Page images
PDF
EPUB

TIME AND IMMORTALITY,

THE BIBLE. .

WĦERE Mis’ry dwells a constant guests As breaks the bubble, rainbow tipped, And rankles in the feeling breast, Transparent, thin, an! Mair,

What charm can give the suff'rer rest ? Se flit the joys of time insipid;

The Bible ! From infancy to age decrepid;

When storms of fierce temptation low'r, 'Tis folly, toil, or care :

And on he soul their horrors pour, The crimson tide, once full and tepid,

Midst ail, this gives a tranquil hour, Grows chill, and spare.

o the Bible. Youth's rosy morn serenely glowing, When Conscience, sore oppress'd with Impearls the buoyant spray:

erime, The sparkling tides of Pleasure Reviews the faults of misspent time, flowing,

From thee its hopes must spring sub. Where fancy-tufts of flow'rets blowing

lime, .

my Bible! Their mossy banks iplay: '

When stern Despair, without controal, Life throbs alert,-ah! little knowing Oppression, with his murd'rous scowl,

How sets its day! Afflict us, thou wilt bless the soul, Dark skies, with tempest intersected,

our Bible! Man's fiercer noon invest;

From thee our purest comforts grow : Plans cross’d, hope thwarted, love ne Safe with thy guidance we may go glected,

Thro' the dire scenes of sin and woe, Wounds from the object least sus

my Bible! peered,

Whate'er our state of life may be,
Unnerve his iron breast !

Or poor, or rich, or bond, or free,
The cheat, alas! too late detected,

Still our warm hearts shall turn to thee, Too long caress'd!'

blest Bible ! Keen, shiv'ring, drear, the blast in Here then, while round a fictions rise, creasing,

To every heart we'll bind the prize, Night's gloomiest curtain drops! Which bears us onward to the skies, The pulse of life, now fast decreasing,

-our Bible ! Shrinks from the limb; the cool

Here is a charm for ev'ry griei;
heart ceasing,

In this blest word we find relief :-
Fluctuates, trembles, stops;

On thee we rest our firm belief, "The brain, in icy curdles freezing,

sweet Bible ! Dense, cold, inwraps !

The gospel far conveyg our load, And this is life! Ah! feeting vapour, And bears us forward on the road

Frail flower,--short wint'ry day! Towards our Saviour and our God, Dim, wasted, half-extinguish'd taper!

blest Bible ! Stream bitter tears, and from the paper

The promises, thoughout divine,
Wash the sad tale away:

Round my enraptur'd heart I'll twine, O! for a glimpse beyond the vapnur, Aud cry aloud, Thou still art mine, Of brighter day!

my Bible Then rouse, my faith,--the gloom sub. In this l'll search from day to day, siding,

To guide me in my heav'nly was;
Beyond this vale of tears,

And when I die, Thou'rt mine, I'll say, In eastern skies serenely riding,

my Bible! His beams, ath wart the tempesi gliding, A kindly Siar apvears!

For thy blest truths, thro' all the days In this celestial Guinü confiding,

or blest etėroity, we'll raise Be hush'd my fears! A joyful song of sacred praise,

blest Bible! A. T. Ramsgate.

Prinicd by G. Aved, Greville Street, Londera

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

AUGUST, 1807.

. MEMOIR

THE REV. BRYCE JOHNSTON, D. D.

MINISTER OF HOLYWOOD, IN SCOTLAND * The events which befal a country minister are seldom sufficiently striking and diversified to engage the research of tlie biographer, or to gratify the curiosity which may lead to the perusal of his pages. His personal improvement and professional duties are his chief employments; and it is within the precincts of his own family, and the narrow circle of his friends, that he unbends bis mind, and is furnished with opportunities of exhibiting the appropriate features of his character. His situation is not calculated to bring into exercise those passions by which the men of the world are roused to exertions which arrest its notice. Seldom can he attain celebrity, while the honour which men bestow is inferior, in his esteem, to that which cometh from God. Seldom can he rise above dependence, while his principles and his voluntary engagements forbid the use of those means by which he might augment his scanty income.

But though these remarks admit of general application, some individuals, by the force of superior talents, or by peculiar circumstances in their lot, bave been found to move in a less bumble sphere. Of this description was the subject of the following Memoir.

For inore than a century, his family have possessed a small estate within the royalty of Annan, in the county of Dumfries, and have successively been in the magistracy and council of that burgh. His father, John Johnston, of Gutterbraes, repeatedly filled the office of Provost, or Chief Magistrate; and by his fidelity and uprightness in that station, and by the virtuies which adorned his private character, acquired very considerable reputation and influence, and preserved them entire to the close of life. He married Elizabeth, daughter of the

* Extracted from his Life and Sermons, lately published by the Rev. J. Johnstone, Minister of Crossmichacl. XV.

Xx.

h à resolutions he advanhool, he

Rev. T. Howie, minister of Annan, - the savour of whose name is still dear to those by whom his zeal and diligence are remembered. The offspring of this marriage were eight sons and two daughters. Bryce, the youngest of the sons, was born at Annan, March 2, 1747. At a very early period he discovered a strong predilection for the profession of his maternal grandfather; and seemed even then to have had it put into his heart to form a resolution, which his parents had no wish to OÓpose, and in which, as he advanced in years, he was firm and unshaken. At the parochial school, he received the clementary principles of education; and failed not to distinguish himself by his docility and application. November 15, 1762, he entered on his academical studies at the university of Edinburgh; and was enabled to prosecute them with rapidity, and without interruption, till his last session at college, when he was unexpectedly called for a season to relinquish them. After a short illness, which, at taking leave of him only a few weeks before, there was no reason to anticipate, his venerable father fell asteep in Jesus, December 3, 1768. Having attended to perform the last tender offices of filial duty, - having joined in the general regret which the event awakened, and administered consolation to the surviving members of Iris family, he returned to the seat of learning; and at the close of the sessions, he finished the course of study prescribed by the laws of the church. Soon after, he was taken on trial by the Presbytery of Aonan; and having acquitted himself to their entire satisfaction,' was licensed by them to preach the gospel, as a probationer for the holy ministry, October 4, 1760.

A suitable situation was, in the course of Providence, soon provided for him. The Rev. T. Hamilton had long exercised ine functions of the ministry in the parish of Holywood; and being now full of years, and unfit for labour, was solicitous that the charge of his flock should devolve on a faithful as. sistant and successor. Mr. Johnston was made known to him; and was found, upon trial, fully equal to his expectations, and those of his people. In April 1771, the aged pastor retired to spend the evening of his days in Glasgow, reserving 10 himself a small portion only of the emoluments of the benefice. With the unanimous consent of the patrons, heritors. elders, and congregation, Mr. Johnston was, August 22, 1771. ordained to the office of the holy ministry, by the Presbyterv of Dumfries, within whose bounds Holywood is situated. This is the only church-preferment he ever obtained. Frequently, indeed. he might have been translated to a more lucrative, or to a more conspicuous station ; but he found himself at once in his place, among a people whose call he had received and accepted, and whose esteem and attachment were to be com. mensurate with his own zeal, fidelity, and diligence.

d for of the mindstand uplit devolve

« PreviousContinue »