صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

rulers the Right Rev. Michael Russell, D.C.L. and LL.D., Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway. On Sunday the 2d of April he preached in his church at Leith, in the morning, and afterwards celebrated the holy communion. In the afternoon he said prayers apparently in his usual health. About eleven o'clock at night he retired, and soon after getting into bed was seized with a violent fit of coughing, which the remedies used had no effect in stopping, and in a few minutes he breathed his last. On Tuesday the 11th, the remains of this distinguished Prelate were consigned to the grave, attended by his own and a number of other clergy, together with many friends anxious to testify the respect they felt both for his public and private character.

The deceased Bishop was educated at the University of Glasgow, where he greatly distinguished himself, particularly in metaphysics. It was the wish of his friends that he should devote his talents to the Scotch Establishment, but having made the acquaintance of the late learned Dr Gleig, Bishop of Brechin, while residing in Stirling, he was led to doubt the validity of presbyterian orders, and the soundness of Genevan doctrine, and having turned his acute mind to the examination of the evidence in favour of the divine institution of the Church, and its government by bishops, priests, and deacons, he soon became convinced that to enjoy the full privileges of Christianity according to its divine institution, he must become a member of the Church. He studied theology for some time under the Bishop of Brechin, and in 1808 was ordained a deacon, and in due time advanced to the order of priesthood. He entered upon the exercise of his ministry at Stirling and Alloa, being duly instituted to the charge of the latter place; but not long after was removed to Leith, where he ever afterwards zealously discharged the pastoral duties. In 1837 he was elected by the Presbyters of Glasgow and Galloway to be their Bishop, and was consecrated in St John's Church, Edinburgh, along with the late Bishop of Brechin, by the Bishops of Edinburgh (Dr Walker), Aberdeen (Dr Skinner), and Moray (Dr Low). During his episcopate the diocese of Glasgow has nearly doubled its clergy, and he himself but recently mentioned to us that within his own recollection the whole Churchmen of that diocese were able to assemble in one upper room in the western metropolis. There are now twenty clergy in the united diocese, and most of them have large and flourishing congregations. Nowhere has the Church more rapidly increased than in these parts, where formerly the adherents of the 'solemn league and and covenant' waged a war of extermination against her-and with such success,

that there was but one witness for her remaining; and much of this advancement has been, under God, owing to the judicious and untiring exertions of this eminent servant of God.

Of the late Bishop's literary labours we cannot speak so fully as we could wish-as we are unable at present to ascertain them all. His first important effort in this field of labour, was a work on education, which attracted much attention at the time, and led him into a controversy with the professor of Greek in the University of Edinburgh. Among his earlier works was a life of Oliver Cromwell. In 1820 he conducted the Episcopal Magazine, in conjunction with Dr Walker, afterwards Bishop of Edinburgh, which, however, owing to the indifference of Churchmen, did not long survive. His Palestine, Nubia, and Abyssinia, and Barbary States, in Oliver and Boyd's Library, are well known. The history of the Church in Scotland, in Rivington's Theological Library, is elegant in style and correct as to facts; and had not the publishers limited the size, and required the author to withdraw upwards of a hundred pages of the most important matter, its value would have been still greater. We know he long looked forward to the publication of a new edition of this valuable work, which he meant to increase to three instead of two volumes as at present; and we earnestly hope the revised manuscript may yet be found among his papers. But the work which will chiefly transmit his name to future ages is his Connexion of Sacred and Profane History '—a work requiring immense labour and research. He was recently engaged in editing for the Spottiswoode Society, the History of the Church of Scotland by the eminent Archbishop from whom the society has taken its designation; but this work is not yet published. Besides these and a great variety of other works, which we cannot even name, Dr Russell was extensively connected with the periodical press for a long series of years, and did not cease his labours in this department of literature till he was elevated to the Episcopate, when he considered this pursuit as, in some degree, inconsistent with the dignity of that sacred and responsible office. He was for many years one of the chief writers in the British Critic; and not long after he ceased to be connected with it, it fell into the Romanising hands in which it expired. Though his talents were of the most varied character, and he could write on almost any subject with ability, elegance and fluency, his favourite subjects were metaphysics and history; and the majority of his articles in the critic were on one or other of these subjects.

So entirely had his literary fame become established in 1820, that

the University of Glasgow conferred upon him the degree of L.L.D. in a manner that must have been exceedingly gratifying to him. For he never heard a word of it till the diploma was put into his hand. A like honour was conferred upon him by the University of Oxford about the year 1843-by which he was admitted a member of the University, with the privilege of a vote in all University affairs.

Venerating as we do the character of our lamented Prelate we are afraid to speak of him as our feelings would incline, lest we should seem to use terms of adulation unmeaning and unreal. Gentle, amiable and kind, his society was courted by all who had the privilege of his acquaintance. He was hospitable without ostentation both to the clergy and his friends; and many of the former particularly will cherish with affectionate remembrance his disinterested kindness. His episcopal acts speak for themselves. Both by precept and example he was constantly engaged in stirring up the willing hearts of his clergy and people to increased exertions for the extension of the Church and the increase of piety among her members. He was constantly moving about among them to encourage them; and when it was required was ready to head every subscription to advance the Church, in his diocese.

