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labour to overturn this great fundamental doctrine of Christianity, is it not time for the advocates of this doctrine, who rest their souls upon it, to stand by the bulwarks of Zion, and defend her walls from the assaults of the enemy? Whilst Missionaries are sent forth to undermine the foundations of our hopes; and whilst publications of the most insidious construction, and dangerous tendency, are industriously circulated, is it not high time to endeavour to counteract the designs of the opponents of the truth, and to expel the contagion by some appropriate remedy ? Such a remedy, in the following Work, is provided. It is hoped it will be found well calculated to arouse the attention of men, and to inform their minds on
some of the great points connected with their salvation ; - to confirm the wavering in an adherence to the truth as it is in Jesus ; to combat and overturn some most dangerous and destructive errors; and to throw illustration and evidence around some of the most important truths of the gospel.
Belfast, 16th November, 1821.
SKETCH OF THE LIFE
REV. SINCLARE KELBURN.
TT is painful to reflect how scanty are the materials
upon which a brief biographical notice might be founded, of a man who for so many years occupied so prominent a situation in the town of Belfast, as the late Rev. SINCLARE KELBURN. The character of a divine is best known from his public labours. Precluded by his profession from the more lucrative avocations of life, he devotes his faculties to the service of God, and the moral benefit of society. Important as his servi. ces may be, there is a sameness and uniformity in his pursuits, which reduces his biographer to a narrow circle. He may speak of him as one, who, placed as a watchman on Zion's walls, “ blew the trumpet, and warned the people, that they should turn from their iniquity;" and thus “ delivered his own soul :" but this species of biography has but little attractions for the generality of readers. The minister of the gospel is not likely to be placed in those romantic situations, and unexpected emergencies, which interest and astonish us in their narration. From year to year “ he keeps the even tenor of his way;" comforting the poor, instructing the ignorant, "charging them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God.”
Such was the late Rev. SINCLARE KELBURN. Next to the labours of the pulpit, the extension of the blessings of civil and religious liberty to all denominations, seems to have occupied his attention. Zealously attached to his own religious principles, he was, in the genuine spirit of Christianity, liberal in judging of the opinions of others. There was a shrewd, an almost sarcastic wit about him, which he wielded with powerful effect against those who were disposed to dole out emancipation to our countrymen in fragments, rather than to consider it their natural and indefeasible right. “Friend,” said he, to an advocate of this kind, (illustrating his views by the simile of one man having got possession of the purse of another,). “I have kept this purse so long from you, that it is impossible you should not be out of humour ; therefore I cannot answer for the use you might make of it. I must wait until I am sure you are pleased and satisfied ; and the way I shall take to quiet you is this : first, I shall consider your case, and perhaps I shall give you the promise of a guinea out of your purse next week, if not sooner; and, if you please me, I shall perhaps give you more some other time, may be all ; and if you should be dead, I can, you know, as well give it to your children.”
The Rev. SINCLARE KELBURN. was the son of the Rev. Ebenezer Kelburn, and Martha Sinclare, relict of James Strahan, silk merchant, Nicholas-street, Dublin. The precise time of his birth (which can only be ascertained by his age at his death), was sometime in the year 1754. He studied early in life in Trinity College, Dublin, and afterwards in the University of Edinburgh, where he also devoted much of his time to the science of medicine, in which he afterwards obtained considerable reputation.
After going through the regular studies for the presbyterian ministry, he returned to Dublin ; from whence, in August, 1779, he came to Belfast, and became assistant and colleague to the Rev. William Laird, of the third congregation. Mr. Laird dying, in December, 1791, Mr. KelBURN succeeded him, and continued to have the sole charge until November, 1799, when indisposition compelled him to resign the care of a congregation, strongly and affectionately attached to him; and which, for upwards of twenty-two years, he delighted and edified by a faithful discharge of his ministry. He did not long survive : he retired to the country, a short distance from Belfast, and died on the 31st March, 1802.
His character is thus drawn in the periodical prints of the day, immediately after his decease, with which we shall close this outline of the life of our author :
“ He was a man of the utmost piety and benevolence ; kind and steady to his friends, when he found them worthy of his confidence and support. He was of a cheerful disposition; somewhat eccentric in his manners, without being offensive to those who were his intimates. His talents as a preacher of the gospel are well known, and were admired by those who heard him, and profited by bis instruction. He was an excellent scholar, a sincere and rational patriot, a good Christian, and an honest man.”
In the burial ground, at Castlereagh, (about three miles from Belfast,) a chaste and appropriate monument has been raised over the ashes of her departed husband, by the relict of the late SINCLARE KELBURN, containing the following epitaphi