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and temper, and whole deportment correspond with my high and holy calling.
April 15, 1829. Bradford.—Retired to rest last night without fatigue, though I had preached twice in the spacious chapel at Eastbrook, to large congregations. As usual on my birth-day, I was awake at three in the morning, the hour in which I first breathed the vital air seventy-two years ago. Now in my seventy-third year,
I am going rapidly down the hill.
• This time last year, I was much engaged in prayer for direction about retiring from my office in the Institution. I believed then that I was following the sacred cloud ; and I am now perfectly satisfied that it was in the divine order that I retired. My health is greatly improved. I can work for God in public more frequently and with less fatigue. Preaching is my delight: and I have opportunities for it. I have symptoms of old age, yet nothing that indicates the breaking up of nature, It is possible, I may be continued on earth a few years. If so, my mind is made up to live to God and serve my generation according to his will. And I wish to live every day as if I were going to glory soon.
During the spring of this year his visits to the neighbouring circuits were frequent; and he was much refreshed in spirit by intercourse with old Christian friends in York, Leeds, Bradford, Birstal, Huddersfield, Sheffield, Hull, and other places. In almost every place, he met with some of his spiritual children. It was highly encouraging in the evening of life to meet with so many proofs of former usefulnes.
Every excursion abroad seemed to endear his own beloved home. On his return from Sheffield, he writes:
“I bless God for my quiet, retired habitation Visits, and crowds, and company' incommode me in body and mind. Here I sit, happy in God, gazing on his works, the river, fields, cattle, and the open
firmament. "These are thy glorious works, Parent of good, Almighty! thine this universal frame.'
"And will this Sovereign King
Of glory condescend ?
My Father and my Friend ?
In the same happy frame of mind, he thus expresses himself on the 21st of June:
" In this retired place, cheerful solemnity rests upon my spirit. The scenery before me is interesting and delightful. The river Wharfe Howing downwards towards the Ouse, the Humber, and the sea; the fine bridge with nine arches, the houses and trees on the rising ground opposite, and a mind at peace, that sees the wisdom, and power, and goodness of God in his works—all combine to inspire pleasure; while the recollection of my dear Mary and Lucy, and so many of my children who have been removed from me, induce feelings of deep solemnity.
“I have been looking over my early journals. I admire the infinite mercy and grace of my God and Saviour. In the year 1783, he drew me into intimate communion with himself. In August that year, on my way home, after preaching on Sunday evening at Levenshulme, O what a manifestation of God to my soul! In a narrow, solitary lane, near Chorlton Hall, (about where St. Luke's Church now stands,) the Lord did in a most remarkable degree reveal himself to me. 1784, coming from Davyhulme, I experienced something similar. Every day and hour I walked with God.' • Goodness and mercy still follow me, now that I am
old and grey-headed. I believe it shall be so even unto the end. • He hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.' O may heart and soul cleave to him moment by moment."
The Conference this year was held at Liverpool. Mr. E. attended, and was kindly entertained at the house of his old friend Mrs. Hill-a venerable Christian widow, in her seventy-ninth year, who seemed to live habitually in the very suburbs of heaven. The society and conversation of these aged Christian friends, were sources of mutual pleasure and profit; and furnished a fine specimen of the dignity, peace, and holy joy shed by genuine piety over the declining years of the eminently spi ual and devout followers of the Lord Jesus.
The opportunity afforded by the annual assembly of the preachers for meeting old and esteemed friends was more highly prized, as advancing years diminished the probability of meeting again; and the public religious services were invested with deeper interest as the asso
In the year
ciates of his early days were transferred from the service of the sanctuary below to the employments of the temple above. Sunday, Aug. 4th, especially, he chronicles as a day of holy joy, when he feasted as on marrow and fat things. In the morning, he heard the Rev. R. Reece, at Pitt street Chapel; and in the evening, at Mount Pleasant, the Rev.John Lomas, the amiable and talented son of his earliest and most intimate religious friend. Of the former he says, “It was a most excellent sermon, calculated to do much good. My own soul was fed as with marrow and fatness. I trust I shall be better for it to all eternity. My mind was thrown back fifty-two years, when we entered upon our ministry together at Oxford.” Mr. Lomas's sermon, which was on Rom. v. 1, 2, he characterizes as “clear, judicious, energetic; surpassing any thing I ever heard on justification by faith.
