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HIS SICKNESS AND DEATH.
It!II. WINTER was much older in constitution than he was in age. His strength was never considerable; but for a length of time previous to his removal, he had been generally complaining, and frequently so indisposed as to render the discharge of his work trying and difficult.
December 13th, 1807, he exchanged pulpits with Mr. Jeary of Rodborough. This was the last sabbath of his public ministry; and two things are observable. Here he preached his first sermon in Glocestershire; and thus he ended his career in this County where he began it. His concluding discourse was ii. Corinthians, v. 1. "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.—The congregation was peculiarly impressed; many said he seemed to be preaching his own funeral sermon.—So it proved.
He slept that night at Mr. Hogg's. In the morning he came to Mr. William Cooper's, Southfield house, Woodchester, and offered if agreeable to spend the day, and take a bed with them. In the afternoon as Mr. Cooper was writing to the Editor he wrote on one part of the sheet-— <
"My Ever Dear Friend,
"Though I have nothing particularly to communicate, 1 have wanted to write. A long silence is hardly consistent with the reciprocal regard that subsists between us. I sometimes hear of you that you are pretty well; sometimes that you are but indifferent. I hope the former is more generally the case. I rejoice in your acceptance; and trust the result of your labors is usefulness in all the variety for which the ministry is appointed. I wish I could give you a pleasing account of myself, but I cannot. My powers of late have been much shut up as like water frozen, rather than like a flowing stream. Indeed I have been very, very, very poorly, and when I am forced to preach it is in a way that is very dissatisfying to myself. My voice fails me, and you may judge of a sermon that is without voice, as well as without energy of mind. But what is to be skid of an exhausted candle? The lower it burns, 'the dimmer' the * light. 'I have been tempted to give out, yet knowing that where I do not stand in the way of another I ought to stand as long as I am able; I resist the temptation hitherto. When you have an half hour's leisure let me hear from you and give me all the good news you can.
"Your's ever, and very affectionately,*
In the evening he seemed tolerably well, and prayed with his usual excellence. But in the night he was seized with a bilious fever; and though he came down in the morning he was obliged to return to bed, and continued much afflicted all the day. In the evening of Tuesday, Mr. Payne of Forest Green, visited him, and after an hour's interview and conversation, prayed with him, He said that his friend, who had peculiarly referred the issue of the affliction to the Lord's disposal, had precisely expressed his own wishes. Though the night was restless and painful, in the morning he rose and came down, and expressed a wish that was not to be diverted to go home. His friend conveyed him to Painswick in his earn riage, and Mrs. Cooper accompanied him. Before he left the house he said " I cannot leave you ma'am without my blessing." He kneeled down for the last time in this abode of friendship, but so exhausted was his strength and so low was his voice that he could not be distinctly heard by the servants, who were more remote from him; and so overpowering was the effect of disease that he was scarcely able to say any thing all the way to his house. Yet after he reached home nothing seemed very alarming, and for some days the Physician was not called in. During the week of his return he wrote to a friend: " I was arrested in my progress, and brought home a prisoner. I write from my bed to inform you of it. I did not know on Tuesday morning but I should have seen the Judge of all. I have no prospect of coming abroad soon. The Lord sanctify all his dispensations and it will be well with us however severe they be."