Grace Abounding: Shown in the Triumphant Departure of
Isaac Myers, late of Rotherham:-
Lord's Day, June 24th 1860
ABOVT six months ago, some Christians in Rotherham united
in prayer, at the earnest request of the beloved mother and sister of the
departed, for the conversion of the remaining six brothers and sisters of this
family. Though Isaac knew nothing of this, yet immediately the Spirit of God
began to work powerfully on his heart; but when he did get to know that he was
being prayed for, it affected him very deeply. The first token of answered
prayer, was the burning of all his song music. His sister saw him at the works,
and told him how much she had wanted to see him, as she had heard that he had
said, he would sing no more songs for men at a certain place. He said he had
felt he must put it all away, so that the devil would have less hold of him.
She said, "What made you come to that decision?" He replied, "I had been trying
for a week or two, to serve two masters. Invitations to sing made me miserable,
so I burnt it all. I had felt troubled about five weeks; but last Sunday, I
heard Mr. Bossell, and felt I must decide." Thus had God been dealing with him,
at the very time his friends had been waiting on God in prayer. As soon as his
sister told him he had been prayed for every day by name, he burst into tears,
and said, "I am a poor ignorant thing, but keep praying for me, that I may live
and grow." His sister spoke to him again after some time, enquiring how he was
as to spiritual things, when he replied, "I have got Christ"
It is known to many, that he passed through great exercise of soul, especially during the last three months of his life ; but it was not until the Lord's day, exactly one week before his departure, that his soul was brought into the full and blessed liberty of Christ. His beloved wife was very ill that day, and he was taken with deep misery respecting her, fearing she would die. He felt that if she died, he should die also, and thoughts of death troubled him. He could get no relief. He said, "I flew to God's word to see what God would say to me; He shewed me that the precious blood of Jesus cleansed me from all sin, from every spot. I saw the death of Christ for me, as though there had not been another sinner. I went from portion to portion, of God's Word, and saw Christ every where in the word, until I was so full of joy, that I forgot my wife. I saw I had never fully believed God; I knew before that I was his child, but God never before then revealed to me by His Holy Spirit, that Christ had done everything."
On Monday he went for the last time to his work, was taken ill, but remained until afternoon, though in great pain.
Tuesday. The pain extended over the chest; spoke of being in heaven before Monday; had a strong presentiment to that effect. Seemed to dwell with delight on the resurrection, and the fashioning of his body like unto the Lord's.
Wednesday. His sufferings were very severe; scarcely able to speak, but said, "Ah, mother; I shall be in heaven on Monday. It will be all Christ. No pain! no sorrow! During Wednesday night he was racked with pain. Some one remarked that the Lord had heavily afflicted him; he replied, 'Not one atom too much. My acceptance in Christ is as clear as the noonday sun. Don't fret ; rejoice for what the Lord has done for me."
Thursday.-Great weakness. But he said, "I am going through deep waters." A beloved brother said, "This is the time for God to help you." But he was too weak to speak more at that time.
Friday. - His sufferings were so great that he could hardly speak a word. He just said, "Surely the Lord will make short work."
Saturday.-Had a little sleep in the morning, and had less pain. Then the pain returned with agony, until about twelve at noon; it then ceased, and exhaustion ensued. But during the afternoon in a burst of joy, he said, "Oh, what has Jesus done for me a poor sinner! Washed me in his own blood from every spot, made me perfect, yes, perfect, if I were to live for twenty years, and never sin, I should not be nearer heaven. Oh, the blessed Jesus, the Christ of God! He left his seat of glory, and came into this world to die for me; yes, for Isaac Myers, of .Rotherham, just as if there had not been another sinner in the world! Oh! oh! that I could tell it everywhere; that I could shout it to the whole world; that I could tell to all I know, and all I don't know, the joy I feel. He has washed me, and washed me clean. He has given Himself for me; I am his! He is mine. He is in me. I am in Him. He fills me. I shall soon be with Him in glory."
Here his strength failed; but after a short interval, he again broke out into a strain of great joy, "Look! look! look!" as though the vision of heaven were suddenly opened. He said, "What a large place. Look at them; what numbers. This is the first time I have seen Paul; he is in the midst of that group (pointing to the right); what a glorious man he is, but not like Christ; there's none like him. And there is Dawson (meaning the late honoured servant of Christ, William Dawson). How did he go? Why gone in a moment, like that (dropping his hand quickly on the bed). Absent-present-heaven in a moment. That is how I should like to go, only, I would be humble, and wait. Listen! I wish you could hear that chorus! The Handel's festival!! Nothing to it!! I shall join it soon, Oh to sing that song, 'Worthy is the Lamb.' He is worthy. He is worthy. He came down here, and when he came down, did he set himself up? Oh, no! He took no place here. He humbled himself but God has given him a place. God has highly exalted him, and given him a name, which is above every name; all power is given to him in heaven, and on earth; but he has not taken it yet. This humble Jesus is the Christ of God - the mighty God. Jehovah Jesus - all honour is his. He could restore this poor shattered frame, if he saw fit; and he will build it up again, and then, Oh then - Oh then, it will be like his."
