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Vernon (the present pastor), the Rev. J. Smith, 1 after which Mr. Spurgeon preached an admirabls and the Rev. ). Dore, took part, the ceremony of | sermon in the barn to about 2,000 people. laying the stone was performed in an appropriate manner by the Rev. J. Williams. The Rev, D.
ASTWOOD BANK, WORCESTERSHIRE.-Fifty years Evans, of Dudley, delivered an interesting and ago, Wednesday, September 2nd, the Baptis impressive address. In the evening an interesting
church at Astwood was formed by the dismissal : public meeting was held, at which the Rev. C. F. twenty-five members from the church at Alcester. Vernon presided, and addresses were delivered by
It was resolved to celebrate the auspicious erat the Revg. J. Williams, D. Evans, and J. Smith.
by special services, expressive of gratitude to God The collections, afternoon and evening, with sums and holy resolve for the time to come. At seten forwarded by those who could not be present,
o'clock in the morning there was a numerously eamounted to £25. A bazaar was held during the tended prayer-meeting. At half-past ten, after s day with very satisfactory results.
devotional service, conducted by the Rer. I.
James, of Studley, addresses of a very appropriste GILDERSOME, YORKSHIRE.-Since the commence.
cbaracter and useful tendency were delivered by ment of the ministry of the present pastor, the
the Revs. M. Philpin, of Alcester, S. Dunn, of Rev. J. Haslam, the congregation has greatly in. Atch Lench, and J. Parker, of Upton-on-Severn. creased; and additional accommodation being
At half past two there was a specially interesting greatly needed, the friends have determined to and impressive service. An invitation had been provide it. On Friday, August 14th, a memorial.
given to the members of the six neighbouring stone was laid in connection with the enlargement
churches, for as inany of them as could to meet at of the chapel and the erection of new school.rooms.
that hour and partake of the Lord's Sapper. The Rev. Mr. Orgar, of Morley ([udependent), Many accepted the invitation. The Rer. d. offered prayer. An historical statement was then Phillips presided, and having given a brief history made by the pastor, in which he said that the first of tbe church, assisted by the pastors of the meeting-house was erected in the year 1707. A churches, administered to them the Lord's Supper. very appropriate address was delivered by the
At five o'clock about 300 persons sat down to tea. Rev. Henry Dowson, of Bradford. A bottle, con The services of the day were brought to a close bs taiping The Freeman and other papers, was then a most impressive sermon by the Rev. J. Parker. deposited. A silver trowel was presented by The congregation was very large, the capacious Mrs. Haslam, sen., on behalf of the church and chapel being well filled. Indeed, all the services congregation, to J. B. Bilbrough, Esq., who pro were largely attended, and proved a source of red ceeded to lay the stone. The Rev. S. G. Green, enjoyment. B.A., president of Rawdon College, then offered RAYLEIGH, ESSEX.-On Sunday, August 30th, the dedicatory prayer. A tea and public meeting
sermons were preached in connection with the was held in the evening. Interesting addresses
jubilee of the Baptist Sunday-school, Rayleigh, bf were delivered by the Revs, John Sargent, of Tur
the Rev. John Foster, pastor of the church, Jr. ton Hall, Gildersome; T. Pottenger, of Rawdon ;
Josh. Foster giving an address to the young in the S. G. Green, B.A.; W. Orgar; D. Rowe, of Mor
afternoon. There was a large attendance at each ley ; F. Barnes, B.A., of Morley; J. Hanson, of
of the services, and the collections for the Sunday West Bromwich; and Mr. Haslam, sen., of Derby.
school were very good. On Tuesday the jubilee By the alterations it is intended to provide from
services were continued, the object being to fun 350 to 400 more sittings, and accommodation for
ther the building of a British school, by which it > 400 scholars in the new and adjoining school-rooms.
hoped the jubilee of the Sunday-schools will be A minister's and deacons' vestry will also be added.
permanentiy commemorated. The Rev. J. A. The estimated expense is upwards of £800, £400
Spurgeon preached in the afternoon, from Gal.. of which has been already promised by the congre.
