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ligion in the history of their forefathers, and so teaches them what they ought to be now. And he has furnished the public with a history, not merely of Presbyterianism, but of Ireland, for the period of which he treats. We were pained, indeed, to find it necessary to detail so much of this world's politics in a history of the church; but the connexion of these two was so intimate, and their dependence upon one another so great, that we do not see how it could be avoided. We will say nothing of the labour, the unwearied diligence, and the great expense, which we happen to know Dr. Reid bestowed upon this work, farther than to state, if the public do not consider and reward his toil, it will be another proof, added to many, that there is little of public generosity or gratitude in the land. For his own sake, and the sake of his family, every Presbyterian who has the means should possess himself of a copy of this work, and he should do so also, that its worthy author may be enabled and encouraged to persevere in the honourable and useful career on which he has set out.
And what should be the reflections of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland on the perusal of such a work as this! On the one hand they are impressively taught the lesson,"trust not in princes, nor in man's son ;" and upon the other, "enquire of the former age, and prepare thyself to the search of their fathers-shall not they teach thee, and tell thee, and utter words out of their heart?" The history of their fathers should deeply humble them. Well may they say, "how are the mighty fallen!" And who or what are we when compared with the men of the former generation! We are their inferiors in all that is great and good-in knowledge and zeal, literature and religion, prayer and preaching. We have laid ourselves open to the rebuke of Jehovah by the prophet, "I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed; how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?" The present age is an improvement on that which it has immediately succeeded; but compared with that of which we have been treating, it is superficial, weak, and childish. Let us address ourselves to the imitation of our forefathers-their profound erudition, their deep piety, their burning zeal, their undaunted fortitude, and their unwearied labouring. What zeal for the doctrines of the Gospel and the discipline of the church! What self-denial and disinterestedness in the prosecution of their heavenly calling! What "work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope!" "They counted not their lives dear unto them, that they
might finish their course with joy, and the ministry which they had received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God." Being dead, they now speak to us in the pages of our friend and brother. "He that hath an ear, let
him hear what is thus said unto the churches. "REMEMBER FROM WHENCE THOU ART FALLEN, AND REPENT AND DO THE FIRST WORKS."
ORDINATION OF THE REV. W. GIBSON, AT BALLYBAY.
[We insert the following lengthened account of this ordination, partly because of the esteem and affection we bear to Mr. Gibson-more so, because of its own importance, especially the addresses delivered by Mr. Gibson and Mr. Brown; and above all, because we wish to submit to the Presbyterian public and record in our pages an example of the entire services of an ordination day being so conducted, as to be in harmony with its important business, and calculated to promote edification. It is right to add, that in consequence of the length of this Article, we have added twelve pages to the present Number; and that the additional expense has been liberally contributed by Mr. Gibson's congregation.-EDIT.]
On Wednesday, the 1st January, the Ballybay Committee of the General Synod of Ulster ordained the Rev, William Gibson to the pastoral charge of the First Presbyterian congregation of that place. The Rev. Dr. Cooke commenced the services of the day, by a discourse from John xiv. 16, 17, in which the doctrine of the personality of the Spirit, and his inhabitation in the hearts of all believers, were exhibited with much eloquence, originality, and power. The Rev. R. Stewart, of Broughshane, followed, and gave an able exposition of the polity of the Presbyterian Church; and after the act of ordination, by prayer and laying on of the hands of the Presbytery, the Rev. Robert Park, of Ballymoney, concluded by an excellent address to minister and people, urging, with much earnestness, upon both the relative duties and responsibilities connected with the relation then formed between them. After the public services of the day had terminated, the Synod's Committee and the other clergymen present were entertained at dinner by the members of the congregation,-Samuel Cunningham, Esq. of Crieve, in the chair. It having been previously concerted, that the proceedings of the evening should be conducted with a view to edification, the chair
man stated that a number of subjects, bearing principally on the state and prospects of the church, had been selected, which he had been instructed to propose, in the expectation that they would be hailed as seasonable topics of address by the ministers then assembled. The public services which they had just witnessed had been. peculiarly solemn, and had made a deep impression upon all; and he hoped the present meeting would be regarded rather as an adjournment of the preceding, than as affording an occasion for mere sensual gratification or convivi. ality. The first topic that he should propose, as connected with the immediate object of the present meeting was, "The Moderator and the General Synod of Ulster;" after which, the Rev. John Brown, the ex-moderator, said: We have great reason to be grateful, Sir, for the high ground which the Synod of Ulster at present occupies, and for the great things which have been wrought for us in our own day. Presbyterianism, when first planted in Ulster by the zeal and labours of our pious forefathers, had many difficulties to contend with, and many storms of persecution to endure; but by the divine blessing which has been shed upon it as the dew, the small seed has become a mighty tree, and ere long, I doubt not, it will shake like the cedars of Lebanon. Much jealousy that was wont to exist against us, has been done away-the value of Presbyterian principles begins to be appreciated. -landed proprietors regard it as their truest interest to lend us every assistance for the erection of houses, of worship; and such is the progress of the good cause, that, though no visionary, I anticipate that many years will not have elapsed, till the number of our ministers will be doubled in the province to which we belong. Our church, after many defections, has returned to her first love,, and rallied round her ancient standards; and I trust that the day is approaching when she will be instrumental in diffusing, in the true spirit of missionary enterprise, the blessings of Christian knowledge over many of the benighted portions of the land. Let us remember, however, that Presbyterianism, with all its advantages, is nothing, unless it be made the vehicle of enriching the world with divine truth; and that the ecclesiastical machinery of the system will have been set up in vain, unless it be the means in the hand of God, of turning many to righteousness.
