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“Wed. July 28.–At seven in the morning, the Conference commenced. Mr. Dixon was elected President, and Dr. Hannah, Secretary. Upwards of 500 preachers attend this Conference; of these, two only were present at the Manchester Conference in 1787, viz. R. Reece, and J. Entwisle. Since that time, many hundreds of our brethren have departed this life. But, blessed be God, there is a succession of faithful men raised up. My world is dead, and my course will soon end. O may I obtain mercy of the Lord to be found faithful !
• July 29.—This morning I spent at home in retirement. I feel the effects of yesterday's excitement. I fear lest unity, peace, and concord should be lost in our Connexion. The gown,-teetotalism,-politics, &c.— each seems to supply its quota of material for creating disunion. Be merciful unto us, O Lord !
Sun. Aug. 1.-Rose early. Blessed be God for the Christian Sabbath. At Grosvenor Street, at half-past ten, the Rev. R. Reece, preached an excellent and useful sermon on 2 Cor. iv. 7,-clear, evangelical, and experimental, accompanied by holy unction. This threw back
my mind to High Wycomb, where I first heard him preach from the same text in Sept. 1787. The Lord is still with him, and I trust with me also.
· Mon. Aug. 2.—Heard the Rev. R. Newton at Oldham Street, on · We preach Christ crucified.' A powerful sermon-enough to make an old man young again. The congregation was immense.
“ Dr. Bunting objected to a growing evil: he thinks we are missing our way in leaving off preaching in cottages, barns, &c. and that we are in danger of growing proud, and seeking finery, not in gowns and bands only, but in fine chapels, to please a certain class of hearers : in this we have competition from the clergy, but let us go to the lower classes, in disagreeable rooms, &c. His speech deserves to be written on every heart. I recommended it to the whole Conference. Thursday 5. The gown business is well settled.
“Aug. 9.—I look forward with pleasure to home. My friends here are kind in the extreme; but “visits, and crowds, and company,' do not suit me physically, mentally, or spiritually. I bear these things as crosses. I thank God, that I am not opulent; yet I have all I need.”
But although retirement was now for many obvious reasons more congenial to Mr. E.'s taste than “crowds and company,” the reader would greatly mistake his character, were he to imagine that there was any thing unsocial or ascetic in his disposition, or that there was any approach, even the most distant, to that peevishness and disposition to look at the dark side of things, and to forebode and complain, which is sometimes the infirmity of the aged. On the contrary, he was social, affable, and uniformly cheerful; an instructive and agreeable com panion, especially to the young, his very aspect and his whole bearing being such as to make old age appear lovely and desirable. “My dear young friends," said he on one occasion, with a most benignant and affectionate smile, as he sat at Mr. Chappell's table, where a number of friends, several of whom were young, were taking supper, “you cannot think what a delightful thing it is to be an old man." Never did age appear more amiable. The heavenly, happy expression of countenance with which he uttered these words, struck all who saw and heard him, and none more than the Rev. Dr. Newton, who was present on this occasion, and who mentioned the circumstance in the pulpit, when called a few months after to preach his funeral sermon. Having been early brought to God, and having now walked in the light of his countenance more than sixty years,—all was mercy in the retrospect of life—and all was light and glory in his prospect into the future.
On the 13th of August, my father took leave of his brethren and his kind friends, Mr. and Mrs. Chappell and family, bid farewell to his native town, and took the railway for York, where he spent the night with his esteemed and venerable friend, Mr. Agar. At ten o'clock the following morning, he rejoiced to find himself once more at his own beloved home, surrounded by his children and grand-children. The next day, Sunday, Aug. 15th, he was enabled to preach at Tadcaster twice with great energy, liberty, and enlargement. He was, however, much exhausted, and felt the effects for two or three days. In the evenings especially he felt such insupportable weariness, that it was with difficulty he could keep up until his ordinary hour of retiring to rest.
Having been advised to spend a little time on the sea
side, he accepted an invitation from the Rev. Chas. Clay, who was then stationed at Scarborough, to spend a week or two with him; and accompanied by Mrs. Dalby, he again left home on the 24th of August, and reached Scarborough the same evening, where they were kindly welcomed by Mr. and Mrs. Clay. He was much delighted with the beautiful scenery, and found the fine bracing air highly beneficial. It was likewise a considerable addition to his enjoyment of this visit, that he had the pleasure of meeting there Mr. and Mrs. Burton, of Roundhay, Mr. and Mrs. Sutcliffe, of Willow Hall, and several other esteemed Christian friends. He found the hills, however, trying; his walks fatigued him much, and called forth the remark, “I now know the meaning of feeble knees.'” He spent a fortnight with equal pleasure and advantage in this charming town, during which time he preached in the Centenary Chapel three times to large and attentive congregations, and one Sunday evening at the request of the Preachers and Leaders' Meeting, met the Society, and delivered an address which excited great interest, and will long be remembered by those who heard it. He also assisted at a Baptist Missionary Meeting, where he had the pleasure of meeting the Rev. Eustace Carey, with whose speech he was much pleased. “Upon the whole an interesting meeting," he remarks, “and would have been more so had politics been left out.”
