Friday, June 5, 2009

Well done! Well done!

Samuel Barrett (August 16, 1795-June 24, 1866), was a part of the founding generation of American Unitarianism. Longtime Minister of the 12th Congregational Society (which, reports the Dictionary of Unitarian Universalist Biography, was the first church built in Boston after the Unitarian schism) Barrett was involved in most of the activities surrounding the creation of the AUA and the Boston Sunday School Society. This memorial poem by Lewis Glover Pray...

DIED JUNE 24, 1866.

"Pastor, Teacher, Parent, Guide, and Friend,
As o'er thy life-like, sainted form we bend,
We grieve, with heart-struck grief, to feel and
know That e'en the best must leave us here below.

Strong in the faith, the pulpit for thy throne,
How winning, glowing, earnest was thy tone !
Its charm was truth, and bore with mighty sway
Thousands of souls to seek the better way.

At that sweet feast the gracious Master spread,
With bread from heaven thy loving flock was fed ;
There in our hearts were stirred all thoughts divine,
As Christ was symbolled forth by bread and wine.

Thou lov'dst the lambs, and loved the lambs to lead
To wisdom's flowery fields, in peace to feed ;
And they in turn wouldst gather at thy knee,
To catch the kind, approving word from thee.

With deepest sympathies, the homes of grief
Roused all thy latent powers for their relief;
The grasp was warm, the fitting words were few,
But reached the bleeding wound, and healed it too.

With what a glow did learning's living light
Fill thy pure heart with ever new delight;
And as its torch was passed from hand to hand,
Hope smiled anew to bless thy natal land.

With wide survey, and earnest, melting soul,
Of human errors thou didst grasp the whole;
And, as thou couldst, from earliest dawn of youth,
Urged on the cause of purest Christian truth.

Deep insight thine to track the wastes of sin,
And back to right its victims sought to win
Pitied the poor, and sent forth angels fair,
To give relief, and all their burdens share.

In council wise, in judgment strong and clear,
Prudent and calm through dubious paths to steer,
On wings of thought thine influence silent sped,
And thus to God and good opinions led.

At home, — but here the hand and heart denies
To touch those tender, loving, home-bound ties,
Around which clustered all endearments sweet,
Their lodgement hallowed in life's dearest seat.

Though yet in armor, life's great battle fought,
Thy chosen work all well and nobly wrought,
Resigned in faith to time and Heaven's decree,
Thou gav'st thy soul to Him who gave it thee.

But first a vision ! lo, heaven's gate set wide,
And angels, beckoning, came to be thy guide!
And then the curtain fell, — the goal was won, —
And God's own voice proclaimed, " Well done ! Well done !"

Oh may our eyes in waking visions see
How great, dear saint, thy heavenly bliss must be !
And this one sweet thought sooth every breast,
Till all shall share with thee thy joy and rest. "

Not great poetry perhaps-but a wonderful vision of a Boston Unitarian! blessings

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