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Memoir of the Rev James MacGregor D.D.
Chapter I. - Introductory


The glory of children is their fathers.—Prov. xvii. 6.

The plans of Providence exhibit one closely connected chain of events, stretching from the beginning of time till the end thereof; and each link in the chain is inseparably united with every other, whether in the all absorbing past or the opening future. Each event, as it occurs, has been the result of a combination of causes acting, it may be, through all the past periods of human existence, and will exert its influence upon the future till “the last syllable of recorded time.” Each individual of the mighty multitude who throng our globe, is, both in the circumstances in which he is placed, the characteristics by which he is distinguished, and the part which he acts, the product of a series of causes and events, stretching away back into the past until history and tradition go out in darkness; and he produces a circle in the ocean of time which is ever widening and will continue to extend till the last trumpet shall arrest the course of sublunary things. Humble as may be the sphere which he occupies, unimportant as may seem the events that befall him, his life is yet a stage in a history whose roots reach back to the time when man received his origin from his Creator, his influence during his own time ramifies in all directions, and forming part of the mass of life, ever hastening onward, he aids in swelling the vast tide of human progression toward the ultimate goal of humanity on earth; yea, even strikes a chord whose vibrations reach to other spheres and continue through eternal ages.

But in the case of the vast majority of mankind, the connection of their lives, either with what precedes or what follows, can be traced only for a few generations. A few can point to a line of ancestry extending far back into the remote past; a few have their names linked with events, which on the page of history stand out in brilliant illumination from the dark ground of oblivion; and a few act a part upon the theatre of life, by which they obtain a celebrity which bears their names down to a distant posterity. But of the overwhelming mass of mankind history preserves no record. However strong their desire to connect their names with what is eminent in the past, with events which are famous in story, or with men whom we vainly denominate the deathless great, the desire is vain; their very genealogy can be traced only for a few ages, and their early ancestral history is a blank. Alike vain is their desire for future fame. All remembrance of the vast majority of mankind is destined to pass away, save from that mind which fully knows all beings and all events, which searches all motives, which weighs all actions, which traces all influences, and awards all retribution. Even local tradition preserves any information concerning them only for a brief period. In a few generations their very names will be forgotten on earth,—their monuments will crumble to dust, and nothing mark the spot where their ashes repose, so that all efforts to preserve the recollection of them seems like a vain struggle with the decree of the Almighty.

Yet “the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.” Whatever be their ancestral history, the light of their good deeds lingers around the scene of their labours long after they have lain down to their last repose. “Their works do follow them.” Many of them have done deeds far surpassing in real greatness those of the warrior on the tented field; and, it may be in some humble sphere, where the voice of worldly applause reached them not, they have achieved results more important than the victories of Trafalgar or Waterloo. And when actions are judged according to their intrinsic merit, and honours awarded accordingly, the heads of such men will be encircled by a glory compared with which the earthly honours of the mightiest conquerors shall have “no glory by reason of the glory that excelleth.” Such men will not be forgotten. Their “record is on high.” One there is, who, we are assured, “is not unrighteous to forget their work of faith and labour of love, which they have showed toward his name.” And among men, “future generations will arise up and call them blessed.” Justice to their memory, as well as the profit of those who succeed, requires that their deeds should be recorded, their virtues honoured, and their names embalmed, in the grateful recollections of posterity. This is a duty enforced by divine authority. “Remember the days of old, and consider the years of many generations; ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.” The things “which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength and his wonderful works that he hath done.” Such is the justification of the present imperfect and too long delayed effort to do justice to the memory of one, of whose labours the Lower Provinces of British America have reason to retain a grateful recollection.

In tracing his antecedents, we at once acknowledge that we can point to no long pedigree of illustrious ancestors. But if the Scripture declaration be regarded, that “the memory of the just is blessed,” his parentage was well worthy of a record. He might use regarding it the language of the Poet,

“My boast is not that I deduce my birth,
From loins enthroned, or princes of the earth,
But higher far my proud pretensions rise,
The son of parents passed into the skies.”

Nor can he be connected historically with any of those great events which in the past have decided the destinies of nations;

but we can record incidents, which to him who will “observe the work of the Lord and consider the operations of his hand" mark the wonder-working hand of Divine Providence, which connects all events past, present, and future, the smallest as well as the greatest in one scheme; and by the manner in which they combine to work out his purposes manifests his glory, so as to attract to himself the admiration, the esteem, the reverence, and the love of intelligent beings.

