« НазадПродовжити »
I shall behold his face ;
I shall his power adore ;
For everrore. Bri. What blessed lines to hang apon the lipsu a dying man, just entering into glory. Did you tell the congregation any thing further of what he said ?
Loveg. After he had quoted the hymn I mentioned, he was seized with a violent fit of coughing, which produced a considerable degree of expectoration, and he seeing the discharge tinged with blood, repeated these lines,
He shed a thousand drops for me;
Blessed be God “he is my resurrection and my life,” and through him my soul has been quickened, which was dead in trespasses and sins, and through his grace, I can trust him with my dying body also. “ This corruption, shall soon put on an incorruption ; and this mortal, shall soon put on immortality; and then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory.” He could not repeat any more of that delightful passage ; but next added; blessed be God, death is nothing to me : but 0
my dear wife and child, and flock! what will they do?' He dropt a tear, and added, Well, well, I must leave them all with him who is the Father of the fatherless, and the widow's friend. And when I again told the people of this, his holy anxiety for the salvation of their souls, they were again as much affected as myself.
Wor. No wonder at it, every day he seemed to be increasing in usefulness among the people.
Spri. But dear Sir, you have not mentioned that after that fit of coughing, he fell into a doze, and what he said when he awoke out of it. That seemed
to affect the people more than any thing you said before.
Loveg. Such a heaven in any man's countenance, 'while he was taking his rest, I think I never beheld before, and in his doze the nurse came in, and that áwoke him. He cried, “O! who has pulld me down? why did you pull me down ! I thought I was just entering into the presence Chamber of my Lord ; and that I was full of singing; while there were thousands of singing spirits with me, and O how delightful the music was ! while we all
“ unto him that hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood; and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever, Amen." I found the repetition of this was quite enough for us all, on this subject I could say no more, while it was too much for the people to hear
Here I was obliged to pause, till I had sufficient spirits to tell the congregation, wliat were the last words he uttered, while I was standing around his bed on the Sunday evening in which he died. “I feel I am going, All is well. By faith, I can say as Stephen said, “Behold, I see the heavens open, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” “ I shall there see as I am seen, and know as I am known, and shall be for ever with the Lord.” After this, you know we did not stand by him more than five minutes, before he turned
and without a sigh, or a groan, breathed his last.
Bri. And after all, what a short sample was given of the gracious things that dropt from his lips at different times ! I trust I never shall forget, with what earnestness he pressed me, whenever I could come to visit him, to urge upon the people of Sandover, nothing but the divine realities of religion, by illustrating the glories of that faith, which regenerates the heart, and directs us to live alone to the glory of God.
Loveg. But it appeared to me, that nothing could so completely display the excellency of his mind, be
yond what passed between him and his poor careless Father, when he came to visit him in this house, about three weeks before his death. Though he was much agitated at the thoughts of seeing him, yet his wise and affectionate, though respectful regard to a parent, while he addressed him with the greatest faithfulness, brought many a tear froin the old man's eyes.
Bri. Were you with them all the time?
Loveg. Yes, I and Mr. Worthy were both with them. I remember when he first saw his Son, till of late a fine personable young man, but now so reduced; the tears began starting from his eyes, while he said to him, O my Son! lam sorry your religious zeal was not more tempered with prudence, and then you might not have caught that dreadful fever, which has brought you to this present state: especially when you had such pleasing prospects of life before you. His reply was, Yeş dear Sir, but I was in the way of duty,--Duty called, and I obeyed; and that is my consolation. There was a time when I might have caught my death, as many others have, in dissipation and riot; what a mercy it is, that I am not now a Martyr to my own folly, and sinful delights ! you know dear Sir, what I once was, even some time after I was in orders ; till God was pleased to change my heart ;---I blush for shame, to think of it.---I was glad to hear the old man reply, I am sorry, though I fear you have been running into another extreme, that I did not set you a better example, then dropping a tear, said, My child, I hope you'll forgive me. Mr. Merryman was now quite as much overcome as his Father, and cried, my Dear Father, I have prayed for your forgiveness a thousand times : and if you will allow me to be so bold to express my feelings as a dying man, I perpetually pray that God in mercy, would look upon you, and my dear Mother and Sisters, and change your hearts. The weeping parent immediately added, If you can pray for me, I must confess, that as yet, I never pray'd for myself.
Bri. This must have been enough to upset you all.
Loveg. Indeed Sir it was, and I took the opportunity to enforce the nature and necessity of a divine change, so strongly exemplified in the conduct of his dying Son. And after this, I remember a hard fit of coughing, for a while interrupted the conversation ; when Mr. Merryman again thus addressed his Father.
Father, this cannot last long, I know I am soon to die; but still you need not grieve over me; for at times I feel more happiness and joy, than words can express ; adding, I have “a bope full of immortality," believing in Christ, who has changed my heart, and pardoned all my sins, I can “rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." The fixed attention of the father, enabled the sun to proceed, by assuring him that there is a divine reality in religion, which with his dying lips, he humbly entreated him seriously to consider, as the greatest blessing God can give, or the soul of man can possibly enjoy; and as the only cordial that can support the soul, when sinking into the arms of death ; begging with many tears, that he would recommend the same to his dear Mother and Sisters, while he made it his last request to them, to seek for the salvation of their souls.
Bri. The Father must have been considerably affected by such an exhortation.
Loveg. Very much indeed. But what he next added was still more so. It is impossible to tell how he uttered his grief respecting his disconsolate flock, which he was about to leave, and how he entreated his Father, that if possible, he would prevail with his Brother, not to give the living away to a man who was as bad as he himself once was, before he was better taught. That he had heard that a Mr. Tugwell, was already designed as his successor; and that the consequence would be most distressing. That though he was now surprized how the few people who attended the Church before he knew better, could be so ignorant as to come there, when his example was so bad, and his conversation so light and frothy, but that now, it was quite otherwise; for that if another Minister should press how
come of the same stamp as he once was, they would leave the Church directly and provide for themselves another place of worship, that they might have a Minister of their own chusing, who hold forth to them the word of life, and tutor them in the fear of God.
Wor. And how we were all affected when he added, “Though I have reason to bless the kind providence of God, that has led me into this family, whereby the best of wives has been put into my bosom, and addressing himself to me, while no son of your own dear Sir, could have been treated with more affection, than that, which as an adopted son, I have ever received from you, yet this my dear wife 1 can with submission render back again into her parents hands; while I am satisfied, that our dear little infant, after my departure, will ever be considered as one of your own, concerning all these earthly sacrifices I think I can say, “thy will be done.". But O my dear flock! I love them as my own soul, I cannot ex
I yearn over them all, in the bowels of Jesus Christ;” and how I am pain'd at the thought, that they should be given over to one, who has no spiritual concern for their eternal good.
Loveg. I was glad to see his Father so much affected at his son's entreaties, which drew from bim the strongest promises, and engagements, that if he could not prevail with his uncle to refuse the living to his friend and distant relation Mr. Tugwell ; yet as he had other preferments, he would try if it could be so contri ed, that a.Carate might be settled among them, who would be a future blessing to the disconsolate congregation.
Spri. Yes Sir, and I can tell you something further, one of the last offices I ever performed for our dear departed friend was, to write a letter to his Uncle for him, (he being too weak to do any thing but sign it,) urging the same request in the most affectionate terms. Dear man, how he wept and prayed all the time I wrote it, and since then, several of us in the Town have drawn up a respectful petition, requesting the