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n J ;i i^
oAi* Vt '
' F.-r -..
@^rium^l^ in %thi.
SARAH S. MUGFORD,
BY S. M. WORCESTER, D. D.
-/. . ...../6. ^ ^■- ..
** For an example of suffering affliction and of patience.**
PUBLISHED FOR THE AUTHOR^
BY CROCKER AND BREWSTER.
%) I -J \!^ ^ ^ • r^^ //
Note.-— Since the aj^earance of this Memodal in the
** Boston Recorder/* numerous requests have been made for
its publication in a different form. Some persons also have
desired its enlargement. A memoir was not intended, but
simply a memorial. And the author believes, that, without
any enlargement, the purpose of its preparation will be
fully accomplished. Beside other reasons, a small volume,
which can be easily held in the hand of an invalid or suf-
ferer, will probably be more acceptable, and equally useful
to the m^ority of purchasers and readers.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1862,
BY SAMUEL M. WORCESTEB,
In the Qerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.
Nativity of the Sufferer — Personal Appearance —
Education— General Characteristics — ^New Life, 11-19
Failing Health — Sore Bereavement — Severe Sick-
nesses — Last Attendance at Pnblic Worship—
Auto-biographical Joumal^Bapid Progress of
Spinal Disease, 20-37
Heroic Besolution — Cauterizing— Hope— Disappoint-
ment — Submission — Change of Pastors — Divers
Experiences — Review of Sufferings — Sources of
Effectual Comfort, 88-63
The Cheerful Room of the Sufferer— Her Life the
Joy of Many — ^Views of Sickness and Health —
Correspondence — A Remarkable Prayer, . . 64-71
Habitual Gratitude — Employments — Sabbath-School
Membership— Correspondence — Testimony to her
Pastor— The Last Night of the Year, . . . 12-87
Physicians — The Refining Process — The Night-
Blooming Cerens — Winter's Jubilee — New Trials
and Triumphs — Enjoyment of Life — The Closing
The inspired memorials of martyrdom are as
graphic and suggestive, as they are brief and un-
impassioned. Thousands of pages might have
been written, and not the half have been told of
"all the righteous blood shed upon the earth,
from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood
of Zacharias." The monumental chapter of the
epistle to the Hebrews has volumes in a verse.
The prophets, preeminently, were martyrs.
And as " the Spirit of Christ was in the prophets,
when it testified beforehand the sufferings of
Christ and the glory that should follow," no ex-
hortation to the persecuted Christians, among
" the twelve tribes," could have been more appro-
priate than that of the devoted James : " Take,
my brethren, the prophets who have spoken in
the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering
affliction, and of patience." The exhortation has
never ceased to be applicable.
Not indeed in our own country, nor in any
other, where one may felicitate himself like Cow-
" That Chatham's language was his mother's toi^gue,"
is there the least exposure to persecutions, like
those suffered by some of the prophets ancl other
holy witnesses of the ancient Church of God, or
in the primitive ages of the Glad Tidings. But
if in the nineteenth century, there have been no
kings like Ahab, or emperors like Nero, it is cer-
tain that the Jezebel of Samaria has had her
rival in the Jezebel of Madagascar. Even where
there is the greatest civil and religious freedom,
it is true as ever, — " all that will live godly in
Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." No one
can now " take up the cross," and reasonably ex-
pect to escape " the reproach of Christ," if he is
uniformly consistent and faithful to the end.
And the example of those who steadfastly with-
stand " the course and fashion of the world " was
never more needful, or to human view more
" a starry crown."
But it is not from " persecution for the cross
of Christ," in any sense, that Christians of our
land and time are so much in danger, as from
other modes of suffering, by which they may be
none the less tempted to dishonor the Saviour's
name. In common with all of our fallen race,
they have grievous disappointments of natural
desires, distressing privations, infirmities, sick-
nesses, and bereavements. Some of them have
such protracted severity of disease, such compli-
cated and excruciating bodily pain and anguish,
that no stronger faith, or more enduring patience
would seem to be demanded, if they were doomed
to bum at the stake. The writer has often been
a witness of sufferings, which have reminded him
most vividly of what has been testified of the
fires of Smithfield, and the fiendish tortures of the
Inquisition. He has also seen a firmness, a re-
signation, and an endurance, which have made it
impossible for him ever to doubt the entire verity
of the literal record of the trials and the triumphs
of " the noble army of the martyrs."
The bravest on the battle-field, it is well known,
may be filled with terrors at the approach of
death in their peaceful homes. It is not when a
man feels himself to be " the observed of all ob-
servers," that he can show the firmest resolution
and the most undaunted courage. The Christian
martyrs of history are not to be excepted.
" The better fortitude
Of patience and heroic martyrdom
may be found in the unfrequented chamber of
hopeless sickness, where the world's celebrities
have not been wont to win their laurels; and
there too in
" No man of iron mould, * * * *
But one of tender spirit and delicate frame.
Gentlest in mien and mind,
Of gentle woman-kind."
It has pleased " God only wise " to lay the
heaviest burden of pain and sorrow upon the
weaker sex, so called. With this burden there
has also been imparted a compensation in the
moral power of endurance. Wherever the chil-
dren of Adam share " a great trial of affliction,"
in as equal apportionment as would seem possi-
ble, woman has confessedly borne the palm of
fortitude and patience. But it is not with all
alike. As some men are far inferior to others
in the capabilities of submissive suffering, so
there are daughters of men, who have been sadly
wanting in the days of tribulation. And in either
sex the number is small, who have not been, or
who may not be comforted and strengthened, by
a new and truly reliable " example " of the man-
ner in which it becomes all to " suffer affliction,"
and of the " patience " which has " endured as
seeing Him who is invisible."
One such example was under the personal eye
of the writer, for nearly twenty-six years. In
the opinion of those most competent to judge,
it should not be permitted to " sleep in the dust
of the earth " with the mortal remains, either of
the released sufferer herself, or of her surviving
relatives and friends, when they shall have been
gathered 1o their burial, — numerous as they are,
and sacredly as her memory is cherished in their
hearts. The materials for an extended biogra-
phy are abundant But it is deemed advisable,
for several reasons, — not least, the known wishes
of the departed, — to attempt no more than may
be accomplished by some compendious narrative
or descriptive sketches and reminiscences, with
selections from her own writings. These last
are the more a treasure, because in no one of
them is there a sentence, or a sentiment, which
could have had any of its form or complexion
from any probable or possible publicity.
It must have been noticed by many, that the
religious press has of late years issued a large
number of volumes, chiefly of moderate size, but
comprehensive and rich, designed particularly
for the afflicted. Perhaps nothing more in a
didactic form is at present needed by any class
of sufferers. Experience has proved, however,
that fresh examples of eminent Christian faith
and hope, from whatever walks of life, are espe-
cially welcome and grateful to those who have
read the most of what has been published in
other forms, for their counsel and consolation.
If this Memorial shall contribute to the comfort
of any living sufferer, the labor of its preparation
will be abundantly rewarded.
Nativity of the Sufferer— Personal Appearance — Education
— General Characteristics — New Life.
Sarah Smith Mugford was bom in Salem, Jan.
26, 1807. Her father and mother were each
connected with families of good character and
In form and comeliness, she was naturally
favored. She had a well-proportioned cast of
head and features. Her soft and shining auburn
hair disposed of itself spontaneously in circlets
and ringlets. Her dark hazel eyes easily kin-
dled and sparkled. Hence, with a heart kindly-
affectioned, and an understanding which delight-
ed in knowledge, the common expression of her
countenance was very pleasant, if not striking.
Those who knew her as a little girl, speak of
her as being then considered both beautiful and
In her maturer life, the lines of her face were
much modified by her sufferings, but not at all
unfavorably. There was much less of the nat-
ural effect of disease and debility than would
have been expected, during all the extraordinary
scenes of her protracted trial. The controlling
elements of her character had an outward wit-
ness in modes of moral beauty, variously signi-
ficant, and not seldom radiant There were
times when a sensitive and sympathizing stran-
ger, like the lamented Rev. William M. Rogers,
of Boston, could not find words for his emotions.
After a short interview, walking away with his
attendant, he exclaimed, — "Is there not some-
thing supernatural in that face? There is a
touch of the angelic in that eye. I never in my
life saw such an expression. I shall never for-
This may seem the language of enthusiasm.
But it certainly is moderate to say of her who
was the subject of remark, that when lying upon
her raised pillow, and able to converse in her
wonted manner, she was constantly revealing no
common qualities and charms of mental and
moral attractiveness. And this was particularly
observable, when she was visited by the friends
whom she always loved to see, or by persons of
high repute for intelligence and Christian worth,
whom she had never seen before. Her tones
of voice, also, harmonizing perfectly with her
features and character, contributed a full share
to the effect of her thoughtful and impressive
In her childhood she was habitually reflective,
and somewhat retiring and reserved. Hour after
hour she would employ herself contentedly with
her book or her needle, by the side of a much
older person, when others of her age would pre-
fer to be at their plays or pastimes. In advanc-
ing years she was a great favorite of those
younger, always making herself agreeable, and
often displaying her ingenuity and taste in pretty
devices for their pleasure and benefit. And
from her very earliest youth, it now appears,
she was unfolding the germs of that exquisite
neatness and skill, in every variety of needle-
work, which the refined and accomplished lady
friends of her full age so much admired and
In the transition from childhood to youth, her
thoughtfulness seems to have had a pensive
tinge; owing, perhaps, to her being separated
much of the time from her parents, whose pe-
cuniary means were not always adequate to the
wants of a large family. Their much loved
Sarah was thus never favored with any but very
restricted privileges of instruction in the schools.
But she had a watchful eye and ear, a discrimi-
nating perception and judgment, a retentive
memory, and an ardent love for the beautiful
in the objects of nature and art From such
sources of knowledge and culture, therefore, as
she did enjoy, she gave proof of exemplary pro-
Capable of deep feeling and strong attachments ;
conscientious and keenly sensitive to violations
of rectitude and propriety ; alive to the ludicrous,
and both relishing and reciprocating the pleasan-
tries of wit and humor; amiable, modest, and
mild, though not a little unyielding and deter-
mined in her honest convictions and purposes ;
lovingly obedient to parents and reverencing the
aged ; carefully attentive to her person and man-
ners, but without any offensiveness of vanity, or
envy, or jealousy ; imitative with rare tact, eager
to learn from others, and ready, but not forwai'd,
to communicate, — she was good company for the
younger or the older, as with one voice is now
attested by her relatives and most intimate ac-
quaintances. Some of these, however, were
taken by surprise, when, at a late period, they
saw such evidence of strength of mind, useful in-
telligence, sound judgment, and excellent good
sense. Far beyond their anticipations were the
developments of her majuritj ; and particularly,
after a few years of confinement to her sick-
room and her sick-bed. She became one of the
kindest and safest of advisers. There are those
of superior native gifts and highly educated, who
frequently visited her as their confidant and coun-
sellor. In her death they mourned, as feeling
that they had each sustained an irreparable loss.
Limited as were her opportunities of literary
training, her style of conversation was not defi-
cient in any notable point of correctness or agree-
ableness. And though in her writings to her.
friends, as in those for her own eye alone, there
are obvious marks of imperfect culture ; yet, as
a whole, they will well compare with productions
of the same order, from many who have had the
most ample means of finished education.
During the last fifteen or twenty years of her
life, she read much at intervals, in very select
and elegantly illustrated works of taste. Her
affluent friends knew that she was pleased to look
these over, even when much too feeble for an
effort of careful and consecutive reading. She
was constantly remembered in the gift or loan
of some book of literature, or of fhe fine arts,
which, when taken up occasionally for a few
minutes, or longer, would effectually divert her
thoughts from herself, and thus greatly alleviate
her sufferings. The refining and elevating in-
fluence was also apparent, from year to year.
But her improvement from such sources, and
her consequent attractiveness was of small ac-
count, compared with her progress and attain-
ments as a humble learner of the Saviour's worth.
Without the instruction and the discipline which
she received from the Word, the Spirit, and the
providential dealings of Him, in whom " are hid
all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," she
could never have begun to be what she was,
even if her privileges of social and literary culture
had been a hundred fold greater than they were.
Her Christian life commenced, as she believed,
in her seventeenth year. Previously she was not
aware of any decided conviction of personal sin-
fulness, or of any marked solicitude respecting
her salvation. Her moral character had been
unblemished. But however much she may have
regarded her mother's pious instructions, or those
of a very devout and exemplary sister ; whatever
good impressions she had received from any other
instrumentality or means, public or private, slio
was no stranger to the exercises of the natural
and unregenerate heart, in resistance to the sov-
ereignty of God, and in neglect of the essential
conditions of forgiveness and eternal blessedness.
Some of her intimate young friends had been
awakened from their dreams of worldliness and
felse security. If there was reason for them, why
not for her, to " flee for refuge to lay hold upon
the hope set before us in the Gospel ?" Examin-
ing her heart and life, she saw as never before,
that she was indeed a sinner, ^ without hope and
without God in the world." Her amiableness and
morality afforded her no relief; they were neither
the fruits nor the germs of the " love," which " is
the fulfilling of the law." It was a hard struggle
between her selfish affections and the reproving
power of the Spirit of holiness. Some weeks
had passed, almost in utter despair, when she
found in an hour never forgotten, that,
"In wonder, love, and praise,"
she could pour out her melted heart like water.
Profoundly and most gratefully she adored the
sovereignty and mercy of "a just God and a
Saviour." With a peace and "joy unspeakable"
she consecrated herself to the blessed Redeemer,
as her all in all, in the bonds and " through the
blood of the everlasting covenant"
The change to herself was sudden and decisive.
