Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

of religion, it was more than she could bear ; they were obliged to cease on that account. It was a very frequent thing with her to be overcome with a flow of affection to them that she thought godly, in conversation with them, and sometimes only at the sight of them.

She had many extraordinary discoveries of the glory of God and Christ; sometimes in some particular attributes, and sometimes in many. She gave an account that once, as those four words passed through her mind, Wisdom, Justice, Goodness, and Truth, her soul was filled with a sense of the glory of each of these divine attributes, but especially the last : Truth, said she, sunk the deepest ! And herefore, as these words passed, this was repeated, Truth, Truth! Her mind was so swallowed up with a sense of the glory of God's truth and other perfections, that she said it seemed as though her life was going, and that she saw it was easy with God to take away her life by discoveries of himself. Soon after this, she went to a private religious meeting, and her mind was full of a sense and view of the glory of God all the time; and when the exercise was ended, some asked her concerning what she had experienced ; and she began to give them an account; but as she was relating it, it revived such a sense of the same things, that her strength failed, and they were obliged to take her and lay her upon the bed. Afterwards she was greatly affected, and rejoiced with these words, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain."

She had several days together a sweet sense of the excellency and loveliness of Christ in his. meekness, which disposed her continually to be repeating over these words, which were sweet to her, Meek and lowly in heart, Meek and lowly in heart. She once expressed herself to one of her sisters to this purpose, that she had continued whole days and whole nights in a constant ravishing view of the glory of God and Christ, having enjoyed as much as her life could bear. Once, as her brother was speaking of the dying love of Christ, she told him that she had such a sense of it, that the mere mer.tioning of it was ready to overcome her.

Once, when she came to me, she told how that at such and such a time she thought she saw as much of God, and had as much joy and pleasure as was possible in this life, and that yet afterwards God discovered himself yet far more abundantly, and she saw the same things that she had seen before, yet more clearly, and in another and far more excellent and delightful manner, and was filled with a more exceeding sweetness; she likewise gave me such an account of the sense she once had, from day to day, of the glory of Christ, and of God, in his various attributes, that it seemed to me she dwelt for days together in a kind of beatific vision of God; and seemed to have, as I thought, as immediate an intercourse with him, as a child with a father : and at the same time she appeared most remote from any high thought of herself, and of her own sufficiency, but was like a little child, and expressed great desire to be instructed, telling me that she longed very often to come to me for instruction, and wanted to live at my house, that I might tell her her duty.

She often expressed a sense of the glory of God appearing in the trees, and growth of the fields, and other works of God's hands. She told her sister that lived near the heart of the town, that she once thought it a pleasant thing to live in the middle of the town; but now, says she, I think it much more pleasant to sit and see the wind blowing the trees, and to behold what God has made. She had sometimes the powerful breathings of the Spirit of God on her soul, while reading the scripture, and would express a sense that she had of the certain truth and divinity thereof. She sometimes would appear with a pleasant smile on her countenance; and once when her sister took notice of it, and asked why she smiled, she replied, I am brimfull of a sweet feeling within ! She often used to express how good and sweet it was to lie low before God, and the lower, said she,

.

the better! and that it was pleasant to think of lying in the dust all the days of her life, mourning for sin. She was wont to manifest a great sense of her own meanness and dependence. She often expressed an exceeding compassion and pitiful love which she found in her heart towards persons in a Christless condition, which was sometimes so strong, that as she was passing by such in the streets, or those that she feared were such, she would be overcome by the sight of them. She once said, that she longed to have the whole world saved ; she wanted, as it were, to pull them all to her ; she could not bear to have one lost.

