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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 72

The Late Dr Stuart

The Late Dr Stuart.

At the close of the first prayer,

Mr K. B. Cargill stepped forward, and addressing the congregation said: Friends,—I have a word or two to say. Our dear pastor Dr Stuart has gone from us. Yesterday morning about 7 o'clock the spirit de-parted from the frail and worn body—veay quietly, peacefully, and happily; so much so that the nurse and attendants scarce knew when the spirit had fled. He has gone. After his long and loving and stundant labours he has gone to his reward; be has entered the Kingdom of the Blessed. On Thursday last he had a severe attack in the afternoon which called for the active help of the doctor—Dr Coughtrey. And here let me say that the kind and constant and unremitting attention of Dr Coughtrey to our dear friend in his last days is beyond all praise that I can give to him. Our pastor had apparently a little relief, and gained some sleep that night, so that on Friday morning he seemed a little better and was a little more himself. But in the afternoon another attack of great severity came on. It was only towards evening that the doctor was able to obtain some improvement and to get for him a little rest during the earlier part of the night. He then had some ease and relief, and between 3 and 4 o'clock in the morning he awoke and got up and spoke to the nurse; but after a little while he laid down again apparently under great weakness and exhaustion, so much so that the nurse shortly afterwards sent for Dr Coughtrey, who came in somewhere between 4 and 5 in the morning and found his patient in a very weak and precarious condition. The doctor did not anticipate that the end was so near, nor did the nurse, and he left him and went back to his house. Towards 7 o'clock in the morning the nurse saw a change coming over him and sent again for the doctor, who did not arrive until life was gone. At the end Dr Stuart passed off, as I have said, so quietly, so peacefully, that the watchers simply became aware that the heart had ceased to beat, that the breath had ceased to come, and that the great active brain was set at rest for ever. You all know that for a month past the doctor has had a great deal of suffering. From time to time he brightened up, and in his own fashion was marvellous to us. Whenever he could get the opportunity he was out doing something in the way of work We could have wished that he had laid himself more entirely aside, and said so to him time after time, but what he said was that the only joy left to him in life, the only thing good in what remained to him of life worth living for, was the feeling that, when his strength permitted it, he might be out and doing what he could in the work he had been doing so long. And who could have the heart to say "nay" to that? For my part I am glad to think that in his latter moments he was able to find that pleasure and joy which it unquestionably did give him to do something of his old work as far as his strength permitted. He was ever bright in his mind. Down to the last his mind was ever bright and clear—as interested in all that went on round about him, and as active as ever. He could take an active interest in whatever was told him of what was going on, and at the same time his own faith was strong and unquestioned and simple. He was perfectly satisfied to commit his soul to God and to know that He would not leave him at the time when most greatly needed. I am quite sure that his firm, settled faith in God and Christ as his Saviour never wavered nor faltered in the least degree unto the very end. Well, he has gone; he has entered into his rest; he has gone to receive the welcome of those loved ones whom he loved on earth and who have gone before him; to receive the welcome of many who, in their last moments, he helped over the dark waters, and to join the great company of the saints of God; to see face to face that which we only now see as in a glass darkly; to page 12 join the great company of the redeemed; to be present with the Lord; to partake in the beatific vision, and to receive that crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, will surely bestow upon him. He has gone from us. We shall no more see that stalwart form which was the dwelling place of his great spirit: in former days strong and active, but of late much reduced by weakness and sickness. We shall no more see that form in the pulpit before us; it only remains to us with due respect and honour to commit it to the dust. We shall no more witness the play of that honest, manly, great countenance, which reflected so honestly and straightly every emotion that came from his heart; and we shall no more hear that loving, sympathetic voice—not, indeed, gifted with great oratorical powers, but having the greater gift of speaking from heart to heart, impressing us with the belief that what came to us came from his own heart and was directed honestly to ours—the kind of address which, as has been often said, always gave us something to take away of advantage to us. I am sure that his departure will leave a blank not only with us, but in this whole community, which it will be very difficult to fill