His final years and conclusion

 

 

Reginald Radcliffe in later life

Radcliffe never enjoyed good health during all the years of ministry and frequently had to take periods of complete rest in order to recover. However in December 1890 his health deteriorated and he became very frail and he sadly had to give up on his much-loved trips around the globe to preach the gospel. During his last 5 years, however, he never lost an opportunity of speaking for his master. He spoke to all whether it was the coalman, milkman or the boy who brought the vegetables and many others. In October 1895 when 70 years of age his health finally gave way. Almost his last words were "I want, I want, I want the Christians to go all over the world spreading the glad news. Henry Grattan Guinness wrote after his departure, "Reginald Radcliffe – a name which will be remembered when sun and moon are forgotten in that land where their light is needed no more. He has ceased to be a lamp on earth and shines as star in heaven. How beautiful the sunset of his departure! In that last desire of his for the evangelization of the world, what appreciation of the Gospel and love for humanity! That is the Spirit of Christ; and it is meet, that where the Master is the servant should be."

The funeral service was taken by a lifelong friend Canon Woodward who had stood by his side in Scotland Road, Liverpool. He summed up his character by saying that "he was a man of extraordinary power. He was a man of constant mind. He was a man of stupendous faith. He refused to look at difficulties in the way, obstacles and impediments were nothing; strong in the confidence of Christ and the assurance of Christ’s promises, he went on with his work, faithful to the end.

The author, R C Morgan wrote of him "He was so filled with the Spirit that he ‘bound the whole round world about the feet of God’ in prayer. Prayer, prayer, prayer was the secret of his power in winning souls, and God used and honoured him to give effect to his own prayers. His frame was slight and his health weak, but he was a man of lion-like courage, of godly sincerity and with the simplicity of a child. He served his generation according to the will of God and probably no man of his generation had done more to spread the gospel.

Mr R J Glasgow said of him in tribute "I never knew a man who so deliberately kept himself in the background and pushed others forward. There are many in Liverpool and throughout the whole kingdom to bear testimony to the fact that it was the stimulus received from Reginald Radcliffe, which prompted them to devote themselves to Christ.

Reginald Radcliffe was buried in Toxteth Park Cemetery in Smithdown Road, in Liverpool the same place as William Lockhart.

At the time of his death they lived in Waterloo. His wife only outlived him by four years and died in West Derby in 1899, aged 72 years.

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