The Grace of Christ, or,
Sinners Saved by Unmerited Kindness
William S. Plumer, 1853
"We believe it is through the grace of our
Lord Jesus that we are saved." Acts 15:11
THE BELIEVER'S VICTORY OVER DEATH
In these holy triumphs over death Christian females have been large sharers.
Christ is gracious to the weaker vessels of mercy, no less than to the
Mrs. Savage, the sister of Matthew Henry, said: "I here
leave the testimony of my experience, that Christ's yoke is easy and his
Mrs. Hulton: "It is an solemn thing for the best saint,
who has his accounts most ready, to stand before the Judge of heaven and
earth to hear his final doom." "This present world is nothing but confusion
and emptiness, but it will not be so long."
Mrs. Isabella Graham: "I have no more doubt of going to
my Savior, than if I were already in his arms. My guilt is all transferred.
He has cancelled all my debt; yet I would weep for my sins against so good a
God. It seems to me there must be weeping even in heaven."
Mrs. Susan Huntington: "Glorious covenant! precious
promises! I have given myself, soul and body, to Him, in whom they are yes
and amen, and I do not fear. I desire him to do with me as shall please
Caroline Fry: "This is my bridal-day, the beginning of my
life. O if this is dying, what a mercy! I have written a book to testify
that God is Love. I now testify that he is Faithfulness and Truth. I never
asked a petition of God that sooner or later I did not obtain."
Mrs. Elizabeth Fry: "O my dear Lord, keep and help your
servant." "This is a strife, but I am safe."
Sarah Martin of Yarmouth, the prisoner's friend, and a
spirit kindred to Mrs. E. Fry said: "He never hides his face. It is our
sins, which form the cloud between us and him. He is all love, all light;
with him is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. My precious
Savior—my Beloved is always near. I can testify of his tender, supporting
love. I have in health spoken of it to others, but until now I have never
even experienced half its fullness."
Mrs. Hannah More: "Jesus is all in all. God of grace, God
of light, God of love—whom have I in heaven but you?" "It pleases God to
afflict me to do me good, to make me humble and thankful." "It is a glorious
thing to die." Her last word was, "Joy!"
Mrs. Hawkes: "And now I cast self-righteousness all
away—I cast myself on him. Take me as I am; make me as you are; and if it
may please you, give me strength to endure."
Lady Colquhoun: "I hope to meet you all at the right hand
Hannah Lindley Murray: "Glory to God on high, and on
earth peace and good will to men! may your name be glorified on the earth, O
Lord God Almighty!"
Maria Fox: "I am thoroughly comfortable." "I know my
Savior loves me, and I am reposing in his love."
Miss Isabella Campbell: "O bear in mind that our
separation will be but short. Live unto God. Farewell."
Mrs. Margaret Breckinridge: "My hope is in the great
Mrs. Rumpff: "Now, Lord, give deliverance."
One asked Mary Lundie Duncan, "What is your hope?" Her
prompt reply was, "The cross!"
To Mary Lyon, dying, her pastor said, "Christ precious."
She raised both hands, clinched them, lifted her head from the pillow, and
said audibly and with emphasis, "Yes!" This was her last word.
Margaret Miller Davidson: "Mother, my own dear mother, do
not grieve. Our parting will not be long. In life we were inseparable, and I
feel that you cannot live without me. You will soon join me, and we shall
part no more."
A dear young wife recently left the world saying:
"Farewell, dear husband! The Lord comfort you, and make you very useful It
is sweet to die. Christ is precious."
Another bade farewell to a dear husband and five
children, the youngest an infant, saying, "I shall soon see my Savior as he
In short, where is the Christian congregation, in which
well authenticated traditions of the dying triumphs of God's people of both
sexes do not abound?
One of the precious fruits of foreign missions has
been the elevation of the piety of those who remained at home—by the example
of faith, patience, self-denial, happiness and triumphs—of those who left
all to make known God's truth and grace to perishing men. To such God has
always been good. In their last hours he has not left them alone. The Lord
strengthened them upon the bed of languishing, and made all their bed in
their sickness. The secret of the Lord was with them, and he showed them his
covenant. A few of the dying words of such are here given to show how kind
God is to his people at home and abroad, among friends and in the midst of
John Eliot said: "The evening clouds are passing away.
The Lord Jesus, whom I have served, like Polycarp, for eighty years,
forsakes me not. O come in glory. I have long waited for that coming; let no
dark cloud rest on the work of the Indians. Let it live when I am dead." His
very last words were, "Welcome! Joy!"
Frederic Swartz: "Let my last conflict, O God, be full of
peace and trust. Hitherto you have preserved me; hitherto you have brought
me; benefits have been poured on me without ceasing. I deliver my spirit
into your hands—in mercy receive me; for you have redeemed me, O faithful
God." His last words were a request that his friends would sing the hymn
beginning, "Only to you, Lord Jesus Christ."
