Scripture tells us to “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.” Such a man was our beloved brother: ethical and well-developed in character, upright and straightforward in his manner of life. With good reason, he was appreciated in his community, loved as a husband, and respected as a father. Few would speak disparagingly of this dear friend with his happy demeanor and sense of humor. Having visited among his neighbors, spent considerable time as a guest in his cozy, God-fearing home, and labored with him in numerous gospel efforts, I join others in bearing witness to this man’s exemplary Christian life.
James believed there was a special message for every person in his audience. In the gospel, he spoke solemnly in light of eternity, faithfully in light of sin, and compassionately of the Savior he loved. His words spoken publicly in his unique manner with deep voice and rich, Irish accent were well supplemented by those spoken privately, as he spent countless hours reaching out to souls he longed to see saved. In ministry, he was relevant, practical, and timely, exhorting Christians not to waste their lives, encouraging parents, husbands, wives, and leaders in their walk and work for the Lord, and edifying assemblies in New Testament principles. He lived what he preached.
Many who came in contact with this dear servant of God have richly benefitted from his Godly influence. He moved among the young with the gentleness of a father, counselling with a deep, careful and prayerful wisdom. He supported the weak, sick, and sorrowing with a genuine paternal care. He listened well and spoke balanced, truthful, and gracious words. The exhortation of Hebrews 13:7 applies here: “whose faith follow.”