Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

again restored her to health. Before she had fully recovered, our children were attacked with typhus fever; first one, and then another, until our house became as an hospital; and one child whom we thought strongest, and best able to endure the attack, fell a victim to the disease.

Mrs. Martin was repeatedly and strongly pressed to accept the office of class leader; this, however, she from diffidence, for a long time refused; but she consented to accept this important office after she became united with the Wesleyan Methodist Association, which was at the time of its commencement in Deptford. She was induced to accept the office of leader, from an ardent desire to benefit young persons who were members of the congregation, and who were desirous of receiving her assistance. She endeavoured to discharge the duties of a leader with fidelity and affection, and often has gone to meet her class when she was very unwell. The last time she went was to the quarterly visitation for renewing the tickets, on the 12th of December last. I endea voured to prevail upon her not to go, fearing from her ill state of health, that she would injure herself by going out, but she urged, that duty called, and, although she had a severe cold, she went. The cold, under which she was then suffering, was occasioned by going out on the previous Wednesday evening to meet some of the elder female Sunday school scholars; from some circumstance the place was not opened in proper time, and by waiting, it is believed, her cold was received.

On Sunday, the 16th of last December, Mrs. Martin's indisposition was so much increased, as to confine her to her bed; but for two or three weeks nothing serious was apprehended. After this time her medical attendant thought her to be in a dangerous state. Recourse was had to bleeding and blistering, and other means, which afforded relief; and she appeared to be getting better, but did not appear to be elated by the prospect of being restored to health, nor did she evince much disappointment, when proposed remedies which were tried, failed of success. She had a presentiment from almost the commencement of her illness, that it would be unto death,—but to her, death had lost his sting; she said, that only for the sake of her children, she would rather depart and be with Christ. I have often seen her while on the bed of affliction with her eyes lifted towards heaven, and her lips moving as in prayer. On religious topics I had but little conversation with her during her affliction, until the closing scene was drawing near, this was entirely my fault, and oh! what a loss have I thus sustained. On two or three occasions during her illness, the family were called together expecting that she was about to depart, but she revived, and our hopes brightened.

On Sunday the 6th of February last, she was very weak, and said, "I find it hard work to give up my dear children;" but on the following day she called the family to her bed side, when she could only speak in a very low voice which could hardly be heard. I asked her whether she was happy? She said "I am comfortable and feel my confidence in God strengthened; I can now resign my all into the hands of that God whom I have served from my youth up. I thank my heavenly Father, I have not now, while under the heavy pressure of affliction, got him to seek. I now feel every prop, but Christ, taken away, He alone is my support and stay. I now feel my Jesus hath done all things well." She also said, "I can add no more." Although she afterwards revived a little, yet she could not converse, she could only slowly utter single words. I occasionally asked her whether she was happy, when she emphatically said, "Yes! yes! yes !-" On the evening before her death, when she could not, without difficulty, utter a word, and when she did not appear conscious that any person was present, she repeated several times,—

"My Jesus hath done all things well." On the following day there was an evident change for the worse, and that night, at half-past ten o'clock, her happy spirit took its flight, to dwell for ever with the Lord.

I shall now conclude this account with a few general remarks concerning the character of the deceased. From the days of her youth she had made the Holy Scriptures her study, and had learned from them her public and social duties. Ever after her mind was brought under serious impressions, she endeavoured to economise her time, never suffering it to be occupied with trifling amusements, or idle pursuits. She felt that time was intrusted to her for valuable purposes, and that she would have to render an account of its use. To obtain food for her mind she would occupy time, which other persons appropriated to rest; saying, that she required food for her mind, as well as for her body. She read much, and carefully selected such books as were the most useful; hence her mind was well stored with useful and scriptural knowledge. As a wife and mother she excelled in the discharge of her domestic duties, and was always most sympathising and kind. She was neat in her person, and her house was well ordered. Her motto was, '* A place for every thing, and every thing in its place." To her children she manifested the utmost affection, and early endeavoured to impress their minds with the necessity of remembering their Creator in the days of their youth, and she frequently prayed the Lord to give his blessing with her instructions. As a member of a Christian Church, she endeavoured to let her light shine. In her intercourse with the Church and the world, she laboured to live in peace with all. Some persons might think her reserved, but those who best knew her, found her to be free, cheerful, communicative, and unreserved.

