« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Lord his God.
And now, having a clear view of his approaching dissolution, he, with great serenity and composure, gave directions concerning his outward affairs, with a care to have them properly settled. To his endeared, and now deeply afflicted companion, he tenderly addressed himself, desiring her to laboúr for a state of perfect resignation to the Divine will; saying," then our parting will be made easier than thou dost expect.” Often, after being put to bed, he would say; “Oh! how happy I am! I have a good Master that has provided for me a house, a home, a nurse, and every thing of which I have need!"
About two weeks before his death, on waking out of a sound sleep in the night, he again pressed his wife to endeavour to attain perfect resignation;saying, " thou must give me up cheerfully, and thou wilt get along better than at present thou canst expect. There will be a way provided for thee and our little daughter. I think our son will be taken away." About this time, on being visited by his beloved friend, Peter Yarnall, he mentioned, in conversation, that he had been looking back over his past life, and could remember many favours received from the Divine hand, even from his youth; and that he had, in a good degree, been faithful to the manifestations of duty. He said he had made some missteps, but hoped they were forgiven. Two days after, the same friend, on visiting him again, found him very weak, but free from pain; for which favour he several times expressed his gratitude to the great Author of all our blessings; and in the evening of the same day, laying very still and re
signed, said, “this has been a comfortable, pleasant day.”
A week before his decease, two of his brothers visiting him, he expressed great satisfaction in seeing them once more. On his recovering a little from a very weak state, his brother said, “I thought thou hadst been going." To which he replied, “Oh! sweet change." Then, observing some about him to weep, he said, “Weep not for me, but for yourselves, and for your children"-and shortly after, said, “ It is in my heart to sing, for the joy that is set before me.
The day before his decease, to one of his friends sitting by his bed side, his countenance appeared remarkably serene, indicating a mind wholly at rest. After a time of solemn silence, he turned his face toward the friend, and said, “We have both spoken of the Divine light; but I have never before enjoyed it in so luminous a manner: and I now see, in this heavenly light, that to-morrow I shall leave this state of being, and have a happy entrance into the eternal world.'
About four o'clock in the morning of the day on which he departed, he asked after his wife's health; and afterwards said, “I cannot express the joy I have felt;--the glory and brightness I have seen, and do see, and which I am going eternally to enjoy." His wife expressing her satisfaction on seeing him in such a state of mind, he replied, “Ah! do rejoice with me. Bid me farewell. Don't hinder me. The Lord will take care of thee and thy little daughter. He hath promised to be a husband to the widow, and a father to the fatherless, and he will
fulfil all his promises. He is good to all that love and fear him.”
His son dying a short time before him, on being informed of this event, he said he was greatly thankful that he was removed, adding, “I do rejoice that he has gone before me. The last night hath been a precious night' to me--the sweetest night I ever had.”
A few hours previous to his release, many friends having assembled to attend the funeral of his son, he desired they might be invited into his chamber. After taking leave of them in a very affectionate manner, raising his voice, he said “Cb! let all be faithful to the precious gift, the Lord hath bestowed upon them." After they were gone, he lay still some time; and about twelve o'clock said, “Oh! the light and glory I see! It shines all round memy eyes' never beheld any thing so glorious." Afterwards, appearing in a quiet, composed, and heavenly frame of mind, he sometimes uttered words, but in a voice so low, as not to be distinctly heard; and, about eight o'clock in the evening, quietly passed away from this state of probation, to join with thé“ spirits of just men made perfect,"_"the general assembly and church of the first-born, whose names are written in heaven."
He died on the 11th day of the 4th month, 1790, aged thirty-two years, three months and seventeen days: having been a minister nearly thirteen years; and was buried in Friends' graveyard at York, on the 13th of the same month, on which occasion a solemn meeting was held.
The review of such a lise, and such a death, life, so devoted to the great end of our existence, and a death, so full of consolation,-is happily calculated to animate and strengthen the Christian traveller in his arduous journey towards a state of perfect redemption: and when we consider the strong evidence it affords, in confirmation of the doctrine of a future existence --even that "life and immortality which were (and still are) brought to light by the Gospel,” it becomes one of the most interesting subjects that can engage the attention of a rational being. Oh! how diminutive all the little pursuits of this life,--all the transient. enjoyments of this fleeting state, appear, when put in opposition to the unmixed pleasures, the ever-enduring happiness of the eternal world! Well might the apostle, in a view of the transcendent riches of the heavenly state, say, "For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us;" --and well, might our blessed Lord hold forth the awful admonition, contained in this query, “What is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
ELISHA KIRK'S JOURNAL.
Memorandums of part of his journey and visit
to Virginia, Carolina, &c. The 4th day of the 5th month; 1784. Having for some weeks past, felt drawings in my mind, at times, to accompany some Friend, on a religious visit to the southward; this evening, Margaret Porter, Margaret Cook, and James Iddings came to my house,
on their way to Virginia Yearly Meeting, to be held at Black-water-and James proposing to proceed thence on a visit to Friends in North Carolina, the thoughts of accompanying him produced some uneasy sensations in my mind, greatly desiring to be rightly directed therein. They stayed meeting with us; after which I became more easy, and informed him next morning, before they set off, how the matter was with me; and proposed that if my concern continued and increased, I would lay it before our monthly meeting on seventh-day next, and if there approved, perhaps I might overtake him at Blackwater. After he was gone I found the subject settle with more weight on my mind, and I informed a few Friends thereof, who were in the station of elders. It now appeared to be my duty, to hasten to put things in readiness for my leaving home; in which, I felt iny mind much favoured, and the concern to increase. Accordingly, on seventh-day, I laid it before the meeting, under a sense of the weight and clearness, which now attended, and obtained a minute of the concurrence of my
friends. Then, taking leave of my dear wife and family, and 'near friends, on second-day morning, the 10th of 5th month, Lset out in company with my kind -friend, Ezekiel Cleaver, who was on his way to visit his son at Hopewell.
The dispensations of Divine Providence are different and various, yet, doubtless, all in best wisdom, for good purposes. At times, a sense of doubting, and great diffidence are permitted to attend the mind. But at this time, I felt otherwise, and a confidence was given me that I had certainly heard, and knew the voice of the good Shepherd;-which often filled