If I Were The Devil

 

If I were the Devil I would gain control of the nations of the world;

I would delude their minds into thinking that they had come from man's effort, instead of God's blessings;

I would promote an attitude of loving things and using people, instead of the other way around;

I would dupe entire states into relying on gambling for their state revenue;

I would convince people that character is not an issue when it comes to leadership;

I would make it legal to take the life of unborn babies;

I would make it socially acceptable to take one's own life, and invent machines to make it convenient;

I would cheapen human life as much as possible so that the lives of animals are valued more than human beings;

I would take God out of the schools, where even the mention of His name was grounds for a law suit;

I would come up with drugs that sedate the mind and target the young;

I would get sports heroes to take on the job to advertise them;

I would get control of the media, so that every night I could pollute the mind of every family, the backbone of any nation;

I would make divorce acceptable and easy, even fashionable.....If the family crumbles, so does the nation;

I would compel people to express their most depraved fantasies on canvas and movie screens, and I would call it art;

I would try to convince the people that right and wrong are determined by a few who call themselves authorities and refer to their agenda as politically correct;

I would persuade people that the church is irrelevant and out of date, and the Bible is for the naive;

I would dull the minds of Christians, and make them believe that prayer is not important, and that faithfulness and obedience are optional;

I guess I would leave things pretty much the way they are.

 

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The Most Beautiful Flower 

The park bench was deserted as I sat down to read, beneath the long, straggly branches of an old willow tree. Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown, for the world was intent on dragging me down.

And if that weren't enough to ruin my day, a young boy out of breath approached me, all tired from play. He stood right before me with his head tilted down, and said with great excitement, "Look what I found!"

In his hand was a flower, and what a pitiful sight. With its petals all worn - not enough rain, or too little light. Wanting him to take his dead flower and go play, I faked a small smile and then shifted away.

But instead of retreating he sat next to my side, and placed the flower to his nose and declared with surprise; "It sure smells pretty and it's beautiful, too. That's why I picked it; here, it's for you."

The weed before me was dying or dead, not vibrant with colours, orange, yellow or red. But I knew I must take it, or he might never leave, so I reached for the flower, and replied, "Just what I need."

But instead of him placing the flower in my hand, he held it mid-air without reason or plan. It was then that I noticed for the very first time, that this weed-toting boy could not see; he was blind.

I heard my voice quiver, tears shone like the sun; As I thanked him for picking the very best one. "You're welcome," he smiled, and then ran off to play, unaware of the impact, that he'd had on my day.

I sat there and wondered; how he managed to see; A self-pitying woman, beneath an old willow tree. How did he know of my self-indulged plight? Perhaps from his heart, he'd been blessed with true sight.

Through the eyes of a blind child, at last I could see; the problemís not with the world; the problem was me. And for all of those times, I myself had been blind; I vowed to see beauty, and appreciate every second that's mine.

And then I held that wilted flower, up to my nose; and breathed in the fragrance, of a beautiful rose. Then I smiled as that blind boy, another weed in his hand, was about to now change, the life, of an unsuspecting old man.

-Author unknown

 

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Free

On his way to church, a scholar was surprised to see a man in tattered clothes and barefoot. Nevertheless, as a good Christian, he greeted the poor man: "May God give you a good morning!"

The poor man replied cheerfully, "I have never yet had a bad morning."

"Then may God give you good luck!"

"I have never yet had bad luck."

"Well, may God give you happiness!"

"I have never yet been unhappy."

The scholar then asked the man, "Could you you please explain yourself to me? I do not understand."

And the poor man replied, "With pleasure! You wish me a good morning, yet I have never had a bad morning. For when I am hungry, I praise God; when I feel cold, or when it is raining or snowing, I praise God; and that is why I have never had a bad morning.

"You wish that God may give me luck. However, I have never had bad luck. This is because I live with God and always feel what he does for me is the best. Whatever God sends me, be it pleasant or unpleasant, I accept with a grateful heart. That is why I have never had bad luck.

"Finally, you wish that God should make me happy. But I have never been unhappy. For all I desire is to follow God's will; I have surrendered my will so totally to God's will that, whatever God wants, that is what I also want.

"That is why I have never been unhappy."

-Meister Eckhart

 

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If I Had My Life to Live Over

- by Erma Bombeck

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television-and more while watching life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."

There would have been more "I love you's".. more "I'm sorry's"

...but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute...look at it and really see it ... live it...and never give it back.

Stop sweating the small stuff. Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what. Instead, let's cherish the relationships we have with those who Do love us.

Let's think about what God HAS blessed us with. And what we are doing each day to promote ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally, as well as spiritually. Life is too short to let it pass you by. We only have one shot at this and then it's gone.

I hope you all have a blessed day.

- contributed by LMMYERS

 

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Be Careful

Be careful of your thoughts
for your thoughts become your word.
Be careful of your words
for your words become your actions.
Be careful of your actions
for your actions become your habits.
Be careful of your habits
for your habits become your character.
Be careful of your character
for your character becomes your destiny

 

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The House of 1000 Mirrors (Japanese folktale)

Long ago in a small, far away village, there was place known as the House of 1000 Mirrors. A small, happy little dog learned of this place and decided to visit. When he arrived, he bounced happily up the stairs to the doorway of the house. He looked through the doorway with his ears lifted high and his tail wagging as fast as it could. To his great surprise, he found himself staring at 1000 other happy little dogs with their tails wagging just as fast as his. He smiled a great smile, and was answered with 1000 great smiles just as warm and friendly. As he left the House, he thought to himself, "This is a wonderful place. I will come back and visit it often." In this same village, another little dog, who was not quite as happy as the first one, decided to visit the house. He slowly climbed the stairs and hung his head low as he looked into the door. When he saw the 1000 unfriendly looking dogs staring back at him, he growled at them and was horrified to see 1000 little dogs growling back at him. As he left, he thought to himself, "That is a horrible place, and I will never go back there again."

All the faces in the world are mirrors. What kind of reflections do you see in the faces of the people you meet?

As Told by Chris P. Cash

Used with Permission

 

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A Smile

A smile cost nothing, but gives so much. It enriches those who receive it, without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it, and none is so poor but that he can be made rich by it. A smile creates happiness in the home, fosters goodwill in business, and is the countersign of friendship. It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and it is nature's best antidote for trouble. Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away. Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give.

- BJ.Morbitzer

 

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A Variation of Footprints

"Now imagine you and the Lord Jesus walking down the road together. For much of the way, the Lord's footprints go along steadily, consistently, rarely varying the pace. But your prints are a disorganized stream of zigzags, starts, stops, turnarounds, circles, departures and returns.

For much of the way it seems to go like this. But gradually, your footprints come more in line with the Lord's, soon paralleling His consistently. You and Jesus are walking as true friends.

This seems perfect, but then an interesting thing happens: your footprints that once etched the sand next to the Master's are now walking precisely in His steps. Inside His larger footprints is the small 'sand-print', safely enclosed. You and Jesus are becoming one.

This goes on for many miles. But gradually you notice another change. The footprint inside the larger footprint seems to grow larger. Eventually it disappears altogether. There is only one set of footprints. They have become one. Again, this goes on for a long time. But then something awful happens. The second set of footprints is back. And this time it seems worse. Zigzags all over the place. Stops. Starts. Deep gashes in the and. A veritable mess of prints.

You're amazed and shocked. But this is the end of your dream. Now you speak. 'Lord, I understand the first scene with the zigzags and fits and starts and so on. I was a new Christian, just learning. But You walked on through the storm and helped me learn to walk with you.'

'That is correct.'

'Yes, and when the smaller footprints were inside of Yours, I was actually learning to walk in Your steps. I followed You very closely.' 'Very good; you have understood everything so far.'

