« PreviousContinue »
and most effectual opposition in er fear.” He prayed with and their power.
Dr. Gillies was exhorted Mrs. Bagnell ; and, feebly supported; bis fears were forgetful of their religious difp ridiculed by many, who, when ferences, led her troubled the act of parliament was publish- thoughts to him who is a refuge ed, were convinced that their in distress. Soon after, lodgings ridicule was ill founded ; and his were taken for the family, money motion was rejected by a con- was given them, and for many siderable majority. In a few weeks all their wants were supmonths, when the contents of the plied by a few ininisters and prilaw, and the intention of extend- vate Christians, who deprecated ing it to Scotland, were fully the consequences of passing the known, the alarm became gen- obnoxious bill into an act of eral. Presbyterians, both of the parliament, but had been taught established church and secession, in the school of Christ, that the united in dutiful petitions to
distressed Papist, as
well as government, for warding off the Protestant, was their neighbour. danger. Many pamphlets were He was ordained one of the published, representing the ministers of Glasgow, 29th July, treacherous and cruel spirit of 1742. His fondness for literary popery : among which, one by a amusements still continued, and respectable clergyman, now a indeed remained through the bishop of the Scots Episcopal whole of his life ; yet, not so as church, was none of the least to encroach on his duties as a useful. But a set of weak and Christian, a head of a family, or ignorant, or profligate and ill a minister of the gospel. Mildesigning men, took advantage tou's Paradise Lost was one of of these alarms, to disturb the bis most favourite books, and the public tranquillity. A mob as- greatest part of it he could sembled at Glasgow, instigated perfectly repeat. Often he im. by strong drink, and a wanton proved or enlivened conversation, petulent spirit, not by religion, by introducing passages from and, as if rage and cruelty to Pa- that poem, or from Horace or pists would do honour to Pro Virgil, sometimes with wonder, testantism, burnt to the ground ful appositeness and propriety, the house, the works and offices sometimes with pleasantry and of Mr. Bagnell, a Roman Catho. humour. But, though these lic manufacturer of some emic things afforded him entertain, nence ; and vowed vengeance ment in a weary hour, they were against him, his wife and family, only relaxations from labours and whoever would harbour and studies more important. them. At this crisis, many who To grow in the experimental pitied or wished to relieve them knowledge of Christ, and to con, were afraid to receive them into duct others to that knowledge, their houses. Happily Dr. Gillies was the business of his life, and being applied to, with open arms the chiefest joy of his heart. received the poor woman and her Love to God, to the Redeemer, children. Not afraid of man, to all men, thoughi especially to "he feared God, and had no oth- the household of faith, animated
him to unwearied efforts in pro- cherisheth her children ; and bemoting the cause of truth and ing affectionately desirous of holiness. His pulpit services them, he was willing to have imwere conducted in a style, plain, parted to them, not the gospel simple, and unadorned, yet with of God only, but his own soul alforce and energy. Besides gen- so, because they were dear to erally delivering three discourses him. Having been fifty four every Sabbath, several years of years their pastor, he had baptishis life were distinguished, by ed and married the larger part his instituting public lectures of his congregation. To bim and serious exhortations, twice they looked up as a father and a and often thrice every week. friend ; and many tender tokens While health and strength per- of his affection will long live in mitted him, he was equally their grateful remembrance. faithful in visiting and examin- When, in the last years of bis ing the people of his charge, in life, he was only able to appear visiting the sick and afflicted, in church at sacramental occaand in every other . private pa- sions, and to exhort one table, rochial duty. For some time he the most indifferent spectator published a weekly paper, ad- could not but observe the symdressed to the consciences an! pathy and love which shone in hearts of his people. His warm, the faces of his hearers, and the affectionate expostulations from tears which they could not rethe pulpit and from the press strain, when he solemnly blessed drew the attention and awakened them in the name of the Lord, the religious concern of many. and spoke of his dissolution as A pious student of divinity in- being at hand, with looks of hu. formed me a few days ago, that mility, serenity, and joy. his first serious thoughts arose The heart of Dr. Gillies was from one of the doctor's weekly the seat of all the finer affections, papers occasionally falling in his As a dutiful son, a tender hus. way. Thus was the doctor in- band, and a kind and indulgent stant in season and out of season, parent, few could equal him. and studied to keep back from He was blessed with two of the his people nothing profitable, but best of wives; and he often re. to declare to them the whole marked, that throughout the counsel of God. Indeed, they course of his long life, his heav. had daily lessons in the consist- enly Father had favoured him ency and uniformity of his con- with so many and so valuable duct, and in his upright, circum- family comforts, that sometimes spect, and exemplary walk. He he feared he was not one of those approved himself a minister of sons whom the Lord loved. His God, in tumults, in labours ; in first wise, to whom he was married watchings, in fastings, by pure- soon after his ordination, vas ness, by kindness, by love un- Elizabeth, eldest daughter of the feigned ; and to his dear hear- Rev. Mr. John M'Lauren of ers his mouth was apen, and his Glasgow, so eminent as a hum. heart enlarged. He was gentle ble and heavenly minded Chrisamong them, even as a nurse tian, and as a deep, solid, and ju.
