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of our Christian Liturgy is All Saints' Day. What we profess as our belief, that do we attest as our practice. It is then no idle theory-no paper theology-the belief of the Communion of Saints. To-day we join our prayers and praises with those of the faithful departed, in a special and commemorative manner. As each holyday succeeded to another, we saw another and another saint entering in after Jesus into His rest; we heard another and another name added to the Book of Life, and now the roll is full. It seems as though the last trumpet was ready to sound, and the portals of Paradise to open for the white-robed host to follow the Lamb as He goeth forth to judgment. Already we seem to see the sign of the Son of Man in Heaven, the Cross of shame and persecution, and the angels streaming down the empyrean way. Once again we are met together, they who interceded for us are there, we who interceded for them. Our communion is now full and consummated. It was then no fond dream that death did not separate the faithful,—that they who were lovely in their lives were not divided in death. Like friends remembering each other in their prayers and alms, and at the unbloody sacrifice, though many thousand waves roll between them, so that they often, when ignorant of each other's weal or woe, would cease to pray, if it were true that prayers for the departed availed not; even so with the saints and us. Or, at least, who will it is vain and useless to continue the Saviour's prayer, Thy kingdom come,' so long as He delayeth His last advent?
Yet we are not so dogmatic as to insist even on this truth with those who lack faith to receive it. Only we would protest against that theory, so destructive to all prayer, that prayers for the dead are useless; or that it is a Romish error. There is a wide difference between praying for and with the faithful departed, and asking them to pray for us, not to say asking them to help and defend us. The first is certainly the practice of the earliest ages, the second of ages before the growth of Popery; but the last the development of the Roman Church, to the dishonour of the one Mediator between God and man.
Let us not confound truth and error.
But one truth there is we would hope to-day all, at least, admit : that there have been saints,-holy men,-holy in fact; not perfect in deed, as He who knew no sin, yet, compared with us, standards of piety and love. This truth, at least, we are contending for against the followers of Luther and Calvin, that the Holy Spirit has had some temples on earth, verily and indeed, and not by imputation,-that
there have existed righteous men since the Day of Pentecost, who could say of themselves, O, turn from me shame and rebuke, for I have kept Thy testimonies;' 'I am wiser than the aged, because I keep Thy commandments.' Follow we on in their path, ‘looking unto Jesus;' follow we the apostles, confessors, and martyrs; holding the same one faith, the same form of sound words,—the same traditions,—the same liturgies,-imitating their praying often,—and fastings often,—their alms-deeds and great charity. Detest we that modern system of justification which destroys the essence and life of sanctity, which turns liberty into license,-which robs faith of love and obedience,—which, in one word, puts an end to the Communion of Saints. We say,-speaking, as it were, from the bosom of Abraham,—that none who teach and believe the doctrine of imputed righteousness can be saints. Alas! but we dare not forecast the sentence of the great Doomsday concerning them-ACCORDING TO
VERY appropriate is the position of this festival in our Christian year. He and his brethren left their nets at the Saviour's bidding, and followed Him. Fitting it is for us to hear the Saviour saying to us, in St Andrew, Follow Me,' at the return of our cycle of devotions; good to begin the Christian year with thus looking unto Jesus;' and no less fitting, when Advent is nigh, thus to be admonished to follow our Great Example, and so to be ready and meet, when He cometh, to follow Him in Heaven 'wheresoever He goeth.' It is Christ whom we follow in our imitation of the saints. We follow them only where they followed Christ. We follow not Peter in his denials, nor James and John in their ambition; yet, as we might faint and be weary in following the Divine Jesus, we have saints set before us to follow, as they followed Christ, who were but men like ourselves. Having the same Comforter to cleanse and strengthen, we never need despair of following our human forerunners, who, with their King, have entered in within the Vail.
CHURCH NOTES.-FORGUE, ABERDEENSHIRE.
