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Still, though the Lord has made my hill strong, may I never forget that it may be moved! O my Saviour! it is in Thy strength that I stand: help me to remember this, and I shall never fall.”
While enduring the “fiery trial,” she received, at a public prayermeeting, purity of heart. For some time she could confidently testify, “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin ;” but, alas ! her faith failed, and she lost this fulness of love. She thus refers to that mournful hour :
“My soul enjoys a perfect calm ; but I cannot yet believe that the root of sin is destroyed. I do not feel the least inclination to any sin. Yet, last Sunday week, when I read part of Mr. Wesley's • Thoughts on Christian Perfection, this remark forcibly struck my mind: 'I believe that I am fully sanctified, because I have as clear an evidence of it as I have that I am justified.' This led me to give up my faith, because my evidence was not quite clear, except at intervals.” Such was her godly fear lest she should be deceived. But she did not rest until God restored to her this joy of His salvation, and again cleansed her “from all unrighteousness;" for in 1815 she observes, “Nearly a year has elapsed since I wrote my experience ; and, during the whole of that time, blessed be God, through the grace of my Saviour, I have not lost the enjoyment of the perfect love' of God. What an unspeakable mercy to retain this blessing, although every grace has been severely tried ! All praise to my Saviour! He it is who has made me,
Like Moses' bush, to mount the higher,
And flourish, unconsumed, in fire.' Yea, and I believe that I shall continue faithful to the grace given. Glory be to God all-sufficient !”
In 1813, she had become a Class-Leader; and her own words will show in what spirit she undertook an office so responsible :—“Mr. Rawlins called this morning, to inform me that it was unanimously agreed that I should take the office of Leader. It has long been my prayer that the Lord would increase my usefulness, and He has been pleased to answer it in this way. I would willingly decline the serious office; but I dare not. I trust that I hear the Lord calling me by His church ; and, if so, He can and will qualify me for the duties required.
Let me but hear my Saviour say,
Strength shall be equal to thy day :' —then, arduous as may be my task, I shall cheerfully undertake it, leaning on all-sufficient grace.' In time past, many things of much less consequence would have filled my mind with doubts and fears ; but, in this instance, I am able to cast myself, with all my insufficiency, upon my God."
In 1816 she was married to Mr. Hunt; and, in this new relationship, she invariably evidenced the power of Divine grace. Her heart was formed for deep, pure, unalterable affection ; and her influence was continually exerted to promote the temporal and spiritual welfare of her household. With a vigorous and comprehensive mind, a discriminating judgment, and a peculiarly enlightened and tender conscience, she carried out her religious principles in the actings of every-day life; and was a pattern of all things that are “true," “ honest,” “just,” “pure,” “lovely,” and “of good report.” The thirty years of her married life were years of trial. Often was she ready to weep, when remembering the “green pastures” and “still waters” to which she had been led in the spring of life, and contrasting these with the far less pleasant places through which lay her future pilgrimage. It was not that the solemn marriage-vow had been made by those whose spirits blended not, nor that reciprocal affection ever failed; but a long series of severe temporal trials weighed down her heart. Few ever more truly felt
“ The joy,
Of strong affection, in one healthful flow." And few ever awakened a more devoted love in a husband's heart. Still, the day of life was now dark. The Lord led her through “the valley of Baca.” But she could say, “I am continually with Thee : Thou holdest me by my right hand.” She "endured as seeing Him who is invisible.” He was “the strength of” her “heart,” and she did not “ fail."
If a narration of many circumstances is withheld, let it not be thought that the long period of her married life was one monotonous course of trouble and duty: on the contrary, it was marked by continually occurring instances of active, self-denying zeal and benevolence; by most signal success in her “works of faith ;” and by close spiritual intercourse of heart with her Saviour. “ In the midst of trouble,” her soul walked in light, purity, and joy. “By the help of God,” she testifies, “I continue to this day. My way has been, and it is still, rough and thorny :' my discouragements have been very great; yet there has not been a single moment unmarked by mercy. When outward comforts have been low, inward comforts have risen the higher; and hence, with a truly grateful heart, would I raise another · Ebenezer,' and most cheerfully renew the dedication of myself to God.”....
