God in the work of the Gospel ministry. “At the close of the war,” said he, “more than ever will laborers be needed to reap in the harvest-field of the Gospel. I may do some good in that sphere of labor.” But a higher ministry, in a brighter sphere, had been appointed for him. “I hope I shall live,” said he to a friend; “I think I can do good—be of some use; but God knows best and His will be done.” In the solitary night, when a troubled sleep could be induced only by means of powerful opiates, his mind would wander fitfully over the scenes of the past. Now he would imagine himself in presence of a class of pupils teaching, and he would recite rapidly in Latin and French, and then he seemed at the head of his company in the battle and uttered the stern word of command. Then the names of distant friends, as in cheerful and social converse, passed his lips; then the dear names of “wife,” “mother,” “child,” in loving murmurs proved whither his restless thoughts were turning, and always the devotional ejaculation of praise to God and of fervent prayer for grace and strength would mingle with his wildest wanderings. In one of these restless hours, shortly before he died, he roused himself up and turning to his brother said: “Malcolm, did I die as a Christian soldier ought to die?” —then entirely recovering consciousness, he smiled and said: “I thought I had died on the battle-field.” For ninety-eight weary days he endured physical agonies, relieved by only occasional respites from pain, such as probably few men have ever been called to bear. The incurable erysipelas, the inflammation involving the whole limb, and extending by sympathy to his whole frame, the frequent incisions and probings, the drain from incessant suppuration, the inaccessible ulcers originating in his changeless position on the couch, all combined to produce excruciating pain. Yet all was borne with a patience, resignation, even cheerfulness, that has, perhaps, never been surpassed. When convinced that there was no rational hope of his recovery, he fixed the eye of his faith steadily upon the bright home in heaven, and seeming to enter already into communion with the beloved ones who had gone before, looked beyond the interval over which he must pass, and lived as though already in the light of his Redeemer's glory. He was more than patient; he was exultant, at times enraptured. Referring to the fact that he was in the neighborhood where much of his youth had been spent, he said: “Here were most of ”
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.