Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

mourned. An attendance upon pidly hastening to the period of the ordinances of the gospel, dissolution. She then wrote to particularly that of the sacra- a friend as follows: “I presume mental supper, was a source of there is not a creature that inunspeakable joy to her soul. habits this earth, who has greatShe observed stated times of er cause of gratitude than myfasting and prayer. The after- self. I count it among my choi. noon and evening before the Sab- cest mercies that I am so much bath, were generally set apart by resigned to my present situaher to prepare her for the solem. tion. if the light and fatherly nities of that holy day. She gen-chastisement which I have been erally abstained from food that made to endure be a mean of subevening, and often remarked to duing the corruptions of an obthose with whom she was inti- durate and idolatrous heart, I mate, that the most soul-satisfy- must count this one of the most ing joys were fruits of such precious seasons of my life.” fasting, &c.

In a season when in tolerable Her faith was several times health, she wrote thus : “ I have tried, a number of years before but just returned from a conferher last illness. She was afflict- ence. I am too happy. Laned with bodily indisposition, and guage must be more copious beapparently brought near the clos- fore I can express my gratitude. ing scene. But her confidence My M-attended the conference. in the faithfulness of God was She has been softening for some unshaken. “Her soul being fill-time past; and she was this eveed with virtue's light, shone ning dissolved in tears. What brightest in affliction's night." the event will be God only knows. During a painful illness toward Not three months since she opthe close of the year 1799, she posed with warmth. . But the wrote to a friend thus, “ My dis- grace of God is sufficient for the order increases, so that in all chief of sinners ; yes, for those probability I shall not be permit of the first magnitude, or I ted to taste the memorials of the should never have obtained merdying love of Jesus the next cy." On another occasion, she Sabbath. Since I saw you I think expressed herself in writing thus, I have conversed familiarly with “ My friend, I invite you to rea death-bed. I am willing to joice with me.

I have for some make my final exit. I have en- time been severely chastened, tombed the fear of death, the but trust I can say with sindread of every thing but the cerity, 'I count it all joy that I frown of God. I think there is have fallen into divers temptanothing which binds me to earth, tions.' Surely this is a morning but when I say thus, don't ima- to be remembered; for I humgine it arises from discontent: bly hope I have been with Jesus. No, not a moment but what Last evening I attended a concomes fraught with a rich bles- ference. () my friend, I can sing. If I have any thing of never be grateful enough for the which to complain, 'tis an un- affections with which I was then grateful heart.” In the summer inspired. Unworthy wretch ! of 1801, she was thought to be in can I ever forget the loving-kinda consumptive state, and to be ra- ness of the Lord, and again be

hard and unfeeling? Yes, un- needful,” she would often obless Jesus guard me continually. serve, “ How painful to spend Here is my only hope. They one's precious time in conver. alone who have felt the power of sing upon the trifles of this religion, can understand when world ; how distressing to see we talk of the rapturous emo- dying creatures trifling upon the tions excited by a realizing view brink of the grave !" She was of a bleeding, dying Saviour ; very solicitous that saving and and shall enquire why bestow-lasting benefits might accrue to ed upon unworthy me? The an- the people of Canaan, from their swer is plain, ' For the foulest of enjoyment of the instituted the foul he died.' The Most means of grace.

Her prayers High is a sovereign and doth what to God for them were that they he will with his own. Were I might be saved, that pure relinever to experience sweet com- gion might flourish among munion till I had merited it by them. holy living, I should look for it For a considerable time bein vain."

fore her last illness, it was strongWhen called in Providence to ly impressed upon her mind, contemplate an important change that she should not survive the of circumstances, by entering painful scence before her. She the marriage state, she was deep- made arrangements accordingly, ly impressed with a sense of the and endeavored to be in readigreatness of the undertaking ; ness for the coming of the Son of the trials incident to that en- of man. From various incidents dearing connection, and of the which took place avout this difficulty of filling that station time, and particularly from her with becoming dignity, which conversation upon religion, demanded uncommon prudence, death, and the solemnities of edistinguished piety, and many ternity, it appeared that she exother qualifications, natural and pected soon to share the joys of acquired. After her marriage a blessed immortality. On the and removal to Canaan, she was first Sabbath of March, she ato , very assiduous to discharge with tended public worship, and comChristian fidelity, the interest | memorated the dying love of ing duties which devolved upon Jesus. It was a blessed season her. And she soon obtained the to her soul ; and she expected friendship and esteem of her it was the last of the kind which neighbors and acquaintance to a she should enjoy. A little behigh degree. Serious people fore her last sickness, and in particularly, found in her an a- the view of its approach, she greeable and instructive compan- with her husband spent a season

