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before. Her convictions were deep, and during their continuance, the writer and several other Christian friends, were in the habit of frequently visiting her at her residence, for the purpose of instructing and leading her to cast her guilty soul upon the mercy of God through the blood of his Son. After having been often visited in this way, with much persuasion, she was at length prevailed upon to go to clas3, which she did, for the first time, Nov. 1834. This means of grace was rendered useful to her, inasmuch as her convictions for sin. were strengthened thereby, her desire after salvation increased, and she was stirred up to seek the Lord more earnestly. Nor did she seek in vain, for in about three weeks after her first meeting in class, the Lord manifested his pardoning mercy to her soul, proclaimed peace to her troubled conscience, shed abroad his love in her heart, and turned her "darkness into day—her mourning into joy." She now joined the Society, and received a note on trial, and having put her hand to the plough, was determined never to look back, but steadily to pursue her course, whatever obstructions might be thrown in her way. This determination was especially manifested in her Christian walk and conversation, and in her regular attendance at the means of grace, when ever it was possible for her to be present. She was remarkable for her power in prayer, and for strong faith in the promises of God: scarcely ever did she vocally engage in prayer in the public, or social means of grace, but the heavens were opened, and showers of holy influence descended and filled each waiting soul. She was the first female who prayed publicly, in our new chapel in Eckington, for the Divine blessing to attend its erection, and on those ordinances of religion to be celebrated therein : and with such holy fervour and heavenly power did she then plead with God, that the Divine presence filled the place with a refreshing and holy influence. And thank God, since that time it has been the spiritual birth place of many a precious soul; three of whom have since joined her in the " house not made with hands."
Mrs. Fanshaw was naturally of a warm temperament, and when this was brought under the sanctifying influences of divine grace, it made her a lovely Christian. The strength of her attachments, and the fervour of her zeal, endeared her to all her Christian friends, and excited their sympathy on her behalf whenever they saw her placed in trying circumstances; and these circumstances were of frequent occurrence. Her trials were many and very severe: vea, often "fiery;" but to use her own words, "The Lord enabled her to possess her soul in peace at all times." Like her divine Master, when she was reviled she reviled not again; but committed herself to him that judgeth righteously.
The last time our sister attended the chapel was on Sunday, the 13th of June, 1840. Previous to that time she had taken cold, and was much indisposed, but as there was a lovefeast to be held in the afternoon she was desirous to be present. In the course of the service she spoke her experience with much fervency, and declared the goodness and mercy of God to her soul in such a strain of holy pathos and affecting terms, as produced a most powerful and sacred effect upon all present. In the evening of the same day, Mr. Turton of Sheffield, preached a funeral sermon on the death of one of our female members; our sister attended the service, and at its conclusion felt herself so unwell as iuduced her to say, that she helieved her funeral sermon would be the next that would be preached in that chapel. This presentiment was literally accomplished, for her, the next sermon of that description was preached in our chapel, and it was by the same preacher. Her disorder settled upon her lungs, and brought on consumption, which rapidly did the work of destruction upon the now feeble body, and quickly took down the clay tenement. But amidst the ravages of disease, that God whom she had served in the days of health did not leave her to grapple with affliction in her own strength; O no, her language was,—
"The anchor of my stedfast hope
Her leader, and other friends, frequently called to see her, to converse and pray with her, and invariably found her in the possession of unshaken confidence in the mercy of God, and enjoying serenity and peace of mind which words cannot describe, Our sister desired to join in the divine ordinances, and expressed a wish that the Sunday class might meet in her house, which was cheerfully complied with, and this was made a great blessing both to her and to all the members of the class. In each of the meetings the Divine presence was manifested in such a degree as to render the place like being in the very suburbs of heaven. The writer had the privilege of meeting the class on Sunday the 1st of November, and never will he forget while memory retains her seat, with what power and force of language she spoke of the goodness of God, and of the all-sufficiency of his grace to enable her to bear all she was called to pass through. She then remarked, that it was twenty weeks that day since the commencement of her affliction, and with sweet resignation to the Divine will, said, she was willing to suffer twenty weeks longer if God saw good to order it so; and added—
"What are all my sufferings here,
On the following Wednesday the writer called again, and found her labouring under sore temptation and painful exercise of mind; her husband and four small children were as a ponderous load upon her heart, and she found it hard work to surrender them up to Divine providence: but during this painful conflict, the "Sun of Righteousness" shone through the clouds that strove to hide his face, and maintained sovereign sway over her affections, strengthened her confidence in his love, and enabled her to say—
"Give joy or grief, give ease or pain,
She then prayed most fervently that God would enable her to give up those who were so entwined around her heart; and the Lord graciously granted her request: her mind was now delivered of its load, and filled with perfect peace; her heart also was filled with gratitude to God, and her tongue with praise; and with the greatest pleasure she related the happy event to all the friends who called at her house. The whole train of her affections were now placed on things above, and her language was—
"Not a cloud doth arise
On the afternoon of Christmas-day a prayer meeting was held in her house, when, from the brink of death, with a shrill and powerful voice she gave out two of her favourite verses,—
"Jesu, lover of my soul,
Let me to thy bosom fly;
While the tempest still is high:
Till the storm of life is past;
O receive my soul at last.
Other refuge have I none,
Hangs my helpless soul on thee;
Still support and comfort me.
