By S.B. Shaw
151 -- JEREMIAH EVERTS -- "O, WONDERFUL! WONDERFUL! GLORY! JESUS REIGNETH!"
This American author and editor was corresponding secretary of the American Board of Commissioners for foreign missions.
He was born in Vermont in 1781, and died in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1831, at the age of fifty years. In his last moments he exclaimed, "O, wonderful! wonderful! wonderful! Glory that cannot be comprehended! Wonderful glory! I will praise Him! I will praise Him! Wonderful glory! Jesus reigneth!"
152 -- "IF THIS IS DEATH, LET ME ALWAYS BE DYING."
Mrs. H. A. Coon, of Marengo, IlL, sends us the following:
Mrs. Eliza Lamphare, my eldest sister, died thirty-one years ago, leaving her baby girl to me. She suffered twenty-five years with rheumatic consumption. She was converted in our home fifteen years before her death. On the day of her death, before she passed away, she said to her family, "I am going to heaven!" She sent for her pastor and neighbors and told them of her joy at the thought of so soon seeing Jesus. She said, "If this is death, let me always be dying." And, although she had not had her voice for six weeks, sweetly sang,
"'What's this that steals, that steals upon my frame.
Is it death -- is it death?"
And, coming to the verse,
"Bright angels are from glory come,
They're round my bed, they're in my room;
They wait to waft my spirit home,
All is well!"
She exhorted all to be faithful and meet her in heaven. She sent messages of love to me, committing her little one to my trust. With her face lighted up with a heavenly radiance, she waved her hands and shouted, "Victory, and glory," until her spirit had departed.
153 -- "JESUS HEARS ME! WHY, THE ANGELS ARE AROUND ME!"
A great many readers have but very little conception of true prayer. They excuse themselves when invited to pray in public by saying, "I am not gifted in that way; I am not educated." They regard the opinions of men and the face of clay more than they do the will of God. They fail to realize that true prayer is the desire of the heart, uttered or unexpressed.
We have a beautiful example in a dying young man: He was so concerned about his relation to God that he lost sight of his surroundings and the people who stood by him. "I cannot make a very smooth prayer," he said, "but Jesus hears me. Why, the angels are around me; if you could see them as I do you would be glad, too. Jesus hears me."
When God lends a listening ear and regards our cry, every voice should be hushed and every excuse banished. Nothing should interrupt or hinder our communion with God; and if we abandon ourselves to His will, He will see that our fellowship and prayer is unhindered, for "the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
154 -- REV. DAVID NELSON -- "MY MASTER CALLS, I AM GOING HOME; IT IS WELL."
This noted Presbyterian clergyman was born near Jonesborough, Tennessee, Sept. 24, 1793.
In 1810 he graduated at Washington College, Virginia, and for some years practiced medicine, and was surgeon in the United States army, during which time he became an infidel; but in the providence of God he was brought under conviction and saved from a refuge of lies. He was made a new creature in Christ, and licensed to preach in the spring of 1825.
After working for the Lord for five years in Tennessee and Kentucky, he went to Missouri and established Marion College, and was its first president, filling that position for six years.
In 1836 he opened a training school for missionaries, and wrote that widely circulated book, Cause and Cure of Infidelity.
He died in 1844. His last words were, "My Master calls, I am going home. It is well."
155 -- "MY PEACE IS MADE WITH GOD! I AM FILLED WITH LOVE!"
My dear father, William H. Whitford, was taken with a severe hemorrhage of the lungs on April 9, 1898, from which he gradually failed in strength, and died a few days after. He was a devoted Christian, and as long as he was able to speak he would say, "Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!"
Father suffered from a complication of diseases which often caused him severe pain, and when suffering he would often go to God in prayer and secure relief and get richly blessed in his soul. One morning his face was lit up with a holy light as he shouted, "Hallelujah! Glory to God!"
Sister Palmer, who was in the next room, said that she, too, felt the power of the Holy Spirit and shouted. Oh, how the Spirit would come upon us. Indeed it was a heavenly place. The gloom was all taken away. It did not seem like dying.
Although father was in his eighty-second year when he died, his mind was very clear all the time, and he would think of everything needful to be done. His only desire to live was to help me, as we lived alone. He gave that to the Lord. He talked about his funeral very calmly, and selected the text, Psalms 87:37, and desired that the old hymns be sung, mentioning this one, "And must this body die." I asked him if he wanted flowers, to which he replied, "Oh, no. I want it very plain, clothed in righteousness." He sang with us a short time before he died, and oh, how his face lit up with joy while singing.
"Hallelujah! Glory to God!" he shouted, and then clapped his hands and said, "If I could only get up, I feel I could leap and shout for joy. Peace, peace; my peace is made with God. I am filled with His love. Jesus alone heaves in sight."
It seemed as though he had a view of heaven. His last words were, "O, bless the Lord! Praise the Lord!" and thus he went sweetly to sleep, safe in the arms of Jesus. -- Written for this book by his daughter, Mrs. A. Slade, of Portland, New York.
156 -- "OH GOD, IF THERE BE A GOD, SAVE MY SOUL, IF I HAVE A SOUL."
Bro. R. Thomas, of Orleans, Nebraska, sends us the following for our book:
When father moved to Iowa in 1863, it was our privilege to settle near a well-to-do family, the father of which was an infidel. There were several sons in the family, and all save one were irreligious. The one who professed religion was a Universalist preacher. In fact the family were surrounded by every influence that would make infidel belief satisfactory, if it could be so, but such was not the case. No doubt many reminiscences of interest could be given, but suffice it to say that the day-star of this intelligent, well-to-do farmer set in the dark, and his last words were this short prayer, "Oh God, if there be a God, save my soul, if I have a soul."
157 -- THOMAS HALYBURTON -- "MY PEACE HATH BEEN LIKE A RIVER!"
This noted Scotch Presbyterian minister was born in 1674. He studied at Rotterdam, then at Perth and Edinburgh, and in 1692 entered the University of St. Andrews. In 1700 he was ordained in the parish of Ceres, and in 1710 he was appointed to a Professorship of Theology in St. Andrews.
He was author of several works, including Natural Religion Insufficient and Revelation Necessary to Man's Happiness, The Great Concern of Salvation, and others. These works, especially the autobiographic memoir of the Holy Halyburton, were formerly very popular in Scotland, and still are greatly relished by persons of serious disposition.
He died in 1712. His last words were, "My peace hath been like a river." He had promised some friends that when he was so far gone that he could speak no more, he would give a sign of triumph, and accordingly, when the powers of speech were gone, he lifted and clapped his hands, then expired.
158 -- "MADGE IS DEAD AND DAVID IS CRAZY."
In the spring of 1891, while Rev. C. B. Ebey was holding a meeting at Colgrove, California, two young ladies and their brother, who had been regular attendants at the meeting, were brought under deep conviction, but would not yield to the Spirit. The youngest was a bright, healthy young girl of fourteen years, named Madge.
One day Bro. Ebey said to her, "Madge, I believe this meeting is being held for you." She felt that she ought to give her heart to God, and decided to do so, but was persuaded by her brother David not to for awhile longer. Her brother dearly loved her, and knew if she got saved that it would end their worldly pleasures together, so he persuaded her to wait a few years, and then they would both get saved. The meeting closed, and they had both said to the Spirit, "Wait until a more convenient season."
A few weeks afterwards Bro. Ebey received word that Madge was dead, and was asked to come to her home immediately. He went as quickly as he could. The mother met him at the door, and said, "Bro. Ebey, you have come to a sad home. Madge is dead, and David is crazy."
