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means of fellowship with kindred souls. But he valued it still more highly as an organised effort for the assertion and defence of the Catholic Faith, for the promotion of true principles and right practice in the observance of Worship, and for the quickening in all directions of the Evangelistic, Pastoral, and Social activities of the Church, which in calling and constitution is the Body mystical of Christ. With confidence it may be affirmed, that both the general purpose of the Society, and also every detail in the long list of its particular objects, were found by him to be precisely expressive of his mind; and his courageous faith and temperamental hopefulness never doubted, nor suffered others to entertain a doubt, of ultimate success as awaiting the effort in the fulfilment of its purpose, and in the progressive realisation of its specific objects. What Dr. Cooper was to the Society itself can scarcely be overestimated. Before the world he was its spokesman, its representative. The strength and solidarity of his convictions, the wealth of learning with which he supported them, his unquestionable authority as a thoroughly informed exponent of the best traditions—" the Old Paths"-of Scottish churchmanship, his great reputation and ever-widening prestige, the picturesqueness of his individuality, the vital touch which his interest in affairs never lacked, the manifest singleness of his intentions, the profound and universal respect in which his character was held—all these combined to win for his opinions and utterances a larger measure of public attention than any other advocacy beside his could have commanded. Within the Society the charm of his presence and intercourse exercised an influence yet more powerful. It was a charm personal and quite distinctive, one that baffles description ; but one that attracted and attached the whole membership of the Society, and held it with the bond of affection. Wheresoever he went, there appeared to move along with him an atmosphere of serious piety, of goodness, of sociability, of friendliness, of intimacy. A disposition, happy and debonair, pervaded his expansive hospitality. His conversation was always delightful, and possessed qualities and flavours entirely its
The embodiment of kindness and generosity towards all, he took exceptional pleasure in the company of younger men, bringing to their assistance eager incentive and sympathetic advice, and burdening himself unsparingly to share their burdens. He could not but have been that which he undoubtedly was a man greatly beloved. Without him now the fellowship of this Society must of necessity seem empty and dark. But his departure has bequeathed to us an example of undeviating constancy, a common aim to be pursued by us without discouragement or faltering, and, unfading in the memory of our hearts, a portrait of himself-a treasured portrait worthy to take its place side by side with those of the great Divines and Doctors, whom he venerated, who also have been, each one in his day and generation, a peculiar ornament of the Scottish Church.
• Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine ; et lux perpetua luceat ei.
•To Mrs. Cooper in her bereavement the Council of the Scottish Church Society offers the sorrowful tribute of earnest and respectful sympathy.'
WHOSE KINGDOM SHALL HAVE
NO END 1
One generation shall praise Thy works to another, and shall declare
Thy mighty acts.—PSALM cxlv. 4.
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, in whose honour and for whose worship we re-open this church to-day, has received from His Father the promise of a kingdom at once universal and everlasting. Unto the Son He saith, Thy Throne, O God, is for ever and ever. As all nations shall call Him blessed, so each generation, as it rises, shall acknowledge Him its Saviour and King, shall confess His Deity, and yield to Him the tribute of its adoration.
We speak not now of the homage He receives within the veil, in Paradise. We doubt not that each faithful soul admitted there finds itself prepared, by its experience of His grace and mercy, to join in the song which swells unceasing round His throne-Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. We cannot conceive a Christian, under whatsoever forms of doctrine or of worship he was trained on earth, finding that anthem strange to him.
But our Lord, it was promised, was to have this acknowledgment on earth as well.
He was to have enemies, indeed, but in the midst of these enemies God said that He should rule.5
Preached at the re-opening of the West Church, Perth, on
2 Heb. i. 8. Saturday, January 19, 1895. 3 Psalm lxxii. 17.
4 Rev. v. 12.
5 Psalm cx. 2.
They shall fear Thee, cries the Psalmist, as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations.1
It is incontestable, my brethren, that hitherto, at any rate, the promise has not failed. The worship on earth of Jesus Christ as God, the adoration of the Lamb that was slain, has gone on unbroken through more than eighteen changeful centuries. The expression, the form, the ritual, may have altered, but the substance of the worship has not altered. The Holy Church throughout all the world still believes Him 'very God,' and worships Him as God, one God with the Father and the Holy Ghost. Through all her branches she honours Jesus even as she honours the Father.2 Christians in all ages have adored Him with their bodies bowed in His saving Name, with their substance devoted to His service, with their intellect consecrated to the study of His words, with their blood shed for His sake in innumerable persecutions, with their hearts yielded a willing sacrifice to Him.
It will be so, we Christians believe, for ever. And therefore, in the most authoritative and august of the Church's Creeds, we confess it as an integral part of our Christian Faith— Whose kingdom shall have no end.'
' Now, my brethren, this doctrine of the perpetuity of the reign of Jesus Christ is, like every other article of the Creed, in its bearings on life and doctrine eminently practical. The belief of it imparts light to the eyes, and inspiration to the soul : it strengthens our faith, it encourages our hope, it enlarges our charity. It is a truth which it is good for us to cherish and reflect upon. It is a truth, moreover, which this day's ceremony ought to bring home to our minds with peculiar vividness and force. For it is exemplified before us alike in the past history and in the renovated beauty of the house in which we are assembled.
Cast your minds back, my brethren, by an effort of the historical imagination, to that unrecorded day, 1 Ps. lxxii. 5.
2 S. John v. 23.