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tinuously acting from principle, in the performance of a duty. Thus making duty a pleasure.
I was so satisfied to lean upon her judgment, and that she, in many respects, should think and act for me, that I have no doubt my indifference in these particulars added materially to her responsibility. But of late months, I thought I had observed a marked change in my beloved one about matters which previously had caused her anxiety. There appeared to be less personal concern-a greater disposition to leave all details in the Lord's hands. A signal disappointment in regard to one who dwelt very near her heart-yea, whose interests seemed imbedded in her inmost soul-I think, in no small degree, contributed to this. Writing as I now do, at a distance from home, I have not letters or memoranda to turn to, in order to help my memory; but I perfectly remember her stating, that whilst waiting in intense anxiety for a telegram from me, announcing the issue of a certain examination which our now far-distant son was undergoing, the Lord gave her a word which in one moment wrought submission to His will. What that word was I now forget, but it was a most timely and appropriate one, enabling her at once to “cast her burden on the Lord,” and to leave both herself and hers in His hands. Some time before she informed me and this was no trifling thing for her to do, for to speak of herself and her experience was at all times most
in one moment being filled with tears,—but on this occasion, she told me what a wonderful season she had had, at a meeting in our schoolhouse, when the Lord applied to her heart, in regard to the then object of her deep, deep solicitude, that precious word spoken to Ananias concerning Saul of Tarsus," Go thy way; for he is a chosen vessel unto me.” The power attending that application was such, she told me, that she could scarcely retain her seat. Her feelings were so completely overcome, that she felt as though she must leave the place, in order, doubtless, more privately and more unreservedly to hold communion with the Lord. Singular to say, the self-same Scripture was applied to my heart, about the same time, in respect to the same dear object of our mutual anxiety.
I remember on a subsequent occasion, when she was speaking to me of a remarkable conversation she had had with him of whom I now speak, and which bore upon the Lord's work in the heart, I said, “ And could you give him up, my dear, if the Lord saw fit to intimate that He had need of him ?” “Give him up,” she replied, most emphatically, “I could give them all up, and never see them again, if the Lord were thus to need them, and give proof of their salvation.” I think I shall never forget her bitter tears when, subsequently, she parted with him who was then bound for the far-off Australia. We were then staying with some dear friends in Sussex. We accompanied him to the station, and with intensest emotion she watched the receding train. Ah, little did I then think that she was so soon to be called away; that her removal by death would be
the barrier to their ever again meeting on earth. God, in the riches of His mercy, grant that mother and son, as well as husband and father, may meet in that happy, sinless world where parting is unknown, as well as sin and sorrow never felt nor feared; where “the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick ; where the people that dwell therein are forgiven their iniquity.”
My feelings would prompt me to dwell upon the character of one so deserving all I could say, but space as well as time forbid. I would just add, before I come to details of the closing scene, as far as her testimony is concerned, that the appointments in regard to the closing up of her earthly career, are, in my estimation, perfectly wonderful, exhibiting so much of the wisdom and goodness and love of a covenant God. Had I been in possession of the fact, that my dear one was the subject of heart-disease, instead of, as I always imagined, asthma, it seems to me I should never have had an easy moment. As it was, if at any time delayed beyond the given time for her return, I was always intensely anxious until she had returned. Confined, through her difficulty of breathing, very much to the house in the winter season, and preferring to be left alone, with the exception of one of the maid-servants in the kitchen, she might have been seized and fallen into the fire, and thus died in torture. Four months last winter she was confined to the house, in consequence of a fall whilst on her way to church. Her anxiety on my account, lest I should miss her from church, and be concerned for the cause of her absence, was such, that in spite of the pain her fall had produced, she walked on to church, and remained during the service. Hence her preservation, whilst thus so much alone, was most gracious and merciful. Again, had she been called away when at home, that home would henceforward have been even more lone and desolate than now, dreading as I do the return to a home so identified with one who was at once my counsellor and companion. Moreover, had my dear one's summons come when thus at home, not nearly the attention could she have received that fell to her portion during the last days of her life. As the Lord Himself ordered it, we had come to tarry, during this most trying and bitterly-eventful season, with a family each of whose many members, from the eldest to the youngest, sought to outvie each other in their devotedness, attention, and most selfdenying services. We had visited the same beloved relatives but some two months before; and, as previously intimated, it was here our minds reverted when again change of air and scene were necessary. Furthermore (as has already been expressed) the doctor was with her at the time of her seizure; consequently not a moment was lost in rendering her every aid and adopting every appliance that skill and experience could dictate. Whilst my dear friend (Dr. F'ryer) had just been attending me with all the kindness and solicitude of a brother, Dr. Cousins attended upon my loved one with all the promptitude and tenderness of a son. * Furthermore, in addition to being in the midst of her many devoted friends and relatives (the which could not have been present, had she remained at home) she was attended day and night by two most kind and skilful nurses. Hence every want was met, every possible service rendered her. Even these nurses felt it a privilege to be with her; and, when her precious remains were borne away, one in particular (as I am informed) sobbed with emotion.
