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making every other preparation, let him always, as far as opportunity will allow, go from his knees in secret, to meet the public assembly, and to become its mouth to the throne of the heavenly grace.

Let none say, that this is taking too much pains with the subject before us; and that so much study and labour will tend to restrain rather than cherish the aid of the Holy Spirit. This is an utter delusion. Why should preparation for public prayer tend more to restrain or banish the influences of the blessed Spirit, than preparation for public preaching? The truth is, the more thoroughly any man will enter the whole system of preparation which has been described, the more richly will he experience the result which the lamented subject of this memoir experienced. The more he will live in the element of prayer--the more its spirit, as well as its diction, will fill his mind—the more ready, pertinent, affectionate and abundant will be the flow of expression as well as of feeling. The more his whole soul will be kindled into those sacred fervours in which light and heat together hold a united and consecrated reign. Does any man restrain the Spirit, by importunately seeking his aid, studying his inspired word, aiming to speak as he speaks, and trying to catch the holy flame which he kindles? Of all the absurdities which inconsideration can admit, surely this is one of the most strange and unreasonable.

We have been told, that the late Dr. Witherspoon, when addressing those who studied theology under his direction, on the subject of conducting public prayer, was accustomed to relate the following anecdote. The Doctor was an early and intimate friend of the celebrated Dr. Gillies, the compiler of the well known work, entitled “Historical Collections,” the object of which was to record the triumphs of divine

grace in some of the most remarkable revivals of religion, both in Europe and America. Dr. Witherspoon remarked, that of all men with whom he had ever united in public prayer, Dr. Gillies was decidedly the most able and edifying: that there was in his public prayers, a richness, a variety, an appropriateness, a fervor, an ease, a tenderness, and a scriptural character throughout, which, on the whole, exceeded what he ever heard from any other man. He stated that, on a certain occasion, in the freedom of intercourse with his venerable friend, he asked him by what means he had been so happy as to attain this unusual excellence. Dr. Gil.

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lies replied to the following effect:-"I know not that my prayers are entitled to any such commendation as you have thought proper to bestow upon them. But it is certain that I have taken no small pains to prepare myself for that part of my public duty, as well as for preaching. For many years I never wrote a sermon, without writing what I deemed an appropriate prayer, particularly adapted to the subject of the discourse, and to be used in connexion with it.”

We are not prepared to recommend precisely this kind of stated preparation for the service in question; but we are prepared fully to recommend all the measures in relation to prayer which the subject of this memoir adopted, and those which we have above suggested. In truth, we believe that the chief value of the careful composition of prayers, con sists, not in the subsequent committing them to memory, and making use of the ipsissima verba, in public (though this, to many persons may be entirely advisable); but in the influence which the process of composition will naturally exert, as an intellectual and moral discipline, in habituating the mind to proper arrangement, to suitable matter, and to chaste, simple, and scriptural diction in prayer; and this influence might remain of great value, even if every prayer, in five minutes after being prepared, were committed to the flames.

Among many other characteristics of remarkable excellence in Mr. Christmas, on which we might dwell, did not our prescribed limits forbid, we shall notice only one more, and that is the ardent love to immortal souls, and especially to the people of his pastoral charge, which is so strongly impressed upon every record that remains either of his conduct, or his pen. The persevering diligence and zeal with which he laboured for the spiritual benefit of his fellow men; his unwearied efforts, in the midst of feebleness and ill health, to spread the knowledge of the Saviour; and the long and affectionate farewell letter with which the volume closes—all evince the ardour of love to souls by which he was continually actuated. And what drudgery would his course have been without this governing affection! His toil had been without sweetness; his privations and sufferings without countervailing enjoyments. But it really seemed to be “his meat and drink” to do good; nay, "he counted not his life dear to him, that he might finish his course with joy, and the ministry which he had received of the Lord Jesus."

Here lies the great secret of a happy ministry, and one of

the best pledges of a successful one. Let a minister truly and ardently love the souls whom he addresses from day to day; let him take a deep and tender interest in their temporal and eternal welfare; let him desire above all things to be the happy instrument of bearing them onward with him to the heavenly world; and he will be willing to spend and be spent" in promoting their eternal well being. He will find labours, and even privations, sweet. He will experience an impulse more effectual than a thousand rules can impart in attaining a hallowed and elevated eloquence. He will cheerfully consent to suffer and to die if he may be the means of owinning souls” to Christ. If we were about to give a single comprehensive counsel to one who was just entering on this most delightful of all employments, when pursued from proper motives, we should say to him, “Let LOVE CONSTRAIN YOU; let your WHOLE HEART be in the great work of doing good, and all will be well.”

