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days but he was soon seized with a violent fever, which immediately assumed a very threatening appearance. It however passed its crisis, and he appeared convalescent, until on Sabbath evening, at about twelve o'clock, he was seized with a violent pain in the Viscera, from which no relief could be procured; and it was soon manifest that death could not be far off. About three o'clock in the afternoon I saw him, and conversed with him for some time. He did not then enjoy that sensible peace and love, which his soul panted after, but at the same time expressed a strong confidence in God. After praying with him, I left him, not expecting to see him again alive.
In this last interview, he mentioned a circumstance which affected me much, and thinking it may be a useful admonition to others, I will mention it. While lamenting to me his want of spiritual consolation, he observed that though he had been for several years a member of the Church, he had never dared to approach the table of the Lord, intimating, at the same time, that this neglect arose, not from any doubts of the validity of the sacred ordinance, but from a sense of his extreme unworthiness; and he now attributed his want of spiritual comfort to his having neglected so obvious a duty.
We have already remarked his great modesty and diffidence; and it was doubtless the humbling views he entertained of himself which prevented his attendance upon this divinely appointed means of grace.
The following communication from the Rev. HENRY CHASE, contains a statement of the circumstances of the last moments of our deceased brother; and it will be extremely gratifying to his numerous friends, and indeed to all the friends of Jesus, to witness the triumph afforded, in his dying moments, to this servant of God.
« Feb. 23, being Monday, I called at nine o'clock in the evening to see brother DOSINBERY. When I came to the door, I heard Dr. PHELPS at prayer, and immediately after him brother Moore offered up a prayer. Rising from our kneeling position, I went to the bed-side of the dying man, who was in perfect possession of his senses, but had just strength sufficient to speak. A gloomy and death-like ghastliness sat on his countenance. He knew me, and with an effort pronounced my name. Perceiving he had neither strength nor time to waste, I immediately asked him the state of his mind, and he very eniphatically replied that it was very dark. I told him he might venture his whole soul upon
Jesus Christ. (Here I added considerable more than I have set down, though I do not distinctly recollect what. However, I reminded him of the mercy of God in our Saviour, and gave such counsel as was natural on such an occasion.) Soon after some one proposed prayer. I observed that as there had been several prayers, perhaps it would be better to allow him to collect his thoughts, and to offer his prayers to God in silence. After about ten minutes his countenance very visibly changed,
appeared animated, and brightened with a serene smile. Raising his hands and eyes, he pronounced distinctly and audibly the name of « Jesus.” Gaining strength from the fervency of his feelings, he spoke again still louder, and said, " Jesus the name high over all.” This he repeated five or six times. He again spoke: “Is’nt it a name high over all ?”
Would you part with it for a thousand worlds ? Would you brother PHELPS? Would you bro. Moore ? Would you bro. CHASE ?” His father DONALDSON was standing near the bed, and he (bro. DUSINBERY) drew him still nearer, and affectionately endeavoured to embrace him, still talking about the name of Jesus. Glory to God,” said he, “I am saved hallelujah-happy-happy-happy," &c. We then kneeled down, and returned thanks to God for this manifestation of his good
After this he asked us to sing, and, on being asked what we should sing, answered, HARRIET's hymn, whom he frequently named, and said, she was in heaven. Her favourite hymn, “On Jordan's stórmy banks I stand,” &c. was then sung, during which he was much animated. Soon after this, he failed very fast. He frequently endeavoured to speak, but the organs of speech refused to perform their office. We could only understand the words, “happy” and “hallelujah" which were repeated many times, and at half past ten o'clock, he fell asleep without a struggle or a groan.'
We have thus traced our departed brother and sister through life, and followed them to their departure out of this world, from which, we have every reason to believe, they flew to the regions of the blessed. That they were lovely in their lives, will appear evident to all who impartially consider them. We know, indeed, that we are often accused of eulogizing the dead to please their surviving friends. And it may be that, on the present occasion, we have furnished just cause for such a suspicion among those who were unacquainted with the subjects of our remarks; but we are very sure that those who were blessed with their society, who witnessed their piety and benevolence, their private and social virtues, and observed their attention to conjugal and domestic duties, will be tempted to say, "the half has not been told us." But whatever opinion others may form of them, your speaker may well be pardoned if he should betray that warmth of enthusiasm, which arises from Christian friendship, in speaking of these
happy dead.” He knew them well. He has often witnessed their zeal for the honour of God in the advancement of His holy cause, as it was exemplified in their attention to the various duties of their station. "He saw their tears and witnessed their groans while they were under conviction for sin, and likewise participated in their joy when the Lover of sinners said, My peace I give unto you. He has viewed with pleasure their progress in the divine life, mixed in their society on a variety of occasions, seen them in the house of God, and by their own fire-side, -and finally bore testimony to their entrance upon another state of existence, and he can truly say that the more he saw the more
he admired them on account of the loveliness of their deportment. And these things are mentioned not to exalt the creature, but the Creator, and to magnify the riches of that redeeming grace which shone so conspicuously in their lives, and made them so triumphant in their death-and that others, especially the youth, may be induced to follow them as they followed Jesus Christ. The righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance."
From the Wesleyan-Methodist Magasine.
REMARKS ON MATT. v. 16. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see” (discern, or understand) “your good works, and glorify your Father which is heaven." (Matt. v. 16.)
It is evident that what is to shine, is the light,—and that this light is necessary in order to discern the beauty of the works in question, of which, when thus discerned, the effect will be,-to glorify God.
