Samuel Ridout was born in Annapolis, Md., Oct. 22, 1855, the son of Dr.
Samuel Ridout and his wife, Anne. When about one year old his father died, and
about four years later, his mother also. It then devolved upon his grandfather
to care for and guide the course of young Samuel. Of this devoted and godly
man, Mr. Ridout ever spoke in the highest terms of appreciation, and often
mentioned how greatly he was indebted to him for a training in the nurture and
admonition of the Lord.
Childhood's days were spent in Annapolis until
about the age of 12, when Samuel was sent to Tennant's School in Penna. From
there in due course he returned to enter St. John's College in Annapolis, and
graduated from this Institution when 18 years old. About this time his state of
health gave cause for grave concern and it was arranged for him to go to sea.
He entered the U. S. naval service under Capt. Carter of the "Alaska," one of
the old wooden type of naval vessels. Captain Carter was a close family friend,
and the young man was ranked as a midshipman with the duties of Captain's
yeoman. In this capacity he served for about three years, until Mrs. Carter
died in Europe while her husband's vessel was cruising in Mediterranean waters.
The body was to be laid away in American soil, and Mr. Ridout was charged with
its care! This brought him back to America and also terminated his period of
service on the sea. He would then be about 22 years of age.
these three years on the sea he passed through deep exercise as to his soul.
This led him to seek Christian company whenever the opportunity presented
itself, and so be attended meetings at various ports of call. During this
period he warn bereft of his only sister and her death seemed to crystallize
his soul-exercise. With this settled, he manifested a growing interest in and
desire to have part in the Lord's work. For a short time he taught school in
Western Maryland in the coal mining districts. Here, working among many poor
and comparatively illiterate people, and often having as scholars there of his
own age lacking in all those qualities which would appeal to his sensitive and
intellectual nature, he had many tests and trials which doubtless helped to
develop in him those characteristics which in later years endeared him to all
who made his acquaintance. While thus engaged be devoted his vacation time to
Colporteur work in the mountain sections of Virginia and Maryland.
was after this that more definite plans were made for the future, and
encouraged by his godly grandfather, he determined to enter Princeton Seminary,
where he graduated in 1880. He filled several vacancies in Pennsylvania and
received his first permanent charge in Baltimore. Here he laboured for a year
or more. About this time he became acquainted with those meeting in separation
from the recognized religious systems. This led to much exercise as to the path
he should take. He accepted, at great personal sacrifice, the principles of
truth according to which those known as "Plymouth Brethren" gather for the
worship and service of God, separating from the Presbyterian Church to enter
upon what he now firmly believed was the path of faith for God's people. He
identified himself with the assembly then meeting in Baltimore, and took his
place in a lowly humble manner, waiting upon the Lord to open the way for him
as to service and ministry, never for a moment considering that the place he
had previously filled was a title to any special recognition on the part of his
He took a position as a clerk in the service of the Baltimore
& Ohio Railroad at $80.00 a month, and also tutored in spare time.
It was not long before his presence and ministry was realized to be of great
benefit to the assembly, earning for him the affection of the Lord's people and
the early recognition of his marked gift from Christ, the Head of the
In 1883 he married Anna Elizabeth Newark, and continued living in
Baltimore until 1903.
Here three children were born, Anna Mary, Samuel who
died, and Seth. In 1903 our brother removed his home to Boyertown, Pa., and
continued there until 1912, when he came to reside in Plainfleld, N. J.
The record of his service among the assemblies, lasting for over forty years,
is too well known to need any lengthy comment. He followed F. W. Grant in the
Editorship of "Help and Food," and was associated with him in the work of the
Numerical Bible. In 1900 he suggested and made possible by his work the issuing
of the Sunday School Visitor, and for many years wrote the Bible Class lessons.
