Recollections of the Last Days of Charles Stanley.

H. H. Snell, June, 1890.

London: G. Morrish, 20 Paternoster Square, E.C.

It is not long since that Mr. Stanley, who has been well known for many years all over the country as a preacher and writer, published a little volume* to show how remarkably God had led him ever since his conversion.

{*“Incidents of Gospel Work, showing how the Lord has led me.” — G. Morrish, London.}

Nothing more is attempted now than giving a few details of his closing days, which many have desired to have: and, in doing this, our chief object is to make it profitable to the living rather than to eulogise the Lord's beloved and honoured servant, who, we are assured, laboured and spread the savour of Christ, with expectation of reward at His appearing. Few have had the privilege of preaching the gospel of God for upwards of fifty-five years, and fewer still, who, within two days of falling asleep, have closed their gospel testimony with a more earnest appeal to the unsaved to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour, and to rest on God's word as giving to every believer the divine certainty of eternal salvation.

For three years, or more, he had been now and then interrupted in his public ministry by serious attacks of illness. And early in the autumn of last year, in walking to the meeting-room one Lord's Day morning, he was suddenly seized with such an attack of giddiness and faintness that he said he felt as if he were dying, and would have fallen had he not laid hold of an iron railing which was close at hand; at that moment, however, his soul was happily lighted up with the words, “In thy presence is fulness of joy.” This illness laid him aside from preaching for some time, though still able to write for the press, and carry on correspondence with many of the loved servants of our Lord both at home and abroad.

Toward the end of September last, he went to Southport for change of air, and often suffered while there from attacks of faintness. It was feared then that he would not preach much more, and his own expressed thought at that time was, that his public evangelistic labours were drawing to a close, but that, perhaps, he might be permitted of the Lord, for a little while longer, to have the privilege of ministering to his fellow believers the following scripture, Numbers 8:25-26, having greatly impressed his soul at this time. While there, he rallied much, and, after a few weeks, returned home. A little before leaving Southport, he preached with much joy in the Lord, and with the assurance of there being marks of God's blessing accompanying the word. After his return to Rotherham, he felt so much better that he resumed preaching every now and then; but we all saw that he was far from being in his usual measure of health. In public ministry he was now led again to his favourite theme, “The Righteousness of God,” in which he was instructed beyond most, and in the proclamation of which it seems the Lord had much honoured him twenty or thirty years ago. We have been informed by several who were privileged to hear him, that his preaching was with uncommon power and profit.

By gift and by grace received, he was an eminent evangelist, and had great delight in the service, both in oral ministry and in the writing, publication, and gratuitous distribution of gospel tract's (millions of which, for many years, have been spread almost all over the world), and, during the last ten years, he was editor of the monthly serial Things New and Old. He contended earnestly for the divine authority of the holy scriptures, laboured also to build up the children of God in their most holy faith, and was careful to have nothing less before him than the blessing of the whole church of God. To the importance and scriptural teaching of this, he often referred. His ministry, in a word, was concerning our Lord Jesus Christ. He well knew that the Holy Ghost was the Glorifier and Testifier of Him.

It was early in March that he paid us his last visit, and remained for several hours. He then appeared to be so much better, so full of energy, and so free from weakness and faintness, that during a considerable portion of the time he read aloud some extracts of a correspondence on great principles of divine truth which had lately interested him; and he seemed to have regained so much of his accustomed measure of health, that we began to think we had been mistaken as to the diseased heart having arrived at the stage we had supposed. Within a few days after, we visited him, when we found him again fairly well. In his accustomed brotherly kindness, he met us at the Railway Station, drove us to his house, where we had a happy time of prayer and conference, and, on leaving, he again accompanied us into the town in order that we might see as much of each other as we could. Little did we then think that it would be the last time we should meet together for prayer and conference on the things of our Lord Jesus Christ. But so it was. Though he was our hearty fellow-labourer in the Lord's work we did not often meet, because we had our separate lines of service, though, for many years, we were in almost constant correspondence, and often asked each other's prayers, especially as to teaching and preaching the Lord Jesus Christ, and any other matters in His blessed service which might be pressing on us. Thank God, the intimacy between us, as the Lord's servants, which was begun in 1867, was never broken; only, as time rolled on, it became more spiritual, and more truly christian fellowship. The reason, by God's gracious blessing, was this: as a rule, we never met at each other's houses and separated without bowing before God in prayer and thanksgiving. So mutual was the felt importance of this, that even if the interview was necessarily short, one or the other would say, “We must have prayer before we part.” His prayers seemed usually to be, not only those of a man who loved the Lord Jesus, but to be the utterances of one who was very near Him. If we had to speak of the failings or sins of others, we usually reminded each other that our prayer more than ever should be, “Hold Thou me up, and I shall be safe!”

His Last Published Tract.

The last tract he published was entitled, “Be ye reconciled to God.” We subjoin an extract, because of its earnest appeal to souls to be reconciled to God, and to find all they need in our Lord Jesus Christ.

