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Past and Present
One of my first Pastors

The mention of the “Old Framed Meeting-house” has suggested the idea of sketching the Preachers who laboured in Canada West thirty years ago, especially those who preached in the chapel referred to, who have passed off the stage of action, and are now where they cannot be affected by the praise or blame of mortals.

The first we shall call up in memorial, is William Slater. He was on the York and Yonge Circuit, at the time the writer set out for heaven, and was present in the very Love-feast in which he joined the church. Mr. S. was then comparatively young, and yet single; nor would he be among the very oldest if he were still alive. But death, u the insatiate archer,” who “loves a shining mark,” laid him low in the midst of his days. He was from old England; and a noble person of a man he was—tall and well proportioned, with florid complexion, and full, open, strong voice. As a preacher, he was considerably above mediocrity for his day, though not very moving. His preaching was plain, lucid and able, but truly practical. Some of the texts he used to preach from are as fresh in the recollection of the writer, as if he had heard them preached on but yesterday. Pardon him for reciting a few of them. They may do us good. a Whom having not seen we love; and in whom believing, though now ye see him not, we rcjoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law! These four furnish a pretty fair sample of the kind of texts on which he loved to dwell; plain and full of gospel truth. Although by no means a canting, long-faeed person, but the very reverse; yet there is good evidence to believe he was a man of sterling moral worth and piety. The writer being then a, boy, never had the pleasure of being in his company but once; on that occasion, he remembers his conversation ta hare been intelligent, serious, and characterized by manly sense. He died from home, and rather suddenly, but, h^ believes, in great peace. The messenger did not find him unprepared. The friends on the Ancaster Circuit, with praiseworthy consideration, erected a tombstone to his memory, which may be seen in the rear of the “old chapel,” in the now city of Hamilton; then one of the preaching places in the above-named circuit, in which Mr Slater fell.

*At the time the writer first saw him, and also the following year, Mr. S. was the colleague of our present [1854] much respected Co-Delegate; and he has reason to know, he remained his attached personal friend till the day of hi? release from earth. How joyful will be the meeting of such fellow labourers, in the “rest that remaineth for the people of God!"

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