Of our beloved Sister Karen Borg, who departed to the Lord at Gracehill,
March 8 1847.
The vice of that blood which
Flowed from thee Saviour!
Which cries aloud where’er I tread
Thy tears for my ransom – all
Plead in my favor,
Nor call for vengeance on my head.
No! grace & free mercy thy looks impart,
And this day refresh me & cheer my heart.
In spirit thy once bleeding hands I embrace
Which bear me triumphant
Though all my distress.
This verse contains in it the history of my course on earth, regarding which I have nothing remarkable to record; but I would acknowledge the mercy of my faithful Friend and Saviour, who sought and found me,
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and has held his gracious hand over me his poor child. I was born May 18 1768 at Christiansfeld in Norway, where I was carefully bro up by my dear parents till my 10th year. I remember where I was only 7 seeing them weeping, and when I inquired the cause, my Mother told me that it was because they were thinking of our Saviour, and she discoursed to me on his love to children and to poor sinners in a way which made a deep impression on me. _ June 2 1778 my dear Mother brought me hither to Christiansfeld for education. I felt overjoyed on my arrival here, though I could not tell why, but I have since thanked the Lord with tears a thousand times for choosing me out of the world and bringing me to his people. I soon felt myself at home with my companions, and was very happy. The children’s prayer days were days of especial blessing to my heart. Febr 16 1780 I received permission to belong to this Congn and next
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year was permitted added to the choir of Girls. I felt much on leaving the children’s choir, in which I had enjoyed so much of my Saviour’s nearness, where we brought him our united supplications, or when I retired to weep for him in private. July 9 following, I was recd into the Congn; but having to wait some time for admission to the Lord’s supper, I could not understand it, as I had made it a subject of frequent prayer, and hitherto the Lord had always heard me. On reflection, I said it was to teach me not to trust in my own strength, or diligence, or virtue, or good education, and to wean me from the dangerous self complacency which I cherished on account of these things. And my faithful Saviour succeeded in convincing me that I was possessed of nothing good.
When I attained to the first enjoyment of the Holy Communion, Oct 6 1782, I felt how blessed it is to be poor in spirit, and to receive his merits
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-its as a fit of undeserved grace. I begged him to preserve me in this frame of spirit, and to grant me low thoughts of myself at all times, seeing that to poor needy sinners he was so gracious.
In this disposition my days passed happily away, until my innate depravity began to awaken within me. Hitherto I had often acknowledged myself a sinful creature, but now I felt that from the heart proceed evil thoughts, and sorely was I tormented with un-christianlike thoughts, so that I had no rest day nor night. To disclose my trouble to others, would I thought inevitably deprive me of their good opinion; my confidence in my Saviour also vanished, and I knew not how to bear myself for distress of mind. In this pitiable condition, I shut myself up in a room alone – it was a sacrament-day Dec 24 1785, threw myself at my Saviour’s feet and
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begged him with a flood of tears to have mercy on his wandering child, and give me to feel the pardon of my sins. And never shall I forget, I trust, the look of grace with which I was cheered on this occasion by my crucified Redeemer. It was as though he said to me himself “I have heard thy prayer and seen thy tears – thou art mine.”
“Might all his loving heart but see,
And know his bowels of compassion
To sinners, straying carelessly,
Or such as mourning seek salvation.”
From this time I was like one new-born; I felt my short-comings indeed very frequently, but the Lord inspired me with faith in Him, so that I could lay all my wants before Him. I was also enabled to speak confidentially with my choir-laborer, which was a great care to me. I now went on my course, not indeed without variation, yet always finding comfort and peace at my Saviour’s feet. And his patience, mercy and compassion are
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more than everything to me.
May 4 1786 I was received into the Sgle. Srs. choir, on which occasion I had an inexpressibly blessed perception of the Lord’s nearness, and gave myself up to him anew as his eternal property, imploring him to keep possession of my heart, that all his thoughts of peace with me might be attained.
Towards the end of the same month, I had the pleasure to see my dear father here on a visit, and many a pleasing recollection of the conversation I had with him on spiritual subjects, is imprinted on my memory. July 2 in the same year, I received a proposal to assist as teacher in the Girls’ school, which caused me many heavy hours, feeling as I did my insufficiency and inexperience, and knowing that there were others more suitable for the situation.
