Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

Do not talk of repenting about wri. having had the privilege of sitting ting to me; I hope to receive many under the sound of truth from his epistles from you as full of the ebul- childhood, besides being blessed with litions of a regenerated soul as the last. God-fearing parents, and numerous Your petitions on our behalf have serious friends and connexions. But been answered; we have sweet, and Satan held him fast, and refused to happy meetings in the name of the let him go, until He that was stronger Lord and every thing is going on than he stretched forth his all-conprosperously amongst us: join with quering arm, and with an omnime to bless the Lord for the same potent hand snatched him as a brand My dear wife unites with me in chris- from the burning; then was the prey tian love to yourself,

taken from the mighty, and the lawc. DRAWBRIDGE.

ful captive delivered. How marvellous a display is this of the free, dis

criminating grace of God, in thus OBITUARY OF WILLIAM MORRIS VER- condescending to manifest his love to RALL, WHO SWEETLY FELL ASLEEP

one, who had for so long a time set IN JESUS, SEPT. 22. 1841, AGED

at nought all his counsels, and would 23 YEARS.

heed none of his reproofs ! How The following is a sketch of the strikingly is that declaration verified, last days of one who was the subject “ I will have mercy on whom I will of many prayers. He was for some have mercy;" and again, “ Not of years led captive by Satan at his will, works, lest any man should boast." by whom he was actuated to deeds It was suggested by some of his that have caused much anguish of friends, that probably a sea voyage spirit to his family and friends, and might be the means of reclaiming compelled them most earnestly to him, to which he at length consented; besiege a throne of grace on his when, after the necessary arrange. behalf, that the Almighty would stop ments, he set sail from Portsmouth, him in his mad career, and implant on board the ship · Larkins,' June 6, His most holy fear in his heart, that 1838. During the voyage he was he might depart from evil, and seek visited by heavy afflictions of body, those things which can alone yield such as brain fever, acute inflammacomfort here and happiness hereafter. tion, and for a time almost total All prayer and precept seemed, how. blindness. These continued afflictions ever, for awhile of no avail to draw so reduced his strength, that it was him from the paths of sin. All hu- the opinion of the surgeon of the ship man means that were tried proved that he could not survive until he fruitless. Affliction after affliction reached Calcutta, and that if he did, was laid on him. He encountered the climate would so affect him, that perils by sea and perils by land; still his he never could return to England : heart remained unchanged; judgments but the all-wise disposer of events did not awe nor mercies melt him. had otherwise ordained it; and at the Often has his life been almost mira latter end of November following, he culously preserved when in imminent reached Falmouth, having been most danger, so that of him it may truly be miraculously preserved, as the ship said, “ Preserved in Christ Jesus, and struck upon a rock off the Scilly called.” The mind is filled with Islands, and in this perilous situation painful sensations when reflecting on the Captain and twenty-two passenthe sad lengths to which he was per- gers left the ship, as she was filling mitted to go; and what increased the fast with water. The crew kept magnitude of the sins, was, that they pumping until nearly exhausted, and were against light and knowledge, he about giving up, when providentially December, 1841.]

00

assistance arrived, and the wind being appearance, which continued to infavourable, they run her aground into crease, until they baffled all mediFalmouth Harbour; where, without cine; and change of air was recommoney, or clothing, amongst stran- mended. gers, was this poor prodigal: all he On May 6, agreeably to the advice saved from the wreck, and brought of his medical attendant, his dear home in his pocket-handkerchief, was mother went with her afflicted son his Bible, Common Prayer Book, into the country, as the most likely Hart's Hymns, and Fowler's Selec- means of restoring his health ; though tion. In this distressing situation he it was not anticipated that any real wrote to his parents, requesting they benefit would be derived, as it was would send him some money, to en- considered that he was the subject of able him to reach his native home; a mortal disease ; nevertheless it was when, by their assistance, he arrived thought expedient to try the effects in London, in a state of great exhaus- of change of air. During his stay tion and destitution, where he was there a friend called on bim, and said, received and kindly treated by a dear that according to human appearances relation, who administered to him his time here would be but short; those comforts of which he greatly that although all were mortal, still stood in need. He reached Lewes, his disease was decidedly a consumpand once more his parental roof, on tion. At this he appeared greatly December 10, greatly altered in his affected, for, as he afterwards said, appearance; a fit of sickness shortly he had no idea that such was the followed, produced by being exposed case but expected to return with his to constant wet, cold, and excessive health improved. From this period fatigue, which he had so recently en- there appeared a death to all outward countered. These circumstances, with things, so that he could enjoy nothing, his former dissipated habits, no doubt and at times manifested great uneasilaid the foundation of that disease ness at the prospect of dissolution. which terminated his existence. For His dear mother, who had for many some time hopes were entertained years been sowing in tears on his that he was an altered character ; account, was now watching with but alas! his heart remained un. intense anxiety to receive the answer changed, and as his health and strength to her fervent petitions, but could perincreased, was gradually drawn again ceive no life working in him; still as into the paths of vice, although he she had been enabled at times sweetly never renewed his acquaintance with to commit him into the Lord's hands, his former abandoned companions : and there left her cause, she was still he was a prey to temptation, upheld by a secret persuasion that he having no power to resist what was would not depart hence without lears0 congenial to his nature.

