Page images

for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness." He is the God of truth, and faithful to his word; and he does as he says.

What a mercy, then, is it, that though you mourn one departed, the Lord liveth, and that you can say, “Blessed be my Rock, and let the God of my salvation be exalted." He can supply all your need; he can support you under the most melancholy trials; he can make the most adverse dispensations work together for your good. Do not despair of his aid. Trust in him with all your heart, and at all times. He can be better to you than the dearest earthly friend. He is all-sufficient. If you have an interest in his love, as I trust you have, if you have him for your portion, you need care for nothing else. This stroke may be painful, and there will be moments when the wounds will be opened afresh,-when busy memory will excite pain, by the remembrance of departed pleasures; but in those moments you must remember that your separation is temporary,—that it cannot be long,yet a little while, and you shall meet in a better world, and be united in bonds far more close and endearing than those of earth.

"A few short years of evil past,

We reach the happy shore,

Where death-divided friends, at last,
Shall meet, to part no more."

Need I remind you, my dear friend, that this is but a changing and uncertain world. There is never a year but some of our friends and acquaintances are removed into the eternal world; and the time of our departure is rapidly drawing on. We have great need to redeem our time, and prepare to meet our God; for the place which now knows us, shall soon know us no more. It is a very solemn and affecting consideration to think of our removal from all our kindred and friends, and of our standing in the presence of the Judge of all the earth. From Him no secret can be concealed." "He sets our iniquities before him, and our secret sins in the light of his countenance." Who, then, may abide the day of his coming, or stand when he appeareth? Our only safety is in the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let this be applied by the Holy Spirit, and received by faith, and all shall be well. "There is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus." Who shall lay any thing to their charge? Covered with this righteousness, we shall be safe amid the war of elements, the wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds. To his sheep he gives eternal life, and they shall never perish. May you and your relatives, and I and mine, be found in him in peace at that day.


As far as the personal interests of a Christian are concerned,

[ocr errors]

"to depart (whether slowly or suddenly,) and be with Christ, is far better" than continuing here. The survivors are the only sufferers. To the Christian, death is infinite, eternal gain. It removes him from a land of darkness to a region of light; from a waste, howling wilderness to a city of habitation; from a state of grief, of doubts, of fears, of sin, of suffering, to a country where all is peace and purity, where all is calmness and security, where all is joy and triumph, where all is melody and exultation, uninterrupted and eternal. There we shall rest from our labours; there we shall associate with angels and seraphim, and the spirits of the just made perfect; there we shall see Jesus, "whom, having not seen, we love;" we shall be made like him; and shall behold his glory; we shall be heirs of God, and enjoy what eye hath not seen, nor ear heard. And is this a subject of regret, or an object which we should contemplate with apprehension and alarm? If we loved our Saviour more truly, we would long more ardently to go to him; we would often inquire,-" Why is my beloved so long in coming? Why tarry the wheels of his chariot ?" We would wish to live only for the sake of being a little longer useful in his service, and rejoice in the prospect of the day that is to set us free from our prison and our bondage, and bring us home to God.

I pray that this bereavement may be sanctified to your brothers and sisters, &c. I hope, in taking away an earthly prop, he will lead them to lean upon his own all-sufficient never-failing strength. Such a sudden stroke ought to lead them and us to examine whether we, if removed as suddenly to the awful tribunal, are, in any measure, prepared. Have we fled to Christ, in whose name alone we can be justified? Is he all our salvation, and all our desire? What an important question! Our present comfort and future happiness depend upon what we can answer. Our present comfort,because, if any of us are in our natural state of enmity against God, we must look on all we meet with as the wrath of God revealed against us as rebels, with whom he will fight, instead of meeting it, and blessing the hand that visits us as the band of a kind Father, who, in love, is chastening us, to bring us nearer to himself. Our future happiness,-because there is nothing in us that can make us acceptable in the sight of God, who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, and who will consign us to everlasting burnings, if we have not the righteousness of our glorious Redeemer imputed to us. May we all be savingly interested in Him; and to each of us to live long may it be Christ, and to die gain.

Wishing you Divine support and consolation, I am yours sincerely.

Presented by the Synod of Ulster, at its Annual Meeting.

DR. STEWART rose and said, that last year the Synod, in consequence of the manner in which Mr. Macrory bad conducted the suit for the recovery of their Meeting-house from. the Unitarians, in Clough, unanimously agreed to present that gentleman with some testimonial of their feelings towards him for his invaluable services. The Committee which the Synod had appointed for that purpose, thought that, under the circumstances, considering the character of their body, a copy of the Holy Scriptures was, at least, in the first place, the most suitable present they could make ; but a copy of the Scriptures, however costly, or superbly bound, being quite inadequate to mark their estimation of Mr. Macrory's conduct as their law agent in the case referred to, they had added some articles of plate, with a suitable inscription; and he now had the plea sure of moving that the Moderator present the testimonial to Mr. Macrory, with a suitable address.

