An Appointment In Heaven - The One Year Christian History

An Appointment In Heaven

He wept with those who wept.

EDWARD D. GRIFFIN resigned his pastorate at the Newark Presbyterian Church, one of the largest churches in the nation, to become professor of pulpit eloquence at the newly established Andover Theological Seminary in Massachusetts. When Griffin moved from New Jersey to Boston to assume his new position, he was accompanied by five students who would attend the new seminary. One of them, Lewis LeCount Conger, soon fell seriously ill, and Griffin, who had grown to love the young man deeply, sought to inform and comfort the family of the ailing seminary student. Griffin’s poignant correspondence with those who loved Lewis Conger began:

January 2, 1810

My Dear Sir,

How often have you and your dear family said, “The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice.” What a blessing it is that he has the appointment of all our changes and trials. . . . You have given a son to Christ, and if he has work for him on the earth, he will preserve him and make him a blessing to the church; but if he has other designs, he will, I doubt not, take him to himself. . . . Lewis has the typhus fever. His mind is weak; but he loves to hear of the name of Christ, and will listen with deep interest and tender affection to every thing that is said about that blessed Savior. . . . I beseech you, my dear friends . . . Prepare for every thing which God has in store for you. . . . May God Almighty support you, my dear friends, under this trial, is my prayer.

January 3, 1810

We do little else but pray for him; and the whole college is crying with tears, “Spare him, spare him!” . . . I cannot but humbly and earnestly pray that God will spare him for your sakes, and for ours, and for the sake of Christ.

January 6, 1810

The Almighty God support you, my dear friends, under the trials you must feel. I wish with all my heart that I had something agreeable to communicate. And I have—Jesus of Nazareth reigns. The infinite God is happy. And our dear Lewis is happy. Ah, my heart, why this aching and trembling? The will of God is done. Lewis himself wished that the will of God might be done. And I am confident that he does not wish to oppose it now. . . . Lewis left these abodes of pain this morning at 10 o’clock. . . .

No young man was ever more beloved. . . . He has not lived in vain. . . . He has been the means of good to some souls; and by his influence on the college, has probably been indirectly the means of some good to thousands. . . .

January 7, 1810

My friends, it is all the appointment of heaven. Eternal wisdom fixed it that he should die at this time and place. . . .

Think not my dear friends, that you have lost your pains in giving him an education. No, you have been fitting him for more than a pulpit—for a higher throne in heaven. . . . There he is! Think not of him on a bed of sickness, in a land of strangers. . . . Think of him on Mount Zion. There is all that is Lewis. The rest is mere dust. We have not lost him. He is only gone a little before us. . . . There we shall soon find him and enjoy him again, and forever—far more than we ever did in this world. . . .

Your afflicted and affectionate friend,

E. D. Griffin


Have you lost a friend or loved one in the prime of life and wondered why God took that person? Can you think of any reasons why he took Lewis Conger? Is it really necessary for us to know why?

The righteous pass away; the godly often die before their time. And no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For the godly who die will rest in peace.

Isaiah 57:1-2

From the Book:

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The One Year Christian History
By E. Michael Rusten and Sharon O. Rusten

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