Dying Testimonies Of Saved And Unsaved
061 -- Last Words Of John Hooper, Bishop And Martyr 062 -- Last Words Of The Great Commentator, Matthew Henry 063 -- "I Can't Die! I Won't Die!" 064 -- "Victory! Eternal Victory!" Were The Last Words Of Mother Cobb 065 -- "There Is Light All Around Me." 066 -- "You Cannot Run Away From The Spirit Of God." 067 -- John Wesley's Last Words -- "The Best Of All Is, God Is With Us." 068 -- Little Willie Leonard's Translation To Heaven 069 -- Last Words Of Rev. H. Y. Humelbaugh 070 -- Last Words Of Charles IX., King Of France 071 -- "Though I Walk Through The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death..." 072 -- "I Am Ready, For This (My Heart) Has Been His Kingdom." 073 -- "I Cannot Be Pardoned; It Is Too Late! Too Late!" 074 -- "Here She Is, With Two Angels With Her." 075 -- "O Ma, The Lord Is Here And I Have The Victory." 076 -- "Murder I Murder I Murder!" 077 -- "My Heaven! Heaven -- Glory!" 078 -- "There Now, It Is All Over! Blessed Rest." 079 -- An Infidel's Life Spared A Few Days 080 -- "You Will Let Me Die And Go To Hell..." 081 -- "Mother, I'm Going To Jesus, And He's Here In This Room." 082 -- "I Am Ready! I Am Coming!" 083 -- "I Have Given My Immortality For Gold." 084 -- "There Is No River Here. It Is All Beautiful!" 085 -- An Infidels Last Words -- "Hell And Damnation." 086 -- Last Words Of Dr. Wakeley -- "I Shall Not Be A Stranger In Heaven." 087 -- He Clinched His Teeth While He Cried "Hell, Hell, Hell!" 088 -- The Last Words Of A Mother And Child 089 -- Dying Testimony Of Cardinal Wolsey 090 -- "The Angels Say There Is Plenty Of Room Up There." 091 -- Thomas Paine's Dying Words 092 -- "Look At The Little Children; O Ma, I Must Go!" 093 -- "Then I Am Damned To All Eternity." 094 -- Triumphant Death Of Martin Luther 095 -- Last Words Of Mrs. Jewett -- "Good-Bye For A Little While." 096 -- "I Have Neglected The Salvation Of My Soul." 097 -- "Dear Mother, You Must Not Grieve For Me; I Am Going To Jesus." 098 -- Happy Death Of Gertrude Belle Butterfield 099 -- A Dying Welsh Soldier's Despair 100 -- "I Am Happy, I Am Happy! Glory To God!" 101 -- "I See The Heavens Opened And Millions Of Bright Angels." 102 -- "Oh God! I Am Damned, I Am Damned!" 103 -- The End Of A Good Man 104 -- Governor Duncan's Triumphant Death 105 -- Eternal Death The Result Of Delay 106 -- "He Died At His Post" 107 -- "I Can Now Die Happy. Soul, Take Thy Flight." 108 -- "I Am Dying And Going To Hell." 109 -- "Do You Not Hear Them Say, 'peace On Earth; Good Will Toward Men'?" 110 -- "Devils Are In The Room, Ready To Drag My Soul Down To Hell." 111 -- Last Words Of Bishop Glossbrenner 112 -- The Glorious Translation Of Helen Carpenter 113 -- "O Martha, Martha, You Have Sealed My Everlasting Damnation!" 114 -- Lucy G. Thurston, The Young Missionary Of The Hawaiian Islands 115 -- "Good-By, Good-By. Now I Am Ready, Jesus." 116 -- "I Have No Feeling; The Spirit Of God Has Left Me." 117 -- "Mark The Perfect Man, And Behold The Upright..." 118 -- "I Have Christ Within, The Hope Of Glory." 119 -- Last Words Of Edward Gibbon 120 -- "Hallelujah, He Has Come."
061 -- LAST WORDS OF JOHN HOOPER, BISHOP AND MARTYR
This great preacher and reformer was born in Somersetshire, in 1495, and died at the stake Feb. 9, 1555, in Gloucester. He was a great scholar and writer, and a diligent study of the scriptures and the works of Zwingli and Bullinger on the Pauline epistles convinced him of the errors of the papal church and made him an ardent advocate of the reformation.
Foxe says of him, "In his sermons he corrected sin and sharply inveighed against the iniquity of the world and the corrupt abuses of the church. The people in great flocks and companies came daily to hear him, insomuch that the church would oftentimes be so full that none could enter further than the doors."..
Hooper and Rogers were the first to be cited under Mary. On Aug. 29, 1553, the former was thrown into prison, where he received harsh treatment, and contracted sciatica. In January, 1555, he was condemned on three charges -- for maintaining the lawfulness of clerical marriage, for defending divorce and for denying transubstantiation. He called the mass "the iniquity of the devil." He was sentenced to die at the stake in Gloucester, whither he was conveyed. He met his death firmly and cheerfully. To a friend bewailing his lot, the martyr replied in the oft-quoted words, "Death is bitter and life is sweet, but alas! consider that death to come is more bitter, and life to come is more sweet." In another conversation he said, "I am well, thank God; and death to me for Christ's sake is welcome." His martyrdom was witnessed by a large throng of people. The martyr was forbidden to address the crowd. A real or pretended pardon being promised if he would recant, he spurned it away, saying, "If you love my soul, away with it." His agony was greatly prolonged and increased by the slow progress of the fire on account of the green fagots, which had to be rekindled three times before they did their work. -- Religious Encyclopedia.
062 -- LAST WORDS OF THE GREAT COMMENTATOR, MATTHEW HENRY
Matthew Henry, a distinguished non-conformist divine and biblical commentator, born Oct. 28, 1662, at Broad Oak, Flintshire, England; died June 22, 1714, at Nantwich, England. He received his education under his father's (Rev. Philip Henry) roof, and in an academy at Islington. On the return journey from a visit to Chester he was seized with apoplexy and died. His old intimate friend, Mr. Illidge, was present, who had been desired by Sir Thomas Delves and his lady to invite him to their house, at Doddington, whither their steward was sent to conduct him. But he was not able to proceed any further, and went to bed at Mr. Mottershed's house, where he felt himself so ill that he said to his friends, "Pray for me, for now I cannot pray for myself." While they were putting him to bed, he spoke of the excellence of spiritual comforts in a time of affliction, and blessed God that he enjoyed them. To his friend, Mr. Illidge, he addressed himself in these memorable words: "You have been used to take notice of the sayings of dying men -- this is mine: That a life spent in the service of God, and communion with Him, is the most comfortable and pleasant life that one can live in the present world." He had a restless night, and about five o'clock on Tuesday morning he was seized with a fit, which his medical attendants agreed to be an apoplexy. He lay speechless, with his eyes fixed, till about eight o'clock, June 22, 1714, and then expired. -- Memoirs of the Rev. Matthew Henry.
063 -- "I CAN'T DIE! I WON'T DIE!"
Mrs. Phoebe Palmer, the noted and devoted holiness evangelist, is the authority for the following:
E____ had a friend who did not believe that the injunctions, "Come out from among them and be ye separate," "Be not conformed to the world," and kindred passages, have anything to do with the external appearance of the Christian. She was united in church fellowship with a denomination which does not recognize these things as important, and she had been heard to speak contemptuously of those contracted views that would induce one, in coming out in a religious profession, to make such a change in external appearance as to excite observation.
We should be far from favoring an intimation that E 's friend was hypocritical; she was only what would be termed a liberal-minded professor, and was no more insincere than thousands who stand on what would be termed an ordinary eminence in religious profession. The wasting consumption gradually preyed upon the vitals of this friend, and E____, who lives in a distant city, went to see her. E____, though not at the time as fully devoted as she might have been, was concerned to find her friend as much engaged with the vanities of the world and as much interested about conforming to its customs as ever, and she ventured to say, "I did not suppose you would think so much about these things now."
Her friend felt somewhat indignant at the remark, and observed, "I do not know that I am more conformed to the world than yourself, and the denomination to which you belong regards these things as wrong, but our people do not think that religion has anything to do with these little matters."
The hand of withering disease continued relentlessly laid on E 's friend, and as she drew nearer eternity her blissful hopes of immortality and eternal life seemed to gather yet greater brightness. Her friends felt that her piety was more elevated than that of ordinary attainment. Again and yet again her friends gathered around her dying couch to hear her last glowing expressions and to witness her peaceful departure. Such was her composure that she desired her shroud might be in readiness so that she might, before the mirror, behold her body arrayed for its peaceful resting place.
Her friend E____ was forced to leave the city a day or two before her dissolution, and called to take her final farewell. "We shall not meet again on earth," said the dying one, "but doubtless we shall meet in heaven. On my own part I have no more doubt than if I were already there, and I cannot but hope that you will be faithful unto death. We shall then meet." They then bade each other a last adieu.
The moment at last came when death was permitted to do his fearful work. The devoted friends had again gathered around the bed of the dying fair one to witness her peaceful exit. Respiration grew shorter and shorter and at last ceased, and they deemed the spirit already in the embrace of blissful messengers who were winging it to paradise. A fearful shriek! and in a moment they beheld her that they had looked upon as the departed sitting upright before them with every feature distorted.
Horror and disappointment had transformed that placid countenance so that it exhibited an expression indescribably fiendish. "I can't die!" vociferated the terrified, disappointed one. "I won't die!" At that moment the door opened and her minister entered. "Out of the door, thou deceiver of men!" she again vociferated, fell back and was no more.
"Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." (Mat. 7:21.)
064 -- "VICTORY! ETERNAL VICTORY!" WERE THE LAST WORDS OF MOTHER COBB
The sainted Eunice Cobb, better known as "Mother Cobb," was born at Litchfield, Connecticut, Feb. 13, 1793.
Mother Cobb was converted in the twenty-fourth year of her earthly life. After walking with God on earth for sixty years, He took her to Himself, to reign with Him forever in the courts above, on the 3rd of January, 1877, in the eighty-fourth year of her age.
We select the following from an account of her life and death published in the "Marengo Republican":
"Died, at the residence of Mrs. M. T. Johnson, Jan. 3, 1877, Mrs. Eunice Cobb.
"During a pilgrimage of forty years with this people she ever exhibited an earnest zeal in the service of her Lord and Master. To her, religion was more than a name -- a profession; it was a reality, a power revealed in the heart, that led, controlled and adorned her whole life and being. She stopped at the Fountain, not only to drink, but to wash and be made whiter than snow. She avoided everything that had the appearance of conformity to the world, and deemed it an honor to be called 'singular' for Christ's sake. Filled with a holy enthusiasm for the salvation of souls, she devoted a large portion of her time to this work, visiting from house to house, and talking and praying with all with whom she came in contact -- instant in season and out of season. No work was so pressing but what there was time for prayer, and no public worship so imposing but that at its close she would earnestly, and with the most tender and thrilling appeals, exhort the unconverted to accept Christ, the believer to a higher, holier life.
"She was truly a godly woman, abundant in labors and in fruits.
"Mother Cobb, as she was known, was loved and respected by everybody, for she loved everybody, regardless of name or sect. Though fallen asleep, she yet lives in the hearts of those who have been saved by her instrumentality or blessed by her counsel. We have no words that can do full justice to the eminently devoted Christian life and character of this mother in Israel. It has been fittingly said of her, that her life is a grand commentary on the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians, and this, to those who knew her, will be the most appropriate testimony of her Christian worth -- the best epitaph that can be inscribed to her memory.
"Many friends called to see her, and to all she testified to her perfect faith in Christ, and of His grace, not only to sustain but to cheer in a dying hour. Heaven itself seemed open to her, and a holy ecstasy filled her soul. Her last words were 'Victory! Victory! Eternal victory? -- Sixty Years' Walk With God.
065 -- "THERE IS LIGHT ALL AROUND ME."
The noted evangelist, Mrs. Grace Weiser Davis, writes of her mother's translation, to The Christian Standard, for July 10, 1898, as follows:
For five months past I have canceled all engagements and been a witness of the triumphs of the power of God to save amid suffering and to cast out all fear that hath torment. My mother left us July 20, aged fifty-nine years and seven months. She was born in York, Pa. She was converted at the same time as my father, just previous to my birth, in a revival that continued almost one year. Our home was always hospitably thrown open to ministers of the gospel. Mother would give them the best she could get and then apologize because it was no better. Hundreds can testify to the ministrations of this combination of Mary and Martha.
After father's death, mother retained her homestead in York, Pa., but spent her time largely between my sister and myself, at least eight months of the year being in my home.
We brought mother to Bradley Beach, hoping for a prolongation of the precious life. She was cheerful and planning for a continued life here. We Shrank from telling her the truth, but God Himself gloriously revealed it to her. The doctor and ministers bore testimony to my own that it was the most glorious death bed we ever witnessed.
One day my mother prayed, "Dear Lord, prepare me for the country to which I am going:" Before the close of the day she was shouting the praises of God. From that time on she talked of her coming translation and her faith so gloriously triumphant.
On Sabbath, June 27, she had a day of wonderful exaltation. She said, "I have always hoped and trusted in God, but now I have a fuller realization than ever before." As we all wept, she said, "I don't realize that this is death. It is His will, and is all right." To the doctor she said, "Just think, doctor, to be forever with the Lord." No one could come into my mother's room thereafter without being spoken to by her upon this glory that was filling her soul. To me she said, "Grace, God has given you gifts that few others possess; let us pray that God will make you a weight of glory in the world. God has blest you, and will still more." One afternoon she said, "I am homesick for heaven." To the doctor, "Sometimes my way has seemed dark', but it was like the Ferris wheel -- it always came round to a point of light." Again she said, "I believe I will get awake sometime and find myself in a strange country, to which I shall be translated!' "Mother, it will not be so strange. Your father and mother and husband and little boy are there, and we are on the way," I answered.
To one lately married she said, "You are just beginning life; it pays to begin right. Everything you do for God is on compound interest -- compound interest. It will be doubly repaid you. I commenced to serve Him in early life, and consecrated my children to Him in infancy, and they are all Christians, and I am so happy."
As I kissed her one day she said, "We will rejoice together in Jesus in heaven." Her favorite words were, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me," etc.; her favorite hymn, "Jesus, Lover of My Soul." The night previous to her death she said, "There is light all around me."
