Joseph Denham Smith (1816-1889)

 •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Gathered to the Lord’s Name
Hymns #35, 67.
J. D. Smith was born July, 1816, at Romsey, Hants. in southern England. He first preached at the age of 16. Then he was partially educated in a theological course in Dublin, Ireland. In 1840 he became an ordained clergyman (Congregationalist) and then he did some mission work in Ireland for several years. Eventually the “work of an evangelist” impressed itself upon him and he resigned his position as a clergyman and went about preaching the gospel. He was considered as a “calm, judicious, devoted man of God” and the Lord seemed to bless his labors all the way through. But in 1886 his health failed, to the sorrow and trouble of his close associates. He never had been strong physically, but now his ailment assumed the form of a disease. His public ministry closed at Merrion Hall in Dublin on July 26, 1887. Then there followed attempts to regain health by travel and other means, but all to no avail, and after patient bearing of his trial the end here below came on March 5, 1889. He asked the doctor, “Can you give me a shadow of an idea how long it will be?” The answer was, “Not long; a little while only, not long now.” He then dropped his tired head back on the pillow, saying, “O how sweet-how sweet!” and passed on to the better enjoyment of what he expressed in hymn #35:
“God now brings thee to His dwelling,
Spreads for thee His feast divine,
Bids thee welcome, ever telling
What a portion there is thine.
Blessed, glorious word, ‘forever’
Yea, ‘forever’ is the word!
Nothing can the ransomed sever,
Naught divide them from the Lord.”