Happy Mary by John Wesley
MARY A., when she was between
four and five years old, was greatly affected in hearing the word of God, and
became very solicitous about her soul, weeping bitterly to think what would
become of her in another world, asking strange questions concerning God, and
Christ, and her own soul. So that before she was full five years old, she
minded the one thing needful, and chose the better part.
2. She was wont to be much in secret prayer, and many times came from her
knees with tears.
3. She would choose such times and places for secret prayer as might render
her less observed by others: and endeavoured to conceal what she was doing
when she was engaged therein.
4. Her mother being full of sorrow after the death of her husband, this
child came to her and asked her why she wept so exceedingly? Her mother
answered that she had cause enough to weep, because her father was dead. "No,
dear mother," said the child, "you have no cause to weep so much, for God is a
good God still."
5. She was a dear lover of faithful ministers. One time after she had been
hearing Mr. Whitaker, she said, "I love that man dearly for the sweet words he
speaks concerning Christ."
6. Her book was her delight; and many times she was so strangely affected
in reading the Scriptures, that she burst out into tears, and would hardly be
pacified: so greatly was she taken with Christ's sufferings, the zeal of God's
servants, and the danger of a natural state.
7. She often complained of the corruption of her nature, of the hardness of
her heart, that she could repent no more, and be no more humble and grieved
for her sins against a good God; and when she thus complained, it was with
abundance of tears.
8. She was very conscientious in keeping the Sabbath, spending the whole
time in reading or praying, learning her catechism, or teaching her brothers
and sisters. One time when she was left at home on the Lord's day, she got
some other little children together, with her brothers and sisters, and told
them that it was the Lord's day, and they ought to remember it to keep it
holy. She then told them it was to be spent in religious exercises all the
day, except so much as was taken up in the works of necessity and mercy: then
she prayed with them, and among other things begged that the Lord would give
grace and wisdom to them, (little children,) that they might know how to serve
9. At another time a near relation of hers being in some straits, made some
complaint, to whom she said, "I have heard Mr. Garter say, 'A man may go to
heaven without a penny in his purse, but not without grace in his heart.'"
10. She had an extraordinary love to the people of God: and when she saw
any who she thought feared the Lord, her heart would even leap for joy.
11. When she was between eleven and twelve years old, she sickened of the
plague, in which she behaved with admirable patience and sweetness, and did
what she could with Scripture arguments to support and encourage her relations
to part with her, who was going to glory, and to prepare themselves to meet
her in a blessed eternity.
12. She was not many days sick before she was marked with the complaint
which she first saw herself, and was greatly rejoiced to think that she was
marked out for the Lord, and was now going apace to Christ. She called to her
friends and said, "I am marked, but be not troubled, for I know I am marked
for one of the Lord's own." One asked her how she knew that? She answered,
"The Lord hath told me that I am one of his dear children." And this she spoke
with a holy confidence in the Lord's love, and was not in the least daunted at
the approach of death; but seemed greatly delighted in the apprehension of her
nearness to her Father's house. And it was not long before she was filled with
joy unspeakable in believing.
13. When she lay dying, her mother came to her, and told her she was sorry
she had so frequently reproved and corrected so good a child; "O mother," said
she, "speak not thus: I bless God, now I am dying, for your reproofs and
corrections too: for, it may be, I might have gone to hell, if it had not been
for your reproofs and corrections."
14. Some of the neighbours came to visit her, and asked her if she could
leave them. She answered, "If you serve the Lord, you will come after me to
15. A little before she died, she had a great conflict with Satan, and
cried out, "I am none of his." Her mother seeing her troubled, asked her what
was the matter? She answered, "Satan did trouble me, but now, I thank God, all
is well. I know I am none of his, but Christ's."
16. After this she had a great sense of God's love, and a glorious sight,
as if she had seen the very heavens open, and the angels coming to receive
her; by which her heart was filled with joy, and her tongue with praise.
17. Being desired by the bystanders to give them a particular account of
what she saw, she answered, "You shall know hereafter:" and so in an ecstasy
of joy and triumph, she went to God when she was about twelve years old.