Until the last she gave evidence of hearing, seeing and understanding. I knelt within fifteen minutes of her translation and said, "Mother, though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you need fear no evil, for God is with you. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow you, and you are going to dwell in the house of the Lord forever." There came a responsive smile. In a few minutes she drew a gentle breath and was translated.
066 -- "YOU CANNOT RUN AWAY FROM THE SPIRIT OF GOD."
Several years ago, a gentleman, apparently in great haste, entered a certain city in one of the southern states on horseback, rode up to the hotel, alighted, and introduced himself as follows:
"I have been trying to run away from the Spirit of God, but it has followed me all of these many miles that I have traveled, and it is with me now. I had Christian training, and as I heard the gospel proclaimed from time to time I became deeply convicted of sin; but I was very rebellious and determined not to yield. The Spirit said, 'You must be born again,' but I said, 'I will not be born again.' I purchased this horse, a good, strong beast at the time, and I have worn it down poor, as you see; but I have not succeeded in outrunning the Spirit of God. I feel that I am about to die, and I have a request to make. I want you to sell this horse and bury me here in the street by this sign post, and put up a slab by my grave bearing this inscription, 'You cannot run away from the Spirit of God.' "
The man soon died. Physicians examined him and said there was no disease about him, but that he died of mental agony.
His strange request was granted, and the slab bearing this silent warning preached many a sermon to passers-by, and resulted in a revival of religion in the city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. -- Written for this book by Mary E. Jenks, McBain, Mich.
067 -- JOHN WESLEY'S LAST WORDS -- "THE BEST OF ALL IS, GOD IS WITH US."
This holy man of God went to heaven March 2, 1791, in the eighty-eighth year of his life. He had preached the gospel sixty-five years. Shortly before his death, Mr. Wesley said, "I will get up"; and whilst they arranged his clothes, he broke out singing in a manner which astonished all about him,
"I'll praise my Maker while I've breath,
And when my voice is lost in death,
Praise shall employ my nobler powers:
My days of praise shall ne'er be past,
While life, and thought, and being last,
Or immortality endures.
Happy the man whose hopes rely On Israel's God;
He made the sky,
And earth and seas, with all their train;
His truth forever stands secure,
He saves the oppressed.
He feeds the poor,
And none shall find His promise vain."
Once more seated in his chair, he said in a weak voice, "Lord, Thou givest strength to those who can speak and to those who cannot. Speak, Lord, to all our hearts, and let them know that Thou loosest tongues." And then he sang,
"To Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
Who sweetly all agree."
Here his voice failed. After gasping for breath he said, "Now, we have done all." He was then laid on the bed from whence he rose no more. After resting a little, he called to those who were with him to "Pray and praise." Soon after this he said, "Let me be buried in nothing but what is woolen, and let my corpse be carried in my coffin into the chapel." Again calling upon them to pray and praise, he took each by the hand, and, affectionately saluting them, bade them farewell. After attempting to say something which they could not understand, he paused a little, and then, with all the remaining strength he had, said, "The best of all is, God is with us." And again, lifting his hand, he repeated the same words in holy triumph, "The best of all is, God is with us." Being told that his brother's widow had come, he said, "He giveth His servants rest," thanked her as she pressed his hand, and affectionately tried to kiss her. After they had moistened his lips he repeated his usual grace after a meal -- "We thank Thee, O Lord, for these and all Thy mercies; bless the church and king, grant us truth and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord." And, after a little pause, "The clouds drop fatness. The Lord is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge." He then called to them to pray, and seemed to join fervently in their petitions. Most of the following night he repeatedly tried to repeat the hymn he had sung, but could only say, "I'll praise, I'll praise." On Wednesday morning his end was near. Joseph Bradford prayed with him about ten o'clock in the morning, whilst eleven friends knelt round the bed. "Farewell," said the dying man, and it was the last word he spoke. Immediately after, without a groan or a sigh, he passed away. His friends stood round his bed and sang, "Waiting to receive thy spirit, Lo! the Savior stands above; Shows the purchase of His merit, Reaches out the crown of love." -- Kenyon's Life of John Wesley
068 -- LITTLE WILLIE LEONARD'S TRANSLATION TO HEAVEN
The following account of the death of Willie Leonard, aged only six years, will be of added interest to many who have read the little book One Year With Jesus, written a few years ago by Mrs. Anna Leonard, of Manton, Michigan, and in which she speaks of Willie. It is taken from a letter written by his mother at the time, seventeen years ago, to a friend who is glad to share it with others.
One day, about two weeks before Willie died, he came in from his play and said, "Mamma, seems to me I wouldn't want to die." When asked why, he said, "O, I wouldn't want to leave you folks here; but then I suppose I would be very happy in heaven, and, mamma, I would watch over you." His mamma clasped him in her arms; she loved him, oh! so much. She felt that the angels were beckoning to him while she talked with him of the joys that awaited him in heaven and that they would meet him there. He then said, "Mamma, I don't want any little lamb on my tomb stone, but I want a little boy lying on the grass as you have seen me lie in the summer time when I was tired out with play." (He never saw nor heard of anything of the kind; but such a stone now marks his grave.) He was taken sick with scarlet fever, of a diphtherial form, and lived but two days. He was such a patient little sufferer through it all! When asked if he was not a pretty sick little boy, he replied, "No, not very sick; but I think Jesus is going to take me to heaven to live," and an angelic look of holy rapture came over his face, with such a radiant smile. His papa was called and as he talked with him about it, that same glorious smile again illuminated his face. He then talked about the disposal of his toys, books, Sabbath school cards and papers (even remembering the writer, so many miles away, "For," said he, "I love her," and the memory is precious as she writes of him today).
He then spoke of anew hat, which he said he would not need now, and his mamma talked with him of the beautiful crown awaiting him in heaven, although her heart seemed bursting with grief. "Willie," said she, "no one can see Jesus when He comes except the one He comes after, so when you see Him will you tell me?" "Yes," he replied, "if I can talk, and if not I will point to Him." He then said be wanted them all to come to heaven. When his little brother told him that his papa had gone after the doctor he said, "O, I would rather that Jesus would take me to heaven than for Dr. Taplin to make me well!" In a few hours he was quite restless and delirious.
I now quote from the letter verbatim: "As we laid him back on his pillow, his eyes remained wide-open and fixed. We felt his feet and found them cold. I hastened and warmed flannels and wrapped them. We chafed his hands, although his finger-nails were blue. How could we believe that our Willie was dying-Willie our hope, our pride, the joy of our home, yes, our very idol! But so it was, and as we gathered round his bed we wept as only parents can weep at such times, and talked loving words to his inanimate form. He was lying very still, when all at once one little hand was raised and he pointed upward for a moment as his dear lips moved in an effort to speak. 'Willie,' I cried aloud, 'do you see Jesus?' His hand was laid again by his side, he breathed shorter and less frequently a few times and then ceased forever. In his last moments he remembered the signal agreed upon between him and me, and pointed me to Jesus.
"When the body that was so beautiful and dear to us was lowered into the silent grave and the earth fell with a hollow sound upon the box below, it seemed as if I could not rise above the shock, when I felt as it were a light breath fan my cheek and a sweet voice seemed to say, 'Mamma, I am not there; don't cry. I am happy.' My tears dried in an instant, and I cannot now think of him as anywhere but in that beautiful heaven where he longed to go. " -- Furnished for this work by Mrs. Eva Simkins, Lester, Mich.
069 -- LAST WORDS OF REV. H. Y. HUMELBAUGH
This hero of faith met and vanquished the last foe early on the morning of October 13, 1868. He was a member of Pennsylvania Conference, and spent thirteen years in itinerant work.
When his physician visited him the last time he inquired, "Doctor, what do you think of me?" "You are very ill, sir," was the reply. "Well, I did not expect that," said Mr. Humelbaugh, "but it is all right. I have tried to live a religious life, and now I can say, 'Saved by grace; saved by the grace of God.'" When asked if the gospel he had preached to others comforted his own heart, he quickly answered, "Oh, yes; oh, yes. I was afraid if I did get well I would have to give up preaching, but the Lord has arranged all that now." As the shadows thickened his faith seemed to lay hold of the Redeemer with an all-conquering grasp, and he exclaimed, "O Jesus, receive my spirit. Glory to God for a religion that saves in the dying hour." A friend, approaching his bedside, said, "Well, Brother Humelbaugh, you are going home." "Home! yes; blessed be God, I'm in the old ship sailing for -- glory to God! Glory to God for experimental religion." Lifting both hands, he continued, "Let people say what they choose against experimental religion, thank God it saves in a dying hour." Then, turning to his grief-stricken wife, he sought most tenderly to console her. "Oh, Fanny, weep not for me; I will soon rest, forever rest, from all my troubles. Oh, lead a holy life; train up our children in the fear of the Lord -- in experimental religion -- and tell them to be humble." Addressing his physician again, he said, "Oh, doctor, what a beautiful land lies just before my eyes." Then in holy ecstasy he cried out: "O King of terrors! end of time! Oh, all is bright! I'll soon be at home. Farewell, pulpit; this is the end of my preaching." Kissing his little son, he said, "God bless you, my boy." With the confidence of Israel's sweet singer, he repeated to himself, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me." So nearly exhausted was he that he omitted the last sentence, but when some one finished it he replied, "They comfort me; yes, bless God, they comfort me." A few minutes later his pulse was still. He had passed from life to life. -- From Life to Life.
070 -- LAST WORDS OF CHARLES IX., KING OF FRANCE -- "I AM LOST; I SEE IT WELL."
This wicked king died May 30, 1574. His character was a compound of passion, acuteness, heartlessness and cunning. (He was, of course, a Roman Catholic.) The massacre of St. Bartholomew, August 24, 1572, was the culmination of a series of treacheries towards the Huguenots which greatly disgraced his reign. He died a young man. During his last hours he said, "Oh, my nurse, my nurse! What blood, what murders, what evil counsels have I followed! Oh, my God, pardon me and have mercy on me if Thou canst. I know not what I am! What shall I do? I am lost; I see it well."
071 -- "THOUGH I WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH, I WILL FEAR NO EVIL."
Sister Sarah A. Cook, known to many of our readers by her writings and evangelistic work, gives an account of the last days of her sister, who died in England during the spring of 1864. She says in her book, Wayside Sketches:
I was called to the sick bed of my eldest sister, Eliza, living in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. I found her suffering from intermittent fever and general prostration. Always delicate, with a mind too active for the frail tenement in which it dwelt, during the first stage of the sickness there seemed a strong clinging to life. Very happy in her marriage relationship -- with many interests -- a circle of loving friends, and an earnest worker in the cause of the Redeemer, life was full of attraction. Then the thought would come of her husband's loneliness without her, and she said, "I would be quite willing to go, but Harry would miss me so much"; but faith triumphed over nature and a little later she said, "The Lord could make Harry a happy home if He should take me."
Day by day the attraction heavenward became stronger. Once, when all was fixed for the night, and I was about leaving the room, she called me to her, and looking earnestly into my face she said, "Sarah, don't you pray for my recovery." Reminding her how much we all loved her and how glad we should be to keep her with us, she answered, "And I love you all very much; but it is so much better to depart and be with Jesus." While with her through the day, and listening to the doctor's cheery and hopeful words, I would think she might recover; but in prayer I could never take hold for her health -- could only breathe out, "Thy will, O Lord, not mine, be done."
The prayer of faith, in which at times our Father enables His children to take hold for the healing of the body, was never given. In His infinite love and wisdom He was calling her home, "Where no storms ever beat on that beautiful strand, While the years of eternity roll."
Every afternoon she liked for about an hour to be left entirely alone. The fever would then be off, and she chose it as the best time for secret communion with the Lord. Opening the door one day, after the hour had passed, she sat upright in bed, her face radiant with joy as she exclaimed, "O, I have had such a view of God's love!" Stretching out her hands, she said. "It seems to me like a boundless ocean, and as though I were lost in that boundless ocean of love!" When suffering from extreme prostration, her favorite lines would be:
"Christ leads us through no darker rooms
Than He went through before;
He that would to His kingdom come.
Must enter by that door."
"Do you," said a dear friend to her one day, "have any fear of death?" "Oh, no," she answered, "I don't know that I have ever thought of it." The word death was never on her lips. The "valley of the shadow" was all bridged over. She did not see it, for the eye of faith swept over it, and was on Him who is the resurrection and the life. "To be with Jesus" was her oft-repeated expression; repeating on Friday, with tenderest, deepest joy, the whole of that beautiful hymn:
"Forever with the Lord,
Amen, so let it be;
Life from the dead is in that word,
"Here in the body pent,
Absent from Him I roam;
Yet nightly pitch my moving tent
A day's march nearer home."
The Sabbath dawned, her last day on earth. Seeing the end was very near, I hesitated about leaving her to meet her Bible-Class at the chapel, a large class of young women. I had been teaching them every Sabbath afternoon. "Would you like me, dear, to take your class this afternoon?" I asked. "Yes," she answered with some surprise in her voice, "why not? And tell them all I have loved and prayed for them very much." It was a melting time as we all together realized how near the parting was.
Our lesson that day was the words of comfort our Savior had spoken to His disciples, recorded in the 14th of John Returning from the school with the class, they all passed by the open door to take a last look at their loved teacher. Wonderfully all through the day these words were applied to my heart, "If ye loved me ye would rejoice, because I go unto my father"; until the thought of her exceeding blessedness in being so near the presence of Jesus swallowed up all thoughts of sorrow at losing her. Hour after hour passed as the "silver cord was loosening."
An aunt, Mrs. Tuxford, remarked, "You have had seven weeks of peace." "I have had seven weeks of perfect peace," she answered. Her peace flowed like a river all through the day; at times she spoke words of fullest trust. With her head leaning on the bosom of her husband, the last words that our listening ears caught were, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me." -- Wayside Sketches.
072 -- "I AM READY, FOR THIS (MY HEART) HAS BEEN HIS KINGDOM."
Through the kindness of L. B. Balliett, M. D., we furnish our readers with this touching incident:
A boy dying of his wounds in one of our hospitals during the rebellion was asked by the lady nurse, "Are you ready to meet your God, my dear boy?" The large dark eyes opened slowly, and a smile passed over the young soldier's face as he answered, "I am ready, dear lady, for this has been His kingdom," and as he spoke he placed his hand upon his heart. "Do you mean," questioned the lady gently, "that God rules and reigns in your heart?" "Yes," he whispered, then passed away. His hand still lay over his heart after it had ceased to beat.
073 -- "I CANNOT BE PARDONED; IT IS TOO LATE! TOO LATE!"
