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at the resurrection of the just, in a healthful, youthful, beautiful, and glorified body.”
Another letter received from a ministerial brother at this time must, from its excellence, be inserted :
“ Tidings have reached my ear that your afflicted son is considerably worse, which, according to the Lord's dispensation of love, is not mysterious; for we know that we are appointed thereunto for the trial of our faith, which is much more precious than gold which perisheth ; and, knowing these things, you cannot be so moved as to rebel against the Lord. Even the most tender affections of our nature must be subdued to the unerring counsel of our God. There is love in it, and underneath it, and all round about it, and before and after it; and the
of Christ is sufficient to bear him through it, and support you under it. One thing you said, my brother, when here, namely, that his mind was graciously wrought upon;' and therefore, if the work of God is begun in his soul, it will be carried on and completed in the fulness of eternal glory. Please present our love to your son, and tell him, though his youthful days in nature are marred by the hand of affliction, his eternal days in grace and spiritual glory will compensate for all.
“ Yours in the love of Christ, “ Braintree, June 2, 1868.”
“T. W. The contents of these weighty and powerful letters led to frequent conversations upon the important subjects of life, death, and immortality. Indeed, the sick-chamber was converted into a very Bethel, for it became blessedly evident to us that while we communed together on the things of God, Jesus Himself drew near, and His sweet and heavenly presence cast a sanctifying, influential halo around our hearts. Ah, it was good indeed to be there, for the "peace of God, which passeth all understanding,” reigned in our midst ! and, though the inward grief was great, and parental pangs acute-arrows, sharp arrows, piercing to the very
soulyet grace," all-powerful grace, was found to be sufficient ” for this "evil day,” and the covenant faithfulness of God fully proved and felt. But it was a time of great self-sacrifice and creature-renunciation, such being the demand which God made upon us; and happy are all those to whom, in these trying dispensations of life, wisdom from on high is given, to discern both the " time and judgment” of God. For there is a time and season to every purpose under heaven; and what is the life of man in the flesh to the life of God in the soul ? Everything of earth must yield to the heavenly, sovereign will of Him who doeth all things well. Nature ties are strong, very strong, but spiritual bonds are stronger; and thus even my dear and only son in the flesh must, in the flesh, be considered as less my son than God's, who hath to him the greater right. But oh, the sharp conflict of soul, the rending the caul of the heart, at the contention of these cutting, adverse principles within! How oft did I stand at the foot of the bed of my poor, suffering, fading son“ Josiah," apparently unconcerned, whilst at the same time I was enduring a great fight” of those “afflictions” peculiar to a parent; and it seemed doubtful, at times, whether I should give vent to the grief of a broken heart or the joys of a gladdened soul. The “flesh" and the “Spirit" did indeed strive for the mastery, but grace, in its prevailing power, subdued all things unto God.
Still, day after day, there lay the poor afflicted son, like Lazarus, "full
of sores," insomuch that he said to his nurse, " You don't know what a state I am in.” Ah, we all know it; but to us it was a picture, to him a reality! Nevertheless, even in this state, he seemed to have learnt therewith to be content. Certain it was, he was led to look at his higher life and holier standing in the Lord Jesus Christ. And whilst others ministered of their temporal and spiritual substance, I shall never forget the joy of my own soul in being privileged to break unto this young disciple a little piece of the bread of everlasting life. Thus, among the many questions that the inquiring Josiah put to me, one was to know the meaning of our being made "more than conquerors through Jesus Christ our Lord.” And somewhat on this wise it was answered: to fight a battle and gain the victory, would make us merely a conqueror; but for another to fight the battle for us, and then to give us the victory, we are than conquerors ;” and this is what we are made “ through our Lord Jesus Christ.'
Now sin's battle is the Lord's, and He hath fought it once and for ever, expressly for us; and, as He needeth not the victory for Himself, He giveth it unto us, that we, through Him, might triumph over all our foes. And this was good news indeed to my son-savoury meat to his immortal soul- for he was “ following after righteousness," and "seeking to know the Lord;" and therefore his teachable spirit was glad to be furthermore told that, just as the children of Israel “gat not the land of Canaan by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them," so do not the children of God to this day obtain their heavenly inheritance by any might or power of their own. No, no, no ! all is of God, in, through, and by Christ Jesus our Lord, from “ Alpha,” Himself, the first, to “Omega,"
” ' Himself, the last.
Another subject of the sick-room conversation, asked for by the anxious seeker after truth, was as to the way and manner in which the Lord Jesus Christ “manifests Himself unto His people as He doth not unto the world;" when the whole subject was sweetly opened up to our minds from John's first epistle, thus : He manifests Himself
1. As the “ eternal Life" of our souls (chap. i. 2).
2. As the everlasting Love of God the Father, who sent Him into the world and gave Him up freely for our sakes (chap. iv. 9).
