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soon procured, some persons contributed money, some laboured with their hands, and others sent horses to draw materials. In a short time this devout little band saw their pious design completed, and the house of the Lord was solemnly consecrated to his worship. Here, also, the Sunday-school, which had been for some time conducted by the Methodists, obtained a permanent place, and has been since carried on with great efficiency. From that period Methodism has made rapid progress in that part of the country ; large and prosperous societies have been raised up, and the entire neighbourhood, in a religious and moral point of view, continues in a state of growing improvement. There is not, perhaps, in any part of the empire, a rural population more completely brought under the influence of the Gospel, by the Methodist Ministers, than in this district of the county of Armagh. Within the last three or four years a more commodious chapel has been opened there; and it is now so crowded with devout worshippers, that it will soon be necessary to have it considerably enlarged.
Miss Richardson passed through a great variety of circumstances from this period until that of her marriage ; but wherever she was, or however engaged, in the country or the metropolis, she pursued her religious course with undeviating fidelity, and untiring zeal. She was regarded by some as carrying her self-denial even to a rigorous extent. But she ardently loved her Saviour, freely and fully consecrated herself to his service, doing all to his glory, not counting her life dear unto herself, so that she might finish her course with joy.
A considerable part of her father's extensive establishment was confided to Miss Richardson's management; and although there existed no necessity for such application as she bestowed upon it, yet, lest religion should incur any censure, as rendering its professors inattentive to their secular concerns, she not unfrequently devoted the whole night, as well as the day, to business; and that she might, without interruption, enjoy her Christian privileges, she would rise at four o'clock in the morning, and have all her affairs so disposed of, that in the evening she might attend the services of the sanctuary. Thus did she seek so to pass through things temporal, as not to lose those which are eternal.
Next to Miss Richardson's love for Christ, was her affection for his people, as well as her yearning pity for those who were out of the way. She went about doing good to the bodies and souls of her fellowcreatures; and laid herself out in every possible way to promote the well-being of others. She glided on in her career of usefulness, without any obtrusiveness, maintaining and evidencing genuine Christian meekness and simplicity.
In the early stages of her Christian life, there were not many men in the immediate neighbourhood capable of conducting religious services: Miss Richardson was therefore occasionally called upon to pray
in public; and although her diffidence would have made her shrink from the task, she never dared to refuse it. It was soon, however, discovered, that the gifts which she possessed were of no ordinary character, and to the end of her life their exercise was rendered a great blessing to many.
In the year 1810 she was placed over a class of females. This new charge she entered upon with fear and much trembling; and feeling the solemn responsibility of the office of a Class-Leader, she applied herself to its duties with untiring perseverance. Not often has the important office of a Leader in the Methodist society been filled with greater fidelity, or with more encouraging success. However large the numbers might be of those under her care, she seldom, if ever, failed to visit the sick and absent, and to administer counsel, reproof, or consolation, as the several cases demanded. Earnestly would she exhort such as manifested any carelessness on account of their spiritual concerns, or inattention to the means of grace; and, by the blessing of God on her labours, she generally had to rejoice that the members of her classes held fast, without wavering, the profession of their faith.
For some considerable time before her marriage, Miss Richardson resided in Dublin ; and when she subsequently left that city, the writer of this remembers how difficult it was suitably to fill up the vacancy occasioned by her departure. It was during this residence that the acquaintance commenced between herself and Mr. Waugh, (who was then stationed in that Circuit,) which ultimately led to their union.
After much deliberation and prayer, and due consultation with her friends, and having fully made up her mind to share in all the toils and difficulties connected with the Wesleyan itinerancy in Ireland, Miss Richardson consented to become the wife of a Methodist Preacher. On June 6th, 1814, therefore, herself and the Rev. David Waugh were united in marriage. A union then commenced which, for twenty-seven years, was attended with mutual blessings, and with great benefit to that portion of the church of Christ with which they were associated. They enjoyed the rich and abounding “consolations of God,” striving together for the hope of the Gospel, and continually seeking to promote the interests of the Redeemer's kingdom wherever they were placed.
Mrs. Waugh was now called to occupy a new position; but it was one for which she was signally qualified, as well by the endowments of nature and gifts of grace, as by the advantages of education.
Mr. Waugh himself stood deservedly high in the Irish Wesleyan Connexion, and lived in the confidence and esteem of all his brethren. He was appointed by the Conference, at different times, to some of the most important Circuits in Ireland. Subsequently to his marriage, he was stationed in Portadown, Newry, Belfast, Donaghadee, Drogheda,
Carlow, Waterford, Bandon, Lurgan, Dromore, and Aughnacloy. And when, through affliction, he was no longer able to attend to his accustomed duties, he settled at Moira, not far from the birth-place of Mrs. Waugh.
In all the stations above mentioned, Mrs. Waugh lived in great unity with the societies, rising high in the esteem of the more influential members, while she was as a ministering angel to the poor and the afflicted. She never shrank from any duty that devolved upon her as the wife of a Wesleyan Minister ; and, in many cases, was abundantly laborious, taking a full share of the good work in which her excellent husband was engaged. But it was her delight to seek out every form of distress; to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to succour the destitute, and to cause the widow's heart to sing with joy. And when her own resources failed, she would apply, and seldom without success, to the more wealthy of her friends. She also employed her talents, and her extensive influence, for the promotion of the hallowed objects of the Missionary Society. “Thus she persevered,” says Mr. Waugh, “ until a fine constitution was fairly worn down, in the service of God and his church."