Miss -- was the name of an amiable young lady of my acquaintance who died at the age of sixteen. She was the daughter of respectable and pious parents in one of the New England States. On the cultivation of her mind considerable attention had been bestowed. . . . To what extent her mind had been imbued with religious truth in childhood, I have not been able fully to learn. It is certain that, from her earliest years, she had regarded religion with respect and had entertained the expectation of becoming a Christian before she died . . . One morning, especially, the first impression she had when she awoke was that she must embrace religion then; and that her soul was in imminent danger of being lost if she delayed. . . . She deliberated, she reasoned, she prayed, and finally made up her mind to the deliberate resolution that she would repent and accept the offer of salvation before the close of that day. She did not actually repent then, but resolved that she would do it that day. . . . But the day had its cares and pleasures; business and company filled up its hours, and the night found her as thoughtless, almost, as she had been for months.
The next morning her religious impressions were renewed and deepened. . . . The violated vows of the previous morning gave her some uneasiness; she felt not quite the same confidence in herself that she did before; but she had now formed her resolution so firmly, she was so fixed in her purpose, that she considered the issue could hardly be any longer doubtful; and the agony of her soul gave way to the soothing reflection that she should soon be a Christian. She had now taken, as she imagined, "one step" -- had formed a solemn purpose and had given a pledge to repent that day. She felt, as she expressed it, committed, and hardly had a doubt as to the accomplishment of her purpose. This day also passed as before. She did, indeed, several times during the day think of her resolution, but not with that overwhelming interest she had felt in the morning, and nothing decisive was done.
The next morning her impressions were again renewed, and she again renewed her resolution, and it was dissipated as before; and thus she went on resolving and breaking her resolutions, until at length her anxiety entirely subsided and she entirely relapsed into her former state of unconcern. She was not, however, absolutely indifferent; she still expected and resolved to be a Christian; but her resolutions now looked to a more distant period for their accomplishment, and she returned to the cares and pleasures of the world with the same interest as before.
About this time she went to reside in a neighboring village, and I did not see her again for about three months, when I was called at an early hour one morning to visit her on the bed of death. . . . About daybreak, on the morning of the day she died, she was informed that her symptoms had become alarming, and that her sickness would probably be fatal. The intelligence was awfully surprising. . . . At one time her distress became so intense and her energies so exhausted that she was forced to conclude her soul lost -- that nothing could now be done for it; and for a moment she seemed as if in a horrid struggle to adjust her mind to her anticipated doom. But oh that word Lost. Her whole frame shuddered at the thought.
It was now nearly noon. Most of the morning had been employed either in prayer at her bedside or in attempting to guide her to the Savior; but all seemed ineffectual; her strength was now nearly gone; vital action was no longer perceptible at the extremities, the cold death-sweat was gathering on her brow, and dread despair seemed ready to possess her soul. She saw, and we all saw, that the fatal moment was at hand, and her future prospect one of unmingled horror. She shrank from it. She turned her eyes to me, and called on all who stood around her to beseech once more the God of mercy in her behalf.
We all knelt again at her bedside, and having once more commended her to God, I tried again to direct her to the Savior, and was beginning to repeat some promises which I thought appropriate, when she interrupted me, saying with emphasis, "I can not be pardoned; it i8 too late, too late!" And again alluding to that fatal resolution, she begged of me to charge all the youth of my congregation not to neglect religion as she had done; not to stifle their conviction by a mere resolution to repent. "Warn them, warn them," she said, "by my case" -- and again she attempted to pray, and swooned again.
She continued thus alternately to struggle and faint, every succeeding effort becoming feebler, until the last convulsive struggle closed the scene, and her spirit took its everlasting flight. -- Rev. E. Phelps, D. D.
"Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near." (Isa. 55:6.)
074 -- "HERE SHE IS, WITH TWO ANGELS WITH HER."
We quote the following experience from A Woman's Life Work, written by the sainted Laura S. Haviland, whose life was full of good works. She says:
I met on the street a sister White, who was much distressed about her son, who was almost gone with consumption, and yet was unwilling to see any minister or religious person, to say anything to him about a preparation for the change. "Do, please, go with me now to see my dying son Harvey. May be he'll listen to you."
I went to her house and found him too weak to talk much. The mother introduced me as her friend who had called on her. I took his emaciated hand and said, "I see you are very low and weak, and I do not wish to worry you with talking, but you have but little hope of being restored to health I should judge from your appearance."
He turned his head on his pillow as he said, "I can never be any better -- I can't live."
"Then your mind has been turned toward the future, and may the enlightening influence of the Holy Spirit lead you to the Great Physician of souls, who knows every desire of the heart, and is able to save to the uttermost, even at the eleventh hour." I saw the starting tear as he looked earnestly at me, while I was still holding his feverish hand in mine. "Will it be too much for you, in your weak condition, if I should read to you a few of the words of our Lord and Savior?"
"O no, I'd like to hear you."
I opened to the fourteenth of John, and upon reading a few verses I saw that the impression made was deepening, and asked if it would worry him too much if l should spend a few moments in prayer. "O no, I'd like to hear you pray."
Placing my hand on his forehead, I implored divine aid in leading this precious soul to the cleansing fountain, and that his faith might increase, and in its exercise be enabled to secure the pearl of great price.
As I arose from his bedside, he reached out both hands for mine and said, "I want you to come tomorrow." He wept freely; and I left with the burden of that precious soul upon my heart.
The mother and sister, who were both professors of religion, stood near the door weeping for joy over the consent of the dear son and brother to listen to the few words of reading and prayer.
The day following I met the sick man again, and as soon as I entered his mother's room she said, "Oh, how thankful to God we are for this visit to my poor boy! He seems in almost constant prayer for mercy. Early this morning he spoke of your coming today."
As I entered his room he threw up both hands, saying, "God will have mercy on poor me, won't He?"
"Most certainly," I responded; "His word is nigh thee, even in thy heart, and in thy mouth."
"Do pray for me," he requested.
I read a few words from the Bible, and followed with prayer, in which he joined with a few ejaculations. I left him much more hopeful than on the previous day.
The next morning his sister came for me in great haste, saying, "Brother Harvey wants to see you, quick."
It was not yet sunrise; but I hastened to obey the message, as I supposed he .was dying. Not a word passed between us until we reached her brother's room. Upon opening his door he exclaimed, "Glory, glory to God, Mrs. Haviland! Come to me quick, I want to kiss you; for God brought me out of darkness this morning about the break of day. O hallelujah! Glory to Jesus! He shed His blood for poor me; and I shouted louder than I could talk for a good many days. O, how I wish f had strength to tell everybody that I am happier in one minute than I ever was in all my life put together!"
He became quite exhausted in shouting and talking and I advised him to rest now in the arms of the beloved Savior.
"Yes, I am in His arms. Glory to His name for what He has done for me! I want you to see my cousin George; he is sick and not able to come to see me today."
I told him I would within a few days, and left him, with his cup of salvation overflowing.
About two hours before he died he looked at his mother, smiling, and said, "There's Mary; don't you see her, standing at the foot of my bed?"
"No, my son, mother don't see her."
"O, how beautiful she looks! It seems as if you must see her," and he looked very earnestly at the object. "There, she's gone now." Fifteen minutes before he breathed his last, he said, "Here she is again, and so beautiful! Mother, can't you see her?" "No, son, I can't see her."
"Beautiful, beautiful she is. There, she's gone again." Just as the soul took its flight, he upraised both hands, with a smile, and said, "Here she is, with two angels with her. They've come for me"; and the hands dropped as the breath left him, with the smile retained on his countenance.
The sister Mary, that died a number of years previously, was about four years old; and his mother told me she had not heard her name mentioned in the family for months before Harvey's death.
075 -- O MA, THE LORD IS HERE AND I HAVE THE VICTORY."
Beulah Blackman was a girl of unusual loveliness of person and character. As a school teacher, she held up the light of a pure and holy life, often bringing persecution upon herself by her unyielding adherence to the principles of Christianity and righteousness. The writer has seen her while under the pressure of severe criticism with tears streaming down her face as with a smile she said, "This is good for me!" Her aim in living was to do good, to "rescue the perishing" and uplift the downcast.
She was married in the summer of 1897 to Lewis Leonard, but on the following Easter Sunday -- the resurrection day -- her pure spirit took its flight to be forever with the Lord.
For months before she died, she was unable to get to the house of God, but she had her "Dethel"; her little red Bible was always near her, and the young girls who aided her in her housework received advice and admonitions which they will remember while life lasts.
We were called to her home on Saturday evening, and as we entered the room she held up her hands for loving greeting as she said, "O, ma, the Lord is here and I have the victory." As the Spirit came upon her, she laughed and cried as we praised God together.
Upon the arrival of the doctor, she told him that a greater Physician than he had been there and encouraged her so much. As he was not a Christian, she said to him, "You don't understand it."
All through the long night she manifested such patient endurance, with now and then a word for Jesus, in Whom we all knew she trusted. As her strength failed, she said again, "I am so glad I have the Lord."
As morning broke bright and beautiful, she welcomed her infant son into the world, "with only time for one long kiss and then to leave him motherless."
Her heart, naturally weak, failed, and she appeared to be paralyzed. An effort was made to arouse her so that she could look again at her babe, but she could neither move nor speak. Her husband begged of her to speak once more, and failing to do that, he asked her to smile if she still knew him, which she did, and as he kissed the dear pale lips they parted in an effort to return the demonstration of love. Then, like a weary child going to sleep in its mother's arms, she leaned her head on Jesus' breast and breathed her life out sweetly there.
While we wept she lifted her eyes upward and gazed an instant as if surprised, then smile after smile illuminated her face, showing plainly that fullness of joy was certain. A holy influence filled the room. There was no terror there. There seemed to be angelic visitors waiting to conduct her home. Tears were dried. It seemed as if the gates of heaven were ajar and a glimpse of the glory which awaits the faithful was given to mortals. A moment more and all was over. A look of peaceful victory rested on the lovely features. Truly God is our Father. He is love. -- Written For this work by Mrs. Anna M. Leonard, Manton, Mich..
076 -- "MURDER I MURDER I MURDER!"
When Mr. R____, from Baltimore, was seized with cholera, he sent for me to come and see him, and said to me when I entered his room, "My wife, who is a Christian woman, has been writing me ever since I came here to make your acquaintance and attend your church, but I have not done it; and what is worse, I am about to leave the world without a preparation to meet God." He was as noble-looking a man as could be found in a thousand, and knowing' many of his friends in Baltimore I felt the greatest possible sympathy for him; my soul loved him, and I determined, if possible, to contest the devil's claim on him to the last moment of his life. But he was in despair, and after laboring with him about an hour, in urging him to try to fix his mind on some precious promise of the Bible, he said:
"There is but one passage in the Bible that I can call to mind, and that haunts me. I can think of nothing else, for it exactly suits my case: 'He that, being often reproved, hardeneth his heart; shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.' Mr. Taylor," continued he, "it's no use to talk to me, or to try to do anything further; I am that man, and my doom is fixed."
The next day when I entered his room he said to a couple of young men present, "Go out, boys, I want to talk to Mr. Taylor." Then he said, "I have no hope, my doom is fixed; but, for the warning of others, I want to tell you something that occurred a few months ago. I was then in health, and doing a good business, and a man said to me, 'Dick, how would you like to have a clerkship?' and I replied, 'I wouldn't have a clerkship under Jesus Christ.' Now, sir, that is the way I treated Christ when I thought I did not need Him; and now when I'm dying, and can do no better for this life, it's presumption to offer myself to Him. It is no use; He won't have me."
Nothing that I could say seemed to have any effect toward changing his mind. A few hours afterward, when he felt the icy grasp of death upon his heart, he cried, "Boys, help me out of this place!"
"O no, Dick, you're too sick; we cannot help you up."
"O do help me up; I can't lie here."
"O Dick, don't exert yourself so; you'll hasten your death."
"Boys," said the poor fellow, "if you don't help me up, I'll cry Murder!" and with that he cried at the top of his voice, which was yet strong and clear, "Murder: murder! murder!" till life's tide ebbed out, and his voice was hushed in death. How dreadful the hazard of postponing the business of life, the great object for which life is given, to the hour when heart and flesh are failing! -- California Life Illustrated.
077 -- "MY HEAVEN! HEAVEN -- GLORY!"
Mrs. Dorcas Eskridge, of Blue Grove, Texas, writes us as follows:
My father, Willison Foster, who was a licensed exhorter in the M. E. Church South, died near Chico, Texas, April 2, 1887, aged seventy-one years. He was one of the purest Christians I ever knew, was often made happy in a Savior's love and died shouting. His last words were, "My heaven! Heaven! Glory!" I had often heard him remark that he did not believe that the dying saints ever saw departed spirits, while dying. I believed they did. To satisfy myself on this subject, I made the request during his sickness that if he came to die and should see spirits near him, that he would raise his hand in token that he saw them, if he was unable to speak. Sure enough, just before consciousness left him, he raised his right hand and pointed upward. I do praise the Lord for the dying testimony of one in whom I had so much confidence. Dear, precious one! My mother also went home shouting.
078 -- FRANCES RIDLEY HAVERGAL -- "THERE NOW, IT IS ALL OVER! BLESSED REST."
This holy woman of God was born at Astley, England, Dec. 14, 1836. She was the youngest daughter of Rev. Wm. II. and Jane Havergal. Her father was a distinguished minister of the Episcopal Church. She was baptized in Astley Church by Rev. John Cawood, Jan. 25, 1837. She bore the name of Ridley in memory of the godly and learned Bishop Ridley, who was one of the noble army of martyrs. Many have been greatly helped by her writings in prose and verse.
She was translated to heaven from Caswell Bay, England, June 3, 1879. A short time before her death she spoke to her sister Ellen and said, "I should have liked my death to be like Samson's, doing more for God's glory than by my life; but He wills it otherwise."
Ellen replied, "St. Paul said, 'The will of the Lord be done,' and, 'Let Christ be magnified, whether by my life or by my death.'"
I think it was then my beloved sister whispered, "Let my own text, 'The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin,' be on my tomb; all the verse if there is room."
She said to her sister, "I do not know what God means by it, but no new thoughts for poems or books come to me now." At another time she said, "Spite the breakers, Marie, I am so happy; God's promises are so true. Not a fear." When the doctor bid her good-bye and told her that he really thought she was going, she said, "Beautiful, too good to be true! Splendid to be so near the gate of heaven! So beautiful to go!"
