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After frequent consultations with his father, and with his full consent and approbation, my brother determined to go to the United States of America. Before his departure he went into Yorkshire, to visit his relatives at Thorner and elsewhere. About three weeks after, my father attended the Conference at Leeds, where he had the opportunity of one or two interviews with him.
On Wed. July 29, my father rode to Thorner, to see him for the last time before his embarkation, and as the event proved, for the very last time in this world. Although he felt some relief in the hope that in America, at a distance from the injurious connexions he had formed, and by whom he had been ruined, John might again become a respectable member of society; and, when a stranger in a distant land, remember his father's counsels, return to his father's God, and recover his forfeited peace; yet, when the parting hour came, it was almost too much for his shattered, enervated frame.
“At four o'clock, on Winn-Moor, near Thorner,” he says, “I took leave of my poor John. It is certain I shall see him no more for years, perhaps never. bitterly. Oh! my almost broken heart! O Lord, support me. O enable me to cast all my care upon thee. A dark cloud seems still to hang over me. terious are thy ways, O Lord; clouds and darkness are round about thee; but righteousness and judgment are the habitation of thy throne. May I trust in thee, and do good. And O my God, remember in thine infinite mercy my poor unhappy son. O save him, I beseech thee, from the world and sin. He seemed much melted at parting. O Lord, after all, let me have comfort in him."
FROM THE CONFERENCE OF 1818 TO THAT OF 1820
THE SHEFFIELD CIRCUIT.
It was gratifying to Mr. Entwisle's feelings that his old and intimate friend, the Rev. Jonathan Edmondson, was elected President this year: he had a high esteem for him, and considered him well deserving of that ho
His notices of the proceedings of this Conference were few and brief. On the 3rd of August he says,“Our Conference business goes on with much peace and brotherly love: an excellent spirit prevails. Twenty-four preachers have died this year? How loudly does this call upon me to be always ready. I find my health and spi. rits are not what they were some years ago. Perhaps I am ten years older in my constitution, in consequence of the painful exercises of the last two years. Well, I am the Lord's. I am not concerned about the length or shortness of
my life. My great concern is, that'whether I live, I may live to the Lord; or whether I die, I may die to the Lord.'
" Thurs. 13.—Last night about half-past ten o'clock, our Conference concluded its deliberations. Mr. James Wood, Mr. Gaulter, the President, and myself prayed. It was a solemn time. My mind was deeply impressed with the idea of some of us being called hence before another Conference.
“This morning at three o'clock died of apoplexy, William Bramwell. Awful breach! It is about thirty years since I first became acquainted with Brother Bramwell, since which time an intimacy has been kept up between
We have frequently laboured in neighbouring circuits ; and we spent one year together in London. He gave himself.continually unto prayer and the ministry of the word ;' and few men have been more devoted to God, or more useful than he.
As he and I sat together in the Conference, I had many opportunities of speaking to him. He had salt in himself,' and I found the advantage of being so near him. On the evening before he died, he talked much of death and heaven. He was found fully ready.
“ This event has made a deep impression on my mind, and I find a strong resolution to live for eternity. I intend (Lord, help me!) to have only one business on earth—to glorify God, serve my generation, and find my way to heaven.'
My father's appointment this year was to Sheffield : the Rev. Messrs. T. Stanley, W. Martin, and R. Wood, were his colleagues. Every object in London having beoome associated in his mind with painful recollections, he had packed up every thing before he went to Conference, taken leave of the friends, and made such arrangements as prevented the necessity of his return. The last two years he had spent there, had been the most painful of his life, and were never remembered without a sigh. Still, it was a source of comfort in the review of this period, that through the blessing of God, he had left in each circuit many more members than he found. The increase in the London East Circuit during the last two years had been little short of five hundred.
