The Gospel 24/7
From An Antique Book in Webmaster's Library - Editor Unknown
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They have opened the gates of the sky;
A spirit hath soared to the mansions of love,
And seeks for admittance on high.
And friends long divided are hastening to meet,
In a land where no sorrow can come;
And the seraphs are eager a sister to meet,
And to welcome the child to its home.
There is bliss, there is bliss at the foot of the throne,
See the spirit all purified bend;
And it beams with delight, since it gazes above
On the face of a Father, a Friend!
Then it joins in the anthems forever that rise,
All its frailty and folly forgiven;
It is dead to the earth and new-born to the skies,
And this is the portion of heaven."
March 2, 1848. -- Her exhaustion was so great that she thought death was approaching. The next day when a little recovered, she said, "I thought it must surely be death; it was a solemn moment0-- a solemn moment indeed, but I was not agitated: I felt even then that I had nothing to do but to commit myself to Christ, and it seemed quite easy and natural to do so." . . . As she had for several months been denied the privilege of partaking of the Lord's Supper, she wished to have it administered to her privately, in communion with her own family and a few chosen friends. . . . The delight she experienced from the refreshment of soul, and the sensible enjoyment of her Saviour's presence at the celebration of this feast of love, was much increased by the addition to the number of its guests, for the first time, of two of her servants, one of whom attributed her decision, to the exhibition of the power of religion to sustain and cheer in the hour of sickness, which she had witnessed in her beloved mistress. When asked what arrangements she wished to be made, she answered, "Let that be left to Mr. Clayton, but there are two parts of the communion service which I should like to hear again; the prayer commencing, 'We do not presume to come to this Thy table trusting in our own righteousness;' and the anthem beginning, 'Therefore with angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven,' and 'Glory be to God on high,'" etc.; she added, "I hope all will join-- I will, if I am able," and this she did in as audible a whisper as her weakness would allow. Her countenance was lighted with the sunshine of heaven, and she seemed (as she said after the service concluded) as though she was but echoing the joyous notes of the angels and the spirits of the just made perfect.
April 19. --An old friend and former playfellow called to take leave of her; in childhood and youth had spent many, many happy days together, and the sight of him filled her eyes with tears: but she soon recovered, and said, "Oh, J_________, tears are not often seen in my eyes, but I am weak in body and mind now, I am scarcely able to speak to you; but I shall soon be where my tongue will be unloosened, and I shall serve my God without weakness either of soul or body. Mind you meet me there." Then giving him "Christ on the cross" as a parting memorial, she added, "The cross of Christ is all my support and hope. Oh, that I had a tongue to urge all to seek refuge there! Is it not a comfort to feel the sting of death removed?" The intelligent and manly traveller whom she thus pointedly addressed, was quite overcome, giving evidence by his emotion, that neither her words nor manner of uttering them had been lost on him. . . . When he was gone, she said "I did not convey half my meaning-- I wanted to exalt my Master more." 21st was Good Friday; when she awoke, seeing her nurse standing by her bedside, she said, " Oh, this is a memorable day-- our blessed Saviour was crucified for us on this day. By his death he has taken away the sting of death from me and now it is a pleasure to look forward to it. . . . Who says that religion is not a reality? Oh, if they had enjoyed the precious promises of God, the assurance of the forgiveness of sins, and the certainty of dwelling forever in a house not made with hands eternal in the heavens, because purchased by my Redeemer's blood, and prepared by his glorious residence-- as I have done this day-- they would say as I can, "That which we have seen with our eyes and our hands have handled, declare we unto you."
29th was a day in which extreme weakness was experienced. When she heard the voice of her youngest child she called her, and had her placed for a moment on her knees. Looking at her with inexpressible tenderness, she said, "Mamma is going to heaven-- will my precious child meet me there?" The dear little creature replied with energy, "Yes, mamma." The answer awoke strong emotion, and prevented her from saying more.
She said, "Read to me about Abraham and his seed that I may feel encouraged about my precious children." "Yes, there is my hope. 'I will be a God to thee and thy children after thee.' Surely he has been a God to me. Who but he could have borne with me and helped me till now? I will trust him for mine. He never will ill forsake me." Her countenance, beautiful even in death, was lighted with a smile that looked rather like the joy we conceive illuminates the soul emerging from the cold stream of death, as a dreaded event that was over, than of one who was looking forward to it, as just at hand. It was not only a smile in death, it was a smile at death. . . . The Sun of Righteousness in cloudless splendor shone upon her soul, which reflected his beams, in that-- I repeat-- most heavenly smile that I ever saw upon the countenance of any human being in life or death. She seemed standing within the precincts of glory. Could such a scene as this be witnessed in public-- as it must be witnessed to be known, for no words can describe it-- Christianity would, we would suppose, then appear to all men a divine reality. * * * * *
She took her husband's hand, saying, "Thirteen years of more bliss has been granted to us than ordinarily falls to the lot of most, even of the children of God; we have bad much to do for Christ, and that has made us happy; we have talked of his grace; united in his ordinances, and loved his service; my work, feeble as it has been, is done, but yours-- the Lord lengthens your term for the sake of my babes! may it be extensive. Forgive a wife if with her dying breath she say, preach Christ and his salvation more fully, more conspicuously, more feelingly than ever. It has been your aim, I know, to exalt him all your life; but let your remaining efforts in the pulpit extol him and make him very high. I am sure I am very near death, and fearing I may not be able to speak when he comes, it has comforted me to tell you my heart. Do not weep-- cheer up; Christ your Master will give you strength and grace, and we shall meet after a few short years, to dwell in the full blaze of glory and immortality." . . . "What now, when earth is vanishing," it was asked, "is your sole-dependance for acceptance with God at the great day ?" " Only the perfect and finished righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ."
Simply to the cross I cling."
On Thursday, May 18, 1848, in the forty-second year of her age, she fell asleep in Jesus. -- "Memoirs of Mrs. Sherman." "The Pastor's Wife."