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REV. JOHN FISNER, Died, at his residence, Harleston, on Tuesday, 17th April, the Rev. John Fisher, pur pastor of the Independent church at Wortwell, Norfolk. This laborious servant of Christ was taken away in the midst of usefulness, after a short but severe indisposition. A brief memoir of his life and labours will appear in a future number.
Wednesday, was diligently employed in making useful and ornamental articles for a missionary basket, by the sale of which a considerable sum has been annually raised. In this department she took the lead and superintendence; and she devoted occasionally much time in preparing such articles as were wanted, and which the members were in the habit of taking home, and making when they had an opportunity. The fortnight meeting was not a meeting for work only, but for instruction and the promotion of piety. Some suitable book was always read on the occasion. Thus were industry and religion united ; instruction and pleasure combined. This was her favourite society; and for it she would sit up late and rise early; undergo any toil and labour. While she prayed for missions, she was anxious to support them.
Prior to her last affliction she was particularly anxious for the formation of Bible classes, and proposed the subject to the Sabbath-school teachers and others. She was desirous to see this work commence, as she hoped it would bring the young to know and love the word of God; and with her characteristic humility she proposed to become one of a class as a learner. Indeed, the word of God was to her sweeter than honey, and more valuable than thousands of gold and silver; and by her constant habit of reading it in private, her knowledge of it was comprehensive.
Her prudence, economy, and good management, in household affairs, were deservedly admired; but she counted these and all her estimable qualities as unworthy of any praise. The spiritual light she had received prevented her judging herself by the opinions of the world. She sought to be useful; and the young and the old, the rich and the poor, shared her regard, treating them as one in Christ. She rendered to all their due, and in lowliness of mind esteemed others better than herself, and still panted after greater conformity to the image of her Saviour. Far from being satisfied with her past services, she regretted that she had not more faithfully reproved sin in others, and been more ready to declare what God had done for her soul.
Her natural feelings were quick and sensitive, which might have subjected her to end less mortifications, if she had not been strengthened and renewed in the spirit of her mind. During the course of her life she had a share of almost every species of affliction; and, in the most trying scenes, she exercised submission and patience, and the refining ef. fects were apparent to all. The composure of mind she evinced when seized so unexpectedly with the disease, showed the stabi. lity of her trust in the Saviour, and of her habitual preparation for death.
REV. J. MANTELL. It is with feelings of deep-felt regret we ana nounce the death of the Rev. J. Mantell, of Swindon, Wilts. The painful event took place the latter end of February. He had for many years suffered from spasmodic asthma, but was enabled to continue his ministerial labours until within a month of his decease, when, under the advice of his medical attendant, he desisted from preaching. His health from rest appeared to improve, and he was looking forward with pleasure that the time would speedily arrive when he should be enabled to resume, with renewed ardour, the work of his Lord and Master. But God had otherwise ordained ; and, without the least warning of increasing indisposition, he arose from his chair, dropped on the floor, and, with neither a struggle or a groan, resigned his spirit into the hands of his Redeemer, in whose cause he had been an active, faithful, and avowed champion for more than half a century; the last twentyeight years of which he had the pastoral care of the Independent church of Swindon.
He was a man of superior learning, strong intellectual endowments, and energy of disposition ; zealous for the spread of the gospel, and wishing nothing more than to spend and be spent in the glorious work. In him the cause of Christ has indeed experienced a loss; he being always ready to aid with his purse, as well as his talents, all societies and institutions which had for their objects the conversion of sinners and the extension of the Redeemer's kingdom.
MRS. JANE PARKINSON. Died, on Friday, the 23rd of Sept. last, aged 59, Mrs. Jane Parkinson, the wife of Mr. Thomas Parkinson, of Enfield, Middlesex. For several years previous to her death, she was the subject of disease, complicated in its nature and enfeebling in its effects. "In the month of April, 1826, it was judged necessary that she should submit to the opera. tion of having her left breast entirely removed, in consequence of the formation of a very painful tumour; and although attended with great danger, was performed with eminent skill, endured with exemplary fortitude, and perfectly healed before the expiration of that year; yet does not now appear to have been so
of her beloved. In the morning her husband held her by the hand for several hours, with anxious solicitude, to ascertain the state of her mind now she was evidently sinking into the arms of death, and said to her, “Now, my love, you are drawing very near to the end of all your sufferings; I hope all your fears of death are dissipated; that you feel assured that Jesus loves you, and died for you; and that, therefore, you love him, and will soon be with him for ever. If so, give me the sign by pressing my hand with your fingers,” which she did, and shortly after gently breathed her last, without a struggle or a groan.
