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islets, the landscapes swelling from to commence college life, but it its beach, and the distant grandeur sufficed to pay the usual fees, and of the mountains, the Cheviots in the young student had the promise the south and the snowy Grampians of an occasional supply of provisions in the north. Genius does not owe from the father of one of his comits development to cloth of gold panions. While attending college, and lordly dainties : the barefooted we are told, “he applied himself to boy with the unplumed bonnet on the several branches of literature his head, and the few pieces of oat- and philosophy with remarkable cake in his pocket, was able to take assiduity and success. Of the Latin in the materials of a poem which and Greek languages he acquired for beauty and accuracy of local a masterly knowledge, and he made description would not have disgraced eminent progress in metaphysics, the pen of Cowper.
mathematics and mental philosophy." When Michael returned to school Having completed his sessions in for the winter months, he was soon Edinburgh, he went to the Divinity at the head of the class; but his Hall of the Burgher branch of the fellow-scholars saw him pass them
Secession Church, his purpose being without jealousy or ill-feeling. He to devote his powers to the work was a favourite with them all, and of the Christian ministry. The they yielded to him as their " guide, Divinity Class was under the care philosopher and friend." There was of the Rev. Mr. Swanston, the a charm in his manner that ensured minister of Kinross. Mr. Swanston affection and confidence, and there had several people in good circumcan be no doubt that religion did stances in his church, who lodged much in making him so attractive. and boarded the students free of The teaching and example of his charge, an arrangement admirably parents affected him from his early suited to the low condition of childhood, and when his intellect Bruce's finances. He soon became began to expand, he delighted in a great favourite with the professor, talking on sacred subjects, and who treated him rather as a brother would revert with evident pleasure
than a student. According to to any new thought on theology custom he had to give a discourse that had been suggested to him. in the Hall. Knowing the bent of He conducted family worship when
his mind his hearers anticipated his father was
from home, and imagery and eloquence, but were his prayers were characterised by disappointed, for his homily was solemnity, appropriateness of lan- characterised only by tame thoughts guage and Scriptural allusion, which expressed in prosaic words. But seemed beyond his years.
He had he been spared there can be wished to go to college, but was
little doubt that his genius would without the means, and there was have been developed in his sermons, some indetermination to his or that he would have presented
The desire of his the truth in forms of beauty that heart was, however, at length grati- would have been hailed by the fied; his father received a legacy devout, and have won sinners from of about £11, and on the strength
What he of this accession of family wealth, might have been as a preacher is it was decided that he should enter however only matter of conjecture, himself as a student in Edinburgh. for a pulmonary affection compelled This was a small sum with which the abandonment of his Divinity
the error of their ways.
studies, an affection aggravated by on the verge of heaven?” But he the ungenial neighbourhood and was overwhelmed with grief on damp room in which he kept a hearing of the sudden death of his school during the vacations. But beloved tutor Mr. Swanston, and it was at Forest Mill, where he though he lived a month after that taught, that he recalled the scenes event, was
to smile with which he had been familiar in again. He died aged twenty-one boyhood, and wrote his “Lochleven," years and three months. His Bible concluding with the plaintive lines : was found on his pillow with a mark “ Thus sung the youth, amid unfertile at the words : “ Weep ye not for the wilds
dead, neither bemoan him;” and on And nameless deserts, unpoetic ground ! a blank leaf were these lines : Far from his friends he strayed, recording thus
" 'Tis very vain for me to boast The dear remembrance of his native How small a price my Bible cost : fields,
The day of judgment will make clear, To cheer the tedious night ; while 'Twas very cheap or very dear.”
slow disease Preyed on his pining vitals, and the
John Logan, who was tutor in a blasts
gentleman's family at the time of Of dark December shook his humble Bruce's death, went to Kinnesswood cot."
and asked for the manuscripts of the He had to leave Forest Mill and deceased poet, assuring the bereaved return to his parents. He lingered parents that the publication of the through the winter, and saw the poems would realise sufficient to spring brighten over the Loch ; but keep them in comfort to the end of he had given up all hope of life. their days. Two years passed away Pale and feeble, he walked under and nothing was done, and Alexander the old ash trees that skirted his Bruce, wearied by delay, wrote to native village, or watched the bud- | Logan urging him either to publish ding of the honeysuckle he had or return the poems. At the end of trained round the window of his the third year a small volume came father's house. But the attrac- out, entitled, “ Poems on Several tions of the outer world had slight Occasions, by Michael Bruce,” but influence on him;
the preface stated that only part of priate to a dying man filled his the work was by Bruce, yet without mind, and while still able to write intimating to whom the other pieces he employed himself in revising and were to be ascribed. When the little enlarging his poem on the Last book appeared Bruce's friends were Day. At length he was almost surprised to find that it contained constantly confined to bed, and none of the sacred songs with which spent nearly the whole of his time they had become familiar by seeing with his Bible, reading it with glow- them in manuscript, or hearing them ing appreciation of its consoling sung, and his father on looking truths, committing portions of it to through the contents burst into tears memory, and commenting on pas- exclaiming :
exclaiming : “Where are my son's sages to those who visited him.
