Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

On The Death Of The Rev. Matthew Gardner, D.D. Of Bothwell

Who died 4th June, 1865, in his Ninetieth Year, and Sixty-third of his Ministry in that Paris.

Ripe, fully ripe, then came the reaper Death,
With sickle keen, with cold and withering breath,
And reaped the shock. The watchful angels near
With songs of joy to Heaven's high garner bear
The golden grain-given to sepulchral earth,
The worn remains await a second birth.
Gone from our midst, last of the reverned band
That wont of old in Monkland church to stand,
To break the bread, and pour the sacred wine,
Blest symbols of the sacrifice divine,
With 'thoughts that breathed, and words that burned,' to move
The eye to tears-the heart to melt in love.
'Tis sixty years since, in the open air,
I heard him first the word of life declare.
Amongst the graves, upon the grassy mounds,
We sat, and raised with heart and voice the sounds
Of sacred psalmody, while wood and plain
Rung answering echoes to the solemn strain.
Then with what unction, with what power and zeal,
Rich gospel balm sin-wounded souls to heal,
'The old man eloquent, with heart and tongue,'
Would pour, while we upon his accents hung!
'Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway'
When calling souls to turn, repent, and pray.
Thus said the Lord-Oh! faithful and beloved,
Well have the talents given thee been improved-
Well done, thou good and faithful servant, come,
My love, My joys are thine, and 'Heaven thy home.'
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