THE HISTORY OF ANNA EMERY
EXEMPLIFYING THE POWER OF DIVINE GRACE THROUGH A LONG PERIOD OF GREAT SUFFERING.
ANNA EMERY was born at Bedford, England, October 4, 1806. She was a child of a very amiable and lively disposition; but her natural vivacity of manners did not preclude reflection, for, from infancy she discovered great depth of thought, and circumstances apparently uninteresting to a child, did not fail to attract her notice. At a very early age she was much pleased with Scripture history, and would listen with attention to what her friends said concerning the sufferings of Christ, saying "pray tell me more, I like to hear about Jesus Christ."
When nine years old, seeing her mother in trouble, she manifested considerable concern, and, with sweet affection, said, "My
dear mamma, I am very sorry to see you in so much distress, but I think I can tell you of some texts of Scripture that are
suitable, and may comfort you. One is, 'Rejoice not against me, Oh
mine enemy; though I fall, I shall arise.' Another, "said she, "is in the Psalms: 'Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.'"
About this time she was very fond of singing the following hymn.
"'Tis religion that can give
Her favorite hymn, (she often said,) was the 62d hymn, first book of Dr. Watts:
"Come, let us join our cheerful songs
which she frequently sang with great animation.
Her health began to decline in the early part of February, 1817; when she became the subject of frequent pain and excessive
debility. Her medical attendant often expressed surprise at the fortitude and pa-
tience which she manifested. She was never heard to utter the least complaint although her sufferings were very great. She was much disappointed that her indisposition prevented her from pursuing her studies under the tuition of Miss P—, and sometimes entertained the hope that she should be sufficiently restored to return to school; but this hope was never realized.
During the winter she could go out but little. When able to attend publc worship, she always used to write down the texts, to select verses of hymns, and write them. It was evidently a great trial to her when she became unable to attend public worship.
From the above-mentioned period she could never amuse herself with those recreations which are common to children, but would divert herself with her books and needle. Reading, of which she had always been fond, became her delight; and soon after was her sole employment. During the summer of that year she was sometimes able to walk out a little, though with difficulty. One day in the autumn, when walking in the garden, she looked up to a window where a young gentleman about her own age lay dangerously ill: "I thought," said she, "that death is come very near now, and that, perhaps, he may come for me next."
She was confined to her bed ten months, viz. from January 18 to November 2, 1818; except one day in February, when she was
carried down in her papa's arms for a few hours. She remarked, "I think I shall never go down any more." But the Lord enabled
her to bear all her sufferings with the most exemplary patience. The greatest part of the time she was de-
prived of the use of her limbs, and lay in one position entirely helpless; but calm and serene, and submissive to the Divine will. She would sometimes say, "I am afraid the Lord afflicts me in anger:" at other times, "Do you think one whose heart is not changed might bear an affliction like mine with patience? and do you really think it is the Lord that supports me?"
When asking these questions, she always appeared deeply affected, and complained of the wickedness of her heart. She was very grateful to her friends, particularly for their assistance in raising her up in bed, which caused her the most agonizing pain; and usually kissed and thanked them for their kindness, with a sweet smile. She often expressed her gratitude in the most lively terms for the kindness of the ministers in visiting her so frequently.
About Christmas, 1817, her illness rapidly increased, and it was found necessary again to have recourse to medical aid, when the disorder was pronounced the rheumatic fever. She anxiously desired relief from the violence of her pains, and frequently expressed her surprise at her sufferings, by remarking, "I did not think a little girl like me could bear so much pain; neither did I think the human body was capable of enduring such agonies! O, when will the happy day arrive that I shall be well again? What, not one," she would often exclaim, "is there no one in the universe that can relieve me, or remove my affliction?"
Her mother observed, that her friends very deeply sympathized with her, but that the Lord only could restore her to health; and entreated her to call upon
him for renewing grace. She perceived that her disorder counteracted medical skill, and was convinced of the inefficacy of all human efforts, both as it respected her body and mind; and she was enabled earnestly to cry unto the Lord to look down upon her. "Lord, remember me—O, remember that I am but dust.—Look down upon a poor afflicted child." Such were her petitions day and night. She besought the Lord to give her a new heart, and frequently requested all around her to pray for her. She often observed that "The sinner must be born again." On the last sabbath in January she begged her mother to inform one of the ministers of her illness, and request him to pray for her, particularly that her affliction might be sanctified to her. She repeatedly said, "Oh, that I knew the Lord! I am afraid I shall die without the knowledge of the Lord. I fear the Lord will not hear my cries."
