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Memorials of Departed friends.
We noticed last month the death of MR. JOHN CARR, a deacon at the Surrey Tabernacle, and a Christian brother, esteemed and beloved by many thousands in London, and in different parts of this country. The bereaved family have kindly sent us a memorial card, of which the following is a copy :
In affectionate remembrance of Mr. John Carr, late of Wickham terrace,
.“ Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”—Psalm cxvi. 15.
A discourse, full of solemnity and of experimental elucidation, was preached by MR. JAMES WELLS, which is published, and bears the following title :" Final Victory: A Sermon preached on Sunday evening, September 29th, 1867, by Mr. J. Wells; being a tribute of respect to the memory of the late Mr. John Carr," &c.
We all feel—at least, we especially feel—we have lost a real friend in the death of Mr. John Carr. It is but a twelvemonth since he pre-sided over a public meeting on behalf of a new chapel for Bethnal green; and all then present were encouraged and delighted at the cheerful, benevolent, and truly Christian spirit manifested by him. But his zealous Jabours for the extension of the Redeemer's Kingdom are exchanged for the presence and the praises of that Lord Jesus Christ, whose Person he adored, and whose salvation he enjoyed.
There-God, his King and portion,
(In fulness of His grace,) He doth behold for ever
And worships face to face. It falleth not to our lot to write a memoir of Mr John Carr; that is briefly included in the sermon which forms No. 464 of Surrey Tabernacle Pulpit, and which will be treasured up in many a home and in many a heart. Our readers, who do not see the sermon, will be glad to read Mr. Wells's account of the closing scenes of the good man's earthly career. After referring to the twenty-eight years' knowledge he had had of Mr. Carr, Mr. Wells said :-" In the beginning of August our brother went into the country, hoping that it would revive his health, but it did not. And when he returned, I thought within my own mind, Well, now is coming what I have been looking for. That affliction under which he has laboured certainly must terminate very soon in death. He did not think so. Well, when this affliction came on, he was rather low in his mind, and he could not realize the Lord's presence, nor his interest in his love. And when you come into affliction so serious as that, with such feelings as those, and such fears, it is very solemn. Well, I visited him first-went and prayed with him; but I do not think it did him any good. The moment was not yet come. But eight days before he died, one of our deacons visited him ; and he himself—our departed brother-made sure it was his last day; and I being informed of the same, acted accordingly. Some of you will recol
lect the Wednesday evening, eight days before his death, when, after hearing that he could not last many hours, one of our deacons saw him ; and the peace, the love, the joy, the light, the dignity, the glory, the happiness
, were all that an angel could desire. Not a shadow of a fear. He made sure then that he was dying; called his family together, and spoke to them rather as though he was going a journey to some other part of the earth, than as though he was going out of this world, never to return to it again ; and blessed his children in the name of the Lord, and made sure he was dying. But the Lord spared him eight days after this, and he got a little lower again a little of the joy left him. I saw him on the Wednesday morning, the day of our anniversary, and I felt in my own mind then it would be the last time that I should see him. I conversed with him and prayed with him, and in praying with him I felt myself pretty near to the gate of heaven, pretty near to the Lord—there was a loftiness, a power, and a savour. When I left him, he took hold of my hand as though he did not wish to let go of it again. He seemed in holding my hand and bidding me farewell; he seemed to recollect, as it were, almost in a moment the way in which he met with
in which he was brought among us, how he has been ainong us, how useful he has been, how he has been respected, and how he has respected the people, and the place, and every thing pertaining to it. And then there were some hymns—the two hymns we have
this evening and the other we shall sing ;-they were chosen at the request of the family. He repeated some of these lines, and sang them too, a few hours before he died, and with great emphasis :
66 I'll raise my fainting voice and say,
Let grace triumphant reign.” And so the other we sang as well :
"O happy saints, that dwell in light!” and the one with which we shall close presently—the 69th Hymn, three verses of which he sang a few hours before his death. Now the Lord was pleased thus to bless him, and to bless, very much bless, the visit of one of the deacons to him. And to the last day he continued in this happy state of mind. He spake of the covenant in which he was interested; he spake of the Rock, and of his belief that he was on the rock; he spake of Christ's work in the completeness of it, and felt sure that that work was his-was imputed to him, and that he wanted nothing altered, but was perfectly satisfied. He died a happy man! My hearer, you may depend upon it the nearer you are to God the happier you will live, and the nearer you are to him the happier you will die. So then, not that we should have been at all doubtful of his state had he not been thus favoured in his last hours—we should have been perfectly satisfied that he was a Christian, and that he was now in the presence of the Lord—still it is, at the same time, very pleasing, and very encouraging to see the children of God in their last hours so honoured and so favoured, it is a sweet thought that --'all is settled.' And happy the man that can say,—' And my soul approves it well.'”
