SIR SAMUEL LEE ANDERSON.
THE announcement of the death of Sir Samuel Anderson, which occurred on the 1st of December , must have taken many of his friends by surprise. For although he was known by them all to have been suffering from serious and, as it seemed, incurable illness for nearly two years, yet he had so often before rallied out of the acute stages of the complaint, his powerful constitution wrestling effectually with its enemy, that few could have foreseen the end so near. That this fatal malady----contraction of the liver—should have acquired such a fast hold on a system so robust by nature, can only be traced to the extreme and prolonged pressure of his official duties, connected as they were with the government of Ireland in the height of the criminal agitation.
Eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Anderson, of Monkstown, who survive him, and brother of Mr. Robert Anderson, LL.D., the author of "The Gospel and its Ministry," "Human Destiny," &c.
Mr. Anderson was married in 1864 to Miss Elizabeth Barcroft. He was educated at Rugby and Trinity College, Dublin, of which he was a graduate and M.A. By profession a barrister, he at first devoted himself to the discharge of the duties of his father’s office of Crown Solicitor, and for his services to Government during the State trials of 1865, 1866, and 1867, he was appointed Marshal of the High Court of Admiralty, and afterwards Crown Solicitor on the Munster Circuit. And when agitation had resulted in widespread disorder and violence, and a special Department for the detection and punishment of crime became necessary, he was called upon to take charge of it, in addition to his other duties . . . Mr. Anderson laboured in the cause of peace—whose splendid courage, unswerving principle, and ever fertile resource, failed to secure for him the support of his colleagues, and who, overborne and disappointed, retired from his post of danger, only to yield up his life after a prolonged illness into the hands of the God whom he loved and served.
So great were the labours of the Irish Executive at this time that Mr. Anderson was unable for several years to take any rest, holiday, or change whatever. His Sundays even frequently brought their burden of necessary work in this outer sphere of Divine service (Rom. xiii.); far into every night the unceasing demands continued; and even the short sleep of the wearied public servant was often invaded by urgent messengers from Dublin Castle. And when, under the scheme of replacing Irish officials by Englishmen, unsought relief from the strain was given in compulsory retirement, with a knighthood, and the nerve tension was thus suddenly relaxed, the inevitable reaction supervened; his health failed at the early age of 49 . . .
The funeral took place at Mount Jerome Cemetery, near Dublin, on Saturday, December 4th, and was attended, amid the company of sorrowing relatives and friends, by six or seven of Her Majesty’s Judges—including his brother-in-law, Judge Boyd—by all of whom Sir Samuel was so highly esteemed, and by some of them, we may truly say, beloved.
The short service was conducted by Rev. J. G. MacNeill, and Mr. George E. Trench, of Ardfert, both old friends of the deceased. After one verse of the hymn, "Great Captain of Salvation," and prayer, in which the sorrowing wife, the parents, the brother and sisters, and the son and two daughters of Sir Samuel, were specially mentioned, Mr. Trench read 1 Pet. i. 3-9 and 2 Pet. i. 1-15, and spoke in substance as follows:——
"I should like to say a few words about my dear friend, of whom I cannot think as of one dead, for surely he lives, but whose body we are about to commit to the grave. You all must know the outline of the last two years of his life—the long battle of a strong constitution against a mortal malady. But few can know, save those whose privilege it was to minister to him, how these trials wrought (as in the first passage read) to develop the deep vitality of his faith and love and godly character.
"My own acquaintance with Sir Samuel Anderson dates from the year 1861, when we were together engaged in the Lord’s service in this city. My association with him has thus been from the first, as it has been to the last, wholly of a spiritual character. Well do I recall his labour in the Gospel in those early years when he preached the Word of salvation to the poor on the north side of Dublin. Though now for many years serving God in another sphere, he was not serving Him less truly; and if I wanted words to describe to you the leading features of his service, I should point to this passage in 2 Pet. i. 5-7: ‘Add to your faith valour, and to valour, knowledge, and to knowledge, temperance, and to temperance, patience, and to patience, godliness, and to godliness, brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness, love.’ My friends, if those words describe a Christian, Samuel Anderson was a Christian.
"Exposed to the full force of the political agitation that has so long troubled our land, he had to learn to lean on God for strength in circumstances of the heaviest responsibility, of the most anxious toil, and often and for long of personal danger . . .
"Called to the front line of defense in the hour of the peril of the State, he had such opportunity as falls to few to exhibit the faith, the valour, the patience, the temperance, the godliness, of which we have been reading.
"If it be thus that an entrance shall be ministered unto us abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, surely we may believe that this portion has just now been granted to him. The world gave him honour, but his eye was on a brighter reward and a higher dignity, as those who witnessed his cheerful confidence and peaceful contemplation of death can testify. To one now present, he said, a day or two before his death, when asked if he wished to be prayed with, ‘My dear Bland, it is not prayer I want, but thanksgiving and praise.’ Thus peacefully, joyfully, he passed away. To hear of these closing hours of unruffled calm, reminded me of the words I learned as a child—
‘Teach me to live that I may dread
The grave as little as my bed.’
And now, we commit the body of God’s servant to its dust, believing that through the cleansing blood of his dear Saviour, whom he trusted and loved, he will have a certain resurrection unto life, and a triumphant ascension to the throne and glory of his Lord."
MacNeill followed, bearing testimony in a few words to Sir Samuel’s kindness of heart, firm friendship, and generous and ever ready help of those who stood in need of it.
We affectionately commend to the prayerful sympathy of . . . the dear family whom our brother has left behind him, that the chief mourner may be sustained in her lonely pilgrimage with trustful hope of the glad reunion in the presence of the Lord at His coming, and that her children may each grow up to serve and please Him who is "Father of the fatherless and Judge of the widow."