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Allusion was made to her sleeping, as perhaps a favorable symptom. “Yes," said she, “ “ If he sleep, he shall do well.'” I said, “He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.'” “Oh, yes ! " was her sweet response, “I am sure of that; I have that assurance !” So many of the hymns of Watts were on her lips at intervals, that Elizabeth spoke of the comfort of having them so early and so long familiar. “Oh, yes !” she exclaimed, “they are in my soul! I wish I could tell you some of the things that are there !” Once she exclaimed amidst her suffering,
“ Show pity, Lord ! O Lord, forgive,
And let a mourning sinner live !'”
She said, “ I have been indifferent, or had been growing indifferent, but He has brought me back.
When the words of the hymn, “Behold, what wondrous love," were suggested, she said,
“Nor doth it yet appear
How great we shall be made ;
We shall be like our Head.'”
And then she added, with a lighting up of the countenance by a smile so full of radiant, heavenly peace that nothing can describe it,
“* A hope so much divine
May trials well endure !'”
There was a poem which she used often to quote, – especially the lines,
“ Infinite Goodness teaches us submission,” etc. Yesterday she repeated the words from it,
“Death will invade us by the means appointed,
What shape he comes in.” It is an old poem which was written, I believe, during the Revolutionary War; and fifty years ago it used to be still sung in some parts of our country. Into how many hearts religious sayings and impressions are thus sometimes carried, in different and widely remote places, by a single stray poem! It was republished not long since in one of the newspapers, and dear mother was greatly delighted to see it.
In the first of this illness there was mingled an exquisite playfulness in her manner and expressions, a mixture of tenderness, gentleness, resignation, cheerfulness, and love, exceedingly remarkable. She would sometimes answer our persuasions for her to take some medicine or nourishment with snatches of poetry that came to her mind by some appropriate connection, sometimes amusing and then again serious. But she seemed to have a deep abiding conviction that it was utterly vain to attempt to do anything for her recovery, nor did she desire it. As the disease advanced, she seemed surprised that she continued in life so long. Once she awaked out of a deep interval of slumber, and exclaimed, “I am almost equal to Daniel Webster ; is it possible that I am still alive?" And at another time she said, “I have lain here thinking so much of what Mr. Webster said, - 'I still live !'" She repeated the verse,
“ 'T is God that lifts our comforts high,
Or sinks them in the grave;
He takes but what he gave."
and that other stanza, —
“ The dear delights we here enjoy
And fondly call our own,
To be repaid anon."
And then she spoke of the Lord's unspeakable goodness, and added with a deep and heavenly fervor of grateful love, –
“Good when he gives, supremely good;
Nor less when he denies.
Are blessings in disguise.'”
“He is a refuge in distress, a precious Saviour, — yes, a precious Saviour !” Her heart was full of grateful love. The least thing done for her she remembered and spoke of with a thankfulness that was truly affecting. She was continually speaking of the kindness of Henry's people. She had made him from the outset keep a record of everything received, partly that nothing might be forgotten or neglected, and partly to see how kind the people were. Her tenderness and affection towards the servantgirl Catherine were very striking. Catherine was weeping as though her heart would break, while dear mother was feebly articulating some parting messages of love. “Oh,” exclaimed she, “why should any of you weep? Let there be no weeping."
She then told Catherine how she had borne her on her heart, and what full confidence she felt that she would be brought into the fold of Christ, adding that she had long felt this, and had prayed for her. She spoke of the unconverted, and said, “My heart yearns after them.” She spoke of her happiness while here at Greenport among Henry's people, and said that she had been perfectly happy, and blessed God that he had brought her here to live. She spoke of one of the most spiritual among the members of the church, and said, "She is one of the salt of the earth. I wish I could now see her and take her to my arms."
She had sometimes expressed a desire, whenever she should die, to be buried by the grave of her father, in the place of her birth and childhood, in the family graveyard on the farm in York. When this was suggested to her, and she was asked if there was any particular place where she desired to lie, she answered, “Oh, no matter where ! no matter where !” I then repeated the verse, —
“God my Redeemer lives,
And often from the skies
Till he shall bid it rise.
Shall these vile bodies shine,
Look heavenly and divine.”
It is the testimony of all who have known her that our dear mother has been growing in grace deeply, remarkably, since she has been here. It is astonishing what a hold she had got of the affections of the people, and with what tenderness and benevolent love her heart cleaved to them. It is a most remarkable instance of so aged a person, transplanted like an old tree, and taking root downward and bearing fruit upward, becoming so endeared to the strange soil. It is the power of heavenly grace, along with that native disposition of strong and grateful attachment that has everywhere and always marked dear mother's character. But of late especially God has been making her useful, and at the same time rapidly preparing her for himself.
Now, dearest love, I must bid you good-night, hoping to write again to-morrow. The Lord be with you, and keep you from all evil.
Your loving husband, GEORGE.
From a Letter Retrospective, after the Closing Scenes.
GREENPORT, January. It has been a great happiness to dear mother to have Cousin Charlotte with her. I believe the only tears she has shed during her illness were tears of joy when she beheld Charlotte's face. Long ago she had made her promise that if it were possible she would be with her in her last illness, and now it was a remarkable providence of God's mercy that brought her here. Dear mother said to Catherine, as she saw Cousin Charlotte leaving the room for a moment, “ There she goes, like a heavenly angel fitting round the house !” It was affect