The Chairman again rose and said :-The sentiment I
have now to propose, will, I have no doubt, be met with the kindest reception from every individual present, but especially from the members of the First Presbyterian congregation of Ballybay. I feel that any observations I might offer are altogether unnecessary for the purpose of stimulating the happy and harmonious feeling that already exists between our lately elected pastor and people of his charge. I cannot, indeed, refer to any former period when so earnest a desire prevailed amongst us to render to our minister that support and encouragement so necessary to support him in his arduous but most honourable station. On looking back upon the past, there are many recollections that must present themselves in connexion with our congregational proceedings, to which, however, I shall not refer, for I hope it is the universal feeling, that they should be buried in oblivion. Our business is more immediately with the present and the future. We are now arrived at a new era in our history, as a Christian society; we are about to commence, as it were, on a new foundation, and have we not great encouragement to go onward and to persevere. May we not humbly hope, that Providence has looked favourably upon our exertions; and have we not an instance of what may be effected by united effort, when actuated by disinterested motives and honesty of intention; inasmuch as with the aid afforded us, we have maintained our privileges as Presbyterians, and been permitted to elect unanimously the minister of our choice? Believing that the settlement of Mr. among us will promote a revival of religion in our congregation, elevate the character of the Presbyterian Church throughout the district, and shed a salutary influence upon society at large, it is with feelings of peculiar pleasure that I propose "The Rev. William Gibson, and the First Presbyterian Congregation of Ballybay."
Mr. Gibson then spoke as follows:
After the solemnity which we have all this day witnessed, and in which some of us have borne a part, it might perhaps have been more congenial to my feelings to have sought out some place of retirement, where solitude and silence would have conspired to cherish sober meditation. For truly, Sir, it is an era in the history of an individual, and worthy of his most serious and prayerful thought, when in the name of the Great Head of the Church, and by the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery, he is or
dained a Minister of the everlasting Gospel. Then it is, that for the first he is invested with the office of a watchman on the walls of Zion: and then it is, that voluntarily, and in a public manner, he undertakes the tremendous responsibility of becoming the ambassador of Him, whose commission to his servants runs in this wise, “hear instruction at my mouth, and warn the people from me." Considering these things, it is not to be wondered at that any one occupying the situation in which I now stand, should rather seek to withdraw from the public gaze, than mingle in the convivial assembly. But, knowing as I do, that our meeting here on this occasion will be so conducted as to harmonize with the previous proceedings of the day, and being convinced that, under your management and the superintendence of our other friends by whom you are supported, every thing will be done "decently and in order," I cannot but congratulate myself and you, that we are all met together round the same table, to celebrate that union which has this day been solemnly, and let us hope, inviolably sealed. And now that I have been set apart to the work of the ministry among you, you will believe me when I say, that though I enter upon it under a painful sense of imperfection, yet this conscious inability on my part is not altogether without its alleviations. For, not to speak of the unanimity by which the entire proceeding, in reference to myself, has all along been characterized, it is a ground of encouragement that my lot has been cast among a people, some of whom, I would fain hope, will sympathize with me in the prosecution of the arduous work to which I have been called. It is certainly a cheering and a comfortable thought to any minister of Christ, especially to one who has neither the benefit of age or experience, that when engaged in fighting the good fight of faith in the church militant, he will not be left unaided and alone, but that in the day of danger there will be those among his people who will throw the shield of their protection over him, and, if need be, will stand by him to the last, till he has encountered every difficulty, and surmounted every opposition. With this encouragement, the weakest may do valiantly in battle-without it, even the stoutest and bravest heart must quail, and the strongest hand that ever drew the blade of ethereal temper, must be comparatively -powerless and inefficient.-While, therefore, I would not