Imatges de pÓgina
[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]



MARCH, 1803.



Extracted from a Letter from a Minister at Dublin

to his friend in England. MY DEAR FRIEND,

“ Soon after my arrival here the second time, the Evangelical Society appointed me a tour into the west of this country, as far as Connaught. My visit lay within about six miles of Clara; and the Rev. Mr. W- having a desire that I should call and see a very dear friend, whom God had blessed bis ministry to a few years past, I received a letter to her, and promised to call. After preaching at different towns on the road, I arrived at Clara, on Monday, May 11, 1801, about four o'clock, just as the lady and two clergymen were going out to dinner. 1 delivered the letter, and was led to think, from appearances, that my reception was very cool; but I was not acquainted with circumstances which afterwards accounted for this reception. One of the clergymen was Mr. Bagot, the curate of the parish, and Mrs. N.'s son-in-law : he, with his wife, her own daughter, had violently opposed her views of the gospel, since the Lord had changed her heart; and Mrs. Bagot often told her mother, that she would sooner turn Pagan than a Calvinist, &c. Dear Mrs. N. her mother, being alone in the parish, and finding herself so much hurt in her mind by the different branches of her family, had resolved to let her house, and come to Dublin for the sake of the gospel and peace; and she was about this when I came into the town. the clergyman's lady, had been brought to-bed that day fortnight, and was to receive this visit from her mother; and as I was a stranger, and her visitor, the invitation wis given to me, I accompanied her and the two clergymen; and, as usual in the evening, wherever I went, preached in the town. All

Mrs. Bagot, agreed to accompany me; and the lady lamented that her situation was such, as almost to render it impossible to go with us; for though she was at enmity with the doctrine of free grace, as she had heard many things about Evangelical Preachers, &c, she longed to hear if I had any thing to say. As we were about to leave the house, near half a mile from the town, she was so fixed on going, that no remonstrance of her friends could prevail on her to tarry at home, observing, she did not care how she went; and was sure if she was well wrapt up, and put on a low car, she would not get cold. Her request was complied with, and we all went together. The Lord accompanied the word with a peculiar power; and from that time, never did I see any person so altered, and so desirous after truth. We returned home, and spent a delightful evening together. On the inorrow the fair was to be kept in Clara. The curate now requested ine to preach to the people, promising to collect the principal Protestant inhabitants of the parish to attend : very few in number to the Roman Catholics. I preached on a table, which he procured; and he accomplished his engagements. I preached again in the evening to a good congregation. My stay was about ten days among thein ; but to relate every circumstance, would take up too much of my time and paper; I can only observe, that. I established a prayermeeting before I left them, and engaged the curate himself to superintend it; which be did with delight, though with the greatest diffidence I ever saw.

The prayer meetings were regularly conducted, and much blessed; and he now preached boldly the glorious doctrine of Christ crucified; his congregation at church increased, and he appeared to be about ready to enter into the field of usefulness. In July I paid them another visit; which the Lord also blessed. I found several praying people, who were once in a state of darkness. My stay now was much longer, and the work of the Lord appeared evidently to prosper. The different branches of this family in particular (five houses) met at each other's residence for prayer and praise ; and no one could conceive the inexpressible joy that the lately tried mother felt at what God had wrought. She frequently told me, that night after night she could not rest with the delight of soul.

Mr. Bagot, yet more zealous for God, strove to preach, and do more and more to spread the knowledge of Christ; and, previous to his illness, he had three regular prayer-meetings in hiis parish every week: nor did some threats, as to reporting him to the bishop, &c. check him; but stimulated him rather to go forward. But, in the height of his prospects, the Lord saw it meet to disappoint the desire of his friends; and, in ten. days illness, to take him to glory. I shall now give you the particulars, as I have received them in writing.


91 Sunday morning, the 21st of February, was the first time that he found himself particularly unwell. Mrs. Bagot requested of him not to go to church :-he replied, that he wonld not disappoint the people.' He went through the service witha out feeling the least in convenience froin his indisposition ; and . preached with peculiar power from these worıls, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Inmediately after the service was over, he felt himself so ill, that he was scarcely able to get home. As soon as be got home he took to his bed, and lay in the room even with his parlour. He requested Mr. R. to hold the usual prayer-meeting; and the door being left open, though the perspiration flowed down his face, he joined with great delight in the worship.

