« EdellinenJatka »
The rheumatic attacks to which my father had become subject, increased in frequency and violence, so that at times he was scarcely able to walk or to stand without assistance. On the 28th of May, he writes :
This week I have had a very severe attack of rheumatism, insomuch that it has been difficult to keep on in my work. The pain has been so violent that I have slept little in the night, and could hardly crawl about in the day. However, thank God, I have filled up my post at every place, and have been in some degree assisted. How often have I been put in mind, that this is not my rest.
I seek with greater ardour the things which are above. I find it difficult to avoid anxiety about the approaching Conference. So many preachers now attend, that I fear we shall not be able to obtain board and lodgings for them. Our Connexion has become so large, that it will soon become necessary to adopt some method, either to restrict the number who shall attend the Conference, or to have more than one Conference in the year. The work is enlarging, and the preachers multiplying every year. May our gracious Lord and Master direct and help us. The work is his. Hitherto he hath given proof of his care and love. May we never provoke him to leave us. I see, I feel the necessity of a deeper baptism of the Holy Ghost, that I may be kept in peace, and enabled to maintain constant communion with God, amidst all my engagements in the affairs of the Connexion.
“Sunday evening, July 10th.—Laid up. Ah! how soon are we incapable of labour, when the Lord pleases. Last night I was seized with the cholera morbus, and became so very ill, that I began to suspect that the Lord might call me away. As I lay in bed, I considered my spiritual state. I was conscious of much unworthiness and many defects, yet could not doubt, that if the Lord took me hence, it would be to himself. I found I could venture my all into his hands. Thank God, I am much better to-day, and hope to be capable of attending to my work again soon.
I trust this short affliction is sanctified. I do hope, that I shall be preserved in a serious, spiritual, heavenly frame>Midst busy multitudes alone.' I am often afraid, that the multiplicity of concerns in our Connexion in which I am providentially
engaged, will, without much prayer and watchfulness, hurt
my soul. But somebody must act; and as influence is a talent with which the Lord has intrusted me, I endeavour to use it to his glory. I do not see my way clear to retire into a narrower sphere, otherwise it would be very agreeable to me. O Lord, before whom
heart is open, I do now, thou knowest, sincerely and solemnly offer myself and my all to thee for ever. O may I obtain mercy from this hour to live moment by moment in the spirit of devotion to thee. Let no person or thing break off that communion with thee which I now enjoy. Amen and Amen.
“ Frid. July 15.—I am now again an effective man. My soul is much better for my late bodily affliction. I am dead to the world, self, and sin. My heart is given to God. My soul is happy in communion with him. Lord, here I am, send me. I see that nothing in a preacher will serve as a substitute for a serious, spiritual, and heavenly frame, and a life of close communion with God.
“ Sat. 16.-Several preachers have arrived: our bustle begins. Lord, keep my mind in peace.
“Sun. 17.–Rose early. O Lord, I renew this morning my solemn engagements to be thine.
At half-past ten, Mr. O. Davis preached an excellent and useful sermon on Rom. viii. 26, 27. The congregation was large and attentive, and divine influence evidently rested on the people. In the evening Mr. Bunting preached like himself on Heb. iv. 14. For sound divinity, energy of thought and language, though simple and easy,—and divine unction, the sermon was super-excellent. The power of God was present. I doubt not much good was done.
“ Mon. 25. -At six o'clock this morning our Conference commenced. About 250 preachers present.”
At this Conference, my father was oppointed to the London West Circuit with the Rev. Messrs. Jos. Sutcliffe, Wm. Bramwell, and Jon. Edmondson. The Conference concluded on Wed. evening, Aug. 10th, at nine o'clock. On the 23rd, he makes the following memorandum :
“ This morning, sister Hine was married to the Rev. Henry Moore, at St. James's Church. The service was read with much solemnity, and the Lord's presence appeared to be with us. I trust this union will be for the present and eternal good of both parties.”
FROM HIS REMOVAL FROM BRISTOL TO HIS APPOINT
MENT TO SHEFFIELD. 1814-1818.
On Tuesday August 30, Mr. E. took leave of his highly esteemed and pious friends in Bristol, and the next day arrived safely in London, where he was kindly welcomed on his return after eight years' absence from the circuit.
Here, although the circuit was large, and included many chapels with numerous societies, he was favoured for some time with more leisure and retirement than he had enjoyed for several years. He improved the opportunity by much converse with God and his own heart. He was encouraged also by finding the congregations large and attentive, much genuine piety among the people, and a general disposition to co-operate with the preachers in their labour of love. He was grateful to God for these advantages, and sought to make the most of them.
