St. Paul Enterprise, August 8, 1916


On Sunday, June 18, the Philadelphia Friends were called to order at the close of the evening service and informed that our dear Brother Barton had suffered a complete breakdown. Prayer was offered in his behalf. On Sunday following, the Friends were informed that our dear Brother was on his way to Portland, Ore., to take two weeks' treatment from a physician there, after which he was to make his way home by slow stages. On the next Sunday, the Friends were informed that Brother Barton had indeed arrived "home," having passed beyond the veil the day before, Saturday, June 24.

All that was mortal of our dear Brother arrived in Philadelphia in the latter part of the next week and arrangements were made to have the funeral on Monday, July 3. The body was on view during the evening of Sunday, July 2, and on Monday at 12:30 p. m. was taken to the hall at Fifteenth and Chestnut Streets, were Brother Russell was to deliver the funeral address, where there was also an opportunity given the Friends for a last look at the tenement of clay our Brother had left behind him.

There were three large floral designs and many sprays of flowers. One of the designs, an open Bible was the loving remembrance of the Philadelphia Ecclesia. Another design, a floral cross, was broken up at the cemetery, after the casket had been lowered into the grave, and each of those present presented with a flower. These were cast into the grave as the Friends passed by. The burial was described, by one of the Friends present, as the "cleanest" he had ever witnessed. The grave was lined with evergreen branches, and the earth that had been taken from it was covered in like manner.

All the members of the Philadelphia Ecclesia who could possibly arrange to do so were present during the funeral service at the old Y M C A hall, as well as a number of the Friends from classes in Camden, N J ; Chester, Pa. ; Norristown, Pa., and Wilmington, Del. Brother Russell spoke for about forty minutes, in part as follows:


There are so many precious texts in the Word of God that it would be difficult to confine ourselves to a single one. therefore we shall use a number of them the first that we shall use is Psa. 116:15 :

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints". [HGL835] We wonder that the great Creator of the universe should take any notice of us at all. We wonder at His great sympathetic love for all mankind; that love that caused Him to send His only begotten Son to be a Ransom for all. If God had such wonderful love for the world, how much more He must have for those who are seeking to please Him. so we are not surprised when we read that "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."

Jesus was the first of this saintly class. God specially loved Him because He was always worthy of His love. The Bible shows that Jesus was the first, or Head of a company of saints. A saint is one who has been "sanctified," set apart. And we see that Jesus set Himself apart to do the Father's will when He presented Himself to Him at Jordan.

The Bible tells us that God has been seeking out a sanctified class, a Bride class, to whom He will give honor, and glory, and immortality and a place upon the Divine plane of existence, even as He gave these things unto His Son. And as His Son was holy, so, He indicates, are all of Jesus' followers in His sight. Not that we are anything in or of ourselves. This holiness is imputed to us for Jesus' sake.

Jesus was the first to make a covenant of sacrifice with God, the first who was possessed of a spirit of sacrifice. All of Jesus' followers have this same spirit of self-sacrifice, the spirit of being willing to lay down their lives. This is a very special class, and as Jesus was certainly precious in the Lord's sight, so are His followers. And they are also precious in the sight of all the Lord's people. And so our dear Brother, whose life experiences we are here to memorialize, has been very dear to a great many of the Lord's people.

If we have this great love for those who are the Lord's, we should manifest it in our daily intercourse with them. the very fact that God has "called" you, and given you an ear to hear, endears you to me. so, no matter what the world may think or say, we should regard one another, and love one another, and uphold and strengthen one another. We are coming more and more to see that those whom the Lord has honored we should honor also.

Precious in the Lord's sight is the death of our dear Brother Barton; and also precious in our sight. His course is run; he has delivered up what was committed unto him, and we believe that he is with the Lord.

In Isa. 33:17, we read: "Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty; they shall behold the land that is very far off." Our dear Brother had a defect of vision, he was near-sighted. When he came into the Truth his vision was enlarged, he saw, by faith, a land that is very far off, and he saw something of the King and of His beauty. But what our Brother has seen by faith, we believe he now sees actually.

