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J. B. Stoney (1814-97)


His Background
His Memories
His Family

His Friends
His Foes
His Service
His Ministry
 • Contents: A Catalogue
His Closing Days:
Anna M. Stoney

Sympathy and Esteem:



J. B. Stoney, 1814-97

Mr. J. B. Stoney was a devoted servant of the Lord whose ministry has challenged and helped many.


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James Butler Stoney was born in Portland Co., Tipperary, on May 13, 1814, and – when only 15 – he entered Trinity College, Dublin to study for the Bar.

In 1831 during an outbreak of cholera, he was taken ill and, in fear of death, called upon the Lord for salvation.

He gave up the law for divinity, still at Trinity College, but – fortuitously – was too young to be ordained. It was in 1833 that Mr. Stoney first came in contact with brethren and Mr. Darby.

After a long life of service to the Lord and the saints, shortly after a fall in October 1895, Mr. Stoney was laid aside

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In 1894 he said: I remember the effect the coming of the Lord had on myself. I was about nineteen, and I walked to a reading meeting some miles off. I took a gun by way of recreation.

In 1889 he said: Thank God, I was led in anywise to think of serving the Lord. The first thing that attracted my heart from my very youth was that I must serve the Lord.

In 1894 he said: I speak from my own experience. I long knew that everything had gone from the eye of God in the cross, and that to look up to him was unspeakabke satisfaction;

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JBS married Mary Frances Elwood, daughter of Robert Elwood of Knockadoo, County Roscommon in the west of Ireland, in 1838. He was then 25 years old.

The Stoneys had at least four children.

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In this biographical sketch, the term "friends" refers to
spiritual friendships, not to natural or partisan relationships.

The following extracts – from FER, CAC and JT – indicate the high regard in which Mr. Stoney was held by those who were spiritually close to him.

• From Letters of F. E. Raven

To JBS July 8th, 1895.

It is with the greatest pleasure and satisfaction that I send you a few lines to convey to you a sense of the privilege accorded me in having increasing sympathy and interest in the service which our blessed Lord has entrusted to you.

I thank the Lord for the energy in which He supports you for what is needed both in the way of interest and inquiry in truth and in imparting to others …

To JBS April 29th, 1896

It has been on my mind for some time past to send you a few lines to let you know what is going on in connection with the 'testimony of our Lord', so far as it comes under my observation, for I am sure of your great interest in what is going on, though you are yourself shut out from the activities save in spirit and mind.

To JBS March 19th, 1897.

I cannot send you on the enclosed without taking the opportunity of writing you a few lines.

• From Letters of C. A. Coates

July 8th, 1896

I am sure that you will be glad to have news of beloved JBS I found him sitting up in his chair near to the window, and with the exception that he is a little thinner than he was and has a white beard there is no change in his appearance.

He had just been writing a message to the – meeting, and what he said to me was very much on the same line, so I send you an extract from the message that you may have it in his own words.

He seemed very glad to hear that his present papers were being so widely read.

January 12th, 1899.

… If JBS had got into a wrong meeting, as you suggest, he would have felt that he had got into a place where very few were in touch with him. And they would have felt that he was a man with very peculiar ideas and expressions! …

February, 1899

… made me think of what Mr. Stoney said at a rather important point of his career. He went to JND and asked to be allowed to take his place with the very few who were at that time breaking bread. Mr. Darby asked him if he had faith for it. He replied, "Faith or no faith, I can't stop where I am" …

• From Ministry by J. Taylor

J.L.F. Is it true that sometimes God intends the ministry of a servant to be characterised by the time of the ministry?

J.T. Quite so. Mr. Stoney's books have been republished. I think we should look into, and understand, his ministry.

S.McC. I am thankful for what you say, because there has been a great lack of reading Mr. Stoney's ministry. Some think it is all embodied in F.E.R.'s ministry, but Mr. Stoney had his own distinctive line.

J.T. Quite so. His ministry preceded F.E.R.

S.McC. Exactly, and has its own distinctive touch.

J.T. F.E.R.'s is largely eternal life; Mr. Stoney's, union with Christ.

The Service of Elijah, Chicago, September, 1950
Ministry by J. Taylor – New Series 78: 314
Note: I was privileged to be present. G.A.R.

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Mr. Stoney's support of Mr. Raven and the truth they both stood for brought him under attack by the same opponents as FER

• From Letters of C. A. Coates

January 12th, 1899.

