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Sun. July 28.—This morning the chapel was completely filled in the forenoon. Mr. Bradburn preached on Isaiah lii. 17. The singing was delightful. It exceeded all description : such vocal music I never heard any where but at Sheffield.
“Thur. Aug. 1.-I preached to an immense crowd on Heb. ix. 12. Most of the preachers were present. I felt much on ascending the pulpit
. However, I endeavoured to look to my employer for help, and he did not disappoint me. I do not remember at any time to have had more conscious assistance from the Lord. May I praise him for all that is past, and trust him for all that's to come.
Frid. Aug. 2.—This morning I have had a letter from Mr. Buckley. He says, all is peace in Liverpool. Opposition to the organ has ceased ; and its erection is generally expected. Last Monday, Pitt street Chapel was nearly filled at the bottom; and they had a glorious outpouring of the Spirit.
“Sat. Aug. 3.–After a long discussion, well conducted on both sides, it was decided by a large majority that there shall be an organ at Brunswick Chapel. I trust we shall enjoy peace.
Sheffield, Aug. 11.—After the bustle of Conference business, I now enjoy retirement, and feel an ardent desire in my heart to make a fresh surrender of myself to God and his work. Six years ago, my uncle Pawson and Mr. Bradford were with me at Mr. Holy's, where I lodge now. They are gone home, and
my brethren, some of them much my juniors. Lord, help me to live for eternity. I grudge the time lost at our Conferences, though necessary. However, it is the work of God in which we are engaged; yet, if all were set upon it, we might get done much sooner.
On the 30th of August, my father resumed his labours in Liverpool. The Rev. Messrs. Bogie and Bunting had removed from the circuit, and been succeeded by the Rev. Messrs. W. West, and J. Gaulter. The new chapel, (Brunswick,) was opened by the Rev. Dr. Coke, soon after Conference. An organ had been erected, and the Liturgy was introduced.
As Dr. Coke spent some weeks in Liverpool on this visit, my father was much engaged in assisting him in
Missionary affairs, in addition to the ordinary business of his large and important circuit. These secular concerns necessarily connected with the work of God, he bore as his cross, being most in his element, when directly engaged in communion with God in retirement, or in the service of his church by the public or private ministration of the word of life. This week,” he writes on Sept. 14th, “I have had little time for retirement. The fitting out of four Missionaries for Africa, different interviews with Dr. Coke, begging with him for the Missions, and various concerns of the society, have engaged my attention, and taken up my time. Leisure and opportunity for reading, meditation, and prayer, are very desirable. I desire them, not for the sake of rest and ease, but that I may get and do more good. I want more recollection; more habitual composure of mind; a constant attention to God, and to the business of the moment, without distraction. O Lord, help me. Am I not thy servant? Help me, I beseech thee. Amen.
“Fri. 20.–Visited in the river, with Dr. Coke, before they sailed, four brethren going on a mission to Sierra Leone. May the Lord go with them, and open a great and effectual door to them for the glory of his name. Amen.” These were the first Wesleyan Missionaries sent to Africa. The writer well remembers accompanying his father and Dr. Coke on this occasion to the vessel which was about to convey these messengers of mercy to the African coast; and the energetic manner with which the pious Doctor remarked, -as he sat with them in the cabin, rubbing his hands together, his countenance beaming with love and joy,—that he had crossed the Atlantic eighteen times, and should rejoice were he about to cross it once more, and accompany them on their errand of mercy.
Towards the latter end of the year, Mr. E. was cheered with a considerable measure of prosperity, particularly at the Pottery; at which place he makes the following memorandum on Nov. 24th,- Large, attentive congregation. Forty-nine new members admitted this quarter. Glory be to God.”
Another source of comfort to his mind was the return of the late Rev. Richard Watson to the Wesleyan society, -an event followed by the most important and happy
results. The first interview with him placed on record by my father, occurred on Thursday, Dec. 19th, about which time, Mr Watson united himself with the society in Liverpool.
The affectionate solicitude my father felt for the spiritual welfare of his children increased as they advanced in
years, and were removed one after another from under the parental roof. He unceasingly bore them up before the Lord in prayer, frequently corresponded with them, and constantly presented religion before them under an inviting and attractive aspect. In a letter to the writer of this Memoir, penned about this time, he says :
• Remember the advices and cautions which I have often given you respecting your general conduct, and on the great and important subject of religion. Indeed, if you attend to the latter, the former will follow of course. If you enter into the spirit of religion fully, you will understand your duty, you will love it, and you will have ability to perform it. And now, my dear Joseph, endea vour to get your heart fully engaged in the service of God. Too many young persons rest in the superficial experience of divine things, and therefore never enjoy much of the comfort of religion. Let not this be your When I was but a few months older than
I walked in the clear light of God's countenance, and enjoyed constant communion with him. I had a constant sense of his presence and favour; and a foundation for piety and happiness was laid at that time, for which I have been better ever since; and shall be so, I trust, to all eternity.”
