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OBITUARY OF MRS. POOR,
(WIFE OF REV. DANIEL POOR, AMERICAN MISSIONARY IN CEYLON)
WHO DIED MAY 7, 1821,
THIS account of the last days of a Christian Woman, whose intelligent zeal in the work of Missions may serve to stimulate and direct others, is extracted from a narrative drawn up by Mr. Poor, and published by the American Board of Missions. Mrs. Poor's last illness commenced on Monday Evening, the 23d of April.
Thursday, April 26- She apprehended that the time of her departure was at hand; and, under this impression, began to address me. Having freely spoken of the strong consolations God had given her, she stated to me the views and feelings which she had recently had, concerning the family and station :~
I have been enabled (she said) this morning, to make a formal and an entire surrender of Husband and Children, and of all the affairs of the Station, into the hands of God. The strong desires, which I have heretofore had, for continuing a few years longer, have been so entirely taken away, that even my beloved Husband and Children cease to be ties that bind me to the earth. Every cord is now broken. This is a victory, that I have scarcely dared to hope for; and it is, to my
mind, a sure indication that I shall not long be continued with you.
She expressed her thoughts concerning God's designs of mercy toward the Heathen. The substance of her remarks on this subject was, that, in view of what He had already done and of the present indications of His Providence, she believed that He would soon come down by His Spirit like rain upon the mown grass, and gather a people to the praise of the glory of His grace.
The earnest and confident manner in which she spoke, was new and unexpected. Although she had been abundant in her labours and fervent Νου. 1923.
in her prayers to promote the salvation of the Heathen, she was ever fearful and doubtful, as to what God would do for those of the present generation; but now her language was that of triumphant hope and joyful anticipation.
Friday, April 27 She addressed the Brethren and Sisters present, and sent messages to some who were absent. She observed, that she had a good hope that they were all the children of God-that she had a love for them all-and left them with the expectation of being united with them in the world to come. She pointed out some particulars wherein she thought, that, as a body of Missionaries, or a Church of Christ, we had all been deficient in duty toward one another. She advised to the use of some special means for watching over one another's souls, and for promoting the growth of divine grace in the heart. She urged the importance of our making it one DISTINCT OBJECT OF PURSUIT-to grow in the knowledge of the Word of God.
For several years past, she has often expressed the idea, that she did not originally expect to do more, or to see more accomplished, in furtherance of the object of this Mission, than she had already witnessed. Several months ago, when we were endeavouring to establish Tuesday Schools for Females, in villages near the Station, and when it was in contemplation to admit several persons, the first-fruits from the Heathen in this place, to the ordinances of Baptism 3 N
and the Lord's Supper, she observed, that if she saw those two objects accomplished, she should be ready to say, with Simeon, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart! She witnessed the latter the day before her last sickness commenced: the Schools had been previously established.
Toward evening, Dr. Scudder and Mr. Richards thought it their duty to inform us, that they could indulge little or no hope of her recovery. She received this information with a smile, observing, that it was a conArmation of her own opinion.
She expressed a wish to have the Servants called round her. As this occasioned some alarm, the Native Boys and Girls connected with the family hastily entered, and filled the room. Addressing the Servants in their own language, she told them that she should soon leave them: she reminded them of what she had often said to them concerning their souls; and exhorted them to prepare for death, by turning from their idols, and by repentance and faith in Christ, the only Saviour. She spoke to the Native School-Girls to the same effect. Then taking Nicholas, my Native Assistant, by the hand, she addressed him as a Brother of the Church, pointed out his duty and obligations to the Heathen, and exhorted him to do what he could to aid me in the work of the Mission. Afterward she took Niles and Jordan by the hand (two Native Boys who Joined the Church on the preceding Sabbath), and addressed them in Tamul as her children, and as babes in Christ-solemnly warned them against drawing back-encouraged them to persevere-and expressed a hope that she should meet them at the right-hand of Christ: both of them were deeply affected. The other Boys appeared desirous of taking her hand; but, as she was then quite exhausted, she told Nicholas to go and address them in her name. She again expressed her belief, in strong terms, that God would soon visit the Heathen in mercy; and prayed fervently for their salvation, and for the prosperity of Zion.
