Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.

Rev. John Porteous
Male 1812 - 1896

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  • Prefix  Rev. 
    Birth  1812  , Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Male 
    Residence  1856  Beverly Twp., Wentworth Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Residence  1896  Cameron St., Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Eby ID Number  Waterloo-133071 
    Died  1896  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried  Mount View Cemetery, Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID  I133071  Generations
    Last Modified  8 Feb 2018 

    Family  Catharine Warnock,   b. 26 May 1830, , Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1908 
    Married  1 Jul 1856  Beverly Twp., Wentworth Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
     1. Porteous
     2. Stephane Porteous,   b. 12 Oct 1859, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     3. John W. Porteous,   b. 21 Apr 1864, Kirkwall, Wentworth Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Family ID  F32826  Group Sheet

  • Notes 
    • THE REV. JOHN PORTEOUS. In " Memories of the Past " I say of him: " Another wore the priestly garb and stood erect as a larch, and his standing typed his character. Widely read and well informed in all that constitutes a liberal education, he was a joy to meet. Handsome to look upon, his soul was equally beautiful. A judicious councillor, a warm and true friend, a tower of strength. His memory is precious and his name is fragrant still, and long will be." What more needs to be said I uttered, in his funeral sermon on January 12th, 1896, from which I quote:

      Of the * works of one who was prominent among us, I wish to speak as I knew them and noted them through thirteen years of close and intimate relationship with him, years in which I saw him as he was, without reserve. In those years I had come to regard him with the greatest respect, and to hold him in the highest esteem, and even to love him as a father. I would to-day honor his memory as a part of the heritage God has given to you and to me a memory full of noble impulse and holy inspi ration! Because there was in John Porteous a sterling integrity of character, and a deep moral earnestness of soul, and a strong liv ing faith in God that carried him on quietly and steadily and contentedly. He was no dazzling meteor that burned itself into dust ; no flash that blazed but for a little; he was a light that burned, fed by the oil of the prophetic olive trees.

      As it was with Dr. David Livingstone, whose faith in God and love to Christ were not evaporated and spent in words but nourished in his heart by the Word of God whose faith in God and love to Christ carried him through his great works of exploration and evangelization in Equatorial Africa, going from one tribe to another, and telling them of a Saviour, and letting the light of a Saviour s face fall on them through his own, and the purity and righteous ness of a Saviour s life be seen in his own, till he died on his knees praying for them in his tent at Chitambo s village, Ilala; so was it with Mr. Porteous. He lived by faith ; and that upheld his soul, nourished his heart, cleansed and strengthened his intellect, and made his life one in its blamelessness and beauty and bless ing. He was not given to descanting upon his feelings, or to opening up to public view his secret dealings with God, he believed rather in a modest reserve. And so we have to judge of him by what he was, and what he did, rather than by what he said. But while I say this, let no one imagine that he never took delight in private to speak of the experiences of the heart. One day we were conversing together on the power of the Word, when he said, Yes, one day I was down and in the dumps. I felt as though all was against me, and that the world was grinding me to powder. But I read the 56th Psalm, and at once I got relief; I was delivered, and had the world beneath my feet.

      I say nothing of his work in the pastorate in St. Catharines, Kirkwall or Port Dalhousie, only this, that the thorough efficiency with which it was done was borne witness to repeatedly, in a public way, long afterwards by those who had been under his pastoral care.

      He taught the truth and preached the Gospel faithfully. And for this he was well fitted, for he had a singularly clear head, a strong analytical mind, and a sound judgment. He thought deeply about things. He was not satisfied with partial statements or one-sided views of things. His mind was more of the scientific than of the poetic cast, and therefore he had to take up into it all the facts of the case, to arrive at a judgment He was not hasty in his conclusions he took time to get a full view. And having reached his ground he held it like a Roman soldier, never flinching before any foe. He was orthodox to a fault. He held by the truths that had been victorious through nineteen centuries. The truths that have satisfied the hunger of the soul, that have illumined the mind, that have brought rest to the conscience, and eternal life to the man. Saving truths! What are they ? The sacrificial atonement of Christ, and the incarnation of Christ as necessary to that end. Regeneration by the Spirit and sanctification by the truth applied by the Spirit. Repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ as an act of the individual, which converts the soul from sin to holiness. And the necessity of a life of obedience to Christ in the keeping of His commandments. He believed in the resur rection of the dead, the day of judgment, the final awards of eternal weal or eternal woe.

