« AnteriorContinuar »
for the worse in his bodily health, and let me sit up in the bed, that I but the outward decay was accom- may hear better. A few verses from panied with increasing inward 1 John, v. were read to him. On strength. He said he had had being asked, if he knew what was much comfort, in the night, in re- meant by overcoming the world, flecting upon what had been read he answered, “ It is to believe in to him the evening before, and that Christ; to follow his works, and he had also thought much of the re- to forsake all sin. He appeared surrection. He awoke (his father to be very near death, and was said) at four o'clock in the morning asked, if he would exchange his singing hymns in a loud and clear present situation for one of earthvoice; and was full of conversa- ly prosperity or greatness. With tion, speaking as strongly, or more remarkable animation he exclaimso, than he ever did in his health. ed, 0 no! no! I would not exHe told his mother, that (except a change with a king, nor a thoulittle wine) he had no wish for any sand kings and kingdoms!' His thing in this world but for Mr. approaching dissolution being to come and read and pray with spoken of, under the idea of passhim, ' At another time, he said, ing the waters of Jordan, he said. ** It is great comfort for me to see “I am quite ready to pass over;' Mr. When he is praying and on part of Psalm xxiii. being and talking to me, I feel as if I read, he again repeated that verse; had no pain; and I try afterwards • Though I walk through the valto think over what he said, and to ley, &c.' 'Are you happy ? pray with my heart when I am in “ Yes, very happy!” too much pain to pray with my When my friend was about to lips. On one occasion being leave the room he manifested å asked if he felt comfort, he an- desire to inake a parting request, swered, “O) yes, Sir.” -“ Are though through weakness he could you ready to go to heaven ?”- scarcely make himself heard. « Yes, quite ready to depart.”— With the assistance of his mother, “ And are you willing to stay and his wish was interpreted. The suffer longer, if it be the will of request he had to make was, that God ?”_" O yes, quite willing to his little sister might be taken into stay. God's own time is the best the Sunday school. The friend retime!” He was now evidently ho- plied, that if it was his desire, an vering on the brink of eternity, and application should certainly be ready to take his flight. I was de- made to the ladies who conduct prived of the solemn gratification of the school. “ I do earnestly dewitnessing his last hours, by a call sire it,” he replied, “ in order that of duty requiring my absence from she may there be taught what is home. A friend who visited him right, and learn the way to heashortly before his departure, gives ven. On being told that, as bethe following account of the closing ing his dying request, there could interview.
be no doubt but it would be com: « On my entering the room,” says plied with, he replied, “ It is my the friend referred to, “he ap- dying request, and I do thank peared to wake up from a doze, you.” On taking leave of him, he uttering an ejaculation of surprise shook hands and smiled very afand pleasure at seeing a friend by fectionately, and in a few hours his bedside. He was much als afterwards his happy spirit went tered. After a few words, it was to its eternal home. proposed to read; and he said, The anxiety which he so evident* Let me have my medicine, that it ly manifested for the spiritual welmay stop the cough for me to hear; fare of those he left behind, is an
additional proof of bis having been this instance, and the attempt enmade a subject of divine grace; couraged, so one of the most effecand this evidence shone forth with tual means is pointed out, viz. that increasing brightness as he was of questioning them, in a simple entering into the dark valley, his familiar manner, respecting what last strength being employed (as they hear or read, and thus his father testifies) in offering up prompting them to be attentive, and fervent prayers for the Lord's bless- leading them to reflect and think ing to descend upon his parents and for themselves. Let no parent friends.
