« ForrigeFortsett »
of bis Saviour. He felt that he could believe in Clirist with the heart unto righteousness; and when his Class-Leader soon afterwards esked him concerning the state of his mind, he replied, (referring to the language of the Apostle,)“ I have redemption in the blood of Chirist, the forgiveness of all my sins;" adding, in language that his Fellow-worshippers well understood,
“ Exults my rising soul,
Disburden'd of her load,
Of glory and of God." · Like many other Christian believers, being converted himself, he desired to strengthen his brethren, and for this purpose engaged in Farious plans of usefulness. He met in band with the Rev. John Woodrow, (who still survives him,) and was soon appointed the Leader of a class. ' He was, however, impressed very seriously by the conrietion that it was his duty to call sinners to repentance; and, after much prayer to God for direction, was put upon the Local Preachers' Plan, and for some time laboured acceptably and usefully on the Sabbath-day, fulfilling the various appointments that he received at the adjacent villages.
In the year 1787 Mr. Bramwell was appointed to the Lynn Circuit, but being prevented from going by some family circumstances, my father was requested by Mr. Gaulter, the Superintendent, to assist him in the work of the Circuit till a regular Preacher could be obtained. I have heard him say, in reference to this occurrence,
« With much fear and trembling I complied, and continued assisting Mr. Gaulter till Mr. Wesley sent Mr. William Green into the Circuit; and I then retired to my usual occupation, till the Conference of 1788, when I was appointed to the Colchester Circuit with Mr. Joseph Harpur and Mr. Thomas Broadbent."
It will not be necessáry that I should enter into a circumstantial narrative of my father's life in the various Circuits in which he labored. It was the usual life of a Methodist Preacher; and, I may be permitted to say, that he was respected and useful to the very last. Ia common with the rest of his brethren, he had his trials and difficulties, but he had the presence of God with him both as a Minister and a man; and he held on his course, humbly labouring for God, and waiting for the rest which remaineth for the people of God. In the autumn of 1792 he entered into the marriage state with Miss Sarah Garner, of Thetford, who was a valuable help-meet for him ;' a most affertionate wife, and an indulgent but watchful mother. She was a plain, humble, and truly devoted Christian woman. She lived all her days in the enjoyment of the favour of God, and was very useful as a Class-Leader, and Visiter of the sick, and in advising the young of her own sex ; looking well, at the same time, to the ways of her own house
hold; and at last finished her course with joy, dying very happy in God, at Chesterfield, October 17th, 1833.
I have nothing particular to relate of my father's ministry for many years, other than that it was blessed of God to the conversion of sinners; nor of his religious experience, concerning which he has left
documents. He lived to God, maintained his Christian character, and faithfully discharged the laborious duties of a Methodist Preacher. The circle of his acquaintance was not extensive, but he was most respected where he was best known. It may truly be said of him that
« Along the cool sequester'd vale of life,
He held the noiseless tenor of his way; being only careful that it should be in agreement with the will of God.
When he was stationed at Horncastle, in 1817, on the night of Febru, ary 14th, while returning home from his appointment in a heavy storm, he took a severe cold, which brought on vertigo, and a considerable de gree of deafness. By bleeding and blistering the vertigo was removed, but the deafness continued, accompanied without intermission by a noisy sound in the ears, to the end of his life. This was a painful trial to him. It not only severed him from many social and domestic enjoyments, but materially interfered with the discharge of many of the duties which he was called to perform. He felt the trial acutely; but his uniform language was, “ The will of the Lord be done." In a letter to his friend Mr. Broadbent, at Lynn, dated Alford, October 20th, 1819, he thus expresses himself :-“Since the Lord has deprived me of my hearing, and permitted me to be afflicted with a constant noise in t
the head, I feel myself more dead to the things of time and sense than I did before ; and I only wish that I felt more of the life and power of religion than I do. May the Lord increase it within my soul! My mind is often much cast down on account of my many infirmities; but I bless the Lord that hitherto he has proportioned my strength to my day, and I am persuaded that he will be my helper through life, and that when I fail on carth he will receive me to heaven. I esteem it no small mercy, my dear brother Broadbent, to be preserved from murmuring and repining; and though I cannot always exult and triumph, yet my blessed Lord enables me to go on, casting all my care upon him, and he abundantly sustains me."
