Letter To Mrs. Ogilvie

(from the Memoir, by his sons)

Guthrie and his younger brother were joined in their lodgings by a third student from Brechin, who was to Mr. Guthrie even as a brother. This was James Martin, minister first of the rural parish of Glenisla, in Forfarshire, and afterwards (as successor to Dr. Andrew Thomson) of St. George's Church, Edinburgh. He is mentioned incidentally in the Autobiography; but, knowing how strong was the attachment between them, we name him here as one who exercised a salutary influence on the early life of Mr. Guthrie, to whom he was senior by three years. The families to which they respectively belonged were very intimate, while the destination of both these young men being the ministry added a hallowed bond to that of natural affection. - Martin died in his early prime at Leghorn, whither be had gone in search of health, in 1834; and the following letter, written to his only sister by Dr. Guthrie, when visiting Italy thirty-one years thereafter, forms a touching testimony to the depth and permanence of this early friendship

Leghorn, 29th March, 1865
My Dear Mrs. Ogivie, - I had this day the melancholy pleasure of visiting the beautiful spot where your brother, my oldest and beloved friend, sleeps in Jesus, waiting a glorious resurrection. What sacred and tender memories did it revive! Our boyhood; our college days; my pleasant and happy visits to Glenisla; his warm affection for me, and mine to him; your father, and mother, and John; and - what I have often thought of - what two brothers we had been, had it pleasod God that he had been spared to be a brother minister with me in Edinburgh. As I told them here, when they wondered at my great anxiety to visit Mr. Martin's tomb, I don't remember the time when I did not know and love him. It is a grand and blessed prospect, to look forward to a meeting which knows no parting. ‘He is not dead, but sleepeth. "
I saw violets, and many beautiful and to us strange flowers, growing in the cemetery. But I thought (although they will be, what his memory will never be, withered before this reaches you) you would be best pleased with these two or three daisies that David and I plucked from his very grave. Besides that, they are flowers not common in Italy, but peculiarly belonging to the dens and braes where we played many a happy day. I plucked also a branch from the cypress that flings its shadow on his tomb.
Yours very affectionately -

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