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earnestly to prayer. For two hours he continued pleading for power to come to Christ, that he might find rest to his soul. The more he prayed, the more intense became both his distress and his desire of deliverance. He felt that he had nothing to pay, and that forgiveness must be frankly bestowed through the merits of Christ, his only and his Almighty Saviour. His heart said, “ I will not let thee go, unless thou bless me.” And when he was thus brought low, God helped him. He felt that God, for Christ's sake, had forgiven his sins. The new song was put into his mouth, even the new song of praise to a pardoning God. He was enabled to trust in Christ alone for salvation; and this beginning of his confidence he held fast even to the end.
Mr. Butterfield experienced the benefit of sitting under a ministry, and enjoying that fellowship of saints, which directed his attention to what, on searching the Scriptures, he believed to be the whole counsel and will of God in Christ Jesus concerning him. The increasing light of truth and grace led him to see the more latent evils of his heart; and in the rich provision of the Gospel he saw a fulness of blessing as suited to his wants, as it was desirable in itself. He saw more clearly the efficacy of the great atonement, and the plenitude and power of the influences of " that Holy Spirit of promise;" he saw, too, that “exceeding great and precious promises were given to us” with this very design, “that by them we might be partakers of the divine nature.” He sought, therefore, that deeper work of grace, of the necessity and attainableness of which he was convinced, praying that God would
“ Sink him to perfection's height,
The depth of humble love." His prayer was heard, and he was made a happy partaker of this great salvation. Nor did he allow himself in any negligence as to the preservation of this great gift. He lived by faith, walking humbly with God, watching and praying, both that he might not enter into temptation, and that God might keep his “ whole spirit, soul, and body blameless, to the coming of the Lord Jesus.” And it is believed that the fire of perfect love which was, on this memorable occasion, enkindled in his heart, continued to burn, with increasing fervour, till grace brightened into glory. To say that he was free from weaknesses and defects, would be to say that he was more than man.
He claimed nothing of the kind himself. He knew too well the purity and perfection of the divine law, and saw, more impressively than ever, " Thy commandment is exceeding broad." He therefore prayed to be “cleansed from secret faults," as well as to be “ kept from presumptuous sins.” The blood of Christ was his only refuge and trust. It was the language of his heart,-
“ Yet, when melted in the flame
Of love, this shall be all my plea :
But Jesus died for me.” Those who knew him well, both in the public and private walks of life, believed, from the evidence of his entire walk and conversation, that, whatever might be his merely human failings, he never wilfully violated that first and great commandment, “ Thou shalt love the Lord
thy God with all thy heart;" nor the second, which is like unto it, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
When he was about nineteen years of age, he was made the Leader of a class; and a year subsequently, his name was inserted on the Circuit Plan as a Local Preacher. Both these important offices he fulfilled with fidelity and usefulness.
A somewhat singular occurrence marked his first attempt to preach. It was at Steeton, a village about three miles from Keighley. After he had announced his text, and spoken for about ten minutes, he hesitated, and, for two or three minutes, stood trembling and silent in the pulpit. But during this brief period, an extraordinary influence seemed to descend on the congregation ; and, instead of being confused by the Preacher's silence, an inward attention was excited, and several were pricked to the heart, who, from that time, sought till they found peace with God through Jesus Christ: they became, also, members of the Wesleyan society. He would have been a candidate for the Wesleyan ministry, had it not been for an affliction from which he suffered more or less throughout his life; but he endeavoured to serve his generation by being useful in his providential sphere.
During the last twenty years of his life, he had resided in different parts of the kingdom ; but to be useful to others, at the same time maintaining his own piety, was both his business and happiness. In 1833, he fixed his abode at Southport, where his character secured him the esteem of Christians of all denominations; and many persons from Manchester and other neighbouring towns, in visiting that attractive watering-place, regarded attendance at his class as a privilege.