To others, and those best acquainted, it was hard-
ly less manifest and indubitable. As she began,
so she continued, through more than twice the
period which she had then lived, to exhibit the
marks of an unfeigned Christian character. How-
ever fearful or self-abasing the warfare between
** the flesh and the Spirit," she never for one mo-
ment could have regretted the vows of her conse-
cration to the Lord, her Righteousness.
In 1824, she made a public profession of her
faith and hope, — uniting with the Tabernacle
Church, of which Rev. Elias Cornelius was then
the pastor. Of her cherished remembrances of
the day, a note to a much loved friend, sev«[iteen
years afterwards, may be cited as one of numer-
^Dec. 31, 1841. I felt this morning, when
reading our meditation for the day, that nothing
could be more soothing to my feelings than Dod-
dridge's beautiful hymn (151st Watts and Select).
It was read by Mr. Cornelius, the day I made a
profession of religion ; and though I had read the
hymn many times, I never felt the ftill force of
every word, as I did on that day. He read it at
the c<»nmunion service. And as I sat and lis-
tened to the words as they fell like sweet music
upon my ear, from the lips of my beloved pastor,
I felt that I could indeed say, —
* happy day that fixed my choice.*
Often, since that day, have I had reason to re-
joice in Grody my Saviour.
" I have thought much of the last verse of the
hynm, and I have cause for deep sorrow, when I
remember how often I have been unmindftil of
the vows I then made. Would that I could see
that they had been renewed daily."
That " last verse "I Has it not been too often
** High heaven, that heard the solemn vow,
That vow renewed shall daily hear;
TiU m life's latest hoar I bow,
And bless in death a bond so dear."
Failing Health^Sore Bereavement — Severe Sicknesses —
Last Attendance at Public Worship — Auto-biographical
Journal — ^Bapid Progress of Spinal Disease.
At the time of publicly confessing Christ, Miss
Mugford's health was quite delicate. In the
employment of dress-making, she had probably
been too closely engaged, and perhaps was not
sufficiently careful of her posture. She was
often very weary at the close of her daily toil
and confinement. There were tokens also of
weakness or tenderness in the lower part of her
spine. But it was six years later, before her in-
flammatory and incurable disease in that locality
revealed a decided character.
About the middle of the year 1830, a fire
broke out in the house in Boston where she was
then living. For some time she stood in deep
water, passing buckets from a lower to an upper
room. A violent cold occasioned her return to
Salem. And scarcely had she recovered from
the fever which followed, so as to be able to leave
her room, before she was suddenly summoned to
Boston, to witness "the last of earth" in the
friend to whom she had been betrothed for nearly
three years, and whom she then found to be, as
she said, " the idol of her heart"
The afliictive death of Mr. N. K, was the more
distressing, from being caused by a casualty which
wholly deprived him of speech and apparently of
consciousness, until he expired. The immediate
effect was crushing to the chief mourner, although
not a murmuring word was known to have es-
caped her lips. Except to a very few, she was
not free to speak of this sorrow, even by the
slightest allusion. But to the end of her life, the
23d day of November was a day of darkness and
The lines which follow, entitled " The Mourn-
er," were found among her papers, written in
pencil, and dated Nov. 24, 1830. From what-
ever unknown authorship, they may be safely in-
terpreteii as a true expression of the feelings of
her heart in her overwhelming afliiction : —
" I saw thee when death hovered nigh,
And set his seal upon thy brow;
I heard thy struggling groan and sigh,
Which e*en in mem'ry haunts me now.
** I saw the lips, all pale and chill,
Where words of love were wont to dwell,
And felt a pang my bosom thrill,
That words can never, never tell.
" And when the fearful strife was o'er,
When life was fled and hope was gone,
I gazed on thy dear face once more.
That face which still I gaze upon.
" I thought how soon the cold, dark grave.
Would hide thee from my tearful eye.
And frighted, shrank from life to crave
In that chill tomb with thee to lie.
" I called thee by fond names of love.
Names that were wont to charm thine ear,
Bat naught that ear of death could move,
And heedless fell each burning tear.
" Tears fell in streams upon thy brow,
As my pale lips to thine were pressed;
But ah ! those lava showers had now
No power to break thy marble rest.
" Within the coflin's narrow bound
Thy cold remains too soon were laid.
Ah ! worse than death, was the harsh sound
The closing of that coffin made.
" Why did I live beyond that hour
When * all the life of Ufe is fled ' ?
Existence, fearful is thy power.
Who lingerest still when hope is dead !'*
In a very short time after the bereavement,
which in these lines have a portrayal so appo-
site and touching, the heart-struck mourner was
again prostrated by a fever, which confined her
to the house for three or four months. Never
aft^erwards did she know what it was to feel her-
self to be really well.
In April, 1831, reviewing the scenes of the few
previous months, she wrote to one, whom she
loved as if an own sister : —
"I hare been very sick. But the Lord, in
mercy to my friends, has in some degree restored
me to health ; but as yet I am very feeble, and
too weak to walk or ride but a very short dis-
tance. ♦ * * * I viewed myself near the grave,
and soon to enter upon an eternal state. I felt
weaned from all earthly enjoyments, and, I think,
entirely resigned to the sovereign will of God.
I even felt reluctant to the idea of staying longer
in this vain world. My desire was to be holy
like God, and forever to dwell with him.
" But God has determined otherwise. I am
spared awhile, and O that the remainder of my
life may be spent in communing and walking
with God. In my affliction I can see the hand
of God. In justice he has afflicted me. My
heart had wandered far from God. I had too
much given my affections to the world, and with
shame do I confess it, I expected to find happi-
ness from the world.
"The Lord in kindness gave me my dear
friend, that I might love him, and endeavor to
make him happy. But O, how entirely did I
give my affection to him ! Yes, I robbed God,
and he took my friend from me. And shall I
murmur at his will? No. I deserved it all.
I loved the world too much, and expected too
much from its objects. I built up a fabric of
mortal hope, that was sinking and cinimbling
before my eyes. And ought a Christian to seek
his portion here below ? Yes, I deserve every-
thing I have suffered, and every whisper of com-
plaint shall be hushed to everlasting repose. * * *
When I think that the universal Conqueror has
snatched from me my best-loved and nearest
earthly friend, heart-rending as it is, I will say, —
* Not my will, but thy will, O God, be done ; and
the cup which my Father has given me, shall I
Early in 1832, she was able to walk out in
good weather. She occasionally attended public
worship and the Sabbath-schooL After much
physical exertion, particularly after riding, she
was subject to chills and tremulousness, somewhat
as of fever and ague. But instead of yielding to
the symptoms, which so plainly foretokened the
entire failure of power to walk, she persisted
resolutely in unaided efforts to regain, if possible,
what she had lost, or at least to preserve what
she was fast losing.
Such was her enjoyraent of the services of the
sanctuary and of the Sabbath-school, that she
made the utmost exertion to be " in the good old
Tabernacle " on the Lord's Day. This she did,
when other persons, much less enfeebled, would
not have considered it their duty to appear in the
house of God. Her last attendance was on com-
munion Sabbath, July 1, 1832. And before the
day closed, she was compelled to acknowledge to
herself, that it was indeed her last
" Jw/y 1, 1832. I have been permitted to at-
tend church all day. But I feel that I cannot
with safety attempt to walk so far again, while
I remain so feeble. My limbs are getting to be
more and more helpless, and the effort I am
obliged to make in walking is very painful.
I must give up 1 I will no longer shrink from
the truth! I shall go no more to the house
of God ! My sick-room must be my sanctuary !
Plere I must learn to be content ! O Father in
heaven, help me to submit In the school of
affliction I must learn to do thy will. I feel that
I need divine strength. I know not what dis-
ease is taking down this earthly house of clay,
but I will fear no evil. I can cheerfully say
farewell to all that has hitherto made life sweet
I feel willing to submit I feel that God will be
with me to comfort and strengthen me. I have
suffered much, very much, for more than three
years past ; I have been enabled to endure all
with patience. God doth not afflict willingly.
My trust shall be in him. He will give me
strength sufficient for all my trials. God has
ever dealt kindly with me. In time of deep af-
fliction, I have been enabled to rest on his prom-
ises. ' Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe.'
" My heavenly Father has seen fit to deprive
me of health, but I can trust in him. I can feel
willing to suffer his will, whatever it may be.
He has taken from me my dearest earthly frieiul,
and made me to weep the bitter tears of disap-
pointment. My heart was made to feel in early
life the uncertainty of earthly things ; but even
in that dark hour, when weeping over the cold
clay of my departed friend, I was enabled to
say,—* Tliy will, O God, be done.' *Tlie Lord
gave, the Lord hath taken away ; blessed be the
name of the Lord.' I will drink of the ciij) thy
hand has prepared, though it be filled with the
bitter dregs of disappointment. 'Though He
slay me, yet will I trust in him.' The bitterness
of grief has passed, and memory can recall tiie
sad and painful event with a calm resignation.
*It is good for me that I have been aiilicted.*
I will not distrust God's goodness. He Avill not
forsake me when I most need divine strength.
I will calmly submit to privations, and cheer-
fully suffer pain and sickness. I shall not be
alone. * God is my salvation and my glory ;
the rock of my strength, and my refuge is in
God.' I will trust in him at all times. He
shall direct my ways."
This affecting record was the beginning of a
journal, strictly private, and intended for no eye
but the sufferer's own. It was written at inter-
vals, generally of weeks or months, from July,
1832, to November, 1836. Other journals or
notes were kept in years following ; but none so
fuU and so valuable, or rather, so invaluable, for
its auto-biographical descriptions and observa-
tions. In an endorsement upon the manuscript,
under date, November 1, 1836, she says : —
" These pages were written at times of great
suffering. My object in writing them was, that
I might be able to compare past with present
feelings. My wish is that they may be destroyed,
with other papers belonging to me, when I shall
have passed away. And as the requests of de-
parted friends ai*e always considered sacred, I
shall feel safe in leaving my papers."
In the journal itself, she wrote : —
" March 6, 1835. This morning I was look-
ing over this manuscript, and could I have got
to the fire, it would very soon have been demol-
ished. But after a moment's reflection, I said
to myself, Why should I destroy it? No one
will ever see it. No one knows I have written
it ; and when I am gone, no one will take the
trouble to read it. And as it is an amusement
for me to write, I will add more to its pages.
But like all I have written, they will be a repe-
tition of sickness and pain."
In 1837 she confided this journal, with some
other papers, to the hands and discretion of the
writer of this Memorial ; in compliance with an
earnest request for some statements from her
own lips, relative to those first years of her af-
fliction, in wliich he had not been an eye-witness
of her suffering and her example. As she was
expected to live but a short time longer, Jie do-
sired, as her pastor, to be prepared to talvc some
appropriate notice of her life and character, wlien-
ever her days should be finished. Tliis desire he
carefully concealed, well knowing tliat a private
funeral would be her choice, and us brief an
obituary as was ever printed.
Being unable to converse much, she deferred
an answer to his request. Some days after-
wards, she handed him the papei*s saying, —
**A8 to what you asked me about, i)erhaps if
you will read these, you may find that they will
answer your questions better than I now am able
to do." Much more was found than he liad
anticipated. A new request was then made,
viz., that she would permit him to retain the
papers ; and in case of her decease, allow him
to make such use of them as, according to his
best judgment, might, in some humble manner,
be promotive of the cause and glory of the Re-
deemer, whose transcendent love and fsuthful-
ness she had so signally experienced. The re-
sult was her consent that he should retain the
whole, until she should call for them. ^ You can
do what you think best"
Little did he imagine, that twenty-three years
more of her ^ example of suffering affliction and
of patience,** were yet to be numbered. Dur-
ing all this time, no one else ever saw what
was committed to his trust ; nor until the entire
scene had closed, was the existence of any such
manuscripts known to but a very few persons.
They are not extended or detailed, and such
selections as will be offered to the reader will
need very little or no editorial interpretation or
^^AtigustS, 1832. I have not' been able to
use my pen until to-day for more than a month.
I was taken severely sick of a fever, the second
day of July. I had felt for some time that I
should be obliged to give up, on account of my
extreme feebleness. I think I must have ex-
erted myself more than I ought to have done,
the last time I was out But I do feel glad
when I think the last effort I made to walk out
was in going to the house of Grod. My dear
pastor, [Rev. Dr. J. P. Cleaveland,] kindly in-
vited me to spend the intermission at noon, at
his house, that I might rest me, and be able to
attend the afternoon service as I often had done.
I do feel grateful to him and his wife for their
kind attention to me.
'^August 27. To-day I have sat up ten min-
utes, the first time for eight weeks. I am very
feeble, and the pain in my back is almost in-
sufferable. What dreadful disease can it be?
The fever has left me, and my physician had
strong hopes if I lived through it, I should get
rid of many complaints that have for a long time
troubled me. But now his looks and woi5s are
doubtful. I am unable to use my limbs. They
are entirely helpless, and feel more like dead
weights attached to my body, than any thing I
can think of. There is not the least appearance
of life in them, and I think the flesh could be cut
or burnt, without my feeling the least sensation
of pain. Can it be that I am never to walk?
Am I to be a helplass invalid through life ? Will
the warm blood that once circulated through
these veins, and imparted warmth and vigor,
ever return to them again ?
" Heavenly Father, hear my prayer, and if it
be consistent with thy holy will, restore these
dead limbs to life again. I would not murmur.
I desire to be resigned to the will of my heav-
enly Father, whatever it may be. Thou, Lord,
dost encourage thy children to call upon thee in
time of trouble. No earthly friend can give re-
lief; my hope is in thee. Into thy hands I
commit body and soul. And if it is best that
I should never recover the use of my limbs;
if my sufferings are to be continued for a long
time ; or if they are soon to terminate in death,
I will not fear. My trust is in God, my Re-
deemer. I will rejoice in the midst of affliction.
* The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of
trouble, and he knoweth them that trust in him.'