“In 2 Corinthians 5 you will notice that the deep enjoyment of divine certainty, even in the presence of death, showed the same peace. (Vers. 1-9.) Then the fact that we must all be manifested before the judgment-seat of Christ. Are we justified? It will be manifested then. Are we reconciled? It will be manifested then. Blessed thoughts! Hence we are perfectly free to labour for Christ, and He will give us each our reward. We know the terror of the Lord to such as are not justified and reconciled, and thus we persuade men. Only mark, that we are made manifest to God. We have to do with God; and if we know that we are reconciled to God, all is as clear now to faith, as it will be then to sight. Still it is most important to think of being manifested there. Are you quite happy about that?

“There is also new creation brought before us as a present thing: ‘Therefore, if any man be in Christ, a new creature [or new creation].’ But is this present? Yes, ‘old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ,’ etc… He sees you in Christ, a new creation. Oh, fellow believer, the Holy Ghost declares that God has reconciled you to Himself. Will you doubt Him? Surely it is only as we believe God that we can proclaim the true gospel, and beseech sinners to be reconciled to God, to cease their fighting and rebellion.

“But there is still the difficulty of sin in me. Does God reconcile my sinful nature to Himself? Surely not! Now mark the last verse, ‘For he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made [or become] the righteousness of God in him.’ Compare this with another scripture: ‘God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin [or by a sacrifice for sin], condemned sin in the flesh.’ (Rom. 8:3.) In both places, all is of God. If the Holy Son of God was thus made sin, a sacrifice for sin, as well as bare our sins in His own body on the tree, then both our sins, and sin the root, have been dealt with by God, in the blessed Person of His Son, so that before Him there is nothing left to condemn. ‘There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.’ Mark, it is not in us, in ourselves, but in Him. He has been made sin; He has endured its awful judgment; and in Him we are a new creation. In Him we are the righteousness of God. In Him, whiter than snow. In Him, the believer is a justified and a reconciled person. And all is of God… If you are a believer, this is as true of you as of the believer 1800 years ago. Why should you doubt? And will all this be displayed in us when in the glory? Certainly; that is, we shall be the display of the righteousness of God as in Him. Nothing short of this would satisfy the perfect love of God to us. So that as to judgment, all fear is gone for the child of God. What we are now, such we shall be presented, ‘holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.’ Oh, take care that no one moves you away from this certain hope of the gospel. It does not yet appear what we shall be, but we shall be like Him when He appears. (1 John 3:2.) Oh, how blessed to be manifested, justified, and reconciled, without spot before God. But do not look within at your own state, or your own righteousness for all this, but at the testimony of God to His risen Son at His right hand. Think what it cost Him, that you might become the righteousness of God in Christ. If an unconverted soul should read this, I entreat you to cease your striving; be ye reconciled to God. The work is done; peace is made by the blood of the cross; Jesus risen from the dead, shows His hands and His side, and says, Peace be to you.”

His Last Gospel Preaching.

On Lord's Day evening, March 2nd, beloved C. S. preached the gospel of the grace of God in Sheffield, and evidently with great joy and the consciousness of the presence and blessing of the Lord. We happened to be in the West of England at that time, and preaching at the same hour in Taunton; and in writing to him the next day, spoke of the help and comfort the Lord had given us by His Spirit in declaring the gospel from Romans 5:8-11. “But God commends his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement [reconciliation]." He replied the next day, March 4th, saying, “I think I never felt more the deep reality of the gospel than on Lord's Day evening, and from the same words as you had at Taunton. I got ready to go to see you this morning, but was seized with cold just at the time for starting. So I have deferred my visit. The cold affects me much. But we are in the Lord's hands.” … Referring to the truth, he added, “I feel more and more, it must be Christ and the whole church of God… May He lead us in His paths.” From some of those who were present that evening, we heard that his word was with great power.

This was the last time he preached the gospel on a Lord's Day, and it was evidently, both to speaker and hearers, a very solemn time. No doubt, he felt (as the Lord's earnest servants, advanced in life, must do) the possibility that each time they have the sweet privilege of announcing the glad tidings it may be the last, and that, not only on account of the uncertainty of life, but because of the coming of our Lord; for His coming cannot be far off, it must be near, and, perhaps, nearer than any of us think. At any rate, it is a most blessed manifestation of the goodness and mercy of God, to find, after more than fifty years of preaching up and down England, Scotland, and Ireland, the life-giving, soul-saving gospel of His grace, that any of His servants find more liberty and joy in announcing it at the end of their course than when they began. And why? Because they increasingly realise that it is God's glad tidings, that it is concerning His Son, and that it is the power of God to salvation to every one that believes. Precious considerations! We believe that no tongue can describe the delight the Lord's servants have when they see sinners broken down before the Saviour, and, through His cleansing blood, having to do with God. We read that in the presence of the angels of God, there is joy over one sinner that repents.

