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memory was her mother's last look. My father left the room for a few minutes, and on his return presented my sister with the following lines :
Ah! well I remember my mother's last look,
But to return to that sick room, for there is much more to tell respecting it. It had now become a place where prayer was wont to be made. My dear father would now pour forth the wellings of his full heart unrestrained, with the sweet consciousness of the congenial state of the soul of his dear partner. The ministers of Christ sought out the spot, as once they of old had done that by the river-side in the neighbourhood of Philippi, and, with our fellowpilgrims to the hills of Zion, frequently resorted thither; now acknowledging, as they left the spot, that the first had become last, and the last first. That dear uncle and aunt, who had been my guides to Jesus, now mingled their rejoicings with ours, on finding the seed, which had been watered by their tears and fanned by the breathings of their prayers, thus springing up into eternal life. Amidst the
conflicting emotions which agitated my sweet mother's soul, it was deeply affecting to us to hear her lament, in the bitt est terms of selfreproach, the discouraging influences with which she had impeded my early progress in the path of life; and the more especially so because her now keen apprehension of sin had observed in me some wayward actions, some retrograde steps. Gladly would we have spared her the utterance of a single regret; reminding her how the God of love had amply supplied her lack of care, and neutralised, in mercy, the evil influences she so much regretted. But on this point our efforts were unavailing, for she refused to be comforted. She believed that this sin was fully atoned for by that precious blood which cleanseth from all sin; she knew that there was plenty of forgiveness with her God; but now, so keenly conscious was she of her neglected responsibilities, that she could not forgive herself. In order to compensate me to the utmost of her power, she obtained a promise from my dear uncle and aunt to keep me within the precincts of their care, to lead, and guide, and counsel me, and thus to supply her place, as she now wished in vain that she herself had filled it. And now, in this place, it behoves me well, with feelings of the deepest gratitude, to record my testimony to the love and tender care with which these early friends redeemed their promise ; and that not to me only, but, to the utmost of their ability, to all her children. In that day when their reward—who have received one such little child in Jesus' name-shall be awarded as if all the love, and all the care and forbearance, and deep anxieties, and watchful tenderness, had been done unto himself-then ye, my beloved friends, shall not be forgotten!
“We walk here as it were in the crypts of life ; at times, from the great cathedral above us, we can hear the organ and the chanting of the choir; we see the light stream through the open door, when some freind goes up before us; and shall we fear to mount the narrow staircase of the grave, that leads us out of this uncertain twilight into the serene mansions of the life eternal ?"--LONGFELLOW's Karanagh.
“My beloved spoke and said unto me, Rise up, my
. 10.) This love-message had seemingly been whispered in the ear of our endeared one; it being now quite evident, even to those who had hung on hoping against hope, that the sands of her precious life were running low.
During the last week of her existence the Babel confusion of a pleasure fair, held all along in the street of the old city in which we resided, ill assorted with her then state of mind. There was a time when she had revelled with the revellers ; but, however consonant in youth and health, who shall describe their dissonance in dying hours ! The shouts of the showmen, the inharmonious drumming and rolling tambarine mingling with a flourish of trumpets from a travelling menagerie; the coarse jokes of the clowns, and the rude laugh of hundreds of voices in loud jarring chorus, with the continuous clamour of a thousand indistinguishable sounds, fell most discordantly upon the ear, within the precincts of that death-bed scene. My dear mother, however, was decidedly the least disturbed amongst us. Occasionally she expressed a wish that it was over; but most frequently the voice of pity for the deluded votaries predominated. There was one object, the contemplation of which
was wholly engrossing her attention, and that object was Jesus! The language of her soul seemed, after all her wanderings, to be,"He is the chief among ten thousand, and the altogether lovely.” Well might He be the supreme object of her soul. For He had trodden the wine-press alone, and of the people there was none with him. He had stood in the gap between her soul and the avenger. He had exhausted the curse, and drained the last dregs of the cup of wrath which was her doom. And now she contemplates her kinsmen undertaking her bankrupt cause--her Substitute standing in her place, voluntarily adopting all her responsibilities and discharging them :-her Redeemer expiring in ignominy and unutterable agony, that she might escape the everlasting burnings, the pangs of the undying worm, and live eternally. And as she beholds him in “dyed garments,” stained with the purple flood, which flowed to expiate her sins, she cries in astonishment and inexpressible delight,-“This is my beloved, and this is my
friend! And while in self-abhorrence she exclaims, “ Look not upon me because I am black ! ” with adoring ecstacy she rejoices, saying, “Thou art all fair, my love, there is no spot in thee.” And thus she sees but Christ, and only Him; she hears but Him; she lives to Him ; to Him she also dies !
It was an evening in the height of the summer of 1824. The clamour in the street of the city had slowly died away; and in the quiet night my mother lay pouring out her soul in prayer to God. My father, seated behind the curtains at the foot of the bed, was endeavouring to pencil down some of the gracious words which fell from her lips. That pencilled sheet, in all the paleness of its age, now lies before me; from which I transcribe a few sentences. “ Blessed Christ, save me; do not leave me! I have been a great sinner. Thou to-day hast suffered me to know that a few more hours will end my course.” Then reviewing her past life she exclaimed, “From my infancy how thou hast warned me; thou hast snatched me from evil continually. I have been of the world, and admired the world; and thou hast taken me from its devotion, which I ought to have paid to thee. How often hast thou called me! What kindness hast thou shown, and would I again turn to the world ? Wicked - wicked world! Blessed Saviour! lay beneath me thine all-supporting arms.”. Although labouring under extreme pain, again, with faltering voice and trembling lips, she sang her favourite hymn
* Alas! and did my Saviour bleed ? "*
On reaching the last verse
“But drops of grief can ne'er repay
The debt of love I owe;
"Tis all that I can do," she exclaimed, "I do give myself away to my blessed Saviour, and I hope he will accept of me.
For a few days she continued to sink rapidly. Her dear eldest sister-she who had supplied her lack of service in teaching me about the love of Christ, and who had, with her kind husband, my dear uncle, been so deeply desirous concerning my mother's soul-was with her while she lingered on the banks of the Jordan.
Dear Emma-my little sister-being removed to school, it now only remained for my mother to part with my baby brother and myself. I shall never forget those moments. They appear to me, as I look back upon them, pregnant with all the
* Dr. Watts, Hymn ix., Book ii.