'Then the smaller footprints grew and eventually filled in with Yours. I suppose that I was actually growing so much that I was becoming like you in every way.'

'Precisely!

'But this is my question. Lord.. Was there a regression or something? The footprints went back to two, and this time it was worse than the first.'

The Lord smiles; then laughs. 'You didn't know?' He says. 'That was when we danced'."

Unknown

 

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Angels Among Us

I was walking home from school on a cold winter day. Took a shortcut through the woods and lost my way. It was getting late and I was scared and alone, but then a kind old man took my hand and led me home. Now, Momma could not see him, oh but he was standing there and I knew in my heart he was the answer to my prayers. Oh, I believe there are angels among us sent down to us from somewhere up above. They come to you and me in our darkest hours to show us how to live, to teach us how to give, to guide us with the light of love. When life held trouble times and had me down on my knees, there's always been someone come along and comfort me, a kind word from a stranger to lend a helping hand, a phone call from a friend just to say I understand. Ainít it kind of funny at the dark end of the road that someone lights the way with just a single ray of hope. Oh, I believe there are angels among us sent down to us from somewhere up above. They come to you and to me in our darkest hours to show us how to live, to teach us how to give, to guide us with the light of love. They where so many faces, show up in the strangest places, to grace us with their mercy in our time of need. Oh, I believe there are angels among us sent down to us from somewhere up above. They come to you and me in our darkest hours, to show us how to live, to teach us to give, to guide us with the light of love. To guide us with the light of love!

Sung By: Alabama

 

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The Little Girl in the Park

There was this little girl sitting by herself in the park. Everyone passed by her and never stopped to see why she looked so sad. Dressed in a worn pink dress, barefoot and dirty, the girl just sat and watched the people go by.

She never tried to speak, she never said a word. Many people passed but no one would stop. The next day I decided to go back to the park in curiosity to see if the little girl would still be there. Yes, she was there, right in the very spot as she was yesterday, and still with the sad look in her eyes.

Today I was to make my own move and walk over to the little girl. For as we all know, a park full of strange people is not a place for young children to play alone. As I got closer I could see the back of the little girl's dress was obscenely shaped. I figured that was the reason people just passed by and made no effort to help.

Deformities are a low blow to our society and, heaven forbid if you make a step toward assisting someone who is different. As I got closer, the little girl lowered her eyes slightly to avoid my intent stare. As I approached her, I could see the obscene shape of her back more clearly. She was grotesquely shaped in a humped-over form. I smiled to let her know it was OK, I was there to help, to talk. I sat down beside her and opened with a simple Hello.

The little girl acted shocked, and stammered a "hi," after a long stare into my eyes. I smiled and she shyly smiled back. We talked until darkness fell and the park was completely empty. I asked the girl why she was so sad. The little girl looked at me and with a sad face said, "Because I'm different."

I immediately said, "That you are!" and smiled. The little girl acted even sadder and said, "I know."

"Little girl," I said, "you remind me of an angel, sweet and innocent. She looked at me and smiled. Slowly she got to her feet and said, "Really?"

"Yes, you're like a little Guardian Angel sent to watch over all those people walking by."

She nodded her head yes, and smiled. With that she spread her wings and said, "I am. I'm your Guardian Angel," with a twinkle in her eye. I was speechless, sure I was seeing things. She said, "For once you thought of someone other than yourself. My job here is done.

" I got to my feet and said, "Wait. So why did no one stop to help an angel?" She looked at me and smiled, "You're the only one that could see me," and then she was gone. And with that, my life was changed dramatically.

So, when you think you're all you have, remember, your angel is always watching over you.

- Contributed by Jodi Kalas

 

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My Father's Angels

by Kay Johnson McCrary

I wasn't paying attention at the time to the good example my father set.  He wasn't consciously "setting a good example" -- he was just living life according to his values.

It was the 1950s in a small Middle Georgia farm town.  Our family owned a clothing store in the middle of the main business block downtown.  Six days a week, 8am until 6pm (9pm on Saturday), my father presided over his business.  And sometimes an angel would come to our store.

I didn't recognize those visitors as angels.  Neither did my mother, who accepted my father's decisions but referred to Daddy's angels as "bums".  She was concerned that they painted hobo marks to guide others to my father.  My father was, and still is, an extremely kind man.  He bought them lunch.

I guess Daddy knew Mama's opinion and took precautions in case any individual "angel" might actually be an alcoholic.  He would have a friendly, encouraging conversation with the person, who was shabby and obviously down on his luck.

Then Daddy would walk him across the street to the Coffee Cup Cafe and pay for him to eat the daily special, a hearty meal.  Depending on how the conversation was going, Daddy would sometimes sit and have lunch with him.

Another variation on this theme was sometimes Daddy would bring the man to our house to do yard work to earn a bus ticket.  Mama would feed him a good home cooked meal but would serve it to him in the kitchen or on the back steps.

Daddy explained his theory of angels to his children this way: "It's Biblical.  Sometimes God sends an angel among men unawares, to test us.  How we behave toward the least of his children is how we treat Him."

I remember chuckling at my "naive" father's actions later when I got more grown and more savvy.  I laughed that he got it backwards about who the angel was.

Now that I am middle-aged, I'm proud to say that I realize how blessed I am to have such a wise and good man, Joseph Van Johnson, as my father and my teacher.

I am also doubly blessed to be meeting angels now myself.  More than once I have recognized God Himself staring back at me from the face of a homeless mentally ill person.  I understand now that my father was respecting the spirit of God that is within each of us.

 

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Rudy's Angel 

I walked into the grocery store not particularly interested in buying groceries. I wasn't hungry. The pain of losing my husband of 37 years was still too raw. And this grocery store held so many sweet memories.

Rudy often came with me and almost every time he'd pretend to go off and look for something special. I knew what he was up to. I'd always spot him walking down the aisle with the three yellow roses in his hands.

Rudy knew I loved yellow roses. With a heart filled with grief, I only wanted to buy my few items and leave, but even grocery shopping was different since Rudy had passed on.

Shopping for one took time, a little more thought than it had for two. Standing by the meat, I searched for the perfect small steak and remembered how Rudy had loved his steak. Suddenly a woman came beside me.

She was blond, slim and lovely in a soft green pantsuit. I watched as she picked up a large pack of T-bones, dropped them in her basket, hesitated, and then put them back. She turned to go and once again reached for the pack of steaks. She saw me watching her and she smiled.

"My husband loves T-bones, but honestly, at these prices, I don't know." I swallowed the emotion down my throat and met her pale blue eyes. "My husband passed away eight days ago," I told her. Glancing at the package in her hands, I fought to control the tremble in my voice. "Buy him the steaks. And cherish every moment you have together." She shook her head and I saw the emotion in her eyes as she placed the package in her basket and wheeled away.

I turned and pushed my cart across the length of the store to the dairy products. There I stood, trying to decide which size milk I should buy. A quart, I finally decided and moved on to the ice cream section near the front of the store. If nothing else, I could always fix myself an ice cream cone.

I placed the ice cream in my cart and looked down the aisle toward the front. I saw first the green suit, then recognized the pretty lady coming towards me. In her arms she carried a package. On her face was the brightest smile I had ever seen. I would swear a soft halo encircled her blond hair as she kept walking toward me, her eyes holding mine. As she came closer, I saw what she held and tears began misting in my eyes. "These are for you," she said and placed three beautiful long stemmed yellow roses in my arms. "When you go through the line, they will know these are paid for." She leaned over and placed a gentle kiss on my cheek, then smiled again.

