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days at home, he took coach again for Manchester, where the Stationing Committee commenced their labours on Mon. 16th. He was much affected on this visit to Manchester. “ Once more," he writes, “I am in my native town. What changes do I see !—streets, churches, and factories, where once were fields, gardens, and lanes, the scenes of pleasure in my childhood, and often the places of my retirement in the early part of my religious course. I can look at some places, now covered with houses, formerly favourable to seclusion from company, and say, • The Lord blessed me there."
“ July 22.—I have not yet met with one individual that was a member of the Society when I joined it in the year 1781, and few that were members when I began to travel in 1787; and so great a change has taken place, since I left this circuit in 1810, that I seem comparatively among strangers. Why am continued on earth ? Surely the Lord spares me for my own advantage, and for the good of others. O
I live to Him alone.” Few memoranda remain among Mr. E.'s papers re. lating to this Conference. The following extract from a letter to his son William is the only document of interest.
Manchester, July 29, 1821. “MY DEAR WILLIAM, “ I SHOULD gladly have complied with your request and written to you from the Conference, more than once, but it is impracticable. Besides representing a large district, and constantly attending Committees of various kinds, you know I am General Treasurer for the Schools -an office attended with great perplexity, owing to the want of method in many of the brethren, in the 318 circuits with which I am in account.
“The time when the question was considered, 'Who have died this year?' was a solemn time indeed. While we were conversing about Mr. Benson, S. Taylor, and others, I was much affected. First, because I had been so long intimately acquainted with them, and so highly esteemed them: and secondly, by the consideration, that very soon, my surviving brethren will be speaking of their deceased brother E. But that which most affected
me, was the idea of responsiblity to God. It is a very small thing to me to be judged of man's judgment.'
O may He approve what I have done,
I shall be happy though unknown.' “ Most of the elders that outlived Joshua are gone. Thanks be to God for a succession of faithful men. May those who are rising up not only have the same unfeigned faith which dwelt' in their predecessors, but excel them in every thing that is good and useful, and of good report. O William, 'stir up the gift of God that is in you.' This one thing do,' above all others, 'forgetting those things which are behind,' &c. Phil. iii. 13. Knowledge and aptness to teach are useful qualifications for a Christian minister, and various learning an embellishment; but love to God and man, and burning zeal for God's glory and the salvatian of souls are absolutely necessary. For a preacher to be ignorant of what he professes to teach, every body can see, renders him unfit for his work; and, not to have love and zeal and holy fervour, is, if possible, worse; because, without knowledge, a man would not be suffered to go on; but with knowledge, without zeal and love, he may go on, and that possibly with some degree of credit, but will do little good.
O William, live near to God.” On Wed. the 8th of August, Mr. Entwisle returned home from the Conference, with a heart overflowing with gratitude, and glowing with ardent desire again to enter fully upon his beloved employment. “Blessed be God,"
“after a journey by land and by water, of about 800 miles, I have once more returned in health and peace to my own quiet habitation. Praise the Lord, O my soul. Once again I am settled in my regular work. My health is good, my mind stayed on God, and my resolution fixed to give myself wholly to Him and his people.”
It was seldom that he allowed himself any relaxation from the duties of his office; and never could he be pre vailed upon to indulge in friendly visits to distant places, or excursions of pleasure, when they seemed to interfere with even the most rigid claims of his circuit. About this time, he received from Mr. Tomlinson, a gentleman farmer, of Humberstone, near Grimsby, with whom his
son resided, as private tutor to his family, a kind and pressing invitation to pay him a visit. The following is the message in reply transmitted through his son:
“ It would give me great pleasure at any time to pay a visit to Mr. Tomlinson's family, and I feel much obliged by his invitation. But,—I must keep to my post. Recollect, my jonrney to Wales and Ireland and attendance to the business of the Conference took me from home nearly eight weeks. A large circuit is like a large farm: it requires constant attention to keep the fences in repair, and to look after the sheep that are gone astray or diseased. So I find it. 2,400 souls, in the present imperfect state of the church, call for all my time, and the exertion of all my faculties, and all my grace. Besides, 700 new converts are like 700 new recruits in the army; they have need of much drilling, that is, of much instruction, caution, &c. so that I conscientiously refuse all invitations at present. Give our respects to Mr. T. and family.”
“On Mon. Oct. 1, the Quarterly Meeting for the circuit was held: peace and harmony prevailed; and it was found that above five hundred and fifty had been added to the society during the year.”
