Bridge. Cross the Leader — pass through Redpath — go north by Cowdenknowes — see Sir Thomas Learmont's tower, • Thomas the Rhymer's.' Call on Mrs. --- and on Dr. — -, and ask him for a line of introduction to Joseph Hume, Esq. of Carrolside, to see Carrolside. But I am interrupted.”
“ Salisbury Place, 17th July, 1822. “ You would be gratified at seeing the exemplary kindness of my good folk in Wells-street, on the 7th inst., to the poor Irish. It amounts now to 761. and as many bundles of clothes as the upper vestry closet can well hold.
O! how thankful should we be who have bread enough and to spare; and that God makes his redeemed people able and willing to offer after this sort. But let us ever remember, that it is of his own only we give him, and that our most liberal gifts are but a peppercorn of acknowledgment for blessings above all calculation great.
“ Salisbury Place, Feb. 24, 1825. “ I have been unwell for this fortnight, and was confined to the house on Sabbath. I was fearful that word might wander down to you, and gather magnitude in its progress, to alarm you and your brother; and therefore, when -- was with us, I dictated a long scrawl, some parts towards the close barely grave enough for an old man confined to the house by indisposition ; but I did it of design, to convince you that my spirits were good, and in their usually elevated tone, when I got west to Gordon, and back to the playful scenes of my youth. I fear 's gravity will be hurt, but I am sure his worthy father's would not.
“ I had a kind letter yesterday from the good Mr. Wilberforce, informing me that he was that day to vacate his seat in parliament. How much I owe, for these thirty years past, to that good man. It took its origin in the piety of John Ker, and has continued, on his part, in a course of uninterrupted beneficence to this day. His Christianity has truly been the religion of the heart, embodied in a life of active goodness. What a character will his be, when exhibited in its native beauty, and emblazoned with all the lustre of unassumed piety, which even the atmosphere of his own modesty could not conceal! What a change on human conduct would our holy religion produce, were men but to surrender their hearts to its transforming tendency! ? “ Friday morning, 25th.-- I dislike to owe trifles ; do therefore put. Is. 2d. into —-'s hands, the postage of a letter I owe him on the business of the poor widow
- I am working for your uncle on the late Mr. Wilson's business; and after pointing out to your dear sister some of the beauties of the 15th of Romans, which she has read in our worship, I sit down to scrawl a few thoughts, as they may arise, to you. In the first place, are you making good progress in your French? Can you hold half an hour's conversation with your pundit? In the second place, I hope you are daily refreshing your soul with the heavenly waters of Dunblane,*-that is a spa of celestial origin, and its waters purify and invigorate decayed constitutions. In the third place, have you Colonel Blackadder's Diary, by Crichton? It is not a lady's book, I know; but it would gladden the heart and soul of my old and worthy friend - to read such a blessed union of piety, courage, and patriotism. Be sure to prevail on — to get one; and if he suffer himself to be diverted from the perusal, though all the wort should boil over the pot, and the swine run through the mash, he is not the man I take him to be. Our friend — is gathering materials for a history of that ungratefully and basely used body of men, the Covenanters. Had Charles Fox lived to carry on his History of the Revolution, he would have set their worth in a fair and just light. The Fragment that he published awakened such a desire in London for the Cloud of Witnesses, Wodrow's History, the Hind let Loose, Peden's Life, and Cargill's, that there was not a copy to be found in either shop or stall; though, at Mr. Wilberforce's request, I employed Mr. Murray to ransack every hole and box for them. It is easy for literary dandies, sitting at their ease, to hold up to the laugh of ignorance the caricatured features of men whom oppression drove to madness; but a single glance of whose eye—the eye of Burley, infuriated with manly indignation--would have annihilated the thing in a moment. It is really a grievous and vexing concern,
* Bishop Leighton.
to see the best blood of our country thus degraded and reproached, and the soundest piety covered with the mantle of hypocrisy and rebellion. Now I have got my breath out, and am done.
rat* at Edinburgh,
“ Your letter, descriptive of your treat at Edinburgh, in hearing Dr. Chalmers preach, pleased, and I hope edified us too. It was not the earthen vessel, I am sure, though composed of no common clay, that delighted you, with all the figures of rhetoric with which its exterior was decorated, but the golden treasure it contained. It is a great comfort to ordinary folk who go into pulpits, that the people must look to the treasure, if they would gain either pleasure or profit, as there is little temptation to look to the crazed and cracked vessel that contains it; though the enslaved state of our minds to public opinion induces us to make the earthenware as fine and gaudy as we can.
“ Peckham, June 28, 1825. “ I left your dear mother yesterday morning, rather complaining under an apprehension of a visit of erysipelas ; but I hope the holy St. Anthony, should the disease actually pay its threatened visit, will check its progress, and secure, at a time when it is much needed, some little credit to mother church. You see, by the date, that I am under the hospitable roof of our beloved friends, to whose worth you are no stranger. We expect a great spiritual treat to-morrow. Do not tell Mr. B., or he will find the truth of that Scripture,' the spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy.' I am to enjoy the sacred ministrations of the great and good Robert Hall, at the opening of the anti-padobaptist chapel, at the end of Denmark Row.
“ Our communion is on Sabbath, when we expect the assistance of Dr. Jamieson (who to-morrow will have the honour of laying the Appendix of his Scottish Dictionary