JUBILEE OF THE REV. ANDREW THOMSON
From The Scotsman 30th March 1887 - edited
The ministerial jubilee of the Rev. Andrew Thomson DD
senior minister of Broughton Place United Presbyterian Church, Edinburgh, was
celebrated yesterday. Dr. Thomson, than whom, perhaps, no clergyman is better
known in and around the city, is a native of Sanquhar, Dumfriesshire. Educated
at Glasgow University he was licensed while yet a young man. He was chosen in
1837 to the Secession Church in Lothian Rd., Edinburgh, where he laboured for
over three years. His next appointment was that of colleague and successor to
the Re. John Brown in Broughton Place United Presbyterian Church, to the
pastorate of which he succeeded on the death of that venerable minister in
1858. In 1867, Dr. Thomson completed the 25th year of his ministry, and the
event was recognised by the congregation presenting him with an address and
£500, which sum they desired should be devoted to defraying the cost of a
tour in the Holy Land - a tour which he accomplished in 1859. Dr. Thomson who
is the author of several interesting works, received his honorary degree from
his alma mater in 1851.
SPECIAL SERVICES IN BROUGHTON PLACE CHURCH
In connection with the jubilee celebrations special services were held in the church in the afternoon. There was a large attendance. Besides a considerable number of ministers of the United Presbyterian in and far beyond the city, there were also present several clergymen belongng to other denominations. Principal Cairns occupied the pulpit. underneath which sat the Rev. Dr. Thomson, who had on his right the Rev. Dr. Jeffrey, Glasgow and on his left the Rev. John Smith, his colleague and successor. Dr. Cairns preached from Acts 26:22-23. The sermon was in the main a powerful retrospect of the work of the Scottish Ministry, during the last half century, with special reference to the stand taken by the ministersof this country against the influence of Romanism, and the materialistic movement. In the course of his remarks, the preacher pointed to the important reslts of the great evangelical movement of thirteen years ago, in which Dr. Thomson took so prominent a part, and described the rise and progress of Christian Missions.Alluding to the interest manifested by Broughton Place Church he said "had not Dr. Thomson builded ever upwards on the same foundation as his predecessor, and gone into many "regions beyond?" Had he not for thirty years, with every credit to others, been the mainspring of all the missionary work of that great congregation, till it was surrounded with a band of daughter congregations in widely-severed parts of the mission field that rose up to call it blessed? The work had confessedly told, by example and impulse, on the whole denomination. Referring to duties associated with ministerial functions , he said it would be acknowledged by all who knew Dr. Thomson, and especially those who had worked with him in this wide, difficult and miscellaneous field for many years, that few had more conscientiously realised than he did, its obligations and possibilities, had counted pledges more sacred, had prepared more accurately for every audience, and made every speech a genuione personal effort to help the particular institution and great Christian cause. In conclusion Dr. Cairns touched upon Dr. Thomson's services to the literature of their denomination, and his labours in the church courts.
Meeting in the Synod Hall
In connection with the jubilee, an interestng and in many respects remarkable meeting, was held in the evening in the Synod Hall. The hall was crowded in every part. The Rev. John Smith, Broughton Place Church, occupied the chair, and amongst those on the platform were Sir Wiiliam Muir (Principal of the University), Lord Provost Clark, Principal Cairns. Principal Rainy, Professor Calderwood, Professor Duff, the Rev.Dr Gray, Liberton; the Rev. Dr Alison, General Nepean Smith, the Rev. Dr Whyte, Lauriston; the Rev. Dr. Kennedy, the Rev. Dr Blair, Dunblane; the Rev. Mr Mackenzie, Edinburgh; and the Rev. Dr Edmond, London. Letters of apology and congratulation were received from the Rev. Principal Simon, the Rev. Dr Whyte, Free St George's, Edinburgh ; the Rev. Dr Davidson, the Rev. Dr Drummond, Glasgow; the Rev. Mr Morris, Edinburgh; Mr. Duncan McLaren, Mr Ogilvie, of the Heriot-Watt College; Baillie Anderson, Councillor Robert Anderson, Treasurer Boyd, and Mr Somerville, treasurer of the congregation, who telegraphed from Rome. The platform was pleasingly decorated with flowers and hothouse plants. Between five and six o'clock tea was served to a large company in the pillar hall.
The Chairman, in addressing the meeting, said that from the representative character of the gathering they almost seemed: to be holding the Synod in the end of March instead of in the beginning of May, (laughter and applause). Such a gathering formed a tribute to the worth and influence of Dr. Thomson of which he might well be proud, (Applause) There were, however, other features of this jubilee which, although they did not force themselves upon their notice, yet he believed, lived in Dr Thomson's thought, and occupied no inferior place in his regard. Not only had he been, for fifty years, a devoted minister and elder in his own denomination, & champion of important causes, bringing him into contact with many notable men and public-spirited citizens, but all through his long career he had taken the very deepest interest in the great mission enterprises of the Church. That gathering was for him, and he doubted not for others, of very distinctive religious moment and value. They there testified - let others say what they would that the ministry of the Word was a mighty social force, exerting today as powerful an influence as it had ever exerted on the higher life of the nation. In honouring Dr.Thomson they were honouring the ministerial character, and were declaring that Scotland's heart beat true to the Gospel as it had ever done. Mr Smith added that, having been aaaociated with Dr Thomson for two years in a relation which many regarded as trying, but which had been only pleasant and profitable to him (applause) he had gained a profound impression of his personal worth, of his thorough devotion, of his sterling conscientious-ness, of his scrupulous honour, which had awakened in him an ever increasing admiration, and made his fellowship and work with him not a trial, but a happiness.
A large number of congratulatory addresses were then presented to Dr Thomson. The Scotsman, 30th March 1887
Home | Links | Literature | Biography