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“Soon thy griefs will here be ended,
All thy mourning days below,
To the sight of Jesus go.
To thy dear Redeemer's breast;
To His everlasting rest.
Bear a momentary pain;
Suffer, with thy Lord to reign.” After a few minutes' rest her pains were again renewed, and she beckoned for her daughter to draw her hand from under her head. When this was done, she looked upon me with a look that seemed to pierce through my soul, and said, “I am waiting-waiting for the Lord to come. Oh, would He make haste; come and release me from this prison-this body of sin, pain, and death." I said, "My dear child, the Lord will not be hurried; He never does anything in a hurry. He has His set times for coming, going, and working. And, when you are brought to the end of your conflict, and your armour is put off, and you
shout: More than a conqueror through Him that hath loved you,' then shall you see and acknowledge that your loving Lord, in His wisdom, hath done and made everything beautiful in His time. There will be then no dark spots, no barren wastes, no crooked events, or rough dispensations to be seen, in all, or any one of the Lord's dealings with you from first to last while bere below. All--all will be one beautiful chain, every link of which has contributed its part to work out for you that “Far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory," to be inherited in Him, and jointly with Him by you, through all the eternity of the eternal relative life of Him who is by His wonderful grace headship your life for evermore.
While I was speaking, the dear sufferer, exhausted by pain, went off into a doze. I said to the nurse, “Remember, within twenty-four hours from this time it will be with Mrs. Johns as dear Kent sings
“. As gold from the flame, He'll bring thee at last,
To praise Him for all through which thou hast passed;
And God, from thine eyes, wipe all sorrows away.”” About seven o'clock in the morning of the day following my last interview, while wrestling in agony for breath, her soul took wing and fled into the bosom of her glorious Redeemer, Husband, and God.
" Sing, O ye heavens; for the Lord hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth : break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein; for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified Himself in Israel." Hallelujah. Amen.
THE OLD PILGRIM. [With respect to the forenamed long and intense sufferer, but now glorified' and triumphant saint, our acquaintance with her commenced when called to attend her sick and dying husband. He lingered under, and ultimately died of, consumption; and, as from time to time we visited him, our feeling was that those visits were only welcome, as far as the wife was concerned, on account of the shilling we dropped into her hand upon
leaving the sick-chamber. Upon the husband's death, his widow left the parish, and we lost sight of her for some time, until one day she called upon us with a club-paper for our signature, in reference to her deceased husband. Her changed and meekened manner led to our making some remark, when, to our astonishment, she opened up, in the sweetest and most touching strain, how the Lord had met with her in our little temporary church. We had been preaching, she said, a series of sermons upon the first chapter of the first epistle of Peter; and, when speaking upon the third and fourth verses, the Lord brought home the word with saving power to her heart. “ Reserved in heaven for you,” she said, “it is for you—for you," came the word again and again. “What, me, Lord ? such a sinner as I ?" “ Yes, you ; it is reserved in heaven for you.' wherever she went it followed her," for you—for you.". Her testimony was most striking, and from that time she became a diligent and most attentive hearer whenever her extremely delicate and fast-failing health permitted. We never remember to have seen a greater sufferer. For months and even years we thought it scarcely possible she could last much longer, and yet she lingered month after month, and even year after year, again and again appearing in the house of God, when we thought she had quitted it for ever.
A dear friend told me that, on one occasion, she was so dreadfully harassed by the tempter and with unbelief, that she thought it was of no use to attempt to pray any more.
