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After having tried the Bath Waters for several months, and receiving no benefit, he was ordered to try change of air. Here, again, he appears the Child of Providence. He often used to say~" I set out with nothing, but dependance on Godresolving to do HIS WORK, and leave all the rest to Him. I know that he will take care and provide for me.” This was his habitual sentiment. Nor was his faith vain; for, as extremity arose, some gracious providence was prepared to meet his necessities. Of this the following is a very striking instance.
Isaac Cooke, Esq. of Clifton, near Bristol, a gentleman, whom Mr. Cecil had never seen, but who had heard him preach (being 'occasionally in town,) who was neither an old friend-nor one of his congregation-- nor even a neighbour, except in the sense of our Lord, Luke x.- this was the friend by whom his way was graciously directed to Clifton, and who urged by letter his acceptance of a ready furnished house there, for any length of time. This generous offer he thankfully accepted, and occupied the house for nearly six months. Here he found every provision for all his wants, and every possible administration to his comfort; and was, together with this, amply supplied with the means for meeting those various demands of sickness, which it was impossible even for the kindest eye of friendship to anticipate.
On his first going to Clifton, in Sept. 1808, he
derived considerable benefit from the change of air: but, toward the latter part of the time, his disease began to encrease, and he became anxious to return home. He was advised by his medical friends to give the Bath Waters a second trial in his way to town; but, receiving no benefit from them, we shortly proceeded on our journey, a journey full of anxiety and apprehension-as his weakness was at that time so extreme, that travelling appeared almost impossible; and would have been intirely so, but for the exertions of his friend, who obtained for him an easy coach, with an inside arrangement by which Mr. C. was enabled to travel in a reclining position. Thus accommodated, he performed the journey in five days, without injury; and arrived in town in March, 1809. The expences of the journey were defrayed by our Clifton friend; nor did this friend leave Mr. C. here, but continued his kindness throughout all the future stages of his remaining life.
On Mr. Cecil's arrival at his house in Little James Street, in the spring of 1809, with his nerves shattered and his state of health broken, the sudden heat of the weather, together with the closeness and noise of the town greatly encreased his sufferings, and he became extremely anxious to remove from its tumult and distraction. He was, at this time, in a state which can be little apprehended, even by invalids themselves; much less by those in health and vigour. It was, however,
a state to him, and a season to me, replete with difficulties, which seemed encreasing on all sides. His anxiety to leave town became stronger daily: but, no possible way seemed open; and I could only, like Hagar, bewail miseries I could neither remove nor mitigate: nor, like her, could I apprehend the relief that was so near at hand. These difficulties were removed by our friend Charles Offley, Esq. then of Great Ormond Street. Mrs. O. on seeing Mr.C.and observing the distressing state of his nerves, was indefatigable in seeking for a suitable retreat for him; but, not meeting with a situation near town, after many researches, she determined to go to Tunbridge Wells, conceiving that both the air and waters might be advantageous to Mr. C. She took a house there for the season, on a very open spot, at Mr. O's expense; and Mr. C. went to it, accordingly, in May, 1809: but, as we fatally know, did not derive the hopedfor benefit from these very favourable circumstances.
In the month of Oct. 1809, he came back to town for the Winter: but, on the return of the Spring, he found all his sufferings return with it; and again he anxiously desired to remove into the country. This brings my history back to his Clifton friend, of whom I observed, that after conveying Mr. C. to town, he did not resign him there. At Tunbridge his favours followed him; and after Mr. Cecil's return from thence to town in Oct. 1809,
and when the lease of his Chapel was disposed of and his income necessarily straitened, this friend engaged to supply him with an annual remittance during his life; which was devoted to his benefit, as the means of procuring a house for him through the summer months; and by which, together with a sum collected by Mr. C's nephew in his family circle for the same purpose, these expences were supplied.
With this provision, we proceeded to take a house at Belle-Vue, Hampstead, in a quiet and airy situation. Thither we removed in April 1810; and here Mr. Cecil's general health and spirits were much benefited. But it pleased God to remove him from thence to a house more congenial to the desires of his soul, eternal in the heavens ! By a fit of apoplexy his spirit was released from the body of death, Aug. 15th, 1810-a bereavement to his family—to the Church-and to the world, irreparable--an affliction, calling for silent submission to Divine Wisdom; and only mitigated by the assurance of his being from thenceforth for ever with the Lord.
On this mournful occasion, the attentions of William Blair, Esq. of Great Russel Street, were exemplary and unremitted. His prompt attendance, tender sympathy, and kind watchfulness to the last moment, I shall ever bear in grateful remembrance.
I should be more strictly fulfilling the desire of
the deceased, on the subject of Mr. Cooke's kindness to him, were I to enter more into the detailand in tracing this instance of divine care, I wished to have had the liberty of inserting a few extracts from his friendly letters, which bear the best evidence on this subject. But, in requesting permission to do this, I received a positive refusal, with a prohibition to mention, either his name or any of the favours which he had rendered. I am, however compelled, either to do violence to his desire and determination to remain concealed, or to violate an injunction repeatedly enforced by Mr. C. to bear a testimony for him, when he was no longer able to express it himself, to the kindness of that brother who was thus raised up to meet this day of his adversity-one, whose administrations resembled those of an affectionate son to a beloved father. Expressions of regard and concern like these, so uncommon, so unexpected, could not fail of fixing a deep, lasting, and grateful impression on Mr. Cecil's mind—nor of aiding my imagination in the vivid conception, that I still hear him-in words similar to these of the Apostle
-“ The Lord give mercy unto his household for he oft refreshed me-sought me out and found
The Lord grant unto him that he may find grace in that day-In how many things he ministered to me, thou knowest very well.” I feel bound however, to avoid entering into particulars-knowing the pain that even this slight glance will