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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF THE LATE REV. JOHN HILL, HUNTLY.
BY THE REV. N. M'NEIL, OF ELGIN.
(Continued from page 6.) The subject of these imperfect sketches few rash words, or imprudent (though was a man of deep-toned personal piety, not criminal) deeds, have often done of transparent purity, and moral weight more harm to a young minister than of character. And the beauty of it was, half a lifetime of approved labour could that others seemed to see and know these counteract and consign to oblivion. I things better than he did himself. These can safely affirm, that in these negative were the charms in his Christian character excellences my deceased friend, John -the secret of his strength-and the Hill, excelled. There are hundreds who proximate source of his success. He saw him daily, and knew him well, who made conscience of living near the foun could attest the fact. It was of great tain of Infinite fulness, and of drinking practical effect in maintaining the purity daily and deeply out of it: “He was and peace of the body, and ruling the an Israelite indeed, in whom there was church of God: “If any man offend not no guile.” Christian cheerfulness and in word, the same is a perfect man, and seriousness were well balanced and beau able also to bridle the whole body.” It tisully blended in his character. Without is a portion of " that wisdom that cometh any invidious comparison, or detracting from above, which is first pure, then from the excellences of others, “he was peaceable, gentle, and easy to be ina man that feared God above many." treated; full of mercy and good fruits
Negative excellence, though it rarely without partiality and without hypocrisy." ranks so high as some of the active vir It is, in one word, that trait of character tues that adorn the Christian character, that “gives no
offence to Jew, nor is, notwithstanding, a quality of great Gentile, nor to the church of God.” It practical worth in a minister of Jesus gives a high bearing and moral weight Christ. The want of Christian meekness to the Christian and ministerial character: and Christian prudence has often been “ Demetrius hath good report of all men, as strongly marked and long remembered and of the truth itself; yea, and we also as when a man has not had the use bear record; and ye know that our record of his right hand or his right eye. A
There are some pious men whose cha- ' 1. “Memoir of Agnes R— ," A racteristic excellences burst forth upon pious servant girl. 1826. us all at once. We learn their defects 2. “Memoir of John Burnet." A by closer intimacy. There are others, member of the church. 1827. whose worth is more latent. They have a 3. “ Serious Addresses to Unprofitable sensitive delicacy and shrinking modesty | Hearers of the Gospel.” 1830. about them. They improve upon us upon 4. “Discourses on Important Subjects closer acquaintance. Without saying addressed to Christian Parents." 1831, which is preferable, we are of opinion 5. “Friendly Warnings against DrunkMr. Hill belonged to the latter class. enness.” 1831. His, however, was not the modesty that 6. " Portrait of Popery." pp. 250. is sometimes allied to indolence, and | 1834. shrinks from self-denied duty. He was These productions are of varied merit. a matter-of-fact man, and was ready to Some of them are tender and touching; grapple with the miseries of fallen hu- others, feeling and forcible in the texture manity under all their diversified forms. of the author's reasoning; all of them He was a man of a large and kind heart, worthy of the piety, good sense, and Benevolent feeling was his element; but literary attainments of their author, and he disliked parade and display in giving all of them adapted, by the Divine blesş. expression to it. He counted himself a ing, to prove beneficial to the souls of debtor to all classes, that “he might by men. The latter was his highest ambiall means save some.” “ Christian sim tion in appearing through the press. He plicity and godly sincerity” were charac- | did not affect fine writing : his aim was teristic features in his moral constitution. accuracy of statement; close, conclusive They gave a character to his pulpit mi- reasoning; great "plainness of speech ; 'L nistrations and his whole intercourse with abiding impression on the mind of the the flock.
