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but then immediately, as if correcting herself, she lift up both her hands, and looking up, with great cheerfulness in her eyes, she cried, "This pain is nothing, joy, heaven!" which were the last words I heard her speak.
The first sight we had of that strange transport in her, which was about six o'clock that morning, had an effect upon me more than upon herself. It lit. erally turned our mourning into joy; for she expressed herself with that liveliness and assurance, as forced her husband and other relations to express their joy likewise; and what tears there were, were of joy and astonishment. I remember, while she was describing to us the blessedness she had seen, she took notice of her sister weeping by her, and turning to her, took her kindly by the hand, and said, "What do you do? Don't you believe me?" "Yes," said her sister, "I do." "No," said she, "you don't; for if you did, you would not cry. Indeed, indeed, I tell you nothing but what I have seen, and what is true."
The first impression I had of this strange sight was, that it was a delirium or lightness in the head: I had a mind to try the sincerity of it all the ways I could. She had all along, during her sickness, expressed an uneasiness at dying, and was very desirous to live, with due submission to the will of God. After the first expression of her transport, I said, "God has been very gracious to you, and he may do more still." "More," said she, "what can be more?" "He may restore you again to your perfect health, though, in
human appearance, there is no prospect of it." "I know that," said she and stretching out her arm, which was skin and bone," He that made these bones may put flesh upon them again, if he pleases." "But
do you desire it," said I; “shall we pray for it with submission to his will ?" " Hold," said she; then musing a while, said, "let me see; I am now in the flower of my age, going in my thirtieth year; I have a kind husband, good children, and loving friends, and plenty enough in the world, I want nothing: are not these all the reasons any one can have to wish to live? And I was very desir. ous to live, if it were God's will; but now I would not live for all the world; nothing in the world could relish with me now. After what I have seen, all would be dead and insipid to me: no; I would not live for ten thousand pounds a year. I was loath to leave you (said she to her husband) and my children being young; and was very uneasy to think of their coming under a mother-in-law; but they are in God's hands, and I lay no desire upon you, said she to her husband, not to marry again. No; these desires, which some dying people have, savor too much of the world: marry in God's name, when you find it convenient for you, but don't forget my two girls. 'Tis true, I leave you no son; but two good girls are better than one naughty boy, said she, with a pleasant air, and you know not what a boy might have proved. I was indeed loath to leave you, but now I would not stay with you (speaking to her husband)
nor with you, nor you, nor you," (turning to several friends about her ;) but raising herself up, and stretching both her arms in an embracing posture, said, "I wish I could take you all with me; but you must stay God's time, that is best."
I was now fully satisfied there was no delirium in the case, and the trouble I was under an hour before hung still upon me. I then kneeled down upon the bed by her, and said, "Among all the rest, what have I done that you are angry with me?" "With you!" said she, "why? what's the matter ?" 6 You bid them turn me out," said I, "and refused to have me pray by you." "When was that,' said she? I said, " an hour ago." "Oh! an hour ago," she replied; "I was then otherwise employed, as you find, and you disturbed me. "You disturbed me much more," said I; "for it brought into my mind what you used so often to say, that the hour of death was the time of trial; and if you found then, I had indeed made the way too easy and deceived you, you should not then bear the sight of me: this I took to be the case, and it gave me great disturbance; for I never expected to hear another word from you." "Therefore," said she, "I was sent back to satisfy you, that the way is sure though it be easy; and I have received full assurance, which leaves no doubt behind it, that my sins are all pardoned through the all-sufficient satisfaction of my blessed Savior, and that I am now going to that place which I have seen, and hope to meet you there ;" and taking me by the VOL. II. New Series.
hand, said, "No, indeed, I am not angry with you, but I thank you heartily for all the pains you have taken with me, and it has not been in vain; God reward you." I then told her, "That I heartily blessed God with her, and for her, but more for myself; for I looked upon it, that this wonderful change was wrought in her, and that she was sent back from death to life more for my sake than her own; for she soon would have had the benefit of it, though we should not have known it; but that I doubted whether I ever should have overcome the
impression that my trouble gave me even to despondence: but that now God had in a wonder. ful manner relieved me, and given me comfort, which I hoped would remain with me till my dying hour." Then I asked; " if I should pray by her." "Yes," said she," with all my heart; but instead of the pardon of my sins, as you used to pray, let all now be praise and glory to God, who has already pardoned them." Then I kneeled down and repeated, gloria in excelsis, glory be to God on high, &c. as it is in the end of the communion service, all the company joining, and repeating with me aloud and she said to all present, "I will tell you what the Lord hath done for my soul, he has granted me every thing I desired; I prayed for an easy passage, for I was more afraid of dying than of death, and he has granted it me; for though I feel my pains and see death approaching, the hor. ror of it is taken away, and I desire to be dissolved, and to be with Christ; and the joy that I 3 U
thirtieth psalm (the psalm for the day of the month, the sixth day,)" His wrath endureth but the twinkling of an eye, and in his pleasure is life: heaviness may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Then 66 that she said, was, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace for mine eyes have seen thy sal. vation." And thus she did depart in peace the sixth of March, 1700.
have seen abates my pains, that I feel them not as I did before.. I can bear them now. Oh! what great things has God done for me, far beyond what I could ask or think! The hand of the Lord is gracious; wait for him." I said, One comfort it delivered us from our bodily pains." She added, "and from our infirmities, and from our sins, that we should no more provoke that good God, who had created us, and shed his blood to redeem us, that is much more comfortable." Then I reminded her how God had verified to her, and to me too, that in the
The truth of this, as to what relates to her death, can be at. tested by her husband and oth. ers, yet living, who were pres ent.