All who knew beloved C. S., can testify that his preaching was not a mere rehearsal of the way of salvation, or a formal exposition of the word, or trafficking in unfelt doctrines; but when he spoke of the Saviour's love, His death, blood-shedding and triumphant resurrection, his whole soul seemed longing for his Master to be honoured in the salvation of sinners, the deliverance of those who were in bondage, and the building up of His saints.

 On March 10th, the anniversary of his birthday, he wrote to his daughter, Mrs. A., saying. “I have entered my sunny 70th year… I would remember David in all his troubles, and sing with him Psalm 34… I feel assured, however stormy may be the path of the little that remains, I am entering my sunny year of 70, and shall in a few more days at most, be in the kingdom and the glory of Him who has loved me, and died for me. Oh, His mercy, and His grace upon grace for these past 69 years, He only can know, for it is infinite. We ought to expect Him today, and this is the cure for every care of tomorrow."

His Last Address to Christians.

On Thursday evening, March 13th, he felt so much better, that he went to Sheffield, and gave an address to Christians. His subject was, “The Lord's Coming.” He commenced the meeting that evening, by reading, with much emphasis, the hymn beginning with—
“‘A little while’ the Lord shall come,
And we shall wander here no more;
He'll take us to His Father's home,
Where He for us has gone before—
To dwell with Him and see His face,
And sing the glories of His grace.” etc.

After the hymn was sung, he prayed earnestly, for God's guidance and power by the Holy Ghost in ministering His truth, and for blessing to the hearers. He then took up the burden of Dumah, the words of scorn of those who hated God's people, however low their condition might be, like others who said, “Where is thy God ?” or the scoffers now, who say to us, “Where is the promise of his coming?” Turning to Isaiah 21, he read, “The burden of Dumah. He calls to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night? The watchman said, The morning comes, and also the night; if ye will enquire, enquire ye; return, come.” (Vers. 11, 12.) He then showed from various scriptures, that the hope of God's ancient people, the Jews, is the coming of Messiah and His reigning over them on the earth, and that this will be preceded by judgment and great tribulation — a night of weeping before the morning of joy, when they will be peacefully sitting under their own vine and fig tree. Then will be fulfilled the scripture that Jesus will reign in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before His ancients gloriously. (Isa. 24:23.) He pointed out how scripture contrasts the hope of God's earthly people with the Christian's hope of our Lord coming at any moment with a shout to take us up to meet Him in the air, and conduct us, His heavenly people, to our Father's house; and that our present posture should be one of watching and waiting for Him. We shall see His face, be with Him and like Him for ever. It may be very soon, for “the night is far spent.” In connection with this he read and dwelt on 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18. He also said, If any of God's people present are in trial and sorrow, he would ask them to remember David at Ziklag. Not only had he lost almost everything he had in the world, but “the people spake of stoning him,” yet withal we are told that “David encouraged himself in the Lord his God,” and in three days he was actually in the kingdom. How very near our Lord's coming for us may now be. Let us encourage ourselves in Him, and look for His coming!

He said to a friend sitting near that evening, “I am very unwell. Shall I give out, that I will preach here next Lord's Day evening, if well enough?” “No,” replied the friend; “say, if the Lord will.” This he did in a most emphatic way, and added, “If I come, I shall hope to preach on the righteousness of God.”

But this was his last public address to the saints. It was a remarkably solemn time, and he spoke with great calmness, There was a large company present. Those who knew him, and loved him, little thought it would be the last time they would hear his voice. But so it was. The address had been very impressive, and his hearers were made to feel that, “The night is far spent, and the day is at hand.”

After this, he continued unwell, and kept indoors, but often writing to us and to others on the things which concern our Lord Jesus Christ.

The day after he returned from Sheffield, Friday, March 14th, he felt so unwell, that he had serious doubts of being able to preach on the following Lord's Day as he had hoped. He wrote, “I have felt very ill in the night; my throat so bad that I could scarcely speak … my voice is still bad. The Lord will give strength if He will have me go to Sheffield on Lord's Day.” He was, however, too unwell to come.

In the following week, March 19th, he wrote, “I am feeling very poorly. My cold is rather worse. All is my Father's best, as dear H. said, and it is true for me.” Referring to a paper for the press he had just revised for a friend, he proposed there should be “added to it a little warm gospel of divine certainty for souls.

His Last Address after the Lord's Supper.

On Lord's Day, March 23rd, he was much better. He wrote to us, “We had a happy time this morning around the Lord's table. I am thankful to say the Lord enabled me to be there. My throat is a great deal better, but I still feel it is rest the Lord would give me. He enabled me to speak a few words at the meeting.

From a friend who was present, and had known him well for many years, we heard that his ministry that morning was exceedingly sweet and profitable. His subject was, “The Good Shepherd,” from John 10; and he dwelt mostly on verses 14, 15, “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knows me, even so know I the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.” This friend said, that his address that morning was most striking, particularly on the good Shepherd saying, “I know those that are mine, and am known of those that are mine as the Father knows me.” (New Translation.) He referred also to Psalm 23, to show the present activities of the Shepherd toward His sheep, after bringing before his hearers His personal glory and perfections.