The Vicar of Swansea said to her, "You have talked and written a good deal about the King, and you will soon see Him in His beauty. Is Jesus with you now?"
"Of course," she replied; "it is splendid! I thought He would have left me here a long while; but He is so good to take me now." At another time she said, "Oh, I want all of you to speak bright, bright words about Jesus, Oh, do, do! It is all perfect peace, I am only waiting for Jesus to take me in."
Afterward she sang the following stanza:
"Jesus, I will trust Thee,
Trust Thee with my soul"
Guilty, lost and helpless,
Thou hast made me whole --
There is none in heaven,
Or on earth like Thee:
Thou hast died for sinners,
Thou hast died for me,"
The parting scene is graphically described as follows:
"There came a terrible rush of convulsive sickness; it ceased, the nurse gently assisting her. She nestled down in the pillows, folded her hands on her breast, saying, 'There, now it's all over. Blessed rest!'
"And now she looked up steadfastly as if she saw the Lord; and, surely, nothing less heavenly could have reflected such a glorious radiance upon her face. For ten minutes we watched that almost visible meeting with her King, and her countenance was so glad, as if she were already talking to Him. Then she tried to sing; but after one sweet, high note, 'He--," her voice failed; and, as her brother commended her soul into her Redeemer's hand, she passed away. Our precious sister was gone -- satisfied -- glorified -- within the palace of her King! -- Life of Frances R. Havergal.
079 -- AN INFIDEL'S LIFE SPARED A FEW DAYS
"During the summer of 1862, I became acquainted with a Mr. A____, who professed infidelity, and who was, I think, as near an atheist as any I ever met. I held several conversations with him on the subject of religion, but could not seem to make any impression on his mind, and when a point was pressed strongly he would become angry.
"In the fall he was taken ill and seemed to go into a rapid decline. I, with others, sought kindly and prayerfully to turn his mind to his need of a Savior, but only met with rebuffs. As I saw that his end was drawing near, one day I pressed the importance of preparing to meet God, when he became angry and said I need not trouble myself any more about his soul, as there was no God, the Bible was a fable, and when we die that is the last of us, and was unwilling that I should pray with him. I left him, feeling very sad.
"Some four weeks after, on New Year's morning, I awoke with the impression that I should go and see Mr. A____, and I could not get rid of that impression; so, about nine o'clock, I went to see him, and as I approached the house I saw the two doctors, who had been holding a consultation, leaving. When I rang the bell, his sister-in-law opened the door for me, and exclaimed, 'Oh! I am so glad you have come; John is dying. The doctors say he cannot possibly live above two hours, and probably not one.' When I went up to his room, he sat bolstered up in a chair, and appeared to have fallen into a doze. I sat down about five feet from him, and when in about two minutes he opened his eyes and saw me, he started up, with agony pictured on his face and in the tones of his voice, and exclaimed, 'O! Mr. P____, I am not prepared to die; there is a God; the Bible is true! O, pray for me! pray God to spare me a few days till I shall know I am saved!'
"These words were uttered with the intensest emotion, while his whole physical frame quivered through the intense agony of his soul. I replied in effect that Jesus was a great Savior, able and willing to save all who would come unto Him, even at the eleventh hour, as He did the thief on the cross.
"When I was about to pray with him, he again entreated me to pray especially that God would spare him a few days, till he might have the evidences of his salvation. In prayer I seemed to have great assurance of his salvation and asked God to give us the evidence of his salvation by granting him a few more days in this world. Several others joined in praying God to spare him a few days, till he should give evidence of being saved.
"I called again in the evening; he seemed even stronger than in the morning, and his mind was seeking the truth. The next day as I entered, his face expressed the fact that peace and joy had taken the place of fear and anxiety. He was spared some five days, giving very clear evidence that he had passed from death to life. His ease was a great mystery to the doctors. They could not understand how he lived so long; but his friends, who had been praying for him, all believed it was in direct answer to prayer." -- Wonders of Prayer.
080 -- "YOU WILL LET ME DIE AND GO TO HELL BEFORE YOU WILL SUFFER A NEGRO TO PRAY FOR ME."
A Mr. H____, a wealthy planter in South Carolina about forty years since, came to the dying hour. He had made this world his god, and used his influence and money against the religion of the Bible. When the last hour came, he felt that he was a ruined man and requested his wife, who was as sinful as he, to pray for him. Her reply was, "I can't do it. I don't know how. I never prayed in my life."
"Well," said he, "send for one who is a Christian to pray for me."
She replied, "For whom shall I send?"
"Send at once," said he, "for Harry, the coachman; he is a man of God."
"No," she replied, "I'll never do that. It would be an everlasting disgrace to have a Negro pray for you in your house."
"Then you will let me die and go to hell before you will suffer a Negro to pray for me!" And she did. -- Written for this book by Rev. E. G. Murrah.
What a multitude are kept from coming to God by their pride and by the pride of other friends! "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." (Prov. 16: 18.)
081 -- "MOTHER, I'M GOING TO JESUS, AND HE'S HERE IN THIS ROOM, ALL AROUND ME."
The noted evangelist, Rev. E. P. Hammond, sends us this touching experience:
A lady from Brooklyn, New York, has just sent me a most touching story about a little cousin of hers, only nine years old. I could scarcely keep the tears from my eyes while reading it.
This little boy's praying mother had been called to part with five of her children. This, her youngest, she dearly loved, and when he showed signs of having learned to trust and love the dear Jesus, she loved him all the more.
I will let you read a part of this kind lady's letter, just as it was read to me:
"One Sunday evening, last spring, he was left alone with his sister, whose husband had died a few weeks before. After endeavoring to comfort her in various ways, he suddenly said, 'Sister, have you heard me tell a lie for a long time? I used to tell a great many, but I don't think I have now for six months, and I don't think God will let me tell any more; I don't want ever to do another wrong thing.' When he went to bed that night, she heard him pray that God would soon make him fit for those mansions that eye had not seen, nor ear heard about.
"On Thursday of that week he went with two little boys to get some fireworks, that he might 'amuse sister' on the fourth of July. The railway train was going very slowly up a long hill, and for amusement the boys stepped off the back platform and on to the front one, when Charley slipped, and the wheel of the carriage passed directly over his hip, crushing the bone to powder. He uttered one scream, and then never complained again; but when a policeman was lifting him from his dreadful position, he opened his eyes and said, 'Don't blame anybody; it was my fault. But tell my mother I'm going right to my Savior.'
"The rough policeman in telling of this said, 'We all felt that there must be some reality in that boy's religion.' He gave his name and residence while they were carrying him to the hospital. The sad news was told to his mother by two little street children, who expressed it in these terms: 'Does Charley H____ live here? Well, he's smashed.' She followed the children and literally tracked her child by his blood to the hospital. When she entered the room where he lay, he opened his eyes and said, 'Mother, I'm going to Jesus, and He's here in this room, all around me. Oh, I love Him so much! Don't let them cut off my leg; but, if they do, never mind -- it won't hurt me as much as Jesus was hurt.' When his father arrived, he looked up and said, 'Papa, I am going to my Savior; tell my brother Eddy if he feels lonely now, because he has no brother, to learn to love Jesus, and He will be his brother, and love him so much.' These were the last words he said, for in about two hours he bled to death. The hospital nurse said, as she closed his eyes, 'He has gone to that Savior he talked so much about, and I will try to love Him too.' When his mother returned to her home, her only words were, 'The Lord has taken my Charley though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.'"
Little Charley was very fond of the sweet hymns he had learned. Though he was but nine years old, he loved the Sunday school, where he heard so much about how Jesus died on the cross that our sins might all be washed away, and we be taken home to heaven to live with Him for ever.
082 -- "I AM READY! I AM COMING!"
The noted evangelist, Rev. E. P. Hammond, sends us this touching experience:
At a time when a great many little children were seeking the precious Savior, the following lines were handed to me. I am sure they will interest every little reader.
I must tell you the story about this dear "child angel." She lived near Barnet, where I think she learned to love the Savior. She used to learn little hymns about Jesus. Before she was five years old, she grew very sick. But though she could hardly speak, she was often heard lisping sweet hymns about Jesus. Only an hour before she died, she rose up and asked for her best clothes; "for," she said, "I am going a long journey." She then walked up and down the floor of her room repeating the hymn, "Gentle Jesus." She soon grew very weak and had to be put into bed. After lying there awhile, she raised herself a little and turning to the wall lifted up her hands, as if she saw some one in the distance, and repeated, again and again, "I am ready! I am coming!" till her sweet voice was hushed in the silence of death, and she was led by Him who carries the lambs in His bosom, to the mansions above.
083 -- "I HAVE GIVEN MY IMMORTALITY FOR GOLD."
About fifty years since, there died in Middle, Georgia, a Mr. F____. He began in his early manhood to lay up riches upon earth, and having labored to this end for forty years, came to the dying hour.
Just before his final departure he called his wife to his bedside and said, "I would rather lie on that bed of coals (pointing to the grate) and broil for one million years than go into eternity with the eternal horrors that hang over my soul! I have given my immortality for gold! I have enough of the sordid stuff to make you a horse block upon which to mount your horse, and its weight sinks me into an endless, hopeless, helpless hell!"
In those days horse-back riding was very common and to enable people to mount with ease they had what was called horse-blocks, made of the body of a forest tree, about two feet high, with a step on one side midway between the bottom and top. To this the dying man alluded. -- Written for this work by Rev. E. G. Murrah.
"And He said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And He spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: and he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool! this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." (Luke 12: 15-21.)
084 -- BISHOP HAVEN'S LAST WORDS -- "THERE IS NO RIVER HERE. IT IS ALL BEAUTIFUL!"
This sainted bishop of the Methodist Church entered his episcopal office in 1872. One of his biographers says, "He was the most intense man of his generation." He could not rest night or day unless he saw the work of God prospering. His rest was in the Lord's work. "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His." He was a very affectionate man. We read "that he mourned the death of his wife so intensely that he would spend whole nights at her grave in tears and groans." "I will lay my head in her lap for a thousand years in heaven and rest it," said he in a time of longing and accusation. In the end of 1879 a medical man of Cincinnati pronounced him suddenly worn out, and he hastened to his family home at Melden, Mass., to die. Crowds of friends came and his last days were a continual levee. He died in glorious peace, Jan. 3, 1880. In his last moments he said to his physician, "Good night, doctor: When we meet again it will be good morning!" His last words were, "There is no river here! All is beautiful."
085 -- AN INFIDELS LAST WORDS -- "HELL AND DAMNATION."
An aged and rebellious infidel died in Freedom, a few years ago. Whilst he lay sick he refused any Christian the privilege of talking with him on religious subjects. Shortly before he died he started suddenly up in his bed, screaming, "The devils are come, the devils are come, keep them off me!" and then fell into a swoon. Just before he died he seemed to summon all his strength, rose up in his bed, shouted "Hell and damnation, hell and damnation!" fell back, choked, strangled and died. -- Rev. Thos. Graham.
086 -- LAST WORDS OF DR. WAKELEY -- "I SHALL NOT BE A STRANGER IN HEAVEN."
The death-scene was in harmony with his life experience. Taken suddenly and violently ill, he was composed amid his acute sufferings, and without alarm as to the issue. When his physicians informed him they had no hope of his recovery, he received the information without agitation and continued tranquil and happy. I have seen many Christians die happily, but I never witnessed such perfect naturalness. He conversed and acted in the same manner, with the same tone of voice, the same pleasant countenance, and the same cheerful spirit which characterized him in health. In his sickness, from first to last, everything he said and did was perfectly Wakeleyan. It really did not seem like a death-scene. It appeared more like the breaking of morning and the advancing of day than the approach of evening and the gathering of the night shadows.
At my first interview with him he said, "The doctors tell me there is no hope of my recovery; but I can say with Paul, 'I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand; I have fought good fight; I have (almost) finished my course; I have kept the faith.' I see my crown and mansion and inheritance." I said to him, "Yes, but you must die to possess them."
He instantly responded:
"By death I shall escape from death,
And life eternal gain."
At another time he said, "I have fought long, fought honorably, fought heroically, fought successfully, fought for God, fought for Jesus, fought for Methodism, fought for Christianity. I have not gained all I wished; but, through Christ, I have taken great spoils."
He quoted, "I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die." Looking at me very earnestly, he said, "Believest thou this?" I said, "With all my heart." He responded, with much emotion, "So do I." Lifting up his hand, he said,
"The Head that once was crowned with thorns
Is crowned with glory now;
A royal diadem adorns
The mighty Conqueror's brow."
"The spiritual kingdom of Christ in the earth is a mighty one. It must be set up in all the earth. It will over all prevail."
A few hours before his exit I said to him, "What shall I say to your brethren in the ministry from you?"
"Preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine"; repeating the words "with all long-suffering" three times. After a few moment's rest, he added, "Tell them what Peter says, 'If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth, that God in all things may be glorified, through Jesus Christ, to Whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.'"
After a moment's rest, while panting for breath, he added, "Tell them to preach the old gospel; we want no new one. The old gospel is to save the world; it can't be improved. One might as well attempt to improve a ray of sunshine while vivifying a flower. The grand old gospel forever!" After a short pause, to take breath, he said, "Tell them to go where they are sent."
Speaking of his whole case, all the interests involved in his demise, he said, "I leave all with God. I want it distinctly understood, I do so without any fear, without any cowardice, without any alarm; I do it with the boldness of an old soldier, and with the calmness of a saint."
He said, "They will inquire in the morning, 'Is Brother Wakeley dead?' Dead? No! Tell them he is better, and alive for evermore."
I said, "Yes, and a higher and nobler life."
He replied, "Wonderfully enlarged! Oh, wonderfully enlarged!"
"Let me have a little plot in the quiet cemetery, and let me sleep there until the great rising day."
"I know the old ship. The Pilot knows me well. He will take me safe into port. Heavenly breezes already fan my cheeks."
"I shall not be a stranger in heaven. I am well known up there."
"Like Bunyan, I see a great multitude with white robes, and I long to be with them. To depart and be with Christ is far better."
"When you go to the grave, don't go weeping. Death hath no sting. The grave hath no terror.
Eternity hath no darkness. Sing at my funeral,
'Rejoice for a brother deceased
Our loss is his gain.'
For many years neither death nor the grave had any terrors for me."