20, and at five o'clock from 300 to 400 persons Bed gation. The proceeds of the tea and services on
tea in a large marquee, which was decorated with Friday amounted to £40,
flowers, evergreens, and suitable mottoes. A pe
lio meeting was afterwards held in the cbapen WATERBRACI, CAMBS.-On the 25th of April
which was crowded with an enthusiastic audiene. last the old cbapel here, that was opened in April,
Addresses were delivered by the Rers, Mesers 1803, and filled so well for two years and a quarter
Hayward, Wager, Davidson, Brynne, Hughes, ali by the early ministry of the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon,
other ministers of various denominations. It was was burnt to the ground, and thus made way for a
announced that about £200 had been receifel larger one, which was greatly needed. Since that
towards the building fund. It is intended that te time the congregation bave been worshipping in a
first stone of the new schools shall be isid barn, and taking such steps as were necessary to
October, by which time those engaged in the wat get a new chapel. Plans have been furnished by the kindness of Mr. W. Higgs, who built the
hope that by the help of friends at a distance La
will be enabled to raise the remaining £150 *** Tabernacle, and have met with general approbation. The entire cost is expected to be under £750.
quired to open the building free of debt. On Monday, July 27th, Mr. Spurgeon laid the BATTERSEA CHAPEL, LONDON.-The sixty.tr foundation-stone in the presence of about 1,400 anniversary of Battersea Chapel Sunday-schaa people. Mr. Spurgeon gave out a hymn, and then was celebrated on the 30th and 31st of adga called upon Mr. Charles King (the senior deacon) Sermons were preached morning and evento to offer prayer; after which Mr. T. J. Ewing, the Sunday, the 30th, and in the afternoon there was minister of the place, addressed the people. Mr. an aggregate meeting, at which more than Spurgeon then proceeded to lay the stone, using a
children and their friends were present. Un silver trowel, presented by the senior deacon of the Monday there was a social gathering in the box Tabernacle ; after which the rev. gentleman pre school, when about 170 persons sat down. sented a cheque for the sum of £125 to the building A very unusual interest attached to this and fund; then a similar stone was laid at the opposite versary in consequence of its being the ja corner by Jas. Toller, Esq., of Wilbraham, and a Miss Davis as superintendent of the girls scho cheque for £10 10s. placed upon it. This was followed by an address and prayer offered by Mr.
After tea a public meeting was held, when to
annual report of the school was read by the se Peet. of Wilbraham. A collection was made at tary, Mr. Newton. Appropriate addresse? the conclusion, and à public tea was provided : | delivered by the Rev. 1. M. Soule (the cu
Prayer; ofarles King (tha hymn, and the
e Rev. I, M. Soule (the chaisins, and for twenty-five years minister of the chapel), | After a brief address from Lord Teynham, the Joseph Tritton, Esq., and the Revs. J. E. Richards, doxology was sung, and the assemblage dispersed,
W. Anderson, J. E. Giles, P. H. Davison, R. At five o'clock a number of friends partook of tea : Ashton, W. Ball, and J. W. Genders. The super in the Corn Exchange, and in the evening a publio intendent of the boys' school, on behalf of the meeting was held, when addresses were delivered teachers, proposed a vote of thanks to the chair by Lord Teynham, the Revs. W. R. Stevenson, man and gentlemen who had, by their very suitable | M.A., Nottingham; J. Sella Martin ; J. Cookson, speeches, so efficiently sustained the interest of the M.A., pastor of the church; Harper Twelvetrees, meeting, and contributed so largely to the enjoy. Esq., of London; and other friends. ment and profit of the crowded assembly.
SOUTHAMPTON.- A social tea-meeting was held STAFFORD.-Recognition services have recently
on Thursday evening, August 13th, at the Carlton been held of the settlement of the Rev. W. H.
Rooms, Southampton, to give a cordial welcome to Cornish as pastor of the Baptist church in this
the Rev. John Collins (of the Rev. C. H. Spurtown. On Sunday, August 16th, an appropriate
geon's College), as pustor of the church and consermon was preached by the Rev. F. F. Modoalf,
gregation meeting in the above place, lately under of Middleton Cheney, Northamptonshire, from the
the care of the Rev. J. A. Spurgeon, About 250 words, “To be with Christ." On Tuesday, the
friends sat down to tea. The meeting which fol18th, a goodly number sat down to tea in the
lowed was of a most interesting character. After large school-room of the New Connexion, kindly
singing and prayer, and a few opening remarks by lent for the purpose ; after which & public meeting
the pastor, who presided, several of the brethren, Was beld, under the presidency of Mr. J. Brown,
each representing some office or sphere of labour, the senior deacon. The Rev, T. S. Chalmers
proceeded to address the meeting and welcome the oflered prayer, Mr. Brown gave an account of
new pastor. The evening was also enlivened with the rise and progress of the church, and the reasons for inviting Mr. Cornish to the pastorate,
some appropriate anthems sung by the choir. The
pastor having responded to the welcome given, and then gave to him in an affectionate manner the
strongly urged all present to set to work in right right hand of fellowship. Mr. Cornish then ad.
