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RECOGNITIONS. May 17, 18. Rev. T. S. Forsaith, Woollahra, New South Wales. Sermons by the Revs. W. Slatyer and J. P. Sunderland. Mr. J. Fairfax, Kevs. T. Roseby, T. Gainsford, W. Graham, and J. Scott, B.A., also took part in the services.
July 14.- Rev. A. W. Johnson, Wooburn. Addresses by Rev. R. Bulmer and C. Robbins. Sermon by Rev. J. C. Har. rison.
July 28.--Rev. W. Dorliny, Buckhurst Hill. The Revs. E. T. Egg, J. Nunn, J. Kennedy, M.A., C. Aylard, J. Chew, and S. Conway took part in the service. A. Fraser, Esq., gave a statement respecting the Church and the call.
CALLS ACCEPTED. J. Mitchell, from Nottingham Institute, to Wigton.
J. F. Buddell, from Nottingham insti. tute, to Haslington.
J. Mountain, from Nottingham Institute, to Great Marlow,
R. A. Johnson, from New College, to Long Sutton.
S. T. Greathead to Nuneaton.
H. Baker, of Western College, to Monmouth.
J. L. Phillips, of Hackney College, to Tredegar.
REMOVALS. Rev. H. F. Walker, Uppingham, to Pendlebury, Manchester.
Rev. J. Jefferies, Wheatley and Great Haseley, to Peppard.
Rev. W. D. Aston, Burton-on-Trent, to Bodmin.
Rev. S. Gladstone, Goole, to Kirkham.
Rev. T. Hall, Dublin, to St. John's, Newfoundland.
Rev. J. Morlais Jones, Narberth, to Lewisham.
Rev. J. Ellis, Ewell, to New Tabernacle, Old Street Road.
Rev. D. Nimmo, Peckham, to Victoria Parade, Melbourne.
Rev. C. S. Y. Price, Emerald Hill, to Geelong, Victoria.
Rev. R. Brown, Garafraxa, to Green Settlement and Douglas Village, Canada.
Rev. G. Sale Reaney, Taunton, to Wycliffe Chapel, Warrington.
Rev. T. Edwards, Rubery, emigrated to Australia.
Rev. E. Ebbs, of Aurora, Illinois, re. turns to Canada, to be pastor of the Independent Church, Ottawa.
Rev. A. Russell, M.A., Bradford, to Drighlington.
Rev. D. Johnstone, Glasgow.
Rev. W. D. Simon, has withilrawn bis acreptance of the call to Keighley. Rev. H. Ault, Kilsby.
DEATHS OF MINISTERS. May 17.-Rev. W. Waterfield, Green Ponds, Tasmania. Age, 73. Length of ministry, 42 years.
July 21.-Rev. G. Rogers, Bomereheath. Age 72. Length of ministry, 41 years.
July 29. Rev. T. Pinchback, Manningtree. Age, 93. Length of ministry, 50 years.
July 30.-Rev. A. F. Shawyer, Delph. Age, 57. Length of ministry, 33 years.
July 31.-Rev. J. Alexander, Norwich. Age, 75. Length of ministry, 50 years.
July.-Rev. P. Anderson, M.A., of New Lanark. Length of ministry, 30 years.
July. Rev. John Coyle, of Forfar. Length of ministry, 2 years.
August.- Rev. F. Evans, Ulverstone. Ministry, 35 years.
DEATHS OF MINISTERS' WIVES. May 27.-Mrs. Kent, wife of Rev. C. S. Kent, Camden College, Sydney, New South Wales.
July 16.-Mrs. Dobson, wife of Rev. S. St. N. Dobson, Dublin.
July 22.-Mrs. Horne, wife of Rev. D. Horne, Hanley.
August 4.-Mrs. Rawson, wife of Rer. J. Rawson, Burley, near Leeds.
Aug. 12.- Mrs. James, wife of Ror. T. James, Little Haven.
To Rev. D. Johnstone, on leaving Great Hamilton Street, Glasgow, for New Zea. land-Purse.
To. Rev. J. Humble, on leaving Martock -Purse. To Rev. T. Edwards,
on leaving Rubrey for Melbourue-Plate.
To Rev. W. Gill, on leaving WoolwichEpergne, dessert stand, and antique clock.
