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REV. CHARLES WESLEY.
A little before his death he said: "Come, my dearest Jesus, the nearer the more precious, the more welcome." Another time his joy was so great that in an extasy he cried out? "I cannot contain it! What manner of love is this to a poor worm? I cannot express the thousandth part of what praise is due to thee. It is but little I can give thee, but Lord, help me to give thee my all. I will die praising thee, and rejoice that others can praise thee better. I shall be satisfied with thy likeness! satisfied! satisfied! O, my dearest Jesus, I come!" Thus died this excellent man, Dec. 31st, 1696, in the 77th year of his age.
A few days before his death, he composed the following lines; having been silent for some time, he called Mrs. Wesley to him, and desired her to write as he dictated ;
"In age and feebleness extreme,
REV. JOHN EYRE,
When near the close of life said to a friend, I have been praying for my family, and all my friends by name, as many as I can recollect; and the charge the Lord has committed to me, I have resigned to him again. I do not say I will go before, and prepare you mansions. No; blessed be God, they are already prepared! And my friends I shall not lose: I shall meet them again, for I have long broken off all friendship with the world." Upon his friend observing, You have not been left in this affliction?' "Oh, no!" said he, in an extacy, "I do not indeed know what Heaven is, but I have had such views, that it seems worth while to leave Heaven, and come down to enjoy them over again. But on these joys I lay no stress ;-I had rather go out of the world in poverty of spirit, than with the greatest joy!"
REV. BENJAMIN DAVIS.
On a friend suggesting to him during his illness the possibility of his recovery, he replied, "O no; if God saw fit to restore me, he would bless the means used for my recovery; but my work is done; and, glory be to his name, I am not without my reward in this life, for my consolations are neither few nor small: I know in whom I have believed, and he is able to keep me; and though I descend to the valley of death, he will be with me. He has the keys of death and hell at his girdle: the one cannot arrest till he commands; the other cannot open its mouth to destroy, while I have his merits to plead. Oh! who can fathom the love of Jesus? 'it passeth knowledge.' About three weeks before his death, his pains were exceedingly violent; yet the greater his sufferings, the more abundant were his consolations. His own language gives the best idea of the satisfactions he then experienced
To go to your Father,
and to my Father, to your God, and to my God; Oh, what joy I feel!
And then with tears of inexpressible delight, and a countenance beaming seraphic animation, he exclaimed, Thy presence, O Lord, over
whelms me; it is more than I can bear: this poor earthen vessel is running over; Glory, Glory, Glory, be unto thy name! Just afterwards, a friend coming in, he said, You are come too late for our joys, but you are no stranger to them; the Captain of my salvation was made perfect through suffering, and, blessed be his name, he leadeth me on to conquest and a crown: what should I have done now, if (after having preached to others for nearly forty years) I had not his consolations! He is my way, my truth, and my life, and I am his : for years I have never feared the consequences of death, but oftentimes the pains; but, blessed be his name, he takes my pains away. Perfectly sensible of the near approach of death, about ten days before his dissolution, he expressed a desire that his family might be called
around his bed, in order that he might once more address them; and on being informed that all were present, he with an emphasis which will never be forgotten, said, My dear children, I charge you, in the presence of that God before whom I must shortly appear, that ye walk in the strait and narrow path, that not one of you be found at the left hand of the Judge in the great day. How can I endure the thought, that either of my dear children should be for ever under the wrath of God, or forced to dwell in everlasting burnings! I have exhorted you, and prayed often for you; but my prayers are nearly ended, you must now pray for yourselves. O strive to enter in at the strait gate, and let me entreat you to be decided for the Lord. One thing more I have to say to you: very soon you will have but one parent; I charge you with my dying breath, be kind to her; do every thing you can to make her comfortable; attend to her counsel, for she will never advise you to any thing but what will tend to your comfort here, and your happiness hereafter.'