She sank into such a fearful state of mind, that she thought one morning she would put on her bonnet and shawl, and go out, with the hope that she might divert her mind and walk off the dreadful feelings under which she was suffering. She had walked but a short distance, when, in the most unexpected way, she was met by a friend, who was at the moment hurrying to the train. He had passed her before he recognized her. The thought immediately occurred to him, "Why, that is poor Mrs. Johns; she will fancy I want to avoid her.” Immediately turning back, with a few hurried words he dropped some money into her hand, and hurried on to the train. With that money she was enabled to meet some little matters which were pressing upon her, and thus the Lord showed her the truth of His word, à Before they call I will answer, and whilst they are yet speaking I will hear," as well as another sweet Scripture, “Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
We much regret that we could not note down at the time much that she said during our visits to her sick-bed. Suffice it to say, that at times her words came with such savour and power, -speaking as she did out of the depths of most distressing prostration of body, with the bones protruding through the skin,-that we could only sit and weep before the Lord, as we contemplated His divine faithfulness and all-sufficiency. During one of our last visits, when we really thought she would have died as we sat by her bedside, so distressing were the paroxysms of coughing, recovering her breath, she exclaimed, with uplifted hand, and as though with supernatural power, " Oh, that blessed temporary church! Oh, that blessed temporary church !" The testimony, under the circumstances, was most striking; and it seemed, for the time being, amply to repay one for any care or trial or affliction with which we had been familiar. Again we say, how much we regret not having noted down what from time to time fell from her lips ; but often we find that, if not done at once, the statement at one sick and dying bed is either confounded
or forgotten in connexion with another. Her sick and dying testimony, however, was the full recognition and acknowledgment of the Lord's loving and gracious and tender dealings. Exhausted as she was, and her poor emaciated frame so completely worn and wasted, yet there was the bright and blessed exultation, that though “the earthly house of her tabernacle were dissolving, yet she had a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."-EDITOR.]
A WORD OF WARNING.
To the Editor of the Gospel Magazine. MY DEAR FRIEND, I have many times had my pen in hand to send you a few lines, but it is not always easy to write what satisfies one's own mind, and it is difficult to think that what is unsatisfactory to the writer can ever be useful to reader.
Lest your readers should think I am slumbering at my post, or forgetful of you or them, I feel constrained to write something. May our gracious Lord direct my thoughts and guide my pen.
We live in strange times ; apparently, enough is going on around us, both in the Church and in the world, to arouse the drowsiest, and yet it is with difficulty any are brought to see the real position in which we are placed, civilly and ecclesiastically, by the course of events which our God, in His all-wise providence, allows to occur. Truth abused becomes error. I firmly believe that " the Lord reigneth," and that all things must eventually produce good-real good—to those that love Him; but, if I am therefore supine, careless, and indifferent to the movements of friends and foes, for, or against, that which God has owned and blessed, am I not in error ? This appears to me to be one of the faults of the present age, and I attribute it to the intensely worldly spirit of the day-a spirit which all the conveniences, so abundant on every hand, tend to foster, and by which we are, so to speak, cast into a " deep sleep." Individually, we seek and love ease, which is most injurious to our spiritual state. Churches dread being aroused-people like to be religious in the society of those who have the character of being religious, but are as worldly as any in matters of business and in scenes of pleasure and pastime. Even the things which may, not unreasonably, be engaged in occasionally, become matters of every-day pursuit; and, from this love of ease and pleasure, this unwillingness to be disturbed from the pursuit of wealth, or of carnal enjoyment, arises indifference to the cause of God and truth.
This is visible in those of whom we had reason to hope better things. Neither the declaration of Archbishop Manning, that the Church of Rome has undertaken to subjugate an imperial race; that, England again brought back under the spiritual despotism of the Pope, the rest of the world will soon fall an easy conquest ; nor the fact that the vitals of the Church of England, and of Protestant dissent, are being eaten away by those fell cankers, popery and infidelity ; neither the one nor the other of these is sufficient to drive away the lethargy conspicuous in many places. Truly, 'vain is the help of man;" truly, now is the time when the arm of the Lord must be invoked; now must we individually, and collectively, cry
mightily to Him who is able to deliver. Let us "contend earnestly" with life and lip and pen
“ for the faith once delivered to the saints." Let us bear in mind the heart of man is the same it ever was since the fall; the word of God is the same; above all, that our God is the same omnipotent, wise, and merciful God who “spared not His own Son," and will, with Him, give us all things.
Help in the hour of need, wisdom in perplexity, and strength in the day of conflict, are all from Him, and from Him alone; and He has said, “For all these things will I be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do them for them." Excuse these desultory remarks, and believe me,
Your faithful brother, Astley.
ALFRED HEWLETT, D.D.
THE UNCERTAINTY OF LIFE-CONQUEST IN DEATH.
