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On the 20th of November, he, although not at all well, assisted by the Rev. Mr. Winning, administered to his flock the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and preached the same evening from Acts, 7th chap. 37th verse, latter clause, it was remarked by many present, that they had never seen him so animated. But oh! how is man cut down as the grass, and as the flower of the field he fadeth away. On that day three weeks his frail tabernacle of clay was mouldering in the grave, whilst his spirit was rejoicing in the presence of God his Saviour. From the commencement of his illness, his head was so much affected, that he had not clear ideas of any thing. A day or two after he lay down, he expressed a fear that his sickness was unto death, and being asked if he was afraid to die, he said, "I hope not, for although the way before me seems clouded, and not so clear as I would wish; yet I trust that my soul is washed in the blood of Jesus, and that he will be with me through the dark valley." Again, he said, "being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ." He was asked if there were any particular portions of Scripture present to his mind, from which he drew comfort. He said, "yes, the 23d and 25th Psalms ;"-the former was a particular favourite of his. After this, the disease took such a fatal grasp, that he was in a constant state of delirium, with intervals of stupor; and in this state he remained until his glorified spirit winged its flight to the realms of bliss, to take a part in the song of the redeemed above, "to Him who loved him, and gave Himself for him." But nine months had elapsed since his ordination, and eight since he was united to his young and amiable wife, whom he has left to deplore his premature removal. His sorrowing congregation are left, as the Israelites of old when Moses was taken from them, without a leader, and as sheep without a shepherd, at a time when it seemed to them they could least want him, and when he was just entering into and prospering in his labours of love. But may He who, in his mysterious and wise providence, was pleased to call him away, raise up to them, speedily, another Joshua, to lead them on their way to the heavenly Canaan; and may his dear bereaved friends be enabled to submit to the chastening hand of the Lord, and say, "the Lord gave, and Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord." To him may the words of the Psalmist be appropriately applied,—“ Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace."
"He is not lost, but gone before."
I am, Sir, yours, &c.,
A MEMBER OF THE ENNISKILLEN PRESBYTERIAN CONGREGATION.
AFFLICTION, well- sustained, improves every part of our religion. It teaches compassion and sympathy towards others in their troubles. It gives an edge to our devotion, an ardency to our prayers, tenderness to our hearts, and a life to our graces. It is the trial and triumph of our faith. Patience hath its perfect work.-Grosvenor.
AT one period of his life, this eminent Reformer's health was considerably impaired by the labour of producing his numerous compositions, and the excitements inseparable from the restless hostilities of his enemies. Being supposed to be in dangerous circumstances, his old antagonists, the mendicants, conceived it next to impossible that so notorious an heretic should find himself near a future world without the most serious apprehensions of approaching vengeance. While they declared that the dogmas of the Reformer had arisen from the suggestions of the great enemy, they anticipated some advantages to their cause, could the dying culprit be induced to make any recantation of his published opinions. Wickliff was in Oxford when this sickness arrested his activity, and confined him to his chamber: From the four orders of friars, four doctors, who were also called regents, were gravely deputed to wait on their expiring enemy; and to these, the same number of civil officers, called senators of the city, and aldermen of the wards, were added. When this embassy entered the apartment of the rector of Lutterworth, he was seen stretched on his bed. Some kind wishes were first expressed as to his better health, and the blessing of a speedy recovery. It was presently suggested, that he must be aware of the many wrongs which the whole mendicant brotherhood had sustained from his attacks, especially in his sermons, and in certain of his writings; and, as death was now apparently about to remove him, it was sincerely hoped that he would not conceal his penitence, but distinctly revoke whatever he had preferred against them to their injury. The sick man remained silent and motionless until this address was concluded. He then beckoned his servants to raise him in his bed; and, fixing his eyes upon the persons assembled, summoned all his remaining strength, as he exclaimed loudly, "I shall not die, but live, and shall again declare the evil deeds of the friars." The doctors and their attendants now hurried from his presence, and they lived to feel the truth of his prediction; nor will it be easy to imagine another scene more characteristic of the parties composing it, or of the times with which it is connected.
INSTALLATION.-On Tuesday, the 3d inst., the Rev. Alexander Crawford was Installed in the Congregation of Randalstown. vices of the day were conducted by the Rev. John Davison, Rev. Josias Wilson, and Rev. John Dill.
FEBRUARY, 1837. VOL. VIII.
A CHARGE TO THE MINISTER AND CONGREGATION OF KILLINCHY.
DELIVERED AT THE ORDINATION OF THE REV. D. ANDERSON, DEC. 6, 1836, BY THE REV. W. CRAIG, DROMARA.
(Published at the request of many who heard it.)
You now stand, my dear brother, an ordained Minister of Jesus Christ, an invested ambassador of the Lord of Life and Glory; and are set up for the rise and fall of many in our Israel. As a bishop of souls, an overseer of the flock of Christ, the post you occupy is a post of honour, but it is, at the same time, a post of labour. Permit me to admonish you of its duties, and exhort you to be, in the vineyard of Christ, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed. In doing this, I claim over you no authority; for, according to the Presbyterian system, you are equal to any minister of Jesus Christ upon earth; neither do I suppose you ignorant of your duty, nor (from what I know of you,) do I fear you will be disinclined to discharge it. A regard to custom, and an earnest desire to impress all our hearts with a deep sense of our duty, and stir up our minds by way of remembrance, rather than a forward ambition to instruct others, lead me to make the following remarks.
