The Passing of a Dear Friend
The Passing of a Dear Friend, Received Into Glory
Psalms Chapter 116
14I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people. 15Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. 16O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds. 17I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD. 18I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people, 19In the courts of the LORD’S house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.
Song of Solomon chapter 2
10My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. 11For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; 12The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle (dove) is heard in our land; 13The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
14O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely. 15Take us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes. 16My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies. 17Until the daybreak, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.
1 Thessalonians chapter 4
13But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them, which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others, which have no hope. 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
“Them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.”
— 1 Thessalonians 4:14
Let us not imagine that the soul sleeps in insensibility. “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise,” is the whisper of Christ to every dying saint. They “sleep in Jesus,” but their souls are before the throne of God, praising him day and night in his temple, singing hallelujahs to him who washed them from their sins in his blood. The body sleeps in its lonely bed of earth, beneath the coverlet of grass. But what is this sleep? The idea connected with sleep is “rest,” and that is the thought, which the Spirit of God would convey to us. Sleep makes each night a Sabbath for the day. Sleep shuts fast the door of the soul, and bids all intruders tarry for a while, that the life within may enter its summer garden of ease. The toil-worn believer quietly sleeps, as does the weary child when it slumbers on its mother’s breast. Oh! happy they who die in the Lord; they rest from their labors, and their works do follow them. Their quiet repose shall never be broken until God shall rouse them to give them their full reward. Guarded by angel watchers, curtained by eternal mysteries, they sleep on; the inheritors of glory, till the fullness of time shall bring the fullness of redemption. What an awaking shall be theirs! They were laid in their last resting place, weary and worn, but such they shall not rise. They went to their rest with the furrowed brow, and the wasted features, but they wake up in beauty and glory. The shriveled seed, so destitute of form and comeliness, rises from the dust a beauteous flower. The winter of the grave gives way to the spring of redemption and the summer of glory. Blessed is death, since it, through the divine power, disrobes us of this workday garment, to clothe us with the wedding garment of incorruption. Blessed are those who “sleep in Jesus.”