Re: --  Isaac Freeman's 1853 obituary
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The following transcription from the 22 Jun 1853 Christian Guardian newspaper, sourced at the United Church of Canada/Vittoria University Archives in Toronto, Ontario, was contributed to this web site 29 Aug 2006 by Isaac Freeman's great-great-granddaughter Rebecca Akins of Tempe, Arizona. Italic text appearing between square brackets are presumably the transcriber's insertions

Mr. Isaac Freeman, of the Simcoe Curcuit

Biographical sketches of the honoured parents, two sisters, and a brother of the subject of the present notice, have already appeared in the Wesleyan obituary. The father occupied a prominent position in the ministry, in Canada, having been dignified with being the first Wesleyan Minister in the Niagara District, and in having passed through his ministerial career with considerable success. He, with those referred to, passed away in the glorious triumph of faith, and have recently had another added to the ranks of glorified ones around the throne, in the removal of the subject of the following remarks.

Brother Isaac Freeman, the youngest son of the Rev. Daniel and Phoebe Freeman was born July 5, 1816. At the age of 21, he was brought to a saving knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, and from that period until he joined the Church triumphant in heaven, he continued a consistent member of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, ardently longing after, and praying for, the prosperity of the work of God in connection therewith, firmly believing, as he did, that the doctrine and discipline thereof were in accordance with the revealed will and word of God. He was greatly attached to the public means of grace, and could say, with the Psalmist, “I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth,” and , when deprived of this privilege, he could indeed say with the same inspired penman, “My soul longeth, yes, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord, my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.” For some time he has been greatly afflicted. Some thirteen months ago, the disease had so far preyed upon the frail tabernacle in which his immortal spirit was enshrined, so as to make it every way apparent that his dissolution was very near. His prospects for eternity were, however, of the brightest and most cheering character. He was filled with joy and peace through believing, to such an extent, as to be raised above this sublenary world in rapturous ecstasy, whilst he beheld, by an eye of faith, his heavenly inheritance. A partial restoration was, however, experienced, so much so that he became “a wonder unto many.” A relapse took place some few months ago, in which it was strongly evident that “the time of his departure was at hand.” Earthly aid was sought, and that which cometh from above implored. Divine support he received, but “physicians were in vain.” The disease progressed rapidly. A short time before his death, the sacrament of the Lord’s supper was administered to him; during which his exaltations bespoke 

“A soul on fire, to be dissolved in love.”

My esteemed superintendent and myself, and other relations and friends, who partook of the sacred elements with him, found it to be “a time of refreshing coming from the presence of the Lord.”

A very satisfactory state of mind continued until within a few days of his removal from us, when the adversary thrust hard at him, assailing him with sore temptations as to his state before God, almost bringing him to rash conclusions against himself. The struggle was so great that the outer man quailed beneath its fierceness; but, though the conflict was fearful, and the battle hard against him, he wrestled as one resolved to conquer, and at length, obtained the victory “through the blood of the Lamb.” The writer visited him the day before his death, and endeavoured, by every possible means, to direct his mind to suitable texts of scripture, hymns, etc., and he will never forget the keen, expressive gaze that the dying saint fixed upon him when he uttered, 

“Courage,” your Captain cries,
Who all your toils foreknew;
“Toils ye shall have, yet all rewards
I have increased for you”

The inner man now became stronger and stronger. He loved to hear the words of Jesus, and was oft heard to say, “Jesus is precious! Thank God for the hope I have! I shall soon be with my Saviour! and so on. Turning to his only surviving sister [presumably Phebe Almena Freeman Ryerson who died in 1901], he desired her to sing the poetic effusion, “All Is Well.” She did so, whilst he ejaculated, “Glory to God in the highest; all is well!” During the evening of that day, he called his three sons [Daniel Lewis Freeman, John Livingston Freeman, and Edgar Alonso Freeman] to him, and addressed them as follows: “I am going to leave you. You are seeing your father for the last time. You will hear my voice no more. Remember your Creator in the days of your youth. Be obedient to your mother. Meet me in heaven. Good bye! Good bye! Farewell, farewell!” The solemnity of that address, and the impressiveness of manner that accompanied the last words as he stretched forth his dying hand, and grasped their hands severally, will never be forgotten by those who witnessed it. Shortly after this, quite suddenly, and in a very solemn manner, he turned to his sorrowing wife [Mary Matilda Bradley Freeman], his sister, and other relatives and friends, and said, “Come near. I am going to leave you.” He then shook hands with each and all, saying, “Good bye. Meet me in heaven,” and, after a few more struggles, his happy spirit winged its flight to the paradise of God, on Thursday, May 19, 1853, in hope of a glorious resurrection at the last day.

T. Woolary
Simcoe, June 3, 1853

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