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courage him, and, if it were possible, to turn him back. I took occasion to encourage him to go more frequently to the throne of grace, that so he might obtain from the Lord the strength necessary to resist all the temptations, and to bear with patience all the machinations which Satan and the world might bring against him. May the good Lord assist him!

'I slept at P- and left early in the morning for N- where I learned the following, which I consider worthy of being reported here : It is now about thirty years since some Jesuit missionaries took up their abode for sometime in this city, with the design of establishing a mission here, and preached with power their delusive doctrines. A young lady of rank, and of good family, all of whom were Protestants, seduced by the discourses of these impostors, adopted their errors, and entered a convent, of which they had given her reason to expect that she would become the Lady Superior. She expected to find in it the repose for which her soul had been longing, doubtless, for many years ; but, alas ! instead of proving a resting-place, the cloister became a hell to this afflicted and burdened soul ; so much so, that after the lapse of a few years, tormented and tortured in her conscience, she wished to leave the convent. She went to B- near V-, on the R-, where the Lord has converted many souls by the instrumentality of the missionaries of your excellent society. You will have learned from those who preached the gospel in that locality, that a young girl, & young woman, and a Catholic family have been brought to the knowledge of the truth, which made a great noise in the village and neighbourhood. I think that this has been a powerful means of leading the lady of whom I am speaking, to serious reflection since she has returned to her father's house. I have also been told that the woman who accompanied her, appears to be a person of excellent disposition. Let us hope that she will follow the example of the other persons to whom I have already referred. Would you believe that the nun of whom I write, is the sister of M. D-? All the family are extremely glad. May the joy which they feel be the instrument in God's hand for the conversion of their own souls!'

'I have gone,' says D—, another of the colporteurs, . as far as R. I have sold four New Testaments and four tracts. The first New Testament was sold to a very conscientious woman, the mother of nine children. I have already visited her several times, and have always had the

pleasure of conversing with her about the word. “Sir,” she said to me one day, “I must tell you that I have lost one of my children, about six years of age, and I have been much grieved for this loss." I endeavoured to make her understand that she ought not to look upon this as a loss, since the poor child had gone to her God. "Would,” she replied, " that I only knew whether she has passed through the flames (of purgatory)." I set her mind at rest on this point, and then she continued, "Well, will you believe it, that when my husband went to bury the child, he made known our misery to the curè, and told him that in present circuinstances he was unable to pay him, and yet, that eight days after we saw the curè coming to us with a horse, asking potatoes." This poor woman had a sad heart about it. From Rto R-, I sold one New Testament. On arriving in this commune, I learned that the curè had from his pulpit forbidden those who had bought books from the colporteur, to read them. I went from house to house to see those who had procured the holy book, and to encourage them to read the word of truth, notwithstanding the opposition of any who would hinder the advancement of our Lord's kingdom. All of those I visited were satisfied with the purchase they had made. This emboldened me to wait upon the cure, and ask from him the reasons of his displeasure against the word of God, but he was absent. The last New Testament which I sold on this journey was to a young man, who told me that he had Calvin's Bible and the New Testament in Greek ; nevertheless, he looked at the version which I presented to him; it was that of Ostervald, and said to me, “It is the same, I will buy it: still there is some difference in your New Testament in the account of the Holy Supper.” I asked him to show it to me; but he could find nothing. I then took occasion to speak to him of transubstantiation. He replied that the church had found it expedient to change that. But I made him understand that man had no authority to change the institutions appointed by God, and that the christians of the primitive church did not even pretend to wish to make it better than God had made it. At last he replied that he had not completed his studies sufficiently to be able to answer me. I begged him at parting to hold to the word of God, and to continue faithful to it. May the Lord open hearts, that his own word may be received and practised !

Oar space forbids us continuing these

extracts farther at present. In a former namber it was stated that the Synod's Committee on Missions were in correspondence with the Committee of the Home Mission of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, with the view of appropriating part of their funds to the support of teachers and catechists in that dark and benighted country. From a letter by the Secretary, addressed to the Rev. Dr M'Crie, Convener of the Synod's Committee on Missions, it appears that the work of the Irish IIome Mission consists, - 1. In circulating the Irish scriptures. 2. In supporting Irish teachers and schools, of which they had under their care from 100 to 300, as funds have enabled them from year to year. At

present they have about a hundred teachers, with nearly a thousand scholars of all ages, who are being taught to read the bible in their native tongue. 3. In preaching the gospel in the English and Irish languages, but chiefly in the Irish tongue. Four ordained ministers, and four licentiates, are thus labouring among the Irish Roman Catholics, assisted by about a dozen scripture readers or catechists, several of them native converts, who use the Irish language where necessary or advisable, as the medium of communicating religious instruction. This work is going on in the counties of Mayo, Sligo, King's County, Galway, and Kerry.

