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borne to those souls which he, in his Memoirs of Rev. John Blackader; own good time, has made ready to welcome them; that he will bind up, and
compiled chiefly from unpubheal, and own,
poor destitutes, lished Manuscripts, and Meamidst the gathered remnant of his heri
moirs of his Life and Ministry. tage."-Vaughan, pp. 172, 173.
Written by Himself, while priJam satis ! Mr. Vaughan does
soner in the Bass; with an Apnot condescend to argue, and we
pendix, &c. &c. By Andrew have little inclination to reason with
Crichton. 12mo. price 8s.mere dogmatists; we shall there- Edinburgh, 1823. fore turn to a few passages of a different stamp.
When Mr. V.
of a M'Crie and can persuade himself to keep clear a Cook, have so nobly recorded the of these hazardous especulations, doings and the sufferings of the and to confine himself to the points great Champions of the Reformain discussion between the Pela- tion in Scotland, and the rise and gian, and the advocate of the doc. progress of their glorious cause, trines of grace, he is, frequently, we are persuaded that many have successful in putting an argument
risen from the perusal of these into a very brief and striking
glowing pages with a feeling of form.
deep regret, that so little is known
of the minor coadjutors in that “ The Pelagians spoke more wisely struggle for the best and dearest than many who oppose them. They, interests of mankind. Their names maintained “the iniegrity of free will ;' an absolute power of willing, good. are, indeed, to be found on the Free will is free will ; and, if there be any leafʼof the Ecclesiastical Annalist, thing of it in man, there is the whole of and their deaths may there also it.”—Vaughan, p. 157.
be noticed--but the sorrowings In reference to the explanation, and triumphings of their souls, as which refers the divine preference, the banner of the covenant was as given to Jacob rather than Esau, beat down or sustained amid the to temporal servitude,” Mr. dubious conflict—their perils by Vaughan pointedly asks,
land and by sea, amid friends and
foes--their out-breakings of faith “ What is, in fact, gained by this distinction ? The principle is the same;
and hope, their strong cries and * God of his sovereign will putting a tears and all the traces of humadifference.'-Just so it is, with respect nity in which we can so well symto national and personal election. Yet pathize, have long since passed some seem to think, that they have
from the tablet of mortal hooked a great fish, in discovering, that Great Britain may have been elected to memory, and dwell only in the hear the Gospel without any of her chil- vague tradition where forms and dren having been elected to receive it!" voices are daily growing more dim -Vaughan, p. 301.
and undefined. Yet where shall We are unwilling to pronounce we look for nobler examples of injudgment between the two trans trepid courage, exalted sentiment, lations; they are both good, and unshaken constancy, undying faith their general agreement is a gua
- than in those men who purrantee of their fidelity. "But we
chased by their blood the liberty certainly consider many of Mr. and faith of their descendants; Vaughan's notes subject to consi- and who will not join us in desiring derable exception, as broaching to see their monuments reared errors, from which the other vo- broad and high, as beacons to lume is free.
guide and animate posterity to the latest ages ? Sentiments such as these, we doubt not, actuated the
compiler of the present memoirs; before King James 6th, when he visited and we are glad to perceive that that University, in 1617. He had, in bis researches have been so suc
his youth, a natural diffidence, which en
hanced all his accomplishments; and on cessfully directed towards rescuing the above occasion, the palm of victory the memory of an eminent cove- was awarded to him in the royal prenanter from unmerited oblivion. sence, by the unanimous voice of the We have read the present little spectators at a loss whether most to volume with deep interest, and profound scholarship."
admire his ingenuous modesty, or his we hasten to introduce the amiable subject thereof to our readers. Under such auspices, Mr. Black
Mr. Blackader was born in De- ader completed his divinity studies; cember, 1615; it was one of his but the reign of Episcopacy preslightest honours to be descended vented him from exercising his from an ancient Border family of functions, as a Presbyterian miconsiderable importance in the nister, for many years. The Act early periods of Scottish History. of the Estates, in 1641, approved Of his childhood little is known; of and ratified by the late king, but he studied at Glasgow under restored to Scotland her popular Principal Strang, his maternal forms of church government, and uncle. Of this Professor, and the in 1652, Mr. Blackader received education his nephew would re
a call to the parish of Troqueer, ceive under him, Mr. Crichton in Galloway, where he immedigives the following account.