Her remains were interred in the family grave, Bunhill Fields, on the Wednesday following, and on the next Lord's day, Oct. 2nd, her funeral sermon was preached by her pastor, the Rev. Samuel Ambrose Davies, from Prov. xiv. 32, “The righteous hath hope in his death."
serviceable as was then anticipated; for since that period she has frequently bad much suffering to endure, but more especially for the last four months of her life, when, being worn down by disease, she was wholly confined to her bed, agonized with extreme pain, and which, after two months' excruciating sufferings, were still more aggravated by the fracture of her thigh, while attempting to ease her position by gently moving her; and although the bone was speedily and carefully set, it was discovered after her death never to have united.
The former part of this period was distinguished by severe distress of mind, by gloomy apprehensions as to the sincerity of her professions; the fact of her regeneration, and her prospects in eternity. Yet she had from her early years manifested a strong attachment to the public means of grace, and given symptoms of spiritual life. Her religious friends had discovered in her spiritual tastes and desires, delight in religious ordinances, and a desire to be delivered from the bondage of corruption, a regard for the Divine glory, and a love to the saints, to those whom she esteemed as the excellent of the earth ; and besides these things, there was an ingenuous fear of deceiving and being deceived. But she was apt to perplex herself with human opinions, when a simple and direct appeal to the Scriptures, and a resting on them as the unerring testimony of a faithful God, would have given her relief, instead of sifting the emotions of her heart, when her time would have been more satisfactorily employed in contemplating the foundation of her hopes, and without giving way to the encroaching nature of earthly cares, whereby her intercourse was necessarily abridged with that Saviour, " whose favour is life, and whose loving kindness is better than life.” It is certain that these topics furnished ber with subjects of lamentation in her illness, and she frequently adverted to them for arguments with which to enforce the solemn admonition to her friends, to beware of formality and negligence in matters of religion, and urging upon them never to forget the reverence due to Scripture in making it the standard of appeal. But whatever clouds might rest upon her mind for a time, it pleased Him, who is the hearer and answerer of prayer, to disperse them, and to inspire her with a tranquillizing confidence in the promises of grace, for some time before her death, when her serenity was as remarkable as before they had been distressing. When she caine near the Jordan, the waters divided, and she passed over on dry ground.
The day and night before her departure, she was often anxious to say something to those who waited upon her, but was no longer able to speak. Her pains seemed to be now removed her mind was tranquil and serene
and she appeared to be leaning on the arm
MRS. SARAH FELLOWS, OF WOOBURN, BUCKS.
The Christian religion is one of purity and superlative excellence. Its Author is divine, and from him nothing but good can proceed. The person who cordially receives the truth, so as to live under its sanctifying influence, most resembles God, and is most worthy of our admiration and esteein. Yet, in attempting to delineate character, we too seldom can call to remembrance those in whom religion appeared in its native worth and amiable attractions. But the writer has to record the name of an aged mother in Israel, who was one of the choicest ornaments in the Christian church, as all who knew her can testify. The late Mrs. Sarah Fellows, of Wooburn, Bucks, who was the senior member of the Independent church in that place, having been admitted at its first formation by her relative, the late Rev. Thomas Grove, in the year 1773; was called to the knowledge of the truth under the preaching of the pious Mr. Francis Blackwell, a man of true apostolic zeal. She had, indeed, been accustomed to attend a prayer-meeting with her mother before there was preaching by a stated minis. ter. Mrs. Fellows, her sister, and a few others, were in the habit of attending what were called by them conference-meetings. One of these was held at a place about two miles from her residence; yet she was accustomed to be present, though held early on the Lord's-day morning. This pious female met for some time with a considerable degree of opposition, and underwent some very painful trials ; but she was a faithful servant, and was therefore decided. There never was a greater lover of God's house, for in this she was an example worthy of imitation. When health would permit, she was never absent at the seasons of worship; and she did not attend herself only, and also required her
servants to do the same, but was in the scriptions went on, ever being anxious for practice of calling on the members of the her minister's support and comfort, towards church and others to ask how it was she had which she was liberal herself. It is worthy not seen them in their places in the sance of remark, that while Mrs. F. rejoiced to tuary ; so that her late friend, Rev. Matthew hear of large collections for missionary or Wilks, was accustomed, in his quaint and other objects, she would say, “I hope home rather blunt way, to call her the belwether, is not neglected.” And when her pastor which was certainly characteristic of her. went to any public meeting, she would give This eminent Christian would seldom pait him something to put into the plate. This with a minister or a friend without requesting eminent Christian felt great anxiety for the him to pray with her. Indeed her whole soul spiritual welfare of her family: Her soul was engaged in religion ; it was her very was sometimes