Sunday, April 29 Her sufferings greatly increased. She seemed, however, to have remarkably clear and lively views of divine truth. About
twelve o'clock at night, while lying in a state of extreme suffering, almost insensible to every thing around her, she broke out with a loud voice in a long prayer. She began by praying that the Lord would show her wherefore He contended with her :
Has not Jesus suffered enough? Why then should I thus suffer? O Lord, look down upon thy languishing, dying child. But if it be necessary for me to be conformed to my suffering Saviour, O Lord, grant me patience to endure it. I fly to thee, O my Beloved. Other refuge have I none. I SEEK no other. I have sought no other. Thou art my Beloved. Ob take me from this suffering state. Receive me to those mansions of peace, and joy, where the Father dwelleth; where the Son dwelleth; where the Holy Ghost dwelleth; where the four and twenty elders dwell; where with united heart and voice they sing, Unto him that loved us, and washed
us in His own blood!
These were but a part of her expressions.
As this prayer, which was heard in every apartment of the house, was evidently occasioned by great bodily distress, and was the language of an overcoming faith and triumphant hope, it produced impressions on our minds, unusually solemn, that God was present, both to afflict and to console. Soon after, she was almost entirely relieved from her distress, and slept quietly till morning.
Wednesday, May 2-She requested us to read the cxvith Psalm, as being expressive of her feelings in view of God's dealings with her.
I can say (said she) that, in reference to my sufferings on Sabbath Eve, and at some other seasons, the pains of hell gat hold upon me; but the Lord was very gracious to my soul.
As she appeared to be better, most of the Brethren and Sisters left us. At one o'clock, it being our stated season for prayer, she requested us to read some of the predictions relative to the glory of the Church; saying, that her thoughts had been much turned to that subject. We read-the Lxth Chapter of Isaiah, in which she appeared to be deeply
Thursday, May 3- Her mind was again turned, with deep interest, to the promises relative to the Church. We read, at her request, the Lird
Chapter of Isaiah, and sung the xxiid Psalm.
Saturday, May 5-Her mind was much directed to the state of the Mission, and to the peculiar duties of the Brethren and Sisters as Missionaries.
Though I feel myself (said she) to be a weak woman, I have strong desires to speak freely with the Brethren on the importance of diligence and fidelity in the service of Christ among the Heathen. I can now lay aside every feeling of restraint, and say all that is in my heart.
She spoke freely with those who were present, and expressed a wish to see others who were absent. The substance of her conversation was to point out, in what manner she thought the different talents of individuals might be improved to the best advantage in the Mission, and in what respect she thought we were in danger of not doing all that might be done.
Sunday, May 6-As our arrangements had been unexpectedly made for Br. Spaulding to preach in the Church, I thought to spend the day with Mrs. Poor. But, after the conversation, to which I have referred,
I think (said she) that no one who has a heart and tongue to speak for Christ, should be idle on the Sabbath; and I cannot consent to your remaining at home
Perceiving how she felt on the subject, I went out and preached from house to house. On my return, between twelve and one o'clock, she inquired with much earnestness
Have you preached the Word in faith? You can have no success without faith,
She made similar observations to Br. Spaulding, when he came from the Church. She then told me how great her joys had been-that she
never had such a Sabbath before.
I can say, with Br. Warren, I have had as great joys as this weak frame could endure. I can now understand what Brainerd means by his strong expressions of devotion to God in all circumstances, whether in life or death.
Monday, May 7-As Br. Richards was about to take leave of us, some unfavourable symptoms appeared. It was soon evident, that our fears were well founded. Such was the nature of her case, that we were
obliged to consider her present symptoms a sure prelude to a speedy departure. On being told that she could expect to continue but a few hours, it was evident that the information afforded her much pleasure. She appeared to gird on anew the armour of God, and to put herself in a waiting posture for the coming of her Lord. At intervals, she conversed with freedom. In her observations she manifested a great degree of tenderness and affection for those around her.
