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Then with a closer clasp, mother,
Now hold me to thy heart ;
Once more before we part.
When I am far away,
And for thy darling pray.
Verses like these need no praise of ours; and the following lines, written in Burmah, will shew that her genius lost none of its powers under the blaze of an Eastern sun :
Ere last year's moon had left the sky,
A birdling sought my Indian nest,
Her tiny wings upon my breast.
From morn to evening's purple tinge,
In winsome helplessness she lies :
Shut softly on her starry eyes.
Broad earth owns not a happier nest.
Whose waters never more shall rest.
This beautiful mysterious thing,
This seeming visitant from heaven,
To me, to me, Thy hand has given.
The pulse first caught its tiny stroke,
The blood its crimson hue from mine :
Henceforth is parallel with Thine.
A silent awe is in my room,
I tremble with delicious fear ;
Time and eternity are here.
Doubts, hopes, in eager tumult rise,
Hear, oh, my God! one earnest prayer-
And give her angel plumage there. Since these lines were written, alas ! the spoiler has found his way again and again into that happy nest.
But" the great trial " we must give (by permission) in her own beautiful words. *
Last month I could do no more than announce to you our painful bereavement, which, though not altogether unexpected, will, I very well know, fall upon your heart with overwhelming weight. You will find the account of your brothers' last days on board the Barque Aristide Marie, in a letter written by Mr. Ranny, from the Mauritius, to the Secretary of the Board ; and I can add nothing to with the exception of a few unimportant particulars, gleaned in conversations with Mr. R. and the Coringa servant. I grieve that it should be so that I was not permitted to watch beside him during those days of terrible sufferings ; but the pain, which I at first felt, is gradually yielding to gratitude for the inestimable privileges, which had been granted me.
* They are taken from a letter addressed by her to a near relative of Dr. Judson's.
There was something exceedingly beautiful in the decline of your brother's life-more beautiful than I can describe, though the impression will remain with me as a sacred legacy, until I go to meet him, where suns shall never set, and life shall never end. He had been, from my first acquaintance with him, an uncommonly spiritual Christian, exhibiting his richest graces in the unguarded intercourse of private life; but, during his last year, it seemed as though the light of the world, on which he was entering, had been sent to brighten his upward pathway.
Every subject on which we conversed, every book we read, every incident that occurred, whether trifling or important, had a tendency to suggest some peculiarly spiritual train of thought, till it seemed to me, that, more than ever before, " Christ was all his theme.” Something of the same Dature was also noted in his preaching, to which I was then deprived of the privilege of listening. He was in the habit however of studying his subject for the Sabbath audibly, and in my presence ; at which times he was frequently so much affected as to weep, and sometimes so overwhelmed with the vastness of his conceptions, as to be obliged to abandon his theme, and choose another. My own illness, at the commencement of the year, had brought eternity very near to us, and rendered death, the grave, and the bright heaven beyond it, familiar subjects of conversation.
Gladly would I give you, my dear sister, some idea of the share borne by him in these memorable conversations ; but it would be impossible to convey, even to those who knew him best, the most distant conception of them, I believe he has sometimes been thought eloquent, both in conversation, and in the sacred desk :
- but the fervid, burning eloquence, the deep pathos, the touching tender. ness, the elevation of thought, and intense beauty of expression, which characterized these private teachings, were not only beyond what I had ever heard before, but such, as I felt sure, arrested his own attention, and surprised even himself.
About this time he began to find unusual satisfaction and enjoyment in his private devotions ; and seemed to have new objects of interest continually rising in his mind, each of which in turn became special subjects of prayer. Among these, one of the most prominent, was the conversion of his posterity. He remarked that he had always prayed for his children, but that of late he had felt impressed with the duty of praying for their children, and their children's children, down to the latest generation. He also prayed most earnestly, that his impressions on this subject might be transferred to his sons and daughters, and thence to their offspring, so that he should ultimately meet a long unbroken line of descendants, before the Throne of the Lord, where all might join together in ascribing everlasting praises to the Redeemer.
Another subject, which occupied a large share of his attention, was that of brotherly love. You are perhaps aware, that like all persons of his ardent temperament, he was subject to strong attachments and aversions, which he sometimes had difficulty in bringing under the controlling influence of divine grace. He remarked, that he had always felt more or less of an affectionate interest in his brethren, as brethren, and that some of them he had loved very dearly for their personal qualities ; but he was now aware he had never placed his standard of love high enough. He spoke of them as children of God, redeemed by the Saviour's blood, watched over and guarded by His love, dear to His heart, honoured by Him in the election, and to be honoured hereafter before the assembled universe ; and, he said, it was not sufficient to be kind and obliging to such, to abstain from evil speaking, and make a general mention of them in our pray. ers, but our attachment to them should be of the most ardent and exalted character. It would be so in heaven , and we lost immeasureably by not beginning now. “ As I have loved you, so ought ye also to love one another," was a precept continually in his mind ; and he would often murmur as though unconsciously. “ As I have loved you ; as I have loved you”--then burst out with the exclamation, “oh the love of Christ ! the love of Christ !"'