When the doctor had said that Madge could not live, David went in by her bedside, knelt down, and commenced to pray as only a sinner could pray, for God to save his sister. He urged Madge to pray, but she was too sick to make any effort, and she died without leaving any evidence of salvation. The strain was so much for the young man when he realized that his sister was dying unsaved, and that he was the cause of it, that his reason gave way. -- Written for this work by Rev. F. A. Ames.
159 -- "I AM GOING HOME AS FAST AS I CAN."
An aged Christian, Mr. Mead, when crossing over to heaven, was asked how he did? He answered, "I am going home as fast as I can, as every honest man should do when his day's work is over, and I bless God that I have a home to go to."
160 -- HULDA A. REES -- "ALL BRIGHT AND GLORIOUS AHEAD."
This holy woman of God was a successful evangelist of the Society of Friends. She was born Oct. 15, 1855. She went to heaven June 3, 1898. Her devoted husband, Seth C. Rees, is also a successful minister in the same church, and author of that excellent book, The Ideal Pentecostal Church.
We take the following from her published biography, entitled Hulda, the Pentecostal Prophetess, written by her son. He says:
"We saw from a distance the end approaching, but we could not fully realize the truth. It did not seem like 'the valley of the shadow.' We had read of the triumph of the saints when approaching the River, but surely this excelled anything of which we had ever heard. Such sweet resignation to all God's will, such divine unction in prayer, such holy tenderness in exhortation and admonition, such victory and gladness in the furnace of pain and agony! -- these luminous beacons did much to dispel the gloom and lighten the shades of the nearing evening.
"Many visitors came to see her -- some from considerable distance -- and whenever her strength permitted it she always had them admitted to her room. Her words were ever full of cheer and eternal hope. On one occasion, when a minister called whom she had known for years, she said to him with the greatest exultation, "The glory holds!" Yes, thank God, it did hold. The gospel she had preached to so many thousands with emphasis and assurance was found true and unshakable in this time of earnest testing. One day her husband said to her:
"'My dear, is it all true that we have preached?'
"'Yes, yes; we have not put it strong enough! It is all true, and more!'
At another time she said: 'If the Lord takes me, it will be from the evil to come. Perhaps he sees something coming to me from which He wishes to protect me by taking me to Himself.'
"In one of her prayers she said: 'Thou hast put, O Lord, a great laugh in my heart. Glory! Glory be to Thy Name forever! No evil can come to me! All is turned to blessing!'...
"One afternoon the family were all gathered about her, when her face suddenly lighted up as if a candle were burning beneath the transparent skin. With the brightest, sweetest smile, and a far-away look as if she were gazing off in the distance, she said in a soft, reflective tone, 'I didn't know it was so beautiful.' After a moment or so she exclaimed rapturously, 'Can it be that the glory of the Lord is risen upon me?'
"Thus this daughter of the Most High drew near to her exit from this world. It was indeed to her, as she said, 'all bright and glorious ahead.'
"The night before she ascended she attempted to sing:
'Fear not, I am with thee:
Oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God,
I will still give thee aid."
But she could only whisper the words. Her husband read the entire hymn to her.
"In the evening of Friday, June 3, as the darkness was deepening about us, we watched her slip quietly away. There was no struggle. She passed away from us as calmly as a child falling asleep. We knew that she was with the Lord, both hers and ours."
161 -- JOSEPH ALLEIN, D. D. -- "O, HOW SWEET WILL HEAVEN BE."
This famous English divine, author of Alarm to the Unconverted, was born in 1633, died in 1668. Although he died at the age of thirty-five, his influence for good was great. He lived a devoted life, and as the sun was setting, and he came to the end of life's journey, he exclaimed, "O, how sweet will heaven be! O, what a blessed day will the day of resurrection be! Methinks I see it by faith!"
162 -- "LORD, HAVE MERCY ON MY SOUL!"
While laboring in Canada on my first charge, two young men attended the meeting. They were bent on breaking up the service. I was visiting a family where one of them boarded. He was sullen and morose. He did not kneel when we prayed, nor pay any attention to our questions in regard to his soul.
It was not long after this when both the young men were engaged in the brick-yard. It was the first day with one. The brick-yard caved in, and the friend whom we had warned was instantly killed. His companion lived long enough to groan out, "Lord, have mercy upon my soul! Lord, have mercy upon my soul!" Without leaving any evidence behind of having obtained his request, he was called to stand before his Maker.
I attended the double funeral; a sad occasion it was. One of the mothers, who had opposed her son joining the Salvation Army, thinking it would be a disgrace to her, threw herself upon the casket and said, "Lord, have mercy on his soul!" But her interest in his soul came too late. It is a warning to all mothers who oppose their children in obeying their convictions of duty. -- Written for this work by Kate H. Booth, of Buffalo, N. Y.
163 -- "NOTHING REMAINS BUT THE BRIDGE OF THE SAVIOR."
Byron Bunson, one of the most distinguished statesmen and scholars of Germany, was born in 1791 at Korbach, in the principality of Wualdeck.
In 1841 he was sent on a special mission to London to negotiate for the (creation) of an Anglo-Prussian Bishopric in Jerusalem, and was shortly afterward appointed ambassador at the English court. He is known in literature by his Constitution of the Church of the Future, Christianity and Mankind, God in History, and many other works. He was a great statesman and philosopher.
He died at Bonn, in Germany, in 1860. On his deathbed he cried out, "All bridges that one builds through life fail at such a time as this, and nothing remains but the bridge of the Savior!"
164 -- "IT IS BRIGHT OVER THE RIVER, OH, SO BRIGHT OVER THERE."
Some years ago I was called to the bedside of an aged lady, familiarly known as Grandma Shears, to witness her departure from this life. We watched at her bedside all night, and sang many cheering songs to her, as
"O, think of the home over there,"
and others. As her mental powers gradually gave way, her children greatly feared that she would not be able to tell us of the rapture in passing over the River of Jordan, washed in the blood of the Lamb; but I said to them that God would clear her mental skies and let her tell us all about it; and He did. For an hour she lay calmly, saying "It is bright over the river; oh, so bright over there," and she passed sweetly to the land of flowers. -- Written for this work by Rev. E. Ray, of Fredericktown, Mo.
165 -- THE SAD DEATH OF ALL INFIDEL
Mary E. Jenks, of McBain, Michigan, sends us the following:
The people of the village of M____ have been greatly shocked of late by the terrible death of one of its residents, a Mr. T____, an infidel.
This man had lived an ungodly life, making no preparation for the great beyond to which he was hastening. He did not attend the house of God, and cared for none of these things that could in any way lead him to a better life. But disease fastened upon him, and death's cold hand reached for him. Although near the valley of the shadow of death, he still continued to make calculations for the future, and once, when asked how he was, sneeringly said that God wouldn't let him die; he was too good to die. But as he grew worse he was made to feel that the end was drawing near. He could not lie down, but sat in his chair day and night, while his limbs were badly swollen.
He belonged to two secret orders, and one day sent for one of the brotherhood. He came, and Mr. T said to him, "Well, I am here yet, but I am going to die, and I want you to see to it that I am buried according to the ceremonies of the orders."
The man responded, "That will be all right, but you had better be thinking about something else now." Mr. T went on with his directions, saying something about flowers, etc. How can anything in this world be more sad than to see a strong man dying without God, and with no heart to repent, but trying to comfort himself with how the last few rites will be performed over his lifeless remains.
Poor, wretched man; even this request was denied him. He would curse God while in the agonies of death.
Finally the end came, but instead of flowers, pomp and show over his body, he was gathered up in the blankets in which he sat, hurried into a box and carried to a Christless grave, while his soul went to meet the God he had so insulted. Who would not choose to die the death of the righteous?
166 -- "I AM LOST, LOST, LOST, LOST, LOST!"
