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twelve o'clock the church-bеll began to them drew near to contemplate the new. s Maures toll

, and the friends of Mr Blair were seen made grave, and the old were not slow to ding the walking slowly in two and threes along retrace the memory of those of the same fa. ist Theme the green lanes which lead towards the mily who had heretofore been committed to

Church and Manse; while the rest, assem. the same dust. On the wall of the church, propel, eile bling in the burying ground, awaited the immediately adjoining, a large marble tather. The forthcoming of the mournful procession. blet had been affixed, to record the pious Such as had been particularly invited, en

labours of Mr Blair's father, who preceded tered the house. One by one they were him in the charge of that parish ; and most ushered into the parlour of the Manse, and of those who were present could still recall not one approached it without something with distinctness the image of the good old like a feeling of fear. But that feeling man, and the grave tones of his voice in was dispelled in a moment; Mr Blair exhortation. But there was a green head stood in the midst of the apartment with stone there, rudely fashioned, and most se face of such calmness and composure as rudely sculptured, to which their fingers if he had been the only man there that day were pointed with feelings of yet loftier ve. whose business it was not to receive com

neration. That stone marked the spot fort , but to give it

. To each of the guests where Mr Blair's grandfather was laida who entered the room he went up separate. simple peasant of the parish-one whose ly, and extended his hand in silence. Not time on earth had been abridged in conse. one word was uttered by any one. quence of what he had done and suffered in

." Each took his station ; and then a days when God's chosen race, and the true salver of wine having been handed round, patriots of our country, were hunted up and Mr Blair himself called upon the eldest of down like the beasts the field--when the his brother clergymen present to ask a

citizens of a Christian land durst not sing blessing. It is in that form, that the fu. a psalm in the wilderness, without the risk neral prayer of the Scottish ceremonial is of being hewn into pieces by the sword of announced and uttered. The person call- some godless slave. They who are ac. ed upon to pronounce it on this occasion, quainted with Scotland-above all, with the was by no means one who had lived on west of Scotland cannot be ignorant of the any very particular terms of intimacy with reverence which is still cherished for the Mr Blair; neither was he any great fa- seed of the martyrs. Such feelings, I am pourite among the country people of the sorry to say, were more widely spread, and neighbourhood. He bore, in general, the more intensely felt, in former times than character of a dry, sarcastic sort of man,

they are now. It was to them, in no small and, being very old, was personally little degree, that Adam Blair was indebted for known, except among the immediate circle the deep affection with which his person of his own friends and connexions. Yet and all his concerns were, and always had not one that heard Dr Muir pray that day, been, regarded by the people of his parish. would have wished the duty to have fallen To their love he had “ titles manifold," into other hands. The old man had him- but not the least was his being the grand. self experienced the sorrows of life, and he son and namesake of old Adam Blair, who spake like one who was about to go down had fought against bloody Clavers and the into the grave, leaning on the only arm in butcher Dalyell, at Bothwell-bridge, and which strength lies.

endured torture, without shrinking, in the " It was a touching spectacle to see the presence of false Lauderdale.church-yard when the procession entered it. Old and young stood around unbonnetted,

Our next quotation shall be the and few dry eyes were turned on Mr Blair scene before the Presbytery, and we when he took his station at the head of the must give it entire. opened grave. The clods, as they rattled down, sent a shudder to every bosom, and

“ When the clergymen composing the when the spade was heard clapping the re- Presbytery, found themselves assembled placed sod into its form, every one turned that day, it would have been evident to away his eyes, lest his presence should be any one who might have been present, that felt as an intrusion on the anguish of the their minds were occupied with something minister. He, on his part, endured it won- very different from the ordinary routine of derfully; but the dead mother had been their ecclesiastical business. The clerk laid down by the side of her dead children, read his minutes without being listened to and perhaps, at that moment, he was too by any body ; and while many little matters humble to repine at their re-union. He were being arranged in the usual manner, uncovered and bowed himself over the among the usual functionaries, the different stave when the last turf was beat down, members of the court were seen forming and then, leaning on the arm of John Max- themselves into knots, and whispering toFell

, walked back slowly through the silent gether low and anxiously in various corners rows of his people to the solitude of his of the Chapter-house. At length one of Manse.

the members, a tall, thin, elderly person of " After he was out of sight, not a few of very formal aspect, moved that the court VOL. XI.

