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THE MEMORY OF
A RULING ELDER OF THIS CHURCH,
IN COUNSEL SAGACIOUS, IN LABOURS ABUNDANT ;
A FAITHFUL STEWARD, AND A STEDFAST FRIEND; IN WHOSE CONSISTENT PIETY THIS FLOCK BEHELD A PATTERN,
AND IN WHOSE UNSWERVING SUPPORT
17TH MAY 1790,
THE MEMORY OF
OF 21, BERNERS STREET,
WHO DIED NOVEMBER 8, 1854,
AGED 69 YEARS.
AND A MAN OF PRAYER,
WERE GUIDED IN THE WAYS OF WISDOM;
UP TO THE LAST HOUR OF LIFE,
“The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.'
Ps. CXII. 6.
ROM the close of a sermon preached by
Dr. Hamilton in Regent Square, May 8,
truth and justice, is only equalled by its beauty and its power :
* Thirty-two years have now elapsed since, under this roof, the first worshipping congregation met ; and it is a solemn thing to think, that already a generation has rolled away, and carried into the eternal state most of those who, so bright and joyous, greeted that May morning. Already for a quarter of a century, beneath the roof of St. Mungo's ancient minster, has reposed that majestic form, round which, in its palmy prime, there rallied the élite of the Scottish nation here in London, and under whose
resistless spell those stately towers arose like magic. Already from his Edinburgh pulpit has disappeared Gordon's lofty brow and noble visage ; and we shall watch no more the lightning of his eye, nor listen to his voice enunciating great thoughts in tones of organic grandeur. And even he, who is now an immortal presence in his country's history-philosopher, evangelist, philanthropist, all in one—even he who, with a protest for the “old paths,” preoccupied the new sanctuary, has now joined the sainted fathers in a higher walk, and made it impossible for us to let our children hear the specimen supreme of sacred oratory.
* Looking back, our first feeling is respectful gratitude to the friends and fathers to whose pious zeal we owe this house of prayer ; and from amongst whom two outstanding names come forth so memorable and conspicuous, as hardly to require their tablet on the wall – one who, with characteristic ardour, watched every beam of the rising structure, and took pleasure in every stone; the other, who seemed to have repeated almost literally the Psalmist's vow : “I will not come into the tabernacle of
my house, nor go up into my bed; I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids, until I find out a place for the Lord, a habitation for the mighty God of Jacob,” and who, by the stedfastness of his principles, the tenderness of his affections, and the sagacity of his counsels, has earned in every memory a place of love and honour, alongside of his openhanded, open-hearted colleague.
“To them, and their gallant coadjutors, who, when the éclat and excitement of the new undertaking had yielded to days of difficulty and depression, still were stedfast, and refused to despair,who, amidst shouts of “ Lo here !” and “Lo there!” refused to quit the old paths, and who, when the crowded aisles were well nigh depopulated by protracted vacancies, nowise daunted, put forth that rarest form of Christian heroism, which refuses to weary in well-doing,—to them, the founders and conservators of this house of prayer, our thanks are this day due, not only for the service they have rendered to the cause of the gospel, but for the lesson they have bequeathed and the good they have done us by their high-souled, spirit-stirring example.'
'Death has not slain them; they are freed, not slain
It is the gate of life, and not of death,
Has tried to stifle the immortal breath.
All that was death in them is now dissolved;
For death can only what is death's destroy ;
The disimprisoned life comes forth with joy.
Their life-long battle with disease and pain,
And mortal weariness, is over now; Youth, health, and comeliness return again,
The tear has left the cheek, the sweat the brow.
They are not tasting death, but taking rest,
On the same holy couch where Jesus lay, Soon to awake all glorified and bless'd, .
When day has broke, and shadows fed away.'