Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

from all parts of the country were sent unanimously elected Dr. Macleod to in. Wherever he went he was received with kindness and cordiality; in many

the Moderatorship. This was the places with that deep respect and vene

highest ecclesiastical honour that ration which had grown up in the minds could be awarded him, and was a of those who had admired his works and

fitting recognition of his great serhad heard of his labours; and in many places he was welcomed with feelings of

vices in the pulpit, and in the Home ardour rising to enthusiasm.”

and Foreign Missions of the Church.

Whatever influence the office gave Dr. Macleod was almost inces- was used by him in the advocacy santly engaged either in public ser- of schemes for the enlargement of vices or private investigations and the Church, and especially of its interviews, but before he had worked Indian Mission. The claims and out his plan of operations, he was necessities of the latter work were prostrated by sickness, and after a frequently urged by him with all hasty visit to Benares, Agra, Delhi his power of argument and eloand other noted cities, embarked for quence. India had taken hold of home. He was met at Alexandria his heart, and he went on pleading by Mrs. Macleod, and returned to for funds and missionaries, even Scotland by Malta, Naples, Rome when in bodily suffering which he and Paris. He writes :

might justly have assigned as a “ That night

returned was in- reason for perfect rest. His health describable—so unreal and yet so was so shattered that in 1872 he real. Never was there to me was compelled to give up his Condreamlike a thing as when dear venership. He made his final apfriends, deacons, elders and mem- peal for the Mission in a long bers of my church, and working and memorable speech before the people, met me at the railway, and

Assembly shook me by the hand. Spectres This was nearly the last scene of could not have been more unreal. his public life. He preached once It seemed as if it could not be they, in the Barony Church on the followand that I was not myself, and home ing Sabbath, taking for his text, again. India seemed to follow me “We have forsaken all, and followed up till that moment, and Scotland Thee; what shall we have theredid not seem real. The present was fore?” All that he had written of not as the past; and then the ever- the sermon was on a sheet of note memorable

supper

in my own house, paper ; but from a full heart he exwith my mother and aunts, and horted his hearers to accept the sisters and brothers, and children ! guidance of Christ, assuring them What! was I at home? Was I that if they did so, they would at alive ? Had I returned ? Perhaps the last be able cheerfully to give the feeling of never returning to up life and all into His keeping. which I clung, somehow, as necessary With that sermon his work ended. for my peace, made the return the The Monday was his sixtieth birthmore strange and incomprehensible. day, and he thus wrote to his friend, I cannot describe the feeling. It Principal Shairp : “I am threescore was not excitement, but calm, dumb, years to-day! John, dear, I cannot dreamlike wonder!

..0, my dear

speak about myself. I am dumb Father ! how I thank and bless with thoughts that cannot be uttered Thee, and record Thy goodness. .. As I feel time so rapidly But it is the old story of Love!” passing, I take your hand, dear

The General Assembly of 1869, old friend, with a firmer grip. I

have many friends; few old ones ! the procession as it passed along the O that I loved my oldest and streets, and testified by their sorrowtruest, my Father and Saviour, ful faces how they loved and lamented better! But should I enter heaven him who had been to them so true as a forlorn ship, dismasted, and a a friend, and whose labours had mere log-it is enough—for I will tended so much to their social and be repaired. But I have been a religious improvement. At Campsie poor concern, and have no peace but the shops were closed, and the whole in God's mercy to a miserable sin- population united in paying respect ner.” He suffered severely through to the son of their former minister. the week, but was often engaged in As the coffin was about to be lowered audible or silent prayer. Having into the grave, three wreaths were heard of the birth of a nephew, he placed upon it bearing inscriptions said, “I have been praying for this showing that they were from Her little boy of Donald's; that he may Majesty and other members of the live to be a good man, and by God's Royal Family. grace be a minister in the Church of 6. The spot where he sleeps is a Christ—the grandest of all callings.” suggestive emblem of his life. On

On Sunday morning, June 16th, the one side are the hum of business he asked his wife to sit beside him, and the houses of toiling humanity; and spoke to her freely of his joy and on the other, green pastoral hills, confidence in God, telling her to and the silence of Highland soliwrite down what he said that his tudes. More than one eye rested words might be a comfort to her in that day on the sunny slope where her day of sorrow,

Two of his he had so lately dreamt of building daughters went to him to kiss him a home for his old age-more than before going to church. Taking one heart thanked God for the more the hand of one of them he said, glorious mansion into which he had “If I had strength, I could tell you entered.” things would do you good through Unqualified approval cannot be all

your life. I am an old man and given to all Dr. Macleod's opinions have passed through many experi- and public movements, but he was ences, but now all is perfect peace a good and great man, intent on the and perfect calm. I have glimpses honour of Christ and the moral imof heaven that no tongue, or pen,

provement of his fellow men. He or words can describe.” About an presented a fine combination of hour after, with a gentle sigh, his manly power with philanthropic soul escaped to heaven.