After spending some days among his old friends in the Wakefield circuit, a few of whom still remained, and visiting his son Samuel at Barnsley, he proceeded on the 26th of August to Sheffield, and on the 27th preached his first sermon in that circuit at Thorncliffe. The poverty of spirit, and simple dependence upon God with which he resumed his labours, will appear from the following brief extract:—“My soul breathes after holiness. I long to be devoted to God. I feel the awful responsibility connected with the superintendence of the Sheffield circuit, and find a strong desire to be faithful. I seem to be quite empty,—to have no fund,—10 furniture for the pulpit. I know not where to begin : never did I more sensibly feel, 'We are not sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.' O Lord, teach me; help me ; make me successful. May I be faithful as thy steward ; and do thy work with zeal and fidelity."
In a letter to his son James, written three weeks after
wards, he thus speaks of the labours of the Sheffield Circuit.
“In this circuit I have plenty of employment in preaching, travelling, &c. Excepting one Sunday in a month, we preach in general three times; and on one Sunday ride twenty two miles in a hilly country. Almost every evening except Saturday we have to preach in town or country; and have long rides up and down steep hills in the night. You may perhaps think this is too hard for me. However, I do not find it so: the salubrious air and exercise on horseback are useful to me. My health and spirits are so improved, that I seem to myself like another man. I thank God for this ; and am resolved through his grace, to devote to his service the strength he is pleased to afford me."
Such, however, was the physical exhaustion produced by the long-continued trials through which he had passed, that he soon began to feel this labour too much for him ; and as the cold weather advanced, he felt his chest injuriously affected by the long rides home at night. On the 7th of November, he writes :
“I feel much feebleness of body, am seldom without pain, and am soon weary. My constitution seems to have received a shock, from which I do not expect it will recover. Well, the will of the Lord be done. I am in his hand. May the residue of my days, be they many or few, be consecrated to God.”
To his esteemed friend the President, he writes on the 15th of December :—“One topic natural to a Methodist preacher is his new circuit. Well, then, I find this to be the hardest circuit I have travelled since I left Colne. We have almost constant preaching, and many long, dark night rides, in bad, steep, stony roads,—something like those to Jem's o'th' hole. The houses are crowded, and the fires are large; so that after being in a warm bath, we have to turn out, and ride in this hilly country, four, five, six, or seven miles. Many friends press me to get a little help during winter; and several excellent Local Preachers (among whom is Mr. Longden) offer to go for me at any time. I feel unwilling to shrink from my duty, but must submit to receive occasional help; for I find I am seven years older than I was twelve months ago.
Though this circuit is hard, I never was more comfortable any where. My colleagues are agreeable, the people affectionate, the congregations large and increasing, and the piety of our people fervent. The word of the Lord has free course; a great many have believed our report, and turned to the Lord; so that we are likely to have a good increase in our numbers this year. We may say, 'The best of all is, God is with ns.'
“I think I informed you that my poor John was going to America. He sailed in August, had a good passage, and is now settled about thirty miles from Philadelphia, in a situation in which by industry and frugality he may do well. Perhaps it is impossible for you to conceive what have been my feelings for above two years; and though my mind is comparatively easy now, yet often thought, busy thought, too busy for my peace,' musters up recollections which excite painful feelings and produce a sigh. But I endeavour to leave him to God, to whom I recommend him in my daily prayers.”
On Feb. 16, 1819, the thirty-sixth anniversary of my father's first attempt at preaching, his only daughter was married to Mr. David Dalby, Ironmonger, then residing at Bradford, Yorkshire. This union was in all respects satisfactory to his mind. Mr. Dalby had been steadily pious from a child, was comfortably settled in business, and occupied a respectable and useful station in the Methodist Society
My father remarks on the occasion :: “ The relations and friends on both sides are pleased, and Mary enters upon life, attended with the prayers and good wishes of many. May the Lord grant that all our expectations on this occasion may be realized.”
On the 31st of March, Mr. Entwisle received from Mr. Hulett, the gratifying intelligence, that William had begun to preach. He had taken Mr. Hulett's place at Hog lane, on the preceding Sunday evening, and Mr. Hulett had heard him agreeably to the appointment of the Rev. John Gaulter, at that time superintendent of the Rochester Circuit.
Mr. Hulett says,—“Your son has made a beginning in the blessed work, and a good beginning it was. I heard him with much pleasure, and I hope some profit. It was a good sermon, and rather more than a juvenile
What I chiefly admired was its great simplicity,