Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

away my fins; yea, the fins of the whole world." His ftrength now failed him; and we again kneeled down to prayer and commended him to God. Several christian friends then took their leave, exhorting him to hold on his way. After which he said to me, “O my dear father, why are you cast down? It in.. creases my forrow to see you so affected." I desired him to bear with us, and not to suffer this to trouble him; but strive to lay hold on Christ, which if he did, would be an unspeakable comfort to us all. He answered, I have hold, and through grace, I will not let him go except he bless me. I will call upon him with all my might, and if I die before I obtain the blessing, I will die crying for mercy : yet I have now no doubt but the Lord will fupport my dying body until I obtain the bles. fing." I now desired him to take a little sleep, as he had had scarce. any for several days and nights; but he answered, “I have no time for fleep; I am still afraid of death ; and if I lose my senses and die, what will become of me?” However he was prevailed upon, and slept for the space of twenty minutes; then he opened his eyes in thankfulness for being preserved. As he seemed fo much oppressed I asked, If there was any sin in particular which he had committed that lay upon his mind ? He replied, “ None in particular; but my life has been a life of sin; my occupation exposed me to the worst of company. It is true, I did not join them in fin in the highest degree, yet when I have been called a Methodist dog, and a Methodist devil, I have cursed and swore as well as the worst of them. I have been proud of these once active but now trembling limbs, which would never be the last up the lofty mast. O father, I broke all the laws of God, and your advice I have cast behind my back. I do see myself one of the vileft of finners. God be merciful to me a sinner. O Lord Jesus have mercy upon me!". In this manner he spent most of the night.

Friday, May 18, his uncle asked how he did ? he replied, " Very poorly in my body; and as to my soul, I have strong con. " fidence in God that he will ere long manifeft himself to me to " the Joy of my heart. I do now believe that the Lord Jesus “ died for me, as tho' there were none in the world beside myself. * O come, Lord Jesus, into my soul.” Being desired to repose himself a little he still answered' “ I have no time, for I have not " that satisfaction and peace of mind I long for." Notwithstanding he suffered racking pain of body and was so weak that he could peither lie down nor sit, but was always, night and day, supported between two persons, yet I never heard him once complain that he suffered too much. He fill held fast his hope, and believed the Lord would deliver him, tho" he seemed to tarry long. His constant petition was, "O come, Lord Jesus, and have mercy ** upon me, a finner, not worthy the leaft of all thy mercies, " Have mercy upon me, and magnify thy grace in the redemption " of my soul.” After we had been at prayer, and his uncle was

“ taking

taking leave of him, he suddenly cried out with a loud voice, “ He is come! he is come! ( it is sweet, it is sweet: I am now “ happy. O praise the Lord, praise him with me! O bleiled " Jesus, thou hast done all things well. O come Death, now I fear thee noi.” Thus after 36 hours distress, the Lord was pleased to set his soul at perfect liberty, and we again fell down upon our knees and praised God for his mercy and goodness to. wards us : our tears of sorrow were now turned into tears of joy and gladness. Christopher could not forbear speaking of the good ness of God, and said “ O blessed Jesus, thou art altogether lovely, “ the faireft among ten thousand." Then addressing his uncle, he said, “ Lord bless you for what you have done for me :" His Uncle replied, Thou must give God all the glory: it is the Lord that hath done all for thee, not unto me but unio his holy name be the praise given. “ O yes, he replied, but I am unable to ex“ press the thankfulness I now feel to God for all his mercies to“ wards me. I want to praise him with a nobler voice. I want “ you all to help me to praise him. O praise him with me, for “ he hath dove all things well. Till yesterday morning I was “ blind and foolish, but now I have found him whom my soul “ loveth ; and I cannot but love you, for you have shewn me the way of Salvation: the Lord bless you and yours. I hope we “ shall all meet in heaven, and there we shall praise God and the " Lamb for ever. O what a meeting will that be to part no more.” I cannot help admiring the goodness of God towards my dear child, in supporting him while under this severe ailliction of both body and mind; but especially in this one instance, for three weeks he had a continual cough; I have known him cough for two or three hours without any intermiflion : but from the time he saw himselt a lost finner, until the Lord fet his soul at perfect liberty and took him to himself, he was not heard to cough; thus gracia ously did the Lord deal with him.

