Richard Holden (?-1886)

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 5
Gathered to the Lord’s Name
Hymn #134.
Here we shall quote verbatim from Napoleon Noel, as we have no other data about this saint of God:
“RICHARD HOLDEN, formerly Anglican clergyman. He went out to Portugal in the Lord’s work. His letters to his mother, giving reasons for leaving the Church of England, had in its time a wide circulation. And he wrote the hymn, ‘Lord of glory, we adore Thee’.
“His departure to be ‘with Christ’ is an example of the faithfulness and sustaining grace of God towards those who obey His call to serve Him in foreign lands, and of His presence with and rich blessing upon them. Mrs. Holden realized this, when she wrote:
‘Near Lisbon, Aug. 24, 1886.
“Yes, my dear husband is at home now with the One he loved so well, waiting with Him till He come. It was at first a trial that my dear husband left me, this is almost the only time I can remember in all the happy years since the Lord gave us to each other, without ‘Good bye’. There was nothing of death or sadness in that sickroom, he was so happy, so cheerful. All who came to say ‘Good bye’—the dear saints and many others, — left, thinking he would yet be among them; he looked so bright; the Doctor, alone, gave me no hope, and Oh, he was so kind. My dear husband was so fond of him. ‘Doctor,’ he said, ‘A death bed is not the time to seek the Lord, what would I do if I had to come to Him in all this pain? No, thank God, it is all bright, all joy. 38 years I have known the Lord, and I never had a doubt of my soul’s salvation. Now it is all joy to go. Not even my wife, dearly as I love her, or my boy, hold me back. It is all bright, — all joy.’
“Someone said: ‘You are going to get your crown of glory.’ ‘Not the crown, not the crown,’ he said quickly, — ‘the One who gives it.’ When I asked him if he had any wish about Ernest or myself, brightly he replied:—‘Not a wish, not a care, my wife and my boy are in my Father’s hand; He will guide, I would not have it otherwise;’ ‘a little while, dear wife,’ and ‘God with you all the way.’ He had such perfect rest in God about everything, such trust in the Father’s heart; and you know how dear the saints in Lisbon were to him; but ‘God cares for them,’ was enough.
“In death he was allowed once more the privilege of witnessing for the truth, so dear to him in life. They refused to have him buried in the English Cemetery, as our views were different, and he could not be buried there without a service from an ordained clergyman; Martiers then thought that he had got it all arranged for the Playares, and we went there on Monday, Aug. 19, 1886. All the dear saints, and many others, met us at the cemetery; and a quiet, blessed time we had, beginning with the Portugese hymn: ‘Glory unto Jesus be’ etc., then Tenas prayed with great power. Martiers read 1 Corinthians 15; A. praised and prayed. Tenas said a few precious words, and the hymn, ‘Asleep in Jesus’ etc. Mr. Hall then gave out the lovely Portugese hymn, one of his own, ‘Thou art my rest, Lord Jesus,’ etc. The coffin was open all the time; — this is the custom here; and you had only to turn your eyes to his happy face, and know how true the words he had written.
“I had to leave then, as I was sick; but Mr. Hall said it was the most touching sight he ever witnessed; and the dear saints went forward in their deep, deep grief, and kissed him. Then came the order that he could not be buried there; so, twice refused a resting place, the coffin was taken back to the carriage, and buried in the little Cemetery OUTSIDE THE GATES. (Note Ex. 33:7; Heb. 13.10-14.)
“ ‘The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven’ etc., 1 Thessalonians 4:11 — ‘and so shall we ever be with the Lord.’ With my loving thanks to each one for their love and sympathy, and the earnest desire that Christ may be everything with us until He comes.
“Very affectionately yours in Him,
“(Signed) Kate Holden.”
He also wrote a valuable paper called “Corinth and Sects.”
This shows the Scriptural ground of gathering.
“Lord of glory, we adore Thee!
Christ of God, ascended high!
Heart and soul we bow before Thee,
Glorious now beyond the sky.
Thee we worship. Thee we praise.
Excellent in all Thy ways.”