The Gospel 24/7
From An Antique Book in Webmaster's Library - Editor Unknown
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As the cold waters rose,
And feared lest o'er him surging,
The murky stream should close;
But calmly and unshrinking,
The billowy path he trod,
And cheer'd by Jesus' presence,
Pass'd o'er the raging flood.
On yonder shore to greet him,
I saw a shining throng;
Some just begun their praising,
Some had been praising long;
With joy they bade him welcome,
And struck their harps again,
While through the heavenly arches
Peal'd the triumphal strain.
Now in a robe of glory,
And with a starry crown,
I see the weary pilgrim
With kings and priests sit down;
With prophets, patriarchs, martyrs,
And saints a countless throng,
He chants his great deliverance
In never-easing song."
"Of Mr. Miner, missionary to Africa, who died at Cavalla the 29th of May, 1843, aged 29 years, we have the following interesting account: 'On one occasion he remarked, "Prayer is sweet-- we ought to pray more. Were we more earnest for ourselves, our interpreters, and our people, we should be more successful. "
" ' He frequently expressed a sense of his unworthiness and unprofitableness, declaring the atonement of Christ to be the only ground of his acceptance before God. In the course of conversation on this point he said, " Oh, Doctor, I am a sinner, a sinner saved by grace." Soon after this, waking from sleep, he said, "I had sweet thoughts of Christ-- Oh!! he is my Saviour." Usually he left it with me to suggest the points of request in prayer, but on one occasion he said, "Pray that I may have patience."
" 'At one time he seemed to have considerable anxiety about the continuance and prosperity of his station in case of his immediate death, and affectingly asked, " Who will take my place?" I could only say, "God will provide-- can you not leave it to him?" He did not refer to the subject again.
* * * " 'His disease was peculiarly obstinate, and on one occasion I informed him if it did not soon yield he must die. He replied, "Let it be as God directs. I have no desire to live, but to benefit others." . . . . The calmness and peace of mind before apparent were still undisturbed. I asked him again respecting his hopes of salvation, in view of his present nearness to eternity. His reply was of the same tenor. Faith in the atonement of Christ was the doctrine he had preached-- that by which he had lived, and that upon which his soul rested, now that he was about to die. Previously, he had requested the frequent prayers of his brethren; but from this time he became absorbed in the exercise himself. I asked him to remember in big supplications the mission and his associates, and myself in particular. He replied in an emphatic manner, "I have-- I do." I called big attention to the propriety of now making any additional requests that he might desire to leave. He repeated. those he had made before, and added, "I have put my house in order-- I am ready to die" --and after a pause-- "Where I die, there let me be buried." Desiring to know what his views were, at this solemn moment, of our operations, I said, " What do you now say of the work? Shall it go forward?" He immediately replied, "What! the mission? Yes," with strong emphasis; "Let it go forward more than it has ever done."
" 'His voice, naturally strong, had retained its force in a remarkable degree; but getting perceptibly weaker, he became disinclined to more effort in speaking or moving than was necessary. He was evidently in close communion with God on eternal things. On one occasion he was heard to say within himself, " Away now all worldly thoughts, all vain words;" and audibly prayed for his mother, brothers and sister, and her children, that they might be given to God and his church.
" 'Death was upon him. I now asked if Christ was still as near and as precious as he had so often proved him to be. "Oh, yes, if I know my own heart," was his answer. Then, after a pause, he said, with fervor, "Jesus, my master, is near-- he is very near-- now he is especially gracious." A few moments of silence ensued, he then added, " Oh! I am dying," trying, as it seemed, to realize the awful fact in all its momentousness. " Tell mother that my Saviour is now very near."
" 'He continued two or three hours after this, and in prayer as much as his symptoms would permit, calmly awaiting his summons into the presence of his God.He turned over on his left side unassisted, and said audibly, distinctly, and with increasing energy as he spoke, " I am dying-- farewell, mother-- farewell, sister-- farewell, brethren of the ministry." He then bade farewell to his wife, and added, "Farewell, brethren, I have never regretted coming to Africa, farewell." . . . He then ceased to speak, and in a few moments more breathed forth his spirit into the hands of Him who gave it. So calmly and silently did he expire, and so little changed in death, that I was at a loss for a time to know whether he had indeed departed.
" 'Thus died our first fellow-missionary. He had "fought a good fight," and had finished his course with joy. "Tell my mother," he said, "that I die not only willingly, but joyfully."
" 'On Thursday, Warra Hobah, alias Alexander Griswold, an African convert, thus evidenced the blessed result of the work of the servants of Christ, on whom he had bestowed the gracious assistance of the Holy Spirit. On Thursday he appeared near his end, and often prayed aloud in a firm and clear voice. " Oh, Lord, forgive me all my sins, for Jesus' sake." I again asked if he was willing to die. He said, "I ask not to die; if it please God to take me, I am ready to go; I am not afraid to die." I said, "Is God with you now ?" "Yes, he is always with me. Tell the school-boys that I am an, example to them; that they, too, must die, and stand before God in judgment." "What shall I tell your father?" "Tell him praise the Lord, Oh, my father; honor him and worship him always; cast away all your gree-grees, and worship him alone." About two hours before he breathed his last, he made a great effort to collect his thoughts, and prayed in such a tone, and with such earnestness as I never heard before. The burden of his prayer was "his poor country-people and himself, and the love of Christ in saving us from the fire that never can be quenched." When just ready to depart, he was asked, "'What would you do without Jesus?" He said, " I should be a miserable creature-- I should be lost." These were his last words.' "