Kingswood School having been found much too small to accommodate the constantly increasing number of preachers' sons, it had been determined at the last Conference to establish another school in Yorkshire. In pursuance of that resolution, commodious premises were purchased at Woodhouse Grove, near Bradford in Yorkshire, and the school was opened in the month of January, 1812. My father therefore removed his sons, William and James, from Mr. Bridges' school at Heywood Hall, and took them to Woodhouse-Grove, as soon as the premises were ready for opening. They were among the first scholars. He makes the following record on the occasion:
“On Tuesday, Jan. 14, 1812, I took my dear William and James to the school at Woodhouse-Grove. The situation is most delightful, on a rising ground, with a grove of firs by its side. It commands an extensive prospect : the scene is diversified by hills, dales, woods, and villages. The house, school, chapel, and out-buildings are very commodious. Were I at liberty to build a tabernacle on earth, this would be a desirable spot, where I might enjoy beloved retirement. But I am a pilgrim on earth. I must rest in heaven.
“Mr. Fennel, the master, appears truly pious. Mr. Fletcher, of Madeley, was his godfather, and often blessed him, and prayed for him. He partakes in some degree of Mr. Fletcher's spirit. I felt much at parting with my dear boys:-grateful to God for a situation so favourable to learning and religion; yet sorrowful at parting. O my God, take them under thy special care. Bring them to an experimental knowledge of Christ, and early may they be devoted to thy service and glory. I leave my all in thy hands, O Lord.” It was not long before a gracious answer to the above prayer was vouchsafed.
On Monday, the 2nd of March, the Quarterly Meeting of the Local Preachers was held, when Mr. Entwisle proposed that Mr. Watson should be taken on the Local Preachers' Plan. Considerable prejudice against him existing in the minds of some present, a long debate ensued; the happy issue of which was that Mr. Watson was accepted as a Local Preacher :-a decision most important in its results to Mr. Watson himself—and to the Connexion at large, of which he became so distinguished an ornament. Mr. E. embraced an early opportunity after Mr. Watson's re-admission as a Local Preacher to secure his services in one of the Liverpool chapels. This was on Sunday, March 15th, Mr. E.'s first appointment at Mount Pleasant Chapel after the meeting referred to. On this occasion, he prevailed upon Mr. Watson to preach in his stead at half-past ten in the morning. His text was Psalm xii. 6, “ The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” Mr. E. remarks on the occasion :
The depth and originality of thought displayed in this sermon, combined with an elevated style, Christian
simplicity, and perspicuity, accompanied by his usual solemnity of manner and divine unction, deeply impressed my mind; while I was favoured with such views of the words of the Lord' as I never had before."
A few days after, my father received a most gratifying letter from Mr. Fennel, giving an account of a gracious work among the boys at Woodhouse-Grove; twenty of whom were brought to a saving knowledge of God, among whom were his sons William and James. In the fulness of his heart he wrote to the Rev. T. Stanley, who, he knew, would rejoice with him in this gracious visitation. The following is an extract from the letter :
“Liverpool, March, 24, 1812. - MY DEAR NEPHEW, “I am almost too happy: the Lord deals so graciously and bountifully with me and mine, that the overwhelming power of divine grace,' nearly unnerves and unmans
The accounts from Woodhouse-Grove are delightful. There is a glorious work at the school. The detailed account communicated to me by Mr. Fennel and William, would fill sheets. I will give you a copy of Mr. F.'s last letter.
* My Dear Sir,—Don't scold me for scribbling. I cannot help it. I am only doing for you, what you would do for me on a change of circumstances. The wonderworking Lord is still going on with his blessed work
I have had the pleasure of witnessiug two or three blessed revivals of religion amongst the old and the young.
I have seen one half and sometimes two thirds of a congregation affected. I have heard children pray and speak of the work of God upon
their hearts; but any thing to equal this, where there is scarcely one exception, I have never seen. The work in many of their souls is really deep. William, you know, is generally solid and steady; but James exhibits the most striking proofs of a change; and a real, deep, rational work is on both their souls, as well as on twenty others. Yesterday was a glorious day among them. They spent the time from school-hours till
supper prayer to God in the school-room, where I had ordered them a fire. One of the servants put her ear to the key-hole of the door, and God smote her heart. Another of them stole