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NEARLY A PREACHER.
An official of one of the railroads centering in Detroit was lately beset by an old man for a railroad pass to Grand Rapids. The stranger entered the office with a big cane in his hand and a woodsy ” air. He looked as if he had entered town after an all-night's wrestle with a bad dirty road, and he had no sooner stood his cane up in the corner than he briskly inquired :
Are you the free-pass man?” The official hesitated a little, and the stranger amended his query by asking :
“Would you give a preacher a pass to Grand Rapids ?"
I'm regularly ordained.”
“We can give passes to clergymen occasionally, but we must know that they are active dispensers of the Gospel.”
“That hits me,” cheerfully responded the old man, rubbing his hands. “I calculate I dispense more Gospel than any other one man in Antrim County !”
“But you just admitted that you weren't a preacher," said the official.
“Not a regular, 'squire. I'm what you might call an assistant to regular preachers. I'm a sexton of a church, I can lead a prayer-meeting, and I've started all the hymns that have been sung in Antrim County for five years past."
The official smiled faintly, and the stranger was encouraged to go on :
“ I'm nearly a preacher. Folks send for me when they are dying. I keep order at camp-meetings, and if anybody's to be dragged out of the school. house for snapping beans during prayer-meeting, I'm the man who does the dragging."
“That's hardly being a regular preacher," replied the official.
“No, of course ; but it's mighty close on to it. It's so near that I hate to walk to Grand Rapids. I'm on call, judge. If our preacher should snddenly give out, I'd be the only man within fifteen miles who could stand behind his pulpit and take his place. They all know it, and I'm respected accordingly. More'n half the people call me 'parson' or 'deacon,' and fellers who have got into a jaw about Daniel in the lion's den, or Moses in the bulrushes, have walked five miles to have me set 'em right."
The official made out a trip pass, and as the stranger returned thanks and picked up his cane, he added :
“I won't take up any more room than I can possibly help, and I'll leare my satchel if you think the cars will be loaded too heavy. You have lent this pass to the poor, and it's treasure laid up in heaven for you, where I hope some day to meet you and tell you how good it felt to roll along in your cars, after jogging for eighty-five miles on foot."
REV. CLEMENT DUKES, M.A. THE Rev. Clement Dukes, M.A., was born at Wapping, March 26th, 1809. In his tenth year, while residing at Old Ford, he was sent to the Merchant Taylor's School, which, as it was five miles from his home, and he had to walk that distance, necessitated early rising, for he had to be in class at seven o'clock. He made good proficiency in his studies, but as his father designed him for the medical profession, he was sent to a boarding school, where a more general education was given. At this time he attended the ministry of Rev. Mr. Ford, at Stepney Meeting, and afterwards that of the amiable and accomplished Dr. Fletcher, for whom Mr. Dukes ever entertained the most profound respect and affection. Here he became a Sunday School teacher, throwing himself into the work with his natural energy and decision. He had an eminently pious mother, who watched the growing character of her children with sleepless interest; and by her gentle and unobtrusive manner controlled and directed the quick, impulsive mind of her boy, for whom she was secretly cherishing the longing desire that he might be “a good minister of Jesus Christ.” answered ; for he deliberately chose that office in preference to all others that presented themselves. In 1828 he went to Glasgow, having obtained one of Dr. Williams' Scholarships ; and his previous scholastic training having been of the highest order, he speedily distinguished himself, and obtained several University prizes. He graduated B.A. in 1831, and the next year took his M.A. degree. At the close of his University course, as his family had come to reside at Highbury, and worshipped at Union Chapel, Islington, he was introduced to Thomas Wilson, Esq., the well-known
treasurer of Highbury College, by whom he was sent into Staffordshire, to the Rev. Mr. Newland, that he might engage for a time in theological studies, and see something of pastoral life. In 1834 he was sent by Mr. Wilson to commence a new course in the town of March, in Cambridgeshire, which was begun and for some time carried on in the theatre of that place, until a new chapel was built. In 1838 he received an invitation from a small church that met in Phillip Street, Kingsland Road, where he was ordained to the pastorate. For nine years he continued here, until the congregation so increased that in 1847 a new place was erected in Middleton Road, Dalston, which was the scene of Mr. Duke's ministry up to the time of his retirement from the pastorate, at Christmas, 1874. In this sphere of labour his activity was great ; and the noble schools and class-rooms which his people built testified to his zeal and their liberality. At the commencement of this year, Mr. Dukes was called to part with his youngest born, a bereavement wbich he felt most keenly. It seemed the signal of his own departure, for in three short months the tomb that had been opened to receive his son was re-opened for the reception of the father, who sank to rest June 17th, aged sixty-seven. Of the success of his ministry at Dalston there are abundant witnesses among the living who can testify to its usefulness to their souls; while many more have already greeted him in the Father's house above. He was naturally impetuous and warm, not accustomed to weigh his words with great nicety; and sometimes, after cooler reflection, had to regret the impulsiveness with which he had spoken. He was strong in his dislikes as in his affections. According