dicióus divine. She died soon Steadiness in friendship was a after the birth of her eighth leading feature in his character. child, 6th August, 1754, about a Often he perceived not the failmonth before the death of herings or faults of a friend, when worthy father, whom she much too well perceived by others; resembled in a peculiar sweet- and when he saw or suspected iness and vivacity, and in serious them, such was the favourable piety. They were lovely and light in which he viewed them, pleasant in their lives, and in that though they might diminish their deaths thcy were not divid- his esteem, they did not alienate ed.* January, 1756, he married his affection. Joanna, youngest daughter of The comfortable views he enJohn Stewart, Esq. (who died be- tertained of his own approaching fore his father, Sir Archibald death, may be gathered from the Stewart, of Blackhall) and twin- following extract of a letter, writsister to the present Sir Mi- ten the harvest before it, to an chael Stewart of Blackhall. Her old friend : “You ask me how only child was Rebecca, mar- old age sets upon me. ried some years ago to the now in my eighty fourth year, Hon. Colonel David Leslie, sec- and, thank God, enjoy tolerable ond son to the Right Honorable health and spirits, though it has the Earl of Leven. Mrs. Gil- pleased our heavenly Father to lies' prudence, piety and benevo- lay me almost wholly aside from lence, made her a help meet for my work for many months past. the doctor, and she was spared I comfort myself with my favour. for a comfort to him, till 3d De- ite Milton's words : cember, 1782.
“ They also serve, who only stand and To his worth as a parent, the wait." tears and regret of his family I am waiting, I hope with pabear ample testimony. Yet they tience, God's time, which is the are sensible that their sorrow is best for my dismission hence. wholly selfish, assured that he Christ's lying in the grave has whom they lament, is now with sweetened the thoughts of it to his Saviour, whom he loved, who all believers; and through his is love itself, and in whose pres- merits we can have hope in ence love and harmony forever death." reign. His good sense and ex
His last illness, like his whole tensive information, joined to his life, was a dignified celestial sehumility, moderation, and amia- renity and peace, He was seizble and engaging manncrs, ren- ed 21st March, 1786, with a dered him
a pleasant, entertain- stroke of the palsy, which depriving, and instructing companion. ed him of the power of one side. If any thing tended to ruffle his Yet his memory and recollection temper, the moment he felt the remained, and he gave many pibeginning of such an emotion, he
ous and affecting exhortations to quenched it, by hasting away his family and friends. The from the scene of temptation. doctor's distresses on his death
bed • See Dr. Gillies' account of Mr.
were much soothed and M'Lauren, prefixed to his sermons
sweetened by the dutiful and tenand essays, Glasgow, 1755.
