By John L. Childress
He stands in the altar,
the grave old man,
With an eye still bright, tho' his cheek is wan,
And his long white locks are backward rolled
From his noble brow of classic mould:
And his form, tho' bent by the weight of years,
Somewhat of its primad beauty bears.
He opens the page of
the sacred word,
Not a whisper low nor loud is heard;
Even Folly assumes a serious look
As he heedeth the wword of the holy book
And the thoughtless and gay grow reverent there,
As he opens his lips in fervent prayer.
He stands as the grand
old prophet stood
Proclaiming the truth of the living God;
Pouring reproof on the ears of men
Whose hearts are at ease in their folly and sin;
With a challenge of guilt still unforgiven,
To the soul unfit nor meet for heaven,
Who can but honor that
good old man,
As he neareth his three-score years and ten?
Who hath made it the work of his life to bless
Our world in its woe and wickedness;
Still guiding the few, who were wont to stray
In the paths of sin, to the narrow way.
With a kindly heart
to the lapsing years,
He hath shared our joys, also our tears;
He hath bound the wreath on the brow of the bridge,
He hath stood by the couch when our loved ones died,
And pointing the soul to a glorious heaven,
As the ties which bound it to earth were riv'n.
I think we will weep
When our kind old pastor has passed away;
When the last of his ebbing sands are run;
When his labor is over and his work is done.
Who will guide and guard the fold;
When his poise is still and his heart is cold?
We'll miss him then
- ever look and tone
So familiar once, forever gone.
Will thrill the heart with inward pain,
And we'll long to listen to him again,
When a stranger's form and a stranger's face,
Shall fill our honored pastor's place.
Mr. Spurlin, was of patriarchal appearance, tall and straight, and in his preaching had a stentorian voice of great power. He often preached out of doors, in tents, and his powerful voice could be heard for a long distance.
Rev. J. U. Spurlin
and Henry C. Gant Answer Death Summons
Two of Christian county's most useful and beloved citizens died Saturday night. Henry C. Gant, president of the Bank of Hopkinsville, passed away suddenly at his residence in Hopkinsville and the Rev. J. U. Spurlin's long life ended at his home in the Sinking Fork neighborhood. Both men were octogenarians.
The Rev. James U. Spurlin was 85 years old, a native of Christian county and his ministry covered a period of sixty-five years. He was probably the oldest Baptist preacher in Kentucky, and had been pastor of many churches in this region. For forty years he preached without interruption, at the Sinking Fork church. Last Sunday a week ago he was taken ill of the heart affection while in his pulpit and was removed to his home and died Saturday night. He had baptized more than 5,000 converts, married 1,100 couples and has preached over 7,000 sermons. He survied two wives and leaves four sons and a daughter. His work in the ministry will be carried on by a son and a grandson. The Rev. Mr. Spurlin's funeral took place last Monday at Brick church, near Sinking Fork.
He was the grandfather
of Quint Spurlin, of this county.
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