… The honest persons to whom you refer have probably never had any spiritual idea of the holiest at all.

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Mr. Stoney did not go abroad – as far as is known – as did JND and others of his contemporaries, his sphere of service being limited to Great Britain and Ireland, but

As he had stood by Mr. Darby in earlier years, he stood by Mr. Raven in the critical times when the truth they both presented was under heavy attack.

Few details of his history are on record, but it is clear from a perusal of the contents of his published ministry that

Contents: A Catalogue of Ministry by JBS – New Series

In the wisdom and goodness of God, Mr. Stoney's valuable, if testing, ministry is still available – from Kingston Bible Trust – and is highly recommended to any who seriously desire to make progress in their souls.

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This sensitive, tender and touching account was recorded by Mr. Stoney's daughter, Miss Anna M. Stoney (1839-1932), who, with others of the family, ministered to him unselfishly for those last 18 months.

The following hymn – No. 92 in the 1881 and 1903 editions of Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the Little Flock, but not included in later revisions – is Miss Stoney's composition. It reflects the influence of her father's ministry.

How sweet away from self to flee,
And shelter in our Saviour;
Oh, precious grace, with Him's our place,
In God's eternal favour.
Jesus the goal before our soul,
The One we know in glory;
While we're on earth, we'd tell His worth,
A saved one's sweetest story.

THE  CLOSING  DAYS  OF  JBS  –  1895-97
by Miss Anna M. Stoney

J. B. Stoney

On the second of October, 1895, my dearest father was leaving Edinburgh after a fortnight's course of Scripture readings, and when about to start for the station he fell on the last step of the stairs and hurt his right knee.

Dr. [W.T.P.] Wolston begged him to remain at his house to be nursed, but he pursued his journey to Carlisle.

On the 14th, I received a pencilled note in his own dear writing, and again on the 20th he wrote to me accepting the room at No. 2 West Park Terrace.

On the 26th, Dr. Wolston went to Carlisle to see him, and recommended his coming home at once in an invalid carriage. He arrived here on the 29th.

Still, he seemed so full of life and vigour, and the leg got well so nicely, that he was quite elated at being allowed to put it to the ground, and was counting on walking again, when he got an attack of coughing on the night of October 31st.

November 1st. Dr. Ross called and said the heart was weak, and caused weakness of digestion. As I look back, I recollect that he has been subject to this for quite two years.

Wednesday, November 6th. Feels and is better today. He said, "The only trial I have is that illness makes me so self-occupied instead of thinking of the Lord".

Thursday, November 7th. "I feel better today, and quite free to think of the Lord. Myself has not been before me at all today" … "Nothing acceptable to God now that is not of the Spirit".

Sunday, November 10th. I stayed with him and read John 14–17. Tremendous storm in the night, but we did not feel it in his room. It is a perfect little room for him – prison though it be.

Wednesday, November 13th. His nights are bad, but he is pretty well in the day and very cheerful and contented. He said today,

Friday, November 15th. Tremendous storm, but it cleared up at noon, as it always does for him, so that he has got out every day for an hour.

November 17th. Lovely bright day. Read to him his favourite chapter, John 17, and in the afternoon he dictated a letter to Arthur Pridham. He said today,

Tuesday, November 19th. Lovely bright day – like summer. He said today,

December 4th. Dear father went out in his chair, and seems very well.

December 5th. Bad night; not so well.

December 6th. Dear father went out today, and this proved to be the last time of his going out, for he had a bad attack in the evening. He said to me,

December 12th. A bad night; since Wednesday, he seems to be getting worse.

December 13th. His weakness is distressing, and all the doctor's restoratives of no avail.

Saturday, December 14th. In the early morning I was awakened by his dear voice saying in loud, clear tones (see May 1st, 1897):

Sunday, December 15th. He is still with us, but more in heaven than with us. Doctor looked very serious.

December 16th. Dr. Wolston arrived at 10:00 p.m. Knew the doctor; was glad to see him. Dr. Wolston said, "We shall see His face".

December 20th. He said, "My world now is very circumscribed; it circles round Himself". He speaks of no one but the Lord, and takes no interest in anything else.

December 25th. From 6:00 a.m. a very weary day. I sat with him alone all day. He said to me,

December 26th. When I drew back the curtain in the morning he looked at me with the most exquisite smile in which love and sweetness seemed to light up those eyes with heavenly brightness, and, putting out his hand, he said,

Mr. Raven saw him for a few minutes; he brightened up, and was interested in all he said, and gave a warm response to a few words of prayer, then said good-bye, promising to see him in the morning before he left.