Gospel sonnets ? ” The old man Though his earthly life was passing, went to Logan and accused him of he was calm and joyous, and when having kept back some of his son's his friend George Lawson called best pieces, and insisted on having on him and manifested surprise at them again. Logan gave him a few finding him so cheerful, he said : loose papers, but he demanded the
Why should not a man be cheerful volume in which Michael had tran
scribed his poems. Logan professed, and as the bird could but rarely be not to be able to find it, but promised seen, the poet's mother went with a to look for it, and hand it to him the number of villagers to look at it, following day, but when the day came and asked : “ Will that be the bird it was still not to be obtained, and our Michael made a song about ? ” Logan said he feared the servants A letter from Bruce to one of his had singed fowls with it. This in- friends contained this sentence : explicable conduct was deeply pain
" You will think me ill-employed, ful to the sorrowing father, and for I am writing a poem about a without receiving any pecuniary gowk.” It is difficult to understand benefit from the poems that were how Logan could stoop to the meanissued, he died abcut five years after ness of appropriating the fruit of following his godly and gifted another man's genius, but the lightest Michael to the grave.
verdict that can be pronounced on Eleven years elapsed from the his whole career is that he was lackdate of the publication already men- ing in high principle. There was tioned, and Logan appeared as the little admirable in the course of his author of a volume of poems in which life. He was the son of a farmer were nine hymns or paraphrases, in East Lothian, and was trained which with two others supplied by under the ministry of John Brown him, were appended to the Scotch of Haddington. In youth he decided Version of the Psalms. Three of on being a minister of the Secession these have been identified beyond Church, and made great professions doubt as Bruce's, and there is a of piety, but after a time became so strong supposition, based on good loose in religious matters that his evidence, that he composed the whole old acquaintances found it necessary eleven. Of the three, the one on the to shun his society. Influenced in Millennium contains the most spirit- part by Dr. Blair, he entered the stirring lines :
Established Church and obtained
presentation to a charge in South “ The beam that shines from Zion's hill Shall lighten every land ;
Leith, but he was too ambitious to The King who reigns in Salem's towers
content himself with parochial duties, Shall all the world command.
and delivered a course of lectures in “ No strife shall rage, nor hostile feuds Edinburgh, on the Philosophy of Disturb those peaceful years ;
History, which excited considerable To ploughshares men shall beat their
attention. Successful as a lecturer, swords, To pruning-hooks their spears.
he sought further renown in a sphere “No longer hosts, encountering hosts,
utterly out of the line of his sacred Shall crowds of slain deplore ;
profession : he wrote a tragedy which They hang the trumpet in the hall, though interdicted in London for And study war no more.
political reasons, was acted in Edin“Come, then, O house of Jacob ! come, burgh. His people were offended To worship at His shrine ;
by his connection with the theatre, And, walking in the light of God, With holy beauties shine."