up. No man, I take it, has departed from the midst of us in our time that has been so widely honoured, so widely loved, or so widely respected—not only as a preacher of righteousness, as the minister of this great congregation, but as a man ever forward in everything for the good of his fellow men. He was a noted and great philanthropist, giving his ready and effective aid in everything which made for the good of his fellows, and particularly for the aid of those who were in want or suffering, or in need of temporal aid. A great educationist, the chancellor of our university; the ardent advocate of everything that made for the strengthening and building up of our educational system, bringing to bear his great knowledge and experience, and giving his active and earnest help to the utmost of his strength. On all occasions a great citizen and patriot, filled with the highest aspirations for the country of which he had become a denizen; always bright and hopeful, looking with con fidence to the future of this colony, and always ready to lend a helping hand in everything that would make for the good of the people at large. He was felt to be the friend not only of every man and woman within the range of his voice here, but was looked upon as a universal friend without regard to creed or state in riches or poverty. At all times there was he, ever ready with help and with words to make it acceptable. It is no wonder he was looked upon with reverence and with respect and with love. But to come back to ourselves. What has he been to us for these long years which he has been in the colony since he laid the foundation of this great congregation—the greatest congregation, let me say, in some respects th[unclear: at] exists in the Australasian colonies? [unclear: for] thirty-four long years he has laboured [unclear: house] and to the utmost of his strength, [unclear: hear] zealously, and lovingly, showing all conation for those with whom he was [unclear: assoc] ever ready to give the utmost credit [unclear: for] smallest services to those who helped [unclear: him]. all know that in the main this congregation a created, built up, and maintained in its [unclear: stre] chiefly by his own great personality, by largeness of heart, and the liberality [unclear: of] views. Thirty-four years he has been with That forms a large portion of the life of any of us. There are many of you who [unclear: now] me who have lived the whole of your [unclear: lives] his ministry. You have been baptised [unclear: by] you have been received into the church by and you have grown up under his ministry the strength of manhood and [unclear: womant] There are others of you who duri[unclear: ng] time from youth have passed into [unclear: mil] life and have advanced towards There are others again who met him as [unclear: mi] aged men and women, who are now advanced into old age. But whatever the [unclear: st] of life the influence of Dr Stuart [unclear: through] that long period has been a great and [unclear: g] influence, for which we may all bless God [unclear: l] very sure, this day. For my part I cannot but in thankful that so large a portion of my life been spent in contact and in fellowship with man who has been so great a factor in all that good, and who has so greatly encouraged that one would wish to be. I think we may join in that feeling, and my hope and [unclear: pray] that the memory of Dr Stuart in the [unclear: few] or years that it may yet please God to [unclear: gn] unto me may be ever kept fresh and green, [unclear: al] that although he has gone from us I am retain the sense that he has not gone [unclear: al] gether, that his influence may fill what [unclear: rem] to me of life, so that I may be able [unclear: to] back to and remember his wise counsel [unclear: not] with satisfaction, but with benefit of [unclear: eve] kind. He has been a friend throughout those years, throughout all the vicitudes of our life. In prosperity or versity, in sunshine or in sorrow-[unclear: alw] our sympathetic friend, ready to join [unclear: w] us in our rejoicing in days of brightness and prosperity; ready to bring his kindly [unclear: sympa] and advice in days of trouble, sorrow, and reavement; under all circumstances [unclear: con] into our houses as a gleam of sunshine, [unclear: I] say no more, friends. He has now gone [unclear: to] rest. I praise God that his sufferings [unclear: ha] ended. They have not been light; they [unclear: k] indeed been very considerable, but he has [unclear: bor] up, strengthened by his strong faith and [unclear: as] ance of the love and goodness of God, [unclear: whi] has never forsaken him.

During the course of his remarks, which [unclear: w] delivered extemporaneously, Mr Cargill [unclear: wa] page 13 [unclear: veral] times strongly affected, speaking with much emotion, which was largely shared by the [unclear: rrowing] congregation.

The hymn, "Forever with the Lord," followed. The subject of the Rev. Mr Kelly's discourse was "The Church's Distress and De-livers nce" (John vi, 16 to 21). Mr Barth, at the [unclear: gan], played Co wen's "Better Land" as the [unclear: pening] piece, and at the offertory the "Dead March" in "Saul"; while Beethoven's "Dead March" was played as the congregation dispersed.