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The Rev. W. E. Paige preached his valedictory sermon at St. Stephen’s Church on Sunday morning, to a large congregation. The retiring incumbent conducted the usual Easter Service in an impressive manner, and at the conclusion of his sermon he spoke as follows in reference to his approaching departure ; “ With the hymns of praise ringing in our ears, with our hearts full of love for our Saviour’s death and resurrection, and with our eyes fixed on the great Easter Day to come, when we shall awake from the dead and stand face t« face with God, Brethren, I bid you farewell. I had hoped to spend many more years among you, if my life were spared. I had looked on this parish as my home, but it was not to be. Some good purpose will, I doubt not, be wrought out by my removal, and I trust I shall see that purpose accomplished. I would fain part from all in love, and remember only the years of peace and happiness I have spent among you ; and I hope that all of you will work heartily together for the cause of Christ, and forgetting past differences, unite in welcomiugmy successor, and thus strengthen his hands and cheer his spirit ; for none of you can know how much our work is made or marred by the deadness or the warmth of our parishioners,; and while I pray that God’s blessing may rest on you and him, I trust that in years to come, when prosperity attends you, you will bestow a kindly thought on one who, many as his faults are, yet did his best, and joined with you in building this and other houses of God, which, under God’s mercy, will prove a blessing to many yet unborn as well as those now living. Use this church, brethren, as God’s temple on earth, as the type of the courts of the temple in Heaven, and though on earth yo see my face no more, may we all meet in Heaven as fellow heirs of the kingdom of Christ, and share each other’s happiness. It is so painful for me to say “farewell,” that I had almost decided not to do so ; but I might perhaps have been misunderstood and have given rise to the thought that I left you with unkindly feelings. Brethren, it is not so ; I pray God to bless you in your work here and in your jersons, and I carry away with mo only kindly thoughts towards a parish wherein I trust I still retain many friends and but few enemies. I cannot conclude those remarks better than in the words of the poet, embodying, as they do, the grand principle of success both to the pastor and people. Pray for rny soul. More things are wrought by prayer Than this world dreams of; wherefore let thy voice Rise like a fountain for me day and night • For what are men belter than sheep or goats, That nourish a blind Me within the brain, If knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer, Both for themselves and those who call them friend ? For so the whole round world is every way Bound by gold chains about the feet of God.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 80, 30 March 1880

Word Count

FAREWELL SERMON BY THE REV, W. E. PAIGE, M.A. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 80, 30 March 1880