Having now obtained the blelling of pardon and reconciliation with God, he was desirous to prevail upon all who came near him, to seek the Lord while he was to be found; so that he let none go away without first exhorting them earnefly to repent and turn io God. His brothers and sister being all present, his bowels yearned over them; and he began with the oldest saying, “ My dear bro. ther John, come near me, and give me iby hand. O my dear brother, repent before it be too late. I am going to die, I hope this night, and thou dost not know how soon it may be thy case ; to night thy summons may come, and I hou must then appear before an offended God, without an iniereit in Jesus Christ; and if this should be the case, it would have been better a thousand times for thee never to have been born. I need not ask thee, if thou art ready? I know thou art not. John, my heart is enlarged to. wards thee; be not fo foolih as I have been, to put off repentance to the last two or three days of my life. But blessed be VoL XIX. May, 1796.

God,

God, he has been gracious to me. I now am certain that for me to die to night, would be the best news that could come to me. Yesterday morning, death was a moft dreadful king of terrors; but now the sweetest messenger. Glory be to God, I feel no pain of body. I cannot express the joy and happiness I find in my mind. O blessed Jesus, thou hast done all things well, My dear brother, thou art in the same road to misery that I was in. I assure thee, it is hard to feel the pains of death; and at the same time a guilty conscience, and a fear of dropping into hell every moment, as I did yesterday. What doft thou say? Wilt thou promise me to seek the Lord now, in thy youth and health? Never inind what the world say of thee; get true religion, then thou wilt be happy. May the Lord incline thy heart to seek him now, before it be too late.

Then he spoke to his brother Adam, and said, “Come near, for my strength is almost gone.” One observing that he exeited. himself too much in speaking, he raised his voice and said, “O that my voice could reach the whole world, that all mankind might hear what God has done for my foul, and that I might warn them with my dying breath to repent and turn to God: I long to do something for my dear Lord, who has done so much for me; the spirit is truly willing, but the flesh is weak :" Then addressing himself to his brother and others that were standing by, he said, “You are all younger than me, but none of you are sure of living to my age ; some of you may be called to appear before God before me, although I expect to die every moment, and if you die in your fins, you must depart from God, the fountain of all happiness, and go to a place of torment and misery for ever and ever.

To his sister he faid, “O that I could persuade thee to prepare to meet thy God. Get religion; that will make thee happy. The world will call thee a Methodist, but that will not hurt thee. Be thou a follower of the holy Jesus, and thou wilt find that one hour's enjoyment of the love of God shed abroad in thy heart, will be a sufficient reward for all the reproach thou shalt endure from thy finful acquaintance. O consider the worth of thy precious soul, it coft no less a ransom than the blood and life of the Son of God to redeem it; and that blood shall wash thy soul from every sin, if thou only come to God." Then he spoke to them all, saying, “I charge you all with my dying voice, to repent and turn to the Lord in your youth: What do you say ? Will you promise me you will ? Begin now, put this off no longer, be not so foolish as I have been. This night repent; yea, this hour; for we know not what an hour may bring forth. You may not have the opportunity that I have had to repent upon a death-bed. Few have been dealt with so graciously as I have been. Though I have had a lingering sickness for more than a year, yet fo foolish was I, that I hoped to recover, and put the thoughts of death away from me, till just dropping into hell, and am now a brand plucked out of the fire. Oh help me to praise the Lord, for he hath done great things for me. Now, my dear brothers and lifter, will you comply with my dying charge? What say you? Will you prepare for death, that you may meet me in heaven ? " They all consented, and said, it would be far better for them, and hoped they should all meet in heaven. This filled his heart with such rapture, that he was constrained to shout for joy. “Now, said he, let me go freely ; I want to be gone; the thought of death is delightful; I know that my Redeemer liveth : he is able and willing to bless you all, if you come unto him.”

brand

To his cousins he said, “ Repent, and be not so foolish as I have been ; what excuse can you make, if death should call you away before you have made your peace with God? The gospel has been preached by his servants in your father's house, ever since you were born; you have heard it, and have had a good example {et before you, and good advice given you, so that you cannot plead ignorance in the least degree. O what opportunities have you had; methinks, had I been so blessed, I should have turned to God long ago; but the Lord has had mercy upon me'; he stopped me in my course of sin by affli&ting my body : This would not do, unul yesterday I saw myself dying and going to hell. I cannot tell you the distress I was then in; my body racked with pain, and the terrors of the Lord upon me; in my distress I sought the Lord with all my heart, and he was found of me; and now I cannot express the happiness I feel. Jesus is my Sa. viour. I never knew what happiness was till now. What do you {ay ? Will you promise me to seek the Lord now, in your youth?” They all consented, acknowledging that his advice was good, and hoped they lhould remember it.