In losing her, I have lost a most kind and affectionate wife, and the children have lost a most tender and affectionate mother, and the Church one of its most useful members and brightest ornaments. Thus lived, and thus died, one of the most excellent of the earth :— "Ah no—she lives on a far happier shore, She lives—but lives with me on earth no more."

"Perhaps kind heaven in mercy dealt the blow,
Some saving truth my roving soul to teach,
To wean my heart from grovelling views below,
And point out bliss beyond misfortunes reach."

Her death was improved in a funeral sermon preached by Mr. Kobert
Eckett, to a deeply attentive and crowded congregation.

302

MEMOIR OF THE LATE THOMAS GRANGER.

It is with peculiar pleasure that the believer meditates on the memory of the just, and he often contemplates with joy unspeakable the blessedness of those who have died in the Lord. Thus he views as in a glass, the vanity of the world, and the uncertainty of life; the nearness of eternity, the inestimable value of religion, and is thus powerfully stimulated to be a "follower of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises." These are important lessons, and when carried to their practical results they promote the happiness of all who attend to them. Besides, the pious lives and triumphant deaths which have been recorded, form a standing evidence of the divinity of the Scriptures, of the power of Divine grace, and of the riches of infinite mercy. The following brief memoir, was undertaken with a desire to perpetuate the memory of one, who died happy in the Lord.

Thomas Granger was born at South Shields, in the Sunderland circuit. But little can be said about him, prior to his conversion to God. He was first convinced of sin among the Primitive Methodists, and was united to them for a short time. But leaving off meeting in class, he went about from place to place, until his sister, who had been awakened under a sermon delivered by brother Sutcliffe, joined the Association, obtained salvation, and interested herself in his behalf. She asked him the state of his mind, told him how good the Lord had been to her, invited him to go along with her, assuring him that if he did he would get amongst those that would do him good. He gave his consent, and went and joined in class with her. This was on the 8th of September, 1840; and from that time until the 27th of April, 1841, the day on which he was taken ill, he was only three times absent from his class. Having again joined himself to the people of God, he sought the Lord with strong cries and tears; the third time he met in class, he was enabled by faith in the Redeemer's sacrifice, exultingly to exclaim, "My Lord and my God:" tand from that time until he entered heaven, he never lost his confidence, but could always rejoice in a sin-pardoning Saviour. Saved by Divine grace from the guilt and bondage of sin, he went on his way rejoicing, and gave demonstrative evidence of his conversion to God. From this time, his attendance on the means of grace was constant and regular, and he evinced a strong desire to profit by all the ordinances of the sanctuary. Having tasted that the Lord is gracious, he felt anxious that others might participate in the same blessedness, and therefore as far as his influence extended, he exerted himself to do good. In visiting the sick and attending prayer meetings, he experienced peculiar delight. His deadness to the world was very conspicuous. He saw the brevity and uncertainty of time, the insignificance of all sublunary objects, and was deeply impressed with the reality and importance of the things which are eternal. Often was he heard to say, that he never found any thing like enjoyment in the ways of sin, but, on the contrary, that hu had always found, what the world calls pleasure, to be attended with mortification, disappointment and wretchedness. The end of this young man corresponded with his life after his conversion to God, which was holy and peaceful. His affliction continued four months. When he first began to be unwell, and for some time after, no one had any serious apprehensions about his recovery, thinking it was only a severe cold, and that he would soon be better. But He whose way is in the sea, and whose footsteps are not known, had otherwise appointed. The fearful symptoms of a rapid consumption soon began to appear; but through medical assistance a partial improvement was at one time visible, and some hopes were entertained of a complete recovery—but these hopes were soon blighted, for he had a speedy relapse. From the commencement of his illness he bore his sufferings with remarkable patience and submission. When any one asked him how he felt the state of his mind, his reply was, "I am happy in the Lord." His hours of solitude were not suffered to slide away unimproved. On the doctrine of the atonement he delighted to talk; often saying, "The blood of Jesus is mv only plea." To a member of his class who came to see him he said, "O what a blessed thing it is to have religion in the state that I am in! What are all earthly pleasures compared to the joys -which true religion supplies ?' they are vanity of vanities.' It is with feelings of regret, I at times look back on the many years I spent in worldly pleasure and sin. It is all of mercy, free, unbounded mercy, that I was not cut down and consigned to the bottomless pit. Bless the Lord, O my soul; that he hath spared me and given me time to repent, and enabled me to seek his great salvation." The first time that his leader visited him, he sung and prayed with_ him, and left him happy in the Lord. When it became known that he was not likely to recover, he was frequently visited by some of the society, and by his leader, daily. Whenever he was visited by any of the members, he would not let them go without prayer. At one time he said to his leader, "Joseph, ever since the Lord spoke peace to my soul, I have never once lost my confidence in my Saviour." He then sung the following lines :—

