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    AT THE funeral services of Mrs. Sarah A. Bourdeau-Giguere held in the Tabernacle at Battle Creek, Mich., February 11, 1899, Elder Uriah Smith, officiating minister, made introductory remarks to the effect that the deceased had left the clearest evidence that she had fallen asleep in Jesus, and then read the following historical sketch, which he said had been handed to him for the occasion:-IMBG 2.1

    She to whom we would, with our sympathizing friends, pay a tribute of respect on this occasion, was of French and English extraction. Her father, John Menard, was a French Canadian of respectability, belonging to a numerous and enterprising family that settled not far from St. Johns, Canada East, or Lower Canada, and in different parts of the States. Her grandfather on her mother’s side had an English ancestry, and fought in the Revolutionary War.IMBG 2.2

    The deceased being a lover of liberty, would occasionally refer to the fact that one of her ancestors helped in bringing about civil and religious liberty in a country that she loved, and to another fact; namely, that in her early youth she had met General Lafayette, who had aided George Washington in promoting the cause of freedom.IMBG 2.3

    The deceased was born a Roman Catholic, in the township of St. Athanase, Lower Canada; but when quite young, she with her parents, following the tide of emigration to the States, moved to northern Vermont, and gradually came under Protestant influence. At the age of fourteen she visited Canada, went to a Catholic priest, and confessed to him, receiving his pious counsels. He said to her, among other things, “You may be where you can not confess to a priest. In that case confess to God who will hear and forgive you. Remember that we are drawing near the end. I believe that some of you [the children and youth to whom he was speaking] will live to see the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.” [“This shows us,” added the speaker, “how the belief of the near coming of Christ was then obtaining, even among Catholics.”]IMBG 3.1

    At the age of twenty, she, who now sweetly sleeps before us, was married to Augustin Bourdeau, a native of St. Regis, Lower Canada, whose father was Canadian French, and mother France French. He was born July 12, 1809, was a Roman Catholic by birth, and early directed his steps to the then noted land of freedom. The newly married couple soon settled as pioneers in the wilds of Enosburgh, Franklin county, Vermont, and opened up a farm. Later on a village was formed on and near the farm of Augustin Bourdeau, and through respect for this pioneer, as one of the first settlers, and as one beloved of all who knew him, it was named Bordoville.IMBG 3.2

    Soon after the settlement of Mr. and Mrs. Augustin Bourdeau at this point, they were converted, and fully espoused the cause of Protestantism, with the determination that, by grace divine, nothing would keep them from advancing in the light of the Bible, and from fully merging out of the labyrinth of error and superstition, in which they had for some time felt the need of light, truth, and liberty. They soon united with the Baptists, believing them to be in advance of other Christians near them on the point of Christian baptism, and were among the eleven who started the first French Baptist church of Vermont. They were in a French Catholic settlement, and did all in their power to bring the clearer light of the gospel, to them so precious, to Catholics near them, and in adjoining townships, until more than one hundred French Catholics had been led to see and embrace Jesus as the only one who can save men from their sins.IMBG 3.3

    The main burden of evangelizing rested on the deceased, as she was acquainted with both the French and English languages, and could read the Bible in those tongues. She was a thorough Bible student, and would retire at night with the Bible under her pillow, as her best companion and greatest earthly treasure, having, under all circumstances, read it regularly and systematically in the day time, and before taking her rest at night. Having a remarkable memory, and a studious turn of mind, which she cultivated by daily exercise, she became very familiar with the Bible, and was regarded as a living concordance to the Holy Scriptures. In teaching Catholics she would use a ten-commandment chart, and would show them how it was sinful to bow before images.IMBG 4.1

    She thought she was keeping all the commandments, and one night before retiring, with the deepest solicitude and with weeping, she presented to the Lord the following petition: “If I deviate from the right path in any particular, make it known to me, if need be, during the night watches.” That very night she dreamed she was before a beautiful table upon which was a large Bible with bold characters, opened to the ten commandments. On the table, and around the Bible, were beautiful white articles of wearing apparel. By the Bible stood a tall, lovely personage dressed in white. He passed his right hand over the decalogue, until it had reached about the middle of that sacred document, the portion occupied by the fourth commandment. He then said to Mrs. Bourdeau, “Do you know that you are not keeping all the commandments?” She replied, “No, Lord,” and weeping she added, “Which commandment, Lord, do I not observe?” Removing his hand from the Sabbath precept, he said, “You will know hereafter.” [“Here is a remarkable instance showing how God prepares the way of the honest to receive further light.” The speaker.]IMBG 4.2