Her distress was very great about this time. She would often say in the language of Job, "Oh that I had never been born; that I had never seen the light! Oh, wretched child that I am!" On her mother reminding her of Christ's willingness to save, she replied, "I cannot believe he is willing to save me." When in great agony she complained of having very wicked thoughts, which greatly distressed her: upon being told she was tempted of Satan she immediately exclaimed, "Oh cruel, cruel adversary!"
On another night of exquisite suffering, in the most affecting accents, she said, "my dear mamma, I am afraid the Lord will
not hear my prayers! Do you think he will remove me before he sanctifies my afflic-
tions? It is a long time to have lived eleven years in the world, and not to know the Lord! Oh, if I knew the Lord, how happy should I be!"
Her illness was not thought by her physician or any of her friends, at this time, to be dangerous; but she considered herself as drawing near her latter end; and on the night of January 26, exclaimed, "Death's jaws are ready to devour me! I see an opening grave ready to receive me! Time, how rapid! I am just entering another world, and have not the knowledge of the Lord!"
The kind and gracious Redeemer did not leave her to sink under the pressure and burden of sin, but gently led her into "paths of righteousness and peace." The deep impression which she had of the importance of eternal realities, led her to feel the value of the souls of others, as well as her own. She mentioned with considerable emotion her fears respecting the state of a person who called to see her, observing, "it was very wrong in Mrs. — to call me little angel, innocent,"&c.
The next day she again said, "Mamma, I cannot bear flattery; pray do not ask Mrs. — to come again; how do you think she expects to be saved; I am afraid she does not depend upon Christ, but on her own performances."
On the first sabbath in February, some pious friends who visited her, having prayed, exhorted her with affectionate urgency
to place her entire confidence in the Lord; and she was not forgotten by the ministers of Christ in the public assemblies.
The conversations she had heard, and the prayers that were presented
were evidently attended with a blessing. At a late hour, after her father had been employed in prayer with her, she spoke of her great joy, and of the humble hope which she cherished, that Jesus would not cast her off, but graciously arise and shine upon her soul with his healing beams.
"I have some hope," she said, "that I really love the Savior, and shall go to heaven."
She informed one of her beloved young friends that Dr. Hamilton had expressed an opinion that she was in imminent danger—"and if I die," said she, "I should like a funeral sermon to be preached from these words, 'Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.'"
On being asked why she made choice of these words, she replied "that it may be useful to others."
"My dear," said her friend, "are you aware that it is usual for the minister to say something respecting the character of the deceased:—what can be said of you?" "Nothing can be said; only if I die in the Lord, that the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ cleansed me from all my sins." She mentioned some hymns, likewise, which she thought would be applicable to her case, and proper to be sung upon the occasion.
February 4, when lifted out of bed and seated on her father's knee, she sang, with an expression, of peculiar pleasure in her countenance, parts of several hymns—particularly the following:
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
She addressed each of her sisters in a most pathetic strain; and every person in attendance, or within reach of her voice, was greatly affected by her conversation.
February 6.—She desired that the physician might be informed it was her particular request, that he would give his opinion of her case in her hearing, without reserve. He was accordingly told of his little patient's desire, and at the same time apprised of the happy state of her mind, so that he need be under no apprehension of agitating her feelings by communicating his sentiments with freedom; especially as she had expressed great anxiety, lest he should conceal her danger. Under these circumstances, Dr. H—n, without hesitation, said, "My dear, your case is dangerous—very dangerous indeed:" and encouraged her to commit her soul into the hands of her Redeemer. With great composure, she said "The will of the Lord be done."
The next day she often repeated these lines;
"Father, I long, I faint, to see
The fear of death appeared to be now entirely removed; and she was enabled to hail its expected approach, and with great energy said,
"Death cannot make my soul afraid,
adding from scripture, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil."
At another time, when much exhausted, she remarked, "How good the Lord is: I have been supported far better than I expected." She then entreated a friend present not to pray for her life; and emphatically said, "do beg of my dear sisters to seek the Lord."
She often evinced her ardent desire for their salvation. Once, when suffering extreme agony, she exclaimed with great earnestness, "My dear S—h, seek the Lord while he may be found," &c. To her younger sister, E—r, "Remember your Creator in the days of your youth."
