Mrs. Ogden

The Life And Testimony Of Mrs. Ogden

Gospel Standard 1848:

[In the following Obituary, the first part contains some account of the experience of Mrs. Ogden, drawn up by her own hand, and found after her decease; the latter part a memorial of her last days, written by her husband.]

From childhood I had at times fears of going to hell; but as I was brought up in Arminianism, (which had a most hardening effect on my conscience, for from constantly hearing it proclaimed that Jesus stood with open arms ready to receive all that would come unto him, and that all might come if they would,) I thought I need not think of coming yet; “I will come,” I said to myself, “when I am old, or if I should be ill; Christ is waiting to receive all that come at all times, so he certainly will receive me then.” Such was the hardening tendency of an offered gospel to my soul.

Early in life I married; and my dear husband not liking an Arminian ministry, we attended at a Particular Baptist chapel. Here fears of death and judgment at times fell upon me; but as the cares of this life increased with me, so did my carefulness after the things of time and sense increase also; but often in the midst of my cares the words would come, “Ye cannot serve God and mammon; no man can serve two masters.” I was now approaching a time of trial, and received a letter from a friend telling me to cast all my care on the Lord, and then all would be well; and to remember the gracious promise, “As thy day is, thy strength shall be.” And truly I did try to cast my care on him, and as truly found I was unable, which sank me very low. Oh, I thought, no one ever had so bad a heart as I; I cannot cast my care upon the lord, if I might have the world; so that gracious promise is not for me, because I cannot cast my care on him. O! I fear he has given me up to a hard heart! I began now to feel that it was not whether I would come to Jesus, but whether I might. But I thought that I would be more regular in prayer, and reading the Scriptures, and also would set myself to learn a portion of God’s word every morning, on which I might meditate during the day, and also attend the public means regularly, in hopes that the Lord would accept me.

I went on in this way some time, when a friend lent my husband two or three numbers (Issues) of the Gospel Standard, when the words, “The election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded,” which I saw over a piece, were riveted upon my mind, and greatly perplexed and distressed me. I now saw that the Lord had a people chosen from the foundation of the world; which sank me very low, as I felt sure I could not be one of them, for I thought it was not possible the Almighty could think of me, so vile, sinful, and insignificant as I was, and wished I had been a beast, or anything that had no soul to be saved; for I thought I could endure the miseries of this life for a season, but who can dwell in everlasting burnings? I could not open my mind to anyone, but asked a friend’s opinion about the words, “The election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded;” but he thought it referred to the Jews only, and directed my attention to the passage, “Seek, and ye shall find, knock, and the door shall be opened unto you.” But the more I sought, the more I appeared lost. Sometimes I could not pray, and when I read the Scriptures I could not understand them; and sometimes I was tempted to believe there was no God nor devil, heaven nor hell, but in my own confused imagination; sometimes feeling very miserable, and then not feeling much of it for a time.

One Sabbath morning, however, a stranger preached at the chapel where we then attended. His text was, “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned:” and he said that the Lord had a people chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, who received the things of the Spirit of God. He spoke much also upon the doubts, fears, temptations, and perplexities of the people of God. This was a great encouragement to me, as he was led to name most that I was exercised with. In the afternoon I was enabled to pray to the Lord to give me another token for good if I was in the election of grace; but I arose from my knees oppressed and dejected, and thought the Lord would not appear for me, and I was one of the “blinded” after all. But “as the heavens are high above the earth, so are his thoughts higher than our thoughts, and his ways than our ways;” an old hymn-book lay before me, which I was led to open, when these words arrested my attention:

“Now, Lord, I would be thine alone, 

And wholly live to thee;

But may I hope that thou wilt own 

A worthless worm like me?

“Yes! though of sinners I’m the worst, 

I cannot doubt thy will;

For if thou hadst not loved me first, 

I had refused thee still.”

The last verse removed my doubts and fears, and was indeed a token for good, so that “I wept to the praise of the mercy I found,” and rejoiced in this some weeks, but afterwards began to fear that it was only natural excitement.