THE patron saint of this parish was St Margaret. Forgue was one of those parishes which, at the Revolution in 1688, refused to accept a Presbyterian teacher at the hands of the Government, and in consequence the military were required to secure his admission into the Church. The oppressive measures, however, that followed, together with the conciliatory manners adopted by the Established ministry, and the lapse of time, gradually wrought a change in the sentiments of the parishioners; so that here, as in most of the districts of Scotland, the majority gradually lapsed from the Church of their Fathers, and fell in with the new order of things. Still a much larger number than at present exists must have continued firm in the surrounding country down to the '45, and even the close of the last century; for we find no fewer than four or five chapels and places of meeting were occupied, in which the people used to assemble from different quarters. One of these was at Pennyburn, on the Huntly and Banff road, not far from the ancient house of Bognie. Part of one of the walls of this chapel is still pointed out, built into a dyke, while a field close by is known as Chapel Park. Another chapel was situated at Cornyhaugh, two miles to the north, on the banks of the Deveron,- -a most secluded spot, shut out from the neighbouring country by the river on the north, and an amphitheatre formed by a steep hill, crowned with heath, on the other sides. No vestige remains of the sacred edifice in this retired locality, which is just such as to tell of a time of hiding and persecution. Within a mile and a-half of Cornyhaugh, but on the other side of the Deveron, lower down, was a third chapel, at Dens of Mayen. Hither Churchmen, both from Marnoch and Forgue, could have resorted. Latterly, it was used solely for the use of parties in Marnoch and Rothiemay; nor is it many years since it was abandoned as a station, the late Rev. Andrew Ritchie of Forgue having, as we understand, repeatedly officiated in a building still standing in good condition, though now used as a dwelling-house. A fourth place of meeting was at Haddo, still farther down the Deveron, but on the south bank, and within half a mile of the kirk-town of Inverkeithing. Here was an old mansion-house that had been tenanted by several good Church families, of which the Forbeses, now of Boyndlie in Buchan, will long be remembered for their urbanity and good deeds. In the adjoining parish of Inverkeithing, also, as appears from the epitaph given below, there must have been a chapel for some time after the Revolution; but where it could have been situated we have never been able to learn. Lastly, at Parkdargue would appear to have been the chief station of all; for here alone a church still continues, to which resort all that remain in the above-named quarters
to witness their attachment to the primitive and apostolic Church of this land, and the true, though depressed, representative of the ancient Establishment,-the Church Catholic,-the Church of the forefathers of the whole Scottish nation, even of those of our countrymen who disown and revile it.
The building at present used as a church at Forgue is of comparatively recent construction, having been erected in 1795, as is indicated by the date on the cross at the east end. Previously to this, the solemn rites of the Church were celebrated in a low heatherthatched building in an adjoining field, where was also the parsonage, of an equally humble description. At the time it was provided,— immediately after the repeal of the penal laws, and just when the Church was permitted to emerge from her obscurity, and discharge her functions without molestation to either her clergy or people,—at such a period, the present chapel was, no doubt, deemed a great acquisition, in point both of comfort and elegance. With the means at the disposal of the congregation, perhaps it was all that could be effected. Yet is it far from being worthy of the holy purposes for which it is employed, being one of those cold, damp, barn-like edifices, which are disappearing in other parts of the country, and which, it is to be hoped, the congregation of Forgue will deem it requisite to have soon replaced by an edifice more becoming the offices they doubtless revere, and more befitting the worship of the High and Lofty One that inhabiteth eternity.
Of the clergymen who have officiated in the above chapels scarce any thing is known,-no records having been preserved that we are aware of, save, indeed, the following, copied from a tomb-stone in the churchyard of Inverkeithing, and which, while it is deserving of being preserved on its own account, must prove especially interesting to the Churchmen of Forgue :—
Is erected at the desire of
The Rev. John Maitland,
A Presbyter of the Epis. Church of Scotland
The Accession of King George I.
afterwards Episcopal Ministers in this
John Maitland was born at Boghead
Was in the year 1745
Appointed Chaplain to Lord Ogilvy's Regiment
And being on that account
Having returned in his old age
He died at Edinburgh, the 17th of Dec. 1800,
Of a family long respected in this country
And primeval Simplicity of Manners.
Of the Maitlands no traces are now to be found in the district. They are but lately gone who remembered to have heard, from those who knew and conversed with him, of a Mr Irvine, who was the last to officiate in the chapel at Pennyburn. He was spoken of with the greatest respect as a zealous and pious man, who expired after a long and severe illness, which he bore with the greatest Christian meekness and resignation. Cornyhaugh at this time belonged to his family, though they soon after disposed of it, and retired to Towie, in the neighbourhood of Turriff. A Mr Smith, who lies buried in the churchyard of Forgue, has his memory still preserved as a painstaking instructor of the youth of his flock. He was wont to entice them, it is said, by various means to punctuality and attention, frequently rewarding the aptest scholars, and encouraging the bashful, with the smallest of our coins. The last person he baptized-a septuagenarian-is still alive. Mr Smith was succeeded by Mr Innes, who had a brother for a long time clergyman of the neighbouring charge of Meiklefolla. Mr Innes of Forgue, to the great grief of his flock, was removed from among them after a very few years of highly-valued labours. Many of his friends are still to be found in the congregation. He was succeeded by the Rev. Andrew Ritchie, formerly a Presbyterian schoolmaster. After an incumbency of forty-nine years, Mr Ritchie died in the December of last year, leaving behind him a character for steady perseverance and kindliness of heart which will not soon be forgotten. May the effects of his orthodox teaching long survive also.
NOTE BY THE EDITOR.-By the favour of a kind correspondent, we are enabled to give the above interesting Church memorials, and we earnestly wish that the parochial clergy would occasionally employ their leisure in furnishing these notices, many of which will otherwise be in a short time lost and forgotten. We understand, from persons most competent to give an opinion, especially in the Highlands, that a great deal might have been collected a few years ago, which is now totally lost, by the decease of old members of the Church, who were conversant with the doings and traditions of the last century. It is especially recommended to examine Presbytery records, as often containing much information.