Her conversation was ever of fasting and prayer, after which upon religion, when circum- she anticipated her approaching stances dictated the propriety of scene of distress with uninterintroducing it. And when she rupted composure. When the had been necessitated to spend hour of her distress arrived she considerable time among those appeared perfectly calm. God

“ careful and troubled was evidently her refuge and about many things," and who strength ; a very present help disregarded " the one thing in trouble. In the evening, to a

1on.

who were

female friend who was about topired. She however manifested retire she said, “ In the wakeful entire resignation to the will of hours of night, when you call heaven, and not a murmuring your God to mind remember word escaped her lips. In famime.” After having endured un- ly devotion she was much anicommonly long and severe mated, and by her request the pangs, she was at length deliver- scriptures were often read to her. ed of an apparently promising Divine truth was sweeter to her son. After her delivery, she wept taste, than honey or the loney for joy, and being desired by one comb. Contemplations upon present, not to indulge her feel the glorious scheme of redempings so, she replied," I can't help tion, filled her soul with un. it, I am so rejoiced.” After her speakable joy. As she drev? infant was dressed, and presented nearer the closing scene, her to her, by her husband, she ex-joys become more and more tripressed her feelings in the words umphant. The clouds which of Hannah, relative to Samuel, had partially obscured her pros“ I desire to give him unto the pects for short seasons, entirely Lord, all the days of his life.” vanished, and in some degree In the evening after, when feed-like Stephen, she had an uning the child, it strangled. All clouded view of the glories of present, (excepting its mother) | that world to which she was were much alarmed under an hastening. This scene of unin. apprehension that it would nev-terrupted joy commenced the er breathe again. On being week before her death. Early asked why she appeared so calm one morning, in that week, she whilst otiers were alarmed, she sent to her husband who was replied, “I felt composed on sleeping in another room, desirthis ground, knowing that if Goding him to rise and pray with saw fit to take it then, it was the and for her. best time, and I cheerfully re- On his entering the room, she signed it into his hands.” When observed to him in words to this the child was about twelve days import. “ I feel that I have but old, it was judged expedient to a short time to continue in this put it out to a nurse, Mrs. Pren- world. Some have doubtless tice being unable to keep and been deceived, and have not dissupport it with proper nourish-covered their deception 'till it ment.

was for ever too late. The tho't During a considerable part of of leaving the world, secure in her fatal illness, she was exercis- a false hope, is insupportably ed with acute bodily pain, which dreadful. It is possible I may she endured with that Christian be deceived through the prevafortitude and resignation to di- lence of indwelling corruption, vine disposals, which nothing and the influence of a wicked but the presence of Jesus could and deceitful heart. I wish you afford. In the former part of therefore to pray for me, particher sickness she observed, that ularly, that a holy God, may although her evidences of a un- search my heart and try my ion to Christ were clear, yet she reins, and see if there be any did not experience that joy and wicked way in me, and lead me consolation, after which she as- in the way everlasting."

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Prayer was accordingly at- with that joy, and peace in betended, at the close of which she lieving, which this world can neiappeared composed, cheerful, ther give, nor take away. and joyful; and neverafter mani- The following she addressed fested the least anxiety through to different persons who were doubt or fear. She was raised present in the course of the day. entirely above the terrors of dis- To her husband she said, “0) solving nature. By her request my dear, my heart has been several Psalms were sung, and bleeding for you, and the dear prayer was frequently attended. babe. It is the survivor that After repeating the following in dies. In your daily walk, be the 17th Psalm, the whole, by sober and circumspect; and reher request, was sung the day member that your words are before her death.

noticed, and your actions watch

ed. Should the child be spared, “ This life's a dream, an empty give him, if possible, a good ed

show; “ But the bright world to which I go, ucation. I wish, if it is God's " Hath joys, substantial and sincere, will, he may become a minister " When shall I wake and find me of the gospel. We have lived there !"

