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upon his mind a deep sense of the dread responsibility, of his office, feeling that souls were committed to his charge ; and that for these he was bound to watch, as one who must give an account, he made it his earnest study, and constant endeavour, so to divide the word of life, as to give to each one “ a portion in due season." Rightly discriminating between the saint and the sinner; between the nominal christian, and the real believer, he shaped his instructions, admonitions, and warnings accordingly. Of his sermons, Jesus was the center and the sum. They were distinguished for their manly sense, simplicity of style, evangelical piety, and searching truth. Knowing that the great design of the gospel ministry is to bring sinners home to God, he was more solicitous to reach the conscience and to mend the heart, than to please the fancy, or to tickle
He deemed that sermon worth nothing, which had not in it something of Christ. His theological opinions were, in the strictest sense of the word, orthodox. He stated, and defended the doctrines of grace, the doctrines of the reformation. He taught the entire depravity of the human heart; the absolute necessity of being born from above ; the necessity of divine influences to change the heart, and to sanctify the soul; the nature, and necessity of repentance and faith, holiness and love, influencing the heart to the production of good works, in the life.
The divinity of the Lord Jesus,' and atonement through his blood, were, in his system, doctrines of primary importance. On these he rested his eternal hopes. In his public ministry, Dr. Keith was particularly distinguished, not only for the purity of his doctrines, but for the servor of his prayers, and his marked
attention to the dispensations of Providence. In these be bas, perhaps, been seldom surpassed in any age of the church. How often bas he wrestled, like Jacob, on this very spot! The pestilence, the fire, the earthquake, or the storm, were never suffered to escape bis public notice. But why dwell upon the subject of his pastoral office, in presence of bis bereaved and afflicted congregation, whose hearts are still bleeding, whose tears are still flowing, and who are sorrowing, most of 'all, because of the decree that is gone forth that “they shall see his face no more ?" How he fed you, with the bread of life ; how he comforted you in the hour of affiction ; how he wiped your tears, in the day of your anguish ; how “ he prayed by your beds of pain ;'* how affectionately he loved you, and how honestly he warned you, is known to you now, and shall be known to the universe, in that day, which shall disclose the Son of Man in the clouds of heaven! Then shall you again meet your pastor! Those who shall have savingly profited by his ministry, shall hail, with loud accla. mations, the man who was “over them in the Lord;" who fed them in this house, and pointed them to the Saviour. But those who shall then be found to have rejected his ministry ; but I forbear! The subject istoo awful! Your loss, my brethren, is great, and sensibly you feel it ; but you bare yet much for which to be thankful. Behold the venerable man who is still with you! He will comfort you in this time of your trouble ; and you in return will comfort him. See him trembling beneath the pressure of this great people! He is left alone, solitary and disconsolate! You will hold up his arms, as Aaron and Hur did those of Moses.
But in this assembly I see a group of mourners, whose tears tell me that they too are filled with sorrow.
Ask them why they weep, and they point me to the seat which the man of God filled among them, now left vacant. To these my disconsolate brethren, I must be permitted to turn for a moment.
MR. PRESIDENT, AND
GENTLEMEN OF THE CHARLESTON BIBLE SOCIETY, Ab, why have you already disarmed me! I see you weep! I know full well the cause of those tears ! Your ,ranks are thinned! Your number is diminished! One of your much loved leaders has fallen; and therefore it is that you lift up your voice, in this temple, and cry, 'help, Lord, for the godly man ceaseth.” But let us not be filled with over-much sorrow. Let'us wipe away our tears, and gather round the ashes of our de. parted brother, and prove how much we loved him, by
'gatbering up his maxims," and following his bright example. His greatest eulogy, as a member of this body, is found in the excellence of the Institution itself. Perhaps it is not going too far to say, that no institution ever originated in human invention, that has been so extensively useful to the eternal interests of men, as the institution of Bible Societies. Never have the streams of salvation rolled on with such rapidity, and with such growing swell, as since the institution of the British and Foreign Bible Society. This was the fountain whence first issued those streams which, as the river of God, are now refreshing and fertilizing the wilderness, and the dark places of the earth, stretching almost to the remotest boundaries of the globe, where, for ages, have been “the habitations of cruelty.” Never have the missionary armies gone out with such tri. umphant banners, as since the commencement of that society, and those which have grown out of it. All Christendom seems to have been put in motion.
Many are running “ to and fro,” and the knowledge of the Lord is rapidly increasing. The light of Zion is streaming in its glory, and the darkness of Paganism is flying before it. The Indian, the Persian, and the Arabian, with the inhabitant “ of Burmah and China," are now enabled to read, each in his own language, the words of eternal life. Mount Caucasus, in the bosom of Asia, has become luminous with the light of truth, and is pouring the lustre of the gospel upon “ numerous nations of the Tartar race.” “ The Malyan Isles," and those of the Pacific Ocean, have become vocal with songs of redemption through the blood of the Cross, “ The great Continent of Africa is now the scene of translations and of missions." The Continent of North America, and that of the South, are sending to the nations the knowledge of the Saviour. "Greenland, Labrador, and Austral Asia, have received the precious gift.” Jesus bas taken to him his great power, and is building up Jerusalem in these troublous times. These amazing operations, which are fixing the attention of Europe and the world ; and, in their results, are pouring blessings immortal upon the dark regions of the earth, soon caught the inquisitive and attentive ear of our departed brother. Having himself tasted that “the Lord is gracious," he hailed, with rapture, the introduction of the time, when “all flesh shall see the salvation of God." He longed to be engaged in so good a cause ; and before the time had arrived which gave birth to this Institution among us, he was engaged, with others, in counsel, and pecuniary support to aid in furthering the interests of missions, and translations in the East.
When the time drew on which presented a favourable aspect towards the good work in this city, he was among the foremost to embrace it. His arms, and his house were opened. He gathered round him tbe min- . isters of the altar, who, in union with himself, drew up the Constitution and Rules, which bind us together. Of this Society, thus organized, he was chosen one of the Vice-Presidents. This office he filled with dignity, activity and zeal, until the evening of Tuesday, the 14th ult. when he fell asleep in Jesus ! On Monday the 13th, at the last monthly meeting of the Board of Managers, he zealously advocated, and successfully supported the measure proposed, the object of which was to send the Scriptures, in their native language, to the destitute French, in the state of Louisiana ; and in thirty hours he was called to sit down with Abraham on the Mount of God! In the silent mansion of the tomb, his “flesh rests in hope," after having served his generation fifty-eight years and eleven months. And now farewell, thou man of God! We will dry up our tears, and return to our work, waiting with patience till our Lord shall come!
“Now unto him who is able to keep us from falling, and to present us faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy : to the only wise God, our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. AMEN."