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One of the interesting features of his early labours was the missionary spirit with which he sought to imbue his people. That period was the birthday of modern missionary societies, and Mr. Brown entered so warmly into their evangelistic enterprises as to raise congregational collections to aid them. His zeal in this cause soon attracted public attention, and we find the Secession minister of Biggar preaching the annual sermon in his own metropolis for the Edinburgh Missionary Society, in 1816, and for the London Missionary Society, in 1821, in imperial London.
In 1807 he entered into the marriage relation, and found a congenial partner; but in 1816 he was bereaved of his wife. He felt his loss deeply then and throughont all the time he remained at Biggar.
During the latter half of the seventeen years of his country pastorate, Mr. Brown appeared before the public on several occasions as an author. We shall refer to these efforts when we give a summary of his literary labours.
In the year 1822 he was translated to Edinburgh, to succeed the Rev. Dr. Hall in Rose Street Church. He was then in his thirty-eighth year, and in the full vigour of his manhood. His style of preaching attracted a large audience; and many not accustomed to attend Seceding meeting-houses became frequent hearers. In the metropolis of his country he found social fellowship of the most superior kind, and he was fitted to adorn the circles to which he had ready entrance. After seven years' ministry in Rose Street, he was called again to succeed Dr. Hall in Broughton Place. In his new sphere a large tide of prosperity followed him. He soon gathered round him some 1,200 communicants, and a regular audience of 1,600-as many as the church could hold. He continued his practice of giving an expository lecture in the morning, when all his exegetical ability came out. In the afternoon he preached a more didactic sermon; but his keen analysis was manifest even amidst his glowing paragraphs and earnest appeals. Many ingenuous youths, not a few of them students, received life-long impressions from his able and faithful ministry. Dr. Brown ministered to this congregation until his death in 1858, though for sixteen years he had the assistance of a colleague of distinguished ability.
In 1834 he was appointed Professor of Exegetical Theology to the United Secession Church. He entered upon this work con amore, and for twenty-three years met with the candidates for the ministry. The sessions cccupied only two months in each year, and stretched over five years.
Much work was done, however, in the limited time. He inaugurated a new era in the Divinity Halls of Scotland. The critical study of the sacred word, for which the Presbyterian clergy of Scotland were once well equipped, had been much neglected. As a master of the art, he sought to create a taste for it, and to aid the rising ministry to cultivate it. The zeal with which he entered into his class duties infected his students, and he succeeded in gaining many to his favourite pursuit. He was to them all a father and a friend. He had an apparatus criticus quite equal to his office. The sacred languages and their cognate dialects were sufficiently at his command. His library was full of editions and versions of the Scriptures, and with treatises of commentators belonging to Patristic, Scholastic, Reformation, Puritan, and Modern ages. There was scarcely any writer on exegesis with which he was not familiar, and scarcely a text in the Bible on which he had not formed a critical judgment. The grand aim of his study, his ministry, and his
was to ascertain the mind of God in his Word. There could not be a nobler consecration of learning. Though so studious and academic
, he did not escape the controversies of his day, or pass unscathed amidst the strife. In the Apocrypha agitation he
occupied a conspicuous place, and on the Voluntary question he held the utmost anti-state church views, and suffered the spoiling of his goods in holding them. The most painful controversy in which he took a part was concerning the Atonement. This arose in 1841, in connection with Mr. Morison, of Kilmarnock, whose views have obtained great notoriety. Considerable agitation prevailed in the Secession Church on the subject of the extent of the Atonement, not so much with regard to the redemption of the elect, as with regard to the general reference to the world to whom the Gospel is preached. Mr. Morison was condemned by the Synod, and soon adopted extreme Arminian, and even Pelagian views; but this did not extinguish the controversy. Dr. Brown was suspected of Arminian tendencies, and was publicly accused before the Synod. The libel was not proved, and the professor was acquitted of the charge of holding unsound doctrines. A minority, however, thought that some of his expressions were inconsistent with the received doctrines of the Church.
