itself upon us: "Is there not a cause ?" I remember, when Mr. Philpot, of blessed memory, died, my late dear friend Mr. Mountfort said to me, "I shall watch the effect of this stroke upon the churches. If it causes searchings of heart, and exercises the people of God to humility and repentance before him, I shall hope it will be a profitable dispensation to Zion; but if it should only be as a stone cast into the waters, which for a moment causes a few ripples on the surface, and then all becomes so quiet that you cannot perceive there has been any disturbance or movement at all, I shall then fear there are other sore reproofs and chastenings in store for the church of Christ." And now I ask those of you who, as well as myself, have closely observed the course of events in the church from that time, must we not confess that it has been a declining and downward one? How many faithful ambassadors of truth have been called away! And how few have been raised up who fill their places! until the general complaint is heard on all hands of the great lack of Godqualified under-shepherds.

Then, while we mourn the loss of such old-established men as our late dear friend Pert, may we not ask how it is that, while the Lord seems to have entered into a controversy with us as a part of his living church, yet the desirable results are looked for in vain? When I heard of the death of our recently-departed friend Mr. Covell, I said, Many will mourn over his decease, and well we may; but I would that God in mercy might turn back the tide of sorrow upon us individually, until the inquiry is heard on every hand: What is it which provokes the Lord thus to bereave his Zion of her watchmen ? And while we to-day mourn the loss of an old and tried friend, one long known and greatly beloved by most here present, may the Lord so bring the matter home to our hearts that we may fall before him in true humility, and desire him to cleanse us from whatever is displeasing in his sight, and turn our hearts more singly to himself. Thus, while we supplicate his blessing upon the bereaved widow and family, for the church over which our late friend presided for so many years, and for Zion at large, may we be moved by this circumstance to individually seek unto God for ourselves, with that true repentance which needs not to be repented of.

We add a letter of Mrs. Pert's to Mr. Gadsby, containing an account of Mr. Pert's last illness and death, which he has kindly forwarded to us. We are sure that many of our friends who were acquainted with Mr. Pert, and loved and valued him as a minister of God, will be glad to read some account of his last days.

Dear Friend, I trust you arrived safe home, and did not take cold. I am sorry to say my daughter and myself both took cold, and have been very poorly ever since. I feel it a mercy not to have been confined to bed, for I was nearly worn out with nursing my dear husband; for although his illness was short, it was of a very distressing nature. He was taken shortly after

getting into bed, on the Monday night, Dec. 29, with cold shivering, and was very ill indeed. I sent for our doctor. He came, and pronounced him very ill. On the Tuesday he felt better, and had his clothes on, and sat by the fire. The doctor came, and was astonished to see him sitting up. The cold shivering, which was distressing beyond description, came on once every twelve hours.

On the Wednesday he dressed again; but, feeling worse, sat up only a very short time; and from that day he got rapidly worse, being paralyzed, which rendered him almost powerless, and so affected his speech that we could only understand a word now and then which he spoke. He appeared to be much in prayer, but we could not hardly gather a word. One day he said, "Read a chapter." We asked him what chapter. He replied, "Isaiah xxxviii.” His eldest son read it. His father stopped him several times, having so much to say upon it; and his dear arms were uplifted; and he had such a happy countenance. But it was painful to us, as we could not understand what he was saying. He said one day to his daughter, "Though painful at present;" but could not repeat the rest of that verse, so his daughter did to him. Then he said, "I shall be more than conqueror too."

But, as he grew worse, he was less able to speak; indeed, his suffering was distressing. The doctor saw him twice on the Wednesday. At the last visit, about 5 o'clock, he said, "He may last four hours;" but he lingered on until twenty minutes past ten on Thursday morning. During the night he called out, "Mother!" but when I spoke to him, he made no reply. He also said, "Heaven," twice.

Although his sufferings were still so great, a few minutes before he departed, his breathing was better; and we could scarce say he was gone before his happy spirit had taken its mansion near the throne. This was the 8th of January. He had not been out on the Monday.

He preached on the Sunday morning previous to his illness, and told the friends he hoped to be with them in the afternoon. He had not walked to chapel for a long time. A young man used to come and drive him to chapel, and then home again. On that afternoon, the man was taken ill, and was not able to attend; therefore he only preached in the morning. He felt very grieved about it. His text was Ps. xxix. 11. I never heard him enter into his subject with more liberty. He was led to speak of so many trials in which the Lord's people needed his strength, and showed in the cases of the Old Testament saints how the Lord had been a strength to them. He then spoke of the peace that the Lord had promised to bless his people with, and was enabled to enter into it in a most blessed way. I have said since it was like preaching his own funeral sermon.

Flimwell, Jan. 20th, 1880.

Yours very affectionately,



"Whilst the long cloud of witnesses Shows the same path to heaven." My very Dear and Beloved Friends,-Grace, mercy, and peace be with you. Amen.


I wish to write a few lines to say I received your very kind and affectionate letter, with enclosed very liberal present. I would gladly write freely, but cannot, my pains are now so great; and I have suffered during the night even to agony. I pray the Lord to reward your kindness by spiritual blessings. I do find love and gratitude increase, I trust, both to God and my dear friends; but O! I pray, I long for the blessed Lord to draw it forth. O pray for me, my dear friend, for grace to accept all the will of God concerning me, and for strength rightly to endure his chastisements. I feel weak and absent. O! I long for his gracious words; and may he make it a healing word. sent his word, and healed them." His word is known by the blessed effect. His words are spirit, and they are life; they refresh and enliven the mind. "To be spiritually-minded is life." "Thy word hath quickened me." They attract to Christ. "My sheep hear my voice, and they follow me." They draw off from what is not his gospel. A stranger's voice they will not follow. It brings the affections to love the Lord. "He that hath my commandments, he it is that loveth me." It refreshes the soul like food to a hungry man. 66 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart." They lead to oppose sin. "Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee." The word is endeared to the heart in times of affliction. The afflicted is exercised to the valuing of the word. "Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now I have kept thy word." Faith is begotten and fed by the word, as spoken by the Lord; therefore it is called "the word of faith." "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." It evidences and substantiates the reality of heavenly and future realities. It gives a lively hope of future glory. "Being begotten again (by the word of truth) to a lively hope, the hope of glory," which may increase and rise to the assurance of hope, which is the Lord assuring the heart of eternal glory. "We have access by faith unto this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." This was my dear daughter's happy experience in her dying hours; and this my soul longeth to enjoy; for it would raise my heart above the cries and groans from pain.