to the ability which God had given him, mond, Surrey, under the tatelage of Mr. Dukos sought to make “full proof his maternal uncle, Joseph France, M.A., of his ministry," diligently preparing also an Independent minister. He was for the pulpit, and seeking to ascertain intended for a mercantile career, but the mind of the spirit, in such portions residing with his parents (and such of the Word of God as he might be ex. parents) and devoting himself with depounding. He never aimed at great termined enthusiasm to Sunday-school things, but was always solicitous to keep work at Stepney Old Meeting, his reprominoutly before the minds of his ligious convictions deepened, his views people the grand essential doctrines of expanded, and he was gradually deter. the Gospel. His stated ministry mined, with full parental sanction, to came gradually to close from abandon a promising secular business circumstances over which he had no and devote himself to the ministry of the control. The formation of the North gospel. In this service he lived and London Railway most injuriously af
laboured with delight and success for fected his congregation, by compelling forty years. He entered Coward College the removal of some of his best helpers. in 1833, and left in 1838; accepted his Both minister and people were dis
ministerial charge at Hanley, Stafford. heartened. At length it appeared to shire, in 1839, and succeeded the Rer. him to be well to attempt the reinvigo
Daniel Gunn at Christchurch, Hants, ration of the cause by the introduction
in 1849. Here his labours were most of new blood, and therefore, at the close
abundant, till early in the year 1873, of 1874, be resigned his charge into the when he was struck down with paralysis. hands of his successor, the Rev. S. G. He passed away gently on the 2nd June Matthews, B.A., his friends subscribing
last, at Heather Dean, Bournemouth, and prosenting to him a parting pecuniary
where he had resided since his resignation tostimonial of £800. It was doubtless
of the pastorate in December, 1873. We wisely ordered by the Master he served,
have not space to enlarge on the many whose providential arrangements seemed
high qualifications, more especially as a “Come into the desert, and rest
preacher and a writer, of our lamented awhile," that he should enjoy some
friend. In point of intellect Mr. Joseph months of comparative retirement before
Fletcher had few superiors in the dethe hour of his final departure, to lie
nomination to which he belonged. In down in
culture and power he was admirably The still unstartleul sleep
adapted for his ministry during a series The living eye hath never know,
of four decades, as truly wonderful as Leave wo the sleeper with his God to rest.
any in all history—the period in which T. A. bis lot was cast, with so many “new
heresies arising, and so many old corruptions" calling for reformation. For
ten years he was one of the most influFive years of preparation for the Chris. ential ministers in the north of England, tian ministry, and thirty-five years of and for twenty-five years he was recog. active devotion to his calling, sum up the nised as one of the ablest in the south of public career of Joseph Fletcher, the England. The sudden dispensation eminent son of an eminent father, Dr. which befel him in the zenith of his Joseph Fletcher, of Stepney. He was usefulness was brought on by over-work. born at Blackburn on the 7th January, The physical prostration for three years 1816, where his honoured father spent was not attended by much suffering. Ia the first twenty years of his ministerial these busy times seclusion for three years life, and educated at Ham, near Rich. would almost suffice to obliterate a popu
RBV. JOSEPH FLETCHER.
lar reputation: the world and the church forget, or seem to forget, their current benefactors very soon. That this lamented minister was not forgotten after his long-continued illness, was sufficiently and pleasingly demonstrated by the vast assemblage at his funeral, which took place on the Tuesday following the demise, at the Christchurch cemetery. In that place of burial his earthly remains now rest: when it was opened a few years ago be uttered a high-souled address which will never be forgotten by
those who heard it, or by those who have read it. The Rev. J. W. Walker, B.A., Mr. Fletcher's successor, delivered the oration at the grave. A funeral sermon was preached by the Rev. H. H, Carlisle, LL.D., of Southampton, on the Sunday evening of June 18th in the chapel of the late pastor to a large congregation, who will long entertain pleasing and grateful recollections of the life and labours of one who had beea to them a true friend, an able preacher, and a faithful pastor.
