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John Brown of Haddington
Psalms 37:37, “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.”
Such a man was John Brown of Haddington. He died this day (19th June) 1787. He was ordained to the Gospel ministry in Haddington, Scotland, when he was 29 years of age. Haddington was a very poor community but he lived there until the day he died. Even though opportunities for larger congregations arose, including an opening in New York, he remained, faithfully instructing his flock with earnestness for 36 years. An able preacher, it was said that the philosopher David Hume heard him preaching once in North Berwick. He said that Brown preached "as if he were conscious that Christ was at his elbow."
He is the famous author of the Self-Interpreting Bible and many other useful and edifying volumes.
When “the end of that man” came, it was a lingering deathbed of several weeks. His soul was in perfect peace and he glorified God by many Christ exalting and edifying sayings. Many of these sayings were carefully recorded by family.
On his death bed, he was asked how he was; he answered, “I lie here in the everlasting arms of a gracious God.”
“Are you not afraid, to appear at the tribunal of God?” He replied, “Were I looking to give the account in my own person, considering my sins, indeed I might be terrified; but then I view Christ the judge as my advocate, and I know that I do not owe more debt than He has paid.”
“Christ hath been a kind master to me. Many a visit He hath given to me already, and I expect to be with Him in heaven by and by.”
On on occasion he was asked the strange question, “does it not strike you with fear, when you think of being confined in a grave?” To this he replied, “No; such is my esteem of Christ, that I think I am easy, though they should bury me in a dunghill, if my soul were but with Him.”
“There is none so glorious as Christ! He is altogether lovely. If you could put all the gold and silver into one heap, the glory of Christ would far exceed all. I say this, having, I think, seen Jesus; but as yet, I have only seen Him through a glass darkly. After this I hope to see Him face to face.”
The last day, 19th June, he spoke frequently throughout the commencement of it, but he was difficult to understand. However, his final words were clear and distinct; “MY CHRIST!”
“Christ is the best master I ever served” (John Brown 1722-1787).
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