happily together; our prospects In the afternoon previous to have been flattering ; but we her death, she desired that her must soon part. I hope to meet child might be brought home, you in a better world. It has that she might unite in its bap- been my endeavor to alleviate tismal dedication to God. The your sorrows, to brighten your child was brought accordingly, enjoyments, and to assist you by and laid upon her arm ; when prayer and counsel in the great she observed to a number who work, assigned you by Provihad collected upon the occasion, dence. I cheerfully leave you “ I often dedicated this babe to in the hands of God. Trust in God, even before it was born; him through the Redeemer, and and desire now, in the presence he will never forsake you. of my Christian friends, to unite After a little time, you will folin its baptismal dedication, be- low me. Be faithful, Oh, be fore my departure.” After this faithful unto death. Tell the the solemn ordinance was ad- people of your charge that I ministered. She then said to have often fervently prayed for her husband, “ You must take the success of a preached gosaway the sweet babe ; it is not pel amongst them; that their mine, I have given it back to its spiritual welfare has lain near Creator; and I am too feeble my heart ; and that they can to see it any longer.” After never find substantial joy, but in kissing it for the last time, she religion. I pray that iny death concluded her maternal bene- may have a sanctified effect updiction in this affecting and im- on this people ; that it may be a pressive language, “ May the mean of quickening Christians, Father own it, the Son redeem and of alarming the secure, imit, and the Holy Ghost sanctify penitent and unbelieving." Afit !” During the whole of this ter this, she gave him, directions most affecting scene, she was per- respecting the distribution of fectly calm, and apparently filled her clothes, and the regulation

Vol. VI. NO. 5.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

ла

of domestic concerns; and spake in the Christian race, striving for particularly of the foretastes she an incorruptible and immorta then experienced of the joys of crown. Her sister then asked heaven ; of the employments of her if she had not something to the just made perfect, and con- say, which might be communicluded in words to this import : cated to her brothers and sisters “In a very little time, I shall be who were absent; she replied, in the eternal world ; it is an un- “ O yes, tell them from me to tried state ; our views of it here begin a life of religion now in are doubtless very imperfect. I youth ; tell them that I have enshall soon see as I am seen, and joyed more in one hour on this know as I am known. I shall sick bed, than in all the vain probably be acquainted with your amusements of the world. Tell circumstances after my depart. those (meaning two) who have ure.” This took place while heretofore been under serious none but herself and husband impressions, and whose impreswere in the room. She then ob- sions have worn off, that they served that she wished to unite are iir an awful condition ; and with him once more in prayer that it is infinitely important for before any company was admit- them to choose the one thing ted.

needful in early life.” To a numBefore and after this she was ber of people who were present, visited by several to whom she she affectionately and tenderly communicated her feelings with addressed the following: “O freedom. Observing her moth- my friends, religion is worth er weeping by her bed-side, she seeking; and you cannot exbessed of her to desist, adding, pect to enjoy the comforts of it, “Mama, weep not for me;, but unless you seek it in humble sinfor your other children. There cerity.” She repeatedly spoke is reason to believd you have of the danger of procrastination, those that are in an unrenewed and of the importance of prestate.”

With proper expres- paring for death while in health. sions of respect, she then re- She observed that it was probaquested her and her husband's ble death-bed repentances were mother, who was present, to re-often insincere ; and that pernew their covenant obligations ; sons who were racked with pain to examine the foundation of and anguish, expecting hourly their hope; to adorn their Chris- to be called before the bar of tion profession ; to be faithful in God, were in a miserable condidischarging the important duties tion to prepare for eternity. She of their stations, and to be in observed that she never could constant readiness for the sol- be grateful enough that God had emn crisis of exchanging worlds. inclined her to seek religion in A sister who was present, with youth. She dwelt with rapture whom she had often taken sweet upon the distinguishing doccounsel, who was the only trines of grace. Being asked if branch of the family that pro- she had any dependence upon fessed religion, excepting her the apparently holy life she had self, and whose soul was united sled, she replied, “ no ; it is to hers as Jonathan's was to Da- all sovereign grace, from first to vid's, she exhorted to persevere I last. Not unto me, O Lord, not

[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »