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est grief, occupies, after all, when the first could have been expected from so young a triumph of its energies is 'over, no more sufferer as he, while John Maxwell shew. than a place in the back-ground. The ed himself worthy of holding
the rank he front of life is as smooth as ever.
did in the church of Christ. The minister « All this was so within the Manse of and the elder laid their hearts open to each Cross-Meikle ; of course still more so other; they wept, they prayed, and they round about its walls. Servants passed to took sweet counsel together. John had and fro about the occupations of the house, been more than once nerved, softened, and inquiring friends and acquaintances came renerved again, ere he at length took couand went, the little motherless girl was rage to whisper into Mr Blair's seat, that seen from time to time busied in the gar- his presence was wanted in the chamber. den among the few lingering flowers of the Mr Blair understood perfectly what John autumn. Mr Blair himself was not visible meant.He arose at this wife's remains
and walked fo. to any but his own family, and to them wards the place where only at the hours when the family were ac. were about to be closed up for ever from customed to be together. "At other times all human-view. he was in his chamber alone, or with his It is the rule in Scotland, that no orphan by his side the accustomed vo- male, except it be a husband, a father, or lumes lying about him to the eye the a brother, car be permitted to remain in same quiet, grave man, or nearly so, that the room while the coffin-lid is screwed he had been a week or a month before. down upon a female corpse John Mar. * The closed windows of the chamber in 'well attended his minister to the door, which the body lay, furnished the only therefore, but no, farther. Within, three
outward and visible sign that death was in or four village matrons only, and the lethe house.
male servants of the family, were assem« Mr Blair was sitting by himself on bled. Mr Blair entered, and found them the evening of the third day; apparently in the midst of all the fearful paraphernalia he had been reading, but the light had de- with which it was (and is) the custom of serted him, and his book had been laid Scotland to deepen the gloom of the most down on the table near hiin, when the door 'sad of all possible occasions. Well as he of his room was opened, and some one, as was acquainted
with all the habitudes of if hesitating to go farther, stood just with his country-folks, he had never before in the threshold, with his finger on the brought fully home to his imagination all handle of the door. Mr Blair did not ob- ' that now met his view., The knots, the serve, for a minute or two, that the door ribbons, the cushions, the satin, the tinsel of his room had been opened, but at last -all that melancholy glitter turned las his eye happened to travel in that direc- soul sick within him. and once more be tion, and he perceived that John Maxwell, yielded ; not, however, as before, nor to one who had for many years been the old the same enemies." Sadness, weariness, est among the elders of his parish, was heart-sickness--these were now his visitcome to visit him in his affliction.
ants. He stood pale and feeble, while the 6 • Come in, John,' said hế; 6so old a tears flowed over his cheeks in utter silence. friend may come at any time; I am glad One of the old women thought that a sight to see you—sit down, John ; and in say- of his wife's face might bring him, through ing so, he had taken the worthy man þy emotion, to himself again, and she lifted the hand, and was leading him towards the the veil. But even this was of no use, and seat from which he himself had just arisen. to no purpose. The man was altogether
“ The Lord is gracious, Mr Blair—the unnerved--the strong-souled Adam Blair Lord is very gracious. It is HE that giveth, was in that hour a weanling, and he wept and it is HE that taketh away. Blessed on as silently, and not a whit more bitter. be his holy name! Oh, sir, I thought the ly than before. They led him, unresistLord would never surely leave your fa. "ing, to his room, he allowed himself, for ther's son, and I see he has not left you.' the first time of his life, to be undressed
“ The old man meant to speak words by hands other than his own. After he of comfort, but ere he had done, his voice' had been put to bed, John Maxwell stood failed him, and the tears were gushing over against him for some minutes, say. over his cheeks as he looked in his young ing, Wae's me, wae's me.' He then minister's face, and wrung the hand that commanded all the rest to retire, and, had been extended to him. It was no won. kneeling by the bedside, began to pray đer, surely, that the afflicted man sympa- aloud in the old sublime simplicity of the thized with his comforter, or that some mi- true village worthies of Scotland: The nutes had elapsed before either of them was priest felt in his soul the efficacious piety in' any condition to renew the conversation. of the elder of Israel.
" Nor shall we trouble the reader with “Good night, John Maxwell.' any needless detail of it. Let it be suffi- "• God bless you –God strengthen cient to know, that on the part of Mr Blair, you !' and so they parted. it was all that could become any man af. “ The next day, no worldly work was 'flicted as he was, and much more than done in the parish of Cross-Meikle. At twelve o'clock the church-bеll began to them drew near to contemplate the new. toll, and the friends of Mr Blair were seen made grave, and the old were not slow to walking slowly in twos and threes along retrace the memory of those of the same fa. 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, bling in the burying ground, awaited the immediately adjoining, a large marble taforthcoming 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 headstood in the midst of the apartment with stone there, rudely fashioned, and most a 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 laid-a 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 of 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 aced 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 vourite 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 grandself 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 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 66 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 grave when the last turf was beat down, members of the court were seen forming and then, leaning on the arm of John Maxs themselves into knots, and whispering towell
, 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.
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 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 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 consider in 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 à 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 existence, 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 inno. casual imprudencies, misinterpreted by the cent; and is it thus, that while we are our. malicious, 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, mand by none more 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 sted 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, altcred man was standing at the distance of
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 ind gazed for a moment in silence, first and round ; and then saying, ' Brethren,
ipon 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 ; your 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 his 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 I 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 hat 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 allen! 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 cotvate?
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 ne is deceived."
evening, when a knock came to the door. 4. 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.
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 : 66. 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 Muír uncovered his Dr Muir, hud 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 rebrushed 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 Max. 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 lot- you once more in your father's place!' would I were worthy of them! Once 66 The tears at length gushed over a face more, I demand your prayers. Refuse not that had been long too calm for tears; and my parting request.'
Mr Blair, aliogether overpowered, submit“The whole assembly remained, once
ted himself to the will of his brethren. His
friends perceived that he would fain be left sin of wishing to draw vice in alluring alone, and they all departed: Sarah rush colours. Blair and Charlotte sin, and ed into his arms and wept, but not bitterly. they are direfully punished. If there
“A moment afterwards she also withdrew, and Blair was left alone to meditate that they will, on no account, admit
are any minds so fastidiously delicate, upon his pillow concerning all these things, that such frailties ought ever to form 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 matgiven 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 some clerical 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 objectionis, 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. Butcandour, 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 Adam, 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 signified 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 ex. pressly ratifying and confirming them, did specially allow and authorise the Presbytery of Glasgow again to settle Mr George Adam in the parish 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 Adam had not been settled in that church before. At the same time, it is declared, that no 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, 1748.