The History of Leith

March 25, 2012

THE CHURCH MONUMENTS.

THE CHURCH MONUMENTS.
The proposal mentioned in last month’s Magazine to
erect a monument in the Church to our late minister.
Dr Mitchell, will doubtless approve itself to all our
members. There is scarcely a family throughout the
congregation with which his name is not entwined in
some sacred memory or association, not often, perhaps,
expressed in words, but none the less real and fondly
remembered. In this busy town of ours, bound with the
engrossing ties of trade and commerce to the remotest
ends of the earth, it is inevitable that our Church people,
both men and women, should come and go frequently
and change from year to year, inevitable also that the
memory of the greatest and most gifted of our number
should tend to fade before the march of the years. For
the sake of those who shall succeed us it is our duty to
record on the walls of the Church the virtues of our late
esteemed minister, and to keep alive his memory in the
place which, during many years, knew him so well.
When reading the monuments on the Church we
cannot but sadly reflect how little of all the past remains
to us, Ministers, provosts, merchants, doctors are
recorded there, men who served their generation well,
and have now gone hence. In some cases they are
known to us from their works, in other cases, happily,
their descendants are still in our midst. But who shall
tell us of the soldiers whose names are written on our
walls? The great empire we have inherited has not been
purchased without a price, and the price truly has been
a grievous one. The gods of the heathen required one
human life as tribute from time to time, but our empire
has demanded from day to day the pick and flower of our
youth and manhood, and the food on which it has thriven
has been the lives of men. Thus we read strange names
on the Church walls—Suddjah ; Mookdee ; Campen ;
names unfamiliar and unknown to those who to-day
occupy the pews.
These names engraven on mural tablets remind us that
the men of South Leith in the past have done their duty
nobly as builders in the British Empire and as builders
in the greater Empire of Christ Jesus. Their examples
are before us ; but without the mural memorials they
would have been forgotten. Another great example we
would preserve for ourselves and future worshippers in
the Church. We wish all to help in erecting a memorial
which will be worthy of the late Dr Mitchell.

D. R.

source-South leith Magazine 1912

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