* Fear not, for I am with thee ; be not dismayed,
for I am thy God.' Let thy mercy, O God, be
always over me, and thy grace always attend me.
Let thy hand always protect me, and wilt thou
lead me to that blessed land where * the inhab-
itant shall not say, I am sick.' "
* Not sick! shall throbbing brows no more,
With nameless anguish start!
No more the ebbing life-blood pour
Cold currents through the heart?
No tortured nerve with racking paia
To sudden madness thrill,
Nor strive the powerless limbs in vain
Their office to fulfil !
* Oh, glorious world ! from ills of time,
From fear and changes free,
Why should we shrink to see that clime,
TTiough death our passport be.'
^ September 20. The extreme pain I contin-
ually suffer in my back, and the dreadful sinking,
dying feeling I have in my stomach, is beyond
description. My physician thinks my spine is
diseased. He has applied leeches, and blisters,
but I have received no benefit from them. My
limbs remain useless, and I see no reason to
think they will ever be otherwise. I think the
disease is gaining ground every day.
" Is there no remedy ? Can nothing be thought
of to alleviate this dreadful suflTering? The
strongest opiates have ceased to lull the pain.
I have willingly applied everything my physician
has recommended. I can do no more. Vain
is the help of man. Father of mercy, be thou
my physician. Pity and relieve thy suffering
child. * Speak but the word and thy servant
shall be heieded.'
**But Gk)d is just; I will be silent He
knows best what trials I need. He knows just
how long it will be for my soul's good to con-
tinue them. He knows that this sinful heart
is prone to wander, and give too much of its
affections to earthly objects, and forget that its
treasures should be in heaven. God will not
forsake me, though I forsake him. He kindly
withdraws my affections from earth, by taking
fi'om me those things I was most attached to,
and I can now say, * Whom have I in heaven
but Thee ? and there is none upon earth that I
desire besides Thee.'
* Let worldly minds the world pursue,
It has no charms for me ;
Once I admired its trifles too,
But grace has set me free.*
" February 1, 1833. Once more I resume my
pen, after an interval of four months. What in-
tense suffering I have been called to pass through.
since I last wrote. O, my heavenly Father, thou
alone canst know, and no hand but thine can give
relief. Make me willing to suffer all thy right-
eous will. I ask no other blessing to help me
through this vale of tears, but the presence of my
God. ' For he maketh sore, and bindeth up : he
woundeth, and his hands make whole. He shall
deliver thee in six troubles : yea, in seven there
shall no evil touch thee.'
'^February 4. My physician has been in to
see me this morning, and he thinks he can do
no more for me. It is now eight months since
I walked. Dr. C spoke kindly to me, and
regretted that it was not in his power to alle-
viate my sufferings. He knows not what treat-
ment to prescribe, as he never had a case of the
kind before mine. He thinks if I can go to the
hospital, possibly I may get some help. Can I
go to the hospital .»* I shrink from the thought
I have no fear about the treatment I shall bo
obliged to submit ta I can suffer pain, and feel
it my duty to use all the means in my power
to alleviate the disease ; but the thought of be-
ing exposed to the gaze of twenty or thirty stu-
dents is dreadfid. I am confident if I go to the
hospital, the physicians there will think it neces-
sary to operate on my back. If it could be done
at home, how gladly would I consent to any
remedy. I hope I do not indulge a wrong spirit.
I will try to think calmly about it. I shall be
with strangers, but my heavenly Father will
be with me. I know I shall miss many home
comforts. But I will try to think that this trial
is sent, as an opportunity for me to practise self^
denial. My prayer is, that I may be directed in
the right way. I will be submissive. Strength-
en me, O Lord ! I can do nothing. I am a frail,
sinful worm of the dust * Create in me a clean
heart, O Grod, and renew a right spirit within
me. Cast me not away from thy presence : and
take not thy Holy Spirit fix)m me.'
^^ February 5. Dr. C thinks I am too
feeble to be carried to the hospital, and he will
consult with Dr. J. G. Treadwell, and see what
can be done. I must wait patiently until they
decide. I feel willing to leave all to the direc-
tion of Infinite Wisdom. I do not feel anxious
to know how or when this disease is to termi-
^February 6. After a painful and sleepless
night, I am once more permitted to behold the
light of another day. Thanks to the Giver
of all my blessings that he has enabled me to
trust in lum. Though I am called to suffer long
and severely, I can cheerfully acquiesce. I will
know no other will but the will of my heavenly
^Afiemoony Fehruary 6. Dr. Treadwell has
been in this morning to see me. He questioned
me very closely, and I know by his looks he
thinks my case to be a very bad one. He thinks
the hospital will be no place for me ; and thinks
it is fit only for those who have no home or
friends to take care of them. . I could not speak
my thanks ; but I think I looked grateful. He
has relieved my heart of a heavy burden.
Dr. Treadwell recommended my taking a new.
medicine, and in a week he will call again with
^^ February 12. I think, since I began to
take my new medicine, I have felt less of the
iaintness and distress at my stomach. My ap-
petite is better than it has been since my con-
finement I feel thankful that the medicine has
had so good an effect The pain in my back is
beyond description. The least exertion causes
the most violent spasms. I have cold chills,
and have had them more or less for more than
two years. They often continue an hour or two,
and convulse my whole frame. My friends are
often obliged to leave me, it is so painful to their
feelings to witness the dreadful suffering I am in,
while the chills continue.
** I sit in my chair an hour or two in the day,
but suffer continually, and all the sleep I get is
created by very strong opiates. But there will
be rest for this weary body. It will not always
suffer, I feel that soon, very soon, I shall be
called to resign it to the cold and silent grave.
There it will quietly rest, free from all disease.
It will decay, and return to dust, and it may lie
for ages to come ; but it will not be forgotten.
€rod will take care of this clay.
'*But the soul, the never dying soul, shall
that find rest? Shall my immortal spirit be
admitted to the mansions of eternal peace?
Shall it be made fit to dwell with the spirits of
the just, and be employed in praising God, its
Redeemer? Lord, purify me from all sin. Make
me humble and prayerful. Let thy Holy Spirit
comfort and support me through this life. * Make
me to go in the path of thy commandments,
for therein do I delight.' *Lord, be merciful
unto me ; heal my soul ; for I have sinned
''March 20, 1833. Dr. Treadwell and his
father have examined my back. They found
the spine very much diseased. It is so very
soi'e that the least pressure causes the most ex-
cruciating pain. After the examination of my
back, he said to me, * Sarah, you will think me
very cruel in what I shall recommend. But
it has been tried in similar cases, and some-
times pjiven relief. Your case is rather a bad
one. However, I think it best to try the rem-
edy. It will be to burn the back with a hot
iron. I shall be obliged to bum into the flesh,
very near the back bone. It will take but a
moment to perform the operation. It will be
very painful. If the first operation gives any
reason for hope, I may think it necessary to re-
peat it the second time. I will give you a day
or two to think about it ; and if you are willing
to try, you may possibly get relief. But you
will not get well in a minute. You must per-
severe. The bum will not heal for several
months. My object will be to keep it open to
carry off the matter that would be likely to col-
lect into an abscess, that would give you much
trouble, and in your present feeble state would
very soon destroy life. I have told you plainly
what I think, and will do the best I can for
" I do feel grateful to Dr. Treadwell for his
telling me plainly about my disease. I view it
as a mark of kindness. He has raised my hopes,
just enough to stimulate me to try the remedy,
without being liable to be disappointed, if it
should fml to give the desired relief."
Heroic Hesolution — Cauterizing— Hope— Disappointment-
Submission — Change of ' Pastors— Divers Experiences —
Beview of Sufferings— Sources of Effectual Comfort
''March 24, 1833. Where can the afflicted
find comfort, and where can the weary find
rest ? How wretched would be my lot, if I had
no other refuge than this world can give, no
comfort but the fleeting things of time ! Grod is
my refuge. ' Cast thy burden upon the Lord,
and he shall sustain thee.' My mind is decided.
I will try the remedy and leave the event. ' All
my friends have tried to dissuade me from trying
the painful remedy. I know they feel for me,
but they cannot help me. They know not what
it is to be brought to the last remedy, after hav-
ing tried almost every other.
''March 26. To-morrow, if I live, I shall
have my back cauterized. How strange it is,
that I have not the least feeling of fear or dread,
in the anticipation of the event! It cannot be
my own strength that enables me to submit
calmly and cheerfully to what I know will be
extremely painful. Nor do I look upon it with
the feelings of the Stoic I am not insensihle.
I feel my situation. None but my heavenly
Father can ever know the struggle I have made,
to subdue the rising of my own wilL * The Lord
is my strength and song, and he has become my
salvation.' ' What time I am afraid, I will trust
" April 10. I was enabled to endure the ap-
plication of the cauter-iron on my back, without
a struggle or a groan. I could even look upon
the red-hot insti*ument without fear. The pain
I suffered during the operation can better be con-
ceived than described. It is a fortnight since it
was done, and the pain I suffer from the disease,
and the soreness of the bum, obliges me to keep
in the same position, day and night I do not
regret what has been done, whether it help me
or not I feel a satisfaction in knowing all has
been done that could be, to relieve the dreadful
disease. How comforting to feel that Gk)d will
do all things well.
* Sweet on his faithfulness to rest,
Whose love can never end,
Sweet on his covenant of grace,
For all things to depend.
* Sweet in the confidence of faith.
To trust his firai decrees ;
Sweet to lie passive in his hands.
And know no will but his.'
A few weeks after the burning, she described
her sensations to a friend, — with a composure
and cheerfulness, truly astonishing to the list-
ener. " And a cloud of smoke" she smilingly
said, ^ rose up from my back, and filled all the
room!" She was doubtless greatly supported
by the presence of her equally firm and heroic
mother, who sat at her side and held her hand,
while she looked upon all the preparations of the
medical gentlemen, and then endured the terri-
ble application of the cauter-iron. With stream-
ing eyes the senior Dr. T , never known to
be "given to the melting mood," — turned away
from a sight, the very thought of which is quite
sufficient for the fortitude of most persons.
" April 24. I have felt to-day a pain in my
foot It is the first feeling I have had in my
lower extremities, for more than ten months.
Can it be that life is once more to return to
these dead limbs? My physician thinks it a
favorable symptom ; and if the pain should con-
tinue, he shall be encouraged to try the cauter-
" May 1. The pain in my lower limbs con-
tinues, and at times they are more painful than
any suffering I have ever experienced. How
strange that these limbs, which have so long
been cold and apparently dead, are now con-
vulsed with pain ! And still more strange, that
this feeble body can be made to endure so much
suffering. But what are my sufferings, when
compared with those of my Saviour? When
this body is almost weary with pain, I turn my
thoughts from self, and fix them on the cross.
There I behold agony even to the sweating of
blood, and I am silent. When wearied nature
seeks in yain for sleep, and the spirit is sor-
rowful, I look to the garden of Grethsemane,
and there behold sorrow even unto death ; and
I, even I, a sinful worm of the dust, am per-
mitted to say : " Father, all things are possible
unto thee ; take away this cup from me, never-
theless, not what I will, but what thou wilt.'
I do i*ejoice, that * we have not an high priest
which cannot be touched with the feeling of our
infirmities ; but in all points was tempted like as
we are, yet without sin.' I can go to God, my
Saviour, with all my sorrows, and find comfort
He will lead me through all trials, and I trust
purify me from all sin.
* Gently, Lord, gently lead me,
Through this gloomy vale of tears,
Through- the changes thou'st decreed me,
Till my last great change appears.
* In the hour of pain and anguish.
In the hour wnen death draws near.
Suffer not my heart to languish.
Suffer not my soul to fear/
^^ Sept. 23. This feeble, trembling hand is
once more permitted to guide my pen. Could it
recount the sufierings I have passed through,
since I last wrote, it would be a sad picture of
the frailty of this earthly tenement Month after
month, has this frail body been prostrated upon
a bed of sickness and pain. Often have I felt,
when my kind friends have watched over me,
day and night, that I should need their kind
attentions but a few hours longer. But I was
calm. I felt no terrors at the approach of
death. This body had become to me a minor
object. I could view in imagination the cold
clay, after the spirit had departed from it I
could think of the last offices to be performed,
and follow it to its dark and silent abode. But
it did not distress me. My Saviour had passed
through the grave and blessed it, and he is the
" Heavenly Father, sanctify this sickness, and
make it the means of much good. Enable me to
endure all with Christian submission. Let not a
wish arise in my heart, contrary to thy holy will.
Make me faithful unto death ; and then, O Lord,
wilt thou give me a crown of life.
* Then, Saviour, then, my soul receive,
Transported from this vale to live
And reign with thee above ;
Where faith is sweetly lost in siojht,
And hope, in full, supreme delight,
And everlasting love/
"In looking back upon the time that has
elapsed since I wrote in my journal, I can re-
call to mind many painful events. The first of
last June, my back was cauterized the second
time. But I was enabled to submit to the opera-
tion with as good courage as I did the first time,
though I was much more feeble. My physicians
evidently felt much for me. Their expressions
of sympathy, and their endeavors to jnake every-
thing as pleasant as possible, will ever be remem-
bered by me with feelings of sincere gratitude.
My dear mother sat by me at the time of the
operation ; and painful as it must have been to
her feelings, was very calm. How much cause I
have fo'r gratitude. I feel that it would be sinful
in me to complain. There is not an hour passes,
but I am called to acknowledge some act of kind-
ness, some blessing bestowed.
