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Kay's Originals Vol. 2

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Volume 9 Page 414
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312 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. speak with a warmth of feeling which proved how closely their hearts were knit together, and which remained unabated till the last pulse of life beat within their breasts. On Mr. Dickson's ministerial and personal character it were easy to dilatk at no inconsiderable length. This, however, seems scarcely the place for doing so. Suffice it, therefore, to give a transient glance at the more prominent traits of both. Devotedly pious from early life, furnished with a competent store of useful learning, acquired by a diligent and persevering study, and deeply versant especially in biblical knowledge and theological lore, his very first pulpit discourses were distinguished by almost the same maturity of Christian experience, correctness of statement, lucidness of arrangement, copiousness of Scriptural illustration, dignified simplicity of style, and solemn impressiveness and unction, both of manner and matter, for which, during the more than forty years of his service in the work of the ministry they were so highly estimated by all, whether old or young, who enjoyed the privilege and benefit of statedly or even occasionally listening to them. Experiencing himself much of that peace and joy in believing which the world can neither give nor take away, he was to others most peculiarly a Barnabas, or son of consolation ; well knowing how to enter into the true state and feelings of those who needed to be comforted, whether under temporal or spiritual distress, and how to speak a word in season to them, suited to all the variety and exigence of their circumstances. Of this the general strain of many of his sermons, more particularly the addresses at their conclusion, of which the volume that he published in 1817 furnishes a number of interesting and valuable specimens, afforded the most unequivocal proofs. But perhaps his correspondence by letter with a multitude of private individuals in every rank of society-with youthful inquirers and. aged believers, with doubting, and afflicted, and sorrowful, as well as confirmed, and prosperous, and rejoicing Christians-attests the fact still more powerfully. Very few ministers indeed,' we believe, were ever more zealous and faithful than he : and to not many has the high honour and unspeakable satisfaction been given of being more successful in either the conversion of sinners or the edification of saints. Nor were his ministrations confined to those of the pulpit or Sabbath. In the various charges which he successively occupied, he regularly visited from year to year, till the decline of his health most reluctantly compelled him to discontinue such exertion, not merely the families and individuals connected with his several congregations, but all the parishioners placed under his pastoral care, whether belonging to the Established Church or not, unless they refused or declined, which scarcely any of them ever did, to receive him under their roof. The young were the objects of his most affectionate solicitude ; and wherever sickness and sorrow, personal or domestic, were to be found, thither he hastened, to administer to the afflicted sufferers those comforts which the precious truths of the Gospel alone can impart; renewing his visits with unwearied assiduity, and labouring, by his appropriate instructions, and his fervent and importunate
Volume 9 Page 415
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