December 27th. A very troubled night, yet he calls it a good night. Not a murmur ever escapes his lips.

December 29th. He slept a troubled sleep, opening his eyes now and again to say something, yet I could see his mind was still on I Cor. 15.

--- 1896 ---

January 2nd, 1896. He slept softly till 4. Then I tried to feed him, but he said reproachfully,

In the beginning of his illness Hebrews had been before him, and the desire to know more deeply the Lord's sympathy in his infirmity of bodily weakness.

I longed to know the train of deep and blessed exercise his soul was passing through, but I was only allowed to catch the fragments as if God would lure one on to seek for oneself the Spirit's revealing of the deep things of God.

His mind was very clear, and he talked so cheerily to his doctor, who pronounced him much better, saying, as he left the room, "He is a wonderful man, and as happy as a king!" The long sleep had been for a rally, and for the removing of all the most distressing symptoms of heart and lungs.

He said once, "Let those who feel my loss live more for Christ down here". He said to me, "Has the Lord comforted you?"

He said to my mother, "You will find the Lord's sympathy better than any human support". He said also that the Lord would take care of us when he could not, and a great deal more that I could not catch.

In the night he was saying "The Lord triumphed gloriously", and he seemed absorbed in prayer, and longing to be gone.

Sunday, January 5th. Talked of the river of God, and I read several Psalms which he enjoyed. I read John 17, and the words never seemed so wonderful before. In the evening he said,

January 6th. Seems weaker, but very bright. "I feel I can sit under His shadow with great delight until something here distracts me from it. I do seek to be with the Lord outside of everything here, and thus be superior to things here, but weakness is a great test, a very real test. I feel the Lord is not here, and I am longing to be with Him where He is. Read Hebrews to me".

Tuesday, January 7th. Very weak and low today. I said, "The Lord is a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief".

Wednesday, January 8th. He said to me, "I have been longing so this last hour that the Lord would take me. I have been sitting under His shadow with great delight".

January, 11th. Terrible night of suffering. About 6 o'clock, as I stood bathing and fanning his head, which was burning hot, he said,

He said to me one day, "I have learned to do without anything and anyone but the Lord, and He is enough, without letters or friends, or anything else".

As we were settling him for the night, he said, "Now I am going home, all my power is gone. I am going to have a new power".

January 17th. A lovely day; lying with window open. As I was sitting by him, he suddenly broke out, "If man would only dwell on the divine reality of God's world, he would see this is only man's world – in God's world all is Divinely beautiful.

"Now I think I am entitled to my chapter: read 2 Cor. 4. There you see, that is just my thought; not new creation only, but the display of what God is", and at verse 10, I said, "You know something of that". He smiled such a lovely smile, and said, "In a practical way".

January 23rd. In the afternoon he asked for his chapter and enjoyed it (2 Cor. 8). Afterwards, when I came to him, he said, "Everything is getting so small in contrast to eternal things".

January 24th. He said, "I feel utterly weak, as if I could not stir".

January 25th. He said today, "I see an open door, fullness of blessing, and power to carry one through the world in devotedness to the Lord, but when I look at anything of man it is all confusion and failure. It is all bright there!"

"The difference between revelation and information is the wonderful difference between opening out the word of God, and knowing the mind of God; that is the unique thing to know – what things are to Him, and what they are to us".

January 29th. Much suffering – revived in the afternoon, and said, "Great contrast between things outside this scene, and the things here; but no matter what they are, you must look up to the Lord for small matters as well as great. The rest is, I am not conscious of anything here until I open my eyes. I am above the things here in the sense of His power: that is rest, even in the night. I am in the light".

January 30th. Talking beside him, I asked, "Did you always know Christ in glory or was it a later experience?" He said, "I think I began on that line, though I knew very little about it".

January 31st. He said today, "I should like to make a sketch of the first man, and the second. The first man who brought in all the ruin, coming to an end in the Cross,

He has been very bright both yesterday and today, full of joy and gladness of heart, though suffering much pain.

February 1st. Had almost a sleepless night. After his breakfast, when I wanted him to sleep, he said,

My brother Bertie, who was leaving us at 5 o'clock, came to take leave; precious father asked him if he knew the purpose of God. After several wrong answers from us both, he said:

In the evening, while he dozed, I read notes of his reading on the 'Priesthood' in the February issue of 'A Voice to the Faithful'.