plead incapacity for such an underSuch was the happy end of little taking. The simplest questions are Benjamin. How forcibly does the the best; and in questioning your language and conduct of this dying children you will imperceptibly. child illustrate that of the Scripture; advance yourselves in the know“ Out of the mouth of babes and ledge of God's word. sucklings thou hast perfected The subject also conveys a strikpraise.” His case is replete with ing lesson to children and young instruction; but I will only beg persons. To such the case of little leave to point out two lessons Benjamin is calculated to be parwhich it inculcates. And in the ticularly impressive. It not only first place we may remark, that teaches them that they must die; the instance before us affords much but it teaches them in what way encouragement to parents and in- alone they can die happy. I pray structors. Benjamin's parent does you, my young friends, not to not appear to have any particular reckon upon length of days beability more than others, for the cause you are young, no, nor beinstruction of his children, neither cause you are well and lively, has he much time to devote to it, Little Benjamin was young and as having his bread to earn by his lively as yourselves a few months daily labour; but, through God's ago, and now he is laid in the blessing, his instructions, simple as grave! Do you say poor child? they may have been, were mani- No! happy child ! for he has exfestly useful to his dear little boy, changed a world of sin and sufferand truly consolatory to him must ing for a mansion of eternal blessbe the testimony of his dying child edness. Do you desire to be where that he had taught him as well as he is when you die ? Then you he could. Do you, my readers, must seek salvation in the way he desire, you that are parents, that sought it. Do not think that beif it should please God to take cause you go to church, and are from you one of your offspring, the in some respect's not so openly dying child may have to bear the wicked as some others, that therelike testimony for you? O then fore you must be going the right lay the foundation for sucli a testi- way to heaven. It has been almony, by doing all you can for the ready stated, that little Benjaspiritual benefit of your children. min was a remarkably dutiful wellHow awful will it be, if, when you behaved child; but he knew better stand by the dying bed of your than to think his goodness was children, or when they are called such as to deserve God's favour; to stand by yours, you have to he felt that though he had been reflect, I have taken abundant dutiful to his parents, yet he had pains to train up my child in the not loved and served God “ with ways of this world, but have taken all his heart, mind, soul, and no care to train him up for heaven. strength,” as he ought to have And as the duty of endeavouring done; and, therefore, he was deepto instruct children is enforced by ly humbled and sorry for not having loved and served God as he ought, One other thing. I particularly and he put his whole trust in Jesus beg you to imitate in little BenjaChrist, who died for sinners; and min : read your Bibles, and listen he prayed to God to give him a to what you hear at church; and new heart, and God heard his when you read or hear any thing prayers, and taught him by his holy which you cannot understand, ask Spirit, and strengthened him, so those who can instruct you. Thus, that he did not fear death, but through divine grace, you will inwas enabled to rejoice in the hope crease in spiritual wisdom as you of going to heaven. Now, if you advance in years. I pray God would live holy and die happy, like that the happy death of this dear little Benjamin, you must seek child may be the means of exciting unto God through Jesus Christ, as us all, both old and young, to give he did. You must pray to God to more earnest heed to those things give you a new heart and renew a which belong unto our everlasting right spirit within you; and, if you peace; that fleeing to the same do so, God will hear you and bless Saviour in whom this little child you and pardon all your sins for the found refuge, we may at length sake of Jesus Christ, and will fill attain to that glory of which he is your hearts with his love, and will the blissful partaker. inake you peaceful in life, joyful Bristol, Dec. 1824. in death, and blessed for ever.
T. F. J.
Friend after friend departs;
Who hath not lost a friend ?
That finds not here an end ;
Living nor dying none were blest.
Beyond the reign of death,
Where parting is unknown;
Formed for the good alone;
Till all are past away:
To pure and perfect day:
THE COTTAGE VISITOR.-No. II. “ The mild Religion from above by the scorching suns of fourscore
Descends, a sweet engaging form; summers, and his body, bent by the The messenger of heavenly love,
accumulated weight of years and The bow of promise in a storm!”
the bag which hung upon his back, I scarcely know of a more grate
was supported by a rough-hewn
staff'; in short, his whole appearful pleasure than unexpectedly
éance was such as to elicit venerato meet with a fellow-citizen of
tion and demand respect. that“ city which hath foundations,
“ Well, my good friend,” said I, whose builder and maker is God;"
as I came up with him, “ your it is like meeting with a rose when
burden appears to be troublesome.” the eye has long been wearied with
" Why, yes, Sir, 'tis rather thorns; and affords the best com
heavy, but I have borne many a mentary on the adınonition of St.'
heavier in my life-time.” Paul, “ Be not forgetful to enter
“ We have all,” I replied, “a tain strangers; for thereby some
burden to carry in the journey of have entertained angels unawares.”