Rev. J. B. Davis, of Davis Station, W. Va., sends us this sad experience, which we pray may be used of God as a warning to the living. He says:
Mrs. B____, of C____, W.Va., who had attended a revival meeting at Davis Creek Church (near my father's home), was besought by Christian friends to give her life to the Lord, but she refused. Shortly after this she was seized with a disease which soon brought her to death's door. Rev. J. D. Garrett, who had conducted the revival meeting at which she was present, was sent for, and, as he entered the home, the dying woman exclaimed, "I am lost, lost, lost, lost, lost!"
The minister said to her, "My sister, Jesus loves you, and if you will trust Him He will save you." He then quoted some of God's promises to her.
"Oh, Bro. Garrett," she exclaimed, "if I had given Him my life when you were holding that meeting here, it would have been all right. He wanted to save me then, but it is too late now. I am lost, lost, lost!"
Bro. Garrett tried to get her to stop and reason with him, but she continued to cry, "Lost, lost," etc. The minister said that it seemed as though hell were near them that night, and was uncapped as the poor, dying woman wept over her lost condition.
Her son, who was away from home, was sent for, and, as he entered the room where his mother lay dying, she turned her face toward him and said, "Charley, is that you?"
"Yes, mother," he replied, "how are you?"
She exclaimed, "I am lost, lost!"
He went to her bedside, threw his arms about her, and told her of the Savior's love for sinners, but she cried, "It is too late for me, Charley; I am lost, lost," and she continued repeating this until her soul took its departure.
167 -- LITTLE HATTIE BUFORD'S LAST PRAYER
This little girl died in 1865, when only six years old. She was the child of Major-General John Buford. She was taught to repeat the Lord's prayer every night. As the child lay on her dying bed, and the hour of her departure was drawing near, she all of a sudden opened her soft blue eyes, and, looking confidently into her mother's face, said, "Mamma, I forgot to say my prayers!" Summoning what strength she had left, she clasped her little white hands together, and, like a little angel, prayed thus:
"Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray Thee, Lord, my soul to keep:
If I should die before I wake,
I pray Thee, Lord, my soul to take."
The prayer finished, she never spoke again.
I wonder how many of our readers say their prayers every night before they go to sleep. Editor.
168 -- THE LAST WORDS OF JOSEPH BARKER, THE CONVERTED INFIDEL
No doubt many of our readers have heard of Rev. Joseph Barker. For the early part of his life he was a noted worker in the service of the devil, and preached his infidelity wherever he had an opportunity, but we are thankful to God that the last part of his life was spent in the service of the Lord. He was converted from infidelity, and became a preacher of righteousness.
He died at Omaha, Nebraska, in 1870, at the age of seventy-one years. A few days before his death he spoke as follows to his son and two friends who were present:
"I feel that I am approaching my end, and desire that you should receive my last words and be witness to them. I wish you to witness that I am in my right mind, and fully understand what I have just been doing; and dying, that I die in the full and firm belief in Jesus Christ. I am sorry for my past errors; but during the last years of my life I have striven to undo the harm I did, by doing all that I was able to do to serve God, by showing the beauty and religion of His Son, Jesus Christ. I wish you to write and witness this, my last confession of faith, that there may be no doubt about it."
169 -- "YOU GAVE ME NOTHING TO HOLD ON TO."
In a country village of Pennsylvania there lived an infidel physician, who by infidel books persuaded a young man to deny his Savior.
In about 1875 this man died, aged fifty years. The infidel teacher was his physician. When his end was approaching, the doctor told him to die as he had lived -- a rejecter of God and Christ. "Hold on to the end," urged the doctor.
"Yes, doctor," said the dying man, "there is just my trouble; you gave me nothing to hold on to." The doctor did not reply.
170 -- "OH! THE DEVIL IS COMING TO DRAG MY SOUL DOWN TO HELL!"
N. M. Nelms, of Kopperl, Texas, sends us this very sad experience. He says:
Miss A____, who lived at C____, in Georgia, was taken very sick, and was informed that she could not live. Realizing the way she had lived, surrounded by her ungodly associates, with whom she had indulged in the pleasures of sin, and how her parents had educated her to follow the fashions of the world, and decorated her in gay clothing, and turned her away from the truth of God, she called her ungodly father to her bedside and said, "Your heart is as black as hell. If you had taught me to live for God, rather than to have spent your time quarreling with mother, I might have been saved."
Then, turning to others who stood by her dying bed, she plead with them, saying, "Do not follow my ungodly example; do not do as I have done; do not enjoy or indulge in the hellish pleasures of the world. Oh, if I had heeded the warnings of my friend who lived a holy and devoted life." Then she said, "Oh, the devil is coming to drag my soul down to hell! Don't live in pleasure and be found wanting, but live in Christ complete and wanting nothing. I am lost, lost forever! Oh, lost, lost, lost!" -- then died.
171 -- DAVID BRAINERD -- "I AM ALMOST IN ETERNITY; I LONG TO BE THERE TO PRAISE AND GLORIFY GOD!"
This celebrated missionary to the Indians was born at Haddam, Connecticut, April 20, 1718. His parents were noted for their piety, and were closely related to high officials of the church and state.
In 1739 he entered Yale College, where he stood first in his class. He was greatly favored of God in being privileged to attend the great revival conducted by Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards and Tenent.
President Edwards says, in his memoir of Brainerd: "His great work was the priceless example of his piety, zeal and self devotion. Why, since the days of the apostles none have surpassed him. His uncommon intellectual gifts, his fine personal qualities, his melancholy and his early death, as well as his remarkable holiness and evangelistic labors, have conspired to invest his memory with a book halo, and the story of his life has been a potent force in the modern missionary era. It is related of Henry Martyn that, while perusing the life of David Brainerd, his soul was filled with a holy emulation of that extraordinary man, and after deep consideration and fervent prayer, he was at length fixed in a resolution to imitate his example."
Brainerd was a representative man, formed both by nature and grace to leave a lasting impression upon the piety of the church.
He died at Northampton, Oct. 9, 1747. The last words of this dying apostle were, "I am almost in eternity. I long to be there. My work is done. I have done with my friends; all the world is nothing to me. Oh, to be in heaven to praise and glorify God with His holy angels."
172 -- LAST WORDS OF SAMUEL RUTHERFORD -- "I SHALL SOON BE WHERE FEW OF YOU SHALL ENTER."
This eminent Scotch Presbyterian divine was born in 1600, and died in 1661. He was commissioner to the Westminster General Assembly in 1643, and was for some time principal of St. Andrews College. When on his death-bed he was summoned to appear before Parliament for trial, for having preached Liberty arid Religion. He sent word with the messenger to tell Parliament "That I have received a summons to a higher bar -- I must needs answer that first; and when the day you name shall come, I shall be where few of you shall enter."
173 -- REV. RICHARD WATSON -- "I SHALL SEE GOD! HOW SHALL I PRAISE HIM?"
The great reformer, Rev. Richard Watson, was one of God's most noted preachers and theologians. He was born in England, Feb. 22, 1781; died Jan. 8, 1833. He took an active part in the Anti-slavery movement, and lived to see the preparation for the emancipation of all slaves in British colonies.
He was the author of many books. In his dying hour he exclaimed, "I shall see God! -- I -- I individually. I, myself, a poor worm of the earth, shall see God! How shall I praise Him?"
174 -- THE AWFUL END OF AN INFIDEL SCOFFER
Rev. Fred. Scott, of Arkansas City, Kansas, sends us this sad experience. He says:
In the year 1880, in company with a few other pilgrims, I held a little street meeting off Brightside Lane, Sheffield, England, our object being to extend an invitation to passers-by to come to the services at the little Primitive Methodist Chapel, which was close by.
