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been—and she made no pretensions to confidence in the Saviour. His finished exemption from failings — were more work and righteousness was her only fully and more readily acknowledged hope, her only plea. “His precious by herself than by any one I have person, his precious atonement, his heard speak of her : others who have precious intercession,” were terms freknown her longer, but not more inti- quently on her lips : these refer to mately than myself, may be able to truths which are the life, power, and specify them. Whatever I have heard happiness of the Christian on earth, imputed to her, may be summed up in and which will form the theme of the one sentence and we must remember Christian's exultation in heaven. But the whole of the illustrious dead, whose I must close this hasty sketch by dwellnames are inscribed on that mural ing for a moment or two on her last tablet, are equally implicated in the hours, and dying experience of a Sacharge, viz.—too strong an attachment viour's love. to the work they had at heart in India On Tuesday, March 2nd, I received -an all-absorbing and unconquerable a note from Mr. Marshman, informing love to Serampore. They have carried me that a sudden change had taken it with them to the grave : may it place, with every appearance of danger. cleave to their memories for ever! I went immediately to the house, and Their lives, their time, their talents, found her somewhat revived, but extheir earnings, their influence were tremely weak. Her countenance was given to its accomplishment, the best serene, and though her voice was feeble, proof of their sincerity, as was touch- her articulation and mental powers ingly referred to by Mr. Leslie, while were unimpaired. She addressed me standing on the margin of their graves : in her accustomed manner, and said she —“Here they gave their lives, and here would not be long in this world. After are their tombs.”
speaking to me for a little while, Mr. One feature in our dear friend's cha- Marshman and her medical attendant racter must not be omitted : in fact it came into the room. I said to Mrs. characterized the whole period from her Voigt I would withdraw silently and illness to her departure-I mean the return in about an hour. I did so. spirit of prayer. Till very recently, On my return Mrs. Marshman said, how regularly did she attend our ser- Why did you go away this afternoon ? vices, especially our Thursday morning I explained the reason. She said, Well meeting for prayer-at half-past seven --and proceeded to speak of her reo'clock! This she did after she had moval, and of her trust in the Redeemer: entered her 80th year. And when she thought a few hours before, the unable to do so, which was about De- world and all its scenes would have cember last, how anxiously did she closed upon her. She recurred to her inquire about the services, and after early experience, and “ the great searchthe welfare of individuals of our circle. ings of heart” which preceded her With her of late it was literally “ prayer consecration to God. At her request I without ceasing,” and in every thing— read the forty-second Psalm: she “thankfulness and praise.” The cause ejaculated the words I read in the lanof such serene and holy solace, with guage of prayer. After commending her the perfect apprehension of approaching to God I left her, not knowing whether dissolution-for she frequently dwelt on I should see her again. It was on this her departure, that it was at hand occasion that she fervently prayed for arose from her entire and unreserved her children, for the church and congre
gation meeting here, for her neighbours,, would prove that even in this land and European and native—for the young on the banks of this idolatrous river, people, minister, schools—emphatically which to men in his day was all but and distinctly. Dear friends, shall fable - such a thought would have those prayers be lost-shall they have cheered him in his gloomy prison.” no influence shall they rise in judg- “Would have cheered him ?" she rement against you ?
joined, fixing her eyes upon me, “it The following morning Mrs. Denham did cheer him. But I am near the called : she appeared a little better. river he describes. On that I may be The substance of the conversation I landed safely !" “But there are no have given already. She dwelt par- fears, mamma ?” “No child, no fears. ticularly on her mother's kind in- He has said, Fear not, I am with thee ; structions and death. About 5 P. M. be not dismayed, I am thy God; I will I called. On entering the room she strengthen thee, I will help thee. He appeared to be in deep thought; her is able to save to the uttermost every countenance bore indications of peace one who cometh unto God by him ; ful repose. I stood for a moment or whosoever cometh he will in no wise two looking at her. When she observed cast out.” Looking at me, she said, me, she extended her hand and pointed “ Should you say anything to the to a chair by her bed. A few words people about me, after my removal, were interchanged ; and she repeated a speak from those words which have verse of a hymn which, I regret to say, been made so precious to me: 'He sent I do not remember. She paused, and from above, he took me and drew me in a firm and audible tone uttered several out of many waters :' but read where stanzas appropriate to her present Christian passes the river.” I did so. state and expectations. She ceased, That which seemed to affect her most and I inquired, “ Whose verses
was the part where Christian begins to those ?" Mrs. Voigt said, Olney, sink and Hopeful encourages him. To mamma ?” as she was particularly describe to you the exquisite feelings I attached to Cowper's hymns. “No, I experienced while reading to her, when committed them to memory before I her own feet were just dipped within the was eighteen years of age : it was a waters of the river is utterly impossible. time of mercy to me.” She again re- We were talking just as Bunyan deferred to this favoured period, and scribes Christian and Hopeful to have dwelt upon the exercises of her mind. talked. Though a dream, it was no “ It was then,” said she, “that Bunyan's lunger a similitude: the scene, the cirPilgrim was made so useful to me.” cumstances were real, were all but Mrs. Voigt having for a moment left the identical. As I read I paused, for she room, she now re-entered, and Mrs. occasionally spoke on the circumstances Marshman said, “Where is Bunyan's recorded. When I came to the words, Pilgrim ?” Mrs. Voigt took it down and and after that they shut the gates ; placed it in my hand. Mrs. Marshman which when I had seen, I wished myself looked at the book and said, “How among them,” she fervently ejaculated wonderful that that book should have the words. I looked at her, and inbeen made so useful!" I replied, “A wardly said, “May I die the death of native Christian had recently told me the righteous : may my last end be like his heart leaped for joy whenever he hers !" read it ; adding, had Bunyan, when in At her wish we turned to Christian's gaol, known how extensively useful it removal and the remaining characters.