The ordeal through which Dr. Brown passed on this occasion was very trying, and he felt it deeply. Some of his expressions-clear enough, perhaps, to his own mind to be free from Arminianism, but not so to others-had afforded grounds for suspicion ; but the subject was then thoroughly met, discussed, and exhausted. Dr. Cairns is of opinion that the general results of the controversy were in a high degree salutary. The Gospel was not preached more freely in the pulpits of the church, for that was not possible. But relief was brought to many minds hampered and disturbed by the apparent inconsistency between a universal offer of salvation and a limited atonement on which to rest it; and au example was afforded of Christian largeheartedness and charity, in giving to the terms of ministerial communion the intact comprehension consistent with truth and sincerity." There can be no doubt that the offer of salvation is universal. The atonement has also an infinite efficacy. These are sufficient warrants for a frank and honest proclamation of the Gospel, and any one holding the Westminster Confession is as free thus to preach as were the apostles themselves. No Arminian can preach a fuller or a freer Gospel than a Calvinist of the Westminster creed.*
Dr. Brown began Christian authorship while residing at Biggar, and from time to time continued to send forth works of considerable ability. Up to the year 1848 as many as thirty-nine separate publications had flowed from his pen. Most of them, however, were sermons, pamphlets, and sketches, which were in their nature ephemeral. It was in the year just noticed that his theological authorship began. From that period until his death he continued to issue those exegetical works which have made his name famous as a divine. The first was " Expository Discourses on the first Epistle of Peter," in three volumes. During sixteen years he had been occupied with their delivery to his congregation. He had also read them to the students under his care. For fulness of exposition, nicety of critical analysis, evangelical unction, and practical application, they have not a superior. Akin to these was his next work, “ The Discourses and Sayings of our Lord Jesus Christ," in three volumes. This study had been begun forty years before, and had occupied his mind throughout that lengthened period. In 1850 appeared "An Exposition of our Lord's Intercessory Prayer," a work of rare merit. In 1851 he issued “ The Resurrection of Life," an exposition of 1 Cor. xv. In 1852, “ The Sufferings and Glories of the Messiah ” were discussed in a volume of expositions on Psalm xviii. and Isaiah liii. In 1853 he published a work on the Epistle to the Galatians, “ the fruit of almost incredible labour,
* On this question our readers may consult with great profit Dr. Candlish's able volume, which is quite to our mind.
not less than a hundred and fourteen critical and hermeneutical treatises, according to his own statement, having been consulted by him in the course of his preparations.” This was followed by a volume on the Epistle to the Romans, in 1857. Unfinished, there was in his desk, “ An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews,” which, it is hoped, will yet be given to the Church through the press. Besides these, he published several volumes of discourses and lectures, and edited a few reprints of valuable theological works.
It now came near his closing scene. He had already buried a second wife, whom he had taken nineteen years after the death of his first. He had taken a part in important public matters--the union of two branches of the Secession in 1820, and the still greater union of the two churches of Secession and Relief, constituting the United Presbyterian Church, in 1847. He had enjoyed a jubilee of his ministry in 1856, when the highest mark of esteem was given him by his people, his church, and the Christian community generally. He had been honoured as a divine, having been made D.D. in 1830, and respected as a voluminous expositor of Holy Writ. He had passed about a thousand candidates for the ministry through his training, and had thus largely bequeathed his influence to succeeding time. Now, though continuing to love his work, and to labour at it, it became evident that the frame could not bear more tension or toil.
In 1857 he became very weak. Early in 1858 he began to sink. The word of God, which he had so closely and fondly studied, was his joy and support in his declining days. His remarks were full of holy unction and of ecstatic hope. “ The sovereign love of God, the infinite atonement of the Redeeiner, the omnipotent power of the Divine Spirit—that is sufficient for any; it is sufficient for me," was the utterance of his faith when about to die. In July, of 1858, he sent a farewell letter to his church. These words occur in it: “For my own part, looking onward to the judgment-seat, I must declare that I have no hope but in mere mercy, no dependence but on the 'testimony of God.' Sovereign grace,' as Rutherford says, ' is the port that I airt at."
To his students he sent a copy of his grandfather's Address, with notes. He still loved the society of his books, and among the last he perused were "Owen's Meditations on the Glory of Christ,”—a study most appropriate before entering the beatific vision.
He fell asleep in Jesus on the 13th October, 1858. His funeral was attended by the magistrates of the city, the professors of the University, many mninisters, students, and people, who all mourned as they realised the fact that a great man and a prince had fallen in Israel.
