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August 3d. The religious services connected with it were held in the First Presbyterian Church, and were conducted by the Rev. Dr. Thompson of New York, Dr. Magie of Elizabeth, Professor Hope, (since deceased,) of the College, and Dr. Hodge, the last of whom preached a discourse from the words in Matthew xxv. 34, “ Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
The sympathy felt by Christians of all branches of the church, in the removal of Dr. Alexander from their communion, was strikingly displayed in a meeting which took place on the 5th of August, at the most largely frequented of American summer-resorts—Saratoga. At this assembly clergymen of the Episcopal, Congregational, Baptist, Methodist, and ReformedDutch, as well as the Presbyterian churches, expressed a common sentiment of brotherly affection and high esteem.
The Session of the bereaved congregation in New York, appointed the second Sabbath of October to be observed with special reference to their affliction. It had been expected that the church would be closed during part of the summer and until that day, with a view to some extensive changes in the building to assist the voice of the pastor. But upon the reassembling of the congregation, a marble tablet, inserted in the wall near the pulpit, was the only change to be noticed. That tablet bears the following inscription :
IN MEMORY OF
JAMES WADDEL ALEXANDER, D.D.,
FOR THIRTEEN YEARS THE BELOVED AND REVERED PASTOR OF THIS CHURCH;
WHOSE SINGULAR NATURAL GIFTS, RIPENED BY GENEROUS CULTURE,
WERE SUCCESSFULLY GIVEN TO HIS SACRED WORK ;
AND WHO, BY HIS FERVENT PIETY, PURE LIFE, TENDER AFFECTIONS,
LARGE BENEVOLENCE, AND UNSPARING LABOUR, SO ENDEARED HIMSELF TO
HIS PEOPLE, THAT THEY MOURN
AS FORA DEAR BROTHER AND
HE WAS BORN MARCH 13, 1904,
DECLARING, AS THE SUM OF HIS FAITH AND HOPE, I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him against that day."
With the services on the Sabbath alluded to, were connected in the morning a sermon by Professor Hodge of the Princeton Theological Seminary, from the words, (Acts ix. 20,) preached Christ ;” and in the afternoon a sermon by the Editor of these volumes, from 2 Peter i. 15, “ Moreover, I will endeavour that ye may be able, after my decease, to have these things always in remembrance."
From the former of these, I extract a few paragraphs :
“Dr. Alexander united in himself gifts and graces rarely found in combination. God had endowed him with a retentive memory and a perspicacious intellect, with great power of application and acquirement, with singular delicacy of taste, with a musical ear, and a resonant voice. These gifts were all cultivated and turned to the best account. Probably no minister in our Church was a more accomplished scholar. He was familiar with English literature in all periods of its history. He cultivated the Greek and Latin, French, German, Italian, and Spanish languages, not merely as a philologist, but for the treasures of knowledge and of taste which they contain. To this wide compass of his studies is in good measure to be referred many of his characteristics as a writer, the abundance of his literary allusions, his curious felicity of expression, and the variety of his imagery.
“It was, however, not only in the department of literature that Dr. Alexander was thus distinguished. He was an erudite theologian. Few men were more conversant with the writings of the early fathers, or more familiar with Christian doctrine in all its phases. He embraced the faith of the Reformed Churches in its integrity with a strength of conviction which nothing but the accordance of that system with his religious experience could produce. * * * Theology and philosophy are so related, that devotion to the former involves of necessity the cultivation of the latter. Dr. Alexander was therefore at home in the whole department of philosophical speculation. His last publication was an able exposition of the views of the metaphysicians of the middle ages on one of the most important questions in mental science.
1 « The doctrine of Perception, as held by Doctor Arnauld, Doctor Reid,
“ Thus richly and variously was your beloved pastor endowed. These gifts, however, were but accomplishments. Underneath these adornments, in themselves of priceless value, was the man and the Christian. He was an Israelite without guile. Probably no man living was freer from all envy and jealousy, from malice, hypocrisy, and evil-speaking. No one ever heard of his saying or doing an unseemly or unkind thing. The associations connected with his name in the minds of all who knew him, are of things true, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. No one can think of him without being the happier and the better for the thought. He was a delightful companion. His varied knowledge, his humor, his singular power of illustration, rendered his conversation, when in health and spirits, a perpetual feast. Having been brought early in life to a saving knowledge of the truth, his religious knowledge and experience were profound and extensive. He was therefore a skilful casuist, a wise counsellor, and abundantly able to comfort the afflicted with the consolation wherewith he himself had been comforted of God. He was evidently a devout man, reverential in all his acts and utterances, full of faith and of the Holy Ghost.
