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The Hand of God

Category Articles
Date October 3, 2006

The Trust has great pleasure in announcing the forthcoming publication of Frederick S. Leahy’s last book, The Hand of God: The Comfort of Having a Sovereign God. The manuscript of this book was posted to the Trust earlier on the day that Fred ‘fell asleep in Jesus’ and entered into the joy of his Lord. We are indebted to Mrs Margaret Leahy for kindly agreeing to share this remarkable little story about the providence of God and the prayerful witness of a faithful Christian woman.

On 15 September 2006, when Fred would have celebrated his 84th birthday, his brother wrote to me, enclosing an old little card, entitled ‘Our Baby Boy’. The card was originally sent to his parents by his father’s employer and her daughter, the Honourable Lady and Miss Hayes, of Donegal, Ireland, in 1922 on the occasion of Fred’s birth. Although Lady Hayes was a member of the aristocracy, she was a true Christian, who was converted under the preaching of Canon Hay Aitken, a Church of England minister. Fred’s father was originally from Dublin, and had served in the Irish Guards; although a regular church-goer, he did not know the Saviour. In 1919 he went to work on the Hayes’s estate in Donegal during a period of intense political and civil unrest in Ireland. Concerned about her employee’s state of soul, Lady Hayes gave him a notable book to read, Pardon and Assurance, by W. J. Patton. It was to be the means of his conversion. In 1922, a baby boy was born into what was now a godly home, and the aforementioned card was sent to the new parents on that happy occasion. The verses on the card are remarkable, in that the prayers were amazingly answered in the fullness of time. How truly blessed is the baby for whom such prayers are offered! How truly blessed are those too, who see the links in the chain of Divine Providence in their lives!

Fred could and often did say, ‘My times are in thy hand’ (Psa. 31:5). The answer to the first question in the Heidelberg Catechism was a favourite of his. ‘What is thy only comfort in life and in death?’

‘That I, with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own, but belong to my faithful Saviour, Jesus Christ, who with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and redeemed me from all the power of the Devil; and so preserves me, that, without the will of my Father in Heaven, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must work together for my salvation. Wherefore, by his Holy Spirit, he also assures me of eternal life, and makes me heartily willing and ready, henceforth to live unto him.’

OUR BABY BOY

What shall we ask for our baby boy?
Shall we ask for fame, or gain, or joy,
For the dear-bought wisdom of the schools,
Or a skilful hand in the use of tools?
Ah, nay, our wishes much higher go
Than the highest hill with its cap of snow,
And the heart’s desire must wider be
Than the utmost stretch of the boundless sea.

We ask for the blessing of God above
And an early sense of the Saviour’s love,
An early sense of his wondrous grace
And an early start to seek his face;
A soul that is cleansed by the Saviour’s blood,
A heart that is kept by the peace of God,
Where the very God of peace may dwell,
His holy secrets of love to tell.

Feet that shall walk in the path of life
And follow the Lamb through stress or strife,
That following on through pain and loss
He may learn the worth of the Saviour’s cross;
A place in his heart for the words of truth,
And God for his guide from his early youth.
Great things we ask for our baby boy —
A place in God’s universe of joy,
A home in the land where his Son supreme
And his wondrous cross are the dearest theme.

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