"Hark! hark! hear ye not the song? Victory is ours. There is great rejoicing in heaven. Roll open, ye golden gates, and let my car go through! I must wait until the death-angel descends" Soon the death-angel came. The silver cord was loosed, the golden bowl was broken, and his freed spirit ascended to glory and to God. -- Bishop Janes.
087 -- HE CLINCHED HIS TEETH WHILE HE CRIED "HELL, HELL, HELL!"
Near L____ lived P____ K____, talented and wealthy, but a hater of God, of the Lord Jesus Christ and of the Holy Bible. He talked, lectured and published books and tracts against the Savior and the sacred scriptures, circulating them freely wherever he could. His influence for evil had been very great in all that country for years.
From a near neighbor and from members of his household the following facts are learned concerning his death:
His death-bed beggared description. He clinched his teeth, and blood spurted from his nostrils while he cried "Hell! Hell!! Hell!!!" with a terror that no pen can describe. A neighbor declared that he heard him a quarter of a mile away. His family could not endure the agony of that death-bed scene. They fled to an adjoining wood across the road, and there remained among the trees until all became quiet at home. One by one they ventured back, to find the husband and father cold in death. He literally had been left to die alone, abandoned of God and of man. -- Written for this work by Milburn Merrill, Denver, Colorado.
088 -- THE LAST WORDS OF A MOTHER AND CHILD
Through the kindness of L. B. Balliett, M. D., of Allentown, Penn., we furnish our readers with this touching incident:
Little Mary was an attendant of an industrial school in New York City. In her last moments she sang, "Come to Jesus," when the angels carried her to heaven.
Two years after the mother died. As death drew near she exclaimed, "Don't you hear my child singing? She is singing the same sweet song, 'Come to Jesus,' that she learned at school."
089 -- DYING TESTIMONY OF CARDINAL WOLSEY
Thomas Wolsey, a distinguished person in the reign of Henry VIII., was born in the year 1471; and it is said he was the son of a butcher at Ipswich. Being made chaplain to the king, he had great opportunities of gaining his favor; to obtain which he practiced all the arts of obsequiousness. Having gradually acquired an entire ascendency over the mind of Henry, he successively obtained several bishoprics, and at length was made archbishop of York, lord high chancellor of England and prime minister, and was for several years the arbiter of Europe. The emperor, Charles the fifth, and the French king, Francis the first, courted his interest and loaded him with favors. As his revenues were immense and his influence unbounded, his pride and ostentation were carried to the greatest height. He had eight hundred servants, amongst whom were nine or ten lords, fifteen knights and forty esquires.
From this great height of power and splendor he was suddenly precipitated into ruin. His ambition to be pope, his pride, his exactions and his opposition to Henry's divorce occasioned his disgrace. This sad reverse so affected his mind as to bring on a severe illness, which soon put a period to his days. A short time before he left the world, the review of his life and a consciousness of the misapplication of his time and talents drew from him this sorrowful declaration: "Had I but served God as diligently as I have served the king, He would not have given me over in my gray hairs. But this is the just reward that I must receive for my incessant pains and study, not regarding my service to God, but only to my prince." -- Power of Religion.
090 -- "THE ANGELS SAY THERE IS PLENTY OF ROOM UP THERE."
Sister Kate H. Booth, of Buffalo, N. Y., sends us the account of her sister's happy death. She says:
My sister was a devoted Christian. To show the depth of her piety, we quote from her diary:
"Friday, Aug. 22, 1879 -- I consecrated myself anew to follow God. The fire came down and consumed the sacrifice. All was put on the altar and remains there.
Tuesday, Aug. 26 -- I received such a baptism as I never received before, and today I say,
'Anyway, Jesus, only glorify Thyself.'
Give Joy or grief, give ease or pain,
Take life or friends away,
But let me find them all again.
In that eternal day.'
Sudden death would be sudden glory."
She was constantly praising the Lord for His mercy and grace. She was thankful for every kindness shown. Some of her expressions were: "It's all right, it is all clear, death has lost its sting, almost there."
One evening while the sun was setting and the autumn leaves were tinged with a golden hue, she said, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me. Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me."
She had a vision of the unseen world. While her face was radiant with a divine halo, and it seemed as though she was about to leave us, I called, "Oh, Jennie, what are your last words?" She revived and said, "Be true; but what made you call me back?" I said, "What did you see?" She replied, "It's all right there," and waved her hand in token of victory.
During her illness she would express the desire that she might retain her consciousness to the last, and she requested the members of her family to pray that her wish might be fulfilled. She did not want them to give up praying till the answer came.
Her desire was granted. In full possession of her faculties she came to the river brink. She would say.
"Labor is rest, and pain is sweet,
If Thou, my God, art here."
She asked me to read the hymn commencing, "How blest the righteous when he dies."
She thought it was so beautiful that she requested it to be sung at her funeral. On Tuesday night she said, "It is a hard struggle tonight, but a glorious victory tomorrow." Wednesday was her last day on earth; a bright and glorious one, for she felt she was soon to enter into the presence of her Lord. It was the first of October and her father's birthday. In the evening, an hour or two before her departure, the doctor came in and she looked up at him with a smile and said, "Doctor, how am I?" The tears were coursing down his cheeks, when she said, "The angels say there is plenty of room up there." Thus she neared the crossing.
091 -- THOMAS PAINE'S DYING WORDS -- "MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?"
Thomas Paine was born at Thedford, England, in 1737. He is widely known by his connection with the American and French revolutions and by his infidel writings.
In 1791 he published his work, entitled, The Rights of Man. In 1793, while in a French prison, he wrote his famous work, The Age of Reason, against atheism and against Christianity and in favor of deism. In 1802 he returned to the United States, where he died in 1809. We take the following from Farrar's Critical History of Free Thought:
"In Paine, who wrote in France in the midst of the French convention, we meet a reproduction of the spirit of early English deism, animated by the political exasperation which had characterized the French. His doctrines come from English deism; his bitterness from Voltaire; his politics from Rousseau. To Paine are due the socialistic schemes of Owen, which in some respects seem to be derived by direct lineage from him, also the expression of unbelief in the poetry of Byron and Shelley. . . . During the session of the French Convention, Paine composed his infidel work, Age of Reason, by which his name has gained an unenviable notoriety; and after the alteration of political circumstances in France he returned to America and there dragged out a miserable existence, indebted in his last illness for acts of charity to disciples of the very religion that he had opposed."
Again we quote from McIllvaine's Evidences:
"Paine's first wife is said to have died by ill usage. His second was rendered so miserable by neglect and unkindness that they separated by mutual agreement. His third companion, not his wife, was the victim of his seduction while he lived upon the hospitality of her husband. Holding a place in the excise of England, Paine was dismissed for irregularity; restored and dismissed again for fraud without recovery. Unable to get employment where he was known, he came to this country, commenced as a politician, and pretended to some faith in Christianity. Congress gave him an office, from which, being soon found guilty of a breach of trust, he resigned in disgrace. The French revolution allured him to France. Habits of intoxication made him a disagreeable inmate in the American minister's house, where out of compassion he had been received as a guest. During all this time, his life was a compound of ingratitude and perfidy of hypocrisy and avarice, of lewdness and adultery. In June, 1809, the. poor creature died in this country."
The Roman Catholic bishop Fenwick says: "A short time before Paine died I was sent for by him. He was prompted to do this by a poor Catholic woman who went to see him in his sickness and who told him if anybody could do him any good it was a Catholic priest. I was accompanied by F. Kohlmann, an intimate friend. We found him at a house in Greenwich (now Greenwich street, New York), where he lodged. A decent-looking elderly woman came to the door and inquired whether we were the Catholic priests, 'for,' said she, 'Mr. Paine has been so much annoyed of late by other denominations calling upon him that he has left express orders to admit no one but the clergymen of the Catholic Church.' Upon informing her who we were, she opened the door and showed us into the parlor... 'Gentlemen,' said the lady, 'I really wish you may succeed with Mr. Paine, for he is laboring under great distress of mind ever since he was told by his physician that he cannot possibly live and must die shortly. He is truly to be pitied. His cries when left alone are heart rending. "O Lord, help me!" he will exclaim during his paroxysms of distress; "God, help me! Jesus Christ, help me!" -- repeating these expressions in a tone of voice that would alarm the house.
Sometimes he will say, "O God! what have I done to suffer so much?" Then shortly after, "But there is no God"; and then again, "Yet if there should be, what would become of me hereafter?" Thus he will continue for some time, when, on a sudden, he will scream as if in terror and agony, and call for me by my name. On one occasion I inquired what he wanted. "Stay with me," he replied, "for God's sake! for I cannot bear to be left alone." I told him I could not always be in the room. "Then," said he, "send even a child to stay with me, for it is a hell to be alone." 'I never saw,' she continued, 'a more unhappy, a more forsaken man. It seems he cannot reconcile himself to die.' Such was the conversation of the woman, who was a Protestant, and who seemed very desirous that we should afford him some relief in a state bordering on complete despair. Having remained some time in the parlor, we at length heard a noise in the adjoining room. We proposed to enter, which was assented to by the woman, who opened the door for us.
A more wretched being in appearance I never beheld. He was lying in a bed sufficiently decent in itself, but at present besmeared with filth; his look was that of a man greatly tortured in mind, his eyes haggard, his countenance forbidding, and his whole appearance that of one whose better days had been but one continued scene of debauch. His only nourishment was milk punch, in which he indulged to the full extent of his weak state. He had partaken very recently of it, as the sides and corners of his mouth exhibited very unequivocal traces of it, as well as of blood which had also followed in the track and left its mark on the pillow. Upon their making known the object of their visit, Paine interrupted the speaker by saying, 'That's enough, sir, that's enough. I see what you would be about. I wish to hear no more from you, sir; my mind is made up on that subject. I look upon the whole of the Christian scheme to be a tissue of lies, and Jesus Christ to be nothing more than a cunning knave and impostor. Away with you, and your God, tool leave the room instantly! All that you have uttered are lies, filthy lies, and if I had a little more time I would prove it, as I did about your impostor, Jesus Christ.' Among the last utterances that fell upon the ears of the attendants of this dying infidel, and which have been recorded in history, were the words, 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?'"
092 -- "LOOK AT THE LITTLE CHILDREN; O MA, I MUST GO!"
Through the kindness of Mrs. T. W. Roberts, of East Nashville, Tenn., we furnish our readers with the following:
My little sister, Minnie Chatham, was born in 1861 and died in the spring of 1873, aged twelve years.
During her sickness, which lasted for two weeks, she was a great sufferer, Our father and mother were with her constantly night and day during her illness.
Minnie was always of a sweet, gentle and religious nature. She dearly loved her Sabbath school and teachers and was always present when her health would permit. Her constant prayer was, "O God, give me a new heart." Sometimes her older friends would say to her, "Why, Minnie, you are a good little girl, you don't need to pray for a new heart"; and she would reply, "Yes I do, there is none good, we are all sinners."
One day during her illness, with the consent of her parents, she managed to get out of her little bed and kneel down at the foot-board on the floor. With her hands clasped and eyes lifted toward heaven, she prayed the most earnest prayer that [ have ever heard. Her petitions were, "O Lord, give me a new heart," after which she repeated the Lord's Prayer through. She then arose, clapped her hands and said, "Oh, I am so happy!" Returning to her bed, she lay down and was as peaceful and quiet as though she had never experienced any pain. Her mother had told her that Jesus could ease her pain, so often when she was suffering you might have seen her little hands clasped in prayer. Sometimes she would sing a verse or two of her Sunday school songs that she loved so well. She called for her Testament and Sunday school papers, which she placed under her pillow and kept there until she died. Shortly before she breathed her last she sat up in her bed and said, "The angels have come for me, I must go! They are at the door waiting for me. Do, ma, let me go! Why do you want to keep me here in this wicked world? I would not want to stay here for anything." And then she looked up toward heaven and continued, "Look at the little children! O ma, I must go! I would not want to do anything to displease my dear Savior." After this she called her father to her bedside, requested him to be good and meet her in heaven and then added, "I want you all to be good."
The next morning she said to her mother, "Now, ma, if you had let me go, I would have been with the angels this morning." The day before she died, she sang her favorite Sunday school song:
"There is no name so sweet on earth,
No name so sweet in heaven,
The name, before His wondrous birth,
To Christ, the Savior, given.
We love to sing around our King.
And hail Him blessed Jesus,
For there's no word ear ever heard
So dear, so sweet as Jesus."
Not long after this she closed her eyes and breathed her last as peacefully as though she had just fallen asleep. Her public school teacher came to see her the day after she died and as she gazed at the little silent face in the coffin she wept as though her heart would break. She said Minnie was the brightest and sweetest child she had ever met and was a perfect example for all her classes.
093 -- "THEN I AM DAMNED TO ALL ETERNITY."
Rev. Thomas Graham, the well-known evangelist, is authority for the following:
When I was holding a protracted meeting in Middlesex, Mercer county, Pa., December, 1843, a man named Edwards died under the following circumstances: He had killed his hog and was preparing the sausages. He took of the ground pepper and introduced it into the nostrils of several persons to make them sneeze. One of the company succeeded in doing so to him, which made him sneeze twice, He broke a blood vessel. The doctor was sent for, but to no beneficial purpose. The rupture was so far up in the head that nothing could be done for him. When he was told that he must die, he shrieked so that he could be heard almost a mile, crying "Then I am damned to all eternity!" and continued this fearful exclamation until he died -- being an awful warning to others not to defer the time of their return to God.
094 -- TRIUMPHANT DEATH OF MARTIN LUTHER
This great German reformer was born at Eisleben (a town in Saxony not far from Wittenberg), November 10, 1483. Died at the same place. February 18. 1546. We take the following from Schaff's encyclopedia.
Luther stands forth as the great national hero of the German people, and the ideal of German life. Perhaps no other cultivated nation has a hero who so completely expresses the national ideal. King Arthur comes, perhaps, nearest to Luther among the English-speaking race. He was great in his private life as well as in his public career. His home is the ideal of cheerfulness and song. He was great in thought and great in action. He was a severe student and yet skilled in the knowledge of men. He was humble in the recollection of the power and designs of a personal Satan, yet bold and defiant in the midst of all perils. He could beard the Papacy and imperial councils, yet he fell trustingly before the cross. He was never weary, and there seemed to be no limit to his creative energy. Thus Luther stands before the German people as the type of German character. Goethe, Frederick the Great, and all others, in this regard, pale before the German reformer. He embodies in his single person the boldness of the battle-field, the song of the musician, the joy and care of the parent, the skill of the writer, the force of the orator and the sincerity of rugged manhood with the humility of the Christian.
