FRANKLIN FERGUSON passed peacefully into the presence of the Lord on September 21st, 1957. He was born on November 22nd, 1866, and saved by God's grace on October 31st, 1881, near Manchester. He arrived in New Zealand on February 13th, 1883, and lived in Napier until 1897.
The following is his own account, left on record, of his call to service for the Lord, whole time:
"On December 24th, 1897, I went forth to devote my whole time to the Lord, for His service. The following Scriptures were those which He used to exercise my soul in taking this step:
First, Deut. 1. 6-8, in 1892, while I stood on the hill-top of Napier, surveying the vista stretching far away to the south.
Then Psalm 37. 3-7, during a five years wait, till home responsibilities were lifted of God.
Next, Psalm 78 19-41, when the way had cleared. Oh! how my soul was searched! but faith triumphed.
Afterward, 1 Cor. 7. 32-35, after home matters had been wonderfully met, to set me free.
Finally, Psalm 119. 49, as I left all behind for the new path on December 24th, 1897.
Later on, Psalm 119. 65, as, one day reviewing the way I had taken. A stay—Isaiah 26. 3 has been a wonderful support all through the years.
Conclusion: Joshua 23. 14."
Our dear brother has kept an even path in godly sincerity and humility of mind and singleness of purpose all the way, and a sweet odour has spread, wherever his name has been known; his gentlemanly gracefulness has balanced becomingly with his faithfulness to God. He has been much used of the Lord, first in planting and nourishing the early assemblies in New Zealand and for years, in the editing of "N. Z. Treasury" and fostering missionary interest; also in much written ministry to various magazines, declaring all the counsel of God. How many of us look back with gratitude to God for the help he was to us in our early years in the faith. We have learned to highly regard him for his upright and devoted life, and his prayerful counsel.
In 1907 he married Miss S. A. Graham in Dunedin and they helped each other in the Lord, till February 27th, 1947, when his loved wife was taken home to glory. From this time, firstly, from the suggestion of his wife and her encouragement, he published the several books of written ministry, which have been so marvellously used of God in many countries and languages, the quest for which continues unabated, along with many expressions of blessing and help received. To distribute these freely was our brother's overflowing joy. Occupied with despatching further supplies on September 10th, he took a faint turn and fell from his chair; from this day, extreme weakness persisted, with lack of appetite, yet he was happy in soul, filled with thankfulness and rest in the Lord. His mind was clear, and it was delightful to listen, as, filled with the Scriptures, his "heart was inditing a good matter."
On the morning of the 21st, he woke freshly. Mrs. James had devotedly cared for him for some time, and this morning, as she brought him a little food, was greeted with a bright "good morning," the first since his fall on the 10th. On returning shortly, she found him sinking into a coma and quickly called a few nearby believers. As we watched around him, a sister drew a promise from a box on the dresser and it read, "His left hand is under my head and his right hand doth embrace me" (S. of Sol. 2. 6), and the sweetness of it filled our souls. The doctor came, but in a little while our brother was with the Lord. We knelt together to thank Him for the long life that had so consistently expressed: "For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain" (Phil. 1. 21). What a debt we owe to the Lord for this fragrant, devoted, exemplary life, the key of which was godly simplicity. The great joy he so often spoke of was now his portion: To see Him. To be with Him and to be like Him. May we be moved afresh to follow his faith.
Our brother's body was laid in the Palmerston North Cemetery on September 23rd, after a service in the Terrace End Hall, and in the presence of a large number of those who had learned to love him much in the Lord. Some had come from far to show their deep regard for a true "father" in the faith. We think of his welcome in the "Glory land."
To God be the glory.
Saved for the day of glory.
Redemption's song to sing,
Still of the blood of Jesus.
Loudly our praise will ring.
Saved now to wait with patience,
Looking by faith afar,
Till just before the dawning,
Rises the Morning Star.
(Light and Love, 805. Sung at the funeral).
Mr Ferguson was a contributor to The Believer's Magazine over a very long period, and many readers were helped by his faithful and pithy written ministry. To us the word is. "whose faith follow." Ed. BM 1957.