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Near Death Testimonies of Some Old Time Believers

From An Antique Book in Webmaster's Library - Editor Unknown
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"Then while ye hear my heart strings break,
How sweet my moments roll;
A mortal paleness on my cheek,
And glory in my soul!"

"So much even as the lifting of a latch;
Only a step into the open air
Out of a tent already luminous
With light which shines through its transparent walls.'

Miss Peters was sometimes cast down with fears. I found her one morning in this melancholy frame of mind; and speaking of her unworthiness and the awful judgment she wept. As an antidote to her fears, I held up to her the cross of Christ --- told her to look at that --- to see her Saviour agonized, and suffering all that he did, and then asked if those sufferings were not enough to atone for her sins; and begged her to forget herself entirely, and throw herself on the mercies of God, through Jesus Christ. Perceiving the happy effect of this language, I read to her the first eleven verses of the fifth chapter of Romans, dwelling particularly on verses sixth to tenth, especially on the eighth and tenth verses. The effect of those verses, and a single enforcement of the cheering and delightful truths they teach, was immediate and wonderful. Every cloud was dispersed that had arisen between her soul and God. She realized that the argument of the apostle reached her case; and that having, when an enemy, been reconciled to God through the death of his Son, she could certainly be saved by her risen and living Saviour. * * * *

A young cousin came in to see her, and inquired after her health. She replied, "I feel somewhat revived. Every thing around me appears delightful today. This room seems at times lit up with the radiance of heaven. Though it is boisterous and stormy without, all is serenity and peace here --- for God is here, lifting upon me the light of his reconciled countenance. 'How full, how precious, how glorious are the things which God hath prepared for those that love him! Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive the glories that will gather around the saints in light! Let me look at these things and forget my weakness and my pains.'

" 'When languor and disease invade
This trembling house of clay;
'Tis sweet to look beyond my pains,
And long to fly away.' "

She went on repeating in the most touching manner, the whole hymn; when she came to the words

"Sweet on His faithfulness to rest,
Whose love can never end;
Sweet on His covenant of grace,
For all things to depend ---"

she exclaimed with strong emphasis, "O that covenant of grace, that covenant of grace! It is established as the heavens --- firmer than the foundations of the earth --- based upon the truth of God --- it is ordered in all things and sure. He himself hath said, 'The mountains shall depart and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.'" During all her sickness up to the last, her intellect remained clear and unclouded, without the slightest wandering of mind. In her bosom there was almost perpetually a calm, holy delight, resulting from the sacred influences which the Holy Spirit shed around her.

* * She said, "Do, dear mother, tell everybody to read and study the promises of God. Will you again read me something from the sacred volume in relation to the crucifixion of my Saviour? I want that scene deeply graven on my heart." Anzonettar's mind, at this period, was in a posture not unlike that of the traveller's who is approaching for the first time some ancient land, or far-famed city, or magnificent scene of nature. As he approximates the scene of expectation, he catches, at each new point, distant and transient glimpses that wake up within him mysterious emotions of wonder and awe, and deep solemnity and thrilling interest.

* * "Dear mother, do not forget to send my gold chain to the Education Society. I wish to help, in some little degree, the poor whom God hath called to preach his word, that they may be prepared for their work. I have but a mite to throw into this sacred treasury, but I trust my Saviour will not despise it."

October 29th.--- This morning when asked how she was, she replied, "In body, full of pain; but in mind, full of happiness and heaven. O, the boundless love of God! Volumes could not express what I feel of his love.

* * * "This morning I felt the want of food, but I knew if I took the least particle, it would produce distress and exhaustion. For a few moments I felt sad; but then this passage was brought powerfully to my mind --- and it was to me like a refreshing draught: 'Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him, shall be in him a well of water, springing up into everlasting life.' The nutriment that supports this body can sustain but a very short time, but the -waters of salvation impart immortal vigor --- they refresh the weary soul and nourish it unto everlasting life. . . . The grace of God sustains me. He has said --- 'I will strengthen; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.' He preserveth the way of his saints."

Upon being asked if she suffered any pain, she said, "O yes, constant pain, and a dreadful sense of oppression. Every particle of food I take, causes immense suffering. Correcting herself, she said, "Not suffering, I must not think I suffer. The Saviour endured suffering, when he wrought Out our redemption by his bitter death. He endured suffering when he poured out his precious blood, and made his soul an offering for sin. When I reflect on his sufferings, mine appear light. We must not think that the pains we endure are great; and above all, that any sufferings of ours are meritorious. O no, the blood of Jesus Christ alone atones for sin. O, that precious blood! Let no one slight it."

Then with an energy of manner that appeared absolutely astonishing in one that was in such a debilitated and dying state, she said --- O tell everybody to love this Saviour! to love the Bible! Yes, tell them how precious its promises are." After resting awhile, she requested her mother to read the "Gloria in Excelsis." Mrs. Peters remarks, in relation to her appearance at this time, "The radiance of heaven lit up her countenance, and her whole soul seemed to glow with divine love, as she repeated the words after me, with a strength and power that I thought would demolish the frail house of her earthly tabernacle. . . . Heaven seemed to be brought down to our view, and its glories filled us with unutterable emotions. After finishing the "Gloria in Excelsis," I read the Prayer of Thanksgiving, which, in the communion service, is appointed to be used after the consecrated elements have been received --- at the conclusion of which, she uttered a loud 'Amen.'"

"Mother, do not think I forget my dear brother. Tell him to serve his Creator in the days of his youth. Tell him to read his Bible. Tell him how precious the love of God is --- how sweet the promises have been to me. O, tell him, mother, all that God has done for my soul. O, tell everybody to love God, and choose his service in health, and he will be with them in death. Will you promise me, mother, to do this? O, tell everybody to love God. . . . Mother, read." This was her last request. To ascertain whether she was still capable of choosing her subject, I inquired "What shall I read, my child?" . . . I thought it was "resurrection" she wished to say. . . . I then repeated --- "Now is Christ risen from the dead," etc. . . "This," continues Mrs. Peters, "was about half-past twelve o'clock at night. Her head now sunk down on the pillow, and she appeared to be in a gentle sleep. She remained in this quiet, placid state, breathing life gently away, until a quarter before six on Tuesday morning, the 5th of November, 1833, when her spirit winged its flight to the mansions of eternal day. She had lain more than five hours without speaking, but was evidently conscious, and understood what was spoken to her. A few minutes before she breathed her last, one of her aunts, who leaned over her, . . . remarked to us, "She is trying to speak." She then put her ear down close to her lips, and heard her distinctly utter the words ---

"Cease, fond nature, cease thy strife,
And - - - - -"

The words died away. Her spirit had joined the throng of the redeemed! She had languished into life. Her suffering was ended, her warfare was accomplished, and the glorious prize attained. --- Dr. John Clarke.

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