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FUNERAL SERMON AT ST. MARY'S…

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FUNERAL SERMON AT ST. MARY'S CHURCH, FISHGUARD The Rev Morgan Griffiths, Curate of the parish, preached the funeral sermon on the de,1th of the late Vicar of Fishguard, on Sunday morning. Jan. 21st, at St. Mary's Church, before a large congregation. The rev. gentleman took for his text the 13th and 14th verses of the iv. chapter of the first epistle to the Thessalonians. We publish the sermon in f till My dear friends, I feel that I stand before you this morning as an orphan child, having- been left fatherless, for indeed, I have lost a spiritual father by the departure of my ven.Table and dear Vicar; and I am also convinced that every individual here. .possessed of any human feeling, is bent with SCJITJW at the bereavement we have all sus- "tain 1. For me to sing the praises of one who has just left us would be a work of supererogation. I have no occasion Lo do that. liave we not abundant evidences on eveiy hand of the glorious work that our late Vica has done among us during the many year, of his incumbency. Look back to ids advent to this parish. When he came here' in 18.) 4, what did he find, an old dilapidated little Uhurch with ninety sittings. That build- ing 81 grieved Mr Rowlands that he at once applied to the late ih->. op Thirl wall to gianJ, him to officiate in one of the National Schoots until he would be enabled to erect a more suitable and appropriate house of trod. The foundation stone of that new Church was laid on the 19th of September, 1855, by the late Sir James Ha-uAo:. Bart., and was opened for divine service on the 22ucl of July, 1857 The Lauren cost il.631 and contained 550 sittings. And where is that Church ? It is none other than this magnifi- cent building in which, we worship this morn- ing The number of communicants attend- the liLtle Church. I am told on high authorithy. were from five to ten; number of children attending the .Sunday School, about thirty. Fishguard as you know has not increased in population, and what I ask is the present position of affairs in connection I with this Church more than fifty times five of communicants, and more than iivtrrfTie*0-. thirty of names en the books of our Sunday School. Ne lght work this. Our late Vicar iia!lst laboured in season and out of season in the Master's cause in order to bring bout these grand results; and here we are in a house of God worthy of the name, a building to be handed down to generations yet to come, and connected with the name of the late venerable William Rowlands as long as it stands upon this rock. This is not all. The late Vicar was also a great educational- ist. Look at those three schools over yonder. I will not enter into the mental worry and anxiety Mr Rowlands had to endure in order to carry on these, schools. Oh, what an intense interest he took in them. Indeed, he seemed to me to regard all the children as one big Christian family of his own, some of whom have crossed tiie,flooci and some are crossing now. Many a young* man can call to mind the late Vicar's quaint saying when paying his usual visits to the scholars. Yes, and bless the days they spent at Fishguard National Schools I do not speak to you, my friends, as one that beateth the air; I speak from an intimate acquaintance of close upon two years and a half with a noble man, a dear Christian. Brethren, do you all realize this monning that you have lost a valuable servant of God by the death of William Rowlands. It pleased the Lord to take him away after having seen the fruits of his labours, and now he sleeps in Jesus. We i ,i, mourn for the loss we have had, but we sorrow not as men without: hope, for if we believethait Jesus died and ruse again even so them also that sleep in Jesus will God bring forth with him. The Apostle wished to console the Thessalonians in their bereavements. It seems to me that some ,of the brethren' had been taken away, and St. Paul reminds them, and he reminds us too, thai the; well as ourselves shall be raised up at the last day. To mourn is our lot, but thank God we do not mourn as men without hope. The deceased Vicar had a glorious hope. Tie Cress of Jesus was to him the 'Alpha and Omega of his very being. His .simple theme at all times was'Nothing'in my hands I bring, simply to Thy Cross I. cling.' The Apostle says he sleeps in Jesus. A most soothing consolation it it not ? The Christian pilgrim after being tossed about to and fro in this wicked world, at the last sleeps in Jesus. It is a sleep free from pain and sorrow, and with a sure hope of beIng- raised again. In the death of a father, mother, or any other relative, every tie is broken, but it cannot touch the union of the Christian with the blessed Redeemer, for he l sleeps iu Jesus. This mortal coil \Jt, see corruption, yet, still the Saviour's property. and even then worthy of his care and love. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints yes, they are dead in Christ. They sleep in Jesus. There is to be a glorious resurrection in the 'fulness of time. The thought. of this time, the consumation of time is a source of great consolation to the sorrowing Christian when he loses through death a relative or a friend, for if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. Men may differ about other doctrines of Christianity, but all are bound to agree tha,t the resurrection of the body is to take place. It was asked in former days, and it is a favourite question in the present day, How are the dead raised up, and with what body do they come ?' Brethren, beware of such sceptics as these. Your in- fallible guide is the Divine Book; do not be led away from the truth as it is in Jesus. In this blessed Volume you will find the' Kindly Light' that will lead you into all truth it will enable you to sleep in Jesus, and to raise again on the resurrection morn. It is asked if Christian friends will know each other in the better land. Whether it would be to our advantage or not, I will not attempt to answer that question, but leave the matter in the hands of a fill Saviour, who is Judge of aLL I witi i i for re- flection, that the d1 ipl° < J after His jesurrection, and at the m: i of His ascension. You will hardly say that the body our blessed Lord wore upon earth will be the only one recognised in 'heaven. Well, the venerable aud beloved Vicar, whose loss, we iiiourti to-clty. and who for the space of nearly 40 years watched over this important parish throug'h cloud and sunshine, and through good report and evil report, has gone to that better land. We all know full well that it was < ver his aim and desire, like the great Apost le of the Gentiles, to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified, believing as he did that it is the gospel and the gospel alone which is 'The power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth The one great subject on which he loved to dwell was Christ. Christ in His pure and spotless life. Christ in His atoning death. Christ as the resurrection ,1. the life. Christ as" VLZ'T ascended Lord and fore-runner of His people. Christ as the sinner's friend and the all- prevailing intercessor at the right hand of God. In a word, it was his heart's desire to lead ,men to Christ, as the way, the truth, and the life, and the one only name given among men whereby we must be saved. May Gv. d of His mercy raise up a faithful successor, who shall build on the same sure foundation which has been laid in Zion.' But our revered pastor, who has left us, preached day by day, by his life and conversation. Like the good shepherd, he went before his flock and presented to them all example of all that was pure and lovely and of good report During his last illness he was enabled by the grace of God to triumph over the natural fear of death, and enjoyed perfect peace, and even desired to depart and be with Christ, You want to keep me here,'ha said to one near and dear to him, but I w..ant to go.' The truth is that to him to live was Christ and to die was gain. Let us, dear brethren, seek to be followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promise. I I would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep that ye sosrow not even as others which have no hope. If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." l

DEATH OF MR W. R. EVANS, LLANELLY.

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