On Wednesday, March 26th, we received from him an affectionate note, mostly in reference to the Lord's work and the teaching of scripture on certain subjects which were particularly exercising his mind at that time. We had hoped to have heard that he was very much better, but, in reference to this, he only said, “I feel I shall not be well enough to be out at night to-morrow,” (alluding to his proposed lecture in Sheffield that evening), and added, “May the Lord be with you in a special way!”

On this same day, March 26th, his beloved daughter, Mrs A., and her husband, paid him a visit, and remained until the following day. How little did they think that this would be the last time they would see their dear father before he departed to be with the Lord! Mr. A. says, “He met us on the road before reaching the house, his face beaming with joy and welcome. He at once said, ‘You have come to see me in my sunny 70th year.’ He repeated several times during our visit, ‘my sunny 70th year.’ He appeared weary, as if from overwork, though bright and hopeful.

“The following morning (Thursday) at the gathering of the household for reading the word of God and prayer, dear father read very impressively Psalm 46, and appeared to feel deeply every sentence. He spoke there from very sweetly, emphasising that in the world we must have sorrow and tribulation, but the believer, resting in the Lord, should not ‘fear, though the earth be removed, and the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.’ He dwelt with much joy on verses 4, 5, ‘There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God;’ and in conclusion, exhorted us in all our sorrows and troubles to remember that ‘the Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.’

“His prayer, after the exposition of scripture, was very touching, pouring out his soul in its desires and thanksgivings to God his Father in sweet child-like confidence. He seemed to remember many things before the Lord in supplication, and, at the close, prayed especially for each of his children and their families, separately and severally by name, his heart going out in tender, loving affection after each.

“Afterwards, when walking with dear father in the garden, he remarked, ‘I do not think I shall be long down here in this world.’ He was looking upward toward heaven, when he spoke, and there was something in the tone of his voice that so filled me with emotion, that I could offer no reply. Shortly after this we left him, for the last time bidding him farewell, little thinking that we should no more see his bright, happy face, or hear his loving voice again.” Three days after this he was with the Lord.

His beloved daughter, Mrs. C, also came on Thursday, the 27th, and their parents greatly enjoyed having their two daughters with them. It was all, doubtless, graciously so ordered by the Lord, and this brief, but happy visit will ever be remembered with thankfulness.

The Secret of True Fellowship with God's Servants.

Though we were very much of one mind, we did not see alike in everything, yet the intimacy between us not only continued year after year, but it grew in brotherly confidence. And why? Because, as we have said, we bowed together before the Lord in prayer and thanksgiving. Often too, we remembered each other when alone in prayer, according to that scripture, “Pray one for another.” We have sometimes ventured to say, when we have seen some of the Lord's people very intimate with each other, that it will not last, but probably be connected with bitter fruits, because it seemed more like the social element of the world than that of “fellowship in the Spirit.” Alas! how often have we seen sad results. For saints to love each other in the Lord, care for each other for His sake as members one of another, and in the Spirit of Christ to bear each other's burdens, weep with those who weep, and rejoice with those who rejoice, is very different from mere intimacy of association. When the Lord is before souls as to this, we may be quite sure there will be a coming together before Him, and, in prayerful dependence and thanksgiving, owning Him as the alone power by the Spirit for “building up,” and for being “builded together” according to God.

We remember, about twenty years ago, visiting a large city, where two very able and gifted servants of the Lord were in fellowship, and giving themselves wholly to the work of labouring in word and doctrine. We called on one of them, and, in course of conversation, inquired if he and the other brother ever met together for prayer, and the reply was. “No.” We then said, “You may be quite sure that God, however He may bless us individually, will never uphold us as fellow-labourers in His service, unless we come together before Him to guard and bless us as such.” In this instance, we had painfully to hear that coldness and distance seemed increasingly to characterise them. Those who knew the beloved servant of the Lord, the reminiscences of whose last days we are recording, would unhesitatingly say, He was emphatically a man who loved and valued prayer. All those who pursue a path of dependence and prayer because it becomes us and honours God, will surely find that word fulfilled in their happy experience, “Them that honour me, I will honour.” We may be quite sure that God only is the Source and Sustainer by His word and Spirit of all true christian fellowship; and when this is not practically owned, it proves that such are not going on as to it in faith, without which it is impossible to please God; and if the intimacy should continue, it will sooner or later degenerate into an amiable kind of social or religious intercourse without being spiritual or profitable.

The Last Funeral He Attended.

On Friday, the 28th of March, our dear departed brother was well enough to attend the funeral of one who had long been in fellowship, and for whom he had much regard. He was a working man, very much respected, and C. S. remembered that he had been recommended to his employers by him thirty-five years ago. This was the last funeral that he attended, and it was in the same cemetery in which his own body was deposited only a few days after.

That day he was fresh and manifestly, happy in the Lord, but it was observed by one present, that he appeared unusually impressed with the solemnity of the occasion. The service began by a brother giving out the hymn: —

“We have a home above,
From all defilement free;
A mansion which eternal love
Prepared our rest to be.

