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“ Dear ALEXANDER, “ The hint I heard concerning Mr. Blackhall vexed me. I have written to him, and I hope he will be up at the Presbytery. I beg you will have all your trials ready. Cast your burdens on the Lord; but beware of any attempt to slight what in Providence you are called to, otherwise the Lord may averige it on you while you live. God makes our strength as our days are. Cast all your care on Him. I am far from thinking it a token that a man is not called, that he, when it comes near to the point, is terrified. Christ got forty days of sad temptation, before he was licensed to preach the Gospel, Matt. iv. But if we will sit God's time, the consequences are apt to be dangerous. My advice to you is, to make a solemn surrender of yourself to God, before coming to the Presbytery. I hope the Lord has let some of the wind out of you, that I thought was in you when I first knew you. Beg of him to fill its room with himself and his grace.
« Yours affectionately,
“ John Brown.” “ Haddington, Feb. 13, 1779.”
Every pious and considerate man entering into the ministry, when he contemplates the difficulties and temptations which arise out of that sacred office, and the all-important trust of souls, for which he makes himself responsible, will be disposed to say with Paul, “ Who is sufficient for these things ?" And his chief encouragement will be derived from a confidential reliance on the power and faithfulness of that Master who hath kindly promised, “ My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” After long and mature reflection on the arguments and reasoning employed by his friends, accompanied with fervent supplications to the Father of Lights for his guidance and blessing, he at last resolved to dedicate his whole heart and soul to the service of God in the Gospel of bis Son. When he had completed, in a very honourable manner, the course of trial that had been prescribed to bim, he was licensed to preach the Gospel, by the Presbytery of Edinburgh, at Dunse, June 28, 1779; his affectionate and pious minister, Mr. Coyentry, presiding as moderator on the occasion.
It ought to be noticed here, that, during the intervals of his academical studies, the residence of his parents (latterly removed to the farm of Caldron-brae, a few miles distant from Gordon) had always been Mr. Waugh's ordinary home; and this continued to be the case even after he had assumed a more public character, by becoming a licensed preacher of the Gospel, (or a Probationer, according to the Scottish term), and being of consequence frequently deputed to carry on the work of the ministry in different quarters, as need required. And thus the simplicity of his early feelings, his warm domestic affections, and all the delightful associations of his school-boy days, were stamped, as it were, indelibly into his character, and, in lovely combination with the higher aspirations of his ripened intellect, were carried by him, fresh and unimpaired, into the active scenes of his manhood.
After obtaining license, Mr. Waugh justified the sanguine expectations of his friends, by proving both an able and very acceptable preacher. In
every part of the church where he was called to labour, he was esteemed as a workman who needed not to be ashamed. His prayers were distinguished by a copious variety of Scriptural expressions, and a most happy adaptation to the condition and circumstances of every class of the audience, uttered with a gravity of manner and a melting pathos, which solemnised the mind, and warmed the heart with devotional feelings. His discourses were richly stored with evangelical truth, illustrated occasionally by a series of striking imagery, chiefly borrowed from Scripture, expressed in elegant and forcible language, and delivered with tones of voice and an earnestness of manner which manifested to every hearer how deeply the preacher felt in his whole soul that it was the word of life which he was addressing to sinful and perishing men. In his private intercourse with the people, his well-informed mind and prepossessing appearance, his urbanity of manners, his great conversational talents, and the unaffected interest he evinced in all that concerned their welfare, made him a universal favourite.
The following congratulatory letter is from his tried and confidential friend, whose affectionate and pious counsels appear to have had no incon: siderable influence in inducing him to get over his scruples and doubtful misgivings regarding his fitness for the Christian ministry :
“ Dear Sir,
St. Croix, July 30, 1779. “ I Aatter myself (according to a fashionable mode of speech) that I may wish you joy. I entertain not the least
doubt of your being now licensed, although you seemed not assured of it when you wrote me last. May you be long preserved, my dear friend, as an ornament to religion, as an able, faithful, and successful minister of the Christian church, and a useful member of society; so that, after a long and honourably laborious life spent here, you may be welcomed into the mansions of eternal bliss, and peace, and joy, with a 'Well done, good and faithful servant!' As to your fears and diffidence, search out the source from whence they flow. I hope you don't mean to court popularity. If you administer good and wholesome food and physic to the perishing souls of men, without once attending to their disliking the taste or dress thereof, this will be no restriction to your becoming all things to all men ; not in the least. Again let me advise you to be fully convinced of your own insufficiency for so arduous an undertaking as the drawing of souls to Christ. Paul may plant, and Apollos may water, but the increase is of God. May this drive you to Christ's fulness for a supply of every gift and grace; and may you rejoice in being only an instrument in his hand, if you have been the means of turning one soul from the error of his ways. Above all, let me beseech you to be incessant in prayer. I sincerely am of opinion that many a minister who recommends this duty to his hearers feels but little of its efficacy, and seldom tries the experiment himself. This may seem harsh and uncharitable, but I fear is too true a charge.
“ You preached your trial sermon at Berwick; I could wish to have a copy o it. Mr. Blackhall has not declined ? I should really be sorry if it were so.
“ Ever yours,
In about two months after receiving license, Mr. Waugh was appointed by the Presbytery to supply the Secession congregation of Wells Street, London, recently left vacant by the death of their beloved and highly respected minister, the Rev. . Archibald Hall. Providence baving chosen this field, as it afterwards appeared, to be the great scene of his future ministrations in the service of the sanctuary, we may here briefly notice the rise of that respectable Christian community, and the valuable labours of his excellent predecessor.
In the year 1758, a few pious young men from Scotland, having previously associated for prayer and mutual edification, made application to the Associate Synod for a supply of ministers, which being acceded to by that religious body, they sent to them the Rev. Mr. Pattison of Edinburgh, who preached in a chapel that had been purchased in St. Giles's, and was the means of increasing their numbers, and of forming them into a church, by the ordination of elders. A succession of ministers was subsequently sent; and, in 1765, the Rev. Mr. Hall, by appointment of Synod, was placed over them as their stated pastor. Towards the end of the year 1768, the congregation removed to another chapel, which they had purchased in Wells Street, Oxford Road. It was a merciful interposition of Providence that they left the chapel in St. Giles's at the time they did, as, in about three weeks afterwards, it fell to the ground.
Mr. Hall had been previously ordained in 1759, minister of a small congregation in Scotland, at Torphichen in West Lothian. “We have heard little of him," says the author of a short memoir lately published, “ during his residence in that retired situation, which could much interest the