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i.i! ABEKAS! vv i iL ri.









WELSHPOOL. THE LATE MAYOR.—FUNERAL SERMON.—On Sunday evening last, according to previous announcement, a sermon was preached at the Congregational capel, New- street, with reference to the death of the late Mayor, Mr Parker. The chapel was crowded in every part long before the time for commencing the service, and great numbers had to go away for want of room. The devo- tional part of the service was conducted by the Rev. Henry Marton. The sermon was preached by the Rev. D. Rowlands, B.A., minister of the place, who took for his text part of the 25th verse of the 18th chapter of Genesis, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" The anthem selected for the occasion was taken from the 14th chapter of Job the hymns were the 944th (Congre- gational Hymn Book), "Abide with me, fast falls the eventide;" 549th, Rock of Ages cleft for me;" and 281st, "God moves in a mysterious way." The musical part of the service was under the leadership of Mr Moms Evans. In the course of his sermon the preacher said, -My Christian Friends You all, no doubt, expect me to say something before we part about our departed brother, to whose memory we are assembled this evening to pay our last tribute of respect. It is a matter of great diffi- culty to me, on an occasion like this, to speak at all; yon must therefore excuse me for being somewhat brief. I always think that anything like extravagant praise of a man recently gone to the world of realities-the world where every man is valued according to his real worth—is de- cidedly out of place. In the present instance I think it would be doubly so, knowing, as I do, the great repug- nance which our departed friend had to everything of the kind. Let me, therefore, carry out the sprit of what Mark Antony said at the funeral of his friend Caesar— I come to bury Csesar, not to praise him. High-sounding phrases are neither kind to the dead nor edifying to the living; the silent tear, shed from the fulness of the heart, shows greater respect to the memory of the departed than all the eulogies in the world. Our friend's history is well known to you all, and therefore need not be recounted here. During the last forty years his name has been so intimately associated with our town that most of us regarded him almost as a part of the town itself. It will be a long time before we can reconcile our- selves to his absence. For the last twenty-five years he held a seat in the Town Council; and it is no disparage- ment to his brother Councillors to say that he was second to none of them in his zeal to promote the interests of the borough. After he was elected to the office of chief magistrate, his principal care was to use his inflence for the public good. One of the last acts of his life was, his endeavour to get the public-houses closed on the Lord's day, He looked forward to the first Sunday in January with intense interest, for on that day he expected to see his cherished object fully accomplished. Little did he or we think that that was to be his first Sunday in another world But it is to his religious character that I specially wish to draw your attention now. On this point, how- ever, I shall not speak myself, but shall read to you a paper prepared for this occasion by Mr John Morris, late of this town, and now of Haodsworth. I feel great plea- sure in reading this paper, because it is the testimony of an independent witness-a member of another denomina- tion.—Mr Rowlands here read the paper, and then pro- ceeded—There is another point on which I wish to speak a few words before I close these remarks—on which it would be imprudent to speak more than a few words on the present occasion. I thought once of passing it over in silence, but justice to our dear brother's memory compels me to speak. You are all well aware that he was a Non- conformist he was a Nonconformist from conviction he was a Nonconformist, not merely because he had inherited his principles from others, but because he had thought them out for himself. He believed that religion was an affair between man and his oonscience, with which no priest, nor council, nor government, had a right to inter- fere. He believed that all men had equal rights as re- garded religion, and that no sect had a right to domineer over the rest. He respected every man's honest con- victions, to whatever denomination he might belong, whether Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Wesleyan, or Inde- pendent but what he contended for was religious equality, religious liberty, and the universal brotherhood of men. In this respect he was a true Nonconformist; for these are the eternal principles which we endeavour to teach and uphold-principles for which we make great sacrifices, and would make greater sacrifices still, for we hold them dearer than life itself. But why do I refer to this matter now ? I need not tell you. Many of you have not been in this church since you accompanied him here in his official capacity on the second Sunday in November. You came here then to express your appro- bation of the noble stand which he made for his principles on that occasion; and from the bottom of my heart I thanked you for it then, and do again thank you now. You admired his conduct—and not only you, but I believe the country at large admired it—indeed no man in whom was left the least particle of manliness could have helped admiring it. All honour then to his memory May he rest in perfect peace-may the winds tlow softly over his grave—and may that martyr-spirit which he so largely possessed descend abundantly upon the rising generation at Welchpool I

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