2 Y

M

should be cleared, as he had to call the at the old man, still standing in the open tention of his brethren to a subject, which, space in the centre of the room,

threw his in its present state, ought to be discussed eyes eagerly round him, and began to speak 21 with closed doors.

of the matter which had been brought be“ When this clergyman, by name Ste-fore their notice, characterizing as rash and venston, was satisfied that all strangers had imprudent, in the highest degree, the conretired, he addressed the chair in a long duct of those who had broached such a suband elaborate speech, for the tenor of which ject in the absence of the person most imalmost all who heard him were sufficiently mediately concerned in it, and fervidly exprepared before he opened his lips. He pressing his own utter contempt of the expatiated at great length on his own un rumours they had heard of, and his most willingness at all times to open his ears to sincere conviction, (for such it was) that keine scandal, more particularly against the cha- the pure and stainless character of Mr racter of any of his hitherto respected bre. Blair had been assailed in consequence of thren ;-explained, however, that, under nothing but the malice of one individual, certain circumstances, it was every man's whose name need only be mentioned in orduty to overcome his private feelings ;-and der to satisfy the Presbytery with how much then entered into a serious, circumstantial caution they ought to proceed upon this detail of the many rumours which had been occasion. He then sunk into a lower but for some time afloat, concerning the con not a less serious tone, and after desiring duct of Mr Blair of Cross-Meikle. He his brethren, with the authority which concluded with moving a string of resolu- years and superior talents alone can bestow, tions, which he held written out on a card to banish all thoughts of party in considerin his hand the general purport of which ing an assault which might have been made was, that the scandal concerning this mem. with equal success, as well as, he firmly ber of their court had already amounted to believed, with equal justice, against any what, in the ecclesiastical phraseology of one of all who heard him—the old man Scotland, goes under the name of a Fama proceeded to relate the substance of the Clamosa ; and that, therefore, it was the conversation he had himself held with Mr bounden duty of the Presbytery to take up Blair the night before he left Cross-Meikle, the matter quam primum, and appoint a and the solemn denial of the alleged guilt committee, with powers to commence a pre- which he had then received from the lips cognition--and that such and such persons of his young friend. Dr Muir himself felt, ought to constitute the committee in

ques as he went on, that what he said was protion. His motion was instantly seconded ducing a powerful effect, and he therefore by another person on the same side of the opened himself more and more freely, and house, who, however, in doing so, express, reviewing the whole course of Adam Blair's ed his own firm belief that there was no tence, dared any one present to avow foundation whatever for the foul allegations his belief, that even if he had been capable too publicly circulated against Mr Blair, of offending in the manner imputed to him, and that, on a proper investigation (which, he could have been so of telling a deliberate for the sake of Mr Blair himself, ought to and an uncalled-for LIE. "Sirs,' said he, take place without any further delay) it I put to all of you, whether you do not would become manifest to all, that a few feel and know that Adam Blair is innocasual imprudencies, misinterpreted by the cent; and is it thus, that while we are ourmalicious, were all that could be laid to his selves convinced of his innocence, we are charge. He concluded with a eulogium on rashly, hastily, sinfully to injure our bro. Mr Blair's previous character and conduet, ther, by countenancing the clamours of the both of which, he said, had always been ignorant, and the malicious, and the unregarded with the deepest respect, even by godly, in his absence ? Would to God those who differed most widely from him that he were present with us this day, that in opinion as to matters of inferior moment he might have done for himself effectually, and by none niore so than himself. what a feeble old man has rather the will

“ When this speaker sat down, there than the power to do for him ! ensued a pause of some moments, during “Dr Muir was speaking fervently in which, those on the opposite side of the this strain, and the visible emotion of a room (the same among whom Mr Blair man who generally controlled and concealhimself usually sat) were seen consulting ed his more ardent feelings, was kindling among themselves, as if anxious, and yet even the coldest who listened into the same hesitating, to make some reply. Dr Muir, congenial warmth, when the door of the who happened to be the Moderator of the Chapter-house opened, and in walked Adam Presbytery, and of course had his seat Blair himself. Every eye being fixed steda apart from any of the other clergymen, fastly upon the impassioned speaker, the continued for some time looking towards entrance of a stranger was not for a few them, and at last he rose up, and requests moments observed by a single person there; ed one of their number to relieve him, for and indeed Dr Muir himself never suspecta moment, from the duties of the chair.

