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SHORT MEMOIR OF DR BOGUE.
This distinguished minister of Christ was born on the 1st of March 1750. He was the fourth son of John Bogue, Esq. of Halydown, Berwickshire, and Margaret Swanston. The exemplary attention discovered by this pious couple in educating a numerous family, consisting of twelve children, was abundantly rewarded in the delight which the superior excellence and usefulness of their son David afforded them in their declining years. He endeared himself, indeed, to his father's house, both as a dutiful son, and as an affectionate sympathizing brother.
Having learned the elements of classical literature at the grammar-school of Eyemouth, he went to the University of Edinburgh, where, during eight or nine sessions, he applied himself with great diligence and success to the study, first, of languages and philosophy, and then of theology.
In early life he removed to England, to assist his countryman, the Rev. William Smith, in teaching his school at Camberwell, and in preaching to his congregation, Silver Street, London. Providence, however, soon directed his steps to Gosport, Hants, where he accepted an invitation to become pastor of a dissenting congregation, rendered vacant by the resignation of his predecessor. An open division, which had taken place some time prior to the vacancy, was now, owing in a great degree to Mr Bogue's evangelical preaching and salutary counsels, effectually healed; and the separation terminated in a manner honourable to all concerned.
Invested with the responsible office of a Christian pastor, he bent his mind indefatigably to reading and composition. His lamp went not out by night. While yet exempt from the cares of a family, and the labours of tuition, he laid up, by incessant industry, those stores of knowledge which future occasions would require. His reading lay chiefly in the line of Biblical literature and foreign divinity, in which his library was particularly rich.
With a view to the improvement of his mind, and the increase of his usefulness, he also spent some time in travelling on the continent of Europe. He made a visit to Paris, and from France he proceeded to Holland, and visited the most remarkable places in that interesting country, which had been the asylum of religious liberty, and the seat of sacred science.
On his return from this continental excursion, he devoted all his acquirements to the advancement of religion in his native land. By his zeal and influence he roused his congregation, who had previously occupied a small and unpleasantly situated meeting-house, to erect, in an eligible spot, a spacious and handsome chapel.
In the year 1788, he received the hand of Miss Charlotte Uffington, whose father was well known in London as an able defender of evangelical truth, and who herself, adding eminent piety to natural talents and elegant accomplishments, proved an excellent partner.
Soon after his marriage, at the request of the benevolent George Welch, Esq., banker, of London, Dr Bogue undertook the care of an academy for preparing young men to preach the Gospel in destitute places of the country; and his conduct in this new capacity gave entire satisfaction.
About this time, in common with many other persons of benevolent and ardent minds, he was mightily encouraged, by the extraordinary event of the French revolution, to entertain animating hopes regarding the ultimate amelioration of the human family; but his expectations related principally to their highest interests, and he looked to nobler expedients than those contemplated by the mere politician and philanthropist.
His memory is entitled to lasting veneration, as one of the most active founders of the London Missionary Society. The very first publication connected with the rise of that institution, was an Address to the Professors of the Gospel, by the Rev. Mr Bogue of Gosport, published in the Evangelical Magazine for September 1794. He subsequently took sweet counsel with others likeminded with himself, in forming an outline of regulations and measures, first at Bristol, and afterwards in London. At the great meeting held in the metropolis, in September 1795, he preached the last of six appropriate sermons that were then delivered. Taking for his text
Hag. i. 2-5, he stated, and considered most judiciously and powerfully, the various objections that might be urged against a Mission to the Heathen. The following sentences from this sermon well deserve to be quoted as a happy specimen of his missionary ardour:
“ Had I a son arrived at years of maturity, who was qualified for the office, I should feel the most delicious sensations at seeing him offer himself as a missionary to the heathen, and embark for India, or some remote island in the most distant
I should think him better provided for than if he went to Hindostan, under the most powerful patronage, with the fairest prospect of affluence and honours. And should he at some future time return for a season, and, in giving you an account of his ministry, be able to say to you,
. There are hundreds of persons in the place from which I came, who have been converted by the ministry of the word; and whom God hath honoured me to turn from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, even Jesus who delivereth us from the wrath to come,' I should esteem it a greater honour to myself, and a greater happiness to him, than if he were to visit his native land with the princely treasures and the eastern splendour of a Hastings or a Clive.”
At the distance of eleven years, he preached another sermon before the Society, at their annual meeting in May 1806. He then addressed his deeply-interested hearers, with much judgment and energy, on “ the Duty of Christians to seek the salvation of the Jews.” When it was resolved, after a second body of missionaries had been sent out to the South Seas, to establish a seminary for the instruction of individuals chosen to labour among the heathen, Dr Bogue’s eminent and varied qualifications, joined to his previous experience as a tutor, recommended him to the Directors as the person in all respects proper to preside over that important institution. In the year 1816, too, he accompanied his friend, the Rev. Dr Bennett, to the kingdom of the Netherlands, in the service of the Society. From the moment of the formation of the London Missionary Society, he devoted himself to its interests with inextinguishable zeal. The numerous journies, in various districts of the empire, he undertook in its behalf, the miles he travelled, and the sums he collected, it would not be easy to specify. His presence every where commanded veneration, while his ministry and counsels gave a profitable direction to the public mind.
A few years prior to his death, it pleased God to afflict him
with repeated domestic bereavements. He lost several sons in succession: Mrs Bogue herself followed them to the grave. But in each of these visitations, how painful soever, he recognised the appointment of a Father, who is invariably wise, and just, and good; and he was sustained by the hope of a blessed re-union in the world of spirits. His ministry became marked with the spirit of a man on the threshold of heaven. The last Sabbath he preached in his own pulpit, he delivered a solemn discourse on the apostolic benediction, “ The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all, Amen." The week after, he took a missionary tour into Warwickshire, and expressed much satisfaction in his interviews with the churches and ministers of Christ. On his return to::Gosport, his place of worship, which had been shut up for repairs, not being ready to receive him, he officiated in the vestry. The afternoon of his last Sabbath there, he discoursed on “Enoch walked with God;" and in the evening on the remaining words of the verse, “ And he was not, for God took him.” This was the last sermon he ever preached, and with it he closed, among his beloved people, the labours of forty-eight years.
The Tuesday following, October 18, 1825, he went to Brighton to attend the anniversary of the Sussex Auxiliary Missionary Meeting. He offered up the prayer before sermon, which was preached in Mr Goulty's chapel, by the Rev. George Clayton. But this evening he was seized with a new attack of a painful complaint, to which he had for some time been subject, and in spite of all that medical assistance could effect, the disorder alarmingly increased. Next day, when a near relative gently intimated to him the unfavourable opinion which the medical men entertained of his case, he received the information with his accustomed composure, and only said, “ Well, my dear, the will of the Lord be done." He then desired that the thirty-second Psalm should be read to him; after which he offered up a fervent and affectionate prayer on behalf of the surviving members of his family, distinctly commending each of them by name to God, with petitions adapted to the circumstances of each.
Amid the pains of his dying bed, he expressed a firm dependence on the Saviour, saying, “ I know in whom I have believed.” When a friend reminded him of these words, “ I will never leave thee, I will never forsake thee;" he replied, “ O that promise is of the highest character.” His heart continued alive to the great cause of missions. To several bre