To Rev. J. Adey, on resigning his charge at Bexley Heath-Purse.
To Rev. J. H. Cadoux, on resigning Weathersfield – Timepiece.
To Rev. R. W. McAll, on leaving Birmingham-Plate.
To Rev. W. Griffith, on leaving Hitchin —Silver inkstand.
To Rev. H. Ault, Kilsby, on retirement through ill-health-An address and a purse.
THE MERCHANTS' LECTURE Will be delivered (D.V.) ou Tuesday, Sept. 8th, in the Poultry Chapel, by the Rer. Samuel Martin, at noon precisely.
THE “ GREAT MOUNTAINS.”—THOUGHTS ON A VISIT TO
By the Editor. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains.”—Psalm xxxvi. 6. THE sacred poetry of the Jews is full of reference to mountains and mountain scenery. They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed but abideth for ever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever.” (Psalm cxxv.) “ Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name.” (Psalm lxxxix. 12.)
“Before the mountains were brought forth or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.” (Psalm xc.)
“ The mountains shall depart and the hills be removed ; but my
kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.” (Isaiah liv. 10.) "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be cast into the midst of the sea.” (Psalm xlvi. 12.)
These and other Scriptures, full of mountain imagery, are very plain in their meaning, and lodge themselves at once in our hearts. Not so the language of the thirty-sixth Psalm :-" Thy righteousness is like the great mountains.” These words fasten themselves on our minds and are easily remembered ; but their meaning is far from obvious. May we be permitted to associate them with what is now an old story.
VOL.' IV.---NEW SERIES.
Six-and-fifty years ago a missionary penetrated a Scottish Highland glen to preach Christ to a people who sat in darkness and the shadow of death, and his ministry was blest to the conversion and saving of many. Other ministers and Christian friends were attracted to the spot to witness what was regarded as a remarkable work of Divine grace, and several of them gave an account to the world of what they had seen and heard. One of them reported that,, amid a scene of awful mountain grandeur, he took for his text, “ Thy righteousness is like the great mountains.”
In the course of a late tour in the Highlands, I visited this glen, dear to me as the scene of some of the early spiritual triumphs of my father's ministry, and there this old text haunted me, “Thy righteousness is like the great mountains.” Wherever I went thereafter, and on whatsoever mountain scenes I gazed, and they were many, the words were sounding in my ears like the refrain of an old familiar song—" Thy righteousness is like the great mountains." And although there was a haze resting on their meaning, like the haze which rests so often on the mountains themselves, I pondered the words until I thought I found some light.
1. The first and most familiar idea we associate with mountains is vastnessand grandeur. The greatest and stateliest of the works of men are puny beside them; even pyramids are dwarfed before them. Now, although the analogy may not be very obvious, vast and grand as the mountains is the righteousness of God—that Divine attribute which comprehends all that we understand by holiness, rectitude and equity ;—that attribute which comprehends the inherent righteousness or perfection of the Divine nature, and the perfect, unmixed rightness of all God's doings and relations towards His creatures. Vast and grand as the mountains is this righteousness of God. But how ? Because it is infinite as God's nature, and co-extensive with the moral universe. As with His wisdom, and knowledge, and power, so with His righteousness—it is infinite. It covers, so to speak, His whole nature, His wisdom, His knowledge, His power,—and even His love, for His love is a righteous love. And then it is co-extensive with all His relations to all the rational creatures He has made in heaven, on earth, and in hell, and whereever else rational creatures may be scattered over the material universe. Every law that has gone forth from Him, every penalty that has been threatened or inflicted by Him, every requirement He has ever made, has been righteous. As a creator, as a ruler, as a judge, He is righteous. His righteousness, as I have said, is co-extensive with the moral universe—so that the mountains after all are but a feeble image of its vastness and grandeur.