The remainder of Mr. Christmas's course was short and eventful. He left Montreal in the summer of 1828, with some faint hope of regaining his health, and of continuing his pastoral labours in that city. Finding, however, after a few weeks, that relaxation and travelling failed of restoring his strength, he solicited a dissolution of his pastoral relation, to which the people of his charge reluctantly consented; and his connexion with them was dissolved, by the Presbytery of New York, in the month of October following:

In December, of the same year, he prepared for a voyage as chaplain of one of the ships of the United States, which he hoped might prove beneficial to his health ; but finding that the ship was not likely to sail so soon as he had expected, and as was thought his health urgently required, he gave up that engagement, and, early in January, 1829, went to New Orleans, as an agent for the American Bible Society. The climate of that place, however, proving unfavourable to his health, and being unable to engage in any active service in pursuance of his mission, he soon returned to New York, where he had left his wife and two children. In a few days after his return, both his children were removed by death; and in August following, Mrs. Christmas, whose health had been, for several months declining, sank under the pressure of a rapid pulmonary consumption, and in the exercise of a joyful hope, fell asleep in Christ. She appears to have been an excellent woman.



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To a mind of such peculiar sensibility as that of Mr. C., these repeated and sore bereavements were, of course, heavy

But, though afflicted, he was not forsaken. Though “cast down, he was not destroyed.” Sustained by his Master's grace, and feeling as if his own tenure of life was peculiarly frail, (soon, alas, realized) he seems to have cast about at once for some suitable sphere, in which he might make the most of what remained of life for his Master's glory.

In the following October, he accepted the unanimous call of the Bowery Presbyterian Church in the city of New York, to be its pastor; and was installed on the 14th of that month. Here, for a short time, his indefatigable labours were highly acceptable, and decisively blessed to the spiritual benefit of numbers. But in the midst of usefulness, and when sanguine hopes were entertained that his health might be restored to more than its wonted firmness, he was unexpectedly called, after a short illness, in the month of March, 1830, in the 27th year of his age, to follow his beloved companion, and their children, to a better world. Thus, in less than twelve months, in the mysterious providence of God, this whole interesting family, his two children, his wife, and himself were in rapid succession translated to that blessed society, where sin and suffering are alike unknown.

The last illness of this lamented young minister, was violent and rapid. Neither he nor his friends were at all aware of the approaching event, until within a very few hours of its occurrence. In this short season, however, he was enabled to feel and exemplify, in the most unequivocal manner, the preciousness of “a good hope through grace" in a dying hour; and to give such testimonies in favour

of the glorious gospel which he had preached, as will never be forgotten by those who witnessed them.

We should be glad to transcribe, with expressions of affectionate concurrence, many of the general statements and remarks with which Mr. Lord closes the memoir before us: but the space to which we are confined forbids it.

The compiler of this biographical sketch has subjoined to the memoir a sermon on “Christian Intercession," written while Mr. C. was a student in the Theological Seminary at Princeton--a “Discourse on the nature of that Inability which prevents the sinner from embracing the Gospel”—and the “ Farewell Letter which he wrote to the American Presbyterian Society of Montreal.” All these compositions furnish

VOL. iy. No. II.—2 L

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honourable testimonials of the piety and talents of their author. With some of the theology, however, of the “Discourse on Inability,” we are not able to concur. To pass over some common-place remarks on the much vexed question of “natural and moral ability,” into the discussion of which we have no desire, at present, to enter, we were greatly surprised to see, from the pen of Mr. C. the following remarks:

, “ If men possess natural ability to do and to be all that God re. quires, it follows that they are not passive in regeneration. common opinion, that depravity consists in a depraved heart, ex. isting anterior to depraved feeling; that it is a constitutional and physical depravity independent of our will; and that regeneration, which remedies it, is a miraculous creation of a new nature, from which holy feelings spring; the production of a new faculty, which the sinner never possessed before; and the infusion of a new principle, which must be possessed in order to render him capable of holy feelings, is inconsistent with man's natural ability to do all that God requires; or, shall we not rather say, that the doctrine of man's natural ability is subversive of such an idea of his pas. sivity in regeneration. God commands men to make them new hearts, and a new spirit. He makes it their duty to be regenerate. And men have natural ability to do and to be all that God commands. But if regeneration be the creation of a new physical faculty, an operation in which man is passive, he has no ability to be regenerate. Nay, if God requires that of us in which we are passive, he requires nothing of us. He requires that we should be acted upon, not that we should act,&c. &c.

On this passage, taken in connexion with some of the sentiments which precede and follow it, we have three remarks to offer.

We offer them with the most unfeigned respect for the memory of the beloved and lamented youth whose opinions we are constrained to question. But while we shed a paternal tear over the early grave, and the blighted promises of “a choice young man and a goodly,” fidelity to his Master

1 and ours compels us to be faithful in maintaining what we deem truth in relation to an important point in Christian theology. In truth, the more excellent, and the more worthy of admiration and love his character was, the more likely will be any erroneous opinion which he may have patronized to exert a baneful influence.

The first remark we have to make is, that the opinion here opposed is not fairly stated. Nothing is more certain than that the amiablc author intended to state it fairly and correct

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