I was reading in Thomas Brook’s “A String of Pearls”, a sermon given at a close friends funeral, and in his introduction he speaks of the woman – Mrs. Mary Blake deceased, with such fondness and inspiration that it moved me and I thought I would share some of the kind things he said of this woman who has gone to be with Christ some 400 years ago.
“Before I name my text, give me leave to speak a few words upon another text, viz., the glorified saint deceased, at whose funeral we are here met.
In life she was my joy… the work of grace upon her heart was clear, powerful, and thorough, as all know that knew her inwardly. She was a knowing woman in the things of Christ; and her knowledge was inward, experimental, growing, humbling, transforming, and practical. She knew Christ in the mystery as well as in the history; in the spirit as well as in the letter; feelingly, as well as notionally; she did not only eat of the tree of knowledge, but also tasted of the tree of life.
A sincere soul is like the violet, which grows low, and hides itself and its own sweetness, as much as may be, with its own leaves; and such a one was she. She had as many choice, visible characters of sincerity and uprightness upon her, as ever I read upon any Christian that I have had the happiness to be acquainted with. But I must not dwell on these things; I shall only say she was not like the actor in the comedy, who cried with his mouth, O heaven! But pointed with his finger to the earth. Such professors there be, but she was none of them.
She was as rich in spiritual experiences as most that I have been acquainted with. Ah! How often hath she warmed, gladded, and quickened my spirit, by acquainting me with what the Lord hath done for her precious soul. Experiences in religion are beyond notions and impressions. A sanctified heart is better than a silver tongue; and she found it so. Oh! The stories that she was able to tell of the love of God, the presence of Christ, the breathings of the Spirit, the exercise of grace, the sweetness of the word, the deceitfulness of sin, and the devices and methods of Satan. And though she made uses of her experiences, as crutches to lean on, yet she only made use of the promises as a foundation to build on.
As the star led the wise men to Christ, her experiences were her sauce, but Christ was still her food.
She was a Christian in profession, and a Christian in practice; a Christian in lip, and a Christian in life; a Christian in word, and a Christian in work; a Christian in show, and a Christian in power and spirit.
She was for patience and cheerfulness under her long lingering weakness, as exemplary as any that ever I was acquainted with. If at any time she groaned, yet she blessed God, as she used to say, that she did not grumble. Oh how quiet, how like a lamb she was under all her trials. Oh how well she would speak of God! oh how sweetly did she carry it towards God! oh how much was she taken up in justifying of God throughout her pining, wasting sicknesses!
What eyes thou read’st with, reader, know I wot,
Mine were not dry when I this story wrote."
Photo from the Internet