Let us then direct the minds of our readers to a period a few years previous to the last rebellion in Scotland, and briefly refer to the social condition of the Northern parts of that country previous to that important event. The outbreak of 1715 had been speedily quelled, but the spirit of rebellion, so far from being extinct, was only gathering strength for the more terrible outbreak of 1745. The majority of the clans were zealous in their adherence to the House of Stuart, and schemes being then on foot for the restoration of the exiled family to the British throne, they were not disposed to render very implicit subjection to the ruling powers. The power of the Highland chiefs still remained unbroken, the ancient feudal, or perhaps more properly, patriarchal institutions were in full vigour, the social changes which were introduced on the suppression of the rebellion, were still unheard of, and chief and vassal alike retained their attachment to their peculiar customs and their ancient superstitions. In particular war was deemed an employment highly honourable, while honest labour was despised, and it was viewed as no disgrace, but on the contrary as an exploit of signal merit, to sweep off the cattle of a neighbouring clan or of Lowlanders, who refused to acknowledge their superiority. In these circumstances life and property were insecure, not only in the Highlands, but in the districts bordering upon them.

Among the Highland raids, or plundering expeditions, characteristic of that period, was one, made as near as we can ascertain between the years 1730 and 1735, upon a hamlet in the Northern part of Perthshire, close by Loch Earne and bordering on the Macgregor’s country. The dwellings of the inhabitants were burned, and their cattle driven away. We have no particular account of the event. It of course receives no mention in history. Before the scenes which the general historian has to describe, it fades into infinitesimal insignificance. Even local tradition scarce preserves any particulars of the affair, either of the actors in it, the events connected with it, or its immediate consequences. But in one respect we know that the most important results followed. It was the means of leading one young man, then about twenty years of age, to leave his native district, and to proceed to the Lowlands, for the purpose of obtaining employment there, and upon this simple fact, the whole of our subsequent history depends. The individual who came down some one hundred and twenty years ago, like so many more of his Highland countrymen before and since, for the purpose of improving his worldly condition, belonged to the celebrated clan Gregor, but then bore the name of James Drummond, his family having adopted that name in consequence of the outlawry of that clan, and their being forbidden to use their own name. This was the father of the subject of our Memoir, and his visit at that time was the means in the arrangements of Divine Providence of determining the character of his whole future life, and produced results which eternity alone can disclose.

We believe it is not too much to say, that at that time there was throughout a large portion of the Highlands little of religion but the name. In some places the change from Popery to Protestantism had been accomplished merely by the order of their Lairds, while except in some favoured districts the mass of the people had but little acquaintance with the glorious doctrines of the Reformation. Even some years later, it was commonly said that “Sabbath didna come aboon the pass of Killiecrankie.” Of the prevalent ignorance and ungodliness James’s native parish had its full share. Up till the time of his leaving for the South, he had, so far as we can learn, little or no knowledge of the doctrines of the gospel. His motives in going south appear to have been entirely of a worldly nature, and he applied himself to learn the trade of a weaver in Alloa. But Providence which “leads the blind by a way which they know not, and conducts them in paths which they have not known,” was compassing his path to bring him to the enjoyment of blessings he yet knew not of. He came to the Lowlands seeking worldly good, but Providence designed to make his visit the means of securing to him that wisdom, whose price is above rubies, illustrating the divine saying, “I was found of them that sought me not.”

We must however here advert to the ecclesiastical state of Scotland at this period. That spiritual deadness into which many of the churches of the Reformation had sunk at the beginning of the eighteenth century was severely felt in that country, and was in a large measure produced or at least greatly aggravated by the measures adopted for the settlement of the Church of Scotland after the Revolution of 1688. That settlement while it restored the Presbyterian form of Church Government so dear to the people of Scotland, and delivered the persecuted from the severe sufferings to which they had been subjected, yet entailed many evils upon the Church. The admission to parishes on easy terms of the late Episcopal incumbents, men whom Bishop Burnet, himself an Episcopalian, describes as “the worst preachers lie ever heard, ignorant to a reproach, and many of them openly vicious, a disgrace to their orders, and indeed the dregs and refuse of the Northern parts,” paved the way for the introduction of many errors in doctrine and practice. The law of patronage also facilitated the introduction of a corrupt and time serving ministry, so that, at the time of which we speak, they had become the ruling party in the Church. The Evangelical party had continued after the Revolution to exercise considerable influence, but corruption gained strength. The generation of ministers who had upheld the testimony of the Church in the trying times of the martyrs had now passed away, and a generation of another spirit ruled the counsels of the Church, whose measures were characterized by utter unfaithfulness to the doctrines of the gospel, as well as disregard of the rights and liberties of the Christian people. The most dangerous errors bad been promulgated by one of its professors, and by others occupying prominent positions ; yet such was the temper of the majority, that they were allowed to escape altogether or with very slight censure. And not only so but the General Assembly had condemned as “unsound” and “detestable,” a proposition adopted by one of the Presbyteries as a means of testing the qualifications of applicants for the ministry, which is of the essence of the gospel, and in the celebrated Marrow controversy which immediately followed, stamped with their disapprobation a work which was distinguished by its exhibition of an unfettered gospel, and censured at their bar some of the best men in the Church for their faithful advocacy of its principles. Under the law of patronage, ministers the most objectionable were intruded into parishes in opposition to the wishes of the great majority of the people, and even of Presbyteries. At one meeting of Assembly no less than twelve petitions and appeals were presented against objectionable settlements, yet in every case they were persisted in even when the introduction into the Church could be accomplished only by military force.