...... "I do pray, most gracious Being, that, whatever else we may lose, we may never be deprived of • Thy favour,' which is life;' nor of Thy lovingkindness,' which is
better than life. I would commit myself, my husband, and all our concerns, into Thy hands. O my Father! Thou art my shield,' and my 'exceeding great reward.' Do Thou undertake for me, O God the Lord, for Thy great name's sake. Amen.”
One other extract shall suffice :—"The Lord makes it my meat and drink to do His will, and enables me to rejoice in being thought 'worthy to suffer' for His name's sake : this I have had to endure lately, and I am still exercised with great trials; but I am continually
proving that they are •blessed’ who trust in the Lord. I have made the everlasting God 'my portion ;' and nothing less can satisfy
"I thirst for a life-giving God;
A God that on Calvary died.'
I long to drink deeper of His Spirit. I drink, and yet I thirst. O when will my soul be filled with love ?”
Thus did she “glorify God in the fires,” by a perfectly subdued will, a severely-tested but unfailing faith,—a faith which enabled her always to triumph in Christ.
In the year 1833 she went to reside at Ringwood, where she resumed an employment to which she had recourse on leaving her father's house, and for which she was eminently qualified,—the education of young ladies. But this undertaking did not prosper : she had often to “eat the bread of carefulness, and to “mingle her “drink with weeping." "Affliction, privations, and exceedingly perplexing circumstances,” she writes, “conspire to render my path rugged and painful; but still it is a right way,' and one which, if improved, will lead to blessed results. Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth.' All glory to His name! I can rejoice in the full and entire sanctification of my soul; and this is of more value than all earthly riches."
The time was now at hand when she was to be greatly afflicted. Her assiduous and anxious attention to school-duties, and the “many sorrows" which were the portion of her cup, produced effects which gave mournful evidence that she would be cut off with “ pining sickness." It was soon apparent to her medical adviser, that fearful disease was slowly bringing her to the gates of the grave.
She had always been weakly; but, hitherto, free from permanent malady. The message that her days were numbered gave no alarm; for her “house” was “in order," and she was continually waiting for the coming of her Lord. But “ the shadow of death was deeper than that which is generally cast on the way to the grave: it was a gloom in which even the sanctified feel that the “flesh faileth.” The shadow fell far along life's pathway; so that she was made to “possess months of vanity.” “Wearisome nights” were appointed to her. When she lay down, she said, “When shall I arise, and the night be gone? I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day." But no ever heard her murmur. She “ held her "peace ; ” or spake in praise and prayer to God, and in the kindest and most considerate manner to those around her.
But, “in the midst of trouble," the Lord revived her. “Though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion, according to the multitude of His mercies.” “ He stayeth His rough wind in the day of the east wind.” The Lord rebuked the violence of the disorder ; and she was henceforth free from the intense anguish which she had long endured. Debility, nevertheless, increased ; and she became more helpless than an infant. Her strength was “dried up ;” and the
VOL. VI.-FOURTH SERIES.
oft-repeated change of her position caused paroxysms of acute pain. Yet, during this severe affliction, she dwelt with great delight upon the Divine faithfulness. Many “precious promises were most seasonably fulfilled in a remarkable manner. Small pecuniary resources gave to the bed of sickness an aspect somewhat sad ; but aftluent and sympathising friends were raised up, by whom every want was anticipated and supplied. Ministers of different denominations were prompted to offer spiritual comfort. The kindest medical aid was rendered, and pious nurses unceasingly attended her; so that, had the sufferer been in circumstances of wealth, little or nothing more could have been done to assuage her pain. “ Truly God is good to Israel ; even to such as are of a clean heart.”
As the hour of her " departure” drew near, she evinced the utmost calmness and recollection ; selected the subject for her funeral sermon ; and, even within the last hour of life, gave all her domestic directions as minutely as when in health. Her husband remarked, “I fear that you are fast hastening to another world.” She replied, —“What is there to fear? Blessed be God! I have no fear; for 'I know whom I have believed :' His ‘rod’ and His 'staff, they comfort me."
