Death of Annie Brown (May 5, 1874)

by Frank Jones


"As many of you know, for the last three years and a half [Annie] suffered with intermittent agony, which came on more constantly as time progressed, until at last there came three months of anguish almost without a pause. If ever one went a rough road to glory; if ever one passed through a burning furnace into heaven, she did. She had fellowship with the Master in one respect -- she knew what tears and groans and piteous cries meant. But now she is at rest. As I marked the anguish that she suffered, I often felt, 'Lord, though it will make an unutterable blank, and though it means the breaking up of the happiest home that mortal man ever had, yet I could thank three if thou wouldst take her into thine arms, and ease her of her frightful agonies.' She fell asleep in Jesus, as you know, at half-past four on Tuesday morning, the 5th of May. Well do I remember her last words to me as, coming to consciousness at half-past ten on Monday night-after you had been praying for her-and taking me by the hand, she said, 'Well, Archie, we have had a happy life, haven't we?' I said, 'Yes, darling, that we have!' 'Ah!' she said, 'a few years at most, and you and I will see each other again. To me it will seem only like a minute or two, but I am dreadfully afraid it will seem a long time to you. Now I can sing a verse I could never sing before.' I asked, 'What is that?' She answered --

I have no cares, O blessed Lord,

For all my cares are Thine.

I marvelled, as I saw not only the conflict, but the complete victory. No cares! Leaving six little ones, and the youngest but seven weeks old, and yet no cares! None! For he whom she had loved many a year had come and put all cares to flight. So there fell asleep in Jesus, the gentlest, the most loving and most self-denying character, that I believe the Lord ever called home. The alabaster box of her poor frame was shivered to pieces with many and many a blow; but the sweet saviour of her name this morning fills all the house." (Murray, Iain. Archibald Brown, Banner of Truth, 96-97)