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called separately into his room. To the former he gave the Pilgrim's Progress, and to each of the latter some little Testament, Bible, or Prayerbook, by way of testimony of regard. Just twenty-six hours before his spirit took its fight to the Saviour's arms, I was most unexpectedly desired to bring pencil and paper. This request much surprised me, as I knew that my husband had not written or even read a line for several weeks, and his weakness was extreme. With a feeble tremulous hand, which rested on the pillow, and on a small book which I supported, he wrote the lines which follow, and gave them me with this remark, and a smile that breathed and spoke the inward peace of his soul; “ I have not written you a copy of verses a long time; now take these; I have not written them to be shown, but because they may hereafter comfort you, as they speak what I feel ;—put them away.
The sun had that morning been beautifully shining upon the clustering roses, which thickly shaded the large window near his bed-side.
FLOWERS WERE RICHLY GLOWING IN THEIR BLOOM, UNDER THE
POWERFUL RAYS OF AN AUGUST SUN.
When the great Sun looks from high,
On the garden trimly drest,
Gay and gladdening to the breast.
But if he withdraw a while,
Then the flowers no more are gay;
Ev'ry thing has lost its smile,
And the bright hues die away.
Yet the flowers blow changeless on,
Elegant, and full, and fair;
But the sun is wanting there.
Thus the Lord in happy days,
With a reconciled face,
upon his people's ways :-
Then a Saviour's dying love,
Love to all, but— Love to Me!
Crown of immortality,
These are felt in all their glow
In the great amazing whole :
Nought but God can fill the soul !
But He hides His gracious head,
And the scene is changed again :
But, alas ! are read in vain.
Yet they all remain the same ;
Yes! and faith shall grasp them too;
The next night was one of dreadful suffering. After I had quitted the chamber for a few hours' rest, my dear mother was with him; and very early in the morning, on her remarking to him, “ You have had a sad and tedious night;" he replied, “I shall have a long and glorious day." My dear father and myself returned to his bedside at five in the morning, when his convulsive struggles for breath were dreadfully distressing: no murmuring sign appeared,-it was bodily suffering only. As well as I could, I endeavoured aloud to commend in prayer his departing soul to his Saviour; and at the conclusion he was able distinctly to say, “ Thank you. He a little revived, however, about noon of this day; and was able, with an impressive voice, to say to all of us present, “ Remember-strait is the gate, and narrow is the way.” Sometime after, on my endeavour to close the eyes, he said in a whisper, intelligible but to myself, “ I was but looking into heaven.”
Of the article of dying he had ever had a fear; and sometimes expressed it to me, acknowledging it was the result of a weak faith. About half an hour before death he breathed into my ear in a whisper—which others observed, rather than heard,--but to me it was a most penetrating sound, “ The fear of death is quite taken away. Shortly after, he made a sign to be laid upon the pillow; the struggles of death were over; and, at five o'clock in the afternoon of August 8th, 1823, literally falling asleep, so he breathed out his departing spirit, which thus winged its flight from earth to heaven, to be for ever with the Lord. There wanted just four days of completing his thirty-fourth year.
My husband's last gift to me was about three weeks before his death, in the same spirit of calmly waiting his departure. It was a watch express his
and seals; one of which was his device, having a cross, with the inscription over it, FERAMUS. On giving tỉe watch, he said, “ Let it mark out your time for God." I have formerly heard my
husband opinion of the value of the diaries which some Christians have kept, to record their spiritual progress or decline. He thought they might be beneficial to the individuals, but that, in order to be so, generally speaking, effectual care should be taken that they should meet no human eye. His own practice I never knew till after his death. In the latter part of his sickness, he desired that, as soon as I could open his papers, I should burn some, the nature of which I should at once see. Immediately after the event, circumstances made it needful for me to put every paper into the care of a kind and faithful friend, to whom I had forgotten to mention this request. He at once found the book or books (I have forgotten which, except that it appeared a mass of writing); and seeing it was evidently not intended to be looked at, Mr.R. brought the packet to me, with this legible inscription on the covering page, “ Between God and my own soul.” Of course I then remembered the injunction given me, and the papers were immediately burnt.
A few words upon the manner in which his sermons were delivered, &c. His voice completely filled the large church at Mildenhall; and, as the rector and several others told me, he was one of the best readers of Scripture they ever heard. Solemn, simple, and devotional in the Liturgy, the manner, as well as the matter, was prayer. In the delivery of his sermons he was perfectly unaffected; with but little action, exceeding ease, and so much of earnestness, that, setting out with different feelings, even I could not hear long without forgetting the preacher in the subject. My dear father delighted to hear him, and often spoke of his remarkable talent as a preacher; and himself being allowed an eminent example as a lecturer, he was no incompetent judge.
The accompanying letter, written by my dear father to Mr. Grinfield, speaks fully what he has often expressed to me of his feelings upon this subject.
“Guildford Street, August 16th, 1823. « Dear Sir,
“ I am obliged to you for the letter I have this day received ; and, had I time, should have much of a melancholy pleasure in replying to it circumstantially ; for, in the sad void produced by the loss of a dear friend or beloved relative, nothing tends so much to afford relief as to muse on the scenes and the sayings that are now at an end ; and thus, for a few moments, to reembody what has vanished from our senses.
• Our dear Mr. Neale was, indeed, endowed with talents that fall to the lot of few; and fewer still have employed them so efficiently as himself during the latter part of his life. You are aware, I have no doubt, that the illness with which he was suddenly attacked at Eastbourne, produced,