A young friend attended her during another sleepless night of pain, and remarked that the society of the sufferer was a real enjoyment to her; that she sang, and united in the most delightful conversation. Several favorite hymns were repeated by her; such as
"Jesus can make a dying bed
On another night of suffering, she said, "I think I am now walking through the dark valley;—adding,
"Then when ye hear my heart strings break;
Observing her mother much affected, she said, "Pray my dear mamma, do not grieve for me; promise me you will not mourn for me, like my dear aunt
for my cousin."* In the course of the same night, she cried out, "I faint, I faint!" Her mother remarked she was very weak, and asked her to take some refreshment; "Oh no," she repled, "thank you, mamma, I do not want any thing. I faint to see the place of his abode."
The following night her friend and one of her sisters sat up with her, when she repeated a great number of portions of scripture, which she found delightfully refreshing to her mind. She lamented that she could not sing so high (for want of breath) as she used to do; the dropsy having made very rapid progress. On seeing her, Dr. H—n addressed her as follows: "My dear, you are very near glory now; you have but a little time to live; look into Jesus, and pray much, and he will be with you to the end. A sweet calm pervaded her aspiring soul, and she evidently waited for her dismissal. Repeating the language of the pious Dr. Watts:
"O glorious hour; O blessed abode!
She requested her father to pray with her, and read the good shepherd, John, x: and also desired the 23d Psalm might be read.
She often expressed a wish to write to her dear little friends at Bedford; and she should like to leave them some article,
as a token of her affection.
While conversing upon the subject, her little bosom heaved, and the tears flowed down her cheeks. Her mamma said, "My dear, are you distressed at the idea of never seeing your dear little companions again?" She replied, "Yes, but it will be far better to go to heaven."
On Saturday she begged to have her books and toys brought into the room, when, with great composure she told her sister which she should like to be given to her different little friends after her death, desiring her to write the names in each book, together with a text of Scripture. In some she desired to be written, "Suffer little children to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
To her younger sister she gave her testament, with these words written in it, "The gift of her dying sister." Her mother coming into the room, said, "My dear, you appear quite composed, I will not disturb you." The dear child observing the depression of her mother's spirits at seeing her little library spread around her, while she was calmly disposing of her little earthly treasure, said, "Mamma, come and kiss me, and promise me you will not cry, for I am very happy."
Feb. 16—A friend who called, mentioned the grief she felt at not being able to relieve her; "Pray that I may have patience,"
said she, "None but the Lord can help me." "I hope," replied her friend, "you will be supported, my dear!" "Yes, I think the Lord does support me; I feel so very happy, though my pains are indescribably great. I am scorched with fever, and my limbs are in dreadful agonies, just as if
knives or swords were piercing them." Her mother wished her to have something from her medical attendant, to compose her to sleep; "O mamma," said she, "I would rather bear all my pains than be put in a stupor, and be unable to speak to the very last."
She was daily looking and longing for the period when she should leave the tenement of clay, to dwell for ever with the Lord. On one occasion she said, "I should like to die just now, if it was the will of the Lord, and go to heaven." Her mother having left her, a kind new friend overheard her offer up the following prayer: "Dear Lord, be pleased to support my dear parents under the parting stroke; enable them to say, 'The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.' Sanctify my affliction to my brothers and sisters; and pray give them concern for their souls. Lord, grant me patience; touch me, for I know not how to pray; give a new heart and a right spirit; 'When my heart and flesh fail, I trust God will be the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.' 'Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall then fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Blessed be the name of the Lord for ever: Amen.'"
At another time she said,
——"O happy moment!
She could speak but very little for several days, but remained in a tranquil state of mind.
On the 24th she remarked, "I wonder how I should feel if the Lord was not my friend; I suppose I should be afraid of dying, and wish to get well again, which I am sure I do not." At another time, "If it was the Lord's will to mitigate my pains a little, I should be glad." Among a variety of scriptures that afforded her consolation, she particularly mentioned, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
A lady who called to see her, inquired if she did not think the Lord dealt very hardly with her, in afflicting her so very heavily; she replied, "O no, ma'am, He cannot do wrong!"
Rev. Mr. Yockney prayed and conversed much to the edification of the dear sufferer; she afterward spoke of the pleasure and delight she experienced.
When speaking of her consolation which abounded as her afflictions increased, "The promises," she said, "are very sweet. That is very much upon my mind, 'I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.' Also, that 'Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
March 2.—Her sufferings were very distressing: the fever had abated; but it had long deprived her of the use of her limbs,
which obliged her to lie in one position till her pain became almost insupportable. Strength however was still imparted by Divine power, equal to the day of trial,
and the words, "I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction," were remarkably exemplified in her experience. Often did
not with repining, as if merely to be free from pain, but with ardent aspirations to enjoy the presence of her ascended Lord,
—"Haste happy moment!
