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

Females, Missionaries

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 strong.

Mrs. Savage, the sister of Matthew Henry, said: "I here leave the testimony of my experience, that Christ's yoke is easy and his burden light."

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 him."

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 of God."

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 Physician."

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 is!"

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 strangers.

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 angels!"

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 glory!"

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 coming quickly."

Mrs. Louisa Mundy: "The prospect is to me anything but gloomy."

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 the heavens."

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 died."

Mrs. Sarah B. Judson: "I ever love the Lord Jesus Christ."

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!