On the morning of her dying day, April 19th, 1847, she was visited by the Vicar, the Rev. H. C. Maturin ; when her testimony to the power of grace was so clear, confident, and inspiring, that, on leaving the room, he said that he had never before witnessed such spiritual-mindedness. In the evening, about half an hour before she died, the Rev. G. Harris, Independent Minister, called, and engaged in prayer ; when she audibly responded, and concluded with a hearty “ Amen.”
On being asked, “Is the Saviour still precious ? ” she replied, « Precious ? O YES ! very, very precious ! ” Soon afterward, taking the hand of her husband, she added, “How very gently our Heavenly Father deals with His children !” Mr. Hunt referred to the many sleepless nights which she had passed, and expressed his grief; but she replied, “You would not grieve, if you knew what I then enjoy : they have been my happiest seasons,-seasons of deep and hallowed communion with my God.”—Just before she expired, she took from her finger the token of conjugal love which had not been once removed during thirty years, and gave it, with her last benediction, to her sorrowing husband. Then, calling upon all present to engage in prayer, she intimated her desire to be composed, -in a few minutes smiled, and then, without struggle or sigh, “fell asleep."-She was carried to her burial by “devout men,” and followed by the members of her class.
Her decease was improved by the Rev. Joseph Garrett, in a sermon founded on the text which the departed one had chosen-Philippians iii. 8, 9.
It may not be without profit and interest, to direct special attention to some few striking features of a character so full of moral beauty.
Religious sincerity and decision early led her fearlessly to leave her father's house. This was vot the rash act of youthful impetuosity, arising from impatience of parental restraint, or a determination to have her own way: it was prayerful, deliberate, and conscientious. She was remarkably free from the flippancy and pertness which too often mark youthful days. She was a lover of truth : this she sought with an ardour that none could quench. She subjected everything to the severest test ; and, when the desired good was found, she held it with unwavering tenacity. Great names, general consent, plausibility, expediency, and even that precious thing -friendship, all were unable to turn her from the path which she deemed right. Before leaving home she long and seriously pondered the inquiry, “What is truth?” and, “ What is right?” She believed, unwaveringly, that Wesleyan doctrines and discipline are most consonant with the word of God; and, therefore, she embraced them : and when the sad hour came that was to witness either her renunciation of these, or her exile from her happy home, her lofty principles sustained her; and with unfaltering step she went forth, “choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season ;” and “esteering the reproach of Christ” more than the provisions of a father's house, or the endearments of a mother's love. The whole of her subsequent life was in harmony with this signal example. She was ever asking, “ Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" and ever striving to “ do the will of God from the heart.”—There was nothing in her character to excite suspicion. She walked in the light; so that, in her intercourse with the church, the world, and her family, and in all the intimacy of friendship,--she was "without dissimulation." Her heart was seen ; and it was full of mercy and truth. There are, perhaps, few to whom we can more appropriately apply the evermemorable commendation,-"Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!”
Mer holy obedience was exemplarily steadfast.—“ It is a good thing that the heart be established with grace.” She was one of those consistent Christians who “cleave unto the Lord.” The combined power and subtlety of Satan, the persecution of the ungodly, the frowns and imputations of the lukewarm, the treachery of professed friends, the bitter waters of affliction, the long and dreary “ day of adversity,”-yea, the “loss of all things” for Christ's sake, —these are some of the tests which were applied to “prove ” her; but she continued “in the faith, grounded and settled," and was “not moved away from the hope of the Gospel.”
Her purity and spirituality of mind were eminent. - There appeared great and unceasing care of the heart; a discipline of the imagination ; a covenant with the eyes” not to look upon vanity ; an avoiding of all appearance of evil; a conscientious regulation of the secret thoughts and affections. Her “conversation
was “in heaven.” This world was brought into subserviency to another and a better ; and, instead of giving it the pre-eminence, she made it