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God, she would enter the haunts of vice and misery, and strive, by loving, stirring admonitions and appeals to the ungodly and wretched, to save sinners. Not a few was she justrumental in reclaiming from the error of their ways, who have held fast their confidence, and died happy in Christ. This work was her delight; and as long as she had strength to perform it, she was a constant visiter of the poor and afflicted. The burden of her life was to do good, and she never went to the house of a certain friend without trying to render all her intercourse subservient to the salvation of its inmates. This was pecu• liarly the case when paying her last visit in 1860, and the fruit of that visit remains to this day. Her religion was unobtrusive and selfsacrificing. Her daily efforts to be useful were not rendered easy by her enjoyment of good health. She was naturally weak, and often a great sufferer ; but she felt that she could not do too much for Him to whom her " more than all was due."
In 1831 she was called to endure her severest domestic trial, in the death of her husband, of whom a brief sketch appeared in this Magazine of that year. Her deep piety and resignation to the Divine will, in the near prospect of this afflictive event, are best indicated by transcribing a few extracts from her diary. She writes, “I must raise my 'Ebenezer.' Hitherto has my God helped me.' 0! what I have gone through the last month—in seeing my dear husband suffer, in the anxiety of business, and in the care of the family-with my weak body! None but an Almighty Arm could have supported me; and I have had many answers to prayer. What a stupendous stoop for Him, to listen to a worm! It sinks me into nothing." A little afterwards she says, “ I can perceive my beloved husband is sinking fast. He bas taken farewell of his place down stairs. This is the Lord's day, and what my feelings are I cannot describe. When I look at him, so dear to me, yet unable to converse, not being sensible long together, my heart is overwhelmed within me.” Later in the day she writes, “We were enabled to pray and converse, and found the Lord very near to help and sustain.” Again, “I must snatch a moment just to record, for my future encouragement, that my dear husband is indeed triumphing over death, bell, and the grave. We were enabled to speak of that solemn time fast approaching. What a day this has been to me! While praying, and reading John xvii., I could say, 'Not my will, but Thine, be done. We talked about the event now at hand, as though he was going on a journey; and could not help acknowledging to each other, that it was the best Sabbath we had ever spent together.” She further writes, “My husband is now rapidly sinking, but is rejoicing in the prospect of death. He very tenderly feels the parting with myself and the dear children, but can give us up to the care of God. He has now had his family into his room, and has taken his leave, giving each one suitable advice. Calling me to his bedside, he said, 'Let us now abandon ourselves to God.' I replied, “ You will be ready to meet me and the dear children, and welcome us to glory.' He exclaimed, 'Most gladly will I do so!""
Such sentiments speak for themselves. Whilst they are the effusions of a heart oppressed with grief under the heaviest of earth's trials, they indicate the blending of sweet resignation with an unshaken confidence in the wisdom and goodness of God.
After the decease of her husband, Mrs. Cooper had many difficulties to contend with in business, and severe were her conflicts with the powers of darkness, who fiercely assailed her when bowed down under her great loss. This state of things continued for a considerable time; but the records of her journal prove that her submission was constant, and her faith unwavering. Often, when enduring much suffering and anguish of mind, she rose superior to her pain, and joyously recognized the hand of her Heavenly Father. Her refuge was in prayer; and in seasons of deep distress she was enabled to rest upon the promise, “ Thy Maker is thine Husband; the Lord of Hosts is His name."
During the last eighteen years of her life she was a great sufferer from asthma and disease of the heart, which frequently prevented her from engaging in her accustomed works of piety and benevolence. This privation was a great trial to her; so much so, that she often said, "that it needed more religion to be laid aside, than to be actively employed for God." Yet she was evidently ripening for the “saints' everlasting rest.” Always an ardent lover of the Bible, she became a more diligent searcher of it, when in a great measure she was confined to her house. She rose early, until within a few months of her decease, and spent the first portion of the day in reading, meditation, and prayer. Notwithstanding her deep piety, the adversary of her soul was mysteriously allowed powerfully to assail her. Her spiritual conflicts were severe and protracted, continuing Occasionally for days together; but deliverance came, for she was often upon her knees, at the feet of Jesus, pleading His unfailing promises.
A friend, who felt it to be a privilege to sit with her on a Sabbath evening, remarks, that “Mrs. Cooper's steady growth in grace, and deep devotedness to the cause of God, were conspicuous and striking. Her frequent inquiry was, 'Have you heard of any souls being converted ? Is the work of the Lord reviving ?' And if answered affirmatively, she would exclaim, Bless the Lord !' and would then earnestly engage in prayer for the Church of Christ.”
