The Gospel 24/7
From An Antique Book in Webmaster's Library - Editor Unknown
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The hope of glory shone;
Joy breath'd in thy expiring sigh,
To think the fight was won.
Gently the passing spirit fled,
Sustained by grace divine."
Angels, rejoice!-- let us shout as we fly,
Songs of thanksgiving to God and the Son!
Hark! there are voices responding on high:
Welcome, they say, to the rest thou hast won.
Brighter and brighter the glory appears;
Louder and richer the music of bliss;
Never before were such sounds in my ears,
Never before saw I vision like this. --Mrs. Evans.
"The quiet chamber where the Christian sleeps,
And where from year to year he prays and weeps;
Whence in the midnight watch his thoughts arise
To those bright mansions where his treasure lies,--
How dear it is to all his faith can see!
Yes, for that bliss unspeakable, unseen,
Is ready, and the veil of flesh between
A gentle sigh may rend, and then display T
he broad, full splendor of an endless day."
"Having come to Rossdhu in May, . . . she was obliged to return to Edinburg for medical advice almost immediately.
"On the 29th of September, when out walking, she was overtaken in a shower, and obliged to seek shelter under a tree. She herself, apprehended no injury, and smiled at the excessive caution of her family in sending out cloaks and shawls. Next morning, however, she complained of sore throat and fever; but though that morning she appeared at the breakfast-table, and for two days continued to go about and converse with her usual cheerfulness, she evidently grew worse, and before Sabbath, the 4th of October, she had taken to that bed from which again she was never to rise.
"On that first Sabbath of her illness, one of the servants, to whom she had often spoken on the concerns of her soul, came into the room and, after saying a few kind words to her, Lady Colquhoun offered to pray with her as she had frequently done in other days. The brief but touching prayer will not readily be forgotten by her on whose behalf it was offered, all the rather that every utterance had now become an exertion. To one of her family that day she said, emphatically, 'Christ is all my salvation and all my desire. I hope for salvation in nothing but Christ.'
"At an early period of her illness she sent for Sir James, desiring to speak to him alone. She told him that before she became too ill she wanted to give directions about her funeral; that she did not wish to have any one invited but her nearest relatives, and that it should be quite private. She then sent for her youngest son, and with perfect composure told him her apprehension as to the result, adding, 'I die at the foot of the cross.' Next day she gave her youngest son directions regarding certain charities, one of which was, that the sum she had paid for the education of a theological student should be continued till his college course was ended. 'I see,' she said, 'that you are affected; but you will pay attention to my wishes, as I have not left them as bequests in my will.' She then subjoined, with earnestness, 'Christ is my portion; and, oh! what a portion! Seek that portion'
"From her first seizure she herself seemed to have only one impression regarding the issue. About a week after its commencement she said to one of the household, 'Mrs. L--, I am convinced that this illness is to end in death; and I have just one hope-- only one-- and that is, the finished work of Christ.' On her attendant expressing a hope that she might recover, she answered, 'Oh, no I And for me to live would be Christ, but to die will be gain-- unspeakable gain !' and then, after a short prayer, she musingly added, 'And shall I see him as he is-- so soon? And shall I join the redeemed around the throne? Overwhelming thought!' The next day,-- and it was the only one she so complained,-- she spoke as if under a cloud, and requested that these words might be read to her (Isaiah 43:1-3), 'Fear not, for I have redeemed thee: I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee; and through the rivers they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the holy one of Israel, thy Saviour.' But after this she seemed to be no more disturbed, often saying, 'What a blessing it is that the enemy is kept away.' And from her lips were constantly dropping such expressions as, 'I know that my Redeemer liveth.' 'I cannot praise him as I would; but I shall yet praise him in perfection; yes, through all eternity!'
"Two lovely features of Christian character were observable during this illness: a sweet acquiescence in the will of God and a constant mindfulness of others. * *
"To her the word of God was by this time everything. Such texts as Isaiah 32:2, John 14:27, 27, and 17:24, Romans 7:32-39, were cordials which her spirit drank in when it cared for nothing else. That passage in Romans was the last to which she listened, and it is interesting, to know that it was the last which was read to her beloved sister Hannah. And though it was an effort to speak much, it seemed to make the effort less if it were some 'tried word' that she was quoting. * *
"Turning to her daughter with a look of in ineffable fondness, she repeated, ' "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee."'
"About seven clays before her departure, she sent for all the servants, and spoke to them separately on the things of their eternal peace. To one she said, 'Mary, you will soon lose me. Your day may not be so near, but it is coming-- see that you have an interest in Christ before then; for what would I do to-day without him? Mary, do not forget me; and remember all I have told you; and be sure that you attend to the preaching of the word. I benefited much from that in my own youthand thank you for all that you have done for me.'
"To another she said, 'Look at me, a poor, helpless creature, and don't put off preparing for eternity till you come to a death-bed.' . . . And great as was the exertion to her wasted frame, so intent was she on addressing a word of kindness and parting counsel to every one of them, that, having missed one of the men-servants, she sent a messenger to bring him. She had something suitable for each, and no one was overlooked.
"What else transpired within the precincts of that hallowed chamber must be told in the words of filial affection, She now felt as if her work were done. At the same time she declared that she renounced all dependence on anything she had ever performed, as her best was altogether sinful; adding, 'Christ is my hope, should be my motto. I rely entirely on his finished work.' To myself she said, 'My death will do more good than my life could do; for it will show you more forcibly than anything that can happen, the vanity of earthly things.' After expressing in strong terms how much she felt in leaving me behind, she said, 'I wish I could take you with me; but God can make up my loss to you.' * *
"On the evening of the 20th she took an affectionate leave of her eldest and youngest sons. She thanked my eldest brother for all his kindness to her, particularizing some of her obligations to him, and then she gave each of them her last blessing, adding, 'I hope to meet you all at the right hand of the Judge.'
* * "That morning, the 21st, I found her quiet and apparently free from pain, though evidently going home. Her eyes were closed, but she was not asleep; for when I spoke she threw her arms around my neck and embraced me affectionately. It was my mother's last embrace. She then said to me, 'My Sarah, I have not given you my blessing. I pray that God may bless you with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.'
"So gentle, so imperceptible was her release that for some time we could scarcely believe that she was really gone. She was not, for God took her; and after death her countenance retained the peaceful, tranquil look it had worn while living. It was on Wednesday, October 21, 1856, that her shining path thus merged in perfect day."