An event occurred at this Conference which was a source of great pleasnre to Mr. Entwisle, and awakened feelings of the most lively gratitude to God. A year's rest and residence
the south coast of Cornwall had, by the blessing of God, effected so great and unexpected an improvement in the state of his son's health, that he was enabled to resume the regular labour of a circuit, and received an appointment to Tadcaster; so that Mr. Entwisle had now the prospect of daily intercourse with the only two surviving members of his family. The writer of this Memoir may perhaps be permitted to say, without exposing himself to the imputation of egotism, that he has ever since regarded it as a most merciful arrangement of Divine Providence, that just at this juncture, when an opening occurred into the Tadcaster Circuit, his health was unexpectedly restored; so that during the last two years of his revered father's life, he was permitted daily to enjoy the privilege of his society and counsels, and of ministering to his comfort. Little did he then imagine that the privilege was to be so limited in its duration. Such was the appearance of vigour and health on his arrival at Tadcaster, that he often indulged the hope that his revered parent's life might be spared yet many years ;--perhaps to the age of Mr. Wesley or Mr. Moore ;—but ah! the solemn hour of separation was nearer than any one imagined.
On Mr. E.'s return from the Conference, he took Manchester, Todmorden, and Sowerby Bridge in his way. These scenes of his childhood and early ministerial labours revived many recollections which gave increasing intensity to bis sense of obligation to redeeming love, and to his gratitude for preserving and abounding grace. "O what blessings and comforts,” he writes, “has the Lord reserved for me now in the time of old age. Glory, glory, glory be to thee, O ever-blessed and glorious Trinity, whom I adore as the ineffable Triune Jehovah! Let not the Lord be angry with a sinful worm. My mind is absorbed. I cannot comprehend, but I lie in the dust, and adore.”
Almost immediately after his arrival at Tadcaster, he received tidings of the death of one of his highly esteemed brethren, with whom he had enjoyed refreshing intercourse during the Conference. “My old friend and colleague,” he writes, Aug. 30, “James Buckley, has finished his course. He was at the Conference, and seemed to be rather better than usual. He was present at the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper at the close of the Conference. That evening he was taken ill, and in a few days died in the Lord. I knew him when a boy at Oldham. He was a man of genuine piety and integrity. After travelling forty-two years he retired for want of health, still labouring to do good. I spent several hours in private with him at his lodgings in Liverpool. We talked over old times, and he gave me some account of the fruit of his labours in Wales since his retirement from the itinerancy. For years we have corresponded, and we agreed to continue it the ensuing year if spared. But he is gone. He has entered into rest. I still remain. He was several years younger than I. Most of my co-evals
O my God, enable me to improve the departure of my brethren and friends. Soon it will be said of me, ‘Joseph Entwisle is gone. O may I die well! May I obtain mercy in that day.”
On the 13th of Sept. he makes the following grateful record. At nine o'clock this evening, my dear Joseph and family arrived at Tadcaster. In a journey of four hundred miles nothing disagreeable occurred. Blessed be God! O may he live and be able to labour for the good of the church and the world.” Nothing now seemed
to be wanting to make him comfortable. Both of his surviving children and most of his grandchildren were around him ;* his health was tolerably firm; he had an extensive and agreeable sphere of usefulness; God was with him; and religion in the neighbourhood was in a prosperous state.
He seemed now to live in the very suburbs of heaven; and his very countenance was highly and beautifully expressive of the peace which passeth understanding, and the unspeakable joy he habitually experienced:—so much so, that it was matter of general observation even among those who were strangers to the power of godliness. One of his neighbours whose door he passed almost every day, and who afterwards became a member of his class, attributed her conversion to the deep impression made upon her mind as to the excellence and desirableness of experimental religion, by the uniformly happy expression of his countenance.
In the month of October this year, the Centenary of the establishment of Wesleyan Methodism was celebrated throughout the Connexion. To Mr. Entwisle it was a season of holy exultation. Meetings were held in all the principal places in the Tadcaster Circuit, at several of which he assisted. He had now been a member of the Wesleyan Society above fifty-eight years; and for more than fifty-six years a preacher. When he joined the Society, the total number of members in Great Britain and Ireland was 44,859; and in the whole world, between 59,000 and 60,000; now the number of members under the care of the British Conference was, 406,178; and throughout the world, 1,112,519, having increased nearly twenty-fold during the time of his own connexion with the Society. He took a lively interest in these meetings, and in several of them spoke at considerable length. They naturally threw his mind back upon former times, and occasionally brought him into contact with some of the few friends of his early years, who still survived. The solemn train of thought and feeling thus awakened acquired increasing intensity from the frequency with which he received tidings of the death of his personal friends. His thoughts were led onward to the time of his own removal, and the more so as he •was distinctly conscious of a gradual decay of strength,
* See page 514,