THE REV. WILLIAM MARSHALL, OF LEITH. The following statement, respecting the admission of Mr Marshall, by the

Presbytery of Edinburgh, is published by the authority of the Clerk of

that Presbytery : When the Synod of United Original Westminster Confession of Faith and Seceders assembled at Edinburgh on Catechisms; and that, after solemn the 31st October last, Mr Marshall and prayerful consideration of their desired to have some conversation position, and an examination of the with them, with a view to his admis- peculiar tenets of the United Original sion into communion; but the Synod Secession Church, as exhibited, not being met pro re nata, could only only in the said Confession and Catetake up such cases as had been speci- chisms, but also in the Testimony, fied in the moderator's circular letter, published by that body, it is their by which the meeting was called. conviction, that there is no essential The members, however, readily af- difference of doctrine, nor other imforded Mr Marshall an opportunity portant obstacle in the way of their for extrajudicial conversation, and union with the said church, and exreceived from him a full explanation pressing their wish to be received of his views on certain points about into fellowship, and to be recognised which a difference of opinion might As a minister, session, and congregahave been supposed to exist. The tion in communion with the ministers, Synod could give no judgment on the sessions, and congregations of which matter ; but Mr Marshall's explana- that body is composed. A minute of tion was understood to be highly session, and a resolution of the consatisfactory. This encouraged the gregation, expressing the same desire, Presbytery of Edinburgh formally to were also read.

The Presbytery receive Mr Marshall's application for spent a considerable time in free and admission on the 2d Nov., at which friendly conversation with Mr Marmeeting several members of other shall and the commissioners. presbyteries were also present. Along reference to the cause wbich led Mr with Mr Marshall, there appeared Marshall to separate from the church several commissioners from his session to which he formerly belonged, Mr and congregation. A petition from Darshall referred the Presbytery to Mr Marshall for himself, his session, his published defence, and as they and the congregation, under their found that the matter had never inspection, was read, stating, in sub- been investigated, they did not constance, that they are holding fast and sider it necessary to open up the testifying for the great doctrines of question, and without expressing any the word of God, as exhibited in the opinion as to Mr Marshall's conduct

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in that particular matter, yet seeing that the whole dispute appears to have sprung out of a great and important controversy regarding doctrine, the Presbytery desired to express their sympathy with the opposition managed by Mr Marshall against the views of the prevailing party in that church, and it was upon this ground that the Presbytery entered upon the consideration of the admis.. sion of Mr Marshall into the fellowship of the Original Secession Church. In reply to questions from various members, Mr Marshall frankly and fully expressed his sentiments in reference to civil establishments, the continued obligation of our national covenants, the terms of ministerial and christian communion, and other topics, when the Presbytery declared that they were much satisfied with his views regarding our public principles, and expressed their hope soon to receive him into fellowship. But to avoid all appearance of precipitancy, and with the view of making farther inquiries, not in regard to Mr Marshall's sentiments, but in regard to his position, the Presbytery delayed the final decision to a subsequent meeting

Another meeting of Presbytery was held on the 21st Nov., when Mr Marshall, with commissioners from his session and congregation, again attended. Though the Presbytery had previously declared themselves satisfied with Mr Marshall's views, he readily answered the interrogatories of a member of court who, it now appeared, was not yet fully satisfied, until the Presbytery felt it their duty to check further inquiries which they deemed altogether unnecessary, Mr Marshall having unhesitatingly declared his readiness to take the formula of the United Original Secession Church, and both he and the commissioners having declared their willingness to accede to the testimony of that church. The following motion was then made :

• That the Presbytery having received a full explanation of Mr Marshall's sentiments regarding our public principles, in reference especi

ally to Christ's headship over the nations, and covenant obligation, find that his views on these points harmonise with the statements of the testimony of this church, and that the commissioners from the session and congregation concur in the same views; and Mr Marshall having also declared his readiness to accede to the testimony, and to take the formula of this church, the Presbytery agree that Mr Marshall, together with his session and congregation, be admitted into fellowship with the United Original Secession Church, and recognised as a minister, session, and congregation in communion with the ministers, sessions, and congregations of which that body is composed, and subject, with them, to the inspection and discipline of its Synod, and of this its Presbytery in Edinburgh.'

This motion being put to the vote, was carried by a majority, wherefore the Presbytery declared their admission in terms of the motion. Mr Brown protested against this decision, and appealed to the Synod for reasons to be given in in due time, whereupon he took instruments, and craved extracts.

This gave rise to some discussion as to the effect of the protest.

