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this. May I cheerfully attend to present duty, and obtain mercy to be found faithful. Amen.
“ April 28.—I have lately received invitations to labour next year, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Sheffield, Wakefield, Bolton, Stockport, and Liverpool. A consciousness of my unworthiness makes me wonder that the Lord suffers me to be noticed by the people. God be merciful to me an unprofitable servant."
To his esteemed friend, Mr. Edmondson, he writes about the same time:
“Respecting stations, I never found my mind in such a state of perfect equilibrium. I cannot choose. My lads are now growing up fast, and one after another will want a situation. I seem now to begin to live over again in them. As it respects myself, this world appears nothing, and no particular spot in it seems to attract me; yet a concern, (I trust not unlawful or immoderate,) for the present and eternal good of my children, leads me to pray much that God may fix the bounds of
habitation where I may have it in my power to act the part of a father toward them. May the Lord direct us in all our paths. Surely he will, if we acknowledge him in all our ways.
“I can say with you, that I love the brethren better than I did twenty years ago ; and I feel a strong and growing attachment to the few old acquaintances that are left. Last week I attended a friendly meeting of preachers at Rochdale : twelve were present. I felt much, when, looking round, I perceived that I was the oldest both in years and in the work. Time insensibly steals away. O that I might better improve it. Well, through divine help, I will aim at it.
“Poor Joseph Cook! He is dying, if not already gone. For several months he has not been able to preach. Last week it was expected every day he would exchange worlds. You and I should like best to die in the old ship. I venerate Lord Collingwood who lately died at sea; but more do I venerate a Methodist preacher who abides by his first calling, till his labours end with his life.”
“ June 2.-Amidst a variety of unavoidable interruptions to my studies, &c. my mind has vigorously pressed forward toward the mark. I have full evidence of a growth in personal piety. I feel increasing deadness to
the world : invisible and eternal things are realized by faith. I long to be entirely consecrated to God. O may I deserve the character of a man of God':-inhabited, influenced, employed, assisted, and blessed of God. 0 all-seeing God, take from me whatever would offend thee.”
Among the “interruptions” referred to in the preceding quotation, was a visit by Dr. Coke, upon whom chiefly devolved the arduous task of raising the necessary pecuniary supplies for the support of our extending Missions. No such machinery existed at that time as is now found so efficient for this purpose. Every thing depended upon the personal exertions of Dr. Coke and the preachers, who usually accompanied him, and who preached and made annual collections in aid of the Mission Fund. The total amount thus raised in the Manchester Circuit during Mr. Entwisle's first year, was £57 195. 3d. This year it rose to £148 6. 31d. A gratifying proof of the progress of religion, and of the increased diffusion of Christian principle since that time, is furnished by the fact,—that on the very same ground there was raised in the year 1847 in support of this great Christian enterprise, the noble sum of £2598 78. 3d.
On Sat. June 9th, he writes :—“This has been a busy week. Meeting classes, registering the names in the circuit book, settling and arranging various things previous to the Conference, have filled up a great part of my time, besides visiting the sick, preaching in the country, and meeting the leaders. May I never be unemployed or triflingly employed.
"June 16.—On Wednesday last I received a letter from Bristol, informing me of the removal of my most beloved friend, R. Lomas. He died well. His last words were :- - The crown is coming : I am going to the crown of life.' This event has affected me exceedingly. Our souls were one. Early in life, living in the same town, we formed an intimate friendship. Four years we laboured together in great harmony. During an acquaintance with him of at least twenty-five years, I heard him speak an unadvised word, or saw his spirit ruffled. Such were the proofs I had of his integrity, that I could have ventured my life on his veracity. He was very highly esteemed by all who knew him; but a
natural reserve of which he often complained, concealed some of his excellencies from those who saw him at a distance only. The loss occasioned by his death, is great to his friend—to his disconsolate widow and five children—and to the church of God. How rapidly in the prime of life, drop off my contemporaries. My heart feels these bereavements. O my gracious Master and my God, may I obtain mercy to be found faithful unto death.
“ July 14.-I am now concluding my labours in my native town. Blessed be God for peace and prosperity. My labours, I trust, have been in some measure useful; but I am an unprofitable servant. I see many defects. God sees more. Lord, have mercy upon me: forgive all my sins, especially my omissions. May my future life be devoted to the service of my God and Saviour.