Many excellent and faithful men had protested against these proceedings, but galled by their faithful testimonies the prevailing party determined to prevent or suppress them, and enacted that no reasons of dissent against their proceedings should be recorded. Two representations, one signed by forty-two ministers and the other by 1700 people were refused to be heard, and a protest signed by fifteen ministers was not permitted to be recorded. The only method left to those who mourned over these corruptions was to protest against them in their public ministrations, and an attempt to suppress these in a particular instance led to the Secession, and gave birth to the United Presbyterian Church.

At the meeting of the Synod of Perth and Stirling, in October, 1732, the Rev. Ebenezer Erskine, one of the ministers of Stirling, and retiring moderator, in preaching the opening sermon, which he did from Psal. cxviii. 22, “The stone which the builders refused is become the head-stone of the corner,” testified with great plainness of speech against the course pursued by the courts of the church.

Mr. Erskine had long stood forth the consistent friend, both of the doctrines of the gospel and the freedom of the church. In the controversies of the previous twenty years he had held a prominent place among those who were struggling against the defections of the majority. But his present measure brought matters to a crisis. The Synod resolved, that for the statements and language of his sermon he should be rebuked at their bar, and admonished to behave orderly in future. On an appeal to the General Assembly, that court approved of the sentence of the Synod, and appointed him to be admonished and rebuked at their bar. Against this decision, Mr. E., together with the Rev. Alexander Moncrieff of Abernethy, the Rev. William Wilson of Perth, and the Rev. James Fisher of Kinclaven, tendered a paper containing their solemn protest, and claiming the liberty of preaching the same doctrines, and of testifying against the same, or like defections of the church, upon all proper occasions. The indignation of the Assembly was aroused by the faithful language of their protest, and without allowing the protesters a hearing before the court, it ordered them to appear before the Commission in August, and to retract, and express sorrow for what they had done, on pain of being suspended from the exercise of the ministry in the first instance, and of being deposed should they still continue refractory. On their refusal to retract or express sorrow, the Commission of Assembly did in August, 1733, and in a way which set at defiance even the forms of justice, suspend the “four brethren" from the exercise, of the ministerial function, and all the parts thereof. To this sentence they refused to submit, declaring it null and void. In November following, the Commission dissolved the pastoral relation between them and their congregations, declaring them no longer ministers of the Church of Scotland. The “four brethren” then handed in a protest, in which, after describing the “continued course of defection” of “the prevailing party,” they declared themselves bound in conscience to make a Secession from them. This step they followed up on the 5th December, 1733, by forming themselves into a Presbytery, called the Associate Presbytery.

They continued for some time to occupy the same pulpits, and their preaching excited greater attention than before. Throughout the length and breadth of Scotland, the proceedings of which we have given a summary were regarded with deep interest. By the most pious portion of the community these men were looked upon as the friends of evangelical truth and the representatives of popular rights, and from the treatment they received were regarded with the admiration and sympathy due to sufferers in a righteous cause. In the parishes of the seceding ministers the interest showed itself in rather tumultuous forms, when the attempt was made to intimate the sentence of the Commission in their respective churches. But far beyond their parishes the interest was widening and deepening. Either from zeal for religion or from sympathy, multitudes were to be found leaving their respective parishes, and travelling great distances to attend the ministration of the seceding ministers, and within five years after the secession, the Presbytery had in one twelvemonth no less than 70 applications for preaching.

