Help in Time of Need
You have heard of the severe illness of your brother C—, but perhaps you have not heard of the gracious dealings of the Lord with his soul. I assure you that he has been much favoured with the goodness and presence of the Lord under his affliction ; so that he has been enabled to say with the Psalmist, "It is good for me that I have been afflicted." Mr. B— visited him, and found him longing and sighing for a knowledge of his interest in the Lord Jesus Christ. Mr. B— told him he was satisfied that there was a work of grace begun in his soul, and that the Lord would grant his request. I saw him the following day, (Wednesday,) and found him in the same state of mind, earnestly seeking the one thing needful. In the afternoon of the same day, it pleased God, of his infinite mercy, to reveal his dear Son in him, and he evidently saw by faith Christ crucified for him, and was sweetly delivered from all his fears, and enabled to rejoice in the Lord as his portion, and to cast anchor within the veil. He called his wife to his bed side, and told her what he had experienced, being desirous to do it whilst in his perfect senses, that she might bear testimony to the truth, as he was afraid his intellects might become disordered. Mr. F— saw him the same evening, and he was in a sweet frame of mind, desiring never to be raised again from that bed of sickness. He did, however, experience a little of the hidings of the Lord's countenance, which constrained him to repeat that verse in one of Mr. Hart's hymns;
"More frequent let thy visits be,
The next day, (Thursday,) he was much worse in body, and when I called to see him, I asked him the state of his mind; to which he replied, that he was not at all afraid to meet death, the sting being taken away. He appeared, however, to be getting still worse, so much so, that I was obliged to put my ear close to his mouth to understand what he said. I heard him say, whilst in this state, "One more glimpse, dear Lord, one more glimpse." After a short time he again revived, and exclaimed, "The trial is over; the struggle is ended; I shall die happy; I shall die happy." He told us that Satan had laid hard at him to let go his hold, and his experience seemed to be that of Jacob; "I will not let thee go except thou bless me;" and the good Lord did again condescend to favour him, for he broke the snare of the fowler, and set his soul at happy liberty. He wished us to give his love to Mr. B—, and then said, "I wish poor Fred would drop in," (meaning you.) He that evening told Mrs. F— that he had experienced the second birth, and that whether he lived or died he should go to heaven. I have visited him several times during the past week. He still remains very ill indeed. He has not been much harassed by the enemy, but is longing for another refreshing from the presence of the Lord, at the same time waiting patiently the Lord's time, and perfectly resigned to the will of the Almighty, with a firm hope. I never saw any person in affliction so fortified and strengthened by the grace of God. I feel it a duty I owe to you, as his brother, and have also a strong desire to bear my feeble testimony to the glory of God's sovereign grape displayed in him, which is the cause of my sending you these few particulars. That each of us may feel the same everlasting arms underneath us in the hour of need, is the earnest prayer and desire of yours sincerely,
Hastings, August, 1841.