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Jesus Christ, and for ever blessed be the name of God, that I can look upon death, that introduces that glorious scene, without any kind of fear."
All who visited him in sickness, were struck with the calm dignity and peaceful resignation of his manner, and many were greatly edified by his conversation, for he retained full possession of his mental vigor, and was as capable as ever of guiding the inquirer, consoling the desponding, and rebuking ignorant pretenders. An instance of the latter power is recorded in an anecdote, relating to a visit he received from a presumptuous youth, during his residence at Blackheath. A young man called to request the favour of an interview with him, which was granted. Mr. Walker supposed he wanted spiritual advice, but found to his surprise, that he came, with an air of consequence, to set him right, as he thought, upon points of doctrine peculiar to his own sect, a service he was disposed to offer from the report he had heard of his usefulness in the church! He was received with great courtesy by Mr. Walker, who politely thanked him for the kindness of his intentions, but requested that he would first reply to a few questions.
Pray Sir," inquired Mr. Walker, "what is your
"About three and twenty, Sir."
Well, Sir, and how old do you suppose I am?" "I should imagine, Sir, past fifty."
"May I ask the nature of your occupation, Sir "" "A journeyman cabinet-maker."
"I suppose you know mine?"
"How long should you think I have been one ?”
Why Sir, I have heard you have been a very zealous clergyman for some years."
"Which of us should you imagine possessed the most learning?"
"You of course, Sir."
"But which of us, do you think, has studied the Scriptures the most attentively?"
"Sir, you have had the most opportunities of doing so."
'Now, Sir, which should you conceive has prayed the most?"
Very probably you may, Sir."
"Which do you suppose has enjoyed the most advantages for improvement and experience?"
"Of course, Mr. Walker, you, Sir, in your situation."
"Well young man, I have only one more thing to say to you. What do you think of the self-conceit, that could induce you to come here to instruct a person who, according to your admission, had been eminently useful in the church, and was certainly your superior in age, length of religious experience, learning, and study of Scripture? Now allow me to return you the kindness you designed for me, by instructing you in the pride and vanity of your own heart." This rebuke delivered with all the mildness of Christian love, with the peculiar force of the venerable minister's manner, and with the solemnity of one that spoke on the verge of the eternal world, produced a great effect upon the mind of this self-conceited
youth, and may prove a useful lesson to those of the present day, who mistake their own prejudices for clear views of gospel doctrine, and fancy that skill in the verbiage of party, implies a real knowledge of scriptural truth.
MR. WALKER'S LAST ILLNESS AND DEATH.
His comfort in great suffering.
In the spring of the year 1761 Mr. Walker's illness assumed a character which plainly foretold his end was near at hand. A burning fever by day, and at night distressing perspirations, with a cough that deprived him of rest, spread a most afflicting languor over his frame, and produced a melancholy depression of spirits, yet his faith supported him. "The weakness of my body," he observed, "deprives me of all joyous sensations, but my faith in God's promises, I bless the Lord, is firm and unshaken. What though the loss of strength and spirits, robs me of all comfortable communion with God, the promises are not therefore made void." In his more placid moments, he reviewed with strict attention, the doctrines he had preached and published, and came to this happy conclusion-"I am sure they will stand the test of the last day." On contemplating his past life, he blessed God for any symptoms of the power of divine of divine grace, rejoicing in them as evidences, and praised God that for ten years before his illness, he could see "evident marks, of having lived with a single eye to the glory
of God, in opposition to the selfishness of his nature.” In such calmness did he possess his soul, that it was said of him, it never could be discovered he desired to live or wished to die. When the delusive changes of his disease gave him a momentary hope of recovery, his thoughts were instantly directed to his work at Truro; and when a relapse took place in his enfeebled frame, and the shadows of death came over him again, his affections rose from earth to heaven, from the fold below to the Lamb in the midst of the throne. He was ready to depart, or willing to wait, and "found nothing come so near his heart as the fear lest his will should thwart God's in any circumstance."
A letter from Lord Dartmouth to his correspondent in Cornwall, gives a most interesting testimony to the calmness of Mr. Walker, in the midst of his last severe trial.
MY DEAR SIR,
Blackheath, July 3, 1761.
Mr. Walker, to whom I read your letter, says a hearty Amen to the prayers you desire him to put up for you, and desires your prayers that he may not dishonour Christ in this last scene of his life; indeed his stedfast faith and exemplary patience are ornaments to his profession. He has an unshaken reliance on the faithfulness and truth of his redeeming God, a firm dependance on his word of promise, without any support from pleasing frames or animating views, which the extreme weakness of his body, and great depression of his spirits utterly deprive him of.