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* • When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Songs of praises
I will ever give to Thee !"" “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” “Never, never,” she replied. “The robe—the wedding robe," said she. “Good-bye, dear.” Her words were so emphatic, and withal so rapid, that it was impossible to catch, much less remember, half she said. To a dear niece she said, “ Sad for a mother to leave her daughters; but I am quite willing to go or to stay as He pleases."
Nov. 28.-My dear one said to me to-day, “ It was all mercy;" that she had no cause to mourn. Her heart was full of the goodness of God. Alluding to the continuous twitchings which would give her no rest, she said, “It might be great pain. There is no rest, saith my God, to the wicked.'" But you are righteous,” said I, “ in the righteous One.” “Not in myself,” was her emphatic answer. When we alluded to the irritation caused by the plaister on her back from constantly lying on it, she spoke of a dear friend and neighbour, and what she must have suffered. She inquired so anxiously for my head and foot, raising the only hand she could now use, and smoothing my face so affectionately as she spoke.
Nov. 29.-Asked to-night about my preaching. On my saying I could not preach whilst she was so ill, she expressed a wish to leave it all in the Lord's hands; that was best. She said how she had felt the presence of Jesus on that bed, but she wanted to feel it more. When, in prayer, I asked that the Lord would make her bed in her sickness, she exclaimed so emphatically, “ He has.”
Nov. 30.—She spoke of the great mercy of God. It was all mercy, she said. She testified so earnestly of the Lord being “a very present help in time of trouble," it was most refreshing to hear her tell of meroy. The great difficulty was to suppress her emotion, and keep her from talking. My fear was it would excite the brain too much. For this reason I did not go to her sick room nearly so often as I otherwise should have done, being so fearful of a relapse. How much during her illness she spoke of the Circus church, where she had received a special blessing under a sermon preached there some two years before, by the Rev. J. Martin. Her last words to me in answer to Christ being all-sufficient, “He is all in all," so very earnestly.
On one occasion, during her illness, she said, “What could High Churchism do for me now?” Would God that poor infatuated Ritualists would think of its vain and unsatisfying character in a dying hour!
Writes again our kind niece :
“One evening on stepping into her room, before going to rest, it was said, “Shall I read to you a little, dear aunt ?' She said, “Please do.' On opening the Bible it was the 91st Psalm, and she commented most heartily as each verse was read. Then said, That is the 91st, your uncle's favourite Psalm.' The 90th was then read. She was quite comforted and soothed. She seemed to rest sweetly after it, as upon the word of her God.”
To our beloved daughter she said, on one occasion, that it was the very death she should like to have died, even had she had her choice. Her freedom from pain and suffering was most marked and merciful. The principal feature in the earlier stages of her illness was restlessness—the twitching of the limbs that had not been affected by the stroke.
Another beloved niece writes :
« On Saturday, November 30, dearest aunt said she saw so much mercy in her suffering no pain, and she was sure that the Lord would never lay upon her more than she was able to bear. He would be her Guide, not only unto death, but over death. Looking up, she said, "They say, “ Sister spirit, come away;"' and on my leaving the room, she exclaimed in the most emphatic manner (which I shall never forget), God is faithful, God is faithful.'"
Dec. 3, writes the beloved niece at whose house we are staying:
« On going to the door of dear aunt's room I heard one nurse reading to the other from an Old Jonathan of a little child hearing that sweet hymn sung, Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness ;' also, The dying thief rejoiced to see,' &c.
« On nurse's reading the last two lines, dear aunt repeated them audibly,
“And there may I, though vile as he,
Wash all my sins away.' I stepped in and said, Still happy, dear?' 'Yes, yes.' In proof of her self-possession she said, “Those grapes' (which had been kindly sent, by a friend, from Bristol) 'have been so nice and refreshing; will you mind that I send a kind message to that dear friend who sent them to me?' · Yes, dear; take some more now.' She ate them with relish, helping herself with the one hand she could still use; she said, “Oh, how many mercies I am surrounded with ! all the appointments have been so merciful.'"
"Are you still comfortable and happy?' 'Oh, yes, I want to leave it all with Him. He knows the end from the beginning; it is all right. Whether I live or die, all is right.'”
My dear daughter says:
“ It was sweet to hear her talking to the Lord, in such precious, childlike familiarity, telling Him of her waywardness, but at the same time of His delighting in mercy. Upon asking her, on one occasion, for a parting word, she replied, "“In my Father's house are many mansions : if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”' My dear child would often come down, and remark “It is not like a sick chamber; it is so bright and cheering. It reminds me of the verse :
« • Jesus can make a dying bed
Feel soft as downy pillows are,
And breathe my life out sweetly there.'”
Again the same loved niece writes :
“On asking her, 'was she feeling Jesus near ?' she said, “Yes, yes; only it is so hard parting with all.' 'But, dear, you will only go first, they will soon come to you.' 'Oh, yes, yes, I shall soon be there--very soon; no more SIN, no more sorrow, no more parting—for ever and ever with the Lord.
I am near the heavenly gates so bright, I feel I am near. I don't wish to dread dying, but it is hard to die, and leave all; they will grieve so much. "No, dear, the Lord will comfort them.' 'Yes, yes, I want to leave it ALL with Him.' “Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you." He will help you to bear it all: “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."
“The graves of all His saints He blessed,
every bed ;
But with their dying Head P? "Them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him." "Yes, yes,' she said, 'very sweet, all mercy, all mercy! You are willing to go dear?”. “Yes, yes, quite willing, longing to be there. I should be disappointed now not to go.'
