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which increased as the time of her travail drew nearer, she wrote a paper which her husband found in a private drawer the April following, and which I shall subjoin to this account. However, in this instance also, the Lord was pleased to disappoint her. She was safely delivered, December 9, 1785, and soon restored; and bore her husband three more children, the two elder of which, as well as the first-born, are still alive.
6. In 1786, they removed to this town. How her soul prospered, and how she conducted herself since that time, many of you know. I believe she was serious, watchful, and exemplary. I have been acquainted with her about a year, and during that time have conversed with her frequently. I have seen little either in her temper or conduct to blame, but much to commend; particularly her humility, meekness, and patience, under many and great trials; her industry, frugality, and diligent attention to her family affairs her very kind, courteous, and obliging behaviour to all that came near her, of which all you that knew her will bear witnéss. She endeavoured to set the Lord before her, and behave as one that was conscious his eye was upon her, being circumspect in all things, and desirous of improving conversation to the best of purposes. She attended the ministry of the word, particularly on the Lord's day, more frequently than her strength would well permit, one of the Chapels which she attended, being little less than a mile from their house. In this perhaps she went to an extreme : but having, I believe, chiefly through the very weak and nervous state of her body, fallen into doubts as to her acceptance with God, she was very desirous of recovering the light of his countenance, which induced her sometimes to go, perhaps, beyond her strength. I hope she did recover it before she departed. But of this she was not permitted to give any verbal evidence. Indeed, what could one reasonably expect of this kind from a woman in the pangs of child-bearing, and whose labour, like Rachel's of old, was very hard.
7. The same thought that she should die, which had followed her when pregnant of her first child, and indeed, I believe, of her other children, was, during this last pregnancy, much more powerfully impressed upon her mind. She told her husband and several of her friends, that she should certainly die as soon as she was delivered. But, though appearances, from her delicate frame and poor state of health, were unfavourable, they were willing to hope she would be brought safe through as she had been before. However, the Lord, who very probably had sent that impression as a
previous warning, saw fit to appoint otherwise. She was with some difficulty delivered, and soon after expired. The child also, though I am informed born alive, died immediately. The paper I mentioned is as follows, and though written, as I said, in November, 1785, may be considered, I think, as speaking her dying language. 8. " My dearest love, for whose sake alone I desire to live, trusting if the Lord have other ends in view, he will prepare me before he take me hence, I hope you will not fail to perform the last will of one that loves you better than life itself. Look at this when I am removed from you. But let not your heart be troubled. Trust and believe in him who is able to help you, and will stand by you in every time of trial. If he take me from you, he does it for your good. Come to the Lord, and lie at his feet, and say, Lord, do with me as seemeth good in thy sight; only keep me from murmuring. You know what a hindrance I have been to you in the heavenly race. The Lord has removed me that you may trust in him alone, and serve him with all your heart. He will not admit of a rival. He has permitted us to be happily united for one year but oh! what poor returns have we made! How unfaithful have we been to the grace bestowed!
"But let me beg of my dearest not to look back; but press forward for the prize of eternal rest. If those in another world can grieve, surely I shall grieve to see you loitering and mourning. But why should you be distressed, perhaps the Lord will commission me to be as one of your guardian angels, to attend you by day, and watch your bed by night, that no evil may befall you. And if I shall then be capable of choosing one employment in preference to another, surely I shall choose that which has the nearest relation to one that was all that was dear to me below.
"I will lay no commands upon you that shall be grievous to you. I do not wish you not to marry again. Only be careful in the choice of a wife. Let her be joined to Christ before she be joined to you. Be strict in family duty: let nothing hinder that. For the neglect of that duty brings deadness and barrenness upon the soul. Be earnest with the Lord in private, that he may bless you both, with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus. Be not conformed to this world, neither in dress nor conversation, for both work death.
"If I leave you a dear pledge of love, let it be boarded at Darfield, with my dear father and mother. Save all my clothes for it, and every thing that belongs to me. Pretty lamb! My heart bleeds for it and you! Methinks, I see you look at our offspring, and think of your Polly! O for resignation!-Let my remains be laid
where you intend to lie. Let our ashes be united, that we may rise together at the day of judgment. For though there shall be neither marrying nor giving in marriage in that day, yet we shall know each other, and shall rejoice to meet again, where parting shall be no more, but all shall be perfect happiness to all eternity!
"If my dear, very dear husband feel, when reading this, what I felt when writing it, he will know what comfort there is in grief, what pleasure in mourning! For my heart pants for you! struggles to get free from creature-love! flies back to your bosom! I fancy my arms around your neck: my love bathed in tears:-but at last both forced to submit! I lie pale! My love, mourning, kisses my clay-cold cheek; presses my hand; bids me speak one more farewell word; but all in vain! His Polly's breath is resigned to God who gave it! His heart is ready to burst. He looks for a comforter: but she who used to comfort him in time of trouble, is no more!— Therefore, flee for refuge to Christ the Lord, the only help in trouble. He will support you. I know he will. I know he loves you with an everlasting love; and though all earthly comforts fail, the Lord is your portion! How good he is, in that he takes me first. For I could not support the loss of my dear husband. How often has my heart bled for fear of your leaving me. But the Lord is love itself, therefore we will unite to praise him to all eternity.. MARY FOSTER."
NATURE AND EXTENT OF SANCTIFICATION.
May the very God of peace sanctify you wholly and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. 1 Thess. v. 23, 24.
1. SANCTIFICATION is much spoken of, and strongly inculcated throughout the sacred Scriptures. Its nature is there described, and its absolute necessity and great excellency pointed out in various forms of expression. "This is the will of God, (says St. Paul,*) even your sanctification ;" and his will, we know, is of indispensable obligation upon all his creatures; to comply with it, and be made conformable to it, is at once our duty and our happiness. "Ye are chosen to salvation," that is, happiness in heaven, (says he again,†) through sanctification of the Spirit." Salvation is the end, sanctification the way; a way in which all must walk who would arrive at that desirable end. For, says the same apostle, "Without holiness, (ayacuos, sanctification,) no man shall see "the Lord." Whatever a man attains, if he attain not this, he shall be excluded the presence, and denied the blissful vision of God; he shall be shut out of heaven, and thrust down to hell. On the contrary, the sanctified, the "pure in heart," stand entitled to the inheritance above, as St. Paul declares, and as the faithful and true Witness testifies,§ "shall see God," shall know and enjoy him for ever.
2. So great is the necessity and excellency of sanctification, that it is the grand end God has in view in all the dispensations of his
* 1 Thess. iv. 3. † 2 Thess. ii, 13.
Acts xxvi. 18. § Matt. v. 8.