“The Father's gracious hand
Has built that blest abode;
From everlasting it was planned,
The dwelling place of God.

“The Saviour's precious blood
Has made our title sure;
He passed through death's dark raging flood
To make our rest secure.”

Then C. S. read the first few verses of 2 Corinthians 12, and said, “I knew a man in Christ thirty-five years ago,” referring to the departed, whose body was then before them, and spoke of his godly deportment and christian-like behaviour toward those with whom he had been associated in his daily employment. He then, with great solemnity, referred to the many sudden deaths which had lately taken place in the neighbourhood, and with what a loud voice they spoke to us of eternity. “This is Friday,” said he, perhaps, before another week is ended, some of us may be buried. If death come, are you ready ?” (There was a solemn silence for several seconds.) He then went on to say, “Through mercy, infinite mercy, I can say, I am; are you ? [A pause.] Perhaps all here could not truthfully sing the hymn we have just had, ‘We have a home above.’ Are there any present who could not sincerely say, ‘We have a home above ?’ [A pause.] If so, let us turn to the word of God, and see how you can be fitted to sing now, as under the all-searching eye of God, ‘We have a home above.’

Our beloved brother then read, “Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that, through death, he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil; and deliver them who, through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Heb. 2:14-15.) He read also, “Wherefore when he comes into the world, he says, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me; in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me), to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He takes away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he has perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.” (Heb. 10:5-18.) Then he turned to the crowd of hearers, and preached to them Jesus and the resurrection — His finished work upon the cross, His triumph over death and Satan, and His coming again to take His own to heavenly glory. Then he read, “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that has wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also has given to us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord (for we walk by faith, not by sight): we are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Cor. 5:1-8.) Some men tell us, said he, and they are learned men too, that we cannot know with certainty whether we are saved or not; and some even preach that we cannot be sure as to the forgiveness of sins till the judgment of the great white throne. But what does the word of God say? Then pointing to the first verse of the portion just read, he repeated, with solemn emphasis, “‘ We know, (thus we have the assurance) that we have a building of God (yes, we have it), an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.’ ‘We have’ then, this heavenly and eternal building of God, and ‘we know’ we have it in the heavens if we die. Yes, ‘we have a building of God,’ a house, ‘our house.’ God has ‘wrought us’ for it, ‘an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.’ What divine certainty God's word gives those who believe on His Son! ‘We have a building of God.’ Having received the forgiveness of sins through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is given to indwell us, ‘therefore,’ it is added, ‘we are always confident.’ Observe, not ‘always doubting,’ as some say, but ‘always confident, knowing that whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord. (For we walk by faith, not by sight.) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.’ Does it say we are confident because of what we feel ? Certainly not, but by knowing it on the authority of God's word of eternal and unchanging truth, that because of the finished work of eternal redemption, and the gift of the eternal Spirit, we are always confident.” He then prayed.

At the grave he again referred to 1 Thessalonians 4, when the Lord will raise the bodies of His saints to meet Him in the air, and the following hymn was sung:
“Christ the Lord will come again,
None shall wait for Him in vain
We shall then His glory see;
He who died to set us free.

“Then when the Archangel's voice
Calls the sleeping saints to rise,
Rising millions shall proclaim
Blessings on the Saviour's name.

"This is our redeeming God,
Ransom'd hosts shall shout aloud:
‘Praise, eternal praise be given
To the Lord of earth and heaven.’”

Earnest prayer was then offered by our brother Mr. C. for the salvation of the unconverted who were present, many of whom had been fellow-workmen of the deceased, and after committing the body to the Lord's safe keeping till He come the people separated.

How remarkable that this honoured servant of the Lord should have said at the last funeral he attended, “Perhaps, before another week is ended some of us maybe buried… If death come… through infinite mercy, I can say that I am ready.” In less than forty-eight hours after this he himself had departed to be with Christ, and in less than a week his body was laid in the same cemetery where he had so solemnly spoken. And yet it is not to be wondered at, if we only consider that those who live in prayerful dependence on the Lord, and in communion with Him, are led to speak sometimes beyond what could have been premeditated.

Nor can we forbear at this time kindly asking the reader of these lines the same question, If death come, are you ready ? Do not say, Yes, unless your authority is founded wholly on the blood of Christ, and the word of God. Do not look at yourself, your feelings, your experience, good or bad, but look wholly to the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work in His death and blood-shedding on Calvary. Take your true place before God as a guilty, helpless sinner, justly exposed to His condemnation, and approach God by the blood of His Son, and you need not fear; for God delights to welcome, bless, save, and comfort those who thus honour the blood of Jesus Christ His Son. You cannot be saved by works, either wholly or in part, for scripture says, “By grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.” Happy those, who simply resting before God on the blood of Jesus, can truly say,
“My hope is built on nothing less
Than Christ my Lord and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name;
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand.”

His Last Gospel Paper.

