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During his short sickness he was perfectly rational, and, sudden as was the call, he met the king of terrors with perfect composure, conversing about him with free. dom and cheerfulness. With his dying lips he declared his firm confidence in the truth of the doctrines he had preached, and repeatedly assured his friends, that the prospect before him was clear. A little before he died, he asked the doctor whether he thought he might live an hour longer, and expressed a strong desire to continue until his children should arrive, assigning as a reason, that he wished to give them his last blessing. In the inscrutable providence of God, he was denied this privilege. He was content, and said " It is no farther from Cambridge to heaven than from Lansingburgh.” He left his dying charge to his children, that they should “ be good, and meet him in heaven.” When his voice failed so that he could no longer speak aloud, the anxious ear of his friends caught the last whisperings of that tongue, which had so often and so sweetly told of redeeming love, the riches of grace, and the heavenly inheritance. Those last whispers were: “Glory! glory! glory!” until his tongue was silent in death.
Thus died the Rev. Coles Carpenter, in the fortyninth year of his age. His remains were taken to Lansingburgh, where, by the side of his companion and daughter, they await the summons of the last day. The Presbytery, which was then in session in that village, showed their respect for him, by adjourning to attend his funeral. A sermon was preached on the occasion by Rev. T. Spicer, on “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth,” in which it was shown: First, that good men are the friends of Jesus. Secondly, that though his friends, they must die. Thirdly, their death was compared to a sleep-they shall awake again.
Mr. Carpenter is universally spoken of in high terms,
by his associates in the ministry. Dr. S. Luckey speaks of him as a "lovely, meek, unassuming man, a good counselor and a peacemaker.” He is represented by another, who knew him intimately, as "a man of God; a man of prayer, faith and the Holy Ghost.”
As the head of a family, he was affectionate and faithful. The following extract of a letter, addressed to one of his sons soon after leaving home, bespeaks his pious solicitude and fidelity.
“ NEW YORK, June 8, 1829. “MY DEAR Boy: I feel much concerned for you, believe ing your future respectability and happiness depend, in a great measure, on your present behavior. You are now, in some sort, from under the eyes of your parents; and if you have not consideration enough to watch over yourself and refrain from loose company, we must regard your imprudence as an omen of your future ruin. Let respect for yourself and for your friends, who have offered up prayers and tears for you, stimulate you to a laudable ambition to shun all improper behavior, and to secure the confidence of the wise and good.
“ Your parents are now approaching old age, and, if after all their labor and toil to bring up their children, they should see any of you dissipated and pests to society, the evening of their life would be covered with a cloud, and their gray hairs would go down in sorrow to
“ I beseech of you, do not neglect to attend church on the sabbath. Do not associate with such as spend the holy day of the Lord in a profane manner. You need have no fear but you will always find friends if you properly respect yourself. COLES CARPENTER."
The following letter shows that the hand of God was heavily laid upon him, in domestic bereavements, and indicates the spirit in which they were received.
COEYMANS, March 20th, 1827. “Dear Children: We have just heard of the death of your little boy. And is he gone! Yes, and we must soon go to him. Death has lately made many breaches in our family, but in no case have we been called to sorrow as those that have no hope. Five times has the earth opened her mouth in the course of a few short months, to swallow some bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. In the day of adversity let us consider. This providence certainly conveys instruction in an impressive and useful manner. I pray that we may neither despise the chastisements of the Lord, nor faint at his rebuke. While we are called to mourn, we are also called to discharge the debt of gratitude. When I retrospect, I see the solemn and trying day in which I was full of fears for you both, and I shall always think that in answer to many tears and prayers, things have had so happy an issue. You tell me you have again commenced house keeping, and let me say to you, that I do not expect to see you prosperous, either in spiritual or temporal things, unless you are punctual in family prayer. Persevere in the service of God, and, although matters are somewhat gloomy now, your light shall rise in obscurity,, and your darkness become as the noonday. Your father,
COLES CARPENTER." A letter dated New York, April 6th, 1830, addressed to his oldest son, Mr. Morris Carpenter, of Nassau, N. Y., shows that death had again invaded his family circle. He says, “We have lately been called to part with our dear little William. He died of dropsy in the head on Saturday last. He will not return to us, but we must go to him. May the good Lord prepare us to meet him and all our friends in glory. Like other men, I am born to trouble, but my greatest trouble is that I am not more holy and useful.
“ I would say to you, as I have always said, “Know thou the God of thy fathers, and serve him with a per. fect heart and a willing mind.'”
In November of the same year, another of his family, a much loved daughter, was taken from him. The fol.. lowing letter, written on the day of the funeral, breathes a spirit of meekness and submission which is instructive to the reader, while it exhibits the character of the writer.
"SCHENECTADY, Nov. 6, 1850. “Dear Children: We are again wounded, deeply wounded. Our Anne Eliza is no more. A few hours since, we committed her remains to the tomb. She died on last Thursday evening, between eight and nine o'clock. For the space of five weeks she suffered greatly, but we trust she is now at rest in the paradise of God. 0, may we prepare to follow her!
“ The dear child was very lovely and affectionate; but the Lord gave her, and he had the right to take her away. We may not murmur, though we mourn. This is grievous, but not so bitter as a guilty conscience. William, and Caleb, and Anne gone! My merciful God, who next shall be summoned away? By tears and prayers, and fasting, I besought Infinite Goodness to spare her a little longer. Blind mortals, we know not what is best for us. May he who said to his servant Paul, My grace is sufficient for thee,' grant us grace to help us in time of need. COLES CARPENTER."
And yet again, before his own sudden departure, he was called to see another lovely daughter sink into the cold
ace of death; but there was light in that dwelling. He tells the mournfully joyous tale in the following note to his son:
LANSINGBURGH, January 6th, 1833. “Dear Children: Our dear Phebe is gone. She
breathed her last ten minutes since. As long as she had strength she clapped her hands. She died gasping the name of Jesus, saying, “He can make a dying bed easy,' then kissed the family a few minutes before she ceased to breathe, and charged us to meet her in heaven. No doubt our loss is her infinite gain.
COLES CARPENTER." Substantial evidence of his having exemplified religion in the family, and discharged his duty as a father, is found in the happy deaths above alluded to, and in the fact that his six children now living were all converted to God in early life. Five of them are now members of the M. E. Church and some of their descendants are also following in their steps. Five generations of his family connections, extending from his worthy grandmother to his grandchildren, have held an honorable relation to the church of his choice. What encouragement to the Christian parent! Though Mr. Carpenter was denied the privilege of giving his dying blessing to his children, he gave them what was more valuable, his living blessing; and they in their turn will hereafter call him
He was a superior preacher. His pulpit ability did not consist so much in analytic, or argumentative power, as in the clearness and beauty, the pathos and force with which he exhibited the leading features of the remedial scheme, and entreated men to be reconciled to God.
There was more of John than of Peter, more of Melancthon than of Luther in his character. Though unwaveringly attached to Methodism, one distinguishing trait in his character was his liberality of sentiment and feeling toward other denominations. He could see and appreciate goodness, and greatness, outside of his own communion. He disrelished controversy, and was