By this event, a new and great responsibility devolves on the presbyters of the vacant diocese, a responsibility the more onerous, when the state of the Church in these eventful times is taken into consideration. Until the year 1837, when the diocese of Glasgow was severed from what might be more properly termed the district comprised under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Edinburgh, then a distinct diocese, Glasgow had no episcopate since the Archi-episcopal authority was overthrown at the sacrilegious destruction of the Church in 1689. But since, in the revival of the Church in Scotland, this important diocese has again received its regular pastor, it becomes incumbent on the spiritual members of the flock of Christ, whose lot is cast within its borders, to exercise the most conscientious circumspection in their choice of one, who is to be the successor of the Apostles among them. This would be an imperative duty on every occasion, though in times of unity and peace in the Church there might be less necessity for recommending caution and firmness: but in the critical state of affairs, in which the Church generally, and our own branch of it, more particularly, is involved, it behoves every individual, who has a voice in electing the chief pastor of a diocese, to weigh most solemnly the awful responsibility under which he acts.

Let each presbyter consider, that such an election is not one of ordinary importance-not one, which sends an individual to a numerous legislative body, where his influence may be lost in the multitude, or at most, have the weight of a single unit. But here a single vote may possibly decide the election of one, who may exercise a most potent influence over the destinies of the Church-who in so small a body as the College of Bishops, may by his individual vote be the means (if so disposed) of introducing strife and contention, and retarding the progress of that advance in Church principles, which now promises so happily to promote the increase of piety and true apostolical religion in the land. We do not say that this is probable, but as it is equally possible with a more happy result, we can scarcely accuse ourselves of arrogance in lifting up a monitory voice to those in whose hands the election, humanly speaking, is now left for decision.

Let recent events in England be a warning. Here we have no political minister, issuing his mandate for the compulsory nomination (we cannot call it election) of a Bishop, and treating with contemptuous insolence the remonstrances of the Church, on which the heretical and obnoxious incubus is obtruded. Here the Church has the appointment, and on the Church is the responsibility, for she has the full power to reject all that is evil.

The Church of Scotland is now, as it were, in a state of transition. She has escaped from the long and dreary slumbers of apathy and indifference, not only to a sense of duty, but to an active performance of it. But it were too much to expect that in this glorious revival, unaninimity should altogether prevail. There are those who halt by the way. There are the cold and lifeless ones, whose dull inertness seems to say 'a little more slumber, a little more sleep, a little more folding of the hands to sleep.'-Such are they who pursue the sluggish tenor of their way, in the old and lifeless system. Others there are, not so dead in feeling, not inattentive to the operation of better principles, but jealous of it—unwilling themselves to advance, and equally unwilling to allow others to carry out a more perfect system. These are the men, now most inimical to the advancement of true religion in Scotland. We see them in high places of the Church, as well as in subordinate situations, and against the advancement of such we would solemnly protest.

We earnestly entreat the presbyters of the diocese of Glasgow not to compliment away the headship of their spiritual communion. Let


not station or influence, fashion or popularity, be regarded in favour any individual, who may have shewn that species of disinclination to which we have alluded, to extend the blessings and enlarge the usefulness of the Church, and to make the apostolic office a mere appendage of useless inactivity as to matters in a right direction, while it may be exercised as a medium, through which less correct practices may tacitly be advocated.

In conclusion, we must deprecate a practice (we observe instances in several newspapers, the editors of some whereof ought to have shewn better judgment) of bringing forward the names of individuals, without their knowledge or consent, as likely to succeed to the vacant Episcopate. Such a course may do mischief to the cause which it is intended to advocate; and it may also be prejudicial to individuals themselves, by prematurely dragging their names before the public. We may add, that it is our especial hope, that the future Bishop of Glasgow may reside on his diocese, an arrangement, which the importance of the city of Glasgow, as well as the number of congregations therein, seems to make desirable.



who follow.

way of the holy 'Christ-God is

WELL does the Gospel to-day set before us the crucified One as 'the Way. For it is the festival of two of His cross-bearers, who trod in His blood-stained footsteps. S. Philip endured his Master's own death, and withal cruel stonings. S. James the Just first was stoned, then thrown from the temple's pinnacle, and finally released from his tortures by a blow of a club. This is the Cross-of Him who leads, and of them the country whither we go,-Christ-Man the way by which we go. To Him we go, and by Him we go.' We go by humiliation unto exaltation. This is that exalting of which He spake, exalted on the Cross, will draw all men unto me.' wilt thou not walk in it? Perchance thou art pride, too heavily laden with lusts to enter in? crushes thee as thou strivest to press in without laying aside every weight.' He is the Truth.' He biddeth thee take up thy cross, if thou wouldest be his disciple. Thou turnest from the way, because

I, if I be Here is the way,

too swollen with 'The strait gate'

« السابقةمتابعة »