Sunday, February 2nd. Had a sleepless night, breathing troubled, yet this morning surpassing himself in brightness. He said,

February 4th. Another wakeful night. I said, "Have you slept?" "Don't ask me how much I have slept, but how much I have been awake", he said.

February 5th. Dictated to me twice, but the effort to speak made his breathing more laboured. His subject was the Assembly.

Last night I knelt by him for a long time while he dropped little sentences about many things, and mentioned several brethren. He said,

February 7th. He said to the doctor, "I am wonderfully well after four months in bed!"

Sunday, February 9th. Awake a good part of the night, weak and tired today. I read to him John 17 as usual, which he greatly enjoyed.

Reading Eph. 2: 6, 17, he said, "That is the calling; you cannot experience it unless you are in it practically; you are not in possession of the calling properly, though you may know it.

February 10th. An absolutely sleepless night. I read him a letter complaining of the low state of a meeting.

February 11th. At 5:00 a.m., I said to him, "You are not sleeping much". He said,

February 12th. Read Eph.5, and tucked him up for a rest. He called out,

When I came to his side in the afternoon, he said, "I have one great desire, to know what is joy unspeakable and full of glory'". I said, "I am sure you do know it!"

February 15th. He slept very little and was very weary. He said, "Tell Bertie it is a great thing to have One Person as our aim".

At another time, he said, "Is it the work of the Lord you are set for, or your own gratification?"

Sunday, February 16th. Very bright this morning. When I was leaning over him in the early morning to see if he slept, he opened his eyes, which had the most rapt expression, and said,

February 18th. Waking after 12:00, he said, "I think I will get up", and then with such a lovely smile of submission and sweetness together, he said, "Oh, I forgot; I thought it was old times, when I could get up when I liked".

Reading Col. 3, about setting your affections on things above, I said, "That is when you know the glorified Man". "When you know that there is no other", he replied.

Another time I asked, "What subject have you now?" He replied,

Hearing of someone who was longing to go to the Lord, he said, "The Lord might want him here". He used to count it a great honour to left here to serve the Lord.

February 20th. Seems quite exhausted, and more lifeless than I have ever seen him, his hands icy cold. At noon he seemed better, and said, "Yes, certainly", when I offered to read to him, but we only got as far as the first four verses of Col. 3.

February 21st. He asked us each the question, "If you have failed and want restoration, where would you begin?" and answered, "The Nazarite had to begin all over again!"

Truly the Lord is magnified before my eyes in His ways with my precious father – in the way He has won, controlled and filled his heart – the ineffable repose He has given him through these days and nights, and weeks and months of weariness, so that peace and patience seem perfected in a vessel of a most peculiarly sensitive nature.

I was kneeling beside him in the evening, when he said, "Do you know a heavenly man?"

Sunday, February 23rd. A quiet night. Looks well and bright this morning – read to him Phil. 2 and John 17. He is very full of what a true servant should be like.

February 26th. Very bright today, dictating on "the true servant", and bringing out a good deal about the course of a Christian here in this world who knows that he is united to a glorified Christ.

February 27th. Awake nearly all night. Dictated a little, also a letter on the Christian calling and on the effect of having power to gratify oneself after a human manner instead of being like a poor man absolutely dependent upon God for everything – starting on one's Christian course as conscious of being an object with God. If we have not this, we become an object to ourselves.

March 2nd. Good night. Full of the Resurrection – so full of it that he would not give attention to his food.

March 3rd. The first thing he said this morning was, "How would you know a Laodicean!"

March 6th. Writing on communion, had great joy in the night on finding himself alone with the Lord. "The sense of companionship with the Lord was a great delight to me", he said.

March 8th. Wakeful night, but very happy meditations on the difference between the comfort you get in the Psalms here in this world, and the Priesthood of Christ, which carries you outside this world and the scene of your trouble to the One who is out of the trouble – reading John 13 and 14. Very bright about it.

March 10th. Little sound sleep. Full of thoughts today, but breathing too bad to speak much. He says,

March 12th. He said, alluding to his bad night, "I found great refreshment in turning to the Lord. What should I do if I had to lay awake for hours in the night without Him?"

