Peace in Death
My dear Cousin,
We have had one of the most strengthening, confirming, consoling, and, I may say with propriety, satisfying proofs of the power of our most holy religion, one which, I trust, will produce some very lasting effects upon the beholders, and I have no doubt will rejoice your poor soul as well as ours to hear of, in the death of Mrs. A—, whom the dear Lord was pleased to take to himself on Lord's day last. Her death was one of the most triumphant that I ever heard of. She had been very unwell for some time past, which perhaps you heard of, and it was manifest to me that she had upon her mind a heavy burden which she never could disclose to any one, and that proved to be the case, for on the Thursday morning before she died she sent for me, and when I came to see her she was in the most horrifying state of mind I ever in all my life found an individual in. During the preceding night she was much worse in body, and the devil was permitted to assault her soul in a wonderful manner. She said to me as soon as I entered her room, "O, my friend, I have had a most dreadful night I The devil has been telling me that I am a vile hypocrite, and a damned soul." She also told me that these words were suggested to her mind, "Thou art a condemned hypocrite, and will be driven into hell, for thou art damned and lost for ever." Her very countenance was stricken with terror, and she appeared to feel some of the horrors of a lost soul, for to me she exclaimed, "And must I be numbered with the damned?" I said, "Surely not, for none ever truly cried for mercy, and were disappointed. The devil was a liar from the beginning, and he is a liar on your account, and you will surely find him so, for you are just the very character that the Lord came to save, and I am a living witness that is a liar." " O!" she said, " I have no desire to live, but only to find my feet upon the Rock." I told her I felt satisfied they were already there, and that she would soon be enabled to rejoice in the Lord; and so it proved, for on the afternoon of the same day the Lord was pleased to apply these words to her soul with power, " He is a liar, and the father of it; I have redeemed thee; thou art mine." This brought such peace and comfort to her mind that she was enabled to cry and shout over all her enemies. On Friday night I went again to see her, and it was supposed by all that she was dying, she being able to speak very little, but her countenance bespoke the blessed change that had taken place. She caught hold of my hand, and said, " Happy in the Lord, happy in the Lord!" She had had all her friends there that day to take a final leave of them, and her language seemed to overcome them all. Her father, on taking his leave, said to her, "I hope the Lord will have mercy on your poor soul;" to which she replied, "He has, father, already. Don't weep for me. I am happy in the Lord." She again revived a little, to tell, as it were, something more of the Lord's loving-kindness to her. On the following Saturday morning the Lord was again pleased to visit her soul, and filled her so full of himself that she could not contain herself. She sent for her brother, and as soon as he got to her bedside, she caught hold of his hand, and said, "O! William, the Lord is so precious to my soul that I feel as happy as if I were in glory;" and cried out, "Happy in the Lord! happy in the Lord! O, William, he is a faithful friend, so therefore never dishonour the Lord by doubting him again!" Sometimes she appeared as if she were gone, but, on again opening her eyes, would say, "I thought I had been in glory, but I see I am still here. O how I long to be gone!" At times she was heard to be repeating such as the following passages of scripture to herself: " When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee, and through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee." "When thou walkest through the valley of the shadow of death, thou shalt fear no evil." "Fear not, I have redeemed thee," &c. &c.
What a wonderful display of God's sovereign love and invincible grace in saving poor, lost, ruined, and wretched man! The salvation of this beloved woman has been, I believe, a real rejoicing to the Lord s people around her, and has proved a great blessing to their souls, for they were enabled to weep and rejoice with her.
I have given you only a few outlines, which must suffice for the present. Perhaps you may hear more at a future time. I think if there ever was such a thing as travailing in soul for another, I felt it for that dear woman, for it seemed as if her burden were my own, and that I would give the dear Lord no rest until Christ the hope of eternal glory was formed in her. Such were my feelings, that my poor heart was almost fit to burst for her deliverance, and I longed to get into a secret place to give vent to my anguish, not that I was in doubt of her condition, for the more I thought on her character, the more she appeared to be in a state of salvation; and the dear Lord was pleased to give me such a pouring out of soul to him on her behalf that I felt persuaded she was sure to be delivered. And when it was manifest that the Lord had condescended to hear and answer such a poor unworthy nothing, it seemed to sink me lower and lower, and made me wonder more and more. Well may the apostle say, "He hath chosen the weak things of the world, and the base things of the world, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are, that no flesh should glory in his presence." Blessed be the Lord's dear name, he will have all the glory to himself, and when I am in my right mind I am willing he should, for he is worthy.
Yours very affectionately, J. C.