His early piety retained its beauty throughout the course of a long life. His was a career of unbroken Christian consistency. “ His mind," says
Dr. Cairns, was of the Pauline type, with masculine intellect, ardent temperament, and unyielding will, brought under the decisive influence of the Cross, and expending all its energies in subduing other minds to the same obedience of faith."
The Presbyterian Church has reason to embalm the memory of this distinguished ornament of her ministry, and to be grateful to God for raising up one so eminently gifted by scholarship and grace for directing the studies of those who are called to expound the Holy Scriptures. On this field the battle of the faith has now to be fought, and it eminently becomes all preachers and students to be well armed for the conflict. Throughout his long career Dr. Brown had a pastoral charge, yet he found time for studies which have made him one of the most successful exegetes of the Word. All he did was directed to the one aim of his life, and he grudged no labour, whether of linguistic or critical research, in order that he might fulfil that aim. Blended
with this was the simplicity of a humble Christian, and the fidelity of a watchman on the towers of Zion.
Let the Presbyterian Church encourage scholarship in her clergy, and in the coming crisis it will be seen that those best prepared will be most influential in settling the convictions of inquiring minds, and in moulding the piety of the Church of the succeeding age. When Presbyterians unite together, which we trust they will soon do, they will be able to encourage the cultivation of Biblical and ecclesiastical literature more than at present, and they will be able to reward it. They could not do better than found an Annual Lecture, like those at Oxford and in London, where Episcopal and Congregational divines have brought forth valuable treatises on various branches of Theological Science. Cheltenham.
Extracts from New Publications. wicts, the red cloak, the shaving of the hair
convicts were gagged. And to such sufler. PROTESTANT GALLEY SLAVES OF ings, to this horrible coupling with the rilest THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.
criminals, thousands of men were condemned
whose only crime was their religious belief, SOME years ago Admiral Baudin gave a their fidelity to a proscribed worship. Ex. description of the condition of the Protestant treme youth and grey-headed age were min. galley slaves in the eighteenth century, drawn gled there, for on the benches of these hatefrom the best sources of information, while ful floating prisons were seen young lads of he was making a military inspection of the fifteen and octogenarians. ports of Marseilles and Toulon.
Among the latter, in 1753, was Isaac de One circumstance which lends additional Grenier de Lasterme, an ennobled glass interest to the researches and communica- manufacturer of Gabre, in Languedoc, sentions of M. Baudin is the fact that this supe- tenced to the galleys for life for attending rior officer of the French navy, who died a religious meetings. Isaac de Lasterme was few years ago at Paris, a good Protestant not the first nobleman clothed by his perseand Christian, was born and educated in the cutors in the infamous garb of the galley Romish communion.
slave: witness the Baron de Salgas, the re“ The regulations of the galleys,” he says, spected chief of one of the most ancient “were then excessively severe. This fact families of the Cevennes, condemned, in 1703, explains the vast amount of mortality in pro. on a false accusation of holding communicaportion to the numbers condemned. The tion with the Camisards. As for M. de convicts were chained in couples to the Lasterme, his only crime was, that he had benches of the galleys, and they were em- been seen peaceably attending the meetings ployed in moving long and heavy oars, an for worship, a common and trifling offence. exceedingly painful service. In the centre In the condemnation of this septuagenarian of each galley, between the benches of in 1746, virtue, rank, and grey hairs were all rowers, extended a kind of gallery, on which smitten at once. Like his predecessor at the the overseers constantly walked, having each galleys, the Baron de Salgas, he accepted his as a whip the nerve of an ox, with which they fate in the spirit of a Christian martyr. struck the shoulders of the unfortunate men “We see by your letter," wrote M. de who did not row with sufficient energy to Lasterme to the Pastor of the Desert, who please them. The galley slaves passed their had been commissioned to convey to the suflives on their benches; they ate and slept ferers at Toulon consolation and assistance there, without being able to move farther from their brethren, "we see the concern than the length of their chain permitted, you feel for the poor Protestant captives. . . and having no other shelter from the rain Our circumstances depend on those who are and the heat of the sun, or the cold of the placed over us, and vary according to the night, than a cloth, which was stretched as caprice of their whimsical and ferocious teman awning over them when the galley was pers. You have had, sir, a statement of the not in motion and the wind was not too clothes which are given us, with which we violent."