3. As the Light of His people, and in whom is “no darkness at all” (chap. i. 5).
4. He was manifested to “take away our sins" (chap. iii. 5). And 5. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (chap. iii. 8).
Now, although divine teaching is not so deducible to rules as that man can lay down any plan of working for God, yet this is the order in which the beloved John speaks of the manifestation of Christ to the soul; yea, it is the very way in which Christ Himself taught His disciples, and is certainly " as He doth not manifest Himself unto the world." He does not “commit Himself” to all, but unto witnesses chosen of God. The “Son' in His works follows the Father in His will, and the Holy Ghost in His "testimony” follows both the Father and the Son. And I can never feel sufficiently thankful when I remember how He led forth the mind of my "Josiah" into a prayerful consideration of these positive manifestations of Christ to His soul. For the “hope of glory” sprang up in his heart at the revelation of Jesus Christ, and this enabled him to bear the loss of all things for the gain of one, namely, the one thing needful;" in
proof of which he now said to his nurse, “My earthly joys are all gone, but I have one in reserve—a joy unspeakable and full of glory." Ah, about the last thing he played on the piano before he took to his bed was,
"A Day's March nearer Home;" but he was now many days in advance of that time, and his salvation much nearer than when he first believed. Indeed, the Lord had so deadened his soul to earthly sensibilities, and quickened his apprehension of things divine, that He seemed now to be preparing his mind for the surrender of “persons” (however near and dear) as well as “ things" unto Himself. What a trial was this, not only to me, his fond and natural father, but to my dear wife, his watchful, faithful, and loving motherly attendant! How truly could we say at this
! time (as we did to the Lord in prayer), “Thou hast shewed Thy people hard things; thou hast made them to drink of the wine of astonishment." Nevertheless, the will of our God and Father must be done. Seeing, then, that the Lord was thus inclining his heart to transfer its affections from earth to heaven, gently conveying his relationship love from us unto Himself, I felt, through grace, a corresponding desire in my heart (much as I loved him) to give him up also unto God in return. And this constrained me to be strong in my expressions of self-condemnation, that I might let him see how worthless was his affinity to a creature of vanity. Thus I used in my prayers at his bedside to make open confession of the “wretched man that I was,” in giving birth to a son in the flesh, who by virtue of his union to me inherited all the sin and misery he was called upon to endure and suffer; and among other things I remember to have said, “In Thee, O heavenly Father, my son may find a holy God! but in me, his earthly father and sinful creature, perhaps a devil!” For as of " Adam the first,” and fallen, I possess, in common with all mankind, a nature that is “ earthly, sensual, and devilish ;' and therefore, feeling it really to be so, I laid all the blame of my son's position upon, primarily, myself, if perchance I might be helpful in the weaning of his heart from one so vile. But oh, what this cost me I can never explain! still I felt there was a needs-be for it, in the giving up of my Isaac unto God, and that to be a son of “ faithful Abraham " I must have Abraham's faith. Godliness to be “gain” to the soul, must be " logs” to the flesh. The natural must give place to the spiritual, if we who live, would "live unto God."
Thus, having such abundant evidence that the Lord had said unto my Josiah, “Son, give me thine heart," and that, in obedience to the heavenly call, he had done so in such meek and ready acquiescence, who was I (with all my parental ties and affections) that I could withstand God ? Indeed, I felt that the same demanding " voice" that had so sovereignly called him, was addressed also to me, so that I could not withhold my son, my only son, when I so plainly saw that God had adopted and claimed him as His own. Therefore, through reigning grace, in its reconciling and subduing power, I felt constrained of God to resign him into His hands.
Blessings for ever on the Lamb who, by the anointings of the Holy Ghost, teacheth His people how to live more in the spirit than in the flesh, and to esteem a heavenly relationship of far more worth than an earthly one; yea, to give up father, mother, sister, brother, husband, wife, or child, for Christ and His everlasting Gospel's sake. For how else are we to "live unto God," but by learning of Him to die unto self, men, and things ? _The creature must be subordinate to Christ, and happy are they whom He teaches this subjection. A living Christianity is above
nature, and, as the will of God is made manifest, it is oftentimes against it. If the reader has not been much exercised upon this point, the writer has. There is no righteous glorying in God apart, from or contrary to, His
ways, His works, and His will. It is only those who “live unto the Lord” that will know the blessedness of dying unto the Lord, and it is they only who “live” and “ die ” “ unto the Lord” that the Lord's."
Now this transference of fatherhood from me unto God was wholly accomplished by the Lord Himself, and as far as Josiah jun. was concerned, on this wise was it performed : For as many as received Him [Christ], to them gave He [God the Father] power to become the sons of God." So that the bestowment of the power of God to become His son, is as necessary as the gift of Christ unto those who receive Him.' Then, as to myself, I felt the insignificance and worthlessness of my perishing parental name, which, being limited to time and pertaining only to the flesh, would in no wise compare with that “
» which the Lord in His righteousness had now given my son.