A person present observed the time was hastening. "Oh yes!" she replied, "'but the will of the Lord be done.' I think I should die more happy if I knew that all my brothers and sisters were following the Lord." It was remarked, that the knowledge of their conversion would be very delightful to her in glory. With rapture beaming on her countenance at the recollection that there is joy in heaven, even among the angels of God, over every sinner that repenteth, she instantly alluded to her favorite hymn: "O yes!
'To heaven the joyful tidings flew;
She then expressed her ardent desire that the whole of the family might be called by Divine grace. She said she found great pleasure in a conversation she had had with one of her brothers. "I told him I thought if he prayed earnestly for a new heart, the Lord would grant him his request.
"Do pray that my afflictions may be sanctified to my dear brothers and sisters."
In one of the Rev. Mr. Lewis's visits, he inquired if she had any portion of scripture that afforded her comfort; "Yes sir, 'though I walk through the valley,'" &c. "Any other?" "Yes, 'When flesh and heart fail, God will be the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.'" "Well, my dear, how is it you are so afflicted? You are but a little girl. Do you think you are a sinner?" "Yes, sir. 'We are all born in sin.'" "But you know there are many children who say they are not so wicked as others; is that your opinion: do you think so?" "Oh no, sir, I do not think so, I am sure!"
After some further conversation, Mr. Lewis asked her what she wished him to pray for; she replied, "That patience and support may be given me; and that the Lord will be pleased to reveal himself more and more to my soul."
In full exercise of faith; longing for the period when she should be absent from the body, and present with the Lord, she
often cried out, "Come Lord Jesus, come quickly;" frequently entreating her parents not to grieve on account of her sufferings,
and especially not to mourn too much when she was gone. "Consider, then," she would say, "the happiness I shall be enjoying;
and how great my present affliction is. I endeavor to consider that the Judge of the whole earth must do right—He cannot
err. When I feel any disposition to impatience, these words reconcile me to his will—'Shall not the Judge of all the earth
do right!' My agonies are very distressing; but it is the Lord who knows my pains, and he alone can heal. I little thought
when I read the lives of the martyrs
just before my confinement, what sufferings I had to undergo: I wish the Lord may enable me patiently to bear all he sees fit to lay upon me."
She expressed great anxiety to have an interview with her elder brother, that she might hear his prayers once more. So strong was her desire to see him, and so fully was she satisfied with his company, that she sometime after remarked to her mother, "When my brother left me I thought I could say with Simeon—'Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace.'"
On another occasion, when referring to some of the promises from which she derived considerable comfort, she inquired if there were not such words as these, "I will keep thee as the apple of mine eye," which she said she had been thinking of.
Once when asked if she would not rather live, if it was the Lord's will to restore her to health? She replied, "No, I would rather die, than live and commit sin."
Thursday, March 19, after very great agony from violent spasms, she appeared happy, and to the astonishment of her friends, began singing several hymns, in a low voice, which, on account of her weakness, she had not been able to do for some weeks past.
On observing her mother's sorrow, she said, "Dear mamma, do not grieve; it distresses me very much, and I am afraid it will make me unwilling to depart if you mourn so much."
On the 24th, when in most distressing pain, her voice suddenly changed, and she in an animated tone exclaimed, "Mercy and truth are all his ways."
A few days after she spoke of the peace and joy she experienced; and sang,
"Welcome, sweet day of rest,
It was truly delightful to see her mind so much engaged on heavenly subjects.
When moved on the bed, which occasioned violent spasms, she said, "I cannot help thinking it a long time before I go to glory. Mamma, how much longer do you think I can live? It is not in my prayer to reward you my dear mamma, but I hope the Lord will, and all dear friends too, for their great kindness to me."
She was told her gratitude was a sufficient reward: "Indeed I must thank you; it would be very wrong not to do it." At the same time she deeply lamented that ever she had betrayed any signs of impatience. "You know my pains are so great," said she, "that I cannot help crying out sometimes." She always expressed her sorrow afterward and prayed that patience might have its perfect work.
Wednesday, April 1, she seemed much discouraged. When conversing upon the importance of the soul, the tears flowed down her cheeks. On inquiring the cause of her sorrow, she said, 'I want to be quite certain I shall go to heaven—are you certain I shall?" She was told there was reason to hope the Lord had begun a good work of grace, and renewed her by his Spirit, and that he would receive her. Being reminded of those lines,
"'Tis a point I long to know,
she said, "Ah, I have been thinking of that hymn:" she then appeared more tranquil, and lay quite composed.
