BROTHER BENJAMIN H. BARTON has been on the Pilgrim staff of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY for quite a good many years, and is widely and very favorably remembered by our readers. Although always apparently frail, Brother Barton had a strong voice, and by the Lord's grace was able to do very efficient service up to about June 1st. We then heard from him that he had not been very well and was obliged to cancel future appointments in Oregon. He was kindly entertained by the friends, and everything possible for his comfort was attended to, but he continued to grow weak and, without special pain or suffering of any kind, so far as we have learned, passed away on Saturday, June 24th. His remains were shipped to the residence of his parents in Philadelphia, where they were interred Monday, July 3d.
The Editor has most kindly remembrances of dear Brother Barton, not only as a faithful servant of the Lord, of the Truth, of the brethren, but also as a personal friend. The knowledge of the Truth, heart-abounding grace, the spirit of a sound mind, all contributed to the development in Brother Barton of a very noble character, highly esteemed amongst the friends in general, and especially amongst those who knew him best. We will miss him greatly; nevertheless we also greatly rejoice on his behalf, believing that he has passed beyond the veil, has experienced his resurrection change, and with the others of the faithful will henceforth be forever with the Lord. "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth; Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them."Revelation 14:13.
As one by one the number beyond the veil increases and the members this side correspondingly decrease, the great privilege of being servants of God and being found faithful as such looms larger and larger before our mental vision. We know not which of us will next be called to enter into the joys of our Lord in full, but we trust that all of the truly consecrated are in the waiting attitude, expecting, hoping, longing for the resurrection change, which the Apostle assures us is necessary, because "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom," shortly to be established.1 Cor. 15:50.
It is remarkable that as we near the consummation of this Age, and the completion of the Church, the opportunities for serving the Household of Faith seem to increase. And while old, active servants are passing beyond, new, loyal, zealous successors are being found by the Truth. Thus the work on this side the veil is going grandly on.
This morning, June 24, at Portland, Ore., Brother Barton passed to his reward at 1:15. His end came suddenly, even though his low vitality and weakness gave evidence of his grave condition. Friday he appeared somewhat brighter than usual, sitting up for twenty minutes, after which he asked to lie down to sleep, as he felt tired. That evening he ate a hearty meal (for him), and talked hopefully of starting home soon. The Brother's mind was apparently clear until the last, but he could not articulate well, owing to trouble due to a slight stroke of paralysis about four weeks ago. As death approached the cares of his season of illness seemed to vanish and his features relaxed, and, with a smile on his lips, he passed into the Kingdom. Friday afternoon he expressed to Sister Baker his love for the brethren at the Bethel and particularly for dear Brother Russell, and that it was his hope to see them again. His only care has been [R5931 : page 223] his mother. The desire to see and comfort her again probably did much to retain the slight hold he had on life for some weeks.
The opportunity of serving the Brother has been a great blessing to all here, and while individual privileges of service were limited for obvious reasons, the privilege of serving his spiritual interests through prayer has greatly blessed all. His cheerful, patient endurance of his physical disability, his desire to please and his efforts to keep himself from being burdensome to those about, will prove a lasting lesson to all. Our loss has been his gain. How appropriate today's MANNA TEXT!