Monday, he continued very ill. Mrs. B. sent for the familyphysician. He did not complain of pain ; and, on Tuesday, the doctor thought him better. Both these days his mind was in a sweet and happy frame, praying and praising continually, and speaking of mercy and the mild chastisements of the Lord.

Wednesday morning, he lay for some time without speaking. Mrs. B. asked him if he found himself weak or unwell. He answered, “ Oh, no! I am happy, inexpressibly happy! I never was happy before! I know that my sins are all pardoned. I am justified through the blood of Christ. Was I in a trance ? I thought I saw Heaven ; - I am going there. Oh! if you knew the manifestations I have had of the love of God, you would not wish to keep me from glory!” Mrs. N. coming in, he repeated the saine things to her, and much more. She told him, she hoped he would be long spared with his friends. He answered, “Oh! do not say so ! I could not live after what things I have seen ; but they cannot be uttered with human tongue.” From this time his face became so bright with joy, it was surprizing to behold :-before, he had a sweet tranquil look; but now, a joy which no one can have an idea of, that did not see him. When the doctor came, which was soon after, he said, that he saw no dangerous symptoins, and that he was not worse, of which, when he was informed, he answered,“ Living or dying, the Lord's will be done; but don't flatter yourself, for it has been clearly manifested to me, that I am going to glory!” and then turning to Mrs.N. he said, “ To live is Christ; but to die is gain!” Part of this night he seemed to be doubtful of his state, and feared all he had seen was a delusion, and that he was too great a sinner to be saved ; but towards morning the cloud was removed, and he then said, “ Heaviness may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Christ's blood cleanseth from all unrighteousness : it is all of free sovereign grace, — all of grace!" After which, be prayed for an increase of faith, to lay hold of all the precious promises of the gospel.



Thursday. When Dr. IV. came in the morning, he seemed much alarined, and requested that another physician might be called. When told of Dr. B.'s arrival, Mr.Bagot said, “ Do what you please; but all I desire is the Great Physician!" Some part of this day he appeared tempteil, and said, “ I am lying in my own filthy rags!" but his countenance still bore the same happy appearance. This day was much employed in settling his temporal affairs; whichi, when done, he said to Mrs. B. “I am left till every thing is settled. It is not to be told, the love I have

you, my dear wise, and little ones; but I am only parting from you for a little; I can freely leave you with my God. " Nor did he appear to feel the least regret.

Friday, about three o'clock in the morning, lie sent for Mrs. B. and his sister Sally, who had retired to rest for a few hours. When they came to him, he seemed almost overpowered with joy, and thus addressed them: “ 1 sent for you, to tell you that I have had a severe confict; but have gained the victory thro' Christ! I am stripped of all my own filthy rags, and clothed in the pure and spouless robes of Christ's righteousness, as a bride adorned for the bridegroom. Oh! won't you help me to praise God? to praise him for his free, sovereign, unmerited grace to such a poor sinner as I am Oh ! for angels and archangels to shout his praises !” He then particularly addressed Mrs.B.“ Don't grieve for me; our separation can be buc short. It has been clearly manifested to me, that you will be with me in glory; that we shall be casting our crowns together at the feet of our blessed Jesus: - all I desire is to die shouting Victory!” After this he prayed sweetly and fervently for his wife and children, and the different branches of his family ; then for his parish, that God would raise up a more able minister for them, one after his own heart ;--and then for the spread of the gospel. Ile now called upon them to join him in singing the hymn,“ Come, let us join our cheerful songs,” &c. which, with much difficulty, his friends were able to do. After which he adried, “ Jesus, I love thy charming name!" &c. and said, “ Come, join me in“ All hail the power of Jesus' name," &c. Ilis friends being so much overcome, scarce one was able, thro' weeping, “Oh!" said he,“ won't you join me? Don't flag now."

Some were so inch overcome, that they were totally incapable of joining, and about leaving the room.

Mrs. B, who, on account of her peculiar situation (being near her time) was previously to this prevailed on to leave the room; but who, on the door being opened, entered, gave out the hymn for bim, and again all the family took courage, and joined in the praises of God: --cvethis voice now changed, and appeared to have a peculiar harmony in it. It is scarcely possible to describe the brightness and ani, ation that shone in his countenance.

This morning a neighbouring clergyman came to administer the straneut to him; to whom he spake many things

« AnteriorContinua »