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Full text of ""Peace in believing" [microform] : exemplified in the case of the late Mary Anne Sophia Whitehead, who fell asleep in Jesus on Sunday, the 7th March, 1847, in the 20th year of her age : the substance of sermons preached in St. John's Church, Port Hope, on Sunday, March 14th, 1847"

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**|j)tace in Sclicuiug:*' 



tXEMI'LIPIBU IN TUB CASB OF TUB LATB 



MAKY ANNE SOPHIA WHITEHEAD, 



WHO FELL ASLEEP IN JESUS 



ON SUNDAY, THE 7th MARCH, 1847, 



IN THE 2()Tii YKAK OF IlKR ACl-.. 



THE SUBSTANCE OF SERMONS PREACHED IN ST. JOHNS 
CHURCH, PORT HOPE, ON SUNDAY, MARCH Utu, 1847, 

BY THE REVEREND JONATHAN SHORTT, 

RECTOB OF THE PARISH. 



'Thus, though oft dt^rs^esscd and 1 .noly, 
All our ffjara aro hud uido, 
If wo but rcineinber only 

iSnrh ,'!S these have lived and dijd." 



TORONTO: 

PRINTED AT THE DIOCESAN I'ltESS. 



M.DCCC.XLVII. 



\ 




*' Soon wilt Thou take us to Thy tranquil bower. 
To rest one little hour, 
Till Thine elect are number'd, and the grave 

Call Thee to come and save : 
Then on Thy bosom borne shall we descend, 

Again with earth to blend, 
Earth all refined with bright supernal tires. 
Tinctured with holy blood, and wing'd with pure desires. 

Meanwhile, with every son and saint of Thine 

Along the glorious line, 
Sitting by turns beneath Thy sacred feet 

WVU hold communion sweet. 
Know them by look and voice, and thank them all 

For helping us in thrall, 
For words of hope, and bright examples given 
To shew ibro* moonless skies that there is light in iicavcn." 

Keble's Easteb Eve. 




1 



Port Hope, IGrn March, 1847- 



Rentrerul and Dear Sir : 

In accordance with the wishes, and in the name of many loiTowing 
relatives and friends of the youthful and beloved member of your 
flock, who has been so suddenly removed, by a gracious God, from 
this to a better world, we respectfully request that you will kindly 
furnish us with a copy of the Sermon delivered by you on the 
occasion of her death. 

Endeared to the hearts of all who knew her, by the virtues and 
Christian graces which so conspicuously shone in her conversation 
and life, we feel assured that the publication of your excellent 
Discourse, in which her meek and quiet walk as an humble follower 
of her Divine Master, was truthfully portrayed, will not only be 
grateful and soothing to the feelings of all who now mourn the loss 
of one so greatly beloved, but will also benefit the whole Congrega- 
tion over which you are overseer, and of which she was a member 
and an ornament : and especially the younger portion of it, who, in 
the contemplation of the life and death of so bright an example, 
may, by God's grace, be deeply impressed with "the beauty of 
holiness,** and be convinced that it is not only their dnty, but their 
truest wisdom, to " Remember their Creator in the days of their 
youth." 

We are, Rev. and dear Sir, 

Your's respectfully, 

N. KiBCHHOFFEB, £. HiCKMAN, 

R. Armstrong, 
Chas. Hughes, 

F. EVATT, 

M. Bailey, 



Wm. Eraser, 
Chas. B^ent, 

R. N. WADDELIi, 

Davis Smart, 

H. GlIXETT, 



Wm. Sisson, 
H. H. Meredith, 
T. Turner, 
F. H. Burton. 



To the Reverend Jonathan Shortt, 

Rector of Port Hope. 



1 



UprTORY, Port Hopf., 
March 17th, 1847. 

My (lear Fn'mfls and Parishioners : 

' The kind fcelingfl which have prompted your desire for the publi- 
cation of this Sermon, are a tribute so justly due to the memory of 
the departed; and the abiding benefits which you expect to result 
from a more permanent, and a more generally extended memento of 
her worth, are so fully anticipated by me also, that I cannot for a 
moment hesitate to comply with your request. 

In order to make the treatment of the subject more complete, I 
shall condense into one, the Sermons preached at the Morning and 
Evening Services. 

May the grace of God sanctify to the soul of every reader, this 
humble effort to set forth His glory by making more generally known 
so beautiful an example of early piety and "Peace in Relieving." 

I remain. 

My dear Friends and Parishioners, 
Your obliged and faithful 
Friend and Pastor, 

Jonathan Shortt. 
To Wm. Fraser, Esq., 

and others. 




^--»^. 






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\iCi%tt in lUrUrbing^^ 



O God, who hast prepared for them that love Thee such good things as 
pass man's understanding; Pour into our hearts such love toward Thee, 
that we loving Thee above all things, may obtain Thy promises, which 
exceed all that we can desire ; though Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Collect for the Sixth Suiulay after Trinity. 



•• I LOVE them that love me ; and those that seek me early shall find me." 

Proverbs, viii. 17. 