Dr. COOKE said, that as he was obliged to go to London lately, the Committee had instructed him to purchase the plate, and having taken the best advice he could find, and been assisted by one of the Members for the Borough, whose taste is allowed to be very superior, he had made the purchase, which he hoped the Synod would approve, as well as the inscription which he had caused to be put upon it. The articles he had purchased were three salvers; and, in order that Mr. Macrory's amiable lady, who was well known to many members of that body, by the hospitality and kindness for which she was distinguished, might be made to share in the tribute of respect paid to the husband and father, he had added a tea service. (Cheers.) That lady would be an ornament to any station, and he was sure the step he had taken would be approved by the Committee. The articles of plate had been manufactured by, perhaps, the first artist in the world, viz, : Smith of London, by whom all the presents by the Royal Family to the Duke of Wellington and others had been made. He (Dr. Cooke) had made the inscription on the large salver as short and simple as possible; but he put no inscription on the two small ones, in order that the Synod might select them. Another present was about to be presented to Mr. Macrory, from Clough. The Synod did not offer their tribute to Mr. Macrory as a reward, (for no reward could meet his merits,) but merely as a testimonial of grateful hearts.

Mr. CRAIG, the Moderator, said, that no duty could give him more satisfaction than the one he was now called on to perform, that of conveying, to their esteemed friend, the testimony of the respect entertained for him by the Synod of Ulster, and of reading the address that accompanied it. The Moderator then read the following Address :—


"DEAR SIR,-I feel extremely happy to be the organ of the General Synod of Ulster in requesting your acceptance of a copy of the Holy Bible, with these Salvers and Tea Service of Plate, as a testimonial of their respect for your character, and gratitude for your eminent professional services.

"From your high standing in society, both personal and professional, the General Synod consider it an honour to rank you in their communion ; and when they recollect with what generous readiness you undertook their unpopular, and, in the judgment of many, hopeless cause in defence of their rights in the congregation of Clough; the indefatigable diligence and zeal with which you conducted it through the lengthened intricacies of harrassing and complex litigation,-the distinguished ability with which you prepared it for a hearing, and the triumphant success with which you brought it to a termination in their favour, they feel that no testimonial or expression is adequate to their gratitude.

"The obligation under which you have laid the General Synod will be best understood by contrasting the insecurity of their congregational property at the time when you gratuitously undertook their cause, with its present safe and secure condition. At that time it was generally believed that the Church properties of the Synod might be seized and retained, by any man, or body of men, who should usurp the possession under false pretences, or by physical force, and that from the laws of the country they could obtain neither protection nor redress; but, through your invaluable exertions, their properties are now placed in such a position, that they are not likely to be invaded in future, and such portions of them as are unjustly retained, may with facility be reclaimed.

"You are not, Sir, to understand this testimonial as a reward for your services, which have been to the Synod above all price, but merely as an evidence of their gratitude; and I beg leave to assure you, in their name, of their unceasing intercession at the throne of Grace that you may long live a father to your family, an ornament to the Church, and a blessing to Christian society. "WILLIAM CRAIG,

"Moderator of the General Synod of Ulster. "JAMES S. REID, D.D., Clerk."

[ocr errors]

The Rev. Dr. REID then read the inscription on the salver, and handed the plate to Mr. Macrory. He said, the inscription was under Mr. Macrory's armorial bearings, which had the appropriate motto, "Res non Verba." The plate consists of one very large oval salver, and two others, which, though <smaller, are still large. The tea-service is complete. The entire value is £250; and certainly we never beheld a more elegant and splendid testimonial.

Mr. MACRORY, who was accompanied by three interesting children, then said, if the Moderator of this Rev. body had found a difficulty in addressing so humble an individual as himself, it was surely not to be wondered at, if he were unable to find words to express the sense he entertained of the kindness with which he had been treated by that Rev. body. As he felt it quite impossible to say what he felt on this occasion, he begged leave to read a Reply to the too flattering Address with which they had been pleased to honour him. He then read the following Reply:

"REV. FATHERS,It is with feelings of no ordinary kind that I reply to your flattering address, and return thanks for your valuable present; a present which, however intrinsically valuable in itself, derives a higher worth in my estimation, from the character of those by whom it is made, and the paternal kindness from which it emanates.

[ocr errors]

"The legal efforts I have made in your cause, I made because I knew your cause was good; and, through all its difficulties and discouragements, I never doubted that right and equity must finally triumph. Thank God, they have triumphed; and the congregational properties of the Synod of Ulster are now so definitively secured, that they can bid defiance equally to the fraud and violence by which they have been hitherto frequently assailed.

"In the result of the case of Clough, there is, however, a still more important feature than the mere security of property,➡the recognition and protection of Evangelical truth and Presbyterian discipline.

"That I have been made the humble instrument of serving both your temporal and spiritual interests in these respects, affords me most heartfelt pleasure. A Presbyterian by birth and education, I feel the strongest affection to all the sister Protestant Churches, "who hold the truth as it is in Jesus;" yet, in the evangelical character of your articles of faith, in the simplicity of your forms of worship, and in the faithful exercise of your discipline, I recognize, not merely the Church of my early education, but of my more mature conviction.

"I consider, Reverend Fathers, your acknowledgment of my services more as a proof of your kindness than of my deserving; and I accept the splendid present, by which your sincerity is evinced, not so much as belonging to myself, as with the hope that it may be transmitted to my dear children, to remind them of their father's relation and obligations to the General Synod of Ulster; and it is my earnest prayer to Almighty God, that the children whom God hath given me (and by some of whom I am now surrounded) may inherit their parent's attachment to your venerable body, enjoy the benefits of its paternal care and evangelical ordinances, in every position in which Providence may direct, and live hereafter to serve that Church, by which their father had been so highly bonoured. I remain, Rev. Fathers, with the deepest gratitude, your faithful servant,



Duncairn, Friday, 30th June, 1837.”

The Address was received with very great applause.

In conclusion, said Mr. Macrory, permit me to present the Synod of Ulster with what I consider the charter of your li

« PreviousContinue »