His last words were, "O my Heavenly Father, my eternal and everlasting God! Thou hast revealed to me Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ! I have preached Him! I have confessed Him! I love Him and I worship Him as my dearest Savior and Redeemer! Into Thy hands I commit my spirit."
095 -- LAST WORDS OF MRS. JEWETT -- "GOOD-BYE FOR A LITTLE WHILE."
Mrs. Jewett suffered with cancer in her throat, and starved to death. I called to see her. Upon hearing my voice she said, "Come to me." She threw her arms around my neck, saying as she did so, "Kindred spirit, I wanted so much to see you. I am sanctified. I have kept the faith. I am starving to death, but in a little while I shall pluck the fruit of the tree of life." She reached out her hand as if already doing so, saying, "Sweet, O, how sweet!" Then dipping her hand she said, "And I will drink of the water of life even now; good-bye for a little while," and died victoriously. -- Written for this work by Mrs. H. A. Coon, Marengo, Ill.
096 -- "I HAVE NEGLECTED THE SALVATION OF MY SOUL."
About twenty years ago, while we were doing some evangelistic work at L____, early one morning a little boy with a very sad heart called at our room, saying that his mother was dying and wished to see us. We hurried to Mrs. B____'s home, and as we opened the door we beheld a sorrowful sight -- a woman in despair. The expression on her face and the sad look in her eyes told of great agony. We were at a loss to know just what to say or do. Our heart was full. We said to her, "You are in great pain." With a wild look she replied, "Yes, I am in great pain; but that is nothing compared with the thought of going to meet God unprepared. What is this physical suffering compared to the remorse of conscience and the dark future before me? Then she cried out in agony, "All is vanity, all is vanity! 1 have lived for self and tried to find pleasure at the dance and other places of amusement. I have neglected the salvation of my soul! I am unprepared to meet God! Pray for me, oh, pray for me!" While we prayed she responded, "Amen, amen! God help me! What shall I do? Is there any hope for a poor sinner like me?" and many other similar expressions. Her ungodly husband cried bitterly while she told of their past sinful life. Her heart was hardened with sin, her ears were dull of hearing and her eyes too blind to see the light of God.
Her friends were coming in from the village and surrounding country to see her die. As they entered the room, she would take each one of them by the hand and plead with them not to follow her example, not to live as she had lived. Holding an uncle by the hand, a man deep in sin and who seemed to be far from God, she said, "Uncle, prepare to meet your God. Don't wait until you come to your dying day, as I have done. When you plow your ground, pray. When you plant your corn, pray. When you cultivate the same, pray. Whatever you do, pray! (She died in the month of May, the season for corn planting.) Many of her friends wept and promised to live better lives. Her mental agony was so far beyond her physical pain that she seemed to be unconscious of her intense bodily suffering. Her sins seemed to loom up before her as a great mountain, hiding from her the presence and love of God. As long as she was able to speak, she prayed and requested others to do so. In a few hours the voice, that had been pleading so pitifully for mercy, and warning others by the example of her ungodly life was hushed in the silence of death,
The pastor of the Methodist Church, whom we were helping, preached at her funeral. As e listened to his words of warning, we resolved as never before to further our efforts in warning lost humanity to flee from the wrath to come.
Soon after her death we called on her husband and reminded him of his wife's dying testimony and urged him to attend the revival meetings that we were holding in the town, but he seemed to be full of prejudice against Christianity and gave us no encouragement, and still continued to walk in the same sinful path as heretofore.
We trust that our readers will take warning by the sad experience related in this sketch. God help us all to redeem the time as we see eternity drawing near. Amen. -- Editor.
097 -- "DEAR MOTHER, YOU MUST NOT GRIEVE FOR ME; I AM GOING TO JESUS."
Through the kindness of L. B. Balliett, M. D., of Allentown, Penn., we furnish our readers with this touching incident:
Some years ago a steamer was sinking with hundreds of persons on board. Only one boat-load was saved. As a man was leaping into the tossing boat a young girl who could not be taken into the boat handed him a note, saying, "Give this to my mother." The man was saved. The girl, with hundreds of others, was drowned.
The mother got the note. These were the words written: "Dear mother, you must not grieve for me; I am going to Jesus."
098 -- HAPPY DEATH OF GERTRUDE BELLE BUTTERFIELD
This loved friend's last day of time was May 24, 1898, and then she passed on to that fairer country whose inhabitants count not the days nor the years.
Only twenty-four years of the earth-life were given her; but, "How long we live, not years, but actions tell."
In early girlhood she learned the beauty of a life in God's service, and became so willing "to spend and be spent for Him." A part of her service for Him was evangelistic work, and only the last great garnering time will tell how many soul-sheaves ripened from seeds of her sowing. And when she saw the field of labor widening, she consecrated her life to mission work in foreign lands, should God lead the way.
Upon graduating from the Evansville (Wis.) Seminary, a little less than a year before her death, she returned to her home near Reedsburg, Wis. She was weary and worn from work and study, but was so certain rest was all that was needful. She felt that life was before her and that she was just ready to live.
Love from one worthy -- life's richest gift -- had come to her, and her heart was satisfied.
But it was not long ere she knew that the weariness was consumption, and that life's plans must be put aside. In a letter written in January she says, "Oh, it would be easy to go, so easy, if it were not for my life-work all undone. I cannot but feel that it would please Him to let me live and work for souls who know not my Jesus." But later, that unfinished work was given up to Him, and all was at rest. Dreams of heaven came to her, and she was ready, yes, glad to go.
The last months of her life were very full of suffering, but there was no complaint.
"Everyone is so kind," often fell from her lips at some attention from those who tenderly ministered to her wants.
Very precious is the memory of some days spent with her, three weeks before her death. She was so pure, so gentle, so thoughtful of others, so like Him who had put upon her "The beauty of the Lord."
As the end approached, her sufferings became intense. The Sunday night before she went home, all thought the death-angel very near. She asked her friends to sing the beautiful hymn,
"Fade, fade each earthly joy,
Jesus is mine!"
For days she had scarcely spoken above a whisper but now the Spirit of the Lord came upon her in blessing, and as she raised her hands she repeated, in a voice clear and strong, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me."
She was so eager for the release, asking those near her if they thought it the last, and saying, "Oh, I hope I won't be disappointed." But not until Tuesday afternoon did the end come, when the soul escaped as u bird from its prison of pain.
And we, who await this "dawning light" that so thrilled her soul, treasure the memory of one "faithful unto death," our sainted Gertrude. -- Written for this work by Cora A. Niles.
099 -- A DYING WELSH SOLDIER'S DESPAIR
A Christian worker observed: I once went to visit a soldier who had bought himself from the army. He was dying, but did not know it. I sat down by his side and said, "I will read a bit of the Bible for you." "Oh, you need not trouble; I am not so ill as all that," he replied. Poor fellow, he thought that he must be very ill before any one need offer to read a part of the Bible for him. Next morning when I called I found him much worse. I learned that he was a Welshman, and his mother was a Christian. Suddenly he threw himself back in bed, and wringing his hands he cried, "Oh, what shall I do, what shall I do! I am as a dead man; the mark of death is upon me, and I am not saved." There is a time when Christ may be found, but there is also a time when He may not be found. It is one of the saddest sights that one can look upon to see a soul seeking for Christ but unable to find Him. And this young dying soldier sought and sought for Christ, but it was all in vain; Jesus had passed by. He became delirious and died in agony. "Seek the Lord while He may be found; call ye upon Him while He is near." -- Crown of Glory.
100 -- "I AM HAPPY, I AM HAPPY! GLORY TO GOD!"
The death of Lovic Pearce Thompson, as related for this book by his brother, Rev. S. M. Thompson, of the M. E. Church, South, Tenaha, Texas:
Lovic was what you would call a bad boy. It was his very nature to be bad. He was rough-spoken, grum and snappish when he was mad. When in a good humor he was kind and affectionate. As long as everything went his way, there was peace; when it did not, there was war. If ever a seventeen-year-old boy was dominated by Satan, it was Lovic. His mother would oftimes remonstrate with him about his wicked ways, and often went to God in earnest prayer in his behalf. Yet Lovic, despite the loving words of a mother's counsel, and the fervent petitions of a mother's heart, remained in the "gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity." It seemed that he was incorrigible. But who knows the destiny of men? One thing is certain, God will not damn a man until he has given him a fair chance be saved, and that man willfully refuses all offers of mercy.
Old Forest Academy camp ground was a favorite place of resort for the old and young alike. Thither hundreds went in the summer; some in quest of pleasure only, while scores of others went in search of spiritual blessings.
In August, 1887, Lovic attended this camp of the saints. Faithful ministers proclaimed the gospel of peace and earnestly exhorted all sinners to "flee from the wrath to come." It was a Methodist meeting, and all Methodist meetings are provided with an "altar," commonly called a "mourner's bench." On Sunday night, after an earnest, pathetic sermon, sinners were invited to come to the "altar," seek Christ and be saved. Many came, among the number being Lovic. He tarried there, but no peace received. Again and again during the meeting he went to the altar, but no blessing did he receive. The last night of the meeting came. The benediction was pronounced, but poor Lovic went home unsaved.
But there had been an impression made. Verily,
"There is a time, we know not when,
A place, we know not where,
That shapes the destinies of men
For glory or despair."
Such was the case with Lovic. At that camp-meeting, at that altar, at some lonely hour, he drank the dregs from the cup of repentance, renounced his sins and vowed allegiance to the Savior of men. And being of strong determination, he went home that lonely night with no other thought than to keep the vow which he so faithfully at the altar made. Ever afterward, during his short stay on earth, his life was a complete transformation. He was not the same boy. He had lost all his roughness. He was not snappish as he used to be, and his temper had been subdued. The rough ashlar had become the perfect ashlar. A polishing had taken place, but by whom, or when, or how he did not seem to know.
On Friday night, October 5, he had a presentment that he was going to die, and so informed his mother on the following morning, though he showed no signs of being sick. His mother remonstrated with him, but to no avail. He still said, "I'm going to die."
His father was a farmer, and the farm made a gradual slope from the house to the back side of the field. Saturday evening Lovic was picking cotton down in the valley; and as he was a great singer, just as the shadows of the western trees were stretching out across the farm, with a strong, mellow voice he began to sing, "Shall we meet beyond the river," the chorus being, "Yes, we'll meet," etc. He sang the song through, and as he would say, "Yes, we'll meet," away in the distance the echo answered, "Yes, we'll meet." He came home that night, ate a hearty supper, went to bed, slept soundly, got up in the morning; but took to his bed that evening, from which he never rose till strong hands carried his lifeless form to the hearse that bore his body to the "silent city of the dead."
What about his death? Well, listen. He had been sick for several days, most of the time unconscious. But a few hours before he died he seemed to be in great agony, throwing his hands about as if trying to fight off something. He seemed to be struggling with some powerful giant. At times you could see despair written on his face, at other times he seemed to be overcoming. But when spoken to, not a word would he utter. At last, after frightful gesticulations, he suddenly awoke from his unconscious sleep and began shouting, "I have whipped him. I have whipped him. See the devil; he tried to take me, but I have whipped him. I am happy, I am happy! Glory to God!" He then exhorted all in the room to meet him in heaven, asking all to promise him by giving him their hand. An infidel came into the room, and he exhorted him to be religious, assuring him that there was devil, a hell and a heaven. After a few hours of perfect peace he closed his eyes in death, leaving a smile on his face, which was, no doubt, a sign that he had vanquished the enemy and passed out into the spirit world bearing the laurels of victory.
101 -- "I SEE THE HEAVENS OPENED AND MILLIONS OF BRIGHT ANGELS READY TO RECEIVE US."
Baudicon Oguier was a martyr burned at the stake with his father, mother and brother in the year of our Lord 1556. When chained to the stake, he turned his eyes toward the father and said, "Be of good courage, father, the worst will be passed by-and-by. Behold, I see the heavens opened and millions of bright angels ready to receive us, and rejoicing to see us thus witnessing to the truth in view of the world. Father, let us be glad and rejoice, for the joys of heaven are opened to us. Jesus Christ, Thou Son of God, into Thy hands we commend our spirits."
102 -- "OH GOD! I AM DAMNED, I AM DAMNED!"
During the time of a protracted meeting one of the ministers' wives insisted on her son yielding to these better influences and seeking his salvation He replied to his mother, with a look of fiend-like hatred, that he would rather be damned than yield. He fell forward on the hearth. His mother picked him up whilst he exclaimed with his last breath, "Oh, God! I am damned, I am damned!" with his head resting in his mother's lap. He had gone to that hell he preferred to religion. -- Rev. Thos. Graham.
103 -- THE END OF A GOOD MAN
Rev. John B. McFerrin was an old and honored minister of the M. E. Church, South, having filled many important positions in that denomination. He was at one time missionary secretary, and was book agent of the Publishing House at the time of his death. He belonged to the old style of Methodist preachers, and was a man of deep, solid piety. He took no stock in the modern innovations on old-time religion and was strong advocate of experimental godliness. The time came for him to lay down his work, and to those who knew him it was no surprise when this man of God failed to make his daily visits to the Publishing House. He soon realized that his race was run, but the serenity of his mind was not in the least disturbed. He declared his perfect resignation to the will of God, inclining to a desire to depart and be with Christ.
"Hitherto in my sickness," said he, "I have not felt that I was going to die, nor have I desired to go. But now I feel differently. My work is done. My eyesight and hearing are nearly gone; my temporal affairs are all arranged; my family is all provided for; the Publishing House is safe. My way is clear and I am ready to go."
There was one day during his last illness a slight depression of spirits, but after a visit from Bishop Fitzgerald, who read the scriptures (part of the eighth chapter of Romans), when his faith rallied, the cloud lifted, and he rejoiced in the God of his salvation. In a little while his nephew, Rev. J. P. McFerrin, came in and sang the hymn,
"And let this feeble body fall,
And let it droop and die,"
And the old soldier joined in with faltering accents, his face beaming with joy that filled his soul.
As he grew weaker, his son, John, who was an itinerant preacher, was constantly at his bedside, save when he had to go back to his charge to fill his appointments. The son had been with his dying father all the week until Saturday morning. "My son," said the old pilgrim, his heart still beating with loyalty to God and his church, "you had better return and fill your appointment tomorrow. If while you are away, John, I should happen to step off, you know where to find me." Thus on May 10, 1887, a little while after midnight, the soul of this old saint took its departure for the eternal kingdom. -- Life of Rev. J. B. McFerrin, by Bishop O. P. Fitzgerald.