On Saturday, March 29th, our beloved brother wrote a stirring gospel paper for Things New and Old. It was on the words of our Lord Jesus, “I have compassion on the multitude.” He sought to show how compassionate our hearts should be toward the thousands round about us who are still in their sins, and going on the road to everlasting destruction. We make a few quotations from it to show how graciously God kept the heart of His servant fresh and fervent in the work of the gospel to the last day. On this day, March 29th, exactly 55 years, to a day, had elapsed, since he first preached from “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life;” and two days before he departed to be with Christ, he was at a funeral, and preached to a crowd, as we have seen, Jesus and the resurrection and His coming, and showed from scripture the ground of divinely given assurance as to the certainty of eternal salvation; so that up to his last day on earth he was occupied in preaching, or in writing for the press, the same precious gospel.

Extracts From His Last Paper.

It is well to remember that Jesus in these days, is the same Jesus as in those days described in Mark 8. Let us see what He was then, so that we may know a little better what He is now; and what He would have us to be now as His representatives on earth… ‘The multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat.’ Is not this a fact now?… But mark, the starting point is, ‘Jesus called his disciples to him.’ What a question this would be to every preacher in this land. Have you heard the call of Jesus? Have you come to Him? Do you know Him? You cannot be a river of water, if you have not come and drank yourself. If you do not know Him, you cannot break the bread of life to others. If you do not know your sins are forgiven, you will not be able, in faith, to preach forgiveness to others. If you do not know Him, then just come to Him, He has something to say to you. He says, as it were, ‘I want to tell you how I feel about those millions of lost souls in that world where you at present dwell. I have compassion on the multitude. I have been offered up a propitiation on the cross. I freely offered up myself the sacrifice. I am the mercy-seat. God my Father is just and righteous in sending a free pardon to those millions, and you have never told them. You have never made the proclamation of forgiveness of sins in my name to millions within your reach. I have compassion on the multitude.’

There was a large company that had been with Him three days, and He says, ‘have nothing to eat.’ And all around are great numbers of readers of this paper, multitudes of professors around Jesus, very busy in religious activities, but they have nothing to eat. They have sacraments and outward services, periodicals and religious books, and still they may have nothing to eat. They are unconverted, are in their sins, guilty before God, hastening on to judgment. And literally, no real gospel has been set before them, suited to lost, guilty, hell-deserving sinners… Is it so, dear reader? Is your house very far from Jesus? Is Jesus known in your house? Is the holy perfume of His dear presence there? If a stranger comes to your house, does he feel that Christ reigns there? Or is it mere Sunday profession with you, and Satan and his world all the week? … But Jesus has compassion on you; He knows how it will end with you if you are not saved. When your heart shall cease to beat, and there is a hush in your house, and they whisper, He is gone; but, oh where? Will you have refused the compassion of Christ until it is too late? Where will you be? Will it be to lift up your eyes in torment? What a mercy it is, as you read this paper, that it is not yet too late. Think then, of the compassion of Jesus…

“‘He took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people. And they had a few small fishes, and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them.’ The disciples gave nothing, except what they had received. May it ever be so with us! It is most cheering to hear of souls, in so many distant lands, being brought to sit at His feet; to sit down and rest in His dear presence, to prove His tender compassion; and then themselves to be the distributors of the bread of life. It will be so everywhere if there is fellowship with Him in His compassion for lost souls. Oh, my brethren, where should we have been but for His compassion on us? He has mercy on whom He will have mercy.

“‘And they had a few small fishes, and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them.’ Have you a few small tracts that contain the true gospel of God? Will you look to Him to bless them? Can you, in faith, obey Him? He commands you to set them before those who have nothing to eat. You have now the privilege of distributing tracts in Japanese, Arabic, Chinese, Chaldaic, and many other languages; will you give them to such as have nothing for the soul to feed upon?

“Well, dear reader, have you eaten, and are you filled? If so, you will hunger no more. Jesus said, ‘I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger, and he that believes on me shall never thirst.’ (John 6:35.) … The believer knows the truth of that word, ‘But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made to us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.’ (1 Cor. 1:30.) He thirsts no more. He needs nothing more to fit him for the Holiest. He is complete in Christ. …

“Oh, blessed revelation of God, the heart of God, the love of God to a lost and guilty world! Yes, Jesus says, ‘He that has seen me has seen the Father.’ May this be true of all who read these lines— ‘We all, with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Cor. 3:18.)”

His Last Lord's Day.

Little did any one think that that Saturday night would be his last night on earth. From what he said, it was evidently, to him, a night of deep exercise of soul before the Lord. On rising and taking his usual scripture reading alone before breakfast, he turned to Psalm 39, and was so impressed with it, that, instead of reading in the family in the usual course, he read this psalm again with his dear wife. At the accustomed time, they both went to the Lord's Day morning meeting, in the course of which he said, “Let us give thanks.” He thanked the Lord Jesus above all for His death, that marvellous outflow of divine grace, and that we were privileged to be there to remember Him, and announce His death on earth once more. The death of a beloved brother a few days before, was evidently, on the minds of several present, and to it he seems to have alluded when he said something like this, “Thou, Lord Jesus, art removing Thy dear saints one by one, but Thou art soon coming to take us all away together to be for ever with Thyself.”

