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MR. ROBERT BRUCE.
When he was very old, and through infirmity of body confined to his chamber, he was asked by one of his friends, how matters stood between God and his soul ? To which he made this return :- When I was a young man I was diligent, and lived by faith in the Son of God; but being now old, and not able to do so much, he condescended to feed me with lumps of sense.”
And the morning before the Lord removed him, being at breakfast, and having, as he used, eaten one egg, he said to his daughter, “I think I am yet hun. gry; you may bring me another egg.” But having mused awhile, he said, “Hold, daughter, hold; my Master calls me.” With these words his sight failed him; whereupon he called for the Bible, and said, “ Turn to the eighth chapter to the Romans, and set my finger on the words— I am persuaded that neither death nor life, &c., shall be able to separate me from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus my Lord.'” When this was done he said, “ Now is my finger upon them ?” Being told it was, without any more he said, “ Now God be with you my children. I have breakfasted with you, and shall sup with my Lord Jesus Christ this night." And so he gave up the ghost.
WHEN all the symptoms of approaching death were upon him, said, “Be not sorry for me. These last hours have nothing terrible in them. This body in
deed suffers ; but the soul is comforted, strengthened, and filled, according to my wish. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. His rod and his staff shall lead me' safely through this short valley of the shadow of death.' This little cloud hides not from me the light of heaven: it shines in my soul. Lord, thou enlightenest me; thou warmest me; thou drawest me upward; and I follow thee willingly. I lift up myself by the wings of faith. The more violent my pains are, the nearer I draw to the time of my deliverance. My wound, my wound smarteth ; but I hold my peace, because thou, Lord, didst it. Have mercy on me. Deliver me, O Lord. I am not impatient; for I know that God is faithful, and that he will give the temptation an issue, that so I may be able to bear it.” · A little after he said, “ Have I not said all ? Nothing is now to be done but to give up this soul into the hands of God. Is it not time, O Lord ? · My God, let this suffice. O everliving God, receive my soul: -I resign it into thy hands ; for thou hast ransomed me, O God of verity. Look upon my sorrows and my sufferings, and pardon all my sins. Yes; it is done. He hath done away all mine iniquities : shorten therefore and abate my pain. O Lord, hear my prayer ; for it is time."
Being told that God was near to all that call upon him in truth; he answered, “ He is. He dwelleth with me here; (clapping his hand on his breast ;) he worketh powerfully, according to his good pleasure."
On its being said to him, “ Death is swallowed up in victory;" he added, " Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
And on his hearing the words,-“ Whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified ; and whom he justified, them he also glorified:"_“Yes, (said he,) grace upon grace. O what a lovely chain! It is a golden chain. There is no more than the last link of it to be finished in me. O let me die the death of the righteous,' that I may behold those riches which eye hath not seen,' and which are not entered into the heart of man. Thou givest me some taste of them already. They are sweet things; they are refreshings not to be expressed.”
To a Minister who had prayed with him, he said, “ You have helped me. While you were calling upon God, I found my infirmity eased. Encourage me still. I have but a short race to run. I almost touch the goal. I advance. I get new strength. I touch the prize, and lay hold on eternal life. This body decays; hut I have in heaven an eternal house, which is not made with hands; an incorruptible inheritance, which cannot be defiled nor fade away, reserved for me in heaven.""
On his pains increasing, he cried unto God to help him, saying, “ Come, Lord Jesus, come. I can do no more; yet do I not lose my patience. My soul waiteth for thee, as the thirsty earth for rain. "As the hart panteth after the water-brooks, so my soul panteth after thee, O God.' 0, when shall I enter, and present myself before the face of my God? I am very weak, but my soul is strengthened and joyful.”
His wife perceiving him to be at the point of death, said cheerfully to him, “Farewell, dear heart. Enter now joyfully into life everlasting.”
“Yes, (said he,) I am going to thy God and my God. We have gained all. Amen. Farewell, my son. Farewell, my dear niece. Be not afraid. I have prayed for you. You will be all happy. Persevere. Let none take away your crown from you. I go before. You shall follow, doubt not. We all shall be together, and meet our Lord in the air, and so shall
be with him for ever. There is nothing more to be said or done. I am ready. 'I am prepared. Come, Lord Jesus ; take thy creature. Come. I climb. I hope. I knock at the gate. Open, open Lord, to thy poor servant !"
Afterwards, a mortiferous change and contraction being observed in his face, his niece asked him whether he could yet understand ? “O) yes, (said he,) speak."
6. Are you not very joyful ? " said his niece. “Yes, (said he, there is a fast assurance in me.”
On his son's saying, “ Fear nothing; "for he that believeth in Christ Jesus shall not perish ;?” he added, • But have life everlasting.'
His son, praying with him, besought God to send him (his father) the Spirit of comfort. The father answered, “ He is come. .
His son farther prayed that he (his father) might be enabled to take the shield of faith, and all the armour of God. The father answered, “I have them; I have fought the good fight,”. &c.
His son farther prayed—“O Lord give wings to thy servant. Open to him thy Paradise. Let him behold thy face.” The father added—“ With the souls of the righteous sanctified.” .
His son farther prayed—“ Let him receive the white stone, the hidden manna, and bear a part in that song which no one understandeth but he that singeth t." The father added – So be it. Amen."
Awhile after, one of those who attended him, saying, “ I believe at this instant he enjoys the vision of God;" he made an effort to speak, and said, “ Yes." "And nearly with that word he sweetly expired, January 7, A. D. 1651, at Breda, in the seventy-eighth year and sixth month of his age, and in the twelfth day of his sickness.
He was born in Hertfordshire, in the year 1633. At twelve years of age he had made considerable progress in the mathematics, in the study of astronomy, and other parts of useful literature. At the age of seventeen he was admitted to King's College in Cambridge: and when he was about eighteen, it pleased the Lord to open his understanding, and discover to him, that the knowledge of his great Creator, and a consciousness of an interest in his love, through the mediation of a Redeemer, was infinitely more to be desired, than all the possessions and attainments of this world. At the same time he became fully sensible of the comparative insignificance of astronomy, in which he so much delighted, when contrasted with the sublime and satisfactory discoveries which religion opens to the mind; “that the love of God was ever new; the contemplation of Him ever delightful, and that, as the astronomer, multiplies his powers of vision, and discovers at a greater and a greater distance, new worlds unseen before, so the pious man, by the effect of revelation on his intellectual faculties, increases the vision of the Almighty; ranges over vast fields of bliss, and beholds an extent of happiness as unlimited as eternity." The complacency and delight which he found in a religious life were discernible in his very countenance. Though he had a right sense of the value of learning, and thought that it might be rendered subservient to the noblest purposes, yet he justly esti. mated the possession of religious knowledge as far superior. It was consequently his chief endeavour to rise above the world, and to labour for purity of heart, and acceptance in the Divine sight.
He regularly devoted an hour every day to secret