Stephen Dean

136 years ago today, Stephen Dean died. He was a deacon of our church who it is is said that he or his brother gathered the pebbles from the brook as a nine-year-old and placed them at the chapel front, spelling out SC (Salem Chapel) 1817. These stones are still there, generally unnoticed. Yet unusually for a Protestant Chapel, wary of turning regular saints into foci of adoration, a memorial was erected in his honour. The text describes his ‘holy simplicity, sacred zeal and entire consecration to the will of God’. If these words are true, I regret his passing. 
Yesterday, I preached upon the communion of saints. Stephen Dean was promoted from this earthly, militant church to its invisible, triumphant division. One day we shall meet, and I look forward to making his acquaintance. Until then, I pray to God I might emulate his example.