Under the name of Wisdom, the Saviour addresses 
all mankind — " Unto you, oh men, I call; and my voice 
is to the sons of men. Oli ye fools, be ye of an un- 
derstandin}^ heart." And how graciously he encourages 
them with assurances of his favor, " I love them that 
love me ; and those that seek me early shall find me." 
Or, as Bishop Patrick paraphrases the passage, " They 
that love me, are beloved of me ; and, as they will not 
fail to seek what they love, so they will certainly find 
what they studiously seek." 

The words rendered " seek me early" mean literally 
" seek me at the dawn of day ;" and are applicable to 



that disposition of mind wliicli led the Psalmist to say, 
*< I wait for the Lord, my sou! doth wait, and in his 
word do I hopo. My soul waitoth for the Lord, more 
than they that watch for the morning, I say, more than 
they that watch for the nioriiiii^." Our last thoughts 
at ni^ht, and our first iii the niornin<r, should he full of 
the Saviour : ami, in proporti(»n as our affections are 
really set upon l.eaveuly objects, in the deji^ree in which 
"the love of (rod in Christ Jesus" is shed abroad in our 
hearts by the Holy Spirit j^iven unto us, will o«»r minds 
be occupied with thoughts of the Redeemer, and with 
everything that leads to Him, <'tnd prepares the soul for 
bein^ "ever with the Lord." Hishop Home says, "The 
true Christian dedicates to (Jod ' the sweet hour of prime.' 
He opens the eyes of his understanding^ together with 
those of his body, and awakes each morning to righteous- 
ness. He arises with an inextinguishable thirst after 
those comforts which the world cannot give, and has im- 
mediate recourse, by prayer, to the fountain of the water 
of life; ever longing to behold the Divine power and 
glory in the sanctuary above, of which he has been 
favoured with some glimpses in the services of the 
Church below." 

" With early feet I love to appear 
Among thy saints, and seek thy face : 

Oft have I seen thy glory there, 

And felt the power of bovereign grace." 

But the words, "seek me early" are also susceptible 

of another intcrpretiition. If it be a pleasing reflection 

to think of the devout Christian, who " loves the Lord 

Jesus Christ in sincerity," hasting to meet his Saviour 

at the very dawn of day, vvith holy meditation, prayer 

and praise ; how delightful it is to see the lambs of 







Clirist's rtoi'k stvkiiij; "tlio (Jood Slu-plicrii" in the ilawn 
of tlioir I'xistoncf. How suret is early piety to Him 
who Maid, " Suifer littli? eliildieii to eorne unto ine, and 
forbid them not; for of sueh is the kinu^thun of lieaven." 
The text is particularly applicable, therefore, to the 
younjr; and most suitable on this occasion, when you are 
called upon to consicUtr so beautiful an example of youth- 
ful relifrion, as it is (uir privilei^e now to set before you. 
"God so loved the world, that He {*ave His only 
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should 
not perish, but have everlastinji^ life." Such is the gra- 
cious assurance ^iven to all mankind : but the text spe- 
cifies some who are more particularly mentioned as the 
objects of His favour; namely, those who "love the 
Lord Jesus Christ." They have a real and strong affec- 
tion for Him: not a mere vaji^ue, j^eneral, almost visionary 
regard; but a feeling which arises from knowledge, faith, 
and hope ; a knowledge of His character, as set forth in 
Holy Scripture, a faith in all that He has done and suf- 
fered for them, and an assured hope of the fulfilment of 
all that He has engaged to accomplish on their behalf. 
Feelingly convinced of their own utter inability, of them- 
selves, to please God; conscious of the malignity of sin; 
knowing their own unhappy state as sinners justly con- 
demned ; they know, also, what Jesus has done for them, 
as the only and all-sufficient Saviour of mankind. They 
rejoice in the conviction that Jesus Christ, being a par- 
taker of human nature, and that "without sin," and 
having been "tempted in all points like as we are," 
sympathises with them in every fear and danger, trial 
and temptation. Encouraged by his gracious invitation 
to "come boldly," through him, "to the throne ot grace, 
for help in time of need," an invitation founded on the 



10 



rery fact of his participation of human iiatmi', they have, 
in obeying his injunctions, exjjcrienced his failhfuhicss 
and love. He has sent to them the Comforter; by whose 
holy influence they live in the daily habit of communion 
with the Lord in the ordinances of the Gospel, and in all 
appointed means of j^race. They have a j^ood hope of 
acceptance through Christ; and every day's enjoyment 
of the peace and pleasantness of a religious l>fe increases 
their love to God. 

