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announced before even the fact of his illness had become generally known. In the public prints, and from the pulpits of ministers of all denominations, it was noticed as a loss to the community at large; and strong testimonies were borne to the worth and merits of the deceased.

His death took place in the sixty-ninth year of his age, the forty-seventh of his ministry, and the thirteenth of his professorship. The solemn event was improved to his congregation by his colleague in the seminary, the Rev. Dr. Mitchell, in the forenoon, and by his venerable friend, the Rev. Dr. Peddie, of Edinburgh, in the afternoon, and by a large number of the ministers of his own communion in different parts of Scotland and England

We conclude this brief sketch of the life and labours of Dr. Dick with an extract from the sermon of his excellent friend and colleague, Rev. Dr. Mitchell, which presents us with what is believed to be a just description of his character.

“He seemed to possess in a high degree what may be called harmony and strength of character. The elements of which it was composed were of a high order, intellectual and moral, as well as of rare excellence. Its features were all in unison, and all admirable. A dignified plainness, simplicity--a noble simplicity-seemed to constitute the most prominent trait. Never spirit was more unsophisticated: he scorned to appear, or rather he could not appear that which he was not; what he seemed, that he was; what he spoke, that he thought and felt. Intimately connected with this was his inflexible integrity. This quality lies at the foundation of all excellence, of whatever is estimable in character, or noble in spirit, or confidential in friendship, or honourable in the intercourse of life; and this quality he possessed in an eminent degree. Being human, it would be too much to suppose that he never erred in judgment or in feeling; yet this we may say, that he might be mistaken, but he could not be dishonest; he might be misinformed, or act under a wrong impression, but he could not be disingenuous: and his integrity was not mere sincerity and honesty, such as an honourable man of the world may possess and exercise; no, his was associated inseparably with moral probity; it was the integrity of a hallowed mind, and of truth in the inward parts; of high principle; of straight-ferward

rectitude; of unbending resolution; of fearless faithfulness; and, when necessary, of noble daring. In some others, this principle is cold and repulsive in its spirit and workings; but in him it was firm and stern, united with affectionate feeling, with social sympathy, with the domestic virtues, with the Christian charities and graces.

“Of his abilities and attainments I need not speak particularly; the proofs are before the world, and the public have appreciated them : "his praise is in all the churches.' These talents, we may be allowed to say, were of the first eminence. Seldom has such a combination of faculties, in respect of variety and energy, been conferred on one buman being. He was highly gifted by the God of nature and of grace. Few have possessed such power, and penetration, and perspicacity of mind; such capaciousness, correctness, and retentiveness of memory. Few have made such proficiency in extensive, and accurate, and varied learning; and few have acquired such treasures of knowledge, sacred and literary. His taste was chaste; his imagination was well regulated; and he wrote the English language with a purity and an elegance which have, we apprehend, been seldom equalled. Like a scribe who is instructed unto the kingdom of God, he brought forth out of his treasury things new and old. His delivery, partaking of his constitutional simplicity, was natural, correct, and dignified. The judicious hearer, though, it may be, not highly excited, was yet informed, interested, elevated : and the subjects on which he loved to dwell were solemn, interesting, and of the highest class. His was truly a gospel ministry; he delighted to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ,' and to unfold the plan of redemption in its sublime doctrines and practical bearings. Nor could any one be more faithful and diligent in discharging the private duties of the pastoral office; in visiting the sick, teaching from house to house, 'caring for the poor,' ruling well the spiritual affairs of the church, and, if need be, in ‘rebuking, exhorting, reproving, with all long suffering and doctrine.' Much, truly, did he love to spend and be spent for the Saviour and for souls; and sometimes, when infirmity would have afforded a satisfactory apology for the suspension of his labours. And with regard to his professorial functions, those who were so happy as to be placed under his care, will all, we are assured, with one accord bear witness to the punctuality and assiduity of his labours, the abilities and excellency of his instructions, the impartiality of his administrations, the judiciousness of his criticisms and counsels, and the condescending kindness of his attentions. Long will his work praise him in the gates,' and long will his pupils speak of him with affectionate veneration. His was sterling worth: no one ever owed less to assumption or ostentation. No one knew him fully who did not also know him intimately; and the excellency of his character rose in proportion as it was inspected and understood. He was, through the gifts and graces given to him of God, an ornament to our church; and I do not know the church to which he would not have been an honour. In short, we may say of him what was testified of an esteemed friend and brother concerning another venerable man of God who had been his colleague for a considerable period, that his was a character than which none could gain more or suffer less by a just delineation.'”

J. F.




Introductory Observations,Theology defined : Its Object and Importance-Natural Theology

Supernatural Theology : Its Divisions into didactic, polemic, and practical-Qualifications of a Student of Theology : Piety, a competent Share of natural Talents and Learning, and a Love of Truth.