London, Aug. 16.–At noon our Conference concluded: my mind was much affected. Last Conference the thought that all present would not probably meet again, almost overwhelmed me. Since then fourteen brethren have died, among whom was my dear friend Lomas. Death's shafts flew near me when they struck my friend. God only knows who will be next. While singing the concluding hymn I felt more than can be expressed. And still more, when Mr. Benson, in broken accents, said, “We shall never all meet again; we never have done so.' Every year some of our brethren depart.
My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed !' I am resolved to consecrate my service to God. May I be a vessel to receive and an instrument to communicate
My father was now appointed to labour in the Liverpool Circuit, the superintendency of which was committed to him : his colleagues were the Rev. Messrs. James Bogie, James Buckley, and Jabez Bunting.
It was with mixed feelings that he took leave of his native town. He had entered upon his work there with much fear and trembling, and with an intense desire to be useful to his relatives and townsmen. The Lord had given him favour in the sight of the people, and had owned his ministry. He had laboured harmoniously with his colleagues; peace had been maintained in all their borders; and a goodly measure of success had crowned their united efforts. At Altrincham, CheethamHill, Chorlton, and other places, there had been a gracious revival of the work; and the number of members had increased from 3425 to 3799, all of whose names he entered with his own hand in the circuit book. His two younger brothers, Thomas and William, with their wives, had become members of the society, and bid fair for the kingdom of heaven. All these things awakened feelings of gratitude and joy. But these pleasurable emotions were not without alloy. His aged father, now in his sixty-eighth year, and his eldest brother, were still strangers to the enjoyment of experimental religion. This was a grievous drawback upon the pleasure with which he contemplated the state and prospects of his relatives and friends in Manchester. He, however commended them to God in prayer, bespoke for them the affectionate oversight of the preachers, and encouraged himself by the hope, that the earnest prayers which he had been offering on their behalf for near thirty years would ultimately be answered in their conversion to God and everlasting salvation.
On Frid. Aug. 31, he bid a mournful farewell to his numerous relatives and friends, and left his native town for Liverpool, the scene of his future labours, where he arrived at six in the evening. At seven he preached in the chapel adjoining to his house, Mount Pleasant, on Phil. i. 27,—"Striving together for the faith of the Gospel.” The feelings with which he entered upon circuit are thus described :
· After six weeks' bustle, I am again settled in my work. Blessed be God. My present situation is important: it is awful. Besides preaching to large congregations, I have the charge of this circuit, in which are about three thousand in society. To do my work well, it is necessary to be serious, spiritual, recollected, zealous, and indefatigable. O Lord, give me wisdom, prudence, zeal, and every thing necessary in my present station."
To his esteemed friend, the Rev. Jon. Edmondson, he writes soon after his arrival :-" In this town we have an extensive field. Our congregations are large and attentive. The society in the town consists of about two thousand six hundred members. But as there are three
Leaders' Meetings, our affairs are managed better and with more ease than at Manchester. Yet, it requires constant vigilance and activity to keep things right.
"We are going on comfortably. My colleagues are good and agreeable men. Mr. Bunting, of course, outshines us all in the pulpit. I am satisfied. Vessels of stone and wood are useful in a great house, as well as vessels of gold and silver. May I obtain mercy of the Lord to be found faithful.”
For some weeks my father laboured under deep depression of spirit, and was the subject of violent and distressing temptations, from which, though he earnestly sought, he did not obtain deliverance for a considerable time. The following extracts refer to this time of sore temptation.
· Oct. 6.–For nearly a week I have had one continual conflict in my mind : I have had doubts whether I am in my right place, and have been perpetually tempted to dissatisfaction with the house in which we live, the dull, dark situation, and the troublesome neighbours behind
I have often been troubled with blasphemous thoughts which have been suddenly injected into my mind. In my reading and meditation, have felt dark and confused: my views are so contracted and my
mind is in such a state, that I long to fly from all the world, either to obtain help and comfort from God, or to mourn alone. In the night my sleep departs from me. waking moments I endeavour to pray, but one distressing thing after another rushes upon my mind; and I am in such a frame, that notwithstanding all I have to do in this large society, I seem as if I could do nothing. I am'at my wit's end :' Lord, undertake for me. Whatever becomes of me, I will endeavour to do the work of God as I can, and leave myself in his hands. “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.'
“Oct. 11.—Day by day I am the subject of sore temptation and deep depression, bordering upon habitual gloom. My temper, naturally cheerful, and inclined to look on the bright side of things, seems to have received another bias, and I look on the dark side. I can enjoy nothing. I hate sin, and long to be holy. O my God, if I may call thee mine, what shall I do? Art thou chastising me for my unfaithfulness and unprofitableness?