HIS PILGRIM LABORS ENDED
ON September 13, our dear Bro. J. N. Patten, well known to many of our readers as one of the "Pilgrims," laid down his cross and we surely believe entered "beyond the vail," a spirit made perfect in the "First Resurrection." How blessed at such times to be able to realize that we are living in the "harvest" time, in which such a "change"--"in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye"--is the Lord's provision for the last "members of his body." We hearken to the message, "Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord from henceforth! Yea, saith the Spirit; they rest from their labors, but their works follow with them."
How blessed to think of "the rest that remaineth for the people of God," as well as to enjoy a goodly share of it even while yet in the enemy's country: yet how blessed, also, is the thought that our present opportunities for using our mortal bodies in the service of our Lord and his cause are but the prelude to the greater and more satisfactory works of grace we shall be privileged to engage in with our dear Redeemer throughout the glorious "times of restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began."--Acts 3:19-21.
Privileged to see our Brother shortly before his death we discerned that he was just at the border and spoke a few words of comfort and joined in prayer for God's will to be done and his gracious arrangements perfected, and requested that he bear our greetings to those "on the other shore;" expressing the hope that ere long we will all be gathered home. Thus we were enabled to rejoice together, even in the presence of the foe. Surely the Apostle said truly,--"We sorrow not as others who have no hope;"--nor do we sorrow as do those with vague and uncertain hope. Our faith sings while we weep,--
"How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent Word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
You who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?"
Dear Sister Patten was ceaselessly in attendance on her husband, and as he sank to rest with her hand upon his forehead and a sweet smile illumining his face, she sang to him in low tones those two precious hymns: "Sweet peace, the gift of God's love," and "I shall see him face to face."