And God their Saviour loves them. To make known 
tlie endearing affection with which he regards his dis- 
ciples, he uses, in His Holy Word, every expression by 
which we are accustomed to manifest our love to one 
another ; He adopts the only language which we can 
comprehend : but how faintly does the utmost power of 
mortal tongrue serve to exhibit the Saviour's love to those 
who believe on Him. In Paradise, where our mental 
faculties and our spiritual powers will be incalculably 
increased, we can better understand the nature of our 
Lord's affection for His people; but not till the unclouded 
glories of the last day, tliat great and terrible day of the 
Lord's api earing, shall beam upon the awe-struck earth, 
can the soul of " the just made perfect," in its re- union 
to the glorified body, be able to comprehend all that is 
contained in " the love of Christ, which," in this workU 
"passeth knowledge." That we may form, however, 
some idea of his love to those who trust in Him, He 
represents Himself as looking upon them with peculiar 
complacency, "rejoicing over them with joy, and resting 
in His love, and joying over them with singing." He 
delights to "manifest himself" to them, "as He does not 
to the world," and "to make his abode with them." 
"He rejoices over them to do them good:" imparting all 



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nrerlful supplies ot' ij^raco aiul stroiifrtli to thoir souls : 
and onloriiiu^ nil events fur the promotion of their real 
welfare in time and in eternity : " We know," says the 
Apostle, "That all things work together for good to them 
that love God." He accounts them his "jewels:" and 
what an encouragement he gives, in the place where this 
expression occurs, to those who delight, in social conver- 
sation, to dwell upon the Saviour's love: "Then they 
that feared the T^ord spake often one to another; and 
the Lord hearkened and heard it: and a book of remem- 
brance was written before Ilim for them that feared the 
Lord, and that thought upon His name. And they shall 
be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I 
make up my jewels:" or, as in the marginal translation, 
"my special treasure." And this is a rendering justified 
by His assurance to all His spiritual Israel, " Now there- 
fore, if ye will obey my voice indeed; and keep my 
covenant ; then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me 
above all people." " He ever liveth to make interces- 
sion" for them; and "prepares," for their reception, 
heavenly "mansions," which they shall inherit in due 
season, in glory and felicity similar to His own. If He 
find that His people need to be recalled from their wan- 
derings; to be preserved from mistaking what is condu- 
cive to their true happiness; or to be prevented from 
"setting" their chief "affections" on created good; he 
sends upon them trials in token of His regard, and grii- 
ciously represents Himself, in these corrections, as seek- 
ing an entrance into their hearts : " As many as I love, 
I rebuke and chasten : be zealous therefore and repent. 
Behold I stand at the door and knock: If any man hear 
my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and 
wit! sup with him, and he with me." 



12 



Thus the Saviour is with His disciples in life; and "in 
death they are not divided." Sometimes, as in the case 
before us, He manifests His love to younjr believers by an 
early advancement to that glorious state of existence for 
which our imperfect condition in this life is preparatory. 
And is there not, brethren, a special blessing in an early 
removal from a world of trial and sorrow, of sin and 
temptation? Is it not a good thing for the child of God 
to be "taken away from the evil to come?" For the 
sweet and humble violet to be transplanted to the Para- 
ci'se of God. 

The different stages of the inner spiritual life of the 
soul are not inseparably connected with the years of 
animal existence. How many, at an advanced period of 
life, are yet but " babes in Christ ?" And, on the other 
hand, so rapid is the progress of the soul towards perfec- 
tion, in some cases, that while yet, as it were, but in the 
morning of its existence, the matured "fruits of the 
Spirit" evidence a growth in grace, which assures the 
grieving survivors of those who are early called to rest 
ir Christ, that their sorrows need only flow for their own 
loss; and which, by its example, teaches them how they 
also may be prepared for " the inheritance of the Saints 
in light." As the " good seed" sown in the heart, ger- 
minates, in some cases, with greater quickness than in 
others; so is tlie harvest earlier: but it is not premature; 
*' When the fruit is ripe, immediately he putteth in the 
sickle." And is it not a happy time when the ripe grain 
is stored up in the granary of Paradise? Wrongly as 
they who use the phrase estimate the source and nature 
of true happiness, yet we hear, sometimes, a sort of pre- 
ference expressed for "a short life and a merry one:" 
let us, for the vain and idle frivolities of the thoughtless 



13 



world, substitute the peace, the cahn, the quiet oF a con- 
science void of offence towards God and man ; the faith 
which worketh by love, and keepeth the commandments; 
the humility which characterizes the child of God ; and 
can we hesitate to say of the happy possessor of these 
heavenly gifts, that nineteen years was long enough to 
remain in a state of imperfection and probation ? Shall 
we, in this case, fear to look upon the change from grace 
to glory as a mark of the Saviour's love ? May we not, 
by a powerfu] exercise of faith, lose sight of our own sel- 
fish feelings; and, considering the felicity enjoyed by 
" the spirits of them that depart hence in the Lord," — a 
bliss which is beyond the reach of even "the souls of the 
faithful" until "after they are delivered from the burden 
of the flesh," — can we not even " give hearty thanks to 
God, for that it hath pleased Him to deliver" our beloved 
one "out of the miseries of this sinful world?" 