We stopped on the street, close to the home of the subject of this sketch (whose name I do not remember), and commenced to sing and talk to the people. He came out of his house in great rage and excitement, saying that we were disturbers of the peace and ought to be prosecuted. He secured the attention of some of the people, and preached his infidelity to them, telling them that the Bible was a humbug, and Christianity a fraud; churches and ministers an imposition on the people, and that society should be rid of them all. We tried to reason with him, but all in vain.
The following week some of the Pilgrims called at his home, and offered to pray with him and give him tracts to read, but he scornfully refused all of their offers. He abused their good intentions, and in a boasting way talked to them of the narrowness of Christianity, and the great freedom of his infidelity. Several times after that he made it a rule to meet us on the street, and try and confuse the people and break up the meeting. His presence was such an annoyance to us, and so detrimental to the meetings, that we scarcely could hold them.
The last time I ever saw him come out of his house was on Sunday morning, when he came walking down the street, close to where we were singing, with a stick in one hand and an axe in the other, and when he came very close to us he began to chop the wood for the purpose of getting the attention of the people from us. The chips began to fly around, and we thought best to move on, which we did. From that time on we all began to offer special prayer for his conversion; but God did not answer our prayers in the way we thought he would.
The next Sunday we went to our street meeting, feeling that in some way God would give us a victory over him, but to our surprise we did not find him there. I inquired about him, and found that he was suddenly taken very ill. The following week I was called to his room, and found him in a very dangerous condition. He was much changed in his mind; was very mild, tender and teachable, but could not repent. Many of the pilgrims visited him and tried to lead him to Jesus, but their efforts were in vain. He said that he knew that he was lost and doomed forever.
In a few days I called again, and found him very close to the crossing. I told him of God's boundless mercy, and how it had reached Nebuchadnezzar and Manasseh, and that God had given His Son even for him; but he insisted that it was too late now, as he had sinned against light and knowledge when he knew better.
The fact of having disturbed our meetings preyed upon his mind, and he told me to faithfully warn all such scoffers of their danger. He wept bitterly as we talked to him of his lost condition, and said that if he could only live his life over again he would live for God; but it was a vain hope -- it was past -- his last chance was gone. The awful distress of his mind became worse and worse until the end came. He expired in great agony of soul.
To live without Christ is folly; to be without Him on a deathbed is distressing; to die without Him is awful. But oh, the thought of an eternity without Christ! My scoffing friend, take warning! Stop in time -- stop now! "Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all My counsel, and would none of My reproof; I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh." (Prov 1: 24-26.)
175 -- "HALLELUJAH TO GOD! I AM GOING HOME TO GLORY."
In Arkansas there was an aged lady, Mrs. Abbott, who had been suffering for some time. I was at her house just before she died. She would sing and pray and exhort the people, especially the young folks, telling them to get ready to meet her in heaven, and to quit their sins and to give their hearts to God. The night that I visited her, I shook her emaciated hand, and as I looked into her wrinkled face she said to me, "I am ready to go! All that are ready to meet me in heaven, were they to die tonight, come and shake my hand. Hallelujah to God! I am going home to glory and be with my Jesus."
A few hours afterwards she triumphantly passed away singing praises to God and praying for husband and seven children. Praise the Lord for ever and ever. -- Written for this work by N. M. Nelms of Kopperl, Texas.
176 -- HE CRIED, WITH AN AWFUL WAIL OF DESPAIR, "TOO LATE, TOO LATE, TOO LATE!"
Bro. J. Earnest, of Searcy, White Co., Arkansas, sends us this sad experience. He says:
When I lived in the town of H____, in West Tennessee, I was well acquainted with a noted infidel who neither feared God nor regarded man. He would consider it an insult to his dignity for anyone to speak to him on the subject of religion; in fact, he had been known to fight some who had dared to approach him about his soul's salvation. He was well favored with the earthly possessions of this life, but it seemed to me that he was the most unhappy man that I had ever seen. He was such a hard case that the Christian people were afraid of him.
When he was dying, his brother-in law, a whisky-drinking infidel, at the request of his weeping wife went for my uncle, Mr. B____, to come and pray with him. My uncle came and when he entered the room the dying infidel said to him, "I can now see and realize that I am doomed for hell. Pray for me!"
Uncle prayed and sang, and put forth all the powers of his soul for the wretched man, but it did not seem to do any good. While uncle was praying and singing, I tried to keep his mind on the Lord by talking to him. He warned all present not to live as he had lived, and sink at last to a devil's hell. At last he turned his face towards the wall, and cried with an awful wail, "Too late, too late, too late!" and his soul went out into eternity.
177 -- A GREAT REPROOF TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS
In the year 1877, in Newark, New Jersey, a young man was hung for murder. Just before the fatal hour, he said to the Christian people about him, "If I had received one-half the attention and care from the good people of this city in early life that has been shown me since this trial commenced, I should never have been a murderer."
What a reproof to professing Christians were the statements made by this young man.
A few years ago we held a revival meeting in a certain town in Illinois, and where two men met their death on the scaffold just before our meetings commenced, and the excitement had not yet died away. We were informed that two of the most prominent pastors of the town manifested considerable interest in these young men before they were doomed to death. They visited them often, talked and prayed with them, and they professed to be saved.
One of the doomed men exhorted the people from the scaffold to take warning by his example, and urged them to seek the Lord before they became guilty of some sin which would cause them and their families disgrace.
If the interest of Christians had been brought to bear upon these criminals before their conviction and crime, they might have been saved in their youth. O, that God might wake up his people and help them to rescue the perishing before they become guilty of some great crime, is our prayer. -- Editor.
178 -- JOHN KNOX, SCOTLAND'S GREAT REFORMER
This great reformer was noted for his faith and prayer. The name of John Knox is widely known throughout Christendom. He lived in the days of Queen Mary of Scotland, and she once stated that she feared the prayers of Knox more than all the armies of Scotland.
The Roman Catholic Church, with all its corruption and degradation, had great power and influence in the British Isles. The Queen of England, and many of the high officials in church and state, were nothing but tools in the hands of the pope in persecuting and destroying the Protestants. In the jails and prisons, as well as at the stake, God's devoted children suffered beyond description. The whole land was a scene of desolation. Many were burned alive for their faith and devotion to the Protestant religion. The great heart of John Knox was deeply moved. Night and day he cried to God to save Scotland.
At one time Knox was so greatly burdened for Scotland that he retired for secret prayer, but was soon discovered by some of his friends, by his groans. They heard him groan out, "Give me Scotland or I die!" Then after a few moments they heard him repeat these same words, "Give me Scotland or I die!" They heard him breath out the longings of his soul until he found relief. God gave him Scotland.
He died in 1572, in the sixty-seventh year of his age. After commending the care of his church to Christ, he said, "I now commend my soul into Thy hands." A few moments after, he exclaimed, "Now it is come!" Who will doubt but what God sent a convoy of angels to carry him to Abraham's bosom?
The Earl of Morton pronounced at his grave, in the presence of many of the nobles of Scotland, these words, "There lies he who never feared the face of man."
179 -- "MAY GOD ALMIGHTY BLESS THEE, MY BELOVED SONS AND BROTHERS IN CHRIST."
Two brothers and their father were beheaded in the year 1524 for preaching the gospel in Germany.
On the scaffold one of the sons said, "Father, farewell, my beloved father. Henceforth thou art my father no longer, and I am no longer thy son, but we are brothers still in Christ our Lord, for whose sake we are doomed to suffer death. Fear nothing."
"Amen!" answered the old man, "and may God Almighty bless thee, my beloved sons and brothers in Christ." And all three knelt down in Christ's name, and their heads were severed from their bodies,
180 -- "I SHALL SOON BE A DEAD MAN, AND MY SOUL WILL BE IN HELL."
