Willie Jamieson - Funeral Service - 1974

(Computer entry from photo-copy by L. Fortt 1993)

 

(Computer entry by L. Fortt 1996)

 

FUNERAL SERVICE FOR WILLIAM JAMIESON

 

William Rankin Jamieson was born April 28, 1881, in Scotland, to William and Elizabeth Jamieson. He heard the gospel and made his choice January 2, 1905. Later that month, he entered the ministry. In the fall of that year he came to California to work. He labored in Oregon and Manitoba before going to China in 1926. He spent 6 years in the Philippines, from 1939 to 1945, being interned part of that time. Uncle Willie has been in California since March 1957. He became ill January 11, 1974, and passed away October 11, 1974. The funeral service was October 15, 1974, at 7:00 p.m. in Whittier, California. The interment was October 16 at 10:00 a. m., Pacific Crest Cemetery, Redondo Beach, California.

 

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(NOTE inserted by L. Fortt: 1 Timothy 3:1-7, "....A Bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, ...One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, ... he must have a good report of them which are without; " KJV)

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Hymn sung by congregation: "I've a Friend Who Meets My Every Need."

 

Prayer: Sydney Holt

 

HOWARD MOONEY: II Kings 2:9, "And Elisha said, 'I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.'" These words were spoken at a time when great transition was taking place in Israel. Elijah, an old servant of God upon whom the Lord's people had depended, and who had been such a comfort to them, was being taken away. You can understand the apprehension that would have filled the hearts of these people. They would have felt, "How can we get along without him?" But before this transition took place, the Lord was already preparing for the future of His people. In this verse, we read that Elijah, that old servant of God, had turned to his young companion and said to him, "Ask what I shall do for thee, before I am taken away from thee." or "What would you like me to do far you before I leave you?" This young companion said, "I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me." Elisha knew that it was the spirit of God in Elijah that had made him the great servant that he was, and he knew that it was the spirit of God in Elijah that had enabled him to be such a help to God's people. This was the thing he prayed for, that he might have a double portion of that spirit. He knew that this was so vital if he was to have a little part in extending this great work on the earth after Elijah was taken from him. There was something outstanding about the spirit of Elijah. In the New Testament, even, when the angel announced the birth of John the Baptist, he said he would come in the spirit and power of Elijah. He would have the same spirit that Elijah had and the same power of heaven would accompany that spirit. When Elisha stood this day looking upon his old companion for the last time, he was given this great grant as to what he would like, and he prayed that he might have a double portion of that same spirit. "I would just like to have the sane help that you had, the wonderful something in my life from heaven that has blessed your life."

 

There are two glimpses we get into this spirit of Elijah in this 2nd chapter of II Kings. He said, "Isn't there something more that I can do for you, that I can give you before I leave you?" That is the spirit of God as it has always been manifested in the lives of His servants, "I would like to do everything I can to help you before my life is taken from the earth." The other glimpse was when he was taken and Elisha cried out and said, "My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and the horseman thereof." God's people had known him as a wonderful father, the spirit of God made him that way. He had been a tender father in instructing and feeding and comforting and guiding the Lord's people. But to the enemies of Israel, he was a mighty warrior, the chariot of Israel and the horseman thereof. Israel had profited under that ministry. I don't think Elisha was asking for any great prominence when he prayed for a double portion of Elijah's spirit. He was a humble man. I am sure he felt that If he was going to have a part in carrying on this great work that Elijah had a part

in, he would have to have twice the help that he had - a double portion of that spirit that was so enabling to Elijah.

 

These words have been a real comfort to me since the passing of our Uncle Willie. I feel perhaps we can understand in a measure the apprehension that filled the hearts of these people when Elijah, their old prophet, had been taken from them. We have much the same feeling in our hearts today. But in the midst of this, we have the wonderful comfort that although God buries His workmen, He carries on His work. The spirit of God which enabled those great men and women who have gone before us still lives on. This same spirit of God in His people today can enable us to carry on that same great work.

 

It was my privilege to be a companion to Uncle Willie. We have also had a lot of close association along the way. I will always remember him because of his special spirit. This wonderful spirit enabled him to give comfort to God's people, to help them and encourage them and lift up their heads wherever on this earth that he went. I have always appreciated that spirit. If there is one prayer I am earnestly praying, above another, and one we should all pray earnestly, tonight and from now on, it is that God would give us a double portion of that same spirit. This alone will enable us to carry on that wonderful work on the earth in the same wonderful way as it has been handed down to us.

 

ERNEST NELSON: I might read to you just a few verses: Philippians 1:20-24, "According to My earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ. and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you."

