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venture to answer. I pray that if
I am not permitted to see any good
results, others may, when 1 leave
this place. May the Lord raise
with power the seed sown in much
weakness. I g;o through my work
80 mechanically, with so little real
zeal and delight in it, that I fear I
am not qualified for a missionary.
Am I daily addressing immortal
souls ! Why do I not with tears
and entreaties pursue them, until
Christ is formed in them the hope
of glory? Give me, Lord Jesus,
apostolick ardour and faithfulness,
and deign to accept of my poor,
worthless labours in thy cause."

On Monday, Nov. I4th, he rode
17 miles to fulfil an apppintment,
which a brother clergyman was to
have made for him, and was hurt to
find, on his arrival, that he had ne-
glected to give notice to the people.
" The hamlet,*' he says, " contains
nine or ten families: information
was soon given to them, and to a
few in the neighbourhood. I preach-
ed at the house of Mr. V , a

Baptist, the only' one in the place:
the rest of the people being New
Lights and Nothingists, whose light
is darkness. A goodly number
were present, and appeared to feel
considerably^ It was the most com-
fortable meeting that I have enjoy-
ed in this State. A Presbyterian
preached in the house of a Baptist,
with a Methodist exhorter on his
left, and a New Light clerk: —
stranse conjunction truly; I hope
not disastrous. New Lights are
quite numerous in this settlement.
I am somewhat in the dark as to
their real opinions, as they have no
church standards. Like some other
wise men of our day, they have re-
jected all confessions of faith, as old
wives' tales."

Under date of Nov. i6th, at Ur-

bana, in Ohio, he thus writes: ''This
day was spent in visiting several
families in town. My visits are
thankfully received, but do not ap-
pear to produce much impression.
I endeavour to speak the truth, but
in a mild and affectionate manner.
Harshness, I am persuaded, defeats
its own purpose. If it sometimes
alarms, it always enrages. The
soft and pliant mood of the soul is
most favourable for receiving in-
struction and admonition. This
should not be disturbed by a harsh
and abrupt address. If I gain the
person's confidence,! may say with
effect what at first would have been
met with a violent repulsion of feel-
ing. If I did not hope that the Holy
Spirit, who has heretofore rendered
my conversation in some cases the
means of conviction, would accom-
pany my present labours, I should
abandon them in despair. I find it
a difficult matter to interest myself
so much for strangers, as to address
them with earnestness and affection.
Oh ! for more of that expansive love
which ought to animate the heart
of a Christian minister; — that will
cause me to regard every one whom
I meet as a brother, the redemptioQ
of whose soul is precious — worth a
whole life of laborious exertion.
Jesus wept over the city of his ene-
mies who had rejected him, and
shall I not weep over a city of
friends, who have received me as a
prophet, coming in the name of the

The next day he visited a few fa-
milies, and was for the first time
treated with rudeness. "If the
truth excites bad feeling," he re-
marked, "although told without de-
signing to provoke, I am content to
bear it" On the evening of the
same day he "attended a prayer

meeting at the house of Mrs. P *

I had looked forward," he conti-
nues, "to this meeting with anxious
solicitude, determined that nothing
should be wanting on my part to
establish it on a permanent basis.
To effect this, it waa necesiary to

Digitized by



Memoir of the Rev. James H. Stuart.


obtain assistance from two or three
at least of the professors of religion.
One I had confidently expected to
be present on this occasion. I was
overwhelmed with the disappoint-
ment: all my hopes of continuing
the meeting seemed to be pros-
trated, and I was ready to give it
up in despair. The small number
of people present was also discou-
raging. I nowever spoke on prayer,
and appointed a meeting at Mr.
V— '9, next Thursday evening.
I hope it will yet succeed, and that
those whose gifts are competent to
edify the people will not be deterred
by a boyish bashfulness, that they
themselves confess to be a.wretched
apology. A firayer ineetine here is
desirable. No congregation can
flourish without one. Christians
without this means may be said to
vegetate but scarcely to live."