I wanted to tell her what she'd done, what the roses meant, but still unable to speak, I watched as she walked away as tears clouded my vision. I looked down at the beautiful roses nestled in the green tissue wrapping and found it almost unreal. How did she know? Suddenly the answer seemed so clear. I wasn't alone. "Oh, Rudy, you haven't forgotten me, have you?" I whispered, with tears in my yes. He was still with me and she was his angel.

Contributed by Kay McCrary

 

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Free To Soar

One windy spring day, I observed young people having fun using the wind to fly their kites. Multi-coloured creations of varying shapes and sizes filled the skies like beautiful birds darting and dancing in the heady atmosphere above the earth. As the strong winds gusted against the kites, a string kept them in check. Instead of blowing away with the wind, they arose against it to achieve great heights. They shook and pulled, but the restraining string and the cumbersome tail kept them in tow, facing upward and against the wind. As the kites struggled and trembled against the string, they seemed to say, "Let me go! Let me go! I want to be free!" They soared beautifully even as they fought the imposed restriction of the string. Finally, one of the kites succeeded in breaking loose. "Free at last" it seemed to say. "Free to fly with the wind."

Yet freedom from restraint simply put it at the mercy of an unsympathetic breeze. It fluttered ungracefully to the ground and landed in a tangled mass of weeds and string against a dead bush. "Free at last" -- free to lie powerless in the dirt, to be blown helplessly along the ground, and to lodge lifeless against the first obstruction.

How much like kites we sometimes are. The Lord gives us adversity and restrictions, rules to follow from which we can grow and gain strength. Restraint is a necessary counterpart to the winds of opposition. Some of us tug at the rules so hard that we never soar to reach the heights we might have obtained. We keep part of the commandment and (pardon the pun) never rise high enough to get our tails off the ground.

Let us each rise to the great heights our Heavenly Father has in store for us, recognizing that some of the restraints that we may chafe under are actually the steadying force that helps us ascend and achieve.

Lessons From Life, Chapter 12 - Free To Soar - Wayne B. Lynn

 

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How Awesome Are You My King

How awesome are you my king
How blessed am I, to been given so much
For it's your love
that I now love with
And it's your joy that lift's my soul
To sing praises to you a mighty God

For your presence,
Your beauty,
Your brilliance,
So captured,
So intrigued am I,
By many wonders of your grace.

It is I who am now encouraged,
To take hold of,
And to appreciate this life,
A life that you fought for,
and shed your blood for,
May I never take for granted,
what you endured for me,
Yet need not have done.

How awesome are you my king how blessed am I

by Rhana Eady

 

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Dying Testimonies Of Saved And Unsaved

Part 2

 

 Downloadable pdf here

 

Content:

  • 061 -- Last Words Of John Hooper, Bishop And Martyr 
  • 062 -- Last Words Of The Great Commentator, Matthew Henry 
  • 063 -- "I Can't Die! I Won't Die!"
  • 064 -- "Victory! Eternal Victory!" Were The Last Words Of Mother Cobb
  • 065 -- "There Is Light All Around Me."
  • 066 -- "You Cannot Run Away From The Spirit Of God."
  • 067 -- John Wesley's Last Words -- "The Best Of All Is, God Is With Us."
  • 068 -- Little Willie Leonard's Translation To Heaven
  • 069 -- Last Words Of Rev. H. Y. Humelbaugh
  • 070 -- Last Words Of Charles IX., King Of France
  • 071 -- "Though I Walk Through The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death..."
  • 072 -- "I Am Ready, For This (My Heart) Has Been His Kingdom."
  • 073 -- "I Cannot Be Pardoned; It Is Too Late! Too Late!"
  • 074 -- "Here She Is, With Two Angels With Her."
  • 075 -- "O Ma, The Lord Is Here And I Have The Victory."
  • 076 -- "Murder I Murder I Murder!"
  • 077 -- "My Heaven! Heaven -- Glory!"
  • 078 -- "There Now, It Is All Over! Blessed Rest."
  • 079 -- An Infidel's Life Spared A Few Days
  • 080 -- "You Will Let Me Die And Go To Hell..."
  • 081 -- "Mother, I'm Going To Jesus, And He's Here In This Room."
  • 082 -- "I Am Ready! I Am Coming!"
  • 083 -- "I Have Given My Immortality For Gold."
  • 084 -- "There Is No River Here. It Is All Beautiful!"
  • 085 -- An Infidels Last Words -- "Hell And Damnation."
  • 086 -- Last Words Of Dr. Wakeley -- "I Shall Not Be A Stranger In Heaven."
  • 087 -- He Clinched His Teeth While He Cried "Hell, Hell, Hell!"
  • 088 -- The Last Words Of A Mother And Child
  • 089 -- Dying Testimony Of Cardinal Wolsey
  • 090 -- "The Angels Say There Is Plenty Of Room Up There."
  • 091 -- Thomas Paine's Dying Words
  • 092 -- "Look At The Little Children; O Ma, I Must Go!"
  • 093 -- "Then I Am Damned To All Eternity."
  • 094 -- Triumphant Death Of Martin Luther
  • 095 -- Last Words Of Mrs. Jewett -- "Good-Bye For A Little While."
  • 096 -- "I Have Neglected The Salvation Of My Soul."
  • 097 -- "Dear Mother, You Must Not Grieve For Me; I Am Going To Jesus."
  • 098 -- Happy Death Of Gertrude Belle Butterfield
  • 099 -- A Dying Welsh Soldier's Despair
  • 100 -- "I Am Happy, I Am Happy! Glory To God!"
  • 101 -- "I See The Heavens Opened And Millions Of Bright Angels."
  • 102 -- "Oh God! I Am Damned, I Am Damned!"
  • 103 -- The End Of A Good Man
  • 104 -- Governor Duncan's Triumphant Death
  • 105 -- Eternal Death The Result Of Delay
  • 106 -- "He Died At His Post"
  • 107 -- "I Can Now Die Happy. Soul, Take Thy Flight."
  • 108 -- "I Am Dying And Going To Hell."
  • 109 -- "Do You Not Hear Them Say, 'peace On Earth; Good Will Toward Men'?"
  • 110 -- "Devils Are In The Room, Ready To Drag My Soul Down To Hell."
  • 111 -- Last Words Of Bishop Glossbrenner
  • 112 -- The Glorious Translation Of Helen Carpenter
  • 113 -- "O Martha, Martha, You Have Sealed My Everlasting Damnation!"
  • 114 -- Lucy G. Thurston, The Young Missionary Of The Hawaiian Islands
  • 115 -- "Good-By, Good-By. Now I Am Ready, Jesus."
  • 116 -- "I Have No Feeling; The Spirit Of God Has Left Me."
  • 117 -- "Mark The Perfect Man, And Behold The Upright..."
  • 118 -- "I Have Christ Within, The Hope Of Glory."
  • 119 -- Last Words Of Edward Gibbon
  • 120 -- "Hallelujah, He Has Come."

 

 

061 -- LAST WORDS OF JOHN HOOPER, BISHOP AND MARTYR

This great preacher and reformer was born in Somersetshire, in 1495, and died at the stake Feb. 9, 1555, in Gloucester. He was a great scholar and writer, and a diligent study of the scriptures and the works of Zwingli and Bullinger on the Pauline epistles convinced him of the errors of the papal church and made him an ardent advocate of the reformation.

Foxe says of him, "In his sermons he corrected sin and sharply inveighed against the iniquity of the world and the corrupt abuses of the church. The people in great flocks and companies came daily to hear him, insomuch that the church would oftentimes be so full that none could enter further than the doors."

