The following words were spoken of Rev. W.H. Burns at his funeral in 1859. They arose from a very different setting than ours and a profoundly different time than the one in which we live. They hold forth a profoundly different kind of pastoral ministry than is lauded in our day. But I can’t help wondering if there isn’t a lament here that we need to take up in our day as we look at what much of pastoral ministry, in city or the country, has become in 21st North America.

“He was . . . a peculiarly attractive representative of a type of the Christian pastorate which is, I suspect, rapidly becoming obsolete,–that of the quiet, steady, ongoing, conscientiously diligent and calmly earnest country minister, at once the father, the counsellor, and the friend of every man, woman, and child within his parochial bounds,–which is giving place to the more impetuous and stirring, though in some respects also, perhaps, more one-sided energy of modern times.” (p.184, The Pastor of Kilsyth)