The Gospel 24/7
REFLECTED LIGHT -----------------------
---------------------REV. SAMUEL WALKER
From An Antique Book in Webmaster's Library - Editor Unknown
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To those who think aright,
'Tis but the racer casting off
What most impedes his flight;
'Tis but one little act,
Life's drama must contain;
One struggle keener than the rest,
And then, an end of pain.
" ‘There's no such thing as death'
That which is thus miscalled,
Is life escaping from the chains
That have so long enthralled;
'Tis a once hidden star,
Piercing the clouds of night,
To shine in gentle radiance forth
Amid its kindred light.
" ‘There's no such thing as death'
In nature, nothing dies;
From each sad remnant of decay
Some forms of life arise.
The faded leaf that falls
All sere and brown to earth,
Ere long will mingle with the shapes
That give the floweret birth.
" ‘There's no such thing as death;'
‘Tis but the blossom-spray,
Sinking before the coming fruit
That seeks the summer ray:
'Tis but the bud displaced,
As comes the perfect flower;
'Tis faith exchanged for sight,
And weariness for power."
"In the summer of the year 1751, Mr. Walker's illness assumed a character which plainly foretold that his end was near at hand. . . . But in all his trials he was supported and comforted.
. . . " ‘I have now,' he said, ‘no doubt respecting my state in Christ or respecting my future glory. Behold I am going down to the gates of the grave and holy angels wait for me. Why do you trouble yourselves and weep? Can you not rejoice with me? I am going to heaven. Christ died; my Lord! Oh! had I strength to express myself, I could tell you enough to make your hearts leap for joy. God is all love to me, and my trials are very slight.
The last struggles of expiring nature in this eminent servant of Christ, are represented to have been very severe, and were perhaps designed to display to those who witnessed them, the victory of faith over the sting death. In the midst of convulsions, spasms, and such a dreadful sensation in his heart, that it seemed, to use his own words, ‘to be tied round with thongs,' he maintained always a praying, patient, and sometimes an exultant spirit . . . He expressed the most rapturous foretaste of future bliss. Awaking from a doze, he seized the hand of his nurse, and said: ‘I have been upon the wings of the cherubim, heaven has been in a manner opened to me; I shall be soon there myself and am only sorry I can not take you with me.' He also observed to Mr. Burnet that if his strength allowed, he could tell him news which would rejoice his heart. ‘I have had,' he said, 'such views of heaven; but I can say no more.' These raptures were, however, qualified by the deepest humility.
"The state of Mr. Walker just before he died, is most satisfactorily described by Lord Dartmouth in a letter to their mutual friend, Mr. Rawlings. . . ‘Dear Mr. Walker is still alive, but so near the confines of the grave, that the only wish we can have left is for his speedy release. . . He opens not his mouth, but to utter some useful admonition and advice to those about him, or to declare his sense of the loving-kindness of the Lord, and his steadfast confidence in God his Saviour." " 'I know,' said he to me yesterday, "that when this earthly tabernacle shall be dissolved, I shall have a building of God, an house not made with bands, eternal in the heavens.' "
"Lord Dartmouth wrote to his friend, Sir Richard Hill, in these affecting terms: ‘Perhaps I may be the first to acquaint you with the happy release of our dear friend, Mr. Walker. He died in peace on Sunday morning, and was buried in Lewisham churchyard yesterday. His behaviour during the last stages of his illness was the same as you have seen it before; if I may not say that as his sufferings increased, his faith and patience increased also. Indeed as the outward man decayed, the inward man was renewed day by day. . . . What he did utter, was to praise the Lord for his mercies, and to express his entire confidence in his faithfulness and truth. His last breath was drawn without any struggle, and his countenance since his death is full of sweet composure and peace.' "