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week, increased the apprehensions of many; while the increasing spirituality of his mind, was the admiration of all. The short sermon be gave the people the Sunday afterwards, from the following words, fully evidenced the truth of this : “My soul is even as a weaned child." His heart so overflowed with holy thankfulness, and submission to the will of God, in this sermon, that many thought it was scarcely possible that such a man could live long upon earth, who had so much of heaven in his heart.
On the succeeding sabbath he was with difficulty dissuaded from preaching, as he had the sacrament to administer. He could not be contented with reading those most appropriate passages of scripture, which occur in the communion service, without dropping some most appropriate and affectionate remarks. The formality of Mr. Sedate was no doubt a little exercised at this liberty; but it was good Mr. Merryman's custom, and he oftentimes expressed an innocent wish for a little more liberty than the Church allows.
Little did the people of Sandover suppose, that the next sabbath was to be the last, on which they were to hear the voice of their beloved minister :-There was not the least abatement, but rather an increase of those symptoms of consumption, which alarmed many of his friends ; though as yet, he seemed not to be alarmed himself. He thought himself somewhat better, yet he was rather astonished he could not more speedily regain his strength ; but in this he was quite resigned to the will of God. The text he took, and the solemn delivery of it, before he uttered a single syllable of his sermon had a remarkable effect. “ Eye hath not seen, neither ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that
In this sermon, however, one would think,
# 1 Cor. ii. 9.
that all must have had a presentiment that it must be his last. For with what rapture he described the glories of the eternal world: with what delight he quoted those words, “In thy presence, is fulness of joy, and at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore!" How he begged and entreated his hearers, as for his life, to accept those unutterable joys, and to “flee from the wrath to come;" for that he knew not how soon the tongue that then addressed them might be silenced in the grave; and that the eye which now wept, while he beheld them, should see them no more for ever.
It seems his whole soul was so deeply engaged in the subject, that almost every word was followed by a tear, while the hearts of all the people were melted down as the heart of one man : in short, he was so overcome by his own feelings, and with the heat occasioned by such a crowded congrégation, that ere he had proceeded fifteen minutes, he quite fainted away.
What a scene it must have been to see him thus carried out of the pulpit; from whence he had distributed such an abundance of good! It is supposed this astonishing young spiritual Sampson slew more by these, his affectionate strokes, in this his last address, than ever he slew throughout all his life.
It seems that on the Thursday following, after a severe fit of coughing, he burst a blood vessel; and the discharge from his lungs was very considerable. This threw Mrs. Merryman into the greatest consternation and grief; while scarcely a glearn of hope was left that his invaluable life could now be preserved.
A message was immediately dispatched to Brookfield Hall, to which place it was deemed absolutely necessary he should be remo
moved, as soon as circumstances would admit. The afflicted Mrs. Merryman was obliged to part with her new-born babe, to another female, in order that she might devote the utmost of her care to a husband whom she was so soon to lose.
Mr. Worthy sent his carriage that he might be removed with all possible tenderness and care; while Mr. Sprightly, with Mrs. Merryman attended as his supporters on the road, which by its slow progress, was accomplished without any further injury to his bleeding lungs.
This last removal of Mr. Merryman, until he returned in a hearse, produced such a scene of woe throughout Sandover, as Sandover never felt before ; and had it not been for the prudent attention of Mr. Sprightly, half the town would have been at the rectory, to bid him their last adieu. The grief that was evidenced was not less universal than he was universally beloved.
Alas! what the family of Brookfield Hall felt; what Mr. Lovegood felt, when he attended to lift him out of the carriage ; and what all the parish felt, when he entered that house, in which it was supposed he would breathe his last, is more than the writer of these Dialogues, with his briny eyes, has sufficient spirits to narrate.
The next Dialogue will finish the account of the trying, yet triumphant exit of this excellent man: whilst it brightens with a pleasing issue, of this most painful event.
BETWEEN MR. WORTHY, MR. LOVEGOOD, MR. BRIGHTMAN AND
THE DEATH AND FUNERAL OP MR. MERRYMAN.
THOUGH Mr. Merryman, as might be supposed
from the flattering nature of his complaint, revived from the depth of that languor which, from the loss of an abundance of blood, he had sustained; yet still his vitals were consuming by the same disease, so that he now found he could attempt nothing further in his delightful work. The necessary supply of his Church was his chief concern. At times he was obliged to put up with Mr. Anything, while Dr. Orderly and his Curate were as kind as circumstances would admit. Mr. Love. good at the same time, watched every opportunity to give all the aid he could. In the course of about ten weeks Mr. Brightman was at liberty, and he left Mr. Whimsey with no regret. He first came to Brookfield Hall, before he went to Sandover, to visit his dying Rector. Oh! that I had time to narrate half the profitable conversation, (especially as far as Mr. Merryman could converse, which passed between these good men! For it seems that Mr. Brightman ill knew how to express what an abundance of good was communicated to him thereby; and especially in seeing and conversing with such a man as Mr. Merryman, in his declining state ; possessing such calmness and serenity, such a peaceful
resignation to the holy will of God; and withal, so blessed with such a lively sense of gratitude and praise to him, by whose almighty grace he was saved from a state, once so depraved, but from which he was now so mercifully and powerfully redeemed. So bright an evidence of the vital influence of the gospel, he had never seen before: and he has since solemnly declared, that out of all the volumes he had ever read, and from all the sermons he had ever heard, he never derived so much profit and benefit to his mind.
Another very great advantage Mr. Brightman obtained as a' minister from this intercourse was, that it rendered him much more beneficial to the souls of men. From the natural strength of his mind, he was apt to be too discussional and metaphysical to be well understood by the generality of his hearers; but he observed with surprise, how much more good had been done by Mr. Lovegood and Merryman, than by himself, by a much plainer, and consequently, more scriptural style of address: before, he was wise and cold, but now he became wise and warm ; while what he delivered to the judgment he applied to the heart with divine success.
Before the Dialogue begins, it should be noticed, that Mr. Merryman continued full four months at Brookfield Hall, before his disease terminated in his dissolution. By his own desire, his remains were taken to Sandover, to be buried in the chancel of his own Church, requesting at the same time, that Mr. Lovegood would perform that last office, and improve his death by a sermon to the congregation. His remains were accordingly taken on the Saturday after his death, to Sandover, when the interment took place, and on the next day, the funeral sermon was preached. It was therefore necessary that Mr. Brightman should serve for Mr. Lovegood, while he performed the paiņful task requested of him. The day afterwards, Mr. Lovegood returned. Having