THEOLOGY embraces a great variety of topics, some of which are abstruse and dificult, and all have been perplexed by controversies, which commenced as soon as our religion was promulgated, and have been carried on from age to age, with all the arguments which ingenuity and learning could supply. It is like an immense field, thickly covered with briers and thorns, which impede our progress, and through which we must force our way with toil and pain, in the pursuit of truth. The private Christian, ignorant of the subtle disputes which have arisen concerning almost every article of faith, humbly takes up the Bible as the Word of God, and by a short and easy process, acquires that measure of knowledge which, through the teaching of the Divine Spirit, makes him wise unto salvation. But the minister of religion proceeds more slowly, encounters obstacles at every step, and often is compelled to assume the character of a polemic, because he must study theology as a science, and be able not only to instruct the simple and illiterate, but also to contend with the wise and learned, whether as infidels they oppose revelation in general, or as heretics they impugn any of its doctrines. To superintend and assist your studies in a subject so extensive, so complicated, and so embarrassed with difficulties, is a task which I should not have willingly undertaken ; but as it has been imposed upon me for a time, I must attempt to perform it, although I know beforehand, that I shall neither do justice to you, nor give satisfaction to myself. I commit myself and you to the Father of lights, from whom comes down every good and perfect gift,-earnestly beseeching him to prevent me from handling his word deceitfully, or in any instance misleading your minds, and to bless such instructions as you may receive, for advancing your progress in divine knowledge and in personal religion.

There are various departments of human knowledge, to each of which a degree of value ought to be attached, according to its intrinsic worth, or its nearer or more remote connexion with our business and our interests. The objects of knowledge are, mind and matter ; the sciences and the arts ; man himself under his different aspects, as an animated being, as the subject of moral obligation, and as a member of civil society ; the history of human opinions, inventions, and transactions; and many other particulars which it would be tedious to mention. To these, individuals are led to direct their attention, in some instances, it would seem, by a natural predilection or an original disposition of mind, by accidental circumstances, by imitation, by a regard to interest, by the love of

glory, or by the principle of curiosity, which prompts us to inquire into what is unknown, and is gratified by the enlargement of our views. As man has been endowed by his Creator with intellectual powers, he acts conformably to his will when he exerts them in the acquisition of useful knowledge; and the knowledge which is thus acquired must be considered as a divine communication, not immediate, indeed, like the revelations which were made to the prophets, but proceeding as certainly from the Father of lights. Whatever blessing is obtained by the use of means with which Providence has furnished us, is as truly a gift of our Maker as was the manna which, being prepared by his own hand without, as far as we know, the intervention of any natural cause, fell every night around the camp of the Israelites. I do not therefore mean to undervalue those parts of knowledge to which I have referred, and which in their place are as necessary as revelation, when I add, that however worthy they are of attention, and however great are the advantages which they are calculated to impart, they yield in importance to the subject which alone will constitute the business of this course.

Theology literally signifies, a discourse concerning God. By the ancients, the term was used in a more restricted, and a more extended sense. In the writings of the Fathers, mention is made of the Theology of the Sacred Trinity, and of the Theology of the Son of God, or of the Divinity of our Saviour; while the word, at other times, denotes the general system of truth contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, or these Scriptures themselves. It may be defined to be the science which treats of God, his nature, his attributes, his counsels, his works, and his dispensations towards the human race. I call it a science, because it is equally worthy of that designation with any of those departments of knowledge to which it is applied by common consent; for, although its authentic records do not deliver theology in a scientific form, it is founded on first principles, from which its subordinate parts are deducible ; and, throughout all its ramifications, there is a connexion, a mutual dependence, constituting a harmonious whole. Reflection upon the subject of theology will convince us that it claims the preference to all other studies. In God, we behold an assemblage of all conceivable excellencies, existing in the highest degree, and in the most perfect accordance; the union of grandeur and loveliness, of every thing fitted to awaken solemn and pleasing emotions, to impress us with veneration, to gain our confidence, to inspire us with hope. He is invisible to mortal eyes, but this is not a reason for suspending our inquiries, because we are furnished not only with external senses, by which we communicate with the material creation, but also with mental faculties, which qualify us for holding intercourse with the intellectual or spiritual world. The mystery which envelopes his nature might discourage us, if we entertained a presumptuous wish to comprehend his infinite essence ; but it presents no obstacle to the attainment of that degree of knowledge which will serve as the foundation of religion, since he has been pleased to grant such manisestations of himself as are suitable to our limited capacity and our present state of existence. His renioteness from us, who are separated from him by an interval of infinite extent, has been urged by some men as an argument for dismissing him from our thoughts, and confining them to subjects more nearly allied to us; but it will have no weight in the estimation of those who consider, that independent and self-existent as he is, he stands in the closest relations to us, as our Maker, our Lawgiver, and our Judge. To know this mighty Being, as far as he may be known, is the noblest aim of the human understanding ; to love him, the most worthy exercise of our affections ; and to serve him the most honourable and delightful purpose to which we can devote our time and talents. To ascertain the character of God in its aspect towards us; to contemplate the display of his attributes in his works and dispensations; to discover his designs towards man in his original and his present state ; to learn our duty to him, the means

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