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Times of Retirement

Times of Retirement

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Published by glennpease

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Published by: glennpease on Aug 01, 2013
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TIMES OF RETIREMETBY THE REV. GEORGE MATHESO, D. D.Copyright 1901BY FLEMIG H. REVELL COMPAYPrefaceAT the request of many I have collectedthese fugitive devotional pieces whichat stray moments I have been con-tributing to an organ of the Church of Scotland — " Saint Andrew." They have been the diver-sion from sustained work, and in no other lightdo I offer them. Yet there are some who can-not study sustained work; they have not leisureenough or they have not health enough. Forsuch, truth must; come/'4u a; moment, in thetwinkling of. an eye." Any one of these med-itations can be rea^, in three minutes; yet threeminutes may in^j^r^ce a whole day. Accord-ingly, I have consented lo give them collectiveform. They will not all appeal equally to everymood of mind. Where one does not appeal,lay it aside, but do not throw it away; what isnot your message to-day may be your messageto-morrow. It is often said that devotion is athing of the heart. I do not think it is either56 PREFACEmerely or mainly so. I hold that all emotionis based upon intellectual conviction. Even
your sense of natural beauty is so based.Whence comes that joy with which you gazeon a bit of landscape you call " a picture-scene " ? Precisely from your intellectual con-viction that it is not a picture; if you believedit to be a painting, your emotion would diealtogether. A man may have faith in what hedoes not understand, but he cannot have emo-tion in what he does not understand. Theheart must have a theory for its own music.Therefore the devotional writer must have amessage as much as the expositor. Devotionmust be the child. "Of; "refl^ctiow^* itjixiiy rise onwings, but they itiiist ' be 'tji^e .wings of thought.The meditations of thisdittl'ififook Will appeal tothe instinct of prater 'J itsi'jiilpj^ojptortion as theyappeal to the teachings of experience; there-fore, before all things, I have endeavoured tobase the feelings of the heart on the conclusionsof the mind.G. M.Edinburgh, 1901.Rev. George Matheson, D,D.*A Biographical Sketch by the Rev. D. MacMillan,M.A., Editor of *' Saint Andrew."GEORGE MATHESO was born justa year before the great Disruptiontook place in that Church which hewas afterwards destined to adorn; and thoughthe period from then till now is as historiansmeasure time comparatively brief, a changehas come over the face of ecclesiastical Scot-land which is as striking as it is hopeful.
1843 saw the formation of the Free Churchthrough secession from the Church of Scot-land, and 1900 saw the creation of the UnitedFree Church by a union of the Free and UnitedPresbyterian Churches. The larger visibleunion which some dream of, may be in the dis-tant future; still, a kindlier spirit prevails, and♦ Prepared at the special request of the publishers.78 GEORGE MATHESOa recognition of the invisible bonds whichmake all Christians one, may be declared to bethe chief religious feature of the time. Sofar Dr. Matheson has not lived in vain, forthough seldom if ever taking part in the pro-ceedings of Church courts, or enacting in anyv^ay the role of the ecclesiastic, he has everstriven to discover those deeper springs of religious thought and feeling which are com-mon to all and which explain and reconcile theoutward differences. It is the Christianthinker who sows the seeds of those move-ments which in due time take visible shape inthe Church; and within recent years no one byvoice or pen has done more than has the sub- ject of the present memoir to discover thoseelements of the spiritual life which lie beneathcreeds and forms of church government, andwhich make all believing hearts one.Dr. Matheson was born in Glasgow onMarch 2y, 1842. He was fortunate in hisplace of birth. There is no city in the UnitedKingdom, probably no city in the Empire,which during the Victorian era made suchrapid strides as Glasgow. The enterprise of 

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