good earnest in collecting funds for the proposed dressed the assembly, referring to his experience
chapel, in consequence of which a great number as a Christian and a minister, stretching over a
provided themselves with cards for that purpose, - quarter of a century, and expressed his earnest
to be given in three months hence. The meeting hope to raise & large church and commodious
closed with singing and prayer. chapel worthy of the town and the denomination, and that he was prepared to labour, suffer, and die BLACKFIELD COMMON, HANTS.-Services were: in its accomplishment. The Rav. J. P. Carey, of held on Tuesday, September 1st, at this place, in Wolverhampton, the Rev. G. Swame, and the Rev. connection wito the recognition of the Rev. J. J, P. Crole, made a few appropriate remarks.
Light as pastor of the Baptist church. In the GBEAT YARMOUTH.—The memorial-stone of the
afternoon devotional exercises were conducted by new Baptist chapel, Great Yarmouth, for the use
the Rev. J. B. Burt, of Beaulieu, and other of the church and congregation hitherto meeting
ministers who were present. A large number of in the Corn Hall, was laid on Wednesday, August
friends from the neighbourhood, together with the 26th, by J. J. Colman, Esq., of Norwich. A hymn
members of the church, assembled for tea at five having been sung, prayer was offered by the Rev.
o'clock, and immediately afterwards the public G. Gould, of Norwich, The pastor, the Rev. W.
services were resumed. An address was delivered T. Price, then gave a brief account of the planting
by the Rev. R. Caven, B.A., of Southampton, on of the church. Another hymn, and the stone was
the "Nature of a Christian Church.” The Rev.J, laid, Mr. Colman following the act by an appro
Bowers, of Hytbe (Independent), then offered priate speech. A large congregation occupied the
prayer for the pastor and people. The Rev. J. B. area within the walls, several feet of wbich had
Burt gave the charge, founded upon Matt. xxviii. been already built, and the space outside in front
19, 20; and the services were concluded by an ad. of the stone, and many ministers and gentlemen
dress to the church from Heb. xiii. 17, by the Rev. occupied the platform; but the rain, which fell
R. G. Moses, B.A., of Lymington, The liveliest heavily during the whole of Mr. Colman's address,
interest was manifested in the engagements of the prevented any further speaking in the open air,
day, and the most sincere and cordial wishes were and the service closed with the doxology and bene
expressed for the prosperity of the church. diction. After a tea-meeting in the Corn Hall, which was largely attended, a public meeting was
THETTORD, NORFOLK.-The memorial-stone of held, J. J. Colman, Esq., presiding, and addresses
the new Baptist chapel in this town was laid on were delivered by the Revs. J. Green, W. Tritton,
Tuesday, September 1. The proceedings were G. Gould, R. Govett, T. A. Wheeler, W. Wood,
commenced by the Rev. G.W.Oldring, the pastor M. Cotton, and W. T. Price, expressive of deep
of the church, who gave out a hymn; after which
the Rev. J. L. Whitiey, of Dereham, read suitable interest in the welfare and progress of the church.