A minister, while traveling one day, was overtaken by a thunderstorm and took refuge in what was called a tavern. His attention was soon directed towards a man who seemed to be trying to entertain himself and others by using profanity in its lowest degree. He claimed to be an atheist, and blasphemed the name of God with unusual recklessness.
Finally, while the storm was raging wildly, he said to those around him, "There is no God, and to prove to you that I am right about it, I will go out there on that little hill and dare Him to strike me with His lightning."
To the horror of that little company he went, and looking up toward heaven, his lips moved, and he brought his fists together with the appearance of doing what he said he would, though his voice could not be heard above the roar of the storm. In a short time he came back, saying as he did so, "You can see for yourselves that there is no God. If there were, He would have killed me while daring Him to do so." But God moves in a mysterious way, and his awful sin did not go long unpunished.
He took a chair and was quiet for some time. He had uttered his last oath, and when he again spoke it was in subdued tones, as follows, "There is a God, and He is going to teach me that He can take my life with a smaller instrument than a shaft of lightning. Soon after I came in here, a little insect lit upon my hand and stung it. It commenced to pain me and soon affected my arm and is fast doing its fatal work. The pain is almost unendurable, and I shall soon be a dead man, and my soul will be in hell. Yes, there is a God."
And so he died, in awful agony of body and mind, and his soul passed into the great beyond.
"Surely the fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." -- Reported for this book by Mary E. Jenks, of McBain, Michigan
181 -- "THIS IS HELL ENOUGH! THE DEVILS ARE DRAGGING ME DOWN."
There was a young man in Georgia who was constantly warned by his parents and others to turn from his wickedness, profanity and gambling, but he would not taste their advice, and became a miserable wreck of humanity.
He was taken ill, and during his sickness he would exclaim, "Oh, drive these devils away with their chains, they will drag my soul down to hell before I die! Oh, brother and sister, take warning! Don't come to this hell. This is hell enough! The devils are dragging me down!" And as he cried mightily, "Don't come to this hell of woe, this hell, this hell!" his soul departed to everlasting ruin and perdition.
Young people, take warning from this awful experience and repent before it is too late. -- Written for this work by N. M. Nelms. of Kopperl, Texas.
182 -- THE SAINTED A. J. GORDON'S LAST WORD WAS, "VICTORY!"
One of the most noted and devoted Baptist preachers of this country was Rev. Adoniram Judson Gordon, for many years pastor of Clarendon Street Baptist Church, Boston He was a noted author as well as preacher. He went to heaven Feb. 2, 1895. "A short time before his death," says the memorial number of The Watchword, "he called his wife to his side and said, 'If anything should happen, do not have a quartet choir; I have selected four hymns I want to have sung. Write them down: "Abide With Me," "The Sands of Time are Sinking," "Lord if He Sleep He Shall do Well," "My Jesus I Love Thee." ' He was assured that his wishes should be regarded, and the subject was dropped.
"Friday morning such a decided change for the worse was evident that a consultation was called, with the result that, though the patient's condition was pronounced dangerous, it was not hopeless. With the utmost devotion did these two physicians watch every symptom during the day, visiting him four times together that they might mark and check a relapse, or hasten any signs of recovery. At 5 P. M. the doctor sat by him, and speaking with a cheery voice to rouse him said, 'Doctor, have you a good word for us tonight?' and with a clear, full voice he answered, 'Victory!' This was his last audible utterance.
Between nine and ten in the evening the nurse motioned to his wife that she was wanted, and bending to listen, he whispered, 'Maria, pray,' and as she led in prayer, he followed in a whisper, sentence by sentence, and at the close tried to utter a petition for himself. But his strength was not sufficient to articulate.
"A tearful group of friends were tarrying in the parlors of Carey Home; and beloved deacons waited with the members of the family to watch the ebbing tide of mortal life.
"Five minutes after midnight on the morning of February 2 he fell asleep in Jesus. 'And while he blessed them he was parted from them and taken up into heaven.'"
183 -- "OH, DO YOU HEAR THE MUSIC?"
May Wilcox, of Marengo, Illinois, when twenty-one years of age, was taken from earth to heaven.
She was a worker in the vineyard of the Lord -- a self-sacrificing, devoted Christian. Shortly after her conversion she was called of God to work for souls. She gave her life "for others' sake," to gather jewels for her Master, and proved faithful in declaring the truths of God's Word; thorough in altar work, efficient in calling among the people, and a worthy example as a child of God.
"While fighting in ardor in mid-day of life,
The Master in mercy then ended earth's strife;
She said, in much wonder, 'I've only begun;'
He smiled back in answer, 'Come, faithful, well done.'
She looked for white harvest, the sheaves yet unbound;
She reached forth to gather, He gave her the Crown."
At the close of a series of meetings in Bradford, Illinois, she went to her home to recruit for the next battle, but it seemed that her battles were then to end.
Being taken with typhoid fever, she lingered in its heat and suffering a little over a month, then Jesus came and took her to Himself. Once during her sickness, when unconscious to those around her, her mother came in; but she failed to recognize anyone. Her mother said, "May, do you know Jesus?" She replied, "Jesus? O, yes, I know Jesus." The mentioning of His name brought consciousness to her. She well knew that name.
Shortly before she passed away she called all of her loved ones (who were then outside of the ark of safety) and tried to exhort them to prepare to meet their God; but, her tongue being swollen, she could not make them understand. But the Lord enabled her to tell of the glories that filled her soul in that wonderful hour. She threw up her arms -- the unsaved ones standing around her bed saw the light that came from heaven into that little room -- they felt its divine influence as May said, "Oh! do you hear the music?" Her soul then took its flight -- she continued to hear the music on the other side of the River. Thus ended the career of one triumphant in life and death. -- Written for this work, by Sadie A. Cryer, of Rockford, Ill.
184 -- TRIUMPHANT DEATH OF MARGARETTA KLOPPSTOCK
Kloppstock, the great German poet, author of the well-known epic poem, "The Messiah," was born in 1724, and died in 1803. His wife, Margaretta, was a devoted Christian. In her last moments, being told that God would help her, she replied, "Into heaven!" The last words she whispered were, "The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin! O, sweet words of eternal life!"
185 -- "O, LORD, MY STRENGTH AND MY REDEEMER."
Mrs. Win. Barnes' conversion was brought about shortly after the death of her little girl. She lives in Buffalo, N. Y. Before her daughter died she was not a Christian, but since the death of her little girl, four years ago, she has been leading a godly life and traveling in the way to heaven.
The following is recorded as related by Mrs. Barnes: My little daughter May, when but eight years old, was taken ill with scarlet fever, and died four days later. During her short sickness she was such a patient little sufferer, and when asked if she was suffering, she would say there didn't anything hurt her, but she did not want to stay with us any longer -- she wanted to go to heaven, and kept repeating this all through the long night. Not long after this she repeated the Lord's prayer, and then thanked us for all that we had done for her, and told us not to worry about her. Then she looked up and said, "I thank Thee, dear Jesus. Dear Jesus, I thank Thee," and then sang some beautiful songs.
Just before she died she raised her eyes toward heaven and said, "O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer." Then, with a peaceful look on her face, she raised herself, and with a glad expression she said "Oh," and saw something which our eyes could not see, and thus passed away.
She had a Bible and three other books given her for constant attendance at her Sunday-school, where she had been a scholar for four years.
Dear reader, I think this message is for you just as much as it is for me. The Bible says, "A little child shall lead them." -- Written for this work by Kate H. Booth, of Buffalo, .N. Y.
