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daughter; all of whom died under his own roof, leaving him with three small children. During the latter part
of his life, he occupied a room in the alms-houses at Framlingham, where he died. When he drew near his end, it was a pleasure to be near him. After he took to his bed, he felt, as also did his friends, that the day of his redemption drew nigh, and he often prayed, “Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly." Whenever his friends called to see him, they were requested to pray. He would say, “Such a wretch as I need your prayers."
He exhorted his relatives to train up their children in the way in which they should go. One morning he said to his son, “The devil has been worrying me, and telling me that I have no part nor lot in the matter; but I won't have it. I told him (Satan) that I knew I loved the means of grace and the people of God, and that I loved to sing the praises of God. I won't be put out of it."
The night before he died, he said he was going to Jesus. Having called his nurse and granddaughter up to his bedside, he shook hands with them, and bade them good bye, and said, “Come, Lord Jesus; there he
After this, he was distinctly heard praying for his kindred, his Christian friends, and for the ministers of the Gospel, which he closed with a hearty Amen. This was the last word that could be heard. As he drew his last breath, he smiled, apparently in an ecstacy of joy.
Thus died Samuel Dale--full of years, full of the Holy Ghost, and full of peace. He was committed to the house appointed for all living, in sure and certain hope of a resurrection to eternal life.
“He being dead, yet speaketh.” He was a man of prayer. He used to rise at four or five o'clock in the morning for communion with God, and this he did for many years. His religion was the religion of love. Christ was all in all.
The writer of this narrative was personally acquainted with the subject of it. He wishes to place him before the reader as an example of the power of Divine Grace in the conversion of a sinner from the error of his ways, and as a lovely exhibition of real religion in humble life. More of his real character will be seen in the extracts from his letters to his children, which display the most intense desire and persevering efforts to promote the salvation of those who were dear to him. This extended also to his grandchildren, and all his relatives. Along with this desire, we see in him a constant and most affectionate attention to their temporal wants. He enters minutely into the most trivial circumstances which affect their comfort, and he seems as if he could have imparted to them not the Gospel of God only, but also his own soul.” In him we see a striking exemplification of true conversion. It pleased God to grant him a long life--perhaps forty or fifty years (for he was above 80 years old at his death) in which might be proved the sincerity of his repentance. Few persons have, in this respect, been so highly favoured; and, blessed be God for his mercy, it is not necessary-God looks at the heart, and discerns the real penitent at
But though not necessary to the safety of the individual, it is highly useful to the world, when time is afforded to give satisfactory evidence of conversion.
He affords also a remarkable example of the enlargement of mind which is given by religion. There is not only an enlargement of mind caused by the entrance of Divine light, but there frequently is a softness given to the character--a kind of Christian refinement.
This poor man shone as a bright star in a dark world, whilst men of vastly superior natural abilities, and enjoying far greater advantages of birth and education, are often a disgrace to the world in which they live.
Poor as he was, he was continually sending little presents of money to his children and relatives, which he was enabled to save by rigid economy and self-denial --was giving largely to religious institutions—and laying himself out in every way for the advancement of the kingdom of God in the world. The writer recollects
calling upon him in the alms-house at Framlingham, when going there to attend a Bible meeting, and giving him half-a-crown. He afterwards discovered, through his relatives, that he had given this sum that evening to the collection at the meeting.
One remark, which he made after his conversion, is well deserving of attention. He referred to that very painful state in which he continued for a long time after his first awakening, and declared it to be his experience, that there was more solid pleasure in repentance than there was in sin.
If this was his experience with a repentance attended with so much sorrow and anguish, how powerful an argument does it afford for the sinner to begin immediately to enter upon a new life! It is to be feared that the dread of the suffering which may attend the entrance of a change of life forms one great barrier to the attempt being made. We have before us here a man who experienced that suffering in a far higher degree than probably falls to the lot of most persons who make that change, and he tells us, that he found more solid pleasure even in such a repentance than in his sinful course.
Does he not say to every unconverted sinner, with a persuasive and powerful voice, “O! come, and haste and see how gracious the Lord is"? He dealeth not with us after our sins, neither rewardeth us after our iniquities.
“Framlingham, Nov. 7, 1833. “DEAR CHILDREN,-I deferred writing till I was settled in my new habitation. The dear Lord has inclined the hearts of our kind gentlemen to give me the No. 5 dwelling in the new alms-house. They are very comfortable habitations.
“I begun this last week, and put it off, because your brother talked of coming to Ipswich, but he has deferred
" Isaac, Elizabeth, and two children, came to see us at Michaelmas, and, last Sabbath, Isaac and the eldest girl came again. They said they had to come to Parham after business. They were all very well. Isaac
expected to go up into Essex to help his father, who is at work there; and if he does, your sister E. talks of meeting him at yours when he comes back. Through mercy, we are all well, as usual: I hope this will find you all the same.
“ I have left off going out with letters. My strength fails me, but goodness and mercy has followed me all my days. When my eyesight failed me, my heavenly Father provided that situation for me; and although it was very laborious, yet he has carried me through storms and tempests, dangers seen and unseen, by night and by day—persecutions formerly, and trials of different kinds—and has often enabled me, through grace, to rejoice in tribulation, knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope, and hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us.
My dear children, what a lovely religion is the religion of Jesus Christ! And now my powers are decaying, he has provided me with this beautiful habitation. What thanks are due to him for his abundant blessings !
“Remember, my dears, that God is love; his promise, his doctrine, his precepts, his reproofs, corrections, and instructions, are in love to his people. And even (as the Psalmist says, in Psalm xix. 9.) the judgments of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.' Ask the little dears to learn the 19th Psalm; there are only fourteen verses.
“ We all join in love to you both, and the dear children, praying that the best of blessings may rest upon all, both for time and eternity. My best respects to Mr. Brooks, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and particularly to Margaret. " Your affectionate father,
- S. DALE. “ N. B. Pray write soon, for I long to hear from you . Accept thanks for the kind present you sent for me.
Pray accept a few apples for the children, and a small present for you.
“ May we never forget that we are saved by grace through faith, and that not of ourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, unto good works; which God hath ordained before, that we should walk in them.
“ Probably this is my last abode; according to the time of life, I must soon die.
“ Solemn thought! It is almost fifty years since the Lord plucked me as a brand from the burning. What a kind, lovely Redeemer has Jesus been to me! What an unworthy servant have I been to him! My prayer is, that I may be familiar with death, through Him who hath the keys of hell and of death. And that every dispensation that intervenes may be sanctified, and have a tendency, through the continual influences of the Holy Spirit, to prepare me, and make me meet for that glory that is to be revealed at the coming of the Lord, and that I may be found in him, not having on mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.
“ N.B. My pen is bad, and I cannot see to mend it.”
“ Framlingham, Dec. 5, 1833. “DEAR CHILDREN,I received your kind parcel by the Rev. Mr. C. Was thankful to hear that you are well.
I was then going to tea; then to your brother's to invite your cousins to go to the Bible Association meeting at the castle. Some of us had “a feast of fat things : very solemn, spiritual, cheerful, enlightening, animating speeches were spoken to encourage us in reading and circulating the Scriptures, and supporting Bible Societies.
“When the dear Lord was graciously pleased to stop me in my career of sin and folly, I had a terrible conflict with the world, and Satan, and the flesh. I borrowed a Bible of a neighbour. What a precious book this was to me, especially the Psalms! Here I read Psalm cxvi. 3, 4: The sorrows of death compassed