Hooper and Rogers were the first to be cited under Mary. On Aug. 29, 1553, the former was thrown into prison, where he received harsh treatment, and contracted sciatica. In January, 1555, he was condemned on three charges -- for maintaining the lawfulness of clerical marriage, for defending divorce and for denying transubstantiation. He called the mass "the iniquity of the devil." He was sentenced to die at the stake in Gloucester, where he was conveyed. He met his death firmly and cheerfully. To a friend bewailing his lot, the martyr replied in the oft-quoted words, "Death is bitter and life is sweet, but alas! consider that death to come is more bitter, and life to come is more sweet." In another conversation he said, "I am well, thank God; and death to me for Christ's sake is welcome." His martyrdom was witnessed by a large throng of people. The martyr was forbidden to address the crowd. A real or pretended pardon being promised if he would recant, he spurned it away, saying, "If you love my soul, away with it." His agony was greatly prolonged and increased by the slow progress of the fire on account of the green fagots, which had to be rekindled three times before they did their work. -- Religious Encyclopaedia.

062 -- LAST WORDS OF THE GREAT COMMENTATOR, MATTHEW HENRY

Matthew Henry, a distinguished non-conformist divine and biblical commentator, born Oct. 28, 1662, at Broad Oak, Flintshire, England; died June 22, 1714, at Nantwich, England. He received his education under his father's (Rev. Philip Henryís) roof, and in an academy at Islington. On the return journey from a visit to Chester he was seized with apoplexy and died. His old intimate friend, Mr. Illidge, was present, who had been desired by Sir Thomas Delves and his lady to invite him to their house, at Doddington, whither their steward was sent to conduct him. But he was not able to proceed any further, and went to bed at Mr. Mottershed's house, where he felt himself so ill that he said to his friends, "Pray for me, for now I cannot pray for myself." While they were putting him to bed, he spoke of the excellence of spiritual comforts in a time of affliction, and blessed God that he enjoyed them. To his friend, Mr. Illidge, he addressed himself in these memorable words: "You have been used to take notice of the sayings of dying men -- this is mine: That a life spent in the service of God, and communion with Him, is the most comfortable and pleasant life that one can live in the present world." He had a restless night, and about five o'clock on Tuesday morning he was seized with a fit, which his medical attendants agreed to be an apoplexy. He lay speechless, with his eyes fixed, till about eight o'clock, June 22, 1714, and then expired. -- Memoirs of the Rev. Matthew Henry.

063 -- "I CAN'T DIE! I WON'T DIE!"

Mrs. Phoebe Palmer, the noted and devoted holiness evangelist, is the authority for the following:

E____ had a friend who did not believe that the injunctions, "Come out from among them and be ye separate," "Be not conformed to the world," and kindred passages, have anything to do with the external appearance of the Christian. She was united in church fellowship with a denomination which does not recognize these things as important, and she had been heard to speak contemptuously of those contracted views that would induce one, in coming out in a religious profession, to make such a change in external appearance as to excite observation.

We should be far from favouring an intimation that E 's friend was hypocritical; she was only what would be termed a liberal-minded professor, and was no more insincere than thousands who stand on what would be termed an ordinary eminence in religious profession. The wasting consumption gradually preyed upon the vitals of this friend, and E____, who lives in a distant city, went to see her. E____, though not at the time as fully devoted as she might have been, was concerned to find her friend as much engaged with the vanities of the world and as much interested about conforming to its customs as ever, and she ventured to say, "I did not suppose you would think so much about these things now."

Her friend felt somewhat indignant at the remark, and observed, "I do not know that I am more conformed to the world than yourself, and the denomination to which you belong regards these things as wrong, but our people do not think that religion has anything to do with these little matters."

The hand of withering disease continued relentlessly laid on E 's friend, and as she drew nearer eternity her blissful hopes of immortality and eternal life seemed to gather yet greater brightness. Her friends felt that her piety was more elevated than that of ordinary attainment. Again and yet again her friends gathered around her dying couch to hear her last glowing expressions and to witness her peaceful departure. Such was her composure that she desired her shroud might be in readiness so that she might, before the mirror, behold her body arrayed for its peaceful resting place.

Her friend E____ was forced to leave the city a day or two before her dissolution, and called to take her final farewell. "We shall not meet again on earth," said the dying one, "but doubtless we shall meet in heaven. On my own part I have no more doubt than if I were already there, and I cannot but hope that you will be faithful unto death. We shall then meet." They then bade each other a last adieu.

The moment at last came when death was permitted to do his fearful work. The devoted friends had again gathered around the bed of the one dying to witness her peaceful exit. Respiration grew shorter and shorter and at last ceased, and they deemed the spirit already in the embrace of blissful messengers who were winging it to paradise. A fearful shriek! and in a moment they beheld her that they had looked upon as the departed sitting upright before them with every feature distorted.

Horror and disappointment had transformed that placid countenance so that it exhibited an expression indescribably fiendish. "I can't die!" vociferated the terrified, disappointed one. "I won't die!" At that moment the door opened and her minister entered. "Out of the door, thou deceiver of men!" she again vociferated, fell back and was no more.

"Not everyone that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." (Mat. 7:21.)

064 -- "VICTORY! ETERNAL VICTORY!" WERE THE LAST WORDS OF MOTHER COBB

The sainted Eunice Cobb, better known as "Mother Cobb," was born at Litchfield, Connecticut, Feb. 13, 1793.

Mother Cobb was converted in the twenty-fourth year of her earthly life. After walking with God on earth for sixty years, He took her to Himself, to reign with Him forever in the courts above, on the 3rd of January, 1877, in the eighty-fourth year of her age.

We select the following from an account of her life and death published in the "Marengo Republican":

"Died, at the residence of Mrs. M. T. Johnson, Jan. 3, 1877, Mrs. Eunice Cobb.

"During a pilgrimage of forty years with this people she ever exhibited an earnest zeal in the service of her Lord and Master. To her, religion was more than a name -- a profession; it was a reality, a power revealed in the heart, that led, controlled and adorned her whole life and being. She stopped at the Fountain, not only to drink, but to wash and be made whiter than snow. She avoided everything that had the appearance of conformity to the world, and deemed it an honour to be called 'singular' for Christ's sake. Filled with a holy enthusiasm for the salvation of souls, she devoted a large portion of her time to this work, visiting from house to house, and talking and praying with all with whom she came in contact -- instant in season and out of season. No work was so pressing but what there was time for prayer, and no public worship so imposing but that at its close she would earnestly, and with the most tender and thrilling appeals, exhort the unconverted to accept Christ, the believer to a higher, holier life.

"She was truly a godly woman, abundant in labours and in fruits.

"Mother Cobb, as she was known, was loved and respected by everybody, for she loved everybody, regardless of name or sect. Though fallen asleep, she yet lives in the hearts of those who have been saved by her instrumentality or blessed by her counsel. We have no words that can do full justice to the eminently devoted Christian life and character of this mother in Israel. It has been fittingly said of her, that her life is a grand commentary on the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians, and this, to those who knew her, will be the most appropriate testimony of her Christian worth -- the best epitaph that can be inscribed to her memory.

"Many friends called to see her, and to all she testified to her perfect faith in Christ, and of His grace, not only to sustain but to cheer in a dying hour. Heaven itself seemed open to her, and a holy ecstasy filled her soul. Her last words were 'Victory! Victory! Eternal victory? -- Sixty Years' Walk With God.

065 -- "THERE IS LIGHT ALL AROUND ME."

The noted evangelist, Mrs. Grace Weiser Davis, writes of her mother's translation, to The Christian Standard, for July 10, 1898, as follows:

For five months past I have cancelled all engagements and been a witness of the triumphs of the power of God to save amid suffering and to cast out all fear that hath torment. My mother left us July 20, aged fifty-nine years and seven months. She was born in York, PA. She was converted at the same time as my father, just previous to my birth, in a revival that continued almost one year. Our home was always hospitably thrown open to ministers of the gospel. Mother would give them the best she could get and then apologize because it was no better. Hundreds can testify to the ministrations of this combination of Mary and Martha.

