Macclesfield - Ann Cutler (1794)

Ann Cutler, intercessor died in this town.

An account of her sickness and death, by Mrs Highfield, in a letter to Dr Aspden, of Blackburn.

? Macclesfield

?Dear Sir,

"According to your request in a letter to Mr Mason, dated January 12, I will endeavour to give you a few particulars relative to the death of Ann Cutler. I would have done it sooner had not the affliction of my family prevented. The time she was with us, it seemed to be her daily custom to dedicate herself, body and soul, to God; to make that sacrifice which the apostle recommends, when he says, "I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service."

She came to Macclesfield, on December 15, very poorly of a cold, being our preaching night. She had an earnest desire to have a prayer meeting; but I told her, preaching beginning so late as eight o'clock, and classes to meet after, it would not be convenient. But she was very importunate, and said she could not be happy without one; adding, I shall not be long here, and I would buy up every opportunity of doing something for God, for time is short." Knowing she had an uncommon talent for pleading for such souls as were coming to God, we got a few together, to whom she was made a blessing.

Tuesday the 16th she was poorly, but used no less exercise in prayer, and would frequently say, "I want to redeem time better, for I believe I shall not be in this world much longer;" and would lift up her eyes to heaven, and say, "Oh, blessed Jesus teach me to redeem time better, that I may live more to Thee than I have ever yet done, that I may walk as Thou also walkedst here below." At night we had our prayer meeting, in which she was very earnest in wrestling with the Lord for a present blessing for every soul. Indeed, it was a blessed time to very many, a time in which much of the power of God came down. I believe it was a season that will never be forgotten. After this meeting concluded we went to another, where she exercised several times. I think it may be truly that she prayed with all prayer, and lived constantly in this spirit.

On Wednesday the 17th, she com?plained of a soreness at her breast, and for all this, did not abate of her usual exercise in prayer. The morning she employed in visiting sick persons, and many times prayed with and sweetly for them.? The afternoon she spent in praying with several friends. In the evening we had a public prayer meeting in the chapel. She then stood upon one of the forms and gave us an exhortation, which was well approved. She was uncommonly earnest for precious souls. The zeal she had for them seemed to be unparalleled. There were many singularly blessed of God. The meeting continued till one o'clock in the morning. After this she took a little refreshment; and, after our family devotion, she desired us to retire and leave her, for she wished to pray a while by herself. I said "Nanny, you have had a long meeting, go to bed:" She said, "Bless the Lord! My soul is quite happy. I feel a nearer union with Jesus than I did yesterday." In the forenoon she said, I want us to pray together, that we may obtain a blessing: come, let us go to the Lord Jesus, and let us go empty that we may be filled." When we were sat down to dinner, she praised God, and said, "Glory be to God; I find He is quite willing to give grace and glory! I feel He does not withhold any good thing from me." She seemed quite in a rapture, saying, "O Jesus! I long to be with Thee, that I may give Thee greater praise." She now retired, and spent the greatest part of the afternoon in prayer, as usual. A friend invited her to drink tea. The time being come, she came to me and said, "Did I promise?" I told her I did not know. To which the replied, "I am so feeble in body, I think I had better stay." A person calling upon her, she went and came back exceeding poorly, but thankful to God; saying, "Jesus has blessed my soul." Soon after this she said, "Christmas is very near:" and added, "Last Christmas I went to see my mother, but now she is in glory; and I wish much to see her this: and I know not but I shall, for I feel as if I expected it." This was not the only time she talked so, for she frequently made use of some such language. This evening we went to a meeting a little out of town, and in the meeting she prayed several times and repeatedly blessed God for condescending to bless both her body and soul. About the middle of the meeting she gave out, "This, this is the God we adore;" evidently feeling every word she spoke: at which time she sung with all her might, though singing was very unusual with her. It was a blessed time to many, and also to herself. Much of the divine presence was with us, and I bless the Lord she was well received. As we were returning home she said, "The Lord has wonderfully blessed me; not only in my soul but my body, for I feel quite well." Soon after we got home she began to cough very much; but soon being better, she resumed her conversation, which was always about heaven or heavenly things. She said, --"Friends, I shall be in heaven before you, and then. how glad shall I be to welcome you there! I long to see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Wesley, Fletcher, and some other dear friends that I have known on earth.

