[merged small][graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small]

THE LORD'S PRAYER. Dor Father, God! who art in Heav'n, To thy great name, be rev'rence giv'n! Thy peaceful kingdom wide extend ; And reign, O Lord, till time shall end ! : Thy sacred will on earth be done, As 'uis by angels round thy throne ; And let us ev'ry day be fed With earthly, and with heav'nly, bread. Our sins forgive, and reach us thus To pardon those who injure us. Our Shield in all temptations prove, And ev'ry evil far remove. Thine is the kingdom to controal, And thine the pow'r to save the soul: Great be the glory of thy reign ; Let ev'ry creature say, Amen!


Fix thou the time (the time is fix'd

In the divine decree) ;
Call win the time is fully come,

And I will answer thee.
My flesh and soul to thee I've giv'z

In their united state :
And is it more to trust thee, Lord,

With each when separate ?
1 claim thy promise here below,

To dwell on earth with me : Shall I not trust the word that says,

“ Where I am thou shalt be " Thy glorious angels stood prepar'd,

Soon as the beggar dy'd,
His parting spirit to coovey

To faithful Abr'am's side.
Those morning stars thro' all my way

Have been my daily ward :
And will they not, when loos'd from clayo

Convey me to my Lord?
O glorious faith! that bears the soul

Above desponding fear;
Lab'ring to reach the heav'nly goal,

And panting to be there.

ON THE PROSPECT OF DYING. At thy cominand I meekly yield

My body to the dust : Jesus! I trust in thee alone,

And know in whom I trust.

2. W

Printed by G. AULD, Greville Street, London.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

IF honourable birth and personal endowments,-if amiable manners and extensive benevolence,- if early and exemplary piety and unremitted zeal, during a long and laborious lve ; if any, or all these qualities 'combined, can give weight and interest to character, Dr. John Erskine must be ranked among the most eminent persons of the age in which he lived.

This excellent inan was descended from two of the most ancient houses in the peerage of Scotland; and his nearest reiations belong to some of the most distinguished and respectable families of that country. His father, Mr Erskine of Carnock, who will always be mentioned as a man of superior worth and eminent talents, was an advocate at the Scotch bar; and, for some time, Professor of Scotch Law in the University of Edinburgh. His “ Institutes of the Law of Scotland," in five folio volumes, as a book of authority and of profound information, is well known to have placed his name among lawyers of the first rank.

Dr. Erskine was the eldest son of this respectable man; and wil be allowed to have alded, in no small degree, to the honour of his family. His nobre soul animated a leeble and slender body; and yet, through the goodness of Providence to the church, and to the world, he wils enabled to sustain maný severe shocks of adversity; and was preserved, with his faculties unimpaired, till he had ontlived almost all his contemporaries.

His original talents were far beyond the ordinary standard, He was distinguished by the unusual extent and comprehension of his understanding; by the acuteness, the accuracy, and the perspicuity of his reasonings, and by the general clearness and solidity of his judgment.

Dr. Erskine feared God from his earliest youth. Even when at school, though he excelled as a scholar, he bad a settled delight in the duties of devotion, and in reading and studying the word of God; and as it points out the tendency of his mind, it is not unimportant to mention, that, in these favourite exercises he was frequently employed, while his class-fellows were engaged in their youthful amusements.

In choosing the ministry of the gospel as the profession in which he was ambitious to employ ihe talents which God had given hiin, it was manifest that his motives were of the purest kind; and that he sought not the advantages of this world, but “the profit of many, that they might be saved.” This choice did not at first meet the views of some of his respectable relttions. They recommended to him the study and profession of law, as more suitable to his rank in life, and as opening to bim a surer prospect of acquiring the distinctions to which it entitled him. To enlarge bis stock of knowledge, as well as to gratify their wishes, he subunitted to receive an education for the Bar; and, there is no doubt, that, from this circumstance, he derived considerable advantages, of which he availed himself through life.

But theology was all along his favourite study. He adhered firmly to his purpose, unshaken by the view of any worldly disadvantage he could sustain by means of it; and when he obtained a licence to preach the gospel, which was in 1749, one of the first texts from which he preached, was this, “ I had rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God, than dwell in the tents of wickedness." He was full of this sentiment, and never departed from it; persuaded, not merely that true religion is the only source of substantial and permanent enjoyment, but that the meanest office of usefulness in the church of God, is in itself highly honourable; and that, in respect of dignity, of utility, and of personal satisfaction, the ministerial function, rightly discharged, is to be placed above the most splendid secular employments.

He was ordained a minister of the gospel, and became minister of the parish of Kirkintilloch in 1744. In 1753, he was translated to the borough of Culross; and was brought from thence to Edinburgh in 1758, where he was appointed minister of the New Greyfriars church, and afterward of the Old Grey-. friars, in conjunction with the celebrated Dr. Robertson, who had been his fellow-student.

At these different places he enjoyed the esteem and affec: tions of his people. They were proud of having a man of his rank, piety, and learning for their minister; and deeply lamented his removal from them. They were delighted and improved by his instructions in public and in private ; and the poor an i distressed, of every condition, who had been relieved by his c'rarity, or consoled by his sympathy and advice, loved liim sincerely ; and long after spoke of him with gratitude and respect. His attention to the duties of the pastoral office within

« VorigeDoorgaan »