After father's death, mother retained her homestead in York, PA, but spent her time largely between my sister and myself, at least eight months of the year being in my home.

We brought mother to Bradley Beach, hoping for a prolongation of the precious life. She was cheerful and planning for a continued life here. We Shrank from telling her the truth, but God Himself gloriously revealed it to her. The doctor and ministers bore testimony to my own that it was the most glorious death bed we ever witnessed.

One day my mother prayed, "Dear Lord, prepare me for the country to which I am going:" Before the close of the day she was shouting the praises of God. From that time on she talked of her coming translation and her faith so gloriously triumphant.

On Sabbath, June 27, she had a day of wonderful exaltation. She said, "I have always hoped and trusted in God, but now I have a fuller realization than ever before." As we all wept, she said, "I don't realize that this is death. It is His will, and is all right." To the doctor she said, "Just think, doctor, to be forever with the Lord." No one could come into my mother's room thereafter without being spoken to by her upon this glory that was filling her soul. To me she said, "Grace, God has given you gifts that few others possess; let us pray that God will make you a weight of glory in the world. God has blessed you, and will still more." One afternoon she said, "I am homesick for heaven." To the doctor, "Sometimes my way has seemed dark', but it was like the Ferris wheel -- it always came round to a point of light." Again she said, "I believe I will get awake sometime and find myself in a strange country, to which I shall be translated!' "Mother, it will not be so strange. Your father and mother and husband and little boy are there, and we are on the way," I answered.

To one lately married she said, "You are just beginning life; it pays to begin right. Everything you do for God is on compound interest -- compound interest. It will be doubly repaid you. I commenced to serve Him in early life, and consecrated my children to Him in infancy, and they are all Christians, and I am so happy."

As I kissed her one day she said, "We will rejoice together in Jesus in heaven." Her favourite words were, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me," etc.; her favourite hymn, "Jesus, Lover of My Soul." The night previous to her death she said, "There is light all around me."

Until the last she gave evidence of hearing, seeing and understanding. I knelt within fifteen minutes of her translation and said, "Mother, though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you need fear no evil, for God is with you. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow you, and you are going to dwell in the house of the Lord forever." There came a responsive smile. In a few minutes she drew a gentle breath and was translated.

066 -- "YOU CANNOT RUN AWAY FROM THE SPIRIT OF GOD."

Several years ago, a gentleman, apparently in great haste, entered a certain city in one of the southern states on horseback, rode up to the hotel, alighted, and introduced himself as follows:

"I have been trying to run away from the Spirit of God, but it has followed me all of these many miles that I have travelled, and it is with me now. I had Christian training, and as I heard the gospel proclaimed from time to time I became deeply convicted of sin; but I was very rebellious and determined not to yield. The Spirit said, 'You must be born again,' but I said, 'I will not be born again.' I purchased this horse, a good, strong beast at the time, and I have worn it down poor, as you see; but I have not succeeded in outrunning the Spirit of God. I feel that I am about to die, and I have a request to make. I want you to sell this horse and bury me here in the street by this sign post, and put up a slab by my grave bearing this inscription, 'You cannot run away from the Spirit of God.' "

The man soon died. Physicians examined him and said there was no disease about him, but that he died of mental agony.

His strange request was granted, and the slab bearing this silent warning preached many a sermon to passers-by, and resulted in a revival of religion in the city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. -- Written for this book by Mary E. Jenks, McBain, Mich.

067 -- JOHN WESLEY'S LAST WORDS -- "THE BEST OF ALL IS, GOD IS WITH US."

This holy man of God went to heaven March 2, 1791, in the eighty-eighth year of his life. He had preached the gospel sixty-five years. Shortly before his death, Mr. Wesley said, "I will get up"; and whilst they arranged his clothes, he broke out singing in a manner which astonished all about him,

"I'll praise my Maker while I've breath, And when my voice is lost in death, Praise shall employ my nobler powers: My days of praise shall ne'er be past, While life, and thought, and being last, Or immortality endures. Happy the man whose hopes rely On Israel's God; He made the sky, And earth and seas, with all their train; His truth forever stands secure, He saves the oppressed. He feeds the poor; And none shall find His promise vain."

Once more seated in his chair, he said in a weak voice, "Lord, You give strength to those who can speak and to those who cannot. Speak, Lord, to all our hearts, and let them know that You loose tongues." And then he sang,

"To Father, Son and Holy Ghost, Who sweetly all agree."

Here his voice failed. After gasping for breath he said, "Now, we have done all." He was then laid on the bed from whence he rose no more. After resting a little, he called to those who were with him to "Pray and praise." Soon after this he said, "Let me be buried in nothing but what is woollen, and let my corpse be carried in my coffin into the chapel." Again calling upon them to pray and praise, he took each by the hand, and, affectionately saluting them, bade them farewell. After attempting to say something which they could not understand, he paused a little, and then, with all the remaining strength he had, said, "The best of all is, God is with us." And again, lifting his hand, he repeated the same words in holy triumph, "The best of all is, God is with us." Being told that his brother's widow had come, he said, "He gives His servants rest," thanked her as she pressed his hand, and affectionately tried to kiss her.

After they had moistened his lips he repeated his usual grace after a meal -- "We thank Thee, O Lord, for these and all Thy mercies; bless the church and king, grant us truth and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord." And, after a little pause, "The clouds drop fatness. The Lord is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge." He then called to them to pray, and seemed to join fervently in their petitions. Most of the following night he repeatedly tried to repeat the hymn he had sung, but could only say, "I'll praise, I'll praise." On Wednesday morning his end was near. Joseph Bradford prayed with him about ten o'clock in the morning, whilst eleven friends knelt round the bed. "Farewell," said the dying man, and it was the last word he spoke. Immediately after, without a groan or a sigh, he passed away. His friends stood round his bed and sang, "Waiting to receive thy spirit, Lo! the Saviour stands above; Shows the purchase of His merit, Reaches out the crown of love." -- Kenyon's Life of John Wesley

068 -- LITTLE WILLIE LEONARD'S TRANSLATION TO HEAVEN

The following account of the death of Willie Leonard, aged only six years, will be of added interest to many who have read the little book One Year With Jesus, written a few years ago by Mrs. Anna Leonard, of Manton, Michigan, and in which she speaks of Willie. It is taken from a letter written by his mother at the time, seventeen years ago, to a friend who is glad to share it with others.

One day, about two weeks before Willie died, he came in from his play and said, "Mamma, seems to me I wouldn't want to die." When asked why, he said, "O, I wouldn't want to leave you folks here; but then I suppose I would be very happy in heaven, and, mamma, I would watch over you." His mamma clasped him in her arms; she loved him, oh! so much. She felt that the angels were beckoning to him while she talked with him of the joys that awaited him in heaven and that they would meet him there. He then said, "Mamma, I don't want any little lamb on my tomb stone, but I want a little boy lying on the grass as you have seen me lie in the summer time when I was tired out with play." (He never saw nor heard of anything of the kind; but such a stone now marks his grave.) He was taken sick with scarlet fever, of a diphtherial form, and lived but two days. He was such a patient little sufferer through it all! When asked if he was not a pretty sick little boy, he replied, "No, not very sick; but I think Jesus is going to take me to heaven to live," and an angelic look of holy rapture came over his face, with such a radiant smile. His papa was called and as he talked with him about it, that same glorious smile again illuminated his face. He then talked about the disposal of his toys, books, Sabbath school cards and papers (even remembering the writer, so many miles away, "For," said he, "I love her," and the memory is precious as she writes of him today).

