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hath torment. I feel no distress of mind but when I think of those of our kindred who are running the downward road. This causes me to send up strong cries and tears; and, indeed, I cannot but have some bitter moments on their account.
“ December 25th, 1820. I am now above sixty years of age, and yet my life seems but as a dream. It appears but like yesterday when I was quite young. I am truly ashamed when I think to how little purpose my life has been spent, and what small advances I have made towards that maturity in grace which I ought to have attained. But, 0, with what mercies has my unworthy head been crowned ! How have goodness and love followed me,-goodness most transcendent, love most unmerited! And now, in my declining years, the Lord is more than ever the strength of my heart, and my satisfying 'portion. I am happy, truly happy, in Him. Ilis grace is my strength : by it I am enabled to hold on my way. He has set my foot in a large room,' as it respects outward privileges and advantages ; and He has enlarged my heart to love Him supremely, and to devote my all to Him. He is the centre of my hopes.' I experimentally know something of what it is to dwell in God, and to have His blessed Spirit as a Comforter dwelling in my heart. I believe this is the import of that word of our adorable Lord, — Abide in Me.' And when I think of the privilege annexed to it, -*If ye abide in Me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you,'- I am emboldened to make all my requests known unto Him; and His peace does flow in my heart as a river. Still remember me at the throne of grace.' I would rather have the prayers of the faithful than the riches of the East.
“February 5th, 1821. Let nothing keep you from Jesus ; for you need Him every moment as your Prophet, Priest, and King. But it is faith that makes Him yours. Faith, therefore, must be in constant exercise. A sense of our short-comings, unfaithfulness, or even backslidings in heart or life, must not keep us back. We must still come, as at first, by Ilim to the Father, and, in the arms of faith, present the precious bleeding Sacrifice.' Blessed be His name, the grace of Christ is ever near. O may lle
Wrap us in His crimson vest,
And tell us all His name !! Let it be our care to hear Him inly speak. He says, “ Hearken diligently unto Me. I believe if we attend to this injunction, we shall be taught of Him ; for the secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him,' and that hope in His mercy.
“March 10th, 1821. I purpose, by Divine grace, to use greater diligence in prayer and self-examination. I want to be thoroughly furnished for every good word and work, and to be clothed with zeal and power. My motto must now emphatically be, * Work while it is day,'--for to me it must surely be true that the night cometh.' May my lamp be trimmed, and my light ever burning! But, if words are inadequate here, I am sure they are equally so to express my enjoyment of the Saviour's love, and the infinite value of His death and atonement.
To His meritorious passion,
All our happiness we owe:
Grace and glory,
“May 2d, 1821. If my poor prayers can avail, you will find your spiritual strength renewed like the eagle's, and your soul filled with light and life, with love and power. I scarcely know what it is to have one hour's leisure in the day, and I am sure I have no melancholy void. My soul rejoices in the increasing prosperity of our Zion; and I desire nothing, comparatively, but to see my dear children going on in the good way, and our dear friends and families brought out of darkness into marvellous light.”
For the space of between six and seven years, there is a blank in the series of correspondence which has been committed to the writer's inspection. But the course which Mrs. Hill continued to pursue with growing delight was the same,—a course of faith, charity, and peace. Letters are supplied in greater number after this period; and they yet farther disclose the Christian experience and character of this sincere follower of our Lord. Extracts from them shall therefore be given.
“ March 18th, 1828,” she writes to Mrs. William H. L. Eden,“I feel I am called to live in the spirit of sacrifice, giving up my own will in various instances every day; and in so doing, though it is sometimes painful, I find a satisfaction, because my eye is single. I desire only to please my heavenly Father, and to have His approbation. May you and I seek that happy state, that Gospel privilege, the witness of the blessed Spirit that we and all our works are accepted in the Beloved! When I consider the willingness of our gracious Saviour to impart all spiritual blessings, I wonder that I do not obtain more. I wish to live more in the exercise of faith, that I may receive out of His fulness,' even 'grace for grace;' being sure that this is the will of God in Christ concerning me. There is nothing that I dread more than to be at ease in Zion. We must shake ourselves from the dust, and “lay aside every weight,' if we would run with patience the race that is set before us '-'80 run, that we may obtain the prize.”