The Lord however enabled me to take the proposal as from His hand, and helped me graciously through all difficulties. It is true I had much to
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learn, and this mere school for my heart caused me many a sleepless night. All however worked together for my good, and calls for my humble and heartfelt gratitude. My intercourse with the dear children whom I cordially loved, and whose love I felt in return, was very pleasant to me, and the Lord was after in our midst in our social worship. When things of an unpleasant nature occurred, it was my prayer, that if I could do no good, I might at least lay no stumbling-block in the way of these little ones. The early part of the year 1789 was a peculiarly blessed season for my soul, my mind being much occupied with the thought of going home to the Lord.
This idea was greatly strengthened, when, in the beginning of April I had an attack of spitting of blood. Many were the hours of blessed intercourse with the Friend of my soul, which I enjoyed at this period. Thank to Thee my faithful Saviour, for the manner
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in which thou was pleased to own me, thy poor child: thou hast followed me with love and tender mercy from my youth up; be my confidence still, and suffer not my faith to fail, till the happy hour shall strike which summons me to meet thee, when I shall say: “Here comes a sinner who would fain Thro’ the Lamb’s ransom entrance gain.”; I would rather have gone home at this time than recovered, and both mind and body felt the effects of this illness for a long period. In the following Sept. several things combined to weigh down my spirits, and every one thought I was in a decline. As I kept my trouble to myself, the burden was the heavier, and I began to doubt my Saviour’s willingness to help. But he appeared again to comfort me and put my anxious grieving to shame. I was especially cheered at this time, by the privilege which he vouchsafed me, of joining in the celebration of the 16 of Sept. with the servants of our Church.
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Thus far was written Nov. 1789.
Jany 1 1798 was a very blessed New-years-day to me. The Lord gave me to feel his forgiveness of all my transgressions and mistakes so sensibly, that my heart overflowed with gratitude and joy, and I devoted myself to his service amongst the little ones with new courage, heavy as my situation had been in many respects in the past year. On the 14 I received a call to Ebersdorf as Co-labourer of the SgleSrs. choir, which, notwithstanding my insufficiency, I ventured to accept in reliance on the Lord’s help, which I had experienced on many a former trial. On casting a retrospective glance on the 20 years which I have spent in this dear Congn, I cannot but adore my Saviour with the deepest humility and gratitude for his great long-suffering, patience and faithfulness.
The love and friendship testified towards me by my sisters, notwithstanding all my failings, humbled me greatly, and made the parting painful. Nor
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could I have the dear children committed to my care without a pang. My sincere wish is that they may all prosper for the Lord, and yield themselves to him as his property. On my dear father’s happy departure at Christmas 1794, my dear mother removed hither to my no small gratification and joined the Congn. I had now to quit her and all my dear friends, leaving Christansfeld May 5, and on the 30 of the same month, I arrived in Ebersdorf. I felt a strange sensation on catching a first view of the place in the distance, but I said “Dear Saviour, thou hast called me hither, and thou must help me.
Thou best knowest my weakness, I know none here but thee alone, and thou permitted me to cling to thee.”
Notwithstanding my fears, I was received with much love. Previous to my being introduced to the choir, I cast myself at the feet of Jesus and besought him with many tears to be my Guide, and enable me to walk
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before Him in lowliness and humility. I then entered the choir-hall, and never shall I forget what I felt on being blessed for my office. It was as if our Saviour himself laid his pierced hands upon my head, and gave me his benediction. What rendered it still more impressive to me was, that it occurred just at the entrance upon Passion week. I soon felt at home in this dear peaceful settlement, and spent 3 years very happily. The Laborer and Warden of the choir were two old experienced sisters, whose counsel and assistance were of essential service to me.
Their love, as well as the love and confidence of my sisters generally, made my abode here very pleasant.
March 30 1801 I received a call to Fulnec, which was again a hard trial to me. Gladly would I have declined it but I did not feel at liberty to do so. I therefore accepted it in implicit reliance on my gracious Lord. In May I received an invitation to be present at the Synod of the Brn’s Church, which was to be held
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this year, and found it a means of new grace and encouragement for my weak faith.
On the 24 of the same month, I took farewell of my choir, dividing with them the cup of covenant, and next day proceeded to Herrnhut. Sept 3 I pursued my journey in company of Br. and Sr. Moore, and arrived in Fulnec October 3.
Thus far our late sister continued her memoir in German, though of the introductory verse she has furnished both the original and the version. Several other verses are interspersed in the memoir, which show her ready talent in this species of composition.
She continues in English as follows:
Fulnec Oct 3 1811.
