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THE JOY OF FAITH
SHADOW OF DEATH:
Respectable FAMILY of the BLAKERS
OF BOLNEY, IN SUSSEX,
AN INDULGENT HUSBAND, A TENDER FATHER,
AND AN HONEST BELIEVER IN CHRIST.
HIS UNWORTHY FATHER IN THE FAITH; AND THEIR
THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST,
WILLIAM HUNTING TON, S. S.
MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL
AND AT MONKWELL-STREET MEETING,
The people ibet walked in darkness bave seen a great light : they that :'well in the
land of the shadow of death, upon them bath tbe light shined. Isai. ix. 2.
in the Clif, Lewes, Suflex ; by George Caladine, Bookfeller, Leicester;
Bolney, Dec. 9, 1804. I
HAVE just now received my kind friend's affectionate and supporting epiftle, for which I beg you to accept a thousand thanks from me. For these three days past (besides my other troubles) something has been fuggested to my mind, that, if my poor father is taken away, you will then favour us no more with your summer visits, and that we shall no more hear from you, or be favoured with the comfort of your acquaintance. But I desire to be thankful to God that this is only a suggestion from the enemy. I much fear, my dear friend, that
you will no more see my dear father's face in the flesh; for it is not expected that he will be alive when you receive this.
On Wednesday evening last he seemed to grow much worse. In the same night I went from Worth to Bolney; and on the next day, from one o'clock till three, we all thought he was going off. But even in those moments, when he was upon the verge of death, he looked round upon us all, three or four different times, and gave us such an heavenly smile as appeared wonderful; and really the tranquillity, peace, and consolations, that he seems to enjoy, are beyond expression. I was up with him alone the greatest part of the ensuing night, after he had been so exceedingly ill, and was then a little recovered; at which time he spoke very freely, and a good deal, to me. I said to him, “You was very ill yesterday?” Yes,” said he, “ I was; but what I felt nobody knows, the rays “ of light upon me were as the glory of Lebanon." Isai, xxxv. 2.
" I cannot describe,” said he, " the “ glory that shone upon me.”
And he added, " In my worst moments I have always found it - fo..But some little time back, when I seemed " to get a little better in body, then I felt bondage " and darkness come upon me." The words in one of your foriner letters were brought fresh to my mind, by a speech of my poor father's to my fifter Mary. She was standing by him, apparently very low, and filled with grief. He looked up at her, and said, “My dear, we should not sorrow as * others which have no hope.” i Theff. iv, 13. Poor dear man! I am much cast down at the 3
thoughts and fears of losing him. But I hope God will enable me to submit to his sovereign will. Never, no never, since I have been upon earth, have I found myself fo completely crucified to this world, and to all things beneath the sun, as I do at this time. There is not one thing upon earth that I feel alive to, or have any desire after. But, from heart-felt experience, I can say that my soul thirsteth after God, and my foul is stirred up to seek him with my whole heart. And at times I am enabled to pour out my soul before him, and to lhew him my trouble, and to cast all my cares and burdens upon him, and that with a secret perfuafion that he careth for me. What you say in your's is true ; that nothing but the Son of God, and faith in him, can stay the mind, or fix the heart, in times of trial. Many of the poor souls round about us seem forely cut at the thoughts of losing my poor father; and I believe they have put up many petitions for his recovery; but I much fear that their request will not be granted. My poor fifter is almost overwhelmed. I was in hopes that you would have come to see my father , and am sorry you did not; but, having heard
your health was poorly, I thought you might not be able to come. If he should revive again,
get a little better, I hope you will endeavour to see him once more. In his present state he is scarcely able to speak. A 3