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my past life
The reader is already aware that Mr. E. was in the habit of observing his birth-day with peculiar solemnity. It was always a day of prayer and praise ; of deep humiliation before the Lord, and of self-dedication to his service. The circumstances under which he completed his seventy-first year, deepened these feelings of solemnity, and called forth the following remarks :
“April 15, 1838.–At three, this morning, I entered on my seventy-second year. It is almost incredible ! The scenery of
mind like that in a dream. I shall soon bring my ‘years to an end like a tale that is told.' For two or three days I have felt exceedingly enervated; and the company, business, and bustle of the last week have been perplexing. The temporal concerns of the Institution are oppressive; and loss of memory lays me under great inconveni
I have had a broken night; was indisposed to sleep until late ; awoke about three o'clock, as usual on my birth-day; felt my obligations to God; repeated part of the hymn, page 221, ‘God of my life,' &c. with much feeling; and rose between five and six. My head was bad, and other symptoms rather distressing. Hereby I am put in mind that my time is short. Never did I enter upon a new year as I do this day. After fifty-one years' uninterrupted labours, I am about to retire into a corner; but it is, I believe, in the divine order. Of this I am perfectly satisfied. And I feel a willingness to be, to do, or to suffer whatever the Lord pleases.
• Lo! in thy hand I lay,
And wait thy will to prove.' All my worldly affairs, as to the disposal of what God has intrusted me with, are settled. I ardently desire that every sacred moment may be devoted to my God and Saviour. I feel,—deeply feel,—that I am making up my accounts against that day, when every man shall give account of himself unto God;' and have confidence that I shall give them up with joy, and not with grief, through the blood of Jesus. I never felt, as I do now, feebleness of body and of mind; and my need of Jesus. But I bless God, my soul reposes in him. He is mine, and I am his, I believe, for ever. 'O to grace how great a debtor!' *For me to live is Christ; to die is gain.””
Several events occurred within the next two months, ad impr which were calculated to deepen the solemnity of his he chure
Firatitude mind, and fix it still more unceasingly on the heavenly world. Some of these are referred to in the following us, W extracts from his journal.
“May 21.—Death's shafts fly thick.' I have just heard of two old friends who have departed this life ; — dear Jol Mrs. Wilkinson, of Stoke Newington, and Mr. F. Marris
, daughte of Roundhay, near Leeds. On Thursday, April 5th, I packing visited Mr. Marris; he and Messrs. Burton wished me
itineral to live among them, and promised to find me a house, &c. And when he found I had decided to settle at Tad Tadcas caster, he engaged me to spend a Sunday every eight weeks at Roundhay, and always to make his house my
feeling home. But I shall see his face no more.
He was in a my G. blessed state of mind when I saw him, and, I understand,
Thcontinued so to the last. Few old friends are left, and it is almost too late to repair my friendships by forming
• Whom have I in heaven bút Thee, and consi there is none upon earth I desire besides Thee.'
opini “May 22.- Mr. Moore has had another stroke of
Lord paralysis. I have visited him three times to-day. His symptoms indicate the approach of another attack. His
He mind is tranquil
. My heart is deeply impressed with the reality and importance of things not seen and eternal. prer “May 26.—A letter from the Rev. Walter Lawry in
H forms me that my dear Joseph is very ill. I fear he is in a consumption. The symptoms are much the same as those of his brothers Samuel and William, and about the same time of the year too. O Lord, if I must drink another bitter cup, prepare me for it, and support me under it. He must, at least, rest a year. Have mercy upon him, O Lord, and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.
“June 17.—At half-past five, this morning, I accom- ft panied my dear grandson, John Joseph Entwisle, to St. Catharine's Dock, where he embarked on board the St. James Packet for New York. Several things took off in part the acute feelings of my heart at parting with that lovely boy. 1. He is pious, sensible, and discreet, beyond his years. 2. He sees, and I see that it is in the order of divine providence, that he should return to his native country. * 3. He has a vigorous, comprehensive,
and improved mind, and is preparing for usefulness in the church and in the world. My heart is filled with gratitude to my gracious and merciful God for these favours, which afford great relief to my mind this morning. “My present circumstances excite in
peculiar feelings and deep solemnity. The departure of my dear John Joseph; the probable separation from my dear daughter-in-law, at least for a few months; the bustle of packing; the approaching Conference; the removal from my present situation and office; my retirement from the itinerancy; my residence if God will, for a season, at Tadcaster; and the alarming state of my dear Joseph's health ;-all combine to induce in my mind inexpressible feelings. I feel that I must,—I can,—and I will, make my God ту
all. In him I find all I need to make me happy, even in the absence of all creature comforts."
