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I once proposed to a small company of the Lord's people, the inquiry, "What do you think will be the highest joy of heaven?” Their replies, like the strikingly characteristic answers of Wilberforce and Robert Hall to the same question,"activity," and “rest,"
-accorded with the special exercises and trials of their own minds. One, who groaned to be delivered from the burthen of a body of sin and death, and panted after holiness, answered. “I shall be like him.” Another, whose heart was dwelling in the love of Christ, said, “I shall see him.” A third, who felt that even the vision of his glory would not satisfy his soul, without being near him, added, “We shall be with him.”
And a fourth mentioned, that all this happiness of seeing him, being like him, and with him, would not be complete, unless it had been written, “We shall be for ever with the Lord.” There is one thought besides, which has always made the anticipation of all this joy and glory so infinitely blessed to my own soul,—that we shall owe it all to the free grace and love of our God and Father, and to the love of the Lamb that was slain. It is all the gift of God, and the fruit of the travail of the soul of Jesus. When we stand before the throne, we shall look back to the Cross. Our loudest songs will take up the sorrows and sufferings of the Lamb. While we wave our palms, we shall cry, Salvation to our God, and to the Lamb, for ever and ever, Amen! Amen!”
“ Blessed are they that dwell in thy house, they will be still praising thee.”
Another theme of praise will arise from our being able to retrace the way by which the Lord has brought us through the wilderness; " leading us about and instructing us,
and keeping us, foolish and unbelieving as we are, as the apple of his eye." To do this in any measure now, in the history of others, or of ourselves, is an interesting and profitable employment. Much of the word of God is taken up with the history of his chosen. Their joys and sorrows, their trials and deliverances, their works of faith, and labours of love, and patience of hope, are written for our comfort and encouragement; while their sins and failures are recorded for our warning, and to instruct us, not only in the riches of converting, but also in the riches of the restoring grace of God. The modern biography of the Lord's people is also full of interest. Many have been stirred up by the memoirs of Brainera, Martyn, and others of God's servants, to seek after greater devotedness of heart and life : while the simple, touching narrative of the conversion and death of the Young Cottager has been blest to many of
Many dear friends, who have heard of the happy, triumphant death of the beloved youth, the subject of this memoir, have requested me to publish an account of it, believing that it would be for the glory of God, as well as for the comfort and encouragement of believing parents, and for the blessing of the young. I have therefore drawn up this short memoir of his conversion and death, which I commend to the Lord's blessing, and the prayers of his people, trusting that the record of the simple faith of this lamb of the flock of Christ, may be for the edification of many, and for the glory of God.