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as her. I am a witness to her many complaints and wailings. Yet she persisted with a glorious obstinacy; and followed on to know the Lord, walking in all his commandments and ordinances blameless. She went on steadily in the way of her duty, never intermitting it on account of her inward conflicts. Not slothful in business, but working almost continually with her own hands. Most strict was she, and unblamable in all her relative duties, and in all manner of conversation. Those who lived with her never heard a light and trifling word come out of her mouth. She did not sit still, till she should be pure in heart, but redeemed the time, and bought up every opportunity of doing good. To do good she never forgot; but spoke to all, and warned all, both children and grown persons, as God delivered them into her hands. She was exceeding tender-hearted towards the sick, whether in body or soul. She could not rejoice with those that rejoiced ; but she wept with those that wept, and encouraged them to wait upon God, who hid his face from her, to be never weary in well-doing ; for in the end, said she, they would reap if they fainted not.
See here a pattern of true mourning! A spectacle for men and angels! A soul standing up under the intolerable weight of original sin ! Troubled on every side ; perplexed, but not in despair ; persecuted by sin, the world, and the devil, but not forsaken ; cast down, but not destroyed ; walking on as evenly under that load of darkness, as if she had been in the broad light of God's countenance. Whosoever thou art that seekest Christ sorrowing, "go thou and do likewise."
In this agony she continued, till it pleased God to visit her with her last sickness. For the two or three first days she could not be kept from the word ; but was then constrained to take her bed. She had early notice of her departure, and told one of her band that she should not recover. She had expressed great earnestness to see me, but I could not visit her till the Thursday following. I then found her, to her own sense and feeling, in utter despair. “ I am dying,” she cried, “ without pardon, without a Saviour, without hope.” I prayed in full assurance of faith, and then testified the love of Christ to her, a lost sinner; declaring to her that He would fulfil in her the work of faith with power. “My soul for yours," I told her, “ if you depart hence before your eyes have seen his salvation. “Yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry.' The word of our God shall stand for ever. Every one that seeketh findeth. Fear not : behold, He comes quickly; and one moment of his presence will make you abundant amends for all the pain of absence.”
When I was gone, her suffering rather increased, and Satan raged the more. The lion tore her, as it were, to pieces : she was in a mighty conflict, and said, “None knows what I have gone through in this sickness; my enemy triumphs over me; it is the hour of darkness; it is more than I am able to bear.”
The captive exile hasteneth that she may be loosed, and that she should not die in the pit, nor that her bread should fail. This trial was the severest of all. “The devil,” she said, “ besets me sorely : I shall never hold out; I shall perish at last; but if I am lost, I am content: though I go down to hell, let but Christ be with me, and I will go without fear.” Here she seemed to be strengthened to endure a greater agony. She drank of the cup which her Lord drank of, and had fellowship in those sufferings which made Him cry out, “ My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me !" To complete her distress, the angel of death came! She was struck and changed on a sudden, so that one came and told me she was just dying. Then, as man would judge, she let go her hold of God;
In this dreadful moment, this last extremity, this deepest distress the human soul is capable of, the Comforter came. The Lord, her Saviour, came suddenly to his temple. As lightning shineth from one end of the heaven unto the other, so was the coming of the Son of man. He took away the veil from her heart, and revealed himself in her in a manner the world knoweth not of. She broke out, “ Now I know that Christ died for me. He hath washed me from all my sins in his precious blood. I have eternal life abiding in me."
Soon after she had found redemption, I called and saw her in full triumph of faith. O how unlike what she was in my last visit ! “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature.” This is the work which despisers will not believe, though a man declare it unto them. Her soul was passed from death unto life ; an hidden, everlasting life in God. After we had prayed she witnessed a good confession. “I believe in Jesus Christ; I feel the truth of these words of his, I am the resurrection and the life.' I have no fear, no doubt, no trouble. Your words were true: He has fulfilled his promise.”
Never did I behold a soul so filled. Some of her words were, “Now indeed He hath made me amends for my waiting. Blessed be God, all my pain is nothing! I have suffered nothing! I smell the sweet odour of the name of Jesus. His smell is as the smell of Lebanon. Who is so sweet as my beloved ? ‘My beloved is mine, and I am his. I love Jesus Christ with all my heart. I desire to be dissolved, and to be with Christ. But his will be done. I have no will of my own." While I was saying, “Doubt not, but be persuaded that neither life nor death, nor things present, nor things— she interrupted me with, “ No, no; I cannot doubt, although I did doubt. I cannot fear now: perfect love hath cast out fear. I have full redemption in the blood of Jesus."
To her sisters she had said before I came, “Heaven is open! I see Jesus Christ with all his angels and saints in white; and I am joined to them. I shall never be parted more. I see what I cannot utter or express! Cannot you see Jesus Christ? There, there He stands, ready to receive you all! O do not doubt of the love of Jesus : look on me! If He has taken me into his bosom, who need despair ? Fear not, fear not. He is loving unto every man. I believe Christ died for all."
Her first words after I left her were, “ Liberty ! liberty! This is the glorious liberty of the sons of God! I know it, I see it, I feel it. Believe, believe there is such a liberty, and He will give it you. I am sanctified wholly, spirit, soul, and body."