186 -- MERRITT CALDWELL'S LAST WORDS -- "JESUS LIVES, I SHALL LIVE ALSO."
This great and good man, principal of Wesleyan Academy, Maine, and vice-president of Dickinson College, Pennsylvania, was a distinguished advocate of total abstinence and a gifted writer. He was born in 1806, died in 1848.
Shortly before his death he said to his wife, "You will not, I am sure, lie down upon your bed and weep when I am gone. You will not mourn for me when God has been so good to me. When you visit my grave, do not come in the shade of the evening, nor in the dark of night; these are no times to visit the grave of a Christian; but come in the morning, in the bright sunshine, and when the birds are singing."
His last expressions were, "Glory to Jesus! He is my trust; He is my strength! Jesus lives; I shall live also!"
187 -- "GOOD-BY! WE WILL SOON MEET AGAIN; CHRIST LIGHTS THE WAY!"
Our readers have noticed the great contrast between the last words of the saved and the unsaved. We herewith give a striking example:
Edward Adams, the noted actor's last words were, "Good-bye Mary; good-bye forever." What a contrast with one of the martyrs who, while going to the stake, said to his wife, "Good-by, Mary, till morning." The next morning, while she was being put into a sack, to be thrown into a pond, she handed her babe to a kind neighbor and said, "Good-by, children; good-by, friends; I go to my husband. We will soon meet again. Christ lights the way." -- L. B. Balliett, M.D.
188 -- "HARK! HEAR THAT MUSIC! THEY DON'T HAVE SUCH MUSIC AS THAT ON EARTH."
Rev. Hiram Case, of Frankford, N. Y., was translated to heaven in the year 1878.
A few weeks before his death he said, "It seemed as if I were stepping into a very cold stream, which sent a shiver through my entire being, but which was gone in the twinkling of an eye, and the place was lit up with a glory that far outshone the noonday sun. What I saw and felt was unutterable. Tongue is too short and words too lame to express what I saw and felt of the presence of the Lord with me."
He had some relatives who were Advents, and he said he wished they could only know how he felt when he thought he was dying. They would never again think that their spirits would sleep in the grave until the resurrection, but would know beyond a doubt that immediately after the spirit had left the body it was with the redeemed host in a conscious existence in the presence of the Great Redeemer of men. He talked freely about dying, saying that, while it was hard to part with his wife and little ones, the Lord knew what was best, and would take him while he was ready. At another time he heard the heavenly music. He said, "Hark! Hear that music! They don't have such music as that on earth."
During these last days he desired that each of his children might have a Bible bought, and following are the texts of scripture he wrote with trembling hand, one for each child:
"My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not."
"Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I find no pleasure in them."
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
The presence of the Lord was with him during all these trying days, and when the power of speech and sight was gone, by the pressure of the hand and the farewell kiss he gave us the token that "All is well"-Written for this work by his wife, Mrs. Gertrude M. Case, of Clyde, N. Y.
189 -- JOHN RANDOLPH'S LAST WORDS -- "REMORSE! REMORSE! REMORSE!"
This great American statesman was born at Cawsons, Va., in 1773. He descended from a wealthy family, a lawyer by profession, and in 1799 was elected to Congress. He was the Democratic leader of the House of Representatives, but quarreled with Jefferson. In 1825 he was chosen United States Senator from Virginia, and in 1830 was appointed United States Minister to Russia.
He died at Philadelphia in 1833. As the doctor and servant were sitting by his bedside, the dying statesman turned toward them and exclaimed, "Remorse! remorse! remorse! -- you don't know what it means! But," Randolph added, "I cast myself on the Lord Jesus Christ for mercy."
190 -- "PRAISE HIM, YOU ALL PRAISE HIM."
Through the influence of room-mates and associates, while attending boarding school, Ethel had been influenced to believe that making a public confession of the Lord Jesus Christ, and receiving baptism by immersion was all the preparation needful to insure her soul endless joy when life on earth was over.
For years Ethel's Christian mother had endeavored to impress upon her daughter's mind the importance of being born, not of water, but of the Holy Spirit. With resolute tenacity Ethel clung to the doctrine of "Water Salvation," which she had so deeply imbibed from her companions while away at school. Notwithstanding all discouragements, Ethel's mother knew from past experience that God was faithful in his promises of divine truth, so by persistent faith and daily prayer she called upon Him at the Throne of Grace to show Ethel the error of resting upon ordinances for spiritual safety, when the blood of Christ, and a saving faith in its atoning merits alone, could secure to her soul eternal life and a home in heaven.
One day, after much earnest wrestling in prayer, her mother was comforted by receiving the assurance of the Holy Spirit that God would be gracious and eventually turn Ethel from the error of building on a foundation of sand.
Not long after this, although but twenty-two years of life had passed over her head, Ethel came to know that she stood with the billows of death rolling very near her feet. It was then that she began to realize the fact that water baptism would not avail to rescue her soul from the perils of sin and the coming judgment. "Man's extremity is ever God's opportunity," and now the Holy Spirit began to convince her that she had need, not only to repent and call upon the Lord, but to believe in Him as a personal Savior. The conflict of her soul with doubts and fears was short but severe. Faith at length triumphed.
Only five days before her departure from earth, after lying speechless for hours, in the throes of dissolution, her mother, who was near her couch, heard Ethel say, with great effort, "Whosoever -- will -- may come." Just then the saving power of the Holy Ghost fell upon her heart, and as a bright smile over-spread her beautiful face, she exclaimed, "Praise Him, you all praise Him." Those were Ethel's last words on earth. -- Written for this work by Mrs. V. E. Markin, of Litchfield, Ky.
191 -- REV. ROBERT HALL'S LAST WORDS -- "COME, LORD JESUS, COME."
Rev. Robert Hall, one of the most eloquent of modern preachers, was born in Arnsby, Leicestershire, England, May 2, 1764; died at Bristol, Feb. 21, 1831.
In 1790 he accepted a call to the Baptist church at Cambridge. Here he remained for fifteen years, increasing in influence and reputation, and was recognized as one of the foremost preachers of his day.
In 1806 he removed to Leicester, where he labored for twenty years, when, at the call of the Broad Street Baptist Church, he returned to Bristol to finish his ministry. He did much to liberalize the opinions of his generation. His fame, great while he lived, has become a cherished tradition among English-speaking Christians, and his works are among the classics of the modern pulpit.
When he came to die he was fully prepared. In his last moments he exclaimed, "It is death, it is death, it is death! O, the sufferings of this body!" His wife inquired whether he was comfortable in mind. "Very comfortable, very comfortable. Come, Lord Jesus, come!" were his last words.
192 -- "I AM GETTING IN SIGHT OF THE CITY. MY HOPE IS FULL."
Daniel Wilmot was born in Prospect, Conn.. Aug. 13, 1816, being eighty-two years old when he died; was married Jan. 7, 1839, and lived almost fifty-nine years with our now widowed sister. . . .
Brother Wilmot did not grow old on the inside-always keeping in touch with domestic interests and public events, growing old gracefully. It was blessed to behold such joy and victory as he uniformly had. At one of the Thursday night meetings held in his home, which he invariably attended, and only four weeks ago, his cup of rejoicing overflowed. With beaming face and transfigured countenance he poured forth a glowing testimony, saying, among other things, "I am almost home. Glory to God! I am getting in sight of the city. My hope is full, oh, glorious hope of immortality! The Lord saves me -- saves me fully. No doubt, no fear disturbs my soul. Praise the Lord! oh, praise the Lord!"
And after he resumed his seat he continued amid the tears of some and the shouts of others, to praise God. Had it been a conference love feast or camp-meeting scene the rejoicing in God could not have been greater. The benediction of that hour, the sight of that face and sound of that voice that night I shall carry with me as one of the richest experiences of my life. In his frequent paroxysms of pain, he was patient and unmurmuring. As his strength declined and his pain increased, he would pray and ask his companion to pray the Lord to take him home, the day before his departure. . . .