portions of Scripture, and the Rev. C. Elven, of LINCOLN.--The ceremony of laying the corner Bury St. Edmunds, offered prayer; the pastor of stone of the General Baptist new chapel and
the church then read a brief statement respecting schools in St. Benedict's Square, Lincoln, was
the origin and progress of the cause, and pro. performed on Tuesday afternoon, August 18th, by ceeded to lay the stone, when the Rev. T. A. Lord Teynham. On the previous Sunday sermons
Wheeler, of Norwich, delivered an address suitable were preached in the Corn Exchange, in aid of the for the occasion; and the service was concluded funds, by the Rev. J. Sella Martin, of Bromley St. with singing and prayer. Tea was provided in the Leonard, Middlesex. On Tuesday afternoon, after British School-room at five o'clock, after which a singing a hymn, a prayer was offered by the Rev. public meeting was held, when addresses were deJ. Sella Martin, when the stone was laid by Lord livered, expressive of sympathy with the movement Teynbam in the preseuce of numerous members
and full of wise and loving counsel, by the Revs. and friends. Underneath the stone several coins J. Sage, of Kenningaall: T. A. Wheeler, of Nor. were deposited, as also the history of the church, wich; J. L. Whitley, of Dereham ; W. Woods, of a list of members, &c., and copies of The Freeman
Swaff’ham ; C. Elven, W. Freelove, and J. Barnett, and the various newspapers published in the city, I of Bury St. Edmunds,
SIRHOWY, BRECON.-Services in connection with the above village. At three o'clock in the after. the ordination of Mr. J. A. Jones, of the Baptist noon a sermon was preached by the Rev. John College, Haverfordwest, were held at Carmel Parker, of Upton-upon-Severn, from 2 Chron. vi. Chapel, Sirhowy, on Monday and Tuesday, Sep 40, 41, after which 150 persons sat down to tea, pro. tember 7th and 8th. The Rev. S. Williams, of vided in a large tent near the chapel. The friends Nantyglo, stated the nature of a Christian church, assembled afterwards in the chapel, when an im. put the usual questions to the minister, and offered pressive sermon was preached by the Rev. T. up the ordinaticn prayer. The Rev. T. Davies, Wilkinson, of Tewkesbury. The attendance at D.D., president of the college at Haverfordwest, both services was very good, and the collections delivered the charge to the minister, and the Rev. liberal. This new place of worship will be supplied H. W. Hughes, of Dinas, Glamorganshire, that to by brethren from the church at Upton-on-Sovern, the church. Other services of a more general character in connection with the above were conducted ROTIRRHAM.--On Monday evening, August 17th, by the Revs. J. Jenkins, of Llanfachreth ; R. | a tea and public meeting was held in the Baptist Davies, Glyn Elan ; T. Roberts, Nebo, Ebbw Vale ; chapel, Westgate, Rotherham, in connection with J. Lewis, Tredegar; J. Jones, Penuel, Rbymney; the Rev. J. Ashmead's retirement from the pas. and two brethren from Llangollen College. Mr. torate. About 200 persons sat down to tea. The Jones enters upon an important sphere of labour Rev. C. Larom, of Sheffield, occupied the chair, as the pastor of the church at Carmel, and as the and addresses were delivered by the Rev. Dr. successor of the Rov. R. Ellis, now of Carnarvon, Falding, Rev. H. Ashbery, and others. In the with encouraging prospects of success.
course of the meeting Mr. Ashmead was presented
with a handsomely bound copy of the Holy Scrip MOBICE SQUARE, DEVONPORT.-The new and tures and a purse of gold, which were by bim beautiful organ built for the above place of worship suitably acknowledged. was opened on Thursday, September 10th, The Rev. T. C. Page, of Plymouth, preached on the MINISTERIAL CHANGES.- The Rev. J. Makeoccasion, in consequence of the absence of the Rev.
peace, of Luton, has accepted the cordial invita. John Stock, the pastor, who had two days before tion of the church meeting in Sion Ch broken his left arm. The tone of the o rgan was ford, to accept the pulpit of the new chapel which much admired for its mingled sweetness and power. I is being now erected by them in Manningham The cost was only £150, and Messrs. Bevington & Lane, in that town. Mr. Makepeace will com. Song, of London, were the builders. An appeal mence his labours at Bradford on the opening of was made for additional subscriptions towards the the new chapel. - The Rev. William Leese Giles, instrument. J.R. Jeffery, Esq., of Liverpool, con. of Abbey Street, Dublin, having accepted a unanitributed the princely gift of £50, thus munificently mous invitation from the church assembling in remembering the town of his birtb, and especially Cannon Street, Birmingham, to become its pastor, the house of God in which his father and mother will (D.V.) enter on his engagements the first Sab. worshipped and his own childhood and youth were bath in October.--The Rev. James Wall has giren trained. Nearly £40 have yet to be raised, for notice to resign the pastorate of the church at which the Rev. J. Stock is responsible.