But if such elevation of faith is, at present, above our 
attainment, we can at least unite in the Patriarch's sub- 
missive and thankful resignation to the Divine will, and 
say in sincerity, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath 
taken awav; blessed be the name of the Lord." And 
this v,'e are better enabled to do from the certainty we 
feel, that if we ourselves are faithful to our "high calling 
of God in Christ Jesus," we shall meet her again in 
Paradise ; and that, even before the time when " we, 
with all those that are departed in the true faith of 
Christ's holy name, shall have our perfect consummation 
and bliss, both in body and soul, in God's eternal and 
everlasting glory." And while the experience of afflic- 
tion, which this bereavement has given to us, imparts 
deep sympathy and fervent earnestness to our prayer in 
"beseeching the Lord, of his goodness, to comfort and 



i 



14 



succour all tlioni wlio, in tliis transitory \\(o, arc in 
troublo, sorrow, nocil, sickness, or aTiy otiior adversity ;" 
with what a solemn feeling of the connection existing 
between ourselves on earth, and the spirits of "the dead 
in Christ," shall " we bless God's holy name for all His 
servants departed this life in Christ's faith and fear:" and 
how ardently shall we beseech Him " to give us grace so 
to follow their good examples, that, with them, we may 
be partakers of His heavenly kingdom." 

How delightful it is, brethren, to contemplate the 
brief but happy life of one, who, being in her infancy 
"regenerate and grafted into the body of Christ's Church, 
and made God's child by adoption and grace, was daily 
renewed by His Holy Spirit :" who, in the faithful and 
diligent use of the appointed means, "grew in grace, 
and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus 
Christ;" humbly endeavoured to follow in His steps; and, 
like Him, "increased in wisdom and stature, and in 
favour with God and man." With her, the holy rite of 
Confirmation was no unmeaning ceremony: she could . 
faithfully answer to the solemn question put to her by 
the Bishop, " Do ye here, in the presence of God, and 
of this congregation, renew the solemn promise and vow 
that was made in your name at your Baptism; ratifying 
and confirming the same in your own persons, and ac- 
knowledging yourselves bound to believe, and to do, all 
those things, which your Godfathers and Godmothers 
then undertook for you?" And we know, what happy 
evidence her subsequent character has given of the ful- 
filment, in her case, of the Bishop's prayer, "Almighty 
and everliving God, wlio hast vouchsafed to regenerate 
these Thy servants by Water and the Holy Ghost, and 
hast given unto them forgiveness of all their sins; 



15 



strenj^tlicn them, \vc boscoch Tlice, O Lord, with the 
Holy Ghost the Comforter, and daily increase in tliein 
Thy manifold gifts of grace; the Spirit of wisdom and 
understanding; the Spirit of counsel and ghostly strength; 
the Spirit of knowledge and trne godliness; and fill them, 
O Lord, with the Spirit of Thy holy fear, now and for 
ever." Surely " God has defended her"with His heavenly 
grace, and she has continued His for ever; and has daily 
increased in His Holy S})irit more and more, until she 
has come unto His heavenlv kingdom." He, "who alone 
maketh us both to will and to do those things that be 
good and acceptable unto His Divine iNIajesty," has as- 
suredly answered the "supplications" of the Bishop 
made on her behalf, as well as that of others, " upon 
whom, after the example of the holy Apostles," one of 
whose successors he is, "he laid his hands, to certify 
them (by that sign) of God's favour and gracious good- 
ness towards them." " The Fatherly hand of God has 
ever been over her; the Holy Spirit has ever been with 
her; and has so led her in the knowledge and obedience 
of his word, that, in the end, she has attained everlasting 
life through our Lord Jesus Christ." 

She prized the Holy Scriptures: her Bible, marked 
throughout with notes, interlineations, dates, and other 
evidences of constant and diligent study, remains, a pre- 
cious legacy, to prove this. She was never inexcusably 
absent on any occasion on which this house of God was 
open for Divine Service. In her constant and regular 
attendance at the Lord's table she continually "renewed 
her strength;" being "fed, in those holy mysteries, with 
the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood 
of our Saviour .Tesus Christ ; and assured thereby of His 
favour and goodness towards her; and that she was a 



19 



very member incorporate in the mystical body of Ciirist, 
which is the blessed company of all faithful people, and 
an heir through hope of His everlasting kingdom." And 
thus she was "assisted by God's grace to continue in 
that holy fellowship, and to do all such good works as He 
had prepared for her to walk in." 

Among those good works conspicuously shone her 
conduct in all the relations of life in which she was 
placed. Her parents cannot recoUact ever having had 
occasion to speak a single word of rebuke ; nor can any 
one, 1 believe, remember an instance where they could 
justly blame her. Nor shall we think this to be exag- 
gerated praise, when we consider where she looked for 
that aid which alone can enable us to do what is right ; 
and how entirely she distrusted her own unassisted 
strength. Papers, written for no eye but her own, which 
have been found in her desk, if we were at liberty to 
make them known, would prove that we keep within 
bounds in what we say. They manifest her earnest 
desire that "her first thoughts on waking might be of 
God, and that she might never lay her head on the pil- 
low without a heart full of gratitude for all His mercies." 
They shew that her time, as a precious talent, for the use 
and improvement of which she felt her responsibility, 
was portioned out in order and method, so that each hour 
might have its appropriate work, and that she might 
"never be idle for a moment, if she could possibly avoid 
it." One brief extract we cannot refrain from giving, 
80 fully does it evince her sweet and humble spirit, and 
her entire reliance on that divine grace which she conti- 
nually sought. " But must I not ask Him to enable me 
to do what I have regulated for myself, that thus I may 
be able to give a better account of my time?— -And 



