Page images

delaying she immediately replied, "Yes; O yes!" Very frequently she dropped such words as these, and mostly with peculiar emphasis, "Compassion necessary afflictions "—" needful correction"-"Jesus"-" waiting"- -"heaven."


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Perhaps I ought to remark, that the temper of our departed friend was naturally warm and hasty; but this I must say, she was humbled on the account. Affliction was, in this respect, exceedingly useful; not affliction alone, but as sent by Infinite Wisdom, and sanctified by Infinite Love. During the whole of her illness I know not that her nearest connections witnessed any thing which they could even wish had been otherwise. For several months, she was meek, and patient, and thankful in a most exemplary degree.

Bear with me while I state a little more of the exercises of her mind, as expressed chiefly to her sisters. But why do this? Not with a view to her commendation, but that you may see what the Lord did for her; and truly he did much! that you may feel your need of the blessings she most highly valued, and learn that the great Author of these blessings is able to bestow them on you.

She said, "He giveth eternal life: yes; he giveth; I am content to receive it as his gift-freely-a poor guilty creature!-I am nothing, and have nothing— Christ is all."

When in great pain, she said to an attendant near her, "O prepare for a death-bed! for a death-bed! What should I do if I had no God to go to? You must have a God to go to."

At another time, when in much pain and restlessness, one of her sisters said to her, "My dear Martha, the Lord will comfort you :" her reply was full of

feeling, "In his own time he will-He does comfort me! He comforts me now!" She continued with great earnestness, "He does comfort me indeed." She spoke thus: "If I perish, it shall be at the feet of Christ. He never yet cast out any one who came to Him; he will not begin with me. I know he is able, and he is willing: I am willing, but my heart is so hard, so cold; but he has said, "A new heart will I give." She observed, "When I try to think, I am confused; I cannot pray; I can say nothing, nothing but Jesus, Jesus! My prayers are nothing; my faith is nothing; Christ is all: he shall have all the glory!" Indeed her constant sentiment of herself was, "A poor, sinful, helpless creature!" and of the Saviour, "He is able, He is willing: I will trust Him."

She said to one of her sisters, "I wish I had spoken to you more on these subjects when I was well. I sometimes fear I have been a hypocrite in the church, but I will come to Christ now. I wish I could lay hold on the promise, but I will patiently wait he will not cast me off."


It was remarked to her, that Christ loves to please God, and that it is the Father's will he should save sinners; she replied, purpose-his own Son." talk to me of heaven!

Yes; he sent him for this
On another occasion, “O
The Lord is kind, very

kind. He is gracious. Free grace! We cannot

conceive what he hath prepared for them that love. him." Reminded of God as the portion of his people, she said, Yes, their portion; their portion for ever; for ever and ever! Thank you! thank you for bringing these things to my remembrance. Yes; he will be our portion for ever and ever."

When sitting at the window in a state of great


[ocr errors]

weakness, looking at the beautiful appearance of nature, she adverted to Rousseau*, who desired to be lifted up when dying that he might once more behold the sun which had so often delighted him: a friend remarked to her, that Rousseau had no firm belief of a future inheritance, and might well leave this with regret; she replied, "Yes; but we have a better hope-a better hope."

Again she said, "I have a humble hope in his mercy, and this is enough; a poor, helpless, sinful creature! I do not deserve the assurance of hope, the joy which is given to many; I have been a rebellious creature! I have a humble hope in his mercy: I will be content with this.”

It pleased the Lord, however, to go beyond her expectation, to revive her faith, and to afford her a happy degree of confidence and joy. After spending a restless painful night, dark to nature, but divinely illumined by the cheering influence of the blessed Gospel; she said to one of her sisters, and with the sweetest complacency of countenance and manner, "I shall sleep in Jesus! They that sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." "I shall rise with him; lifting up her feeble hands three times as she uttered the words, "I shall rise with him; rise with him at the resurrection of the just! I triumph in Christ. Praise him, praise . . .

[ocr errors]

Once, and I think only once, toward the close of her illness, she expressed a fear lest she had rested on a false foundation, and was deceiving herself. One said to her, "You trust in Christ:" she replied "I hope I do." Her friend added, "My salvation is rested on him: I dare trust him:" she answered

* An infidel philosopher.

with readiness, and with the most affectionate confidence," And I dare; I dare TRUST HIM."

The servant was not forgotten in these weeks of affliction. She was reminded of the value of her soul; was admonished, with tender concern, to remember her Creator in the days of her youth, and to prepare for death and eternity.

Never shall I forget the interesting scene which is past; never will the family forget it. Passing immediately under our observation, it has deeply impressed the mind; nor can the impression be effaced. God grant that the bereavement, with all its instructive circumstances, may be greatly blessed to surviving relatives and friends! May each member of this church*, and of the congregation, be enabled to improve the event, and to derive important benefit from what has now been advanced! You see the abasing views which our sister had of herself. You perceive the exalted sentiments she had of Christ. In him was her refuge, her rest, her all!

Could you, my dear hearers, have seen her listening with eager delight to the promises of the blessed Gospel, her eye fixed with most affectionate interest, her spirit drinking at the overflowing Fountain of eternal truth, amidst the faintings of dying nature, you must have been affected! Could you have heard her pale lips utter the word, Happy! happy!" amidst the distressing convulsions of her dissolving frame, you must have been convinced of the reality and worth of religious principle; you must have admired the grace of the Redeemer, so conspicuous


The deceased had been a member of the Independent Church at Cleck-heaton about three years: she departed this life, June 27, 1813.

in the season of deepest trial. And surely, in the prospect of your own dissolution, you must have earnestly desired the same hope, the same support and consolation.

[ocr errors]

But I forbear. The hour is fast approaching from which none can escape; the solemn hour of death! Are you prepared to meet it? Christ is " able to save," but do you feel your need of salvation? Are you coming to Him, and receiving salvation from Him? O that this may be the happy experience of each, in health, in affliction, and in death!

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »