Imágenes de páginas

relatives could recall some words and acts The family belonged to the Established which indicated that she had premonitions Church, but occasionally attended the of her approaching departure ; and these Methodist chapel at Knottingley or Ferry. reminiscences are very precious to thosc bridge, and the children were sent to the whom she has left behind, as proving how Sunday-school. In the year 1829, Mrs. completely prepared she was for Eer Haigh, a widowed daughter of William sudden change.

Shay, sought the Lord, and induced her While taking an early walk on the fol sister Fanny to join her in doing so. lowing Wednesday morning, she was struck They attended prayer-meetings at Knotso severely by the intense cold, that her tingley, during a time of gracious revival; system never rallied from the shock. and, upon the invitation of Captain Moody, She hastened her return; but on reaching were led to unite themselves to a class, home she was obliged to take to her room, under the leadership of Mr. Isaac Smith. and call in medical aid. The next day she It is remarkable that although Mrs. Haigh suffered from mental depression, the cause did not at that time, nor until about five of which was not disclosed; but as she years after, obtain the justifying grace of called to mind a remark of the late Rev. Christ, yet her earnest and encouraging Wright Shovelton: “ You have only to advices to her sister soon resulted in look and live," the dark cloud passed away. Fanny's conversion. To her son she said, “I know not how Immediately after she found peace with this affliction may terminate ; but, which God, her piety manifested itself in an ever way it may be, it will be all right. I ardent zeal for God's glory in the salvation am my Lord's, and He is mine.” In thc of souls. This was seen in the constant afternoon she requested a friend who succession of holy activities in which she attended her to read Psalm xxii.; and was engaged. Into many a cottage in the her wish having been complied with, she neighbourhood did she enter, to warn exclaimed, " How beautiful!” and, with sinners to "flee from the wrath to come." great energy, added, “ I shall dwell in the In the visitation of the afflicted she eshouse of the Lord for ever.” During the pecially delighted ; and frequently might following day she appeared to rally a this ministering woman be found urging little; but in the evening she seemed the offers of the Gospel on the sick and sinking from exhaustion. Her loved oncs the dying. Ju cases of affliction it was were gathered around her, watching her n0 uncommon thing to send several radiant countenance, and hoping that she miles for Miss Shay. Nor did she neg. would revive from what they supposed to lect the claims of home. She obtained be a fit of fainting. But, to their bitter her parents' consent to erect a family-altar, grief, the hope was not to be realized; for and she herself conducted the domestic the spirit had taken its flight. She departed worship. In connexion with this serthis life, to be “for ever with the Lord,” vice, she had a trial to which, throngh in the sixty-first year of her age.

Divine grace, her Christian intrepidity In simplicity, zeal, force of character, was equal. It so happened that some love for the poor, untiring effort to do workmen employed upon the Aire and good, and in her dress, Mrs. Wright Calder navigation were in the habit of bore a marked resemblance to the early getting their breakfast in her father's Methodists; and, having completed a long kitchen. To conduct domestic worship course of consistency and usefulness, she

in their presence required some nerve; passed to her rest universally esteemed and but, feeling it to be her duty to do so, she regretted. SAMUEL WESLEY. shrank not from the task. Many a time

did the rough “navvies " kneel upon the On the 24th of March, 1867, a larger floor, while the voice of the gentle but congregation than usual assembled in the courageous maiden might be heard venerable Norfolk-street chapel, Sheffield, invoking blessings for them. All this to hear a sermon on the occasion of the time the flame of her piety was fed by a death of Mrs. JOHNSON, a godly woman, diligent attendance at the means of grace, held in high esteem by the whole So. both public and private. The Aire ran ciety, for her personal excellencies and between her dwelling and the ebapel, and good works, and greatly beloved by the on many a dark and stormy night did she two classes of which she had been the venture, at some peril, to cross and releader.

cross the river, with no one to navigate Frances Johnson was the daughter of the boat but herself, that she might William and Frances Shay, of Brotherton- attend the services that she loved so well. Lock, near Knottingley, at which place It was her custom to renew her covenant she was born on March 24th, 1807. with God occasionally in private, and

