Quakers - From Death Bed Visions - A Quaker death
Type of spiritual experience
A description of the experience
From Death Bed Visions – Sir William Barrett
In 1739 Mrs Birkbeck, wife of William Birkbeck, banker of Settle, and a member of the Society of Friends [the Quakers] was taken ill and died at Cockermouth, while returning from a journey to Scotland, which she had undertaken alone – her husband and three children, aged seven, five, and four years respectively, remaining at Settle.
The friends at whose house the death occurred made notes of every circumstance attending Mrs Birkbeck’s last hours, …..
" One morning, between seven and eight o'clock, the relation to whom the care of the children at Settle had been entrusted, …., went into their bedroom as usual, and found them all sitting up in their beds in great excitement and delight.
‘Mamma has been here!’ they cried and the little one said, ' She called " Come Esther !"
Nothing could make them doubt the fact, and it was carefully noted down, to entertain the mother on her return home.
That same morning, as their mother lay on her dying bed at Cockermouth, she said, 'I should be ready to go if I could but see my children’.
She then closed her eyes, to, reopen them as they thought, no more. But after ten minutes of perfect stillness she looked up brightly and said,
' I am ready now; I have been with my children’; and then at once peacefully passed away.
When the notes taken at the two places were compared, the day, hour, and minutes were the same.