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death caused him no alarm. And when I stood beside the couch of that dying believer, witnessed the heavenly composure of his countenance, and heard him say, in accents of genuine humility, “I'm going home to glory,” I felt this one deep and all-absorbing desire take possession of my breast, “ Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.”
It was a scene of eternal interest. There was more than mere human power sustaining the weak and expended frame. In the midst of most severe sufferings, there was the meekness of patience. In the midst of weeping friends, there was a holy composedness of spirit. In the midst of all his exultation over death, an unfeigned humility was manifest. There was no extravagance, and there was no display. All was calm, all was peaceful, all was reality. You beheld before you a fellow-mortal walking through the valley of the shadow of death,
fearing no evil.” You could see the ages of death in his pale countenance and emaciated body, but you could perceive also an energy from the quickening Spirit in the glistening of his dying eye, and in the cheerful accents of praise to the Redeemer, which issued from his parched lips. I could have wished that you had all been there, my brethren, to witness the solemn scene, and to receive that lesson which it so forcibly taught; namely, “ while we live to live unto the Lord, and when we die to die unto the Lord; that whether living or dying, we may be the Lord's."
This is the lesson, my dear friends, which God is continually desiring to teach us. Both in his word and in his providence, there is a loud and constant call upon us to remember that we are “not our own,” but that we are "bought" with the price of blood, and that the "precious” blood of the Son of God; and therefore that we are bound to "live no longer to ourselves, but to Him that died for us, and that rose again.”
In Mr. Secombe there was a beautiful exhibition of the various graces of the Christian character. We may say, that the catalogue of the fruits of the Spirit, which the Apostle gives in his Epistle to the Galatians, affords a description of those graces which God had manifested in him. There was love, there was joy, there was peace; there was longsuffering and gentleness ; there was meekness, goodness, and faith. There was a lovely resignation to his Father's will, and a sweetness of patience under all his sufferings. It was remarked, that even though the sharpest pangs were agitating his body, he would look meekly up
" Thank the Lord ! how good he is to me! He has not put upon me more than he enables me to bear." Thus in his sickness, he proved himself to be the same true Christian that he had appeared to be in health ; ever desirous that the will of God should be done on earth as it is in
heaven. The same fact is proved by all his friends. Many can testify, that when he sustained severe losses in business, he would meekly submit, and say, “ It is the Lord ; let him do what seemeth to him good.” No murmur escaped his lips against a God of love. He presumed not to repine at the dark providences of his heavenly Father, for he was persuaded that “He did all things well.” Even from his youth upwards, he is reported to have been an exemplary character. Naturally of a quiet and modest demeanour, he proved steady and industrious in his course through life, and honest and honourable in all his intercourse with his fellow
The general excellencies of his character are too many to be enumerated. I will select three which appeared prominent in his life, and were very conspicuous at his death : First, Humility ; Secondly, Love to the souls of others; and, Thirdly, Delight in prayer and in communion with his God.
First. His humility was remarkable. No selfpraise was ever heard from his lips. He rejoiced in his Lord and Saviour, as the Apostle enjoins ; but he was too conscious of his own unworthiness to rejoice ever in himself. In truth, his very assurance of salvation was rooted in the truest humi. lity. So clearly did he see and feel his own lost and undone condition as a sinner, that he entirely looked away from himself to the Redeemer, and
gloried only in his righteousness. He was so occupied with “ looking unto Jesus,” as to think nothing of himself. I had been informed of his blameless life, and asked him whether he trusted to his own righteousness, and on what he grounded his confident expectation of heaven? The very words seemed to shock his inmost soul, and to grieve him to the heart. He instinctively shuddered at the thought. “Oh, no!" he replied ; “Oh, no! it is in Jesus alone, my blessed Saviour, that I put my trust! I once thought I was right; I lived like my neighbours, and imagined if I did not steal, or lie, or do other great sins, that I was a good Christian ; but I found there was a difference,”—he repeated," I found there was a difference ;' implying that he had discovered that true religion was a very different thing to that mere formal and outward profession of it with which he had been at one time contented. Though other men looked back upon his life as blameless and worthy of approbation, he viewed it with opposite feelings. “Do not be like me," he
“ do not be like me. I used to rise from my bed in the morning, and to lie down at night like one of the brutes. At one time I did not think of praying, or of thanking Him who preserved my life." Such was his genuine and deep humility. He had no other ground of confidence than the finished work of that Divine Redeemer, who came to seek and to save that which was lost.
Secondly. His love to the souls of others. To any one even casually present, it must have appeared evident that he was more occupied in thinking of others than of himself. His tenderness and affection to the members of his family, which had always been conspicuous, shone very brightly in his last moments. Over their souls he seemed to watch with the most intense interest. Oh, that they may all meet me in heaven!” were words constantly on his lips. " Take heed to yourselves," he said to them, “ take heed to yourselves, that you may come to me, my dear and tender children." But his love was not confined to them, it seemed to burn towards the whole family of the human race. Frequently was he heard to say, " Love everybody."“ Love all the world ;” and, again, with peculiar emphasis, he added, “ Love all the world.” It appeared as though the love of Christ had been fully shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost. He seemed at times unable to find language sufficiently powerful to express the strength of his affections towards the souls of others. On one occasion he forcibly exclaimed, “If there is a man upon the face of the earth whom I could persuade to turn to the Lord, if I could get out of this bed I would creep to him on my hands and on my knees. If I thought I could be the means of saving one soul, I would willingly do or suffer anything."
Let those declare to whom he so earnestly ad