About this time I heard Mr. Warburton, at Ebenezer Chapel. He spoke of the deceitfulness of the heart, and I felt he painted mine in its true colours; but I could take no comfort, as I again feared I was not elected. But from this time I could not with comfort hear any but a free-grace gospel, consequently I wandered about from one place to another where I found the truth was preached, and rejoiced to hear that Mr. H. was going to build a chapel for the truth, but was again disappointed, as there was no regular minister there, and I could not for some time attend the reading through prejudice. Here I heard Mr. B., on the words, “The servant abideth not in the house for ever, but the son abideth ever.” I thought I was nothing but a servant; and felt convinced there was a secret which I knew nothing about, consequently I had no right to any promise; and I felt the truth of the words,

“True religion’s more than notion; 

Something must be known and felt.”

Mr. M’Kenzie’s sermon on “The Sealing of the Spirit” revived my hopes, and brought back to my mind the tokens for good that the Lord had given me, (which I had completely lost,) which I thought, if not sealing, surely were tokens for good; and I now felt sure where the Lord had begun a good work he would carry it on. One Sabbath morning, the 13th of August, 1843, I felt a most intense hungering and thirsting for the love of God to be manifested to my soul, accompanied with a hatred and detestation of myself as a sinner. I opened the Bible, and the words presented themselves, ‘Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” When I laid the book aside, O, I thought, that promise is to the Lord’s own people, and not for me, so vile as I am; and I thought it impossible with justice and a holy God, that this promise could be fulfilled in me. As I was on the road to chapel, I said, I shall certainly go to hell; there is no escaping; and as I truly deserve it, I will tell all the devils in hell that God is perfectly just in sending me there.

But when that man of God, Mr. Warburton, senior, gave out the words as a text, “Hear me, O Lord, for thy loving kindness is good; turn unto me, according to the multitude of thy tender mercies,” I was enabled to repeat them again to the Lord in earnest prayer; and immediately such joy and peace flowed in my soul that I mentally exclaimed, “O Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” What I then felt I can never express. My sins were all gone; I truly could triumph over death, and say, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? It was with difficulty I could keep my seat for joy and weeping, for “I looked for hell, he brought me heaven.” This was the day on which the church first partook of the ordinance of the Supper in Trinity Chapel. I said, “This people shall be my people, and their God my God,” and promised the Lord that at the next public ordinance of baptism I would offer myself as a candidate. I now felt so completely happy, that I could scarcely do anything but bless and praise God. On the following Wednesday night there was a very violent storm of thunder and lightning; and when I awoke on Thursday morning I was led to meditate on the almighty power and majesty of God, whose voice alone shook heaven and earth; and sang, “Gracious God, how can it be that thou, in whose sight the heavens are not pure, can dwell in a polluted heart like mine? Yet thou hast said their bodies shall be the temple of the Holy Ghost. Dear Lord, how can it be that thou canst dwell with a vile, polluted wretch like me?” And the answer came immediately. “Thou art all fair, my love, there is no spot in thee.” And I said, “Oh, my blessed Jesus! my precious Jesus! surely thou dost kiss me with the kisses of thy lips;” and that beautiful verse of’ Watts’s came to my mind:

“My willing soul would stay 

In such a frame as this,

And sing and weep herself away 

To everlasting bliss.”

This was a time of love indeed to my soul; the ordinances of the Lord’s house were my delight, and our little reading meetings were often made to me a blessing indeed. But in a few months my enjoyments began to decline, and I became filled with confusion and suspicions that I had never had a law work, and that all my enjoyments had been but natural excitements. A dear friend, who knew my feelings respecting baptism, now came to inform me that that ordinance would take place in a week or two. Here was another conflict; for if my suspicions were true, I was but a hypocrite; but I felt I could not give all up as delusion, consequently I thought, if I refuse to submit to this ordinance, some heavy judgment from the Almighty will fall upon me. In this state of mind I agreed to meet the church the following Sabbath; but when the time came, I was so filled with doubts and suspicions as to what I truly was, that I could not attend.

