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ANEW MINISTRY COMMENCED., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8787, 6 February 1914
ANEW MINISTRY COMMENCED.
INDUCTION OF REV. G. MILLER.
The Reverend George Miller (formerly or .Milton, Otago), who recently accepted a call to St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Ashburton, was formally inducted into tiie charge by the Moderator (the. Rev. W. T. Todd, of Rakaia), yesterday afternoon in the pr_fcO_-v. or a large congregation. Almost every seat in the Church was occupied, and besides the Moderator, who prewdc-d, tne following members of the Ohristcimrch Presbytery were also present :■—The Rev. Messrs J. Chalmers Mill (Flemington),"G.. J_. Aitken (Methven), Ll. H. Blair (Leeston), George Lindsay (Southbridge), and J. S. Reid (Dunsandoi). The form of service was that generally used on the Sabbath, with the inclusion of the formal questions and .answers by the pastor-designate and the congregation, and addresses to the new minister and to the congregation by the Rer. Messrs Lindsay and Blair, respectively. The proceedings were opened' by the singing of the hymn, "Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken," followed by the reading of the lesson from 11. Kings, 11. After they had been led in prayer, by the Moderator, .the congregation joined in singing verses of the hymn, "The Church's One Foundation." The Induction Sermon.
The Rev. J. . Chalmers Mill, who preached the sermon, based his disYsourse on the words: "And it came to yass, as they still went on and talked, that, behold there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted. them both asunder; and Elijah went up fey a whirlwind into heaven" (11. Kings • ii., 11). The preacher commenced by . saying that the last journey of Elijah was prophetic of the life and work of the Lord' Jesus Christ. In company with Elisha, Elijah went down to the River Jordan and a way was cleft through the waters and they went over. This passage of the Jordan typified tlie death of Jesus Christ. He went down into judgment, but He did not die as a martyr and in dying received the commendation of God. Then Elijah came up out of the Jordan and it was ijound that Jesus Christ came up—after three days He rose again and triumphed over death. In case the disciples might have thought that He was only in the spirit after He rose again, He •appeared unto them and showed them His hands and feet. He wanted His disciples to understand that- His was a real resurrection. ' Elijah, after having come up out from the River Jordan, ascended into Heaven in a chariot of fire: they all knew how Jesus ascended into Heaven. Before Elijah went up, lie was asked by .Elisha f°r .** double portion of his spirit, and Elijah ■ had said'that, if he saw and believed, he would receive it. Jesus Christ bestowed His spirit on' His disciples. He said: •'Receive ye the Holy Ghost." He breathed upon them His spirit and with the power of the spirit He gave to them the forgiveness of sins. That was the beginning of the mightiest miracle Jesus Christ ever accomplished. He sent them forth to in-each the forgiveness of skis, repentance, the crucified Christ, and the Risen Lord. Coming; back to the text, the preacher said that the prophets of old stood afar off and saw Elijah ascend into Heaven. They afterwards saw. Elisha! do the same things as Elijah had done, and. they said■: the spirit of Elijah.has fallen upon Elisha." But they did not believe, all the same, that the* body of Elijah had gone up to Heaven. That was simply illustrative of the spirit of the times, said the preacher. People in the church, and out of the church,' believed in the spirit ■oi God, but they did not believe in the actual resurrection; they did not believe that Jesus Christ was seated >at the right hand of God the Father. The strength and stability of the Christian Church was in Christ's resurrection. Elisha yielded to the feeling of the prophets that Elijah's body had not gone up to Heaven, and it was not until he repudia,ted that feeling of the prophets that he was able to accomplish mighty things as Elijah had. Tlie church to-day, went on Mr Mill, was founded oh the supernatural work of the resurrection. If people did not think and believe that Jesus 'Christ' died for their sins and rose for their justification, the church would merely become a social institution. All repended on the power of believing. He enjoined on all to preach the Word and to receive the Word; to give the hearing ■ear and tlie understanding heart. If all did that, the ministry commenced "that day in St. Andrew's Church would become a mighty power. The Moderator then put the prescribed questions to the Rev. George Miller and to the congregation, and af±er the usual affirmations had been made, the induction prayer followed. The Moderator then declared. the minister-elect to be. duly inducted to the pastoral charge of St. Andrew's 'Presbyterian ■■■'Church,' and in token thereof gave him the right hand of fellowship, . tlie other members of the Christchurch 'Presbytery present doing the same. / ! The New Minister Addressed.