All my help from thee I bring;
With the shadow of thy wing."
While these lines were being sung, there was such a display of the Divine influence and presence as melted every heart, and drew forth floods of tears of joy and gratitude from each worshipper, which will not soon be forgotten. After this period she sunk rapidly, and became so weak as not to be able to speak so as to be understood without the greatest attention being paid to what she said. To a former mistress, with whom she had lived nearly eight years, who called to see her, she related in grateful strains how merciful and kind the Lord was unto her, and the bright prospects she had of approaching glory; and added, " although it is with difficulty that I can now make you understand me, yet I believe the Lord will restore my voice so as to enable me to shout 'glory' with my dying breath :" and it was done according to her faith. Her debility became so great as not to admit of the class meetings being continued any longer in her house, and the last meeting of that kind which was held there will long be remembered by all who were present: such a profitable season was scarcely ever enjoyed by any of them before. A few days after, one of the daughters of her former mistress, before referred to, called to see her, and found her so feeble as not to be able to move without help, yet happy in God; and when she was leaving, Mrs. Fanshaw said, "Tell your mother I am going on my way rejoicing.'' The closing scene was fast approaching, and the writer of this called four days previous to her death, once more to witness the triumphs of Divine grace, over death and hell. She was just ready to enter the portals of the heavenly inheritance: on my saying " you will soon be with Jesus," she, with great emotion, said, " I shall." After prayer, with indescribable feelings, I took my leave, conceiving it was my last interview with her until—
"I arrive on that eternal shore,
Soon after ten o'clock on Saturday night a change took place, and it became evident she was entering the dark valley of the shadow of death, which to her was gilded by the light of Jehovah's countenance. Her mother watched with her, to whom she said, " Mother, there is a 'crown of bright glory waiting for me,' and I am now going to receive it at the hands of the Lord;" and she exhorted her parent to prepare for the same felicity. Asking for a little water, on receiving it, she said, "I am going where I shall never hunger or thirst more— where I shall drink of the water of life for ever; and this weary body will be for ever at rest, and the Lord will for ever wipe away all tears from my eyes ;" and shortly after added, "The Lord is now working his will in me, and he will soon take me to himself—come Lord Jesus, and come quickly."
Early on Sunday morning one of the brethren called, and inquired if she was still happy? She replied, "Yes, yes;" and taking hold of his hand, desired him to engage in prayer. He called again in an hour, and found her mother weeping at the bedside, she said, " Don't fret mother, all is well, all is well. Come and take thy poor dust Lord, but give me patience a little longer." Soon after this, two other friends called; she made motions for them to pray, and during prayer she was in an agony of devotion, continuing in earnest supplication even after they had ceased; her eyes sparkling all the time as with a ray of heavenly glory. In about ten minutes after this agony had ceased, she lifted up her hands, and clasping them together, shouted with all the remaining strength which she possessed, Glory! Glory! And in a few minutes more, without a struggle or a groan, her happy spirit took its flight to the paradise of God, on Sunday, the 7th of February, 1841. Aged twenty-eight years.
"Thus may we all, our parting breath,
A SERMON ON THE WITHERED LEAF.
"We all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities like the wind, have taken us away."—Isa. lxiv. 6.
Spiritual instructions are frequently conveyed to us in the Scriptures by images drawn from natural objects. In no book are the objects of nature more frequently introduced, for the explanation, the enforcement, and the illustration of truth, than in the book of God. To the eye of the inspired writers creation seems to have unfolded itself as one vast book of symbols, from which they read lessons to man adapted to the various junctures of life. This book of symbols may be said to have four chapters or leaves—the spring and the summer, autumn and winter. So far as the present year is concerned, the lessons of the spring, and the summer, and the autumn, are ended; its solemn lesson the winter is now reading. The fields that a short while ago were waving with their golden produce, are now barren and bare; the skies that were sunny and warm, are now cloudy and cold; the flowers that, wet with dew, opened their leaves to the sun, or shed their spicy fragrance on the winds, broken in their stem, and bruised in their leaves, are now fast turning into dust and dishonourable ashes; the trees of the wood and the field are now stripped of their foliage—their leaves that were lately fresh and green, now withered and brown, are falling to the ground, while the few that remain upon the branches seem but to wait for a ruder blast when they also shall be carried away. Such is the condition of the natural world: between this condition and our own is there any analogy? Is the condition of nature in any respect symbolic of our own? It is. The prophet in our text takes up a withered leaf, and, entering with it as it were into an audience of his countrymen, addresses them in these words—" We all do fade as a leaf." A withered leaf, then, is now to be our preacher. What are some of the truths it procluims, and in which it is wisely adapted and mercifully intended to instruct us? It instructs us in the following :—
1st. The Frailty and shortness of life.
What object in nature is frailer than a withered leaf adhering to the bough by a single thread, and ready to be carried away by the first and feeblest breath of wind. Not more frail, however, is the withered leaf even, than is man that is born of a woman. Consider him in infancy: what object more frail than a human weakling—the infant in the cradle—the babe at the breast! Is it not the very type of all weakness and all frailty—full of wants, yet without the smallest power to supply them or to make them known ; exposed to dangers which he does not foresee, and which, if he did, he could not control? If others do not feed him, he must perish of hunger; if others do not give him