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reluctant penitent back to the Father. And in all his nature there was not a trace of the Pharisee. Not a feather of the plumage had been pencilled. It was a pleasure to be in the presence of a nature so hearty, so unaffected, so open, so wholly unselfish. Men felt they could be—what they could very seldom be with clergymen—at home with him. He could rejoice with the joyful, and weep with the sorrowful, and in neither was there taint of insincerity. It was there his power lay. He got at men's sympathies. The rich and poor alike owned his influence. At a meeting of old people ten days before he died, when he saw an old blind fishwife sitting in an out-of-the-way corner, he went to her and said—“Kitty, you won't hear so far down, you must come up a bit.” Kitty replied—“Oh, Mr. Hill, I am so blind, I could not find my way.” “Come with me, take my arm Kate," said the minister, and drawing one of her withered hands in his, he took her and seated her at the top of the table. There was a coming and going, and the incident attracted little attention, but one who saw it correctly observed—“Look at Mr. Hill, he is as happy with Kitty on his arm as if she had been the Queen." He knew nothing of those poor, false assumptions of condescension practised—and never without detection, for the purpose of getting round people. His actions were spontaneous. The true minister. The true gen. tleman.
When the young minister came to Kilsyth he bore with him an honourable name. He was off those Hills who had been influential in the Church for generations. He was the son of Dr. Alexander Hill, first minister of Dailly, and then Professor of Systematic Theology in the University of Glasgow. He was the grandson of Dr. George Hill, who was a graduate when he was fifteen, and a Professor of Greek in St. Leonard's College when he was twenty-two, who afterwards became minister of St. Andrews, and Principal and Primarius Professor in St. Mary's College, St. Andrews, and the fame of whose “ Lectures in Divinity” is still in all the Churches both of Great Britain and America. And there was what some will hold to be a more honourable connection still. He was a direct descendant of the masterful Principal Carstares, who had saved the Church, as has been noticed, in an eventful crisis of her history. If the Kilsyth parishioners felt proud of their young pastor, had they not good reason ?
Alexander Hill was a student of the University of Glasgow. As a young man, he was buoyant and hopeful, and held in good regard by all his companions. One of his college friends was A. K. H. Boyd, who was two years behind him in his university course. On the Sunday after he was licensed, the 7th January, 1849, he preached twice; in the forenoon, in the Barony, when a large number of his fellow-students gathered, interested, to witness the starting of their friend in professional life; in the afternoon, in the Tron Church, when his future colleague was again with him, as might have been expected, seeing the Tron was then his father's parish. The afternoon subject was “The hope that maketh not ashamed.” To most young men, the first service is much of a trial, and somewhat of a strain, on the nervous sensibilities. The young man, however, acquitted himself more than creditably. He conducted the services after a manner which justified prognostications of a bright future.
Mr. Hill's probationary period was of the shortest. Before the year was out, he was the minister elect of Kilsyth. The people had their choice, and they chose him. The day of his ordination was the 20th December. It was a beautiful winter day; overhead the sky was clear, and underfoot the ground was hard-bound with frost. As Mr. Hill and his friend, Mr. Boyd, who was again with him, were walking through the village in the evening, after the solemn services of the ordination were over, they witnessed one of those magnificent sunsets which come to the parish with the winter solstice. In Kilsyth, the winter sunsets are far more glorious spectacles than those of the summer. Looking back upon that evening, Dr. Boyd says, “ The sky was red, and, as the great sombre disc of the sun went down, we saw against it the handsome square tower of that pretty church which was now his own." And so the two young men parted to see little of each other till a regardless fate yoked them together as fellow-workers in the same field.
The work of the parish prospered in Mr. Hill's hands. The church attendances became as large as they had ever been. In the winter of 1852, 331 communicants sat down at the tables. This number implies a membership nearly double, for, in Kilsyth, the numbers communicating are now, and have always been, small in proportion to the number of members in connection with the church. But this was not the full strength of the church, for, in the October of that year, when Mr. Hill dispensed the sacrament at Banton, there were 84 members belonging to that district who partook of the communion. In the June of 1860, Mr. Hill broke the bread of life amongst the people of Kilsyth for the last time, and on that occasion 302 communicated. It was during the incumbency of Mr. Hill, and on the 22nd Dec., 1854, the kirk session, after full consideration, fixed the third Sunday of June, and the third Sunday of November, as the dates of the six-monthly communions, and these dates have remained unchanged until now. A set of new communion tokens was struck in 1852, and these remained in use till the incumbency of the Rev. R. Hope Brown, when cards were issued as being found more serviceable. Happy is the church that has no history. With the exception of one little thing-a difference with a member of session which necessitated presbyterial action—the time of his ministry in Kilsyth was spent in great comfort. Of course he had his domestic trials and sorrows—for eleven years is a large period in the life of a clergyman. Too soon was Jane Horn, his first wife, taken from him. The oldest daughter became the wife of Dr. W. W. Tulloch, of Maxwell Church, Glasgow. In Nov., 1859, he married, . a second time, Jane Reid. There was an addition made to the manse. Scanty are the opportunities which parishioners get of doing their minister a favour. The only opportunity the farmers had was the yearly ploughing of the glebe. It was a notable day, and the turn-out of ploughs was wholly out of proportion to the work to be done. Such things are not trifling; properly considered, they are “significant of much.” In Mr. Hill's time, the town drummer appears only to have earned two shillings a week, and the cotton weavers from eight to nine shillings. The Galloway bequest also dates from his time. The first notice of it in the session books is at a meeting held on the 17th Oct., 1854. It was left by Mrs. Captain Galloway, whose husband had been born in the parish. The whole fund only amounted to £83 35. IId. The interest was to be devoted to the “poor and needy of Kilsyth parish in such proportion as said minister and elders for the time may judge proper.”
acted as moderator was held on the 17th September, 1860. To remove from the parish of Kilsyth to the second charge of the parish of St. Andrews was to go not one, but several steps down. He took these steps down for three reasons. First, because he was urgently and repeatedly asked to accept the position. Secondly, because promises were made that he would be no pecuniary loser. And thirdly, because no hope could be held out to him of the first charge unless he took the second. The one was the portal to the other. It is not with the collegiate charge of St. Andrews as it is with so many other collegiate charges. The one is not nearly so valuable as the other. The second is related to the first as the chapel to the cathedral. Thinking of the circumstances, Mr. Hill hung back. Eventually he yielded to the urgency of the solicitation and went. Mr. Hill addressed himself to his work with all his heart. He was on the friendliest footing with Dr. Park, his colleague; agencies were started which had never existed before, and, so far, all went well. There were promises, however, which had not been kept, and when at Dr. Park's death the first charge had to be filled up, the committee appointed the present incumbent. Mr. Hill was passed over, his claims were disregarded. It was a heavy blow, and he never recovered from it. He felt he did not deserve the treatment that had been measured out to him; he knew he had good reason to expect other courses, and it broke him down. If he could have been persuaded to exercise the influence at his back it would have been different, but he would not; and so the matter ended as it did. Without either a murmur or an angry word, Mr. Hill went on his way; but often he turned his thoughts back to Kilsyth, to the happy times he had spent there, and to a people who knew how to