 

The writer of these verses was summing up life as he had seen it. Perhaps if the people in the world were to give their conception of Paul's life, they would say that it was a wasted life, had never attained to anything great as far as the world was concerned, an unseen ministry in a sense, and unrecognized. But he wrote some words that I felt were quite fitting when we were thinking of the departure of our beloved brother, Willie. We look back on a life of faithful, loving, kind service that we all have shared, and we think of the unselfish sacrifice that was always so evident in his life. We thank God that this is the work of God and the gift of God that it might influence other lives and be preserved for future generations.  When we were watching him during those last days that we had the privilege of being with him, the pain and suffering he had to endure didn't seen to count so much to him, but his thoughts were continually with the family of God and with the work that was still going on. I am sure that in his own heart he could say what Paul said, that Christ should be magnified in his body, whether it be by life or by death.

 

There is one thing we are very much aware of, and that is the finality of death and the fact that the human cords are broken. Whatever we have shared and the future possibilities along that line are now gone, but we are reminded that there is a finality always about death. We are thankful for the fact that God would endeavor to help us put into our lives that which would make death a triumph rather than defeat.

 

There was one man who was summing up his life and he referred to it as a tent that was removed. Perhaps he had a picture of the situation better than any one of us, possibly because he had seen this taking place many times - a tent being put into position and, when removed, every trace of that temporary dwelling would be erased in a very short time. We know that this is true in a general sense in the world. Usually every trace is removed eventually after death occurs. Tonight we can say that there are many people who are thankful that Willie, when he was yet a young man, lifted up his eyes to a field that was white unto harvest and that he was prepared to turn his back upon what the majority of others were considering their course in life. He went forth hardly knowing where he was going, but preserving in his heart a love for God and a love for His work and a love for His people as he moved amongst them. We needn't fear that the removing of his tent removes the evidence of his existence amongst us. We are glad for his influence today that will remain during coming days.

 

There was one other thing that man was referring to. He spoke of the work of a weaver. It seemed to him that his life had been cut off before the work was finished. He looked at the pattern and it seemed incomplete to him. We may look at life thinking the pattern is unfinished and there are still things to be done, but the Master Weaver has woven every thread we have provided into the pattern He wants to produce. We can be thankful as we think of the various threads that have been woven into the life of our Uncle Willie, that it was a finished work. He was thankful as he looked back over his life for every experience -- difficult or otherwise -- that had helped to bring him the satisfaction and joy and eternal hope he received. For my part, I feel very grateful for the few years it has been my privilege to work closely with him, and I feel like his kindness and love and sacrifice will be a precious memory to me.

 

THAROLD SYLVESTER: I feel it is with a sense of loss that we gather here this evening, but I do feel there is a great sense of triumph going up from our hearts, for the simple reason that God has done so much for the one He has taken home. Personally, I can look back over a great many years to the time he first came to our district, and I feel I owe him as much as I owe any one living man. But as we gather here this evening, I feel there are some eternal truths that are very, very evident and one of them was that when we first heard the gospel he came into our district as a poor, homeless stranger, but his love for souls and zeal for preaching the truth touched our hearts and won our hearts, and the seed that he planted has been growing ever since. Another thing I am grateful for is that that poverty that he started with was still maintained to the very end. He wasn't seeking earthly possessions or fame or anything else, but his one desire and one purpose and one objective in laboring was that Christ might be upheld.

 

I do feel he has left us a wonderful heritage, an inheritance, and if you were to sit down this evening and just consider what are the gifts that have came to us through his ministry, do you believe that you will be one of the most indebted persons as you go out into the coming days? You are a debtor, and this debt that you owe, not only to the Lord, but also to the world, is faithfulness on your part. But don't forget -- as much as you owe to Willie, you owe to the Son of God far, far more. Jesus Himself was the trail blazer, He laid the foundation, and He gave us an example and a life to pattern our lives after, and you know that it was that life that appealed to every one of us. Think of the inheritance that God is wanting to give to His people -- a living faith that is more precious than gold that perishes. That living faith accomplishes something. You cannot read the 11th chapter of Hebrews without realizing that faith produces something solid and something eternal. This faith comes by hearing. One thing I am glad for is that we were given a message that is living. I don't think anyone here could sit in his meetings without realizing he had a living message that touched our hearts and brought us to the feet of Christ. Can any of us ever say that he didn't preach Christ, that he didn't live Christ, and that he didn't manifest Christ in his daily life in such a way that has humbled us and brought us to the place where we could enter more into that great eternal treasure? It is said of Jesus, "That, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich." Hasn't Willie manifested that to us? The heritage, the inheritance, that he has passed on to us can be yours and can be mine. When a person dies, all of their treasures have to go through court to be divided by law, but you yourself determine how much of that treasure you are going to possess, and there is nothing to fight over, for the simple reason that if you put yourself in the position where God can use you, as He used Willie, you will know the unsearchable riches of Christ, the exceeding greatness of His mercy and His love.

