Thomas Carlyle.

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prayer? Are not the words you use in prayer often
a mere form in your mouth? Do they not often
oompletdy overshoot your feeling? Perhaps they
express what you once felt, but do they not often
express a great deal more than you habitually feel ?
When the body is in good health, the appetites of
hunger and thirst return at the usual intervaL

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After liii daj*^ work the labouring man feels oppres-
sed with sleep. If our souls were in good health,
they too would feel an appetite for their portion of
spiritual food and rest This teaches ^^^Kt indiffer-
ence in prayer (and there is indifference in prayer,
when the desires of the heart do not keep pace with
the words of the mouth) is a bad sign. It is a sign
that things are not well with us. Suppose that for
sereral nights you could get no sleep, but lay tossing
firom side to side— that for several days you could
take no food; you would think there was something
wrong with you— you would think of sending for the
physician, and would be bemoaning you in a variety
of ways. Yet how little alarm do we feel, though
our coldness and indifference in prayer are as sure a
sign of a deranged spiritual state as the want of
sleep and the absence of our common i^petitei are of
a deranged state of the bodyl

There is yet another thing which should be noticed
about the state of feeling when engaged in prayer.
What has already been said refers to the want of feel-
Ihg— to indifference— to cold inactivity. Now about
an activity of mind which is as bad, if not worse than
a cold inactive dulness about spiritual concerns— a
restless activity of worldly and corrupt thoughts.
How often is the mind disturbed by such? What
an irruption!— whole legions of them often whirl
through the mind when one is engaged in prayer.
When you are speaking to GKxi with your lips, how
often is your heart speaking with the w<xid! You
are making arrangements about your games, plea-
sures, pursuits, holidays, and many other things. It
need scarce be said that this is not the manner in
which we should pray. We are not to pray with the
heart and the mouth speaking different and opposite
things; nor with the mind entertaining swaimsof vain,
wicked, and worldly thoughts; nor in cold indiffer-
ence and deadneSB. This is what is called formality
in prayer. When formality U present, the true
spirit of prayer is absent Formality and true spiri-
tual devotion cannot agree. They cannot endure
each other*8 company. When the one enters, ^
other is sure to depart '* If I regard evil in my
heart, the Lord will not hear me.**

We are to pray, having our minds deeply impressed
and overawed with a sense of the great majesty and
holiness of Gh>d, in whose presence we stand, and to
whom our prayers are addressed. When we pny,
we speak to God. We are to pray in faith. We
must be clearly persuaded that Ck>d, to whom we
pray, is the hearer and answerer of prayer, and that
he really knows all we stand in need of— and pos-
sesses, and is willing to bestow upon us, all those
things mentioned in Scripture, as the things we are
to pray for.

We are to pray insincerity; that is, really to derire
the things we pray for.

In prayer, we are to ask all that we ask in the
name and for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ It
is only through him that we can come to the Father.
It is only for Christ*8 work sake that the Father will
hear us, and bestow anything upon us.

You will observe, that the things spoken of in the
above pages are these: What is prayer? To whom

are we to pray? What things are we to ask when we
pray? How are we to pray? Several other thing*
should have been noticed. Want of room at present
hinders; but another opportunity may occur.



In the silent midnight watches.

List— thy bosom door.
How it knocketh, knocketh, knocketh^

Knocketh evermore !
Say not *tis thy pulses beating :

*Tis thy heart for sin :
*Tis thy Saviour knocks and crieth.

Rise, and let me in !

Death comes down with reckless footstep

To the hall and hut;
Think you Death will tarry knocking

Where the door is shut ?
Jesus waiteth, waiteth, waiteth;

But the door is fast :
Grieved, away the Saviour goeth;

Death breiJLs in at last

Then isH time to stand entreating

Christ to let thee in;
At the gate of heaven beating,

Wailing for thy sin ?
Nay, alas ! thou guilty creature,

Hast thou then forgot ?
Hast thou waited long to know thee f

Now he knows thee not !



