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fact his strength was not equal to the occasion. His prostration was such that he had to rest in the middle of the discourse. No doubt his appearance contributed largely to the effect. It seemed as if Death himself had become personified, and come to speak to mortals on the awful account they would soon have to render. No one could resist the impression that that voice was being heard there for the last time. He left Kirkby-Stephen next day, and reached home on the day following.
On the 26th he writes : “I feel it my duty to do what I can to prop this crazy tabernacle, and put forth my strength in labouring for God and the souls of men. Above all I must live in the spirit of prayer. I have proved that this is good, not only for the soul, but for the body. It strengthens the action of the heart, and quickens the stagnating fluids. Let me then give my brain and heart, as well as my limbs and body, as much labour as they can bear.
Mental as well as bodily labour prepares for sleep, although in my case it must not be prolonged too near bed time.”
Sep. 1st. “I want a clearer and brighter faith. I am like a man walking in a mist, or in twilight. I do not see spiritual things clearly and distinctly. Especially I have no vivid apprehension of the real state of the wicked. Hence I feel but little for them. I see them travelling to ruin without shedding a tear. It is impossible I should be useful so long as I remain in this state. The scales must fall from my eyes, and I must awake to the solemn realities of the scenes around me. This is indispensable as a preparation either for life or death."-To physical causes, beyond doubt, this state of mind was chiefly to be attributed.
On Sunday the 2nd he preached twice at Copmanthorpe, a village a few miles distant. In the morning his text was Rom. viii. 32, “He that spared not his own Son," &c. In
the evening, Heb. ii. part of v. 3, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation ?” With this momentous inquiry he closed his public labours.
On the 5th he writes : “I have been very weak to-day, but think myself better in some respects. I still come far short of complete devotion to God and my work, and am sadly entangled with bodily sense. My weakness furnishes a pretext for spending little time in prayer. Well—but I rise again. Amid all these failures I am determined to cleave to the Lord. I feel this moment strong desires for an entire consecration. I think I am willing to give up all. But O! I want to feel more for souls. Until my heart is melted with compassion for them I shall do but little good.”
At the request of my brother and sister who paid him a visit, he consented to accompany them to Morley. On asking my sister to take charge of his Hymn-Book he said : “That is a precious book to me. Were I to be banished to some solitary island where I must be allowed but two books, my Bible should be one, and Wesley's Hymns the other.” He then repeated these lines :
“Spirit of faith come down,
Reveal the things of God;
“ Did you ever read anything like that ? ” added he.
He had been at Morley but a few days when another indication of speedy dissolution presented itself in the failure of his voice. He returned home early in October. On the 28th or 29th he commenced a letter to me which I believe was the last occasion on which he used the pen. “I dare say you will think me a very negligent correspondent, but if
you knew the state of my health you would freely excuse me. Any kind of mental effort has been extremely painful, and I have felt a reluctance to write which I cannot
express. To-day I feel better in my head, although I am weak in body. You must not expect to see me at present --that is quite out of the question.”
On the Sunday before his death he was overheard at prayer. He was struggling earnestly against a momentary temptation to cling to life. “Mother,” said he, on coming down stairs, “I have been trying to say from my heart : * Not my will, Lord, but thine be done.'
In the course of the following week he said in answer to some inquiries from his relative, the Rev. J. Bruce, “I feel like a weaned child.” To several others be said : “I have no rapturous joy, but I have solid peace, solid peace.” A few hours before he died, he several times repeated : “All is right.” “All is right.” And on his mother asking if Christ were precious, he replied with peculiar emphasis : “He is precious." "He is precious." He sank gradually. At a quarter before one on Saturday noon, November 3rd, his matured and happy spirit was taken to the bosom of its God.
“ So fades a summer cloud away ;
So sinks the gale when storms are o'er ; So gently shuts the eye of day ;
So dies a wave along the shore.Life's labour done, as sinks the clay,
Light from its load the spirit flies ; While heaven and earth combine to say,
'How blest the righteous when he dies !"
Some particulars in which Mr. Hessel is commended as an example
to young men : 1. In his devotedness to self-improvement—The importance attaching to the period of youth-Impressive testimony of Sir Walter Scott-A word to Parents—2. In his just and comprehensive views of what constitutes self-improvement—Sir Walter Scott on the culture of the heart—Firmness, force, and nobleness of character-Sir James Macintosh-Dr. Channing—3. In the purpose for which self-improvement was sought—4. In the means he employed to secure it-Self-improvement not to be sought too anxiously—A word to those who “ have no talent”-who “have no time to read ”—who " have had no education "_True greatness is accessible to all.
A DELINEATION of Mr. Hessel's character would be superfluous here. Every page of this biography has reflected some feature. His mind and heart have been laid open to inspection. And worse than superfluous would be an attempt at eulogy. This volume has not been compiled for his glorification, but for the benefit of young men, to aid and stimulate them in self-culture. It may further tend to secure this object to weave the chief threads of his mental and moral history, to gather the scattered lights of his experience into a focus. An opportunity will be afforded of exhibiting two or three features of character which only social intercourse could reveal.
The reader will have observed that I am far from exhibiting him as in every respect a model. He had his faults, and I have not concealed them. In several respects however he was well worthy of imitation. Earnestly would I urge my young readers to adopt him as an example in the following particulars :
1. In HIS DEVOTEDNESS TO SELF-IMPROVEMENT. Every
living thing is capable of growth and culture. Our Creator has clearly designed it to receive culture. What a contrast between the wild and the cultivated rose! Culture has transformed the bitter crab into the fragrant apple, and the astringent sloe into the delicious plum. The elephant, the horse, the dog, and even the sheep, have evinced considerable latent susceptibilities of education. And does man, the noblest of earth's creatures, least repay or demand culture ? Compare the savage with the citizen, the rustic with the philosopher, and the fact of the desirableness and importance of thorough culture flashes before you. The achievements of commerce, science, legislation, and philanthropy, loudly proclaim the mighty capabilities with which his glorious Creator has entrusted man. And few, very few, have exhibited the full development of their capabilities. With rare exceptions, the best period for securing full development has been but partially improved. My dear young friends, your period of life is incomparably the most important. Deposit two acorns in the ground ; let one have every advantage of soil, air, and protection from injury, during its first ten or twenty years, and the other be at a disadvantage in all these respects, and what a difference will be visible throughout the period of their growth ! Listen then to the counsels of a friend, and cherish a deep, prayerful, purpose to make the most of the varied powers with which the Almighty has endowed you. Could those whose names you venerate or respect return from the spiritworld and express the regret they experience that they did not better employ their early opportunities, your estimate of the importance of this period of life would be greatly enhanced. Some of them recorded this sentiment ere they departed. Listen to the record of one of Britain's most popular authors—the late Sir Walter Scott. “ If it should ever fall to the lot of youth to peruse these pages, let such a reader remember that it is with the deepest regret that