The Rev.. George Lindsay gave the .address to the iiewly-induc'ted minister. He said that Mr -Miller had had a very wide experience as a Christian minister, and the Christchurch Presbytery wished him as great a measure of success in his new'charge as he had enjoyed ikt the past. . . . . They lived' in -times' of great unrest, which was not ■''Confined-, ,tp one department of life alone._ Tliere had not been a time in the history of the' Church when there .had been so much questioning and criticism and trying .to weigh in. the balance the .truths which their forefathers had presented to them. There had been a time when science was opposed "to the Gospel; that was now passing' away, and when they thought of men ilike Sir Oliver Lodge and others—men *who felt that' they": had need of the ■Gospel to guide them through the, battle of life—it was a great comfort and .encouragement to others. In no period of the world's'history-had ...there been .greater -industrial unrest than at the .present time, and the question that suggested itself was "Should a minister of the Gospel" face < this mighty proMem ?"' .When they found men seek-j ing to live a nobler and better life they deserved our encouragement. A great' high wall had reared itself up' between : Capital arid.'Labour,, and the breakingdown of that barrier did not;lie with."a minister of the Gospel. Sympathy to. 'help a brother man to live a nobler; and a better life rested with' a:'minister. .'
Ministers of Christ should show by
their daily lives to the people outside that the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was genuine. God was willing to use them if they placed' themselves in the way of being used. He would give them power from on high. The speaker trusted that Mr Miller would take the same deep interest in the children in Ashburton as he had down in Otago, and that he would have the i same following of young people in the' church, walking in the fear of God and in love of His commandments. Mr Lindsay concluded by saying that he .trusted,. that Mr Miller would have much to encourage him in his.new min-. istry, and that God would richly bless him. Congregational Obligations.
The address to the congregation was given by the Rev. R. H. Blair, who opened by emphasising the fact that they had entered into a covenant to receive their new minister with gladness and to encourage him in his work. The heartiness which had characterised their call to the Rev. George Miller had shown wisdom on the part of the Moderator and the office-bearers, and would also be of great encouragement to the new minister. As his labour progressed among them he (the speaker) hoped that their respect and love aiid affection would increase. . Judging by the send-off they had given to the Rev. G. B.< Inglis, he was certain that the Ash.bu^tqn ' congregation was capable of gfettt'kindness indeed. He was, furthermore, sure that if Mr Miller stayed a few, years with them he would secure thei-r . goodwill and affection as Mr inglis' had done. But he wanted thecongregation to bear in mind tlie *_act that jt was not wise to wait until their minister, was leaving before they showed him ,that he was held in a very, dear regard; they should begin at once to make manifest their appreciation of him—and then he would not want to go away. Many ministers were not able to'give of their best because they were discouraged. They wanted the best out of their minister, and therefore they must expect to pay the price. Good preaching required time. Nu: merous calls when a minister wanted to study gave him no time to collect his thoughts, and if they wanted something fresh and good they must give time to their minister to study. An extempore preacher soon gave out. A man must have time to prepare his message. And then,the congregation wanted to come out aiid see for themselves what preparation had been made. Small congregations were very heartbreaking to a minister after he had gone to a lot of trouble in preparing a sermon. The members of., the -.congregation should make it a point of honour to be regular in attendance at public worship; but not only should they be regular in coming themselves, but they should also bring others to the church. Punctuality was another great thing that should be observed by the congregation. The presuriiption was that the minister had .got something 'to say that was worth hstening to. Most congregations had among them captious critics. -. Generally the most ignorant man thought; he was most;,able,;.to,..criticise. There was ;so .surer way to breaka minister's heart than to criticise him in an unfair and ungenerous manner. There was, however, one kind of criticism that a minister always welcomed, and that was the criticism that was the outcome of friendship. A cordial grasp of the hand, and the remark "Thank you; you have helped me to-day," repaid a minister for many an anxious hour spent- in prayer. , Congregations did no£ usually consider how that sort of thing helped. People did sot usually agree as to the nature and frequency of visiting. They- had- been wise in their call of a minister, and they accepted him as having been sent from God; they should therefore allow MiMiller to act as he thought best in the matter, of visiting. If they did that, he would go among them more freely, and they would thus find out the kind of man he wate all the • sooner. The speaker also referred to sick visitation, and concluded by saying that the matter of bringing once again into the fold the lax members of the congregation should not be left entirely to the minister. Office-bearers should act in cooperation with him. He asked them to speak well of their new minister, and to pray earnestly for him. He hoped that his ministi-y would bring brightness and joy to many lives, and that St. Andrew's Church would be the birth-place of many a soul.
Afters the hymn, 'Tour Out Thy Spirit from on High," had" been sung, the Benediction was pronounced by the Moderator.
The members of the congregation were introduced to the Rev. Mr Miller at the church door as they retired.
ANEW MINISTRY COMMENCED., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8787, 6 February 1914
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