For nearly 30 years he compiled the Treasury of Truth Almanac and
Counsellor, and in the work of the Bible Truth Depot his help and counsel
were ever a source of inspiration and comfort. These varied activities were
carried on along with extended trips in the course of his ministry to the
Lord's people and in the Gospel. In all this labour he consistently sought to
set forth and maintain those principles of truth as to the Church of God, its
path and testimony in the world, which led him to separate at the first. This
he did quite apart from the least shadow of spiritual pride or sectarian
spirit, with a heart ever open to and full of warm affection toward all the
people of God, and with constant endeavour never to weaken or compromise by act
or word what he firmly believed was the only right place for the children of
God amid the failure and confusion which abound in these days.
brother's beloved wife and companion in labour departed to be with Christ, Jan.
1, 1924, while visiting at Chicago where her husband was attending a conference
for the ministry of the Word. During the following years, Mr. Ridout
increasingly suffered from ill health, but between these seasons he ever gave
evidence of the same spiritual vigor and happy spirit that had proved so great
a blessing to the Lord's people through all the years of his ministry. Early in
1927 he made an extended visit to the Pacific Coast. - a visit long
anticipated, and when finally realized much enjoyed.
For the last three
years lengthy trips were beyond his strength, and apart from brief visits to
nearby places, he devoted his time to ministry in Plainfleld where he lived
with his son Seth. About the middle of November last he suffered a severe heart
attack, but spite of this kept his promise to visit Schenectady, N. Y., at
Thanksgiving time. There he spent a few days in ministry. When returning his
heart again gave him serious trouble, but from this too he rallied and was at
the New Year Conference in Passaic.
The following weeks were spent
quietly at home until he was asked to preach at the conference of the Prophetic
Testimony of Baltimore on Thursday evening, February 20th. Mr. Ridout left
Plainfield that afternoon to keep this ap - pointment, and then to be with the
saints at the all-day meeting on the 22nd. He suffered a heart attack on the
train, but received immediate care from friends who met him. They urged him to
give up his appointment for that evening, but feeling somewhat better, he went
to the meeting, and those privileged to attend said they never heard him better
as be broke the bread of life to believers and tenderly urged sinners to accept
the Saviour. During Friday, he experienced much difficulty in breathing, and he
suffered until Saturday morning at 11:30 when, during sleep, he went to be with
his Lord, whom be had loved and served so long. In the mercy of God this
occurred at the home of Mr. Alfred Tinley, where he was accustomed to stay and
had every comfort.
A good number gathered at Baltimore at 8:30 p. m. on
Lord's Day, to express sorrow and sympathy, but to thank our Lord for the gift
to the Church of a life so richly filled with love and service. The precious
body was brought to Plainfield on Monday morning, and laid in the Meeting Room
where so much of his valued ministry was given. The funeral service was
arranged for the following afternoon, Tuesday, at 2 o'clock.
There was no
pre-arrangement as to the order for this service, for we believed our brother
himself would have wished it conducted in dependence upon the Lord for the Holy
Spirit to guide in whatever was said or done.
A large company gathered,
some from quite distant places, and at the hour appointed the service was
opened by Bro. Marty of Passaic, who gave out hymn 26 ("Little Flock"). P. D.
Loizeaux followed with prayer. Hymn 65 ("Grace and Truth") was given out, it
being recalled that after one of our recent Lord's Day morning meetings when
this hymn had been sung, that our beloved brother mentioned his desire to have
it sung at his funeral.
Mr. Geo. McCandless then spoke, reading 1
These. 2:4 - 12; 3:8. He touchingly showed how through many long years, God had
spoken to our hearts through our dear brother in a service in which God's heart
had breathed out in love and faith, drawing how many to the feet of the Lord
Jesus. When we think of it, how precious it is to find the love of our gracious
Lord thus flowing through the heart of a man! He referred to the scriptures
read as calling to mind what we had seen in our dear brother. To him we might
rightly transfer those words of the apostle - "I was gentle." in him, too, we
found the energy and faithfulness of a father (v. 11), but ever entwined with
the tenderness and consideration of a nurse (v. 7), while readiness, not only
to impart the gospel but even his own soul, marked his service (v. 8). This, as
with the apostle, was because the Lord's people were dear to him, for he lived
in the atmosphere of the love of Christ for his brethren. He spent his soul as
well as ministered his gifts. "For now we live if ye stand fast in the Lord,"
may well be used to express the deep exercise of heart that ever accompanied
his service to the saints. We need not expect the place left vacant by our
brother's homegoing to be filled by another servant of Christ, but may our loss
draw us closer to the Lord, and closer together for the little while that
remains. Only in this way may the gap be filled in some measure, and along with
this may the example of our departed brother lead us to be more marked by
prayer and intercession.