What we commonly term good works are such as are useful to men; and these require no superior or supernatural light, to enable us to approve of them, especially if they are useful to ourselves or our friends. I now speak of usefulness in things solely connected with the body; but then the effect of our seeing, and still more being benefitted by these good works, usually is, to admire those who perform them; by which it is evident that somewhat more is needful to be discerned before we shall glorify God on account of them. And it is this which makes the shining of the light so needful.
I make these remarks, because I think the text is commonly understood to mean the light of our good works, instead of that light which alone can enable us to understand their true nature, source, and ultimate aim.
Our Saviour, speaking of his heavenly Father, said, “I do always the things which please Him.” This is the criterion of a good work. We talk much against self-righteousness: but its real cure is instruction in the nature of true righteousness; by which I mean the spirit of our actions, to what they tend, and from what motives they emanate. (Rom. ii. 36.) To discern this requires the light of heaven. We may see many things in external nature by the light of a candle or lamp; but to see the situation of a country, its boundaries, and its bearings on other countries, requires the commanding and extensive light of the sun. Men in general look at good works by a mental candle-light; their horizon is the small circle in which they themselves move; and utility in that sphere is their standard. Hence their admiration is limited and partial, and their estimate erroneous. la fine, the light which the disciples of Christ are to make to shine, is the light of instruction in the true nature of works acceptable to God. Compare the twentieth verse of this chapter. E. M. B.
The Grace of God Manifested.
MEMOIR OF MR. PETER BONNETT.
Communicated by the Rev. HEMAN BANGS. PETER Bonnett, the subject of the following memoir, was born in the town of New-Rochelle, West-Chester county, state of New York, of respectable and religious parents, in the year of our Lord 1736. He was a descendant from the old Huguenots, many of whom fled from France, during the great persecution, which the Protestants suffered from the Papists in the reign of Louis XIV. His Grand-Father fled from France 'to England, and from thence, with his family, he came over to America, and settled at New-Rochelle, which place took its name from Rochelle in France, as many of the first settlers in New. Rochelle came from thắt place in the time of the persecution above-mentioned. The family of BONNETTs have become quite numerous in this place, and many of them are respectable and pious members of the Church of God.
Peter was early taught to fear God, and honour his parents : and these pious instructions of his parents were not in vain ; his mind when quite a child was deeply impressed with religious truths, especially the being and providence of God. He would often, when very young, ask his father many and various questions on the subject of creation, of providence, &c. the particulars of which he often related to his frievds in his old age, as a proof of his early piety. At such times his father took particular pains to open the books of nature and revelation, and lifted up his youthsul mind from nature to nature's God, as the Author and Creator of all things, as the good, wise, and powerful governor of the world, and the tender Father of the whole human family, which instrictions were never forgotten by the child.
When about twelve or thirteen years of age, he was called to part with his affectionate father, who died and left him an only child. This bereavement almost broke young Peter's heart; but being deprived for ever of the presence, counsels and support of his earthly father, he was led to seek help from his heavenly Father. He was now brought to think more seriously and de liberately upon his future state. The Holy Spirit strove with
him, enlightening his mind and melting his heart; his soul was now burdened with the guilt of his past sins. " He laboured and was heavy laden.” He mourned, wept and prayed, but apparently to no purpose. He was in fact almost in despair : he began to think that God would neither hear his prayers nor forgive his sins; but after a long and sore travail of soul, when almost discouraged and ready to give up all hope of mercy, the Holy Spirit taught him to ask in the name of Jesus Christ; and no sooner did he begin to lay hold by faith on the atonement of Christ, and pray for pardon and salvation in His name, than the chains fell off from his feet, and the load from his conscience. His mourning was turned into joy, prayer into praise ; peace sprung up in his soul, and the love of God was shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost. He immediately clapped his glad hands for joy, and shouted glory to God! These things he often related with feeling and interest. Mr. BONNETT was now about fourteen years of
His ligious friends being chiefly Calvinistic in their religious sentir ments, he could not cordially unite with them, and therefore had to struggle alone for many years; this circumstance probably much impeded his spiritual improvement, and made his path rough and very difficult, yet he held fast his confidence in God, “committing his works to the Lord, his thoughts were established.” The Lord preserved him like young Samuel in the midst of ignorance, darkness and opposition, until the time was fully come to favour Zion in this part of our now highly favoured land.
About the year 1771 or 1772, the Methodist preachers visited New-Rochelle. Here for the first time in his life, he found a people whose doctrine was consonant with his own feelings and of his view of the Holy Scriptures, and with whom he could unite. Immediately therefore he joined himself to the Methodist Episcopal Church, where he remained until the day of his death.
The first introduction of Methodist preaching into New-Rochelle being somewhat singular, and so closely connected with Mr. B.'s experience, that I think it will not be improper to mention it in this place. There was living at New-Rochelle, a man by the name of FREDERIC DEVEAU, whose wife dreamed one night that she was left alone in a dark and miry swamp. How to find relief she knew not, until a young man came up to her, and offered her his hand; and at the same time promised to lead her out of the swamp. She accepted_the offer, and he safely conducted her out of all her troubles. This dream made a strong impression upon her mind, and the appearance of the young man was full in her recollection. This dream Father BONNETT always related as being from the Lord. Now at Mr. Deveau's the Presbyterians occasionally held meetings; and it happened one day while the minister was preaching, two strangers came into the congregation. After he had finished his discourse, one of the