« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
ed, at length, mine eye upward; and it appeared to fill the region of the air: and seemed, not unlike the voice of the "multitude," that sang at a Saviour's birth, "Glory to God in the highest!". "Hallelujah!"-Hallelujah!--Praise ye the Lord!
I went to my father's bed-side, and told him what I heard: and "That the Angels had encamped, around about; that awaited the summons, to convey him home!" He heard, with a look of cheerfulness; and remained silent, for a number of hours. He then, broke out, and said, "I feel that, which I never felt before!" "I am now ready to go!" Said one, "Have you no desire, to stay, a little longer?" He replied, "No!" "To depart and be with Christ, is far better, than to be here!" Another rejoined, "You are now ready, are you; and longing to be gone?" He answered, "Yes!" "There is nothing in this world, worth staying for.'
At 4 o'clock P. M. we discovered, that the last, closing scene was come. And that our dear father, was leaving us;--to be seen, of us, no more! Some of the neighbours, therefore, were called in; and six of his children being present: when we saw, the unvarying harbingers of death, beginning to appear. My mother said to him, again, "Does the Lord continue with you?" He replied, "I hope He does." We, some of us, then took his hand-already, cold in death, and said, "Father, fare-you-well!" But behold, he was gone! Oh! the piercing thought, that he could speak to us, no more! He had just, plunged down the brink, of death's cold stream!--beyond, our narrow view. It was, but a moment;
and the weary wheels-of-life, stood still! Without a struggle, or a groan, he fell asleep! But 'faith,' pursued that spirit where she fled. Far, far, beyond these mortal shores, she joined the glittering-band. They beckoned her away! Yea, they tuned their golden-lyres, when the glad day, was ushered in, to bring the pilgrim home!
Our mother, was now left a widow: but, thank the Lord, she could say, "I still have a Husband; Companion; Friend; that never dies!" And children, nine in number, were now left fatherless: but, bless the Lord, they too, could say, "One is our Father, Brother, Friend; which is in Heaven: and we, the objects; of His, peculiar care!"
Funeral services, were attended at his dwelling, on the 9th instant, by Elder Moses Howe, of Portsmouth: and, an appropriate discourse delivered from, Numb. 23 and 10th. "Let me die the death of the righteous; and let my last end, be like his." A vast concourse of people were present, on the occasion: and he was attended to the grave, by a large number of relatives, who felt truly sensible of their loss. With them, I had the privilege of being one! (yea we all, together met; but it was, for the last time; till we all, again appear, at the judgment seat of Christ.) The ground I saw, where our beloved father, quietly reposes; and many others, that once were dear to me; but, I bade that place, adieu. His children, some, may have their last abode with him; but to the farthermost-verge of the earth, it may be mine, to enter "the cold dominion of the king of terrors.' From them, I have been
separated, in life; I expect to be divided, in death; "But, may I have my friends, again:”
"In one, eternal day!”
The christian experience, of my father, was not a little remarkable. A brief account of which I deem it not improper, here, that I should give.
During the third year of my travels abroad; (while laboring at Newburyport) I happened to be led home; and found my father, very ill. which time I took the liberty to ask him, If he felt himself, prepared to die: and added, "I never heard you yet say, Father, whether you ever knew the pardoning love of Christ, or not; and I now should be glad, if you would tell me, for my own satisfaction.”
He began, very cheerfully, and said, "Yes, I think sometimes, I have known what it was, to pass from death unto life. When I was a youth of twenty-two, I was much troubled about my future state; and for some months, I could gain no relief. No one could tell me, in that dark age, the cause of my distress. I became, at length, so ill, that I thought myself, diseased in body; and took to my bed. When, the minister* of the town, was sent for; to make me a visit, and find out the cause of my complaint.
That he accordingly did; and gave me, as good advice, as he was capable of giving to any one; saying, "Philip, I am sorry to see you, thus troubled! You have always been a clever, steady lad; and done no evil to any one. And now, to join the church; and go into lively com
Mr. Thayer, Congregationalist.
pany; and wear off your dejection; is the best thing, you can do: and so, give yourself no more uneasiness."
But I felt no better, for such counsel; (continwed, my father) however, I soon after, got out of doors to the field: and it came to mind, one day, that I should go to the barn, and fall on my knees, and pray the Lord, to forgive my sins! I left my work, added he, and that I accordingly did.-When, all my trouble quickly vanished away; and my heart was filled, with love, and peace?
very happy, and my joy continued for some time: but I knew not what to make of it; and the things being strange, also, to all others; I therefore kept it to myself
Nearly twenty years after; the revival began in the town, by the Baptists. I then found some, for the first time, that understood what I had felt. As they spoke the things, that I knew, I had experienced, I consequently, took great delight, in going to meeting: and I wished to hear none others preach, but them. So I left all; and cared not, what people said; choosing, to go out of town, a number of miles to meeting, rather than bear any other. I used to take so much delight, in the things; that I could seareely wait, for the sabbath to return: and this I did, for a number of years.
In the last revival, which was six years ago, I enjoyed much satisfaction. But I am sensible I have been, too worldly-minded: and if it should please the Lord, to spare me a little longer; I
* Or Free-willers as they were called
am resolved not to live, as I have done." sequently, took up my cross, and prayed night and morning, with my father; and I believe he was thankful, that he had one child, at least, to come and pray by his bed-side, with him. I then returned to Newbury; believing that God, would yet spare him, a little longer; to be a comfort to his family, and useful in the world.
In the revival, which took place, two years subsequent, to this; he did not appear to enjoy much vital piety: although, he still maintained, the same upright course of life, that he was always inclined to do. Four of his children at the time, becoming the subjects of the work; one would have supposed, a sufficient stimulous to him, to serve the Lord, with the whole heart. But I be
lieve, the chief impediment with him, was, he had too much righteousness of his own, to enjoy much of that, which is alone, by the faith of the son of God.
After my leaving the country, for British America; and three years prior, to his decease; he was alarmed by a dream of the night: wherein he saw, "That his end, was come; and he was unprepared, to meet God." (This, I had in a letter from my sister at the time: and also, from his own lips, upon his dying-bed.) From that, said he, "I was greatly distressed, and thought there was no mercy for me. Some professors of religion, were called in, to pray for me, but all to no purpose. I thought I had been living to no good use in the world; had sinned away the day of grace; and that there now, could be no mercy for me. I was thus on the very hor