This venerable man of God died on the 28th of January in the 84th year of his age. I feel sad recording his decease, for he left behind him no man better than himself. And yet there is joy in the thought that his spirit, escaping from its earthly _______, has gone up to mingle with the spirits of just men made perfect, before the throne. And this reminds me of an affecting discourse preached by Elder Ross at Bethel Association, Ky., many years ago, in which he dwelt on the fact that “the righteous are taken from the evil to come.” – Elder Walter Warder, who was present on that occasion, said afterward, “Bro. R’s sermon perfectly captivated me.”
Taken from the evil to come! What a privilege! What an honor! In how many instances has the sentiment of the text been verified since, in those who heard that discourse. The Warders, William and Walter, were present, and they have long been sleeping in Jesus. Elders Tandy, D. Williams, Wilson, Warfield, Rutherford, Anderson, &c, were there, but years ago they went up to the heavenly mansions. How I am impressed with the shortness of life, in view of the fact that almost all the preachers, with whom I was associated in the commencement of my ministry, have gone the way of all the earth! Lovely men! If I was competent I would pay a tribute to the varied excellencies [sic] of Christian and ministerial characters.
Elder Ross, owing to the infirmities of age, preached very little for a half a dozen years before his death. He felt that his work was done, and it had been a great work: for his ministerial life embraced a period of more than a half a century. In town and country, he had proclaimed the gospel of Christ to dying men. No one could have said with greater truth that he warned every one with tears. Those tears! They are among the reminiscences of my childhood, and made a deep impression on me in my mature years. Seldom have I seen an object so affecting to me as Elder Reuben Ross in the pulpit, dissolved in tears, and praying men in Christ’s stead to be reconciled to God. I have seen most of our great preachers of the North and South, but I have never seen a man who exemplified in his preaching so majestic a dignity and solemnity as Reuben Ross. He preached as if standing on the verge of eternity, and though unbest with the advantages of education, he spoke wondrous things. He was eloquent, for he was in earnest. Expressions sometimes fell from his lips as beautiful as any to be found in the writings of Robert Hall. Who could describe a dying scene or the bright glories of the resurrection like him? * * * But I cannot write to-day. Deep emotion forbids. When my numerous engagements permit, I wish to write a series of articles of “The Life and Times of Reuben Ross.” P.
[The Tennessee Baptist, February 11, 1860. p. 2, CD format. Transcribed and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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