Thursday, May 10, 2007

10 Great Scottish Chrstian Autobiographies. II.

4.Andrew Bonar (1810-1892), Diary and Life. Banner of Truth, Hardcover. £.10.50 from Free Presbyterian Bookroom
The Bonar brothers, Andrew and Horatius, stand as representatives of those men who left all in the Disruption of 1843 to follow Christ 'without the camp.' Both were men of prayer and devotion. Their writings are full of Christ. Andrew Bonar's diary betrays a heart devoted to Christ and zealous for the Gospel. He was a close friend and the biographer of Robert Murray M'Cheyne, and we see in him a model of a minister of Christ.

Our quotation comes from Bonar's diary on the day of the Disruption in 1843:
"We have passed a day which will be memorable in the world till the Lord come. [St. Andrews's Church] was crowded two or three hours before the time. At length the time arrived. The Moderator prayed very suitably and solemnly. Immediately thereafter he stated the peculiar circumstances under which we met, and that therefore this could not be considered a true Assembly. This done, he read the Protest in his own name and in the name of those that adhered. He then withdrew slowly, bowing to the commissioner, and walked up the passage with much firmness and calmnness, followed by Dr. Chalmers and Dr. Gordon, and by all on that side. Deep silence followed. In the street occasional cheers, but all seemed solemnized also. Some wept, none scorned. A line of people all the way to Canonmills. Solemn meeting there. I forgot too much at the time that the eye of Christ was upon us. He was smiling and saying: 'I know thy works.' I was too much occupied with thinking upon the impression this would produce upon the people. Yet I was able to pray a great deal." (pp 103-4)

5. Autobiography of John G. Paton (1824-1907) Free Presbyterian Bookroom
John G. Paton, minister of the Gospel and missionary to the New Hebrides, was a son of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland. Brought up amid the best of Scottish piety, he was moved by the Holy Spirit to preach Christ where He was not known. In his autobiography he shows us how happy those are who have Christian parents and are brought up in a real Christian home that is full of the joy that the world cannot intermeddle with. Paton also tells us the real dangers of missionary work, the hardships, the heartbreak and the trials. This is no romantic account, but a story of sufferings for Christ, and triumphs that were hard won.
Our quotation is a description of the Lord's Day evenings of Paton's childhood.
"Oh, I can remember those happy Sabbath evenings; no blinds down, and shutters up, to keep out the sun from us, as some scandalously affirm; but a holy, happy, entirely human day, for a Christian father, mother, and children to spend. How my father would parade across and across our flag-floor, telling over the substance of the day's sermons to our dear mother, who, because of the great distance and because of her many living 'encumbrances,'got very seldom indeed to the church, but gladly embraced every chance, when there was prospect or promise of a 'lift' from some friendly gig! How he would entice us to help him to recall some idea or other, praising us when we got the length of 'taking notes' and reading them over on our return; how he would turn the talk ever so naturally to some Bible story or some Martyr reminiscence, or some happy allusion to the 'Pilgrim's Progress'! And then it was quite a contest, which of us would get reading aloud, while all the rest listened, and father added here and there a happy thought, or illustration, or anecdote." (Pp. 16-17

God willing, next time we shall carry the list further towards the present day.



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