Our Brother was an architect. But when he got rightly in touch with the great Architect of the universe, he dropped the pencil and the eraser and went forth to give his life in telling others of the wonderful plans and purposes of the great Architect. And so he spent his later years, showing forth the praises and telling of the Plan of the Architect of the Universe, that wonderful Plan founded on the sacrificial death of Jesus, telling how God was building a great spiritual Temple through which He would bless all the families of the earth.

I am sure that we have all heard our dear Brother, and have all remarked how clear the Plan was in his mind; and I feel like congratulating his parents that another has finished his course and has passed beyond the veil. For we have a most glorious hope, and do not mourn as do they of the "world," who have not this hope.

What is our hope?

In Rev. 14:13 we read, "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." All who have ever died have fallen asleep. Jesus fell asleep and remained asleep until He was awakened by the Father. Since Jesus' awakening, all of His followers who have died have fallen asleep in Christ.

We do not mourn for those who fall asleep at night, because we know that they will awaken in the morning. So, the Bible tells us, will it be with all who have fallen asleep during the long night of sin and death. Because of Jesus' sacrifice, all are to have an awakening in the glorious morning of Messiah's reign.

Why not awaken them before that? It was much better that the world should have fallen asleep. Suppose that Adam had remained awake all this time. How he would have suffered as he witnessed all the pain and sorrow and suffering that the world was experiencing because of his sin. No, better it is that he should sleep. each generation has received a sufficient experience with sin and death and the consequences of disobedience. It is best not to awaken the world until the earth has been prepared and made a fit place for them.

Jesus' followers, the Church, are to sleep also, except those who shall be living in the days of our Lord's second advent. The apostle, speaking to the Church, says, "We shall not all sleep." God will awaken the Church right early in the morning. The apostle says, "The dead in Christ shall rise first." Then he says that we who are alive at the Lord's coming shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. And thus we believe it was with our dear Brother. The moment of death was the moment of change from the earthly condition to the heavenly.

We believe this because of our faith that the Lord Jesus is now present. This faith is based, not upon what we can see with the natural eye, but by what we see with the eye of faith in God's Word. "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth" not previously. We believe that Jesus is present, and that those who die in Christ since He has been present no longer sleep, but are changed in a moment and added to that company beyond the veil. And you and I are hoping that ere very long, we too shall be changed as our Brother has been and be present with the Lord.

Why should we be changed? "Because," says Paul, "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven."

Notice the rest of the text in Rev. 14:13, and apply it for your own comfort. "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them." Our dear brother's labors here are ended; he now has a new body that never [HGL836] tires, but his works "follow" him. Rest assured that he is not idle; the good work is still going on beyond the veil.

The Church in glory is increasing and will soon be completed. When the last member passes beyond the veil, the door of opportunity to joint heirship with the Lord Jesus will have closed. Then, apparently, there will be a little period of waiting. Then the Bride will be led into the presence of the King. She will be all glorious within, for only the pure in heart shall see God; and Jesus says that He will not be ashamed of His Bride. The Bride will also be arrayed in fine needlework those painstaking stitches of character that we have been making during our earthly pilgrimage and preparation.

After this, in a little while, the Great Company will have passed through their time of trouble and will also be brought into the presence of the King. Then what? Then comes the marriage feast. This marriage feast is a picture, a symbolic picture of a great time of rejoicing.

Is that the end? No, that is only the beginning. The Christ in glory, Jesus the Head and the Church His Body, will then begin the blessing of all the families of the earth, that blessing that was promised should come through the Seed of Abraham. Then will come the time when Satan shall be bound, the time of great peace, when men shall beat their swords into plowshares; the time when the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. A time when men will learn that God is a God of love and grace and not the monster He has so long been pictured.

The whole world will be privileged to come to this feast. It is for all people. The prophet has described it as a "feast of fat things."

Have we any reason to weep, or to sorrow upon this occasion?

Nay. We are not like those who have no hope. I will not say that a great man has fallen in Israel. That would have been appropriate at one time, but not now. Now I say, a great man has risen in Israel. It is only the old nature, the body of flesh that has fallen; the new nature, the new man, has risen and is with the Lord. Let us strive to copy our dear brother's faithfulness and zeal, that we, too, may make our calling and election sure and form one of that ever-increasing number beyond the veil.

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