He then spoke of a new hat, which he said he would not need now, and his mamma talked with him of the beautiful crown awaiting him in heaven, although her heart seemed bursting with grief. "Willie," said she, "no one can see Jesus when He comes except the one He comes after, so when you see Him will you tell me?" "Yes," he replied, "if I can talk, and if not I will point to Him." He then said he wanted them all to come to heaven. When his little brother told him that his papa had gone after the doctor he said, "O, I would rather that Jesus would take me to heaven than for Dr. Taplin to make me well!" In a few hours he was quite restless and delirious.

I now quote from the letter verbatim: "As we laid him back on his pillow, his eyes remained wide-open and fixed. We felt his feet and found them cold. I hastened and warmed flannels and wrapped them. We chafed his hands, although his finger-nails were blue. How could we believe that our Willie was dying-Willie our hope, our pride, the joy of our home, yes, our very idol! But so it was, and as we gathered round his bed we wept as only parents can weep at such times, and talked loving words to his inanimate form. He was lying very still, when all at once one little hand was raised and he pointed upward for a moment as his dear lips moved in an effort to speak. 'Willie,' I cried aloud, 'do you see Jesus?' His hand was laid again by his side, he breathed shorter and less frequently a few times and then ceased forever. In his last moments he remembered the signal agreed upon between him and me, and pointed me to Jesus.

"When the body that was so beautiful and dear to us was lowered into the silent grave and the earth fell with a hollow sound upon the box below, it seemed as if I could not rise above the shock, when I felt as it were a light breath fan my cheek and a sweet voice seemed to say, 'Mamma, I am not there; don't cry. I am happy.' My tears dried in an instant, and I cannot now think of him as anywhere but in that beautiful heaven where he longed to go. " -- Furnished for this work by Mrs. Eva Simkins, Lester, Michigan.

069 -- LAST WORDS OF REV. H. Y. HUMELBAUGH

This hero of faith met and vanquished the last foe early on the morning of October 13, 1868. He was a member of Pennsylvania Conference, and spent thirteen years in itinerant work.

When his physician visited him the last time he inquired, "Doctor, what do you think of me?" "You are very ill, sir," was the reply. "Well, I did not expect that," said Mr. Humelbaugh, "but it is all right. I have tried to live a religious life, and now I can say, 'Saved by grace; saved by the grace of God.'" When asked if the gospel he had preached to others comforted his own heart, he quickly answered, "Oh, yes; oh, yes. I was afraid if I did get well I would have to give up preaching, but the Lord has arranged all that now." As the shadows thickened his faith seemed to lay hold of the Redeemer with an all-conquering grasp, and he exclaimed, "O Jesus, receive my spirit. Glory to God for a religion that saves in the dying hour." A friend, approaching his bedside, said, "Well, Brother Humelbaugh, you are going home." "Home! yes; blessed be God, I'm in the old ship sailing for -- glory to God! Glory to God for experimental religion."

Lifting both hands, he continued, "Let people say what they choose against experimental religion, thank God it saves in a dying hour." Then, turning to his grief-stricken wife, he sought most tenderly to console her. "Oh, Fanny, weep not for me; I will soon rest, forever rest, from all my troubles. Oh, lead a holy life; train up our children in the fear of the Lord -- in experimental religion -- and tell them to be humble." Addressing his physician again, he said, "Oh, doctor, what a beautiful land lies just before my eyes." Then in holy ecstasy he cried out: "O King of terrors! end of time! Oh, all is bright! I'll soon be at home. Farewell, pulpit; this is the end of my preaching." Kissing his little son, he said, "God bless you, my boy." With the confidence of Israel's sweet singer, he repeated to himself, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me." So nearly exhausted was he that he omitted the last sentence, but when someone finished it he replied, "They comfort me; yes, bless God, they comfort me." A few minutes later his pulse was still. He had passed from life to life. -- From Life to Life.

070 -- LAST WORDS OF CHARLES IX., KING OF FRANCE -- "I AM LOST; I SEE IT WELL."

This wicked king died May 30, 1574. His character was a compound of passion, acuteness, heartlessness and cunning. The massacre of St. Bartholomew, August 24, 1572, was the culmination of a series of treacheries towards the Huguenots which greatly disgraced his reign. He died a young man. During his last hours he said, "Oh, my nurse, my nurse! What blood, what murders, what evil counsels have I followed! Oh, my God, pardon me and have mercy on me if Thou canst. I know not what I am! What shall I do? I am lost; I see it well."

071 -- "THOUGH I WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH, I WILL FEAR NO EVIL."

Sister Sarah A. Cook, known to many of our readers by her writings and evangelistic work, gives an account of the last days of her sister, who died in England during the spring of 1864. She says in her book, Wayside Sketches:

I was called to the sick bed of my eldest sister, Eliza, living in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. I found her suffering from intermittent fever and general prostration. Always delicate, with a mind too active for the frail tenement in which it dwelt, during the first stage of the sickness there seemed a strong clinging to life. Very happy in her marriage relationship -- with many interests -- a circle of loving friends, and an earnest worker in the cause of the Redeemer, life was full of attraction. Then the thought would come of her husband's loneliness without her, and she said, "I would be quite willing to go, but Harry would miss me so much"; but faith triumphed over nature and a little later she said, "The Lord could make Harry a happy home if He should take me."

Day by day the attraction heavenward became stronger. Once, when all was fixed for the night, and I was about leaving the room, she called me to her, and looking earnestly into my face she said, "Sarah, don't you pray for my recovery." Reminding her how much we all loved her and how glad we should be to keep her with us, she answered, "And I love you all very much; but it is so much better to depart and be with Jesus." While with her through the day, and listening to the doctor's cheery and hopeful words, I would think she might recover; but in prayer I could never take hold for her health -- could only breathe out, "Thy will, O Lord, not mine, be done."

The prayer of faith, in which at times our Father enables His children to take hold for the healing of the body, was never given. In His infinite love and wisdom He was calling her home, "Where no storms ever beat on that beautiful strand, While the years of eternity roll."

Every afternoon she liked for about an hour to be left entirely alone. The fever would then be off, and she chose it as the best time for secret communion with the Lord. Opening the door one day, after the hour had passed, she sat upright in bed, her face radiant with joy as she exclaimed, "O, I have had such a view of God's love!" Stretching out her hands, she said. "It seems to me like a boundless ocean, and as though I were lost in that boundless ocean of love!" When suffering from extreme prostration, her favourite lines would be:

"Christ leads us through no darker rooms Than He went through before;
He that would to His kingdom come. Must enter by that door."

"Do you," said a dear friend to her one day, "have any fear of death?" "Oh, no," she answered, "I don't know that I have ever thought of it." The word death was never on her lips. The "valley of the shadow" was all bridged over. She did not see it, for the eye of faith swept over it, and was on Him who is the resurrection and the life. "To be with Jesus" was her oft-repeated expression; repeating on Friday, with tenderest, deepest joy, the whole of that beautiful hymn:

"Forever with the Lord, Amen, so let it be; Life from the dead is in that word,
'Tis immortality. Here in the body pent, Absent from Him I roam; Yet nightly pitch my moving tent A day's march nearer home."

The Sabbath dawned, her last day on earth. Seeing the end was very near, I hesitated about leaving her to meet her Bible-Class at the chapel, a large class of young women. I had been teaching them every Sabbath afternoon. "Would you like me, dear, to take your class this afternoon?" I asked. "Yes," she answered with some surprise in her voice, "why not? And tell them all I have loved and prayed for them very much." It was a melting time as we all together realized how near the parting was.