Calling to mind this day, that it is 10 years since I arrived in this place, various thoughts occupy my mind. In taking a short view of that period,
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I sink down abased before my Lord and Saviour, for numberless proofs of his love, faithfulness and forbearance, which I have experienced in many ways. The first year I spent here appeared very heavy indeed; everything seemd so different to what I was accustomed, and not knowing the language, was altogether a heavy task. However my best Friend did not leave me nor forsake me, but lent a gracious ear to all my wants and complaints. In Oct. 1802 I was afflicted with an epidemical fever, and so ill, that little hope was given of my recovery. Though I had no clearness that I should go to my dear Saviour, yet I wished for that favor to see him face to face, and felt happy in the thought of leaving this world. But it pleased him to restore me again, and I found much reason to thank and adore him for his paternal love and care, which was made manifest to me.
Dec. 15 the same year we celebrated the anniversary of this house
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50 years ago. This surely was a day which the Lord himself made; the blessings we enjoyed will always be remembered with gratitude by those who were present; and I can truly say it was the first day I felt quite at home here. In 1803 and 1804 it pleased our Saviour to call home to himself both my fellow-labourers. This was a heavy stroke, which was very severely felt by me: but thanks to my dear Lord, who supported me, as I now in a way felt as standing by myself. The love and support and confidence, which I under these afflictions experienced from my dear choir, will never be forgotten by me. Sinner-tears bedew my cheek now while I write these lines, and call to mind numberless proofs of my Redeemer’s love and patience towards me, the poorest of the needy; which
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pen cannot relate. Oh! in the dust I thank and adore him, though I blush with shame when I look to myself and see how often I have grieved him in my own course and what belongs to my office. Oh! my Saviour, pardon all my neglects and mistakes; thou knowest my wants, thou seest my tears; ah! remember me who are but dust and ashes; blot out my sins and transgresssions with thy precious blood, and endow me with new grace to act according to thy mind, to be faithful to my calling, to walk before thee in humility and loveliness of heart. Strengthen my confidence in thee, that midst all trials I may rely unshaken upon thy faithfulness.
In 1806 I had the pleasure to welcome Sr. Connor here, who had received a call to be Warden of this choir. With her I have till this day lived in love and peace, and we could jointly bear the concerns Com-
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mitted to us, which have often been a subject for prayer and supplication, but to Him who has thus far in my trials and heavy circumstances helped through, I commit every concern, with faith and full assurance that He as a tender Father, as the friend of the poor and needy, will in time to come care for his dear bought family and choir, both with spiritual and temporal blessings. My sincere prayer is expressed in these lines:
On that day of consummation
May we sinners mercy find;
Saved with complete salvation
And not one be left behind
As wise virgins
May we all before thee stand.
Within these 10 years I have witnessed 39 instances of Sgle. Srs. who happily departed to the Lord. On such occasions I have often felt more than I can express. They
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have been solemn opportunities to examine my own heart before the Lord; and when I shall have the favor to see him face to face, my stammering tongue shall praise him for these and thousand other blessings. I have also had the pleasure to see several become useful in our Saviour’s service; may He still prepare many to be witnesses of his redeeming love.
August 5 1833.
After a period of 22 years, I take up my pen once more still to acknowledge the mercy and goodness of my dear Saviour.
Sept. 24 1816 I received a call to Gracehill, which I accepted in reliance on the Lord’s help and support. When I look back on the
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period of 15 years spent in Fulnec, my eyes flow over with gratitude for the numberless proofs of my faithful Saviour’s love and forbearness he has proved my Counsellor and friend, my Advocate to plead my cause, my Comforter in all trouble.
O that I had been more faithful to his Spirit’s teaching, and of more use to those committed to my care. Here shame fills my inmost soul, and I can only say “Lord be merciful to me a sinner! O blot out my sins and transgressions with thy precious blood and remember them no more.”
Dec 5 I set out for my new post; the evening before was a meeting for taking leave of my dear choir, whose joy and grief were always deeply felt by me; and my earnest prayer is and shall be, that the Lord may keep his protecting hand over that family and house, and that his thoughts of peace may be
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obtained with every individual soul. I believe we all felt on that occasion what is expressed in the hymn: “Blest be that sacred covenant love to.”
Dec. 10 1816 I arrived safe in Gracehill after a troublesome journey and voyage, wind and weather being very severe. I was received in love, and soon found myself at home; but finding the house in a very distressed state with regard to externals, it would often sink my spirits; but thanks to my dear Saviour, the giver of every good gift, who also in this respect has helped us far above all that we would ask or think.
