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supported now under very trying and wearing sufferings (for he has been for some time confined to his bed) day and night, it would strengthen your faith; for he is of a gentle, timid disposition, and did not use to seem able to bear suffering well. God displays the power of his grace in him now; and as his earthly comforts fail, his heavenly joys increase, and patience is given him. He had fallen down in a fit, and one of his feet was much burned in the fire. He was very much hurt on his hip, and has taken to his bed entirely-but can never lie down. He sits in a most painful position, with his head constantly bowed down, from the weakness of his back, which cannot support it, and he is bent like half a hoop, and cannot bear to be lifted up. It is very difficult to raise his head a little even
to feed him.
Jan. 10, 1842.-Poor old Crook is kept in constant peace and patience by God. He seems to live in prayer, He has every comfort that can be done for him, from good farmer G. and ourselves. We take care, between us, to supply him with broth, wine, coffee, gruel, arrow root, coals, &c. and he has as much covering as he requires; so that he is never, thank God, in want of any thing.
Jan. 24, 1842.-I was told by his granddaughter that he was not very sensible, and perhaps would not know me. However, when I went up, I found him in his usual position; and when I spoke to him, he knew me, and prayed God to bless me. He then repeated several of the prayers from the Liturgy successively, without stopping, and perfectly, and gave a very strong proof not only of his correct memory in such a state of age and dying weakness, (mortification having commenced,) but also that he perfectly understood what he was saying, by altering the words to suit his own circumstances, as, for instance, in this prayer, "O Lord our heavenly Father, who hast safely brought us to this hour of the day," &c., and "grant that this night we fall into no sin," &c.-it being about six o'clock in the evening when I visited him. He continued praying thus, and as I found that he did not heed my presence, I left him. The next day, when I called, he was very restless and uneasy, and seemed not well able to attend to any thing, but still resigned, and full of love to God. He said he was a poor old worn-out pilgrim; asked for a piece of baked apple, and, when it was brought, wished, rather, for a piece of cheese; and, when that was brought, desired an onion instead. Then he seemed to recollect himself, and grieved that he gave so much trouble.
The night before the one in which he died, his granddaughter told me his sufferings were very great, from his bruised hip; that he was groaning aloud with pain; and that she and her husband were up with him all night. The next day he had ease, and remained all day in an insensible state; he appeared easy, but spoke not; and at one o'clock on the following night, or rather morning, his spirit fled-so quietly, that his granddaughter, who was supporting him, only knew it by perceiving that he had ceased to breathe-on the 25th of January, 1842.
This is a sweet simple account of a dear child of God, and it must give pleasure to his brothers and sisters in Christ to hear how mercifully and gently he was dealt with by his heavenly Father-living in a poor cottage, on an exposed common, on the skirts of the forest of Bere. He was very poor, but he was waited upon by ministering angels, and the good Shepherd himself, "The angels of the Lord encampeth
round about them that fear him."
Christians love one another: his fellow-Christians thought it a pleasure to administer to his wants. The Saviour says, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
It is interesting to observe how God teaches his children by his Holy Spirit. This poor old man had received no educa. tion-he could not read-and yet see what a happy knowledge he had of his God! He was enabled to "rejoice in the Lord." He loved the word of God, and was full of gratitude at hearing it read. It was the food for his soul. He fed upon the hidden manna. He could say, with the prophet, "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; they were the joy and rejoicing of my heart."
"I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold." (Ps. cxix. 127.)
In speaking of his Saviour, he said, "My Saviour is a precious Saviour to me."
"To you who believe he is precious."
When he heard the 118th Psalm read, he said, "It was so comfortable !"
"I thought of thy wonders of old, and comforted myself." When he got a taste for the word of God, he hated light and foolish books.
If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold all things are become new."
Observe, also, how the good Shepherd supported him through all his pains, and conducted him safely through the valley of the shadow of death.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and delivered him out of all his fears." (Ps. xxxiv.)
"Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth him out of them all." (Ps. xxxiv. 19.)
"The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." (Ps. xxiii. 1, 4.)
SABBATH MORNING MEDITATION.
"My meditation of him shall be sweet."-PSALM Civ. 34.
IT cannot be otherwise. In him all sweetness dwells, and as my soul goeth after him with the rising light of this morning, he will manifest himself to me more and more sweetly, so that I shall find it good to wait upon the Lord.
It was sweet last night to lie down "on his breast" and wake this morning "in his arms" and feel that his smiles are the beams of this sacred day, and these hours are the droppings from the wings of his love. Blessed be his holy name for this Sabbath, and to his service and his enjoyment shall it all be given.
