you are to promote his every design for your spiritual improvement. Especially the institutions of visiting from house to house, districtcatechising, prayer-meetings, Sunday schools. In an endless variety of ways you may help him forward in these labours of love. By your presence, councils, and friendly suggestions ; by your 'influence in your respective neighbourhoods, and by a thousand nameless attentions, (easy to you, but inexpressibly, important to him,) you may daily promote his ministerial usefulness.

Need I observe, my brethren, that you are bound to a return of affection for your Minister's labours. It was thus the apostle so earnestly bocsought the Thessalonians “to know them which laboured among them, and were over them in the Lord, and admonished them, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work saķe.” Regarding your Minister with affectionate esteem, you will feel a deep interest in whatever concerns his character or usefulness. Sensible of the trials and difficulties that attend his arduous office, and remembering that the Minister is yet but the man, you will extend to him that tender forbearance which he deserves and intreats at your hand. If that “charity which thinketh no evil” is due to all men, it is more especially due from a people to their Minister. : But let us not be misunderstood. We are not insinuating by all this, that you should be blind to any faults, should they appear. God forbid! The outline we have drawn, of the ministerial character, relieves us, we trust, from so injurious a suspicion. Indeed, on the contrary, we feel, that as he should be jealous, with a godly jealousy, over you, so should you be jealous over him. The duty is mutual, the advantage common. And would to God that our people, instead of cloaking our failings, dealt more faithfully by us in this respect: in the issue it might prove both a real kindness to us, and an unspeakable blessing to the churches.

Need ( add, brethren, that you are bound to present your Minister with the means of comfortable subsistence. Without this, he must be unfaithful to your interests; for be must, in one form or another, secula rize those talents which should be exclusively devoted to your spiritual interests. The school, the farm, or the merchandize must “supply your lack of service toward him." But why should it be thus ? Surely the Gospel Minister may appeal to the justice, as well as to the generosity of his people. “Do ye not know that they who minister about holy things, live of the things of the temple ; and they which wait at the altar, are par-. takers with the altar. Even so bath the Lord ordained, that they who preach the Gospel, should live of the Gospel.” But on this subject we shall not expatiate, for we think you require it not, and we cannot conceive that a Christian people can dole out a niggardly and insufficient pittance of the bread that perisheth to the faithful Minister, who is willing to spend and be spent in the service and feeding of their immortal souls.

And now, brethren, in the solemn transactions of this day, your Minister is not more deeply interested than yourselves. You have this day sealed an union, pregnant with the most important consequences to yourselves, your families, and to generations following. Iniplore, then, the divine blessing upon it, that it may be the joyful harbinger of “grace, mercy, and peace” to this corner of the church, the dawn of many bright and happy days, the commencement of a new race of zeal and love. Im. plore his blessing who sendeth Paul to plant, and Apollos to water, but reserveth for himself the glory of the increase.

Pray for your Minister, “that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified.” It is an old and important maxim, that " a praying people make a preaching Minister." How will it fill his spirit with joy, enlarge his heart with affection, and fire bis soul with zeal, to be assured of “the effectual fervent prayers” of his people! Wherefore we intreat you, for your own sake and for his, pray for your Minister, “with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, that he may open his mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the Gospel.” And now we commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build up the church that is amongst you, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”-Amen.


[We present our readers with the following brief outline of Mr. Stewart's

life, character, and labours, as given in the conclusion of his funeral sermon, by Dr. Cooke. The materials were supplied chiefly by one who knew him well during his early life and course of preparation for the ministry, and who attended him, with sedulous affection, to the hour of death; and partly drawn from the personal knowledge of the preacher, with whom he had been intimately associated during the five years of his ministerial labours. “Truly the harvest is great, but the labourers are few.” Let every sincere Christian "pray the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth more such labourers." --We subjoin a brief outline of the Sermon, of which the Memoir formed the conclusion.-Edit.]

GENESIS v. 24.
“Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him."

BIOGRAPHY is generally considered one of the most ac. ceptable and most useful departments of human study. It is acceptable, because, while admitting us to view, as it were, the most private transactions of men, it gratifies our curiosity; and it is useful, because, in the lives of the bad, it warns us what we should avoid; and in the lives of the good, teaches us what we should imitate. The Scriptures, inspired of God for our instruction, convey their principal lessons in biography; and in the selection of this mode, we doubt not, the Holy Spirit has adapted his teaching to the structure of our minds, and gratifies our curiosity with the lives of men, that he may the more readily find access for the sanctifying power of the truth. But between the biography of the world and that of the Bible, there are some remarkable points of difference. The biography of the world labours to honour man, that of the Bible to glorify God; the biography of the world palliates or conceals the faults of its favourites, that of the Bible exhibits the iniquities of God's people in record before him, and places their secret sins in the light of his countenance; the biography of the world is a mere caterer to idle curiosity; the biography of the Bible is the handmaid of divine instruction; the biography of the world labours for its own profit, and overwhelms our minds by the minuteness and multiplicity of its details; the biography. of the Bible labours for our improvement, by a brevity suited equally to the weakness of our memory and judgment.

