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observed afterwards, that “Mr. Shepherd could not have been more earnest had he known that it would have been the last opportunity afforded him for seeking the salvation of immortal souls, and for testi. fying to the glory and grace of his Divine Lord.” All present were surprised at the energy displayed on this occasion, more especially as the aged servant of Christ was so exhausted as to be unable to give out the hymns, though he selected the last.
On the day following he felt so unwell as to send for his physician, who pronounced the attack to be one of jaundice. His strength from this time gradually declined ; and, on May the 8th, he said to one who visited him, " The great thing is preparation.” On Thursday the 9th of May, he said to his youngest son, “I know in whom I have believed ; I am very unworthy
Nothing in my hand I bring.' He then quoted part of a hymn, respecting the intercession of Christ, which he said had often given him great comfort :
“This instant, now, I may receive
The answer of his powerful prayer ;
His prevalence with God declare,
Through the whole of his last hours he evinced great patience and resignation, though his sufferings were most acute. The languor and weakness were so great that he was unable to speak long together ; and this accounts for the remarks he made being often very brief. Alluding at one time to the pain he had suffered, he remarked : “I do not like to call it AGONY, I think that can be applied only to the Saviour's sufferings : but my pain has been very great.” He observed, several times, “ How merciful is it that my consciousness has been preserved !” and here he alluded with great feeling to the circuma stances connected with the death of his old friend, Mr. Dunn, and also of Mr. Bickersteth. Letters of sympathy from his select friends, and one especially from Dr. Morison, greatly cheered and comforted him.
During a great part of the last few days of his life, he appeared to be in constant communion with his God. He fully experienced the words of his own sweet hymn :
“Mark the weary pilgrim walking
Near to Jordan's fearful streams,
Canaan's glory on him beams.
Now his journey past retracing,
Sins and mercies mark the road;
These ensure his rest with God."
On the last Sabbath, he suffered much through the whole day, and, towards evening, he called his beloved wife and daughters to his bed-side, with the greatest composure and solemnity, telling them he had “ been waiting all day” for a suitable opportunity to speak to them, and had wished to gather all his family around him ; but he found he must not wait any longer, therefore they must tell the rest all he said. And first, addressing his wife, he remarked : “We met in very different circumstances fifty-four years ago," alluding to the anniversary of their wedding-day, which had just returned ; and after a slight reference to his sufferings, he said, “ The will of the Lord be done!" adding, “ you have been an invaluable wife to me-'a prudent wife is from the Lord."" He then was obliged to pause for a few moments, and, making a renewed effort, said to his children present, “You have been all good children ; not so of yourselves, but by the grace of God. Live in unity and godly love. Keep close to God, and he will never forsake yon.” He then appeared quite exhausted, and said no more at that time ; but several sweet sentences, which dropped at intervals from his lips, evinced that his soul was in perfect peace, resting wholly upon Christ ; his confidence firm and unshaken.
On Monday, May the 13th, he said to his youngest son, the Rev. Richard Shepherd, “Preach Christ faithfully; do not mince matters.” He generally asked his friends who came to see him, to pray for him, and emphatically, and with great composure, addressed each as if fully aware of his dying state, and as if it were the last time he should see or speak with them.
On Thursday evening, May 16, at half-past six o'clock, he sweetly and softly fell asleep in Jesus, in the seventy-fifth year of his age. It was difficult to know precisely when the spirit left its earthly tabernacle--so calm and gentle was its dismission.
The materials of our sketch are mainly borrowed from Dr. Morison's Funeral Sermon, preached at Ranelagh Chapel, on the 29th May last.
WAR. A STRICTLY defensive war is a palpable absurdity. All war is aggresive more or less-it ever was and ever will be.
“FATHER, COME HOME.” [THESE words formed the postscript of a letter written by a very little child to her long absent parent.]
“Father, come home,”—we miss you so at morn,
6 THE HEART IS RESTLESS TILL IT RESTS IN THEE.”
A few short years are passed, that wreath is his,
peace, at peace in vain he strives to be ; 6. The heart is restless till it rests in Thec."
A warrior stands upon a battle plain-
A sinner kneels before the throne of grace,-
low suit, turn not away thy face,