Mr. F. C. Jennings, of Plainfield,
followed, voicing the affection of many not so closely asso ciated with our
brother in one way as others, but who would permit no superiority in their
affection, respect and esteem, for him. Mr. Jennings referred to the Lord's
words in John 11: "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go that I may awake him
out of sleep," and applied them to our brother, in a message of real comfort to
all our hearts. He called attention to the first word "Our." The Lord
associates others with Himself in mutual affection. What wonderful
condescension! We say, "Our brother," and the Lord says, "Our friend." Some
words lose their sweetness in the cold atmosphere of this world. Among men the
word "friend" has a very modified degree of affection, and it is used without
any idea of deep feeling. But the word used by the Lord means, "beloved" - "our
dear one," "our closely affectioned one," "our beloved one" - "our friend." The
sweet gentleness and affection, so marked a characteristic of our beloved
brother, makes us all feel that we have lost just such a friend. "Our friend
Lazarus sleepeth," and our dear friend Samuel Ridout has fallen asleep through
Jesus. Then, as a closing thought,"I go that I may awaken him out of sleep."
Can this fail to suggest to us that great hour of awakening when all the
beloved ones who have passed on a little before shall rise at the bidding of
Him who called Lazarus forth from the tomb? Perhaps as the years pass it is a
little difficult to maintain that hope in brightness, yet everything points to
it, and as it were, cries aloud, "He comes!" Let us cheer our hearts, and
remember that precious word in another chapter, "I will come again and receive
you." Let us hold fast this precious hope. Mr. Jennings asked that we might
sing part of a hymn composed by Brother Ridout, - 166, in "Grace and Truth,"
verses 3 and 4.
Mr. V. Pennington, of Newark, read Rev. 8:11 -
12. He spoke of how our brother had been an overcomer, and how every memory of
him gave a sweet savour of Christ, for he spent himself in service for the
saints of God, he could not get too low at their feet to serve them. He was a
true minister of Christ, never dominating the Lord's people, but rather taking
the lower place, much like the apostle who said of himself, "less than the
least of all saints." He delighted in the loveliness of Christ, and throughout
his career sought to make Him the One for whom he lived. He ever sought to hold
up Christ before the saints and the world. As we look back over his ministry,
we recall how the fragrance of Christ ever accompanied it, and that as the Holy
Spirit used him to unfold the beauties and perfections of our blessed Lord, the
flesh withered, the world faded away into nothingness, and the saints were
renewed in spirit and built up. No selfish aim actuated him, but forgetfulness
of himself and his own comforts ever marked his service. Our brother has been
as a pillar in the Church of God, holding up Christ, hiding behind His glory.
These are memories which remain of a fragrant life lived in devotedness to
Christ, and spent serving his people. What must it be for him to be with the
Lord he so loved and served? Shall we not find him in eternity as a pillar in
the temple of God?
Oh, that we might be encouraged to follow in his
steps, seeking to have more of his patience, more of his loyalty to Christ,
giving the flesh no place, living in separation from the world, our affections
set upon our Lord with whom we are to be very soon.
Mr. P. D.
Loizeaux In a few remarks called to mind how on one occasion Brother Ridout
said to him, "Haven't you sometimes felt as if you could put out your hand and
touch Him?" This served at the time to emphasize his close intimacy with the
Lord. This is what we need, and what our beloved brother would press upon us.
At another time, when giving a series of addresses to expose Millennial
Dawnism, before one of the meetings he remarked that it seemed as if he could
feel the presence of Christ and felt that the Lord had given him what he had to
say. His life took its character from this close contact with the Lord. May we
know more of its blessedness.
