« AnteriorContinuar »
Mr. Colin Gillies, one of the ministers of Paisley, and of his daughter the Honorable Mrs. Leslie. When mentioning Mrs. Leslie, I hope they who know a parent’s heart will forgive me, if I gratefully record the intimate endeared friendship betwixt her and my affectionate daughter, and for many years my agreeable companion, and, when my knowledge of her well cultivated understanding and delicate taste led me to request it, my wise and faithful, though modest and reluctant counsellor, Margaret Erskine. Esteemed by strangers as the dear deceased was, for her good sense, extensive information, and affability and attention ; and beloved as she was by her Inear relations, perhaps none so fully knew her worth, felt so much on her own account, and so thoroughly sympathised with the bereaved parents and family, in her sudden death, as Mrs. Leslie. May the Friend, who can never die, recompense her kindness to the living and to the dead, be her guide through all the snares and dangers of life, her support under those sorrows to which the happiest state on earth is exposed, and her abiding and everlasting portion And while we lament that parents, children or friends, are not suffered to continue with us by reason of death, let us be thankful for ground of hope, that, while we mourn, they rejoice ; and that, notwithstanding alarming dangers to which they have been exposed, some of our most valuable comforts are still preserved. Dr. Gillies fell asleep in Jesus, Tuesday, 29th March, in the
84th year of his age, and the
54th of his ministry. Few deaths, notwithstanding his advanced age, have been more generally and more sincerely regretted. Crowds attended his funeral with tears, pronouncing blessings on his memory. The Rev. Dr. Taylor preached his funeral sermon ; and each of the ministers of Glasgow, who supplied in their turns the vacant church, made that honourable mention of him, which his distinguished worth well merited. He never coveted the applause of men ; yet the applause of the good ever followed him. Even on earth, his single eye to the glory of God was not without a reward: “The memory of the just shall flourish.” His principal works were, Exhortations to the inhabitants of the South Parish of Glasgow, 2 vols. 12mo. They began to be published in numbers, at the low price of a halfpenny each, 26th September, 1750, and were finished 9th November, 1751. Historical Collections relating to the success of the Gospel, 2 vols. large 8vo. Glasgow, 1754. Appendix to the Historical Collections, 32 numbers, collected in one volume 12mo, Glasgow, 1761. Life of the Rev. George Whitfield, 8vo. Sermon at the opening of the Synod of Glasgow. Hebrew Manual for the use of students of that language. Devotional Exercises on the New Testament, 2 vols. 12mo. Psalms of David, with notes devotional and practical, extracted from Dr. Horne's Commentary, Glasgow, 1786, 12mo.
Milton’s Paradise Lost, illustrated by texts of scripture, London, 1788, 12mo.
The Doctor’s works, like his sermons, were beautiful and striking, though undesigned pictures of his benevolent heart. They did not aspire after, and were not calculated to procure, literary fame, or to excite admiration of his ingenuity, acuteness and eloquence. In his addresses from the pulpit and from the press, he desired to know nothing, and to make nothing known, save Jesus Christ and him crucified. Those who wish to learn a new Christianity, to ridicule old fashioned truths, or to torture the sacred oracles to a sense opposite to their true spirit, will find no gratification in his writings. his ambition in them was to publish to thoughtless and secure sinners, their guilt, their danger, and the only method of relief; to build up saints in faith, holiness and comfort ; to learn Christians to love one another with pure hearts fervently; to display the powerful and benign influence of the gospel, when preached with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven ; and to promote esteem of the holy scriptures, and a perusing them not only with the understanding, but with suitable, devout, and benevolent emotions.
In 1794, he communicated to several ministers in different
Losing sight of himself,
quested their advice as to the manner of conducting it. His intention was, to record or hint various particulars relating to the history of religion : e.g. 1. Exertions by different Christian societies, for promoting purity of doctrine, vital piety, the conversion of infidels, united prayer for national prosperity, and for the outpouring of the Spirit. 2. Men of learning and genius not ashamed of the gospel, such as, in latter times, Boerhaave, Haller, Littleton, West, President Forbes, Lord Hailes, &c. 3. Wealthy Christians distinguished by devising liberal things, for promoting
TIME, A MFss ENGER chARGED witH so LEMN INTELLIGENCE.
us, we should live so unmindful of him ; that when he so loudly speaks to us, not only from year to year, but from day to day, “ he should not be in all our thoughts.” Time tells us, that there is a Providence, and calls upon us to acknowledge it with prayer and praise. Who causes the sun to rise and set ; the showers to water our fields, and the seeds, which we have sown, to vegetate and yield a harvest ? Who causes the seasons regularly to succeed each other, and walk their continual rounds 2 Yea, to come home to ourselves; how do we live 2 how draw our breath 2 how perform the vital functions, while our reason and senses are bound in sleep 2 How are we preserved from danger and death, when all our voluntary powers are suspended ? These are the works of God. In him we live and move; from him we have all our supplies and comforts ; to him our lives should be devoted. Time teaches us, that we have a work to do. Why returns the winter sun to warm the frozen earth? Why rests he not beneath the horizon, but rises at the stated hour to spread his luminous and cheering influence : It is that man may go forth to his labour. While we dwell here, we need supplies for the body. These must be procured by our industry. If we neglect the duties of life, we treat with contempt that friendly sun, which rises to guide us in our work, and sheds his beams to bless and succeed our labours. Here our residence is short. There is an eternal state before us. While we labour for the meat, which perishes, we must much rather labour for that which endures to eternal life. Time warns us, that death is approaching. The number of our months and years is with God. This number will run out. Every year, every day brings intelligence, that the number is diminished, and still diminishing. Every year, every day, as it comes along, repeats the exhortation, which every preceding day had given, to review our life, examine our state, repent of our sins, and do whatever our hands find to do, as “there is no work in the grave to which we are going.” Time announces interesting events in the world around us. From his information we learn, that this near friend, and that intimate acquaintance is gone to the eternal world ; that prevailing sickness has carried away numbers from such a place ; that storms have driven ships on rocks and shoals, and plunged the helpless passengers in the ocean ; that fierce battles have hurried into the unseen world thousands and thousands of our fellow probationers. We hear of wars between distant nations. We take an interest in favour of the one or the other. We rejoice in the victory of this, or that conflicting army. But the victory was obtained at an expense, which man cannot calculate or conceive, at the expcnse of life to more of our race, than we have ever seen collected in one place.
Each of the slain was on trial for eternal happiness. He valued his life as we do ours. His probation is now finished. His condition is fixed. What a solemn Inessenger is time. Seldom a day passes without intelligence of some, who have closed the mortal term of their existence. Such intelligence nearly concerns us who survive. It reminds us what beings we are, and what an interest is depending. Time is a swift messenger, “swifter than a post.” Whether we watch or sleep ; whether we are active in our work, or amused with trifles, time continues its course without intermission. One hour follows another; day succeeds to night, and night . to day ; month to month, and . year to year. Think of this, ye who delay the work of your salvation, and imagine tomorrow will be as this day. Ye know not what shall be, nor where ye shall be, on the morto W. Think of this, ye who spend your precious hours in pleasure and diversion. While you indulge in thoughtless mirth, time runs on, life hastes away. When your amusement is finished, what have you gained 2 Have you acquired knowledge and virtue ; secured pardon and hope ; obtained a better heart, and sweeter peace of mind ; You have gained nothing ; but have lost much. At least, you have lost a portion of your time, and an equal portion of your life. Will not the hours, which you wantonly throw away, seem im. portant when life is near its close : Will younot then wish to recal the hours, which have flown to heaven
as messengers with sad reports
to the narrow limits of a grave,