" My physicians have been unwearied in their
endeavors to alleviate my sufferings; but alas,
one of them has paid the last debt of nature
before me. The hand that has for many years
administered remedies to alleviate the diseases
of his fellow-mortals, needed none to administer
to his. He was called from this to the eternal
world, without a moment's warning. It has been
a sad trial to me. Little did I think, the day he
assisted his son in burning my back, that in six
days from that time his body would be a life-
less lump of clay. Little did I think, when he
came in to see me, the day but one before his
death, and kindly encouraged me to persevere,
that it would be his last visit to me. How short-
sighted we are. We know not how soon we
may be called. Every day we are admonished,
but how little we regard the admonitions. Many
that are expecting, from day to day, to hear of
my death, may themselves be called to resign
their tenements of clay; and I may remain a
sufferer for many years, or I^ay be restored to
health, and they may be laid ol a bed of sickness.
God's ways are not as our ways. How impor-
tant that we should at all times be prepared for
death. * Blessed are those servants, whom the
Lord when he cometh shall find watching.'
" I have of late suffered very much from pain
in my lower extremities, and in one of the limbs
the cords have become so contracted, that I
have been pbliged to bandage and splinter it
in order to get it straight I find the remedy
very uncomfortable, and when the bandage is
tightened, the pain it causes is as severe as the
extracting of a tooth. Though it gives me much
pain, I feel encouraged to persevei-e. The limb
is more pliable than it was a month since ; and I
think that, in a few weeks, it will be as straight
as the other.
« 1834. Thursday, May 1. This has been a
sad day to me. My dear minister made me his
farewell visit, this morning. It is very trying to
part with a kind minister. I shall miss him. It
has always been a source of comfort to me, to
feel that I had a kind minister to sympathize
with me in many trials. But I have none now.
Gk)d has placed him over another people. His
place among us will be .for another to occupy,
and perhaps by one who will take no interest in
me. But why do I anticipate ? Grod will do all
things right. Ere another takes his place, this
weary body may be at rest, and this spirit will
need no spiritual guide to comfort and encourage
it through its weary pilgrimage.
** I am daily admonished not to set my affec-
tions on earthly objects. I tremble when I think
how prone I am to give my affection to the per-
ishing things of earth. But I do feel that my
love toward my dear minister has been of that
kind, which unites the heart in Christian bonds,
and though it causes much sorrow to part, yet
the bond that binds us cannot be broken. Even
death has not the power to sever the tie which
binds hearts united in true Christian love. It is
a comfort to feel that our spirits can meet at the
same throne and hold sweet communion with the
same Almighty Father. And at his throne, if
we are faithful unto death, we shall all meet, to
part no more. This is the Christian's joy, the
Christian's hope. ^ God shall wipe away all tears
from their eyes; and there shall be no more
death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall
there be any more pain ; for the former things
are passed .away. And he that sat upon the
throne said, Behold, 1 make all things new.'
^May 27. Three months ago, I had good
reason to hope that I should recover the use of
my limbs. I had got so much better, that the
doctor used to stand me on my feet, and by his
holding me up, I was able to move them, though
not without much pain. Had I continued to gain
strength, I have no doubt that I should ere this
have been able to walk. But Infinite Wisdom
saw fit to disappoint me, and I was again pros-
trated on a bed of suffering.
" The latter part of March, I was taken sick
of a rheumatic fever. From the very feeble
state I was in at the time, and the extreme pain
attending the fever, I was brought very low ; and
it was thought for many weeks I could not sur-
vive. But my sufferings were not then to end.
The fever left me, but more feeble and helpless
than I ever have been. I am so very weak,
that I faint whenever my head is lifted from the
pillow. I have no appetite, and my pulse is
seldom less than a hundred a minute. I have
some chronic complaints that have become very
painful. My only relief is by the constant use
" But amidst all my severe and protracted suf-
ferings, I have much, very much, to be thankful
for. God has bestowed unnumbered blessings
upon me. He has permitted me to enjoy much
of his presence ; and, though to others my suffer-
ings have been thought to be beyond endurance,
I have ever felt that they might have been worse.
Heavenly Father, I plead no merits pf my own.
Thy grace alone has sustained me. And wilt
thou ever give me faith to believe that all things,
however dark they may be to me, are ordered by
thee in wisdom and in love.
^^ Sept 7. Four months past, I have been
able to sit up in my chair an hour or two every
day. I do not know that I am essentially better.
The same complaints remain, though the pain at
times is less acute. It is Sabbath day. How I
long to go to the hous6 of God. The bells are
now ringing, to assemble the people together.
At such times, I feel how sad it is to be a help-
less invalid. But I will not repine. It is best
that I should be deprived of the privileges I once
enjoyed, or this affliction would not be; and
though confined by sickness and suffering, I am
not forsaken. I can hold sweet communion with
my Grod. I have the blessed Bible to teach the
things he would have me to do. There I find
sweet promises, a soothing balm for every pain
* Thine earthly Sabbaths, Lord ! we love,
But there's a nobler rest above ;
that we might that rest attain,
From sin, from sorrow, and from pain.*
^^ Nov. 26. We are once more to have a min-
ister. One week from to-day his installation will
take place. I never heard him preach ; and I
think he would be amused, could he know how
earnest I am in my inquiries to find out who he
is like. But none can find a comparison. I ask,
is he like his father ? No. Is he like Mr. Cor-
nelius ? No. Is he like Mr. Cleaveland ? No.
And so I am left to draw a picture in my own
mind of what I shall like my minister to be.
I hope he is kind and affable, and I shall soon
learn to love him. Give liim, O Lord, a double
portion of thy Spirit Make him a faithful min-
ister to the people over whom thou art about to
" jDcc. 6. I have seen Mr. Worcester. He
came in to see me, last evening. I was sitting
up in my chair when he came. I was much
pleased with his visit. But I fear he thought
me rather impudent, I fixed my eyes so earnestly
upon him. I said to myself, is this my minister ?
Will he love to visit the sick and afflicted ? Or
will he feel it to be a painful duty ? I felt sad
to think I might never hear him preach, and
tears came to my eyes, when I thought of my
helplessness. How Httle we know how to value
blessings, until we are deprived of them.
"Mr. Worcester, after conversing with me,
offered a short prayer. It was the first visit I
had received from a minister, for eight months.
I shall long remember Mr. W *s first visit Uy
me, he is so different fix)m what I had pictured
him in my imagination. ♦ ♦ ♦ I soon forgot that
he was a stranger to me.
" March 6, 1835. I have again been sick of a
rheumatic fever, and as before, my life was des-
paired of for many weeks. During my severe
suffering, I received much comfort from the kind
and affectionate sympathy which my minister be-
stowed upon me. I was taken sick of the fever,
about a week after his first visit to me. I have
reason to thank my heavenly Father, for giving
me so kind a friend. I do not deserve so many
blessings. I oft«n fear that my blessings will be
so numerous, I shall be unmindful of them.
" June 28. I am now able to sit up in my
chair, several hours every day; and my phy-
sician thought it would be for my benefit to ride
out I have been out to ride twice. But the
lifting me out and in, and the motion of the car-
riage, caused the most violent pain, and I was
obliged to give up all thoughts of trying it again.
^' Sept. 16. I have been entirely confined to
my bed, since last July. Amidst all my other
trials, I suffer much from soreness of the lungs,
and a very troublesome cough, which weakens
me very much. For more than two years, I
have almost continually suffered from one of the
most painful diseases I ever knew. [It was
strangury.] At times I am in agony. Many
days and nights I have passed, without one mo-
ment's ease. None but those that have suffered
from the disease, can imagine anything about it
** But I have ever found it easy to submit to
the most severe pain. I know, if I trust to my
own strength, I should faint under so many trials.
But God has strengthened me, and by his grace
I feel tliat I can do all things. I have faith to
believe tliat God will bless the means used, just
so far as will be for my good and his glory ; and
though some tilings are dark to me now, I have
not the least doubt, that hereafter I shall see why
I was made to suffer. I often feel ashamed,
i^dien I am asked by my friends how I feel, that
I sliould so often tell them, I suffer very much ;
without telling them how many comforts I have,
to cheer and help me on my way. Teach me,
Lord, to be grateful.
'^Nov. 23, 1836. It is now sixteen months,
since I sat up only long enough to have my bed
made. The same chronic complaints continue to
trouble me. The disease has been mostly in the
bowels. For a year or two, I have been obliged,
almost every week, to take the most powerful
cathartics. My appetite is very poor, and I think
1 have very little prospect, if any, of ever being
Any better. I have thought, could any read the
^ages I have written, they would think it impos-
sible that I could have lived through so many
diseases. But I could tell them, that the one
half cannot be told. / cannot imagine how a
person feels in good health, I can truly say I
have not known what it is to feel well, for the
last six years. But I have no reason to com-
plain. I have never suffered one pain too many.
God ever has done, and ever will do right
'It is the Lord, shall I resist
Or contradict his will.
Who cannot do bnt what is just
And must be righteous still.'
"Yes, the Lord is righteous. My faith is
strong in his promises. *The Lord is my
strength.' Therefore, O my soul, * despise not
the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary
of his correction ; for whom the Lord loveth he
correcteth ; even as a father the son in whom he
" Jan, 1, 1837. Another year has closed, and
a new one commenced, and this poor feeble body
has still a, living spirit within it ! How wonderful
the power of God, that I am so long an inhabi-
tant of so frail a dwelling ! The past year has
been to me one of more than common suffering.
Often has the spirit been ready to bid farewell to
earth and all its trials, and to welcome death as a
kind messenger. Again and again has the spirit
been permitted to rejoice, that its trials from sin
and suffering were very soon to end. No earthly
tie could allure me back to earth. All was joy
and peace. Yes, when every nerve has been
tortured with pain, when every remedy my kind
physician could apply, or the kind hand of friend-
ship bestow, has failed to relieve, I was calm,
and could say amidst it all, 'The will of the
Lord be done.'
** The blessed assurance that God did not af-
flict willingly, and a strong faith in his promise,
that he would never leave nor forsake me, and
that he would give me strength sufficient for all
trials, enabled me to endure all my sufferings
witli patienw;, knowing that they were all sent
for my souFs good, by a kind and merciful Father.
My never-failing confidence that God will do all
things right, has made the spirit wilhng, when so
near homo, to (iome back to its prison of clay,
and to sufTor patiently and cheerfully to wait
God's own time lo take me to himself. How
comtbrting the thought that this is not our home.
That there is a rest lor Aveary souls, when this
short jitate of earthly discipline shall end.
^ I do feel thankful, tliat when this spirit shall
be called ujxiu to resign its house of clay, there
will be no regret in the separation. I have been
made to value and honor this body as the habita-
tion of my never-dying soul to dwell in while on
earth. I can now look upon the decay of this
feeble body with pleasure, when I think that
death is to free it from all suffering and corrup-
tion ; and when this immortal spirit shall again
iniiabit it, it will be free from all sin. And O,
my heavenly Father, in the reunion of the spirit
wit!) the body, when both shall become immortal,
may it be found among that 'great multitude
which no man could number, before the throne,
and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes
and palms in their hands ! ' To be one among
the number of those, in that great and final con-
summation of all things ; to hear the voice of mj
Redeemer and my Judge, saying, ^ These are
they which came out of great tribulation and
have washed their robes, and made them white
in the blood of the Lamb,' will be worth a life
of pain and trials, even could it be without one
moment's mitigation. I tremble, when I think
my portion may be among the lost This sinful
heart is so prone to wander. Save me, O God
of my salvation.
* I plead the merits of thy Son,
Who died for sinners on the tree:
I plead his righteousness alone,
put the spotless robe on me/
" Though the past year has been one of con-
tinued sickness and pain, I have many, very
many blessings to acknowledge. And may the
same Almighty Power, that has made me willing
to suffer, give me a grateful heart; grateful that I
have kind friends to watch over me, and by acts
of kindness that none but the sick can value,
have made my sick-bed easy and pleasant : grate-
ful that I have a kind and faithful pastor to sym-
pathize with me, and by his counsel and prayers
direct my thoughts from earth to heaven. * * *
I have a perfect confidence in telKng him my
joys and my sorrows, and feel that he kindly
cares for them. Teach me, O Lord, to love him
as thj servant, sent by thee to comfort and soothe
mj afOiictions, and relieve the tedious hours of a
"I desire to be thankful, that I have had
through this long and painful disease a kind and
attentive physician, anxious to alleviate my suf-
ferings, and never weary with hearing my com-
" Surely God is good. How many are called
to suffer without one friend to comfort them,
while I am surrounded with every blessing. I
have kind parents, and affectionate brothers and
sisters ; brothers alway willing to get every thing
for my comfort, a kind mother ever watchful, and
never weary in attending to the wants of her
suffering child. And everlasting thanks to thee,
my heavenly Father, that thou hast enabled me to
endure all my trials with patience ; that I have
been enabled to submit to this severe and pro-
tracted disease without once repining in word or
thought. Help me, O Lord, ever to trust all to
thee. Give me strength to endure to the end.
* Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe ; ' and
* Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt
revive me.' 'The Lord God will help' me;
therefore shall I not be confounded.' "
The CheerfUl Room of the Sufferer—Her Life the Joy of
Many — Views of Sickness and Health — Correspondence —
A Remarkable Prayer.
When the writer first saw Miss Mugford, she
was " sitting up in her chair," as stated in her
journal of Dec 6, 1834. He never saw her
again in that position. The attack of rheumatic
fever which occurred a few days afterwards, was
fatal to all reasonable hope of her ever recover-
ing the use of her lower limbs. Six months
later, she suffered extremely, every time she was
taken out of her bed. The operation was de-
ferred, at first for weeks, and then for months.