Thus we have recorded a short notice of one whom we shall ever remember with feelings most grateful and sincere. Friends have assured us that such a crowded congregation has never before filled that immense
building—the New Surrey Tabernacle—to listen to that most impressive sermon, of which our extract forms a part.
On Thursday, Sept. 26, 1867, Mr. Carr was interred at Nunhead Cemetery. There were not less, we should think, than between five and six hundred persons present on the occasion, most being suitably attired. In the mourning coaches, after the relations, were the whole of the deacons of the Surrey Tabernacle. Among the friends on the ground we noticed Mr. Timothy Baugh, C. W. Banks, William Flack, Henry Hanks, Mr. Comfort, Sir John Thwaites, and representatives from most of the London Strict Baptist churches. It was found impossible for onefourth to find even standing room in the small chapel, Mr. Wells, therefore, gave the address at the grave in the open air. At the wish of the widow, the body was taken into the chapel, where Mr. Wells read a few verses and offered prayer; the corpse was then taken to the grave, and having been laid in its last resting-place, Mr. Wells delivered a very impressive address, of which the following is the substance :
We are not on this occasion, solemn as it is, called upon to sorrow as those that are without hope. Our brother died in faith, in the perfecttion that is in Christ, and in Gospel uprightness ; and his end was a peace that passeth all understanding; and as we can enter heaven only by the truth of God, and as we cannot either live in the Lord or die in the Lord but by the truth of God, and as the God of truth has engaged to guide his people into all truth, it will well become the present occasion to note what the doctrines were in which the Old and New Testament saints died.
Shall we begin with the patriarch Jacob? We see in the 28th of Genesis what yea and amen promises were there and then given to him. They were in substance the same that had been before given to Abraham and Isaac, all summed up in this form—“ In blessing I will bless thee.” Abraham called, and others left; Isaac constituted a child of promise, and Ishmael cast out; Jacob loved, and others, even his own brother, not loved. Jacob well knew that the redemption of Christ was a sure, unconditional, and infallible redemption from all evil ; so he saith, “ The angel which redeemed me from all evil.” And he saw in the promise given unto him eternal salvation; so he saith, “I have waited for thy salvation, O Jehovah.” So that Jacob, like all the Old Testament saints, and New Testament saints too, died what, in modern phrase, would be called a High-very High-Calvinist; and go lived and so died the departed. And who is there among you who would not desire, above all things, to live this life of faith, and die this safe and happy death of the righteous, that your ultimate reward may be like his ?
Again : What were the testimonies in which Moses died ? When he fell asleep in the Lord, “ His eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.” What then, I say, were the spirit and order of things in which Moses died? Can we not gather from his own words; and will not those words show us that he died in the spirit of free and reigning grace? Does he not testify that God, in his eternity, was his refuge ; that eternal powers were his support; that God should thrust out the enemy, namely, sin, Satan, and death, and all pertaining thereto, and that he would destroy the same; and that the consequences of this should be, that (true) Israel should dwell beyond the reach of the enemy, in a land of corn and wine, with heavens refreshing as the dew; that they should be happy and victorious, and every enemy for ever silenced? Doth not Moses say of Jesus Christ that he is a rock, and that his work is perfect ? And so Moses died what is called a High Calvinist. And Jacob and Moses, who were one in spirit on earth, are now both in the Kingdom of Glory.