We have referred to these events, not only because some acquaintance with them is necessary to understand the ecclesiastical position and portions of the history of the subject of our memoir, but especially because they were the events which under God determined the character of his father, and in this way made him what he was. We have seen the father leaving his native parish for the Lowlands, ignorant of the doctrines of the gospel. But that Providence, “in whose hands are our times,” and who ordereth even the fall of a sparrow, brought him south at the very time that these events were exciting public interest, and placed him in circumstances where his attention could not fail to be directed to them. In his wise guidance he was led to a place of sojourn, only a few miles distant from Stirling, the scene of Ebenezer Erskine’s ministrations, and to a master who was a cordial friend to the doctrines of the gospel. Among the crowds who flocked to hear Mr. Erskine in Stirling was this man, whose name has passed away, and he frequently took his Highland servant with him. These meetings were scenes of spiritual refreshing to multitudes of God’s people, and many wanderers were gathered into the Redeemer’s fold. “When God writes the people, he will count that this man and that man was born there.” And among the number of those who at the final account will be reckoned as seals for the ministry of Ebenezer Erskine will be the name of James Drummond. "We know not the exact circumstances in which the saving change took place, whether he was suddenly aroused from carelessness, or whether gradually enlightened; but we have it on undoubted authority, that it was by his preaching that he was brought to the knowledge of a the truth as it is in Jesus.” He could not but be attracted by the preaching of Mr. Erskine, who is described by his contemporaries as of an appearance so majestic and noble as to command both respect and affection, while his preaching was characterized by tender and pathetic appeal, and clear exposition of gospel truth; but as he became spiritually enlightened, he was also drawn by the spirit which his hearers discovered. “One thing" says Mr. Gilfillan, “that greatly contributed to his leaving the Established Church, was the dryness, as he called it, of the ministers he heard, and the carnal conversation of the people on the Sabbath day. When he sat in what was then called the servants' loft at Alloa, before public worship began, nothing was heard but the news of the country and the idle chit-chat of the past week: but when he went to Stirling or returned from it, the savour of Christ’s knowledge was diffused all around. They “ took sweet counsel together as they went to the House of God in company.” Under such preaching and in such society he gradually increased in the knowledge of the doctrines of the gospel, and also of the ecclesiastical state of Scotland; and his sympathies gradually gathered round the men, who had made so noble a stand for an unfettered gospel and for popular rights against the defections of the time. And “having first given himself to the Lord,” he joined himself to those who were holding aloft the banner of truth and spiritual freedom.

But the event which particularly impressed his mind, and if it did not determine his choice in favour of the Secession, at least confirmed and established it, was the scene which occurred on the expulsion of E. Erskine from his church. For some years after the suspension of the “four brethren,” they continued to occupy undisturbed the parish churches, in which they had formerly preached, although they had been joined by four others, and were engaged in measures for training a gospel ministry, and for supplying various parts of Scotland with gospel ordinances. At length however, in the year 1740, the whole eight were cast out of the Church, and deposed from the ministry, and the Assembly immediately gave intimation to the magistrates of their respective burghs, that they might be dispossessed of their pulpits. A description of the scene that occurred at Stirling we shall give in the words of a recent popular writer:

“At Stirling on the first Lord’s day after Mr. Erskine’s deposition, the church bells were forbidden to be run", and the people, on assembling at the usual hour, found the doors of the church and church yard made fast to prevent their entrance. The exasperated multitude were about to proceed to violent measures to effect their entrance, but their venerable pastor having made his appearance, and expressed his disapprobation of all violent measures, succeeded in dissuading them from the attempt. Then in the presence of the immense multitude, whom the interesting occasion had brought together, lie lifted up his pulpit Bible, which according to the custom of the times, he had brought with him from his house, and with that majestic manner, which was so natural to him, and with awfully impressive solemnity of tone, protested as in the Divine presence, that he was now obeying the dictates of duty, and that not he, but his opposers, were responsible at the judgment seat of God for the scenes of that day. The words spread a thrill of deep emotion throughout the vast assembly—more especially as they looked on the gray hairs and majestic form of the venerable sufferer; but every thought of violence had given way to holier feelings, and quietly retiring to a convenient spot, they listened to the ministrations of the dauntless witness whom they now began to regard not only with the affection due to a pastor, but with something of the veneration claimed by a martyr.