Notices of Books. The British Quarterly Review. of the history and customs of Egypt, No. CXXVII. July 1, 1876. (Lon
such as throw light on the Bible narradon: Hodder and Stoughton.)
tive. He seeks to clear up obscurities The British Quarterly for July opens
and difficulties, points out the analogies, with an able article on the “Illyrian
prefigurations, symbolic representations, Emperors and their Lands," the in
and lessons which may be accepted, and terest of which is greatly enhanced by
endeavours so to present his description being read in connection with another
that the reader may, "as it were, see on “ The Independence and Integrity
before him the route followed by Israel, of the Ottoman Empire." An article
the scenery, and all other accessories." on “The Unseen Universe shows how
A Chronological and Geogralittle we really know regarding things that are seen, and how much light is
phical Introduction to the Life of
Christ. By Ch. Ed. CASPARI. reflected on them by the revelations of the New Testament. To an article
From the original German work. which deals with “Drunkenness and
(Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark.) Proposed Remedies," we beg to call the
This volume is designed to present a
clear and well-ordered account of the special attention of the reader. This
various incidents in the life of Christ giant and growing evil, at once em
which are recorded by the four Evanphatically the crime and the curse of
gelists, and to meet certain difficulties England, must be dealt effectually with
which are made the most of by those before long, but much preliminary dis
who profess to find mutual contracussion is required, in order to the formation of a sound and intelligent
diction in the Gospels, by showing that public opinion. The brief notices of
sundry statements of the writers may
be reconciled with the facts of history, “Contemporary Literature,” strikes us
and with what is known of particular as being very able and judicious.
places. By close research and minute The Exodus and the Wanderings analysis, the author makes it evident
in the Wilderness. By the Rev. Dr. that there is a real and essential agreeEDERSHEIM. (London : The Reli. ment in the testimony of the four gious Tract Society.)
separate witnesses. Many things in the Dr. Edersheim gives careful notices book are drawn from sources hitherto
to the ability which God had given him, Mr. Dukes sought to make “full proof of his ministry," diligently preparing for the pulpit, and seeking to ascertain the mind of the spirit, in such portions of the Word of God as he might be expounding. He never aimed at great things, but was always solicitous to keep prominoutly before the minds of his people the grand essential doctrines of the Gospel. His stated ministry came gradually to close from circumstances over which he had no control. The formation of the North London Railway most injuriously af. focted his congregation, by compelling the removal of some of his best helpers. Both minister and people were disheartened. At length it appeared to him to be well to attempt the reinvigoration of the cause by the introduction of new blood, and therefore, at the close of 1874, be resigned his charge into the hands of his successor, the Rev. S. G. Matthews, B.A., his friends subscribing and presenting to him a parting pecuniary tostimonial of £800. It was doubtless wisely ordered by the Master he served, whose providential arrangements seemed to say, “Come into the desert, and rest awhile," that he should enjoy some months of comparative retirement before the hour of his final departure, to lie down in
Tho still unstartled sleep
mond, Surrey, under the tutelage of his maternal uncle, Joseph France, M.A., also an Independent minister. He was intended for a mercantile career, but residing with his parents (and such parents) and devoting himself with determined enthusiasm to Sunday-school work at Stepney Old Meeting, his religious convictions deepened, his views expanded, and he was gradually deter: mined, with full parental sanction, to abandon a promising secular business and devote himself to the ministry of the gospel. In this service he lived and laboured with delight and success for forty years. He entered Coward College in 1833, and left in 1838 ; accepted his ministerial charge at Hanley, Stafford. shire, in 1839, and succeeded the Rer. Daniel Gunn at Christchurch, Hants, in 1849. Here his labours were most abundant, till early in the year 1873, when he was struck down with paralysis. He passed away gently on the 2nd June last, at Heather Dean, Bournemouth, where he had resided since his resignation of the pastorate in December, 1873. We have not space to enlarge on the many high qualifications, more especially as a preacher and a writer, of our lamented friend. In point of intellect Mr. Joseph Fletcher had few superiors in the de nomination to which he belonged. In culture and power he was admirably adapted for his ministry during a series of four decades, as truly wonderful as any in all history—the period in which bis lot was cast, with so many “dew heresies arising, and so many old corruptions" calling for reformation. For ten years he was one of the most influ. ential ministers in the north of England, and for twenty-five years he was recognised as one of the ablest in the south of England. The sudden dispensation which befel him in the zenith of his usefulness was brought on by over-work. The physical prostration for three yerra was not attended by much suffering. Ia these busy times seclusion for three years would almost suffice to obliterate a popu