The precarious state of his only surviving son's health rested with a constant weight on his spirits. considered to be in great danger, and Mr. E. was of opinion, with the physician, that nothing but perfect rest could save him. Mr. E. remarks, “I can trust in the Lord, and commit to him my all. Still I feel deeply. He hopes soon to enter upon his work, at least partially. I have more fear than hope. O for resignation. Lord, prepare him and me for the event. Thou doest all things well.”
He wrote to him in the most affectionate and consolatory manner, and urged him to rest a year. “My dear Joseph, this is a time of trial,” he says, “to you, to your dear partner, and to me. Clouds and darkness surround
Now is the time to exercise faith—to trust in the Lord with all our hearts, and not lean to our own understanding WE ARE IN GOOD HANDS. I hold by that saying of our Lord, “The very hairs of your
head are numbered.' IT IS TRUE. Be not discouraged :
All things work together for good to them that love God.' Fear not; only believe. My judgment, after deep consideration and prayer, is, that you should make up your mind to 'sit down' for one year. During that period, you
will have a fair trial; and if we are spared till this time next year, we shall see our way plain. Fifty years ago, riding through an extensive forest, in Oxfordshire, in a thick fog, I rode in a circle for about half an hour,
and came again to the same tree. Just then, the sun dispelled the mist, and I saw my way. This has been realized in my providential path frequently. *trust in the Lord, and do good,' and all shall be well.”
On the 4th of July, Mr. Entwisle met all the students, and gave them a parting address. His mind was so much affected that he was led out to an unusual extent; and spoke for an hour and twenty-five minutes. The students, who all loved him as a father, and venerated him as an apostle, were much affected. The following week, he took leave of them, and visited his afflicted son at Exeter; with whom he spent ten days of painful excitement. The precarious state of his son's health deeply depressed his naturally cheerful mind.
On the 23rd, he mournfully took leave of the afflicted family, and arrived at Bristol in the evening. The Conference commenced on the 25th, the Rev. Thos. Jackson, being elected President, and the Rev. Robert Newton, Secretary. The Rev. R. Treffry, was appointed his successor at the Theological Institution. The expressions of respect and of regret which were called forth both in the Committee and Conference, by Mr. Entwisle's retirement from the Institution, almost overpowered him. He characteristically remarks:—“I retire with the esteem of my brethren; but my great concern is to enjoy the approbation of God. Thy loving-kindness, O Lord, is better than life. O for a closer walk with God.
* Blessed be God, I have an interest in the prayers of my brethren. They prayed that my days may be prolonged for many years, and that
my best. With regard to the first, I am unanxious. The will of the Lord be done. “My times are in thy hands.' But I am deeply concerned that my last days may be most comfortable to myself, most useful to man, and, above all, most to the glory of God.”
The following Resolution was passed on the occasion, and published in the Minutes of Conference for this year.
• The thanks of the Conference are presented to the REV. JOSEPH ENTWISLE, SEN. the House Governor, for his valuable services. The Conference, likewise, receives with sincere regret Mr. Entwisle's announcement of his intention to retire, on account of his increasing infirmities,
last days may
not only from the House-Governorship, but also from those active duties connected with the Itinerancy, which he has now discharged so usefully and honourably for fifty-one years. The Conference expresses its hope that by the blessing of God on this relief from the onerous and exciting duties to the performance of which his office in the Institution has called him, bis days may be lengthened ; and that he may be long permitted to render important service both to the Institution, and the Connexion at large.”
At the close of the Conference, Mr. E. remarks :“ Never did I attend a Conference more characterized by Christian temper. Several regulations were agreed upon, which, if carried out into practice, will be highly beneficial to the societies and to the world.
“N.B.—My dear Joseph and I appear on the list of Supernumeraries. This affects my mind at times. It is the Lord.' I trust that after a year's rest, he will be able to resume his labours. However, I am persuaded that the very hairs of my head are numbered. I leave him and all in the hands of the Lord.”