and by the convivial habits into which
he had fallen, and he had to resign Logan also inserted the “ Ode to his pastorate. He went to London the Cuckoo "in his volume. That and eked out the annuity which his this lyric was by Bruce is evident congregation allowed him, by writing from a number of circumstances : for reviews. It is said that in his Several young men received copies later days he became penitent and of it from him. A cuckoo was shot, spent the greater part of his time in reading the Bible. He was not with- his heart, knowing as he did that he out natural ability, but in his eager- had only gained it by shameful fraud. ness for fame made free use of other But if Burke was mistaken as to the men's materials. After his death author, he was right in his commena selection of his sermons was pub-dation of the ode. The verses are lished, which was well received; but instinct with the life of nature, and the best parts consist of long pas- renew in the mind of the reader the sages taken without acknowledg- fresh and fragrant world of childment from English divines. There
hood : is also something more than a strong
“Hail, beauteous stranger of the grove ! suspicion that in his lectures on
Thou messenger of Spring ! history he was guilty of wholesale
Now Heav'n repairs thy rural seat, plagiarism. But his appropriation And woods thy welcome sing. of some of the choicest of Bruce's “ Soon as the daisy decks the green, stanzas is the worst part of his con- Thy certain voice we hear. duct. What selfishness, what dis
Hast thou a star to guide thy path,
Or mark the rolling year ? regard of truth and honour he betrayed in filching the garland from
“ Delightful visitant! with thee
I hail the time of flow'rs, the urn of the departed youth, for And hear the sound of music sweet his own decoration ! He must have From birds among the bow'rs. forgotten all the grand Christian
• The school-boy, wand'ring through the morality he heard from the lips of wood his pastor, John Brown, or he would
To pull the primrose gay, not thus have robbed Bruce's n
Doth start thy curious voice to hear, s memory,
And imitates thy lay. and added indignant chagrin and
“What time the pea puts on the bloom, cruel disappointment to the grief of
Thou fly'st thy vocal vale, a bereaved father. Thomas Campbell An annual guest in other lands, tells us that when Edmund Burke Another Spring to hail. was in Edinburgh, he sought out “ Sweet bird I thy bow'r is ever green, Logan, to express to him his admi- Thy sky is ever clear ;
Thou hast no sorrow in thy song, ration of the “ Ode to the Cuckoo,"
No winter in thy year! which he thought one of the most
"O could I fly, I'd fly with thee ! beautiful lyrics in the English lan
We'd make, with joyful wing, guage. But if Logan had any con- Our annual visit o'er the globe, science, the praise of the great Attendants on the Spring." statesman must have sent a pang to
OLD CATHOLICISM IN SWITZERLAND.
BY THE REV. W. H. JOHNSTON.
As soon as the official report of movement may be of interest. This the Bonn Conference appears, an will deal not so much with Austria, abstract of it may be expected in Italy, France, Belgium, Holland or these pages, from which the reader Mexico, of which many interesting will be able to form his own opinion accounts might be given, as with of that celebrated but variously- Switzerland and Gerniany, the two described gathering. In the mean- countries that take the lead in the time a short description of the movement, which is called in Gerpresent stage of the Old Catholic
many Old Catholic and in Switzerland Christian Catholic. On October that it ought not to be undertaken 14th, there commenced the “ Chris- except by the united action of the tian Catholic Synod” of the Canton Dutch, Swiss and German Old of Bern. The Synodal Council was Catholics; that most will at any commissioned to prepare a catechism rate admit that the time for the to be based on that of Bishop Salz- change has not yet arrived ; and mann, and to select out of the exist- that it seems strange that those who ing Bible histories the one most have undertaken the herculean task fitted to be recommended to the of reforming the Church should congregations. The necessity of a deem it desirable to begin by throwprayer-book and church hymn-booking off a merely personal yoke, no was acknowledged. The use of the matter how unjustifiably imposed cassock as a constant dress (after upon them. They complain further the manner of the French clergy) that the Swiss priests and congrewas forbidden, but on the other gations have on individual authority, hand the proposal to alter the mass- in several cases, made considerable liturgy and the vestments was not changes ; that whilst in some places accepted. It was finally decreed mass is celebrated in the ancient that auricular confession before manner, in Latin, and with incense, communion should not be compul- | benediction and processions, there sory, and that marriage should no are other priests who celebrate it in longer debar from admission to, or German, others in French, and that hinder the further exercise of, the in forms or dress framed or adopted functions of the priesthood. Thir- by themselves according to the taste teen refused to vote for the abolition of each ; and that some have already of the compulsory celibacy of the perpetrated matrimony.
The approaching National Synod The proceedings of this Synod (so-called) is viewed with equal have caused a good deal of anxiety anxiety, because it is intended to to the Germans, who have acted all propose that all such existing along more conservatively than the reforms may be recognised, and the Swiss. They say first of all that resolutions of the late Synod none of these changes ought to have adopted for the entire of Switzerbeen made except by a properly con
land. But that is not all. Not stituted Synod, that is, a represen-only do the Germans complain tative church-body with a bishop in that the assemblies held at different the chair ; that the Swiss having times, in Bern and elsewhere, ought no bishop cannot hold a Synod in not to be called synods, but they the Catholic sense of the word. have an uneasy feeling that one or They admit that clerical celibacy, other of the two following courses having only Church authority for may perhaps be adopted by the its appointment, may be done away Swiss. The first is that of quietly with, and further that with certain and coolly going through with reconlimitations, as in the Orthodox and structive legislation, even in detail, United Greek Churches, it must be and then when all is finished, crowndone away with, in order to avoid the ing the movement with a bishop, abominable consequences which the merely as a kind of decoration. The " forbidding to marry” has entailed danger then would be that no able on the Romish priesthood. They man would allow himself to be add, however, that this reform is one elected, and that one might be of such far-reaching consequences
chosen who would not have the full