Sworn, Elizabeth (1790-1837)

On Sept. 17th, 1837, died, aged 47 years, Elizabeth, wife of Wm. Sworn, Market-place, Salisbury.  At the age of sixteen she was convinced of sin, under the ministry of the late Key John Saffery, Baptist minister, and continued a member seventeen years.  Her husband was brought to God by means of the same minister.

In 1835, her husband joining the P. Methodists, she also joined in 1836; and was actively engaged in promoting the temporal and eternal good of her brethren and sisters in Christ

She was appointed leader of the class previously led by our sister Foizey; and the appointment was approved by the whole class.  But on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1837, she was taken ill; and her stomach refusing almost every kind of sustenance, she gradually sunk, and at times was delirious; but at other times would converse delightfully on death and eternity.  “Oh!” said she, “when we are in health we talk only of death; but when death approaches we ponder, reflect, examine, and are in earnest.

She was strongly tempted with having committed the unpardonable sin.  At midnight, on the 13th, she had a severe conflict with the powers of darkness, and struggled as in an agony.  But towards morning the conflict ended; she sweetly slept; and on awaking her mind was tranquil, and from this time

Not a doubt appeared
To darken her skies,
Or hide for a moment
Her Lord from her eyes .

She spoke about a name, and I said, “You. will have a new name.”  She rejoined “I shall. I cannot read it now, but shall read it in heaven — Glory, glory, glory.  Then I shall sing more sweet, more loud, and Christ shall be the song.  O! my dear, I fought and gained the victory.  Glory, glory, glory be to God.”  She then said,”I am safe.  I am safe.  I have no fear; blessed Jesus; I have no fear.”  Waving her hand she said, “I shall shout through the blood of the Lamb.”  Afterwards she said:-

“ O! glorious hope,—O! bless’d abode!
I shall be near, and like my God.”

She wished to see her youngest son, and prayed for him with great fervour.

On the 15th she broke out several times in praise to God.  Saturday morning she said, “Pray, pray, pray.”  After this she was only heard to say, “Lord, release; Lord, release.”  And about five minutes past eight on Sabbath morning her happy spirit, without a groan, took its flight to glory; leaving an affectionate husband and thirteen children to lament their loss.

William Sworn


I improved the solemn occasion to a densely crowded congregation, of all denominations, and hope good was done.

H. Sharman


Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1838.  Pages 356-357.


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