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REV. JOSEPH ENTWISLE,
FIFTY-FOUR YEARS A WESLEYAN MINISTER;
EXTRACTS FROM HIS JOURNALS AND CORRESPONDENCE, AND
OCCASIONAL NOTICES OF CONTEMPORARY EVENTS
IN THE HISTORY OF METHODISM.
BY N. LOMAS, CASTLE STREET.
66, PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON.
METHODISM has been justly characterized as a revival of primitive Apostolical Christianity. The instruments by which it was effected were distinguished by great disinterestedness, fervent piety, and untiring zeal. It is important that those who have entered into their labours, should be accurately acquainted with the spirit and manner of life of the men whom God so greatly honoured as instruments of spiritual good, and that they should tread in their steps. The generation of ministers contemporary with Mr. WESLEY, and employed by him, has nearly passed away. The subject of this Memoir was one of their number,—one of the connecting links between the former and the present race of Wesleyan Ministers;-exhibiting in modern times a fair specimen of the simplicity, the gravity, the spirituality, and the holy fervour, by which the early Methodist Preachers were distinguished.
Simply to present his character and labours to view, leaving them to make their own impression, is the object of this unpretending volume. The writer could have wished that the task had been committed to abler hands; but he was not left at liberty to submit his father's papers to any other eye. Numerous engagements arising out of the superintendence of the circuits in which he has travelled since his father's death, have prevented the earlier execution of his design. Only short fragments of time,—and these often separated by long intervals,—could, consistently with the claims of his circuits, be devoted to the examination and transcription of his father's papers. This disadvantage, together with the circumstance that he is unpractised in authorship, must be pleaded as his apology for the many defects which, it is feared, the reader will discover.
As far as it has been practicable, the subject of the Memoir has been made his own biographer: and it is hoped, that the copious extracts from his journals and letters will interest and edify the widely extended circle of his surviving friends. Passing notices of contemporary events connected with the history of Methodism, will be found in various parts of the volume. These might easily have been multiplied, had the limits of the work permitted. The difficulty has been to select from a journal and correspondence so uniform in their excellence, and extending over a space of near fifty-eight years; and to compress into one small volume the history of so long a public life.
A just view of the character of one who shone quite as much in the privacy of the domestic circle, as in his more public sphere of ministerial labour and usefulness, could not be given, without many details which do not usually find their way into the memoirs of public men; but probably these may not be deemed the least useful parts of the work. The sum of human life is made up chiefly of such little incidents; and the exhibition of Christian principle in connection with these, may be instructive to the mass of readers.
To the candour of the Christian public, and to the blessing of God, the writer now commits these pages, though by no means insensible to their defects. If, however, through the Divine blessing, they may be the means of promoting among the ministers and people of the Wesleyan Connexion, (for whose use they are especially intended,) the spirit and practice by which our fathers were distinguished, the object of the biographer will be secured; and the great purpose will be furthered, to which his venerated parent devoted a long, laborious, consistent, and exemplary life.
WAKEFIELD, Nov. 1, 1848.