On the £Oth of November he

preached in the house of Mr. G ,

a lawyer, and made the following
remarks : — " I fear there was more
of J. S. glorified, than Christ cruQi-
fied, in one of my discourses. Pride
of human learning, if I am not very
watchful against it, will shipwreck
my usefulness. Let me be simple
as a child in unfolding the truth —
not aiming to dazzle with rhetoric
— with the words which man's wis-
dom teacheth, but to edify with the
words which the Holy Ghost teach-

On Thursday, the 24tb of No-
vember, he wrote thus : •* Attended
the prayer meeting which I had ap-
pointed at Mr. V >8. This was

a truly delightful meeting to me,
and I believe to all present. My
doubts relative to the establishment
of a permanent prater meeting all
vanished; and I experienced an.
exhilaration that was a perfect con-
trast to my feelings last Thursday
evening. The Spirit of the Lord
appeared in very deed present,
smiling upon our undertaking, and
promising success. All those who
last week shrunk appalled from the
duty of publick prayer, now lent

their assistance, as might have been
expected, with much fear and trem-
blins;; bat I am persuaded they had
much reason to say the Lord was
better to them than their fears.
The meeting was very solemn and
interesting; and the complaint from
some that it was too short, although
over an hour and a half long, proved
that it was good to be there."

On the 13th of December, 1825,
he penned the following humble ex-
pressions concerning himself: ** The
number of hearers was small, but
they were attentive and solemn. I
fear that I have not yet succeeded
in attaining to the proper method
of preaching. In aiming at cor-
rectness, i perhaps adopt a style
-beyond the^ capacity of the people.
Perhaps, alas ! there is a want of
unction and apparent earnestness.
1 know indeed that I do not feel
that travail of soul of which St.
Paul speaks. While I humbly hope
that I have been called to the work
of the ministry, still I am sure that
I am greatly deficient in apostolick
devotedness and fidelity. Self is
too prominent an object in all my
exertions. Lord Jesus, endow thy
unworthy servant with that com-
passion for souls, that supreme love
for thy service, without which his
preaching will be entirely in vain."

Dec. 14. "The country is so new
that no places have been erected for
publick worship by any society of

Christians. Even in R , the

room occupied as a church is a cold
bleak cabin, that will not contain
more than twenty-five or thirty
persons. We who have come from
the East must, in relation to many
things,bring.down our lofty thoughts,
and completely banish from our
minds the lingering recollection of
what we have left behind. We are
on the Lord's business, and self-
gratification is often to be sacrificed
on the altar of duty. The respect
of the people, and the sincerity of
their every effort to accommodate,
have rendered me very happy, and
1 can truly say, that 1 have not

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Jifemmr of the Rev. Jaines U. Stuart.


once r^retted mj having left my
dearest friends, nor once felt a dis-
position to complain of the little
hardships I have met with.''

Dec. 30^ — " Rode 12 miles, and in
the evening wrote half a sermon, on
the right improvement of time. I
find it bad policy to procrastinate
such business to the last hour. I
shall scarcely have time to finish it,
and then shall be obliged (oh ! ne-
fas 1) to read it. ' So teach us to
number our days that we may apply
our hearts unto wisdom.' "

The next day he rode 14 miles
and preached; after which he thus
wrote: — ^''Oh! when shall I see
some effect produced upon my hear-
ers. The fault must be in a great
measure with myself. Were I more'
anxious to commend the truth to
th^ir hearts, and consciences, and
less to exhibit my own abilities, I
might expect more success in
preaching. The anointing of the
Holy One, I fear, is wanting in a

treat measure. Set thy seal, O
4ord, to thy own great commission.
Idake thy word quick and power-
ful, discriminative and coercive,
upon the hearts of sinners. This
evening finished the sermon on
time, and determined to read it to-
morrow evening. A discourse ap-
propriate to the occasion of the new
year, is expected and neieded; but
should I read it in the morning sd
strong is prejudice, that it might
deter many from coming out in the

••Lord's day, Jan. 1, 1826.— This
is the first day of the new year.
The duties called for are retrospec-
tion and self-examination, with re-
pentance, such as these should in-
duce. I desire to bewail my un-
profitableness during the last year,
and resolve, by divine assistance,
to be more diligent for th% future.
I would gratefully acknowledge
' past mercies, and beg a continuance
of them, with others, such as J need,
^ and grace to improve them to the
' glory of God. In the evening I
read my discourse on Psalm xc. 12,

'So teach us,' &c. It was gene-
rally well received, in spite of the
popular prejudice (foolish in degree,
but I am |)ersuaded founded in na-
ture,) against the practice of read-

