The Pastor in the Sick-Room

John Dunlap Wells (1815-1903) was licensed to preach the gospel in 1842, and graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1844, learning, as he reports, "at the feet of Dr. Archibald Alexander, Dr. Samuel Miller, Dr. Charles Hodge and Dr. Joseph Addison Alexander, all of blessed memory." In his 61-year ministry as a pastor, he attended "hundreds" of sick beds and death beds, and acquired a store of wisdom that is shared both his The Last Week in the Life of Davis Johnson, Jr. (1861), and, most especially, in the three lectures he delivered at Princeton in 1892 and which were published a year later under the title The Pastor in the Sick-Room

In this latter volume, which is permeated with compassion for the suffering and the lost, Wells distinguishes between the sick bed and the death bed, while also emphasizing the connection between body and mind, and the need to deal lovingly and wisely with the whole person in all their circumstances. In the context of his discussion of death-bed conversions, he also recounts famous last words by various Christians (in a fashion similar to Alfred Nevin's How They Died; or, The Last Words of American Presbyterian Ministers)

For those who minister to the sick and suffering and dying, this book will serve as an encouragement to do so in love and with compassion for the bodies, minds and souls of those in the greatest need. "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me: (Matt. 25:34-36).

He Being Dead Yet Speaketh

The last words of select faithful American Presbyterian ministers, including many of those highlighted here on Log College Press, were compiled into an interesting volume by Alfred Nevin (1816-1890), written just seven years before his own death: How They Died; or, The Last Words of American Presbyterian Ministers

As Nevin writes, "The following instances, in which some of God's dear ministering servants, as representatives of many of 'like precious faith,' when they reached the borders of the river between them and Immanuel's land, glanced at the hills and heard something of the harmony and inhaled the fragrance blown across, are replete with interest, and should not fail to be read with profit." 

One striking aspect of this compilation is to note how many times the very words of Scripture were (having been memorized long before) on the lips of those about to meet their Lord. May this volume be an encouragement to readers to keep their eyes fixed upon Him who is the Author and Finisher of their faith and to whom we say, "Amen, come Lord Jesus!" 

Are you preaching or teaching on the parables or the gospel of Luke? Check out Alfred Nevin's commentaries!

The purpose of the Log College Press website is to collect the writings of the 18th and 19th century Presbyterians. Sometimes, those works are well known. Other times, they are more obscure, and I feel like a detective or archaeologist digging through a dusty attic and discovering things I didn't know existed. That's what it was like to come across these commentaries on the the Parables and the Gospel of Luke, by Alfred Nevin, who also edited the 1884 Presbyterian Encyclopedia. If you're spending time personally in Luke or the parables, or feeding God's sheep from these portions of Scripture, don't miss Nevin.