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“ being a housekeeper, which was more than forty years, there had not “ been one buried out of his family, and that he was now like to be the “ first.” He would also mention with thankfulness, “ that, till he was “ threescore years of age, he had never spent five shillings in law, nor, upon “ himself, so much in wine: and rejoiced much that he had so lived, as “never to cause an hour's forrow to his good father; and that he hoped “that he should die without an enemy.”
He in this retirement had the church prayers read in his chamber twice every day; and at nine at night some prayers read to him and a part of his family, out of “ The Whole Duty of Man.” As he was remarkably punctual and regular in all his studies and actions, so he used himself to be for his meals: and his dinner being appointed to be constantly ready at the ending of prayers, and he, expecting and calling for it, was answered, “ It “would be ready in a quarter of an hour.” To which his reply was, with some earnestness, “ A quarter of an hour !—Is a quarter of an hour no“ thing to a man that probably has not many hours to live?” And though he did live many hours after this, yet he lived not many days ; for the day after (which was three days before his death) he was become so weak and weary either of motion or sitting, that he was content, or forced, to keep his bed. In which I defire he may reft, till I have given some short account of his behaviour there, and immediately before it.
The day before he took his bed (which was three days before his death) he, that he might receive a new assurance for the pardon of his sins past,
be strengthened in his way to the New Jerusalem, took the blessed sacrament of the body and blood of his and our blessed Jesus, from the hands of his chaplain Mr. Pullin, accompanied with his wife, children, and a friend, in as awful, humble, and ardent a manner, as outward reverence could express”. After the praise and thanksgiving for this blessing was
* This narrative entirely confutes the rumour that was industriously propagated concerning this good man, “ that, before his death, he repented of what he had written against the Pres“ byterians, and that on his death-bed, he would suffer no hierarchical minister to come to « pray with him, but desired, and had only Presbyterians about him;" And further to contram
ended, he fpake to this purpose: “I have now to the great joy of my soul “ tasted of the all-saving sacrifice of my Saviour's death and passion; and “ with it received a spiritual assurance that my fins past are pardoned, w and my God at peace with me : and that I shall never have a will or 6 power to do any thing that may separate my soul from the love of my “ dear Saviour. Lord confirm this belief in me; and make me still to re“ member that it was thou, O God, that tookeft me out of my mother's “ womb, and haft been the powerful Protector of me to this present mo“ ment of my life: thou hast neither forsaken me now I am become grey“ headed, nor suffered me to forsake thee in the late days of temptation, " and sacrifice my conscience for the preservation of my liberty or estate. " It was not of myself but by grace that I have stood, when others have “ fallen under my trials; and these mercies I now remember with joy and “ thankfulness; and my hope and desire is, that I may die remembering this, “ and praising thee, my merciful God.”— The frequent repetition of the Pfalms of David hath been noted to be a great part of the devotion of the primitive Christians : The Psalms having in them, not only prayers and holy inflructions, but such commemorations of God's mercies, as may preserve, comfort, and confirm our dependence on the power, and providence, and mercy of our Creator. And this is mentioned in order to telling, that as the holy Psalmist said, that “his eyes should prevent both the dawning of the day and the " night-watches, by meditating on God's word;”-so it was Dr. Sanderson's constant practice every morning to entertain his first waking thoughts with a repetition of those very psalms that the Church hath appointed to be constantly read in the daily morning-service; and having at night laid him in his bed, he as constantly closed his eyes with a repetition of those appointed for the service of the evening; remembering and repeating the very psalms appointed for every day; and as the month had formerly ended and began again, so did this exercise of his devotion. And if the first-fruits
diet this report, Mr. Pullin, his household chaplain, published a sermon, preached at a vifitation holden at Grantham, Oct. 3, 1641, the last sermon that Dr. Sanderson wrote with his own hand. This sermon was printed in 1681, with all his other sermons, in one volume folio.
of his waking thoughts were of the world, or what concerned it; he would arraign and condemn himself for it. Thus he began that work on earth which is now the employment of Dr. Hammond and him in heaven.