But afterwards feeling some encouragement from the word of God, and from conversation with some of the friends, another time was fixed, and I was enabled to state the way in which the Lord had led me, and was accepted; when immediately it was suggested to me that the church was completely deceived in me, for, I had never begun right, and should not stand, but should bring some disgrace on the cause. I was therefore greatly harassed and perplexed, and the nearer I approached the time for the ordinance, the more my darkness increased; and I scarce knew how I got through, as I thought I should certainly bring some disgrace on the cause, and the enemy kept telling me I had not begun right, and should not stand, and that all was a delusion.

In the afternoon we partook of the Lord’s Supper; but my accuser was there also. “Ah,” said he, “you are a member of the church on earth it is true, but that will not make you one in heaven.” Truly it was a day of darkness to me. The day following, my soul was enabled to plead with the Almighty in earnest, and with bitter cries, that he would appear for me; and these words came very sweetly: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” This was a token for good, and I could praise him for it; for “I was brought low, and he helped me.” After this, as I was going along an unfrequented street, a sweet feeling came over me. I thought how quiet and serene is this place! surely the Lord is near and I knew it not; and these words came: “The king’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold.” This was a blessing indeed. I thought I should never doubt the goodness of God to my soul again, and I rejoiced with joy unspeakable; but after a time, the Lord again left me, and I returned to my own place, for of myself I can do nothing. I at times was full of doubts and fears, and my heart as hard as adamant; no feeling in attending the means, which used to be my delight, and now, even if I did get a little melted, it was directly suggested it was nothing but natural excitement, and so I was robbed of my comfort; for truly Hart says,

“With some the tempter takes 

Much pains to make them mad; 

But me he found, and always held

The easiest fool he had.”

My dark state of mind at the ordinances was a great perplexity to me, as I could not hear of anyone like me; this I was tempted at times to believe was another evidence against me. In this uncomfortable state of mind I went on a long time, in and out, like the door on its hinges, so hard and unfeeling; and it being suggested to me that it was only mocking God for me to pray, I in a great degree left off private prayer and reading the Scriptures, and the cares and anxieties of this life occupied most of my attention. But still I regularly attended the public means, and through mercy alone was kept from backsliding outwardly, and felt at times a sort of grief that I could not grieve truly.

I experienced now that “to be carnally-minded is death,” and often felt condemned by the word, “If the salt have lost its savourr wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out, and trodden under foot of men;” but still I had earnest desires after God at times that he would appear.

About this time I perceived a small substance in my breast, which I felt an impression would prove a cancer, but did not name it to anyone until it began to increase in pain and size; and I then named it to my dear husband, who immediately sent for a skilfull surgeon, who at first said it was a cancer, but after examining it two or three times gave it as his firm opinion it was nothing but a tumour, which in time he believed would again decrease, and ultimately disperse. But in a very short time it proved a confirmed cancer. This, however, did not move me, for my heart felt as hard as a flint, and could not love Jesus. I felt myself a vile, polluted wretch, “Without the power to act or will.”

Truly I felt “in me dwelleth no good thing;” and the words, “He that loveth not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed,” were continually condemning me. In this miserable state I long abode; and as my bodily affliction increased, my trouble respecting my spiritual state increased also, for I now began to fear that the Lord had given me up to a hard and unfeeling heart, for I had no changes, and could see others obtain the blessing, while I was always sent away empty. Pain now kept me from attending the means so regularly as I had hitherto done; and my darkness kept increasing upon me, so that I was at times tempted to believe there was no God; and sincerely did I wish I had never made a profession of religion.

The words, “I will send them strong delusions, that they should believe a lie,” abode fearfully on my mind; and I came to the determination that I would say nothing to anyone respecting my feelings, as I feared being a stumbling-block in the way of others; but would, if possible, quietly (at least) accept the punishment due to my sins, if I sank to hell, which I feared I should. In this state of mind I went to the afternoon prayer-meeting, and afterwards stayed with some of the friends. During conversation, one of them was speaking of a friend who was similarly afflicted with myself, and that when it was made known to her it was a cancer, she felt there was no hope, but that it sent her to the Lord, and he appeared and blessed her in her soul, and she could say, “Thy will be done.” I felt this to make a great impression on me, as it was just what I wanted; and I said to myself, “Does the Lord change? No! ‘The Lord changeth not, neither is his ear heavy, that he cannot hear.’ Who can tell but he may yet appear for me? at least, I’ll try;” and I felt great desires going up to the Lord, and was not without hope that he would appear.

