The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 72
At the evening service the Rev. H. Kelly, B.A., preached, taking as his subject, "The Unconscious Service of God" (1st Samuel vi, 12) Towards the close of the sermon the preacher pointed out that, while all men do and must in a measure unconsciously serve God, this was not to be regarded as the kind of service properly due from man to God. Con-[unclear: ing] he said: "The fact that a man is a free moral agent carries with it the implication that the service due from him to God must be: [unclear: tirely] determined by his constitution. Know-ledge of this truth conveys of itself a summons as definite, deliberate consecration to God. Such a summons is made stronger and more [unclear: emn] by the circumstances on which we are this evening met. It does not fall to my lot to pronounce an eulogium upon Dr Stuart: that task has been assigned to brethren more nearly equal to it. In a characteristically kind letter which I received from Dr Stuart on Wednesday last, he said, referring to my visit, that he hoped I would be the bearer of a blessing both to Knox Church and its minister. As in Dr Stuart, he is now beyond the reach and the view of any poor words of ours. He who is richly comforted others is himself comforted, and all pain and sorrow have ceased for him latter so many years of untiring labour and devotion, after a lifetime of unremitting [unclear: tivity] in the service of the church and the [unclear: munity,] shall we grudge him his rest and his reward? Shall we not rather say, 'Servant of God, well done'? May we not say of him, as is said of the builder of a great English cathe-deal, 'If you seek his monument, look around you'? Look at this building, look at this congregation—compact, united, vigorous; look at the various institutions, philanthropic and educational, which felt his touch and were [unclear: ulded] by his master hand. Think also, for you cannot know them, of the innumerable [unclear: corded] deeds of kindness; and, remembering and reflecting upon his achievement, lift up your hearts for God's gift to Dinedin and to New Zealand. That sublime and pathetic presence is no more with us; we shall not grasp his hand again on earth, and of are infinitely the poorer by his absence. But as he will live in our memories, so should he live in our lives as a perpetual inspiration to the wholehearted service of God. If, as some suppose, the departed saints are aware of our actions and keep loving watch oyer our destinies, then I am sure that in the high safe height of Paradise nothing will so gladden the spirit of your late pastor as to learn that on the first Sabbath after his translation some of his flock thought upon their ways and turned their feet unto God's testimonies, and deliberately and definitely as became them devoted themselves to Christ. Even out of death let us draw life, and our very loss as it is Dr Stuart's gain will turn to our advantage and the glory of that God whose he was and whom he served."
The anthem in the evening was "The Homeland," and the vast congregation, comprising 1400 people, stood in reverent silence while the "Dead March" was played. As the congregation dispersed Mr Barth played Guilmant's "Funeral March" in C minor.