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Darling Memorial Sketch Book
Last Days

On the morning of the Lord's Day, 12th October, when preparing to go to church, whose services he loved, Mr Darling was seized with a violent shivering, accompanied by much sickness and pain. On Monday and Tuesday successive shiverings followed, and with the highly feverish condition thus produced great weakness ensued. He knew that this was the beginning of the end. On the afternoon of Wednesday, gathering together all his remaining strength, like Jacob of old, in a remarkable prayer, in which his spirit seemed to rise above itself, he commended the members of his family who were present, and also the absent ones with their children who were far away, to the keeping of their covenant - God. On the same day he was comforted by the visits of both his ministers. During those earlier days of the week he was wonderfully patient and uncomplaining under his sufferings, which were sometimes very great, in the midst of them all delighting in suggestions from those around him which bore his thoughts Christward and heavenward. When he was no longer able to converse, one could read in his very looks the words of the hymn,

"How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
In a believer's ear;
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds,
And drives away his fear."

During the whole of Thursday he was not fully conscious, in consequence of the administration of opiates, which needed to be resorted to in order to deaden the intense pain. On Friday evening, when the call of his Master was very near, his family sang at his bedside some of those favourite hymns which had often been to him as cold water to a thirsty soul, such as "There is a Happy Land," "There are Angels hovering round," "How sweet the name of Jesus sounds;" and it was evident, from the beaming smile upon his countenance, and the keeping time with his head to the music, that when his lips were silent his heart was singing with them. Scarcely was the singing ended when the summons came to go up to the higher worship of heaven, and at 8.15 P.M. he passed away, with a look of solemn gladness, as if breathing those words of Jesus which had immediately before been quoted in his hearing, "Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit."

Mr Darling died on the evening of Friday, 17th October 1890.

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