When speaking with me of the many worldly cares in which I might be involved after her decease, she quieted herself by saying,
But I think you will not be called to leave the preaching of the Gospel to serve tables. The Lord will, I trust, raise up some DEACON to relieve you.
As she had made it one principal object of her life, to stand between
me and those cares which did not im
mediately relate to giving instruction to the people, she well knew how great was the burden which would devolve upon me in consequence of her departure.
The success of the Gospel among the Heathen was a subject, which continued to engage her attention with much interest. Sbe several times observed, that, as she had something further to say, which might affect our Mission, she hoped to continue another day. She expressed a wish to see the Brethren and Sisters once more; especially some of those, who had not been able to be with her during her sickness. Her whole appearance was very different from what it had been before on such occasions.
While the afflicted Family were kneeling in prayer round the bed of this dying Saint, she broke out in triumphant praise; and, soon afterward, about seven o'clock in the morning, calmly resigned her spirit into the hands of her Lord. Mr. Poor adds
During almost the whole season of her illness, her bodily sufferings were great. It rarely happens, that a sick person requires so great and constant attention as she required: four watchers, besides native attendants, were requisite every night. It also rarely
happens, that it is practicable for a sick person to be so constantly attended by so many beloved Brethren and Sisters, as were with her on this occasion. The means of contributing to her comfort were in proportion to her wants: two skilful Physicians belonging to our own Mission were almost constantly with her; and many articles of bedding and clothing, which were greatly needed, were furnished from our several Stations.
Nor were her spiritual necessities less numerous, or less abundantly supplied. She needed to be fed almost constantly with the milk of the Word-with the bread and water of life! She very frequently spoke to herself, to those around her, and to God, in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs; and requested those present to read to her select portions of the Word of God, to which she directed. Her mind never appeared to be more active and energetic. She spoke freely on a great variety of subjects; and her remarks, though often in a whisper, were emphatic and impres
So deeply is my mind penetrated with a sense of God's distinguishing mercies toward my Dear Partner so elevated and impressive were the views of divine things which I obtained, while accompanying her to the gates of the City-and such are the lively hopes which I now indulge of a joyful resurrection and a glorious immortality, that I have been more inclined, since my bereavement, to the delightful duties of praise and thanksgiving, than to weeping and mourning.
I cannot satisfactorily close this account, without making an additional remark:
Mrs. Poor, after a short season of faintness and distress, addressed me with much solemnity, and said,
Be sure that you warn my Children, my Friends, and others, not to put off the preparation for death till sickness comes. Even if they make it their great business while in health to prepare for heaven, it will be quite enough in this hour to contend with the pains of death, and to summon the evidences that their title to everlasting rest is secure.
Proceedings and Entelligence.
CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
Visit of Assistant Secretary to Ireland. THE Assistant Secretary, at the request of the Committee of the Hibernian Auxiliary, spent the chief part of October in Ireland.
On Thursday, the 2d of October, a Meeting was held at Drogheda; John Leslie Foster, Esq. in the Chair. It was addressed by Captain Parker, the Assistant Secretary, Robert Bourke, Esq. and the Rev. R. H. Nixon.
On Friday, the 3d, a Special Meeting of the Dublin Ladies' Association was held, at the Society's Room in Sackville Street, for the purpose of detailing the present state of the Missions. The friends of the Society were deeply impressed by the accounts from Western Africa.
On Saturday, the 4th, a Meeting was held at Naas, for the formation of
an Association; T. Burgh, Esq. in the Chair. T. Burgh, Esq. was appointed President; the Rev. James Slator, Vicar of Naas, Vice-President and Treasurer; and the Rev. T. Harrison, Secretary.
Movers and Seconders.
Rev. James Slator, and the Assistant SecretaryCapt. Dyas, and Rev, R. H. Nixon-Capt. Krause, and Rev. Edward Wade-and Rev. Moore Morgan, and Rev. T. Harrison.