"I shall be like Him. Oh, what mercy, boundless mercy to a poor sinner. He tells me by the Spirit I am perfect now; it is his work,- his finished work. I used to think I must do something to get to heaven, but now I see He has done it all. He is my all. If a man has Christ he has everything. He gave Himself for me. He has made me meet for his presence, and He is going to take me to glory now. Heaven. Jesus. So soon, so soon. In less than a week. He would take me now if it were not for the sake of others. He haa made me ready. Oh, mother, "There's not a cloud above, not a spot within." That's it exactly. He lets me stay a little longer that I may tell his love; and He is taking me away for a special purpose. It will be told all over :Rotherham, and in every place where God is worshipped, that He has taken a poor sinner, Isaac Myers, to glory. God has opened heaven, the New Jerusalem to me. You know it was revealed to Paul, and it is revealed to me, as direct from God as the rain drops from the clouds. And it is for the sake of many in this town. It will reach the hearts of many. My death is to be for the life of many. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Help me to sing his praises. Oh, tell it abroad, make it known, that He has taken me to glory. The Lord is coming to take his own. NOT BELIEVE THAT! I know He is coming, What a moment, when all his are caught up, to be with Him for ever! But I am going to Him, He is coming to receive me. I wish I could have you all fastened to me, to all go together. But it won't be long, it won't be long !"
He was delirious at times, and about one on Sunday morning he appeared to be dying. The watch was looked at, as his friends thought he was going. But be suddenly shouted out, "There is a heaven; do, do, let the world know there is a heaven. He then held his hands up, and said as he seemed to behold the heavenly vision, 'Hush, hush, there is heaven. There is the white robe, the crown ,-one broken, but another crown. Glory." He said, "Shout, Glory." And his friends all at once were constrained to shout "Glory". Oh, what a moment,- never to be forgotten by them. He appeared to be in full view of the New Jerusalem; said he saw his departed relatives who sleep in the Lord; seemed to have great joy in seeing William Dawson, whose preaching was greatly used of God to him when a boy. His countenance, indeed the whole scene, was heavenly. He then said, "I am now about to swim, and there is the strong arm of Christ."
He feared that his friends would think him delirious as he spoke of the rapturous vision, and took great pains to correct this, being anxious lest his words might not be believed. He said he had been astonished at the manner in which the Spirit of God had enabled him to speak to his shop mates. The thoughts given him were far beyond himself; and after trying to convince his friends that he was perfectly sensible, he then again manifested the most solemn, tender concern for three of his fellow workmen. It was deeply affecting. "Tell them there is a heaven," and afterwards, "Tell them there is a hell, and if they don't alter their opinions, they will go there."
He gave his hand to be kissed by all present, then prayed for his beloved wife and children; then for his brothers and sisters, beginning at the eldest and going to the youngest; for all his many relations, then for his shop mates, and for others by name,- Mr. Bossel, Mr. Jones, Stanley, Bennett, etc. He then prayed for Christians of all denominations, except the Unitarians. He said, "I have no authority in God's Word to pray for for them as Christians,- they deny the blood." Solemn words, on the borders of eternity. He then prayed again for his wife and children. Had great confidence for his family. He then shouted with a loud voice, "Victory! Victory!" He required all present to shout, and all joined, even his young wife, -all shouted, " Victory! Victory!"
He was then exhausted, and said " Water, water." But when water was offered him, he said, "No! no! No more of this world's water."
He was then fearfully convulsed, and delirious for some time: then tried to sing the word Hallelujah. When he could speak, his happy cry was, "Nearly gone, nearly gone! Almost home." "I AM READY:' this he said a few minutes before he departed. Then he threw up both his hands, as if beckoning for one to come from above. His last words were, at the moment of departure, "He is come, He is come!" This closed the last moments of Isaac Myers. He was gone, gone. Present with the Lord.