On the 17th of October, the Quarterly Meeting was held at Queen street. The pressure of heavy debts upon some of the chapels rendered some parts of the temporal business of the meeting painful. It was always a subject of regret with Mr. E. when much of the time of such meetings was occupied with financial affairs. “There is danger,” he remarks, “ amidst so many outward things, of spiritual religion suffering. Afterwards, however, we had a profitable conversation on several subjects connected with the spiritual prosperity of the circuit. O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years. I see no other preserve
my own mind, than to live within the vail, and to make it my one grand concernto please God.”
Oct. 21.—The mournful tidings of the death of Dr.
Coke arrived. This event took place on May 3rd, at sea, within two weeks' sail of Bombay. On the 1st and 2nd he was indisposed. Mr. Clough, one of the Missionaries who accompanied him, wished to remain with the Doctor; but with his usual sweetness of manner he refused, saying, he should be better. In the morning he was found dead on his cabin floor. Mr. Entwisle was much affected with these tidings. He felt a great veneration for the old preachers who were associated with the Rev. Messrs. J. and C. Wesley in the work of the ministry at the time he himself first became connected with Methodism; and as that race of worthies was rapidly disappearing, he keenly felt every fresh diminution of their number. With the Doctor, he had been on terms of intimacy; and he felt a lively interest in the new mission he had undertaken. The mournful occasion called forth the following remarks:
“ Dr. Coke is removed from us. God's thoughts are not our thoughts, nor his ways our ways. We must still say, The Lord doth all things well. He buries his workmen, and carries on his work. The Doctor's remains were committed to the deep. Well, no matter: “the sea shall give up the dead which are in her.' Dr. Coke was for many years an active man amongst us. His zeal and diligence in the cause of foreign Missions have been almost unprecedented, and he has died in the harness. One after another of the brethren is taken from us. Soon I must give an account the Great Shepherd. May it be with joy and not with grief. O may I live near to God, and exert all my strength in his blessed cause. This is the working time. O may I obtain mercy to be found faithful.”
On Sunday, Nov. 13, he improved the solemn event by a funeral sermon at Queen street Chapel.
It was impossible that a man of Mr. E.'s piety and benevolence could fail to feel a lively pleasure in the varied and energetic efforts which were now being made by men of every denomination, to promote the temporal and spiritual improvement of mankind. It gave him especial pleasure to see, what was then a new thing in the world, —some of the wealthy, the great, and the noble, lending their influence to this great work; amongst whom the illustrious father of our present most gracious Queen,
his Royal Highness the Duke of Kent, maintained an honourable pre-eminence. Mr. E. attended most of the public meetings of the various religious and benevolent societies, held in the metropolis; and though he did not often speak at any considerable length, he rejoiced in the brightening prospects of the church and the world; and, believing that Methodism had been mainly instrumental under God in originating the mighty movement, his sense of obligation and responsibility was deepened. He thus notices one of these meetings :
“ Sat. Nov. 26.—This afternoon I attended the Anniversary of the Royal National Free Schools, at the Freemason's Tavern, Queen street, the Duke of Kent in the chair. Mr. Brougham and Mr. Whitbread spoke very eloquently, as did Dr. Collyer and some others; especially several foreigners. The Lord is carrying on a glorious work by various means and instruments in the earth. In France, Germany, Prussia, Denmark, Sweden, and other countries, Bible Societies, Schools for children and adults, &c. are co-operating to produce the best effects. I feel gratified in seeing how Methodisn has contributed to these things, and feel thankful that the Lord has given me a place in a Connexion which is one of his chief instruments of good to mankind. O may I be faithful."
While this great movement in the religious world HDD called forth warm expressions of gratitude to God, he yet bar rejoiced with trembling. He had, in common with se
veral of the senior preachers, some doubts as to the promat. priety of the new method of obtaining pecuniary supplies
in aid of the cause of Missions and of the other great Christian charities of the day. He was habitually cau
tious; and he thought that Christian prudence justified, it' and even required, the exercise of this quality, in refer
ence to new projects, the utility of which had not yet been 2 sufficiently tested by experience. That these “Meetings
for speechifying” possessed some advantages was manifest. Their novelty attracted attention and excited interest; the platform afforded great facilities for communicating varied and important information; and brought into exercise every kind of talent distributed by the Great Head of the Church among his people—some indeed for which no adequate employment bad been previously found. It was a palpable fact, that the spirit