Page 603

evident in the case of Jacob the patriarch. But though in lesser measure, occasionally such higher inspiration is still witnessed among us when it is not merely a dying in faith, not merely a falling asleep in Jesus, but when fully awake and with open eye it is a triumphant passing through the gate of eternity. In such a case there is clear consciousness, and from it a holy testimony, because he who dies knows and feels until his latest breath, that he is near unto God.

But from this it may not be inferred that a less triumphant death implies that the soul was deprived of God's nearness. Bodily weakness all too often affects the mind, so that little is observed from without of what inwardly takes place in the spirit. God is able to do, O, so much in and for the soul of which a third person can have no knowledge. When an infant is carried from the cradle to the grave, no one can say that God was not able to minister grace to him. But no one saw anything of it. The little one himself knew nothing about it. The same can take place in sleep. Would anyone say, that while we sleep, God's ministry is excluded for seven or eight hours from our heart? In great sickness sometimes one can be unconscious for several days together. Would God, then, all those days stand powerless before this disabled soul? The point in case of the infant, in sleep or in sickness is, that gracious ministry can take place on the part of the Holy Ghost, which through physical causes can not be observed from without, but remains concealed within.

This physical hindrance occurs in most cases by far when the end draws near. Most strongly in

This is a page of a CCEL Wikibook that has been proofed 1 time, and may still have errors on the page. Visit the Wikibooks Homepage to help digitize classic Christian books!