“The place selected for the solemn service was such as to harmonize with the state of mind of the worshippers, and to provide the vast multitude with a fitting sanctuary. To this day the visitor to Stirling is guided to a verdant and elevated spot, that rises to the northward of that ancient seat of kings. Here with the frowning ramparts of the castle rising above him—rich and waving plains beneath, amid which the ‘many linked’ Forth seeks his majestic way, and begins his strange and mazy circles as if loath to leave so fair a scene, with far in the distance the noble Grampians raising their bold and rugged pinnacles into the clouds—did this father of the Secession gather together his scattered sheep, and rear, as it were, in visible form, the standard, which bore inscribed on it, 'Christ’s crown’ and 'His people’s right'.

“The first portion of the 60th Psalm was given out by Mr. Erskine to be sung, and very appropriately opened the services of the day.

‘O Lord thou hast rejected us
And scattered us abroad,
Thou justly hast displeased been,
Return to us, O God.
The earth to tremble thou hast made,
Therein didst breaches make,
Do thou thereof the breaches heal,
Because the land doth shake.’

“A short prayer followed; after which the venerable man read as his text those words of Matt. viii. 27, ‘But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and sea obey him'. The sermon which followed was one which those who heard never could forget. The occasion, the scene, the subject, all tended to elevate both speaker and hearers into a higher region, and made holy eloquence sound like inspiration. It was a day of deep and varied emotions. Some were saddened to tears, when they thought of the precious minister whom the Church of Scotland had driven from her pale, in others joy in the truths which they had heard, swallowed up for the time all other feelings; while hoary headed men felt the recollections of youth suddenly revived, and those who had been active in the proceedings of that day seemed to their minds to have ‘served themselves heirs to the iniquity and wickedness of some of their forefathers in that place, who stoned that eminent seer and faithful martyr, Mr. James Guthrie.'”

Among the number of those who on that occasion hung upon the lips of the preacher, and whose feelings were strongly excited by the event, was James Drummond. He was a man of great tenderness of heart, and his natural feelings were deeply impressed, so that to the latest hour of his life he was accustomed to speak of it with emotion. He had by this time learned to value the truths for which Mr. Erskine had been expelled the Church, and henceforth he east in his lot with the persecuted remnant. About that year, we are not informed whether before or after this scene, he applied for the privilege of communion with the Church, and was after due examination admitted by Mr. Erskine himself. From that time he acted through life the part both of a consistent Christian and a firm Seceder.

Soon after this period he returned to his native parish and settled at what was then called Portmore, but where now stands the village of St. Fillans, just at the foot of Loch Earne in the parish of Comrie, and county of Perthshire. He had left home for the purpose of seeking the improvement of his worldly circumstances, lie returned with a treasure more valuable than the gold of Ophir or the gems of Golconda. As the woman of Samaria went to tell to those of her own city of the Saviour she had found, he returned to his native parish to communicate to others the knowledge of that salvation, which he had received during his absence. And as Andrew first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is being interpreted, the Christ, and he brought him to Jesus, and as Philip found his friend Nathaniel, so his first efforts were among his relatives and friends, to bring them to Jesus. And his efforts were not in vain. “When he returned to the Highlands,” says Mr. Gilfillan, “he endeavoured to communicate the good news among his relations and neighbours, and his endeavours were not without some success. A few came forth to the help of the Lord, and a seed was sown which shall not be destroyed, we trust, for ages to come.” Whether lie was the first to introduce the Secession into the parish of Comrie, we are uncertain; but we know that he was among the first, and we are assured that he was the first in that quarter of the parish in which he resided. His brothers and friends through his influence became Seeeders, which in many parts of Scotland at that time was synonymous with being serious Christians. His brothers were indeed pious men, and it is believed that they became so through his instrumentality.

