Caroline Ayers [Ayres]
Caroline was the youngest child of Josiah AYERS [AYRES] and his wife Mary RUNDLE and she was born abt 1853 at Union Road, Queens, Prince Edward Island.
She died October 6, 1874 at the young age of 21 years.
She died October 6, 1874 at the young age of 21 years.
BIBLE CHRISTIAN MAGAZINE, Connexional Department, 1875, pp 510-511
"Caroline AYERS, the daughter of Josiah and Mary AYERS, was born at Union Road, Prince Edward Island. Her parents came from the parish of Bude, Cornwall, England, and settled where they still reside. From first to last they have been staunch supporters of our cause, and of them it may be truly said, considering the difficulties which formerly existed, they have borne the burden and heat of the day. For the ministers of the Gospel there was scarcely a home more pleasurable and never one more hospitable than theirs.
The father has been an acceptable local preacher for a great number of years, and the mother proved herself a worthy helpmate. They were, undoubtedly, very careful of their children's spiritual interests in their growing up ; and the result is the 3 sons minister in Holy things, and most of the daughters are pressing after the Christian's prize.
Caroline was the youngest of the family, and it seemed desirable that she should be spared to console her parents in life's last hours. But God had willed it otherwise. The father, bending with the weight of about fourscore years, and the mother, weakened by infirmities, have had to part with their pet flower of 21 summers.
Caroline, whose early life was closely watched for her spiritual good, was modest and retiring; and it was not known until a few weeks ago that she kept a diary during her affliction as long as she was able, extending from May 24th to July 31st; after which date she was too much prostrated to write. She begins by saying--
"It is with a feeling of much fear I take my pen in hand to speak of Christ's dealings with my soul. In attempting to speak of Christ's love to me, may I be saved from all selfish motive. May my every effort be with a single eye to the honour and glory of God."
Her conversion took place in the Old Church, at Union Road, in the winter of 1871. During services, which were conducted by Brother G. Webber, many were saved, and Caroline was one. Of her acceptance with God she says—"It is something over two years since I embraced Christ as my Saviour. I praise God that ever He gave me a sense of sins forgiven. Oh, what a blessing to feel assured of our name being written in the Lamb's book of life."
In her experience the light gradually dawned, and in regard to it she says, "In the outset I did not feel so happy as some do, but I had a tranquil peace, a settled calm I had never known before, and by clinging to Jesus I became happier every day." She took special delight in the class-meeting, led by her brother John. She says, "Of all places on earth I love most the place where God's people meet together to tell of Christ's love.
He was with us this morning in a glorious degree. All praise be unto our God." She was not always a stranger to lethargy or besetments. Of the former she says, "Oh, how apt we are to get satisfied; to stand still, and not press, nor even desire to grow in grace. I must confess that my heart is too much divided by pride and high temper. Oh, may the Lord help me to overcome it all!"
Her short diary indicates sweet fellowship with God. It often runs thus : "To-day I have sweet fellowship with God in secret. My body is deeply pressed with pain, but ' Labour is rest, and pain is sweet, if Thou, my God, art here.' Oh, what love was manifested in Redemption, and my personal salvation. His presence shall make my pillow soft, and His arm shall support my feeble clay in life's last moments."
She suffered from a spinal affection, occasioned by a fall, which deepened a conviction that her days would be few. She says—"I am suffering from severe pain, how severe God only knows, but it is the Lord's will. It is for my good. He knows that I love Him, and I am quite satisfied to leave myself in His hands. Whether I live or die, through Christ, I am the Lord's."
At times her great suffering gave pain to the bystander; but often when I stood beside her I admired her patience. At one time she was subjected to a fierce assault from the tempter. The temptation seemed to assume this shape: "Yours is a hard lot; others can enjoy themselves. This is hard treatment from a God who professes to love you; such treatment proves He does not care for you."
She seemed driven almost to the last extremity with bodily pain and spiritual gloom. But while the tempter was seeking to obtain the mastery, she clung to the promises, remembering that "Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth; and that if we be without chastisement then are we bastards and not sons." " Yea, though I walk through the valley and the shadow of death, I will fear no evil." The cloud broke, and with exultation she cried, "Through Jesus I can overcome the devil!"
During my many visits to her I was always struck with her calm submission. This grace appears evident to the reader from her own quotation--
"Should pining sickness waste away
My life in premature decay,
My Father, still I'll strive to say,
Thy will be done.
" If but my fainting heart be blest
With Thy sweet Spirit for its guest,
My God, to Thee I leave the rest,
Thy will be done."
Though she always had the victory over the tempter, his main point of attack was— Do not such circumstances prove the nature of the devil to be the essence of cruelty? To tempt "Can God love where and when He so afflicts?" a drunkard to commit suicide — or a thief to commit murder to carry out his desperate purpose, does not seem half so cowardly and cruel as to taunt a poor suffering girl racked with pain, and tempt her to give up her confidence in God.
If the Devil be so determined in such cases it is impossible to imagine the havoc he makes among the nations. "Verily, he goeth about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." If such heartless cruelty be manifested to such a helpless sufferer, what can those hope for who shall become a prey to Satan at last.
Let the unconverted reader be admonished. Escape for thy life. Go at once to Jesus. Go as you are, confess your sins, and you shall be healed, and sanctified, and saved.
Our sister loved the Bible, and often in her diary referred to her deep regard for Holy Scriptures. She derived much comfort in reading the lives of Dr. Payson, Mrs. Fletcher, and Mrs. Graham; and yet, comparing their devotedness with her own, she felt keenly. Thus she writes:
"If I have to be as devoted and pious as they evidently were, I fear I shall never enter heaven; but it may be they had more talents than I, and were differently circumstanced, and if I improve the one talent I have in the best way I can, that is all that will be required of me."
Was not this sound reasoning? God expects nothing unreasonable. Of the man who has five talents He expects the improvement of five; but only the improvement of one, where one only is given. Persons entrusted with wealth may not have to blow the gospel trumpet, nor bear the pitcher with the water of life ; but it may be their duty to buy the trumpet and to support the trumpeter, for if the trumpet be not blown how are the people to be warned ? If the water be not distributed, the people will die.
But to return, through weary months of extreme suffering, Caroline worshipped and waited with calm submission.
The 31st of July was the last time she attempted to make a record of Christ's love in her heart, and from that time until October she was most painfully prostrated. During those months of severe affliction the writer visited her as often as practicable. Her constant answer was, "The will of the Lord be done." Her medical adviser, who is much valued for his skill and piety, said to me, "In all my experience I never saw such calm submission in such extreme suffering."
A short time before her death I asked her if there was any request that I might carry out after her decease. She intimated that if anything could be said which would extol Christ's name in saving and sustaining them that put their trust in Him, I might say it. This was done in an address to a large congregation the Sabbath after, in a short obituary by Brother Webber at the time of her death, and now in preparing this longer notice.
The family greatly missed her, for she was its only earthly joy. The preachers have missed her smiling face and kindly hand, and the Sabbath school and class-meeting have missed one of their warmest members.
The Church will miss her helping hand and benevolent heart. Her last earthly toil was devoted to our effort last summer to pay for the preacher's new residence. But our loss is her gain. Thus died in the full triumph of faith, Miss Caroline AYERS, October 6th, 1874, aged 21 years.
Our earnest prayer is, that the bereaved parents may be sustained by the presence of God, and that the family who are settled far and near, will never forget in their prayers, in their sympathy, in their companionship, the lonely homestead, and that all the family, as, one by one, they cross the river, may from the pearly gate hear the song of welcome."
R. B. Rowe.