David Brainerd: "I shall soon glorify God with the
The last entry Henry Martyn made in his journal, reads
thus: "I sat in the orchard, and thought with sweet comfort and peace of my
God, in solitude my company, my friend and comforter."
Pliny Fisk, eagerly looking up, said: "Christ and his
H. W. Fox: "I am very weak, can scarcely speak, but oh!
happy! happy! happy!" "Jesus, Jesus is first in my heart!"
Thomas Thomason: "This is a dark valley, but there is
light at the end." "Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift." "Lord
Jesus, receive my spirit." "Lord, give me patience." "I hope the Lord is
Mrs. Louisa Mundy: "The prospect is to me anything but
Mrs. Harriet Winslow: "How good is the Lord!"
William Carey: "I cannot say I have any rapturous
feelings; but I am confident in the promises of the Lord, and wish to leave
my eternal interests in his hands—to place my hands in his, as a child would
in his father's, to be led where and how he pleases."
Morrison: "We have a house not made with hands eternal in
Corrie: "From upwards of fifty years' experience of the
world's insufficiency to afford happiness, and of the power of sin, unless
God prevents—to work temporal and eternal ruin—the grave begins to appear a
refuge; and I have a deep conviction that they only are completely blessed
who are in heaven."
Mrs. Jane Wilson: "I wish my friends to know that I never
have regretted coming to Africa, although our mission among the Zoolahs has
not yet seemed to effect any good."
Mrs. Anne Hasseltine Judson: "My husband is long in
coming; I must die alone, and leave my little one; but as it is the will of
God—I acquiesce in his will. I am not afraid of death. Tell my husband the
disease was most violent, and I could not write. Tell him how I suffered and
Mrs. Sarah B. Judson: "I ever love the Lord Jesus
Mrs. Sarah L. Smith: "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
The last words in Abeel's journal are: "Death has no
sting! Oh may the Conqueror continue with me until the close, and then!!!"
Mrs. Mary E. Van Lennep's last words were: "Give my love,
my very best love to father and mother: tell them I have a great many things
to say to them, but I can't now. Tell them it will be very, very sweet, when
all the redeemed meet together in heaven."
Indeed, in all the matchless dream of Bunyan, nothing is
more admirable than the final passage of the pilgrims over Jordan. We would
expect the great and strong ones to triumph, but the most feeble were not
left comfortless. The last words uttered by Ready-to-halt were, "Welcome,
life!" The last words of Feeble-mind were, "Hold out, faith and patience!"
The last words of Despondency were, "Farewell, night! welcome, day!" Even
his daughter Much-afraid "went through the river singing—but none could
understand what she said."
The secret of all these triumphs is declared by Mr.
Standfast, when he says: "I see myself now at the end of my journey; my
toilsome days are ended. I am going to see that head which was crowned with
thorns, and that face that was spit upon for me! I have formerly lived by
hearsay and faith; but now I go where I shall live by sight, and shall be
with Him, in whose company I delight myself. I have loved to hear my Lord
spoken of; and wherever I have seen the print of his shoe in the earth,
there have I coveted to set my foot too. "His name has been sweet to me;
yes, sweeter than all perfumes. His voice to me has been most sweet, and his
countenance I have more desired than they that have most desired the light
of the sun. His words I used to gather for my food, and for antidotes
against my faintings. He has held me, and kept me from my iniquities; yes,
my steps have been strengthened in his way."
Indeed it is the plan and purpose of God, through the
death of his Son, to "destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the
devil; and to deliver them, who through the fear of death, were all their
life-time subject to bondage." We have seen how wondrously this is
accomplished in the last days of many. Some may ask—Is there no exception
among believers? do all die such happy deaths? To answer in the affirmative
would perhaps be going beyond what is written in God's word, or experienced
by his people. Willison tells us of an eminently godly minister, who was
very melancholy, and said to a friend, "What will you say of him, who is
going out of the world, and can find no comfort?" His friend replied, "What
will you say of our Savior Christ, who, when he was going out of the world,
found no comfort, but cried out—My God, my God! why have you forsaken me?"
Even if the child of God should not have a cloudless sky,
or should leave the world in darkness, a great affliction it would be—but it
would not take away his title to eternal joy. A man's life, not his death,
must usually be the test of his real character, and the index to his future
destiny. Besides, it is not our feelings, it is the merit of Christ which
makes heaven sure to the penitent. Without any unfaithfulness, God in his
inscrutable wisdom might permit one of his real friends to die in some
distress of mind. If so, how sweet to such must be the rest and light of
glory! They go from the hottest of the battle—to the bosom of God; from
spiritual distress—to the fruition of Christ! Their sun, which goes down
behind a cloud—rises in glory without obscurity forever!