Our lesson that day was the words of comfort our Saviour had spoken to His disciples, recorded in the 14th of John. Returning from the school with the class, they all passed by the open door to take a last look at their loved teacher. Wonderfully all through the day these words were applied to my heart, "If ye loved me ye would rejoice, because I go unto my father"; until the thought of her exceeding blessedness in being so near the presence of Jesus swallowed up all thoughts of sorrow at losing her. Hour after hour passed as the "silver cord was loosening."

 

An aunt, Mrs. Tuxford, remarked, "You have had seven weeks of peace." "I have had seven weeks of perfect peace," she answered. Her peace flowed like a river all through the day; at times she spoke words of fullest trust. With her head leaning on the bosom of her husband, the last words that our listening ears caught were, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me." -- Wayside Sketches.

072 -- "I AM READY, FOR THIS (MY HEART) HAS BEEN HIS KINGDOM."

Through the kindness of L. B. Balliett, M. D., we furnish our readers with this touching incident:

A boy dying of his wounds in one of our hospitals during the rebellion was asked by the lady nurse, "Are you ready to meet your God, my dear boy?" The large dark eyes opened slowly, and a smile passed over the young soldier's face as he answered, "I am ready, dear lady, for this has been His kingdom," and as he spoke he placed his hand upon his heart. "Do you mean," questioned the lady gently, "that God rules and reigns in your heart?" "Yes," he whispered, then passed away. His hand still lay over his heart after it had ceased to beat.

073 -- "I CANNOT BE PARDONED; IT IS TOO LATE! TOO LATE!"

This is the true account of an amiable young lady of my acquaintance who died at the age of sixteen. She was the daughter of respectable and pious parents in one of the New England States. On the cultivation of her mind considerable attention had been bestowed. . . . To what extent her mind had been imbued with religious truth in childhood, I have not been fully able to learn. It is certain that, from her earliest years, she had regarded religion with respect and had entertained the expectation of becoming a Christian before she died . . . One morning, especially, the first impression she had when she awoke was that she must embrace religion then; and that her soul was in imminent danger of being lost if she delayed. . . . She deliberated, she reasoned, she prayed, and finally made up her mind to the deliberate resolution that she would repent and accept the offer of salvation before the close of that day. She did not actually repent then, but resolved that she would do it that day. . . . But the day had its cares and pleasures; business and company filled up its hours, and the night found her as thoughtless, almost, as she had been for months.

The next morning her religious impressions were renewed and deepened. . . . The violated vows of the previous morning gave her some uneasiness; she felt not quite the same confidence in herself that she did before; but she had now formed her resolution so firmly, she was so fixed in her purpose, that she considered the issue could hardly be any longer doubtful; and the agony of her soul gave way to the soothing reflection that she should soon be a Christian. She had now taken, as she imagined, "one step" -- had formed a solemn purpose and had given a pledge to repent that day. She felt, as she expressed it, committed, and hardly had a doubt as to the accomplishment of her purpose. This day also passed as before. She did, indeed, several times during the day think of her resolution, but not with that overwhelming interest she had felt in the morning; and nothing decisive was done.

The next morning her impressions were again renewed, and she again renewed her resolution, and it was dissipated as before; and thus she went on resolving and breaking her resolutions, until at length her anxiety entirely subsided and she entirely relapsed into her former state of unconcern. She was not, however, absolutely indifferent; she still expected and resolved to be a Christian; but her resolutions now looked to a more distant period for their accomplishment, and she returned to the cares and pleasures of the world with the same interest as before.

About this time she went to reside in a neighbouring village, and I did not see her again for about three months, when I was called at an early hour one morning to visit her on the bed of death. . . . About daybreak, on the morning of the day she died, she was informed that her symptoms had become alarming, and that her sickness would probably be fatal. The intelligence was awfully surprising. . . . At one time her distress became so intense and her energies so exhausted that she was forced to conclude her soul lost -- that nothing could now be done for it; and for a moment she seemed as if in a horrid struggle to adjust her mind to her anticipated doom. But oh that word Lost. Her whole frame shuddered at the thought.

It was now nearly noon. Most of the morning had been employed either in prayer at her bedside or in attempting to guide her to the Saviour; but all seemed ineffectual; her strength was now nearly gone; vital action was no longer perceptible at the extremities, the cold death-sweat was gathering on her brow, and dread despair seemed ready to possess her soul. She saw, and we all saw, that the fatal moment was at hand, and her future prospect one of unmingled horror. She shrank from it. She turned her eyes to me, and called on all who stood around her to beseech once more the God of mercy in her behalf.

We all knelt again at her bedside, and having once more commended her to God, I tried again to direct her to the Saviour, and was beginning to repeat some promises which I thought appropriate, when she interrupted me, saying with emphasis, "I cannot be pardoned; it is too late, too late!" And again alluding to that fatal resolution, she begged of me to charge all the youth of my congregation not to neglect religion as she had done; not to stifle their conviction by a mere resolution to repent. "Warn them, warn them," she said, "by my case" -- and again she attempted to pray, and swooned again.

She continued thus alternately to struggle and faint, every succeeding effort becoming feebler, until the last convulsive struggle closed the scene, and her spirit took its everlasting flight. -- Rev. E. Phelps, D. D.

"Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near." (Isa. 55:6.)

074 -- "HERE SHE IS, WITH TWO ANGELS WITH HER."

We quote the following experience from A Woman's Life Work, written by the sainted Laura S. Haviland, whose life was full of good works. She says:

I met on the street a sister White, who was much distressed about her son, who was almost gone with consumption, and yet was unwilling to see any minister or religious person, to say anything to him about a preparation for the change. "Do, please, go with me now to see my dying son Harvey. Maybe he'll listen to you."

I went to her house and found him too weak to talk much. The mother introduced me as her friend who had called on her. I took his emaciated hand and said, "I see you are very low and weak, and I do not wish to worry you with talking, but you have but little hope of being restored to health I should judge from your appearance."

He turned his head on his pillow as he said, "I can never be any better -- I can't live."

"Then your mind has been turned toward the future, and may the enlightening influence of the Holy Spirit lead you to the Great Physician of souls, who knows every desire of the heart, and is able to save to the uttermost, even at the eleventh hour." I saw the starting tear as he looked earnestly at me, while I was still holding his feverish hand in mine. "Will it be too much for you, in your weak condition, if I should read to you a few of the words of our Lord and Saviour?"

"O no, I'd like to hear you."

I opened to the fourteenth of John, and upon reading a few verses I saw that the impression made was deepening, and asked if it would worry him too much if l should spend a few moments in prayer. "O no, I'd like to hear you pray."

Placing my hand on his forehead, I implored divine aid in leading this precious soul to the cleansing fountain, and that his faith might increase, and in its exercise be enabled to secure the pearl of great price.

As I arose from his bedside, he reached out both hands for mine and said, "I want you to come tomorrow." He wept freely; and I left with the burden of that precious soul upon my heart.

The mother and sister, who were both professors of religion, stood near the door weeping for joy over the consent of the dear son and brother to listen to the few words of reading and prayer.

The day following I met the sick man again, and as soon as I entered his mother's room she said, "Oh, how thankful to God we are for this visit to my poor boy! He seems in almost constant prayer for mercy. Early this morning he spoke of your coming today."

As I entered his room he threw up both hands, saying, "God will have mercy on poor me, won't He?"

"Most certainly," I responded; "His word is near you, even in your heart, and in your mouth."

"Do pray for me," he requested.

I read a few words from the Bible, and followed with prayer, in which he joined with a few ejaculations. I left him much more hopeful than on the previous day.

The next morning his sister came for me in great haste, saying, "Brother Harvey wants to see you, quick."

