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first Bishop of Madras, who received him with great kindness and respect; also to the Rev. Mr. Hogg, another clergyman, Master of the Grammar School, who had frequently accompanied his mother, who was a Methodist at Holbeck, to hear Mr. Entwisle preach, when in the Leeds Circuit, forty years before ; also to the Rev. Messrs. Toller and Robinson, the Independent and Baptist ministers residing in the town. “I find pleasure and profit,” he remarks, “in friendly intercourse with pious ministers and people of other denominations."
The necessary repairs and fitting up of the Institution House, at Hoxton, rendering Mr. Entwisle's personal superintendence desirable, he accepted an invitation to spend a few weeks at Deptford, with his piece, the widow of the late Rev. Thos. Stanley. From Mrs. Stanley and her family, Mr. and Mrs. E. received the most affectionate attentions. But it was not long that she was permitted to enjoy the society of her aunt. A few days after her arrival, she became much worse ; her strength rapidly failed; and on Thursday, the 16th of October, she peacefully and unexpectedly fell asleep in Jesus. The following record of the mournful event is found in my father's journal >
My dear Lucy's departure was unexpected. We had no apprehension of it. Her cough, breathing, &c. were not near so bad as they had often been. On Wednesday her appetite failed. All Wednesday night she was restless at times, and I was often up. At four I made a fire. At six, Mary E. gave her some tea. She then fell asleep. Every distressing symptom disappeared. She breathed more easily. Soon after six, I left her, and went to Mr. Camplin's to see what could be done to raise her from debility. As she seemed in a comfortable sleep, I did not disturb her when I left the house. On my way home, about eleven o'clock, a messenger met me to say, she had departed this life. Ah! I cannot describe my feelings. O my loss! Twenty-nine years' union and daily repetition of reciprocal kind offices had entwined our hearts together. I feel the event deeply. But “the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away. My soul submits. She is gone to rest; and now my God shall be my all : and, through grace, I will serve him and my generation with all my heart and soul. O Lord, help me."
On the following Tuesday, my dear father, with a sorrowful heart, committed the mortal remains of his beloved and faithful partner to the silent tomb at City Road, “in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ.” with him in the solemn hour, and granted peculiar support and comfort to his aged and bereaved servant.
This afflictive dispensation was greatly sanctified to him. He became increasingly dead to the world ; his desires to “improve every remaining fragment of time to the good of man and to the glory of God,” became more ardent; and he was enabled to live with eternity continually in view, as one who was daily looking for the coming of his Lord.
FROM THE DEATH OF HIS WIFE TO THE TIME OF HIS
BECOMING SUPERNUMERARY. AT THE THEOLOGICAL
My dear father was now placed in new and trying cir. cumstances. An aged widower;—for the present, without a home of his own, without the regular work of a circuit, a work in which he delighted, and had been uninterruptedly employed for forty-seven years ;-his only two surviving children at a distance ;—a new and untried situation before him, involving a serious weight of responsibility, and requiring qualificatious, in which he thought himself, (though perhaps no one else thought so,) greatly deficient. Two other circumstances must be taken into the account to enable the reader to judge correctly of his position.
First, he had for some time been subject to a painful affliction, wbich he attributed to over-exertion in walking, &c. This had now become so serious, that he was obliged to consult a medical friend, and eventually to submit to a surgical operation. His complaint was obstinate, and, though it admitted of occasional relief, it never left him to the end of his days. This visitation was indeed “a thorn in the flesh;” and the more so, as its nature was such, that delicacy imposed upon him silence on the subject, and the general ignorance of his infirmity, the existence of which, none who regarded his vigorous appearance, would suspect, often placed him in circumstances of great inconvenience and suffering. The other circumstance
to, was, that the establishment of the Theological Institution, had been made the occasion of a mischievous and violent agitation in various parts of the Connexion, by persons who, while they professed great love to Methodism and an ardent desire to promote its purity and efficiency, were doing their
utmost to alienate its friends, and to undermine the very foundations on which it was based. He loved peace. Throughout a long and uniformly consistent public life, he had laboured to promote it; he regarded a contentious spirit as one of the greatest enemies of piety; and he was deeply pained to see the professed subjects of the Prince of Peace most industriously employed in sowing the seeds of discord: he justly characterized their vocation “ miserable employment.
He remarks on this subject, “I greatly fear, parties are forming that will affect the prosperity of the work of God amongst us. Religion is love; and whatever operates against love strikes at the very root of religion. The restless spirit of the times is in operation in the church, as well as in the world. O Lord preserve me unspotted in so foul a place. Amen.”
Having divided the long interval between the termination of his labours in the Lambeth Circuit, and the completion of the repairs and outfit of the Institution House among his relatives and friends, he took up sidence at the Institution House, Hoxton, on Nov. 19th. Mrs. William Entwisle, his widowed daughter-in-law, having been requested to accept the office of Housekeeper, accompanied him, an intelligent and spiritual companion in whose society he found great solace and relief; while her activity in domestic matters conduced in a high degree to the order and comfort of this large and important establishment.
The premises occupied were those in which the Hoxton Academy had been conducted; but that Institution having been transferred to more commodious and extensive premises at Highgate, those at Hoxton were offered to the Committee of the Institution on favourable terms. The situation was rather low and damp; but the premises were in many respects commodious, and capable of comfortably accommodating thirty students. Mr. E. thus records his entrance upon the Institution House.
“At ten o'clock this morning, I removed to Hoxton as my residence. O may the Lord be with me in this house. Then I may call it Bethel. Thou art with me. O Lord, never leave me.” He adds, “ I feel quite satisfied that my appointment here is of God. O may I be faithful.”
- And shortly after, while yet unsettled,—“I am now in my study, a quiet solitary room, looking into the gar
den. I deeply feel the loss of my dear Lucy. But the Lord favours me with his gracious presence, and greatly encourages me to expect from him direction and assistance in my responsible situation, where, I trust, I shall have an opportunity for usefulness beyond any thing I have hitherto known. I do believe the Lord will strengthen and help me. He knows, I desire to live for no other purpose than to do his will, and glorify him with my body and spirit which are his. On thee, O Lord, do I depend."
Several of the students were now in London, accommodated in private houses, until their apartments in the Institution House were ready. In the mean time, their studies were comme
menced, under the direction of the Rev. John Hannah (now D.D.); and my father began to exercise a truly paternal care for their spiritual interests. He thus records the first opportunity he had of meeting them in class. “ Dec. 1, at three, class meeting. Eleven young men met. Three of them prayed, and oh! what power with God.
Praise the Lord, O my soul.' The following week, their apartments being fitted up, the students took up their permanent residence in the house; and the plan laid down was brought more fully into operation. At the close of the week, Mr. Entwisle remarks:—“A blessed week in our family. God is with us of a truth. We have much
young men are much alive to God, and very diligent in their studies. I trust they will get much good here. “I am perfectly satisfied that I am here by divine appointment, in the order of Providence. And therefore amidst all the outcries at Oldbam street, (where Dr. W., a leading opponent, then resided,) my mind is kept in perfect peace; and I trust all opposition will ultimately work together for good. These are trying times in some parts of the connexion; but I am persuaded that this time of sifting, like others which I have witnessed, will eventually be for good.
Still his mind was much pained by the contentious spirit manifested by some of the opponents of the Institution. He feared many persons would be turned out of the way, and that souls might be lost for ever. Referring to the leader of this unhallowed opposition, he remarks, “I would not be in his place for all the world.” He felt