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were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Rom. v. 8), he adds, “I had such ravishing views of my Re• deemer's love as I scarcely ever felt: my will
seemed entirely given up to my Lord ; and I now ' find no happiness but in looking to a dying and glorified Saviour. I have for a few days past found my
heart more taken off from earth, and resolved ' for heaven, than usual; and, blessed be God! I have felt the comfort of it. I find that where there
are any reserves, or unwillingness to part with every 'thing for the enjoyment of the Redeemer, there ' is certainly some uneasiness and distress; but when the whole heart is given up, the consequence is
joy unspeakable and full of glory.” Very soon after, occurs this remarkable observation, which, especially considering how long ago it was made, is highly deserving our notice: 'I had,' says he, remarkable freedom of spirit 'in devotion this morning: I hope I was more
firmly resolved than ever to give up my whole · heart to God, and to be as religious as possible. “The generality of Christians (as it hath been ' with myself) are too apt to be easy under very • low attainments in religion ; and to make them
selves, rather than the pure word of God, a rule ' for one another : may my gracious God grant " that I may be striving with the greatest eagerness after perfection! I am sensible, the more holy I
grow, the more happy; and if the spirit of Chris* tianity did more prevail, we should see more cheerful Christians.'
I am afraid of being tedious, and therefore pass on to the first appearance of those dreadful symptoms, which afterwards increased so much upon
him that he was“ in deaths oft,” and his life little better than a series of disorders.
· Last night,' says he, ' I was taken with spitting • of blood : at first I thought part of my lungs was i come
This circumstance so impressed me with the frailty of my nature, that I was engaged ' with more earnestness and importunity than ordi
nary to beg of God to fit and prepare me for my. • final éxit. Reflecting on the miseries and infirini,
ties which attend our present state, and the glo- rious descriptions which the word of God gives us
of the heavenly world, the thoughts of death were ' far more desirable than life; and I was ready to
long to depart and be with Christ. However, as • God has been pleased to make me an instrument • of doing some service in the church already, and "might have' more for me to do, I was willing to
wait his time ; and made it my earnest prayer to * God, that for me to live might be Christ; and to
die, gain:-Lord, refine my soul, and make it . more meet for the sublime enjoyments of the • world of happy spirits ; and then take me to thy : self, when, and where, and how thou pleasest.'
And afterwards, when his life was in some danger, he says: I hope I am so resigned to the will . of God, as not to be over-solicitous what may be • the event. May my soul be dressed, and then, • Come, Lord Jesus, whenever thou pleasest. The interest of thy church is, I hope, the strongest * motive to engage me to be detained from thine embraces. May I do what I can while my life contin'ues! I have been a most unworthy creature, ! and abused my privileges and advantages ; but I • fly to that Fountain which cleanses from all sin.
The frequent returns of those violent symptoms must necessarily have weakened his constitution, and rendered the services of the pulpit peculiarly difficult and painful; and we cannot wonder if his public performances were not so frequent, so long, and so lively, as usual. He was sensible of this himself, and greatly lamented it:
* This day,' says he,' I declined preaching on • the account of my disorder, which I thought ' might be greatly increased by it; and the per' suasion of my people induced me to it. I hope I can truly say, that it is not for the sake of ease • that I thus relax, but with expectation that I may • be better fitted for future service. Silent Sab
baths, if it should please God to multiply them, • would be my greatest grief. Oh it is delightful ' to be spent in the service of such a Master!'And a little after he adds : - Under an apprehension ' that my disorder was likely to prove mortal, I ' made my most ardent supplications to the Throne
of Grace, that I might be in a prepared posture to ' meet my last summons, and that I might behave
with the calmness and composure of a Christian ' in the views of eternity. I prayed earnestly for my people, and my family, that God would graciously provide for them, if he should please to take me off.'
It is obvious to remark, that a life thus spent in close communion with God, and constant near views of death, must needs be comfortable to himself, though his great and increasing disorders prevented it from being so useful to others. When I came to him the evening before he died, I found him in just the same situation as I have represented
him to you ;-glad that he was so near home;. contented to live, but willing to die. When he desired me to offer up a few petitions for him (as he had not strength to pray for himself), he never intimated the least desire of life, but only that faith and pa* tience might hold out; that he might not be over..come in this last conflict, and' (as he expressed it) 4 be shipwrecked so near home.'
He was all the Saturday walking through the valley of the shadow of death ; in which his pains were so violent, that he once said, he was afraid his heavenly Father was displeased with him ;' but upon being put in mind, that " whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth ; and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth,” he said, “That was a comfortable thought: and added, “ let patience have her perfect work.” „After this he said little : his difficulty of breathing increased fast upon him : till, at length, Death pitying his distress, opened his gates and he flew away to glory. i I could most compassionately bear a part in the common grief. But it would ill become our subject, which leads me rather to suggest to you the consolations of God. Shall we, then, be cast down at his advancement ? Shall it be a mournful spectacle, to behold a faithful saint with a lively hope breathing out his soul into the arms of his gracious. Redeemer?
But I will not open your wounds afresh. Instead of complaining under the hand of God; and regretting the loss of that comfort and assistance which you have received from the prayers, the care, counsel, and example, of our deceased friend, “ be ye also followers” of him: “Let your faith
and dependence be more vigorously exercised on Him, who is the father of the fatherless, the helper of the helpless, and the widow's God; and who is not bound to the use of creature conveyances for the administration of his strength and consolations.
I cannot conclude without one word to this now destitute congregation. You have lost a friend who naturally cared for your souls; who longed for you all in the bowels of the Lord Jesus, and had your truest interests always upon his heart. Some proofs of this I have produced already, and his papers furnish me with a great many more : but you need not that any should testify of him, for ye know after what manner he was with you at all seasons, serva ing the Lord with many tears,
I find him frequently setting apart days for private fasting and humiliation ; in which he laments his being so frequently disabled from public service as one of the greatest burthens of his life; and ceases not to make mention of you always in his prayers; and perhaps was spreading your particular cases before the Lord, and wrestling hard for a blessing upon you and yours, at the very time when you were ready to think yourselves neglected by him. He remarks it with peculiar satisfaction and thankfulness, when he has observed any of you more than ordinarily attentive and affected; and never fails to add his earnest prayer that the impression might be lasting.
But I hasten to the last observation he ever wrote, which refers to the last sermon he ever preached: it was from these words, "And the Lord said unto the servant, Go out into the high