 

He has also given us the truth. He lived the truth. He would take us to the Bible itself, because he knew the effectiveness of God's word -- unchanging, eternal, and as that is planted in the hearts and lives of men and women it does something, it brings life to them. That is the reason I am grateful his message was a living message. Then, he could show mercy to the sinner, and that is where every one of us were, but it was that mercy and love that was manifested that humbled us and brought us to the place where in glad, willing obedience we were willing to turn to the Lord and take up our cross and follow Him, even though the pathway was strait (sic) and narrow. It is the pathway that leads to security and life, and for that reason I feel that Willie has certainly passed on a wonderful inheritance.

 

Then we have his example. Is there anyone here that does not remember the story of how he first left home, how the gospel came to him and he was willing to turn his back upon every prospect in life? He even faced the ministry with the disapproval of his own parents, but I do believe that was something that emphasized this great eternal truth, "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me." For that reason. I feel that Willie has given us a wonderful example. He was the pioneer, stepping out on the promises of God even when he didn't know what lay before him. We have often heard him tell of the time when he first came to California, It was 69 years ago that he arrived in Los Angeles -- but look at the harvest. You might ask, "What can one person do?" One person in God's hands can accomplish miracles. There are many miracles here. He was the pioneer, but he was also the one who loved to preach Christ. That was above everything else, and, at I have already said, he was a living message that touched the hearts of men and women and brought them to the feet of Christ.

 

He was a shepherd, and his interest in babes as well as the older ones is a wonderful example for every one of us servants. He cared for the lambs and sheep of God's flock. They need it. They are quick oftentimes to follow the wrong thing, but we are grateful that he had the heart of a shepherd. He also had the heart of a brother. One of the things John said in the 1st chapter of Revelations is, "I am your brother." Didn't he by all of these things declare to the world what Christ was to him? I will say again, as much as you owe to Willie, you owe to Christ, the Son of God, far, far more, and you should set your affections upon Him. Willie didn't want it, but he wanted you to turn your affections to Christ. Because of that, I feel there are lessons you and I can learn this evening.

 

Did he invest his life right? People are looking for investments -- safe investments. I am convinced that the servants of God, called upon to preach and live Christ and uphold the Kingdom of God have the great privilege of investing their lives in something that is going to be eternal. It is not going to decrease. You can picture the days and weeks and years that are buried in the foundation of the gospel here. To my mind, that is a wonderful investment. While it is true that you have come here to pay tribute to Willie, yet remember that on that great day a multitude which no man can number is going to be gathered to pay tribute to the Son of God who invested His life for us. Because of that, I feel that He has given us a vision. Does death clear your vision? There are tears in this audience this evening, but you can see further through a tear, especially in spiritual things, and if you can see the path He is marking out for you, remember that this service is not going to be in vain. Every one of us have the same length of time every day - 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day. How much are you investing In the greatest work of all? I have oftentimes said that I look upon the scriptures as a gold mine, but if I had a gold mine of great value and only worked on it five minutes a day, what would you call me? A word of four letters would describe me. Every one of us know that Willie didn't just spend five minutes a day digging in that gold mine, because he wouldn't have had so much to share with us if that was all he spent in God's presence. I would like to tell you what God can do for you if you give Him the chance. I feel there are possibilities if God can raise up others just as faithful, just as willing and zealous and patient and willing to serve and give of themselves as Willie did. Isn't that a wonderful investment? God Himself felt it was worthwhile when He sent His own Son first. He invested Heaven's best in the earth that He might get a people that would see the value of eternal things. Don't lose sight of that.

