(Part of the Collection, Kersey's Essays)

Jesse Kersey

Taken From  A Narrative of the Early Life, Travels, and Gospel Labors of Jessey Kersey, Late of Chester County, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: T. Ellwood Chapman, 1851, pages 258-260.

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As we pass along the important path of time circumstances take place which seem Providentially to remind us of the uncertainty of all visible things. In the case of Thomas Pim, late a respectable inhabitant of East Caln Township, Chester county, this impression was made in a most powerful manner. He had left his family as usual, in his gig, in which he had been accustomed for many years to travel among his neighbors. The distance which he had contemplated going did not exceed a few miles; but finding after going a short [P. 259] distance that he was attacked with indisposition, he turned in order to reach home. It was however too late. Before he could again reach his habitation the vital spark had fled, and to an affectionate wife and family he was returned a corpse. The support which his wife in particular felt under the awful circumstance was admirable. It is not our intention on the present memorable occasion to say all that might be said, but it seems due in this ease to mention some of the prominent features of the character of the deceased. He was one of those rare instances of a man who without much profession came up to the practice of doing as he would be done by, Among his neighbors he was social and free, and though :he could plainly say to any man what he thought of him, he was seldom known to give offence. The writer of this memoir knew him well. In one instance they rode together to the house of a valuable acquaintance, where they arrived at an early hour of the morning. Our acquaintance said to T. P., "Thou art early at my house; I suppose thou art in pursuit of some worldly object, and if thou was as much in earnest about the kingdom of heaven as thou appears to be about the world's concern, thou would make no inconsiderable figure as a religious man." To which T. P. calmly replied, "that men were not to be taken by appearances--that he had long thought that there might be much show where there was but little substance, and that for his part he had rather never be known as a religious man than not come up to the duties which we owed to this world." In his family his manners were easy and pleasant, and his house was liberally opened to all his friends. Although he had been for many  [P. 260] years much crippled by a complaint of the rheumatic character, and which made it difficult for him to move from one place to another, yet he was never heard to murmur; on the contrary, in the company of his friends he was cheerful and entertaining. To the poor who were the objects of his kindness, he was a warm and a useful friend. In their distress he aided them, and in their follies he reproved them. Plain and frank in his manners, few men did with more honesty speak their minds to their friends. Through life he was an example of moderation, and although industrious and attentive to his temporal concerns, he was never known to be oppressive. His tenants who took his advice were in common successful and uniformly respected him. By a regular system of economy and judicious management of his concerns he became wealthy; but in all his transactions he had the happiness to steer his course with so much caution that he was never known to have a law-suit on his own account. Within a short time before his death he seemed to be aware that his end was approaching; and with this view he was attentive to have nothing undone which rested on his mind to do. A few days before his departure he mentioned that he had but two visits to make, and if these were paid he should be done. It is believed he was in the act of paying this last one when he was called off. Having finished his course, we may justly say that as a husband, father, and friend, he was highly respected, and we have no doubt he will be much missed by many who knew and valued his company. It is a consolation in looking to his end to believe that though it was sudden he had nothing to do but to die.