life; and though some may be It was one fine evening in the
weightier than others, yet none month of August, as I was taking my accustomed walk, the sun had
are exempt from sorrow here be
low." just veiled his glories from the
“ That's true, Sir; but after all, world, and his last straggling rays
we have yet the heaviest within us.” were reflected in the waveless
“ Yes, indeed, John, the debosom of the riverthat rolled be
pravity of our hearts is the heaviest side the road, the stars were just beginning to resume their station in
burden we can possibly bear; but
1 you know there is one who can afford the mighty canopy above my head,
s rest to the 'weary and heavy laden.” and night was unfurling her sable
“ Ah, Sir! few have had greater mantle to hide for a while the scenes
trials than I have, but the blessed which surrounded me, and afford
Jesus has supported me under all. some cessation to daily toil, and a
“He is our best, our only friend,” season for welcome repose. I was
said I, “ amid all the trials of life; reminded of that verse in Gray's can
u vrays · A hiding place from the storm, incomparable Elegy,
and a covert from the tempest.” “Now fades the glimm’ring landscape on “I know it. Sir. I know it: I
the sight, And all the air a solemn stillness holds;
have ever found it so. “I have Sare where the beetle wheels his droning
been young and now am old, but flight,
he has never forsaken me. O, Sir! And drowsy tinklings lull the distant what a life should I have led had folds." ..
I never known the blessed Jesus ! I had already extended my walk I have had little more than trouble to a more than ordinary length, here; but I look forward to the and was hastily retracing my steps, time when I shall be with Jesus, when I overtook an aged traveller, and sin no more.” whom I instantly recognized as “ It is this prospect,” said I, John . I had frequently seen “ which reconciles the Christian to him; but living at some distance every trial that he is called to enfrom me, I had heard, and con- dure; he knows that his sorrow is sequently knew, but little of the forerunner of bliss, and that him. He was a venerable looking even his afflictions are “ working old man, his cheeks were furrowed out for him a far more exceeding, by age, his linibs tottered with and an eternal weight of glory." infirmity, his locks were bleached Thus we continued conversing to
gether till we reached a bye-lane, of the cottage displayed the same which he informed me led to his cleanliness that graced the exterior; cottage; “ Farewell, John,” said I, and the order and regularity of the as he grasped my hand, “ our whole, sufficiently evinced that journey together for the present industry was the presiding genius must close; but in that bright world of the place. to which we go,
“Well, my good friend,” said I,
“I am come to see you, as I pro“ Adieus and Farewells are a sound un
: mised.” known.”
“ Ah, Sir! it's very good of you No sooner had I parted from to visit such humble folks as we.” my companion, than I was sur- . “ Wby if we are fellow-members prised upon noticing the change that of the family of heaven, there is a few niinutes had produced; the not much difference between us.” glories of the departed sun no said I, as I seated myself at his longer illuminated the west, not a side. star twinkled in the heavens, and To a mind that knows the value the dense clouds that gathered of the Gospel and has felt its power, above me seemed to portend a there is something exceedingly rising storm. It is even so, thought pleasing and instructive, in conI, in our pilgrimage through this versing with an aged follower of world of tribulation ? our prospects the Lamb, who after having enare alternately bright and cloudy; dured the conflicts, the trials, and meeting and parting, pleasure and the woes of this probationary state, disappointment, make up the sum is daily anticipating his release from of our earthly portion; well may it the fetters of humanity, and a joybe said, “ he builds too low who ful flight to his eternal inheritance. builds beneath the clouds.”
Religion dignifies the decline of Soon after this I paid a visit to the life; sheds a ray of honour around old man. His cottage is situated in the hoary head, and almost elevates a little dell about three miles from the soul to heaven, while its wornD- ; it had nothing to recommend out tenement is gradually returning it but its cleanliness, and shewed to its original clay ; in such a mothat its tenant had little more than ment, when the voice, enfeebled by the necessaries of life; but to me it age, and stammering with infirmity. was valuable as the residence of an expresses the happiness of his heir of glory; one who was destined soul, and the security of his hopes. to swell the chorus of the skies, O who does not feel the value of and hymn an everlasting hallelujah religion? who does not present the of praise “ to him that sits upon petition of Balaam, “ Let me die the throne, and to the Lamb for the death of the righteous, and let ever and ever.” Immediately upon my last end be like his ? my entrance, I was recognized by “ If you remember,” said I, the good old man, and welcomed after some previous conversation. with unfeigned delight; he oecu- “ as we were walking together, you pied an arm chair much older than hinted that few had met with greater himself, his dog lay at his feet; trials than you had; I should be opposite to him was seated his much gratitied by hearing a short daughter busily employed about sketch of your life.” some needlework; she was the only “ Ah, Sir, I can say with good support of his age, and the sickly old Jacob, few and evil have hue that played upon her counte- the days of the years of my life nance gave too much reason to been;' but Jacob's God has been apprehend that, “ the place which my God, he has never left nor now knew her, would soon know forsaken me.". her no more for ever.” The inside