It became so painful, exciting, and exhausting,
that in one instance even ten months passed,
without its being attempted. But in all this
time, as well as eSier a contrivance, a few years
later, to lift her from her bed, as in a sack or
hammock, had been invented, everything about
her was kept in perfect cleanliness, neatness, and
At one time, when reduced by fever, and
wandering in mind, she thought herself in a
stranger's house. Recognizing her pastor at her
bed-side, she extended her hands towards him
with a piteous entreaty that she might be carried
home. He succeeded in soothing her, and, as he
supposed, had convinced her that she was really
at home and in her own room. But in a few
moments his risibilities were convulsed almost
beyond control, as she responded, "Well, Til
try to be contented ; but I hope the people here
will be kind and neat, and wiU keep my face
cleanJ' Never was there a truer expression of a
ruling passion in any human being, consciously or
From first to last, the style and management
of Sarah's room would have satisfied the fullest
demands of Florence Nightingale ; while the ex-
pense was very small, and the principal labor
was performed by her revered mother, long after
she had reached the age of three-score years and
ten. The furniture, so fitting and tasteful, the
unfailing supply of the most beautiful flowers
from the gardens or the green-houses, the picto-
rial and other enlivening embellishments upon
the walls, the air of comfort, cheerfulness, and
happiness, — ^m a word, the whole aspect of the
sufferer and the scene generally excluded every
sign or suggestion of gloominess or sadness.
" Why, how cheerful you look here," was a very
common exclamation, both of strangers and ac-
quaintances. '^ This does not look at all like a
sick-room." A sweet smile of the happy invalid
would be sure to accompany some such reply as
"Well, I always love to see things pleasant
about me. I do not know why they should not
For nearly a quarter of a century, there was
another sufferer in Salem, Miss Sally Purbeck,
who was also an extraordinary "example" of
Christian trust and fortitude. But in her case,
the frequent spasms, contortions, and apparent
agonies were so appalling, that some clergymen,
as well as numerous gentle-hearted ladies, have
fallen upon the door, or have vanished from her
presence as quickly as possible. It is not sup-
posed, however, that her actual suffering was
greater than that of Miss Mugford, who, when
able to see company, as most of the time she
was, could always be visited without the slightest
painfulness or disquietude. Many were the vis-
iters of the latter ; some from distant parts of the
country. Thus was the beneficent influence of
her " example of suffering affliction and of pa-
tience," diffused far and wide.
In her journal, she has spoken of the con-
tracting cords of her right lower limb. It was
eventually drawn up, as far as it could have been
by an act of her own wilL It became as fixed
as if it had been cast-iron. At a later time,
(1842,) when she was more emaciated, her left
limb was also drawn up under her, even more
than the other. Her posture, as will easily be
conceived, was now extremely uncomfortable.
Her physician, ever assiduous and prompt to
meet any new exigency in the case of his pa-
tient, labored to force down the foot, as far as
possible, by a wedge-like fixture, which he en-
larged a very little, at intervals of weeks or
more; he moved the foot down two or three
inches only, in six or seven months of a very
painful experiment; which, at last, was aban-
doned from his own unwillingness to continue it,
and not from any reluctance on her part to suffer
all that would be necessary, so long as there was
any hope of benefit The fixture was ever after-
wards worn. Those who knew of it could not
often sit long at her bed-side, without being re-
minded c^ it by the creaking respmise to some-
convulsive or spasmodic twinge.
The contraction of both of her lower limbs^
added to the weakness and soreness of the lower
part of the back, rendered it impossible fw her
to move herself from the place in which she
was laid by her attendants. Her head and the
upper part of the body were supported by pil-
lows, making an angle of inclination of tliirty-five
or forty degi*ees. At times she could bear to be
raised, and even raise herself, for a few minutes,
so as to appear almost like one sitting in bed.
But if the house had been on fire, and she could
have saved herself by getting to the floor of the
room, she would probably have been burned to
death, unless some arm of rescue had reached
her. This was her own belief, and hence she
was repeatedly in the greater apprehension from
fires in her neighborhood.
Her physician, who was no alarmist, had re-
peatedly predicted that her final hour would soon
come. But in the summer of 1837, he felt cer-
tain. It was in the beginning of the sixth year,
as she computed the period of her sickness, —
always reckoning the years from July 1, 1832.
Her pastor, being prostrated on account of ill-
ness, was compelled to leave home for a journey
of a month. He never expected to see her again
in this world. She rallied, however, as perhaps,
ten or twelve times before ; but in this instance
so wonderfuUj, that she seemed almost to have
risen from the dead.
Whether, she should die or live appeared to
be a subject of no solicitude or preference. Her
simple desire was, that God's will should be
done. And ^though if she had then fallen
asleep, there would have been not a few, who
would have congratulated her on her deliver-
ance from the furnace of her affliction; yet so
much more had her consolation abounded, the
more she endured, that the symptoms of her re-
suscitation were hailed with an exhilarating glad-
ness and gratitude.
None would marvel at this, if they could know
how greatly she was esteemed and beloved, and
how instructive and comforting she was to other
sufferers in far lighter afflictions. As ^ the power
of Christ rested upon " her, and the all-sufficiency
of his grace was so signally illustrated, there was
scarcely a person that could be named in the
active usefulness of private, and but few in a
public life, who would have been more lamented
in death. Most unexpectedly she revived, and
seemingly regained what she had lost of strength
by the severe attack which had brought her so
low. But if any one had suggested, that she
might yet live even for a tenth part of her re-
maining twenty-three years, it could hardly have
been thought a possibility.
At the close of the last chapter, an extract
was given from her manuscripts, under date of
Jan. 1, 1837. It may be regarded as a continua-
tion of the private journal, commenced July 1,
1832. He next entry was the following : —
" 1837. The wish has often been expressed
by my friends, that they could have an entire
history of my sufferings, from the beginning
until the present moment. Most gladly would
I comply with their request ; but I feel it would
be impossible. Four years and nine months of
continual suffering, is what very few can have
the most remote idea of. Could I tell them all,
how every nerve has been tortured with pain,
day after day, month after month, and year after
year, they would get but a faint idea of sufferings
" We can describe pain, and we can sympa-
thize with those that suffer, but the anguish is
known only to the sufferer. I can tell of weari-
some days and sleepless nights, of painful limbs
and burning fevers. But those that can lie
down upon their pillows, and after a night of
sweet and quiet sleep, rise in the morning re-
freshed, and able to engage, body and mind, in
active business^ — ^what can they know of suffer-
ing? They can only imagine, faintly imagine,
what it is to spend wearisome days and sleepless
nights, confined to one spot, dependent upon those
around them to supply their most trifling wants.
Human nature would shrink from the thought of
only the confinement. I know health is a bless-
ing to be desired, and it is natural for us to dread
sickness. But I could tell those that are in the
enjoyment of health, that I enjoy many, very
many, comforts on my sick-bed.
" It is here I have learned many a salutary
lesson. I have learned to know myself. UntU
I was tried, I knew not that God had made me
capable of enduring suffering and privation. I
never should have known that I could have
courage to apply remedy after remedy, to bear
them aU without fear, and when they have failed
to give the desired relief, to have no feelings of
discouragement I never should have known
that I could have endured patiently and cheer-
fully all my trials, had they not been protracted.
I should never have known how to be grateful
for past and present mercies, had my cup been
unmixed with sorrow. Many of the precious
promises our heavenly Father has given to cheer
and comfort his afflicted children, would not have
been mine. Now when almost weary with suf-
fering, how sweet the pro^iises, * As thy days, so
shall thy strength be.* * He that shall endure to
the end, the same shall be saved ; ' and ^ My grace
is sufficient for thee : for my strength is made
perfect in weakness.*
"These and many other promises have ena-
bled me to view mj trials, not as marks of Grod's
displeasure, but as blessings to teach me the
vanity and uncertainty of all earthly hopes.
Had I never known affliction, had my path been
cheered with all the warm and summer hg^ t of
earthly joys, how poor would have been my
felicity ; and how soon would it have sunk be-
low the narrow horizon of the tomb! Even
when life glows upon us with all its radiance, we
cannot be happy, unless our hopes are fixed on
"The will of our heavenly Father must be
submitted to cheerfully. Be it to do, or suffer,
we must have no choice of our own, but ever feel
that the path he marks out for us is always the
best, and if we trust in him, he will lead us safely
through, however dark our path may be.
* It is the Lord who can sustain
Beneath the heaviest load,
From whom assistance I obtain
To tread the thorny road.
* It is the Lord whose matchless skill,
Can from affliction raise
Matter, eternity to fill
With ever growing praise.*
" May all my dear friends be led to glorify
Grod, that amidst all my trials I have been ena-
bled to trust in him. And may my example
ever be consistent with the spirit of my divine
Master ! May all that come in to see me be
made to feel that true happiness can be found
even on a bed of sickness and pain ; and that
I can be as grateful to my heavenly Father,
as though I was enjoying health and freedom of
"Grant, merciful Father, that my sufferings
may be for thy glory ! May they not only be
blessed to me, but to those around me ! May
they feel that life and health are uncertain ; that
they may lie on a bed of sickness; that their
active limbs may be as useless as mine ; and
theiB bodies, now full of health and vigor, may
lie as prostrate as mine ! When they look upon
this frail, helpless body, may they think of their
own frailty, and be constrained to give their
hearts to God ! "
Of a few letters, written in this same year,
1837, copies were preserved, chiefly, perhaps,
because of their containing so much which an-
swered the same purpose, as that of her auto-
biographic journal. One of these was written
to a suffering sister in the bonds of Christ, but
with whom personally she had no acquaintance.
It is a beautiftd effusion of Christian love, with
a short postscript, which may "stir up** some
" pure minds by way of remembrance." " P. S.
You may ask what my motive can be in address-
ing you. I can only say, that to me the least
remembrance from any one, be it a kind visit, or
the gift of a book, or a flower, or a little note.
has contributed much to mj happiness. And
many a painful hour has been alleviated bj the
kind sympathy of friends."
Writing to <Mie who had recently buried an
endeared and venerated father, she says respect-
ing herself: —
" You will want to know how this poor * house
I live in * has been, since you saw me, — O Mary,
I don't want to be tired cJ it, but when I read
your account of your father's peaceful departure
to the ' spirit-land ' I longed to say farewell to
* Fain would I leave this weary road.
And sleep in death, to rest in God.*
^^ I continue to sofier from the same chronic
complaints, though f<H* the last three days the
pain has been less acute. I have done without
watchers, a number of nights. You say in your
letter, we may never meet. Our heavenly Father
knows best, and in all things I can say, ' Thy
will, O Grod, be done.' Will you write to me
very socm again. ♦ ♦ ♦ My dear friend, will you
pray for your sick friend. Pray that she may
glorify God. And may ' the very God of peace
sanct^- you whcdly ; and I pray Grod your whole
spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blame-
less unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Faithftil is he that calleth you.' "
The letter which fdlows was addressed to a
friend, who had proved herself a friend indeed.
^'Dear MehitaMe: — I have made several at-
tempts to write to you, since you left Salem,
but thus far I have not been able to succeed.
* * * I have heard from you by the way of
your Salem friends, and it would have given
me much pleasure to have received a letter
from you. I heard a little about your wedding.
How did the Chester folks like your taking them
so by surprise ? I am with you often in imagi-
nation, and see you surrounded by your family
of children. You certainly must feel your situa-
tion to be a very responsible one. But you have
a heavenly Friend to ask counsel of, and he will
give you strength to discharge your duty towards
the children whom you have taken under your
" I need not tell you how much I miss you.
Among my many friends you are not the least.
Your kind attentions to me I shall never forget.
You have sympathized with me in my sufferings,
and watched over my sick bed, and I trust, I am
still remembered by you in your prayers. I
am lying on my sick bed, though not in the same
spot that I was, when you saw me. Some folks
think me stationary, but I and my bed, (you
know that is a part of myself, for the bed and I
have long been inseparable,) get a move some-
times. Last November I was moved into our
front room, and I have found it much more
comfortable than my little room I used to be in,
when you were here. We had a grate set, and
have burnt coal, so that I could have a fire all
nigHty without being obliged to have watchers. I
am now very feeble, more so, I think, than I ever
have been. My appetite is very poor. I have
not been able to take any solid Ibod into my
stomach for more than a fortnight. Last week
I suffered very much from pain. The same
chronic complaints continue to trouble me, and
the bowels continue to swell, so that every week
I am obliged to take some very powerfiil cathartic
Last week the pain was so very severe, I was
obliged to blister the bowels. It relieved the pain
for which it was applied ; but I have suffered more
than ever from that disease, that you used to think
was worse than all the rest. Even while writing
tliis, I am in agony.
"You don't know how much I dread the
poisonous effects of a blister. My physician
avoids using them as much as possible, but I
have been obliged to have three blisters within
two months. One of them was on the chest,
and after it was drawn, the skin was stripped
from it, and it was dressed with the savin s^ve
to keep it open ; and for three weeks, I was
unable to turn or move myself one inch. I can
assure you it was anything but comfortable.
The Doctor thought it would help a trouble-
some cough, attended with a good deal of pain ;
but like many other remedies it failed to give
the desired relief. But I have no reason or
disposition to complain. I know God will bless
the means used, just so far as will be for my
good, and his glory, and what more can I ask ?
I am not able to sit up only to have my bed
made. Last week I was unable to have it made
from Monday morning until the next Sabbath,
and I can tell you I began to feel a little wearied
"I have told you a great deal more about
myself than my own inclination would have
prompted me to; but I promised you, when-
ever I wrote you, to be very particular, and tell
you just how I was, and as far as I am able, I
have given you a history of myself.
^ I suppose you often think about Salem and
Salem folks. I know you must miss your rer
ligious privileges, but when we know that God
is not confined to time or place, we should not
complain, but cheerfully submit to all privations.
Often when I have felt sad to think that, year
after year, I have been shut out from tibose
privileges I once enjoyed, the thought that in a
short time, if I should be faithful unto the end, I
shall be permitted to worship God in those man-
sions of eternal rest, where sin, nor sickness,
nor change can ever be known, has dispelled all
" You must give my love to your mother and
sister. I often think of their kind attentions to
me, while I was in Chester. Remember me
to your brother's family. Tell your brother, I
could not climb up Rattlesnake Hill with him
now. Remember me to your good old uncle
C . Tell him, I still suffer from pain and
sickness, but I can rejoice amidst it all, and
can cheerfully say 'Thy will, O God, be
" I wish to be remembered fb your husband.
