was thought that his death was now approaching. The more alarming symptoms passed away. He said, "I thought I had entered the valley. It seemed dark in itself; but there was at the end Jesu's smiling face. I long to be in glory. But the Lord's time is best.” He then spoke of the fulness and freeness of Christ's salvation, and said that he wished that his voice could reach all the world, that he might tell them what a glorious Saviour he had found. His brothers and sisters, and other relations, and afterwards the domestics of the family, he affectionately urged to make their calling and election sure, solemnly charging them to meet him at the right hand of God. He was soon after seized with convulsions, and for some days his sufferings were great; but he was graciously supported, and sometimes even wept for joy. On one occasion, he said, “How good the Lord is!

* His presence makes my paradise,

And where he is, is heaven.'' He often repeated verses of hymns which expressed his feelings. Quoting the lines,

“ Glory, honour, praise, and power,

Be unto the Lamb for ever ;

with great emphasis he added the remaining portion :

“ Jesus Christ is my Redeemer :

Hallelujah! Praise the Lord !” Occasionally, he endured some severe contests with the adversary of his soul, who endeavoured to shake his confidence in God. In the final assault, the mental struggle was so great as powerfully to affect his emaciated frame. But on this occasion, as on others, prayer was his unfailing resource, and he became more than conqueror. After this he exclaimed, “ Christ is indeed mine. Satan has no more to do with me. He is a conquered foe. O, the precious blood of Christ ! It cleanses from all sin.” He was exceedingly happy the last few days of his life. Even to his deeply-sorrowing friends, it was delightful to hear him, from time to time, repeat such expressions as these :-“ The Lord is ripening me for glory. God is my Rock and my Fortress ; my Stronghold and my Deliverer. He will never leave nor forsake

He will be with me to the end." Seeing some of his friends who had called to visit him, he said, “ We shall meet in glory. O what a joyful meeting there!” It was said to him, that perhaps a funeral sermon might be preached after his removal: “Let nothing be said to exalt me," he observed : “ let my Saviour alone be exalted, that others may be stirred up to seek Him who has done so much for me, and who is able and willing to save to the uttermost all who come to God by him.” The day before he died, he appeared almost exhausted, and said very little ; but in the evening he requested his parents to approach him, and, tenderly embracing them, he said, with a low, but firm, voice, “May you be enriched with all the blessings of grace!

filled with all the fulness of God!” He passed a restless night, and in the morning it was evident that nature was rapidly sinking

A little before his departure, lcoking upwards, he repeated several times, with great energy, so that his voice could be heard at a distance from his room, "Glory, glory, glory, glory! Jesus is mine!"


May you

His father, who was near him, added, “And you are his." He solemnly added, “ Yes; I am. Amen, and amen.” This was his last effort. He looked at his younger sisters as though he were about to speak to them, and they stood waiting to hear him. But the power of articulation had failed ; and in a few minutes, without any struggle, he ceased to live.


34. Died, October 8th, at Burton- Agnes, near Driffield, aged twentyfive, Mr. Robert Lawson, son of Mr. Norwood Lawson. His parents, who are still living, are members of the Wesleyan society. His father has for many years been a Local Preacher. They were careful to train him in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. He gave early proof of more than usual seriousness; and it was evident that as reason opened, the great truths of religion, which were constantly placed before him, impressed his mind with increasing power. He loved and obeyed his parents, and his temper and conduct were such as to encourage the persuasion that their pious care would not be in vain.

At the usual age he left home, and was apprenticed to Mr. Wrangham, draper, Driffield. Here he lost none of the religious advantages which he had previously enjoyed, being placed in a Wesleyan family. He saw more clearly than ever the beauty of religion, felt its importance, and acknowledged its necessity. He read the Scriptures regularly, and did not neglect private prayer. Soon afterwards, it appeared as though the whole truth of his condition had burst upon his view. Under a sermon preached by Mr. Edward Brook, of Huddersfield, he perceived what was his natural state as a sinner. He was convinced of his guilt and sinfulness, and saw that a religious education, and attention to the precepts of morality and the ordinances of religion, however proper they were in their place, were not sufficient of themselves to prepare him to stand before the Judge of all the earth. Convinced that he needed the mercy of God in Christ Jesus, he sought this with all his heart, and at the prayer-meeting which was held on the conclusion of the service, he happily obtained what he sought, and was enabled to rejoice in God his Saviour. Immediately after, he became a member of the Wesleyan society.

