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and grieving others. She never spake evil of any one. Whatever she said of others, especially when absent, was sure to be words of kindness and peace. Even to the last period of her life, she could never think she did enough to assist and console the distressed, or to show her affection and gratitude to those around her.
Christianity should teach us to follow the meekness of this servant of Christ. Let us put on, as the elect of God, bowels of mercies, and, like her, be anxious to cultivate sympathy of heart and peaceableness of disposition.
Till within about ten years of her death, her weak bodily frame was on the whole exempted from any serious attacks of illness, except on one occasion by a nervous fever. But about the year 1806 she was seized with a paralytic stroke, from which she never entirely recovered. She is supposed to have had six or seven additional ones, of a slighter kind, at different periods since. These gradually weakened her strength, and at last, for about a twelvemonth before her death, prevented her from regularly attending the public worship of God.
For the last five or six years it has been my happiness to have had frequent occasions of visiting her, and I can most cheerfully testify to the Christian graces and virtues which the Spirit of God had wrought in her. Her faith in the atoning sacrifice of the Divine Redeemer,
her reliance on his merits and righteousness, her love to his name, and her ardent desire to know him and obey him more and more, were leading features in her character. I observed, also, continually her delight in prayer, her reverence for the Holy Scriptures, her readiness to enter on religious conversation, her sense of the evil of sin, her perception of her own great and utter unworthiness, her renunciation of any reliance whatever on herself, her dependence on the grace and teaching of the Holy Spirit, her charitable and forgiving temper, her submission to the will of God, her impression of the magnitude of that grace which had brought her to the knowledge of salvation, her desires after holiness, her honourable and consistent conduct, and her longings after the purity and joys of heaven. These were fruits and evidences of that new and heavenly birth of the Spirit, without which our Lord has declared no one can enter the kingdom of heaven.
That all these graces were mixed with infirmity and sin, Mrs. Cardale would have been the first to acknowledge. I am not drawing a perfect character. But, allowing for the large deductions of human frailty, and speaking of her as she appeared to her fellow-Christians, I must bear witness to the eminent attainments she had made in the grace of Christ. And I mention the above dispositions because they
fell under my own notice, and because it is in these and such like points that the loveliness of the Christian character appears. And when these holy tempers are connected with the practical fruits of obedience in the life, as they were in the case of Mrs. Cardale, and are also united with a simple faith in the righteousness of the Saviour, and an unaffected contrition before him, they constitute the scriptural evidence of justification and adoption, and distinguish the genuine Christian from every other description of persons.
But Mrs. Cardale's weakness and infirmity gradually encreased as she approached her end. Her mind also was proportionably enfeebled. For the last twelvemonth her memory almost entirely failed her, and she was not capable of any fixed attention. It delighted me, however, to perceive that on one subject she always seemed at home: when the name of her Saviour was mentioned, she appeared to collect all the force of her mind, and became evidently much interested. The passages of the word of God which had been familiar to her from her early years, had their wonted influence. Even a very few days only preceding her death, when she was reduced to extreme debility, and hardly appeared to know the persons around her, the moment I began to speak of the great love of Jesus Christ, and the promises of his Gospel,
she entered into the conversation with the utmost composure, and expressed, with a firm and audible voice, the happiness she felt in being in the hands of so gracious and powerful a Saviour.
Surely this strongly teaches us the blessedness of early piety. Such a piety forms a second nature; it brings forth fruit in old age. Habits of holy faith seem, in some degree, to overcome even the decay of the body, and to make the sinking Christian still bear testimony to the faithfulness of his God. This God is our God for ever and ever; He shall be our guide even unto death.
One especial mark of mercy it pleased God yet to vouchsafe to his aged servant, in the tranquil manner of her death. Since her paralytic attack in 1806, and particularly since her health was further undermined by several slighter attacks, Mrs. Cardale had been apprehensive that, when death should approach, the pangs, which usually precede the separation of the soul and body, would be more than her faith would be able to sustain. So that, though she was not afraid of death, she feared its circumstances, lest her patience should fail, and she should dishonour her Lord and Saviour. It pleased God, however, so to disappoint these fears, that she may really be said not to have known what death was. Her departure was so
tranquil, that the exact moment of the transition could not be ascertained. Lying unmoved in her bed, on which she had just been placed on account of her great weakness, she meekly breathed out her spirit without a sigh or a groan. As the infant falls asleep in the arms of the affectionate parent, so did this exemplary woman fall asleep in the arms of Jesus her Saviour, on Thursday, February 8, 1816, in the seventy-seventh year of her age.
This last instance of her Redeemer's compassion may encourage the trembling saint to leave all the attendant circumstances of his departure to the care and love of his omnipotent Saviour; who can either, if he sees fit, deliver him from the pains of death; or can grant him that support which will give him more than the victory over them.
The remains of Mrs. Cardale were interred in a family vault in the burial ground of St. Andrew's, Holborn, in Gray's Inn Lane, on Saturday, February 17th, 1816, there to await the resurrection of the just.
Thus was this "elect lady" kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. May we not say of such a death, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord! Her life had been devoted to Jesus Christ her Saviour, and her end was peace. She lived and died a mo