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Where is death's sting, where grave, thy victory?
FEW months before his death, he took what turned out to be his last journey to Scotland. In his pocket note-book, he
had put down the names and addresses of a long list of friends and acquaintances, and out of these he had the opportunity of visiting or calling upon upwards of a hundred in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hawick, Kelso, and other places.
About the same time, he attended the meetings of the General Assembly of the Free Church, the Moderator's breakfast, the Female India School meeting, the breakfast of the Friends of Sunday Schools, and three diets of worship in Canonmills Hall. A few days after, he dined with the Governors of Heriot's Hospital, visited in the West Port, the Grassmarket, the Cowgate, the Canongate, and Leith Wynd, and went through Heriot's Hospital, Watson's Hospital, the Merchant Maiden's Hospital, and the Normal School.
As he had sometimes spoken of retiring from London, and taking up his residence in Scotland, he was no doubt seeking materials for the same kind of genial employment in Edinburgh, which he had prosecuted so long, and with so much success, amid the charitable institutions of London.
On his return to London, he resumed his former work with the same vigour and heartiness as before, working with all his might, in season and out of season ; and the multiplicity of his labours may be judged of, when I mention, that the meetings of religious and charitable institutions he was invited to attend, during the last two months of his life, amounted to more than a hundred; while these were his engagements for a single day: Orphan Working School, 7.15; Finance Committee, II; Middlesex Hospital, 12 ; Presbytery Meeting, 3; Foreign Missions, 5; Regent Square Church, 7. On the 5th November, the last Sabbath of his life, he acted as an elder in Regent Square Church ; and while all unpleasant feelings, engendered by the circumstances which suggested the resignation of his office, seemed to have passed from his own mind, his alert movements, and his genial presence, as in the days gone by, were hailed by the congregation at large with unmingled satisfaction and delight.
"Come, labour on !
Come, labour on!
Come, labour on!
“He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each
one walking in his uprightness.'—ISA. LVII. 2.
N a letter which he wrote to me not very long before his removal, he says
• It is comfortable to know that our
best Friend liveth. I have much difficulty in realizing the near approach of death, although I am now beginning to stand almost alone. write and moralize about it ; but, in good earnest, to look it in the face is far different. May the Lord prepare me for whatever is His will, and then, come life or death, it shall be well.'
Moreover, in looking forward to the final change, I believe he was not free from a feeling of anxiety and alarm : a feeling which arose not so much from any doubt as to his personal interest in the great salvation, but from a constitutional repugnancy to the weakness, and the wasting, and the agony which are so often attendant on the breaking down of the mortal tabernacle. And to a man of such active habits, and of so much energy of character, I cannot help thinking, that a season of severe and protracted sickness could scarcely have been appointed to him without greatly marring his comfort, and pressing very heavily upon his heart; while the spectacle of growing infirmities, or of agonizing sufferings, had been no less trying to those around him than to himself.
But from all this he was mercifully delivered. He fell, like a good soldier of Christ, with his armour on, in the very field where, all his life long, he had been right heartily engaged in his Master's service, and without any of the accompaniments that were fitted to try his patience or his faith. On Tuesday the 7th of November, he went as usual before breakfast to the Orphan Working School at Haverstock Hill, and in walking rapidly up the avenue he complained of pain about the region of the heart. But he went through the business in hand, and afterwards attended a committee meeting in the city, when he came home, and having partaken of a little refreshment, he went to bed. As a precautionary measure, Dr. Stewart, his medical adviser, was sent for, but neither he nor any of the family were apprehensive as to the issue, he himself