Mr. H. Yorgey, of Pottatown, Pa.,
spoke of knowing Brother Ridout for 45 years, and that he ever found him all
that had been said of him. We would all say, "How he loved the Lord !" but he
would rather have us speak of that in which he lived - the Lord's love, the
love of God in the gift of His Son, those unsearchable riches of His grace and
glory! He was always quiet, tender, forgiving, ever seeking to be very much
like the Master Himself, ever urging us to be occupied with Christ
Mr. McCandless prayed.
Mr. S. A. White then
spoke from Ezek. 33:30 - 83, recalling the last time he heard Bro. Ridout
speak, in an affectionate appeal, particularly to the young, not to go down
into Egypt, but to live in separation from the world, and rather, as Peter
enjoins, show forth the praises of Him who has called us. May the revival in
our memories of that message awaken a fuller response in all our
A poem by Mr. Pentecost was read, and then a request for
prayers expressing our need in view of our felt loss. J. C. Manahan, F. L.
French, R. Builman, Albert Mayer, and G. W. Heffelfinger responded in earnest
intercession mingled with much thanksgiving for the life and ministry of our
brother as a gift to the Church from the Head in glory. This concluded the
service in the Meeting Room, and then the body was taken to Hillside Cemetery
to be laid beside that of his beloved wife.
At the grave, Dr. Shope of
Philadelphia gave a tribute from the medical profession with a number of whom
Bro. Ridout had been acquainted.
The hymn, "Asleep in Jesus, blessed
sleep," was sung and Mr. Bloore prayed. In closing Mr. Dixon, of Kenilworth, N.
3, requested that we sing verses 3 and 4 of hymn 316 in the "Little Flock" Hymn
WHO died for sin, Who rose to save, Tells us, o'er this the opened
grave, "I died that ye might live."
And as we're gathered round the bier, We
hear Him say, "Be of good cheer, Eternal life I give."
E'en as the wan
autumnal sun But tells us of the Spring to come, His promise is to thee;
gazing on the fallen leaf, in this our bitter loss and grief, Our blessed hope
He, whom not having seen we love, is waiting in His home above To
welcome you and me;
E'en now upon that loving breast Our brother has found
perfect rest, From care and sorrow free.
We who've found refuge at the Cross
Wince not, nor fret at this our loss - 'Tis his eternal gain -
We know one
friend is added more To those upon the distant shore Whom we will meet
EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS
"I hear today that beloved Mr.
Ridout has passed to his rest, and feeling something of the greatness of the
loss that you have sustained along with all the dear brethren whom I know and
love in U. S. A., I must send you a line of true brotherly sympathy. Three
things struck me about our beloved brother: First and most, his Christ-like
spirit, then his wise, well-balanced judgment, and then his grasp of the truth
of God. You will miss him greatly in these things, yet they will leave among
you a fragrance that will not soon pass away, and I believe will stir you up to
follow his faith. It is a comfort to know that the Lord cares for His saints.
It was this care that made Him raise up and lift such an one as Mr. Ridout to
love and care for you all, and He can raise up and lift others. Yes, in spite
of the increasing declension, He will still care for you all. You were thankful
to have such a brother among you so long, but you were not dependent upon him,
but upon the Lord who gave him, and the Lord remains, and upon Him and His
eternal changeless love, you can cast yourselves in your sore bereavement.
What a welcome our beloved brother would get! How wonderful to think of his joy
in the presence of his Saviour! And great will be his reward for all his labors
and suffering for the Lord's sake! You will rejoice in these things while we
wait for the fulfilment of all our hopes at our Lord's return,"
"The sad news caine to us yesterday, of the taking away of
our beloved brother, Mr. S. Ridout. But in our grief we also rejoice as we
think of him in the presence of the ONE he loved so well, and of whom it could
very truly be said, without any question, that like John the beloved, he too
lay "on Jesus' breast." Now the Lord has called him out of this scene of
suffering and sorrow and strife, to rest in His presence, till that day when
all His own shall be called to meet Him in the air.