Thus the “wisdom of God” made him wise, and the “power of God". made him strong,
And though Christ Himself is the essentially “wise Son," who by reason of His time-state work on the earth made “glad ” His Holy Father in all that is glorious, heavenly, and eternal; yet in the spirit of adoption by Christ, and through His alone worthiness and work, my Josiah also became a "wise son among men, who made a “glad futher"
(To be continued.)
GRACE TRIUMPHANT OVER SICKNESS AND DEATH. MY DEAR FRIEND,—As you have desired me to give you some particu lars of the illness and death of the late Mr. A. A. Elliott, I will endeavour to do so in as concise a manner as possible.
You are, I believe, aware that his twin brother (a few recollections of whom appeared in the GOSPEL MAGAZINE for December last) died in October, 1864. His health declined from that time, though it was not till three months before his death that he became a decided invalid; and he was confined to the house but little more than a week.
On Sunday, the 19th of July, he went out for a short time. On his return a great change was observed in him, and he never rallied after. His mind, during this the last week of his life, seemed to be kept in perfect peace, stayed upon his God (Isa. xxvi. 3).
He remarked that the potter, when making a vessel, continued moulding the clay until he had made it as he saw fit; so his heavenly Potter would keep him here until he was moulded according to His will, and connected the idea with these words, “ All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come” (Job xiv. 14).
In referring to many trials through which he had passed, he said, “If I had not been able to cast them on the great Burden-bearer, I never could have borne them.” And, in speaking of a fearful temptation Satan once presented to his mind when in great distress, said, “I looked up to my heavenly Father for help; never I think was such instant answer to prayer before. In one moment it was entirely gone, and I went on my way 80 happy." He mentioned also how he had been blessed on two With joy
special occasions while in prayer; Jesus seemed so near that he dreaded to come back again, as he expressed it.
I will now proceed to give you a few of what may almost be called his dying words. “What a glorious place heaven must be, where all have the same spirit as the Saviour! My sufferings are nothing compared to His, and for me. What a Saviour ours is, to keep us so safe! shall
draw water out of the wells of salvation, and never thirst again. He neither slumbereth nor sleepeth that keepeth Israel. Praise the Lord, ye heavens adore Him.” And verses of hymns, which I will not lengthen my letter by repeating. It is recollected now how calm and composed he was at the time his brother died, and that just after he remarked, “I'm thinking of where he is now.” Shortly before called away to be blessedly united to him in the presence of the Saviour they both loved, he said, with reference to that time, “I was as happy then as now, and now as then. I am not looking much to death and the grave, but forwards to heaven."
A person who came into his room, and noticed how great his sufferings were, said, “ But he looks cheerful.” He looked
up with a bright smile, and said, • Who wouldn't be cheerful ?”—meaning with his glorious prospect of heavenly bliss and the presence of his Saviour, which he so blessedly realized. He often spoke of prayer being changed for praise in heaven. Indeed with him it was heaven begun on earth, for his soul delighted in praising God. He very much feared his great sufferings would make him impatient, but the very reverse was the case.
Once when he had thought himself almost gone, and afterwards revived, he said, “I think I was a little disappointed at coming back again.” And, shortly before he breathed his last, said to his brother, “Be of good cheer, John, for He hath said it,” laying great emphasis on the pronoun He. Almost the last words he uttered were, "Happy, happy," and something about the white cloud (Rev. xiv. 14.) Much more he said that it was truly blessed to hear, but is now but indistinctly remembered.
By his desire, his remains were brought from Bath into Sussex, and interred in the same grave with his much-loved brother. The words from Rev. vii. 14, which he frequently repeated, have been inscribed on their tomb, “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Truly the memory of the just is blessed.—Ever yours sincerely,
GREETINGS BY THE WAY, WITH SOME PARTICULARS OF THE LAST ILLNESS AND DEPARTURE OF "OLD
SARAH,” OF YEOVIL, [We regret that the annexed should have stood over so long. The reader's attention is particularly directed to the fact of how much the mind of that highly-favoured servant of God, the aged “Sarah, of Yeovil,” was imbued with a conviction of the solemn aspect of the times in which we live. The same conviction, we are persuaded, possesses the hearts of the Lord's people generally. So far from their considering the present an auspicious day, in itself considered, they regard it as a time in which the Lord is about terribly to shake the nations, and to test most severely the profession of His people.-Ed.]
MY DEAR BROTHER IN ZION'S CHEQUERED PATH, AND ISRAEL'S FAITHFUL GOD,-It is a long time since I saluted you by the way, not from unmindfulness, but from being hindered. Doubtless we have often been brought to each other's remembrance when meeting at our common centre-point, the mercy-seat, where from vital union and mutual interest we bear one