He was urgently requested to become a Magistrate for the district; but, for reasons which no doubt were satisfying to himself, he steadily declined. That it
may not be thought that an intimate and unbroken friendship of nearly a quarter of a century has caused the writer of this sketch to form too high an opinion of Mr. Butterfield's character, he will insert a brief extract or two from letters of condolence which were addressed to his widow. The Clergyman of the parish says, “What I knew of your excellent husband was sufficient to make me admire, and seek to imitate, his Christian example. The sweetness of his disposition, and the fervency of his devotion, will not be forgotten by any who had the pleasure of witnessing them. Yet it was not in these that he trusted, but only on Him who, by his all-sufficient grace, made bim both what he was, and what he now is.” A Wesleyan Minister who well knew him, thus writes:-" His Christian character always engaged my admiration, and caused me earnestly to desire to be like him.
Viewing him in all respects, I never knew him to be surpassed. His was the meekness and gentleness of Christ, richly blended with mental and spiritual endowments, and yet entirely free from ostentation. Humility was his garment, quietness of spirit his adorning, and Christian love his crown of glory. Like another Demetrius, he ‘had a good report of all men, and of the truth itself.'”
About a fortnight before his death, he was appointed to be the Treasurer of the Bible Society for the North Meol's district; and thn last public affairs transacted by him, related to the extension of the plans of that noble institution in that particular neighbourhood.
On Sunday, December 30, 1843, he for the last time occupied the pulpit in the Wesleyan chapel at Southport, and addressed the congregation from John v. 40. A solemn and subduing influence appeared to rest on his hearers; and some of them observed, on leaving the chapel, “ If Mr. Butterfield never preach again, he has delivered his own soul.”
On the following Wednesday, he retired at an earlier hour than usual, and, feeling indisposed, kept his bed all the next day. Thinking himself somewhat better, he left his room on the Friday; but he was able to remain down stairs only for a short time. He again returned to the bed, which he never afterwards left while life remained.
From this day he gradually became worse, and was occasionally delirious. About ten days subsequently, indeed, the hopes of his friends had a short revival. The means employed by medical carefulness and skill, appeared to have abated the severity and power of the disease : but nature was too far exhausted ; and as his constitution was not vigorous, the means employed for rallying his forces and restoring his health, were unavailing. But during the whole time, through all his suffering, the perfect work of patience was manifest. There was nothing like a murmur. His countenance expressed the peace
that reigned within, and even his “faltering accents,” when weakness impaired utterance, “ whispered praise.”
On the last day of his life, it may be said, that he was more than happy, he was triumphant. His spirit rejoiced in God his Saviour, and therefore did his soul magnify the Lord. He repeated verses of hymns which expressed at the time his own joyful feelings, especially from the well-known one, beginning, —
“ Jesus, thy blood and righteousness.” He said,
« Bold shall I stand in thy great day,
For who aught to my charge shall lay ?
From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.”
" When from the dust of death I rise,
To claim my mansion in the skies ;
Jesus hath lived, háth died for me.
“ The opening heavens around me shine
With beams of sacred bliss,
And whispers I am his."
He responded by again uttering the last line, sweetly, though feebly,—
66. And whispers I am his.' Yes; he does indeed "whisper I am his; I am his.'” And, after pausing for a few moments, he said, distinctly and emphatically, looking heavenward, “Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen, amen.” Life closed with this solemn act of adoration. Almost immediately after, he ceased to breathe.
BRIEF BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.