On another occasion she said, "It is my constant desire to bear the affliction the Lord has laid upon me with submission to his will: I am sure I wish to be kept from murmuring."
A friend remarked that the time of trial lasted much longer than herself or her friends expected; she instantly said, with lively emotion—
"Haste, my beloved, fetch my soul
"That scripture is very comfortable to me 'As thy day is so shall thy strength be.'" Often did she speak of the consolation which that and many other portions of the word of God afforded her.
On the 14th and the two following days her sufferings became peculiarly distressing; her importunity that all her friends might pray earnestly for her, was exceedingly affecting. "Oh for patience," she said, "do beg of the Lord that faith and patience may be continued: I am afraid I may survive some weeks longer: Oh! when will that happy time arrive?"
22. Observing her mother's depression of spirits at seeing her in such pain, she said, "Do not grieve, it
will soon be all over:—please to wipe away my tears. I often think of those lines of Dr. Watts',
'His own soft hand shall wipe the tears
When I am removed, mamma, do you think you shall say in the language of Job, 'The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord'? Do not grieve for me when I am gone." The elevation of her mind enabled her to rise superior to all her pain: she then broke out into the most delightful strain of singing.
"Rejoice, ye righteous in the Lord,
On one occasion, when asked if her sole dependence was on Christ; "To whom could I look," she replied, "or how could I be saved any other way?" She emphatically said,
"Other refuge have I none,
30.—Her debility was too great to allow of her speaking much for several days; but her desire to have her mind fixed on heavenly
subjects was very apparent from her answers, when inquiries were made respecting the state of her mind: to a near relative,
she said, "Do pray earnestly that I may be heavenly minded."
After the Rev. Mr. Y—y had conversed with her, and spent some time in prayer, she lay as if engaged in silent contemplation. When some one spoke to her, she said, "Do not interrupt me; I am endeavoring to recollect what I can: I wish I could remember all Mr. Y—y said; his conversation was very delightful." It was her usual practice to remain quiet when the ministers left her, that she might meditate upon the conversation.
Though the dear child was debarred from attending at a place of public worship, she heard many a text explained by her bed-side, by the ministers of Jesus. The balm of consolation was often administered by them; and the divine blessing evidently accompanied the prayers that were offered.
Her long absence from the means of grace led her to set a higher value on the ordinances that perhaps she might otherwise have done—painful experience having taught her the inestimable advantage that was to be derived from the ministry of the word. On hearing that a relative in the country, who had been afflicted some years, was so far recovered as to be able to attend the house of God, "What must be my dear aunt's feelings," said she, "after such a long absence from the meeting; how delighted and rejoiced she must be!"
When recovered from a dreadful paroxysm, being in a profuse perspiration, (which was often the case even during the severe
cold winter,) she remarked that "Jesus sweat great drops of blood in his agony for sin-
ners; and I only large drops of water from my pains."
A beloved friend observing how very great her sufferings were; she, with a sweet smile, answered "Yes,
'But what are all our sufferings here,
May 1.—She remarked that the time seemed long that she lay in her present suffering state; "Why," said she, "are his chariot wheels so long in coming?" Several days and nights of extreme anguish succeeded: the want of sleep was very afflicting, and her mind became dejected. She was very solicitous to know whether she had good grounds for her hope. "I am afraid" said she, "the Lord afflicts me in anger; surely it cannot be in love. Mamma, do you really think those promises are sent by the Lord? I wish they were applied more. O for assurance! that is what I want."
When her father inquired what he should pray for? her usual reply was, "That the Lord may reveal himself more to my soul, and grant me patience." Speaking of her sisters, she observed she did not forget to pray for them. "Perhaps," she said, "some wicked people might be composed, and bear an affliction like mine with patience." She evidently was desirous of examining her state, to know whether her feelings were merely the effects of natural fortitude; or whether they arose from a vital principle of grace implanted in the heart. But light succeeded this temporary darkness.
On one occasion when speaking of her poor afflicted body arising a glorious one, "Ah," she said, "I shall be glad when the worms are feeding on it; then shall I be at rest. I often think of these lines:
'Corruption, earth, and worms,
When, Oh when will the happy time come!"
May 17.—Some minister from the country, who came to the missionary meeting, and had known the dear child from her birth, called and prayed and conversed with her. One of them inquired the ground of her hope.
She replied, "The merits of Christ."
"What shall I pray for, my dear?"
"That I may be supported and resigned, and have patience to bear my affliction, sir."