ately commenced a rigid inspec
tion of his parish, reforming with “At the time of Mr. Blackader's great success the evils which he studies, polemical divinity was in bigle found existing both in the church repute. It was customary to dispute theses, and argue controverted doctrines; and among his parishioners. a practice which gave the students great
“ In addition to the duties of preachfluency and accuracy of speech; and it ing, visiting, and catechising, he instiis, perhaps, owing to these early habits, tuted societies or meetings for family that when driven to worship on the mountains, they delivered the oracles of might not grudge, or excite jealousies on
prayer and Christian fellowship; that he truth with such effect, and often with
this account, he previously made known little premeditation. These exercises
his resolution, and intimated publicly to occasioned them to unfold their intellectual treasures, to call forth into acti
the congregation, that he would seques
trate a day, ilk fortnight, for communion vity, and make an appropriate use of
and conference together, anent their spitheir knowledge. The hopes of the church were under the yoke of prelacy, exercise of prayer.'
ritual case, and for initiating them in the
At these confewere nurtured with the most jealous
rences he chose to preside himself, precautions against unsound doctrine. thinking his attendance necessary, at They were taught to defend, at all
least until they should be bred to manage points, the Calvinistic tenets, to repel,
that duty arigbt, and with that decorum with triumphant arguments, the con
and godly prudence which the solemnity tinental heresies. For the field of contro
required. versy, the young theologian was trained to yield his weapons with skill and vigour. piest effect on the morals of the parish,
6. These pious exertions had the hapHe had to enter the lists, sometimes Scarcely two years had elapsed, when a against Arminians and the Belgium visible reformation was accomplished in schismatics, or against Bellarmine, the
the suppression of vice and dissemination sturdy and far-famed champion of po
of religious knowledge. Household pery. At these exhibitions, Principal Strang always gave his attendance. He prayer, formerly little in use, became
familiar and easy, even to those who, would frequently descend into the arena to
by their own confession, had been take a leading share in the debate, or renew the combat by supporting the strangers to it.” orthodox opinion against a stronger ad
The Restoration soon put a stop versary. For this task he was particu- to the pious labours of Mr. Blacklarly well qualified. He had gained an
ader, and his presbyterian brethren. early celebrity for logical talents, having signalised himself while a student at St. The perfidious Charles was not Andrew's, in a public disputation held long in breaking that faith, which in the days of his distress he had of the military detachments staso often pledged to his Scottish . tioned in the country. His zeal friends. With his dissolute court, procured his denouncement in the the tide of corruption was intro- Scots Conventicle Act, and on the duced into the land'; religion and 25th January, 1666, letters of its friends became the theme of council were directed against him, ridicule to the great, and of indif- and some of his confederates, " for ference to the poor, and where the presuming to preach, pray, bapforce of example succeeded not in tize, and perform other acts of the overturning the house of the ministerial function," Sir James godly, that of arms was frequent- Turner intended to put the warly more effectual. The body of rant in force agaiost him, but he the people beheld the restoration narrowly escaped falling into of prelacy with deep but silent their hands, at this time, by a grief; while their ministers testified timely flight to Edinburgh, while against the coming heresy with a his family was dispersed over the zeal not unfrequently bordering country, by the relentless malice upon rashness.
Among these, of his enemies. none conducted themselves with The defeat at the Pentland hills, greater firmness and intrepidity reduced the Presbyterians to still than the minister of Troqueer. greater straits; but under the Our limits will not permit us to succeeding milder administration detail the successive steps by of Tweeddale, and Sir R. Murray, which he and many others were they enjoyed some liberty, which driven from their pulpits. On the Mr. Blackader improved, by enlast Sabbath of October, 1662, gaging in a pretty extensive course Mr. Blackader preached his fare of itinerant preaching. The fieldwell sermon.
meetings, however, excited the : This was a day of anxious expec- suspicions of the jealous governtation throughout the country, and made ment, who, in attempting to disan impression on the minds of those who perse them by the military, were witnessed it never to be forgotten. Above frequently resisted by the congrewere shut up; a desolation which chiefly gations, who brought arms along overspread the west and the south, and with them to the place of worship, converted the most religions portion of in order to repel any attacks that the kingdom into a moral wilderness.”
