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rational creatures were as we are! then would they live holily and happily; they would wait all the days of their appointed time till their change come,' (n) and then depart in peace, and be made partakers of eternal blessedness. But enter now, my friend, into the tent, and refresh thy weary body; for I perceive thy frame is more liable to fatigue than ours."

I readily accepted his invitation, and after recruiting my strength with a moderate repast, and resting awhile in the shade, my curiosity was excited to know something more of the manners and customs of this extraordinary people. And in answer to my enquiries, he gave me the following information :-

"We dwell, as thou seest, in tents which are easily fixed up, or taken down, and we are thereby reminded of the transitory nature of our present pilgrimage. Here we have no continuing city; but we seek one to come' (o) 'we look, hereafter, for a city which hath foundations, and whose builder and maker is God.' (p) Our government is patriarchal. Every head of a family is king and priest over his own household; he instructs his children in the knowledge of the eternal Father, the eternal Son, and the eternal Spirit, the one God, who dwelleth in light inaccessible; but these instructions are imparted more in the way of holy interesting conversation, than in any set form. We teach them our children, speaking of them when we sit in the house, when we walk by the way, when we lie down, and when we rise up. But we are more effectually endued with the knowledge of the truth in another way." "By reading and meditating on the Holy Scriptures, I conclude, with which thy sentiments are so co-incident, that they are expressed in the very phraseology of that sacred book." "No," he replied, 66 we have no such book, nor do we need any such instruction, for having been created in the image of God, (9) and so blessed with an aptitude to learn divine things, we are all specially taught of God, from the least of us unto the greatest of us. (r) Not that any one hath seen God at any time. "The only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.' (s) The eternal Word indeed condescends to enter our dwellings, and to hold converse with us; and when at any time we hear his


(n) Job xiv. 14. (q) Gen. i, 27.

(0) Heb. xiii. 14.
(r) Jer. xxxi. 34. John vi. 45.

(p) Heb. xi. 10.
(s) John i. 18.

voice walking in the cool of the garden,' (t) how does it gladden our hearts!"

Here, again, I could not but sigh at the recollection of what once occurred in the Garden of Eden. He took no notice, however, but proceeded :-"The Holy Spirit also puts his laws in our minds, and writes them in our hearts; in short, this God is our God for ever and ever; he is our God, and we are his people.(u) The most aged among us is regarded as the Patriarch of the whole community, according to that saying, 'The hoary head is a crown of glory, being found in the way of righteousness.'(v) He presides in our religious and social meetings; we are guided by his advice; and he leads our public worship which is held in the central tent, distinguished by the banner, and which consists of prayer, thanksgiving, and especially of joyful praises. He rules with the gentle sway of love, and we obey from the principle of filial duty and affection. We live happily together as one great family, and having been thus trained up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and possessing also an innate desire to grow in grace, we become daily more and more 'meet for the inheritance of the saints in light.' (w) Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; we claim no reward, as of merit, for persevering in the right way, since we are kept by the power of God.' (x) And how strong, in submission to the will of the Most High, is my desire to depart; therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth in the prospect of what I shall be. He will shew me the path of life: in his presence is fulness of joy, and at his right hand, pleasures for evermore.(y) When the celestial messenger comes among us to summon any individual from this transitory scene, we hear the heavenly music, and assemble to congratulate, and bid farewell to our brother or sister, and then retire, every one to his own home, rejoicing in hope of the glory of God." "Hark!" he added, "I even now hear the divine strains which announce the approaching glorification of one of our community."


The sound drew nearer, and almost immediately two shining ones entered the tent, and imparted to my host the welcome news,

(t) Gen. iii. 8.

(u) Heb. viii. 10. (x) 1 Peter, i. 5.

(v) Prov. xvi. 31. (w) Col. i. 12. (y) Psalms xvi.

that the wish of his heart was granted, that all things were ready for his translation, and that they were come to conduct him into the immediate presence of Jehovah. His countenance now appeared to receive a brighter glow, to be irradiated with a more divine lustre.

"I have waited," said he, "for thy salvation, O Lord!' (2) 'How beautiful are the feet of them that bring glad tidings of good things!" (1) And then turning to me, and taking my hand, he added." Be thou also ready!" (2)

The earnest manner in which he spake, and the pressure of his hand, which seemed to give energy to his words, awakened me from my pleasing abstraction, and I found myself again an inhabitant of a world, where sin, and sorrow, and death still prevail, but yet where I have reason to be thankful that I am placed, through mercy, under a dispensation of grace; and where I may, therefore, in the way of penitence and faith, indulge a hope of passing through the grave and gate of death to a joyful resurrection, through His merits, who died, and was buried, and rose again for us, Jesus Christ our Lord! (3) J. D.


Being an authentic Account of the Illness and Death of

Miss Mary Ann

(Written by a near Relative.)