17 



beside tliut, to put a ri^ht spirit within me ; that I may 
be always kind and j^entle with my friends; ever ready 
to do any little thing to please and assist tl)em in any 
way ; and never hesitate about puttings myself out for 
them. — And that God will grant me strength to do this; 
and ever to keep Him in my thoughts ; and to trust en- 
tirely in Him ; is my earnest prayer. — And not to live 
for myself alone, but try in every way, with God's help, 
to overcome my selfishness, and to bend my proud spirit 
that I may become humble and meek, more fit to be a 
disciple of the lowly Jesus." Thus she gave great pro- 
mise of future usefulness, and of being a rich blessing to 
many now bereaved of her society in this world, whom 
let us pray that " the Father of mercies and God of all 
consolation" may continue to bless and comfort in the 
sore trial which (no doubt for their spiritual profit and 
increased usefulness) He has seen fit to lay upon them. 
Having given the highest satisfaction as a pupil in the 
Sunday School of this Church, from its first establish- 
ment under the charge of the present Minister, that 
institution has, for several years, enjoyed the benefit of 
her services as a diligent, faithful, and persevering 
teacher, communicating to others what she herself re- 
ceived from her Saviour ; and while thus endeavouring 
to assist in *' training up children in the nurture and ad- 
monition of the Lord," she found, from experience, that 
such employment and heavenly " charity is twice blest 
in giving and receiving:" she herself being taught of 
God while acting as His instrument in making known to 
those committed to her charge the saving truths of the 
Gospel. She was ever forward in all good works of 
piety and benevolence ; her time and influence were 

always readily enlisted in the cause of God : and her 
c 



18 



assiduous and successful labours in promoting tiic objects 
of The Church Society, testified that she duly recognized 
the claims of that excellent Institution. 

And now, while "she rests from her labours, her works 
do follow her;" and the "fruits of the Spirit, which are 
in all goodness, righteousness, and truth," prove the 
reality of her faith in Christ. How eminently "love, 
joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 
meekness, temperance," those evidences of being "led 
by the Spirit" of God, were exhibited in her brief but 
happy life. When did any one see her calm and placid 
countenance ruffled even by a passing emotion of un- 
amiable temper ? Ever the same in life, death made no 
difference there, except that we imagined (and could it 
have been only imagination?) that it bore the impress of 
Angelic happiness left by the parting spirit. As long as 
that fair brow was present to our view, the Holy Cross 
of Baptism seemed to rest upon its beautiful expanse. 

One of those who were privileged to watch by her side 
writes in these terms : — " During our beloved Mary's 

illness, H asked her what he should read to her, she 

immediately mentioned the fifty-first and twenty-third 
Psalms." — What a beautifully expressive choice; the 
first, of the deepest penitence; the other, of confident 
trust and love. How truly she could say, "The Lord is 
my Shepherd ; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie 
down in green pastures ; He leadeth me beside the still 
waters. He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the 
paths of righteousness for His Name's sake. Yea, though 
I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will 
fear no evil : for Thou art with me ; thy rod and thy 
staff they comfort me." — " On asking her, if she could 
trust all to her Saviour, she answered, * Oh, yes, though 



i 



I 



19 






I have temptations sometimes, still I nm quite resig^ned/ 
She said, *I have never done anything right.'" — And 
here let me again pause to mark the evidence that she 
was taught of God, which this heartfelt expression gives 
us. — " But the calm trust in her Saviour never seemed 
shaken. On speaking of my tender love for her, and 
my sorrow at the thought of losing her, she said, *Will 
it not be great happiness when we all meet Oiere* She 
asked me to comfort the beloved ones whom she was 
about to leave; but not one word of regret ever passed 
her lips, that she was taken so young, and from so many 
that loved her. She said, she ' could leave all and go to 
her Saviour.* On being asked if she could command her 
attention long enough to partake of the Holy Sacrament, 
she said, * I must,' and seemed anxious to take nourish- 
ment to sustain her. She said, ' I do not think I can rise 
up.' I said, * No, dear Mary, you must not attempt it, 
but try and be quite calm.' ^Yes, dear Aunt,' she said, 
with a sweet placid look. Blessed be God that the pre- 
cious loved one is in perfect happiness, and can never 
feel pain or sorrow more." 

It was her prayer, and that of others for her, that she 
might retain her senses to the last, and be free from dis- 
tracting pain, or any anticipated paroxysm: and signally 
were these petitions answered. Happy in the ministrations 
and services of those whom she truly loved, most gently 
was she led "through the valley of the shadow of death." 
The few days which elapsed from the time that serious 
apprehensions were entertained, witnessed no pain or 
suffering. Life ebbed away, like the calm summer tide, 
by almost imperceptible degrees; and when, after saying 
"1 will soon be at home," she sweetly "fell asleep in 
Jesus," were it not for the cessation of the pulse, one 
could hardly be sure that her spirit liad fled. 