der attention of his son, the Rev. Mr. Colin Gillies, one of the 84th year of his age, and the ministers of Paisley, and of his 54th of his ministry. Few deaths, daughter the Honorable Mrs. notwithstanding his advanced Leslie. When mentioning Mrs. age, have been more generally Leslie, I hope they who know a and more sincerely regretted. parent's heart will forgive me, if Crowds attended his funeral with I gratefully record the intimate tears, pronouncing blessings on endeared friendship betwixt her his memory. The Rev. Dr. and my affectionate daughter, Taylor preached his funeral ser. and for inany years my agreea- mon ; and each of the ministers ble companion, and, when my of Glasgow, who supplied in knowledge of her well cultivated their turns the vacant church, understanding and delicate taste made that honourable mention led me to request it, my wise and of him, which his distinguished faithful, though modest and re- worth well merited. He never luctant counsellor, Margaret Ers- coveted the applause of men ; kine. Esteemed by strangers yet the applause of the good evas the dear deceased was, for her er followed him. Even on earth, good sense, extensive informa- his single eye to the glory of tion, and affability and attention ; God was not without a reward : and beloved as she was by her “The memory of the just shall near relations, perhaps none so
flourish." fully knew her worth, felt so His principal works were; much on her own account, and Exhortations to the inhabitants so thoroughly sympathised with of the South Parish of Glasgow, the bereaved parents and family, 2 vols. 12mo. They began to be in her sudden death, as Mrs. Les published in numbers, at the low lie. May the Friend, who can price of a halfpenny each, 26th never die, recompense her kind- September, 1750, and were finness to the living and to the ished 9th November, 1751. dead, be her guide through all Historical Collections relating the snares and dangers of life, to the success of the Gospel, 3 her support under those sorrows vols. large 8vo. Glasgow, 1754. to which the happiest state on Appendix to the Historical earth is exposed, and her abiding Collections, 32 numbers, collectand everlasting portion ! And ed in one volume 12mo, Glaswhile we lament that parents, gow, 1761. children or frien are not suf. Life of the Rev. George Whitfered to continue with us by rea- field, 8vo. son of death, let us be thankful Sermon at the cpening of the for ground of hope, that, while Synod of Glasgow. we mourn, they rejoice; and Hebrew Manual for the use of that, notwithstanding alarming students of that language. dangers to which they have been Devotional Exercises on the ex:osed, some of our most valua- New Testament, 2 vols. 12mo. ble comforts are still preserva Psalms of David, with notes ed.
devotional and practical, extractDr. Gillies fell asleep in Jesus, ed from Dr. Horne's CommentTuesday, 29th March, in the ary, Glasgow, 1786, 12mo.
Milton's Paradise Lost, illus- quested their advice as to the trated by texts of scripture, Lon- manner of conducting it. His don, 1788, 12mo.
intention was, to record or hint The Doctor's works, like his various particulars relating to the sermons, were beautiful and history of religion : 1.5. 1. Exstriking, though undesigned pic. ertions by different Christian sotures of his benevolent heart. cieties, for promoting purity of They did not aspire after, and doctrine, vital piety, the converwere not calculated to procure, sion of infidels, united prayer literary fame, or to excite admi- for national prosperity, and for ration of his ingenuity, acuteness the outpouring of the Spirit. and eloquence. In his addresses 2 Men of learning and gefrom the pulpit and from the nius not ashamed of the gospress, he desired to know noth- pel, such as, in latter times, ing, and to make nothing known, Boerhaave, Haller, Littleton, save Jesus Christ and him cru- West, President Forbes, Lord cified. Those who wish to learn Hailes, &c. 3. Wealthy Chrisa new Christianity, to ridicule old tians distinguished by devising fashioned truths, or to torture liberal things, for promoting the sacred oracles to a sense op- the temporal or spiritual good posite to their true spirit, will of mankind. 4. God's hidden find no gratification in his writ ones in the midst of the mysings. Losing sight of himself, tical Babylon. 5. Eminent hohis ambition in them was to pub- liness in men low in their stalish to thoughtless and secure tion, and mean in their natural sinners, their guilt, their danger, talents. and the only method of relief ; But, spring 1795, though the lo build up saints in faith, holi- doctor's zeal was not abated, his ness and comfort ; to learn Chris- strength and vigour visibly detians to love one another with cayed, and he was cautioned not pure hearts fervently; to dis- to impair his health, and shorten play the powerful and benign in his days, by prosecuting his fuence of the gospel, when important plan in its full extent, preached with the Holy Ghost and employing about it too much sent down from heaven; and to thought and labour. Interesting promote esteem of the holy materials were however sent him scriptures, and a perusing them for filling up the third of these not only with the understanding, articles; and he rather chose but with suitable, devout, and be that a defective supplement nevolent emotions,
should appear, than that the acIn 1794, he communicated to counts of Lady Glenorchy, Lady several ministers in different Harriot Hope, and Lady Huntparts, his design of preparing a ington, furnished by two delicate supplement to his Historical Col- and masterly pens, should be bulections and Appendix, and re- ried in cblivion. Vol. III. No. 7.