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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 3s. nd. 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 17 th 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 be kind. Dr. Park and Mr. Hill were sitting together at a Choral Union concert when the former was taken suddenly ill. Mr. Hill went home with him, and stayed with him till midnight, when he passed away. It was heart disease. When Mr. Hill returned to his own house, he said, "When the town wakes up there will be sorrow in St. Andrews. Ah! well, in like manner I shall go, I feel it here," and he laid his hand on his heart. And so it was. Equally sudden was the call; and equally great the sorrow. Eleven years in Kilsyth, fourteen years in St. Andrews, that was the length of his ministry.
On the nth January, 1875, the St. Andrews Session passed the following minute :—
"The Kirk Session having this day met, it was moved, seconded, and unanimously resolved, to enter upon their minutes their deep regret on account of the loss they have sustained through the sudden death of the Reverend Alexander Hill, Minister of the Second Charge of this Parish, whose kindly and genial manner to all classes of the Parishioners, and whose sound and faithful preaching of the Gospel of Christ, combined with diligence in pastoral duty, and the care of the sick, the aged, and the young, gained for him the regard and esteem of the community.
(Signed) A. K. H. Boyd, D.D., Moderator."
The Methodists—Succession of Preachers—New Church—The Congregationalists — Clerical Succession — The Roman Catholic Church—Canon Murphy—Rev. Alex. Speirs— Lochwinnoch—Dr. Watson, Dundee—Dr. Graham, Kilbarchan —The Gorbals—"A Congregation without a Church"—Inducted to Kilsyth — Personal Appearance — Rev. Robert Hope Brown—Author of "Life of Allan Cunningham "—Ordained to St. Andrew's Parish, Dundee—Inducted to Kilsyth—"He did it unto me"—Professor Jeffray—Appointed to Anatomy Chair—Rev. R. H. Stevenson, D.D.—Rob Roy—Pulpit Power —Overwork—Moderator—Dr. Archibald Scott.
The Relief Church, now the United Presbyterian Church, and the Free Church were direct offshoots from the parish church. These two denominations are representatives of two great crises in the history of the Church of Scotland. The other churches in the town of Kilsyth are the Methodist, the Congregational, and the Roman Catholic. These, again, have no connection with the National Church, but have histories that are peculiar to themselves.
A Methodist congregation was first formed in Kilsyth by a few brethren who gathered together for worship in the Old Market Street Hall. In 1847, they erected a chapel at the end of Church Street on the site now occupied by their present building. The church was small and dingy, and for a time it seemed as if the life of the little struggling congregation would come to an end. At