That of Standfast and his last words / terrors. In the language of David it is appeared to interest her greatly. “This indeed a “shadow.” Death for her river hath been a terror to many." had no sting-over her the grave claims When I came to the words, “Now while no victory. The thread of life was he was thus in his discourse his counte- broken and we knew it not. The spirit nance changed ; his strong man bowed had winged its flight; the separation under him ;" after he had said, “Take was painless, stingless—without a groan! me for I come unto thee." Just We looked-her head rested on her here her death-like countenance, daughter's bosom, but her spirit stood yet só serene, greatly affected us. I spotless before the throne of God! could read no more. I knelt down and
“ Call not the mourners when the Christian dies, prayed that her feet like his might
While angels shout glad welcomes to the skies; stand fast in that dread hour.
Mourn rather for the living dead on earth, This was my last conversation. I
Who nothing care for the celestial birth. saw her once again but the interview
Death to the bedside came his prey to bold;' was brief. Her time was at hand. To
All he could touch was but the earthly mould:
This to its native ashes men convey ; her and kindred spirits death has no The freed soul rises to eternal day."
THE HAPPY MOURNERS.
BY THE REV. J. J. DAVIES.
“ Blessed are they that mourn."
How true it is that God judgeth not, afiction was the school in which it as man judgeth! When our friends was most apt to thrive ; and yet in prosper, when their comforts increase, every age of the world men have when their sources of enjoyment mul- coveted prosperity more than righteoustiply, we present our gratulations, we ness, and have dreaded affliction more surround them with smiles, we load than sin. The wisest of men, speaking them with benedictions, and give utter under the influence of inspiration, has ance to varied feelings of delight and said, “it is better to go to the house of pleasure. But Jesus, who came into mou
ourning than to the house of feasting." the world to enlighten and to save And how frequently have you found this mankind, and who ever taught the way to be true. In scenes of amusement of God in truth, when he appeared and pleasure you have often experienced surrounded by the multitudes who a momentary gratification, but you have flocked to hear him as the great Prophet derived from them no permanent or real whom God had raised up amongst his good : indeed, you have retired from people, said, “Blessed are they that them with a mind less pure, and a heart mourn."
more sad. But in the house of mournThe dictates of reason and the deci- ing you have sometimes been deeply sions of religion have alike condemned, impressed with the vanity of the world, for the most part, the habits and the with the utter insufficiency of all pursuits of men. Some of the wisest earthly things to afford solid satisfacof the heathen observed that prosperity tion and lasting enjoyment; your heart often proved the snare of virtue, while has been rendered more tender, and
your mind more devout; and as you | natural that we should mourn.
In have withdrawn from the scene of itself this sorrow is neither good nor. sorrow you have said, “it is better to evil ; it is not necessarily sinful, neither go to the house of mourning than to does it necessarily partake of a religious the house of feasting.”
character ; it is often found unconnected. It was not in ignorance of the real with any spiritual emotion, and unpronature of sorrow that our Lord uttered ductive of any fruit of righteousness. the words now under our consideration. And there is a sorrow which is as He knew what it was to mourn. He sinful and destructive as it is deep and was pre-eminently the man of sorrows. distressing, a sorrow which is as fatal in He was above all others acquainted its consequences as it is painful in itself; with grief. He challenges the attention it is “the sorrow of the world which of the world, saying, “Is there any worketh death." The sorrow of some sorrow like unto my sorrow ?” Seldom men is sinful in its source. Some mourn did his friends who were most con- because they cannot accomplish a sinful stantly with him see the smile of joy purpose. Thus “Ahab came to his play on his benignant countenance; house heavy and displeased because of but they frequently heard from him the word which Naboth the Jezreelite the sigh of sorrow, and they often saw had spoken unto him ; for he had said, his eye filled with the big and bitter I will not give thee the inheritance of tear. And yet, with tears in his own my fathers : and he laid him down eyes does he say, “Blessed are ye that his bed, and turned away his face, and
While drinking himself would eat no bread.” Some mourn in the сир of sorrow,
he presents to others a spirit of vexation, because they have the cup of consolation, saying, “ Blessed been induced or compelled to do right. are they that mourn, for they shall be So Pharaoh was grieved because he had comforted.”