    About that time her sister older than herself had a similar dream; and twelve years later both she and Mrs. Bourdeau, on seeing and embracing the truth of the Sabbath, exclaimed, “Our dream is fulfilled.” At that time, - about forty-three years ago, the husband, two sons, and a daughter of the deceased, with several others, commenced the observance of the true Sabbath, and accepted kindred truths, and a large church of Seventh-day Adventists was formed at and near Bordoville.IMBG 5.1

    There were born to Father and Mother Bourdeau three children who arrived at maturity, the first two of whom are now known as Elders A. C. and D. T. Bourdeau, who are present on this occasion. Their third child, a daughter, died a believer in present truth and in bright hope of immortality, thirty-two years ago, being a mother of four children who are still alive, but not present to-day. For these and for their father the dying child of God left these words: “Meet me and my daughter now sleeping in Jesus at the coming of the Lifegiver. Remember the last prayer of my dear daughter for you, ‘Save them either by life or by death.’”IMBG 5.2

    While the prospect of acquiring wealth loomed up in an attractive light before Mr. and Mrs. Bourdeau, as well as before their aspiring neighbors, they prized the education of their children above earthly riches, and made all their plans bend to the attainment of this noble object. Surely their vows, earnest and importunate prayers, fastings, self-denial and sacrifices, with this end in view, and with the conviction that one can be more useful with a sanctified education than without it, are remembered, and these parents, now sweetly sleeping in Jesus, will soon see the fulfilment of their hopes, and reap their full reward.IMBG 6.1

    January 30, 1875, - about twenty-four years ago, - the companion of the deceased died from accident, at Bordoville, Vt., being outlived by his father, who reached the venerable age of nearly ninety-nine years. Father Bourdeau died, possessing the hope of a glorious life in the soon-coming immortal kingdom. Nine years after his death, Mother Bourdeau married Brother Joseph Giguere, who had also renounced the errors of Romanism, having for several years lived with Catholic priests, and being a special friend to the Bourdeau family. By this change of relations with Mother Bourdeau, her sons were left free to go as missionaries where duty would call them. Father Giguere is present among the mourners. He has shared in the conflicts, victories, and joys of the deceased and of her sons, and does not weep as one who has no hope.IMBG 6.2

    Mother Bourdeau was a woman of marked decision of character, was true as steel to principle, had a courage that never failed her, and strong faith in God, and she ever rejoiced in the prosperity of the cause of present truth. She had very precious experiences in her Christian life. When past seventy-five years of age, she made a journey by rail to visit one of her relatives, and was let off by the conductor on an isolated platform, and at some distance from the point to which she was journeying. It was in the night, and the darkness was intense. She had to cross a railroad bridge on the track, and no one was present to lead her. At once, what appeared to her like a tall young man, drew near to her, and told her: “I know where you are going. Give me your arm, and I will lead you.” She did so, and the welcome attendant led her safely across the bridge, and half a mile beyond it, even opposite the house at which she was to stop, and vanished away, leaving on Mother Bourdeau ’s mind the indelible impression that a heavenly visitant had come to her assistance. [“This is indeed a remarkable instance of the visible ministration of good angels.” The speaker.]IMBG 7.1

    The disease by which she has fallen was la grippe followed by pneumonia. Soon after she was taken sick, it appeared to all that she might pass away very soon. At her special request Elder E. J. Waggoner and Father Prescott were invited to pray with her. She was prayed for, and was so relieved that she lived on to do the work she had it at heart to perform. Not long before her death the Spirit of God rested upon her, and she broke out with such expressions as the following: “I see God, and Jesus at his right hand.” “I rest on Jesus’ breast, and know that his eye is upon me and that he loves me.” “I have had such a view of Jesus! How lovely, beautiful, majestic! He looked just as I once saw him in a dream. I have wondered why it was that I was permitted to suffer so long. I now see that it was that I might be permitted to recount God’s blessings, and talk about them. I should have done this more.” “I have been thinking about the loved ones who rest in hope, whom I will soon meet as the righteous dead are raised. [Here she mentioned several of the blessed dead, among them our pioneers, and added:] “Blessed meeting! Praise the Lord!” She continued:-IMBG 7.2

    “Forty-two years ago dear Elder C. W. Sperry, who now rests in hope, asked me if I had my white robe for the kingdom [meaning the white raiment of a righteous character]. I could not then say that I had it according to the fulness of my desire; but now I can say I have it in that sense. My sins are all forgiven, and I am clothed with Christ’s righteousness.” She then pronounced blessings upon her children, based on past events in their lives and their respective callings and extending in the future, which, it is expected, will be a source of encouragement to those concerned, and lead them to shape their course according to the precious counsels given.IMBG 8.1