"Jan. 4th. — Spent the day in
reading. An opportunity of 'this
kind I gladly embrace, whenever it
presents itself. Leisure and mate-
rials for reading or writing, are
rarely afforded. This is one of the
grievous disadvantages with which
missionaries have to Contend. My
ignorance, after all the advantages
heretofore enjoyed, often makes me
ashamed. Much is expected from
a cler^man, especially a Princeto-
uian: if this expectation is not an-
swered, whatever be the eminence
of his piety, he receives but little
deference, especially from men of

Few young men, very few li-
centiates, it is to be feared, have
the deep felt sense of their own un-
worthiness and insufficiency, which
the preceding extracts evince. It
usually appertains to older minis-
ters of the gospel to be thus afraid
of preaching themselves ; and thus
solicitous to be useful. But the
subject of these remarks was unu-
sually ripe for one of his years ; and
he may be presented, in the faint
sketch above drawn by himself, as a
pattern for our young missionaries
to the new settlements in our coun-
try. Let them learn from him to
be thankful, when they meet with
kind attentions altogether beyond
their deserts, instead of uttering
doleful complaints about the hard-
ships experienced in their travels.
It was his intention to have return-
ed to Urbana, and to have spent his
days there, or in some western con-
gregation ; and for this purpose he
received ordination from the Pres-
bytery of Philadelphia, in the au-
tumn of 1826.

He seems always to have been
predisposed to inflammatory rheu-
matism. He experienced some se-
vere attacka from it during hia mis-

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Mmoir (^ihe Bev. James H. 8tmrt,


sioii, and before he coajd start oo
a return. The state of his health
made him proceed slowly after he
let his face a second time to the
west; and although the people of
Urbana long waited for him with af- .
•fectionate solicitude, yet Providence
finally located him in Kishacoc^uillaa
Valley, in Pennsylvania, in which he
became pastor of two larte and re-
spectable con^jg^ations. His bodily
infirmities, it is believed, had a pro-
coring influence in his settlement;
for they were such as to render ajpch
exposure to the weather hazardous,
' and a situation at no great distance
from his relatives desirable. No pru-
dence, however, could save him from
what would seem to human wisdom
an untimely death. He served the
flocks over which he was made a
bishop with great fidelity for about
W two jears, and with very encouraging
r success. Considerable nomtters were
added to the church during his mi-
nistry; and he secured the respect
and confidence, not only of his pa-
rishioners, but of all his brethren in
the sacred office. The writer often
heard them say, '*Send us sueh young
men for our vacant ehurches as Mr.
Stuart, and they will soon support

The last sickness of this beloved
servant of Christ wa^ a quick con-
sumption, resulting from a bilious
' fever/ exposure bjr a cold ride in the
rain after prea^ing, when his health
was but partially restored, and the
return of a violent rheumatic affec-
[ tion. He was confined to his bed for
i* • about three weeks before his decease ;
and suffered the most excruciating
pains, without a murmur; and with-
out the least expectation of relief but
by death. Fully aware of his situa-
tion, he spent his time in prayer, in
bearing read some of Watts* Hymns,
Clarke on the Promises, and princi-
pally the Bible ; and in persuading
his near relatives, by every argu-
ment, to submit to the will of Ood
in taking him away. Those passages
of the sacred Scriptures which most
clearty present the blessed Saviour
I of sinners in all his work of media-
I V01..VIL— C/i.^rfr.

tion, were his chief delight; and be
would frequently comment on them,
as they were read, in glowing strains.
He desired those who prayed with
him to ask of God, that he might have
patience and submission, and dying
grace, which should enable him to
exclaim in his last moments, Come,
Lord Jesus, come quickly. He ap-*
peared to be swallowed up in grati-
tude to God for his goodness to l\im-
self, of whom he had the most lowly
estimate. He had done, he thought,
nothing as he ought to have done it;
but when his voice failed, he express-
ed in whispers his earnest desire to
speak of the precioosness of Jesus ;
and hear, in return, of the hope which
there is in hiiK) for so vile a sinner as
himself. Clouds, he said, sometimes
obscured the Saviour's countenance,
but, if he did not deceive himself, he
could generally realise the Sun of
Righteousness shining upon his soul.
On the last night of his earthlr
pilgrimage, as he drew near his end,
he called all who were present to
him, and calmly bade all, especially
his wife and sister, an afibctionate
farewell. I^ast he called for his infant
son, kissed him, and committed him,
with his mother and aunt, to the
Lord. His sistei^ at his desire, read
a part of the 119th Psalm, beginnhig
with, ^Wherewithal shall a young
man cleanse his way,** which he said
was "so applicable.** He then en-
gaged in earnest prayer, and desired
his friends to pray, that the Saviour's
countenance might shine upon him
as he passed through the dark val-
ley. To the question of his wife, *'if
he did not feel that he was going to
Jesus?* he replied, " Yess never to
leave him : I commit my all to him.**
He then said he was in great pain;
but added, ** Come, Lord JesuSj come
quick iy*" Again be prayed, to be
kept from the tempter, and said,
"The Master calteth for me, and
shall I say. Nor* He prayed that he
might be enabled to cast himself en-
tirely into the hands of the Saviour;
and evidently having dweltin thought
on some passage of sacred ^rit, he
remarked, "R^t! how sweet is that