might be made upon them, while The sermon was interrupted by engaged in their religious services. the arrival of a military party from On the 18th of June, 1670, Mr. Dumfries, who took down the Blackader ventured, at the entreanames of all present from the ad. ties of several gentlemen, to preach joining parishes; as the law had to a numerous armed conventicle, affixed a penalty of twenty shil- near Dunfermline, and several lings Scots on every person absent meetings of a similar kind took from his own church." Mr. Black- place throughout the kingdom, so
of the that it was calculated that above soldiers, retired into his manse, sixteen thousand people were hearbut when they were gone he came ing field sermons in one day. out, and finished his discourse. The bloody Lauderdale, enraged On the next Saturday he retired at these proceedings, had recourse to Glencairn.
to the most violent In his retirement, Mr. Blackader against the field-preachers, but in continued to visit, catechize, and vain. exhort numbers in the adjoining ". The concourse of hearers became imdistricts, and that at the imminent mense, when they could reckon with cer. risk of his life, from the violence tainty on the means of protection ; parish
churches were much deserted, and stood It would have afforded us much vacant for many years. Several cirates abandoned their charge to join the field pleasure to have here gratified our preachers, and after a formal recantation readers with Mr. Crichton's admi. of their errors, were admitted as bre- rable description of this stupendous thren. It is not to be supposed that in rock, in the mouth of the Firth of an assemblage of many thousands, every Forth, which for many years was individual was actuated solely by a pure and exclusive devotion. Some had ac
used as a place of confinement for quired, from long habit, a predilection persons suspected of disaffection for conventicles ; others frequented them towards Government ; to shew their aversion at Episcopacy. must hasten to the closing scene Curiosity, the love of adventure, or the desire of retaliation, might intermingle of Mr. Blackader's earthly career. with their better feelings. There were After an imprisonment of four claims to attract a lively imagination in years, his constitution sunk under the wild and stupendous sceuery of the the privations he was exposed to. haps, the bold and romantic' might find Repeated applications had been a congenial enterprise in having the dan- made to the privy council, for ligers of a Sabbath journey; but, in ge. berty to remove him to some place neral, they were attended from an ardent where he might enjoy a change of and sincere wish to hear the words of eternal life, and to have the liberty of air, and the assistance of his faworshipping God according to the dic-mily and physicians ; but ere the tates of their own conscience; and it is objections which had been raised undeniable, that they were accompanied to this request were obviated, the with remarkable success, and many extraordinary conversions, especially at com
subject thereof had exchanged his munions, which now (1677) began to scene of suffering for the joys of be celebrated in the open fields."
heaven. 6. He died on the Bass, Mr. Blackader, though worn
having nearly completed his seout by exertion in the cause, was
ventieth year, and was buried in indefatigable in his attendance at the church-yard of North Berwick, these meetings.
where a handsome tomb-stone still lawed, and a thousand merks of
marks the grave
of the Martyr.” fered for his apprehension, he
Such is a brief outline of this seldom hesitated to appear in his
amiable man's career.
The anecministerial capacities, whenever dotes of Scottish covenanting with an opportunity was afforded him. which this little volume abounds, Of his situation and conduct on
are extremely interesting. The these occasions, Mr. Crichton style is neat and perspicuous ;
and gives several interesting details,
we should be glad to see Mr. and we regret that our limits will
Crichton employ himself on the not permit us to dwell upon them. biography of some leading co
venanter, with whom we are yet “ The last of his public labours were but imperfectly acquainted. in East Lothian, about ten days before he was apprehended. He preached on a
A specimen of Mr. Blackader's hill-over against the Bass, and prayed preaching, with some etymological for the prisoners. He had an invitation and historical notes on the Bass, to Teiviotdale the following Sabbath, but are contained in the Appendix. was seized in his house at Edinburgh, We are also presented with a view the week previous.”
of the Bass-rock, from a drawing Being brought before the coun- made in 1697, as a frontispiece, cil, he maintained a bold confes- which, unless our memory greatly sion, and was sentenced to be deceives us, conveys no adequate confined with the covenanting idea, either of what must have prisoners on the Bass, to the go. been the former, or is the present vemor of which he was delivered appearance of that stupendous on the 7th of April, 1681.
column. CONG. MAG. No. 70.