    She also remembered absent loved ones, and showed a spirit of self-abnegation by saying of her first-born, Elder A. C. Bourdeau, who was supplying the place of his brother, in Montreal, P. Q., for a season, “I would not have him leave that field of labor, if by so doing the work there would suffer.” Yet she had the privilege of also seeing this son and receiving his filial assistance in connection with that of his brother Daniel, before she fell asleep.IMBG 8.2

    She left dying testimonies for unconverted persons, for whose salvation she had faithfully labored, still beseeching them to be encouraged by this scriptural invitation: “Come, now, and let us reason together; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18. And she added, “Meet me in the better world.” But her great burden was for Canada, of which she said, “I have during my sickness obtained the clearest evidence that a great work is yet to be done for the French in Canada. Let not that field be neglected. Let the work there be thorough.”IMBG 8.3

    She then called for and enjoyed the singing of the hymn, “Will You Go?” (No.1172 of our present collection). This she did in memory of what Father Bourdeau had done just before his death. He had urged his son, Daniel, then laboring for the French in Illinois, to come and see him before he died. Upon learning that he could not then respond, as souls were on the point of taking their stand for or against the truths of salvation, and it would have been disastrous to leave, he replied: “I cheerfully deprive myself of the privilege of seeing you for the sake of those who hear you. Tell them for me to receive your testimony, and meet me, with you, at the morning of the resurrection.” Four months later, however, having revived, he was favorably disappointed in seeing his absent son before falling asleep, and in his last interview with him he asked him to sing the hymn in question. Hardly had his son sung one stanza when he interrupted him, asking that he stop singing.IMBG 9.1

    Father Bourdeau was in a state of perfect consciousness. He was naturally skeptical, and required a good reason for every doctrine proposed to him before receiving it. He was slow to believe that God now speaks to his people through visions, yet he was too prudent to oppose the manifestations and productions of the Spirit of prophecy among us. But this time he himself shared in the same gift. While his son was singing, heaven was opened to his view. He saw a company of angels in beautiful attire, with instruments on which they played, after a leading angel had struck the first note. And they sang while they played.IMBG 9.2

    As Father Bourdeau came out of his vision, he turned to his wife and said: “Tell Daniel to excuse me for stopping him. I have witnessed such a lovely sight! I have seen angels dressed in beautiful uniform. They were so lovely! A leading angel struck the first note on an instrument, and sang, and the others followed. And oh! what music! Daniel’s singing compared with it was like the gratings of a cross-cut saw compared with the finest instrumental music that can be produced on earth.”IMBG 10.1

    When Mother Bourdeau had called up these interesting circumstances while the hymn, “Will You Go?” was being sung, she said, “Let thy handmaid now depart in peace; for I have seen thy salvation, and the good work started for my people in Canada. And do not neglect the publication and largely free distribution of literature prepared for Catholics. In my sickness God has shown me the importance of this work and he will not approve you if you neglect it.”IMBG 10.2

    At the commencement of the revival meetings held in Battle Creek in the fall of 1897, Mother Bourdeau had not been able to attend meetings at the Tabernacle for two years. She revived in answer to her earnest pleadings with God, and was able to attend all the meetings, taking part in some of them, and greatly rejoicing in the good work going on. She took a similar interest in the great revival of last fall.IMBG 10.3

    Father Bourdeau had a high sense of justice and honesty which were so prominent in his character that matters of differences between his neighbors were generally referred to him for settlement, with the proverbial remark, “We will leave it with honest Gust,” an abbreviation of Augustin.IMBG 11.1

    Father and Mother Bourdeau were noted for their hospitality. They were tender toward orphans, some of whom remained with them for years, and were treated as though they had been their own children. Never did the poor, the stranger, the widow, and the fatherless appeal to their noble hearts for help in vain.IMBG 11.2

    According to his oft-repeated request to his God during the last six months of his life, Father Bourdeau fell asleep on the Sabbath that he so dearly loved. His prayer was that he might, as Jesus had done, rest on that day. And equally strong was the attachment of Mother Bourdeau for God’s holy day. The last Sabbath of her life she was heard saying, “Blessed Sabbath! Precious Jesus! He is lulling me to sleep and easing my sufferings on his holy day.” She was conscious till the last; and shortly before she died she said: “Lord, receive the remainder of my life. Jesus takes care of me. I will praise him with my last breath. Praise the Lord.”IMBG 11.3

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