And of David it is written, “ he died full of days, riches, and honour.” And whatever reference this may have to his temporal position, it has a much weightier meaning when taken spiritually. His soul was filled with the days of eternity, the riches of God's grace, and the honour of being accepted of God; and his was a good old age, because he was found in the way of that righteousness which is by faith, and in which faith and righteousness the Apostle Paul above all things desired to be found. He died in the Lord by the belief of the truth. And what was the truth or doctrine in which King David died ? Will not the 23rd of 2nd Samuel show us the doctrine in which he died ? Was it not in the knowledge, in the belief of, and supreme love to, an everlasting and sure covenant? And did he not find in this doctrine of the covenant all his salvation, and all bis desire ? And though it may not seem to flourish, he knew it could not fail ; he knew (as we see by 110th Psalm) that Christ's priesthood was eternal, and that the oath of God was immutable; and easily may it be shown that all the prophets held, and lived in, and of course died in these same testimonies. Our faith in Christ is mere fancy and delusion if we do not believe God's truth concerning Him, so that all liars concerning Him are to have their part in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone. Is this a light matter? Remember, we are to come to the law of faith, and to the testimony of Christ; and if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. Is it not then the weightiest of questions whether we are so living the spiritual life of the righteouswhether we are so living in the faith and in the truth—that we shall die in the same faith, in the same doctrine as did Jacob, Moses, and David, yea, ali the old Testament saints; these all died in the faith of the yea and amen promises ; they did not receive the promises in the actual fulfilment of them, but saw them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them. These promises were the lamps of heaven hung out by a Divine hand, and lighted up their path all the way to the better country; and thus were they led in a straight way wherein they did not stumble. May it be our happy lot—in the same Spirit, in the same faith, in the same doctrine, to follow in the same footsteps, and so come to the same happy end. I need not stay to show that the Apostle Paul fought a good fight in contending for this Gospel ; that by this same faith and order he finished his course, and from hence he knew the victory and the crown were sure ; and this faith is sure to have, through the lives of its possessors, all those works that shall adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour; this same faith, these same eternal truths by which God dwells with men. It was the Lord's presence in this order of things that so made the face of Stephen shine, and that made his death so happy. It was this saving order of things which made Simeon pray to depart. He knew Jesus Christ, and he knew what was truth concerning him. And now, in conclusion, what were the doctrines in which the
Saviour Himself lived and died ? Did not the angel say of Him that He should reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end. Let this be the text of the doctrines in which He lived and died. And is it a light thing to differ from Him? How can we walk with Him if we are not agreed? And did He not bring his disciples into entire agreement with Himself ? Did He not say, “I have given them the words”. (that is, the doctrines) " which thou gavest me, and they have received them ?" And it was by the truth of these doctrines that they were to be sanctified; “Sanctify them through thy truth : thy word is truth.” And doth not the whole of the 17th of John show in what doctrines the Saviour lived and died ? and herein and hereby it is that He and His people are one-here it is that it is so good for brethren to dwell together in unity. And did He not die saying, “It is finished ?" Does not this sum up the whole ? and are not all His people hereby complete in Him £—the purpose accomplished, the iniquity pardoned, and grace and glory, called the double, all settled and secured? And was He not brought again from the dead by the blood of the everlasting Covenant ? It is, therefore, a Covenant of eternal life. And is not this the Covenant unto Him, that his remotest posterity shall know and hold the same words or doctrines ?
And thus the Saviour and the saved sinner are included in the same Covenant, and after the order of the same shall be together for ever glorified. Let then our solemn prayer be for the God of truth to guide us into all truth, that we may escape the delusions of the great deceiver of souls, and see at the last the face of God with joy, when his voice breaks up the tombs—to us may it be to eternal life. But do not forget that Gospel truth, and that alone, can set you frec, or form and fit you for that eternal world.
At the close of Mr. Wells's address Mr. Butt read, and the friends sang a hymn; Mr. Wells offered a few words in prayer, and the service closed.
A REMEMBRANCE OF AN INTERVIEW WITH A
BROTHER DEACON. The Lord deals variously with his people in death as well as in life. He has ordained them to an inheritance to which by his mercy they must come. These feelings were in my mind, when on Friday Sept. the 6th, I visited my friend and colleague, Mr. J. Carr. On entering his room he said, “I am so prostrate that I cannot talk with you this evening.” I just reminded him of a few Scriptures and engaged in prayer and left him. On the following Monday, I saw him, and this was indeed a solemn interview. His mind was dark, but being left alone we entered into some very close matters respecting his state.
“How are matters with you now, do you feel that all is settled, and that your soul approves it well?" A pause
followed. “I cannot say now that I feel that it is so.” “Do you, my friend, think that the Lord will at last cast you away ?* “I hope not. But there is a conflict within."
“Well, you have met with the people of God, and it has been. your delight