THOMAS Jr., J.W.B. – (date unknown)

“The days of our years are three-score years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be four-score years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off and we fly away.”

“I hold the world but as the world is a stage, where every man must play his part in the great drama of life. Every day is a new scene in that greatest of all plays, the Play of Life. Each day is a new page upon which we write our record for weal or for woe. The curtain is drawn; the record is made; the book is closed. ‘What I have written, I have written.’ “

There was an era in the history of the world, when all nations had become steeped in sin, had forgotten God, when there was not even a ray of light and hope to penetrate the unseen and mysterious, and reveal a Father’s watchful care and everlasting love. Even in that classic period of Greek culture and civilization, when such great minds as Socrates, Arostotle, and Plato, dominated and set the bounds of human thought and philosophy, they could not feel and understand, that somehow and somewhere there mus t be a guiding hand, a Supreme Being. But who He was, where His habitation, and from whence He came was a problem, unanswered and unknown. Under divine providence all ages have had their beacon lights, lest humanity in shear ignorance, superstition and sin, might plunge headlong into the abyss of everlasting abstraction. At length, and in the course of time, there appeared a colossal figure; a man of vision, adventure and faith: – the father of the faithful. In whose lineage at the proper time and pla ce, according to prophacy, Christ appeared “in us the hope of glory, and in whom all the nations of the earth should be blessed.”

In this great company of splendid Nobility of the Faith, our good friend and neighbor had taken his place, and played a noble part. He lived and was indeed, a man among men and every inch a man.

“Some men are born to greatness, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” Perhaps no other citizen of his day and generation, was called upon by his friends and neighbors to assume so many of the duties and responsibilities, in both civil and ecclesiastical life. In every relationship of life, faithfullness seemed always to be his watchword. The rule and motto of his life must certainly have been: “I shall pass this way but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any k indness that I may show to any human being, let me do it now; let me not defer it nor neglect it, for I shall never pass this way again.”

He had fought the good fight, he had finished his course, he had kept the faith, and passed the test: “Am I a soldier of Cross, a follower of the Lamb, and shall I take to own His cause, or blush to speak His name?”

“Must I be carried to the skies On flowery beds of ease, While others fought to win prize, And sailed through bloody seas?”

His life had not been one of perpetual sunshine; upon his long and weary pilgramage, many clouds had cast their shadows; many trials and tribulations had left their impress. Just as the golden and glorious sunset of a long summer’s day, so typical of the morning, noon, and evening of a long and useful life; so the sun of his earthly race, went down beneath the western horizon, to rise again in resplendent glory, in the new Jerusalem. Peace and sweet rest to his worn and weary body; a joyful, happy and glorious resurrection to his immortal spirit.

Robert T. Perry

Bigbyville, Tennessee

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