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doubts arose in my mind; but they did not last long, and I have never been troubled with them since. Thank God, I have no doubts or fears now. I am not afraid to die.' He also made special reference to the opinions of Lawrence on Materialism, saying, that reading his arguments more fully convinced him than anything else of the unsoundness of the theory. All that could be said in favour of it would be advanced, and in the most forcible manner, by so distinguished and clever a man. If, then, what even Lawrence could urge was so inconclusive, he felt satisfied that the doctrine of Materialism was altogether false.”
During this week, he was for several days more than ordinarily cheerful. He said one morning, “I have been awake some hours, but I have been so happy, picturing myself in my coffin, and my funeral, with what you will all say and do.” Though he thus frequently spoke with calmness and pleasure of his approaching end, his friends were anxious to hear him state with equal explicitness, that this peace was not caused by any dependence on himself. Such an assurance it was the privilege of the author to receive, when visiting him as usual, early in the morning of Thursday, January 11. After giving a few directions respecting the future, the following conversation took place
Dr. G.—"I very much wonder you all avoid the subject of my death.'
N.—“It is too distressing to us. Besides, we cannot give up all hope of your recovery."
Dr. G.–“But I do not wish to avoid the subject. It is always in my thoughts. I had a happy day yesterday. Perhaps you would not think what made it so. It was the prospect of the delightful journey I am going to take.”
N.—“If we are' trusting only to Christ, there is nothing in death which should make us afraid. It ought not to be terrible to a Christian."
Dr. G.– Of course not.”
N.—“It is but going out of one room into another, to which our friends are soon to follow us.”
Dr. G.-"Not so. It is far better. It is a very pleasant journey” (with great emphasis). After a pause he added, “I am astonished it should ever be spoken of as a difficult thing for men to acknowledge their own unworthiness. When I look back on my own life and examine it, I see it has been a life of imperfection and selfishness. My best actions were unworthy, and a mixture of selfish motive was in my most benevolent efforts.”
Mrs. G. referred to a small volume containing the dying testimonies of eminent medical men, and alluded to Dr. Mason Good, who confessed that his own righteousness was but filthy rags.
Dr. G.—"That is my doctrine. Not because Mason Good said so, but because the Bible tells me so.”
Addressing the author, he added, “Perhaps you and others may have fancied I have not thought much on these subjects, because I have not said much, but I have felt deeply, and for years.”
Here was the explanation of a character so marvellously excellent, that it would have been most difficult to account for it, on any other
supposition than that divine grace was in operation to produce it. Without any verbal confession, there would have been sufficient evidence to justify a strong hope that he was a genuine believer. But his own declaration rendered this certain, and explained the almost unparalleled peace and joy which distinguished his latter end.
We cannot deny that the Spirit of God may, and sometimes does, visit a sinner so suddenly and powerfully, that at once he is emancipated from the yoke of sin, and emerging from midnight darkness without any intervening twilight, into the full blaze of noon, enjoys a clearness and elevation of sentiment, together with a confidence in God and a joy approaching to rapture, which outstrip at once the experience of many an old believer. The secret is discovered without much labour in the investigation. The summit of the mountain is gained without undergoing the toil and pain of scaling its rugged sides. God thus teaches us what he is ab to effect, and intends to humble us by showing that it is only by his grace that we are what we are. Yet this is not the ordinary method in which that grace operates. The process is generally more slow and gradual. The spiritual birth as well as the physical, has its anxieties and sore travail. There is often much toil in the seeking, previous to the much joy of the finding. So it was with Dr. Gordon. His was not a life of indifference to religion, closed by a sudden conversion and a few days of enthusiastic excitement. But after many years of earnest and anxious inquiry, with secret and constant prayer for the enlightening influences of the Holy Spirit, together with a conscientious discharge of every duty, he was favoured, towards the close, with such a view of the all-sufficiency of Christ to meet the sinner's wants, and was enabled by faith so fully to rely on his merits for acceptance with God, without one doubt or misgiving, that, rising above the vaporous atmosphere through which he had long been climbing up the craggy cliffs of the “hill Difficulty,” he basked in a cloudless sunshine at a higher elevation than Christians ordinarily attain. The rare privileges he enjoyed were not realized without a long fight of afflictions, the crown was not obtained without the conflict,—the kingdom was not entered but “through much tribulation.”
NIGHT OF DISTRESS.
SUDDEN ALARM-NIGHT OF APPARENT DEATH-NATURAL IM
PULSE NOT RELIGIOUS PRINCIPLE-MESSAGE TO YOUNG MEN
-WAR-COLLECTS-CATHOLICITY-ADRIAN'S ADDRESS TO HIS
On Saturday, January 13, Dr. Gordon seemed even more cheerful and animated than usual, so that it was impossible for his friends not to entertain some hopes of recovery. Though he remained in bed during the day, he was mentally as active as ever, reading, receiving calls, and attending to a few matters of business. At four o'clock, the writer left him conversing with his brother-in-law on various topics, with more than ordinary interest. But not an hour had elapsed before the alarming message was received that he was dying. On hastening to his bedside, the writer feared that all was over. The eyes were fixed, and a cold sweat was thick upon
his brow. He had risen to have the bed made. While seated in the easy chair at the fire, with only