We feel especially for
the dear sorrowing family and the dear saints in Plainfield and vicinity, to
all of whom our beloved brother had so endeared himself by a life and testimony
patterned closely after his blessed Lord and Master. How his familiar face and
voice will be missed by those who, like yourself, knew him so well! The
sweetness and strength of a character such as our dear brother sustained
through good and evil report can only be possessed through con stant and
conscious abiding in Christ. May the Lord graciously uphold you and all the
dear saints with you in this great loss and sorrow. May you be able to look up
to the ONE who has taken His honoured and faithful servant to Himself, and
receive from Him that consolation and comfort needed in an hour like this, when
the heart and mind are dazed, as it were, through a sudden blow, in having bad
taken from among you one who, more than most, was a living type of Him who
said, "Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in
We know that our blessed Lord, who "loved and gave Himself for the
Church," will continue to minister from His own heart of compassion and
infinite love all that His saints need in this world. If He has taken His dear
servant away from us - one who loved to serve the beloved saints - He will
raise up other channels, and our prayer is that this may be so. May the
encouragement and cheer and warning and instruction so much needed today by old
and young be vouch - safed to us. May our beloved brother's written ministry
left behind, as his voice "yet speaking" to us, be much blessed to saint and
sinner, and may the memory of a life so fragrant with the love of Christ, so
true to His Word, so filled with devoted service to the saints, whom, next to
the Lord Himself, he loved dearly - may the memory of it all come to us as a
precious reminder of Christ Himself, endearing to our hearts more and more that
ONE who indelibly inscribed His own character in the life here below of His
dear departed servant. Words fail us in a time like this, but we can look back
and remember our beloved brother as we knew him, so patient and loving and
And we can look forward and contemplate that bright and glad day when
we shall be gathered around our blessed Lord, and meet him again with all of
"Thanks for your letter, but I had
already learned of the home-going of our beloved brother.
Our loss is truly
great. What a servant he was! Mid how like his Master! Who is there to take his
Our debt to him could never have been paid.
My own is great
indeed. I have learned much from his ministry of the Word, but I have learned
more from his example. His graciousness and patience under provocation, his
humility in his attitude toward others, and his readiness to recognize and
commend merit in his brethren, however small, marked him as a disciple of
Christ and fitted him for leadership among his brethren. He was justly beloved
May his memory live among us, and let us be thankful that we
have known him."
P. P. WAHLSTAD.
"... How sad the tidings! A
great man in israel hath fallen. How he will be missed in presence and
ministry. What a blank it seems.
He was a "husband" in his spirit and
manner, gracious and gentle to all, one of the most Christ-like men I have ever
known. How he suffered amid the recent upheaval in the meetings, who shall say?
But that is past, and he rests from laborø and his works follow. But our
Lord remains and never fails His own. 'Certainly I will be with thee,' should
encourage us to 'go in and possess' yet more of the goodly land our brother
spied out so well."
"Thanks for sending us
word concerning the home-call of our dear departed and much loved brother
Ridout. It will be a great loss to the whole testimony, and many beyond our
small circle will regret his departure. But it is his gain. The cruel treatment
which his name received by some who should have commended him, he felt more
keenly than most realized. But his work is finished, be has entered his rest.
May all of us copy his patience and gentleness, walking softly and lowly until
A.. B. BOOTH.
"It was with a sense of a great
personal loss that I heard a week ago of the death of my old friend Samuel
Ridout. We met often and intimately when, some years ago (it may have been
twenty), he was living in active Christian service in Baltimore, the recognized
leader of the Assembly on Mosher Street. Since then, I have only seen him at
fairly long intervals; once to my great surprise he hailed me from a small
motor boat far down among the Keys in Florida where i was collecting lichens
and getting impressions of a remarkable new terrain.
My early memories are
particularly happy, Including many privileges of attending the weekly
gatherings of the brethren and enjoying his ministry at the meetings and his
generosity as a teacher in my own home. To him I owe a better acquaintance with
the Scriptures, and the works of F. W. Grant, J. N. Darby, Charles Stanley, C.
H. Mackintosh, and others.
Mr. Ridout always impressed me, as he doubtless
did all his hearers, with his love and understanding of the Bible as in very
truth the Word of God; as a teacher he was lucid and winning.
It is a
pleasure to think of him as having entered into the presence of that glory so
long an ticipated and upon which he was wont to dwell with such persuasive
HOWARD A. KELLY.
"It was most considerate of
you to send us notice of dear Mr. Ridout's passing and funeral.
him as God's choice saint, who now sees his precious Saviour face to face, and
is in that dear, dear country, the mention of whose glory is unction to the
breast, and medicine in sickness, and love and life and rest. We can only
congratulate him and think how fltttlng it was that he finished his earthly
ministry in that city where he began it many years ago.
For you, my dear
brother, my heart beats in tenderest sympathy, since I know how loving a friend
has been taken away from you for a brief period. It cannot be for long; our
eagerly looked-for Lord may come at any time, and even if He tarry, the pilgrim
journey will soon be over, and oh, what a blessed meeting! How rich Heaven will
be, richer even now because of that dear saint, whose body you are laying to
rest while I am writing these lines. The Lord remains, He is sufficient, and by
His grace we will work while it is day, looking forward to the Blessed Hope,
when "the dead in Christ shall rise first, and when we who are alive and
remain, shall be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the
"Just read the wire apprising me that
our beloved S. R. has entered into the presence of the Lord. What a welcome he
has had up there! But how he will be missed down here! Wish I were near enough
to be at the funeral tomorrow. How I thank God I had ever known him! it seems
strange to think that that sweet, patient - yet intellectual - countenance will
never be seen again till Jesus comes."
H. A. IRONSIDE.
"Yours received telling us about the homegoing of our dear brother Ridout. Now
he is at rest, having fought the good fight. We will miss him daily, but we
thnnk God that he is at rest. We will meet again at Jesus' feet."
It is sad
news, and creates an aching void in our breasts, and fills us with sadness to
think that we will never hear that voice again here, and never again see that
face, nor read lines from his pen. Oh, what a loss to the Church of God, and to
his dear family, but what a day for him to be at home with the Lord he so
longed to see and so loved to serve, and away from these scenes of conflict and
strife. Oh, how we will miss him if the Lord further delays His coming!
.I feel we shall have to pray in a special way for the whole household of
faith, and especially the testimony with which we are connected, desiring that
the glorious Head of His Church will be pleased to preserve His people at this
time, and that He, the great Shepherd of the sheep, will preserve and shepherd
the flock which will so keenly feel this shock. I think especially of our dear
young people who were so attached to our beloved brother."
"We were very sorry to hear of the death of dear
brother Ridout. We have lost a good friend and teacher. We are thankful he came
to the coast three years ago, otherwise we never should have seen his face in
the flesh. For him it is rest from his labour; with Christ, which is very much
better. May God raise up others to take the place of these men who have gone
home to be with the Lord in the last 3 or 4 years. Though we sorrow, we will
not despair, because our Lord has pledged Himself to be with us, even unto the
end of the age."
JAMES PAULSEN (San Francisco).
five years, and more, ago, my Heavenly Father placed me in the pathway of life
of Mr. Ridout. He immediately gave me a place in his heart - and he began at
once to feed me with the "Bread of Life" for I had received the Lord Jesus as
my Saviour, but was remaining only a babe in Christ.
Our friendship grew
deeper and deeper, and it included my whole family - wife and children - and we
all loved him for what he meant to us.
I am so grateful I heard his last
message here in Baltimore - which was so wonderfully inspired.
Lord will come soon, so we can all be caught up to be together,
"I was greatly shocked to hear of Mr. Ridout's death.
Surely I know few whose life so reflected his close walk with God. If those of
us who admired him from afar, and in a way which he doubtless little realized,
will miss him, I know his loss to those who were his intimates will be irre
parable. For me Mr. Ridout has always occupied a place above and apart from