Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

“Mon. Aug. 20.—This morning, died Mr. Strange, a member of our Society. He was hearing me preach at Lambeth yesterday forenoon. I spoke largely of the necessity of being ready, and alluded to the Cholera. In the afternoon he was taken ill, of which I heard nothing till this morning, when I was informed that he was dead.

“Sun. Aug. 26.—Rose in a spirit of devotion. At half-past ten, preached at Lambeth on Eccles. ix. 10. Spoke about the Cholera in connexion with my subject. People are dying on every side of us. Preached at Walworth in the evening with unusual freedom. The chapel was crowded. I hope good was done. On my return home, I found that in Lambeth Chapel, during the service, a woman, a member of Society, was seized with Cholera in its most frightful form. She expressed herself as happy in God. • In the midst of life we are in death.'

6 Tues. 28.—Preached at Brixton Hill on Psa. xc. 14. I was led to the choice of my text by the sudden death of Dr. Clarke. On Saturday, 25th, he went to Mr. Hobbs's, Bayswater, where he was to preach on Sunday. About six in the morning, he was seized with Cholera, and about eleven o'clock at night departed this life. Ah! how rapidly my brethren drop, like leaves in autumn. About forty years I have been rather intimately acquainted with Adam Clarke. He was a great man in kis way. Few men have been so applauded and caressed by the church and the world as he. The Duke of Sussex and many men high in rank, office, and literature, courted his company.

He was equally popular among his own people, the Methodists; and, as a preacher, was to the last popular beyond parallel. In the removal of Dr. Clarke, and in the declining health of Brothers Edmondson, Buckley, and others, I find reasons and motives for aiming not at the things which are seen and temporal, but at those which are unseen and eternal.”

About this ne, Mr. Entwisle received a letter from a person who had been powerfully wrought upon by some pointed remarks he had made on the duty of restitution, in a sermon he preached at Lambeth, on Micah vi. 8. So deeply was the writer convinced of his sin, that he expressed his determination to take a journey

of fifty miles, in order to see the person whom he had wronged, inform him of all the circumstances of the case, and make full restitution.

The work of God throughout the circuit continued steadily and satisfactorily to advance; the piety of the members of Society manifestly deepened, and though there was no remarkable stir, yet there was a continual accession to its numbers. Of the Quarterly Meeting of the circuit, held on October the 2nd, Mr. E. makes the following brief memorandum:

“A pleasant meeting: finances improving: numbers increasing. We have 210 members more than we had this time last year, and fifty on trial. Glory be to God. An excellent spirit prevails. We soon finished our temporal business, and then spent two hours in profitable conversation and prayer.”

This spiritual improvement of the opportunity offered by the assembling of the Stewards and officers of the various Societies at their Quarterly Meetings, was an object at which he uniformly aimed; but it was often a subject of regret that the occupation of the greatest portion of the time by financial and secular business (frequently occasioning disputes,) rendered it extremely difficult and sometimes impossible to render these meetings means of grace, as he thought they should be. On a former occasion he had remarked in reference to this subject:—“I feel more and more averse to disputes and contentions. They are injurious to religion, and my poor head is much affected when any thing disagreeable occurs in our meetings. But there are so many indivi. duals, in most of our large circuits, with superficial religion, and busy, meddling tempers, that our Leaders' and Quarterly Meetings are seldom profitable to the soul. The Lord knows I endeavour to cure these evils, by making spiritual things most prominent, and have happily succeeded to a great degree. But constant vigilance and activity are necessary to keep things right."

At the Quarterly Meeting now held, he had reason to believe that the end at which he uniformly aimed on such occasions, had been attained; that it had been a means of grace; and that those who attended it, would return to their several spheres of labour more deeply imbued with the spirit of their Master, and more richly

[ocr errors]

supplied with those gifts of the Spirit, which are essen tial to success in prosecuting the work of God.

But one short week after this blessed meeting, he had to record another distressing bereavement.

“Tues. Oct. 9.—While forming plans of usefulness in my regular work, and blessing God for the comforts of home, tidings were brought me of the sudden death of my dear friend and nephew, the Rev. Thomas Stanley. On his return from Mr. Charles Wesley's, about four o'clock this afternoon, he was seen in Edgeware road, tottering as he walked. Two police officers hastened and just caught him as he was falling. He never spoke, but almost instantly expired! Awful event! Mysterious Providence! O the depth! He was a useful preacher, a judicious superintendent, always at his post; very sensible and well-informed; his spirit always good, and his integrity of mind and consistency of character uniform; the father of a large family, who seemed to need his advice and protection. But God's thoughts are not as our thoughts. Yet he cannot err, nor do any thing unworthy of himself."

In this solemn event, by which the bereaved widow was left with the charge of nine fatherless children, the Connexion deprived of a valuable minister, and himself of a judicious and faithful friend, with whom intimacy had been uninterruptedly maintained for twenty-six years,—Mr. E. found “additional reasons for dying to this world, and living for eternity.”

He was not insensible to the claims of Christian friendship, nor governed by a selfish and exclusive regard to his own ease and comfort; and therefore although extremely averse to all matters which were purely secular, and increasingly so as he approached threescore years and ten, he could not refuse the office of executor to his deceased friend, in conjunction with the widow, and the Rev. Jacob Stanley. He felt indeed that while he was so near the bereaved family, and the Rev. J. Stanley, who was then at Bristol, so remote, the weight of responsibility would devolve upon him. “No pecuniary remuneration,” he remarks, so would have induced me to undertake it; but I undertake the business in the fear of God, with a single eye to his glory, and for the benefit

of the widow and fatherless. I will therefore 'trust in the Lord and do good.'”

In the same disinterested spirit, he undertook similar responsibility a few weeks after, in a case which in all human probability seemed likely to entail upon him what was utterly uncongenial to his taste, much trouble of a secular nature. He thus refers to it in his journal:

“Oct. 30.—More trouble. This morning I received note from Mrs. Moore, saying that Mr. Moore was very ill, and wished to see me. I went without delay, and found that an attack of paralysis had deprived him entirely of the use of one side, and had affected his speech; but his understanding is unimpaired. He entered into his temporal affairs, and wished me to be an executor. He expressed also the assurance he had of God's love; and that all was right between God and his soul." In this case his venerable friend and brother-in law was called to accept of the intention for the deed; for contrary to all human probability, though he was Mr. E.'s senior by above fifteen years, and the present seizure left but little hope of recovery, the amazing vigour of his constitution enabled him soon to rally, partially to resume his work, to sustain several subsequent attacks of a similar nature, and even to reach bis ninety-third year, having survived his junior brother-in-law two years and a half, and exceeded the term of his pilgrimage by nearly eighteen years.

The bereavements sustained by the Connexion this year succeeded each other with a rapidity that was truly startling. Nine ministers had been called home to their reward within less than ten weeks, and now Mr. E. records a tenth.

“Nov. 6.—I have just received information from the Mission House, that Brother John James is dead. He preached on Sunday evening, at City road Chapel. Another breach upon us ! Who will be called next? My merciful God, is it I? I am in thy hands, 0

my

Lord. On thy mercy I rely. O may my remnant of days, be they many or few, be devoted to thee without reserve. Living or dying, may I be thine.”

During the year which was now near its close, Mr. E. had often been unwell; and sometimes found even the moderate labour of the Lambeth Circuit oppressive.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Frequent heat about the head, attended sometimes with dizziness, and generally with confusion of thought and loss of memory, led him to think his removal might be sudden. These mementos of his own advancing years and of his mortality, the declining state of his wife's health, and the removal of so many of his intimate friends and fellow-labourers, with the prospect of Mr. Watson's being soon added to the number—had a solemnizing and hallowing influence upon his mind. After referring to the above subjects in his customary review of the year on its last day, he says, “I have given my whole heart to my God and Saviour. He is all in all to me. I can give up wife, children, friends, body, soul,all to Him. To Him be glory. He has wrought in me this self same thing, and hath given me the earnest of the Spirit. I dwell in love, and dwell in God. O

may

I stand fast in this Christian liberty.

"Keep me, keep me, gracious Lord,

And never let me go.'1833.—The new year had not long commenced its course, when Mr. E.'s mournful anticipations were realized, and the Rev. Richard Watson was numbered among his departed friends. He had visited him during the last week of December, when Mr. W. told him he had given up

all hope of recovery. He found him in a most blessed state of mind, "calm, humble, tranquil, dignified.” This interview with his dying friend had a blessed influence on his mind; he recorded it in his journal, and often mentioned it to his friends. He says, “I still feel the good effects of my visit to Mr. Watson. I wish I could remember all he said. One saying I cannot forget, ‘As a worm,' said he, 'crawls out of the earth, and meets the light of the mid-day sun, so I appear before God; and it behoves me to lie very low in the dust in his presence.' He also dwelt at length on the atonement, and the influences of the Holy Spirit.”

This eminent minister departed this life on Tuesday, the 8th of January. The following Tuesday, the remains were interred at City road, on which occasion Mr. Entwisle read the funeral service and delivered an address to a large, attentive, and deeply affected congregation. Having briefly recorded the solemn occasion in his jour

« EdellinenJatka »