One day, before this triumphant departure, there was published, in a periodical a most fearful contrast to the above, a death-bed scene, as witnessed by Mr. Richard Weaver. He says, " One night, after I had gone to rest, I was awaked by a knock at the door of my house; an old man was there, who said, 'Oh, Mr. Weaver, come and pray for my poor child.' I went, and oh, that fearful sight. There was the mother on her knees, crying, 'Oh, God, save my child. Oh Lord have mercy upon her.' The young husband says, 'Oh, Richard, pray for my dear wife. Oh, my poor wife; my poor wife.' And there lay the young wife and mother, with the death sweat upon her brow, and horror in her voice, shouting, 'Oh, I am damned, I am sinking into hell. Oh, William, oh, my dear husband, train my child for heaven; I am dying, and hell is my doom. Take him to my grave and tell him his mother is damned Oh, my babe, your mother is being claimed.' And while her poor husband groaned, 'Oh, that my wife had never been born.' She tore her hair and screamed, 'Can't you save me? oh, husband, save me.' and so she died with those dreadful words, 'I am damned.'"
My reader, have you ever reflected that one of these two ends must be yours. Victory through the blood of the Lamb! or damnation through unbeliet. You may be within seven days of the eternal world. You may be troubled at the thought of death; so was Isaac Myers. And I pray you to note, that uncertainty and trouble was not removed, until God the Holy Ghost became his sole teacher by the Word of God. This is God's way, to bless his own Word. The confusion of human opinions cannot give true rest to the soul. Though he was a child of God, man's teaching had failed to give him full rest. God's teaching never fails to give it. On that memorable Sunday he was turned from man's words to God's words. He flew to the Word to see what God would say to him: God showed him that the precious blood of Christ cleansed him from all sin. The infinite value of the death of Christ was so revealed to him, that he saw he had never fully believed God. Did the Spirit reveal to him some new or second work to make him perfect? No! no! He revealed to him that "Christ had done everything." What a bursting in of light. What a deliverance from false doctrine and unbelief. Believing what God says. Christ has done everything.
A child is heir to an estate: the title is secure, the witnesses competent. But the child is perplexed by persons telling him that he must not be too sure. That it something like depends on himself as to getting the estate. He is confused, the uncertainty gives him trouble. At last one day the matter is made clear; he finds his father has done everything to make it secure. I see now he says, "I never before really believed the will of my Father." There is no new will, no new work done. He only believes what has been done. He is turned from the false thoughts that perplexed him. Such was the change of mind that day, when God showed Isaac Myers, that Christ had done everything. Every false thought of unbelief was swept away. He was turned from the false thoughts of man, to what God says about the blood of Christ. His acceptance in Christ (not in self made better), was as clear as the noon day sun. All believers in the New Testament times had this clearness; and all believers now, turned from self to Christ, have this same clearness, as to their acceptance. The Apostle, speaking of all believers, says, "he hath made us accepted in the beloved," Eph. i. 6. Surely God's Word is as clear as his creation works. Then every believer's acceptance in Christ is as clear as the noon day sun. God says it. It must be true.
It must be so, because the offering of the body of Jesus Christ does so thoroughly sanctify every believer, that his perfection, through that death sanctification is everlasting. As saith the Scripture, "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified," Heb. x. 10-14. He had formerly thought he had something to do, as though his fitness for heaven was progressive; and depended on works. Yes, he thought this, though a child of God. Now; he saw that Christ had done it all. He knew four months before that he had Christ; but he did not know what Christ was to him. Now he has been turned from man to God; he says, a man has Christ he has everything. He had had everything in Christ: now he believed it. That makes all the difference. Do you say you have Christ for justification, but you must have a second work, for you have not yet got Christ for sanctification. Then like him you have not yet fully believed God. For this is certainly true of every believer in Christ. "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is (not was or will be at some second blessing, no is), made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption," 1 Cor. i. 30. My fellow-believer, that is plain enough, is it not and what think you to this? "Giving thanks unto the Father, who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light," Col. i. 12.
Yes, Isaac Myers was right, when he believed, what God said, and always wrong whilst he doubted. He has made me meet for his presence" and what had made him meet? The progressive work of the Spirit in him? No. The Spirit had shewn him that the blood of Christ had cleansed him from every spot.
Not a cloud above, not a spot within. This is the Gospel that gave him such a triumphal departure. Man nothing to do to fit himself for heaven: Christ had done everything. Is this your Gospel? then preach it to every one. Seldom are the hearts of dying sinners gladdened with such a Gospel. He had tried hard at man's Gospel, of partly Christ and partly his own doings, to fit him for heaven; and it could give him no peace in the prospect of death. No, my reader, neither are you prepared to die, if this mixed Gospel is yours. It must be all Christ, before you can dwell with exultation, on the prospect of departing before next Monday to be with him.
This was not a death-bed repentance. It was on the day before he was taken ill, that God thus revealed Christ to him. How wondrous the sovereignty of God. He whom Christ washes "is clean every whit," John xiii. 10. The same thrust of the spear brought out blood and water. He that is pardoned is also cleansed: cleansed from all sin. Yes, completely justified as well as sanctified. "Washed," "sanctified," "justified ;" this is the divine order of Scripture. "And such were some of you but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified," 1 Cor. vi. 11.
