Symud i'r prif gynnwys

ffito dMtttfetfen ^tottoiti Vol. ii. No. 18. JANUARY 1893. Price One Penny, REV. WILLIAM ROSS, F.S.A., Cowcaddens Free Church, Glasgow. ^JT^T^E have very great pleasure in presenting our rea- ^0^> ders with the following sketch of the Rev. Wm. Ross, F.S.A., which appeared in " The Christian." The Rev. William Ross was born in the far northern county of Caithness, in June 1836, and was educated at a small school among the hills of his native parish. In that school he made such rapid progress with his studies that, at the early age of twelve, he was called to be a public school teacher. Several years after, he left home to qualify himself for a sphere in the educational profession, and for two years in succes¬ sion he won the highest scholar¬ ships in the gift of the Free Church Training College. While thus quali¬ fying himself as a teacher of earthly knowledge, the con¬ verting grace of God suddenly changed the whole prospect of his life, and when he entered Edinburgh Univer¬ sity, it was with a view to the ministr}/ of the Gospel. He was ordained in November, 1867, to the Free Gaelic Churchof Rothesay, in the beautiful Isle of Bute, where he laboured until cal¬ led to Cowcaddens Free Church, Glas¬ gow, in 1883 The work that Mr. Ross carried on in Roth- say, was of a most extensive kind, and was a fitting pre¬ paration for his remarkable life-work among the teeming toilers of Glasgow. Very early in life he became associated with the temperance movement, and it is a remarkable fact that all the elders, deacons, Sabbath-school teachers, and numerous workers, connected with his present charge, are total abstainers. When in 1883 Mr, Ross received an invitation to Cowcaddens Free Church, Glasgow, the immediate prospects of the congregation worshiping in that build¬ ing, were such as to deter any but a most devoted servant of Christ from accepting the call; to say nothing of changing the charming scenery of the Isle of Bute for the squalor, wretchedness, and misery, of one of the lowest districts of Glasgow— a district comparable to the "Seven Dials' of London. The church was burdened with a debt of £"5000, where there were only about 100 members, and the office-bearers were con¬ templating closing the building, because the burden of interest on the debt was greater than the people could bear. There were no attractions of a handsome stipend and a comfortable manse; for the con¬ gregation were not able to promise either. While hesi¬ tating as to whether he should accept or refuse the call, a well-known evange¬ list said to Mr. Ross,—■ " Don't go to Cowcaddens. I know it well. The mass of the people are monthly ten¬ ants, and a great part, probably the large majority, are Roman Catholics. The population is constantly shifting — you have them to-day, and in a little while they are 1 eyond your reach. They are very poor, and be¬ tween theatres, public houses, and other influences, multitudes are de¬ graded. Without exceptional means, of which you have not the command, not much of a per¬ manent character will ever come out of the Cowcaddens. Think twice before you go." When, on the evening of Saturday, Oct 20th, 1883, Mr. Ross first surveyed the district, he felt that the burden of the work to be done there seemed to be in¬ tolerable ; but to all his fears a voice seemed to say, " I have much people in this city." On the other hand, the district was not without its attractions to a whole