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me! What mercies he has sent me! What blessings ! Such kind friends to comfort me, and to put me in the right way! What a blessed thing to instruct the ignorant, and lead them in the right path. • Bless and praise the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless and praise his holy name!'”
She appeared to be getting better, and I felt great hopes that she would recover, when it pleased God that she should be taken very ill with a severe inflammation. She was a very great sufferer, but she never lost sight of her Saviour. I never once heard her express the slightest doubt or uncertainty, from the first moment of her receiving the truth. Whatever were her bodily sufferings, she could always rejoice in the Lord. About a week before her death, she was extremely ill, and thought herself dying. She fancied she heard a voice say to her, “Patience; you have not done yet.” “Then I shall not go yet, and I feel I am not ready. There is something yet to be done. I feel I am not to go yet.' She repeated often to me, “ The Lord has something to do in me yet.”
Two days before her death, the priest came to ask her if she wished to die in the religion in which she had been brought up, and in which she had received all the sacraments; or if she would die in the Protestant faith ? 56 Think well upon what you are going to answer.'
Yes, I have reflected, and that is my determination.” “ And you will leave the Church, for a religion of which you know nothing?" “ Yes! I know it is the religion of Jesus Christ. I believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, Three Persons and One God. Jesus is dead and risen again, and seated at the right hand of God, to intercede for us."
The priest asked if they had any holy water? The husband replied, “No; we have none in the house." She was much spent, being very ill. Her husband told her to compose herself, and in a little time she would be able to speak to the priest. After remaining some time, apparently in mental prayer, she sat up, and with a clear, distinct voice, she said, “ The light, the light of the
world is Jesus Christ. He came into the world to save sinners. He has purified me from all my sins in his precious blood, and none can take me out of my
Saviour's hand.” After a pause, she said, “You have preached against me. Yes, on my bed of death I was told you had preached against me; you had said I had left my religion, and fallen into the bands of strangers."
The priest said, “Oh! you do not believe that, do you ? Oh! I never preached against you, and I know nothing of it.”
“Oh! I know you have.” or You are quite mistaken, and the person who told you was misinformed." “But I forgive you, because I believe you did it through ignorance, and I forgive all who have injured me, as I hope God has forgiven me. You said I had fallen into the hand of strangers, Monsieur : they are not strangers; they are the children of God, they have been my consolation, they have put me in the right path, and you have preached against those who are God's children.” The priest again denied it, and then said he would read the offices of the Church for her. He read in a book to himself some time, and then returned to the bedside. She said, “ William, where is that tract, “Paix à la Dernière Heure ?!" She to the priest, saying, “ You will do me a great favour, if you will read this tract. You will then see what they taught me : nothing contrary to the Word of God: have the kindness to return it to me.” He put it in his pocket, and promised to tell her what he thought of it. He said, “ Have you nothing to say to me?" nothing." “ Then pray to Jesus, and Marie, and St. Joseph.” “No, not to Mary.” “ But she is a saint." “ Yes! as I hope to be very soon, but she was only a mortal, like myself. I respect her, because she was the mother of Jesus Christ, but that is all. We have only one Mediator, Jesus Christ.” He then took his leave. In the afternoon he came again. She was sitting in her chair. He stood near the door a very long time, witliout speaking. We put her into bed, as she was tired, and then he walked up to the bedside, and in a loud voice said, “ Can you listen to me now ? because your
She gave it
salvation depends upon what I am going to say to you. Will you die in the true faith, or will you dié a Protestant?” “I have already told you I am decided to die a Protestant." "Do
“Do you believe the symbols of the apostles ?” “Yes; that is my belief." “And will you embrace a religion of Belgium, a religion of a hundred persons, a religion which is no religion ?” “Yes; I desire to die a Protestant." “ But you have received all the sacraments of the Church in which you were born and brought up, and very lately too. Is it since then that you have changed ?". “ Yes; I have lately changed." “For what reason have you changed?". I could not hear what answer she made; but the priest observed, she said it was because they had preached against her. “Oh, then, it is on account of calumny that you have changed?” “No; it was not,” she replied. “ But what do you know of this religion: the Protestants have only two sacraments, and we have seven. Therefore, as God cannot say yes and no, they must be wrong, or we must be wrong.
