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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 459 ability and fidelity of his pulpit ministrations, and beloved for the unwearied diligence and affection with which he has devoted himself to the private and domestic. exercises of his pastoral functions. By his parochial and congregational visitations-by his stated catechetical and devotional meetings with the young, and with the adults of his flock, as well as by his wise and zealous attention to the interests of intellectual and moral education in his parish-he showed himself ‘‘ a workman that needeth not to be ashamed.” Besides these administrations, he took a leading interest in most of the moral and religious benevolent institutions in Edinburgh, and gave much time and labour in the promotion of the important objects embraced in the Four Great Schemes of the Church of Scotland, as well as in the furtherance of many other institutions of kindred design, of various Christian denominations, which aim, by missionary enterprise, and Bible diffusion, at the universal dissemination of the gospel. Mr. Grey was known as an elegant writer ; and it was not unusual to find selections from his compositions in the books of Collections and Extracts for English schools of his day. His diffidence, however, seldom permitted him to gratify his friends by the publication of those discourses which delighted them from the pulpit. The following is a list of his few occasional sermons, separately published :-“A sermon preached in St. George’s Church, 16th March 1815, in behalf of the Edinburgh Lunatic Asylum ”-“ The Diffusion of Christianity dependent on the exertions of Christians,” a sermon preached in Lady Glenorchy’s Chapel, 2d April 18 18, before the Edinburgh Missionary Society -“The Vail of Moses done away in Christ,” a sermon preached in Lady Glenorchy’s Chapel, 2d December 1819, at the baptism of Joseph Davis, a converted Jew--“ Man’s Judgment at variance with God’s,” a sermon preached in St. George’s Church, 5th February 1824, in behalf of the Edinburgh and Leith Seamen’s Friend Society. His earliest and latest publications are on the Two Sacraments of the Christian Church, Baptism and the Communion. While at Stenton, in 1811, Mr. Grey published “A Catechism on Baptism: in which are considered its Nature, its Subjects, and the Obligations resulting from it ;” a small manual distinguished for the clearness and accuracy of the theological statement, and the chasteness and precision of the language : it is well adapted for popular instruction, and was long in general use and high estimation. In 1832 he published a little volume on “The Duty and Desirableness of Frequent Communion with Christ in the Sacrament of the Supper, in three discourses,” preached in St. Mary’s, designed, more immediately, in exposition and illustration of those views on the more frequent dispensation of the Lord’s Supper generally entertained in his congregation ; but whose wishes, from certain difficulties thrown in the way by the Presbytery of Edinburgh and the General Assembly, have not been carried into effect. These latter sermons are fine specimens of Mr. Grey’s ordinary pulpit eloquence, and have been much esteemed for their various and characteristic merits. It is not necessary, in these slight notices, to make more than momentary reference to an incident in the history of Mr. Grey, which at one time bore
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460 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. most undue magnitude in public contemplation, and excited every variety of sentiment and feeling, but which has nom long passed away from general interest and view. We allude to the Apocrypha Controversy, and the much-deplored and unseemly contest on matters connected with that painful discussion, between Dr. Andrew Thomson and Mr. Henry Grey. Much misapprehension, grievous misrepresentation, prevailed, both on the subject matter of that controversy, and on the sentiments and conduct of the respective controversialists. It would be unwise and unwarrantable to revive the theme. “ One is taken and the other is left.” One hath long ceased from combat in the church militant on earth, where his services oftentimes were pre-eminent and invaluable, and left the world amidst innumerable and unfeigned regrets on his sudden and premature removal; and, in the recollection of his great and various excellences and achievements, every intermingling imperfection ought to be allowed to fade from remembrance. Aqd the other, meek and magnanimous in endurance, patient and diligent in tribulation, outliving every calumny, and stilling every reproach in peaceful and ceaseless devotedness to his sacred office, hath long emerged from the momentary obscuration hastily and prejudicially thrown over him, to dim the lustre of his genuine excellences ; and he walks in the sphere of his extensive usefulness, in the universal recognition and esteem of his professional talents and attainments, and in the especial reverence and love of his enlightened and affectionate people? From his earliest appearance in public life, Mr. Grey espoused the interests and policy of the popular (and now dominant) party of the Church of Scotland. His civil political predilections are equally well known. On the visit of Earl Grey to Edinburgh, in 1834, Mr. Grey was present at the Festival, on the 15th of September, in honour of the patriotic character and political services of this venerated nobleman, and officiated as chaplain on that memorable occasion. Earl Grey sojourned, while in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh, with Sir John Hamilton Dalrymple, Bart., at Oxenford Castle, and Mr. Grey was requested to preach in the parish church of Cranstoun on the following Sunday, which invitation he complied with, much to the expressed gratification of the venerable and illustrious statesman. In October 1808 hlr. Grey was married to his cousin, Miss Margaretta Grey, daughter of George Grey, Esq., of Sandy House, Northumberland-a lady of superior intellectual endowments, and various literary attainments. Their family consisted of three daughters and two sons : their eldest son, late of Cambridge University, joined the ministry of the Church of England. These remarks had reference to Mr. Grey while still alive. Having left the Establishment in 1843, at the time of the Disruption, he was appointed minister of Free St.-Mary‘s Church (then in Barony Street), and he died in 1859.
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