He fulfilled the term of his apprenticeship with satisfaction to his employer, and credit to himself; and, at its close, obtained a situation in one of the principal drapery establishments at York. His circumstances, in a religious point of view, were now much changed. His associates in business were not like-minded with himself; and instead of being encouraged by the sympathy which he had previously enjoyed, he had to endure the laugh of the thoughtless, and sometimes the sneer of the profane. The inconsistency of some who made a profession of religion, was as a stumbling-block in his path. He delayed, instead of hastening, his union with the society to which he belonged, thus yielding to a common, but very dangerous, temptation; and the result was, that for some time he was alienated from that Christian communion, the advantages of which he needed more than ever; and, as may be anticipated, though neither the other public nor private means of grace were neglected, he suffered decided loss in the liveliness and power of spiritual religion, and ultimately relapsed into a state of comparative lukewarmness. Happily, he did not withdraw from the ministry of the word. The late Mr. Strawe was then stationed at

[ocr errors]

York; and under a discourse from,“ Set thy house in order, for thou shalt die, and not live,” Mr. Lawson was deeply convinced of his unfaithfulness. Instead of the good hope through grace, he felt that be was in bondage to the fear of death; and the exhortation, “Set thy house in order," seemed ever sounding in his ears. He went from the chapel to his own room, resolved to begin at once, and with all his heart. He continued wrestling in prayer till after three in the morning, and just as the light of daybreak shone into his chamber, the light of pardoning love illumined his heart, and he felt that once more he was

“ Restored by reconciling grace,

With present pardon blest.”
And from this period, warned of the danger to which he had exposed
himself, he relaxed not his diligence, and walked in “the light of the
Lord” to the end of his course.

This revival of personal piety produced a revival of the concern he had formerly cherished for the salvation of others. He joined the Teachers in the Sunday-school, and accompanied the Prayer-Leaders

the Sabbath-evening meetings, in which he was often encouraged “speak a word of exhortation.” But his mind was especially drawn out after the Heathen, and he was seriously impressed with the thought, that it might subsequently become his duty to - preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” In the midst of these feelings and labours, however, his health began to fail, and he was compelled to return for a time to his father's house. Relaxation appeared to be effectual, and he once more engaged in business, procuring a situation in Hull. He was again exposed to temptation; but he was now aware of his weakness and danger; and where before he had been overcome, he was now faithful and victorious. His whole conduct was such as to exhibit the strength of his religious principles, and the entire uprightness of his character. But his health soon failed again, and it became manifest that consumption had commenced its wasting and fatal progress. Neither business, nor Missionary activity, was before him. Through disease, Providence said to him, “ Thou shalt die, and not live.” The prospects presented to his contemplation were the solemn realities of eternity, and he returned to his native village to die.

In the solitude of the sick chamber, well knowing, too, what was before him, he began with greater seriousness than ever to “set his house in order.” He reviewed his past life, bis present condition; and while he praised God that the great work had not now to be commenced, he felt that he could only rest his hopes of salvation on the merits of his crucified Saviour. But he also felt that this was sufficient. He said to his friends who had spoken to him on the subject,

“ This anchor shall my soul sustain

When earth's foundations melt away.
Mercy's full power I then shall prove,

Loved with an everlasting love.”
He had been, previously to his last illness, harassed with the fear, not
so much of death, as of dying. His mind dwelt more on the darkness of

on the light of the glory beyond it; and he instinctively shrank from the view. But he was now completely delivered from

this. He said, “Death has no terrors for me: he is the Christian's friend. Christ has not only died for me, but entered the grave, and dwelt among the dead ; and his love lights up the gloom.” On another occasion, it was said to him, “ We thought you were dying;” and he directly replied, smiling, "Do not call it dying. It is only falling asleep in Jesus. I do not fear death. I am on the Rock.” A short time before he departed, he said very calmly, "I have given all up. I am now going home; and you will soon follow me. To me it will appear but as a moment before we meet again.” In this peace he was preserved to the last moment, when his happy spirit

“ Took its last triumphant flight,
From Calvary's to Sion's height.”