She had great longings to die, that she might be with Christ; which increased until she thought she did not know how to be patient to wait till God's time should come. But once when she felt those longings, she thought with herself, if I long to die, why do I go to physicians ? Whence she concluded that her longings for death were not well regulated. After this she often put it to herself which she should choose, whether to live or to die, to be sick or to be well ?-and she found she could not tell, till at last she found herself disposed to say these words : I am quite willing to live, and quite willing to die ; quite willing to be sick, and quite willing to be well ; and quite willing for any thing that God will bring upon me! And then, said she, I felt myself perfectly easy, in a full submission to the will of God. She then lamented much that she had been so eager in her longings for death, as it argued want of such a resignation to God as ought to be. She seemed henceforward to continue in this resigned frame till death,

After this her illness increased upon her; and once, after she had before spent the greater part of the night in extreme pain, she waked out of a little sleep with these words in her heart and mouth : I am willing to suffer for Christ's sake; I am willing to spend and to be spent for Christ's sake; I am willing to spend my life, even my very life, for Christ's sake! And though she had an extraordinary resignation

with respect to life or death. yet the thoughts of dying were exceedingly sweet to her. At a time when her brother was reading in Job, concerning worms feeding on the dead body, she appeared with a pleasant-smile; and being inquired of about it, she said it was sweet to her to think of her being in such circumstances. At another time, when her brother mentioned to her the danger there seemed to be that the illness she then labored under might be an occasion of her death, it filled her with joy that almost overcame her. At another time, when she met a company following a corpse to the grave, she said it was sweet to her to think that they would in a little time follow her in like manner.

Her illness, in the latter part of it, was seated much in her throat ; and swelling inward, filled up the pipe so that she could swallow nothing but what was perfectly liquid, and but very little of that, and with great and long strugglings and stranglings; that which she took in flying out at her nostril, till she at last could swallow nothing at all. She had a raging appetite to food, so that she told her sister, when talking with her about her circumstances, that the worst bit that she threw to her swine, would be sweet to her : but yet when she saw that she could not swallow it, she seemed to be as perfectly contented without it, as if she had no appetite. for it. Others were greatly moved to see what she underwent, and were filled with admiration at her unexainpled patience. At a time when she was striving in vain to get down a little food, something liquid, and was very much spent with it, she looked up on her sister with a smile, saying, “O sister, this is for my good !" At another time, when her sister was speaking of what she underwent, she told her that she lived a heaven upon earth for all that. She used sometimes to say to her sister, under her extreme sufferings, “ It is good to be so !” Her sister once asked her why she said so ? “Why," said she,'" because God would have it so: it is best that things should be as God would have them : it looks best to me.” After her confinement, as they were leading her from the bed to the door, she seemed overcome by the sight of things abroad, as showing furtha the glory of the Being that had made them.

As she lay on her death-bed, she would often say these words, “ God is my friend !" And once looking up on her sister, with a smile, said, “O sister ! how good it is ! how sweet and comfortable it is to consider and think of heavenly things !" and used this argument to persuade her sister to be much in such meditations.

She expressed on her death-bed, an exceeding longing, both for persons in a natural state, that they might be converted, and for the godly, that they might see and know more of God. And when those that looked on themselves as in a Christless state, came to see her, she would be greatly moved with compassionate affection. One in particular, that seemed to be in great distress about the state of her soul, and had come to see her from time to time, she desired her sister to persuade not to come any more, because the sight of her so wrought on her compassion, that it overcame her nature. The same week that she died, when she was in distressing circumstances as to her body, some of the neighbors that came to see her asked if she was willing to die? She replied that she was quite willing either to live or die; she was willing to be in pain; she was willing to be so always as she was then, if that was the will of God. She willed what God willed. They asked her whether she was willing to die that night ?. She answered, Yes, if it be God's will. And seemed to speak all with that perfect composure of spirit, and with such a cheerful and pleasant countenance, that it filled them with admiration.

She was very weak a considerable time before she died, having pined away with famine and thirst, so that her flesh seemed to be dried upon her bones ; and therefore could say but little, and manifested her mind very much by signs. She said she had matter enough to fill up all her time with talk, if she had but strength. A few days before her death,

« AnteriorContinuar »