This eminent servant of Christ, who has just
been taken away in the midst of his years and
usefuhiess, was bom at Stirling on the 12th ot
August 1782. His paternal ancestors, for at
least three generations, were clergymen. His
grandfather and ereat-grandfather were both
ministers of the Estabushed Chnrch of Scot-
land. The former, who was ordained to the
chai^ of the parish of Kingoldram, in Forfar-
shire, in the early part otiast century, finished
his course at the age of forty-nine, in the year
1731, just before the origin of the United Se-
cession Church. An account of his death-bed
experience is, it seems, preserved among his
descendants, from which it appears that in his
dying hours he felt great anxiety lest after hia
departure his flock should be intrusted to the
care of an unfaithful pastor — an apprehension
far from groundless in those times. John
Heuffh, the younger son of this good man, dup-
ing me course of his studies, considered it his
duty to connect himself with the party who
had recently seceded from the National Qinrch.

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On the division which took! place among the
I SeoederSy respecting the lawf ohieas of swearing
{the hnrpfess oath, Mr. Heu^ took part with
the section who deemed the oath inconsistent
I with the Secession testimony, and after officiat-
ing for some time as tutor in logic and meta-
physics at Abemethj, where me Secession
Divinity Hall then met^ he was ordained to the
charffe of the Ajiti-Borgher congregation in
Stirhng. For fifty-six years he discharged the
duties of the pastoral office in this place in a
manner which secured to him not only the
affection of his congregation, but the esteem of
all classes and denominations in Stirling and
its vicinity.

Dr. Heugh was the youngest but one of the
ten childr^ of this devoted and successful
minister of the GospeL Hii grammar-school
education was conducted under the care of that
celebrated scholar, Dr. David Doig, by whom
he was imbued with an accurate and extensive
knowledge of Roman literature — an advantage
by no means generally to be obtained at tluit
time in Scottish schools. At what period Dr.
Hough's mind was brought under the saving
influence of Divine truth is not known ; but
there can be no doubt that he ''early" sought
and found an interest in the Saviour. la the
opinion of those who had good opportunities of
forming an accurate judgment on the subject^
he was decidedly pious l^fore he entered col-
lege. This event took place in 1797, when he
hiul reached the age of fifteen. His academical
career was eminently successful, and drew
forth the marked approbation of Dr. Finlayson,
who then filled the chair of logic in the Uni-
versity of Edinburgh. In the autumn of 1799,
he entered the IMvinity Hall in connection
with the (jeneral Associate Synod, which was
at that time under the superintendence of
Professor Bruce of Whitburn. In the vear
1804, he was licensed to preach the Grospel by
the Presbytery of Stirling. The acceptability
of his services as a preacher obtained for him
three calls — one of which was from the congre-
gation of Stirling, to be colleague to his aged
&ther. To this call the Synod gave the pre-
ference and on the 14th of August 1806, his
^ordination took place — an event which his
venerable father survived for four years. For
the spoce of fifteen years, Dr. Heugh laboured
in Stiriing with remarkable fidelity and suc-
cess. Under his care the congregation was, in
every sense of the word, prosperous; and he
established for himself a high standing, not
' only in the denomination to which he belonged,
but in the community at large.

His distinguished reputation, as an able and
successful minister, attracted the attention of
the newly-formed congregation of Regent
Place, Glasgow, and repeated but unsuccess-
ful attempts were made by them to obtain
his settlement among them as their minister.
After the union ^ the two bodies of Se-

ceders, they repeated their invitation, which
on this occasion, however, had to compete
with a call from the congregation of Nicol-
son Street, Edinburgh, who were equally
anxious to obtain him as a colleague to their
distinguished pastor, the Rev. Dr. Jamiesoiu
The Synod, at its meeting in September 1821,

five thej preference to the call from Regent
lace; and Dr. Heugh was accordingly in-
ducted to the pastoral charge of that congrega-
tion on the 9th of October following. This
event, it is well known, was a very painful
trial to Dr. Heugh. The attachment between
him and his congregation was of no ordinary
kind, and their separation was therefore felt
with peculiar severity. He has been known to
say, that this event cost him the greatest
struggle he should have to encounter till that
whidi should terminate all his labours on earth,
and carry him into the presence of his Lord.
The result, however, has abundantly shown the
wisdom of the Synod's decision. The oppor-
tunities of usefulness which he enjoyed among
the dense and spirited population of Glasgow
were necessarily both numerous and important,
and he set himself, with all the zeal and un-
conquerable eneigy which characterized him,
to employ all the means in his power of doing
good. ^ He made it plain from the beginning,
that he was expecting great things by attempt-
ing great things. His first object was to ' ap-
prove himself as a minister of God* to 'the flock
over which the Holy Ghost had made him
overseer ' — to make hunself useful to them, and
by them useful to others. He understood well
that the foundation of extended useful influ-
ence in a Christian minister must be laid in a
diligent, conscientious discharge of pastoral
duty. He had no idea of maong * the care
of all the Churches,' which few men ever felt
more strongly, an excuse for diminishing, in
the slightest degree, his care for his own flock.
He kept his own vineyard well, and thought
rightly that this was the first step towards his
h&ng influential in having other men's vine-
yards well kept.*** ,|