"My soul is now united to Christ the living vine,

His grace I long have slighted, but now I feel him mine:

I was to God a stranger, till Jesus took me in,

He freed my soul from danger, and pardon'd all my sin."

After singing and praying with him, he said to his leader, "The nearer I come to my end, the happier my soul feels in the Lord." The latter part of his affliction was by far the most interesting. The nearer contemplation of death did not seem to move him from the foundation on which his hopes were built. He still maintained his former confidence in the Lord, and often cried out, "Glory be to God.'' At one time he said to his relations, "Mind, not one of you shed a tear for me; no, not one, for I am going to glory and to be happy with my God for ever." Upon one occasion his leader said to him, "Thomas, how do you feel for the land of Canaan?" He said, "Glory to God, I have a fine breeze, and my sails are full of love, and I shall soon be within the harbour of the New Jerusalem; I am happy in the swellings of Jordan, and shall soon be with the Lord in glory. O the love of God, that he ever called me out of darkness, and led me to seek his favour!" He then said to his leader, sing the 'prodigal's return.' They then sung the following lines:—

"Afflictions though they seem severe,
In mercy oft are sent;
They stopt the prodigal's career,
And forced him to repent."

On the 19th of August, the last week that he lived, when he saw his leader enter his room he shouted out, "Praise the Lord that ever I saw thy face; for I have been led to fly to that rock that is higher than I, and that is Jesus Christ. Glory be to God, for I am his and he is mine." Here he was, as he used to say, upon the rock, and his clear view of this doctrine, and his conscious interest in it, enabled him to think and speak with composure of his approaching death, trusting in the Saviour. Death was to him, in the true sense of the word, a going home; and he could always look at it with the calm and steady satisfaction of one who feels himself to be safe.

On the 22nd of August, his leader gave him a flower in his hand; lie then held up the flower to a few of his class-mates that were in the room, and waving his hand, said, "Glory to God, I have the victory through our Lord, for I am going to him that has bought me with his blood, and has a mansion and a crown of never fading flowers, and a palm of victory for me." He asked his leader to sing his favorite hymn :—

"It is on his word and power,

By steadfast faith I dare rely;
That in my latest hour,

He will not leave me when I die:
When the pains of death are rending

This tabernacle made of clay,
His angels are attending

To waft my soul to endless day."

During the whole period of his affliction a murmur was never heard from him. An uncle of his, who has been for many years a Conference Methodist, and who visited him, told his leader "that he never met with so grateful and cheerful a Christian, considering the suffering he had to endure ;" "for," said he, "his confidence in Christ increased with his sufferings—as his earthly house decayed, his faith waxed stronger and stronger, and his prospects for glory brightened as he drew nearer to the end of his journey." At another time he told his uncle that his mind was delivered from all worldly cares, and was fully resigned to his heavenly Father's will; adding, "For I believed from the first commencement of my sickness it would end in my dissolution." At another time, when he was visited by a number of his class-mates, he said, "Blessed be the Lord, I am not left alone, I am surrounded by my kind friends who come time after time to administer every comfort this

« AnteriorContinuar »