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Church itself, this body of believers enlarged
in number enriched in grace and abounding more and more in all good works. Activities at Large. His activities were not confined to Ins own congregation and community. Having an un usual evangelistic gift, be was frequently called on to conduct protracted services in other communities, and wherever lie went the people recognized the voice of a true man of (iod and responded with professions of faith and renewed spiritual life. In the organized work of the Church at large also he always evinced an intelligent and hearty interest. He was faithful in his attendance at meetings of the Church courts, and was held in honor by all his brethren as a wise counsellor and an unobtrusive but active presbyter. His ripen ing attainments and growing influence were recognized in various ways years ago. In lSi)5 he received from King College the degree of Doctor of Divinity. In 191(5 the Synod of Virginia, in session at Lexington, elected him Moderator. It is a sort of fixed tradition in the Synod of Virginia that the pastor of the First church, Danville, shall be a member of the Hoard of Trustees of Union Seminary. No church in our whole Assembly has ever shown a more enlightened and hearty interest in that cherished institution which has always been the main source of our Church's supply of min isters and missionaries than the First church in Danville. Dr. Martin was an honored and useful member of the Board of Directors there for twenty-four years. As soon as it could be arranged after Dr. Laird became your pas tor, he was elected by the Synod a trustee of the Seminary, and for thirteen years rendered the Church at large most valuable service in that capacity. For the last seven years lie was a member of our most important com mittee, the Executive Committee of the Board, succeeding in that position the beloved and lamented Dr. A. C. Hopkins. Every year the Board appoints one of its members to make an address to the graduating class. This is usually followed by some remarks to the grad uates from the President of the Seminary on behalf of the faculty; but I remember that when Dr. Laird made this address it was so simple, so clear, so earnest, so evangelical, so adequate in every way that, when he sat down, instead of saying to the graduates the things 1 had intended to say, I told them that no words of mine could add anything to the spirit ual force of the message to which they had just listened and that my one wish was that the impression of it might remain with them through life. Humility and Modesty. As to Dr. Laird's personality and character, some things have already been indicated in the foregoing sketch of his life and work. Only a man of wisdom, tact and patience, of sin cerity, sympathy and consecration could have achieved such an influence and accomplished such results as those we have been reviewing. Hut there were certain outstanding qualities which it behooves us to mention more partic ularly. One of these was his humility. Hu mility is the rarest of the Christian graces. Chrysostom, the goldcn-tongued orator of the early Church, when asked what three traits marked the true Christian, replied: "First, humility; second, humility; third, humility." As Webb-Peploe says, "What Ood wants is men great enough to be small enough to be used." "True humility," says William Ells worth Bryce, "is not always fully understood. To be humble does not mean that we ^re to make door-mats of ourselves for people to wipe their feet on. It does not mean that we are to he inert, weak, Hnhhy, unassertive and cow ardly, True humility consists in a frank, man ly, unpretending recognition of our true selves. It is not irreconcilable with fearlessness, ag gressiveness, efficieney and loyalty to all great moral principles and causes. We know that humility and forceful efficiency can he recon ciled, for we sec them reconciled in the person of Christ. He was both humble and forceful. 11c was 'meek and lowly in spirit,' yet mas terful and fearless, lie was at once 'the, Lamb of God' and 'the Lion of the tribe of Judah.' " Dr. Laird had genuine humility, lie really wore tbe ornament ?>f a meek and quiet spirit which in the sight of (.Sod is of great price. And this beautiful Christian modesty was one of the keys of his character and career. The gentleness of his heart and the purity of his nature showed in his face and gave to his whole appearance and address a singular be nevolence and winsomeness. It was this moral refinement, this beauty of spirit, communicat ing itself even to his person and manner which gave him a distinction among the mass of men "like a braid of shining gold 011 a sleeve of hodden gray." Firmness and Strength. Conjoined with the humility and gentleness of his nature which all who met him could see by a single glance at his face was another quality not so readily recognized, but not less real, viz., an adamantine firmness wherever a principle was involved. Superficial people sometimes make a great mistake in their esti mate of men of quiet