From the origin of the Secession there had been in Comrie, as in many of the parishes in Scotland, a praying society, and out of this, as in many other instances, sprung the Secession Congregation of that place. The members were found travelling long distances to obtain that bread of life, which was not dispensed at home, and with the prevalence of "moderatism” in most of the parishes of Scotland, their attention was naturally directed to the ministers of the Secession, among whom the gospel of the grace of God was proclaimed in all its fulness and freeness. One is mentioned as having frequently travelled all the way to Dunfermline to sit under the ministrations of Ralph Erskine, and James is traditionally reported, as having travelled on foot all the way to Muckhart, a distance of over forty miles, to enjoy the faithful preaching of the word. Shortly after his return, a petition was presented to the Secession Presbytery for a supply of preaching, which was granted, and among others, one of the Erskines, we believe Ralph, preached occasionally to them, while residing there for the benefit of his health. At first the prospects of the cause were good, several persons of influence having expressed themselves favourable to it. But these gradually fell off, and from various circumstances the effort did not succeed as was at first anticipated. A few however remained faithful, and amid every severity of cold and rain attended upon the services, which were held in the open air. In 1752 they leased ground and erected a small place of worship, but with the exception of a few months in the year 1760, they were until the year 1767 under the pastoral care of the Rev. Mr. Muckersie of Kinkell, and upon his ministrations James attended regularly, and always spoke of him in terms of the highest regard. “It was a gratifying sight" says Mr. Gilfillan, “to those who can enjoy such a spectacle, to see James and his wife going all the way from Loch Earne to Kinkell, about eighteen English miles, almost every Sabbath in summer, and they were commonly at the place of worship by nine o’clock in the morning. James used to wrap himself up in his Highland plaid, and going into the church in winter or to a small grove near it in summer, he slept two hours, that he might not after his long walk be overcome with drowsiness during the services, and then rose to hear the word, which he always did with great eagerness and seldom without tears.” In the year 1767 the Rev. Mr. Barlas was ordained minister of Crieff and Comrie, preaching one fourth of Iris time at Comrie and three-fourths of his time at Crieff; and in his old age he had the pleasure of enjoying the services of a pastor in Comrie, the late Rev. Samuel Gilfillan, who was ordained there in 1791.

The following notice of his life and character are principally from Mr. Gilfillan’s sketch. he was a person of great integrity of mind and primitive simplicity of manners. His name among some ministers of his acquaintance was Nathaniel. He was much given to the exercise of prayer. “The woods on the side of Loch Earne, if they could speak, would testify how often he wrestled with God for his church, and especially for this benighted part of the country.” The late Dr. Jarment of London, visiting Comrie, requested a grand-daughter to take him to the house where James lived. She did so. Only two stones were left. He sat down on one of them, and gave expression to his thoughts in the remark, “If these stones could speak, how many prayers could they tell of, that had been put up within those walls by that good old man!”

He was remarkable for his reverence for the Sabbath. On that day he had family worship three times. On going and returning from church he was always engaged in religious conversation, and was disliked by many on that account. Not unfrequently it might be heard said, “Here comes that great Sceeder, we canna get a word said.” His warnings to the young also were faithful and affectionate. “Children,” he would say, “attend the Kirk when ye’re young. I found it easier to go to Kinkell when I was young, than I do now to go to Comrie.”

He was however particularly distinguished by his earnest desire for the spreading of the gospel, and, though occupying an humble sphere, he showed it by his personal exertions for the conversion of those around him. Many a dark night did he travel round the country with practical books, in order to read them to those who were careless and ignorant, and leaving them with them that they might peruse them at their leisure.

The Christian Magazine, then the principal religious periodical circulated in the Secession Church, he read with great avidity, particularly what concerned the progress of Christ’s kingdom. The tears rolled down his aged cheeks when he heard of the remarkable success, which attended the labours of the missionaries of the Secession in Orkney, and he lived long enough to hear that the Highlands of Scotland, about Moulin, had become the scene of the Redeemer’s power. The revival of religion which took place in that part of the country under the late Dr. Stewart, Mr. Gilfillan was accustomed to represent as an answer to his prayers.

Reserving an account of the closing scenes of his life for another part of the work, we here merely notice his family. Shortly after his return from the Lowlands he married. His wife’s name was Janet Dochart or McGregor. She was a native of Dunira, about half-way between Crieff and Comrie now the seat of the mansion of Sir D. Dundas. She was a woman of decided piety, and also one of a turn of mind which fitted her to be a help-meet for him. He was a man of so gentle a spirit, and so interested in spiritual matters, as almost to regard his worldly interests with carelessness. While industrious and regular in his labours, he was so free from anxiety for the things of this life, that had he not had one with the spirit of a Martha, to look after the affairs of his household, his worldly concerns might have gone into confusion. But he found in her not only one that feared God, but a clever manager, of active habits and thrifty care, who “looked well to the ways of her household, and ate not the bread of idleness.”

To them were born three sons and three daughters. The daughters were all married. Two of them died in Scotland, and the other in Canada. Two of them left families; some of their descendants still reside in their native parish, but the majority of them are either in Canada or the United States. They have generally been exemplary in their lives, and most of them of decided piety; some are filling stations of respectability and influence, and several even in humble life have been distinguished by remarkable intelligence. Of the song, two died in infancy, one from small-pox, the other from scalding, and the third was the subject of this memoir.


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