ing a testimony that he was one for In May, 1840, he was married. whom the dear Redeemer suffered. This again was a circumstance that At this time he appeared to have might have been supposed would have buť little desire to read himself, or to caused some consideration ; but the hear another; and this was a source Lord's set time was not yet come. of much concern to his friends, espeThe first hymn in Kent's beginning, cially as his strength gradually de

clined, and unfavourable symptoms “ There is a period known to God," &c.

increased. During his stay in the was a true transcript of his character. country he heard Mr Vinall twice at In the autumn following his health the Dicker. One sermon in particu. and strength declined, and symptoms lar made a great impression on his of an unfavourable nature made their mind; the text was taken from 1 Pet.

ii. 25, “ For ye were as sheep going to speak rather freely on the state of astray, but are now returned to the his mind, saying, he felt himself to Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.” be a vile polluted sinner, and exHe often spoke of this discourse, pressed an earnest desire that the never having before heard with such Lord would pardon him, and not cut power : he frequently wished he could him off in his sins. He was someagain bave the opportunity, thinking what encouraged whilst his mother he should bear differently to what he was reading to him, and made several formerly did. How often was it a remarks on the word of God. From source of regret to him, that he had this period a change evidently took so many times neglected the means place, so that he felt a hatred to those of

grace, when able to attend them. things which he once delighted in, About this time his child was removed and loved that which he formerly by death, which greatly affected him. despised. The Lord's people were Finding he gradually declined, instead now the only company that he wished of deriving any benefit from the to see, and he said there was nothing change, he returned home on the in the world worth living for, nor had 11th of June to the abode of his he the least desire to be raised up parents. On the following Sabbath again ; his earnest and continual cry evening he went to chapel in a fly, was that the Lord would condescend for the last time; he was very atten- to appear for him, pardon bis sins, tive whilst there, and expressed him and take him home. self as very glad that he had been Aug. 14. On his mother's going permitted to go.

into his room, he was greatly exhaus. ]In consequence of his wife being ted from violent coughing and profuse in a delicate state of health, and not perspirations during the night; he equal to attend on her husband du- seemed rather irritable; when she ring his affliction, he returned to his reminded him that his sufferings were parents, where she frequently saw him light compared with what many enwhen able so to do; and one evening, dured, he replied, 'I know I ought not long previous to his decease, on not to complain, when surrounded taking leave of her, said, “It may with so many mercies, but I feel so probably be the last time I shall see rebellious at times I cannot help you.' On hearing this she burst speaking hastily; still I do not mean into tears, He said, “Do not cry, it, and am sorry when such is the Naomi, it is all right; rejoice! re.

I wish I could feel more grajoice!' She replied, · Are you hap. titude; instead of which I daily grow py, then?' He said, “Oh yes, I am worse. With assistance he went happy, all is well!']

down siairs, and said, 'I am once On July 1 he was seized with faint- more permitted to lie on this sofa, ing. On recovering from this he yet how many times more the Lord seemed greatly distressed, thinking only knows! but it cannot be lonę. he was going to die. The next day Oh, my dear mother, what shall I do? his anguish increased. On his mo- if I read, or try to pray, I cannot ; ther's entering the room, he cried out and I feel myself a most vile sinner.' in an agony, ‘Oh, my dear mother, Reply was made that the great apos. what shall I do? I have had no sleep tle Paul, Mary Magdalene, and others during the past night, and I feel so in the word of God, were such

He was unable to leave sinners, yet they oblained mercy, his bed the whole day. Some Psalms Christ Jesus having come into the were read to him at his desire, after world to save such characters: but which he appeared more composed. he said, · Surely not such a vile, On the following day he was enabled filthy wretch as I am. He was then

case.

very ill.”

on

greatly distressed lest he should die he felt Jesus stood ready to save him? without being pardoned. • Oh' said He replied, “I am afraid to say as much he, 'what a mercy it is that the Lord as that, but I have a hope that such is has laid his afflicting hand upon me; the case, which revives me: Oh what how kind and gracious he is in deal- a mercy that I was not cut off in the ing thus gently with me. When I midst of my sins, but that this afflicreflect on the mad course I have been tion was laid upon me.'

