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ihat I am as willing, you shall live as yo:i do, as in any other way. I never doubled but that it was your duty, so to do: and it is evident, the Lord has been with you; or you never would have prospered--as it is plain, that you have done." This, was much, for an indulgent parent, to say! And I believe that few exist; who have love enough to God, and the souls of men; to give up a child, -(of the same description, of. myself) to such a scene of conflicts--as he, was well aware, that I had endured. Yea, this to me, was what spoke volumes!
lie had wound up his business; and seemed to be done with earthly concerns.
He desired of his children, that they would all try to be more faithful to God, than himself had been:--and "Meet him in Glory:" saying "Some one of you will quickly follow me, beyond the grave." I asked him, one day, if he had never thought it his duty, to pray in his family-as that, he never had been in a habit of doing. He replied, No! “I have ever thought it my duty lo pray in secret : and that He, who seeth in secret was able to reward me openly."
Some one of the family asked him, “Whether, death had any terror to him." To which, he replied, “I cannot say, it has no terror. "But death does not appear, as it used to do." Towards, the many neighbors and friends, that called upon him; he manifested much tenderness and readiness to converse; but to them, of his own attainments, he always spoke with reserve. He was afraid of professing, too great things, (as he expressed:)—and he would therefore, reply, “I
hope, the Lord is with me. But I find little satisfaction in looking back:--we are however, to forget the things that are behind, and press on to those which are before." I indeed listened with surprise, to the conversation of my father; considering the vast change that had taken place in him, from the time I had last left home, to the present period. His apprehension, was now unusually quick; his memory strong; and all the powers of his mind elevated, above what I had ever witnessed before. From God proceeds, not the "spirit of fear; bul of power, and of love, and of a sound mind!"
On the 7th of September, I arose in the morning uncommonly strong in God. Indeed, I had enjoyed some of the most Heavenly seasons of my life, by my father's sick-bed. But more especially, as the morning of the seventh, commenced,--such a melodious voice, followed me, as I never before had heard. Soon after reading the 136th Psalm, and praying together, I began to pay attention to the sound.
It appeared to increase, (even till noon-tide,) and now, to be ringing all around me. I cast mine eye, over the earth, and said, “Where have I ever heard such melody as this? In any revival, where the Lord, has poured out of His spirit, and caused Ilis people, to sing for joy; have I ever heard any thing like, this?" "No!"--I stopped again; musing, whether I did actually hear, any external voice; (i. e.
with the natural ear;) or whether it was a mental sound, alone. I decided the latter; although it seemed as audible, as any voice, that penetrated the natural organ. I turn
eå, 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 mo tal 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 chil. dren, nine in number, were now left fatherless: but, bless the Lord, they too, could say, “One is our Father, Brother, Friend; which is in Heav. cn: 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 Newbury port) I happened to be led home; and found my father, very ill. At 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.