Our dear brother James E. Bradley has fallen from the walls of Zion during the year, and we are left to mourn a comrade’s absence. And yet, if to be “absent from the body is to be present with the Lord,” we should rather rejoice, inasmuch as he has “finished his course with joy,” and “entered into the joy of his Lord.”
Bro. Bradley was an able and faithful preacher and pastor, fulfilling his high commission with unswerving fidelity. His preaching was peculiar and forcible—presenting the doctrine of Christ in a clear and cogent style. His reading was extensive, and hence his pulpit efforts glowed with apostolic fervor and zeal, and often was made piquant by historical incidents flashing here and there, illustrating the cardinal doctrines of our “great salvation.”
As a pastor, he was diligent and industrious—“giving to each his portion in due season.”
I was his presiding Elder in Oregon and can testify to his unflagging zeal, punctuality and trueness in that distant and difficult field. Deep and honest in his convictions, he had never to follow them. He retreated from that field under the most trying circumstances. Perils and poverty that try men’s souls were his, yet with a large family he finally returned to the bosom of his old Conference and friends, who gave him a hearty welcome and where, after a few years of itinerant toil, he closed his earthly career at his post of duty, at Lake Charles, where his body rests, and where his family reside.
His devotion and love for his family—their comfort and well being--together with his love for souls—consumed him.
He was an admirable character, tender, confiding, faithful.
He was born in Kentucky about 56 years ago, lived in Louisville, was a printer by trade in his youthful days. Was soundly converted and came to us as a transfer from the Louisville Conference about twenty-five years ago.
“Thus star by star declines
Till all are passed away”
To raise full orbit, and with resplendent light, never to set.
His last words were: “I must leave you; tell my brethren of the Conference that all is bright. I fall in, full armor, and at my post.”
Bro. Bradley farewell! We will meet in the Conference above to recount the labors of our feet!
My brethren beloved; “To finish our course with joy and testify the gospel of the grace of god” is our chief employ.
“O may I triumph so
When all my warfare’s pass’d;
And dying, find my latest foe
Under my feet at last.”
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1886|