Friday, March 04, 2011

18Jul1881, Death of Dean Stanley

LONDON, July 18th, 1881.
—On Monday, just after midnight, died Dean Stanley, after about a fortnight's illness, ending with erysipelas in the head and lungs. I saw him last at his "Window-gardening show" in the grounds of the Abbey, when he is supposed to have caught a fatal chill. The following Saturday he preached (as he had been doing for some weeks) at Evensong on one of the Beatitudes, although ill and sick; and, feeling rather better last week, wrote part of a sermon on Ld. Hatherley which he was to have delivered yesterday. I tried to speak to him at the flower-show, but he was bustling about so actively among the people, that I could not catch him; and gave it up, little thinking!... He makes a great blank, and nobody can ever entirely replace him as to loving-hearted, universal kindness, genial courtesy, picturesque eloquence, and beautiful purity and tenderness of spirit. A true and deep love of God and man he most surely had; and I for one have had a strong feeling for him ever since hearing him preach long ago in S. James's, Piccadilly, on the "Eloi, Eloi" text. More than was his wont he gave in that sermon a glimpse into his own inner self; and spoke, so as to move one to tears, of the soul clinging to God in the midst of darkness and difficulty. I believe his strange negation of all dogmatic faith was from intellectual causes, while his love of God was of the heart.

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