Christian zeal. He was, to quote He was buried beside his father the inscription on one of the two in the Campsie graveyard. Civic painted windows placed by Her and University dignitaries, ministers Majesty in Craithie Church as meand members of numerous churches, morials of his ministry, “a man preceded or followed the hearse to eminent in the Church, honoured in the outskirts of the city; while the State, and in many lands greatly crowds of working people watched beloved.”

VOL, VI,

FIRST SERIES.

2 A

354

MARTYRS OF THE SCOTTISH REFORMATION, The weak and childish prince, Andrew's in provincial synod. The James V., was at first held in scarcely young preacher delivered an earnest disguised captivity, surrounded by exhortation to all priests to be exthe allies and retainers of Angus. amples to the flock, and reform Seizing at last an opportunity, he themselves of their scandalous illescaped in disguise during the night living. Such was the effect of the to Stirling Castle, where his mother sermon that several of the canons was residing, put himself in the joined together to prefer to the hands of the enemies of the Doug King a formal complaint against lases, summoned a Parliament, and their shamelessly licentious Prior. procured a decree of banishment While they were thus engaged, against Angus, who made his escape Hepburn entered their assembly at into England. This was the com- the head of some men-at-arms, and mencement of a reign whose prin- ordered the seizure of Alesius. The cipal policy was to weaken and canons interfered; Hepburn drew a depress the always inordinate power sword, and attempted to attack his of the nobles. Consequently the supposed accuser, who fell at his King had to ally himself closely feet beseeching him not to shed with the clergy, who alone could blood. The passionate priest, disfurnish him with the moral and daining to use his sword on a prosmaterial support necessary to main- trate foe, kicked the suppliant with tain the contest. In course of years such force that he fainted on the the continual opposition of noble floor. When he came to himself, the and priest disposed the aristocrats to soldiers, taking him and the other favour the Reformation ; but for the canons, thrust them into a dungeon. time the clergy were checked in This violent scene being known their persecuting course only by the in the city, caused great excitement, inconstant lenity of the King. and some of the nobles made appeal

The first distinguished victim to the King to check the Prior's after the death of Hamilton* was his tyranny. James ordered the immeconvert, the Canon Alesius. Return- diate liberation of all the prisoners, ing to the Priory at St. Andrew's, adding that he would go himself he began deeply to lament "the and set them free with his own pitiable state of the Church, with hand, if he did not know that the the Holy Scriptures shut up, with place was infected with the plague. no competent teachers, the doctrine Hepburn released the other canons, of Christ buried in thiek darkness, but removing Alesius only from one and pious folk subjected to horrible prison to another, had him cast into tortures.” At the same time he a horrible hole full of filth and versteadfastly refused, in conversation min. After twenty days a rumour with his brother canons, to condemn of this reached the King's ears, who, the opinions for which Hamilton summoning the Prior, commanded had died. Hepburn, the Prior, re- him at once to liberate the captive. ported these sayings to the Arch- Hepburn swore by all the saints bishop, who, laying a snare for that Alesius was free, and hastenAlesius, appointed him to preaching back to the priory, ordered him before the clergy assembled at St. to be brought out, washed and

clothed in clean garments. He com* See this Magazine for January, 1876. manded him to say nothing of the way in which he had been treated, the King's confessor, a Dominican and then sent for the magistrates named Alexander Seaton. Bold of the city, and, pointing to Alesius, almost to recklessness, he feared requested them to give the lie to neither to denounce the vices of the the calumnies which said that he priests nor to rebuke the immoralities was kept in prison. The magistrates, of the King. Preaching one Lent distrusting the Prior, requested Ale- in the cathedral at St. Andrew's, he sius to tell them the whole truth, openly proclaimed salvation through which he did to the confusion of his faith in Christ alone, and when superior, who, however, promised during his absence the Archbishop that, as he was now free, he should appointed another Dominican to remain at liberty. But no sooner refute him, he hastened back, orhad the council withdrawn than, dered the bells to be rung to gather turning with furious reproaches a congregation, and ascending the upon the poor canon, he ordered pulpit reiterated and confirmed his him back to the same loathsome former teaching. Summoned before dungeon, where he lay for more than the primate for this offence, he dea year. An appeal to the Arch- fended himself in a tone of conbishop was in vain. He only ob- temptuous frankness. Witnesses served in reply that he noticed a deposed that he had called bishops leaning to Lutheranism in Alesius's dumb dogs and idle pastors. “Consermon, and that he deserved the sider,” he replied, “what ears these penalty imposed on him.