On the same evening she sang several of those hymns on which she had so frequently dwelt with such peculiar comfort and delight, though with considerable difficulty, and great interruption from excessive pain. She then added,
"But when my voice is lost in death,
Sometimes with Job, she called upon her friends to pity her: but far from intending those exclamations as any reflection upon
them. "Pity should be shown," she would say, "to the afflicted. Pity me, pity me, Oh ye, my friends!" Thus, in the bitterness
of her soul, she could not forbear sometimes expressing her
sorrows, though it was very seldom, and never except when in great pain. When her spirit has been overwhelmed within her, she was never left to complain of the Divine procedure, but through grace would often say, "'It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good.' Perhaps (she said) I am not yet fitted for heaven, that may be the reason why I am detained so long here."
She would frequently inquire the day of the month, saying, "It will be but a little time now, and all will be over." Infinite wisdom had, however, otherwise determined, and wearisome days and nights were appointed unto her.
May 22. She made many suitable remarks when part of the epistles of St. John were read to her, and spoke of the pleasure she felt in having the testament placed on the bed, that she might read, with her sister turning over the leaves for her. "These words (she said) often occur to my mind. 'The cup that my Heavenly father hath given me, shall I not drink it?' and last Thursday those words were in my mind all day, 'As thy day is, so shall thy strength be;'" adding, "I think the Lord will give more strength as my sufferings increase. I know it will be so, for the Lord hath said it." Extreme weakness and pain succeeded, so as almost to prevent her speaking any thing for several successive days: but she seemed to enjoy the conversation and prayers of the ministers and christian friends.
June 4.— Mr. Clarke explained the 23d Psalm to her, of which she frequently spoke with great delight. Soon after, when speaking
of death, she re-
marked, "It will not be a dark valley if the Lord is with me there."
Several weeks elapsed without any thing being noted down. The intense heat of the weather rendered it necessary to fan her day and night, and her painful affliction demanded nearly the whole of her mother and sister's attention: it is to be regretted, that by these means many sweet expressions which dropped from the lips of the sufferer are lost. In general she enjoyed a sweet serenity of mind, and often mentioned different portions of Scripture that consoled her.
About the latter end of July she labored under great discouragements. Satan was permitted again to hurl his fiery darts in tempting her to think that all she had felt was a delusion. "I am afraid," she said, "that the Lord has quite forsaken me. Oh, if Christ is not my friend when I pass 'through the dark valley,' what must I do? You, my dear mamma and sisters, will not attend me much longer. The worms will soon feed on this poor body."
August 2.—She thus addressed her mother, "Why were you not, mamma, willing to part with me when I was so very happy? I was then rejoicing in the Lord; I scarcely could contain myself for joy. Perhaps I am spared to gratify you and my papa. You see it is a life of pain and sorrow." She was told Christ's love was unchangeable; and that the lines of the poet were applicable to her case, as she was tempted of Satan:
"He worries whom he can't devour,
On the sabbath her mind became tranquil. She lamented that she could not be left alone as in the former part of her illness; likewise, that she slept longer in the morning, in consequence of her nights being almost sleepless, as her father could not then go up at the usual hour of family prayer; she was informed prayer should not be omitted on that account, but that her father would come whenever she had taken her breakfast, with which she expressed her satisfaction.
Two days after she complained of the want of evidences whereby she might be fully satisfied of her interest in the Redeemer. She was asked if she did not love the people of God, or whether she would prefer the company of the thoughtless? "Oh, no!" she replied. "I am sure I do not wish such people to visit me." "Cannot you say, my dear, you love the Lord?" "Yes, but not as I desire to do; neither do I hate sin, as I wish or ought. I often think of that hymn of Newton: 'Tis a point I long to know.'" She spoke of the concern it caused her, that her great pain was such a hindrance in praying so much and often as she wished."
She inquired if there would be any impropriety in praying to have the use of one arm restored, so that she might be able to take up a book and turn over the leaves to read herself; observing that her friends were very kind in reading the scriptures and good books to her, but that was not an equal pleasure to examining the word of God for herself. "When different promises occur to my mind," she said, "Oh, how I long to search for them! I cannot always tell you what I wish to have read."
She looked forward to that delightful period when she should meet her pious ancestors in glory, who, "though being dead, yet speak" by the writings which they have left behind them.
When hearing the excellent character of an aged christian described; and it is observed, he is quite ripe for glory, "Do you think so," said she, "I rather think not quite, or he would not I think be continued on earth."