But when I got home, and had retired for rest, I sank much lower than ever, as I thought my sins were so great that they must sink me to a never-ending hell. My pain was great both in body and mind. I knew not what to do, and I cried out, weeping, “Oh, I am lost!” when my dear husband immediately said, “Oh, no, you are not lost; you love Jesus!” “No!” I replied, “I cannot love Jesus!” “But,” said he, “you wish to love him.” Truly I did wish to love him; but hell appeared to be my justly-merited doom. I felt I was worse than the devil himself, for he had never sinned against redeeming love. As David says, “The terrors of hell gat hold upon me, I found trouble and sorrow. I said in my haste, all men are liars.” Oh! why did they receive me into the church? The following evening Mr. I. was coming to preach, and I was enabled to wrestle with the Lord that he would make him that night a true prophet of the Lord to my soul, that he might be as God’s mouth, and if there was hope for me, that he would lead him to speak especially to me. Truly I felt something of the spirit of the words, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” And on my way to chapel I felt a most intense panting after Christ, and immediately I thought, “Is it not astonishing that such a vile wretch as I should pant for Christ? Surely this is a token for good.” The words of Mr. I’d text were, “The humble shall see it, and be glad, and your heart shall live that seek God;” and truly I was made glad, for he was led so specially to enter into my feelings, and bring me answers of peace, that if I had named to any of the friends the feelings I had passed through. I should have said that they must have told him.

In speaking of the affliction, he said, “The affliction which you are accepting as the punishment of your sins, which you feel merit hell, is truly a sanctified affliction, and comes from a gracious Father, not in wrath but in love; but you pant for Christ. Is it not astonishing that such a vile wretch as you should pant for Christ? But God says, ‘The beasts of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls.'” Truly I felt there was much treasure in an earthen vessel that night to my soul, and came away blessing and praising the Lord for the affliction, and the way which he had led me. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name; for I was brought low and he helped me; he brought me out of the horrible pit, and out of the miry clay; set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings;” and as my afflictions increased, so did my consolations also.

The 116th Psalm was a blessed portion to my soul. Truly “I found the word, and did eat it, to the joy and rejoicing of my soul.” The promises appeared all for me, and never were the Scriptures so exceedingly precious. Oh, I thought, if the Scriptures are true, truly I am a vessel of mercy. Oh, why me, why me, while thousands are left to perish? Oh, amazing grace, that I should be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation! Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of glory, which the Lord the righteous judge shall give unto me, and not to me only, but to all those that love his appearing.

Oh! what an abundant entrance into glory I had from the last sentence, for his appearing to my soul seemed better than life, more precious than my vital blood. My joy has not been so great this last day or two, and I feel my enemies lively and strong, yet am I enabled to rely upon his word, for he rests in his love; and I feel my poor tabernacle is fast decaying, but when the heart and flesh fail, the Lord will be my life and my portion for ever. Oh, may he give me patience to endure all the pain be has appointed for me, with resignation to his will in all things, and to him be the glory.


The sufferings of my dear wife from first to last were the most intense and grievous that could be well imagined; but I believe from the bottom of my heart, that not a murmuring word ever escaped her lips. She would sometimes say, “What are my sufferings to what my dear Jesus underwent for my accursed sins?” This affliction kept increasing until her blood became one mass of cancerous humour, and ended only with her death.

