Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

loss sustained, in union with sweet submission to the divine will,—attested the presence and power of God.

A few extracts from his diary, in which he was accustomed to lay open his heart before the Lord, will disclose his sorrows, his self-resignation, his divine supports, and the hallowing influence of the dicipline by which he was now exercised.

"Sun. April 15, 1804.—Early this morning I entered on my thirty-eighth year. I awoke very early in the spirit of prayer: renewed former engagements to be the Lord's who has bought me with his blood. Began with deep humiliation for my past omissions ; made renewed applications to Divine mercy; and resolved in future to have only one business. Many serious and painful reflections, occasioned by late events, occupied my mind. During the last year the Lord has shewed me great and sore troubles.

By these prunings, no doubt, the vine-dresser designs to make me faithful.

“I am this day in new circumstances on my birth-day. My dearer self is torn from me, and my heart is left bleeding. I am left with six children-half-orphans. I feel the importance of the duties incumbent on me. 0 may I obtain mercy of the Lord to be found faithful.

"I was graciously assisted in preaching at Sparrowpit in the morning, at Tideswell in the afternoon, and at Buxton in the evening. In my way from Tideswell to Buxton, a sense of the heavy loss I have sustained in the removal of my dear wife, almost overwhelmed me. I felt my extreme weakness, and cried to God for help. O Lord, never leave me, nor forsake me.

Thurs. 19.—Walked to Manchester: much engaged and blessed in meditation and prayer: affected by the sympathy of friends. Took coach to Leeds, where I arrived to-night. Hope I was of some use to one of the

[ocr errors]

passengers.

“Sat. 21. Thorner.—Here I sit in the room in which my ever dear wife and I have enjoyed many comfortable hours in social converse, both before and after marriage, in her father's house. On my arrival here, I was deeply affected, almost overwhelmed with grief; yet resigned. O Lord, look upon me in great mercy.

O may the residue of my days be devoted to my God. Sun. 22.Preached at Thorner in the morning, and Leeds in the

[ocr errors]

evening. Though affected by the sight of old friends, yet had a good day. Thurs. 26.—Arrived at Macclesfield with William. Blessed be God.

• Sat. 12.—My time as a stream glides swiftly away. Be it so.

The Lord is my portion, and heaven my everlasting home. This has been a good week. I have generally enjoyed nearness to God, and increasing deadness to the world. I long for a full conformity to God.

“ June 9. Burslem.—Am on a visit here, to open a new chapel at Lane End to-morrow. What am I or my father's house, that I should be intrusted with the ministry? Oh! to grace how great a debtor. O that my whole heart were every moment given to God.

O for a life of constant prayer and devotedness to the Lord.

“ Sat. 23.-Floods of sorrow on the recollection of the loss of

my

dear wife almost overwhelmed me, this week. Yet I hope it has been sanctified. In public I have been peculiarly assisted, and my heart has been generally engaged in divine things. O for a deeper sense of God upon my spirit.

June 30.—On a review of this week, I perceive that I have not lived sufficiently within the vail, but have been too much in the outward court. Outward things, partly domestic, and partly church affairs, occupy my thoughts too much. I am troubled; and my soul returns unto her rest. In the Lord alone can I find solid and permanent delight. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul, therefore in him will I hope.'

“ Mon. July 9. Doveholes.—Oh! what a glorious manifestation of God to my soul have I enjoyed this day. Glory be to God!

Sat. 21.—My labours in Macclesfield till after Conference will be concluded, please God, to-morow morning. How soon is this year gone! Where my lot will be cast the ensuing year, I know not; nor am I anxious. The will of the Lord be done. May He direct me by his unerring providence. He knows better than I where and how I may glorify him; and all second causes are subservient to his great designs.

London, July 28.-A week of constant bustle; partly in travelling in the stage coach, and partly in the business of the Stationing Committee; yet my mind has been much engaged with God in prayer. Sometimes my

heart has been filled with grief on the recollection of my ever dear wife. Formerly when at Conference, I had her to write to, and hear from ; but I am bereaved. My heart bleeds ! But it is the Lord; I will not complain. Though he slay me, I will trust in him.”