Castle Street Chapel, Calne, Wilts, in favour of
missionary work in Italy.--The Rev. E. Bailey has CANTERBURY.-A bazaar in aid of the Baptist
resigned the pastorate of the Baptist church, Salt. Chapel, St. George's Place, was held a short time
house Lane, Hull, and concluded his labours on the since in the Corn Exchange. Several stalls were
last Sabbath of September.-Mr. W.0. Teufler, of furnished with great tasto by the zeal and liberality of a number of friends. During the greater part
Pontypool College, has accepted the unanimous in. of the time, the weather was as unfavourable as it
vitation of the Baptist church, Uley, Gloucester.
shire, to become their pastor, and commenced his could be, but 100 guineas were cleared by it. The
ministerial duties on the first Sunday in August, Rev. C. Kirtland and his friends are using their
- Mr. John Abel Jones, of Haverfordwest College, utmost efforts to open the place in November free
has accepted a unanimous invitation to the pas. of debt. If every reader of the CHURCI will
torate of the Baptist church, Sirhowy, Monmouth. respond to the appeal presented in the advertise
shire.-Mr. David Davies, of daverfordwest Col. ment which has appeared in the CHUBCI since July.
lege, has received a cordial and unanimous a considerable proportion of the required sum will
invitation to become the pastor of the Baptist be raised.
church, Hirwain, Glamorgansbire, and purposes to HALIFAX.-On Tuesday evening, Augus 25th, a
commence his labours the first Sunday in October, public meeting, commemorative of the centenary
-The Rev. R. Bayly, who a few weeks ago of Pellon Lane Chapel, Halifax, was held in the
accepted the invitation of the church at Newark cbapel, under the presidency of Sir F. Crossley,
to resume the pastorate which he had resigned a Bart., M.P. On the platform were the Revs. J.
short time before, has again tendered his resigna. Pridie, Halifax; J. P. Chown, Bradford : 8. G.
tion. His labours in connection with the church Green, president of Rawdon Collego; J. Green,
are to cease on the first Sabbath in October.-The Hebden Bridge; Sidney Young, Abergavenny;
Rev. J. Mountford, of Seven Oaks, Kent, having and others. The proceedings were prefaced by :
resigned his charge after a nine years' pastorate, tea in the school.room. On the previous Sunday
is open to another engagement.--The Rev. W. the Rev. J. P. Chown and the Rev. H. Dowson, of
Leach bas resigned the pastorate of the church in Bradford, preached in the chapel. Collections
Newland, Northampton.-The Rev, A. Ashworth, were made on behalf of a fund for cleaning and
late of Úley, has accepted the pastorate of the lighting the chapel. The meeting was addressed
church in Bramley, Yorkshire, and has commenced by Mr. Chown and the other ministers present,
his labours.--The Rev. Thomas John has resigned and was of a very interesting character.
the pastorate of the Baptist church at Llangen
deirne, and has commenced his ministerial labours NAUNTON, WORCESTERSHIRE. - On Thursday, at Ynyslwyd, Aberdare.--The Rev. W. Probert September 3rd, services in connection with the has resigned the pastorate of the Baptist church, opening of & now Baptist chapel were celebrated in | Newbridge, Radnorshire.
“Built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the
SUBMISSION IN BEREAVEMENT.
BY THE REV. T. P. STEVENSON. “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”—Job i. 21. Those words are easy to repeat, but hard to feel. The head assents to them far more readily than the heart. “ The Lord gave-blessed be the name of the
Lord :" who of us cannot say that, and say it sincerely? When the large i blessing comes we can devoutly thank God for it; but when it departs how
then ? “ The Lord hath taken away-blessed be the name of the Lord :" to say that, and mean it, is difficult. When Bereavement in her sombre garb darkens our thresholds; when we stand by the motionless remains of a much-loved friend; when we gaze in mute grief on the lips that will never speak again, the eyes that will never look on us again, and the cheek that will never wear the flush of health again; when we miss the welcome and well-known voice; when we see the old haunt and favourite resort forsaken, quite and for ever forsaken --it is hard to use the language of Job sincerely and heartily.