I shall now present the reader with the last scene of her sufferings while here below. A short time before her death, after enduring many days of darkness, in which the enemy suggested to her that all her religion was a delusion, and that she never had a work of grace begun in her soul, it pleased the Lord, whilst I was reading and talking to her by the bedside, to dart a bright ray of hope into her mind; and she exclaimed, “Well, who can tell but that after all I may be right? and I do think now all is right. Bless and praise the Lord for this!” Her faith and consolation continued for some days, after which she again sank very low in her feelings, until on the Sunday morning before her death, whilst I sat at breakfast, the nurse being upstairs, my attention was suddenly aroused by hearing an unusual noise. Always fearing the worst, I immediately ran up stairs, and to my great surprise and pleasure found her sitting up in bed, shouting, “Bless his precious name! he has come again! The enemy is a liar. He told me that Jesus would not appear again; but he has come; and I can face Satan, and tell him that he is nothing but a deceiver!” She continued in the most exalted strains to call upon her soul, and all that was within and about, to praise the Lord, and said, “Come, all that are here, help me to shout his praises.” On observing me she said, “John, I hope you will go to heaven!” Then turning to her mother, she said, “Mother, the Methodists are on a rotten foundation, it is a damnable doctrine. Christ is a whole Saviour, not a half one, and a Saviour, too, before the foundation of the world; all that are given to him were given before time began.” After reading, prayer was offered up by a kind friend that came to see her. She then called upon us all to sing a hymn, in which she joined; and though she could scarcely be heard for some days previously only in a whisper, she sang so loud that her voice was much higher than any of the others. At length her strength failed her for a short time, but in a few hours she again resumed her favourite strain, and wished some friends that belonged to the chapel to be sent for, and said, “I will tell them what great things the Lord has done for my soul.”

Many kind friends soon came to surround her dying bed, and they best can tell what a wonderful display of almighty power was put forth on her behalf. As for me, at that time my grief was too great to remember one-tenth of the joyous exclamations she uttered. She continued in this happy frame of mind until Tuesday, when the untiring foe of God and man came again with his horrid and infernal suggestions; but blessed be the name of’ the Lord, it did not last long, for she was soon enabled to say, “The enemy has now nothing to do with me; he is a conquered foe; tell all the friends what the grace of God can do. Patience,” she said; “I sometimes think it hard to arrive at the very portals of heaven, and then to be sent back. I thought last night that I really was passing into such indescribable brightness, much above the brightness of the sun, and expecting I was going. I longed to tell you, but could not; but I was sent back again for a short time.” I said, “My dear, I really think I shall be able to rejoice that the Lord has taken you out of this wilderness.” She replied, “I hope you will.” She then gave me a placid smile, and said, “I can laugh at death.” I said, “Death has lost its sting with you.” “Oh yes,” she replied; “but notwithstanding, dying is hard work.” She then remained very quiet and happy until about ten o’clock in the evening, when she became very restless, and had great difficulty in breathing, until about two o’clock in the morning, when her tongue was again set at liberty, and she began to shout, “Victory! I am going, I am going! Victory! Victory! Call him (meaning myself) to help me to shout Victory!”

When I went into the room, her eyes were sparkling with joy, and she exclaimed, “Victory! victory! Oh help me to shout Victory through the blood of the Lamb! Now,” she said, “you see what the power of God’s grace can do! No more sorrow, no more pain, no more sin! I shall live and reign with God, eternally shut in. Oh! what a shutting in is that! ‘The election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.’ Whoever denies election denies the whole truth of the Bible. Bless his precious name! I shall soon be with him, shouting Victory! Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. I want so to be gone!” I then said, “All earthly ties with you are now broken.” “Yes,” she said, “all snapped asunder and gone! Feel my pulse, and see how long you think I shall be.” I did so, and assured her that it was beating regularly, at which she seemed much disappointed, and told me I did not understand it.

She then said, “I shall not talk much longer,” and began to be very calm; a sweet smile hung upon her countenance. But O! no tongue can tell the dreadful struggle she was called upon to endure with the great enemy of souls! Well she might say, “I am under great power;” the power of the enemy on the one hand, and the greater power of God on the other. She then said to the nurse, “Fetch me a cup of cocoa.” The nurse having brought it, she said, “The devil has just said, ‘Now you are going to have a cup of cocoa, when I will have another stroke at you, and it will be a stroke indeed;’ but,” she said, “I wilt deceive him, I will not touch it—set it down. Now, Mrs. Bent,” she said, (that was the name of the nurse, of whose kindness and attention I feel happy to be a witness,) “do you leave the room.”