104 -- GOVERNOR DUNCAN'S TRIUMPHANT DEATH
Joseph Duncan was born in Kentucky about 1790. He served in the war of 1812, after which he removed to Illinois. As a member of the Senate of Illinois, he originated a law establishing common schools. He was chosen member of Congress in 1827, and Governor of Illinois in 1834. He died January 15, 1844. We take the following from The Higher Christian Life, by Rev. W. E. Boardman
For many years the Governor was distinguished as a Christian -- a consistent member of his church. A rare and shining mark, both for the jests of ungodly politicians and for the happy references of all lovers of Jesus.
It is a very lovely thing, and only too remarkable, to see one occupying the highest position of honor in a State, himself honoring the King of kings. Happy is the people who exalt such a ruler to the places of power, and happy such a ruler in his exaltation; more, however, in the humility with which he bows to Jesus than in the homage which the people pay to him.His conversion was clear and satisfactory, and he renounced all merit of his own as the ground of his acceptance with God. The blood of Jesus, the Lamb of Calvary, was all his hope. He was firmly grounded in the atonement of Christ. And all went well until death and the judgment drew near.
About three weeks before the hour of his departure he was seized with an illness which he himself felt would end in his death. And with the premonition of death came the question of fitness for heaven. He was troubled. His unfitness was only too apparent for his peace. The fever of his mind was higher than the fever in his veins -- and, alas, he had not yet learned that Jesus is the physician of unfailing skill, to cure every ill that the spirit is heir to. He saw plainly enough how he could be justified from the law, that it should not condemn him; for its penalty had been borne already by the Savior himself, and its claims on the score of justice were all satisfied. But he did not see that the same hands which had been nailed to the cross would also break off the manacles of sin, wash out its stains and adjust the spotless robe of Christ's perfect righteousness upon him, and invest him with every heavenly grace.
His perplexity was great. The night thickened upon him, his soul was in agony, and his struggles utterly vain.
The point of despair is sure to be reached, sooner or later, by the struggling soul, and the point of despair to him who abandons all to Jesus is also the point of hope. The Governor at last gave over and gave up, saying in his heart, "Ah! well. I see it is of no use. Die I must. Fit myself for heaven I cannot. O, Lord Jesus, I must throw myself upon Thy mercy, and die as I am."
This hopeless abandonment was the beginning of rest to his soul. Indeed, it was the victory that overcometh. Soon the loveliness of Jesus began to be unfolded to him, and he saw that the way of salvation from sin was by faith in the Savior. The fire in his veins burned on, steadily and surely consuming the vital forces of his manly frame, but the fever of his spirit was all allayed by the copious and cooling draughts given him from the gushing fountain of the waters of life flowing from the smitten Rock, and his joy was unbounded.
As his stricken and sorrowing family gathered around his bed for the last words of the noble man, he told them, with a face radiant with joy, that he had just found what was worth more to him than riches, or honors, or office, or anything else upon earth, "the way of salvation by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ," and he charged them as his dying mandate, by the love they bore him, not to rest until they too -- whether already Christians as he himself long had been or note -- had found the same blessed treasure.
They asked him what legacy he wished to leave for an absent relative whom they knew it was his intention to have remembered in the division of his estate.
"That is all arranged in my will," said he. "But tell her from me that I have found the way of salvation by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and if she too will find that, she will find infinitely more than I could bestow upon her, if I should give her all I am worth in the world."
They mentioned the name of a distinguished fellow officer and special friend of the governor's, living in a distant part of the state, and asked if he had any message for him.
"Tell him that I have found the way of salvation by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and if he will also find it for himself it will be better than the highest offices and honors in the reach of man upon earth." So he died. "Oh had he only known this before," you say. Yes, that was just what he himself said. "O, had I only known this when I first engaged in the service of God, how happy I should have been! And how much good I could have done!"
105 -- ETERNAL DEATH THE RESULT OF DELAY
A young man by the name of Smith was seen standing looking on with interest during the exercises of a prayer-meeting at camp-meeting in Rootstown, Ohio. One of the ministers observing him addressed him on the subject of religion. His eyes filled with tears and he seemed inclined to seek religion. One of his wicked companions perceiving it, stepped up and, looking him in the face, remarked, "Smith, I would not be a fool." Poor Smith could not resist such influences, and dashing the tears from his eyes turned on his heel and went away. He lingered about the camp ground until the meeting closed for the evening, and went off with his company. They bantered him on the subject of his feelings. To show to them that he had. not the feelings they supposed, he commenced cursing and blaspheming in a most awful manner and making all imaginable sport of religious things, when a large limb from a tree fell on him, and he, with a curse on his tongue, was forced into the presence of God, whom he had thus been blaspheming, without one moment's warning. -- Rev. Thos. Graham
106 -- "HE DIED AT HIS POST"
Away back in the 40's, a hymn with this title was very popular among Methodists and was often sung with the Spirit and with marked effect. It had its origin in the last words and triumphant death of a preacher in one of the conferences.
Rev. Thomas Drummond was born in Manchester, England, in 1806, came to this country in early life, and after his conversion joined the Methodist Church He soon was licensed to preach, and was admitted into the Pittsburgh Conference In 1835 he was transferred to the Missouri Conference and stationed in St. Louis.
On Sunday, June 14, of that year, he had preached with his usual power, expressing with pathos the feelings which animate the strong Christian faith in anticipation of heaven. The same evening he was attacked with cholera, and died the next day.
Though suffering great pain he was in his senses and died in triumph, saying among many other cheering things, "Tell my brethren of the Pittsburgh Conference that I died at my post."
Rev. William Hunter, on hearing the particulars of the death of this good man, composed the hymn, "He Died at His Post." -- .Life of Rev. J. B. McFerrin, by Bishop O. P. Fitzgerald.
107 -- "I CAN NOW DIE HAPPY. SOUL, TAKE THY FLIGHT."
Miss Addie Asbury was dying. She called her friends around her bedside and one by one bade them good-bye and asked them to meet her in heaven. The doctor had said that she could not live but a very short time, not longer than ten minutes. All at once she opened her eyes and said, "I want to see Tom." She was told that he was not there, but she insisted that she had a message for him, whereupon she was assured that Tom would be sent for. As it was well known that she had but a short time to live and that Tom lived at quite a distance, her friends doubted whether he could arrive before she died. Seeming to read their thoughts, she said, "The God that I have loved and served all of these years can keep me here until he comes. I have a message for him, so please send at once." She had been engaged to marry Tom for several years, but would not because he was not a Christian and drank. Now that she was dying she desired to speak a farewell word to him.
We went for him, and fully an hour had elapsed before we returned with him, but she still lived when he came in. She took him by the hand and said, "Tom, I want you to be a Christian. I am going to leave you and I want to know before I go that you are a child of God."
"Why, Addie," said he, "I can't say I am a Christian when I am not." I would like to be, but I can't." She then took her Bible and showed him from the Word of God that he could be if he would repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who could forgive his sins. He accepted God's word and became an heir of salvation.
Then, after bidding all good-bye once more, she closed her eyes and said, "I can now die happy. Soul, take the flight," and soon her soul took its departure.
A few years after, we saw Tom ordained a deacon in the Presbyterian Church, not far from the place where his betrothed had died, He is now one of the pillars of the church and is a faithful defender of the cause of Jesus Christ. -- Written for this book by Rev. G. P. Pledger, Chicago, Ill.
108 -- "I AM DYING AND GOING TO HELL."
A fashionable lady attended revival meetings at the Morgan Street Church, Chicago. Deep conviction settled on her soul She wept and said she would like to find peace, but was not ready to give up the pleasures of the world. To drown her convictions, she absented herself from the house of God. Time hurried on and soon she was on her death bed. Realizing her condition, she sent for a friend who had attended the meetings with her and who had listened to the spiritual pleadings and found the joy of pardoning love. This friend hurried to the bedside of the dying one. As she entered the room the dying woman looked at her with eyes of terror, and grasping her hand she exclaimed, "Oh, stay with me till I am gone! I am dying and going to hell! Tell Bro. C____ (the minister) to preach hell as he has never preached it before, for I am going to hell!" Then, pointing to the wardrobe, she said, "Go there and you will see what has ruined my soul." She opened the door and saw the rich, fashionable clothing and turned again to the side of the dying woman, who raised herself up and sang the hymn she had so often heard at the meeting:
"Parting to meet again at the Judgment,
Parting to meet no more here below;
Oh, how sad the thought to thee,
Traveler to eternity,
Parting to meet again at the Judgment.
As the last word fell from her lips she fell back on the pillow and her soul passed into eternity to meet the God whose mercy she had trifled with and turned away for the gaudy toys of this earth.
Dear reader, take warning from this sad death. Turn away from the vanities of earth and give God your heart and life's service, and eternal happiness shall be yours. -- Pentecost Herald.
109 -- "DO YOU NOT HEAR THEM SAY, 'PEACE ON EARTH; GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN'?"
Miss Mollie J. Herring, of Clear Run, N. C., writes us: I have a dying testimony of a sweet, cultured, Christian young lady, whose death occurred in my own home in 1884, when I was very young.
Miss Orphie B. Schaeffer, daughter of Rev. G. F. Schaeffer, a Lutheran minister, who at that time was President of the North Carolina Lutheran College, had been visiting at our home for some time past. We soon became warm friends and were closely attached to each other. A short time after she had come to our home she was taken ill, her sickness developing into a serious case of typhus fever which resulted in her death two weeks later.
She loved her Savior and put her utmost confidence in God. Often she would say, "It is so sweet to love Jesus. I have always loved him."
During her illness she would often speak of her loved ones, far away from her in Easton, Pennsylvania. We had not wired them of her illness, as we did not realize that it was of such a serious nature until the end drew near.
As I stood at her bedside as she was dying, she called me to come closer to her and said, "Mollie, I hear the sweetest music."
I asked her from whence the sound of the music came, and she replied, "Oh, just over the hill. Do you not hear them say, 'Peace on earth, good will toward men?'"
Again her wan features lighted up with the very light of heaven and she said, "Oh, can't you hear them singing? Do listen."
I strained my eager ears to catch the sound to which I knew she was listening, but I could hear nothing save her labored breathing.
Soon after she said, "Good-bye, mamma! Good-bye Florence! Good-bye, papa!" and just then she was seized with a hemorrhage, which caused her to grow weaker and weaker, and once more we heard her say, "I am so glad that I have always loved Jesus."
110 -- "DEVILS ARE IN THE ROOM, READY TO DRAG MY SOUL DOWN TO HELL."
Mrs. J____ B____, the subject of this sketch, came under the personal observation of the writer in 1886. I had often urged her to give her heart to God while she was in health, but she refused.
I called to see her during her last sickness and found her in a most distressing state of mind.
She recognized me when I came in, and was loath to let me leave long enough to bring my wife, who was only three-quarters of a mile away; saying, "Devils are in my room, ready to drag my soul down to hell."
She would begin in a low, measured tone to say, "It must be done! It must be done!" continuing to repeat the same with increasing force and higher pitch of voice, until she would end with a piercing scream, "It must be done!"
Her husband asked her, "Josie, what must be done?"
She answered, "Our hearts must be made right!" And again she would entreat me to take her away, affirming she could see devils all around her.
She would say, "See them laugh!" This would throw her into a paroxysm of fear and dread, causing her to start from her bed; but when I tried to get her to look to Jesus for help she said, "It is no use; it is too late!"
I trust I shall never be called upon again to witness such a heart-rending death-bed scene as hers. There was more that transpired, but I have tried to make this sketch as brief as possible. -- Written for this work by B. F. Closson, Bloomington, Neb.
111 -- LAST WORDS OF BISHOP GLOSSBRENNER
"Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him." So it was with the devout Bishop Glossbrenner when he had reached the end of his earthly pilgrimage, January 7, 1887. Mr. John Dodds, of Dayton, Ohio, a warm personal friend of the bishop, spent a day or two with him shortly before his death, and found him in a most blessed frame of mind. When the subject of preaching was referred to, he said, "If I could preach again just once more, I would preach Jesus. I would preach from His words to the disciples on the Sea of Galilee, 'It is I, be not afraid.'" As Mr. Dodds was leaving, he looked back when a few paces from the house, and to his surprise the bishop had gotten out of his bed unassisted and was standing by the door. He was visible affected, and with hand uplifted and tears running down his cheeks, said, "Tell my brethren it is all right; my home is over there." To another he said, '!My title is clear, but not because I have preached the gospel, but alone by the love and mercy and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Rely on nothing but Jesus Christ and an experimental knowledge of acceptance with God through the merits of Jesus."
In view of his rapidly approaching end, he said to his pastor, "I shall not be here much longer." When asked about the future his reply was, "Everything is as bright as it can be. What a blessing it is to have a Savior at a time like this." His last whispered words were, "My Savior." -- From Life to Life.
112 -- THE GLORIOUS TRANSLATION OF HELEN CARPENTER
Helen A. Carpenter was born in Hamlin, N. Y. When but a child she was deeply conscientious, and one of the things she constantly practiced was every Saturday evening to go about the house and gather up all the secular work and reading matter and put it away until Monday, so that the Sabbath might be kept holy. She gave her heart to God at the age of seventeen years, and her entire after life was characterized by unswerving devotion to His cause.
When nineteen, while engaged in teaching school, she took a severe cold, which speedily developed into consumption and terminated her earthly career at the age of twenty years. During her illness she rapidly ripened for heaven, and her young friends who called upon her would afterwards say, "One would not think Helen was going to die; she speaks as if she were going on a most delightful journey!"
About a week before her death her mother, sitting by her couch, became suddenly conscious of a most heavenly influence pervading the entire room, and so powerful was it that she could scarcely refrain from shouting aloud. She wondered if Helen, on whose countenance rested a pleased expression, felt it too.
The next day Helen said, "Ma, you thought I was asleep yesterday while you were sitting by me. I was not; but two angels came into the room, the wails did not hinder their coming. 'My spirit loudly sings,
The holy ones -- behold they come,
I hear the noise of wings.'
It was all true, only I did not hear any noise."
A few evenings later her mother, observing her to be unusually restless, placed her hand upon her brow and found it damp with the dew of death. She said to her daughter, "Helen, I think you are very near home. Have you any fear?" "Not a bit," Helen replied; "call the family, that I may bid them good-bye."