To the Editor of the Gospel Magazine. MY DEAR SIR, -How frequently do you try to impress upon the minds of your hearers this solemn truth, viz. : “In the midst of life we are in death.” That truth has been verified very recently in the sudden removal by death of a near neighbour of ours, who, with his bereaved wife, were constant attendants at your church. The last time they heard you preach was on Sunday evening, August 2, when you spoke from those words in Heb. xi. 24; and you remember, dear sir, at the close of that discourse, you
referred to some of your dear people who were going away. You said, how frequently, from time to time, some were missing from the congregation, and how, in all probability, that those present would not all meet together again in that place, &c. How striking and how forcible are right words ! The departed one and his loved wife were much impressed with the solemnity of your remarks, and, after leaving the church, they met with a brother of theirs, told him how sweetly they had heard you preach, and of the solemn words relative to the uncertainty of life you gave utterance to; and, on parting, said, "Perhaps we may never meet again." On arriving home, the words still seemed to press upon their minds. They read together the word of God; and the departed one, again alluding to the uncertainty of life, said, " Ah, my dear wife, life is uncertain. You may soon be called away; and perhaps I may be called first; we know not which." His dear wife is in a very delicate state of health. On the following Tuesday, there being an excursion to Watchet, their home being near, his wife said it was laid upon her mind to go, that she might meet with her friends once more. The departed one was much surprised at this, as his wife always objected to go by excursion. However, they went, and met with most or all of their friends on that occasion. At their meeting your solemn admonitions were again brought up: “Perhaps we shall not all meet together again."
After their return home, the departed one complained of a pain in his inside; had a bottle of soda-water; was better next morning; went to his employment; Thursday felt very unwell; went to business, but had to return; became much worse; a doctor was called in, but everything failed to give him relief; he continued to get worse, when further medical aid was sought, and it was considered necessary to operate upon him. Sunday morning, myself with another neighbour were called in to help him downstairs and into the doctor's carriage. He had had a dreadful
night the one preceding; his groans were fearful. But, as his dear wife said, he seemed to have supernatural strength given him as he walked out of one room into the other without help. On seeing us come to assist him downstairs, he said, “Ah, my dear gentlemen, they are going to take me away. I do not fear for myself. I hope my dear wife will try and bear up under it.” And truly it was heartrending, as we led him out of doors, to see his loved one in frantic grief sink at the bottom of the stairs. As he passed up the place, I said, "The Lord only can support under this painful trial.” He replied, “My trust is alone in Him. I have nowhere else to look."
I then took a farewell of him, and saw him no more until I gazed on his lifeless body. How truly solemn to see him walk away on Sunday morning being supported by his arms, and on Thursday following to be carried back again, a lifeless lump of clay, bereft of his spirit, shut up in the house appointed for all living. But I do trust he is safely landed, from that which I have gathered from his bereaved widow. Before being operated upon, it is said he was perfectly calm, and said to the doctors, “Now, before you begin, or give me the chloroform, just let me say one word. As soon as I entered this hospital I gave myself up into the hands
Ι of the Lord; and, if I do not live to see or speak to my dear wife again, tell her I die perfectly happy."
His wife was allowed to see him on Sunday after the operation, but was forbidden to speak to him. She was with him nearly the whole of the day. on Monday; he seemed very cheerful, alluded to the hymn sung the last time he was at church,
“ All my times are in Thy hand.” He quoted several hymns, and said to his dear wife, he wished she had the hymn-book to turn to certain hymns. He said, “I am going to heaven. My precious wife, the Lord will take care of you," said he ; "I am in the hands of Jesus."
On Wednesday there seemed to be an improvement for the better; his loved wife's hopes began to rise ; but oh, soon to be dashed to the ground again. His dear wife was with him when he breathed his last, which was on Monday last. I gathered the following from her. He had a great wish to see you, dear sir, before he died, and I believe some one was sent for you, but you were absent I know. He then wished to see his employer, and was very anxious until he arrived. When he did, he said he wanted to speak to some one about his dear wife; called for pen and paper,
and said, “Please to write, I leave everything I possess to my precious wife.'” This being done, he raised himself up in bed to sign it, but could not write, but affixed the x; it is then said he prayed fervently for a long time. His wife asking him, "Is Christ precious ?” “Yes—yes,” he said. “Are you happy?" "Yes. I am going to
. heaven.” The nurse having given him brandy several times, he refused to take any more, saying, "No, don't give me brandy; give me sodawater.” They again tried to get him to take it. "No," he said, “I never drank too much) while living; don't send me out of the world intoxicated.” His last words were “ Yes—yes,” in answer to the questions, “Is Christ precious ?”—" Is it light in the valley ?” So I think, dear sir, we have good ground to hope he is gone to dwell with Jesus. No one ever trusted in Him and was confounded. And if he was resting in the arms of Jesus, we know he was in safe hands.