During the Belfast Conference of 1839, Mr. Waugh was seized with paralysis, of which, before his leaving home, he had had some premonitory symptoms. Mrs. Waugh, who was in Aughnacloy, nearly fifty miles from her beloved husband, was instantly sent for to Belfast. She bore the trial with great fortitude, and calm submission to her heavenly Father's will; but the shock was too great not to have an effect upon her frame; and, in consequence of this, and of the fatigue occasioned by her ceaseless attendance on her husband, a serious inroad was made upon her health, and it was soon perceived that she had begun to decline. For some months, indeed, she pursued her usual course ; but it was obvious that that course was rapidly approaching its termination.
The last time she met her class was in December, 1840; but she had not strength to offer up the concluding prayer. She met in class a few times subsequently, and spoke clearly and strongly of the peace and joy she felt, and of the prospect she had of a blissful immortality. Indeed, it was noticed that she used much stronger language when relating her experience, than in former years she had been accustomed to employ. She evidently rejoiced" with joy unspeakable, and full of glory."
In the beginning of the winter she had a distressing cough, which was followed, in the early part of the spring, by bilious fever, entirely prostrating her remaining strength. As the warmer season advanced, a few favourable symptoms appeared ; so that her friends, for a time, cherished the expectation that she would even yet recover; but these hopes were delusive, and gave way to the strongly-marked evidences of confirmed pulmonary disease.
During her protracted and painful illness, Mrs. Waugh possessed her soul in patience. She “endured as seeing Him that is invisible, and as having respect to the recompence of the reward.” Her conversion had been strongly marked. She received, at that time, the clear and distinct witness of her adoption into the heavenly family; and, in her illness, she frequently adverted to this with grateful, and even exulting, emotions. She then yielded her whole heart to God; and was enabled, by the power of grace, steadfastly to adhere to the choice she had made. Alluding to this, not long before her death, in conversation with Mr. Waugh, she said, “ When I was enabled to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, I gave him my whole heart, and it bas never been taken back. I still can say, through his all-sufficient grace, ' My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing, and give praise." She would sometimes exclaim, “0, what should I do now without Christ? He is my all in all.” To the last she retained and exercised the spirit of prayer; and, until her strength failed her, poured out her soul in rich strains of fervent supplication and intercession.
She was very graciously preserved from mental disturbance throughout her affliction. Once, but only once, was the tempter permitted to assault her faith. Calling her husband to her one day, she said to him, in a subdued, but firm, tone, "My dear, the tempter would have me doubt whether I shall get to heaven at last. But I know the suggestion is from the enemy, and I will not entertain it.” She then added, “I know whom I have believed: 'My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed : I shall sing, and give praise.'” Thus was the victory secured to her.
At another time she said to Mr. Waugh, “I have been examining myself for some time back; and the language of mere hope is scarcely sufficient to describe the comforts I feel : the prospect of heaven is so bright, the foretaste so refreshing, that it is as if I tasted the pleasures there. I feel such a lively sense of the presence of Christ my Saviour, that I can with difficulty remain quiet.” One day, soon after this, when she had read her portion in the New Testament, she laid down her spectacles, and, looking up to heaven, with a countenance beaming with devotion, said, “ My, my!" Mr. Waugh, who was present, said, “ Can you not add something more? Can you not say, for instance,
My faithful, unchangeable Friend ?""
She replied, “O yes, I can say, 'My Saviour !' for he has saved me from all my sins."
Although her end was now evidently drawing near, yet hitherto she had entertained, occasionally, hopes of recovery, and had seldom directly adverted to the subject of her death, knowing how painful it would be to Mr. Waugh. But one evening, while her step-daughter, Mrs. Frazer, to whom she had been, if possible, more than a mother,
was attending her, she fell into a short slumber; out of which when she awoke, she said, “I believe I have slept a little : but my
heart awake; for I was singing,
Friends dear to my heart, adieu, adieu !
All is well !'"
After this she spoke freely and frequently of her dissolution. She called her afflicted husband to her, and said, “My dear, you must give me up; for I am persuaded the Lord will not leave me long in this furnace." Two nights after this interview she suffered severely from her cough. Mr. Waugh said, “You have great difficulty in breathing; but it will not continue long." Her countenance brightened up, while she calmly replied, “I am glad to hear that from you. Shake hands with me. Those are sweet words. I thank you for giving me up: you will let me go to heaven.” She added,
“In doing and bearing the will of our Lord,
We still are preparing to meet our reward.”
“Ah!" she continued, “I have no claim to reward,-only the reward of grace."
In the afternoon of Saturday, August 14th, 1841, it was evident that she was now on the verge of eternity. She spoke little ; but her countenance indicated her inward triumph. A little before six o'clock, Mr. Waugh gently moved one of her hands into what he thought would be a more easy position; when she smiled affectionately on him, and feebly whispered, “Thank you, my dear." These were the last words she was heard to utter. In a few minutes afterwards she quietly fell asleep in Christ, her countenance retaining its placid sweetness even in death,
Thus lived and died Mrs. Helena Waugh; in life and death a witness of that blessed truth of the Gospel, that “the blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin." Beloved and honoured in the Christian society of which she had been, for nearly half a century, a distinguished and useful member, her removal was—but for their own sakes, not hers-lamented by all who had the privilege of her acquaintance; and who will cherish, through life, the pleasing remembrance of her Christian virtues.