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FROM SUNDAY, JAN. 14, TO SUNDAY, JAN. 21.
TO PUBLISH THE GOSPEL-HINTS ON PREACHING-EVIDENCES
OF CHRISTIANITY-HINDRANCES TO AN INQUIRER-INCONSIS
TENCIES OF PROFESSORS-CHRISTIANS AFRAID OF INVESTIGA
TION-CROMWELL'S LETTERS- MURAL TABLET-INTERESTING
ARGUMENTATIVE DIALOGUE ON THE TRUTH OF CHRISTIANITY -IMPORTANCE OF HUMAN REASON-PHARAOH'S HEART HARDENED-HIEROGLYPHICS—“MY TIMES ARE IN THY HAND -EVANGELICAL TRUTH-A PHYSICIAN'S OPPORTUNITIES OF
PROPAGATING THE GOSPEL-MAKING A COMPANION OF GOD —HERBERT'S HOLDFAST.
In mercy to survivors, Dr. Gordon was spared for more than three weeks, after the trying scenes of the preceding night, during the whole of which time his mental faculties retained their full vigour. The violence of his pain abated, and he was enabled to enjoy constant intercourse with his friends. He loved to have his family always around his bed, and to spend his waking hours in reciprocations of affection and conversation, or reading on the great themes of the love of Christ and the glories of heaven. This respite was an inestimable boon to those most dear to him, enabling them both to hear and to say much, for which there would have been no opportunity had he been taken from them by the sudden attack of the 13th. There is a sad satisfaction in a deliberate farewell previous to a long separation, the loss of which is the greatest evil connected with the sudden death of a Christian. But this privilege was fully enjoyed in the present instance, and a rich legacy of love and piety bequeathed to survivors, more precious than any worldly wealth.
Many, besides his immediate connexions, shared in the privilege of conversing with him on his dying bed. He saw all who desired an interview, delighting in the opportunity thus given him of commending that Saviour who had, in so remarkable a degree, given him “the peace which passeth all understanding.” He received nearly three hundred visits, during the last three weeks of his life, from persons of all ranks; but whether rich or poor, he welcomed them with equal courtesy, saying something appropriate and kind to each, and pointing to "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” The writer need not fear the charge of exaggeration, when there are so many
persons who can testify, that no description can convey an adequate idea of the calm security, the vigorous intellect, the affectionate manner, and the joyful hope manifested by the sufferer. Words are impotent to depict that sick-room, which, to use the words of the Rev. Dr. Dobbin at the funeral, was "not at all the chamber of death, but the robing-room of heaven.”
We were anxious to catch everything he said, that we might treasure it in our memory as a solace for the season of bereavement, and a feast for future years. It was originally for this purpose, but afterwards for a more extended use, that the writer took short-hand notes of almost everything that Dr. Gordon said, during the time he was confined to his bed. This was difficult to accomplish, as it was necessary to avoid the observation of his keen eye, which scarcely anything eluded; for had he known that a record was kept of what he said, the freedom of his communications would have received a great check. But by the position in which the author sat, he was able to secure a faithful record of what passed, without any suspicion on the part of his beloved father-in-law. This statement is necessary, in order to account for the length and number of the conversations recorded, and to correct the inference likely to be drawn from the precision and beauty with which many of Dr. Gordon's sentiments are expressed, that the phraseology was
the result of subsequent careful revision, and not the unpremeditated utterance of a dying man. The biographer assures the reader that the words, as well as the ideas, are Dr. Gordon's own, whose extemporaneous expressions were usually marked by the accuracy of studied compositions. To show the connexion of what he said, the remarks of others are occasionally recorded, though with a brevity which will account for whatever abruptness may be observed in the dialogue.
January 14. The severity of the pain having abated, the beloved sufferer fell into a doze. During the whole of this day he seemed gradually sinking from extreme exhaustion; so that, as far as our feelings and his own were concerned, it was still a dying scene. Indeed, this was the case till his death actually occurred; for, notwithstanding the occasional variations in his symptoms, he knew that the result was inevitable; and we were assured, both by himself and the medical friends who visited him, that his departure might take place at any hour. This imparted to everything he said the interest of a last utterance. But though on the verge of the other world, and longing to be with Jesus, his tender heart clung to the objects of earthly affection. The sensibilities of the man shone forth the more brightly in the hope and joy of the Christian. He delighted to be reassured of our affection, and to talk over the happy scenes of former years; but said, “I am going to a better country.” He sent kind farewell messages to many friends. Among others, to the author's father, the writer of the well-known tract, “The Sinner's Friend," he sent this salutation,-"Assure him of my strong affection; tell him I'm the sinner, and that I've found the Friend.” He
requested that a nice spot should be selected in the cemetery for his grave; and that there might be flowers planted upon it. It was remarked, “This is a bright sunny day.” He replied, “Yes, but I shall have a brighter one next Sunday.”
In kind consideration to our feelings, he endeavoured to prepare us for the contortions of the features, which sometimes accompany death, and said, “You will see a slight movement in my face, but don't be alarmed, for there will be no pain. I've been thinking how busy you will be about my funeral ; but I shall be far away.” Suddenly stretching out his emaciated hands, and somewhat raising his head, his countenance beaming with rapture, and his eyes gazing, as on some vision of beauty and splendour, he said, “I see that bright region spread before me, where there is no night, and where no heat scorches. And I see Jesus, too; he is waiting to receive me!” Then after a pause—“It would not do for a worldly mind to enter. It could not enjoy heaven. There must be a change. The way to be prepared is by self-abasement, and reliance on Christ.”