And let me ask, brethren, in the words of an eloquent 
divine * of the American Church, " Wliy should human 
nature shrink back in dread from the path, over which 
the Master hath trodden? Why should we so often stand 
• shivering on the brink afraid to launch away ?* Why 
should we array the Last Messenger, who releases us 
from our warfare, with every attribute of terror, till the 
heart quails at his approach? Even from the twilight 
knowledge of an ancient and heathen philosophy, we 
may learn a better lesson. There he was represented as 
but the twin-brother of sleep ; as if he only called ns to 
a slumber deeper and longer than that which each night 
overtakes us. There, in the lands in which this mytho- 
logy prevailed, on many a mouldering tomb is still found 
the sculptured image of the Angel of Death, and we 
behold him in the form of a youth, his wings folded in 
repose, and his torch inverted. All is serene, peaceful 
and beautiful. Surely then the Christian, to whom all is 
certainty, may well say, * Death is swallowed up in vic- 
tory.' Trusting in no dim speculations, he * knows \n 
Whom he has believed, and that He is able to keep that 
which he has committed to Him against that day.' — 
Standing by the Cross on Calvary, the darkness rolls 
away from the landscape which stretches out before him, 
and he sees his path plainly marked. It passes indeed 
through the wilderness, and down into the dark valley of 
the Shadow of Death, and over the troubled waters of 
Jordan, yet he traces it up to the gates of the New Jeru- 
salem, — the Eternal City of his God. This, then, is his 
hope which should enable him to greet the Monarch of 



* The Rev. W. Ingraham Kip; the perusal of whose works, entitled, 
"The Lenten Fast," and " The Double Witness of the Church," I take 
thisopportanity.of strongly recommending. « 






*il 



the Toml) with a enlmness which tio earthly philosopiiy 
could ever f(ive. He realizes that ^ through the grave 
and gate of deatii lie sliall pass to his gl<»rioiis resurrec- 
tion, for His merits, who died, and was huried, and rose 
again for us, Jesus Christ our Lord.* " 

May we also "die the death of the ri;j;liteous, and may 
our last end be like" hers, whose departure we deplore : 
though we sorrow not on her account, for " precious in 
the sight of the Lord, is the deatli of His Saints." 

And now, brethren, what remains, but to exhort you 
to follow this dear young saint, as she followed Christ. — 
Her religion was a beautiful {Specimen of that " wisdom 
which Cometh from above, which is pure, gentle, peace- 
able, full of mercy and good fruits, without hypocrisy." 
Her's was that " meek and quiet spirit which is in the 
sight of God of great price." She was, indeed, in the ex- 
pressive language of Scripture, "clothed with humility." 

Kind, gentle, and humble minded, she never could 
cause pain to any one by an expression savouring of 
harshness; and we would desire, therefore, in setting^ 
forth her example, by which, " being dead, she yet 
speaketh," carefully to refrain from wounding the spirit 
of any. Yet we cannot but remark what a rebuke her 
life has given to all, who, in " making provision for the 
flesh" exclusively, are wasting the time given them in 
which to "work out their salvation." And surely the 
feelings, partaking almost of anger and "indignation" 
against ourselves, which we must experience in compa- 
ring our life with her's ; the emotions of shame and sor- 
row reproaching us for our spiritual sloth and negligence, 
which cannot fail to be awakened within us by the con- 
sideration of her youthful maturity in the spiritual life, 
far from arousing in our minds the spirit of hateful envy) 



oo 



or any sliiulc of hiitornoss, oxiitc rutlior that solemn awe 
with wiiioli, w(> can ima|L(in(>, wo shouhl licar the wohIh of 
one who had returned from Paradise ; to warn us of the 
danj^er of our worhlliness, and to invito us to preparation 
for those blissful re<;'ioiis which she has attained through 
faith. When we consider how many years we have lived 
in this world more than were allotted to her, and yet how 
far she has surpassed us in runnin<^ the race for immor- 
tality on the course which is terminated by the crown of 
everlasting glory; surely we should feel rebuked and put 
to shame: we should earnestly pray that grace may yet 
be given to us to "redeem the time" we have lost; and 
strenuously resolve on new and more vigorous exertions, 
remembering that it is not by such half-hearted and 
wavering efforts as too easily satisfy us, that the trophies 
of heavenly glory are to be won. U\ in penitent convic- 
tion, we feel that we have hitherto lost time and oppor- 
tunity, let us be the more diligent to make the most of 
what remains. "Seek, ye the I^ord, while He may be 
found ; call ye upon Him, while He is near. Let the 
wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his 
thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will 
have mercy upon him: and to our God, for He will 
abundantly pardon." 