let the children of Israel go; and he What is the mourning of which the and his servants said, “Why have we Redeemer speaks in this passage ? done this, that we have let Israel go what are the tears which Jesus wipes from serving us ?” The sorrow of away? who are the mourners whom he others is alike sinful and fatal in its comforts? It is evident that our Lord consequences. Thus Ahithophel when he does not speak here of every kind of “saw that his counsel was not taken, mourning. There are mourners who gat him home to his house, and put his have no joys and no hopes ; of whom household in order, and hanged himself.” it cannot be said that they are blessed, But it is time that we inquire more and to whom it cannot be promised that particularly what is the mourning which they shall be comforted. Alas! there our Lord pronounces happy ?—who are. are who mourn and murmur ; who the mourners to whom he promises that repine and die ; but who will not come they shall be comforted ? The mourning to Christ that they may have life and of which our Lord speaks is very closely peace.
connected with the spiritual poverty . There is much mourning which is mentioned in the preceding. verse ; our simply natural; there is nothing views of the one will necessarily reguspiritual in it. It has no reference late our views of the other; and if we whatever to sin, to the soul, or to God. have judged rightly of the poor in When in adversity, or sickness, when spirit to whom is promised the kingnearing the waters of dissolution, or dom of heaven, we cannot fail to form a when watching a dying friend, it is correct judgment of the mourners who
are truly blessed, and who shall as- pline with which we are exercised in suredly be comforted. The poor in the present state of being. Their spirit, are those who are conscious of design is, and such is their obvious their inward poverty and destitution; tendency, to humble us and to prove who feel the greatness and the urgency of us, to lead to serious reflection and their spiritual wants; and who, sensible to earnest prayer. “In their afflicthat they have nothing in themselves, tion they will seek me early.” And come to the infinite fulness which is such, in many instances, has been the treasured up in Jesus Christ, and “buy” happy effect. You were at ease in your cirof him all they need, “ without money cumstances, you were filled with your and without price.” And the happy prosperity, and were unconcerned about mourners are those who sorrow after the future ; but storms which you little a godly sort ;" whose sorrow springs anticipated overtook you, losses overfrom a sense of their destitution, and whelmed you, sickness seized you, death leads to repentance; and whose repent- visited your abode, and removed from ance issues in eternal life. These are you the object of your tenderest lore. the mourners whose tears God will wipe This led you to the Bible, to the house away. They are the subjects of that of prayer, to the throne of grace : your "godly sorrow which worketh repent- ruin was your recovery ; your undoing ance unto salvation, not to be repented saved you ; sickness led to your spiritual
health ; and the death of that beloved All who are in affliction and trouble friend was the means of your eternal are not included amongst the happy life. Many have said with the Psalmist, mourners. There are who despise the “It is good for me that I have been chastening of the Lord, and refuse to afflicted ; before I was afflicted I went receive correction. They are the more astray, but now have I kept thy law." obdurate for the discipline with which Thus it was with Manasseh : the inthey are exercised, the more rebellious struction which he had received in his for the means which are used to subdue youth, and the example of his pious and reclaim them. Thus God appeals father had been lost upon him, or the complainingly to his ancient people, recollection of them served only to “Wherefore should you be stricken any hurry him on to greater excesses of more? ye will revolt yet more and more.” depravity. He was often admonished, And if there are some who despise the but he refused to hearken ; he grew chastening of the Lord, there are others worse and worse; but at length he exwho faint when they are rebuked of changed the palace for the prison, and him. When their difficulties increase, the insignia of royalty for the chain when their afflictions multiply, they are and sorrows of the captive. overwhelmed, they sink not only into when he was in affliction he besought despondency, but to despair, and some- the Lord his God, and humbled himself times act in the spirit of the wretched greatly before the God of his fathers, counsel, “ Curse thy God and die.” and prayed unto him ; and he was They know only “the sorrow of the entreated of him, and heard his suppliworld which worketh death."
cation, and brought him again to JeruThe mourning of which the Saviour salem into his kingdom. Then Maspeaks may commence in seasons of nasseh knew that the Lord he was God.” affliction, or it may be increased by cir Afflictions have frequently proved the cumstances of trial. Afflictions consti- means not only of awakening this godly tute an important part of the disci- sorrow in those who had before been