Malcolm Graham - Second Speaker at the Funeral Service for John T. Carroll - Milltown, Washington - March 30, 1957

Since hearing that I was expected to have a little word in this service this afternoon, there is one verse that has been on my mind. This verse was spoken on by our brother at a meeting I was privileged to sit in.  Usually when we think of some person, we think of something in connection with that person, and when I thought of our brother, there were many things I thought of, but this one that I am going to mention this afternoon seems to be outstanding to me because he put so much into one little sentence. 

Romans 8:29, “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first born among many brethren.”  This is a verse familiar to all of us.  I have learned that even memorizing Scripture doesn’t reveal it to us.  It is good to memorize, but even that doesn’t help us to get what we should out of it.  Our brother helped me to get the meaning out of this verse in a truer sense than I had ever known before.  Our brother read this verse, and then he told us this:  God purposed, God planned, God predestinated, God arranged, that all His sons would be made like His Son.  When he said that, I realized that that was putting the purpose of God in one sentence.  God planned that every child of His would be made like His Son now. 

Our brother fed on Christ, he thought about Christ, he spoke about Christ, and over and over, again he would open little thoughts to us that made what was dark to us, simple, like this verse that I just mentioned.  The reason that he meant so much to me was that every time I met him, he passed on some little thought about Christ that I had failed to grasp, little thoughts that he had received because of feeding on Christ, because of making room for Christ, and because of seeking to bring Christ to others.  It was the theme of his life every day, and because of that, he wanted others to partake of these things, that they might have the joy that he had himself.

Ecclesiastes 7:1, “A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.”  A good name doesn’t mean just what we are called by.  A good name is what we are, how we live, how we act, what we do and God, using His servant in those days as He does today, said, “A good name is better than precious ointment." He sought to do good, he tried to encourage others to do the right thing because he had a vision of the beyond.  He realized that if we didn’t do right now, we couldn’t be rewarded for it. 

Jesus said that to some will be said, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”  I couldn’t expect the judge of all the earth to say, “Well done,” if I am not doing well now, if I am not seeking to do the right thing now.  When I thought of our brother, he realized that it was necessary to do the right thing and to be the right thing so that he could encourage others to do it.  The Son of God – the example of God in His Son – made this very clear, that the day of His death was much better than the day of His birth, and as we allow God to work in our hearts, then the day of our death will be better than the day of our birth.  Jesus was born into a world of sin, of pain, disappointment and sorrow, just the same as we are.  When He left this world it was better, because there was none of that where He was going. 

I like to read the words of Jesus on the last night of His life, in John 14.  He wanted them to believe what God had said, and then accept what God had given, so that when the end would come, they would have something to go on to.  The disciples were feeling the pain of parting with One who was so dear to them - like we are.  He said, “If ye loved Me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father.”  When I think of our brother, I am going to miss him perhaps more than most of you, because of the many things we shared together – we rejoiced together, we wept together, but like Jesus said, “If ye loved Me, you would rejoice because I am going to My Father.”  I think of the words of Paul, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”  We are glad that our brother lived so that death was gain.  Death was a reward for him.  The day of his death was better than the day of his birth.  Because of that we rejoice, and because he has gone on to his reward.  It is an inspiration to us to think of his faithful life, his love and zeal for God’s truth, and for God’s people.  I hope that as we are gathered here in honor of him, it will cause us to ask ourselves, “What are we living for?”  What are we putting into it that can give us the assurance that death will be gain for us?  May we do our best for His Name’s sake.

Hymn, “Oh, How Perplexing Life Would Be”  (No. 82)