She went outside the door, and listening, she heard her say, “Now Mrs. Bent is gone, but you are not gone. I did not think you would have come again, but this is your hour. Now you can deny almost anything, can you deny this, ‘None but Jesus can do helpless sinners good?’ I hate you, Satan, you know I hate you.” The nurse went in and said, “I thought you would have been still when I was gone.” “It is that devil, nurse, that plagues me. I hate him.”

Her speech then left her; and on perceiving a stillness, her mother went up stairs; I was below. A solemn silence prevailing, I immediately went up, and found her dying. I sat upon the bed-side, took hold of her hand, watching her pulse, (which left her about eight minutes before her death,) and looking stedfastly on her countenance, I perceived the conflict with the enemy was still going on. She suddenly became calm and placid, and looking at me, she exclaimed, “I am going—I am going—to live for ever!” and immediately expired.

Thus departed, from the Church Militant to the Church Triumphant, one of the best of wives, the best of mothers; but infinitely more than all, a true and faithful servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, with whom she is now living and reigning in eternal bliss, and everlasting happiness. “The memory of the just is blessed.”

J. O.


We subjoin a letter written by a friend who visited her shortly before she died.

On Lord’s day Mrs. O. sent for me. When I entered the room, about nine o’clock in the morning, her countenance shone with great joy. She said, “I have sent for you to assist me in praising the Lord for his great goodness to a worthless wretch like me. I have neither strength nor power sufficiently to express his goodness shown to me. I have been saying, ‘Why, gracious Lord?’ I can only say because he would love a vile wretch, as I feel myself to be. Praise his holy name! I want you to sing.” I said, “What shall we sing?” 

“Praise God from whom all blessings flow?'”

“No; that is too weak to set forth his love in saving me—vile me. the chief of sinners.”

Several hymns were then read to her. She made choice of Hymn 103, Gadsby’s Selection:

“Jesus, thy blood and righteousness,”

The third verse she wished to be repeated; and sang louder than any of us. Then were read Psalm 103 and Rev. 22. She said, “I have been looking back at my past life; and I cannot think I have done one good thing for my blessed Saviour; and yet his love how great to me!” She said, “My soul is so filled with love to my precious Saviour! I am jealous of his honour. If anyone were to speak lightly of him and his redemption, it would wound my soul. O how great his love to me! I looked for hell; he brought me to heaven. I looked for condemnation; and he has given me justification. How Satan is disappointed that my gracious Lord should so favour me, the vilest wretch out of hell, the chief of sinners! never was anyone more vile executed. Oh my unbelieving heart, that ever I should harbour such unbelieving thoughts of my blessed Lord, and doubt his faithfulness! Do you think Satan will be suffered to tempt me again? I hope not; he is a conquered enemy. Tell all my friends that I shall be glad to see them and to help me praise the Lord for his goodness!” She now felt her bodily weakness; and I left her. In the afternoon she addressed them with a smile and said, “Help me to praise the Lord for what he has done for me, the chief of sinners. Never doubt of his mercy. Never dishonour God by unbelief; for I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord!”

She then requested a friend to read and pray, and wished—“All hail the power of Jesus’ name,” to be sung, which will not soon be forgotten by those who witnessed it. At another time she would repeat,

“Weary of earth, myself, and sin, 

Dear Jesus, set me free;

And to thy glory take me in, 

For there I Iong to be.”

She said, “The good Lord just gave me strength to repeat it,” At another time she said,

“Soon I shall be safely landed

On the shores of heavenly bliss,

And I shall, with joys expanded, 

See my Jesus as he is.”

On Thursday, she sang by herself,

“My willing soul would stay 

In such a frame as this, 

And gladly sing herself away

To everlasting bliss.”

The same night she wished me to read Romans 8, and call the family to prayer, after which I saw her no more.

Leicester, December 21, 1847.


Mrs Ogden (?-1847) was a Strict and Particular Baptist believer. After her marriage, she began attending Particular Baptist churches, coming under the gospel ministries of men such as John Warburton and John M’Kenzie.