      These essential truths he had studied pro foundly, in the light of modern science and criticism, in the light of skeptical doubts and infidel objections, and secularistic scorn, and after all examinations he always breathed this spirit:

      Should all the forms that men devise Assault my faith with treacherous art, I d call them vanity and lies And bind the Gospel to my heart.

      He was a trusty standard bearer in the Lord's host.

      His mind was so active and so full of power up to the very last that he was reading and think ing vigorously upon the present-day problems of science and sociology and political economy. He looked out upon the world with ever-increasing interest because he regarded it as God's world ; where He is busy working out His high and holy purposes.

      While this was the case, his life was not entirely given up to study and reflection. He was not a recluse. He loved the fellowship of his brethren. He took a lively interest in the Ministerial Association of the town, and pre pared for it thoughtful and well digested papers, which were highly appreciated by his sympathetic brethren.

      He had his friends whom he visited regularly, and these times were seasons of real joy and gladness, and of mental and moral refreshment.

      One highly cultured lady said to me during his last sickness, and in whose home he had spent many a delightful evening We shall miss him much, his visits were a benediction. Such all found them.

      He did not confine himself to friendly visits. He regularly visited the sick in the congregation. And these visits were set great store by. They were made so quietly and so unobtrusively. And were so full of thoughtful consideration and ten der feeling that they left a sweet savor upon the soul. He did much work of this kind, and enjoyed it, and found satisfaction in it, so that he said nothing of it.

      He was always ready to do anything within his power for the good of the congregation. He was to me a true yoke-fellow ; ever ready to help in conducting a prayer meeting, in taking part in a funeral service, a baptismal service, a com munion service, or any work laid upon him. He did readily and gladly whatever he could.

      One outstanding feature of his character was his regular attendance on the services of the church on the Sunday and in mid-week. Seldom was he absent from church or prayer-meeting. If he was, he was either sick or out of town on service somewhere else.

      He had with his usual thoroughness consistent views of a religious life. He had got beyond mere professions to moral and spiritual practices. He was not content with belonging to the host, he had to be a worker and a warrior as well. He cared nothing for honorary distinctions he must have honorable service. He was no sleeping partner in the concern, he was an active agent. And so he was always at his post, witnessing for Christ there, helping his brethren in their work.

      One of the truly amazing things in the world of intelligent beings is this that all men can appreciate putting their work, their personality, their means, their influence solidly into a politi cal organization for the attainment of certain ends, or into a social organization or into an educational organization for the accomplishment of their purposes while there are tens of thousands who never have the idea dawn on their minds that the church is an organization for the accomplishment of an end, the great end, the supreme end of human life, namely, the bringing of men to Christ and the building of them up in the knowledge and life of Christ.

      How many are they of this class even in the Church! who think deeply enough on outside things, but who never are touched by the idea that the Church is a militant host fighting for God and the salvation of men, by Christian testimony, by united prayer, by godly living and by generous giving ; and that their presence and help is needed as of moment, Christ having said, * To every man his work. Mr. Porteous saw this with the clearness of a sunbeam and was ever at his post, witnessing for the Lord, an encouragement and an example to us all! Looking back over his life I may sum up all by saying he was sound in doctrine, sound in faith, sound in life. He exemplified the truth of the Gospel in all he did. We shall miss him much, but we shall cherish his memory as a brother beloved. His real goodness shall abide with us. He has gone before, we shall by God's grace follow after." 1a

      Ebenezer: A History of the Centrall Presbyterian Church, Galt, Ontario, with brief sketches of some of its members who have passed on the the other side, The Rev. James A. R. Dickson pg 297

  • Sources 
    1. [S110] Church Records - ON, Waterloo Co., Cambridge - First United.
      Rev. John Porteous Married Catherine Warnock, Spinster, Both of Beverly?, Witn: Adam & James Warnock, 1 July 1856 By License In Beverly

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 1812 - , Scotland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1856 - Beverly Twp., Wentworth Co., Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 1 Jul 1856 - Beverly Twp., Wentworth Co., Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1896 - Cameron St., Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 1896 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Mount View Cemetery, Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
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