35, Died, October 9th, at Oldham, in the thirty-fourth year of her age, Margaret, wife of Mr. Joseph Byrom, and third daughter of Mr. Richard Nutter, of Delph. Mrs. Byrom joined the Wesleyan society when about sixteen years of age. At that time she had a deep conviction of her guilt and danger as a sinner, and felt “an earnest desire to flee from the wrath to come, and to be saved from her sins.” Although possessing, naturally, a remarkably mild disposition, by which, in conjunction with a religious training, she had been preserved, not only from the grosser vices, but even from the common frivolities of youth; yet she felt that natural amiableness of temper, and propriety of deportment, were not enough to constitute scriptural Christianity. She, therefore, sought the Lord with great earnestness, until, at a prayer-meeting, she was enabled to “ trust in Christ alone for salvation.” Immediately, as the fruit of this trust, the load of guilt by which she had been oppressed was removed, she felt assured of the divine forgiveness, and rejoiced with unspeakable joy. An ardent desire for the salvation of others instantly sprang up in her heart, and was developed in her subsequent conduct. For her young friends she felt especially concerned. She not only prayed for their conversion, but, with the most affectionate earnestness, besought them to be “reconciled to God;" and when she had reason to believe that any of them were under serious impressions, she exhorted them to avail themselves, without delay, of the benefits of Christian fellowship. She often had the happiness of introducing an “anxious inquirer" to the class in which she met. To the Ministers of the Gospel she felt warmly attached, “esteeming them very highly in love for their work's sake. From the public means of grace she derived great benefit: therefore no trifling circumstance could prevent her from worshipping God in his sanctuary. The closet, too, was a place which she often frequented, and the blessings which were received there she frequently stated with grateful joy at the weekly meeting for Christian communion.

After her marriage, great personal debility, and unavoidable family duties, prevented her from attending the public and social means of grace so closely as heretofore; but her piety suffered no declension. Indeed, for a considerable time prior to her last illness, she appeared to be rapidly increasing in meetness for heaven.

Her final affliction was short, but unusually severe ; and, owing to the nature of the disorder, she was frequently in a state of delirium.

[ocr errors][merged small]

But even when reason was obscured, she gave pleasing indications that her heart was right with God, by her pious, though incoherent, expressions. During her lucid intervals her state of mind was very satisfactory. She enjoyed “peace in believing." Her pain, though excruciating, was endured with exemplary patience; and though she felt a natural desire for recovery on account of her infant children, it was tempered with resignation to the will of God. About a week before her death, she was in an ecstasy of joy. After remaining for some time, with her eyes closed, engaged in silent meditation, she suddenly called upon her aunt (who was in the room) to help her to praise God, stating that her inward gladness was unutterable. In this happy state of mind she continued, until she calmly exchanged mortality for life.

JOHN HANNAH, 2D. 36. Died, October 15th, aged twenty-two, at Guelph, Wellington District, Canada West, Eliza, the wife of Mr. John Smith, and daughter of Mr. Peck, of Loughborough, Leicestershire. Favoured with pious parents from her earliest recollection, her mind was impressed with the importance of religion; and when thirteen years old she joined the Wesleyan society. She was about seventeen years of

age when she obtained a clear sense of acceptance; and from that time her behaviour, always correct, was evidently that of one who spiritually walked with God. She was very useful as a Tract-Distributor, mildly giving exhortation and admonitions as occasion required, and in such a manner that they were always thankfully received. Her services also were acceptable and valuable as a visiter of the sick, and as a Sundayschool Teacher. Her assiduity was great as a Missionary Collector; and she collected, likewise, for the funds of the Bible Society. It was her greatest pleasure to spend what leisure she had from domestic engagements, in promoting the cause of Christ, and the temporal and spiritual interests of those among whom she dwelt. Her health had for some time appeared delicate, and in the spring of 1843 pulmonary disease was apprehended. It was hoped that a voyage across the Atlantic, followed by a residence in the drier climate of Canada, might check the symptoms which had begun to develope themselves; and therefore, in the month of June, she and her husband left England. But the hopes that had been cherished were disappointed, as she did not live many weeks after her arrival in America. But though life had only begun to open before her, yet death had lost his sting. She appeared as though living above the world, and abiding by faith in spiritual communion with Him, with whom she hoped soon to be for ever. Though she was extremely weak, and it was believed that she could not remain on earth much longer, yet her departure was at length somewhat sudden. During the night she had been rather restless; but she had fallen asleep, and appeared to enjoy comfortable repose. But she awoke in the course of the forenoon, and calmly told her husband that she was dying. She continued gradually sinking for about three hours, during which she expressed her full confidence in God, and her good hope, through grace, of a glorious inheritance in heaven. She thanked God that she was preserved from suffering, and so divinely supported in her last hours. In this state she quietly breathed her last.


« VorigeDoorgaan »