I see, therefore, dear readers, such mercy and goodness, as well as wisdom and love, in all the varied appointments connected with the removal of my beloved one, that I cannot, dare not, repine. As one said, “I may mourn, but not murmur.” Further, when the doctor informs me, that, had she rallied, it would only have been a question of a few months, perhaps weeks; that she must have been a confirmed invalid (which for a person of her independent mind would have been a living death), that the entire of her left side was, from the moment she was seized, completely paralysed, what can I say, but, “ The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taketh away ; blessed be the name of the Lord ?” “I shall go to her, though she shall not return to me.” The words uppermost in my mind during my loved one's illness, have been,
“I would submit to all Thy will,
For Thou art good and wise;
Nor one faint murmur rise.”
"Weaker than a bruised reed,
Strength I every moment need,” I have wanted the infusion and impartation of strength from on high, moment by moment, and thus have I need to cry mightily to the Lord to uphold and sustain me. And the thought has arisen, “ Is there a promise in the word for momentary as well as daily strength ?” “Yes, yes, there is," was the mental response, “In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine. I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment : lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.'”.
Did time and space permit, I might tell how the Lord from time to time has whispered His sweet words into my heart, but I must forbear. I would merely state that among the sweetest words thus applied in my time of deep, deep trial was, “For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee,' &c. Read on, dear reader, through that blessed 54th of Isaiah. I think it a little remarkable-as though my dear one had had a presentiment that her time was short--when, during my illness, I spoke of my sensations, as though they were indicative of death, she said, “Depend on it, that you and I have never felt as we shall do when we come to die. It will be a different feeling to any we have ever yet had.” How little did I then imagine, that, within a short month
she would encounter those feelings, and safely have passed the Jordan. Within that month or a little more she had taken her seat by my bedside, and she talked as if she believed I was about to be called. Such were her words, that I could not doubt this was her belief, coupled as those words were with an anxiety about the inflammation in my foot that exceeded all I had ever before witnessed on her part. How significant, then, of the truth of those words, “the one shall be taken, and the other left.”
Dear readers, without further comment, I proceed to give the simple deathbed testimony of my beloved one.