almost overwhelmed when element. It might bě truly said she walked thinking of the affecting state of her chilwith God. We do not mean to intimate that dren. Deep were her sighs for them, and she was perfect. No, she, with all others, many and fervent her prayers. But to come had her failings, and of these she was very to the closing scene : This aged saint was sensible, and mourned over them, and was long and painfully afflicted ; wearisome days ever remarkable for humility ; but, amidst and nights were appointed to her ; but amidst every imperfection, there was in her an uni- all, her greatest comfort was derived from formity of conduct that did credit to her pro. true religion and the prayers of her friends. fession. Sincerity and integrity were distin Her constant cry was for mercy, till her guished traits in her character. There was strength was often spent, and she would frenothing in our aged friend of mere appear. quently call her maid to read and pray with ance, nothing of disguise; and hence, the her; and was herself almost always praying more she was known, the more she was or repeating verses of hymns, some of which esteemed. No characters were more dis. we had marked down, but they are too nuliked by her than the smooth, the caoting, merous to mention. However, one was, and the deceitful. She preferred the crusted
“Oh, for a heart to praise my God; diamond to the showy but rotten fruit; she
A heart from sin set free; was in fact an Israelite indeed, in whom
A heart that's sprinkled with the blood there was no guile. This appears to haye
So freely spilt for me!” been her motto: " Let integrity and upright. She was frequently heard to say in prayer, ness preserve me." The fidelity of this ve- "Heal my soul, for I have sinned against nerable saint was thought by some to be a thee." “ Receive me graciously, and love me bluntness of manners; for she spake as she freely.” “Oh! that the Lord would prepare thought ; however, nothing but good was her me, and take me to himself.” “Let me die intention. Mrs. F. was a very liberal con the death of the righteous, &c.” “Come, tributor to the cause of Christ, both at home Lord Jesus, come quickly.” She felt the and abroad ; and what she freely gave was need of patience, and on the day of her death not of her great abundance, but ihe fruit of she said, “I must go, I must go." Though economy. We believe that few, with her the dear departed had no raptures, she was limited income, did so much ; for she denied composed, trusting in her Redeemer. At herself many things which others would have length she sweetly fell asleep in Jesus, in thought necessary for her station in life, for the 91st year of her age. Thus she “came she was esteemed one of the most respectable to her grave in a full age, like as a shock of inhabitants of the village, and justly so. corn cometh in its season," The zeal of this honoured disciple on behalf of the gospel did not make her indifferent tu the poor around her, for she was in the habit
MR. RICHARD PARKINSON. of visiting them and relieving their wants. Died, Nov. 12, 1831, at Hythe, in Kent, Her minister has often had the honour and at the advanced age of nearly eighty-two grateful pleasure of presenting to the needy years, Mr. Richard Parkinson, formerly of and to the sick her bounty. She would often Distaff Lane, London; a man highly and say to him, “ You are going to such a place deservedly esteemed by all who knew him to-day or to morrow ; shall you see such an for his sterling piety, uprightness of characone ?”—and would put into his hand some- ter, and conscientiousness in all his dealings, thing to give to the person. The dear de- both as a man of business and as a Christian. parted once said to a friend, “ I want a new He was born at Walton-le-Dale, Lancashire, cloak; but then if I should purchase one, was sent to London when very young, and some of the poor will, perhaps, want a meal.” evinced the true fear of God from the days To show the disposition of ihis good woman of his youth. He had for many years been towards the church with which she was a consistent member of the church of Christ, upited, it may be mentioned, that she would under the pastoral care of the Rev. Mr. Bara frequently inquire after the different mem ber, now under that of the Rev. Mr. Dean, bers, and she rejoiced in the addition of new at Aldermanbury Postern, to which he contiones. She would often ask how the sub nued united to the last. Some time after the
death of his wife, in the month of December, 1817, he left London to reside in the family of his daughter, at Hythe, in Kent, and regu. larly communicated with the church of Christ there, under the pastoral care of the Rev. Mr. Marsh. In this situation he ever manifested a strong attachment to, and anxious solici. tude for, its spiritual interests and prosperity, as well as for the inhabitants of the place in general.
During the last thirty years of his life he had been completely deprived of his hearing; notwithstanding which he never absented himself from the public or more private means of grace, unless prevented by illness. He always considered God's house as his dwelling-place,” for he loved the habitation of God's house, and the place where his “honour dwelleth,” to which he frequently retired by himself and alone to pour out bis prayers and supplications for the prosperity of the church, his country, and the world at large.
As he could not hear any thing, he always had recourse to those who sat near him to point him to the hymns sung, the chapters read, and the minister's text; then, fixing his eyes steadfastly on the preacher, formed some ideas in his own mind of the plan which would be adopted and pursued; so that he always found it good to be there, and was greatly rejoiced when explained to him by others, especially when it happened to har monize with his own pre-conceived views of the subject.
