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Rev. Dr. MacDonald, North Leith

By Andrew Bonar

      GLASGOW, 9th December 1878.


      --From Day to Day is a book of most pleasant and profitable reading. It is 365 meditations--as many as Samuel Rutherford's Letters--as many as Enoch's years of earthly pilgrimage and walking with God. There is a clearness and pointedness in your style of writing that at once attracts the reader, and, dipping his rod in the honey, he finds his eyes enlightened.

      Had I attempted such a book my aim would have been to forge a chain of 365 links--every day a doctrine that naturally followed the one before! But I fear my idea is Utopian.

      Many thanks--and may you get thanks of the best kind in the prayers of those who are receivers of blessing by your pages.--Your brother in the faith and patience of the Lord Jesus,



      GLASGOW, 16th May 1882.
      --I understand that to-morrow is your birthday. Well, in turning over some papers, I lighted on a few scraps of Robert M'Cheyne's, and one is entitled a 'Birthday Ode' to his father. I venture, my dear Moderator-Elect, to apply to you the two lines with which the fragment concludes :--

      'We pray that, as oft as thy birthday appears,
      Thy purified joys may increase with thy years.'

      I hope to see and hear you on Thursday, if the Lord will. (The opening of the Free Church Assembly, of which Dr. Macdonald was that year to be Moderator.) Take this text, brother, 'Only be strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law. Turn not from it to the right hand nor to the left, for then thou shalt prosper and have good success.' --

      Your fellow-soldier,



      GLASGOW, 18th Jany. 1886.


      --Only think how old you and I must be! (1) You were ordained in Blairgowrie before I was a minister at Collace, and I was there eighteen years, and have been in this city twenty-nine years. (2) This being so, it must be forty-seven years at least since you and I began to interchange ministerial services! How old we are now! Well, remember the Eastern saying,''The palm-tree bears the finest dates when it is a hundred years old,' and as you are on the way to that goal (though not quite in sight of it yet), we here in Glasgow, who are expecting you in the end of the week, are, of course, warranted to look for the 'finest dates' that were ever shaken from the Blairgowrie-and-North Leith Palm-tree. . .

      Paul wrote to Philemon (verse 22nd): 'Prepare me a lodging.' Let me anticipate any such request by saying your prophet's chamber shall be ready for you (with a good fire in this cold, cold weather) whenever you come on Saturday. . . . --Ever yours, dear brother,


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