and gentle manners. The late Senator William 1?. Allison, of Iowa, was a man of most gracious address. A political enemy of his spoke of him once in a disparag ing way as pussy-footed, and said he could walk all the way from Iowa to Washington on tbe keys of a piano and never sound a note. A friend of the Senator's standing by, replied, "You left out one word in that statement. To make it correct you should have said that Senator Allison could walk all the way from Iowa to Washington 011 the keys of a piano and never sound a false note." The statement applies to Dr. Laird ? so quiet, so gentle, yet so wise and so true. If people ever supposed that bocausc there was 110 loudness and 110 bluster about him he was lacking in courage or firmness they had only to put him to the test in any matter of principle, and they speed ily discovered that while he wore a velvet glove, there was a hand of steel within. lie was indeed gentle, but he never was pliant where the truth was involved. He never com promised with falsehood or wrong. When he took his stand on a principle or on the clear teaching of God's word no power on earth couhl move him. Like our Saviour, too, he had a capacity for hot indignation against everything false or mean or cruel. Let no one suppose, therefore, that because he was gentle and patient, he was a weakling. Nothing couhl he further from the truth. "His life was gentle, and the elements So mixed in him that Nature might stand up And say to all the world, 'This was a man.' " There was in him a rare combination of gen tleness and strength. And it was this combina tion that won for him both your love and con fidence, and gave him his remarkable hold 011 this community. Living the Gospel. All that we liavo said about his work is true. But what a man does depends upon what lie is. Action is character expressing itself, and in no other calling does the personality count for so much as in the ministry. That is why Phillips lirooks said that preaching is '"truth through personality." When "Wood row Wilson was a professor at Princeton Univer sity, he said : ""When I hear some of the things which young men say to me by way of putting the arguments to themselves for going into the ministry, 1 think that they are talking of an other profession. Their motive is to do some thing. Yon do not have to he anything in par ticular to he a lawyer. I have been a lawyer and I know. You do not have to be anything in particular, except a kind-hearted man, per haps, to be a physician; you do not have to be anything, nor to undergo any strong spirit ual change, in order to be a merchant. The only profession .which consists in being some thing is the ministry of our Lord and Saviour ? and it does not consist of anything else. It is manifested in other things, but it does not consist of anything else. And that conception of the ministry which rubs all the marks of it off and mixes him in the crowd so that you cannot pick him out, is a process of eliminat ing the ministry itself." Your pastor was a conspicuous illustration of the truth of this statement. We have said that he was a man of talents and attainments, but it is far more to the purpose to say that be was a man of character ? Christian charac ter, through and through. The secret of his influence here, after all, was not that be was a man of gifts, but that he was a man of God. He not only preached the gospel ; he lived it. Translation. About the middle of July Dr. Laird had taken Mrs. Laird and his daughter, Elizabeth, to Rockbridge and had then returned to Dan ville, expecting to rejoin them there in a few days for a stay of several weeks. On Monday, July 15th, he suffered an attack of acute in digestion and was taken to the General Hos pital. lie responded quickly to the treatment administered, and on Wednesday was up and dressed and sitting 011 the porch, expecting to be discharged on Friday. Thursday morning at 7 :25 o'clock the night nurse, going off duty, saw him and talked with him, apparently re freshed by a good night's rest. Five minutes later the day nurse entered the room and found that be had passed away. "God's fingec touched him and be slept" ? without protract ed pain, without prolonged wasting, without sadness of farewell ? a veritable euthanasia ? more like a translation than a dissolution. Re membering the manner of his life and the man ner of his death, I think we must all feel that just one passage of Scriptture described both : "Enoch walked with God and he was not, for God took him." PRAYER. By II. J. Gilkeson. I have read with real pleasure your recent editorials on "Prayer," and think they are* fine. I have one suggestion to make, which 1 hope will meet with your approval. It seems to me we do not go far enough ; let us be more specific. We are told in 2 Kings 6:18, "Elisha prayed unto the Lord and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness, according to the word of Elisha." Are the circumstances so different, and the situation so changed today from that day that we should not expect similar results, or do we lack faith in God's answer to our prayer?