The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 72
The children of Knox Church Sabbath Schools assembled in the church in the afternoon, and, accompanied by teachers and friends, entirely filled the body of the building.
The Rev. D. Borrie. who took for his text Hebrews xi, 4—"He being dead, yet speaketh"—said: Dear Boys and Girls,—I am here to-day to express my deep sympathy with you in your sore bereavement by the death of your much beloved minister, Dr Stuart. I can do this with my whole heart, for I too feel bereaved. I too have lost my friend and father with whom I often took sweet counsel. Allow me, not only in my own name but in the name of many outside Knox Church—in the name of many Sabbath school teachers and scholars—to express our sympathy with you in your loss. We pray that God himself may comfort and bless you in this your great sorrow, and that you may know the sympathy and fellowship of Jesus, the great sympathiser. Dr Stuart is dead, but he still speaks to you by his life and character, by his words and works, remember; and Jesus lives and says, "My grace is sufficient for you," "My grace is made perfect in your weakness." He has promised, "Lo, I am with you always unto the end of the world"; "I will never leave you nor forsake you." May you remember and realise this. But I am here to do more than to sympathise with you, I have to say something about our departed friend and father, and to draw lessons from his life and character. This is a thing sanctioned by Scripture, a great part of which is taken up with the lives of good men, and surely we may refer to good men still and show what God has done for and by them, not for the glorification of the men themselves, but for our own instruction and to the glory of His Grace, who not only made them to be accepted in the Beloved, but hath made them what they were, and enabled them to do their good work. My text, then to-day is, "Dr Stuart being dead, yet speaketh Now, you do not need me to tell you about Dr Stuart, for you know more of his love and goodness than I do. You knew his large, loving heart, so full of kindness to all; you knew his love for the children, and his deep interest in all that concerns them; you knew that he was foremost in every good word and work. If I were to describe his character I would say that he was a Barnabas—the son of Consolation, a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith; and that, like Persis the beloved, he laboured much in the Lord: for Dr Stuart was indeed a son of Consolation, was a good man, full of the Holy Ghost and of faith. He was a true bishop of blameless character—apt to teach, a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate: a man thoroughly furnished to every good work. He was, indeed, a good and a great man, and we might say, "Know ye page 36 not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel,"—a man and a Christian minister, who will be missed by your children, by Knox Church congregation, by the whole Presbyterian community of Otago and Southland, by all the churches of Christ in this city, by every good cause, for many a day; and who is truly mourned for by all classes through-out the land. I did not, however, come here to eulogise our dear departed friend and father, for he does not need our praise; and yet, as one who knew him intimately and loved him well, I may be permitted to add my testimony to his worth and to lay one small wreath on his grave. But I am anxious to draw lessons from his life and work that we might learn, like him, to live nobly—that you young people might learn to follow in his footsteps, as he followed in the footsteps of Jesus. And if from his place in glory he sees us here now, if in spirit he is present to-day, I am sure this would be more pleasing to him than saying good things about himself. The Rev. Mr Borrie then spoke to the children of Dr Stuart's early home, of his early consecration to Christ, of his integrity of character, of his perseverance and untiring industry, his liberal studies, his kindliness of spirit and great-hearted generosity, and, concluding, said:—"All Dr Stuart's labours were for others and for the cause of Christ. When you think of the meetings he attended, of the visits he paid, of the letters he wrote—(he was always writing letters, in season and out of season)—of the visits and interruptions he endured, of the marriages he solemnised, of the funerals he officiated at, his labours were truly great. He was always at it I have been to his study at all hours and never found him idle, and seldom resting. He was mostly busy, with pen in hand, correcting exercises or matter for the press, directing newspapers and periodicals, filling up forms, or writing letters. He was the busiest man I ever met with. He was not slothful in business, fervent in spirit serving the Lord. 'Seest thou a man diligent in business, he shall stand before kings, he shall not stand before mean men,' and 'the home of the diligent maketh rich.' Dr Stuart is rich to-day in good works that shall be his crown of rejoicing in the day of Christ, and he stands to-day before the King of Kings. Truly, like 'Persis, the beloved, he laboured much in the Lord,' and copied his Master in continually doing good. And his message to you and me is to be up and doing while it is day, for the night cometh when no one can work. And what shall I say more, for time fails me to point the lessons from the life and character of our departed friend and your minister? He, being dead, yet speaks to you in many ways. But he is dead—he sleeps in Jesus. He rests from his labours. He has gone home to be with Christ, which is far better. 'Having served his generation, by the will of God he fe[unclear: ll] Yes, he is at rest, and dwells forever wi[unclear: th] Lord he loved and served so well. So [unclear: we] well say "Servant of God, well do[unclear: ne]." do not mourn for him as those who [unclear: have] hope, for we believe that Jesus died [unclear: and] again, and those also that sleep in [unclear: Jesus] will bring with him. We shall [unclear: meet] We would not have him back, but rather thank God that he gave him to us so long grace enabled him to do so much, And [unclear: at] took him to Himself. May we hear him [unclear: sping] to us to-day! May we seek to follow [unclear: in] footsteps, as he followed Christ! May [unclear: we], seek to win, through grace, the welco[unclear: me] done, good and faithful servant, enter [unclear: th] the joy of your Lord!"