William Bright

The Life And Testimony Of William Bright

Earthen Vessel 1860: 

“About a year or two ago one Sunday, a young man came to my house with some tracts; I asked him in; he told me he doing God’s work, asked if I ever read the Bible, and many other things of the duty-faith school. I said, ‘my Bible tells me, God would work, and none should hinder; and that his grace was saving, rich, and free;’ he was puzzled, replying he did not get anything for doing it. He took his leave, no doubt thinking what a hyper he had met with; I was never asked for that tract, never was another one brought; but he was one of the Lord’s little ones; so the Lord taught him. He had a grandfather, a good and precious man, who wrote to him about the truth as it is in Jesus; and the Lord made it useful to his soul, so that he could say, ‘I was blind, but now I see.’ He could not stop any longer under the ministry he used to hear; and as there was no place of truth near, he opened his own house for the truth’s sake. Mr. Parker, of Twigfolly, preached the first sermon, a few were gathered; and having become agreed, we could both walk together and talk together in the things which pertain to the kingdom of Christ. I shall not soon forget his remarks one day,—‘Well; I cannot say much; but when I think of Jesus, how he suffered and died, I do love him; and say it was for me, for sinful me.’ He was every anxious that God might raise up a cause in Enfield, where he lived. He went to Ware on the opening day, and enjoyed it; he seemed somewhat poorly, and was much tried in his business; but little thought his end was so near. On Tuesday, Aug. 15th, he took to his bed, never to rise again; a rapid consumption, scarce three weeks landed him sade on that land where the inhabitant is no more sick. On Sunday, 26th, being alone with him, I asked him how it fared with his soul? ‘Oh, he said, ‘last Thursday I had a trying time of it; was just like that man that wrestled.’ ‘What, Jacob?’ I said. ‘Aye, Jacob.’ ‘And did you prevail?’ ‘Yes, bless God, I have felt easier since.’ ‘Well, the Lord does not afflict willingly,’ I replied, ‘so do not be cast down.’ ‘I cannot help it; I should like this little cause to go on.’ A friend asking if he could lay all in his Father’s hand, he shook his head, as if he could not. Many friends called to see him, to whom he gave good testimony of the hope within him. I felt from the first he was going home, though most friends thought otherwise. These words seemed fixed on my mind, ‘Sorrowing most of all, they should see his face no more.’ On Wednesday, the doctor gave up all hopes; he said, ‘I know in whom I have believed.’ Coming from Ware on Sunday evening, I walked over; on entering I was met by a brother who said, “I know not how you fared at Ware; today we have had a solemn feast; the dying man has preached a sermon not soon to be forgotten.’ He was now in one continual strain of ejaculations, most of which were inaudible, but at times he recognized friends around, and would shout ‘God bless you; may his presence be with you; I am going home; yes! I am coming!’ He bid his wife, mother, sister not to cry. It was a melting time. I stayed till 4 o’clock on Monday morning, when he sunk quite low. I think the last words I caught were ‘bright as angels!’ I took my farewell of him, hoping to meet him in Canaan’s happy land; he rested still until Tuesday morning, Sept. 4th, a little after 3, and fell asleep without a pang. How sweet was that promise fulfilled, ‘they shall be mine!’ They who meet in my name, that think on my home. He was only a little one; there are many such that are afraid when they come to die their names will be left out. Whom once he loves he never leaves, but loves them to the end. Our dear brother’s name was William Bright; he was 32 years old, had been a loving and tender husband for 14 years; but now he sleeps, not dead but sleeps, and those that sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.”—John Strickett