On returning to his house, he walked a little in the garden, seemed happy and cheerful. At the usual time he sat down to dine, not in his accustomed place, but very near his dear wife, and shortly afterwards he rose and went to the door for a moment; but immediately after resuming his seat, he put out his arm upon the table toward Mrs. S., his head sank upon his arm, and when his dear wife reached his side, he had departed to be with Christ.

“His spirit had fled,
Painless and swift as his own desire;
The soul undressed—from her mortal vest,
Stepped into the car of heavenly fire,
And proved how bright were the realms of light
Bursting at once upon the sight.”

To us, scarcely anything could be more sudden, or unexpected, for during the last few days he had seemed to be improving in bodily health. Still “he was not, for the Lord took him.” One said, “It was almost a translation.” Another said, “It reminded him of the chariot of fire and horses of fire that carried Elijah into heaven.” It was, however, so instantaneous, that he seems to have been one moment speaking to his dear wife, and the next moment with the Lord. His last ministry on earth was at the Lord's table, and within two hours he was “with the Lord” — “absent from the body, and present with the Lord.” This is how scripture puts it; and most blessed it is to know that the Christian in his new nature, the new creation in Christ Jesus, leaves the earthly tabernacle to be “present with the Lord.” Such is death to the child of God. He was spared bodily pain, and a lingering illness on a bed of sickness, which many have; and the Lord's words seemed to be fulfilled in him, “If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.” Happy those who, when consciously departing, are so looking off to Jesus who saved them by the blood of His cross, that they do not see death. He was absent from the body, and present with his Lord, whom he had so long been constrained by His love to serve. His 69th birthday, as we have remarked, had been some days before.

Soon after his departure, a paper, written on his 47th birthday, came to hand. It had been deposited by him in a secret drawer of his business desk. It was this: “Lord, Thou knowest how long before I shall see Thee as Thou art. I shall be satisfied when I awake in Thy likeness. Let my few remaining moments be spent with Thee and for Thee, my own precious Lord. All is well, Lord, for my times are in Thy hand.” It was dated 10th of March, 1868.

The Funeral.

The burial took place on Thursday, April 3rd. Long before the arrival of the corpse and the procession of mourners, some hundreds had assembled in the Meeting Room in Moorgate Road, mostly saints from various places, who had long known and loved the dear departed one, and there waited in solemn silence.

After the coffin, which was borne by beloved brethren, had been quietly deposited among us, and the bereaved and their friends had taken their places, a brother prayed. Reverently approaching God, our God and Father, as a company of mourners, all feeling more or less bereaved and sensible of our loss, we could not but give thanks to Him for the grace and strength that had been given to our dear departed brother for such a long series of years in the ministry of His gospel to sinners, and His word of instruction to His saints; and also for the unshaken confidence which we have of his being now “with the Lord.” Fervent prayer was offered for the beloved widow, and for every member of the family; and also that all present might be in the position of waiting on God to learn the lessons He is now seeking to teach by the present sorrow and bereavement.

After this, five words were read from Acts 10:36, “He is Lord of all.” In remarking on this portion of God's word, it was said, Perhaps no five words could be found within the whole compass of divine revelation which have a more searching, more personal, or more suitable application to every one present on this solemn occasion than those just read. They bring the Saviour before us as He now is on the throne of God, and reveal Him as the supreme and universal Lord— “He is Lord of all.”

He was here in lowliness and grace, and full of compassion toward men, “a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;” but now

“The throne is His, and His by right,
The highest place in heaven.”

No doubt, as being the eternal Son by whom the worlds were made, as One who was before all things, the Maker of all things, Upholder of all things, the One by whom all things consist, and who is Heir of all things; the One too, in whom dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily; He could rightfully lay claim in virtue of His Deity to all things. But “He is Lord of all” as having justly merited it by “the death of the cross.” In that finished work, there was not only eternal redemption accomplished for us in infinite mercy, but there was what He did for God, and the eternal glory that it brought to Him. Man had sinned, disbelieved God, dishonoured God, turned his [back?] upon God, was without God, and consequently without hope in the world: but Jesus came into this sin-stricken, God-dishonouring world of which the devil is prince and god, and with everything against Him, and the opposition of Jews and Gentiles, He obeyed God, honoured God, vindicated God, fulfilled His word, did His will in all things, was obedient to death, even the death of the cross. If Adam, when he sinned, deserved to be thrust out of the garden—the paradise on earth—what did the God-man Christ Jesus merit for such a glorious work as He accomplished when He had fulfilled all scripture, and said, “It is finished,” and, in obedience to God and love to us, bowed His head in death? Surely nothing less than the glory of God. Therefore, we now see Him “crowned with glory and honour.” And that glory which has been given to Him as the glorified Man, blessed be His name, He has given to us. He said to His Father, “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was… Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word… And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given them.” (John 17:4-5, 20, 22)

By the Prince of Life going into death, the Holy One bearing the judgment due to us and rising out of it, He not only abolished death, and rendered null him that had the power of death, that is the devil, but all power in heaven and in earth was given to Him— power over all the living and all the dead. Hence we are told, “To this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.” (Rom. 14:9.) In the place then of universal authority, the Head of all principality and power, the risen, ascended, glorified Man Christ Jesus, He has absolute lordship over every human being whether living or dead. Having died for all, having sent the gospel to all, having been long-suffering to all, He is now at God's right hand “Lord of all.” There God righteously set Him. He was “obedient to death, even the death of the cross; wherefore [mark well this word wherefore], God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things [or beings] in heaven, and in earth, and under the earth [that is the infernal regions], and that every tongue should confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:8-11.)

