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Near Death Testimonies of Some Old Time Believers
-----------------------------------DR. BEDELL

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Haste, my dull soul, arise,
Cast off thy care,
Press to thy native skies,
Mighty in prayer.
Jesus has gone before,
Count all thy troubles o'er,
He who thy burden bore,
Jesus is there.

Soul, for the marriage feast
Robe and prepare,
Pureness becomes each guest,
Jesus is there.
Saints wave your victory palms,
Chant your celestial psalms;
Bride of the Lamb, thy charms
Oh! let us wear.

Heaven's bliss is perfect, pure,
Glory is there;
Heaven's bliss is ever sure,
Thou art its heir.
What makes its joys complete?
What makes its hymns so sweet?
There our best Friend we'll meet,
Jesus is there. --- Dr. BEDELL.

"Of the lamented Dr. Bedell, Dr. Stevens remarks:

'Walking solemnly and thoughtfully along the verge of the grave, he felt that it became him ever to preach with his own nearness to eternity in view. The sermon which proved his last, however, is said to have been heard, as well as given, with the conviction that it was a dying testimony. During the progress of the services he lay on a sofa in the vestry-room, fanned by a friend, and panting for breath. He did not rise till the moment arrived for him to ascend the pulpit, and when he began, his utterance was so faint that it was difficult even for those who were near to bear him. His text was Proverbs 9:12 --- " If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself; but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it." Gathering strength from his subject, he rose and rose, till his weakness was forgotten, and he seemed to stand triumphant over the reach of death, and speak out from the threshold of heaven, a last warning to those who had declined the calls of mercy, and turned away from Him that speaketh from heaven, "If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself; but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it."

" 'But he had passed the gates of death. He sank down from his unearthly height, and unable to stand during the doxology, he retired from this pulpit and from his people, to be there seen as an ambassador of the Saviour to sinners no more. He left Philadelphia the next day, to make one more effort to strengthen his shattered frame. It was too late! Sinking slowly, but majestically, lustrous with faith and hope even to the horizon, the sun of his life went down without a cloud, on the 30th of August, 1834.' "

"After his arrival in Baltimore," writes one of his bereaved parishioners, "Dr. Henshaw called on him, and on asking him if he enjoyed peace of mind, he replied: 'Yes, my only hope is in Jesus, the Saviour of sinners. I am very comfortable: all is peace.' At another time, Dr. Henshaw repeated the first lines of

" 'Jesus, saviour of my soul,
Let me to thy bosom fly.'

And he immediately said with much feeling, 'I will, I do.' "A short time before his death, lifting his finger with great solemnity, as he often did in the pulpit, when about to utter anything emphatically important, he said with a feeble and quivering, but yet distinct and articulate enunciation --- 'Hear me! I acknowledge myself to have been a most unprofitable servant; unprofitable but not hypocritical. I find myself to have been full of sin, ignorance, weakness, unfaithfulness and guilt, but Jesus is my hope; washed in his blood, justified by his righteousness, sanctified by his grace, I have peace with God. Jesus is very precious to my soul; my all in all; and I expect to be saved by free grace through his atoning blood. This is my testimony,' with emphasis, 'this is my testimony.' "

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