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OCCASIONED BY THE DEATH
Rev. JAMES PATTERSON.
PREACHED IN THE FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, NORTH.
DECEMBER 30, 1837,
BY ALBERT BARNES.
PUBLISHED BY REQUEST.
Help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth ; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.
Psalm xii. 1.
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I am by no means insensible to the difficulty of appropriately discharging the duty which devolves upon me in the services of this day. With that “godly” and “faithful” man whom it has pleased the Great Disposer of all events to remove from us by death, I had comparatively but a brief acquaintance. He was much my senior in age, and in the ministry; nor was it my privilege to be personally acquainted with him, to any considerable extent, until within the last seven years. Of course, there is a large portion of his public and private life of which I have no personal knowledge; and on this account, as well as on many others, I could have wished that some other person had been selected to discharge the mournful duty of this day.
I am not insensible, furthermore, to the difficulty of meeting, on this occasion, the expectation of a bereaved and much afflicted church and congregation. It is always difficult to speak in a proper manner of the dead; so to commend their virtues, and so to mingle lights and shades in portraying their character-for all our friends, as well as ourselves, have shades in their character—as to gratify the feelings of surviving friends and to make the memory of their example useful to the living. It is peculiarly difficult so to speak of a minister of