We know from scripture that the created beings in heaven bow to Jesus as Lord, “angels, and authorities, and powers being made subject to him.” But on earth, this earth on which we are today, who bows to Jesus? Who owns Him as his Lord? Who looks up to Him every now and then and says, My Saviour, and Lord? Such only as have taken their true place before God as sinners justly exposed to His condemnation, and gladly receive the assurance of His unalterable word, that the blood of Christ, who is now Lord of all, was shed for many for the remission of sins.

Yet God will have Jesus owned as Lord, and confessed by every human being.

It is evident then from the word of God that every one here today will sooner or later have to do with Jesus as “Lord of all.” Those who bow to Him now as sinners to save them from the wrath to come, will find Him a present Saviour; but if they refuse Him now as Saviour, they must meet Him as Judge. When He comes out of heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire it will be not to save but to judge the living, and to put all enemies under His feet. But more than that, He is, as we have seen, Lord of the dead as well as of the living. We read, therefore, that “All that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good to the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation.” (John 5:28-29.) What an amazing contrast are these two resurrections! Blessed for evermore are those who will be in the first resurrection!

Therefore in taking the body of the dear departed one to the grave, we do so with the fullest confidence that he is now absent from the body and present with the Lord; and are assured that He who is “Lord of the dead” will watch over that body (for the body of the believer is the purchase of the Saviour's blood as well as the soul, so that such can say He loved me and gave Himself for me), and by and by bring it forth, changed like to His own body of glory, and take it up, re-united to the spirit, to meet Him in the air, and so be for ever with the Lord. We expect then to see our beloved brother again. On the authority of Holy Scripture we look to be caught up with him to meet our Lord in the air, but “the dead in Christ will rise first.” Happy, indeed, and safe for ever, too, are those who now look up by faith at the Lord Jesus Christ where He is, and trust Him as their own Saviour; and such will not only say “My Lord, and my God,” but will rejoice in the fact that “He is Lord of all.”

After these remarks, a servant of the Lord, now on his way to New Zealand, gave thanks to God for the blessing the departed had been, under God, to so many souls, and the hundreds of times some there present had been cheered by his christian ways and words. Earnest prayer was offered that by his many writings he though dead might yet speak. Seeing also that his removal was a loss to the world as to the ministry of the Gospel, a loss to the Church also, there was fervent supplication to God to raise up others to fill up the blank occasioned by his departure.

The following verses were then sung: —
“O happy morn! the Lord will come,
And take His waiting people home,
Beyond the reach of care;
Where guilt and sin are all unknown:
The Lord will come and claim His own,
And place them with Him on His throne,
The glory bright to share.

“The resurrection morn will break,
And every sleeping saint awake,
Brought forth in light again;
O morn, too bright for mortal eyes!
When all the ransomed Church shall rise,
And wing their way to yonder skies—
Called up with Christ to reign.”

At the grave, where it has been said that 700 or 800 persons were assembled, the latter part of the 4th chapter of the first epistle to the Thessalonians was read. “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain to the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

Dr. D. prayed that we might have grace and strength supplied to serve and honour our Lord while waiting for His coming. He thanked God also for the long-continued service of our departed brother, and that his beaming face, when mentioning the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, showed how precious to His servant He was; and that with confidence and peace we placed the body in the grave until the Lord comes.

A few words of prayer were added by another for God's blessing on His truth to those who had heard it that day, and again commending the bereaved and sorrowing at this time to the mercy of God, the meeting separated.

Before laying aside this paper, it would be well, perhaps, for both the christian reader and writer to inquire, How much are we enjoying the Father's perfect love, and how far are we living and acting as those who watch and wait for the coming of our Lord?

The great snare for Christians today is, worldly-mindedness, notwithstanding it is so plainly written that “whoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4.) But when the Father's love fills our hearts, we become lifted above the attractions and snares which we could not otherwise escape. “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him;” he is not enjoying this sweet relationship, he does not realize that the Father loves him as He loved His Son. (1 John 2:15; 17:26.)

It is also clear, that if we are truly looking for the coming of our Lord, it will separate us from what dishonours Him, for “every man that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure.” (1 John 3:3.)

May we then enjoy our Father's perfect love, walk in obedience to His word, be steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, and waiting for His return from heaven! Such are ready when the Master calls!