And yet it may be done. He did it, and therefore we may. How may we? In what way can we become consoled and submissive when God removes from earth to heaven his children and our beloved ones ? Let us look at some of the facts and truths that tend to make us resigned under the loss of our Christian friends.
1. Our friends are nearer to us after death than they were before. In what sense are they nearer? Are they nearer locally? It may be so. No one can prove to the contrary. Our ignorance of the other world is very great. We know little of it. Where is heaven? Is it near, or far off? It may be one of those glorious stars that we have looked upon at night. Yes, maybe you and I have seen heaven. Some planet on which we have gazed may be the abode of the blessed. Or it may be very near us. All around us may be “the better land.” As the invisible atmosphere surrounds us and our earth, 80 may it be with the other world. One of our poets has said, that “heaven lies all about us in our infancy ;” but how do we know that it does not lie about us in youth, manhood, and old age also ! But however this may be, there is surely ground for believing, from Scripture and reason alike, that our departed and sainted friends are at least sometimes near us. Jacob's dream, the scene which Elisha saw on Dothan, and the reference of the apostles to the “cloud of witnesses," seem to teach clearly the close connection between this and the invisible state. Very likely our loved kindred who have died are near us. They are behind the veil, and only the thin veil separates us from them. How often have the bereaved felt, at certain seasons, as if their deceased friends were near them! You may call it fancy if you like. Stigmatize it as sentiment if you will. There it is, a thing believed over and over again by hundreds, and believed too by many
who are not guilty of sentimentalism. Yes, it may be that the dead are nearer to us now than when living. The friends who were separated by long leagues during life may be, ever and anon, not far off.
" It is a lovely doctrine that the saved
Do minister unto their mortal kin;
But however this may be, it is certain that the departed and we are nearer in affection. We love them better than we did when they were alive. The cold, keen wind of death, instead of extinguishing the fire of our affection, makes it flame out and burn far more vigorously and brightly. The maternal love is strong while its object is in existence, but it is stronger after. Great was the mother's attachment to her sweet little one when it lay a helpless infant on her breast, and when it grew up to childhood, and delighted her with its sunny looks, golden hair, artless tricks, and playful prattle; but as she looks at it, lovely in death, she feels that she never loved it so much as now. So with filial affection. Love to parents deepens, not declines, when they are no more, Things that belonged to them acquire a strange value: we treasure up greedily what they once used and possessed; every trifle that bears the beloved name on it is sacredly preserved.
There is yet a third and better sense in which the departed are nearer to us than when living. They are nearer in influence. We always think more highly of people after death than before. The band that takes them from us physically gives them to us in admiration. Death transfigures them. As in a fabrio certain colours grow dim and fade by reason of light and heat, while others retain their beauty through long years, so in the moral raiment which men wear, the bad colours grow dim and disappear from us after death, while the good retain their freshness. The Etruscan superstition was, that their ances. tors became household gods. And do not ours! We remember the excellences, we get oblivious of the defects, of the dead. Look at the heroes of the Bible as an instance of this. We often speak to each other of Abraham ; but what do we think of in connection with him! Is it the act of deception he once practised P No: it is his sublime obedience when he “ went out, not knowing whither he went;" his marvellous faith and loyalty to God when he offered up his son. We often speak of David ; but what do we speak and think of about him? Is it his murder of Bathsheba's husband, his adultery, his pride in numbering the people? No: it is his zeal for God in wishing to erect à noble temple for him, his magnanimous conduct to his enemies, his patriotism as a king, his holiness as a saint. We often speak of Paul; but what do we think of in connection with him ? Is it his blind, determined, and cruel persecution of the Church P No: it is the love which said, “I am very willing to spend and be spent for you, though the more I love you the less I be loved ;" it is the devotedness which said, “None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself;" it is the fidelity which said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course." And as it is with these, so is it with our immediate friends. We grow oblivious of their defects, and remember only their excellences. When the beloved companion is gone, you do not think of his warm temper, but of his noble generosity; you do not think of his strong prejudices, but of his true and faithful love ; you do not think of his tendency to conservative pride, but of his usefulness as a Christian man, his conscientious, his humble, yet utter reliance on Christ in his last hours. The words of Tennyson, in his great poem, born of sorrow and bitter trial, find a response in the hearts of all who are bereaved of a Christian friend :