To Miss Birkett, afterwards Mrs. Budgett, the following communications are addressed :
“ June 27th, 1828. With much pleasure I address my dear sister and companion in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ,' with whom I have so often been privileged to hold sweet converse, and with whom I would now, by means of my pen, take counsel, and endeavour to stir up her pure mind to a still more earnest expectation of the fulness of Gospel blessings, that her desiring and believing soul may be satisfied with the abundance of His house, and enriched with His hidden treasures. And 0 tbat my own weak faith and languid graces may be revived and strengthened still to lay hold on the hope set before me,- that is, inward holiness, increasing conformity to the image and will of our great Pattern, a deeper self-abasement before Him, and a more perfect death to things earthly and outward ; that I may live in Christ, and Christ in me! Surely we have cause to praise our bounteous Benefactor, our indulgent God, who hath provided for us such good things as pass man's understanding; but which are, in a blessed measure, revealed to us by the Spirit. How graciously hath He dealt with us, and wrought in us, by quickening, enlightening, strengthening, and cheering our minds ! What astonishing deliverances bath He wrought in our behalf ! What succour hath He imparted under tribulation! When walking through the fire and through the water, we have literally suffered no barm. I see myself a miracle of mercy, and am constrained to say,
O to grace how great a debtor!' And what are the views we now have on these subjects, in comparison of what we shall have when we see things in the light of eternity? If now the sight we have of Deity sinks and overwhelms us, what will it be when we behold Him shining as the sun in his strength ? O, it will be
"The speechless awe that dares not move,
And all the silent heaven of love.' My dear friend, let us be much in the contemplation of it, and the expectation of it, too ; and then we shall not fail of a meetness for the enjoyment of its glory and blessedness. I think I now see a greater beauty in simplicity than ever, and feel that for want of cultivating it more I have fallen short of making due progress in the Divine life. But, though I lament this, I am not cast down, because I know the Lord still waits to be gracious, and He doth not
upbraid,' but 'giveth liberally,' replenishing my hungry soul with good. He does help me to drink of the brook by the way,' and He gives daily grace by which I am enabled to take up my daily cross. Blessed be God, I feel every part of duty delightful. As dear Mr. H. said in his sermon, “There is a correspondence between the disposition and the duty in the renewed heart.
“July 31st, 1829. I praise God that, amidst all the changing scenes of life, I have His heartfelt presence, and find the blessed work of His Spirit going on and deepening in my soul. I want to sink deeper in humility. I feel that faith is in lively exercise, and I sometimes get such an inlet into Deity that my soul is sweetly lost in wonder and delight. Sometimes outward things press upon me, and damp my joy. But I do strive to cast all upon my Jesus, who, I know, cares for me, and will not leave me comfortless. I am often astonished at His goodness, when I think what a very unfaithful creature I have been and am. But the greatest wonder of all is, that I am what I am, and still the object of His kind compassion. O may I be ' faithful unto death!' Then shall you and I, my very dear
friend, meet on Canaan's happy shore, and bask for ever in the beams of His unclouded glory.
“September 1st, 1829. O what a fulness there is in Him! For every state and every stage in the Divine life He has an appropriate blessing. And though He dispenses His gifts according to the riches of His liberality, yet there is more : there are multiplied pardonsdegrees of purity rising higher and higher still till we are perfected in love. The world appears in its true colours; or rather as an empty bubble, a passing shadow. Life so soon will end. I feel dead to all but its duties. These, I see, are important; and its privileges, too. Both must be improved. But, here, () how short I come! I want more of His resurrection-power to raise me into greater diligence to do, and greater willingness to suffer, all His righteous will, that I may ripen for that glorious state of consummate bliss to which we hasten. The Lord has graciously blessed me with some of those refreshing showers of grace which conduce to this blessed end; and I humbly trust He will continue to visit your unworthy friend and sister.”