IIe was appointed to Driffield in 1833, and became a Supernumerary the following year. Į find him thus alluding to the event in one of his letters :-"My deafness being so much increased, and finding myself compassed about with so many infirmities, the Conference has thought that it would be for my comfort to retire from the regular work, and become a Supernumerary. I felt very much on the subject; but still I believed it to be my duty to acquiesce." .
I was then residing at Chesterfield, having been apprenticed, to a
druggist there. This circumstance determined my father in the choice of his future home. Accordingly, at Chesterfield he took up kis abode ; and while health and strength permitted, he cheerfully deyoted what services he was able to render to the Master in whose work he had so long been engaged, and to the Christian society with which he had so long been connected. His entire trust was in Christ, and he was always composed and happy. In 1835 his wife, daughter, and son were all attacked by typhus fever, and, soon after their recovery, the same disorder seized on himself; but in the midst of trial and suffering, he was preserved in the same delightful composure. He was willing to live or die as God should appoint.
After his recovery he continued to preach as long as he was able ; and when obliged to relinquish the pulpit, he rejoiced to assist on sacramental occasions. He was likewise very regular in attending the class which he had joined ; and though, from his deafness, he heard fone of the religious communications of the members, yet he used to say, that to him the way of duty was the way of blessedness. The Leader has informed me that he never saw a full trust in the atonement, and the established peace in which it results, more strikingly etenplified than in my father's religious experience.
"After my mother's death, (an event which he felt deeply, but which he bore with Christian fortitude,) he resided with Mrs. Haslehurst, his daughter, where he had every attention which filial regard could pay, so that his latter days were made as comfortable as, in his circumstances, they could be. For some time his health had been declining, and at length he suffered much from gangrene; but, by the grace of God, his patience was invincible. I had the opportunity of seeing him a few days before he died. He was not able to converse much ; but he said, “All is well. The Lord does not leave me. Give yourself fully to God. Preach Christ; and your God, and the God of your father, will bless you." I saw that he could not continue long, and 'I much wished to remain with him to the last; but I was on my way to Glasgow, where it was necessary that I should be as soon as I possibly could. My father knew this; and when I went to see him on the morning of the 4th of May, (1836,) he said to me, “ Thomas, my dear lad, I am glad the Lord has permitted me to see you once more. I know you are peculiarly situated. You are wanted in the Circuit to which you are going. You must stay with me no longer, but proceed on your journey. I am thankful we have met again. You see that I have every thing that I can wish. I may yet linger some time." He blessed me, and bade me farewell till we should meet in heaven. I felt the separation very acutely, but I believed it was my duty to acquiesce. His end, however, was nearer than he seemed to anticipate. For two or three days after I left him he was quiet and serene, waiting on God, and resting on the merits of his Saviour; and on the morning of the 7th of May, while appa
در : 17.
rently in a sound sleep, it pleased God to release his spirit, and to remove him " From a suffering church beneath,
I To a reigning church above."
lange "''In speaking of my father's character, 'I may be allowed to say, that what he appeared to be, that he was. "Honesty, openness, and firmness were in him 'combined with affability and kindness. His relative duties were discharged with fidelity and affection." He set before his family an example of Christian uprightness, and taught his children the good and the right way. As a Preacher, he was plain and scriptural. His sermons were marked by good sense, and a clear and personal acquaintance with the work of the Spirit of God on the heart of the believer. He was a judicious Superintendent, cares fully attentive to every branch of the Methodist discipline. I believe I may say of him that “he walked uprightly, wrought righteousness, and spoke the truth in his heart;" that “he did not backbite with his tongue," and that “ he did no evil'to his neighbour." ' In his eyes it was only “a vile person” that “ was contemned; but he honoured all them who feared the Lord."
He died in the seventy-second year of his age, above fifty years of which time he had “ walked humbly with God.” Thirty-six years he had been diligently engaged in the duties of the Christian' ministry, and the remaining twelve of his life were passed in quiet, but not inactive, retirement. He served his generation by the will of God, and at last " died in the Lord, and rested from his labours.* 4:1, 1 >,
CONSECRATED YOUTH : ?'
A SERMON, Alessed to One Hundred Sons of Wesleyan-Methodist Preachers,
at the Anniversary of their Academy, Woodhouse-Grove, July 131, **"1838
BY THE REV. WILLIAM L. THORNTON. «Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according
to thy word."-Psalm cxix. 9. The elaborate psalm from which the text is selected, is attributed to the time of the Babylonish captivity. Its general design is readily discovered. In its commencement, as in its successive passages, the writer celebrates the supreme authority of inspired truth, and the unspeakable rewards of obedience. Numerous terms are employed in denominatt ing the great subject, and the instructive variety suggests the compres hensiveness of the sacred page, as well as the aspects in which it is to be studied and honoured. The infallible pen magnifies the law,"
the "testimonies," the “ precepts," the statutes," the “ commandments," the “judgments," the “word," the “ ordinances," of the Lord; and records the blessedness of “ the undefiled in ” this “ way” everlasting. According to the beautiful descriptions of the Psalmist, the inestimable word purifies the heart and life; sustains the spirit in distress; inspires unwavering confidence amid the discouragements of arduous duty; affords counsel in the perplexities which human wisdom cannot relieve; and opens, for loving obedience, a spring of divine and permanent peace. It directs the sweet singer in the labours and activities of day; it furnishes his theme of blissful meditation and holy melody in the quiet of night. It makes him wiser than the less-privileged "ancients,"—than his “enemies,"—than "all" his unrenewed “ teachers." It sheds a richer light on every scene of earthly joy; and its revelations“ give even affliction a grace," array trial in the guise of privilege, and teach him to welcome the darkness which manifests worlds of truth and wisdom, otherwise undiscovered. In fine, it adapts its communications to all ranks and classes of human society, and not less to all seasons of man's uncertain life ; inasmuch as, while it solaces age, smooths the pillow of death, and brightens the prospect of the unbounded future, -it accommodates its instructions to feeble infancy, and guides the steps of ardent youth into the paths of purity and peace.
The structure of this ancient song is peculiar, and its arrangement is even artificial. Masoretic critics have styled it “ the great alpha, bet;" as it consists of twenty-two parts, answering to the characters of the Hebrew language; and as all the verses of each alphabetical section commence with the letter which is distinctively prefixed. It has been maintained, that a special connexion is traceable in the passages which form any one of these divisions; but, as we are not persuaded that this opinion has more than fancy for its basis, a single preliminary remark will introduce us to our subject. That remark relates to the comparative privileges of those who, in this psalm, chanted the praise of inspiration. They had a revelation of truth which was glorious indeed, in contrast to the night of Paganism. Their dispensation was even superior to the Patriarchal. But of our Bible they had only a portion.“ God, who, in many parts and in many ways, (πολυμερώς και πολυτρόπως,) spake in time past unto the fathers by the Prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son." (Heb. i. 1, 2.) Ours is a bright and long-expected day. The Chris- . tian church, in eminence of light and privilege, resembles the woman in the Apocalypse, “ clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet." (Rev. xii. l.) We are warranted, therefore, in asserting that the Psalmist's eulogies of revealed truth are more emphatically applicable to the whole than to a part, and to the evangelical than to the Levitical sections of holy Seripture.
i The text suggests three topics for our consideration :tms foothiltered