When Dr. Cousins had sounded her chest, and, upon finding the state of her heart, he said, “I cannot give you a new heart; but with care you may live for years," I thought, “Ah, doctor, you cannot give her a new heart; but the Lord has done that long ago." Upon finding we lived near the top of a hill, he said, “You must never walk uphill; and, when you come down of a morning, you ought not to go upstairs again till evening. You ought,” he said, “ to take five minutes to go upstairs." In proof of the difficulty of restraining her from the pursuit of her active habits, the dear niece with whom we were staying, said to her, as she kindly placed a shawl over her shoulders, “Now, dear aunt, you must submit to be nursed.” Her answer was, “I cannot be an invalid.” In allusion to a conversation she held with her just previously to her apoplectic attack, the same beloved niece writes :
“On speaking of social harmony, dear aunt was so very anxious that all should be united and at peace; she said, “It should be observable amongst the members of Christ, " See how these brethren love one another!" Why should there be any discord ?' It was said, “Pride must be subdued and prayed against. She said, 'Yes, that's it, dear; that's it. All must be carried to the Saviour's feet, confessed there; struggled against there; subdued there. That is the only safe place, the only place to get a knowledge of ourselves.' 'Who can understand his errors ? Cleanse Thou me from secret faults. Your uncle is so very, very anxious about me,' sho said. Now he knows it is my heart, he will hardly let me be out of his sight; but I feel an accident may happen at any moment, and I may be gone; we should not dread disease more than this. “All the days of my appointed time time will I wait;" I cannot go before His time.' Towards the close of her illness she said one morning, 'It is a long journey, but it will soon be over, I shall soon be with Jesus.'”
[This conversation took place about two hours before she was seized with her last illness. ]
“You are very glad, dear aunt, that you have your dear Emily here ?' "Oh, yes, yes; it was very kind of you to send for her; how much I have to be thankful for! but I don't like to see them grieving so. It is very hard to part with them all; can your uncle do any writing yet, my dear ? I feel so anxious about him! What is he doing now?' He is praying for you, dear, constantly, continually.' 'Oh, ask him to pray that I may
Another beloved niece writes :
“When dear aunt had answered my inquiries for her health this morning, I said, You have a good home to go to.' She answered, “I hope so, and I long to be there. I said, “You will soon see Him as He is, and be like Him.' Her face brightened, she raised her hand, and repeated with great earnestness, 'And be like Him.' She then spoke much of everything happening by the appointment or permission of God. She said, “Even this disease has no power but as God permits it; and I cannot die till He allows it.' I said, 'Death is not death to a Christian.' She answered, “No, it is LIFE, it is the gate of immortality: death is absence from Christ.' She then spoke of her dear husband, and I told her how wonderfully the Lord was supporting him ; she said, “So they tell me, but, when he comes to see me, he is so distressed, and that distresse8 me, and does me harm.' She then told me how she dreaded the restlessness of the nights, and I reminded her that Job said, “Wearisome nights are appointed me,' so that even THAT was under her God's control; she seemed to derive comfort from the thought. She also spoke of her dread that she might be restored, or be allowed to linger.”
Considering the nature of my loved one's attack—that she was almost, if not entirely, deprived of consciousness—and the moment of her seizure began to speak most imperfectly, and in the most incoherent way—it was the more merciful and gracious of the Lord, so far to restore her reason that she should calmly, deliberately, and in the most self-possessed way, from time to time, speak of His goodness and lovingkindness and mercy. She was so full of this, and spoke with so much energy, that I feared to go to her room nearly so often as I otherwise should have done, lest her talking should bring on a relapse. The necessity for this caution was confirmed by subsequent circumstances, as the sequel will show. Her medical friend said it was so necessary to keep her perfectly quiet. In one of my earlier interviews, when she was restored to consciousness, I said, “ When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee” (Isa. xlii. 2). “The fire has never kindled on me," she replied. I went on, “ This light affliction," &c. She interrupted me by saying, “Not to be compared.” “ You know whom you have believed," said I. “I hope I do;" and then added with tears, “ Some one tempted me—a man in a dreamthat it was all deception, and I said, 'I KNOW whom I have believed.'” She added, “I have the wedding garment, I have the robe of righteousness. What could all the world do now? All is vanity! The robe I have has no seam—so large-s0 wide. He'll comfort those that mourn. If you had been taken from me the other day, He would have comforted me; now He will comfort you.” I said,
“ • Yet a season, and you know
Happy entrance shall be given;
And earth exchanged for heaven.”.