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CHAP. IX

HA

An account of his wife's last fickness and death-some

of her dying sayings, and his peculiar exercises and trials at that time, and especially on that occafion. AVING thus performed the service required

of me in the southern states, I passed near three years at and about home ; and had, as usual, many close trials and besetments to pass through from time to time, till in the 7th month 1791, it pleased the Most High to prove me in a very near and heart-exercising manner, in the removal by death of my dearly beloved wife. This trial came at a time when I was otherways deeply plunged into many probations, both inwardly and outwardly.. My state indeed to me bore a lively resemblance to that of Job of old-wave on wave, and sorrow upon forrow, seemed almost ready to swallow me up. But the Lord had an end in all

my

forrows. And had he not been with me in the deeps, and borne up my head above the waves, I had been swallowed up suddenly, and drowned in the mighty waters of afAiation !

I thought before my wife's sickness, it was very doubtful whether I should ever get safely through my many besetments : but alas ? in the midst of these trials, it pleased the Lord to take from me the dear partner of my joys, and sympathiser in my forrows. She was confined to her bed-chamber two weeks, during great part of which time, she was in exquisite bodily pain, which she bore with becoming patience. One day she lay still and quiet, as if she was in a slumber ; but on hearing it remarked at night, that it had been a favourable day to her as to pain, she said, it had been a day of much pain to her, though she had not complained, for she felt no liberty to complain; but found it her place to bear

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all that was laid upon her patiently. I kept an ac'count of divers lively expressions which dropped from her in her fickuefs, and which abundantly evinced her relignation of mind and acquiescence with the divine will in regard to her approaching dissolution, which she seemed clearly sensible of, and divers times fpake of; but what I wrote got millaid, and I have not fivce found it; I much regret the loss of it, and especially because her advice to our dear children might have been very useful.-She also gave very suitable advice to her brothers and filters, and expressed her thankfulness to her parents for their watchful and even reftraining care exercised towards her in her younger years, when the used to think a little more liberty would have been no harm; but now she saw she was then too ignorant of the dangerous tendency of those liberties, and rejoiced that they did not give way to her inclinations. She pressed it upon her brothers and sisters to remember their parents in their old age-told them, they had done much for them when they were unable to help themselves--that now they were growing old and fee. ble, they should be kind to them, and not forget them. She also desired them not to forget their brother, (meaning myself) saying, he will have many af• fictions to pass through, with much care.- And • likewise forget not these little children, they will • miss their mother, and need the care of their un•cles and aunts.' And speaking to one of her filters, said, thou hast done a great deal for them, • and must not think of doing less when their mo• ther is gone.'

She charged it upon our children to be obedient to their father, loving to one another, and good to their aged grandfather. Two Friends coming in, who had both been widowers, after several other weighty expressions, she defied them not to forget the affiftedo-told them they knew something of such

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trials as her dear husband would be surrounded with, and that she hoped they would not be unmindful of him. I can scarcely write this account without mourning the loss of that I wrote from day to day. in her sickness.

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One day, after expressing her entire willingness to be taken hence at this time, she said to me, . I have several times thought I should have been

willing to have taken the care of these dear chil. • dren a little longer, if it had been the divine will

and I have thought, if it might have been so ordered, I could have given up every thing that might have been called for, even if it had been to give thee up to travel in truth's service, let the

time be longer or shorter : I have always given * thee up with a good degree of cheerfulness, and

have been supported in thy absence beyond iny

expectation ; and yet I have often thought, fince • thy return from thy last journey, that I did not • know that I could ever give thee up again, or bear

up in thy absence; but in this ficknets I have felt as though I could give up all, if I might be spared a little longer to help along in the care of the children- it has seemed to me that I fhould give thee up, my dear husband, to go where-ever the

Lord might lead thee-it has fcemed so, but may • be it would not be so with me, if I should be

tried with it; and perhaps I shall be taken away, " that thou mayest be set inore fully at liberty to at• tend to the Lord's requirings, in whatever part of

the world he may fee ineet to employ thee.' Then the expreffed her deep sense of my kindness to her in her fickness, and her heart-felt sympathy with me in my trials, past, present, and to come, and her living desires for my support and preservation through all, to the end of my race, in such a move ing manner, that the fresh fense thereof inelts my heart when I recollect the time and substance of thie

conversation

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conversation and I trust I shall not foon, if ever, forget the endearment and solemnity attending it.

On my going into the room very shortly before the scene was closed with her here, the expressed great gladness at seeing. me, and that she had been defiring me to come I believe she was sensible her end was just approaching.--She expressed great thankfulness to her dear young friend A. A. for the great care she had taken of her through the night. All that was alive in me was moved at this tiine, for 1 saw she was just going. Oh! how expressively she looked upon me! how endearing her expressions ! but she was soon past conversation, and resigned her soul up to him who gave it, on the morning of the 5th of the 7th month 1791, dying of a putrid disorder, and was buried the 6th, in Friends burying ground in Providence.

Through divine help my mind was pretty well Itayed, though deeply affected, and tenderly moved through her fickness, death, and burial. Ảnd thro all, and after all, I have this consolation, that her foul was centred in divine love, and sweetened with a fore-taste of heavenly enjoyment. And though painful to me the separation, and trying in many of my lonely moments ; yet in God I have confidence and hope of consolation, and I dare not do any other than bless his holy name in every trial; and if he but preferves my soul alive in him, and faithful in his covenant ; áll else I yield to his all-wise disposal.

Many a mournful day and anxious night did I pass through, in this my lonesome condition, and in a deep-felt sense of the buffetings of Satan withini, and certain outward probations, in wisdom suffered to beset me. I faw clearly I must be redeemed from many things wherein some are taking satisfaction, if I would live wholly unto God. I saw also that he suffered me to be inany ways afflicted, in order that I might be so redeemed. Sometimes it seemed as if I could scarce live through my inward baptifms, and outward besetments; yet still pressed forward, until, in a time of deep distress, I found relief and confolation, in remembering, that some of the most diftreffing mornings of my life, have been followed by some of the most happy and joyful evenings, and fome of the most melancholy evenings, by mornings of most fubftantial gladness therefore drew the following cooclusion: I wilt strive to moderate my joy in the moment of profperity-and in the hour of adversity, I will endea

that

' vour to hope ; for though forrow may remain for the night, yet joy cometh in the morning.

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