 

There is another thing -- "Death is swallowed up in victory." Is death a loss to Willie? Death was only going home, and that is what he wanted. He mentioned it often, but finally the time came when he was released from that body of pain and suffering, to enjoy the fellowship of God and His people without limitations. Can you grasp that? "Death is swallowed up in victory." Remember -- faith makes a Christian, trials prove a Christian, love confirms a Christian, but death crowns a Christian. When people can so live with that in view, it will be a happy release to enjoy all that God has prepared for them that love Him. Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people, and I feel this evening that death is swallowed up in victory. Satan can never touch him again, and there will be no more temptations. The last enemy that is conquered is death, but he has conquered it in such a way that he has left an example for every one of us. You know his prayers. He often gave us those words in John 17, "And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it; that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them and I in them." Declared unto them God's name, His nature, His character, His truth, His love. If you can carry this home with you and live in the light of it, I can tell you that your life will be different in the future. You can read in that 17th chapter of John what Jesus prayed for that last night of His life. "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil."  And every servant of God is praying the same thing as He did -- that we might be one. Jesus also said, "I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given me; for they are Thine." He isn't praying for the sinners. He is leaving that for you and me to do, because as we learn to fill the place of an intercessor we can understand Christ in a greater measure than we have ever done before -- have His love for souls, seek the lost and try to win the prodicals (sic) and bring them, back in true repentance. Salvation never comes without repentance, and people have to come to the place where they will turn from their own ways and pride and selfishness and are willing to ask God as Paul and others did, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" That has been manifest among us. Willie, even in the close of his life, left us some eternal truths we cannot close our eyes to. This is the message of a dying man to you and to me, and I would like to feel I could have a little part in carrying on where he has left off. None of us can ever fill the place he has left, but we will try faithfully to have the interests of the Kingdom first in our hearts and to love as Jesus loved and labor and serve as He did. I believe God has sealed Willie's life and ministry and there was evidence of God's anointing upon him, May God bless us and may He bless you.

 

Prayer: Eldon Tenniswood

 

Hymn sung by workers: Precious Thought, my Father Knoweth."

 

SERVICE AT GRAVESIDE

 

JOHN PORTERFIELD: I would like to read a little portion from the Book of Job 19:25, "For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth." Also, some words that spoke to Martha, John 11:25, "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that Jesus believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live."

 

There were some words of John that came very near to me whenever I thought of gathering here today. Those words were spoken about himself -- "the disciple that Jesus loved." I don't think he had the feeling that Jesus loved him more than the others, but he had this kind of feeling, that Jesus had an individual interest in him. John was the one, you remember, who wrote those words about his Master, "having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end." He knew that didn't just include himself, but all of Jesus' disciples. I believe that all of us gathered here this morning have somewhat of this same feeling about our brother, Uncle Willie, that he had an individual interest in us. We are grateful for the influence of his life upon us. Well we know we will miss him. I will miss him, the letters he wrote so regularly, among other things, but we all know that he has left us much to encourage us to continue as he did. We ourselves would like to be faithful to all he was to us in his life.

 

The words I have read remind me very much of this occasion. None of us have made this arrangement, but the God of heaven has appointed that one day all of us will pass this way. We have gathered here because He has arranged it, and one would like to know a little more of the fullness of the things the scriptures teach, such as, "the day of death is better than the day of one's birth." He can be certain this is true as far as Uncle Willie is concerned, and it can be true of us if we will continue as he did. One would like to know more about living in the enjoyment of God's will, and, if we do this then at the end of life we will know that the day of death is better than the day of birth.

 

Job, who lived so many years ago, believed in a resurrection the same as you and I believe. We realize that, although Uncle Willie's body will be laid to rest here in the earth, one day there will be a resurrection, and God will bring him forth from the grave. God will speak, and all in the grave will come forth, "they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." So we feel very conscious that this really isn't the end. It is the end as far as this life is concerned, but there is another life, and we are living in the prospects of one day hearing those words of Jesus calling us forth from the grave. Job knew that worms would destroy this body, this tabernacle of clay. He also spoke about his life, that some days weren't all that one would like -- "he was smitten with boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown." But he realized that that tabernacle of clay would one day return to the dust, but on another day Christ would speak and His redeemed would be brought forth from the grave. I hope that you and I, too, can live in the light of this, that one day we will come forth from the grave if we finish faithfully.

 

Then, there are those words that Jesus spoke to Martha, "I am the resurrection, and the life." This is something we all need to be more conscious of as we journey through life, that Jesus is everything to us, "the resurrection and the life." The rest of that verse says, "he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." I hope that all of us can see that the things that Christ prepared for us can be ours if we would just embrace the truth that others have embraced and lived before us as He Himself has done. Then we will have no vain regrets. This little day, although it has same sorrow, for the most part it is a better day in life, not only for Uncle Willie but also it brings us closer to our Maker. We hope that in the future we will experience more of this closeness to the One Who loved and gave Himself for us.

 

Prayer: Cliff Toane

 

Hymn sung by all: "It Pays to Serve Jesus."