ed what had happened, until the pale and “ As soon as he had quitted the desk, , altered man was standing at the distance of

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three or four paces right in front of him. more, fixed in silence. Dr Muir, still erect He stopped in the midst of the sentence, in front of Blair, surveyed them all round and gazed for a moment in silence, first and round ; and then saying, “ Brethren, apon him, and then upon the audience I read your thoughts,' fell down upon his and then suddenly resuming all the fer- knees. They all knelt at the same moment ; nour of his tone, said these words, 'I thank and Blair, weeping like an infant, knelt ny God !-Adam Blair, speak, look up, also in the midst of them, and stooped his et them hear your voice. Speak solemnly, forehead to the dust.” in the hearing of God and your brethren ! ---Adam, are you guilty, or not guilty, of

We find that we can afford only one chis uncleanness?'

short extract more. “The unhappy Blair, laying his hand “Mr Blair discharged the duty bequeathupon his breast, answered quickly and ed to him by this venerable man's parting learly, Call me no more your brother- breath, amidst a numerous assemblage of { am a fallen man-I am guilty.'

the neighbouring gentry, and of the whole “Every pulse shook beneath the tone of members of the Presbytery, to which the chat voice but Dr Muir groaned aloud, parishes of Cambuslee and Cross-Meikle ere he made answer. "Fallen, indeed, belonged. He received their salutations Adam Blair,--woe is me-doubly, trebly with modesty, but without any apparent fallen! Do you remember the words you awkwardness; and parting from them at said to me when I spake with you in pri- the churchyard, walked home to his cot, -Vate?'

tage. “I do and they were true.

Then I << His daughter and he were sitting to. leceived not you, but myself. Now, no gether quietly by the fireside the same one is deceived."

evening, when a knock came to the door. " The old man covered his face with his Sarah rose and opened it, and in a few mohands, and flung himself backwards upon ments, the cottage was quite filled with the

his seat, while all the rest continued silent, same clergymen who had been present at . speechless, staring upon the countenance the funeral. Mr Blair stood up to receive of Blair.

them ; but he had not time to ask them the “ It was he himself who broke once purpose of their visit ere the eldest of those more the silence of their assembly: ' I call who had come, addressed him in these you no longer my brethren-let me still words :call you, though anworthy, my friends : 666 Mr Blair, your brethren have come let me still partake your prayers.--Pray for to speak with you on a very solemn subme; I dare not pray for myself. The ject; but there is no occasion why your God that hath abandoned me will hear daughter should not hear what we have to your prayers.'

say. It appears that our departed father, “At these words Dr Muir uncovered his Dr Muir, had expressed a strong wish, that face, and fixing his eyes once more on the you, being reinstated in the ministry, should unfortunate, continued, for some moments, succeed him at Cambuslee,—and that the fato regard him in silence, like all the rest. A mily who have the patronage of that parish, big tear rolled over his cheeks, but he were exceedingly anxious that his dying re

brushed it hastily away ere he said, “ Adam quest to this effect might be complied with. Blair

, you have been ill. You have been You, however, have declined to accede to ill in the body. But a few days ago your their wishes. We, your brethren, have this hair was black, and now it is as grey as day held a conference with the family at mine ; your cheek is white, your strength Semplehaugh; and another arrangement is gone.' He started to his feet as he con- is now proposed to you by them through tinued— Our brother has been visited us. If Mr Jamieson becomes Minister of with much sickness. Perchance his mind Cambuslee, will you return to your own old also has been shaken.'

place ?-Will you once more set your hand “It has, it has,' muttered several to God's work here at Cross-Meikle ?' voices.

