From THE PRESBYTERIAN MAGAZINE, IV.2 (February 1854): 94.
DR. ALEXANDER’S LAST SERMON.
It was in the First Presbyterian Church at Princeton, and on the 20th of July, 1851. The Sabbath was one of the most beautiful I ever saw. The harvest was just over, and the farmers, who made up the country portion of the congregation, had finished reaping the fruits of their year’s toil, and had carefully housed their crops. Many of them were present with their faces bronzed by the harvest suns. Judge, therefore, the appropriateness of Dr. Alexander’s subject. His text was I Cor. iii. 9. “Ye are God’s husbandry.” I can, of course, give but an imperfect outline; but he said:—”These words apply to the Church universal, or its members taken individually. The agriculturalist who wishes to raise a good crop does four things:
1. He prepares the ground.
2. He sows the best seed he can procure.
3. He takes care of the grain when growing.
4. He reaps and stores away the harvest.
So, in spiritual things it is necessary for us :
1. To make ready our hearts to receive the impressions of the truth—to come to Christ repenting of all our sins, and asking forgiveness of them for his sake.
2. We must plant the good word of God; and
3. We must cultivate the good seed by prayer, self-examination, and the use of all the means of grace. We must learn the precepts the Bible lays down, and practice them in our walk and conversation. As the husbandman is never free from solicitude and care until he gets the cropt stowed safely away, so the spiritual man can never cease to watch or relax his diligence till life is over.
4. He will reap his reward, to some extent, here, but the great reward shall be hereafter.”
Dr. Alexander’s tomb has the following inscription :
Sacred to the memory
Doctor of Divinity
First Professor of the Theological
Seminary in this place :
Born in what is now Rockbridge county,
Virginia, April 17th, MDCCLXXII :
Licensed to preach the gospel
October 1st, MDCCXCI :
Ordained by the Presbytery of Hanover
June 9th, MDCCXCIV :
A Pastor in Charlotte and Prince Edward
for some years :
Chosen President of
Hampden Sidney College in MDCCXCVI :
Pastor of the Third Presbyterian
Church in Philadelphia in MDCCCVII :
Professor of Didactic and Polemic
Theology in MDCCCXII :
He departed this life
In the faith and peace of Christ,
October 22d, MDCCCLI.
[He forbade all words of praise upon his tomb.]—PRESBYTERIAN.
Image source : The Alexander Memorial. New York: Anson D.F. Randolph & Company, 1879.