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SOME ACCOUNT OF EBENEZER
WHO FELL ASLEEP IN JESUS, NOV. 23RD, 1861, AGED 27. [We quote the following from the Gospel Magazine for 1862, feeling desirous of placing before our readers the testimony it contains of the Lord's mercy in answering the prayers of a gracious father after his soul had left the troubled sea of his tempestuous life for the sweet haven of peace by which the saints of God enter that blessed country of which the poet sings,
"There is a land of pure delight,
EBENEZER, Mr. Blackstock's youngest son, was deservedly esteemed for his truthful, steady, and amiable character. Through God's grace he was preserved from the temptations of youth and early manhood, and enabled to fulfil the duties of his sphere so as to gain confidence and regard. His manners were extremely modest and retiring. Symptoms of consumption appearing, he left his situation to reside with his kind mother-in-law, and, under her roof, the Holy Spirit began a work of conviction on his soul. He felt that, though blameless in his walk before men, he was a sinner in the sight of God; for "there is not a just man upon the earth that doeth good, and sinneth not." For some time he concealed these feelings: but the unexpected death of a brother was a means, in God's hand, of bringing his trouble to a climax. In writing of the event to a much-loved sister, he "This is a solemn visitation; I beg you will
pray for me. I feel more than I am willing to
How a gracious Saviour appeared for His troubled child, and carried on His glorious work in his soul, will be best set forth by extracts from some of his letters :
"May 30th, 1861. "My dearest beloved Sister,- Old things are I passed away, and all things are became new.' was much comforted in your last in relation to our dear John, and believe that as life was ebbing fast from him, the Great High Priest came and looked at him, and in that look was life eternal. God's ways are unsearchable, and His judgments past finding out. I think my face, through God's sovereign mercy, was set Zionward some months prior to my deliverance. I attended the means of grace at Regent Street, and was instructed.
But John's death, which I looked not for, made my belly tremble; I felt myself not one whit better than he, and feared the cup of my iniquities was full, and I was hastening to destruction. My body was in a shattered state; the keepers of the house trembled. I felt it was a fearful thing to
John Blackstock was taken ill on a journey, and died at Askern, Yorkshire, away from his family. When told he was in danger, he exclaimed, "But I am not fit to die!" He obtained a Bible and a "Pilgrim's Progress," and they were his constant compan ions during the last days of his life. Archdeacon Graf prayed with him to his comfort, Mrs. Graf kindly visited him; and both affirm that he had every attention in life and peace in death. The lady of the Christian surgeon who attended him, and who delights to direct his patients to the Great Physician, took a consoling view of the circumstances, and wrote thus: "My dear husband felt very much for Mr. J. B.; and could he have prevailed on him to give the address of his family earlier, it might have been a means of comfort and consolation to him and to you: but this is only a human judgment. Perhaps God saw that it would be best for him to be alone, separate from friends, when the still small voice must be heard. And who can say what passed between God and the soul of the afflicted one in those last hours? Prayer cannot remain unanswered."
fall into the hands of the living God; and the thought of dying out of Christ appalled me. I feared to make a confidant, lest I should prove a castaway; but on the Tuesday before the memorable Friday, I found I could not keep my trouble pent up in my own breast any longer, and told dear Mrs. Blackstock. She said it was the Holy Spirit's work, and held out the promises to me; but they gave me no comfort. I was constant in prayer, the Holy Spirit helped me mightily; my cries were heart-wrung. I prayed that the heart of stone might be taken away, for a broken and contrite heart, and that the Lord would set my heart right before Him: that He would clothe me with Christ's righteousness, for I had none of my own. I repented from my inmost soul of the evil of my ways, and loathed myself on account of them. I was led to cast myself at His feet as a lost, ruined, and guilty sinner; and, blessed be His holy name ! He did not spurn me. My tears flowed; I was melted with sorrow of heart at His feet. My cries were heard; my heart was broken and contrite. On Thursday I prayed for strength to go to the house of the Lord. Mr. Tatham preached from Prov. iv. 26, 27, 'Let thine eyes look right on.' I was admonished and a little encouraged; went to rest, and slept until early morning on that evermemorable Friday, May 24th, when I awoke to sweet tranquillity. My thoughts were alone of Jesus; I knew and felt my soul was healed by leaves from the Plant of Renown: that my sins were for ever pardoned and put away. I thanked Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for redeeming my soul from death, and asked that my prayers might be turned to praises. I wanted something more. I was as one who knew a bill he owed was paid, but had no receipt. I was able to take a walk toward
the country; it was a lovely day, the fields were crested with the golden butter-cup, the trees fresh and green, and the prospect beautiful: but they had no charm for me- -the still small voice came distinct and clear, 'set your affection on things above, and not on things on the earth.' My soul followed hard after Him in ardent cries and longings. I was brought to say aloud, 'Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him;' when, suddenly, the Holy Spirit revealed Christ to me. I cannot attempt to describe this. I clasped my hands, and praised Father, Son, and Holy Spirit aloud. It lasted some distance, and I cried to be taken out of this sinful world. The fear of death was removed; I felt with His presence how easy it would be to die. The still small voice came again,* have tasted of the heavenly gift, and your joy no man taketh from you. My joy was so intense, my feeble frame would have sunk under it, but my Beloved withdrew Himself. I called on natural objects to praise Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I came down from Tabor's mount; but had, and still have, solid peace. I did not sleep that night; 'my meditation of Him was sweet.' Though I possessed nothing, I had all things
"Living tongues are dumb at best,
We must die to speak of Christ.'
'My Beloved had put in His hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for Him:'"I'm married to the Lord the Lamb, His goodness I can ne'er proclaim,
Nor half His glories shew.'
"The language of my soul is expressed in Hart's Hymns:
By the still small voice, he meant nothing audible, but the strong mental impression of the sweet thought upon his soul, "You have tasted," &c.-ED.
I feel a gradual improvement in body; but desire to bow in submission to His sovereign will. If my life be spared, may I be kept from sin; may His fear be ever in my heart. Oh, take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.' May my Beloved often visit me. 'His desire is still toward me; His mouth is most sweet: He is altogether lovely.' If God is pleased to take me away, may He loosen every earthly tie, and visit me in the hour of death. . . . I court the shade, and wish to sit in the lowest place.
'I have feebly attempted to write of these things a straggling account. May God pardon whatever is amiss, and keep pride from me. Oh, that I may lie low and abased at the Master's feet, and, as dear father says, 'Bedew them with my tears.' 'Hold up my goings in Thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.' And now, dear E., may the north wind awake and the south wind blow upon your garden, and cause the spices to flow out, that your Beloved may come again into it, and eat His pleasant fruits; and may dear R. be blessed in like manner. Let us pray for the rest of our brothers and sisters. I remain, in a better than natural bond, your loving brother in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
We, who saw him on the day he was first clothed in the garments of salvation, were struck with the deep solemnity that filled his spirit. His happiness was so blended with reverence and humility, that