January 6: Reflections on a Year Past

The following short quote comes from the Memoir of the Rev. J. J. Janeway, a biography compiled by Janeway’s son, Thomas L. Janeway. Jacob Jones Janeway was a noted Presbyterian pastor, situated in Philadelphia in the first half of the nineteenth-century, serving first as associate pastor under Ashbel Green. A close friend of Dr. Samuel Miller, Rev. Janeway was also a key supporter of Princeton Seminary in its early years.
Much of this biography is drawn from diaries kept by Rev. Janeway, and in this particular quote, we find him reflecting on the close of the year and looking forward to the new. His reflections are made the more poignant in that during that year past, he and his wife had suffered the death of a child. By God’s grace and mercy, most of us have probably not lost loved ones in the past year, but the sum of the quote is otherwise an admirable reflection, worthy of review.
So often we conclude a post with a “Words to Live By” comment. Lest we take away from the impact of his words, his reflection is so labeled:—  

J.J. JanewayWords to Live By:
SABBATH, January 6, 1811. ” It has pleased the Lord to prolong my life. How many thousands have died during the last year! but my life has been spared. How many thousands have languished in sickness! but I have enjoyed health. How many millions have lived the year out under thick Heathenish darkness! but I have enjoyed the light of the glorious gospel of Christ. How many who, although they hear the gospel calls and invitations, yet have been living in a state of sin and condemnation! But I have. I trust, been enabled, by free and sovereign grace, to spend the year in a state of peace and friendship with God, and in hope of a blissful immortality. Oh, to grace, how great a debtor! I mourn over the sins of the last year, and beseech grace to spend this more than any heretofore to the glory of God. This year finds us one less in family. It has pleased Almighty God to remove our dear babe from us. We bow to the stroke of Divine Providence.”

[Excerpted from Memoir of the Rev. J. J. Janeway (1861), pp. 177-178.]

Afterthought: The above quote, excepting perhaps the last few sentences, might be a good one to write out on a card and place in your Bible, for frequent reflection through the year.

Tags: , , , , , ,

  1. Marianne’s avatar

    I look forward to these posts every day. Thank you
    This one in particular will stand out to me. I lost a child a few years ago, and this past year was difficult as I watched my brother lay helpless before God, struggling to live. I planned to copy this journal entry of Rev Janeway before I got to the end of the note. Thank you again.

  2. archivist’s avatar

    Thank you for this comment. You might also look to obtain a copy of the book, From Grief to Glory, by James W. Bruce. (Banner of Truth Trust, 2002, 2011.)
    The Letters of Samuel Rutherford have also been of great comfort to many through the years.

Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

79,831 Spam Comments Blocked so far by Spam Free Wordpress

%d bloggers like this: