John Holland was a minister of great piety, and npparently one of the old puritans. But we have very little account of him till the time of his death, which being rather peculiar, we cannot withhold it from the reader's consideration.
The day before he died, having called for the Bible, he said, " Come, O come; death approaches. Let us gather some flowers to comfort this hour." And having turned to Rom. viii. he gave me the book, says Mr. Leigh, (who preached his funeral sermon,) and bade me read. At the end of every verse he required me to pause, when he gave the sense of the passage, to his own comfort and to the great wonder and joy of his friends. Having continued his meditations on the above chapter, above two hours, he suddenly cried out:—" O, stay your reading. What brightness is this I see ? Have you lighted any candles.'" To which Mr. Leigh answered, " No; it is the sunshine;"
• Slrype's Parker, p. 266. + Baker's MS. Collec. Vo1, xxl. p. 384. t Wood's Alhenee Oxon. vol. i. p. 289,736. \ Strype's Parker, p. 213,219, 266.
being about five o'clock on a clear summer's evening. " Sunshine," said he, " nay, my Saviour's shine. Now farewell, world : welcome, heaven. The Day-star from on high hath visited my heart. O speak when 1 am gone, and preach at my funeral, God dealeth familiarly with man. I feel his mercy ; I sec his majesty; and whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knowcth. But I see things that arc unutterable." In these transports of joy, his spirit soared towards heaven; but afterwards shrinking down, he sighed and said, " Ah! it will not be yet. My sins keep me back from my God." The next morning, he closed his eyes in death, using these expressions:—"O what a happy change shall I make! from '4death to life! from sorrow to solace! from a factious " world to a heavenly state! O, my dear brethren, sisters, " and friends, it pitieth me to leave you behind. Yet " remember my death when I am gone ; and what I now " feel, I hope you will find before you die, that God doth "and will deal familiarly with men. And now, thou fiery " chariot, that earnest down to fetch up Elijah, carry me to " my happy home. And all ye blessed angels, who " attended the soul of Lazarus to bring it to heaven, bear " me, O bear me, into the bosom of my best beloved. u Amen, amen. Come, lx>vd Jesus; come quickly." Ho died about the year 1600.*