You of course thanked him for his kind remem-
brance of me. I intended to have kept that part
of his letter to me, but you was so selfish, you
claimed the whole. I hope he will write again.
I cannot mention all my Chester friends indi-
vidually, but I have not forgotten one of them ;
and you must tell them so for me. You must
write me very soon. Your friend, Sarah."
To these extracts from correspondence may
here he added a remarkable prayer.
"Sabbath, 5 o'clock, Aug. 13, 1837.— Sister
Abigail's dying hour.
" O thou righteous Judge and Disposer of all
events, help me to look to thee at this time. I
am as clay in thy hands, and thou art the potter.
Thou that gavest life, hast a right to take it
away. Thou that gavest health, and friends,
hast a right to recall them when thou pleasest.
Thou didst bestow them upon us, thou hast a
right to take them away. Be silent, O my soul !
Hush every thought, and cheerfully submit to
thy Father's will.
" Great indeed is this affliction. Help, O help
me to believe that this trial is thy appointment.
While our hearts are overwhelmed by this sud-
den and distressing event, we would feel thank-
fill and rejoice that my dear sister has put her
trust in thee her Saviour ; that she is permitted
to rejoice in the hope of a blessed immortality ;
that with her last breath she can praise her
Redeemer. Be with her, O thou Saviour of
sinners. Strengthen her faith in this her last
and dying hour. Gro with her through the dark
valley and safely land her in the haven of
" And while we pray for thee to strengthen
her, may we not bring before thee our, own
wants ? We know thy ways are mysterious,
but right Thou art pleased to remove my dear
sister in the midst of life and health, while I am
left to linger, year after year, on a bed of sick-
ness and suffering. O thou blessed Redeemer,
thou by whose atoning blood I hope to be
saved, wilt thou give me strength to endure
to the end.
" Wilt thou bless this family. May this afflic-
tion be blessed to the souls of all. Bless the
absent ones, and those that are with us ; and
when they see and hear of the sustaining power
of religion in the hour of sickness and pain ;
when they see that death has no terrors to those
who trust in a Saviour, may they be constrained
to give their hearts to thee. Sanctify this afflic-
tion to our aged father. While he sees his
children, one after another, removed to the land
of spirits, trusting in their Saviour, may he seek
and find peace in believing. O God, hear in
mercy the prayers of his sick and dying children
for the salvation of his soul. O may he be saved
by the atoning blood of the Saviour, the only
way by which he can be saved. Save him, O
save lum, before he goes down to death.
"Pardon our importunity, O Father, and
strengthen our faith. Much we would ask of
thee for our dear mother. Strengthen her hope
in thee, and though she is called often to drink
the bitter cup of bereavement, and sorrow of
various kinds, O Father, may she see the hand
of kindness in all the dispensations of thy wise
and holy will.
" O Lord, in this dark and trying event, thoa
art about to rend asunder the dear and sacred
ties of wife, and mother. Bless, O bless the
husband of my dear sister. Give him the liglit
of thy countenance. May he now, it* he never
has before, give his heart to God. May he be
sanctified through the blood of Christ. We know
that at the foot of the cross, he will find iha
fountain of life and peace. Bless the dear motli-
erless babes. Spare their lives, and enable those
that shall have the care of them, to be faithful to
their spiritual as well as their temporal wants.
Hear, O Father, the dying wife and mother's
prayer for her husband and her dear little ones.
And now, O Father hear us, and as far as is
consistent with thy holy will and purpose, an-
swer us. We thank thee^ that we are permitted
to come to thee, and that our wants are known
to thee. Pardon our sins, and accept this our
humble petition, and all glory and praise shall
be given to him who died for us, that we through
his sufferings and death might be made partakers
of eternal rest. Amen."-
The sister, whose "dying hour" was thus com-
memorated, had given birth to twin daughters,
who slept in death, and were buried with her,
reposing in her arms.
Habitual Gratitude — ^Employments — Sabbath-School Mem-
bership — Correspondence — Testimony to her Pastor —
The Last Night of the Year.
" In everything give thanks," said Paul to the
Thessalonians. The meaning is more clearly
expressed in the words : — " continue to give
thanks, whatever be your lot" This to many
" is a hard saying." But it was otherwise to her,
whose character this Memorial is designed to
When her prospects of relief or respite from
the acutest suffering were the darkest in the
view of her attendants; she often said, as her
friends took leave of her aft«r a visit, — ^" I hope
I shall be better tomorrow." This remark has
been repeated many days in succession, the eye
beaming brightly with hope, while the tones of
her voice indicated no impatience or anxiety.
Expressed or implied there was always the peace
of unfaltering trust, and the unspeakable joy of a
heart that was never at a loss for new occasions
She often adverted to her cause for gratitude
that she could employ her hands, both for writing
and working. She wrote but little at a time,
yet the aggregate in some years was quite
large. A part of her writing was first done
. witli pencil, — the pen following carefully after,
in every line, word, and point But in her later
years she wrote less and less, and chiefly with
the pencil alone.
Much of the time she could use her needle,
and any kind of needle which was known to
her. Her various domestic and ornamental hand-
icraft afforded her very pleasant occupation, until
the very last months and weeks of her suffering.
Much valued specimens are cherished as tokens
of her affectionate regard, or proofs of her artis-
tic accomplishments. Among them are some
beautiful collections of " Ocean Flowers," in ar-
ranging and preserving which in albums she took
When not wholly disabled for exertion, she
had no lack of employment. Much time, chiefly
of the night hours, she spent in meditation and
devotion. Her choice books were always within
her reach ; and one or more of the best journals
of passing events came to her daily. Her mem-
ory was seldom at fault, and her knowledge
of facts was truly wonderful. The writer once
said to her, — " Why, Sarah, you are a stationary
chronicle." Her response plainly intimated that
she did not consider the remark much of a com-
pliment, and that she desired to think of herself
as living for some higher purpose, than merely
to repeat what she had heard or read, whether
or not requested.
She'was always pleased to aid her friends by
giving information which would be useful or
agreeable, especially in settling questions of fact ;
while tattling, or tale-bearing, or even talkative-
ness, or any semblance of either, was regarded
with great dislike, or disgust. And her gcnei-al
intelligence, so varied and so accurate, beside
contributing much to her own enjoyment, was so
often appealed to, that her obliging services in
this respect were somewhat of an item in the or-
dinary course of her occupations. To tliis let it
be added, that, from a very early period of her
life, as a sufferer, she had the virtual care and
oversight of all the affairs of the household ; and
for a few years previous to her death, was the
real head of the family, superintending all its
concerns with admirable propriety.
One employment on the Sabbath would not be
suspected by any reader of these sketches. Re-
taining her connection with the Sabbath-school,
she regularly prepared herself when able so to
do, as if expecting to meet with the members of
the class in which she was enrolled, when she
last attended public worship. Long after the
class had ceased to exist, — even until near the
close of her life, — she procured every new text-
book, and kept herself informed of all the opera-
tions of the school. In 1838, writing to her last
teacher, Mrs. F. W. A., then residing in Illinois,
she said : —
" The remembrance of those happy seasons I
once enjoyed in the Sabbath-school is still ex-
ceedingly precious ; and though I may never be
permitted personally to mingle with those who
still enjoy the blessed privilege, I can here on
my sick-bed enjoy the presence of God, my Sa-
viour. You can well understand my feelings
when I say, what a comfort it is to know that
God is omnipresent"
The thought of being disconnected with the
Sabbath-school was evidently most painful to her.
Her love for it was like that of the venerable
Dea. John Punchard, who attended the Taberna-
cle Sabbath-school until he was upwards of ninety-
three years old, — and as long as he was able to
walk to the house of God.
In many ways she gave proof of an earnest
desire, that her personal influence might always
be that of a true and consistent friend of Christ.
Some of those who sought her acquaintance
were not only from the higl^^t walks of life,
but also held very different views of religious
doctrine, from those which she had found her
life and joy. Among them were several young
ladies, who never forgot her Christian loveliness
and faithfulness. To Miss E. S. P., she thus
"You are very kind in wishing that I *too
were able to enjoy with you the sweet songs
of the birds.' I can assure you, my dear Lizzie,
it would be a very great gratification to me,
to be with you, and to be able to participate in
those pleasures which nature has so bountifully
Aimished for our comfort. And did 1 not con-
stantly remember that my heavenly Father
wisely permits the continuance of these infirmi-
ties, which have so long confined me to the mo-
notonous scenes of a sick-room, I fear I might
sometimes be apt to repine. But dear E., you
have often heard me say, that I constantly re-
ceive more blessings than I can ever be thankful
"I was amused with your plan about the
cottage, house-keeping, and getting rid of dinner-
parties. I think your opinion of such things is
very correct I think with you, that we should
live very comfortably. You are very judicious
too in the division of our employment. But
these plans, dear Lizzie, are all imaginary, for
they can never happen to us. Let us then look
forward to those things which are real ; and let
each of us be anxious to secure that happiness
which shall be sure and eternal, — a home in
those mansions of rest, where sin or suffering can
never enter, and our employment will be to praise
Him who redeemed us."
To the same.
" ' A happy New Year ' to you, my dear Eli-
zabeth. * * * I thank you for your kind
wish that this may be a happy year to me. I
know it wiU be my own fault, if it is not. I have
so much to be thankful for, that I cannot find
time to be unhappy. I was pleased with the
little hand-glass, which you sent me, and I will
try to make a good use of it You say that you
thought you would * venture to send it, as I am
vanity-proofJ I thought when I looked in it,
that though I did not now deserve the compli-
ment, your glass would soon teach me the folly
of vanity having any place in my heart, as it is
a very true reflector. I hope soon, very soon
to see you.
Yours truly, Sauah."
The following was to a lady, who, although
" rich in this world," had found herself entirely
destitute of support and comfort in her bereave-
ments and other trials : —
^^My Dear Mrs. R. : — Permit one who knows
by experience what it is to drink of the bitter
cup of affliction, to mingle her sympatiiy with
you. Since I heard of the death of your son,
you and your family have been almost constantly
on my mind. Most earnestly do I pray, that the
severe trials you have been called to endure,
may be sanctified to you. May you be enabled
to look to that Saviour, who alone can speak
peace to the troubled soul ; for * vain is the help
" ' The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken
away.' Yes, Grod has done it. And the cup of
affliction which he now presents, though it con-
tains the waters of bitterness, is filled irom the
fountain of life and love. To that fountain, my
dear afflicted friend, I trust you will go. Look
not to this w^orld for comfort, but remember that
the hand which has wounded alone can heal.
Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sus-
tain you, and communicate strength adequate to
your day, — causing you to sing of mercy, as well
as of judgment.
" I beg of you to trust to no other refuge, save
Christ. He is just such a Saviour as your soul
needs. Yes, he can be touched with a feeling of
our infirmities, and he afflicts but for our good.
May you be able to adopt the language of the
Psalmist, and say, ^ It is good for me that I have
" Forgive me, my dear friend, if I urge you
more strongly to accept of the offers of consola-
tion, which the Bible presents, than may seem
to be proper for me to do. I know of no other
comfort, and that is why I urge it To those
that believe, Christ is unspeakably precious.
Come then to him, and at the foot of the
cross, find a tranquil refuge for your weary
soul. Bow to his sceptre, welcome him to your
heart, and you will find in him all you need ; a
Redeemer, mighty to save, — a Physician, able
to make you whole, — a Friend, infinitely power-
ful and compassionate, — ^a glorious Resting-place
through all the changes of time, — through aU the
ages of eternity.
* * * "With this I send you a litde
book, — Jay's 'Happy Mourner;' and ask you to
accept of it I find many things in it, which, I
think, will give comfort to the afflicted. Excuse
the liberty I have taken in addressing you.
Yours, in the bonds of affectionate sympathy,
Sarah S. Mugford."
To Miss Mary S.
" My dear Mary, I fear, is quite too apt to
think more highly of her friend's judgment, than
she deserves ; and did not the good opinion my
friends have of me, serve to humble and stimu-
late me to be more like what they think me,
than I really am, I should be under the neces-
sity of requesting them to be more careful about
what they say to me. But, I trust, I have been
able in some measure to see my danger, and it
has been my earnest prayer, that I might be kept
free from self-righteousness.
"You say I have forgotten *how the cares,
the pleasures, and the bustle of life in the midst
of the world destroy our time and perplex the
mind.' No, Mary, I have not forgotten, and I
am often pained, when I look back and remem-
ber how many precious hours 1 have given to the
false and fleeting pleasures of the world ; and how
little I have done for the good of my fellow-
creatures. How few of us value time correctly,
or improve it diligently.
" It is true that I am now, and have been, for
the last five years, comparatively speaking, free
from the cares of the world. And it is likewise
true, that I often imagine the path I would tread,
were I again blessed with health. That I have
been regulated in the disposal of my time by a
system of my own, I will acknowledge ; but it
falls far short of the high encomiums you pass
upon it. ' A good method wisely arranged and
punctually observed, in the distribution of our
time,' I have always thought would assist us in a
right improvement of it. We should constantly
remember, that our time is amongst the talents
for which we must give account at the bar of
Gknl. And I tremble when I think, that I am
there to give an account for not only what I
have done, but for what I have had tune to do,
and yet neglected to improve it"
" My Dear Mary : — ^I cannot sufficiently thank
you for the kind and benevolent feelings ex-
pressed in your note towards me. * * * *
I wish that you would not be troubled about
visitmg me too often. I will promise you, that I
will not be ^ weary,' if your feet bring you to my
house as often as you may wish to come. The
passage you refer me to in Prov. 25 : 17, you
need not apply to yourself; but I wish you to
remember what is said in Prov. 18 : 24. * A
man that hath friends must show himself friendly.'
