“HE’S A WONDER, GO AND BE PLAIN WITH HIM, THAT’S THE BEST WAY.”
To many Christians the memory of the “Days of their espousals” are very sweet and the aged of the “Household of faith”, who were made a blessing to them in their very young days, will ever be held in remembrance. During the years from 1914 to 1935 there were a good number of “Fathers and Mothers” in Israel who were attending and in membership with the local church which gathered at the Strict Baptist Chapel at Oakington. Among these were Ellis and Charles Warboys who were brothers both in the flesh and in the Spirit. They were deacons of the Church for many years and graciously filled their office to the glory of the Lord and to the benefit of the local church.
Ellis regularly announced the hymns at the services of the chapel and his brother, Charles, an organist of no mean worth, took his place regularly to lead the singing of the praises of the Lord. Some of the hymns which Ellis announced in those days have remained in the memory of many of the large congregation which met there. Burnham’s,
“O, how I wish I could but feel
The joys that pardoning grace impart.
Wish that my Jesus would reveal
Redeeming love within my heart”
was a frequent expression of his heart’s desire. That such desires could be and were answered in him was proved by the feeling with which he would on other occasions announce,Â—
“In songs of sublime adoration and praise,
Ye pilgrims for Zion who press,
Break forth and extol the great Ancient of days,
His rich and distinguishing grace.”
in which hymn, by Keith, the following verses are found:
“O, had He not pitied the state you were in,
Your bosoms His love had ne’er felt;
You all would have lived, would have died too in sin,
And sunk with the load of your guilt.
What was there in you that could merit esteem,
Or give the Creator delight?
‘Twas even so. Father! you ever must sing
Because it seemed good in thy sight.”
During his childhood he was a scholar at the above Sabbath School, but upon leaving home he went to London where he worked for some considerable time. He there associated with most ungodly companions and ran in the ways of sin and evil. Often he would look back upon those days, and sorrow over the time he spent there. Later on he returned to his native village, and soon after his marriage the Lord began to work in his heart and blessed him with His holy fear. He then began regularly to sit under the ministry of that faithful and godly pastor, Mr. J. Parish, and the Word was much blessed to his soul.
He was then exercised about honouring his Lord and Master, and, after giving in his testimony before the church, was received and baptized by Mr. Parish, and some years afterwards was chosen a deacon. He was a most consistent member for 60 years, and a much valued deacon, loving peace, and ever striving for it in the church.
After Mr. Parish left Oakington, the church was without a pastor for about 20 years, and during that time, with the help of the other deacons, Ellis well looked after the interests of the church in obtaining supplies.
At one time, being much tried about his standing, and fearing that he had not the root of the matter within him, but had made a mistake and would be a castaway, he pleaded with the Lord for a sign to reassure him and remove the fear and unbelief. As he was a very heavy sleeper, never waking till the morning, he prayed that he might be awakened at one o’clock in the morning. He went to sleep, and awaking suddenly found it was quite dark. He hastily started to go downstairs to see the time, and had not descended many steps when the clock struck one. This, and another occasion when the Lord much blessed his soul, were very precious memories to him, and many, many, times did he speak of the joy and rejoicing he experienced when “The clock struck one.”
He was much blessed under the preached Word; often did we see him rejoicing under it and hear him testify to it. His delight was to hear and to speak of the sufferings of his Saviour and the shedding of His precious blood, which he had a good hope had cleansed and saved him from all his sin and iniquity.
It was a solemn evening when some friends, including his Pastor, visited him to hear from his lips the diagnosis of the doctor that he was suffering from gangrene in his foot and that there was no possibility of recovery. Dear Ellis was sorely distressed because of this, not because he was without hope in Christ but for many years he had been in bondage of spirit for fear of the article of death itself. Many were the prayers that were offered for the dear man and many, doubtless, were his own. It was an unforgettable occasion, later, to hear him relate the way in which the Spirit of the Lord had visited his soul and given him a sure intimation of the “Addition of years of life” by the use of the Lord’s words to Hezekiah. This powerful promise of the Lord was verified. Always he carried the mark of the disease upon his foot but the progress and pain of it was stopped.
During the last few years it was very apparent that much of this fear was being removed, and that he was being brought to feel he could rest in his Lord; and towards the end one could see he was being ripened for glory.
On the last Lord’s day he attended the three services, giving out the hymns as usual. In the afternoon he engaged in prayer, and gave out the hymn:
“Prepare me, gracious God,
To stand before Thy face;”
and the last hymn that he gave out in the evening was the one commencing:
“When Thou, my righteous judge, shalt come
To fetch Thy ransomed people home,
Shall I among them stand?”
On November 13th, 1933, at the age of 89 years he was attending a service in the new school room which he had seen erected in the latter years of his life. He was asked to engage in prayer and, did so. Twice did he ask for a “teachable spirit,” and his prayer was just as though he was in the immediate presence of is Lord. Another hymn was sung, and, as it finished, his head sank down. Friends went to his assistance, he was carried out, and in a few moments breathed his last, the Lord having taken him without any suffering of body to Himself to
“Give all the glory to His holy name,
To whom all the glory belongs.
‘Twas his the high joy to sound forth His fame
And crown Him in each of his songs.”
Never absent from the chapel when the doors were open, he lied where he loved most to be. “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace.”
Appended is a letter which reveals the artless but sincere and loving way in which he commended the grace of the Lord and His faithfulness to His Holy Word to those with whom he came into contact. The letter is reproduced exactly as it was written for it is thought that any editing of this would destroy something which has profited the hearts of many who have read it. It was written to his niece Florence Warboys, when she was about twelve years of age.
We were so sorry to here you were so ill if I were you I would try the same place as I did when my foot was bad I have A Book in my House that tells about One that can do wonderful things I will lend it to you if you havent got one I never heard of one like it and I believe every word it says its wonderful what cures it as done he can cure all complaints bad legs, bad back or head I always go if have anything the matter with myself its A wonderful Book and if I go three times a day he never upbraids me and say, What come again he his so kind. Thier was a man went to him that was born blind all he don was put clay on his eyes and he saw at once, what do you think of that. I would try him if I were you. I told him about you but you’d better go there yourself you need not mind thier are thousands go tell him how you feel say I have a bad leg thier was a poor woman I dont know her name. She had faith she said if I can tuch his garment I shall be better and was better at once if you have never seen the Book I will let you have it There was a man Peter, his mother was very bad he took hold of her hand she got up at once and began to work of course he’s very rich he wants no money does everything freeÂ—he dont like people to offer him money, he don’t like rich people near so much as poor. I love to here people talk about him, he’s a wonder I
once went to a chapel in London where they sang about him. Of course everyone dont care so much for him. I do. I wish you well so I thought I would tell you about his book I often read it their are many other cures that the book tells about I havent told a half of them by all means go & be plain with him thats the best way.
Hope you will be able to make it out