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me all the help I need. Several others who understand the language have since made the same kind offer. I have gone through the declensions of nouns, and trust, through God's blessing, I shall in a few months be able to construe the Latin Testament. Yet I enter
this work with fear and trembling. Many, when they have got a smattering of the languages, have immediately thought themselves wise and learned, and have despised their brethren. O may I ever be little in my own eyes!”
At the Conference of 1789, Mr. Entwisle was reappointed to the Birstal Circuit. Mr. Thompson removed to Halifax, and was succeeded by Mr. Pawson, who had been Superintendent of the Manchester Circuit in 1784, when Mr. E. was a local preacher there. He now felt himself highly favoured of the Lord in being placed under the care of so judicious a minister, who was distinguished among many other excellent traits, by his affectionate concern for the junior preachers. Jas. Ridall was the third preacher; a man of deep piety, and an example of humility and modesty: his abilities as a preacher were not great, yet on account of his unaffected lowliness of mind, his uniform devotedness to God, and zealous endeavours to save souls, he was highly esteemed by the people. The following quotation from Mr. Pawson's manuscript journal will shew the views he entertained of his colleagues, and the delightful harmony subsisting between them.
“1789.—I was appointed to Birstal along with two truly pious, holy, upright, and acceptable, young men, Joseph Entwisle and James Ridall. They live in the house with us, and are every way agreeable. We sincerely love them, and have reason to believe that they love us. They are peaceable, serious, and spiritual in their conversation ; mild and humble in their spirit and temper, useful among the people, and greatly loved and esteemed every where."
Such was the general testimony to Mr. Entwisle's consistent piety. The esteem in which he was held by those among
whom he laboured and with whom he lived, was strikingly in contrast with the abasing views of himself which pervade his diary. He fixed the standard of Christian experience, conversation, and conduct high, and was unusually severe in judging himself, making no
allowance for any of his own defects, while most indulgent and charitable in his construction of the conduct of others.
At the Conference this year it was agreed to build a Chapel at Dewsbury without delay. A subscription was entered into among the preachers. Mr. Wesley headed the list with a donation of £50; Dr. Coke gave an equal sum; the preachers present made it up to £206, and shortly afterwards others who were not present at the Conference, added £11 more. A general application was made to the Connexion in aid of this design; and before the end of August, ground was purchased, and the erection proceeded with such despatch, that early in January the roof was on. Mr. Pawson had stood high in the esteem of the Dewsbury people: even the ring-leaders of the secession had been accustomed to speak well of him, on account of the conciliating course he had pursued while any hope of adjusting the differences remained. But now that the breach was made, and his energies were steadily devoted to the interests of the small society which was faithful amidst the extensive defection, the seceders assumed an altered tone. Mr. Pawson says, “I doubt not but we shall yet see good days in that place. One of their Trustees is come back to us, and I believe more of them will follow. Before I came into this circuit, I was high in the esteem of that people. However much they blamed the other preachers, none of them blamed me. But now, for fear I
suppose that I should draw any of the people away, they are endeavouring to make me as black as they can. I am quite weary of their strife and contention.”
The eagerness manifested by the disaffected to fix some stain
the character of the preachers, and especially of so devoted and venerable a minister as Mr. Pawson was universally acknowledged to be, deepened Mr. Entwisle’s conviction of the necessity of an eminent degree of holiness, to enable him to live unreprovably before those who were constantly watching for occasions to censure and defame. His thoughts were thus led more frequently to dwell on the character and qualifications proper to the ministry; the habit of observing and judging himself was confirmed, and his prayers for the influences of the Holy Spirit were more fervent.
journal at this period is chiefly occupied with these topics. The following are extracts :
· Sept. 26.— This morning led out in meditation upon the importance of the Gospel ministry. It is a holy calling; therefore ministers should be men of clean! hands and pure hearts. They should be distinguished not merely by a black coat or gown, but by their superior wisdom and prudence, love and zeal, humility and meekness, patience and resignation, deadness to the world, and disinterestedness. I am convinced that in order to make full proof of their ministry, it is needful to live a life of prayer and devotion, of faith and holy communion with God. They should be often in the mount. All their conversation should be spiritual, holy, heavenly ; that they may season all with whom they converse. Lord, who is sufficient for these things? O God, help me, thy poor servant. I would,—thou knowest I would, -fully answer the above character, and make full proof of my ministry.