asses have who cannot discern Paul, Still he had friends in the priory, Isaiah, Zechariah and Malachi from who, assuring him that his death friar Alexander Seaton. I of my was intended, urged him to make head affirmed nothing, but his escape and flee the country. declared what the Spirit of God had With great reluctance he consented. before pronounced.” It might be the "Nothing," he writes, “is dearer to King's confessor thought himself sewell-nurtured souls than their native cure in the royal favour, but this he land; but the Church," he adds, soon found he had lost by his fearless " is the Christian's country far more

conscientiousness. When Beatoun than the place which gave him birth.” denounced him to James, the prince He left the convent at midnight, replied at once,

" I know more than and alone made his way to the shore you of his audacity," and left him to of the Firth of Tay, and crossed to his fate. Seaton perceived his danDundee, where lay a vessel whose ger and escaped across the border captain was a German Protestant. to Berwick, and ultimately making Alesius went on board at once, and his way to London, was appointed had barely put to sea when Hepburn chaplain to the Duke of Suffolk and a company of horsemen rode and attracted large crowds by his into the town in hot pursuit. Their eloquence. victim was beyond their reach. He Being thus rid of the evangelical was taken safely to Sweden, and preachers the Scottish bishops dipassing thence to France, finally

rected their attack against the found refuge with the liberal Her- Gospel itself, and issued a decree, mann, Archbishop of Cologne. to be published in every parish, for

It was not only in the Priory of bidding any to sell or read the New St. Augustine that the reformed Testament. The second Scottish doctrine found advocates amongst martyr of the Reformation, Henry The next exile was Forrest, a Benedictine monk of Lin

own

the clergy.

on

accu

[ocr errors]

lithgow, was condemned this effect. The defiant seaman's pride sation, and was burnt at St. Andrew's, gave way before the terrible meanon the north of the Abbey Church, ing and penalties of heresy. In the place being specially chosen, his humiliation he began to exasays Foxe, “to the intent that all mine his own heart, acknowledged the people of Forfar might see the his sins, felt the need of forgiveness fire, for it was known that the new and inquired eagerly for instruction. faith had many friends in that Meetings for the secret reading of county.”

the Gospel had for some time been It was from Forfarshire indeed held in Dun Castle, the seat of that its next confessor came; but Erskine, Provost of Montrose, who, seldom has a stranger recruit been while studying abroad, had become brought by more unlikely means converted to the Protestant faith. into the army of martyrs. David Hearing of the change which had Straiton, of Lauriston in the neigh- come upon his singular neighbour, bourhood of Montrose, was widely Erskine visited him.

They had known for his rude and eccentric frequent conversations and soon manners. Born of a noble house, he Straiton was regularly seen at the found his pleasure in no way usual meetings, where before long the among men of his rank. His delight truth took hold upon him and he was to be out on the sea in the was “transformed,” says John Knox, stormiest weather, handling his boat as by a miracle.' himself, and proud to surpass the He now was much in company roughest fisherman in the toilsome with his nephew, the young laird management of the sail and the net. of Lauriston, who possessed a New His success in this strange occu

Testament, and in lonely places pation excited the avarice of Prior would read to his uncle, who w Hepburn, who sent to demand tithe himself ignorant of letters.

One of his spoils. The reckless sports- day the portion chosen was the man answered “He shall find them tenth chapter of St. Matthew. At ready for him if he'll come and take the words, “Whosoever shall deny them on the spot;” and from that Me before men, him will I also deny time whenever the nets were drawn before My Father which is in heaven," in, the men were bidden to pay the Straiton started, fell on his knees Prior of St. Andrew's his tithe, and and remained a long while earnestly every tenth fish was scrupulously gazing upward but without speaking: returned to the sea. A neighbour- At last he prayed aloud, “ Lord, I ing priest was ordered to go and have been sinful, and Thou wouldst take the dues. He went; but as be only just, wert Thou to withhold soon as Straiton saw him he began Thy grace from me. Nevertheless contemptuously to pitch the fish for the sake of Thy mercy suffer not to, or rather at him, not caring the dread of pain or of death to lead where they struck, nor that some me ever to deny Thee or Thy truth.” of them fell into the water. Hep- From that time he began to preach burn, looking round for means of the Saviour he had found, but was revenge on his unceremonious foe, soon seized, carried to Edinburgh, could find nothing more promis- and, after a short trial, burnt, along ing than to institute proceedings with a priest named Gourlay, on against him for heresy. The charge, Calton Hill. purely unfounded and prompted by Beside these executions, banishprivate malice, had an unexpected | ments were frequent. Sir James,

« AnteriorContinuar »