Trifling conversation was very disagreeable to her. Her affections were soaring above, and Jesus was her hope and confidence. She desired to "look not unto the things which are seen and are temporal, but unto those which are not seen and are eternal."
This was particularly obvious, when a lady called upon her who talked much about ancient and modern customs and fashions. During the conversation the poor child could scarcely restrain her feelings; but as soon as the lady left the room she manifested disapprobation in strong terms: "What are those trifling things to me? It is impossible I could feel interested in such conversation."
Her tender and affectionate heart was powerfully susceptible of love and compassion toward her fellow creatures in distress.
She had often shed many tears, so that it was with difficulty she could be tranquilized; particularly at one time when two
or three fires happened in the city, the lights of which were very visible in the street where she resided. Her mother thinking
she was alarmed for her safety, told her there was no danger to be apprehended in the village; the fires were very distant,
and could not injure her.
"I am not at all uneasy about myself," she said," it is on the poor sufferers' account I am distressed; I am afraid they will lose their all." She continued weeping bitterly for some time at the calamity that had befallen so many families.
She often manifested with great tenderness her fears, lest the health of her relatives should sustain injury from the confinement which her protracted affliction necessarily occasioned them. Whenever circumstances would allow either of her sisters to leave her, she always rejoiced in the pleasure she knew they would feel from a walk in the fields, though during the whole time of the late, long, and delightful summer, she could never behold the surrounding beauties of nature herself. So great was her satisfaction from their being gratified, that on their return it was generally remarked she seemed as well pleased as if she had been out herself.
Precluded by a scene of suffering from the enjoyments which in health had been very delightful to her, she was taught by heavenly wisdom to soar above, "To joys substantial and sincere."
The calm resignation which she always manifested under the most agonizing tortures, proved that she had indeed been taught by the Spirit of God the difficult lesson, of being "content" in "whatever state" she was placed.
Sometimes she discovered an anxious wish, if such were the Divine will, to be favored with her reasoning faculties to her latest moments; observing, "I shall wish you all to know if I am happy when dying."
"I wish my dear father would not pray for my life,"
she said, "or entertain any hopes of my recovery; he will, perhaps, feel it the more when I am gone. The Lord can restore me if he pleases; nothing is too hard for him." Every thing, she observed, of a medical kind had been done, of which she was fully satisfied. "You know Dr. H— says it would be next to a miracle if I was to be restored; he is only surprised at my surviving so many months." Then speaking of the grave being shortly the abode of her body, she exclaimed:
"The graves of all his saints he blest
October.—Her warfare was now almost accomplished. Her weakness and pain visibly increased, and she sensibly felt that her frail tabernacle must very shortly be taken down: but through Divine grace she was enabled still to press forward to the prize of her high calling. Indeed her mind was quite elevated with the joyful anticipation of the felicity that awaited her. Her mother, who never expected again to hear the voice of her beloved child employed in singing praise on earth, was surprised at hearing her say she thought she could sing, and intimated that she was too ill to attempt it: "it will" she said, "take off the sense of my pain; do if you please set a tune for me, and I will join you." The night was then far advanced, and all was solemn silence; but to her the hours were not tedious when spent in this delightful exercise.
She proceeded with singing, though with frequent interruption from pain,
"Jesus! lover of my soul," &c.
with many more hymns. Another time it was remarked that she could not now meditate upon the scriptures so much as she used to do. "Oh yes," she replied, "I hope I do, but the pain often drives all those thoughts out of my mind."
October 21.—Her mind was in a very tranquil state. In her wakeful hours during the night she begged her mother to read such passages of Scripture as she thought might be best adapted to her circumstances. After reading a long time, thinking she was unable to keep up her attention, her mother stopped, when she requested her mamma to proceed, saying, "It enables me to forget my pains." She expressed, as she had done before, an earnest request, for the prayers of her father and others. "Pray," said she, "that the Lord may be with me in the trying hour. I cannot go through without Him. Beg that I may be supported to the end. I want to read my title clear."
She seldom closed her eyes till three or four o'clock in the morning, which led her mother to remark, "That it was very gloomy for her to lie awake so much." She replied, "she did not consider it at all gloomy, when she could think; but her pains were sometimes so great it was bery difficult, particularly the past night."
Her mother then inquired on what subject her attention had been engaged.
"I thought," she said, "a great deal about Abraham; his faith was very much tried."
"Well, my dear, I suppose it led you to conclude the Lord had laid this heavy affliction upon you for the trial of your faith and patience?"
"Yes, it did: I do think it is so."