And situated as I am, I know of stronger test of
my friends' love towards me, than their coming
often to see me.
" I am glad you feel as you do in regard to
my continuance here. Always, my dear Mary,
when you pray for me, let it be your earnest
desire, that the will of GU)d be done. I desire to
know no will but his. You say, that the thought
of my being taken away sometimes causes tears ;
but, my kind friend, there is a healing in the bitter
cup. Faith looks beyond the narrow bounds of
time, to the Christian's home. O let us not
murmur, but rejoice that it is our privilege to
die. To me it is a blessed thought.
* E'en the last parting earth can know,
Brings not unutterable woe,
To souls that heavenward soar;
For humble faith, with steadfast eye.
Points to a brighter world on high,
Where hearts mat here at parting sigh
May meet to part no more.'
" You request that while I live you may be a
sharer of my friendship. Most cordially, dear
Mary, do I reciprocate all your wishes. As
long as I live, you shall be remembered by me.
And may our love to each other be none but
holy love, and then it will be lasting, yes, it will
In April, 1839, her debility was so great, that
she was daily looking for the end.
"You have often," she said to her pastor,
" spoken with me about some little matters re-
lating to my sickness. Some things you have.
I have tried at times to write. But I have found
that my sufferings seemed so much the same,
that what I did write appeared but a repetition
from day to day. I have done but little. I
have always felt that it was all right I have
enjoyed a peace and comfort, such as I never
could have imagmed. My mother feels very
much for me. I know you will never forget
her. I may be spared a little longer. I may
not have suffered hdf as much as I may yet
have to suffer. But I sometimes feel, when
I have almost got home, as if I should like
" I have not for a long time thought that I
should be well again. I have always felt that
Grod is righteous in all my afflictions. When I
have thought of the sufferings of Christ, I have
felt that mine are nothing to his. I have never
dared to express all my feelings in regard to my
Having recovered so far as to be able to
use her pen, she wrote to Miss C. B., who
was peculiarly afflicted, and who then had not
found, as subsequently she did find, the in-
ward supports of Christian submission and
hope : —
" When writing in your album, I said to my-
self, perhaps these pieces will be read by my
friend C— — , when I shall be where * the weary
are at rest,' and ^ the inhabitant shall not say, I
am sick.' And may I not hope, that when your
eye rests upon the record of your afflicted and
suffering friend, memory will take you back to
this little room ? Yes, you will, I trust, think of
the hours you have spent by the side of my sick
bed, with feelings of thankfulness, that my sick
bed was not the abode of sadness and gloom ;
but that it was cheered by the kind attentions of
friends and the prayers of Christians. And more
than all I would have you remember, dear
C , that through all the trials your friend
has been called to endure, she was sustained and
comforted by him, who hath said, I will never
leave thee, nor forsake thee.
" And may I not hope, that when my spirit
shall be released from this frail dwelling, I may
be permitted to see you a decided follower of our
Lord and Saviour. Then, my friend, you will
have a peace such as the world cannot give, and
you will be enabled to view the trials and disap-
pointments of this life, as blessings. I know
your trial is severe ; but think not that you would
have been more reconciled, had your trial been
otherwise than it is. God cannot do amiss. He
worketh all things after the counsel of his own
will, and we know that he afflicts but for our
good; and I pray that you may be enabled
to say, ' It is well.' * It is the Lord, let him do
what seemeth him good.' "
The first day of July was very specially re-
membered by Miss Mugford, as the anniversary
of her confinement to the sick room, for the resi-
due of life. But the commencement of a new
year, according to the calendar, was still more
an object of marked attention. In one of her
letters, she says : —
" You must not feel troubled when you find
that I wrote part of this letter at twelve o'clock,
last night. I began it yesterday afternoon, as
you will see, and wrote only a few lines. Com-
pany came in, and I had no chance to write
until midnight I should not have been asleep,
if I had not been writing. I told sister H ,
before she went to bed, that since I have been
an invalid, I have never gone to sleep, the
last night of the year and the beginning of
the new year. It has always been an interest-
ing season to me, and I would not be forgetful
of it, even if by sleeping it away, I could have
a night of sleep, such as those only in health can
In another letter to the same friend, she refers
to a striking passage in Krummacher's " Elijah
"./aw. 1, 1840. Last night, being unable to
sleep, I spent the hours in thinking of that
home, where time shall be without change, and
where the weary shall find rest I could not
but feel, that many had been taken away the
last year, whose usefulness would have far ex-
ceeded mine, had they been permitted to re-
main upon the earth. In the midst of these
thoughts, I took up my little book, * Elijah the
Tishbite,' and was comforted and encouraged
by reading this sentence: 'Many a broken in-
strument will the Lord use again for his work,
before he takes it away into the land of rest ;
and many a troubled sufferer before he de-
parts shall again take his harp from the wil-
lows, and sing thanksgiving to Him, whose
counsel is wonderful and his ways mysterious^
but who doeth all things well. And then it will
be enough. Ah, who is warranted yet in say-
ing it is * enough ? ' It is only ' enough,' when
the Lord saith it And if you have still to re-
main for years in the furnace of affliction, be
assured that you will eventually acknowledge in
heaven, that then only was it enough, and not a
moment earlier, when the Lord stripped you of
the garments of your pilgrimage, and took you
unto himself.' "
" Mary, I do feel, that it is not enough, until
the Lord saith it I submit all to his will, and
he will strengthen me to endure every trial.
Pray for me, my dear friend. And may the
year we have just entered upon, be to each of us
both useful and happy; and when we are to-
gether let us think and talk more about the
Saviour. Let no earthly friend take the place
in our hearts which belongs to him whom we
have promised to follow."
Accompanying the foregoing was a copy of
the lines, " On hearing the clock strike twelve
at night, Dec. 31st," — beginning with the ad-
" Knell of departed years
Thy voice is sweet to me; '*
and ending with the stanza, —
" Thou art the voice of Lift ;
A sound which seems to say,
prisoner in this gloomy vale,
Thy flesh shall faint, thy heart shall fail;
Yet fairer scenes thy spirit hail,
That cannot pass away;
Here, grief and pain
Thy steps detain,
There in the image of the Lord, shalt
Thou with Jesus reign."
Physicians— The Refining Process—The Night-Blooming
Cereus— Winter's Jubilee— New Trials and Triumphs —
Enjoyment of Life — The Closing Scenes.
The eminent physician who performed the
operation of cauterizing, and afterwards visited
his patient daily with unabated interest and
without charge, was unfortunately poisoned dur-
ing a post mortem examination. Anticipating a
suspension, if not an end of his professional
practice, he introduced to her a brother phy-
sician. Dr. G. O , in whom he fully and just-
ly confided. They visited her in company, or
separately, until 1841, when the latter was her
only dependance. She regarded it as an occa-
sion of daily thanks to God, that she was so
favored in respect to medical service. Her new
adviser spared no pains to administer every
available remedy, in the most scientific treatment
of diseases and infirmities like hers; receiving
all the recompense which he desired, in the
pleasure of his daily visitations.
She had a great abhorrence of quackery, and
would never listen with any favor to suggestions
which were sometimes made by visiters, as if
she might be benefited by a diflPerent course of
treatment In one instance an amiable man
tried to persuade her to admit a Dr. C and
his electrical battery, — assuring her that she
would certainly receive great relief, if not be
perfectly cured. It happened at a time when
she had been greatly alarmed by fires near her
dwelling, as well as in other parts of the city.
Her characteristic decision appears in a few
words to a friend : —
" I forgot to tell you, that Saturday afternoon,
in the midst of the fire, the Dr. C— — , I told
you about, called to see me, and brought his
electrical machine all ready to give me a shock.
But I thought I had had shocks enough for one
day, and as I had referred him to Dr. O ^
and he had not seen him, I refused to see him,
and the poor man went off with his box. Dr.
T used to tell me, that if he had children,
he would teach them ' how to say, wo.' And I
will never say yes, when I feel that it is right to
say no ; not to please the best friends I have.
If the man is wiling to go to Dr. O , as he
ought to, and if Dr. O thinks well of him, I
am ready to see him."
She was troubled no farther from this source.
And beyond question, she saved herself and her
family much expense and unhappiness, by her
inflexible purpose to follow the directions of her
chosen physicians, and give no countenance to
the pretensions of empirics, however heralded,
or to any panacea, whatever the attestations of
Not anything was more uniformly manifest,
than her confidence that her trial would have an
end in God's own appointed time. She was
deeply interested, when her pastor informed her
of the test to which refiners of silver bring their
work, — viz., the clear reflection of their own
face from the surface of the heated metal. She
has alluded to the process of refining, in several
of her manuscripts, as in the letter which fol-
lows, dated, "Saturday night, 11 o'clock, July 1,
* * * " Eleven long years of suffering !
How many times, within the last three or four
hours, I have repeated these words ! I am lost
in wonder, and feel that it is almost impossible
to give you the least idea of the mingled emo-
tions which now fill my heart I have shed
tears of sorrow and of joy. Bitter tears of sor-
row I have good cause to shed, when I remem-
ber how long I have been in the furnace, and
how much dross still remains. But, dear Mary,
I rejoice to know that he who tries, is the ' Great
Refiner,' and he knows how much I can bear,
and just what I need.
* Tis blessedness to know that he
The piece he has begun
Will not forsake, till he can see, —
To prove the work well done, —
An image, by its brightness shown,
The per£Bct likeness oi his own.'
'"Many, very many, years longer it will be
necessary to keep me in the furnace of affliction,
ere the work wiU be well done, or ere a faint
likness of my Saviour can be seen in me. I will
make no promise now, dear M., that this new
year, the twelfth year I am just about to com-
mence, shall be more satisfactorily spent, than
those that are past, but I do pray that it may be.
I will trust in Him, who has hitherto been my
strength, my refuge ; and whatever the coming
year may bring to me, be it sickness and suffer-
ing, joy or sorrow, life or death, I trust I shall
be enabled cheerfully to acquiesce. Thus far I
can say, that I have not had one pain too many
or too severe. My lot has been a pleasant and
by no means a hard one ; and in truth and sin-
cerity I can say —
* I thank theo for sickness, for sorrow, for care,
For the thorns I have gathered, the anguish I bear;
For nights of anxiety, watchings, and tears,
A present of pain, a perspective of years ;
I praise thee, I bless thee, my King and my God,
For the good and the evil thy hand hath bestowed/ "
In this same illuminated midnight letter, there
is a corresponding description of a rare spectacle,
which cannot be omitted, as it at once so happily
illustrates her discriminating taste, and her great
facility in deducing appropriate moral lessons
from what we call nature, and what truly " is but
the varied Grod."
" It is now almost two o'clock, and think not,
dear M., that I have been kept awake writing
this letter. I have felt no desire to sleep.
A little after ten, Mrs. P. was so very kind as
to bring me a beautiful flower, the night-bloom-
ing Cereus. I was delighted to think I had got
the beautiful flower to watch all night. Would
you not like to watch it with me? The first
moment I saw it, I wished you could see it ;
and if it had not been too late, I should have
sent for Mr. W. and Mrs. A., and the chil-
dren, to come and see it. But I had to enjoy
it all alone. About one o'clock, when it was
in all its splendor, I did awake Mary P. out
of a good sound sleep, to get up and see it; and
I got her to take it into mother's room for her
*^ It IS tlie most singular and interesting flower
I ever saw. This is the second one I have
watched all night When Mrs. P, brought it at
ten o'clock, it was not entirely bloomed out
From that time until one, it very gradually
spread out its beautiful straw-colored, and its
pure white petals ; and then I could look down
into the calyx, or cup of the flower, where I
could see placed, in such beautiful order, its
rich and delicate straw-colored stamens. But I
cannot tell you how magniflcent it looked.
Have you ever seen one ? If you have, you will
know why I cannot describe it How sad it
seems, that anything so beautiful should die so
soon I Before daylight, it will look like an ugly
wilted stalk. Even now the outside straw-colored
petals have changed to a dark brownish shade ;
and as they draw up towards the white ones,
such a dark shade is cast over them, that I am
reminded of an eclipse of the sun."
" What a lesson one may learn from this
flower! And how few behold its beauty, or
smell its rich fragrance I O Mary, you would
not value a night's watching, if you could enjoy
what I have with this flower. The fragrance
and beauty of it are almost gone, but not the
lesson I have received. I have often heard peo-
ple say, that they look from nature up to na-
ture's God. And they think oftentimes, that in
so doing they worship him as they ought But
can they feel his presence, unless they feel and
believe that nature's Grod is their Redeemer?
And unless we feel, that he is our Redeemer,
and that his blood has been shed for us — how
can we feel that he is more to us, than he is to
this little flower?"
"Our meditation for July first, if I mistake
not, is — ' My Saviour is the One Mediator be-
tween God and man.' How very pleasant it is
to study this little book, *My Saviour?* Mary,
I have felt to-night that he is indeed my Creator
"Four o'clock. For the last hour I have
been watching my poor, dying flower. Its
beauty is all gone. And I have been listening
too for the welcome sound of rain, as I hear
the distant sound of thunder. But the cloud,
I think, is passing from us, and there is no rain.
But it will come all in good time. The thunder
has passed away, and now the birds have be-
gun their sweet morning songs. It is delightful
to hear their sweet songs, and more so when
I remember that this is the Sabbath. Aside
from pain, what I now enjoy is a foretaste of the
heavenly rest, —
* Where fragrant flowers immortal bloom,
And joys supreme are given.' "
The attentive reader must have marked the
beauty and fitness of the poetical passages,
which appear in such extracts from her writings,
as the foregoing. Quite a collection might be
made from her papers, rich according to its ex-
tent, as the richest compilation yet seen in our
noble language, designed for the especial com-
fort and joy of the afHicted. Her love of beauty
also, in whatever form, attracted to her mind and
heart the choicest variety of other poetic effusions.