He was pursuing, it almost breaks my heart; then melted into tears at the Lord's and if I had my choice, I would ra- great goodness towards him, also that ther suffer any affliction, than go so many of God's people were permitted as I formerly did.'

to pray for him. Surely,' said he, wept most bitterly on thinking of his • this would not be the case, if the past life, saying, Surely I am too Lord did not intend to save my poor great a sinner to be pardoned.' It soul; who can tell, but like the thief was remarked that he did not always on the cross, the Almighty will appear feel himself such a sinner : 'No,' he for me at the eleventh hour, if not said, ' but I am such a blind, igno- before. On hearing the Account of rant creature, I know nothing, nor the Death of one of Mr. Turner's can I express my feelings as others children, he was much struck, and do: but do, O Lord, have mercy upon said that it was so like himself, but me, and pardon all my sins; thou that he was incapable of expressing hast been very kind in so mercifully his feelings. He was greatly affected preserving me to the present moment. on the following lines being quoted, I feel a secret hope that the Al- and said, ' That is it :' mighty will appear for me before I leave this world; I do think he will

Myself into thy arms I cast, yes—he will—he will!' He then

Lord, save, Oh save my soul at last.” again wept, and said, “ I have no de

When speaking of his sufferings and sire to live one moment longer, if I privations at sea, (he having gone to could but be sure that the Lord loved

the East Indies, as before mentioned, me, and would take me to himself.'

in 1838,) he said, I deserved all Aug. 21. When his mother visited that I endured ; but I was at that him in the morning, she perceived he time the most miserable wretch in the had been weeping. On inquiring the world, for bad as I was, I could not cause, he replied, “I have cause in- bear to hear the horrid blasphemies deed to weep;' and in anguish of of the sailors : I can never describe spirit he cried out, “O mother, mo

my feelings at this period.' Many ther! what shall I do?' She an- times when on watch he was temptswered, You can do nothing, the ed to put an end to his existence, Lord must do all for you:' he added, by casting himself overboard; and • I feel I cannot, but my earnest de- once in particular he threw one of his sire and prayer is that the Lord would legs over the gangway, but was sud. be gracious, and have mercy on such denly checked by the powerful applia poor, miserable sinner.”

After cation of these words : remaining quiet for a short time, he said, 'I have those words of Mr. “ Stop, poor sinner, stop and think, Hart so much on my mind,

Before you further go ;

Will you sport upon the brink Jesus ready stands to save you,

Of everlasting woe?'
Full of pity joined with power.”

His views of eternity, and of his He attempted to sing the hymn, but awful state as a sinner, together with his breath failed. He was asked if the thought of thus rushing unprepared into the presence of his Maker, out most piteously · O Lord: do have prevented his committing the rash mercy upon me.'

After this he apact.

peared calm, and a sweet peaceful On one occasion after experiencing smile was visible on his countenance. much anguish of spirit, and great He had previously said to his two distress of mind, he said, 'I feel so sisters, who visited him, 'I wish I happy; I do think,

my

dear mother, were more comfortable, and could you will have reason to rejoice after speak to you ; but I am so driven by all your trials : surely it must be the the enemy.

Oh if I were sure all Lord that has caused such a change.' would be well with me, I should like On asking in what way he felt happy, to die, for to depart and to be with if he believed the Lord had pardoned Christ is far better than to remain his sins ? he replied, · Yes, and now here. Oh! then I could say, “ Come, I am not afraid to die! Precious, Lord Jesus, come quickly.” I do precious Jesus ! how I wish I could hope the Lord will not forsake me love thee more. I feel such a desire after all his goodness and forbearance to bless and praise the dear Lord: towards me; but if I am deceived.' Oh! that I had power to do so.' He then seemed much exercised. In His feelings quite overcame him; he the evening a kind friend called to burst into tears, not of sorrow but see him, read a Psalm and engaged joy, and his peaceful countenance in prayer, which were greatly blessed bespake the serenity of his mind. to him. He was likewise favoured After this he called it all in question, with a good night, and during the and repeated the following lines as next day was very composed; which expressive of the feelings of his mind, he remarked he believed to have been

granted in answer to the petitions “ 'Tis a point I long to know,

offered up the preceding evening. Oft it causes anxious thought, Do I love the Lord or no ?

He spake of the Lord's goodness in Am I his or am I not?"

keeping him from fainting, which he

feared would have been the case : * It is with me,' he said, “a great and he continued · The things which trial lest I should be deceived.' His were asked for are what I want to feelings then overcame him, so that make me happy; and the Lord having he could say no more, but wept for answered in part, who can tell but some time. At a subsequent period that the whole will be accomplished ? he cried out in the greatest distress, I do desire and hope that the Almighty 'I am very ill, I must die, and I can will hear prayer on my behalf, for I never go through death's dark valley: feel that I cannot pray for myself as if I was sure the Lord loved me, not others do.' It was pointed out to one moment longer should I wish to him that the shortest prayers are frelive. O Lord ! do appear for me, quently the most effectual, as the and pardon all my transgressions. I scriptures abundantly testify. He am indeed a vile, wretched sinner, but said, · Bless the Lord, O my soul : do, O Lord, have mercy upon me. I and do enable me to praise thee with cannot describe the sufferings of my my whole heart : I desire to do so.' mind, not knowing how to express Then affectionately kissing his mother my feelings; and when I look at my he said, 'I love you dearly, and should past life I am afraid-it pierces me the Lord be pleased to appear for me, through.'

and take me to glory, we thall only Sept. 3.

He said, “I wish I were be separated for a short time, and more happy, and could say, All is then meet to part no more. well!' Then, clasping his hands I shall be able to say in my last together, and looking up, he cried moments, I am happy, all is well!

I hope

« VorigeDoorgaan »