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Excerpt: ...But yesterday it seems since we sprang forth: Life doth no sooner sparkle in our eye, Than we are subject to decline and die! A brother Mason now a victim lies To Death, whose icy hand hath closed his eyes! He sleeps, forgetful of his toil and care; In prime of life, no more his voice we hear. No more the chisel moves within his hands, The sounding axe no more his skill demands: But silence reigns, --his spirit's gone to rest, His ransom'd soul is number'd with the blest! His sins and follies here he did bemoan, A heavy burden, grievous to be borne; When lo, the Lord, a week before he died, Dispers'd the gloom, and all his wants supplied In the Redeemer's blood he did believe, And God his pardoning love to him did give: Such depth of mercy fill'd us with surprise, And tears of gratitude flow'd from our eyes! He boldly triumph'd in God's pardoning grace, With love and patience beaming in his face; Till fainting in the icy arms of death, He praised his God with his departing breath Pg 94 How oft have we in health, and free from pain, Joyful to labour, cross'd the dewy plain, Before the morning stars had disappear'd, Or early harmony the woodlands cheer'd! How oft have we been partners through the day, Or sung in hymns our nightly hours away! Alas! my partner's gone! Can I forbear To welcome down my cheek the rolling tear? No more on earth his voice shall mix with mine, In social converse, or in songs divine! Be it my chief concern to be prepar'd, Like him to die, and meet my just reward. False witnesses did raise a vile report, And laid things to his charge that he knew not: But now he's gone to be with Christ on high, Where he is safe, and may their power defy. Now slander and reproach at once may cease; No more can they disturb our brother's peace! Their arrows keen can never pierce his soul, He is departed, and hath reach'd the goal! Farewell! but...
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