His congregation is the best monument of ,
his pastoral Udents and diligence. He was,
their first minister, and throughout the whole ,
of the quarter of a century durine which they j
enjoyed the inestimable b^efit of his ministra- ^
tions, they continued to be one of the most ,
flourishing congr^fations in Glasgow, whether ,
as respects numW, respectability, or useful- 1
ness. From the first they took a lead in the |
liberality of their contributions; their ** praise
in the Gospel is in all the Churches, and by
their zeal they have provoked very many." |

The hibours of Dr. Heugh, however, were
not confined to his congregation: the wdfiure
of the Church universal hj near his heart He
possessed highly effective talents as a contro-
versialist, both on the platform and through
. * Funenl Sctidod, bj Dr. Brown, p. 7?.

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the press; ftnd bk candour and &ini688 ib ad-
Yocating his own views were odmhted ^en
by those who most strongly disapproved of his
sentimoits. His public spirit and expansiye
beniBYolenoe caused him to take a deep interest
in every sdieme calculated to piromcte the
prosperity of the Church and the wdftu^ of
his fellow-men. As a public-spirited citizen,
an enlightened philanthropist, a liberal patriot
a catholic Christian, ,and an ardent advocate
and generous supporter of missionary enter-
prise, he had few equals— certainly no supe-
rior. "Whatever seemed cakulated to ad-
vance the interests of education and of piety,
to rais^ the standard of morals, to check the
prevalence of iniquity, and diminish the mass
of human depravity and wretchedness— what-
ever sought by scriptural means to enlighten
and convert the ignorant, to enlarge the boun-
daries of the Church, and to subject the nations
to Uie benignant rule of her King, by subduing
them to the obedience of ffdth, round in him a
willing, an able, an eloquent, ftnd an untiring

Among the members of that Church which
his virtues adorned, his practical Sagacity, dis-
interestedness, and spotless integrity, gave him
Ml influence probably not equalled, coiainly
not surpassed, by that of any Of his brethren.
This was very strikingly manifested during the
recent controversy respecting the extent of the
atonement; and all parties have freely at^oiow-
ledged that his exertions were, under the Divine
blessing, mainly instrumental in saving the
Secession Church from shipwreck in that stormy
sea of doctrinal discussion, and without sacri-
fice of principle, and with the least possible loss
of members, securing the integrity, purity, and
peace of the body.

Dr. Hough's constitution was naturally ro-
bust, and amidst all his abundant labours he
enjoyed the blessing of uninterrupted good
health; but it was evident that the incessant
toil which he underwent must in the end wear
out the most vigorous frame. His health began
at length to give way, and by medical advice he
suspended for a time his pnbUc labours, and
spent part of the summer of 1843 in G«Bev%
where, with his characteristic activity, he em-
ployed himself in collecting materials for his
chief work, ^'The State of Religion in Belgium
and Geneva,*' which was pubUihed soon after
his return. This temporary relaxation was
productive of the most beneficial effects; but
the intimations of coming infirmity returned,
and continued to increase. With his usual
foresight, he perceived that the undivided diarge
of so large a congregation had become too heavy
for him long before this had become apparent
to his people themselves, and at his own re-
peated suggestion, steps were taken to secure
the services of a coUeagne, which were at
length crowned with success, in the settlement
of Mr. Taylor of St. Andrews (now Dr. Tay-

lor) aB Dr. Hengh^ ^associate bi the pastoral
office. -In this choice. Dr. Heugh 40061 ^oonli*
fidly ^onoorred. He presided on the day of his
^^i^leagne'^ uid«c4io%atid intredueed him lothe
^coDgregation on the succeeding 49abbath. TUa^
lioweTer, was all but his last public servioe.
He appeared ki the pulpit enly once mori^-^-Mi
the adnainistration of the Lord's supper in April
-^-and on that eecanon ad di e ased fa& peoplrto
the last time.

