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Death of Wesley’s Mother by John Wesley

From the Journal of John Wesley

I left Bristol in the evening of Sunday, July 18, and on Tuesday came to London. I found my mother on the borders of eternity. But she had no doubt or fear nor any desire but (as soon as God should call) “to depart and be with Christ.”

Friday, 23.—About three in the afternoon I went to my mother and found her change was near. I sat down on the bedside. She was in her last conflict, unable to speak but I believe quite sensible. Her look was calm and serene, and her eyes fixed upward while we commended her soul to God. From three to four the silver cord was loosing, and the wheel breaking at the cistern; and then without any struggle, or sign, or groan, the soul was set at liberty. We stood round the bed and fulfilled her last request, uttered a little before she lost her speech:  “Children, as soon as I am released, sing a psalm of praise to God.”

Sunday, August 1.—almost an innumerable company of people being gathered together, about five in the afternoon, I committed to the earth the body of my mother, to sleep with her fathers. The portion of Scripture from which I afterward spoke was: “I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” [Rev. 20:11, 12]. It was one of the most solemn assemblies I ever saw or expect to see on this side eternity.

We set up a plain stone at the head of her grave, inscribed with the following words:

 

Here lies the Body

of

MRS. SUSANNAH WESLEY,

the youngest and last surviving daughter of

Dr. Samuel Annesley.

 

In sure and steadfast hope to rise,
And claim her mansion in the skies,
A Christian here her flesh laid down,
The cross exchanging for a crown.

True daughter of affliction, she,
Inured to pain and misery,
Mourn’d a long night of griefs and fears,
A legal night of seventy years.

The Father then reveal’d His Son,
Him in the broken bread made known;
She knew and felt her sins forgiven,
And found the earnest of her heaven.

Meet for the fellowship above,
She heard the call, “Arise, my love!’
“I come,” her dying looks replied,
And lamblike, as her Lord, she died.

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For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. — Hebrews 10:30-31 (NKJV)

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