reader; and vital, practical results. Though my deceased friend endea- | Although these imperfect sketches have voured through life to maintain the already far exceeded what the writer character of the diligent student, and the originally intended, yet he cannot help active, laborious pastor, as his primary thinking, that “this frail memorial” and proper vocation, yet he employed the raised over the ashes of an endeared pen and the press on various occasions, Christian brother-a faithful and muchas well as the pulpit to extend his use- | loved pastor--and deceased pious family fulness. Among the first of his essays --would be very imperfect and abrupt were a series of well-written papers upon in its close, were not some additional various topics, which appeared in the sketches given of the last two or three Christian Herald. Afterwards he wrote years of their lives. and published a series of “Religious We have no hesitation in saying, and Tracts," some of which were entitled saying with emphasis, that “ It is well !” «The Visitor." They exposed and well with "the little daughter" and her condemned with considerable force and mother, " who were lovely in their effect some of the prevalent errors and lives, and in their deaths were scarcely vices of the locality; and though, for divided." Well with the elder and a time, they excited some "stir about younger daughters “who sleep in Jesus," that way," were beneficial in their and whose ashes repose with the younger tendency. Other of the productions | branches of the family in the vicinity of of his pen related to “The Annals of Huntly. Thither some Christian friends the Poor;" and, though small, are ex- will still cast a wistful eye to the lonely cellent sketches of their kind. The fol. spot where so much dust of their late lowing is an imperfect list of the fruits pastor slumbers till the morning of the of his pen:
resurrection. “ It is well" also with
the father who has lately followed to the night; but too late to see my greatly-beloved family tomb, nearly 150 miles distant,
and only sister in life. She died on sabbath
afternoon. From all I can learn, her end was the eight that have preceded him to the
peace. We expect the girls (Agnes and Mary) house appointed for all living. The from Glasgow this afternoon. desolated heart of the only surviving son
“ Yours most affectionately, may bleed for months to come, and the
“ John Hill." bereaved flock may sigh and shed the | Another brief epistle, shortly after the silent tear over early recollections and death of the mother and daughter, will departed worth ;-but still " It is well!" show how the surviving father and God himself has done it;-therefore "it | daughter felt under such desolating disis well!"
pensations, and how both were so signally The rapid ravages of disease and death supported : in the Hills' little lovely family circle,
“ Huntly, Sept. 14, 1346. within the last two years, have been
“My dear Friends, I received both your painful and striking. It seems as if
| kind favours. Even yet I feel difficulty to put
pen to paper. Grief has been added to our the Lord had designed to house them in sorrow indeed. We are like stricken deers. heaven at no distant interval of time from But oh, it is by the hand of our own God that each other, that they might not have long
we have been touched. Our dearest Mary, for time to mourn for each other in “ the
a good while before she left home, gave all the
evidence our learts could desire, that she was valley of Baca." When the shepherd the Lord's. And as for my own dear partner, was smitten — though with a Father's
you knew her; and I can only add, that of all
the deaths I ever witnessed of God's people, hand-the flock could not fail to feel,
hers was the most composed. In the perfect and that deeply. The throbbings of possession of every faculty and of her solemn Christian sympathy, and the gush of position,--speaking to us up to the last minute, Christian feeling on the part of Mr.
—she departed in perfect peace. Oh that we
could bless God as we ought! ..., Hill's friends and flock, were deep and
“ I am your afflicted and affectionate strong in his behalf. He stood divinely
Brother, strengthened and supported in the midst
“ JOHN HILL." of the sorrowful scene of disease and A brief note, at an earlier date, from death. He passed through it unscathed ; | the only surviving daughter, Agnes, who yea, mellowed and improved in his was cut down and carried to the tomb in Christian character. When the mourn- | the bloom of her youth and womanhood, ful intelligence reached us that an aged in April last, runs thus : and only surviving sister, a lovely little
“Niddry Castle, Sept. 6, 1846. daughter approaching to womanhood, “How can I tell you, dearest Mrs. McK., and his beloved partner in life were all that beloved mamma died here this morning. removed by death, and laid in one grave
Thus am I left sisterless and inotherless in one
short week. How, oh how, shall dear papa and within little more than two or three
I return to our desolate abode! Our licarts weeks; and that he personally passed are almost torn asunder. Pray, oh, pray for through these “ deep waters," at a con- | us !