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Mmoir of the Rev. James J7. Stuart.


thought !** While in the agODies of
dissolution he repeated these fkvoar-
ite lines;

** Jesus, lover of my soul.
Let me to thy bosom fly;
While the billows near me roll.
While the tempest still is hig^ !
Hide me, O niy Saviour, hide.
Till the storm of life is past ; .
Safe into the haven guide ;
O receive my soul at last !"

His lips moved while his wife and
sister held his cold bands : again he
said, "Come, Lord Jesus, come quick-
\jf and when he could whisper no
more, he Vaiaed his hand to heaven,
and expired, February 27th, 1829,
aged 95 years and 10 months.

The removal of such a youthful
minister is a severe loss, not only to
his youthful companion and little
son, and other weeping relatives, but
to the Presbyterian church of which
he was a minister ; for few preach-
ers of his years possess better men-
tal furniture than he did, for eminent
usefulness. His discernment was
clear, his judgment sound, his taste
good, and his style of writing per-
spicuous. He was well skilled in
Hebrew, Latin and Greek ; was an
excellent biblical critic, a sound com*
mon sense metaphysician, and a tho-
rough, evangelical divine. His voice
was clear, his manner of speaking
natural, his manners affable* and his
piety ardent

Surely, the removal of such a young
minister, when labourers are greatly
needed by us, is a correction from
God; but the Lord gave, and the
Lord hath taken away: blessed be
the name of the Lord. I shall close
this memoir by an extract from one
of his sermons, which may now be
considered as addressed to us from
his grave.

*' Are dear friends leaving you and
eoing to heaven ? You need not mourn
for them as those that have no hope.
Cling the more closely and affection-
ately to that Friend who will never
leave thee nor forsake thee. He who
can say. When my father and my
mother forsake me, the Lord will
take me up, has indeed a treasure of

happiness beyond all price. Tarry a*
little longer, until it is your Lora|s
pleasure to take you from this his
antichamber to his glorious presence.
Soon the Master will come and call
for thee. Sweetly mayest thou then
say, ' Come, Lord Jesus, come quick- .
U* Thou mayest then peacefully lay
thy head upon thy pillow, and fall
asleep. And when the last trump
shall sound, thy vile body shall be
raised beautiful, immortal, like the
body of thine exalted Redeemer; and
then shalt thou go to be ever with the
Lord. Amen."

The following letter to the father
of the Rev. Mr. Stuart, on hearing
the report of his death, will, we are
sure, be perused by our readers with
interest, and we would fain hope, not
without profit.

Trenton, March 14, 1829.

My Dear Sir, — ^The injunction of
the Scriptures, "Thine own friend,
and thy father's friend forget thou
not,* seems to roe to be peculiarly
applicable to a case where this friend
is sorrowing under the chastising rod
of the Almighty. It is but a few days
since I heard the «olemn and pain-
ful intelligence that my dear friend
James Stuart had departed this life.
And although the tidings have not
yet reached me in any authentic
shape, yet from recent accounts I
have too much reason to believe that
they are true. And now, my d^
sir, you are called to know the bit-
terness of mourning for a first-born
son. May our merciful Father in
heaven abundantly sanctify to you,
and your dear partner in affliction,
this severe and mysterious dispensa-
tion! I know "how useless to a trou-
bled spirit are the ordinary themes
of condolence, and that '*the heart
knoweth his own bitterness ^ yet
that gospel which.teaches us to "weep
with those that weep," enjoins it up-
on me to seek, if possible, to speak a
word in season to him that is weary.
You have been long a scholar in that
school of experience, which I am on-
ly entering, and you know already
every argument of consolation which
a truly sympathizing heart would

Digitized by



Memoir of the Bev. James H. Stuart.


