Chapter 21 Declining Years

Shortly after our trip together to Nova Scotia Mr. McEwen returned once again to England where he spent many more fruitful years preaching the gospel in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

When the Second World War broke out in Europe, many assemblies in the British Isles and individual believers gave themselves to prayer and took deep interest in the spiritual welfare of the boys in the armed forces. Mr. McEwen although in his eighty-sixth year was still very energetic. With his son Charles and two other brethren he became very busy giving out tracts and booklets especially to those in uniform. They also visited military camps and distributed many copies of the New Testament among the servicemen and witnessed faithfully to many.

In March 1944, in his ninety-first year, Mr. McEwen, whose zeal and love for souls was still very evident, took ill. The joy of knowing Christ stirred him even when in great weakness of body and he often exclaimed, “Until I saw the blood, ’Twas hell my soul was fearing,” and as is recorded by his son, Charles, almost his last words were, “I shall be glad to see Him.”

In November 1944, having passed his ninety-first year, weak in body and longing for the homeland, this noble witness and servant of Christ passed peacefully into the presence of the Lord whom he loved and served faithfully for seventy-one years. As the news of his death spread among the Lord’s people in Exeter, there was deep sorrow in many hearts and homes, and as it spread throughout the British Isles many saints old and young were bowed in sorrow, as was also the case in the USA and Canada and especially in Nova Scotia where his name and memory was cherished.

His son gives the account of his death and funeral in the following chapter. The many letters of sympathy and condolence to Mrs. McEwen and their son was an evident token of the esteem in which he was held among the Lord’s people.

I still greatly cherish the memory of Mr. John Knox McEwen. I also would not like to complete this memoir without a reference to the memory of Mr. McEwen’s two nephews, beloved brother Sam McEwen and his younger brother, Hugh. Both at times were my fellow-laborers and very special friends. Both won many souls for the Lord and had very wholesome ministry for the Lord’s people. I’m sure many will read with deep interest the brief accounts which follow of the lives of these much esteemed servants of Christ.

There is yet another generation of McEwens who are going on in the service of our Lord. Samuel and John, sons of Sam McEwen and grandsons of William Renwick McEwen, have been helpers in Matoaca, Virginia assembly for many years. And yet another one is Raymond Zander who is somewhat like John Mark whom Paul spoke of as a sister’s son of Barnabas. His mother, Mrs. A. Zander, is a sister of brethren Sam and Hugh McEwen. The Lord has given Raymond to see precious souls won to Christ as he seeks to labor for the Lord in the Southland and in the Bahamas.