At the hour appointed for giving him medicine, he said, “I think it is of no use taking any more; I have no desire to live any longer, I had rather by far die that I may praise my Re. deemer in a nobler ftrain, than I am capable of with this feeble body. Then all heaven will resound with praises to my dear Redeemer.” I told him we had no expectation of his being restored, but that he might be eased of his pain a little. “ Pain, said he, I have no pain ; I am all in a flame of love. I long to be gone, that I may be with my dear Redeemer. O come Lord jefus, and take me to thyself, I love to be where thou art."

As he was looking in my face, and perceiving the concern I was under, he said, “O father, why are you so affected ? Let me go freely; you know what you have promised ?" I told him I did, and was willing to deliver him up as freely as the nature of the case would admit. At his request' I felt his pulse, and in. formed hiin that it still continued to beat; upon which he said, “ The will of the Lord be done ; but be not afraid of telling me when my pulse ceases to beat; this will be the most welcome news I ever heard." While we were supporting him, he said, “ O what trouble you all have with me, I pray the Lord to 3 K 2

reward

continuorten and

very i tobaking his front

reward you all. I am very faint, Lord Jesus, send for me." His eyes now were fixed, a cold sweat came upon him, his pulse frequently intermitted, he attempted to speak, but could not, he ceased to breathe, and we all supposed him now entering into the joy of his Lord : But in a little time he breathed again, and looking around him as if surprized, cried out, “If this be death, there is no pain in dying! O death, where is thy fting ?” And added, “My dear friends, why do you weep for me? I am happy, I have no pain. My soul is unspeakably happy. An old man coming in to see him, and asking how he did ? He answered, “I am dying and going to heaven. I know God for Christ fake has pardoned all my sins, and filled my mind with such joy and happiness as passes all understand. ing: ” and then added, " o prepare for death; death to the finner is a king of terrors! I know this by experience.” He then repeated the particulars of the Lord's dealings with him ; which brought tears from the old man's eyes. This night he had several fainting fits, but continued happy and praising God.

Saturday 19. He slumbered often and spoke very little. I asked how he found himself ? He answered, “ Very poorly, I am vot as I was, and therefore I am in doubt.” I told him, these thoughts came from the enemy, who was now making his last effort ; and exhorted him to pray to the Lord to deliver him from all evil. He immediately cried to the Lord to save him from evil reasonings, and from all evil thoughts ; and to fanétify him throughout. He continued wrestling with God about fifteen minutes, and then on a sudden cried out with inexpressible transport," " O lovely Jesus!'thou art come. I am now happier than ever; my cup now runs. over : now I can truly say, I love the Lord with all my heart. O blessed Jesus I do give thee my whole heart: I am now willing to suffer for thy sake, only ftand by me, support and comfort me. Now my dear father and mother, dry up your tears, and let me go freely. The Lord has done much for me; he saved me from many dangers, spared me when a rebel against hiin, brought me home that I might die under your roof, pardoned all my sins, shed his love abroad in my heart : 0 who has such reason to praise God as I have ? I would not now, were it possible, change my state with the greatest monarch upon earth. No happiness can be compared to the happiness I now feel; and you know, it hath not entered into the heart of man to conceive the happiness God hath prepared for them who love him."

Upon his asking, If I thought we should know each other in heaven ? I allured him, I had no doubt of it; we should certainly know all the ancient worthies, and join cheni in singing the song of Moses and the Lamb. " O, said he, that is good news indeed; it heightens my happiness here while I think of it. Well, my dear father, let us march on; I now want to speak about nothing but heaven and the happiness we shall enjoy there. O that we all may meet there to past no more. There needs not a hoof be left be,

« ForrigeFortsæt »