October 31.—Saturday morning she described her excruciating pains as being almost insupportable. "What can be done with me, if I live much longer? You cannot, my dear mamma, conceive what I endure. If you could possibly enter into my feelings, your hearts would all be pierced with sorrow."
In the evening she was seized with a more violent palpitation at the heart than she had ever before experienced; respiration became unusually difficult. At one o'clock she begged her father might be called up to pray with her, and likewise wished to see her sisters, and kind medical attendant. She requested the 23d Psalm might be read, from which, especially the fourth verse, she had often derived great comfort.
Nov. 1—When Mr. W— left her she inquired how long he thought she could live? She was informed that it was his opinion that she could not survive long, perhaps a few days only. She said with great emphasis. "Pray do not deceive me!" Her father repeated some lines of which she was very fond. It was remarked, she was going to live with far more exalted society, and that it was a period she had been long waiting for: "Yes," she replied, "but death appears very solemn; it approaches near now."
After remaining a few minutes apparently absorbed in contemplation, she sang with a faltering voice,
"'Tis a point I long to know;"
but her falling breath prevented her from proceeding. When she desired that a hymn might be read, which she had often sung with the most delightful elevation of mind:
"Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched,"
it was evident that her mind was deeply engaged. The most important subjects occupied her attention, and she was now enabled to leave to the Divine care and blessing her dear absent brothers and sisters, on whose account she had shed many a tear.
About ten o'clock, A. M. her father prayed and inquired if she had any particular request to name: the difficulty of speaking then would scarecely allow her to utter more than a sentence, and she could only reply—"Evidences."
"I suppose, my dear, you wish to have bright evidences."
"Yes, yes!" she answered.
She afterward desired to hear some account from the scriptures of the last judgment, and wished her friends to converse upon the subject; but was too much exhausted to make any remarks herself.
When asked if any portions of the scriptures were applied to her mind, she said "there were several, but that she was too ill to repeat them." Whenever inquiry was made as to the state of her mind, her answers indicated that she enjoyed that "peace which passeth all understanding." When her mamma said, "My dear, are you happy?" She replied, "Yes, but you interrupt me."
Sabbath evening.—A few pious friends came to take their last farewell; but it was with difficulty that she could attend to their conversation. In the night she often alluded to a hymn to which she was very partial: repeatedly saying, "Fly, fly!" No doubt meaning her departing spirit would shortly be conducted home.
Monday, Nov. 2—Nature was now almost dissolved, but the energy of her soul was unabated. The dying christian's soliloquy was repeated, while she joined in the last part, in a gentle whisper. About ten o'clock A. M. she wished her father to pray once more, when he committed her spirit into the hands of him who redeemed it.
She complained of excessive weariness and great want of sleep. Spoke of dying very soon, but with sweet composure of mind.
Her relatives and dear friends were now watching her every look, and anxiously listening to her dying accents, while her interesting countenance, the faithful index of her soul, beamed with love on all around.
About one o'clock she surprised those who were present, by singing the following lines of Dr. Watts, in a faint voice:
"Come, we that love the Lord
She attempted to sing more, but was too weak, and her friends were too much affected to assist the expiring saint in the last song of praise on this side of heaven.
A friend observed, "You are now walking through the valley; I hope Jesus is with you!" "Yes," she replied. Shortly after, she said, "Peace be with you."
She now rose superior to every thing terrestrial. Separation, which had been so very afflictive to her, no more affected her, but with heaven in full prospect, she calmly bid adieu to all below. And with the most delightful tranquility of mind, which was apparent in her countenance, she took a solemn and affectionate farewell of all who surrounded her bed. Her sister supported her head till the vital spark became extinct. With great earnestness she frequently said, "Pray, pray!"
Half an hour before her death, a young lady came up stairs to see her; she could only thank for her kindness in calling. With a sweet serenity in her countenance, soon after, she imperfectly articulated "Jesus, come, come!" And twenty minutes before her immortal spirit took its flight, she was reminded of those lines which had been frequently delightful to her.
"Haste my beloved, fetch my soul
She added, with a faltering voice;
"Fly, for my spirit longs to see
It was evident that the difficulty of breathing, which became increasingly distressing, alone prevented her adding more. With a look of ineffable sweetness, she said to her weeping relatives, "Good by."
My dear, said her mamma, you are just leaving us, and are going to glory.
"Yes," she said, looking round with the most delightful composure on each person present.
She shortly after, without a groan or struggle, fell asleep in Jesus, at three o'clock, P. M. Monday, November 2, 1818:—Aged twelve years and one month.
"One gentle sigh her fetters broke,