Allow me, Sir, to congratulate you, in the first place, upon the unanimous call which you have received from this congregation. I esteem it a most fortunate circumstance for you and them. It introduces you with great advantage; and should you not preserve their esteem and love, it will, in all probability, be in a great measure owing to yourself. A selfsufficient spirit will reject counsel, however salutary, because tendered by a stranger; but, true wisdom only considers whether the hint be practicable, necessary, and useful; and if it be so, it will adopt it, without regarding the quarter whence it comes. As the following observations are kindly and can
didly given, I trust they will be kindly and graciously received. Deeply conscious of my inability to discharge the duty of this day to my own satisfaction, or your advantage, I could have wished this part of the duty had fallen to some more experienced and aged member, whose instructions would have acquired weight from the respect which age and experience ever command. In what I am about to say, I could most sincerely wish, that not I, but the great Apostle of the Gentiles, was considered as speaking to you.
Immorality, in any character, is odious,-in a minister of the sanctuary, it is diabolical. Is it possible for him who lives in sin to be, in the smallest degree, useful as a minister? How oddly will lessons of virtue and morality sound in the mouth of such an one? With what contempt will the most ordinary hearer be filled, when reproof or exhortation is delivered to him by one reckless of character, and insensible to his duty, either as a Christian or a minister? In the character of Balaam, we have an awful picture of a minister of religion. Who so enlightened as Balaam, who heard the words of God, who saw the vision of the Almighty? Who so blind as the covetous prophet, who loved the wages of unrighteousness,whose eyes the god of this world blinded? Hear him speak,the manna of heavenly wisdom falls from his lips: behold him act, and lo! a fiend from hell, spreading snares and destruction. Under the controul of God, not Moses himself thinks more affectionately, expresses attachment more ardently to Israel than Balaam does,-under the impulse of his own passions, not Satan could plot more malignantly nor effectually. As the prophet of the Lord, who so warm a friend as the counsellor of Balak, who so dreadful an adversary? In the prospect of death, who more devout: in life, who so profligate? In judgment and opinion, who so clear and sound in practice, who so abandoned? Surely, when we see such inconsistency and self-delusion,-when we hear such divine sentences flow from such unhallowed lips, a holy jealousy will be enkindled, a holy watchfulness inculcated upon you, and upon us all, who bring the message of God to others. The situation of that man must be unhappy, indeed, whose head and heart are ever at variance,-whose inclinations drag him one way, and duty another,-ever doing what he is constrained to condemn,-who with his lips preaches the unsearchable riches of Christ to a guilty world, but with his life throws a stumbling-block in the way of the weak and unwary,-a minister, yet a reprobate,-passing through life
without honour or usefulness, and descending to the grave with the blood of thousands on his head. Be, then, an ensample to the flock, in faith, in purity, in conversation, in doctrine, in charity. A minister should not be satisfied with the attainments of a learner, but aim at the perfection of a master, and give to his conduct the correctness of a pattern. As a person to whom the conduct of souls is committed, he cannot ke a wrong step without endangering the interests of others so that if he neglect to take his soundings and inspect his chart, his is the misconduct of the pilot who is denied the privilege of perishing alone. The want of piety in a minister is not to be made up by the possession of all other good qualities put together, however great, however shining. It is an awful thing to see ministers assume two different characters,one for the pulpit and solemn occasions, and another for the world,-like the cowardly soldier, who loves to glitter in scarlet on the parade in time of peace, but is glad to assume a colour more suitable to the pale complexion of his heart, when the regiment is ordered to the field of battle. Difference of behaviour may, indeed, be assumed with change of place and company, without incurring the imputation of hypocrisy ; but there is a radical character, which the minister of Jesus Christ should never lay aside, whatever be the time, place, or person. When a distinguished Roman was about to erect a mansion, his architect proposed to construct it so as to free him from the inspection of all his neighbours. "If thou have any art in thee, build it in such a manner that all may see what I do," was his noble reply. Thus should it be with the minister of religion; he should so act, publicly and privately, as to be neither afraid nor ashamed of others seeing what he does.
How dignified the character which, in the closet, the parlour, the market-place, and the pulpit, presents but one and the same person!-the amiable member of society, the kind relation, the agreeable neighbour, the gentle master, the faithful minister and O how pleasant and how edifying to observe him in the discharge of duty, from house to house; from devotional retirement to necessary and useful public employment; from the delights of administering private instruction, to the solemn and sublime exercises of public worship; and to observe, in all these duties, the same unvarying steadiness, the same ardent zeal for the glory of God, the cause of the Redeemer, and the souls of men. I shall now, Sir, proceed to specify some of your duties. And, first, you should declare