He was a man of much prayer, and uni. formly attended all the social prayer-meetings, on which occasion he was frequently called upon to engage ; which circumstance, as he could not hear others, speaks the powerful language of reproof to those menibers of churches who enjoy the invaluable blessing of hearing, together with that of leisure and opportunity, and yet are so very seldom seen uniting with the rest of their brethren in this all-important and hallowed exercise.
In a letter addressed to the writer, from the minister at Hythe, in reference to the closing scene and character of the deceased, he says, “ His sun set in full splendour. Looking up, and seeing me at his bed-side, he said, • I am waiting at the foot of the cross until my Lord shall call me;' and, I suppose, feel. ing some pain, added, after a short pause,
Oh, sin, sin, what hast thou done! These were among his last words. It was my privilege to visit him frequently during his confinement and sickness, which, from the first, I felt persuaded would end in death. On every occasion what holy confidence in the
riches of divine grace !-what settled calm. ness he manifested! I scarcely ever saw him, but good old Jacob was present to my mind, and his pious exclamation, as it were, on my tongue I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord.
“In our little church we have sustained a loss, whether we look at his constant and unwearied attendance at our meetings, public and private ; his lively and unabating zeal in the ways of God; or his earnest and devout supplications at the throne of grace. He walked with God. Some few months since, a friend from Cambridge and myself went into the chapel, and found your brother en. gaged in silent prayer. Being deaf, he did not hear us enter. We stood several minutes and witnessed with unusual pleasure his uplifted hands and marked devotion. We retired without his knowledge. To my friend I said, “You may travel many miles and not be blessed with such a sight. The impression produced is still strong on my mind. Of him it may be said, he was at home in the house of God.
“He made religion his chief concern; but withal was a true patriot, a lover of his coun. try, and often wept between the porch and the altar for the sins of the people. He had passed through his trials, difficulties, and perplexities of various descriptions : but his warfare is over—the days of his mourning are ended. He was a faithful man, and feared God above many. During the last fortnight he was entirely confined to his bed, worn down by pain and disease, longing to depart and to be with Christ. A little before his departure he was seized with a convulsive struggle, which was soon over, when he peacefully and calmly closed his eyes in death, and came to his grave in full age,
like as a shock of corn cometh in its season!”
His funeral sermon was preached on Lord's-day afternoon, Nov. 20th, by the Rev. Mr. Marsh, to an attentive and full congregation, from the text himself had chosen, Rev. iii. 11: “Behold I come quickly; hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.”
REV. MR. DAVIES. We regret to inform our readers, that the Rev. Mr. Davies, of Edinonton, has been called away from an affectionate church, and a sorrowing family, in the midst of his usefulness. He died of a rapid decline. He was a good minister of Jesus Christ.
FOR JUNE, 1832:
Subscriptions and Donations in aid of the Funds of this Society will be thankfully received by the Treasurer or Secretaries, at the Mission House, 26, Austin Friars, London; in Edinburgh, by Mr. George Yule ; in Glasgow, by Mr. William M'Gavin ; and in Dublin, by Messrs. J. D. La Touche and Co., or at 7, Lower Abbey-street.
THE THIRTY-EIGHTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE
London Missionary Society.
The Annual Meeting of the Society was held, this year, in the large room, at Exeter Hall, where, at an early hour, a numerous and respectable assembly was collected, which was afterwards increased till the spacious apartment was entirely, and even crowdedly, filled. It is gratifying to add, that we do not recollect to have ohserved, on any former Anniversary of the Society, a more seriously-attentive auditory, or one apparently more deeply and intensely impressed with the vast and solemn im. portance of the object, and with the weighty obligations of all Christians to promote it, than we witnessed on the late occasion. Nor can we help auguring from the general spirit and tone of the Meeting-enlightened and cheering, subdued yet decided,
as they were an increased devotedness and zeal on the part of those who composed : it, in their future support of the glorious cause, and also on the part of those
members of the Society who were not present on the occasion, but who, from the influence of those who were, will receive an increased warmth to their zeal and an additional stimulus to their exertions--so that in the issue all may be led to dedicate their piety, their talents, their property, their strength, and their time, more unreservedly and entirely, to the adoption and promotion of measures for the enlargement of the Society's permanent resources and thus put it into the power of the Director's to enlarge the sphere of its permanent operations, for the advancement of the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the eternal salvation of multitudes who dwell in Pagan, and other unenlightened parts of the world.
We proceed, as usual, to communicate particulars of the various services, as well as the proceedings at the Annual Meeting.