His prayers for the Mission were marked by an earnest grateful enthu. siasm ; and, in speaking of Missionary operations in general, his tone was one of elevated triumph,- almost of exultation : for he not only felt unshaken confidence in their final success, but often exclaimed “ What wonders ! oh, what wonders, God has already wrought!" I remarked that, during this year, his literary labours, which he had never liked, and upon which he had entered unwillingly and from a feeling of necessity,
were growing daily more irksome to him ; and he always spoke of them as “ his heavy work."-" his tedious work—that wearisome Dictionary.” &c. Though this feeling led to no relaxation of effort, he longed bowever to find some more spiritual employment --to be engaged in what he considered more legitimate Missionary labour ; and he drew delightful pictures of the future, when his whole business would be but to preach and pray:
During all this time, I had not observed any failure in physical strength : and, though his mental exercises occupied a large share of my thoughts when alone, it never once occurred to me, that it might be the brightening of the setting sun. My only feeling was that of pleasure, that one, so pear to me, was becoming so pure, and elevated in his sentiments, and so lovely and Christ-like in his character. In person he had grown somewhat stouter than when in America his complexion had a healthful hue, compared with that of his associates generally ; and, though by no means a person of uniformly firm health, he seemed to possess such vigour and strength of constitution, that I thought his life as likely to be extended twenty years longer, as that of any member of the Mission. He continued his system of morning exercise, commenced when a student at Andover, and was not satisfied with a common walk on level ground, but always chose an uphill path, and then went frequently bounding on his way with all the exuberant activity of boyhood, He was of a singularly active temperament, although not of that even cast, which never rises above a certain level, and is never depressed. Possessing acute sensibilities, suffering with those who suffered, and entering as readily into the joys of the prosperous and happy, he was variable in his mood : but religion formed such an essential element of his character, and his trust in Providence was so implicit, and habitual, that he was never gloomy, and seldom more than momentarily disheartened. On the other hand, being accustomed to regard all the events of this life, however minute, or painful, as ordered in wisdom, and tending to one great and glorious end, he lived in almost constant obedience to the A postulic injunction“ Rejoice evermore.” He often told me, that, although he had endured much personal suffering, and passed through many fearful trials in the course of his eventful life, a kind providence had hedged him round with precious, peculiar blessings, so that his joys had far out-numbered his sorrows.
Towards the close of September, last year, he said to me one evening, “ What deep cause have we for gratitude to God! Do you believe there are any other two persons in the world so happy as we are ?"-enumerating in his own earnest manner several sources of happiness, in which our work as Missionaries, and our eternal prospects occupied a prominent position. When he had finished his glowing picture, I remarked (I scarcely know why, but I felt immeasurably depressed that evening), “We are certainly very happy now ; but it cannot be so always. I am thinkiug of the time, when one of us must stand helplessly by the bed, and see the other die.” . “Yes," he said. “that will be a sad moment. I felt it most deeply a little while ago ; but now it would not be strange if your life were prolonged beyond mine, though I should wish, if it were possible, to spare you that pain. It is the one left alone, who suffers-not
not the one who goes to be with Christ. If it should only be the will of God, that we might die together, like young James and his wife – but He will order all, things well, and we can safely trust our future to His hand.”
That same night we were roused from sleep, by the sudden illness of one of the children. There was an unpleasant, chilling dampness in the air, as it came to us through the openings in the straw above the windows, which affected your brother very sensibly : and he soon began to shiver so violently, that he was obliged to return to his couch, where he remained under a warm covering till morning. In the morning, he awoke with a severe cold, accompanied by a degree of fever ; but as it did not seem very serious, and our three children were all suffering from a similar cause, we failed to give it any especial attention. From that time he was never well ; though in writing to you before, I think I dated the commencement of his illness from the month of November, when he laid aside his studies. I know that he regarded this attack as trifling ; and yet, one evening, he spent a long time in advising me with respect to my future course, if I should be deprived of his guidance ; saying that it is always wise to be prepared for exigencies of this nature. After the month of November, he failed gradually, occasionally rallying in such a manner as to deceive us all, but, at each relapse, sinking lower than at the previous one ; though still full of hope and courage, and yielding ground only inch by inch, as compelled by the triumphant progress of disease. During some hours of every day, he suffered intense pain : but his naturally buoyant spirits and uncomplaining disposition led him to speak so lightly of it, that I used sometimes to fear, that the doctor, though a very skilful man, would be fatally deceived. As his health declined, his mental exercises at first seemed deepened ; and he gave still larger portions of his time to prayer, conversing with the utmost freedom on his daily progress, and the extent of his self-conquest. Just before our trip to Mergui, which took place in January, he looked up from his pillow one day with sudden animation, and said to me earnestly, “I have gained the victory at last. I love every one of Christ's redeemed, as I believe He would have me love them ;-in the same manner, though not probably to the same degree, as we shall love one another, when we go to be with Him in heaven; and gladly would I prefer any one, who bears His name, before myself.” This he said in allusion to the text, “ In honour preferring one another,” on which he had frequently dwelt with great emphasis. After some further similar conversation, he concluded, " And now here I lie, at peace with all the world, and, what is better still, at peace with my own conscience; I know that I am a miserable sinner in the sight of God, with no hope but in the blessed Saviour's merits ; but I cannot think of any particular fault, any peculiar besetting sin, which it is now my duty to correct. Can you tell me of any ?”