It is sweet to think that God is love! That the Infinite God whose will holds worlds in being which his word created, comprehends the perfections of characters in that one word; a word that suits the lips of angels, and falls like the music of angels on the ear-God is love! It brings the great God so near to us, to hear him speaking of himself as Love, not lovely only that may be said of now and then one of his creatures-but he is Love. There is nothing lovely that has not something of him to make it so. He is the fountain; and purity, beauty, and bliss are in the streams.
It is sweet to think that He is the friend of those who trust in him: that we, who sometime were afar off, are now made nigh by the blood of the Cross, and that God is in Christ reconciling us unto himself. Thinking of our sins, and the stern justice of a holy God, we might tremble: but dwelling on the love of God in Christ, the precious plan of his own devising by which he can be just while he spares and saves, we rejoice with joy unspeakable, and with all the confidence
of children in the presence of an indulgent father, we look up to the throne and the face of our God!
It is sweet to think that this is his Sabbath. He shall have it. Away, ye busy and perplexing cares of a wicked world. Away, ye pleasures and duties that are well enough on other days ye shall be attended to in your time and place. "This day belongs to God alone." Ye shall not crowd into the heart, when its chambers have been consecrated to the presence of the Holy One. Ye have had full possession for six weary days and nights; now, do depart, and "let my religious hours alone.' If I could find grace to get the victory over wandering thoughts, if I could find some closet so far remote from the world, that these cares and hopes and fears of every day life could not find me, then my meditation of him should indeed be sweet. "With all diligence" must the heart be kept, or the great world will crowd into the narrowest door, and press even upon the hour of prayer. Said the Psalmist, “my heart is fixed." Let me set the Lord before mine eyes, and fix my heart upon him for one single day.
Let me dwell on the glorious perfections of his character that shine so brightly in the habitation of his holiness. What amazing purity! How oppressed are archangels with a sense of his excellency! It is sweet to think that the blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin, so that poor sinners may be fitted for that presence: they may "enter into the HOLIEST by the blood of Jesus:" and sit down (O wondrous privilege!) at the right hand of God. It is infinitely delightful to think that this glory may be ours; but how it is sweetened by the fact that Christ has made it ours. It is not all of heaven to be there; but the way there through Christ makes the anticipation exquisite beyond all others thought of its joy. Only to think that such a sinner may leave this world of sorrow and shame, and rise into the atmosphere of heaven, and shine in the light of uncreated purity, and sweep on and onward into the bosom of immeasurable love, and rejoice with cherubim and seraphs in the high praises of heaven world without end: and these joys are all the free gift of Jesus Christ. Bought with his blood, and bestowed on the hell-deserving! It is sweet to think of it. The heart melts in the thought of it. It is sweet to begin the day with these elevating contemplations of God and heaven.
"How sweet a Sabbath thus to spend,
WILL you permit a plain old-fashioned country minister to offer, for the consideration of your readers, a few remarks upon the subject of rainy Sundays?
I have often heard some very good people talk about rainy Sundays in a way which seemed to me was not right. "Well, here's another rainy Sunday," one would say, “and I suppose ppose now we shall have rainy Sundays all this moon." Another would say, "There is nothing I dislike more than to see it rain on a Sunday." Indeed, I once heard a brother minister say, "I always feel sorry when it rains on Sunday." I know he thought it was the means of thinning his congregation, and regretted to have his people kept away from the church. But in my humble opinion, we have no right to complain about the weather at all. God cares for his church, and he sends the rain. What are we that we should be dissatisfied with the orderings of God's providence? We ought to be sorry, not that it rains on the Lord's day, but that so many, even of professing Christians, will allow a few drops of rain to prevent them from going up to the sanctuary to meet with their Saviour. Here is the evil. It is found in that lack of disposition to do our duty at all times and under all circumstances. There are too many fair-weather Christians, who, it is to be feared, do not profess that self-sacrificing spirit which our Master requires of his disciples."
Now, let me tell you one or two things which I noticed in my limited sphere, and which have a bearing upon this subject. I once knew a professed follower of the Lord Jesus, a communicant in the church, to ride fourteen miles through a severe storm of wind and rain, to receive a small sum which had fallen due to him that day, and though for several years he lived within two miles of the church, I never knew him to come out upon a rainy Sunday. In fair weather he was always in his place at the sanctuary. He had the reputation of being one of the most attentive men to his worldly business in the country. Now I do not think it right to take more pains to advance our own interests, than we should take to serve God. I suppose there are scarcely any, who, because it rains in the week, close their shops or stop their business, and yet they seem to think God's house must be closed; at all events, they stay away because the day is not fair as they could wish. You have heard, I dare say, about the little boy