66 Mr Blair's daughter turned aside and "Mr Blair looked all around him, and, wept when she heard these words ; but he for the first time, the water stood in his eye, himself stood for a moment in silence beas he replied, “ Body and mind have been fore them. It was then that John Maxe shaken, but it is not as you would too kind- well

, who had been bed-rid for three ly persuade yourselves. Oh, sirs ! -I have years, was borne in a chair into the midst spoken the truth. I came hither to speak of the assembly, and said, “ Mr Blair, we, it . What hope of peace or mercy could I the Elders of Cross-Meikle, are all present. have until I had spoken the truth, and re We are all of the same mind. Oh, sir, signed my office into the hands of God's fear not! we have all witnessed the puriservants ? _I do now resign it.—My ances- fication ! let me not die until I have seen tors were peasants, and I return to their lotyou once more in your father's place! would I were worthy of them! Once 6. The tears at length gushed over a face more, I demand your prayers. Refuse not that had been long too calm for tears; and

Mr Blair, alogether overpowered, submit“The whole assembly remained, once

ted himself to the will of his brethren. His

my parting request.'

[graphic]

are any minds so faecusly delicate,

friends perceived that he would fain be left sin of wishing to draw vice in alluring alone, and they all departed: Sarah rusha colours. Blair and Charlotte sin, and ed into his arms and wept, but not bitterly. they are direfully

thers “A moment afterwards she also withdrew, and Blair was left alone to meditate that they will, on no account, admit upon his pillow concerning all these things, that such frailties ought ever to forne and concerning more than these.".

the subject of works of imagination, We have probably said enough, and with them there is an end of the maigiven sufficient extracts from the ter-do not read Adam Blair, or “ Life of Adam Blair," to enable our read and abuse it to your heart's conreaders to understand its spirit and tent. But the author writes of human character. Were we to enter into a nature, which he well understands

, formal criticism of its merits and de- and his book will offend neither the merits, we should be unavoidably led truly moral nor the truly religious ; upon some debateable ground. But, but on the contrary, its whole ruling for the present, we decline this. One spirit is consonant with the purest objection to the book which we have morality, and the highest religion ; heard and seen made to it, is, that no and we believe that the book is the clergyman could in Scotland

have been greatest favourite with those who know taken back into the bosom of the church, best the character of our people, and after he had been so guilty, and so de- the spirit of our institutions. It is negraded as Adam Blair. That objec- cessary, indeed, to know these thotion is removed at once by an extract roughly to feel and understand the from the Acts of Assembly, with Passages in the Life of Adam Blair ; which we have been favoured by a but it is also necessary to know someclerical friend, and which we give be- thing of human nature in general, and low.* It was upon that fact, we should none who do so will object to a history rather imagine, that the present narra- of human life, that it is a history of tive was founded. Another objection is, weakness, temptation, guilt, remorse

, to the manner in which Adam Blair's and penitence that in it those who sin guilt is accounted for and described. are brought to the grave untimeously, That part, we think, might have been and in all their youthful beauty, or better managed, and a few paragraphs survive through years of humiliation omittedaltogether. But candour, truth, and anguish, and are restored to peace, and justice, require us to affirm that credit, and usefulness, at last, only this author is entirely free from the when purified by the fire of affliction.

“ A Committee appointed to consider a reference from the Presbytery of Glasgow to the Assembly, for advice and determination in the case of Mr George Adám, late minister of Cathcart, who had judicially acknowledged his guilt of fornication with one Isobel Gemmel, his servant, and who was deposed from the office of the ministry, and did thereafter undergo a course of discipline before the congregation in Cathcart, on which occasion, as well as since that time, he has given great evidence of his penitence, in so much, that, upon the application of the whole elders of that parish, the Presbytery did take off the sentence of deposition, being all satisfied of his unfeigned sorrow and deep concern for his sin, as well as his edifying conversation. That since his being re. poned, the patron, the whole heritors and elders, and other parishioners, have signifiai their earnest desire to have him restored to the exercise of his ministry in the said parish, as formerly." PRINTED ACTS OF ASSEMBLY, May 16, Session 4th, 1748.