But while renunding the more advanced in age of the 
lessons of wisdom which may be read in the life and death 
of this youthful saint, it is more especially fl>ose who are 
yet in the morning of their days to whom I would now 
address myself. My young friends, if you are at any 
time, for a moment, tempted to mix up ideas of sorrow 
and gloom with that of religion, think of the unvaried 
cidm and happiness of our dear sister's days ; and know, 
that though the wild exuberance of mirth, and the tumult 



> 



r 



•J.) 



of paiiNloimtc jj;au'ty, in;iv hv lorciirii to a .H|MrIt t!if»;;lil of 
God, yet you luivo, at it-a.^f. om* proof* hrforr yon, that 
"the ways of heavenly ui^fhnn are ways of plrasantnes!*) 
and all her patlis arc [m ate." 

'J'rue it is, that the voyage of life, however hrief, is 
seldom unvexcd by storins; to few is voachsaled, for any 
lcn<i^th of time, the smoothness of a summer sen; but the 
cause of this is to be found, for the most part, in the wil- 
fulness and waywardness of our own hearts. Our stub- 
born dispositions must be tamed by the stern discipline 
of painful trials; and our rebellion against God's precepts^ 
together with our resistance to the strivin)^s of His Holy 
Spirit, give Satan an advantage over us, which that subtle 
and malignant spirit well knows how to use to our misery, 
and, unless restrained by a superior power, to our de- 
struction. ** God is love," and " He doth not afflict wil- 
lingly, nor grieve the children of men ;" but that very 
love causes Him, sometimes, to let us " cat of the fruit 
of our own ways, and be filled with our own devices," 
** that we may know and see that it is an evil thing and 
bitter to have forsaken the Lord our God, and that His 
fear is not in us." Would we resign ourselves to His 
guidance. He would *' lead us beside the quiet waters" 
of peace: would we but listen to "the still small voice" 
that gently whispers to our souls " this is the way, walk 
ye in it," the Lord never need lay bare His mighty arm, 
and send abroad the thunders of His judgments to arouse 
and terrify a guilty world. 

Our Heavenly Father does nothing in vain ; it is " if 
need be" that ** we are in heaviness for a season." And 
even in trials, mercy shines pre-eminent: never was any 
affliction so great but that the afflicted, if taught of God, 
could see much love mingled with and tempering the 



24 



trial. And why docs He chasten us, sometimes by scnd- 
iii<r us affliction, sometimes by permittinj]f our own sins 
and their results to trouble us.'' Is it not "for our profit, 
that we may be made partakers of his holiness?" Be not 
afraid then, dear youuir friends, be not afraid of giving 
yourselves up implicitly, as the lambs of His fold, to the 
care and guidance of " the Good Shepherd." 

The tender and compassionate Siiviour this day says 
to you, in the words of the text, " I love them that love 
me ; and those that seek me e.irly shall find me." And 
in the happy life and peaceful death of the sainted one 
whom He has taken to Himself, He has exemplified the 
truth of His gracious declaration. Let then this instance 
encourage you to seek the Lord in the early morning of 
your days, confident that, in obeying His voice, you are 
ensuring your truest happiness. Pray that "the love of 
God may be shed abroad in your hearts by the Holy 
Spirit given unto you:" and dread, as the severest judg- 
ment, being left to yourselves, to become "lovers of 
pleasure more than lovers of God." 

Let me press upon you the obligations you are under 
to seek the Lord early. You were consecrated to Him 
in Holy Baptism, and in connection with the privilege» 
then bestowed upon you, a solemn engagement wa» 
entered into in your name, and on your behalf, that you 
should renounce the world, the fl^sh, and the devil; that 
vou should believe in and love the Lord, and dedicate 
yourselves entirely to His service. This vow you are 
publicly before the congregation to avow and acknow- 
ledge as binding you to obedience, and in your own per- 
son to ratify it in the holy rite of Confirmation. Can 
you too soon prepare for the due and profitable obser- 
vance of that most interesting ordinance of the Church? 



(ins 
)fit, 
not 
ing 
the 

says 

love 

And 

one 

I the 
lance 
ngof 

II are 
}\e of 
Holy 
judg- 
ers of 

under 
» Him 
dleges 
It was 
at you 
1; that 
edicate 
ou are 
cknow- 
vn per- 
, Can 
obser- 
hurch? 



25 



Consider how happy you will be through life, when you 
are sure of being the objects of the Saviour's care and 
love ; and think of your felicity in death, entering into 
Paradise, and leaving the richest consolation to those 
who mourn your loss. 

And you, dear friends, who have been Confirmed, what 
were your feelings and disposition in that solemn rite, 
and how have you acted up to its obligations? Are you 
^* following on to know the Lord," and to seek Him in all 
the ordinances of His Church ? Are you constant and 
faithful in your attendance at His Holy Table? Oh? 
remember what a rich banquet of grace and love is spread 
for you in that heavenly feast ; and consider how fully 
you will there experience the accomplishment of the gra- 
cious promise, " I love them that love me, and those that 
seek me early shall find me." This great and principal 
means of grace was never willingly left unshared by our 
beloved sister ; and vou see in her the blessed effects of 
faith keeping the last command of Christ. Do not, then, 
hesitate thus to seek the Lord; and wait not till the 
freshness of youth is gone, as if it were ever too early to 
secure the blessings which Christ has inseparably con- 
nected with duly partaking of this crowning ordinance. 
If the Lord leave you in life to witness many years, they 
must, in a great measure be years of sorrow and disap- 
pointment; if you have no support from God*s grace 
they will indeed be days of evil and bitterness. " Re- 
member, then, your Creator in the days of your youth, 
before the evil days come, and the years draw nigh, in 
which you shall say, I have no pleasure in them." 