ABOUT the middle of January, 1810, our dear Mary Ann caught a severe cold, by going to chapel on a day that was not altogether fit for her to be out, but she loved the house of God, the place where his honor dwelleth. At first it seemed only a cold, but it soon assumed a more formidable aspect. In March her cough increased, hectic fever flushed her countenance, and her strength rapidly gave way.

At the commencement of her illness her mind seems to have been prepared for that which proved the event; and when I first spoke to her on the subject, she expressed her willingness and desire rather to depart, if it were consistent with the will of God. She told me that from a child she had always envied those who were taken soonest out of this world, provided there was reason to entertain a good hope respecting

(1) Mat. xxiv. 44. (2) Mat. xxiv. 44. (3) Collect for Easter Evening.

(z) Gen. xlix. 18.

them; and if it pleased God in mercy to prepare her for the solemn change, she should deem it a privilege to go, as she did not think herself qualified for active usefulness in life, or to bring glory to his name.

This state of mind continued without interruption, and she always spoke of her nearness to the eternal world with an animation of countenance which no other subject was capable of exciting. Of this we have had many striking instances, for often while suffering under the immediate pressure of the more distressing features of her disorder, a word or two on this subject has operated as a cordial, and she has seemed to forget her anguish, while contemplating the glory to be revealed! While conversing with her one day on the subject, she repeated those lines by Dr. Watts,

"To Thee my waiting soul aspires,
With ardent hope, and strong desires.”

Adding, "they are strong desires; but I hope it is not from any bodily suffering I most desire release, but from the difficulty I find in living in this world, as a Christian should live: but, there I shall see his face, and never, never sin.”

She was enabled to receive her affliction as from the hand of her heavenly Father, who chastened her for her profit. She often expressed to us the conviction that it was all sent in mercy; and one day in particular, when suffering much, she said, "I know I shall not have one pain more than is needful, and when the Lord's purpose is fully accomplished, He will release and take me to himself. She did indeed, possess her soul in patience, and during her long and trying illness, we do not remember to have heard her utter one repining word.

One evening, when some distressing increase of her complaint was apprehended, she very sweetly, and with much emphasis, quoted those words of the apostle, "None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy."

To a friend who asked how she was, she said, "I am very comfortable, it is a steadfast hope, a firm foundation; for the sure foundation of my hope is in a Saviour's blood." To another young friend, who remarked, that notwithstanding all her sufferings, she was disposed to envy her, while witnessing the happy state of her mind, she said, "I don't wonder at it, if, indeed, I am going: sometimes I think I desire this too earnestly, but I do endeavor after resignation to the holy will of God; pray for me, that faith and patience may not fail."

On another occasion, having touched on this subject so near her heart, she could not forbear enlarging. I was not present, but the exhilarating effect of the conversation was visibly portrayed in her countenance, when I re-entered the room. I remarked it to her, and she attributed it solely to the subject upon which she had been engaged, declaring that it seemed to have given her new life,

She was very desirous of having, as the apostle expresses it, her conversation in heaven, and said to me one day, "I find these long-continued bodily sufferings too much weigh down the better part, and prevent my thoughts from rising heavenward, where I desire they should be, and where my treasure is."

Throughout the whole of the illness that brought our dear Mary Ann's life to a close, her mind, generally speaking, was calm and serene; but there was one day on which she seemed to be elevated far above the usual standard. It was a day not soon to be forgotten by any who witnessed the joy that illumined her emaciated countenance, and the earnestness and emphasis with which she delivered (at intervals) the following observations:-The conversation turning on the joys of heaven, she said, "Well, this is my idea of heaven, that there I shall see my blessed Saviour face to face; I shall love Him as I ought, and as I cannot while I am an inhabitant of this frail body; and I shall never sin, no, never sin any more; and this is heaven enough for me. O to think that I shall be there; but I believe I shall. He gives me a sweet persuasion that I shall, through the merits of my precious Saviour. O how I will praise Him; what a comfort to think there will be no end of my praises. I shall spend an eternity of praise. When I get to heaven, how delightful it will be to see my blessed Saviour so honored, who was so dishonored here below."

After lying a little while to recover herself, she continued, "I have not been able to sing a long time with my voice, though I hope I have known what it is to sing with my heart; but,

When I appear in yonder cloud,

With all the favor'd throng,

Then will I sing more sweet and loud,

And Christ shall be my song."

After another pause, she suddenly exclaimed, “O my dear mother, praise God, praise Him, as long as you live, praise Him every day, that He is taking me away at six-and-twenty, before I have known a real trouble, and is taking me to Himself, to a weight of glory. Mother, O think of that, and never grieve for me." This sentiment she frequently repeated, dwelling especially upon the weight of glory, on the possession of which she was about to enter, and pressing this consideration upon us, as that which should constitute the matter and ground of our rejoicing on her account.

Thus commenced the last illness of this favored child of God; but it was not till the November following that the sufferings of our beloved Mary Ann terminated.

On Friday, November the 16th, the thrush once more made its appearance, and that of the most unfavorable kind. The alteration to liquid nourishment, was too great for her emaciated frame to sustain, and we soon perceived her strength to be sinking very fast.

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