The Coming Night - Edward N. Hoare - ebook
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“Within this frame, by Jesu’s grace,High gifts and holy held their place;A noble heart, a mighty mind,Were here in bonds of clay confined.”And all this is now gone. The spirit has taken its flight. Northrepps Cottage is without its tenant. The ruins of the body have been left this morning in the ruins of the little church, and many a weeping heart has sent forth its unmistakable evidence of genuine and deep-felt sorrow.But we may be quite certain that there is a wise unseen purpose in this bereavement. Not a sparrow falls to the ground without the Father’s knowledge, and how much more may we be satisfied that “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.”

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Edward N. Hoare

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Table of contents

THE COMING NIGHT.

CLERICAL SUBSCRIPTION AND THE ACT OF UNIFORMITY.

THE COMING NIGHT.

John ix. 4. “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”This week has been one of heavy sorrow to very many.  The neighbourhood has lost one who for many years has stood foremost in large-hearted Christian benevolence.  The poor have been deprived of a kind friend, to whose liberality they might ever resort.  The children have been bereaved of one who has for years been anxious to devote her attentive care to their early training; and all who have ever needed a sympathizing friend have followed one this day to the grave as warm-hearted, energetic, and intelligent as is often to be met with in society.  Her character is well described in some lines written by herself on the death of one she dearly loved— “Within this frame, by Jesu’s grace,High gifts and holy held their place;A noble heart, a mighty mind,Were here in bonds of clay confined.”And all this is now gone.  The spirit has taken its flight.  Northrepps Cottage is without its tenant.  The ruins of the body have been left this morning in the ruins of the little church, and many a weeping heart has sent forth its unmistakable evidence of genuine and deep-felt sorrow.But we may be quite certain that there is a wise unseen purpose in this bereavement.  Not a sparrow falls to the ground without the Father’s knowledge, and how much more may we be satisfied that “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.”  There are many of his dispensations which seem very dark to short-sighted men, but they all have their sure purpose.  Many and bitter were the tears shed at Bethany when Lazarus died; painful and anxious the watchings of his affectionate sisters as they saw their dear brother growing worse and worse, till all hope ceased, and the struggle ended in his death.  Yet all was for a gracious purpose; as the Lord Himself said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.”  Many, doubtless, were the tears shed by the parents of the blind man whose case is described in our chapter.  Many a heartache must they both have felt as they saw their dear boy in the midst of his companions, but unable through his blindness to share their games or enjoy their pleasures; but there was a kind purpose in that lengthened trial, for as we read in verse 3, it was permitted “that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”  So, doubtless, there is a sacred purpose in this present affliction.  It may be hidden from you, but it is not hidden from Him who has appointed it.  Be sure, all ye mourners, that your tears are not for nought.  There is a needs be for the whole.  Not a sorrow has ever yet been laid on any one of God’s people from the very first, nor ever will be laid on them to the end of time, without some clear, some gracious, some wise purpose on the part of our God.  Let us, then, endeavour in the sorrow for her death to learn the lessons taught us by the retrospect of her life; and, instead of simply deploring our loss, let us strive to move a step forward in our own upward progress.Now, in looking at her character, the point that strikes my own mind more than any other is the fine, vigorous, persevering, affectionate, and unselfish use of time and talents; and in studying this we cannot do better than take as our guide the words of our blessed Lord, “I must work the works of him that sent me while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”  May the Holy Spirit bless the study of the passage to the salvation of souls and the glory of Christ!I.  The day.The idea is to compare life to the daytime, and the comparison is one as appropriate as it is simple.