Her last illness was short, but severe. It was only ten days before her death that her family became sensible of a material change. Her sufferings during this period were very acute, but her patience was exemplary. She often exclaimed, “ Jesus, help me! Come and take me where there is rest for the weary. I long to be gone." And then she would inquire whether “she was thought impatient;" 80 fearful was she lest, by word or temper, she should fail to adorn ber Christian profession, and grieve the Spirit of God. She was not often the subject of ecstatic joy, but she possessed her Saviour's legacy of His own "peace.” Her general frame of mind was that of holy calmness; and her heart was“ directed into the love of God, and into a patient waiting for Christ.” At one period, indeed, of her last illness, her faith was severely assailed; but early one morning, after having dozed, she triumphantly exclaimed, “I have it now. Jesus has told me that He will come again, and receive me unto Himself;' 'that where He is, there I shall be also.'” Her countenance wore a heavenly expression as she gave utterance to the note of victory. It was the last attack of the enemy, and henceforth,
“Not a cloud did arise To darken the skies,
Or hide for one moment her Lord from her eyes." The things of earth were now less noticed by her, and heavenly objects seemed more fully to engage her attention. Suddenly, on one occasion, as if thinking of Jesus,—and of whom or what can a dying Christian think, but of Him, who hath redeemed us to God by His blood ?—she exclaimed," "I'll praise my Maker while I've breath!' O, praise Him! praise Him!” When apparently unconscious of those around her bed, her eyes were uplifted and fixed, and her lips moved as if in converse. When asked what she was saying, her reply was, “I am talking to those whom you can neither see nor hear :" another illustration of a truth sometimes questioned, that the departing saint has perceptions of things beyond the range of human sense. His experience is more than faith. Certainly it was not in imagination only that Stephen,“ being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.” Scepticism may ridicule this, and the perception of which we speak may not be subject to laws which the human mind can now trace; but there stands the fact, confirmed by the testimonies of many dying citizens of heaven, that they see the splendours of the house they are approaching, and recognise the spirits of their friends above, even before they join the ranks of the just made perfect. There can be no doubt that this was the case with the subject of this Memoir. The evening before she died, she was beckoning with her hands, as though she saw some whom she knew; and then suddenly exclaimed, in a tone full of joy, “ Jesus is come! Jesus is in the room ! 'In my Father's house are many mansions.'' Upon one of her daughters saying, “O mother! there will be a sad gap in the family circle when you are gone! What shall we do without you ?” She immediately replied, “You are very closely entwined about my heart; but I have committed you all into the hands of Jesus. I am going home; meet me above." Almost her last connected words were,
"I the chief of sinners am,
But Jesus died for me!”
Afterwards she could only whisper, "Jesus, precious Jesus!” until her spirit took its flight to a higher and more blessed state of being. She slept in Jesus on February 17th, 1865, in the eightieth year of her age.
THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS.
(LUKE XVI. 19-31.) The wisdom and the resources of the Great Teacher are inexhaustible. In the numerous parables of Jesus we see His perfect apprehension of the conditions and relations of men, and His wonderful power of adapting His doctrine to every peculiarity of their case. This He exercises in a manner so exquisitely delicate and pointed, as to convey truth into the secret depths of their hearts, notwithstanding their most decided antagonism, and to reveal to them their actual condition, in spite of their self-deception. All who listened to Him felt
, by turns, that He looked into their inner nature, and spake words of encouragement or judgment, as their case required. In this and the immediately preceding chapter, we have a succession of parables varied and striking in the highest degree, which we see no reason to suppose were not delivered in one continuous address, partially broken, it may be, by the interruptions of His hearers. Their internal character binds them together.
The seeking and accepting love of God were beautifully exhibited by our Lord; but it was necessary for all, publicans and Pharisees alike, to remember that their true filial relation to God must be maintained by the wisdom of their action in the relations of the present life. He clearly teaches that the sinner must repent or be punished, as we see in the cases, respectively, of the returning prodigal and the finally condemned rich man. But between these extremes, the Divine life of wisdom and love must appear. By faithfulness in tộ đðixo pauwvệ, “ the unrighteous mammon,” by its appropriation to works of love, a meetness for the "everlasting habitations" must be wrought out. The “mammon," which is made “unright
eous" by the perversion of its true destiny on the part of so many, must be converted into a friend, by the “prudence which uses the ελάχιστον, αλλότριον, άδικον, as the materials for the exhibition of idelity, in order to lay up in eternity the reward of grace." The sought and found publican must not neglect to do this; and the self-deceived Pharisees are made to feel that they are guilty of this neglect. Their cloak of false piety is raised, and their intense covetousness is revealed. Therefore, é elukthpicov aúróv, " they derided Him," in their vain attempt to elude the conviction of their own consciences. But notwithstanding their ostentatious righteousness, their pretended fulfilment of the law, their evil hearts were known to God; and to pierce them more deeply, if possible, they are reminded of some of their violations of the law, which will bring upon them, if they repent not, an eternal retribution. While there is "joy in heaven” over the repentant, self-condemned publican, torment "in hell" awaits the incorrigibly “righteous” Pharisee, which the Divine Teacher proceeds to depict with dramatic vividness and power.
The design of the Saviour in this parable evidently is “ to announce the great truth, that to neglect the application of wealth to benevolent purposes, is to make it a source of everlasting misery;" but this "great truth" is enforced by an impressive representation of the future conditions of men. The veil is withdrawn with a steady Hand, and we are allowed to behold the calm security of the saved, and the bitter anguish of the lost; while the reflections of the startled soul of the latter are given with a skill that makes them deeply affecting. It is only a superficial criticism that sees in this thrilling picture an intimation that to possess earthly riches is in itself reprehensible, and that earthly poverty is necessarily meritorious. The fact that no particular statement is made of the sins of the “rich man," or of the virtues of the destitute sufferer, may be truly said to "enhance the beauty of the picture, and the deep seriousness of its moral." The whole " is clothed in the garment of Jewish eschatology," with the numerous additions which could only be given by Him whose eye looks into the secret counsels of God, and surveys the destinies of mankind. We have here, “in few but speaking touches, the great whole, the trilogy of Earth, Gehenna, and Paradise ;” and the description is rendered more effective by the broadly-marked contrasts under which it is drawn. Around these extremes, in the present and in the future, we shall gather our exposition of this important parable.
Our attention is directed to the conditions of the subjects of the parable in this world, in verses 19-21. Here we observe that the one was rich, while the other was in the most abject poverty. “There was a certain,” floors, "rich man.” We dismiss the supposition that the Saviour here intended to paint from life the portrait of any particular