The term of my father's ministerial labours in the Macclesfield Circuit was now drawing to a close. To himself it had been the most eventful and afflictive period of his life. But the discipline to which he had been subjected had yielded the peaceable fruit of righteousness. To the circuit it was by no means an unprosperous period. The numbers in society had increased, the piety of the people had been deepened, and a division of the circuit had been peacefully effected, -Congleton being detached at the close of his first year, and constituted the head of a new circuit, with two preachers and four hundred and eighty members.

CHAPTER X.

FROM THE CONFERENCE OF 1804, TO THAT OF 1808.

At the Conference of 1804, Mr. Entwisle was appointed to London. After the death of his beloved wife, he felt an increasing concern about the proper Christian education of his children; and being deprived of her assistance, he wished for a retired situation and a contracted circuit, in which he might be much at home, and have time and opportunity for the cultivation of their minds. Several times Mr. Butterworth, seconded by Mr. Bunting, urged his going to London. The former wrote to him officially, as the organ of the Quarterly Meeting. To this he had objections. He did not like the bustle of the city; he was averse to publicity, and longed for solitude. However, at the Conference, various circumstances occurred to satisfy him that London was the station assigned to him by divine providence. He therefore yielded to the judgment of his brethren, and removed with his deatherless children to Spitalfields.

This was an affecting time: never before had he removed under such circumstances. But he soon found himself at home and comfortable among his poor and pious neighbours at Spitalfields.

The London Circuit then included the present eight London Circuits, with Deptford, Hammersmith, &c.To labour among this dense population, only five preachers were appointed : Joseph Taylor, Thomas Rutherford, Joseph Entwisle, Jabez Bunting, and Joseph Hallam.* It may easily be imagined, that so large an area, covered with a dense population, would find ample occupation for the time and talents of all the five preachers stationed there. In addition to which Mr. Entwisle was appointed

* Mr. Creighton was appointed the Reader at City Road; Mr. Benson, Editor; George Story, Manager of the Printing Office; Robert Lomas, Book-Steward; George Whitfield, Assistant Book-Steward; and Richard Rodda, Supernumerary.

[ocr errors]

Missionary Secretary this year ;—the first appointment to that important office made by the Conference. These employments, with a constant change of scene, afforded relief to his wounded mind, which, by degrees, recovered its former cheerfulness. The Lord also was with him. His soul prospered; and he was graciously assisted and encouraged in his work.

For some weeks, indeed, after his arrival in London, he was the subject of severe temptation, and endured painful mental exercises with respect to his public work; but these were succeeded by richer communications of grace, and brighter manifestations of the divine glory. The following extracts from his diary refer to these conflicts, and may interest and edify the reader.

· Nov. 2.–For several days I have enjoyed unusual nearness to God. Much profited in meditation upon a single eye. Yesterday I lived in the spirit of the subject, and in the evening preached on it (Matt. vi. 22) at the New Chapel; but I seemed left to myself, and it was with difficulty I could either pray or preach. At the same time I was assaulted by the most painful temptations. I returned home under great depression of mind. As I went through the streets, I loathed and abhorred myself, and humbled myself before God. I do not know how to account for this. I am not conscious of any thing indulged even in thought for a moment, which should occasion such a change of frame.

Nov. 30.–For a week last past, my exercises have been so great that I have almost sunk under them. The frame and temper of my mind have been unusually spiritual ; I have walked before God in deep humility; but it hath pleased him to try me. With regard to my work as a preacher, and the success of my labours, I have suffered constant depression; and have found so little liberty and power in preaching, that I have retired from the pulpit ashamed before God and man, and have returned home through the streets, humbling and abhorring myself. At times I have been exceedingly discouraged, and have had scarcely any hope of success. Yet I know that the success of divine truth does not depend upon my feelings. I have not a friend at hand to whom I can unbosom my soul. In these exercises I have recourse to God. Why this travail of soul is per

Z

« EdellinenJatka »