Of the peculiar condensation of Scripture biography, our text affords a remarkable example. Sixty-five years it passes over as a blank-a practical illustration, even among the long-lived antediluvians, that "childhood and youth are vanity.”. As the shortest lived of the early patriarchs, it exbibits him in contrast with the longest lived, his own son; and briefly describes him, as distinguished from others, by the two circumstances of his life in the world, and his removal from it. The subject presents us with three facts.

I. Enoch walked with God; II. He was not ; III. God took him.

I.-1. He walked with God, "seeing by faith him that is invisible,” Heb. xi. 27.-2. In the intimate converse of prayers, meditation, and fellowship, 1 John i. 3.-3. In the humility of the creature with the Creator, Michah vi. 8.4. In the love of the redeemed with the Redeemer, 1 John iv. 16.–5. In the confidence of a child with a father, 1 John ii. 28.

II -1. He was not; that is, as Paul informs us, Heb. xi. 5. he was not found. Just as the Prophets, in the case of Elijah, 2 Kings, ii. 16. could not rest satisfied with the statement of Elisha concerning his translation to heaven; 80, it would seem probable, from the words of Paul, that Enoch was sought for by his friends; the Lord over-ruling their slowness of faith, (compare Luke, xxiv. 25.) in order to combine every form of testimony to the fact of his trans. lation.-2. He was a Prophet of judgment amongst an infidel and wicked generation, and was taken away to God from the midst of them: God thereby affording them another evidence of his existence and power, and another warning of his coming. Jude 14.-3. He was taken away, that God might afford, to a sensual generation, a tangible and experimental evidence of life and immortality.-4. He

was taken away in the body to afford'a specimen and proof of the salvation of the flesh.-Rom. viii. 23.-5. Being the seventh from Adam, it is probable that, by his removal to glory, God intended a practical illustration of the "rest, or sabbath keeping, that remaineth for the people of God." _Heb. iv. 9.

III.-God took him, 1. From faith to sight, 1 Cor. xiii. 12.-2. From Jabour to rest, from warfare to peace, from bearing the cross to wearing the crown, 1 Tim. iv. 7,8.---3. From an unbelieving world who rejected the word of God, to the society of those who lived on the promises and died in faith, Heb. xi. 13.–4. From the service of the church, from the affection of family and friends, to the general assembly and church of the first-born, whose names are written in heaven, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant-to an innumerable company of angels, and the spirits of the just made perfect, Heb. xii. 2, 3.-5. From the evil to come, either upon himself, in the ordinary course of events,--or upon the church from a wicked world, or upon the world itself from the inflictions of a righteous providence, into that place where sorrow or misery shall enter no more, Rev. xxi. 27.

We have thus, by expanding, in the light of Scripture, the compressed materials of the life of Enoch, endeavoured to exhibit a full view of his character in relation to God, and of God's mercy in relation to him. And as, notwithstanding individaal differences, there is, ordinarily, a general resemblance amongst the members of families--so, amongst the children of God, we may well expect to have a certain family resemblance, in so far as we have a distinct view of their moral features. We, this day, coin. memorate one « who walked with God :” we lament one “who is not ;" and, though we see him not here, we fol. low him where he is, and our faith assures us, “God hath haken him.

The Rev. William Duncan Stewart was born in Dublin, in January, 1801, and died in the 31st year of his age, and tifth of his ministry.

In childhood he was remarkable for solidity and good sense. His observations, even then, were those to be expected from mature, rather than from an infant age. He was remarkably fond of learning, and rather loved retirement and quiet than the generality of boys; nor did he then manifest any of that sprightly cheerfulness so conspicuous in after life. He had a mind, even in boyhood, stamped with the impress of rectitude and truth. So decided was this feature of his character, that his friends do not recollect his ever departing from the straightforward truth. In his riper years, grace confirmed and adorned this, as it were, instinctive principle, and employed it in his ministry to the glory of God. On finishing his school education, in wbich he always distinguished himself, he was bound, in the 13th year of his age, apprentice to a Sur. geon, and was much engaged in the labours of the hospital in Dublin, during the epidemic of 1818. After three severe attacks of fever, from the last of which, his consti. tution received a very severe shock, he was advised to go to the country. Here he remained for about two years; and, by the occasional lectures of a gentleman who used to visit the town in which he resided, his mind was first aroused to think seriously. At this time he wrote to a friend, that he had commenced a regular daily course of reading the Scriptures. But his mind was then far from fully com. prehending the truth as it is in Jesus, though the divine Spirit was gradually preparing the way. A few months after, he began to read Blair's Sermons; and although he admired them very much, as literary compositions, yet he was sensible of some undefinable want of that food after which his im. mortal spirit was hungering. But providentially at this time, a volume of Dr. Chalmers' Sermons came into his hands. He commenced this volume, however, with some prejudice, and no great anticipation; for his ear had become so familiar with the harmony and chastened elegance of Blair, that he could scarcely relish the immeasurable sentences and unpruned luxuriance of Chalmers. Still he found in him something which Blair had not; yet what this something was, did not at once appear to him. He sought and he longed for the treasure, but its nature and value were yet hidden from him. But on finishing!Dr. Chalmers's Sermon on the text, Job ix. 30. “If I wash myself with snow water; and make my hands never so clean; yet shalt thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine own clothes shall abhor me,” bis mind was greatly affected; and then first the Spirit, who had for some time been leading him by a way he did not know, gave him to see the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Then first he saw, with spiritual vision, his

« ForrigeFortsett »