On the one hand, it was pleaded that the protest must sist procedure; on the other hand, it was urged that Mr Marshall, with his session and congregation, were already admitted by the vote of the majority, and also, that when a Presbytery judge a protest to be frivolous or vexatious, and that further delay, would be injurious to the interests of parties, they are entitled to disregard it, but are subject, of course, to the risk of having their proceedings annulled by the Synod. As it was represented that in this case further delay would be exceedingly injurious, the latter view acquiesced in, the moderator gave Mir Marshall the right hand of fellowship, and his name was added to the roll. Thus Mr Marshall's admission

was completed, so far as the Presbytery could do so, and it now remains for the Synod to dispose of the protest as they shall see cause.

was

ultimately

THE

ORIGINAL SECESSION MAGAZINE.

MARCH, 1849.

MEMOIR OF THE LATE JAMES AITKEN, A. M.,

PREACHER UNDER THE SYNOD OF UNITED ORIGINAL SECEDERS.

(Concluded from our last.)

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In our last article, we brought down our narrative to a very interesting crisis in the life of our young friend, viz., his entrance on the study of theology. This special dedication of his talents to the service of God was made, we have seen, with peculiar solemnity. Prompted by a sincere desire to honour the Saviour, impressed with a deep sense of his responsibility to him, and the speedy account which he might be called to give of his stewardship, he first, in a formal and explicit manner, gave himself to the Lord,' and then committed himself to his gracious support and direction. From so appropriate and becoming a commencement, it was to be expected that his studies would be diligently prosecuted. The time allotted to them was indeed more than usually limited. In consequence of Dr M'Crie's absence on the Continent during the previous autumn, two Sessions of the Hall were held during the year 1842, so that James's course of study after his entrance scarcely extended over three years. During the greater part of that time he was engaged in teaching four or five hours every day, but his heart was in the work; he gave himself wholly to it,' and his profiting appeared unto all.' For this we have not only the attestation of his professors and fellow-students; but his exercises, which are still extant, bear ample testimony to his application and proficiency. Several of these are now before us, and discover a degree of advancement rarely found in so young a man. Their matter, indeed, presents nothing unusual or striking, and their composition none of that straining at effect which is so frequently visible in juvenile productions, but the substantiality of the thoughts, the simple elegance of the language, the rich vein of scriptural illustration; and the unction of piety which pervades the whole, bespeak a mind which had drunk deep at the sacred fountain of divine truth, and was prepared to bring out of its treasury things new and old.' Some of these discourses were prepared for the Presbytery, and

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one.

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being delivered with a graceful and attractive address, tended not a little to excite among those who heard them a high expectation of his future usefulness. The remark of an old elder at C, who had been familiar with his grandfather, on first hearing him, was, Old Mr Aitken is not dead yet;' and the following testimony from a still more competent judge, will show that the impression was not a singular

•Cl. 13th Dec., 1843. At this communion we had only Mr Aitken for assistant. On the thanksgiving Monday, however, we had a young co-assistant in the person of his son James, who delivered a discourse before a few of the people who remained. He promises exceedingly well. He has evidently an acute and clear mind. His discourse, without any of the flash of the undisciplined tyro, was composed with spirit and delivered with peculiar ease and fluency. My only fear is that he may be delicate in bodily health. Fervent piety he seems to possess in no ordinary degree. Indeed, he could not have been in a better school for this than in his father's house.'

During all this time his own spiritual progress was not neglected. Too frequently it happens that first love gives place to temporary indifference. Nor is the professional study of the divine word always attended with that stimulating effect on personal religion which might be expected. Tempted to look upon divine truth more as a system to be expounded to others than as the support of his own spiritual life, and led away by the play of intellect, excited by the collision of kindred and youthful minds, the student of divinity is in danger of forgetting that he is himself a candidate for the grace exhibited in the gospel, and that the position which always befits him is that of an humble disciple at Jesus' feet. Of this danger James was fully aware, and he set himself to guard against it with double vigilance. •Dec. 4, 1841. I find,' says he, 'that I must make a more constant use of the assistance afforded by a diary in keeping up the life of religion in the soul. How truly may it be said of it as of learning, “ Drink deep or taste not!” There is a general desire in the heart of man to content himself with a little religion,” as much as will barely keep his conscience from being too troublesome, and give him some little ground of hope for eternity. Hence the evil report which many who have gone but a short way bring up of the land. O Lord, may my own experience of this tendency be a warning to me! Lead me henceforth to a closer walk with thee. O for a heart burning with love to theefor more zeal for thee in the world! Why am I so cold in thy cause? Why am I so slow in thy service? O Lord, forgive me, and heal the sore !

As a mean, accordingly, of keeping alive his spirituality of feeling, he resolved to devote one hour every morning and evening to secret devotion, and, if possible, a short time in the middle of the day; and besides these regular periods, he was in the habit of occasionally devoting whole days to special self-examination and personal humiliation. Some of these appear to have been eminently blessed to him; and to one in particular he referred on his death-bed, as a season when God was pleased to visit him with the tokens of his gracious acceptance, and to impart to him the sweet assurance that he was pacified towards

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