His health had for some monte been dedUto-
ing, and frx>m this period he n^dly lost streufftlu
•It WW while in this state of indi^osition Siat
an infiunons attack was made upon Dr. HeughSi
character by a young minister of his own de-
neminatitti, who has -sinee, by a unanimmis
vote of the Synod, been out off from Uie fellow- ;
ship of the CSiurch. Dr. Heugfa's conduct onder ;
this attadc, which called ibrth the indignant;
reprobation of all classes of the community, wv
in strict aooordance with his own high ohsmo- {
ter, and with the laws of C^irist. His mind
was kept in ^perfect peace" throughout the
whole of this ** fiery trial;" and we are grati-
fied to learn that on the termination of the
business by the sentence of the ecclesiastical
court, he seems entirely to have banished it from
his thoughts, and that, even amid the wandmv
ings of ms mind towards the close of his sof-
feriogs, while he spoke occasionally of afanoat
everything which interested him, the aUusien to
it never esc2^>ed his lips. In the very peculiar
circumstances of the case, the Synod unani-
mously agreed that an address ^ould be sent
to Dr. Hough, expressive of their tender gym'
pathy with him in his afflictions. A strong ex-
presstcm of similar sentiments and feelings was
madeby hi8own[omigregation, andby theeeasions
of various other congregations. With these tes-
timonies of esteem and kindness he was ittuoh
affected; and on a near relative asking him if
he should, in acknowledging them, say he was
gratified by their kind attention, he replied
<* No, no ! don't say that; say I am very ^f«ifi^
for it."

The following entry in his diary, the first
after this painful afiair was begun and ended,
gives a most interesting view of the state of
Dr. Hough's mind under this trial : ^ May 9. —
Long blank, owing to long illness. MtHsh to
notice of the Lord s goodness, but cannot now.
Hope the Lord has ^en with me, has cordially
reconciled no to his modes of deahng with me,
and has often blessed me with peace In b^OT-
ing — in believing in his own Son ae my Saviovr,
nttde mito me wisdom, &c. — in believing the
marvellous love otQod in Christ — in believing
that Qod will fulfil, for Christ's sake, the pro-
mises of his covenant — Ps. xxiii. i^oogh t"

His death-bed experience was in all respects
worthy of his character, and beantifbUy in har-
mony with his eminently holy life. On the
Idth of May a medical consultation was held
respecting his caeo; and at that date there is

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the following entry in his diary, the last he ever
made : ** Felt excited, hnt I hope trnstful. My
powers of body fail daily; bnt I have cood hope
through grace. Have been considering death
as going to church — to the Church of the first-
born in heaven. But what a Church 1 The
house of Grod where he is gloriously manifested.
What a minister in that upper sanctuary ! What
a pure, happy, glorious assembly 1 May my
family and flock lay hold on eternal life, by re-
ceiving Him in whom it is, and we shall have
a happy meeting there V*

In a letter directed by him to the Rev. Dr.
Harper, dated a week later, he says: ** My very
dear friend, — I am in no condition to reply to
your letter which I received on Friday lost, or
to the unexpected, unmerited one from the
8ynod, which it enclosed, both of them so
replete with Christian sympathy and love.
The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh
is weak.' Should it please the Lord to restore
me to any measure of strength, I shall endea-
vour to reply more suitably to both. I have
been overwhelmed almost with expressions of
human kindness, and I hope I have not been a
stranger to the visitations of the Divine favour.
The Lord has commanded his loving kindness
in the day-time, and in the night his songs have
been with me.**

At the same time, in reply to a communica-
tion from his long-tried friend Dr. Brown, he
says : *' I thank you for the book, but especially
for the parchment. We have infinite plenty
to trust to, if we would but trust; yet I do hope
that I place my confidence in the great fonndeb-
tion Christ Jesus, made of God unto us wisdom,
and rip^hteonsness, and sanctification, and re-
demption, and on the immutable promises of
God in him. I account it, as you do, a soul-
establishing truth, that God wUl be infinitely
glorified to all eternity in saving any sinner
who believes in Jesus.**

On his death-bed he often referred to his
prospects in the view of dying, not only with
perfect composure, but even with cheerfulness.
** I have not even disquietude," he said, ** not to
speak of fear, at the near approach of death.
He has undertaken the work for me, and will
perform it." On Sabbath, Slst May, ten days
before his death, he said : ** One should not be in
jthe least afraid to die; if he believes Christ, it
jshould not even be a painful thing. It is like
; going to church for ever, to come no more back
, to working days, and to eigoy the company of the
i iust made perfect, and of God himself. Perhaps,"
I he added, '* to use a modem figure, the passage
is a little dark — a kind of tunnel; but it is soon
passed, and we are ture of what is beyond."

