History, 1838–1856, volume C-1 [2 November 1838–31 July 1842]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 1098
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<​September 15​> His family were summoned to his bed side, it being now evident he could not long survive. On Sunday he called his children and grand children around him, and like the Ancient Patriarchs, gave them his final benediction. Although his strength was far gone, and he was obliged to rest at intervals, yet his mind was clear, perfectly collected, and calm as the gentle zephyrs. The love of God was in his heart, the peace of God rested upon him, and his soul was full of compassion and blessing— All the circumstances connected with his death, were calculated to lead the mind back to the time, when an Abraham, an Isaac and a Jacob bid adieu to mortality and entered into rest.— [HC 4:195] His death like theirs. was sweet, and it certainly was a privilege indeed, to witness such a scene: and I was forcibly reminded of the sentiment of the Poet,
The chamber where the good man meets his fate,
Is privileged beyond the common walk of virtuous life.
There were no reflections of a mis-spent life— no fearful forebodings of a gloomy nature in relation to the future, the realities of eternity were dawning, the shades of time were lowring; but there was nothing to terrify, to alarm, or disturb his mind; no, the principles of the gospel, which “bring life and immortality to light,” nobly triumphed in nature’s final hour. Those principles so long taught and cherished by our lamented friend, were honorably maintained to the last; which is not only a consolation to the immediate relatives: but to the Church at large. The instructions imparted by him, will long be remembered by his numerous progeny, who will undoubtedly profit by the same, and strive to render themselves worthy of such a Sire: and that the whole church will copy his examples, walk in his footsteps and emulate his faith, and virtuous actions, and commend themselves to his God and to their God. Notwithstanding his enemies frequently “shot at him, yet his bow abode in its strength,” and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob,” and his courage and resolution never forsook him: His anxiety for the spread of truth was great, and he lived to see great and important things accomplished. He saw the commencement of the work, small as a mustard seed, and with attention and deep interest he watched its progress; and he had the satisfaction of beholding thousands on this Continent, rejoicing in its truths, and heard the glorious tidings, that other lands were becoming heirs to its richest blessings. Under these circumstances he could exclaim, like pious Simeon of old “Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” Although his spirit has taken its flight, and his remains will soon mingle with their mother earth, yet his memory will long be cherished by all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance and will be fresh and blooming, when those of his enemies shall be blotted out from under heaven. May we, beloved friends, who survive our venerable Patriarch, study to prosecute those things, which were so dear to his aged heart, and pray that a double portion of his spirit may be bestowed on us, [HC 4:196] that we may be the humble instruments in aiding the consummation of the great work, which he saw so happily began; that when we have to stand before the bar of Christ, we may with our departed friend, hear the welcome plaudit, “Come up hither ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world— Amen.” [HC 4:197] [p. 1098]
September 15 His family were summoned to his bed side, it being now evident he could not long survive. On Sunday he called his children and grand children around him, and like the Ancient Patriarchs, gave them his final benediction. Although his strength was far gone, and he was obliged to rest at intervals, yet his mind was clear, perfectly collected, and calm as the gentle zephyrs. The love of God was in his heart, the peace of God rested upon him, and his soul was full of compassion and blessing— All the circumstances connected with his death, were calculated to lead the mind back to the time, when an Abraham, an Isaac and a Jacob bid adieu to mortality and entered into rest.— [HC 4:195] His death like theirs. was sweet, and it certainly was a privilege indeed, to witness such a scene: and I was forcibly reminded of the sentiment of the Poet,
The chamber where the good man meets his fate,
Is privileged beyond the common walk of virtuous life.
There were no reflections of a mis-spent life— no fearful forebodings of a gloomy nature in relation to the future, the realities of eternity were dawning, the shades of time were lowring; but there was nothing to terrify, to alarm, or disturb his mind; no, the principles of the gospel, which “bring life and immortality to light,” nobly triumphed in nature’s final hour. Those principles so long taught and cherished by our lamented friend, were honorably maintained to the last; which is not only a consolation to the immediate relatives: but to the Church at large. The instructions imparted by him, will long be remembered by his numerous progeny, who will undoubtedly profit by the same, and strive to render themselves worthy of such a Sire: and that the whole church will copy his examples, walk in his footsteps and emulate his faith, and virtuous actions, and commend themselves to his God and to their God. Notwithstanding his enemies frequently “shot at him, yet his bow abode in its strength,” and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob,” and his courage and resolution never forsook him: His anxiety for the spread of truth was great, and he lived to see great and important things accomplished. He saw the commencement of the work, small as a mustard seed, and with attention and deep interest he watched its progress; and he had the satisfaction of beholding thousands on this Continent, rejoicing in its truths, and heard the glorious tidings, that other lands were becoming heirs to its richest blessings. Under these circumstances he could exclaim, like pious Simeon of old “Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” Although his spirit has taken its flight, and his remains will soon mingle with their mother earth, yet his memory will long be cherished by all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance and will be fresh and blooming, when those of his enemies shall be blotted out from under heaven. May we, beloved friends, who survive our venerable Patriarch, study to prosecute those things, which were so dear to his aged heart, and pray that a double portion of his spirit may be bestowed on us, [HC 4:196] that we may be the humble instruments in aiding the consummation of the great work, which he saw so happily began; that when we have to stand before the bar of Christ, we may with our departed friend, hear the welcome plaudit, “Come up hither ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world— Amen.” [HC 4:197] [p. 1098]
Page 1098