This has often been a subject to me for much gratitude and humiliation. He also inclined the heart of our much beloved late Mrs Bates, to lend a helping hand to our distress, for which no doubt he will richly reward her. Many prayers also for the spiritual prosperity
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perity of this choir, and particularly the younger part, I trust, O Lord, thou hast heard and when thou hearest. O forgive – O pardon me when I have been to a lenient or too severe. O forgive All – All.
A loose paper un-dated, adds:
It has often of late been impressed on my mind, that my time here below may perhaps not be long, perhaps sudden. This is an awful meditation, but also a happy one. I have nothing to say but the Publican’s plea – “God be merciful to me a sinner!”
Still I have that divine assurance, that he will receive me in mercy and cleanse me in that precious fountain, which by faith I opened see, and clothe me in his blood and righteousness. O my Saviour, I am in thy hands, hide
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me till the storm of life is past, and then I shall be with thee for evermore. O happy lot. What heavenly joy and consolation This hope affords unto my heart to.
Thus far our late Sister has continued her memoir.
It was only on the 22 of last month that our dear sister was taken ill, having probably caught cold on the preceding day where she was walking in the burial-ground lane. She was soon obliged to keep her bed, though no immediate apprehensions were entertained as to the result. After a whole week however had elapsed, the unabated continuance of the febrile symptoms, and the total loss of appetite occasioned by
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the malady, filled our minds with anxiety, and she herself began to entertain the hope that her Saviour was about to call her to himself.
On the 2 of this month, she quoted the well known lines of C. Wesley: _ “O could I catch a smile from thee And drop into eternity.”
She said she should be glad to go to him if it were his pleasure. In reply to a remark made on the loss which we should feel if she were removed from us, she disclaimed all idea of worthiness in herself; her short-comings she said, were many, and she had nothing to trust to but our Saviour’s merits. On the following day though very weak so that she had not spoken all the morning, she rallied a little when Br. Edwards called in the afternoon, and uttered a few broken sentences, the purport of which was, that she longed to go home soon to be with the Lord.
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The farewell blessing in reference to her departure, was now given, and her dear bought soul recommended to the hands of her Redeemer, who had led her so graciously throughout her course, and made her so rich a means of blessing to others. She was again favored with an interval of consciousness on the 6th (Saturday last) and requested her visitor to pray with her. From that time she gradually sunk away, until on Monday the 8 it pleased the Lord to release her from her worn-out tabernacle in a very gentle manner, and translate her into the presence of his glory with exceeding joy _
Her age was 78 3/4 years.
There is no need for us to enlarge on the character of our late justly beloved and venerated sister.
Her praise is in all the Churches, and her works do follow her _
We have lost in her a Mother in our spiritual Israel, who was truly and
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deeply intrusted in the welfare of the Congn collectively and individually. Consecrated to the Lord from early infancy, she spent a long life in fellowship of spirit with her Saviour, and accounted it a privilege to serve him with all the power and faculties which he had given her. What above all distinguished
her character and made her so eminently useful in his church, was the large measure of the spirit of love, which was poured out upon her. Her service as choir-laborer in Ebersdorf, Fulnec and Gracehill, will long be treasured in the recollection of those who were favored to enjoy her kind and faithful care. By far the greater portion of her life has been dedicated to active service in the family of Christ below. Not to mention her services as Teacher for for 11 1/2 years, her labors in her own choir comprise a period of 48 years from her entrance
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on office as Co-laborer at Ebersdorf to her final resignation on account of increasing infirmity in Nov. 1845. It may be truly said of her, that it was her greatest happiness to do good, and the manner in which she performed her deeds of kindness, made them still more valuable. Humility, indeed, was likewise a very leading feature in her character, and nothing would have distressed her more than the thought of being made the subject of eulogy. Still, it is meet to acknowledge the grace of God and the unfeigned faith which dwelt in her so much, and to set before our minds for invitation, the humility, simplicity and love, which graced her walk and conversation, as she went in and out amongst us.
We may still admit to her sincere and steady love for the Lord’s house and ordinances. Her place in Church was never vacant, when she was able to venture out; and to stay away
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away from the meetings, was a deprivation and a grief to her. On the Thursday after she was seized with her last illness, she expressed her regret at being debarred this privilege and repeated the first line of the verse, No 732 _
One wish with holy transport warm My heart hath formed & still doth form One gift I ask, that to my end Thine hallowed house I may attend to.
She is now more highly favored in being admitted to the great Congn and the true sanctuary. May we follow her path, and so, through grace, be permitted to share her happiness!