A few days later, he said, ** My case is not
bevond the Divine power; but I am disposed to
thmk it is beyond Divine practice, and, if so,
I am ready, and joy to depart and be with
Jesus, which is far better." And again, while
in a state of great weakness: ^ I am always

able to remember and believe he has said,
'Though I walk through the valley of the
shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for He b
with me.* He has said it, and he wiU do it. I
can trust him for that, and for all else, seeing
he has given himself for me.*' When asked
by the medical attendant how his mind was —
it it was clear, or if it wandered, he said : ** It
is so fatigued that I cannot well follow any
particular train of thought; but my mind rests
constantly on the general scriptural truth,
and so resting is wiUing that whatever God*s
will is with me should come .to pass."

On the 7th of June, the last Sabbath he
spent on earth, he said: ** The ground of my
peace b not myself, nor anything about myself,
but entirely Jesus and his sure promise to
me.*' In a little, he added: ^ There b no
peace but in him, but in him b great peace.'*
He said also: ** I desire to suffer whatever b
allotted to me, but I think it will not be more
than two or three days ere I see Jesus." On
the evening of the same day, he said: ^ Oh ! I
have been so wondrously exempt from triab
and loaded with mercies! every day might
have brought evil — ^merited evil — but it never
came." He repeatedly dwelt on the sin of
unbelief. ** There b nothing," said he, ** I feel
more than the criminality of not trusting
Christ without doubt — without doubt. O to
think what Christ is, what he did, and whom
he did it for, and then not to believe him — not
to trust him I There b no wickedness like
the wickedness of unbelief ! "

On Tuesday evening, June 9th, two or three
hours before hb death, he dwelt with much
relish on the thought of committing all to
Christ. On being asked if thb was hb last
message, he said,^ Yes, my last message; but
I cannot now distinguidi and enlarge. If yon
had a thousand soub, commit them all to
Christ" "Now," he added, after a pause,
«that b a relief." On being asked, if it was a
relief to be able to say these things. " Tes,"
he instantly replied, ** and to do them." After
a short time, he repeated, speaking with the
utmost difficulty, but with great solemnity,
and with all the energy he could command,
" We must have our loms girt, and our lights
burning, and be like those who wait for the
coming of their Lord." He repeated four times,
** Whosoever believeth on him ihidl not perish,
but have everlasting life." ** Thb b the whole
GospeL It b a terrible thing to overlook the
Gospel by stinting it. It b a terrible thing to
stint the Grospel. It must neither be divided
nor contracted." Hb last words were in re-
ference to the prospect of meeting in heaven
those dear to him whom he was leaving behind
him on earth. ** And having said this, he fell

•* Sure the ImC end

Of the good man is peace; how cehn hk csiL
Night dews Call not more gently to the nonndb
Kor weary worn-out winds eipirt io toft !**

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* Mark the perfect mtn, and behold the up-
right: , for the end of that man is peace."

We may oondvde our brief wetch of this
illustrious man of Grod with the words of his
c<dleiigue^ to the troth of which all who knew
Dr. fifoogh wiU readily bear witness: ** He was
'a good man, full of the Holy Ghost and of faith/
of enlightened uid fervent piety, of spotless
integrity and hoagur; a safe counseller, distin-
guished not mom by praotioal wisdom in coun-
sel, than by power and promptitude in action;
sa^EMBious in forming his schemes, and indefati-
gable in carrying them inte elfect; a sound
diyine, 'in doctrine showing uncorruptness,
gravity, sincerity;!' an earnest and impressiTO
preacher, ridlf ul in * rightly dividing the word
of truth;* a devoted, ail^tionate^and eminently
successful pastor; * in labours most abundant,'
in the pulpit, and from house to house; instant
in season and out of season ' doing good;' the
liberal and eloquent supporter of every good
cause; ' a pattern ' in all Iub domestic and social
relations; an open, hearty, generous, and most
trustworthy friend, tenderly weaving with those
who wept, and cordially rejoicing with those
who rejoiced; a Chriatian gentleman, of simple,
unaffected, ^ elwant and dignified manners;

Online LibraryThomas CarlyleThe Christian treasury, Volume 2 → online text (page 76 of 145)