2. With the mountains we next associate the idea of steadfastness and unchangeableness. They are called everlasting—not that they are absolutely so, for the earth itself shall grow old and perish; but in comparison with other objects in nature, and with the works of men, they are everlasting. The streams that thunder down their sides or roll in quiet majesty around their base, are perpetually flowing and passing away, but they “abide for ever.” Now dark storms cover them, and now bright sunshine—but they abide for ever. The men that climb their steeps or cultivate the plains at their feet die and pass
away—but they abide for ever. The works of men, rivalling the mountains in beauty and in grandeur, perish --but they abide for ever. The plains of Italy are strewn with the ruins of Roman wealth and ambition, but the Alps and Appennines abide what they were in the days of Roman pride and power. The most famous of the products of the architectural genius of Greece have been long in ruins, but Mount Olympus rears its head as loftily as when the Greeks believed it to be the abode of the Gods. Mount Ararat is now all that it was when the ark, freighted with the human race, rested upon it. Mount Sinai is to day all that it was when it was clothed with the signs of a Divine presence, when man received the law from the hands of his God. Or to find our illustration nearer home, and at the very spot where my text was suggested to me, the Grampians are now what they were when Roman armies vainly endeavoured to penetrate their fastnesses and to subdue their freeborn, albeit barbarous tribes.
Steadfast, unchangeable, immovable, abiding for ever, are the great mountains of the world, and as steadfast and unchangeable is the righteousness of God. He knows no change Himself. He is without variableness or the shadow of change. And even so is His righteousness. From age to age it knows no change; what it was before the mountains were brought forth, that it will be when even the mountains shall have passed away. Travel from world to world through God's wide universe, and you will find His righteousness everywhere the same. Travel from age to age of man's history, from the hour of his creation till the day of final judgment, and you will find not the shadow of a change passing over the Divine righteousness. When we stand on the heights of heaven and thence survey all God's doings towards angels and towards men, towards the saved and towards the lost, if we may still borrow our language from the memories and scenes of earth, we shall worship God and say, “ Thy righteousness is like the great mountains.”
3. There is a third idea associated with great mountains, and that is their awfulness. When you stand before them, and gaze upon them, you cannot help feeling awed by them. Some mountains awe you by their own peculiar form and majesty, some by the special aspects and circumstances in which you see them. Sometimes both are combined—as in Sinai, when the law was given. In itself one of the most awe-inspiring that human eye has looked upon, such were the circumstances which surrounded it at the giving of the law, or, in the words of Scripture, “ so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake.” We speak of rocks and mountains frowning upon us, and we feel, if we cannot explain, the justness of the analogy which suggests the expression. Within the last few days I have gazed on mountains under aspects which excluded from the mind every idea but that of awfulness. The mountains themselves lofty and august, clouds of rain sweeping over them before a tempest of wind, and the darkness of night descending rapidly on the whole scene, they were awful and filled me with awe. From what I saw, and have often seen, I can appreciate the words of the Apostle, “ blackness, and darkness, and tempest.” But such scenes must be seen to be appreciated. Words are a poor substitute for sight. And yet, perhaps, even those who have never seen mountains, or never seen them in their grander and more awful aspects, can have some notion of what is meant when we say, 66 Awful as the great mountains is thy righteouness, O God.”
Awful, it is. “Even our God is a consuming fire.” So the Apostle says. “We, receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for even our God is a consuming fire;" as it is in the original. “Let us worship God with reverence and godly fear: for even our God, the God of the new covenant, the God whose grace and love have redeemed us, God our Father, even our God, is a consuming fire." His holiness and righteousness make Him a consuming fire. “The wrath of our God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.” (Rom. i. 18..) “The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.” (Ps. xi. 5.) “ Thou, even thou, art to be feared; and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry?" (Ps. lxxvi. 7.) “At his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation." (Jer. 1. 10.) “Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods ? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders ?” (Exod. xv. 11.) “I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Rev. xx. 11-15.) “O God, thy righteousness is like the great monntains." We would stand in awe of Thy judgments.
4. There is a still further idea associated with great mountains, and that is their strength. “In God's hands are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also.” (Ps. xcv. 4.) The hills themselves are a strength to those who dwell among them—a refuge and a defence. Nations driven from their homes by invaders have sought and found shelter in their mountains. And in the protection and safety which have been enjoyed amidst rocks and ravines they have often sung, in spirit at least, the Psalm of the mountaineer:
“For the strength of the hills, we bless Thee, onr God, our Father's God!
We are guardians of an altar midst the silence of the sky:
For the strength of the hills we bless Thee, our God, our Father's God.”
SJ In another sense we may speak of the strength of the hills. They are