“January 20, 1832,” she writes to Mr. William H. L. Eden,“My soul has been truly blessed of late ; and, through mercy, though I have now entered upon my seventy-second year, I have been enabled to attend the blessed means of grace with which we have just been favoured,—the lovefeast, renewal of the covenant, watchnight, &c. All have been to me feasts of fat things. I have truly sat with Christ in heavenly places. I am ashamed of myself for not more confidently expecting the answer to my poor petitions, and for measuring the mercy of my God by my contracted views. O may unbelief be for ever destroyed, and faith be in constant exercise ! When I think of the mediation of our great High Priest, and His allprevalent intercession, it would be enormous sin to doubt, or fear, or limit the Holy One of Israel, whose 'mercy is everlasting,' and whose 'truth endureth from generation to generation.'-0 how pleasant it is to walk with God, having His law written on our hearts !”
On April 20, 1832, she writes from Sunning-Hill, near Bolton, to Mr. Hill :
“ MY DEAR, DEAR HUSBAND,
“ As a kind Providence bas graciously preserved us to each other nearly thirty-five revolving years, it is most proper that we should give thanks to His most holy name, and more than ever devote ourselves to Him, who has done so great things for us.
O the numberless cares, and temptations, and snares,
His hand has conducted us through !! “How many times have we praised His name together, and taken sweet counsel how to make our calling and election sure! How many consolations of the Spirit have we enjoyed, and sweet manifestations of His love, so that our hearts have rejoiced with joy unspeakable! And now we are monuments of His mercy, and witnesses of His truth and faithfulness and power to save the helpless souls that trust in Him. What a blessedness it is that, in our declining years, we have a lively and glorious anticipation of future felicity in the kingdom of our heavenly Father! There `pure, essential joy is found. There pain and suffering are no more. There we shall see our dear relations, and those who have been our companions in the kingdom and patience of Jesus, and who are awaiting our arrival in the blessed realms above. There will be no more lameness ; and we shall together walk the golden streets, or
Range the sweet plains on the banks of the river,
And sing of salvation for ever and ever.' And now I must wish you a good night's rest,—and that, when we awake on the thirty-fifth anniversary of our happy, happy wedding morning, we may praise our heavenly Father with joyful, grateful hearts, and be determined to live to Him who has dealt so graciously with us.
So prays, my dear, dear husband, thy faithful and affectionate wife,
“ SARAH HILL."
The union which had so happily subsisted between these two faithful companions in all the joys and sorrows of life, was now to be dissolved. On June 16th, 1832, between two and three months after the date of the preceding letter, Mr. Hill closed his days in peace. He endured a painful and protracted illness with meek and uncomplaining resignation, resting by faith in Him whose " grace is sufficient,” and whose “strength is made perfect in weakness.” Mrs. Hill's attentions to him were most tender and constant; and her own health was seriously affected. She was now left to pursue the journey of life unaccompanied by the dear associate of so many years. But she was not comfortless. “Everlasting consolation and good hope through grace” were her portion. She also experienced the kindly and soothing assiduities of many Christian friends. Among these, especial mention is due to the late Peter Rothwell, Esq., of Sunning-Hill, near Bolton, Miss Rothwell, and all their family circle. Mr. and Miss Rothwell removed her from what had now become a house of mourning to their own hospitable abode, where she had aforetime been a welcome visiter ; and, by the kindness and delicacy of their attentions, greatly contributed, through the blessing of God, to her recovery. The annual visit which she generally paid them afterwards was a source of mutual pleasure and advantage ; and it doubtless ministered to the prolongation of her valuable life.
“ August 1st, 1832," she writes jointly to Mr. and Mrs. William H. L. Eden,- I am thankful to find that my dear William got safe home after his long and fatiguing journey. I returned the same day, and my feelings were much pained at seeing the spot vacant where my dearest husband used to appear almost as a fixture, and where I was always sure to meet his love-speaking eye. The house appeared truly desolate. I went from room to room in a state of great agita