Friday the 19th; her cough began to be exceedingly troublesome, yet she was no less servant in spirit. She spent all, the day in retirement and, I doubt not, had she been seen, it was the greater part of the time upon her knees; pouring out her soul before God in prayer and praise. At night her cough still increasing prevented her being at the preaching.

Saturday the 20th, she was worse, and could not exercise in prayer without great difficulty. She came into the prayer meeting, and it may be said she prayed as Christ did in the garden; which well became a dying person.

Sunday the 21st; she had great difficulty in breathing, and often said, "Jesus is going to take me home. I think I shall soon have done with this body of clay; and oh, how happy shall I then be when I cast my crown before Him, "lost in wonder, love and praise." Monday the 22nd, she was much the same in body, but in a sweet frame of mind, perfectly resigned to the will of God, saying. "or death, or sickness, just as seemeth good in the sight of the Lord."Welcome life, Tuesday the 23rd, she was much worse. It was with much pain that she could talk. After dinner she was obliged to go to bed and did but say little. In the evening she came into the prayer meeting but was obliged to leave us as soon as she had prayed once. She had but little rest this evening.

?Wednesday the 24th, she sat up as usual and spent most part of the morning in prayer. After dinner she went to bed again; and the little she could say was seasoned with salt, administering grace to the hearers. ?Thursday the 25th; she came down for the last time, but by the advice of the doctor she went to bed, and her affliction became very heavy, yet she continued instant in prayer and praise to God. Often saying, "All I have and am, I will give to Thee, my God! Make me live every moment in the Spirit. Dear Jesus, take me for Thy bride, and walk in me every moment! Oh, how I long to be with Thee in heaven!" She had a very restless night. "Friday the 26th, she was desired to say if there was any person that she would have sent to: she answered, "No, except to--- ;" who was immediately written to. At five o'clock in the evening she began to be so ill that we thought her departure was at hand. About seven o'clock she said, "I think I have the pains of death upon me, but what a blessing it is I am going to Jesus! For I am sure He is mine, and I am His." As she was able, she repeated these words: "I am sure He is mine, and I am His," at least twenty times. At nine o'clock she was easier and had a comfortable night. ?She was much better in the morning, and con?tinued to be so all the day. Her soul seemed very much engaged with God. In the afternoon I asked her the state of her mind: her answer was, ?Quite happy in the love of God. "Abouthalf-pastt twelve o'clock on Sunday morning a friend and I joined in prayer with her. When we had concluded she sat up in bed, and prayed with such exertion of voice as astonished us. She prayed most earnestly that God would revive His work in Macclesfield. The preachers and leaders seemed much. impressed upon her mind.? She was uncommonly drawn out in prayer for them. "Sunday the 28th, she was a little better and was desirous of getting up, and did whilst the bed was made; but wished to lie down again immediately. After dinner she was worse, and complained of a pain in her breast. I asked her if I might send for the doctor; she said I might, but added, ?He has done all he can: let us both be perfectly resigned to the will of God." In the evening she was very restless with a degree of delirium. "About three o'clock on Monday morning she began to ascribe glory to the ever blessed Trinity; and continued, saying. "Glory be to the Father, glory be to the Son, and glory to the Holy Ghost,? for a considerable time. Afterwards, she altered much for death. About seven o'clock the doctor with those about her thought she was just gone, but to our great surprise she continued in this state till between ten and eleven o'clock in the forenoon. She then lifted herself up, and looked about her, and spoke just to be heard, and was very sensible she seemed perfectly composed, but her strength nearly gone. About three o'clock she looked at the friends, and said, "I am going to die;" and added, "Glory be to God and the Lamb forever," so loud as to be heard in any part of the house, till she was quite exhausted. About six o'clock I said, "Nanny, how are you?" With a faint voice, she said, "I am very ill." I replied, "You are, but I trust your soul is perfectly happy." She said, "Yes it is! But I cannot so fully rejoice because of the weight of my affliction." I said, "Well, the Lord does not require it, or He would give strength." "Yes," she said, "He would. Glory be to God and the Lamb forever!" These were her last words. Soon afterwards the spirit left this vale of misery. So died our dear and much valued friend, Ann Cutler.

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