Isaac Myers saw that Christ had done every thing; not left one thing for him to do. He saw the death of Christ had not half saved him, and then left him unwashed, and unfit for heaven; away with such unbelief. That precious blood had perfectly fitted him for heaven, without a spot. Oh, precious, heaven-taught lessons. He was now a happy worshipper within the vail, without spot. The blood of bulls and goats could never bring the worshipper there. The blood of Christ had brought him there. The sacrifices of the law made nothing perfect, and needed a second work, or repetition. The blood of Jesus purged his conscience perfectly from every spot, and needed no repetition. And now, is this the state, standing, and position of only a few persons amongst believers, who attain to an extraordinary degree of self-holiness within? or is it the blessed state of every believer on earth? Undoubtedly, of every child of God, born of the Spirit, saved by the blood of Christ. The Scriptures leave no uncertainty as to this. "Having, therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, &c.,' Heb. x. 19. This is just what the blood of Jesus has done for every saved Christian, without one exception. This is what the offerings of the law could not do, no, not for one sinner on earth. This is what the Spirit of God insists upon in the tenth of the Hebrews. Are you saying, my fellow-believer, that this is not true of you? You are so unworthy, you cannot surely be within the vail, without spot of sin. Then are you saying, the blood of Christ is of no more avail than the blood of a goat. "Christ also hath suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might BRING US TO GOD." Has he failed? Dare you say so? True, you are unworthy. God looks on his blood and He says it is worthy; yes, finished is the work that glorifies God, in bringing you within the vail.
Ah, like dear Isaac, is it not true that you have not fully believed God? Blessed, divine certainty, it is all done. Can you say, "Precious Jesus, my soul now rests in thy finished work; yea, I rest in Thee." Ah, it is a hard struggle, in our day to get delivered from the false doctrines and traditions of men; many are sorely perplexed, even the real children of God.
The Gospel is so obscured, that often God has to lay his children on a bed of affliction, away from the teachings of men, that He may teach them Himself.
And much did He teach Isaac Myers in one short week. Yes, God taught him more in one hour than he had learnt from man in all his life. Oh that men were wise, that they would take the word of God, and look for the blessed teaching of the Holy Ghost. But, perhaps, you say, do you set aside good works altogether? Qh dear no, this is the only way to have them. As soon as he really believed God, knew that Christ had done everything to fit him for heaven, that he never could be more fit, than the blood of o Christ had fitted him - without spot in the holy presence of God.-Then, see how this faith worked by love. Oh, how he longed for his shopmates. He thought of their daily toil, and said, "Poor things, they toil, and toil, and spend, and spend, and what is it all for? If they go on rejecting Christ, the time will come, when the most they would ever think of asking for, would be a drop of cold water to cool their burning tongues. And even that cannot be granted them." And then, oh how he did yearn for their conversion.
The reality of heaven,- hell.- the coming of the Lord - was truly astonishing. It seemed at times as if the veil of the future state was removed. Heaven was his. The spotless robe washed in the blood of the Lamb was his. The broken crown - solemn thought. He had been a backslider. Yes, whilst salvation is all of God, given in freest grace, without works, yet the crown of reward must be fought for. "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown."-Rev. iii. 11. Oh believer, watch and pray, lest thou lose thy reward. Seek a real close walk with God. Seek to walk in the light of his countenance. Fight the good fight, and he shall give thee a crown that shall not be broken. And there was another crown. Oh, is my reader a wandering child of God; oh, return with confession to God thy Thou didst run well-who broke thy crown? Beware again. Precious grace to thee and me! there another crown. Let us press on in the strength of God - the fight will soon be won. Thou art saved - God is faithful to forgive - The crown's before thee, battle on. Look not to man - The eye of the Lord is upon thee.
Perhaps my reader says, "I don't know whether I am a believer; I have tried to do my best to get fit for heaven, but all is darkness. Another says, "I will do my best some day !" Ah, this is not believing what God says to poor, helpless, lost sinners. He says, "Be it known unto you, that through Jesus is preached unto you, the forgiveness of sins, and through him all who believe are justified from all things." Jesus says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my words, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.'.' I ask, then, do you hear the words of Jesus? do you believe on God that sent him? Then, what does he say? Hath everlasting life. Do you believe Him? He says all that believe Him, are justified from all things. is it so? Then why doubt? It is as true of you as the dear departed one. The moment you fully believe what God says, all is settled peace. The work is finished. Jesus has died. He is risen. He is glorified in heaven. He will soon come in glory. I finish with the words of the departed one. "What a moment will that be, when all his are caught up to be with him for ever! "Even so come Lord Jesus."
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