When my dear widowed sister (Mrs. G. D. DOUDNEY) went to see her, she said, “You will soon be saying, 'Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood.'” She said, “You and I have been taught it, dear; it is only those who have been taught can say this: “ We shall be one happy family around the throne." *
When informed that my eldest son had arrived, she said, “He has been a good step-son to me.” Her interview with him, and with the two other sons who had accompanied him from Bristol, was very touching ; yet I was astonished at her calmness.
Dec. 4, Afternoon.—Just left my loved one, who was sweetly sleeping, as I stood by her bedside this morning, and hence I would not disturb her. This interview was perfectly delightful. Would that I could recall one-half of what she said; but she spoke so rapidly, that I shall only be able to note a few of the many precious things which she uttered. Well did a dear niece remark just now, “It is not only what she says, but how she says it.” The same dear relative spoke of the room as being a heavenly one. I felt just now that I need not speak, but merely sit still and listen. When I said, “Dear one, 'He hath done all things well,”” it was only as it were giving her the key-note. She began, “ It is a finished, finished, finished uork. All complete-complete. Nothing left to be done. It is all mapped out” (raising her hand, and suiting the action to the word) “ beautiful. I never saw it in life as I do now. She went on most rapidly in this strain. I thought, as I sat listening, “Would that I could catch and note down every word, in order that this blessed dying testimony of this departing one might be read far and wide, in order to prove what the Lord is to His people in the depths of affliction, and in the very article of death. But, as I have said, her utterances were so rapid, that (although I am noting down her remarks this moment upon leaving her room) I find it impossible. She spoke of Divine
goodness not merely in prosperity, but in affliction. Her heart was full to overflowing. She wept tears of gratitude as she spoke. She again testified of the robe of righteousness, and of her being clothed in it, not " for works of righteousness which she had done, but wholly of His mercy.” Again she spoke of the "finished, finished work of Christ,” and of the “ beautiful plan of salvation.” I said it would be but a little while before “He that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” She responded so heartily, pressing my hand, and saying, “We shall soon all meet around the throne—no more death.” But I said, “ You have often heard me remark that there is strictly no death to the believer. Jesus hath taken away the sting of death. 'O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory ?!” To this she responded in the heartiest manner, constantly, as she has been wont to do, raising her hand in triumph and exultation. Again, with tears, she exclaimed, “He hath delivered, and doth deliver.” She then spoke of His delivering like a God. Throughout this conversation there was such an evident recognition of, and perfect acquiescence in, the entire will of God. She spoke as one who had combated with her own feelings and will, but whose heart had indeed now been brought down by labour. There was at the same time deep feeling as a creature, and in regard to creature-ties. Hence she spoke of the pain of parting ; that in heaven there would be no separation.
Some hours after this interview, she wished again to see the dear younger children. Our eldest daughter spent the larger portion of her time with her. This interview was so prolonged, that I feared for the consequences. Throughout her illness I was in constant dread of a second seizure. When awake and conscious, she talked so much and with such energy. When with her, I had repeatedly to ask her not to talk so much, fearing the effects. Hence I now went up to her room, in order to request the dear boys and their younger sister to withdraw. Going to her bedside, she said to me, “Why are you so fearful? Is it the brain? Is there any fear of a recurrence ?” I said, “I cannot say, my dear one; but I am so afraid of your exciting yourself.” She said, in reference to the possibility of a renewal of the attack, “ I hope not." I replied, “ You have need of patience.” Her answer was, “Yes; I want perfect [or entire] patience.” Committing her once again to the Lord, I withdrew with her“Good-bye” sounding in my ears. It was the last word I ever heard her speak. An hour or two after, my fears were realized, for, addressing our beloved daughter with, “ Emily, Emily,” it is supposed a second rupture upon the brain took place, for she lapsed into a state of perfect unconsciousness, in which condition she remained for three nights and two days. On Saturday December 7, I awoke from my restless slumbers with those precious words from the 16th psalm, “Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell ; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life : in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Shortly afterwards, and whilst on my knees, pleading with the Lord that He
would be pleased to give my loved one a peaceful dismissal and an abundant entrance into His everlasting kingdom and glory, my dear niece tapped at the door, and said, “She's just gone—with one gentle sigh." Great as was my loss, I could but say, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
"One gentle sigh her fetters broke;
We scarce could say, 'She's gone,'
It's mansion near the throne." Her precious remains lie in the pretty cemetery of Southsea, overlooking the sea which rolls in upon the beach hard by, and which, on the opposite coast, washes the shore of those delightful scenes described by the glorified LEGH RICHMOND. In October last she completed her fifty-seventh year.
Just as I was leaving Southsea for London, my dear niece placed the following in my hand :
Bereaved one, thy tender heart
Is torn with sorrow, and o’erwhelm'd with grief;
And He alone can give thy heart relief.
A sweet response immediately she gave;
My Lord has shown to me His power to save.
I am complete in Him,” she said ;
But I must wait His time ; He'll watch around my bed.
It clothes me all, so large, so wide :
With those I've loved on earth, who've reached the other side. " I see the heavenly gates, so bright, so bright,
'Tis Jesus beckons me to come, to come;
Lord, take my weary spirit home.'
One gentle sigh told all life's work was o'er,
Longing to meet her on the heavenly shore.
Attune your harps to catch the glorious strain,
A loving message send, and you shall meet again,
ADDENDA.-My dear wife, with four of our dear children, spent a month of the last autumn in Ireland. Thus she was permitted again to see those of my late loved parishioners among whom she had passed so many years. One of them writes: “Many here will be