Seldom is the serenely expectant spirit of the dying Christian more graphically portrayed than in the beautiful letter of Rev. J.S.C. Abbott, written shortly before his death, to J. Dewitt Miller, and published in the New York Methodist. It bears date at Fair Haven, Conn., March 3, 1877, and reads as follows:
I am pillowed upon a sick and dying bed, with a little tablet in my hands. I can, without much difficulty, pencil lines to my friends. I suffer very little pain. My mind, it seems to me, was never more clear and joyous. The physicians assure me that I am liable at any moment to die.
I am happy. I do not see how any one can be more happy out of heaven. I am expecting every hour that a group of loving angels will come and say to me: “Brother, God has sent us to convey you to heaven -- the chariot is waiting.” All the infirmities of flesh and sin will vanish from body and soul. I shall be the congenial companion with the angels in that most wonderful of all conceivable journeys from earth to heaven.
I have several times taken the tour of Europe. And there was great joy in seeing the wonders of the old world. But there were sorrows, too, the discomforts of travel, the need of economy; the mind burdened with those earthly cares which never upon earth can be laid aside.
But when the angelic summons comes, ‘I shall be an “heir of God.” He will provide the chariot, and will meet all the expenses. All care, imperfection, pain will be gone. The escort will be glorious; angels loving me with a brother’s love, and God will have made me worthy of their love. We shall pass Sirius, the Pleiades, Orion and firmaments, or, as Herschel calls them, other universes of unimaginable splendor.
And then we shall enter heaven! All its glories will burst upon our enraptured view. Angels and archangels, cherubim and seraphim, will gather around us with their congratulations. We shall see God, his throne, the splendor of his court, understand all the mysteries of his being, and enter upon blessings inconceivable, forever and forever!
All this I believe, my dear friend, as fully as I believe in my own existence. And I may enter upon this enjoyment before night shall darken around me. In the religion of the Son of God, and in the atonement He has made for my many’ sins, I find all that my soul craves. I am indeed happy.
But writing these lines has exhausted me. I hope to meet you in heaven. There we will clasp hands, and lovingly refer to this correspondence.
JOHN S. C. ABBOTT
- Golden Dawn
Touching Incidents and Remarkable Answers to Prayer - 1893