Mr. Entwisle was evidently benefited by this visit; his appearance indicated a considerable increase of vigour, and he was enabled to resume his accustomed labours in preaching and pastoral visiting with renewed energy. It appears, however, from various notices in his journal, that he felt many infirmities and symptoms of decay, which were not apparent even to those of his family who observed him with the most affectionate solicitude; and while they were indulging the hope that he would be spared to them many years, he appears to have anticipated a removal to his final resting place at no very distant period. Thus he writes on Sept. 11th,—“Slept little last night: very unwell to-day. Nature is decaying. Infirmities increase. I can do little now. O for
to suffer. “I know whom I have believed.' I will cast my burden upon the Lord. He will sustain me.”
And again on the 1st of October :-“ Another month is gone. Time is short. Eternity is at hand! I find the season affects me more than ever. We all do fade as a leaf.' The leaves wither on the trees, and begin to fall. My poor body seems to sympathize with the fading leaves. Hereby I am put in mind that I must ere long exchange worlds. I trust the exchange will be to me eternal gain. I rely for my title on the blood of the Covenant; and the Lord has wrought in me a fitness for the inheritance of the saints in light. O to grace how great a debtor!"
In the beginning of October, in compliance with a pressing invitation, he paid a visit to the Pontefract circuit, to assist at two of their village Missionary meetings. On Sunday 3rd, he preached twice at Castleford; on Monday 4th, attended a Missionary meeting at Glass Houghton; and on Tuesday 5th, another at Badsworth, where he was kindly entertained at the house of the late Mr. Harrison, a respectable farmer, a pious Local Preacher, and son of one of my father's old and esteemed friends. The conversation turned on the solemn subject of death; when Mr. E. spoke of his own removal to another world in so delightful a strain, in such a tone of cheerfulness, and with a countenance beaming with such unutterable joy, that although Mr. Harrison had previously often been subject to bondage through fear of death, (which in his case was likely to be sudden, from a disease of the heart,) yet from that hour he was delivered from it, and enabled to contemplate death under quite a new aspect. My father, he remarked, seemed to have no more fear than of passing out of one room into another into the presence of his Heavenly Father. About two years after, Mr. Harrison was very suddenly called to his eternal reward.
On Wednesday 6th, my father returned home; the next day he seemed indisposed; he thought he had taken cold on Monday night. At Glass Houghton Missionary meeting the chapel had been much crowded. After being in that heated atmosphere two or three hours, he had to ride through heavy rain in an open conveyance to Pon. tefract, where he arrived about eleven o'clock. The cold he took on that occasion brought on a severe and troublesome cough, which obliged him to keep rather more
within doors than usual; but he still continued to minister the word of God, and often with even more than his wonted energy: he appeared to be continually filled with peace and joy. A few brief extracts from his journal will shew how his mind was affected by the state of his health, and the prospect of growing disability for public service.
“ Oct. 16.—I shall be compelled to confine my public labours to a narrower sphere. My late excursions in wet and cold weather have brought on a bad cold, tightness in the chest, and other symptoms, which convince me that I must be willing to be an invalid. O may I be enabled to glorify God, either by doing or suffering! He knows that this is my heart's desire and prayer.
· N.B. The last two days I have been favoured with unusual nearness to God.
“ Mon. 18.-Very much indisposed to-day. Much profited by reading Mr. Whitfield's Life, especially his latter end. O may I die well! Visited several families to-day.
Tues. 19.—Still my chest is affected. cold weather is too much for me: my poor tabernacle seems decaying fast. O may I be favoured with the presence
my Lord in this last stage of life. An inability to do much for God and man is my greatest trial. O Lord, accept me for Jesu's sake, and help me to glo. rify thee by suffering, if I cannot do much.
“ Sat. 23.—Another week is gone! a week in which I have not been able to do much for God. I met my class on Thursday, and went to visit a few sick persons on other days. But the coldness of the air compelled me to abide at home yesterday and to-day. I have not had much pain, yet I have been almost stiffened with cold; unable to govern my thoughts while engaged in reading and study; my cough bad ; feeble in my chest, &c. Well, “it is the Lord : let him do as seemeth him good. On him I cast my care.
He careth for me. O may I have grace to say with Baxter, · Lord, when thou wilt, how thou wilt, where thou wilt.'
Notwithstanding his severe cold, full of zeal for the cause of God, he had engaged to preach a Missionary sermon at Wetherby, seven miles from his own resi. dence, on Sunday, Oct. 31st, and to attend the annual