have to endure the rigour of the cold and the Add to this the hideous livery of the con- 'heat of summer. Occupied in the labours of
which you have been informed, having no in the ceiling, issuing upon the platform of food but bread and water, we can only obtain the tower. Besides these two openings for any amelioration by paying a halfpenny every air, the two rooms are only lighted by narrow morning to the keepers; without this we are loop-holes, pierced through the vast thickliable to remain fastened to a beam by a ness of the walls. It is just possible to read heavy chain. If the honoured society at there when the eye has been accustomed to Marseilles did not give two halfpence to each, this funereal twilight. Here Janguished, the greater number of us would be subjected year after year, unfortunate women who were to this cruel punishment: there are many nearly all apprehended, like the prisoners at whose more pressing necessities oblige them the galleys, for the sole fact of being present to submit to it. .... I pray that the great at religious meetings. God may crown the grace he has communi- We possess a list of twenty-five Protestant cated to you with more grace; that he may women who were prisoners there in 1754. sustain you in your labours and prosper the This list, written by one of the unfortunate talents he has given you for the glory of his inmates, who had herself been detained there name. I have the honour to be, sir, with all twenty-four years, is in a handwriting tremthe respect which I owe to your character, bling and ill-formed, but still legible; we your very humble and obedient servant, will give some of the particulars contained Lasterme. I beg you to pardon, at my age, in it. the interlineations and other defects of Anne Saliége, daughter of the late Antoine writing.”
Saliége, a labouring man, of the diocese of Alms for the captives were collected not Monde, seized in her house by order of the only in France, but also in foreign countries, king, on account of religion ; aged sixty-five Holland, Germany, and Switzerland. The years; in prison since 1719. refugees who had found on a friendly soil tivity had lasted thirty-five years). peace, security, and religious liberty, did not Marie Beraud, of the diocese of Viviers, forget their less fortunate brethren. The blind from four years of age, seized in her pulpits sent forth fervent prayers and clo. house by order of the king, on account of quent appeals on behalf of the confessors religion ; aged eighty years; a captive since suffering for the faith, and the lapse of time 1727. (This poor blind woman had been did not exhaust the charitable solicitude of in prison twenty-seven years, having been their Christian brethren.
confined there when fifty-three years of It was not till 1775, at the beginning of age.) Louis XVI.'s reign, that the galleys released Madeline Ninard, widow of Antoine their two last Protestant prisoners, Antoine Savanier, a master-mason, of the city of Rialle, a tailor, condemned for the offence of Nismes, seized for having attended a prayerattending a religious meeting, and Paul meeting ; sixty-five years old; a captive Achard, for having concealed a minister since 1739. She has four daughters. (Here, from pursuit. These victims owed their de. then, is a widow snatched away from her four liverance to the active efforts of Court de daughters. Who took charge of these Gebelin, the son of the illustrious Pastor children thus doubly bereaved ? Doubtless Antoine Court. The learned author of " Le they were committed to some convent, in Monde Primitif" combined with his literary order to be taught to curse the religion of labours the functions of agent in Paris for their mother.) - The Pastor of the Desert the churches, and was thus able to render and his Martyr Colleagues. Nisbet & Co. numerous and signal services to his fellow 1861. Protestants.
But it was not men only who suffered for the persecuted Protestant Church. How many daughters were torn from their mo
A ROSS-SHIRE MINISTER AND
HIS COADJUTOR. thers! How many mothers torn from their children! Corresponding to the convict “On the night of his first arrival at prisons of Marseilles and Toulon, stands the Lochcarron, an attempt was made to burn dismal Tower of Constance, with its unfortu- the house in which he lodged, and for some nate prisoners. . . . There we shall find the time after his induction, his life was in same barbarity and the same courage. constant danger. But the esteem he could
Near Aigues-Mortes, and at a little dis- not win as a minister, he soon acquired for tance from the Mediterranean, rises the his great physical strength. The first man massy fort called the Tower of Constance; in Lochcarron, in those days, was the it is 100 feet high and 200 feet in circum- champion at the athletic games. Conscious ference. The interior forms two circular of his strength, and knowing that he would rooms, situated one above the other. An make himself respected by all, if he could opening in the centre of the floor forms a only lay big Rory on his back, who was communication between the upper and lower acknowledged to be the strongest man in apartment. The former has also an aperture the district, the minister joined the people