“ AGNES Hill." siderable distance from his flock-not a few supposed from the tenderness of his Still the Lord pours a large infusion of heart and the acuteness of his sensibili-mercy into man's cup. A pious lovely ties, it would have entirely prostrated daughter, with fine conversational powers, and unmanned him. But it was not so: was left with the aged parent to break "God was with him in six troubles, and the force of the recent bereavements, and in seven he did not forsake bim." As cheer his heart in his widowhood. She his day was, so was his strength. Two became a suitable substitute in the room or three brief notes from his own hand of her deceased mother. No creature will further unfold this touching scene : could be more devoted to her father's
“ Niddrs Castle, July 29, 1846. comfort. No love was lost between the * My dear Mrs. M.,- We reached this last father and the only surviving daughter, They also were "lovely in their lives," Spirit, for they do rest from their labours, and " in their deaths" not many months and their works do follow them." " divided." This additional stroke was Finally: it may here be stated that sudden and severe; but it was borne with it was a most cheering and delightful Christian courage, composure, and sub- | part of private labour that was committed mission. The Lord was with the father to him by Dr. James Legge, of Hong and only surviving son in passing through Kong-one of his own children in the the furnace. The following note will Lord--the superintendence and private show the father's feelings at this pecu- tuition of the three Chinese youths, from liar crisis:
the land of Sinim, viz., Kimlin, Houtt"Huntly. April 17. 1848. | kiam, and Assau. This was a wise "My dear Brother, -I cannot think of being arrangement. Mr. Hill deeply felt the longer in telling you that my much-beloved | honour and importance of forming the Agnes is very, very ill. Her complaint is in
minds of these young men for future the head. She has had a great deal of blood taken from her arm at different times, and by usefulness in far distant lands. The lecches on the head. It was shaved on Friday Lord propitiously smiled upon the effort. and a large blister put on. Still the pain con
Mr. Hill acted like a father to them. tinues. She is quite prostrate. Pray for us. Our God only can send help. Phil, ii, 29, has
They all three made a voluntary and of late been much upon my mind.
intelligible profession of the truth as it is “I cver am, my dear Brother, in Jesus—were baptized in his name-in “ Yours, &c.,
the name of the Divine Three — and “ John Hill."
received with confidence and cordiality Miss Agnes Hill died on the 25th into the Christian church. Dr. Legge April, 1848. Many mingled their tears, | and Mr. Hill conducted the principal sympathies, and prayers with the sur- part of these solemn and delightful exerviving parent and son on this mournful cises, which excited much interest in the occasion. Suffice it to say, that he bore place. The youths have lately arrived in this last bereaving stroke like a Christian. ' safety in their native land. May " the It was the prelude of his own dissolu- / angel" of the covenant “ bless the lads! tion, which took place at Glasgow on the May the name of Abraham and Isaac be 21st September last. His only surviving upon them! and may they grow up to a son, Mr. John Hill, had the mournful multitude in the earth.” satisfaction of tending his beloved father's sick bed-soothing his dying pillow, watching the ebbing springs of lifeclosing his eyes, and conveying his
LINES ON THE LATE REV, J. HILL. remains to slumber by the side of his BY THE REV. J. D. HULL, EPISCOPAL MINISTER, dear sister, his beloved partner, and lovely daughter, till the morning of the resur 0! For a master's power to paint aright rection of the just, when “the upright The constellation of endowments bright, shall have the dominion.” May the That in thy character concentred were:dying parent's parting prayer be heard, The solid sense, the erudition rare : and his blessing rest upon the soul of the The taste so true, the feelings so refined: chief mourner, and only surviving branch
The noble strength and dignity of mind : of the family! These solemn closing
The tenderness, so ready to o'erflow scenes do not so much call for public
At the least impulse of another's woe:
The judgment that so wide a survey took ; exposition as for private, pensive, per
The cheerfulness that lighten'd every look ; sonal reflection to see the Lord's hand
Save when upon thee burst amiction's cloud, in these solemn visitations--fervently to And thy meek spirit 'neath the tempest pray over them—and personally to profit bow'd; . . by them: “ Write, blessed are the dead The charity that still rejoiced to own who die in the Lord; yea saith the God's image, wheresoever it was shown: