Sivut kuvina

and indeed this painful malady gained ground upon

him so rapidly, that he was apprehensive that if he did not remove to a more favourable circuit, he should soon be compelled to retire from the itinerant work. His colleagues were exceedingly kind in taking his distant appointments when he was unwell, and the weather unfavourable, if they happened to be at liberty, or could effect a change with him to his advantage ;—but he could not think it right to remain a third year in a circuit, in which he was unable to do his own work. He therefore persisted in his determination, and respectfully and affectionately, but firmly declined the invitation. For similar reasons he declined a most urgent and respectful invitation to labour again in the Hull Circuit. He entertained the highest respect for the Hull Society, reflected with great satisfaction upon his former residence there, and would most gladly have served them again in the Gospel of Jesus Christ; but he feared the climate would not suit his rheumatic complaint, to which he had always found a low, flat country and a humid atmosphere most unfavourable. He received pressing invitations also from Norwich, Worcester, and Bradford; various reasons induced him to give the preference to Bradford.

About the latter end of January, 1820, my father finished a new Edition of his Essay on Secret Prayer. This was originally written for the Methodist Magazine, and published in the volume for 1805. He was often urged to print and publish it in the form of a pamphlet, but declined. At length, however, Mr. Spence, of York, thinking it likely to be useful, published it on his own account. In a very short time it passed through four editions, and eight thousand copies were sold. My father being informed of its rapid and extensive sale, and conceiving that it was capable of considerable improvement, revised and enlarged it, in hope that it might be ren. dered still more acceptable and useful. This he found “a profitable exercise.” He remarks on the occasion:“Perhaps there never was more need than now to call professors to secret intercourse with God. Many, it is to be feared, who flock to hear sermons, and crowd to public meetings, Bible Societies, and Missionary Meetings, sadly neglect their closets. Indeed, if I may judge from myself, nothing is more difficult than the due improve

ment of that liberty of access to God, which we may have in private. And yet, we are in reality what we are before God in secret. O


pray more.

Good Mr. Sutcliffe, a Baptist minister of great piety, often said, when near his end, 'I wish I had prayed more.””

Mr. Lomas, of Bristol, printed an edition of 2000 copies, which were soon disposed of. In about three months another edition of 2000 copies was printed by Mr. Montgomery, of Sheffield. The work has since then passed through three new editions, and been made a blessing to thousands. A copy happening to fall into the hands of a pious Protestant Minister in France, he was so much pleased with it, that he translated it into French, and printed and circulated many copies.

The concluding paragraph of a letter to his son William, replete with valuable counsels, and dated April 26, gives a pleasing view of the delightful state of his experience at this period :

“I would advise you to endeavour to preserve as much as possible constant recollection of spirit, the exercise of a single eye, and an habitual spirit of prayer and devotion. The Lord will bless you and make you a blessing to others, if you give yourself wholly to him. Look at Walsh.—Look at Fletcher.—Look at Jesus. He is our great exemplar. Jesus is more and more precious to your father. I love


Master. I love his work. My heart is more than ever in it. I have more conscious aid than ever: more sweetness in study: more power in preaching and prayer. Often have I said iu his hearing, No other master but himself would have had patience with me, and kept me in his employment. But He still employs me, and helps me, and blesses me. “O to grace how great a debtor !"" That which he recommended in the preceding extract

constant recollection of spirit,” he had happily attained himself in an eminent degree; and he stood habitually on his guard against every thing which tended to impair it. The multifarious business arising out of the offices he sustained and the position he occupied in the Connexion, was not unattended with danger of dissipation and distraction. As the Conference drew near, he was accustomed to exercise increasing vigilance

and prayerfulness, that he might be enabled to live in the spirit of those lines :

“ Careless through outward cares I go,

From all distraction free."

[ocr errors]

“My mind,” he says, in relation to this subject, “is unusually impressed with the necessity of living in constant communion with God, especially in reference to the approaching business of the Stationing Committee, Conference, and other things of a public nature with which I must have much to do. O may my own mind be kept in perfect peace. Providence appears to assign me a post and work in the management of the affairs of the Connexion. Gladly would I retire and serve the Lord and my generation by preaching, &c. in my circuit, and leave business to others; but I do not yet see my way clear to quit the post of business.

O may my mind be preserved in a serious, recollected, and spiritual frame. May I not speak or think so as to grieve the Holy Spirit. Lo! I come to do thy will, O my God. Employ me any wherein doing any thing: only be thou with me, and help and bless me.'

A few brief extracts from his diary and correspondence during the sittings of the Liverpool Conference, may interest the reader.

“Sun. July 16.—I preached to my old friends at Mount Pleasant this morning with much freedom. It is eight years since I laboured in this circuit, and seven since I was in Liverpool. What changes have taken place in old and young! Many wrinkles and grey

hairs have been added to the old. Children are grown up

and married; and others have several children who were minors when I left them. Some have grown opulent; -others have become bankrupt;-others have gone into eternity

Mon. 17.—The Stationing Committee met. Wed. evening.- Stations finished. Frid. 21.— Misssionary Committee; most interesting: the whole business of this day has delighted my soul. Surely the Lord is doing a great work in the earth.

Sun. 23.—Mr. Watson preached an admirable sermon on Providence, at Brunswick Chapel, on Matt. x. 30. My soul was much blessed; I resolved to cast all my

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Eedoled one mously carried that Dr. Clarke and Henry Moore should

are upon Him that careth for me. Oh! how I long to

talk more closely with my God. I can do it. Through E72 race, I will do it.

'I can do all things through Christ hich strengtheneth me.'

“ Wed. 36.-Conference commenced its sittings at six 'clock.—Mr. Bunting was elected President. Mr. G. Varsden, Secretary.

« Thurs. 27.-This afternoon, the American Repre

entative spoke (Rev. J. Emory :) a thin, spare man, an ibout thirty-five years of age; modest, grave, and pious,

**n his appearance and spirit: very intelligent, and interest i testing as a speaker, without the least parade or display.

He began by speaking of the love of the American Mear D-thodists to us.

We, the parents. They, the children. 150 2T 'Fifty-one years ago it was inquired in the British Confer

ence, “Who will go to America, which is crying, Come a lover, and help us ? Now there are in the United States til og 900 Travelling Preachers, 3000 Local Preachers, a vast omas: number of Exhorters and Leaders, and 250,000 memErlubbers. He gave interesting details of the piety, zeal, and mit der dic labours of Asbury, M.Kendrie, and others. Spoke of

the vast Missionary field opening among the Indian nabiar els tions; and closed his speech in a delightful style, by repud le representing the British Methodists as carrying on their

operations with success through Europe, Africa, Asia, on the West Indies, touching on the Southern continent of oh ma te America; and their children, the American Methodists, a tus dat stretching out their line to meet them, through the Inbat ekansi dian nations and the States of America, in such a direcwinkle tion that ere long, having encircled the globe, he hoped Eilirea urme they would meet and shake hands in the other hemi==nul cules: sphere. It is impossible to describe the interest excited. me bremi Finally, the Conference agreed to the proposition of the - cheris Americans, viz.—not only an annual exchange of friendly

addresses, but also once in four years, an interchange of Caldes personal representatives

Friday Morning, July 28.-Southey's Life of Weshe whole lisa ley came on the carpet, when the report of the Book

Committee was read. Mr. Watson was requested to write

remarks, &c. on Southey. Then it was proposed that a sind life of Mr. Wesley, suited to the present state of things,

should be published; and a motion was made and unani

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

be united in the work. Dr. Clarke said in his strong way, that the fittest man in the world to write such a life was Mr. Moore. Mr. Moore said, Dr. Clarke's speech (in which he gave an account of a plan which had occurred to him,) had convinced him that he (Dr. C.) was the man. The Dr. spoke in high terms of commendation of Mr. Moore's Life of Wesley, written under great disadvantages, amongst a host of foes, under the most provoking circumstances, in great haste, while the press was sweating to get the start of Dr. Whitehead's. I felt unspeakable pleasure on that and many other occasions, in the perfect harmony and love between Dr. Clarke, and Messrs. Moore, Bunting, Watson, Marsden, myself, and others, who from a sense of duty have written and spoken against the Doctor's views of the Eternal Sonship. The love that prevails is delightful.

" Friday afternoon.- I record with gratitude that the Conference unanimously and in a manner which gave me great satisfaction, admitted my William on trial as a travelling preacher. They have done the same with regard to my dear friend's son, John Lomas; and appointed them for this

year teachers at Kingswood School. They are intimate friends, both good scholars, and both pious. The brethren in general seem to think this an arrangement in providence, that will be made a great blessing to the scholars. O Lord, give thy blessing.

“Thursday morning, before breakfast, Aug. 3.—This sitting is devoted to subjects purely spiritual. Our members this year are less by five thousand than last year! We are inquiring into the causes of this declension, and what can be done to revive religion amongst us generally. This conversation, I trust, will be productive of great good. I hope the preachers, one and all, will ‘strive together for the faith of the Gospel.'”

The result of this conversation was the passing of that admirable series of Resolutions generally known as the " Liverpool Minutes," the reading of which, followed by a free and spiritual conversation on the all-important topics it embraces, forms one of the most interesting and edifying employments of every annual District Meeting throughout the kingdom. Eternity alone can fully disclose the mighty influence for good exerted upon the Connexion and the world by those admirable Resolntions.

[ocr errors]
« EdellinenJatka »