The New­found­land Mem­oirs of Rev. C. Ernest Smith

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY BUR­TON K. JANES

Charles Ernest Smith (1855-1939) was the Church of Eng­land min­is­ter in Heart’s Con­tent from 1880 to 1889.

As his first Easter in the com­mu­nity neared, he be­gan looking about for a topic for his ser­mon. He made the as­sump­tion that his peo­ple were in­ad­e­quately “ac­quainted with the ev­i­dences for an in­tel­li­gent and rea­son­able be­lief in the res­ur­rec­tion of Christ” which, he sug­gested, is “that one es­sen­tial and car­di­nal mir­a­cle of Chris­tian­ity.”

To deal with their per­ceived ig­no­rance, he de­voted his “ser­mon to the mar­shalling of all the ev­i­dence” favour­ing the Res­ur­rec­tion. In­deed, he left no stone un­turned as he “dwelt upon the tes­ti­mony fur­nished re­spec­tively by the change which the reap­pear­ance of the risen Lord made in the dis­ci­ples whereby, from timid, shrink­ing men, they be­came ver­i­ta­ble he­roes.

“I di­rected at­ten­tion to the fact of the Res­ur­rec­tion, as ev­i­denced by the break­ing of the sealed stone, and the ter­ror of the Ro­man guard. I was es­pe­cially earnest [no pun in­tended!] in de­scrib­ing the dilemma of the Jews in be­ing un­able to pro­duce the body of Christ and in ex­pos­ing their lame and im­po­tent sub­terfuge that the dis­ci­ples had come by night and had stolen the body, and so forth.

“Fi­nally I brought the ser­mon to a close by ex­press­ing the hope that there was no one per­son there present who was not abun­dantly sat­is­fied with the proofs of the res­ur­rec­tion of Christ.”

Pleased with his pre­sen­ta­tion, the min­is­ter “re­tired that night to rest, with the sooth­ing con­vic­tion that I had done a great piece of work that day for the sal­va­tion of men and the hon­our of the Lord and Mas­ter.”

The next day, Smith met a parish­ioner, Mr. Perry, who was in­flu­en­tial in the com­mu­nity.

“ He was com­ing to­wards me,” Smith re­called, “ but on the other side of the street. So I crossed to his side, hop­ing that he would have some­thing to say about the won­der­ful ser­mon I had preached the day be­fore. I was not dis­ap­pointed!”

“May I speak to you about yes­ter­day’s ser­mon?” Perry asked.

“ Yes, in­deed, Mr. Perry,” Smith an­swered. “I shall be de­lighted.”

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