Sat. Oct. 27, Mr. E. writes :- I find my animal frame very liable to be indisposed, like an instrument out of tune. My Master's work is my delight; and yet the poor body does not bear as formerly its fatigue. This is a strong intimation to me, that I am on the decline, and loudly calls upon me to get ready to put off the harness. The Sunday work of this circuit pinches me, especially in Bradford, where we preach three times, besides Sacraments, Society-meetings, &c. I feel willing to spend and be spent in this work. I can say,
My life, my blood, I here present,
Thy will be done, thy name ador'd.' “Dec. 1.--The unavoidable interruption of my regular studies and private preparations for public work, arising from
office of Treasurer of the Schools, has been a cross to me; and so many hours spent almost daily in acknowledging the receipt of remittances, &c. has not
been profitable to my mind. I bear it as my cross for Christ's sake. Methodist preachers have too much to do with secular affairs; and it seems a necessary part of our system. My soul, however, ardently desires to do every thing heartily, as unto the Lord. O may I die to the world, and may all I have and am, be given unto 1 the Lord !
“ Dec. 31.-Our Quarterly Meeting was held; many friends were present. The brethren expressed a strong and unanimous desire for my labours a third year; to which I consented, if the Conference approve of it. I never found my mind free to remain a third year before
I trust this, if it take place, will be in the order of providence. The circuit suits my turn of mind: I have little formal visiting, which consumes much time to little profit in some circuits. I can enjoy retirement, and have time to read, write, pray, &c. and yet a wide field of action and usefulness. The late great increase in the society renders it desirable that one preacher should stay, and my worthy colleague must remove. If I remain, I trust the Lord will give me strength for my work both in body and mind.”
Mr. Entwisle felt much at the thought of parting witb his “worthy colleague,” the Rev. David Stoner; his respect for whom increased with his acquaintance with him. He was a most efficient helper to his superintendent, and his ministry was eminently successful. “Since I began to travel,” Mr. E. says in a letter to Mr. Hanwell, “ I have not known one man under whose preaching so many souls have been awakened, as under Mr, Stoner's.”
In a letter to his son William, dated Jan. 10, 1822, having strongly recommended “vigorous, growing, fervent piety," as an indispensable qualification for sacred work, he thus refers to Mr. Stoner.-—"In this particular my worthy colleague is an example to all young men: he gives himself continually unto prayer and the ministry of the word ;' he minds nothing else; and his profiting appears unto all.' In these particulars, I could wish you to follow him, as he follows Christ. Were he to set himself for it, he could compose elegant sermons,—he could exceed most young men in composition, and surprise people by torrents of eloquence. But his mind is
above that—he preaches to save souls just now, and the Lord is pleased to make him an instrument of great good.”
The following advices given in the same letter may be useful to junior ministers.
“You wish for my thoughts on the composition of a sermon. Perhaps if the thing had been proposed to me thirty years ago, I should have been more forward then than I am now to speak decidedly on the best method. You have Robinson's Claude, and no doubt you see other authors on the same subject. There are general rules which will apply generally to all preachers. But there is such a diversity in men's gifts,—in their modes of thinking on the same passages of scripture,—in their arrangement,-in the principal topics in a subject which from their mode of thinking, will be the most prominent, that one cannot venture upon prescribing positively, what order shall be observed in the composition of sermons. Let the same text be given to a ‘son of thunder' and to a 'son of consolation, and they will, from the gifts imparted to them by the Great Head of the Church, differ much in their arrangement, and in the matter of their
And it ought to be so; it must be so; or how can the different gifts mentioned Eph. iv. 11, be for the edification of the church, which is God's building ? No man of sense who intends to build an elegant mansion will for a moment think of executing his design by workmen of one sort only. He would never think that any number of well-qualified quarrymen, or masons, or carpenters, or glaziers, or painters alone, would do the business; the combined labours of all these different workmen are necessary,—to prepare the materials, to lay the foundation, to raise the superstructure, and to finish the work. The application of the simile is easy.
“In every sermon, however, the text should be explained, the sense of the Holy Spirit faithfully given, and more or less illustrated,—the scope of the passage should ever be kept in view; and the subject should be supplied and enforced. The substance of every sermon should be truth, -important truth,—suitable truth ;truth suited to the state of the hearers, so far as it can be ascertained; and I may add, suited to the understandings of the hearers. Such a portion of the truth as it