March 13th. The same heavy breathing and weary unrest, yet he says he had a refreshing night, and such a wonderful sense of being carried above everything by the Spirit of God.

Sunday, March 15th. Had a troubled night – better towards morning. He said,

March 16th. Better night. Full of the subject of communion, tracing it from Eden:

March 17th. I wrote for him twice, and read Heb. 2, John 17. He said, "I am like Sir Isaac Newton with the sun on his eye, for whatever I think of I go back to Eternal Life! Eternal Life!" and his eyes were quite sparkling.

March 20th. Awake from 12:00 to 3:00 a.m. I said, "You are not sleeping".

March 21st. Very disturbed night. He said, "People think that sleep is greater than ministry; it is not. The Lord's ministry is a wonderful thing, and it is the greatest rest".

Sunday, March 22nd. A good night. His first question was, "When did you taste the feast in the Father's house?"

March 23rd. A good night. Very bright today, lovely weather, lying all day by open window in the sun and dictating to me on the fullness of the Gospel.

March 25th. He says he is enjoying the sense of being at the great supper – feasting on the fatted calf!

Asked today for end of Philippians, and is full of that verse, "I can do all things through Him who gives me power".

March 26th. Awake all night! Twice I had to sit with a candle on the floor behind the screen and read John 17 to him. When he asked for it the third time I tried to repeat it, and fell asleep in the middle of a verse.

March 27th. He slept well and his mind was refreshed. He said to me across the room at 4:00 a.m.,

March 28th. He said to me at 4:00 a.m., "What is the first step to power?" and later was full of the wonderful proof of love when the Lord washes the disciples' feet that they may have part with Him, to remove every shade of distance or reserve.

March 29th. Did not sleep much, but was very fresh today, reading John 13. Saw Mr. THR [Reynolds]. He said,

March 30th. A very wakeful night, and weary today. Thoughts full of "the blessing of knowing a Person in His own place! Many know of the place, but it is the Person who enhances and exceeds everything in the place".

March 31st. Good till 4:00, then full of lovely thoughts which I was too overcome with sleep to enter into, and told him, "I was a dumb dog loving to slumber!"

April 2nd. He saw Mr. Reynolds, but was rather agitated, I think, about the departures for Rotherham; kept on asking about them and the trains. He said, "They are arriving now about 5 o'clock, Mr.C. meeting them".

Good Friday, April 3rd. A good night, but has been watching the time all day and following them at Rotherham.

April 4th. Had happy meditations in the night. At 4:00 a.m. he said, "I am sitting under His shadow with great delight, and am greatly cheered by the fact that I have a right to be there, and to stay there.

Sunday, April 5th. Asked for tidings of Rotherham, and cheered to hear of their good meeting.

April 9th. Cheered by good accounts of Rotherham.

Talking of prayer, he said, "If you know that He hears you, you must be near to Him to know it!" …

Talking of servants having a special line of impressions given by God, I said, "What is yours?" He replied, "Oh, I think Glory is my impression!" and about going to the morning meeting, he said,

Writing on where your treasure is, "Very few cultivate the Lord's Presence as a place to retire to, or make it a retreat".

Friday, May 1st. He alluded to his life with Mr. Darby in 1835, and his having at that time written some lines of a hymn,

His comment on it, as he lies here reflecting on his life since, is that it is a great thing to get hold definitely of Christ's place;

Talking of those he prays for, he says: "I begin at Dublin every morning, and travel round to all places by Belfast to Scotland, Edinburgh, and London" …

"The first step in Christian experience is crucified with Christ".

He is thinking much of being over Jordan, and the effect for those who have to renew their links here. As for himself, he need never do so.

May 13th. Thinking much of his birthday – 82 today – reviewing past years. I gave him the text ending "Where I am, there shall also my servant be".

May 17th. [Lord's Day] "I have had such a sweet meditation on John 17. Read it to me". As I did so, he looked up with the most intense brightness in his eyes and said,

Lying awake at 3:00 a.m., he said, "I have had such a beautiful meditation.

June 7th. Reading Acts 7 and John 14. "What He is inside with His own. Now we know Him if we are of His company. We go out to express Him in the 15[th]. Abide in Him, that is tantamount, I think, to holding the Head".

July 10th. Talking of the difference between the love of God and the love of the Father – "the former comes down to our human affairs; the latter is only known in reference to what I am in Christ".