And truly, from this time, no other word would so truly express his state of feeling as that one of his own choosing--peace. He had no particular exercises afterwards, but remained even and serene, speaking of himself daily as a great sinner, who had been overwhelmed with benefits, and declaring that he had never in his life before; had such delightful views of the unfathomable love and infinite condescension of the Saviour, as were now daily opening before him. Oh the love of Christ ! the love of Christ !”—he would suddenly excláim, while his eye kindled, and the tears chased each other down his cheekswe cannot understand it now, but what a beautiful study for eternity !"
After our return from Mergui, the doctor advised a still farther trial of the effects of sea air, and sea bathing ; and we accordingly proceeded to Amherst, where we remained nearly a month. This to me was the darkest period of his illness-no medical adviser, no friend at hand, and he daily growing weaker and weaker. He began to totter in walking, clinging to the furniture and walls, when he thought he was unobserved (for he was not willing to acknowledge the extent of his debility), and his wan face was of a ghastly paleness. His sufferings, too, were sometimes fearfully intense, so that, in spite of his habitual self-controul, his groans would fill the house. At other times a kind of lethargy seemed to steal over him ; and he would sleep almost incessantly for twenty-four hours, seeming annoyed if he were aroused or disturbed. Yet there were por
tions of the time, when he was comparatively comfortable, and conversed intel·ligibly; but his mind seemed to revert to former scenes, and he tried to amuse me with stories of his boyhood, his college days, his imprisonment, and his early Missionary life. He had a great deal also to say on his favourite theme“ the love of Christ ”; but his strength was too much impaired for any continuous mental effort ; even a short prayer, made audibly, exhausted him to such a degree, that he was obliged to discontinue the practice.
At length I wrote to Moulmein, giving some expression of my anxieties and misgivings; and our kind Missionary friends, who had from the first evinced all the tender interest and watchful sympathy of the nearest kindred, immediately sent for us -the doctor advising a sea voyage. But as there was no vessel in the harbour, bound for a Port sufficiently di-tant, we thought it best in the mean time, to remove from our old dwelling, which was in an unhealthful situation, to another Mission house fortunately empty. This change was at first attended with the most beneficial results ; and our hopes revived so much, that we looked forward to the approaching rainy season for entire restoration. But it lasted a little while only; and both of us became convinced that though a sea voyage involved much that was deeply painful, it yet presented the only prospect of recovery, and could not therefore without a breach of duty be neglected.
“ Oh if it were only the will of God to take me now-to let me die here,” he repeated over and over again, in a tone of anguish, while we were considering the subject. “I cannot, cannot go. This is almost more than I can bear !-Was there ever suffering, like our suffering ?” and the like broken expressions, were continually falling from his lips.
But he soon gathered more strength of purpose ; and, after the decision was fairly made, he never hesitated for a moment, rather regarding it with pleasure. I think the struggle, which this resolution cost, injured him very materially, though probably it had no share in bringing about the final result. God, who sees the end from the beginning, had counted out his days, and they were hastening to a close.
Until this time, he had been able to stand, and to walk slowly from room to room ; but, as he attempted to rise from his chair one evening, he was suddenly deprived of his small remnant of muscular strength, and would have fallen to the floor, but for timely support. From that moment his decline was rapid. As he lay helplessly on his couch, and watched the swelling of his feet and other alarming symptoms, he became very anxious to mence his voyage ; and I felt equally anxious to have his wishes gratified. I still hoped he might recover. The doctor said that the chances of life and death were in his opinion equally balanced ;-and then he loved the sea so dearly! There was something exhilarating to him in the motion of the vessel ; and he spoke with animation, of getting free from the almost suffocating atmosphere incident to the hot season, and drinking in the fresh sea, breezes. He talked but little more, however, than
necessary indicate his wants —his bodily sufferings being too great to allow of conversation ; but several times he looked up to me with a bright smile, and exclaimed, as heretofore, Oh the love of Christ, the love of Christ !” I found it difficult to ascertain from expressions casually dropt from time to time his real opinion with regard to his recovery ; but I thought there was some reason to doubt whether he was fully aware of his critical situation. I did not suppose he had any preparation to make at this late hour, and I felt sure that, if he should be called ever so unexpectedly, he would not enter the presence of his Maker with a ruffled spirit. But I could not bear to have him go away, without knowing whether our next meeting would not be in eternity; and perhaps too, in my own distress, I might still have looked for words of encouragement and sympathy to a source, which had never before failed.
It was late in the night, and I had been performing some little sick-room office, when suddenly he looked up to me, and exclaimed “This will never do. You are killing yourself for me, and I will not permit it. You must have some one to