DOCTRINE THE FOUNDATION OF DUTY.
THERE must always be a cause, before there will be effects; there must be a foundation, before there will be a superstructure. The doctrines of christianity are the foundation, and its laws the directory, of that system of practice which men are required to pursue; and it is from those doctrines, this directory, or code of practical rules, results. If we rightly understand the doctrines of the Bible, we shall perceive the. reasonableness and propriety of the precepts. We shall see the perfect harmony which subsists between them; we shall see that they are inseparable. The du ties of the christian system are as intimately connected with the doctrines, as the branches of a tree are with the body, or the
fruit with the sap and root. If you destroy the body or the roots of a tree, you can have no fruit. Nor is it less evident, that if you take away the doc trines of revelation, you destroy the foundation of its precepts, and of all moral duties. But some may say, there are those, who disbelieve and deny the main doctrines of the Bible, and yet admit its precepts and maintain moral and respectable char acters. Yes; but what is their morality in the eyes of the holy and jealous God? They have nothing of that obedience, which will meet his approbation and acceptance. He requires the heart, and an acquiescent and unshaken faith in all the truths his word. Without faith it impossible to please God.
But faith embraces all the prominent and distinguishing doctrines of the Bible, which are the life and glory of that inspir. ed volume. These are its objects; on these it fastens, and grasping them, as immutable truths, it works by love and brings forth fruits unto praise, and glory, and honor.
Duty indeed respects the heart as well as the life. Yea, it begins in the heart; and no duty, in the sense of the gospel or of the law, is performed, unless the heart is renewed, and warmed with love to God. But as soon as a person spiritually understands the doctrines of the Bible and embraces them with a cordial faith; he will discover the intimate connexion between them and the precepts of christianity, and cheerfully perform the correspondent duties.
The truth that the duties of christianity grow out of its doctrines, may be illustrated and confirmed by an induction of particular instances. We will begin with the doctrine of the existence of God. This doctrine lies at the foundation of all religion. And what are the duties, which spring from this source? They are love, trust, praise, adoration, reverence, and obedience. When Moses was sent to effect the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, his commission and his obligations to obedience, as well as the hopes of the Israelites, were founded on the independent and eternal existence of Jehovah. "God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM and He said, thou say unto the Israel, I AM hath you." " Ex. iii. 14.
Thus shalt children of sent me unto The author
ity on which Moses was to act, and the duties which the Israelites owed him as a messenger of the Most High, rested on the self existence and the incommu. nicable perfections of Jehovah. On the same exalted and unchangeable principles, a cordial submission to the government of God and a reverential adoration of his Majesty, are inculcated on his people. The sovereign mandate is clothed in this solemn and expressive language; "Be still and know that I am God." Ps. xlvi. 10.
Again, He is our Creator; therefore we are bound to reverence his authority, and obey his commands. The relation in which the creature stands to the Creater necessarily involves certain obligations. We are fearfully and wonderfully made; and therefore ought to praise and honor his name. Thus reasoned David.
He is our Preserver and Benefactor; consequently it is our duty, to bless and obey, to wor ship and glorify Him. By the goodness of God, we ought also to be led to a sincere repentance of our sins.
Further, the infinite power of Jehovah should teach us the dan ger of offending him, and induce us to reverence his high and holy name; and also should persuade us to live lives of humility, fear, and prayer.
The holiness of God lays us under obligation to have clean hands and pure hearts. Hear what an apostle said to his breth"As he which hath call. ed you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation: Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." 1 Pet. i. 15, 16.
The truth of God renders it our duty to love truth, to buy it and sell it not, and to speak the truth in love. This likewise obliges us to believe all that God has spoken.
The justice of God shews us the reasonableness and necessity of our being just to our fellowmen, i.e. of being just on a right principle.
Each of the perfections of Jehovah lays a proper founda. tion for the practice of religion. What God is in himself, aside from every other consideration, induces upon us the strongest obligations to glorify him with our bodies and spirits which are his."Keep my Sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord," Lev. xix. 30. It is not necessary that there be any other reason assigned for our obedience, than the name of God. His excellence, greatness, and supremacy, render it proper for him to command, and us to obey. Here is the prime source and exalted ground of man's duty. God, however, has been pleased to encourage his people in the ways of obedience, by making to them the most precious promises both for time and eternity.
From the existence and perfections of God and their correspondent duties, we proceed to the doctrine of redeeming grace. and the duties resulting from it. The love which Christ has manifested in dying on the cross should constrain us to love and serve him. Our hearts must be as hard as the nether mill stone not to be impressed and softened by the account which the gospel gives of the death of the Son of God. He died: for
what? To open the way for the salvation of wretched, helpless sinners. This amazing love confers the highest obligations on us to love and obey, to praise and honor his name. Think of the sufferings of the Lord of glory; and instantly and unreservedly give your ownselves to him, and consecrate all your time, talents, and privileges to the promotion of his honor in the world.
From this we pass to those truths, which display his love in the saving application of the benefits of his death. The doctrine of the new birth teaches the necessity of purity of heart and life. We must be born again, or we shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. This doctrine shews us our obligations to walk in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the let ter.
From the election of grace, some important duties arise. Electing love teaches the sinner to cast himself at the foot of the cross, and to give the whole praise to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. While it excludes all boasting, it binds the believer to the strictest and most cheerful obedience.
The doctrine of adoption is fruitful in good works. God receives those who are converted into a state of friendship with himself, and acknowledges them as members of his spiritual family. The children of Christ will sincerely and fervently desire to live to the praise of him who loved them, and called them into his kingdom. his kingdom. Love and obcdience are the fruits of their adoption.
The doctrine of gracious justification teaches the importance