It was not yet sunrise; but I hastened to obey the message, as I supposed he was dying. Not a word passed between us until we reached her brother's room. Upon opening his door he exclaimed, "Glory, glory to God, Mrs. Haviland! Come to me quick, I want to kiss you; for God brought me out of darkness this morning about the break of day. O hallelujah! Glory to Jesus! He shed His blood for poor me; and I shouted louder than I could talk for a good many days. O, how I wish I had strength to tell everybody that I am happier in one minute than I ever was in all my life put together!"

He became quite exhausted in shouting and talking and I advised him to rest now in the arms of the beloved Saviour.

"Yes, I am in His arms.  Glory to His name for what He has done for me! I want you to see my cousin George; he is sick and not able to come to see me today."

I told him I would within a few days, and left him, with his cup of salvation overflowing.

About two hours before he died he looked at his mother, smiling, and said, "There's Mary; don't you see her, standing at the foot of my bed?"

"No, my son, said his mother, I don't see her."

"O, how beautiful she looks! It seems as if you must see her," and he looked very earnestly at the object. "There, she's gone now." Fifteen minutes before he breathed his last, he said, "Here she is again, and so beautiful! Mother, can't you see her?" "No, son, I can't see her."

"Beautiful, beautiful she is. There, she's gone again." Just as the soul took its flight, he upraised both hands, with a smile, and said, "Here she is, with two angels with her. They've come for me"; and the hands dropped as the breath left him, with the smile retained on his countenance.

His sister Mary who had died a number of years previously, was about four years old; and his mother told me she had not heard her name mentioned in the family for months before Harvey's death.

075 -- O MA, THE LORD IS HERE AND I HAVE THE VICTORY."

Beulah Blackman was a girl of unusual loveliness of person and character. As a school teacher, she held up the light of a pure and holy life, often bringing persecution upon herself by her unyielding adherence to the principles of Christianity and righteousness. The writer has seen her while under the pressure of severe criticism with tears streaming down her face as with a smile she said, "This is good for me!" Her aim in living was to do good, to "rescue the perishing" and uplift the downcast.

She was married in the summer of 1897 to Lewis Leonard, but on the following Easter Sunday -- the resurrection day -- her pure spirit took its flight to be forever with the Lord.

For months before she died, she was unable to get to the house of God, but she had her "Dethel"; her little red Bible was always near her, and the young girls who aided her in her housework received advice and admonitions which they will remember while life lasts.

We were called to her home one Saturday evening and as we entered the room, she held up her hands for loving greeting as she said, "O, ma, the Lord is here and I have the victory." As the Spirit came upon her, she laughed and cried as we praised God together.

Upon the arrival of the doctor, she told him that a greater Physician than he had been there and encouraged her so much. As he was not a Christian, she said to him, "You don't understand it."

All through the long night she manifested such patient endurance, with now and then a word for Jesus, in Whom we all knew she trusted. As her strength failed, she said again, "I am so glad I have the Lord."

As morning broke bright and beautiful, she welcomed her infant son into the world, "with only time for one long kiss and then to leave him motherless."

Her heart, naturally weak, failed, and she appeared to be paralyzed. An effort was made to arouse her so that she could look again at her babe, but she could neither move nor speak. Her husband begged of her to speak once more, and failing to do that, he asked her to smile if she still knew him, which she did, and as he kissed the dear pale lips they parted in an effort to return the demonstration of love. Then, like a weary child going to sleep in its mother's arms, she leaned her head on Jesus' breast and breathed her life out sweetly there.

While we wept she lifted her eyes upward and gazed an instant as if surprised, then smile after smile illuminated her face, showing plainly that fullness of joy was certain. A holy influence filled the room. There was no terror there. There seemed to be angelic visitors waiting to conduct her home. Tears were dried. It seemed as if the gates of heaven were ajar and a glimpse of the glory which awaits the faithful was given to mortals. A moment more and all was over. A look of peaceful victory rested on the lovely features. Truly God is our Father. He is love. -- Written For this work by Mrs. Anna M. Leonard, Manton, Michigan.

076 -- "MURDER, MURDER, MURDER!"

When Mr. R____, from Baltimore, was seized with cholera, he sent for me to come and see him, and said to me when I entered his room, "My wife, who is a Christian woman, has been writing me ever since I came here to make your acquaintance and attend your church, but I have not done it; and what is worse, I am about to leave the world without a preparation to meet God." He was as noble-looking a man as could be found.  Knowing' many of his friends in Baltimore, I felt the greatest possible sympathy for him; my soul loved him, and I determined, if possible, to contest the devil's claim on him to the last moment of his life.  But he was in despair, and after labouring with him about an hour, in urging him to try to fix his mind on some precious promise of the Bible, he said:

"There is but one passage in the Bible that I can call to mind, and that haunts me. I can think of nothing else, for it exactly suits my case: 'He that, being often reproved, hardeneth his heart; shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.' Mr. Taylor," continued he, "it's no use to talk to me, or to try to do anything further; I am that man, and my doom is fixed."

The next day when I entered his room he said to a couple of young men present, "Go out, boys, I want to talk to Mr. Taylor." Then he said, "I have no hope, my doom is fixed; but, for the warning of others, I want to tell you something that occurred a few months ago. I was then in health, and doing a good business, and a man said to me, 'Dick, how would you like to have a clerkship?' and I replied, 'I wouldn't have a clerkship under Jesus Christ.' Now, sir, that is the way I treated Christ when I thought I did not need Him; and now when I'm dying, and can do no better for this life, it's presumption to offer myself to Him. It is no use; He won't have me."

Nothing that I could say seemed to have any effect toward changing his mind. A few hours afterward, when he felt the icy grasp of death upon his heart, he cried, "Boys, help me out of this place!"

"O no, Dick, you're too sick; we cannot help you up."

"O do help me up; I can't lie here."

"O Dick, don't exert yourself so; you'll hasten your death."

"Boys," said the poor fellow, "if you don't help me up, I'll cry Murder!" and with that he cried at the top of his voice, which was yet strong and clear, "Murder: murder! murder!" till life's tide ebbed out, and his voice was hushed in death. How dreadful the hazard of postponing the business of life, the great object for which life is given, to the hour when heart and flesh are failing! -- California Life Illustrated.

077 -- "MY HEAVEN! HEAVEN -- GLORY!"

Mrs. Dorcas Eskridge, of Blue Grove, Texas, writes us as follows:

My father, Willison Foster, who was a licensed exhorter in the M. E. Church South, died near Chico, Texas, April 2, 1887, aged seventy-one years. He was one of the purest Christians I ever knew, was often made happy in a Saviour's love and died shouting. His last words were, "My heaven! Heaven! Glory!" I had often heard him remark that he did not believe that the dying saints ever saw departed spirits, while dying. I believed they did. To satisfy myself on this subject, I made the request during his sickness that if he came to die and should see spirits near him, that he would raise his hand in token that he saw them, if he was unable to speak. Sure enough, just before consciousness left him, he raised his right hand and pointed upward. I do praise the Lord for the dying testimony of one in whom I had so much confidence. Dear, precious one! My mother also went home shouting.

078 -- FRANCES RIDLEY HAVERGAL -- "THERE NOW, IT IS ALL OVER! BLESSED REST."

This holy woman of God was born at Astley, England, Dec. 14, 1836. She was the youngest daughter of Rev. Wm. II. and Jane Havergal. Her father was a distinguished minister of the Episcopal Church. She was baptized in Astley Church by Rev. John Cawood, Jan. 25, 1837. She bore the name of Ridley in memory of the godly and learned Bishop Ridley, who was one of the noble army of martyrs. Many have been greatly helped by her writings in prose and verse.

She was translated to heaven from Caswell Bay, England, June 3, 1879. A short time before her death she spoke to her sister Ellen and said, "I should have liked my death to b

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