Page images
PDF
EPUB

6 Oh!

friend's residence. His father met me at the door: I eagerly inquired of him how Henry was; he shook his head, and said, “Henry is dying fast, but I am glad you are come, for he wishes anxiously to see you,” and then added, with a smile in his tear bedimmed eyes, sir, he is greatly changed.” I was presently ushered into the apartment of death, where, on a couch, in the midst of splendour, and every comfort that wealth could pr cure, and surrounded by his weeping mother, brothers, and sisters, lay my dying friend.

He was asleep when I entered, and consequently was unconscious of my presence, I gazed upon his thin wasted features, his sunken eyes, and his drooping chin; I touched his emaciated hands, and felt how cold they were ; then turning to his father, said, “Truly he is greatly changed.” « Ah! sir,” the father replied, “it was not that change I meant; his body may have been changed by sickness, but his soul has been turned from satan unto Godhe is a follower of the Lamb.” Tears of joy coursed down my cheeks at this welcome intelli. gence, my heart was full, and I sobbed aloud; my tears fell on Henry's face, and he awoke. For some moments he appeared bewildered, but at last his eyes falling

on me, he clasped me to his bosom, saying, “ This is kindness, indeed," and continuing, “this is a happy moment; now I can leave the world without a tear.” Then

A DEATH BED SCENE.

turning more immediately to me, he said, in a low voice, “A few months ago, and I was a hardened, ignorant sinner, but God in his mercy beheld me, he sent his Holy Spirit unto me to show me the error of my ways; then was my soul filled with doubts and fears; but when I was about to fall, Jesus, the ever-blessed Saviour, came to my support, he strengthened me with a holy strength, he washed me from my sins in his own precious blood, he changed my heart, and gave me grace to love him; he has passed through the gates of death before me, why should I fear? I will not be afraid, for the Lord is my strength and my portion for ever.”

At this time, the minister of the parish entering the room, asked Henry if he was willing to join in prayer. O yes !” he eagerly answered,

pray; it is a glorious privilege to pray-it is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord for all his tender mercies.” The man of God knelt by the bed. side, and poured forth the effusion of a contrite heart towards his maker! every word was echoed in the bosom of Henry: his eyes seemed lit with a holy flame, as he recounted all the blessings bestowed upon him by his heavenly Fatber. That prayer was not the prayer for mercy to an impenitent sinner, but it was praise and thanksgiving offered up to God for his unspeakable gift, in that he sent Jesus Christ into this world to die for wicked men; in that he hath sent the Comforter, who is the Holy Ghost, to teach us all things concerning Christ; in that he hath called us from darknes unto light, and from the power of satan unto God. At the conclusion of the prayer, Henry burst into a holy rapture, exclaiming, “ Holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who shall not fear thee, and glorify thy name, for thou only art holy. Eternal praises be unto thee my Saviour, for thou art my refuge, thou art my sure defence, my hiding-place from the storm." Here his voice became unintelligible, and he lay back upon his pillow, whispering the praises of Jehovah.

Evening approached : the sun had set, leaving behind a bright and crimson sky, the workmen had ceased their daily toil, the hum of bees was heard uo more, the singing of birds had passed away, and a dead silence reigned over all. That awful moment had now arrived when the spirit of our dear Henry was to take its flight to its eternal rest, there for ever to dwell in glory with Jesus Christ its Saviour. He raised himself upon his arm, and taking us each in turn by the hand, bid us farewell for ever. “Farewell,” he said, ' “ farewell, father and mother; farewell, brothers and sisters; farewell, dear friends; weep not for me, for behold I go to my Saviour and my God. Strive to follow me there, and I pray God that where I am there ye may be also --dwelling for ever with the Lamb, who hath redeemed us, and made us priests unto God.” Giving some more comfort and advice to his

[ocr errors]

A DEATH-BED SCENE.

weeping relatives, he sunk back into a quiet, calm state, grieving for his friends, but wishing to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better. For some moments, slight convulsions were visible on his features, but they quickly disappeared ; and looking on us with a smile so heavenly, so affectionate, his spirit fled to the bosom of its Redeemer.

“It was good for us to be there,” for he “died not as a fool dieth,” but, like the setting of that evening sun, his spirit sunk to rest, leaving a bright and beaming ray, that cast a holy radiance on our souls; a ray that blazed, not for a moment, and quickly disappearing, rendered the darkness more profound it was a ray of truth, emanating from the Spirit of the living God, carrying conviction to the heart—it was a ray of eternal love, streaming from the Sun of Righteousness, holding up to view the lacerated brow and pierced side of Immanuel-it was a ray of faith, kindled by the promises of divine truth, which shall increase in brightness as it burnsit was a ray of hope, which shall never he extinguished, till it be swallowed up in reality.

“It was good for us to be there," to see the rich, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom of God. Oft have I seen the humble believer struggle against the bitter cup of adversity; and stood by his bed-side as he breathed his last, and surrendered his soul to God. It was good to behold his unwavering faith on that Saviour who

HOPE

had been his staff and comfort amid poverty and want. But oh! how good it was to behold this family kneel by the death-bed of their relative, in humble submission to the divine will; it was the proud, the great ones of the earth, who knelt there, not stooping to the ground, and saying with their lips, Lord, Lord,' while their hearts were far from him;" but sorrowing with a godly

Conscious of their awful guilt in the sight of God, they bowed before his throne of mercy, exclaiming, “ Father, we have sinned against heaven and in thy sight, and we are no more worthy to be called thy children, make us as thy hired servants.”

R. Christian Miscellany.

sorrow.

HOPE.
Ever changeful, ever high-
Never close, yet always nigh ;
Brightest in the darkest cloud,
Fairest in the storm most loud;
From the heart to chase all sorrow,
Pointing to a brighter morrow.
In the barren desert drear,
I the traveller's heart du cheer, -
Fill his soul with pleasing dreams
Of flowery meads and crystal streams;
And in that desert never leave,
But still enchant, though oft deceive.
When the Christian'a soul, opprest,

Knows not where to fly for rest, —

« PreviousContinue »