“ The report of the committee named to have under consideration the case of Mr George Adam, late minister at Cathcart, brought in, and the Assembly having fully heard and considered the representation and reference concerning him, with what was 'verbally laid before them by several members of the Presbytery at Glasgow, and Synod of Glasgow and Air, and other reverend ministers of this Assembly, resolved, that this case, in its so favourable circumstances, deserved to be distinguished from others; and, therefore, without derogating from force and general obligation of the laws and regu; lations of this church, in her acts and form of process, whereby Presbyteries are bound up from reponing ministers deposed for immoralities, to their former charge, but es. pressly ratifying and confirming them, did specially allow and authorise the Presbytery of Glasgow again to settle Mr George Adam in the rish of Cathcart, in case proper application be hereafter made to them for that effect; they always proceeding according to the rules of that church, in the same form as would have been done in case Mr Ades had not been settled in that church before. At the same time, it is declared, that Du minister deposed for immorality shall be capable of being restored to his former charge in

any circumstance whatsoever, without the special authority of the General Assembly appointing it.”

May 18th, Session 6th, 1948

nished les

A LETTER TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE LORD NUGENT,
Containing some Remarks on his Lordship's Letter to the Electors of Aylesbury,

FROM A PROTESTANT LAYMAN.

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MY LORD,

I HAVE Not till lately had an oppor- controversy with an anonymous antai pode ter tunity of seeing your Lordship's let- gonist. I am not ambitious of proIdam Ba ter to the Electors of Aylesbury, al- longing the contest; but having enpour hertise though it has been long since publish- tered the lists, although I do not writes obsed, and gone through more than one" wear my vizor up," I will not shiell understand edition. The public attention being ver my lance with a less degree of

thus manifestly directed towards this courtesy. truly reach

address is a sufficient reason for lay Your Lordship begins by stating ing these remarks before your Lord- that other religious sects, differing ship, and offering them to the notice from the established Church, have

of others who feel an interest in the constitutional advantages which are the back sy subject, notwithstanding the decision denied to Roman Catholics, because these model of the House of Lords may seem to “ their spiritual opinions are rendered Our pezt make such a discussion less necessary. the active, immediate, and sole instru

The pertinacity evinced by the advó- ment of their disfranchisement ;" anıl, cates for the Roman Catholic claims in a note you add, “ Religious liberty forbids us to hope that the question is either a universal principle, or it

can long remain at rest; it may not, is no priuciple at all.”. I will endeai to koristite therefore, be entirely useless for a vour to defend the distinction which

spectator of the struggle to submit to the English laws have made, and to the public such arguments as may oce dispute the supposedl axiom you have eur to his mind, and thus endeavour, laid down on the subject of religious if I may be allowed an expression liberty. Although it is an acknowwhich a great poet has used in speak- ledged principle, that man has an iming of a much higher authority, to prescriptible right to worship his justify to the country the vote of the Creator in the manner he thinks most Peers. This attempt is the more ne acceptable, yet even this obvious truth eessary as the representatives of the may admit of some limitations. It people

, in examining the question, must depend on the peculiar nature of have come to a different conclusion. the tenets and practices of each parti

The widely diffused pages of Black- cular religious sect; differing from wood's Magazine appear to me as good that of the state, whether it shall be a vehicle for conveying these thoughts entitled to full and free toleration. To to the public eye as any other; and it illustrate this position, if indeed it remay in this way have as fair a chance quire any elucidation, let us suppose an of gaining your Lordship's attention. extreme case. The most ancient religion

There is something conciliating in known in this island is that of which the manly sentiments avowed by your the Druids were the officiating minisLordship in the outset of the Address, ters. In this age, so prolific in the asserting that claim to which every eccentricities of the human mind, it is honest, independent member of Pare not quite impossible but that some liament ought to adhere, viz. to exer wild spirits might conceive a fancy to cise his best judgment freely upon all revive a form of worship, sanctioned great national questions, unfettered by such high and venerable antiquity. by the instructions, and even unbias- We have already heard of a society, sed by the opinions of his constituents. supposed to be convivial, the ceremoI rejoice

, nevertheless, to find that the nies of which are, however, only known Electors of Aylesbury, and, I trust, to the initiated, which has assumed the great majority of the Electors of this antique appellation. But if relithe United Kingdom, do not coincide gious rites were the acknowledged in opinion with your Lordship on the purpose of their meeting, and they subject before us.

were to declare themselves the only I purpose examining briefly the true worshippers of the Deity, the most prominent topics contained in wreaths of oak and boughs of misselthe letter. You profess to decline all toe would too much remind us of the

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