As they gathered about her she bade each one a loving farewell, telling them she was going to heaven through the blood of the Lamb, enjoining them to meet her there. She then said, "I have been thinking of this verse: 'He that spared not His own Son' " -- and as her voice began to falter when she got this far her mother repeated it for her. Upon being asked if she would like to have them sing for her she replied, "Sing until I die; sing my soul away!" For some time her sister sang to her the sweet songs of Zion; then, while standing near her, Helen said, "The time seems long, don't it!"
Her sister, Augusta, referring to an absent sister, said, "O, I wish L were here. What shall I tell her for you?" "Tell her to trust in the Lord," was her reply.
As her eyes closed in death her sister, Mary, bent over her to catch the last expression, when Helen gave a start of delightful surprise, as though she saw something glorious beyond conception, and then her happy spirit went to be forever with the Lord, but the look of inexpressible delight remained on her lovely countenance.
She was by nature so gentle and retiring that her friends feared that when she came to the "swellings of Jordan" she might have some fear, but the grace of her Heavenly Father enabled her to pass joyously in holy triumph to the skies.
Her sister, Mary E. Carpenter, who afterward went to Monrovia, Africa, as a missionary and died there, said while dying, "Living or dying, it's all right," thus submitting her will to the will of her Heavenly Father, whose wisdom saw it better for her to come to beaver than to labor in Africa. -- Written .for this work by L. M. F. Baird, of Alabama,. New York.
113 -- "O MARTHA, MARTHA, YOU HAVE SEALED MY EVERLASTING DAMNATION!"
Rev. Thomas Graham, the noted revivalist preacher of the Erie Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, relates the following sad experience:
A man who lived in Westmoreland county, Pa., had strong religious feelings and had commenced a religious life. About this time he married a woman who was decidedly irreligious and who opposed him. She forced him to omit family worship; she forced him from his closet and followed him with her opposition until he finally, discouraged, gave it up. The Spirit of God left him. He told Rev. Mr. Potter, a Presbyterian minister that he was lost forever and that he knew the very time and place the Spirit took its final departure; that he was going to hell but cared nothing about it. He lived some ten years after this and then died in the most awful agonies. He asked his wife to give him a glass of water for he would obtain none where he was going. He drank it greedily; then, looking his wife in the face, exclaimed, "O Martha, Martha, you have sealed my everlasting damnation!" and died.
114 -- LUCY G. THURSTON, THE YOUNG MISSIONARY OF THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS
Lucy Goodale Thurston died on the 24th of Feb., 1841, in the city of New York, at the house of Mr. A. P. Cumings, one of the editors of the New York Observer. Her age was seventeen years and ten months.
She was born at Honolulu, April, 1823. Her father and mother were devoted missionaries. Their daughter was taken to heaven a few days after the arrival of the mother and children in this country for a rest. This was the first time the young missionary had ever been in a civilized country.
The night but one before her death, during an interval of comparative ease, she conversed with freedom and composure upon the probable result of her illness. After speaking of the ardent desire she had cherished of being fitted to return to her beloved home, to engage in the instruction of the natives, she said there was but one other trial to her in the thought of dying in her present circumstances. It was that she should not see her father. "But," she added, "in saying this I do not wish to be understood as expressing any opposition to the will of God concerning me." A friend
repeated the hymn commencing, "It is the Lord," which appeared to give her great comfort, and she soon after said, "It is all right -- all right."
When told that the hour of her departure yeas approaching, the struggle with her tender affections was evidently great. But it was short. "Mother, do you think I am going to die now?" said she. "Yes, my dear." said her mother, "I think you are going soon."
"Oh, I loved you all too well, too well -- I loved him too well." It was thought she alluded to her absent father. "But you love your Savior, too, Lucy." "Yes, mother, I do -- I do love Him." "Whom do you love, my dear?" "Jesus Christ. I love Him with all my heart, with all my soul and with all my strength. Mother, I know I love Him -- I do -- I do." -- The Missionary's Daughter,
115 -- "GOOD-BY, GOOD-BY. NOW I AM READY, JESUS."
Through the kindness of Rev. W. N. Hall, of Chicago, we insert this:
About three years ago, while serving as pastor of an Iowa church, there came under my observation a death that was most remarkable as an instance of divine grace, and faith of a true believer.
Mrs. M - was a young married woman, a member of the Baptist church, but without a pastor at the time. Being the pastor of her husband's family, she requested my ministries in her illness. In my frequent visits I was in every case deeply impressed with her faith, which enabled her to be in the state of religious triumph constantly. Her disease, consumption, and the rapidity of its advance, gave no hope of life beyond a few weeks. Yet death had no terrors for her, viewed from afar or near.
Quite frequently she had smothering spells, from which her friends would fear she would not be able to rally. To allay their fears, in each instance, as soon as possible she would say, "Don't be alarmed; my time to go has not come yet." On a beautiful Sabbath day the friends who inquired as to her condition were all told, "Hattie is much better to-day; she is unusually strong and free from any pain." The sun had just reached the meridian, and the family felt pleased with the bettered condition of their loved one. She requested all of them to come into her room. None could guess the reason. Looking upon the circle about her bed she said, "Are you all ready?" The answer was, "Yes, Hattie, we are all ready." Then she nodded to each, saying, "Good-bye, good-bye." Then with a voice clear and strong said, "Now I am ready, Jesus," and was gone instantly, there being no struggle or other sign of death. It was a case of believing in Jesus and not seeing death; of finding no valley between earth and heaven.
116 -- "I HAVE NO FEELING; THE SPIRIT OF GOD HAS LEFT ME."
A number of years ago, in the midst of a powerful revival, the preacher observed a young lady under deep conviction. He was moved by the Spirit of God to urge her to give her heart to God at once. He plead with her and urged her not to grieve the Holy Spirit, but she replied, "Not tonight." As she started for home, the man of God followed her to the door of the church, and urged her again not to leave the church without salvation. Again she replied, "Not tonight." He had a strange feeling in regard to the destiny of this young lady and was strangely moved to follow her out on the street and plead with her not to go home without giving her heart to God, but she again replied, "Some other time, not now." She went home under deep conviction and told her parents what a feeling she had, and how she had been halting between two opinions -- that she had never felt such concern for her soul before and had never realized her danger of being lost at any period during her life so much as she had realized it that night. Her father and mother were unsaved people. Their minds were planted in sin and unbelief and they had no sympathy with their daughter's interest in religion. She asked their opinion about becoming a Christian and uniting with the church. In reply they said, "You are young, and will have plenty of time when you settle down in life to think about your preparation for eternity. Why not enjoy life while you are young and not cut yourself off from society and other young people." With a sad heart she listened to their advice, and the enemy of her soul whispered, "Some other time will do just as well; you will have plenty of time to seek religion when your surroundings are more favorable."
She yielded to the advice of her ungodly parents and the devil and decided to wait awhile. A great struggle had been going on in her mind -- Satan struggling with her and showing her the pleasures of sin on one side, and the Spirit of God revealing the Kingdom of Heaven and everlasting life on the other. How sad that she should turn away from the Spirit of God and her prospects of heaven in order to please her ungodly parents and to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.
The revival meetings closed and her interest in religion was soon gone. In a short time she was taken very sick. After every effort to restore her to health had failed, and she continued to grow worse, and all human effort and hope were at an end, her parents realized that they could only have her with them for a few hours longer, they went to the bedside of their dying daughter and informed her that she had but a short time to live. They told her that if she wished to be a Christian they were willing, in fact they advised her that it was time now to make preparations for eternity. She looked up at her parents in surprise, her eyes stared and her face was the very picture of despair. She said, "Father and mother, you remember that during the recent revival I was greatly interested in the salvation of my soul. The Spirit of God was striving with me, and I felt my need of God as I had never felt it before. I asked your advice and you discouraged me. You advised me to wait until some other opportunity. I listened to your counsel, and now it is too late. My heart is as hard as stone. I have no feeling. The Spirit of God has left me." Her parents urged her, and to please them she consented to have them send for the minister. He came at once and plead with her and tried to show her that God was a merciful God, but her mind was full of unbelief, and she insisted that she could not repent before she died. She was in great distress of mind and body, and as a last resort she requested that her coffin be sent for. It was brought and placed by the side of her bed. With her own hands she rapped upon the coffin and cried, "Oh, for feeling! Oh, for feeling!" but no feeling came. Then she sent for her shroud, and as she looked upon it and held it up before her she said, as only a dying person could say, "Oh, for feeling! Oh, for feeling!" But her cry was in vain. The presence of a coffin and a shroud could not awaken her slumbering conscience or bring back the Holy Spirit, and she died in despair.
We pray that our readers may take warning by this sad experience, for God says, "My Spirit shall not always strive wish man." Therefore, "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." -- Editor.
117 -- "MARK THE PERFECT MAN, AND BEHOLD THE UPRIGHT: FOR THE END OF THAT MALL IS PEACE."
Not long since I stood by the bedside of my class leader, who shortly afterward passed away from earth to receive the reward of the just, and truly his path was like a shining light; and it shone more and more until he crossed the line of worlds. He told us that he had no changes to make, for there was not a thing between him and God. He exhorted us to be faithful, and prayed for an unsaved stranger who was dying with consumption. Although too weak to rise or turn himself he would break forth in song and with joyful countenance join in praises to God and the Lamb.
He made all the arrangements for his funeral, which caused his friends sorrow, but he said, "If I live, well; and if I die it is meet that I should set my house in order."
A few hours before his death his shouts of joy were heard by the neighbors on the outskirts of the small village where he lived, and the unsaved, wondering at his exceeding joy, beheld the triumph of his soul in the hour of sorest need and the power of God through our Lord Jesus Christ to keep a soul to the end, according to the promise in Mat. 28: 20. -- Contributed for this book by E. C. Yerks, of Grand Ledge, Mich.
118 -- "NOT THE SHADOW OF A DOUBT; I HAVE CHRIST WITHIN, THE HOPE OF GLORY."
John P. Finley, my brother, was born in North Carolina, June, 1783. He was in the ministry about fifteen years. He was ordained deacon by Bishop Asbury on the 17th of September, 1815. He received ordination as elder at the hands of Bishop Roberts, July 2, 1820. At the time of his death he was a member of the Kentucky Annual Conference, actively dividing his time and energies between the business of collegiate instruction and the labor of the pulpit. . . .
As a minister, in the pulpit he was able, impressive, and overwhelming. The cross of his redemption was his theme; and in life and death it became to him the "emphasis of every joy." In all these relations I knew him well, and can, therefore, speak from the confidence of personal knowledge and accredited information. . . .
He died on the 8th of May, 1825, in the forty-second year of his age, and sixteenth of his ministry; and at the same time that this bereaved family wept upon his grave, the sadness of the church told that she had lost one of her brightest ornaments. Just before his triumphant spirit rose to sink and sigh no more, he was asked how he felt, and what were his prospects upon entering the dark valley and shadow of death. He replied, in language worthy of immortality, "Not the shadow of a doubt; I have Christ within, the hope of glory. That comprehends all!" and then, with the proto-martyr, he "fell asleep." -- Autobiography of Rev. James B. Finley.
119 -- LAST WORDS OF EDWARD GIBBON, THE NOTED INFIDEL -- "ALL IS DARK AND DOUBTFUL."
Edward Gibbon, the noted historian and infidel writer was born at Putney, England, 1787. He was expelled from Oxford on account of his having abjured Protestantism. To effect hit cure from popery he was sent to Lausanne, in Switzerland, to board in the house of M. Pavilliard, a Calvinist minister, who had the satisfaction of seeing him reconverted to Protestantism, in witness of which he received the sacrament in the church of Lausanne on Christmas, 1754, his belief in popery having lasted not quite eighteen months. -- Schaff's Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge.
Bishop J. F. Hurst, in his History of Rationalism, says: Gibbon was even more of a Frenchman than Hume. Sundering his relation to Oxford, in his seventeenth year, he embarked upon a course of living and thinking which, whatever advantage it might afford to his purse, was not likely to aid his faith. By a sudden caprice he became a Roman Catholic, and afterwards as unceremoniously denied his adopted creed. . . . In due time he found himself in Paris publishing a book in the French language. He there fell in with the fashionable infidelity, and so far yielded to the flattery of Helvetius and all the frequenters of Holbach's house that he jested at Christianity and assailed its divine character. He has left less on record against Christianity than Hume, but they must be ranked together as the last of the family of English deists.
D. W. Clark, in Death Bed Scenes, says: Gibbon, the author of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, is well known to have been what is termed a philosopher and an infidel. . . . In his memoirs, Gibbon has undesignedly presented a striking view of the cheerless nature of infidelity. Having no hope for eternity, he was eager for the continuation of his present existence.
During his short illness, Gibbon never gave the least intimation of a future state of existence.
Rev. E. P. Goodwin, in Christianity, and Infidelity, says: Gibbon is one of the fairest as he is one of the ablest of infidels; and he has given us an autobiographical account, wherein, amid all the polish and splendor of the rhetoric of which he is such a master, there is not a line or a word that suggests reverence for God; not a word of regard for the welfare of the human race; nothing but the most sordid selfishness, vain glory, desire for admiration, adulation of the great and wealthy, contempt for the poor and supreme devotedness to his own gratification.
He died in London in 1794. His last words were, "All is now lost; finally, irrecoverably lost. All is dark and doubtful."
120 -- "HALLELUJAH, HE HAS COME; I AM GOING TO TELL ALL MY FRIENDS GOOD-BYE."
Mrs. H. A. Coon, of Marengo, Ill., sends us the following:
My mother died ten years ago, aged eighty-eight years, and had been a Christian since quite young. She was sick only two weeks towards the inst. After suffering intensely for ten days, she held tip her hands, with the nails showing death marks, and said, "See here, I am going now, glory to God! Yes, Jesus is coming for me. I shall soon be on the other side." ] said to her, "Ma, are you sure the way is all clear? Is everything under the blood?" She immediately replied, "Yes, darling, you will find me in the City of Light as sure as you live." She asked me to read her precious Bible to her, repeating, "In my Father's house are many mansions," etc., and sang,
"I know I am nearing the holy ranks,
Of friends and kindred dear;
For I Brush the dew on Jordan's banks,
The crossing must be near."
Then raising both hands above her head she clapped them together shouting, "Hallelujah, He has come. I am going to tell all my friends good-bye." She slept about two hours and was gone.