lead me to 8tip;ge8t; yet these di-
vine troths are ever new, "where-
fore I will not be neglirait to put
you in remembrance of Uiese things*
tfaoogh ye know them, and be esta-
blished in the present troth,** — ^and
^to stir you up by putting you in

The dear son whom you have lost

(soon» I trust, to find him again at

the right hand of God) was, as you

know, one of my earliest and roost

esteemed friends. Similarity of tastes

and pursuits united us; and this

friendship was cemented by the great

subiect or our eternal salvation, which

took possession of our minds about

the saone time* We corresponded

after ieavinff college, and were much

together in fte Theological Seminary,

where we were class-mates. I still

retain the letters both in Latin and

English, which are the memorials of

my departed brother. And now how

delightful is it to me to be able to

say, with so much confidence, that he

was indeed one for whom it was gain

to die ! Few of our brethren were as

free from all reproach, few were more

earnestly desirous of makinc those

attainments which might be for the

.edification of the body of Christ No

joung man within the circle of my

.acquaintance, seemed to me so much

to nave observed the caution of the

Apostle "Let do man despise thy


But now he is removed out of our
sight Happy are those parents, even
in bereavement, who 8orit>w not as
those who have no hope! Happier
still, if they have some good confi-
dence in their own acceptance!
Though our Master has "removed
the desire of your eyes at a stroke,"
I doubt not you remember that He
has only taken back his loan, and
can say with Job, "The Lord gave,"
&c. And although this affliction for
the present is not joyous, but griev-
ous, yet the word of God, I do be-
lieve, will be so applied to you, as
to cause it to work for you the peace-
able fruits of righteousness. Yes,
"slilessed is the man whom thou chas-
tenest, and instructest him out of thy

law." The law and the testimony —
these are the fountains of comfort ;
and you have been too long in the
school of Christ, not to know that
the word of God is never sweeter
than when we are in the valley of
hamiliation ; and that tliere is never
more spiritual nourishment in our
great passover, than when it is re-
ceived with the bitter herbs of afflic-
tion and repentance.

But if I know your heart, my dear
Sir, your desire is not merely to know
how you may be comforted^ but how
you may be edified under this chas-
tisement You are ready to say,
" What does this meav? What does
my roaster intend to teach me by this
stroke r" And here you will suffer
one who is unworthy to handle so
ere^t a theme, to say, that it does
took as if God intended, before he
removed you out of this world, to
crucify your affections to all earthly

How much meaning there is in
those verses of Watts — ** The fond-
ness of a creature's love," &c. Does
not your soul so forth more towards
that higher and happier world, when
you bear in mind that the dear object
of so many affections, has gone betore
you? We are still upon the broad and
stormy sea, but dear James has been
brought to his desired haven: we
talk of Christ, but he sees htm ; we
behold through a ffla&s, darkly, but
he, face to face. OT that we may all
set our affections more and more up-
on tilings above. It is my heart's
desire and prayer that our kind Mas*
ter and Father, may bind op the bro-
ken hearts of yourself, your partner,
and your dear children. And may he
especially bless Catharine Ann, in
her new and important relation. He
will be the God of the widow and
the fatherless. My love most sincere-
ly to Mrs. Stuart and all your family.

Yours inihe love of the Gospel,
James. W. Alsxandeh.

P. S, You have already learned
that I am settled in Trenton. There
is an encouraging extem^Ll attend-
ance at all our meetings, but no-

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On Free-WHL


thing of a special nature, which it
wonU be interesting for yen to hear.

{Cvnehtdedfi^mpa^ 155.)
Men, in their sinful state» wer^
dead as to the knowledge and the
moral perfections of God. The Holy
Scriptures teach us this, the history
of all ancient ages, and the present
state of nations who know not the
gospel, yield confirmation of it They
were neither able, nor willing of
themselves, to know and serve Ood.
That they sai^t be otherwise cir*
comstanced, it was necessary that
God should reveal himself to them,
in order that he might " work in-tbem
both to will and to do." He ''works
in them to toiU," by dissipating the
darkness, prejudices, vain pretexts,
and false reasonings, which obscure
our feeble understanding; by impo-
sing silence upon our passions, and
by a sweet and holy persussion, turn*
ing cor will from evil, and directing
it to good. He ^ works in them to
lio,* by coming to the aid of those
who are ''willing to come to him for

Online LibraryAshbel GreenThe Christian advocate → online text (page 28 of 93)