ページの画像
PDF
ePub

music was needed there. Every one sang as best he could, and truly it was a glorious concert. When the venerable Moderator, (Dr. Patterson) whose locks are silvered with age, rose and spread his hands to heaven, that whole Assembly, man, woman, and child, rose to their feet, and joined in supplication to the throne of grace.

After singing, prayer, and the reading of the minutes, the Moderator introduced to the meeting the Rev. Dr. Duff, from India. He looked like a man still in the prime of life, though he has so long stood a faithful watchman on the outposts of Zion. His speech was nearly three hours in length, and of thrilling eloquence. His subject was popery in India, and truly a deep, dark picture did he draw of that mystery of iniquity, as exhibited in its workings amongst the heathen. The peculiar facility with which it adapts itself to idolators, weaving the gross superstitions of Brahminism and Devil worship with the corrupt doctrines of the Church of Rome, becoming, in the lowest and most degraded sense, all things to all men. The whole speech was one of great power, and was listened to with breathless attention.

I felt an intense mental excitement on finding myself thus in the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland—as I looked around me, and saw Cunningham and Candlish, Guthrie and Gordon, Begg and Hamilton, and many others—the men who had sacrificed houses and lands for the sake of the gospel ; many of whom had left the manses in which their children were born, and where their own heads had become hoary, to depend on the voluntary contributions of a comparatively poor people—a people, too, who had been unused to give. But their confidence in a covenantkeeping God, and in the kirk-loving inhabitants of Scotland, was not misplaced ; for He who controls the wills of all men stirred up the hearts of a generous people, and they contributed as no other nation ever did before. Churches, and schools, and manses, sprang up in every direction, and they are free; no State shackle to enslave them, or civil courts to plunder them.

This is a beautiful city : the more I see of it, the more forcible this conclusion becomes. After visiting London, Paris, Dublin, and some other European cities, as well as the principal ones in the United States, I am satisfied that there is none that will compare with Edinburgh, in beauty, po

sition, intelligence, morality, and religion. Well may the stubborn Scot be proud of such a metropolis. Graceful beyond all other cities, she sits a queen upon her many hills. The old town, like a venerable mother grown gray with age, round. whose hoary piles is wreathed the highest historical interest; and beside her, like a maiden fair, sits the new town, with her broad avenues and regal squares, the noble offspring of so venerable a parent; while the old castle, standing a little at one side, seems proud to be the guardian of both. No other city can present so great an array of architectural beauty, rendered interesting by the pen of genius. Its literary character is stamped on all sides ; every block in Princess street seems to contain a bookstore, and some of them I think more than one. The people are intelligent, warmhearted, enthusiastic, and kind. A more delightful place in which to spend the eve of life could not well be imagined. Business is not driven with that intensity and on that high-pressure system so peculiar to our American cities. Though men have made fortunes, and some kinds of business are conducted on the largest scale, yet all is carried on in a manner becoming rational and im

mortal beings. The same is true of working men. Mechanics throughout the city work ten hours and a half on the first five days of the secular week, and they all quit work at half-past two on Saturday afternoon. The odd half hour of five days being carried to the credit of Saturday, they have thus an afternoon's leisure, without expense either to themselves or their employers. This practice, I think, is well worthy of imitation.

One afternoon I clambered up the steep hill overhanging the city, on the top of which is Arthur's Seat. The wind was blowing so strongly, it was with great difficulty that I could retain footing, as I pushed my way up its rugged side ; but once on the top, I was well repaid for my labor, by the magnificent panorama that lay before me. Part of eighteen counties can be seen from this elevated position. Immediately at my feet lay the city, with its princely dwellings, tall spires, and tasteful monuments; beyond it the Solway Frith, and still further on, the hills of Fife; behind lay Duddingston, with its pretty loch, in picturesque beauty ; at some distance to the right, and a little way out in the ocean, was the Bass Rock, celebrated as the place of confinement, in

persecuting times, of the holy men of God-men of " whom the world was not worthy.” To the left, the view was limited only by dim distance, and included Libberton, Morningside, Roslin, and other places of singular beauty. What is termed Arthur's Seat is a kind of little shelf, just large enough to sit upon, on the very highest point of the rock, where King Arthur (of round-table celebrity) is said to have sat, when his men were contending in battle with the enemy, in the valley below.

In almost every direction around Edinburgh are open parks or meadows, in which, without restriction, the citizens may stroll, affording the strongest temptations to the lover of nature to indulge his taste.

The next morning I rose at half-past five, and, in company with a friend, made a pilgrimage to the tomb of Dr. Chalmers. His remains lie in a cemetery, recently opened, called Mornington, a little way out of Edinburgh, and not far from Morningside, where he dwelt when living. His grave is near the wall. In the wall is placed immediately over the grave a plain tablet of stone, like the man, massive and simple, re

ar

« 前へ次へ »