It is not known that she ever attempted to ex-
press her thoughts or sentiments in any versifica-
tion of her own. But in her artless, and most
unpretending compositions, there was not seldom
an unconscious kindling of poetic fervor.
" Jan, 2, 1853. O Mary, dear Mary, was there
ever on this earth such a glorious Sabbath morn-
ing ? And new year too ? * He casteth forth his
ice like morsels.' K the Psalmist had the glo-
rious sight I now have before my eyes he could
not help exclaiming, — ^ O Lord, how manifold are
thy woii^ 1 in wisdom hast thou made them all :
the earth is full of thy riches.' God has indeed
* cast forth his ice like morsels.' Nature has put
on a splendid robe for the new year.
* Tis winter's jubilee,— this day
His stores tneir countless treasures yield.
See how the diamond glances play
In ceaseless blaze from trees and field.
* A shower of gems is strewed around,
The flowers of winter, rich and rare ;
Rubies and sapphires deck the ground,
The topaz, emerald, all are there.'
** I can see, dear M., from my window, just
two elm trees, covered as it were with silver.
I am almost blinded by the sight, as the sun
shines upon them. What an exhibition of purity!
None but infinite wisdom and power can so soon
bring forth such a picture of beauty. If the two
trees I can see, fill my mind with so much pleas-
ure, what must those feel and enjoy, who can see
a greater number ? "
" I call this splendid exhibition our heavenly
Father's new year's present to his children.
What a splendid world this might have been, if
sin had never entered it. And even now, Mary,
sinful as I am, I cannot look upon this splendid
glitter of gems, without feeling this to be a fore-
taste of heaven. Of the New Jerusalem, John
says, — *Her light was like unto a stone most
precious, even like a jasper-stwie, clear as crystal.
* * * And the building of the wall of it was of
jasper; and the city was pure gold, like unto
clear glass. And the foundaticms of the wall
of the city were garnished with all manner of
precious stones.' "
" Since I have been writing, the sun has melted
away much of the beauty of nature's silver robe.
Still much remains. But how soon all will be
gone. How strikmgly emblematical of human
life is this scene. Life and death, sunshine and
tears. We should be the better for such lessons.
But how soon we forget them."
Did not she who could so write, and who con-
tinued even more than seven years longer thus to
feel, to write, and to exemplify, have triumph in
her trial? But as yet the half of either part
of her experience has scarcely been suggested,
much less portrayed.
In Jan. 1845, she was lifted carefully from her
bed, and in a few minutes was replaced. She
had not been thus moved for almost a year.
The convulsive excitement was sadly disastrous.
As soon as her head was laid again upon her
pillows, her mouth closed with a new and most
alarming sensation. Entering her room just at
this hour, her pastor saw her in tears. It was
the only time he ever saw her weep, on account
of any suffering in her afflicted body. But the
tears were flowing fast, as she said to him, with
a laboring utterance, — ^ My jaws are locked, and
I am afraid they will never be opened again ! "
Her worst fears were realized. For sixteen
years and a half her jaws were locked, immov-
She was obliged during all this time to take
her nourishment in a liquid form, through a glass
tube, which was inserted on one side of her
mouth, in an opening caused by the extraction
of defective teeth. Her articulation was of course
obstructed and otherwise impaired.
A little more than three years kter, (Feb.
1848,) while seized of a violent influenza, she
lost her voice, so as never afterwards to be able
to speak, except in whispering sounds. And
about the same time, her teeth and gums became
excessively sore and painful, from an inequality
in the pressure of the upper and lower parts
of the mouth. A skilful dentist undertook the
removal of seventeen or more perfectly sound
teeth, and to substitute an artificial set, in a
frame-work, which might equalize the pressure,
that had been so insupportable.
To submit to such an operation, in any cir-
cumstances, would be quite enough for more
than an average shar© of resolution. But with
those fine teeth in that fastly closed mouth, it
was a trial to herself scarcely inferior to the
terrific cauterizing, fifteen years previous, and
was borne with the same unblenching firmness.
On two or three different days, the work was
accomplished. The experiment of the substitute
was equally successful, and afforded her a most
Beside the bodily diseases already mentioned
or indicated, she had great suffering, at different
times, from neuralgic affections of the face, the
eyes, the ears, and the head generally. For
some one or more of her maladies, blisters upon
blisters, large and small, but of the most irri-
tating kind, were applied and were usually as
anodynes or opiates, in contrast with the an-
guish endured without them.' Almost every year
she had either a rheumatic or a lung fever.
For weeks together, she seemed just on the eve
of departure. Several times she was also brought
to the very borders of the grave, by dysentery
or cholera ; in some years attacked by the former
in winter, and the latter in summer ; while of the
influenza and other epidemics of our climate, she
had at least as ^11 an apportionment as any of
From the chronic and occasional ailments or
maladies, and from the '^ unchanging sameness
in which," as she said, she was " obliged to lie,"
her whole digestive organization was incurably
disordered. As a natural consequence, there was
indigestion, costiveness, flatulency, or nausea,
which required the most active and powerful
remedies of the Materia Medica. If now stran-
gury be added, it can surprise no one that there
was not an hour or moment of consciousness,
with an entire exemption from pain or distress.
When suffering only her chronic maladies, and
considering herself very comfortably sick, she
seldom had more than an hour or two of sleep in
twenty-four. Often she was awake all the night,
as well as all the day.
If there is a record of such an accumulatioa
and complication of bodily inflictiais in any other
sufferer, — ^where is it to be found? Would it
have been strange, is she should often have said,
— " Behold and see, if there be any sorrow like
unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, where-
with the Lord hath afflicted me ? " But this, or
anything like this, she was never heard to say,
or to intimate.
Her appearance much of the time would
naturally prompt an inquiry, like that of a
Christian lady from abroad, ^ Do you have much
suffering?" The answer was, — ^''-I am never
free from pain, but I do not suffer anything com-
pared with what the Saviour suffered for me.**
This she said in as natural and as pleasant a
manner as can be conceived. She was as far as
any one could be, from all affectation of serious-
ness or solemnity, and from imitating what has
been called "a hdt^ tone"
A clergyman who was also from abroad, hav-
ing been much interested in her case, inquired
of her, — if the thought ever came into her mind,
whether so much suffering as hers would not
entitle her to a high place in heaven. With a
most intense look of mingled astonishment and
grief, she replied, — '^ Why, no ! I never had such
Beside bodily inflictions, she had more than a
common experience of sorrow for the dead, who
in life were most dear to her heart Some
of her bereavements were brought into view in
previous chapters. Brothers and nephews were
lost at sea, or died in foreign lands. One most
estimable brother was smitten down bj assassins,
on the island of Luzon, near Manila, when just
ready to embark for home, after an absence of
eight years. The intelligence well nigh crushed
to the earth the whole circle of wife, mother,
sister, brothers, and other kindred ; although not
a doubt could be felt, that the Lord Jesus re-
ceived the spirit of the dear departed, as certainly
as he did that of the dying Stephen.
The father had died some years previous.
The aged mother fell asleep in March, 185G.
Her death had been anticipated with "great
heaviness and continual sorrow," for almost a
year. From 1830, to 1855, she had ministered
to her afflicted daughter with an admirable
Christian firmness, united with an unsurpassed
maternal tenderness. In their religious persua-
sions and hopes they were one, and in constitu-
tional elements of character perfectly congenial.
Hence few hours were happier than when they
could be in undisturbed communion, as usually
they were late in the evening.
The mother had been blessed with excellent
health for eighty years, when she was prostrated
by a most painful sickness. Occupying an ad-
joining room, her irrepressible groans would
reach the ears of her suffering child, who for
months could not bear to think of the end. In
one instance, however, when much moved him-
self, the writer said, — ^'^ Sarah, it does indeed
seem a mystery that your dear mother, at her
advanced age, should be afflicted by such excru-
ciating anguish!" "It is to make us willing
to part with her," — was the immediate reply,
with a flood of tears. From this time, there
was manifest the needed and the full prepara-
tion to bless " the God of patience and consola-
tion " for the hour of that devoted mother^s mer-
One who providentially had been in training
for several years, as an assistant in the care of
the survivor, was found entirely capable of serv-
ing her in her peculiar need. The blessing was
more and more gratefully appreciated, in the
years which were yet to be numbered for the
completion of her trial. Her pastor^s resigna-
tion in Dec 1859, was an event which engross-
ed her thoughts with a variously disquieting in-
fluence; although as to herself she anticipated
no change in his ministrations.
In the following spring, the return of a be-
loved brother, after a long sojourn in China or
the islands of the " Orient," was so grateful and
cheering to her, that while the steady progress
of decline and decay was as plain to herself as to
others, there was yet a seeming increase of love
of life and interest in earthly scenes. Upon this
brother it had been her privilege to lean for
pecuniary support; and his fraternal kindness
was to the last all that she could desire.
Less and less able to do that miscellaneous
handwork, which had so much beguiled the pain-
fulness and weariness of previous years, she the
more enjoyed the fare of the household and the
society of her old and tried friends. These were
never more dear to her, nor was she to them.
Her books also, and her journals of intelligence,
had a larger share of her time.
As mid-summer of 1860 approached, her fee-
bleness was premonitory of her last great change.
She spoke at times very feelingly of her dread
of August, as the month in which she must ex-
pect a return of that malady, which had repeat-
edly brought her so near to the grave. She
seemed quite sure that she could not survive
another visitation of the cholera, if it should be
as severe as it had been wont to be. The thought
of death did not trouble her ; but her heart's de-
sire was, if so it could be, that in some other way
the silver cord might be loosed.
At the beginning of the dreaded August, her
symptoms were more hopeful than they had been
for several months. Near the middle of the
month, her guardian brother took a journey to a
distant resort of invalids, without any apprehen-
sion that he would hear her voice no more in
" welcome home." He was also absent who had
been her pastor for more than a quarter of a cen-
tury, and fully expecting, if spared to return,
that he should find her still living to witness for
the all-sufficiency of the grace of Christ.
Suddenly, the dreaded malady came. The
usual remedies were promptly applied. The
faithful attendant and nurse, unwilling to think
of a fatal issue, was, as ever before, unremitting
in her services, — her whole manner being cheer-
ful and her words encouraging. The physician
early saw those signs of "the last of earth,"
which he would gladly not have seen. Yet his
remembrances of the past did not allow him to
relinquish all hope.
On the 17th and 18th of August, the malady
was increasingly severe. The next day was the
Sabhath. The languor of the sufferer was ex-
treme, and at intervals the pains were intense.
None were admitted to her room but those who
could not be spared. Few and faint were her
words, and these such only as her bodily con-
dition instinctively prompted. When a little res-
pited from suffering, she seemed "in perfect
peace," and as " fearing no evil." She had been
" in deaths oft," and had given, as she supposed,
her dying testimony to the Saviour^s loving-kind-
ness and faithfulness. It was so ordained, that
she should now scarcely utter another word.
And what one word more was needed ?
In the evening she was sleeping quietly, and
so continued, until about midnight. Awaking,
she was restless and distressed. On a return
of the peculiar virulence of her malady, she faintly
whispered, '''This vnU he the finishing of we."
It was soon beyond her power to articulate a
sentence. Her rational consciousness glimmered
only for moments, lighting up the shadow of
death upon those around.
Her physician's countenance was so marked,
that she fixed her eyes expressively upon him.
After repeated struggles, she was understood to
say, "Doctor, you are troubled," — her manner
implying that all was well with herself. There
were a few minutes of silence, when she opened
her eyes as if a vision of scenes immortal had
burst upon her inward view, and with an ex-
clamation, as of sudden and delighted recognition
of loved ones who had gone before, she peace-
Monday morning, August 20, 1860, when the
sun rose, hers, as we cannot doubt, was the ever-
lasting light of the glorified, in "the paradise
From SaraJis Poetical Selections.
Chamber of sickness ! Much to thee I owe,
Though dark thou be;
The lesson it imports me most to know
I owe to thee !
A sacred seminary thou hast been,
I trust, to train me to a happier scene.
Chamber of sickness ! Suffering and alone,
My friends withdrawn.
The blessed beams of heavenly truth have shone
On nie forlorn.
With such a hallowed vividness and power
As ne'er were granted to a brighter hour.
Chamber of sickness ! Midst thy silence oft
A voice is heard.
Which though it falls like dew on flowers, so soft,
Yet speaks each word
Into the aching heart's unseen recess,
With power no earthly accents could possess.
Chamber of sickness ! In that bright abode
Where there is no more pain.
If through the merits of my Saviour God
A seat I gain.
This theme shall tune my golden harp's soft lays,
That in thy shelter passed my early days.
I would not have this gloomy view
Aboat my room, arooDd my bed;
But early violets, bathed in dew,
To ease this burning, throbbing head.
When adverse winds and waves arise,
And in my heart despondence sighs, —
When life her throng of care reveals.
And weakness o'er my spirit steals, —
Grateful I hear the kind decree.
That * as my day, my strength shall be.
When, with sad footstep, memory roves, —
Mid smitten joys, and buried loves, —
When sleep my tearful pillow flies.
And dewy morning drinks ray sighs, —
Still to thy promise. Lord, I flee.
That * as my day, my strength shall be.'
One trial more must yet be past,
One pang, — the keenest, and the last, —
And when, with brow convulsed and pale.
My feeble, quivering heart-strings fail.
Redeemer, grant my soul to see
That * as the day, her strength shall be.'
The pains of death are past,
Labor and sorrow cease.
And life's long warfare closed at last;
Her soul is found in peace.