A writer, already quoted, speaking of " the sorrowful 
process of man's life," says, " One by one the objects in 
which he has garnered up his affections pass away, until 

D 



26 



often, in the grey twilight of hivS days, he is left alone 
and desolate. Then, indeed, if he look around him for 
sympathy, from the busy, earnest world about him, there 
comes forth no response. The flowers of his earthly 
Paradise are faded, and its cisterns broken. Memory 
lifts up her voice within him, like the Archangel's trump, 
summoning from their forgotten graves thoughts and 
scenes which long since had passed away. Their images 
rise up mournfully, as it were to mock him, for he knows 
that the reality can never return. For him is reserved 
only the lonely night, which, stealing insensibly on, is 
ever deepening its shadows about his path. 
., "When therefore this world thus vanishes away, and life 
by its own vicissitudes has taught him the lesson of its 
vanity, — when nothing but evils seem to * choke Time's 
groaning tide,* — how cheering is the thought, that the 
future yet remains to be his certain heritage ! He raises 
his eyes above the gathering darkness and the clouds 
which surround him, and beholds beyond them, that land 
which is always radiant with a celestial glory. The past, 
with its sorrowful memories, is forgotten, and he lives 
only in the anticipations of the future. He is not driven 
forward to the coming world without 'knowing the things 
that shall befall him there.' He is sustained by the 
'hope which maketh not ashamed.' And thus he passes 
along through the remaining days of his pilgrimage; 
sharing in that spirit which the old artists attempted to 
embody in their delineations of Faith, when they repre- 
sented her treading a rugged and thorny road, yet clasp- 
ing the Cross to her heart, and her eyes intently fixed 
upon the calm, clear heavens above. He feels that death 
shall only come like tlie Angel to the Apostles, bursting 
the bars of his prison-house, and leading him forth to the 



27 



light and tu the day. His spirit piiics within him for the 
sweet waters of the lliver of Life. The voices of tlie 
dead, too, who have j^one before, come solemnly to his 
ears, as they uri>c him to press onward to the promised 
land. There his wanderings shall end, and the pilgrim 
staff be for ever cast aside. There he shall be at peace 
in the mansions of rest, with the mighty army of patri- 
archs and apostles, and confessors and martyrs, who have 
already sle})t in the faith. Cheered by a brighter mani- 
festation of his Master's presence than can be his lot in 
this world, he shall await his full reward, and the crown 
which shall be given him at the last day. 

"Thus agps shall glide by, until the history of this 
world is completed, and the number of the elect made 
up. Then, our long expected Lord shall descend : the 
dust of each one of the saints be collected from the four 
winds, united again to its former partner, as the spirit 
comes forth from its resting place, and all shall gather 
around the throne of Him whom they followed while on 
earth, ready to receive the sentence, ' Well done, good 
and faithful servants, enter ye into the joy of your Lord.* 
This shall be the Great Easteii of the Earth."* 

And now, brethren, I conclude, praying that God, in 
His infinite mercy, may grant that the lessons which He 
is teaching us all in this providential 'dispensation, may, 
by His grace, be so deeply grafted in our hearts, that no 
craft nor subtlety of Satan may cause them to fail of 
their effect. Who is there in our community to whom 
the striking event, which has called forth these observa- 
tions, has not been productive of deep and powerful emo- 
tion? May the grace of God so order it, that to none it 



* Kip's Leuteo Fast. 



S8 

may liiive spoken in vain. If a more heavy and more 
home- blow is needed to arouse the negligent from their 
fatal dream of security, severe as it must be, it will be a 
mercy when it comes. 

And now, blessing God for the example of this dear 
young saint, and rejoicing in her happiness, let us give 
all the glory to God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, 
one infinite and eternal Jehovah, to whom be ascribed all 
honour, glory, might, majesty and dominion for ever and 
ever. Amen, 



"O God, whose days are without end, and whose 
mercies cannot be numbered ; make us, we beseech 
Thee, dee[>ly sensible of the shortness and uncertainty 
of human life ; and let Thy Holy Spirit lead ns through 
this vale of misery, in holiness and righteousness, all the 
days of our lives: That, when we shall have served Thee 
in our generation, we may be gathered unto our fathers, 
having the testimony of a good conscience ; in the com- 
munion of the Catholic Church ; in the confidence of a 
certain faith ; in the comfort of a reasonable, religious, 
and holy hope; in favour with Thee our God, and in 
perfect charity with the world. All which we ask 
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen" 

Collect in the American Service for the Visitation of tkt Siek.