She said, “I only believe in two; Baptism and the Lord's Supper. He then again referred to her changing her religion on account of being preached against, when Mr. - and Mr. entered, and continued the discussion. Before leaving, he said, “It is my duty to tell you, on your bed of death, that you are damned.” So saying, he left the
She was very poorly all the next day, and when I took leave of her at eleven o'clock in the evening, she said, “I shall never see you again. I shall not get over twelve o'clock. Good bye; I hope I shall meet you in heaven, and then I will tell you all about it."* She seemed grateful for all that had been done for her during her illness, and very desirous to depart, and to be with the Lord. “Oh, it will soon now be ended. I am now ready; the Lord will soon fetch me. I know he will.” She was very ill all the night. I went very early in the morning, not expecting to find her alive; however, she seemed rather better. About nine o'clock, the priest came again. He had, on the preceding night, called and inquired if any one was with her, and finding I was there, he said he would come when she was quite alone. He asked her if she was still decided to die a Protestant? She said, “Yes; I have already told you so.” He again repeated what he had before said about the Protestant religion. Her husband said, “I beg, sir, you will leave my wife in peace. She has already told you all she has to say." He then said, " Then we withdraw our hand from you; you shall not enter the church, you shall not be buried in consecrated ground." “ That is of no consequence; I know my soul will rest in the bosom of my Saviour.” “You do not, then, wish to see me again?” “No; I do not.” “Farewell, then, for all eternity! we shall never see one another again. Farewell for ever!" So saying, he left the room. So far from being agitated by what the priest said, she always expressed himself strengthened in her faith; and when he was gone, she observed, “Oh! what peace I had when I was speaking to him ; such comfort in my mind! God put it into my heart what to say. How very happy I feel ! No; he can do me no harm; though he has damned me, he is only a mortal like myself. If God is with me, who shall be against me?" She said, “Pray for me, for I suffer dreadfully.
Oh! pray that God will be merciful to me, and take me to himself.” She often said, "O God, be merciful to me, and take me. Oh! how long the time is. But I shall go, I think, at twelve. What o'clock is it?” I said, - Ten.”
66 Oh! two hours more !" She then seemed to revive, and prayed mentally for some time, and became very composed, so that her countenance lost all marks of suffering. She looked quite happy! At last she exclaimed, “Oh! how beautiful! Oh! I see so many, so many! They wait for me. What beautiful things! And shall I be like them? and shall I be there ?” She then began to sing a hymn, as if she was joining with the angels in heaven. I shall never forget that moment. Her spirit seemed to have quitted her body, and to be already in heaven. I felt as if my
soul also longed to escape from earth to join that blessed company, and I dreaded that anything should interrupt and bring us back to earth. Afriend entered; I said to her, “Will you now say if death has any terrors for you? Do you feel any fear to die?" 66 Oh! no; oh! no; I am so happy, I long to go and be with my Saviour." “You feel your sins are pardoned ?" “ Yes, I feel I am a great sinner, but I have no fears. Christ has cleansed me in his blood. Oh! my blessed Saviour!" She then tried to tell what she had experienced, but her voice failed, and she sunk upon her bed. From that time she scarcely spoke distinctly any longer.
She seemed to have made a last effort, and nature was exhausted.
Peace be to thine ashes ! Once thou wert in darkness, and knew not the way. A corrupt creed and a deceived heart turned thee aside. But the light shone in the midst of the darkness. Thou wert chosen in the furnace of affliction, and plucked like a brand from the burning! Thy Saviour sought thee, and ransomed thee; and he shall have all the praise and glory. One day I trust, through grace, that we shall meet again, and rejoice together, in a world where faith shall be turned into vision, and the tears be wiped away from all eyes. There we will unite in songs of praise to him “who hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father ; to him be glory and dominion, for ever and ever !” (Rev. i. 5, 6.)
TIME AND ETERNITY. What is this transient life? It is stealing noiselessly, but most rapidly away. How soon shall we all sleep in death. We now look forward to the dying scene, knowing that it must come; and in a few days it will come. We shall feel that we are dying; we shall go through the scene, now shrouded in so much mystery. What, then, will the remembrance of earthly joys and woes avail to us?
How soon shall time sweep away in its wrecks every vestige of our earthly existence, crumbling these houses