The Assistant Secretary preached at Naas, on Sunday the 5th.
On Monday, the 6th, he proceeded to Cappoquin, where a Meeting was held, on Tuesday the 7th; Major Cameron in the Chair.
Movers and Seconders. A. Chearnley, Esq. and Capt. Poole-Rev. Peter Roe, and C. Poole, Esq.-the Assistant Secre tary, and Mr. Smith-and Rev. W. Power, and Rev. P. Homan,
On Wednesday, the 8th, at Youg hall, the Ladies' Association met in the morning, and was addressed by Messrs. Roe and Bickersteth: in the evening, a General Meeting of the Association was held; Nicholas Giles, Esq. Mayor, in the Chair. Many additional friends were gained by these Meetings: about forty new subscribers were added.
Though the General Meeting had only just been held at Cork, the Ladies there gladly availed themselves of the opportunity of the Assistant Secretary's passing through that city to hear the most recent accounts of the Society. A Meeting was accordingly assembled, at a very short notice; the Rev. Dr. Quarry in the Chair: a liberal Collection was made.
From Cork, the Assistant Secretary proceeded to Bandon, where a Meeting was held, on Friday the 10th; the Rev. Horace T. Newman, Rector, in the Chair. Thirteen Clergymen were present.
Movers and Seconders.
The Assistant Secretary preached at Feathard, in the County of Tipperary, on Sunday, the 12th, where it was determined that an Association should be formed. The Rev. J. Woodward, the Rector, will act as President, and the Rev. J. M. Hiffanan as Secretary.
On Monday, the 13th, a Meeting was held at Clonmell; the Rev. D. H. Wall, Rector, in the Chair. An Association was formed; and the Rev.D. H.Wall appointed President, Dr. Constable Treasurer, and the Rev. Dr. Bell Secretary.
Movers and Seconders.
With the permission of the Commanding Officer, a Meeting of the Soldiers quartered in this place was held, in the Riding House, in the evening. Many
of them had contributed a day's pay to the Society, and the whole of those assembled seemed deeply interested in the details which were given.
A Meeting was held at Kilkenny, on Tuesday the 14th; and was addressed by the Rev. Peter Roe, the Assistant Secretary, and the Rev. Robert Shaw. A good Collection was afterwards made. The Soldiers quartered in the Town were addressed in the evening: they had contributed, since the 1st of January, above 532. these brave defenders of
their country seem to feel much interest in Missions, and to have much joy in aiding the Society.
Mr. Roe and Mr. Bickersteth proceeded to Gorey, on the 15th where a Meeting was held, in the Court House; Robert Owen, Esq. the Sovereign of the Town, in the Chair, It was very respectably attended; and being Mr. Roe's birth-place, many were much affected by hearing him plead the cause of Missions there.
Movers and Seconders.
J. Parke-and the Assistant Secretary, and Rev.
After the Gorey Meeting, Messrs, Roe and Bickersteth went on to Arklow, where a numerous and excessively crowded Meeting, of several hundred persons, was gathered in an Upper School Room; the Rector, the Rev. Mr. Bayly, in the Chair.
The business had not been long entered on, before an accidental Moise alarmed the company; and, many rising at the moment on the forms, two or three broke, one after another, and produced, for some time, great confusion and distress: the presence of mind of the persons on the platform, and the calmness of many of the Ladies, through the mercy of God, prevented any serious result: when this was ascertained, the Meeting united in singing a Doxology, and the business proceeded.
The Meeting was addressed by the Rev. Messrs. Guinness, Roe, Currie, and Bickersteth.
On Thursday, the 16th, the Assistant Secretary attended a Special Meeting of the Dublin Committee: and assured its Members of the grateful sense which the Parent Committee entertain of the zealous and persevering efforts of the Irish in the support of the Society; and detailed what had passed at the different Meetings which he had attended in the
South of Ireland.
On Friday, the 17th, the Anniversary of the Belfast Association was held, in the Large Room in the Commercial Buildings; Major Rainey in the Chair.
Movers and Seconders..