“The pulpit was his appropriate sphere. There all his gifts and graces, all his acquirements and experiences, found full scope. Hence the remarkable variety which characterized his preaching; which was sometimes doctrinal, sometimes experimental, sometimes historical, sometimes descriptive or graphic, bringing scriptural scenes and incidents as things present before the mind; often exegetical, unfolding the meaning of the word of God in its own divine form. Hence, too, the vivacity of thought, the felicity of style, and fertility of illustration which were displayed in all his sermons. He could adapt himself to any kind of audience. * * * He preached Christ in a manner which seemed to many altogether peculiar. He endeavoured to turn the minds of men away from themselves, and to lead them to look only unto Jesus. He strove to convince his hearers that the work of salvation had been accomplished for them, and was not to be done by them; that their duty was simply to acquiesce in the work of Christ, assured that the subjective work of sanctification is due to the objective work of Christ, as appropriated by faith and applied by the Holy Ghost. He thus endeavoured to cut off the delays, the anxieties, and misgivings which arise from watching the exercises of our own minds, seeking in what we inwardly experience a warrant for accepting what is outwardly offered to the chief of sinners, without money and without price. He was eminently successful in his ministry, not only in the conversion of sinners, but in comforting and edifying believers. The great charm of his preaching, that to which more than to any thing else its efficiency is to be referred, was his power over the religious affections. He not only instructed, encouraged, and strengthened his hearers, but he had, to a remarkable degree, the gift of calling
and Sir William Hamilton," in the Repertory for April, 1859. As I have, in the progress of the volumes, indicated Dr. Alexander's articles in the Repertory, as far as I can identify them, I will mention that in the course of 1858 his contributions were, 1. “Ancient Manuscript Sermons;" 2. “Sprague's Annals.”
eir devotional feelings into exercise. In his prayers there were those peculiar intonations to which the Spirit of God alone can attune the human voice, and at the sound of which the gates of heaven seem to unfold, and the worshippers above and the worshippers on earth mingle together, prostrate in adoration. Your religious services, under his ministry, were truly seasons of devotion, the highest form of enjoyment vouchsafed to men on earth. The man who can give us this enjoyment, who can thus raise our hearts to God, and bring us into communion with our Saviour, we reverence and love. This is a power which no one envies, from which no one wishes to detract, which surrounds its possessor with a sacred halo, attracting all eyes and offending
“ Dr. Alexander's preëminence, therefore, was due not to any one gift alone; not to his natural abilities, to his varied scholarship, to his extensive theological knowledge and religious experience; not to his divine unction, or to his graces of elocution. It was the combination of all these which made him, not the first of orators to hear on rare occasions, but the first of preachers to sit under, month after month and year after year."
[The last letter ever written by Dr. Alexander, as referred to on page 290, was as follows:
6 WARM SPRINGS, July 19, 1859. “ MY DEAR LITTLE CHARLEY.—We have all been very much grieved to hear of your trouble; your mother's letter is all we know, but we trust you are by this time over the worst. I am weak, and cannot write much, but I beg you to consider that it is your Heavenly Father who sends this affliction on you, for your good. And if you are patient and resigned to the will of God, it will please God as much as if you did the most laborious
We were pleased to hear how manly you were, after you were hurt. This was God's gift; and he will take away your timidity, if you ask him, and make you strong and courageous.
“Willy has a letter begun to you, but he is a poor writer, and every thing draws him away. Give my love to your dear parents, to my sweet little Netty, to Archy and Sam, also to your Uncle Sam; all join in this. A letter is a great treat up here. Our address will be: Red Sweet Springs, Alleghany Co., Va. les Please let this be known to our friends. We expect to leave here to-morrow in a chartered stage. Mrs. Cabell is better. Your aunt is well; so is Will. My own troubles are chiefly from extreme weakness. I gain little. “ God bless you, Charley ! “I am your affectionate uncle