They spent three weeks at Kreuznach, confirming the faith of the brethren, and printing German translations of several tracts. In passing through Neuwied, they intended only to spend the night there; but hearing that much inquiry after the way of salvation had recently manifested itself in the villages around, they decided, after the horses had been ordered for departure, to remain and visit one of these villages. A meeting was called, and so many attended that the room could not contain them all. It was a good season; De Freis, the friend who had made them acquainted with the religious condition of the place, accompanied them as guide, and was a true helper in the work. He had been twenty years missionary in Greenland and South Africa.
They returned home, both of them worn with travelling, and Martha Yeardley exhausted with disease, which was making sure progress in her debilitated frame; but they were supported by the peaceful consciousness of having accomplished all the service to which they had been called to labor in common.
DEATH OF MARTHA YEARDLEY, AND JOHN YEARDLEY’S JOURNEY TO NORWAY.
Martha Yeardley continued very unwell during the autumn, and by the end of the year her disorder assumed a more alarming form. It soon became evident that her dedicated life must at no distant period be brought to a close; and after many weeks of suffering, with confinement to the chamber during the latter part of the time, she expired, full of peace and hope in Christ Jesus, in the Fifth Month, 1851. The following memorandum, touchingly descriptive of her illness and death, was penned by her bereaved husband, probably soon after her decease.
After our return from the Continental journey my beloved M.Y. became more poorly. A severe influenza cold weakened her much; and a second attack she seemed never to recover. It was succeeded by a regular rheumatic fever. From the commencement of 1851, with but little exception, she was confined to the house, and for a little while to her bed, until the 8th of the Fifth Month, when her sweet and purified spirit ascended to her Saviour, and commenced an eternity of bliss.
Thus was I deprived of my only earthly treasure. She was the Lord’s precious loan, granted me for nearly a quarter of a century, for which I can never be sufficiently [thankful]. She was his own, bought with the blood of his dear Son, and he saw meet to take her from me. Ours was a blessed union, and a happy life, spent, I hope, unitedly in the service of our Lord. In all our imperfections we did desire, above all earthly things, to do the work of our Divine Master, and to labor for the promotion of his kingdom, and for the spread of his knowledge in the earth.
I was her only nurse till within ten days of her happy close. Long had a covenant been made between us, in the time of health, that whichever of us was taken ill the first, should be nursed by the surviving one, if permitted and strength afforded; which it mercifully was to me, and a happy season was the sick-room. We seemed to live together in heaven; never, I think, could two mortals be more favored with the answer to prayer.