Sister Thompson read from The Christian Witness, a paper he loved for its soul food. Saying, "I am tired," and asking, "Is my bed ready?" he was helped to bed. But he was not to sleep in that bed again. Jesus was about to rest the tired saint within the tender pressure of his everlasting arms. Pain laid hold on him again, and for the last time, thank God! While remedies were being prepared to relieve him he grew faint from nausea, the heart began to slow its beating, he sank into unconsciousness and soon was "absent from the body and present with the Lord." Truly the saints die well. -- Geo. W. Anderson, in Christian Witness, of October 27, 1898.
193 -- "EMPTIED OF SELF; FILLED WITH CHRIST; CLOSE TO GOD; NO FEAR."
My dear brother, Charles G. Jones, was a very unselfish man. In whatever enterprise he embarked, it was not so much to benefit himself as to help others.
He early felt the power of religion, and I remember his saying to me, when I was speaking to him of its claims, "Yes, I believe man should be pure -- pure as water." He felt a deep sense of his responsibility to God, and would say, "I must give an account; I must give an account." His heart went out toward the needy, and a favorite maxim of his was, "Never turn away thy face from the poor man, and the Lord will not turn His face from thee."
For two years and upwards, before his death, he was a great sufferer. In his last letter to me he spoke of his faith in God for all things, and said, "Having therefore obtained help from God, we continue unto this day."
About four months later, on the sixth of January, 1898, at his residence, No. 8 Windsor avenue, Montreal, Canada, he passed from earth to heaven. His last words were, "Emptied of self; filled with Christ; close to God; no fear." -- Written for this work by W. D. Jones, of Chicago, Ill.
194 -- SIR JOHN MASON -- "WERE I TO LIVE AGAIN, I WOULD CHANGE THE WHOLE LIFE I HAVE LIVED."
A strong testimony to the importance of religion is given by Sir John Mason, who, though but sixty-three at his death, had flourished in the reigns of four sovereigns (Henry VIII., Edward VI., Mary, and Elizabeth), had been privy-counselor to them all, and an attentive observer of the various revolutions and vicissitudes of those times.
Toward his latter end, being on his deathbed, he spoke thus to those about him: "I have lived to see five sovereigns, and have been privy-counselor to four of them. I have seen the most remarkable things in foreign parts, and have been present at most state transactions for the last thirty years; and I have learned from the experience of so many years that seriousness is the greatest wisdom, temperance the best physic, and a good conscience the best estate. And were I to live again, I would change the court for a cloister, my privy-counselor's bustle for hermit's retirement, and the whole life I have lived in the palace for an hour's enjoyment of God in the chapel. All things now forsake me, except my God, my duty and my prayers." . . .
From the regret expressed by Sir John Mason, it appears that his error consisted, not in having served his king and country, in the eminent stations in which he had been placed; but in having suffered his mind to be so much occupied with business as to make him neglect, in some degree, the proper seasons of religious retirement, and the prime duties which he owed to his Creator. -- Power of Religion.
195 -- MRS. ETTA KATRINA YANKLE -- "PRAISE THE LORD!"
This saint of God went to heaven Dec. 9, 1887, in the fifty-third year of her age.
We were well acquainted with Sister Yankle. The Lord greatly used her in a great revival we held near her home, New Haven, Michigan, in the winter of 1885. Several of her children, and more than one hundred of her neighbors, were soundly converted to God in that revival, and as many more were reclaimed from a backslidden state and filled with the Spirit of God during the meetings.
Sister Yankle for many years lived a very devoted Christian life. She was not in words only, but in deed, a "mother in Israel." Many are the souls she has led to Christ, and larger still is the number whom she has helped and encouraged and cared for as a mother a child. Among all our acquaintance we know but few to whom so high praise could justly be given. As wife, and mother, and friend she filled nobly, grandly, the place God had given her.
Soon after her death, her daughter, the wife of Rev. John Kirn, wrote us as follows:
"I know that God doeth all things well. I am glad that my heart says, the Lord's will be done. Mother said after brother Freddie's death; 'The Lord never makes any mistakes.' I feel the same now. I cannot understand why the Lord took mother home, when it seems that we needed her so much; but He knows best. Her work is done. It would have done you good to have seen her in her sickness, she was so patient-never murmured nor complained, but was praising God all the time. When those who came in spoke of her being so sick, and suffering so much, she always replied that she was resting in Jesus' arms, and that she believed the Lord would heal her, but if not, she was ready to go; and would praise the Lord so that the unsaved could hardly bear it. She was not able to talk much. Her last words were, 'Praise the Lord!' She tried to say more, but could not. The funeral sermon was preached to a large congregation, in the power of the Spirit."
May God raise up more such devoted women, is our prayer. -- Editor.
196 -- VICTORIOUS DEATH OF JANE, THE PROTESTANT QUEEN OF NAVARRE
This excellent queen was the daughter of Henry II., King of Navarre, and of Margaret of Orleans, sister of Francis I., King of France. She was born in the year 1528.
From her childhood she was carefully educated in the Protestant religion, to which she steadfastly adhered all her days. Bishop Burnet says of her: "That she both received the Reformation, and brought her subjects to it; that she not only reformed her court, but the whole principality, to such a degree that the Golden Age seemed to have returned under her; or rather, Christianity appeared again with its primitive purity and luster."
This illustrious queen, being invited to attend the nuptials of her son and the King of France's sister, fell a victim to the cruel machinations of the French court against the Protestant religion. The religious fortitude and genuine piety with which she was endued did not, however, desert her in this great conflict, and at the approach of death.
To some what were about her, near the conclusion of her time, she said, "I receive all this as from the hand of God, my most merciful Father; nor have I, during my extremity, feared to die, much less murmured against God for inflicting this chastisement upon me; knowing that whatsoever He does with me, He so orders it that, in the end, it shall turn to my everlasting good."
When she saw her ladies and women weeping about her bed, she blamed them, saying, "Weep not for me, I pray you. God, by this sickness, calls me hence to enjoy a better life; and now I shall enter into the desired haven, toward which this frail vessel of mine has been a long time steering."
She expressed some concern for her children, as they would be deprived of her in their tender years, but added, "I doubt not that God Himself will be their father and protector, as He has ever been mine in my greatest afflictions. I therefore commit them wholly to His government and fatherly care. I believe that Christ is my only Mediator and Savior; and I look for salvation from no other. O my God! in Thy good time, deliver me from the troubles of this present life, that I may attain to the felicity which Thou hast promised to bestow upon me." -- Power of Religion.
197 -- "I'M GOING UP IN THE CHARIOT SO EARLY IN THE MORNING."
Mrs. Harriet McManamey went home on the 18th of February, 1887. Though suffering to the last, she passed away quietly to her home in the paradise of God. She had been converted twelve years before, and was a member of the Wesleyan Methodist Church and a devout Christian and an earnest worker both in the church and Sabbath school.
About three years previous to her death she entered into the experience of perfect love through the instruction and labors of Bro. S, B. Shaw. As she listened to his radical teaching on holiness, conviction seized her heart anew. She believed it and entered in -- came through into the promised land shouting and praising God. Her class-meeting testimony was never complete without some allusion to her experience of heart purity. How and when she obtained it, she wanted all to know.
She was a lover of singing, and the Spiritual Hymns was a favorite with her. Her breathing was very short, but on one occasion when all was silent she broke out and sang,
"I'm going up in the chariot
So early in the morning."
