My copy for this issue was not all ready yet when the tidings came early this morning, September 2, that the Lord had granted my beloved father the desire of his heart, that he would be delivered from this life, which is nothing but a continual death, into the glory of the inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth never away.
His departures though painful for and mourned by his dear ones and by all of us who came to know him as pastor, teacher, and friend, was not unexpected. For several months already the Lord had removed him from his active labors in our churches, and particularly in his beloved First Church. Besides, he himself had expressed the wish, when he was losing his ability to communicate a couple of months ago, that “I hope it won’t be long.” And now the Lord has delivered him. Last Sunday we at First Church prayed that when we could no longer reach him, the Lord might reach him with his Spirit and grace to comfort him. Well, the Lord certainly answered that prayer. He reached him and called him home.
And what shall we say?
First of all, even in our grief we shall rejoice and give thanks to Him who does all things well and who answered our prayers.
Secondly, we shall certainly not vainly indulge in singing the praises of a mere man, even though he occupied apparently so large a place in the life of our churches and in the labors of God’s kingdom. The man whose loss we mourn himself never tired of reminding us that mere sinful man is nothing, while God is all.
Thirdly, we shall give thanks to our God for all that He has given us through the almost fifty years of labor of this beloved and faithful servant who has now been called home.
And, finally, let us even at this occasion be reminded by way of example to labor while it is day, ere the night cometh in the which no man can work.
Burial services were scheduled for the afternoon of Saturday, September 4, at the First Protestant Reformed Church, with the Rev. M. Schipper officiating.