“ Sun. 27.—I have suffered much to-day for want of retirement. I often wonder at the inconsiderateness of some even serious people. They seem to have no idea of the necessity of a preacher’s mind being composed, when he is about to address immortal souls upon matters of eternal importance, or of his need to wrestle with God
for his gracious assistance, as well as to get his subject previously digested. Lord, help me to be more watchful for the time to come.
“ Oct. 27.—In the evening I was much pained to hear some young persons, children of professors, so expert in their censures of the preachers. Certainly their parents, who I believe set them the example, have a sad account to give to God.
“ Oct. 31.—Reading the lives of the Scotch worthies, I was ashamed before God to see myself come so far short of that zeal and diligence which they discovered in their conduct. O Lord, help me to live up to my privilege, and to make full proof of my ministry. O how holy, how serious, how spiritual, how watchful should a minister of Christ be. How apt I am to forget the dignity and importance of my office. O Lord, let me feel the value of souls! Let me travail in birth till Christ be formed in them. Let me be willing to impart not the
set Gospel of God only, but my own soul also. Let me
never be honoured with the name of a minister, and re
ceive a maintenance as such, without having the spirit hol of a minister, and doing his work as a 'workman that elezt needeth not to be ashamed.'
Sat. Dec. 5.—Arose early this morning, took a walk erit into the fields before daylight, and was exceedingly eel drawn out after God. ( what longings I feel after orld holiness—perfect holiness. Preserved in a solemn pray
ing frame most of the day. At night I was visited in a remarkable manner: my soul melted before
God like wax before the fire. I sunk as into nothing All
before him, and felt ly:
"That speechless awe that dares not move,
After supper !
Whether God has destroyed the last remains of sin or
“Sun. Dec. 13.—This morning when I rose, my mind was as dark and confused as it could be. I could only compare it to a troubled sea. I could not see how I could possibly go through the work of the day, having to preach twice to a very large congregation, and to meet several classes. O my God, what must I do? Unto whom shall I look for succour? Who can still the tempest of my mind ? Canst not thou, O Jesus ? The winds and the waves obey thee. O let me prevail with thee for a blessing 'I am thine, save me,' in this trying hour. Where art thou, O my Saviour and my God? Draw near: thy pitying ear incline. I cannot, I will not live without thy presence. I cannot, I will not preach without thy power. While I am writing, I find a measure of calmness.
O may my mind evermore be unruffled. Let no person or thing interrupt my fellowship with thee.”
These painful exercises of mind with the discouraging views of himself with which they were attended, were doubtless designed to prepare my father for greater use
fulness in the church; that having himself passed thro' alternate scenes of conflict and victory, depression and consolation, he might be better enabled to “ comfort them which were in any trouble by the comfort wherewith he himself had been comforted of God.” An
opportunity to do this occurred about this time. One of his earliest religious acquaintance, and his most intimate friend, to whom the charge of his class had been committed when he left Manchester for the Oxfordshire Circuit, the late Rev. Robert Lomas, father of the present Rev. John Lomas, had been sent out to travel at the Conference of 1789. His first appointment was to the Macclesfield Circuit, with his uncle the Rev. John Allen, by whose advice my father began to preach. In a Memoir which appeared in the Methodist Magazine for 1811, my father says of his friend : During his first year as an itinerant, Mr. Lomas's mind was much exercised and discouraged; so that it was with difficulty
his friends prevailed on him to continue in the work. The evil reasonings into which he fell, greatly hindered his studies, and perhaps lessened his usefulness for the time, but in the issue were over-ruled for good; for when his mind was perfectly satisfied that he was in the way of Providence, he spared no pains in his labours for the glory of God and the good of souls. He is very circumstantial in recording what passed in his mind on the occasion. I shall make a few extracts from his papers. —In a little time I began to be sorely tempted of the devil. It was represented to me that I might have been as useful at home, where I might have been serviceable to my parents also, and have lived independent of that support which as a travelling preacher, I received. I was inclined to think that if I were supported as a preacher of the Gospel, I ought to preach more, or do something more than I did, (though it was evident I preached as much as my constitution would bear) and that I might have employed my time from morning till night in work serviceable to the ministry. I said in my heart, if St. Paul were upon earth again, and had no more to do than I have in the vineyard of the Lord, he would labour with his hands, and be chargeable to no man; not considering that it was quite necessary for me to employ my vacant hours in preparation for preaching, &c. whereas the