After his taking his bed, and about a day before his death, he desired his chaplain, Mr. Pullin, to give him absolution : and at his performing that office, he pulled off his cap, that Mr. Pullin might lay his hand upon his bare head. After this desire of his was satisfied, his body seemed to be at more ease, and his mind more cheerful; and he said often, “ Lord, forsake “ me not now my strength faileth me, but continue thy mercy, and let my “ mouth be ever filled with thy praise.” He continued the remaining night and day very patient, and thankful for any of the little offices that were performed for his ease and refreshment': and, during that time, did often say to himself the 103d Psalm ; a psalm that is composed of praise and consolations, fitted for a dying soul, and say also to himself very often these words, “ My heart is fixed O God! my heart is fixed where true joy is to “ be found.” And now his thoughts seemed to be wholly of death, for which he was so prepared that that king of terrors could not surprise him " as a thief in the night;" for he had often said, “ he was prepared, and “ longed for it.” And as this desire seemed to come from heaven, so it left him not, till his foul ascended to that region of blessed spirits, whose em
9 Thus Dr. Hammond, in his last sickness, did not by peevishness disquiet his attendants; but was pleased with every thing that was done, and liked every thing that was brought.(Life of Dr. Hammond, p. 227.)There are three of Archbishop Secker's sermons which I read repeatedly with serious attention--because they apply to a condition in which the lot of humanity will one day affuredly place me; unless it should please Almighty God to take me out of this world by a sudden death. They are “ on the Duties of the Sick," from Ifai. xxxviii. 1, 2. The following passage relates to our behaviour towards all who are about us in our lickness :-“We are strictly bound to shew them, peculiarly at that time, great humanity and “ goodness; not requiring from them more fatiguing and constant attendance than is fit; “nor more care, skill, and dexterity than is to be expected : recollecting that our illness in- . « clines us to imagine things amiss in a degree beyond reality, and that others ought not to “ suffer merely because we do: thinking often how disagreeable an office they go through, 6 and what benefit and comfort we receive from it : begging them to forgive us those hasty “ fallies of fretfulness and impatience, that sometimes will escape us; and making them good “ amends, in every way that we can, for all the trouble which they take about us." (Secker's Sermons, Vol. III. p. 281.)
ployments are to join in concert with his, and sing praise and glory to that God, who hath brought him and them into that place,“ into which sin and “ forrow cannot enter.”
Thus this pattern of meekness and primitive innocence changed this for a better life :-- It is now too late to wish that mine may be like his : for I am in the eighty-fifth year of my age; and God knows it hath not ; but I most humbly beseech Almighty God that my death may: and I do as earnestly beg, that if any reader shall receive any satisfaction from this very plain, and as true relation, he will be so charitable as to say Amen'.
BLESSED IS THAT MAN IN WHOSE SPIRIT THERE IS NO GUILE.
PSAL. Xxxii. 2.
: “Thus was he taken away with a happy euthanasia, composedly, peaceably, and comfortably departing, giving himself to prayer, meditations, and discourses, which his own strength could bear, full of the grace and peace of God, and confirmed by the absolution of the church.” (Reason and Judgment, &*c. p. 43.)
· However diversified the conditions of men are, there is one common event to all. When the hour of death approaches, the distinctions of worldly pomp are of no avail. At that awful period every consolation will vanish, except that which flows from the consciousness of doing well, and the expectance of another life. The examples recorded in the preceding pages present to our view the noblest of all spectacles the calm composure, the pious resignation of good men, who, having finished their earthly course of virtuous conduct, anticipate the blessedness of the heavenly state, and, full of joyful hope and humble confidence in the merits of a Redeemer, close the last scene with dignity and honour.
" Sic mihi contingat vivere, ficque mori!"