August 14th. I asked, "how he felt as to being shut out from the Assembly?" He said,

He said to me. "You ought to go to the meeting – the Assembly is for those who are staying in the world, to learn the mind of the Lord, and to go out for Him – not for those, who like me, are going out of the world – they are going to Him!"

August 30th. Read Psalm 63 and 73 to show the contrast between individual blessing from the Lord's Presence, when there was only a cloud of glory, and what it should be now we know a Person, as in John 14.

September 1st. Alluding again to our reading, "If David in the wilderness far away from the Tabernacle could get such comfort in his remembrance of the glory of God in the sanctuary and be able to say, 'My soul followeth hard after Thee',

September 2nd. (His last reading at the Room here in 1895, was on Consecration – Lev.8 and Hebrews. He was so tired that night he went straight up to his room from the cab.)

Thinking about the work of the Spirit – Divine love makes you its object, but never makes you self-centred, as natural love does,

Talking of the effect of truth, he said, "What really produces a 'brother' is that he believes on a risen Christ and has received the Holy Ghost, then he cannot listen to ordained ministry.

I asked, "Why is there so little worship?" He said, "The Lord must be present for worship. A dog would not fawn on his master if his master were not present".

Reading John as usual and talking of

Talking about the beginnings of evil, he said of Judas,

October 30th. Sent a message to one, "It is a great thing for us to learn death in three aspects:

November 6th. "I am quite full of the magnificence of my subject" was his first greeting this morning.

Talking of CHM, he said,

November 16th. "When the past is in power, the present is known, but unless the present is in power the future is not known" …

Writing on the righteousness of God, he describes it as that which suits God;

Talking of the crown in Philadelphia, Rev. 3, he thinks it is the Lord Himself.

November 29th. Reading Psalm 84: "How little we know of that great longing".

Talking also of the departed, "Whether we wake or sleep we live together with Him" …

Reading the Gospel of Mark with much enjoyment:

December 5th. Delighting in the history of Moses:

December 20th. Reading Psalm 73:

December 24th. His desire for one in sorrow,

Friday, January 1st, 1897. Awoke early and, did not sleep again. I said, "I am afraid you are thinking of the New Year?"

Sending and giving texts to us all. He was sent a New Year's card with his own lines on it, written while in college, at age 20.

He was asked about breaking bread with an invalid in his own room? He replied,

"A devoted man is like a spruce fir tree, one shoot striking upwards, not detracting but encouraging all the other branches to follow" …

February 1st. Talking very sweetly about

Praying very touchingly that we might know the Lord in His place of greatness, and splendour, and remember Him here in death …

Reading Psalm 24 and 118, Rev. 21, and John 14, and prayed that "our hearts might be drawn to the Lord in glory, not only as a future hope, but for present joy and blessing".

Thinks we are all more or less defective in two things –

February 27th. "I feel it such a favour to be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world. I am only just beginning to realize it fully for myself … when I think of how much trees and fields used to interest me!"

March 7th. Reading Numbers:

Had a bad turn at 9:00 p.m., coughed till 2:00 a.m., when he got relief.

March 8th. Began his paper on "As is the Heavenly" – said he did not think his time here could be long –

March 9th. "I have had a refreshing night, thank God".

March 10th. "It has been such a comfort to me to see the great grace in connecting the Lord's death with Marah. Fellowship with His death sweetens death to us. I had long ago seen our side of it".

Reading in our chapter in Numbers, he said,

Delighting in that verse: "As I have seen Thee in the sanctuary", Psalm 63: 2.

March 16th. "How the sense of Marah here is relieved by fellowship with Christ's death. If our hearts are set upon the place where Christ is, we have our anchorage there – within the veil".

March 17th. "The great service of His Priesthood is to bear us above the weakness of humanity – a blessed moment when one weighed down with bereavement is drawn so near to Himself that the bereaved one is consoled by His company".

March 19th. Writing on "the power connected with our walk in grace".

March 21st. Reading 1 Cor. 10 and 11, and John 14:

March 23rd. Feeling so well after a nice sleep, he said, "I felt a clear man, that I had shaken off everything".

March 26th. Enjoying Luke 23 and John 20 and 14. "How little the Lord is known as the Forerunner. I am trying to realize what over Jordan is".

March 27th. Hopes to be gone by his birthday (May 13th).

April 4th. Reading in 1 Cor. and John 14, and praying about "having fellowship with His death, and knowing Him as Forerunner".

