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A short pause
principle in our churches never to administer the Lord's Supper privately to any person under any circumstances.' He urged me no further. I then remarked to him, that “the Holy Communion is an exhibition and pledge of the mercies which the Son of God has purchased ; that the absence of the sign does not exclude from the mercies signified ; which were accessible to him by faith in their gracious Author.” “I am aware," said he, "of that. It is only as a sign that I wanted it.” A short ensued.
I resumed the discourse, by observing that “I had nothing to address to him in his affliction, but that same gospel of the grace of God, which it is my office to preach to the most obscure and illiterate : that in the sight of God all men are on a level, as all have sinned, and come short of his glory; and that they must apply to him for pardon and life, as sinners, whose only refuge is in his grace reigning by righteousness through our Lord Jesus Christ.” "I perceive it to be so," said he: “1 am a sinner : I look to his mercy." I then adverted to the “infinite merit of the Redeemer, as the propitiation for sin, the sole ground of our acceptance with God: the sole channel of his favour to us : and cited the following passages of scripture :-There is no other name given under heaven among men, whereby we must be saved but the name of Jesus. He is able to save them to the uttermost who come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sins.-This last passage introduced the affair of the duel, on which I reminded the General, that he was not to be instructed as to its moral aspect, that the precious blood of Christ was as effectual and as necessary to wash away the transgression which had involved him in suffering, as any other transgression; and that he must there, and there alone, seek peace for his conscience, and a hope that should not make him ashamed,” He assented, with strong emotion, to these representations, and declared his abhorrence of the whole transaction. “ It was always," added he, “ against my principles. I used every expedient to avoid the interview ; but I have found for some time past, that my life must be exposed to that man. I went to the field determined not to take his life.” He repeated his disavowal of all intention to hurt Mr. Burr; the anguish of his mind in recollecting what had passed ; and his humble hope of forgiveness from his God.
I recurred to the topic of the divine compassion ; the freedom of pardon in the Redeemer Jesus to perishing sinners. “ That grace, my dear General, which brings salvation, is rich, rich_“Yes," inter: rupted he, " it is rich grace.” “And on that grace," continued I," a sinner has the highest encouragement to repose his confidence, because it is tendered to him upon the surest foundation ; the scripture testifying that we have redemption through the blood of Jesus, the forgiveness of sins according to the rich. ness of his grace.” Here the General, letting go my hand, which he had held from the moment I sat down at his bed side, clasped his hands together, and looking up towards heaven, said, with emphasis, “I have a tender reliance on the mercy of the Almighty through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ.” He replaced his hand in mine, and appearing somewhat spent, closed his eyes. A little after, he fastened them on me, and I proceeded.
“ The simple truths of the gospel, my dear sir, which require no abstruse investigation, but faith in the veracity of God who cannot lie, are best suited to your personal condition, and they are full of consolation." “I feel them to be so," replied he. 1 then repeated these texts of scripture :- It is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, and of sinners the chief. I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for my own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Come now, and let us reason
together, said the Lord; though your sins be as red like crimson, they shall be as wool." said he, " is my support. Pray for me.” “ Shall I pray with you?”
“Yes.” I prayed with him, and heard him whisper as I went along: which I supposed to be his concurrence with the petition. At the conclusion he said, "Amen. God grant it."
Being about to part with him, I told him, “I had one request to make.” He asked " what is it?" I answered, " that whatever might be the issue of his affliction, he would give his testimony against the practice of duelling." "I will," said he, I have done it. If that ;" evidently anticipating the event, "if that be the issue, you will find it in writingIf it pleases God that I recover, I shall do it in a manner which will effectually put me out of its reach in future." I mentioned, once more, the importance of renouncing every other dependance for the eternal world, but in the mercy of God in Christ Jesus : with a particular reference to the catastrophe of the morning. The General was affected, and said, “Let us not pursue the subject any further, it agitates me.” He laid his hands upon his breast, with symptoms of uneasiness, which indicated an increasing difficulty of speaking. I then took my leave. He pressed my hand affectionately, and desired to see me again at a proper interval. As I was retiring, he lifted up his hands in the atiitude of prayer, and said feebly, "God be merciful to- ” His voice sunk, so that I heard not the rest distinctly, but understood him to quote the words of the publican in the gospel, and to end the sentence with “ me a sinner."
I saw him, a second time, on the morning of Thursday ; but from his appearance, and what I had heard, supposing that he could not speak without severe effort, I had no conversation with him. I prayed for a moment at his bed side, in company with his overwhelmed family and friends; and for the rest, was one of the mourning spectators of his composure and dignity in suffering. His mind re
mained in its former state : and he viewed with calmness his approaching dissolution. I left him between twelve and one, and at two, as the public knows, he breathed his last.
THE CLOSE OF LIFE.
When we contemplate the close of life ; the termination of man's designs and hopes ; the silence that now reigns among those who, a little while ago were so busy or so gay; who can avoid being touched with sensations at once awful and tender? What heart but then warme with the glow of humanity ? In whose eyes does not the tear gather, on revolving on the fate of passing and short-lived man.
Behold the poor man who lays down at last the bura den of his wearisome life. No more shall he groan under the load of poverty and toil. No more shall he hear the insolent calls of the master, from whom he received his scanty wages. No more shall he be raised from needful slumber on his bed of straw nor be hurried away from his homely meal, to undergo the repeated labours of the day. While his humble grave is preparing, and a few poor and decayed neighbours are carrying him thither, it is good for us to think, that this man too was our brother; that for him the aged and destitute wife, and the needy children now weep; that, neglected as he was by the world, he possessed, perhaps, both a sound understanding, and a worthy heart; and is now carried by angels to rest in Abraham's bosom.----At no great distance from him, the grave is opened to receive the rich and proud man. For, as it is said with emphasis in the parable, “ the rich man also died and was buried." He also died. His riches prevented not his sharing the same fate with the poor man ; perhaps,
through luxury, they accelerated his doom. Then, indeed, * the mourners go about the streets ;” and while in all the pomp and magnificence of woe, his funeral is preparing, his heirs impatient to examine his will, are looking on one another with jealous eyes, and already beginning to dispute about the division of his substance.
One day, we see carried along the coffin of the smiling infant; the flower just nipt as it began to blossom in the parent's view : and the next day, we behold the young man or young woman, of blooming form and promising hopes, laid in an untimely grave. While the funeral is attended by a numerous unconcerned company, who are discoursing to one another about the news of the day, or the ordinary affairs of life, let our thoughts rather follow to the house of mourning, and represent to themselves what is passing there. There we shall see a disconsolate family, sittirg in silent grief, thinking of the sad breach that is made in their little society; and with tears in their eyes, looking to the chamber that is now left vacant, and to every memorial that presents itself of their departed friend. By such attention to the woes of others, the selfish hardness of their hearts will be gradually softened, and melted down into humanity.
Another day, we follow to the grave, one who in old age, and after a long career of life, has in full maturity sunk at last into rest. As we are going along to the mansion of the dead, it is natural for us to think, and to discourse of all the changes which such a person had seen during the course of his life. He has past, it is likely, through varieties of fortune. He has experienced prosperity and adversity. He has seen families and kindred rise and fall; the face of his country undergo many alterations ; and the very place in which he dwelt, rising in a manner new around him. After all he has beheld, his eyes are now closed
He was becoming a stranger in the midst of a new succession of men. A race who knew hiin not, had arisen to fill the earth. Thus passes the