O blessed Lord, grant me this, and fill my heart with love to thee, and gratitude and praise. It stamps the world a wilderness. It is not a resting place; no happy home for the mind. It opens heavenly and eternal things, as my daughter found, an eternity of happiness; and attracts the desires: "They desired a better country, that is, an heavenly;" and confessed themselves strangers and pilgrims here below. Paul found this to be the

case. "Willing rather to be absent from the body, and present with the Lord." "Having a desire to depart, and be with Christ, which is far better." My heart, my desires, how imprisoned and shut up they are!

I wrote the above yesterday, but was in such pain I could not go on, and to-day I have suffered to agony. It grieves me I cannot write. I can only say my Christian love and gratitude are not abated, but increased. I do bless the Lord for his wonderful providence to me, and long and pray for his blessing on the instruments of his goodness to me. I know not what a day may bring forth, as to this trying affliction. May the Lord be with and abundantly bless you. This is the desire and prayer of my heart. I am yours, gratefully and affectionately, Hastings, Jan. 19th, 1860.


Dear Friend,-You were no doubt disappointed this morning; but better late than never. I was glad to receive yours by the ten o'clock post. The contents were admirable. I am not surprized that you marvel at the goodness of our covenant God and Father. "O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come." I am trying to thank and to praise, but am a poor hand at doing "comely things" (Ps. xxxiii. 1); being more frequently like the nine lepers than the one. I am a Jacob for fear, a Jonah for rebellion, and worse than any disciple for forgetfulness and hardheartedness.

"O for grace our hearts to soften!

Let them be dissolved by love;
We, alas! forget too often

What a Friend we have above."

I am still greatly in arrears with gratitude and thanks, for past and present favours. The wonder is that God does not stop the supply until the old debts are cleared off; and he would do so but he is pleased to be a creditor; and so I shall be an eternal debtor, giving, I hope, "Thanks, eternal thanks to thee."


"O to grace how great a debtor

Daily I'm constrained to be!"

May he grant that I may never go so away from a contemplation of my insolvency, or from the deed of gift, or from the charter and law of liberty, as to forget what manner of man I am. (Jas. i. 21.) O what a blessed state it is to be a hungry, mourning outcast! (Matt. v. 1-9.) What a rich thing to be poor! How elevated and elevating is it to be low! When I am something, however small, I am deceived and lost; but when I am nothing, I am right, and found, and sound too. A ray of Christ's glory will blind a man to his own excellencies, as we see in the case of Daniel, whose comeliness was turned into corruption by the sight.

"The more thy glories strike mine eyes,

The humbler I shall lie;

Thus, as I sink, my joys shall rise

Immeasurably high.”

I can only sum up in the words of a worm (Jacob): "Less than the least of all the mercies and the truth which thou hast showed unto thy servant." (Gen. xxxii. 10. See margin.)

I wish that I had grace and thought to go on painting my own deformities and Christ's excellences for an hour, but, may be, will enable me to God return to such a spiritually profitable subject again. Truly yours,

Elstree, Sept. 28th, 1876.

G. R.

My dear Friend,-I sit down to send you a little account of what I trust I may call the dear Lord's dealings with my soul this morning. The day began with thick darkness upon my mind. I wondered if any children of God ever felt as I was then feeling; so stupid, so dead. Berridge's words indeed describe my case in some degree, but they did not come to my mind; the Lord must be the real Remembrancer:


"Like some dead dog, I lumpish lie,

And putrefy the ground."

I was full of fears lest God would make me a reproach to the foolish. I feared that he would deal with me as he dealt with Shebna the Scribe,-thrust me on one side, and put an Eliakim in my place. One thing I did feel, and that was some self-loathing; and I could not help justifying the Lord if he did so deal with I had pondering thoughts whether it would not be best for me to renounce all public work, and retire into a more private life; for how dreadful is the thought of being an injurer of God's church, and a curse to our fellow-creatures instead of a blessing. You know that the promise to Abraham, and doubtless to all his seed, is: "I will bless thee, and make thee a blessing." We want both parts of this promise fulfilled to us. We crave a fulfilment of the promise: "Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." We want to be the channels of divine mercies and blessings to others;-serviceable and useful, not barren or injurious creatures.

Well; my state was to my feelings most wretched and deplorable, and yet I could not properly deplore it.

"Scarce drop one heart-feeling tear."


But O the mercy of God! Grace is indeed free. He remembers us in our low estates, because his mercy endureth for ever. first felt him visit my heart, and quicken me into the life of God in family worship. It is good to bend our knees in our families unto God; but sometimes what wretched work it is! We do not always approach to this work with that care and reverence which becomes us. At least, it is so with me. I allow my mind to occupy itself with other things almost to the last moment; then go off without due consideration to family prayers. And I confess the Lord sometimes sorely chastens me for this want of care and reverence. He will be sanctified in those who draw nigh unto him. At the best we can only reverence him most inadequately.

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