April 7th. Awoke with the thought "that it is as much God's grace to put us over Jordan as to save us".

April 8th. He said, "I awoke this morning with it very freshly before me that Christ is rejected here, and therefore He could use nothing of the world for His own".

April 11th. He asked for the passages in Exodus about Priesthood – also Luke 22 and John 14. Speaking of

April 12th. Dreamed that his friends were pressing round him – asked me not to summon anyone to him if he got worse.

Good Friday. A quiet day. He said, "My prayer for people is that they might seek Him. 'Seek ye My face' ".

April 18th. "Let us read Psalm 18, 'the Resurrection Psalm', also Luke 21. 'Wonderful scene!' How little we remember that we are in the place where it happened. How slowly we get to the right idea of truth".

Reading John 14. At verse 6, he said, "That came with such comfort to me a few days ago – 'I am the Way'. If we have Him we have everything".

He asked me to look out the word "heresy – opinion among you", going to write on it.

Thanking the Lord for the good accounts of Rotherham … "Lord lead us to see Thee in glory outside everything here".

April 19th. He said to his doctor: "Do you know what 'Cead mille failthe' means? 10,000 welcomes! It is written over the door of heaven for every believer: go and tell people that!"

Asked me to find "The word of the Lord is pure!" Psalm 19.

The whole afternoon lying with his eyes shut, "going his rounds", as he calls it.

April 25th. Had a bad fit of coughing at 4:00 a.m., did not get any rest till after breakfast; reading Isaiah 53, Luke 22, and John 14, saying,

April 27th. I was standing by him today feeding him when he shut his eyes and kept me waiting for some minutes. At last I said, "Are you in pain?"

April 29th. Had to tell him about Mr. Chrimes. He took it calmly, but said,

April 30th. Well and bright today – had a great many letters; dictated replies to several.

Alluding to Mr. Chrimes, he said,

In the evening he asked me to read the 'Voice to the Faithful' to him. To his own paper, he said, "It reads better than I expected, but I wonder who will care to study it". At 10:00 p.m. he was turned as usual.

May 1st, 1897. He had an unusually good sleep till 2:00 a.m. I heard him cough and went to him; he made light of it, but it went on, and got worse, and though we gave him all the usual remedies the breathing became loud and rapid; but about 3 o'clock it gradually got better.

I stood beside him thanking the Lord, as I had so often done before, for putting him to sleep!

Sarah soon came back – she had gone downstairs for some milk – it was daylight, but we had drawn the curtain, and had only a dim light burning but we could just see the dear face laid against the pillow with a look of the most perfect rest.

Another gracious ordering that I was not alone. We looked at him, and said how sweetly he was sleeping, but it never occurred to us that the beloved spirit had actually taken flight.

Could it be really so? When the first shock was over and I could hear the Lord's voice He said to me, "that He had come for His own, and He had really called him away at that moment when He condescended to give me such a sense of His love to him".

How like the Lord to do it all so tenderly! What but Divine love could act so graciously!


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These extracts, which are no doubt representative of
the feelings of many of the saints, show the continuing
sympathy and esteem for beloved JBS in his closing days.

• From Letters of F. E. Raven

October 8th, 1895.

I am very glad of your letter as giving me some authentic news of Mr. Stoney. Since I wrote you last I heard rumours of an accident, and hardly knew what to think of it.

December 19th, 1895.

I had a telegram this morning from S––, "Restless night, about same, end approaching", (JBS) …

May 2nd, 1896 … JBS is for the time revived and quite himself in mind though feeble in body … [T.H.] Reynolds is for the time looking after the Voice, and I try to give him a little help in it …

Scarborough, August 29th, 1896 … We are still enjoying our stay here. I saw Mr. Stoney this morning and found him very bright and cheerful …

September 16th, 1896 … Mr. Stoney remains about the same, deeply interested in all that is going on …

February 27, 1897 … There seems to be but little change in JBS…

March 31st, 1897 … The accounts of JBS continue good, and he is still keenly alive to all that is going on …

May 1st, 1897.

And so the end has come at last and we are left without the living voice of JBS My feeling is as one without a father.

On September 9th, 1897, Mr. F. E. Raven wrote to Miss A. M. Stoney:

• From Letters of C. A. Coates

November 19th, 1910.

… It must be remembered, and it is a very blessed thing to remember, that a saint in complete isolation is privileged to take account of himself as being of a wonderful and divinely privileged company.

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