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Rev. W. Justin Evans on His…


Rev. W. Justin Evans on His Loss. STRIKING SERMON AT BROCKLEY. The ile7 W. Juetin Evans, in fulfilment of his expressed determination, preached at both services at Lewisham High-road Church on Sunday, although only a fortnight had elapsod since his terrible bereavement. Patent to all were the effects of thai, sorrow, and it was, too, evident that he had spent many sleepless nights within the last few weeks. But his manner was that of one who had placed the past behind him and resolved to faoe the future oravely, not allowing his grief to oo ne between him and his duty. That determination was clearly expressed in his morning sermon; a sermon which, preached from an unfamiliar text, was full of personal feeling, and thrilled with the note of conquest—the conquest of duty over sorrow, of obedience over private affec- tions. Many in the congregation wondered as they saw this man rise in the pu.pit and deal so fearlessly with such a subject, and the sermon created a pro- found impression, which will not be forgotten. The text was Ezekiel 24, verse 18: "So I spake unto the people in the morning and at even my wife died and I did in the morning as I was com- manded."—In the midst of the prophet's work for God, he had a massage that his wife, loved and ten- der, was to be suddenly taken from him. And with that came a comynand that seemed stern and cruel Yet neither shalt thou mourn, nor weep, neither shalt thy tears run down. SihJ but not aloud make no mourning or the dead, bind thy head tire upon thee, and put thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover noli thy lips, and eat not the bread of men." To weep &n,i mourn was not wrong. But for a special purpose Ezekiel was to appear to the people as if nothing had happened. After explaining briefly the reason for this command, that Ezekiel was to be a sign to the people of their indifference to the fate of Jerusalem. Mr Evans went on to sdy that private sorrows were old and universal, although there was something personal and unique in every sorrow. Ez-'kiot's sorrow was the more bitter be- cause he must not show it, for tears give relief to the burdened heart. Thank God," said the preacher, that we are permitted to weep, for to weep is not to whine, to mourn is not to find fault with God." I have had much to suffer of late," continued Mr livans, but I do not complain, and I will not com- plain. God has been very good to me and mine. 1 thank him for nearly thirty years of a most happy married life. By this affliction my whole world, my whole outlook, is changed, but my duty is the same, and God remains the same. I am sorely disappointed, but I have in my heart no controversy with my God." The prophet's private sorrows were to be sacrificed to the common good. He was to think first, not of his own great trial, but of the peopled need. Brave heart, obedient servant, true prophet His to do just what was needed, although his heart was fit to break whiie doing it. Mr Evans related how, a week before his wife died, while he was hesitating to leave her to fulfil a public engagement, she said, Go, my dear, and do your work." That was just like her and he still often heard it. As long as there was work to be done let us do it, though we had at times to do it with an aching heart and a weary brain. In making the sacrifice willingly the pro- phet reached his highest ground. No one could be made a perfect helper of others without having to pay the price for it in pain or sorrow. But the price we paid would make us, not poorer, but richer. Sorrow could not be avoided, but we could make use of it and turn it to a good acoount, making of our disappointment rungs in a heavenly ladder on which we could climb upward. My dear wife," said Mr Evans, was a gift from God to me, a true helpmeet in the home and in the church. She helped me in my ministry in a thou- sand ways. I do not know how to go on without her but I must, and with God's help I will." He went on to express his deep gratitude for the sym- pathy which had been shown to him by the deacons and congregation. He did not know of anything they could have done that they had not done, and from the depths of his heart he thanked them all. The hundreds of letters he had received from all parts of the country had astonished him; he had been overwhelmed with tokens of affection. In conclusion he said that though our dear ones were taken from our homes they could never be taken from our hearts and lives. Death hides, but cannot divide, Thou art but on Christ's other side Thou with Christ and Christ with me, And so together still are we."

Milford Trawler Lost.



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