30. DIED, July 5th, 1843, at Finghall, near Bedale, aged seventy-nine, Mr. William Jaques. His father was a regular attendant at the services of the parish church, and was a strictly upright man, carefully observing the Sabbath, and requiring his children to do so. He also constantly maintained family worship. He was frequently jeered by his neighbours for being “righteous overmuch. Whether there was anything of the power of godliness under this form, his descendants cannot distinctly affirm, although they would hope that the one could not be so long and so consistently kept up without the other. On his death-bed, he refused to have the Clergyman of the parish sent for, saying, “I do not want him, I have made my peace with God." The character of the Clergy at that time was such, that it is certainly very possible to give a good meaning to this abrupt declaration. William, his son, was accustomed to go into his room to read his Bible and pray, from childhood ; but he had no notion whatever of spiritual religion. He knew nothing of the sinfulness of nature, nothing of the need of having his sins forgiven, and of being born again. He never heard anything concerning these subjects from the pulpit, and it does not appear that his father
instruction. Still, he was mercifully preserved from the customary vices of the age and place, and grew up to manhood with a great respect for religion. He was quite a young man when he was invited by his servant to accompany him to a Methodist meeting, which was to be held at a place three miles distant. He was so pleased with the service, that he went several times. His mind was opened to receive instruction. He had respected religion, and now he began to see its true character. He was soon convinced of the difference between its form and its power; and that, although the first was necessary, the second was even more so, as being the only proper foundation and root of the other. He became deeply convinced of sin, and sought forgiveness and a change of heart through faith in Christ. Even while walking about, he was meditating and praying; and it was thus that God blessed him. The change he experienced in his feelings from sorrow to joy was so decided, that he never forgot the place in which he was when it occurred. He had previously joined the society which had been formed in the village, and, notwithstanding the distance, he regularly attended for about fourteen years. One was then formed at Finghall, of which he was made the Leader, and continued to be so to the end of his life. At the time he joined the society, he was the only Wesleyan in the place of his own residence ; and great was his grief to behold the
gave him any
wickedness and profanity which prevailed around him. The Sabbath was grossly violated, almost universally, and many never spoke of sacred things but to scoff at them. Scarcely anything was done to stem the torrent. The churches were open for the usual service; but from the pulpit the trumpets only gave an uncertain sound, and out of them the old saying was only too true, “ Like Priest, like people.” Mr. Jaques from the beginning faithfully reproved sinners, and at length Sabbath-breakers would run away when they saw him. His consistency of character was unimpeachable, and even those who mocked him knew that he was right. Several instances occurred of the death of scoffers under very awful circumstances, so that even the careless trembled, and could not help confessing that, however they might live, their desire was to “ die the death of the righteous." He took an early opportunity of inviting the Wesleyan Ministers to come and preach in his house. He believed that nothing but the truths which they proclaimed could effect the moral change that was necessary; and he believed, too, that these would effect it, because they
“the power of God unto salvation.” And the truth did prevail. Living to a good old age, he had many times to exclaim before he died, “ What hath God wrought !” Compared with what it was at the beginning of his own course, the state of society seemed to have become quite new. He had to endure no small share of persecution ; but he was faithful and consistent, and outlived it all. Even when it was at the worst, those who most opposed him sent for him in the hour of death, earnestly imploring his prayers. He was always glad to visit them, and preach Christ to them, though he laid little stress on such late and forced repentances. Still
, he dared not limit the mercy of God; and to that mercy he would commend them. On one occasion he was requested to visit a female whom he found in great distress. Her former life had been reputable ; but she much dreaded death. He told her that they that would be forgiven, must themselves forgive, and inquired whether she had been indulging animosity against any
She acknowledged that she had had a dispute with her brother, and that they had never been reconciled. He then told her what Christ had said, and how he had taught his disciples to pray. The brother was sent for, and a sincere reconciliation was effected. She was then able to pray for redemption in the blood of Christ: she found it, and soon after died in great peace. Mr. Jaques was very happy in his marriage state ; for although he married before he obtained the clearer religious light he afterwards enjoyed, he had resolved only to marry one who feared God. She, like himself, soon discovered that her own righteousness could not save her, and therefore sought to be saved by grace through faith. She rejoiced in the visits of the Preachers to her house ; and all that she could do to make them comfortable, she did most gladly. She was a truly good wife and mother, and died, as she had lived, in the Lord, in 1837, aged seventy-seven. Throughout his life, Mr. Jaques, according to his circumstances, liberally and cheerfully supported the cause he had espoused. He would sometimes say, with Mr. Wesley, “ Let us save all we can, that we may give all we can.” And he thought himself abundantly rewarded, when he saw, towards the latter end of his life, a state of things so different from that which he had witnessed at the beginning. He thus continued serving God till old age came upon him, and the time of his death drew nigh. His