Sermons by Ministers of the Con- Edinburgh.-12. The Brazen Ser
gregational Union of Scotland. pent a Type of Christ, Num. xxi.
8vo. 7s.6d.-Glasgow, 1823. 8, 9; John iii. 14, 15; by James This is an interesting book to read, Robertson, Crichie.-13. The Naand a valuable one to possess, but ture and Causes of Offences; and it is an embarrassing subject for a the way to avoid, and improve, reviewer. Here is a collection of and remove them, Matt. xviii. 7; fifteen sermons, by as many dif- by George Robertson, Kirkwall. ferent ministers, and of these com- – 14. On the Way to Heaven, positions, some are admirable, Isaiah xxxv.-7-10; by David while those which are lower on Russell, Dundee.-15. On Love the scale of literary excellence, are to Christ, Luke xiv. 25, 26; by highly meritorious in design and Ralph Wardlaw, D. D. Glasgow. execution. The task of awarding This enumeration will show that the different degrees of praise is, the subjects are well selected; the however, at once too difficult, and following examples will prove that of too much delicacy for us to they are not less ably treated. undertake, and we shall decline any other than a general and strong the extent of the sacrifice made by our
“ Ist. We cannot fully comprehend recommendation, in addition to a Lord, in his temporary relinquishment list of texts and subjects, and to of the heavenly state, for an abode in an extract or two as illustrations this world of evil and wretchedness. To of the way in which they are dis
one of the glorious spirits which sur
round the throne of the Highest, it cussed.
would be an inconceivable trial to be 1. On the Blasphemy against sent to occupy, in a visible form, a place the Holy Spirit, Matthew xii. in such a world as ours. To leave the 31, 32; by John Aikman, Edin- bright manifestations of infinite light burgh -2. The Character of the and darkness, and sin prevail,—to give
and purity, for a state in which clouds, Redeemer, and the Blessings he up the fruits of paradise, for the grapes bestows, Gen. xlviii. 16; by Alex- of Sodom, and the clusters of Gomorrah, ander Ewing, A. M. Thurso.-3.
--to forsake the converse of blessed The Sympathy of Christ, Heb. spirits, •in order to endure the filthy
conversation of the wicked,'-would be, ii. 18; by Greville Ewing, Glas- even to a limited holy creature, a service gow.-4. The Millennial Reign of of inconceivable pain and trial. What, Christ and his Saints, Rev. xx. then, must it have been to the Redeemer,
who was richer than the richest, for our 4, 5, 6; by Joseph Gibb, Banff.
sakes to become poor! What must it 5. The Presence of God in the have been for him to lay aside the form Churches of his Saints, Habak, of God, and to assume the form of a ii. 20; by Archibald Jack, A. M. slave ? To divest himself of the glory Whitehaven.-6. On the Prospect the world was ;' and to appear without
which he had with the Father, before of Heaven, Dan. xii. 13; by A. form and comliness' among men ? Who W. Knowles, Linlithgow.-7. On can tell what these things mean? the Character of the Apostle Paul,
« Were heaven considered merely as Acts ix. 15; by William Lothian, this world regarded only as a scene of
a place of happiness and grandeur, and St. Andrews.-8. On the Attri- inferior bliss, but not less the abode of butes of Acceptable Worship, Rom. God; the force of these representations xii. 1; by Neil Macneil, Elgin.- wou
would be greatly diminished. Apart 9. The Nature and Necessity of a
from sin, no spot of the universe can be Good Conscience, 1 Pet. iii. 16; and no situation, perhaps, should be
regarded as cast out from its Author; by John Munro, Knockando. considered as degradation. But, as 10. On the Love of Christ, Eph. heaven is the beauty of holiness,' into iii. 19; by William Orme, Perth. which nothing that defileth or worketh -11. On Sanctification, John has long been the habitation of devils,
iniquity can enter ; and, as the earth xvii. 17; by George Payne, A.M. and the hold of every foul spirit, and a