All through she clapped her hands as if in a camp meeting. The Holiness Record was a welcome visitor to her household. She read the January number all through and asked about the February number. Her family and friends do not weep as those who have no hope, but joyously await the call of the Master when the reunion will take place never to be broken. -- Mrs. L. G. Whitney, Hemlock, Mich.
198 -- SIR PHILIP SIDNEY -- "I WOULD NOT CHANGE MY JOY FOR THE EMPIRE OF THE WORLD."
Sir Philip Sidney was born in Kent, in the year 1554. He possessed shining talents, was well educated, and at the early age of twenty-one was sent by Queen Elizabeth, as her ambassador, to the Emperor of Germany. He is described by the writers of that age as the finest model of an accomplished gentleman that could be formed, even in imagination. An amiable disposition, elegant erudition, and polite conversation, rendered him the ornament and delight of the English court. Lord Brooks so highly valued his friendship, that he directed to be inserted as part of his epitaph, "Here lies Sir Philip Sidney's friend." His fame was so widely spread, that if he had chosen it, he might have obtained the crown of Poland.
But the glory of this Marcellus of the English nation was of short duration. He was wounded at the battle of Zutphen, and carried to Arnheim, where, after languishing about three weeks, he died, in the thirty-second year of his age...
After he had received the fatal wound, and was brought into a tent, he piously raised his eyes towards heaven, and acknowledged the hand of God in this event. He confessed himself to be a sinner, and returned thanks to God that "He had not struck him with death at once, but gave him space to seek repentance and reconciliation."
Compared with his present views of religion, his former virtues seemed to be nothing. When it was observed to him that good men, in the time of great affliction, found comfort and support in the recollection of those parts of their lives in which they had glorified God, he humbly replied, "It is not so with me. I have no comfort that way. All things in my former life have been vain."
On being asked whether he did not desire life merely to have it in his power to glorify God, he answered, "I have vowed my life unto God, and if He cut me off, and suffer me to live no longer, I shall glorify Him, and give up myself to his service."
The nearer death approached, the more his consolation and hopes increased. A short time before his dissolution, he lifted up his eyes and hands, and uttered these words, "I would not change my joy for the empire of the world."
His advice and observations, on taking the last leave of his deeply afflicted brother, are worthy of remembrance. They appear to have been expressed with great seriousness and composure. "Love my memory; cherish my friends. Their fidelity to me may assure you that they are honest. But, above all, govern your will and affections, by the will and word of your Creator. In me behold the end of the world and all its vanities." -- Power of Religion.
199 -- "I SEE ANGELS CLAPPING THEIR HANDS AROUND THE GREAT WHITE THRONE."
Eva Greening, who was nine years old, passed from the terrestrial to the celestial state at half past four o'clock January 4,1887. She realized that she must die, about two o'clock on the day previous, without anyone telling her. She commenced clapping her hands and shouting praises to God. She sang several hymns; not remembering words to one or two, she made words so appropriate that I knew her mind was wonderfully illuminated by the Holy Ghost. She said she was so happy, and so glad papa and mamma had trained her to be a Christian.
Mr. and Mrs. Steele and daughters (her grandparents and aunts) came in. She called them one at a time to her bedside and asked and plead with them to be true Christians and meet her in heaven. She asked Mr. Steele to send for her uncle, Willie Steele, who lives in Los Angeles. Willie came on the first train. She called him to her bedside and asked him to quit sinning and come to Jesus and be a good man and meet her in heaven. We sent for our little girl, who was at Mr. Butler's, and when she came Eva called her and told her she was almost home, to be a good girl, live a Christian and meet her in heaven.
A lady whom Eva loved came in. She had on jewelry. Eva admonished her to put off her jewelry and put on white robes (meaning robes of righteousness) and prepare to meet her around the great white throne. We had taught Eva that wearing jewelry was positively forbidden in God's word, and that such personal adornment was an evidence of pride and vanity, and that money so expended ought to be used to spread the gospel and to relieve the poor.
We sang several hymns for her, such as I knew she loved. We could not find one we wanted to sing, and although she was getting so weak she could hardly speak, she told us the words so that we could find it. While she was lying perfectly still and calm, she said, "I see stars."
Mr. Steele asked her what they looked like. She said, "Bright lights, the stars of God. I see an angel."
Mr. Steele asked how he looked. She said, "He has on white robes." She again said, "I see angels clapping their hands around the great white throne."
A few minutes before she died, when she could not speak, I asked if she saw me. She shook her head. I asked if she saw Jesus. She nodded that she did. There were members of several different denominations, which are not in sympathy with holiness people, in the room, who expressed themselves as not doubting the soundness of Eva's mind and the truth of her statements.
Eva had been a true Christian most of the time for more than two years. As she swept through the gates she left a stream of living light that will shine down through future ages with brilliancy and effect, to an extent that will never be known until the final harvest.
For more than a year before, at our family devotions, morning and evening, after I lead in prayer, Eva would pray, and continued to pray aloud at our worship until the day before her death. In speaking of heaven when dying, she said, "Nothing but holiness can carry us through." I never before understood the comforting power of the Holy Ghost while passing through the shadow of death. Indeed, while Eva was dying, it was manifested to us that death was only a shadow that she was passing through.
Although our home is left so desolate, and when I go home at noon and night I no longer receive the happy greeting I always received, yet the Holy Ghost comforts us. Myself and wife willingly submit to the wisdom of God, knowing that he knows best and that everything works together for good to them that love Him. -- By her father, E. G. Greening, Downey, Los Angeles, Cal.
200 -- LAST WORDS OF Charles V
Charles V., Emperor of Germany, King of Spain, and Lord of the Netherlands, was born at Ghent in the year 1500.
He is said to have fought sixty battles, in most of which he was victorious; to have obtained six triumphs, conquered four kingdoms, and to have added eight principalities to his dominions -- an almost unparalleled instance of worldly prosperity, and the greatness of human glory.
But all these fruits of his ambition, and all the honors that attended him, could not yield true and solid satisfaction. Reflecting on the evils and miseries which he occasioned, and convinced of the emptiness of earthly magnificence, he became disgusted with all the splendor that surrounded him, and thought it his duty to withdraw from it, and spend the rest of his days in religious retirement. Accordingly, he voluntarily resigned all his dominions to his brother and son, and after taking an affectionate and last farewell of the latter, and of a numerous retinue of princes and nobility that respectfully attended him, he repaired to his chosen retreat. It was situated in Spain, in a vale of no great extent, watered by a small brook, and surrounded with rising grounds covered with lofty trees.
A deep sense of his frail condition and great imperfections, appears to have impressed his mind in this extraordinary resolution and through the remainder of his life. As soon as he landed in Spain, he fell prostrate on the ground, and considering himself now as dead to the world, he kissed the earth, and said, "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked I now return to thee, thou common mother of mankind."
In this humble retreat he spent his time in religious exercises and innocent employments; and buried here, in solitude and silence, his grandeur, his ambition, together with all those vast projects which, for nearly half a century, had alarmed and agitated Europe, and filled every kingdom in it, by turns, with the terror of his arms, and the dread of being subjected to his power. Far from taking any part in the political transactions of the world, he restrained his curiosity even from any inquiry concerning them; and seemed to view the busy scene he had abandoned, with an elevation and indifference of mind which arose from a thorough experience of its vanity, as well as from the pleasing reflection of having disengaged himself from its cares and temptations.
Here he enjoyed more solid happiness than all his grandeur had ever yielded him, as a full proof of which he has left this short but comprehensive testimony: "I have tasted more satisfaction in my solitude in one day than in all the triumphs of my former reign. The sincere study, profession and practice of the Christian religion have in them such joys and sweetness as are seldom found in courts and grandeur." -- Power of Religion.