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and so enshrined himself in the esteem of his fellowmen, as to make his loss so deeply lamented and so extensively felt ? Simply, I think, because without yielding to any ambitious aspirations, he confined himself to the sphere of life which had been assigned to him, and giving himself day by day to the diligent improvement of the talents which the providence of God had placed at his disposal, was ever ready to enter with alacrity and delight on any good work, which seemed likely to benefit his brethren of mankind, or to forward the interests of the church of Christ. He had no claims to anything like original genius. He did not even enjoy the advantages of a classical education. But he was not ashamed of the vocation which he pursued, as a mere tradesman, nor did he ever covet the company, or seek to obtrude himself on the notice of any that were moving in a higher rank of life than his own. Yet his sterling honesty was so transparent, and his outbursting affection so warm, and his burning zeal so palpable and apparent, as to invest him with commanding influence over personages moving in the highest walks of life, whilst they gave him a name and a place in the church, along with men who have left their mark on the present age, and whose memory is likely to be honoured and revered by generations that are yet unborn.
It is the memory of the righteous, not of the rich, or the noble, or the brave, which the Bible assures us shall be held in everlasting remembrance. The greenest laurels ever planted on the conqueror's brow shall wither away.
The noblest monuments ever erected on the earth shall crumble into dust and ashes. Even the records which the most faithful and accomplished historians have ever written shall pass into oblivion and become extinct. But they that are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that have turned many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.'
Palms of glory, raiment bright,
Crowns that never fade away,
Priests, and kings, and conquerors they.
Yet the conquerors bring their palms
To the Lamb amidst the throne,
Victory through His cross alone.
Kings for harps their crowns resign,
Crying as they strike the chords, “Take the kingdom—it is thine,
King of kings, and Lord of lords.”
They were mortal too, like us,
Ah! when we, like them shall die,
Triumph, reign, and shine on high.'
HAVE specially adverted to the good works
which James Nisbet, during the course of a long life, has been enabled to per
form; to the high position in the Christian world to which, by means of his benevolent exertions, he has risen ; and to the many tributes of respect which, in various forms, have been paid to his memory. In enforcing the lessons which his life teaches, I have, moreover, proceeded on the assumption, that whatsoever things are lovely, or honourable, or of good report, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, we are to think of these things, and to appreciate them, and to do them.
But at the same time it is well to remember, that whatever was excellent or estimable in his character, instead of springing from any virtuous principle inherent in his own nature, or being called forth with the view of establishing a righteousness of his own, is to be referred solely and exclusively to the sovereign grace of God—that grace which brought him first of all, in the character of a poor perishing sinner, unto Christ; and so enriched him with the blessings of the great salvation purchased with His precious blood, that, under the influence of constraining love, he felt it to be the highest of all privileges to consecrate himself and all that he had to His service. On
any other principle, it is not for a moment to be supposed that he could have acted in the
that he did. And now that he has gone hence, I doubt not that he is casting his crown before the throne, and ascribing, not in any measure unto himself, but unto Him that loved him and gave Himself for him, all the wisdom, and the glory, and the honour, and the power, and the victory, for ever and ever.
And so, reader, it must be with you. If, after spending a useful and honourable life here, you would enter at last into the kingdom of heaven, and take part with the glorified hosts that are worshipping before the throne, you must by faith be vitally united unto Christ-Christ living in you, and you living in Christ.
"O Christ, what burdens bowed Thy head !
Our load was laid on Thee;
Thou stoodest in the sinner's stead
Bared'st all my ill for me;
Now there's no load for me.
Death and the curse were in our cup
O Christ, 'twas full for Thee !
'Tis empty now for me.
Now blessing's draught for me.
The Father lifted up His rod
O Christ, it fell on Thee !
There's not one stroke for me.
Thy bruising healeth me.
The tempest’s awful voice was heard
O Christ, it broke on Thee ! Thy open bosom was my ward,
It braved the storm for me. Thy form was scarred—Thy visage marred ;
Now cloudless peace for me.
A flame was kindled in God's ire
O Christ, it burned on Thee ! It was a hot, consuming fire,
Even in the fair green tree. There did the fire feed and expire ;
Now it is quenched for me.
Jehovah bade His sword awake
O Christ, it woke 'gainst Thee !