She had spent the time while I was absent in fervent prayer; and at my third visit told me, “I have whatsoever I ask. I have asked life for my mother and sisters, and have obtained it." I took the opportunity, and put her upon praying for the peace of Jerusalem, for union, and for the Preachers of reprobation, that God might open their eyes; for my brother, and for the lambs of this fold, that they might not be turned out of the way.
The fourth time I came to see her they told me she had been in a great conflict; oftentimes repeating, “I will wrestle with thee for a blessing. I will not let thee go unless thou bless him. Bless that soul. Give him the thing I ask.” At last she said, “ Now I am more than conqueror. I have the petitions I ask: not one is unanswered."
To me she said, “ I have power with God and with man, and have prevailed.”
From expounding at the malt-room, I returned the last time, and found her ready for the Bridegroom : her every word was full of power, and life, and love. It was the Spirit of her father which spoke in her. She had been wrestling again, and making intercession for the saints and all mankind; particularly her own Church and nation. Some of her words were: “ Thy judgments are abroad in the earth : ( that the inhabitants of this land may learn righteousness! Grant me, sweet Jesus, that they may repent and live." She prayed fervently for the society, that they might abide in the word, keep close together, and be all of one heart and mind. “There is a curse upon them," said she, “a curse of unthankfulness ; but I have prayed my dear Lord to remove it, and He will remove it."
When one of her sisters came to see her, who was deeply mourning for Christ, she laboured much to comfort her; bade her look at her, so miserable and hopeless an unbeliever lately ; and assured her the Comforter should quickly come. At the sight of her sister's tears, 0 how sweetly did she lament over her! I never saw so much sympathy! The spirit in her mourned like a turtle-dove, and made intercession with groanings that cannot be uttered.
All the time of her sickness she never once complained or showed the least sensibility of pain, or that she had any body at all. When one asked her if she did not feel her pains, being then in strong convulsions, she answered, “ My pain is great; but I do not feel it. It does not trouble me: I choose it rather than ease ; for my Lord chooses it. Pain or ease, life or death, it is all one. The Spirit beareth witness with my spirit, that I am a child of God: I have the earnest of mine inheritance in my heart. I have no will. I am made perfect in love."
I asked, whether that peace which she tasted above a year ago was the same she now enjoyed. She answered, “ It was of the same kind, in the lowest or first degree. It surely was justification.”
After I went she said, “ This day shall I be with Him in paradise. Within four-and-twenty hours I shall be with my beloved.”
She continued all night in the labour of love, making powerful supplication for all men. About three on Sunday morning she said, “ It is finished.” All sufferings even for others ceased from that moment, and she began the new song which shall never end. Her whole employment now was the same with theirs to whom she was going, the innumerable company of angels, the church of the first-born. She sang to the harper's harp, without any intermission, till two in the afternoon : even while they were giving her cordials she sang. Her hope was full of immortality ; her looks, of heaven; till, with smiles of triumph, she resigned her spirit into the hands of her dear Redeemer. Death wanted all its pomp and circumstances of horror. She went away without any agony, or sigh, or groan. She only rested, and sweetly fell asleep in the arms of Jesus.
THE GWYNNE FAMILY.
VOL. I.- Page 514.
The following memoranda respecting the Gwynne family are copied from a document in the hand-writing of Mrs. Charles Wesley :
“Father and mother were married on the 27th of July, 1716; he being twenty-five years of age, and she twenty-one.
“1. Brother Ilowell Gwynne was born on the 16th of April, 1718. He married Lady Rudd, by whom he has one son.
“2. Sister Mary Gwynne was born on the 24th of January, 1719-20. She married Captain Edward Baldwyn, of DiddleburyHall, in Salop.
“ 3. Brother Marmaduke was born on the 10th of September, 1722. He married Miss Howell, of Glamorganshire; he being nineteen years of age, and she eighteen. They had four children ; but Roderick Gwynne died at three years and a half old. Two girls and a boy are living.
“4. Sister Rebecca Gwynne was born on Nov. 23d, 1724.
“ 5. Sarah Gwynne was born on Wednesday, Oct. 12th, 1726 ; and married the Rev. Charles Wesley, on the 8th of April, 1749.
“6. Sister Joan Gwynne was born on Sept. 14th, 1728.
“7. Sister Elizabeth Gwynne was born on the 19th of October, 1730. She was married to Mr. James Waller, (a lace merchant in London,) at Ludlow, on the 4th of December, 1750, by Mr. Charles Wesley.
“8. Sister Margaret Gwynne was born on the 17th of December, 1733; and departed this life on Monday, July 13th, 1752, (in London,) aged eighteen years.
69. Brother Roderick Gwynne was born on the 11th of August, 1735."
According to the register of Llanleouvel, the parish in which Garth is situated, Marmaduke Gwynne, Esq., the father of Mrs. Charles Wesley, was buried on the 13th of April, 1769 ; and his widow, the mother of Mrs. Wesley, on the 3d of January following; so that both her parents were dead when she removed, with the rest of the family, from Bristol to London.