This period of intercession was now ended. During the war years God had called the College apart to intercede for the world, as years before He had shut in Mr. Howells alone with Himself to intercede for one soul, Now that the war was over, links of fellowship were renewed with the foreign field. The College has always stood for fellowship with all faithful servants of Christ throughout the world; through the years students have gone out with Various organizations, and numbers of Societies have been helped financially. Leaders and members, of many missions have been visitors at the College, and from the time it was founded, God told His servant never to let a missionary visit the place without sending him away with a gilt — even if it was the last he had in his possession. Now that the College was freed from the burden of prayer for the war, the Lord began to lay upon them afresh the needs of the mission field. The annual Every Creature Conference was started in 1947, and the training of students for all fields.
The special burden on Mr. Howells’ own heart was finance for getting the Gospel to every creature, finance which could be expended freely in the support of God’s servants in all lands. This burden never left him till Sunday, January 15, 1950. In the nine o’clock meeting that night he read the songs of Moses and David, then he said, “Everything in me is praising God because the Holy Ghost can say, ‘I have finished the work Thou gavest Me to do.’ Every creature will hear the Gospel, the finance for the Vision is safe, and the King will come back.” He had the assurance that God would give the” promised 100,000 Pounds, which he would then invest in His work, and claim the hundredfold for fulfilling the Every Creature commission.
Little did the company at the College realize that this was more than a victory meeting for finance; it was the completion of the earthly warfare of the Lord’s intercessor. He, with the rest of the College, had faith for translation, and in the spirit of victory over death through Christ, was awaiting the great day of His coming, and the fulfillment of Philippians 3:21. But after gaining this final place of intercession, he accepted the will of God in fullness of victory. Within a month he was face to face with his Saviour. Dr. Symonds, who was with him to the last, has given us this account:
“About two years prior to his home call, our beloved Director had a longing to pay a visit to the scenes of his meeting with the Holy Spirit in Llandrindod Wells. A few of us were privileged to accompany him. His soul was obviously blessed and revived as we stood outside the little chapel (now disused) where the Glorified Christ was revealed to him. Then he took us to the site of the Convention tent, and told us once more of the way the Holy Ghost met him there in Person and asked him for his body; and as the Director thought again of those experiences, and of all that the Holy Ghost had done in and through him since, he was visibly strengthened in his believing that the Holy Ghost would never fail in the future to overcome all obstacles and reach every creature with the Gospel in this generation.
“Shortly after that I noticed, as we climbed a hill, an awful greyness came over him, and we had to halt for a while. He was in the throes of a heart attack. From that day onwards only a few of us knew how much he must have suffered. We tried to persuade him to take rest, but he was so consumed with his passion for the Kingdom and the dying souls of men, that he never relaxed his grip on the prayer meetings and other business for his King, nor would he take any medicine to relieve his condition, preferring to leave all things, as always, to the Lord.
“From that Sunday night onwards, when there was such a victory of faith for finance, we were conscious that the Director felt his work on earth was finished. His main ministry had always been one of intercession. He often told me that he would now far rather go home to glory, and leave the rest to such ‘Joshuas’ as God might call. His personal joy for all eternity would be that he had been faithful in the hands of God in laying the foundation. And thus it came to pass.
“On Tuesday, February 7, Miss Margaret Wright, the matron of the College hospital, had a special burden for him and went to his room after the evening meeting to see if he was all right. She found him pacing up and down the room surprisingly singing some of the old Welsh hymns his mother used to sing of ‘The Land that is fairer than day’. One of them, translated into English, runs as follows:
Fair and comely is my Saviour,
Fairest of the fair is He;
King of kings, I hail Him gladly
Here and through eternity;
His great beauty
His completely won my soul.
See above the clouds and shadows,
See, my soul, the Land of Light,
Where the breeze is ever balmy,
Where the sky is ever bright;
Now enjoy its perfect peace.
Now at length a mighty rapture
Thrills this troubled heart of mine,
In the prospect of possessing
This inheritance divine;
They that seek this Land of rest.
Yes, we part, but not for ever —
Joyful hopes our bosoms swell;
They who love the Saviour never
Know a long, a last farewell!
Lie beyond this parting veil.
“Next evening, February 8, at the dose of the meeting he seemed transported to glow, the whole company’ standing and singing: ‘Away over Jordan with my blessed Jesus’, the chorus he chose himself, but which had not been sung in the College for the past year. His face was described by some as reminding them of Stephen’s — the face of an angel — as he took out his handkerchief and waved it while he sang — it seemed as if in greeting to his Saviour and the saints gone on before. It was his last meeting on earth.
“Within half an hour, I was called to see him, as he lay prostrate on his bed in the throes of a terrible heart attack. To my amazement he consented to have some medicaments — the first foreboding to me that he did not really expect to recover, for, had he expected it, he would have preferred to hold on in naked faith.
“As he lay in an agony that I could only conjecture-for he never breathed one word to the very last with reference to his own suffering — he said, ‘It is the Lord… it is the Lord… I am in the center of the Lord’s will… everything is gained… it is the Lord.’
“During the following four days, before he passed Home, whenever he came to consciousness, it was to breathe out the name of some missionary (especially Mr. Norman Grubb and Mr. John Thomas), or other intimate friend for whom he was obviously praying, or to tell us of his believing of all the Vision.
“His last words came in a moment of consciousness on Sunday, February 12, as he recognized me and breathed in a quiet whisper, ‘Victory… Hallelujah.’ Several times during those days he had said that same word to Mrs. Howells — ‘Glorious victory’. The end of his earthly pilgrimage came at 10 a.m. on Monday, February 13. As we knelt around his bed, we were deeply conscious of the marvelous presence of God. We breathed our prayer, ‘Thy will be done’, and asked the Lord to make us worthy successors of such a noble servant of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
Within an hour, Mr. Samuel Howells had called the whole staff of the College and School together. Naturally quiet and retiring, it was obvious to all that the Spirit of God had come upon him as he summoned all to a rededication of their lives to carry through the vision and commission his father had laid down. Since that day it has been plain to everyone that in the hiddenness of the past thirteen years, during which he had been with his father and mother in the College, God had been maturing and preparing His servant to take Mr. Howells’ place. No son by natural inheritance could step into the place of such a father, but all recognize with thankfulness that the same divine Person who came to live in their late Director also indwells his son, and thus College and School still have the same Guide, Enabler and Supplier, the Lord Himself in the midst.