T. M'C.

formally to sign with her own hand a the way of salvation, which, there is written engagement to be the Lord's. reason to believe, he found. The following is a copy of one of these Her last illness was brief; nor was it documents, found amongst ber papers : until within a few hours of her departure "O Lord God, I do now solemnly vow that either herself or her friends antibefore Thee, this night, to be Thine for cipated a fatal issue to the attack. Restever. Do Thou give me more grace and ing with unwavering confidence upon the strength to serve Thee with a perfect atonement of Jesus, she was calm and heart and a willing mind. Give une more tranquil. To the Rev. Thomas Nightin. power, when I see my duty, to deny my- gale she said, that she was willing either self, take up my cross, and follow Thec in to go or stay, as her father might direct. sickness and in health. I am thine for “Yon would rather stay a little longer, ever. FRANCES SHAY.

would you not?” said he. To which In the year 1838 Miss Shay lost her she replied: “I have no choice in the mother, who, she believed, was “con matter; I leave it all to God.” She fell dueted into the haven of eternal repose.” asleep on the 12th of March, 1867. While keenly feeling the bereavement, she “Her children arise up, and call her wrote: -"'Thon hast done all things blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth Tell ! ” The following year her father her.” was taken, and again she wrote:-“ My father and mother are gone; but the MR. ROBERT EXLEY, of Menston, Lord has taken me up. I love flim near Otley, was born near that village on better than ever, and feel more of His June 27th, 1787. Although a strictly goodness than ever. Glory be to God the moral man, it was not until he was fortyFather, and to God the Son, and to two years of age that he was made a parGod the Holy Ghost ! ” On the 3d of taker of saving grace. In the year 1829 August, 1840, she was united in marriage he became deeply concerned for his to Mr. Thomas Johnson ; but shecontinued, spiritual interests; and this solicitude was as before, to work for God. In the year increased while listening to a sermon 1853 she took up her residence, with her preached at Baildon, by the Rev. Henry husband and their two sons, in Sheffield; Fish, on Isaiah v. 4. “What could have in which town she remained until death been done more to My vineyard, that I removed her to the “city which hath have not done in it?” Reflecting on this foundations, whose Builder and Maker is appeal, he was led to consider, very God." In 1855, upon the nomination of seriously, how God had favoured him as to the Rev. James Methley, she was ap. this world, and had also visited bim with pointed to the leadership of a class; and the drawings of His Holy Spirit. Im. about two years before her death a second pressed with the conviction that privileges class was committed to her care. In this involve responsibility, he was humbled office she was faithful, affectionate, and under the mighty hand of God, and began useful. By the members of her classes carnestly to seek the salvation of his soul. she was greatly beloved. Only three In a few weeks he was enabled to realize weeks before her lamented decease they his personal interest in the atoning blood presented to her a costly and beautifully of the Lord Jesus, and he retained the bound copy of the Holy Bible, with assurance of his adoption to the close of which additional proof of their esteem she his earthly career. was greatly affected and gratified. Little Soon, however, he had to experience did any one present think that, ere fierce conflicts with the powers of darkanother moon had waxed and waned, their ness. Then began “the good fight of beloved friend and leader would be called faith,” in which, by the grace of God, he to the presence of her Lord.

persevered unwaveringly for thirty-eight An incident which shows the way in years; and, at leugth, gloriously triumphed which Mrs. Johnson devoted herself to through the Captain of his salvation. the good of others, up to the last, may be Mr. Exley, as he “received Christ given. A short time before her death, Je:us the Lord, so walked in Him." IIe she called at a shop, to buy some trifling forthwith identified himself with the article. Aseertaining that there was a Church of Christ, joining the Wesleyansick man in the house, she requested per- Methodist Society: the ministry of which mission to see him; and, although the had led him into the way of life and peace. Iamily were strangers to her, she remained Knowing that in order to be confessed by upwards of two hours with the invalid, Christ, he must confess Christ, he durst praying with him, and instructing him in not stand aloof from Christian fellowship. He cherished the habit of devotion. The late MRS. NORMAN was born at Prayer in his closet, in his family, and in Gamblesby, Penrith Circuit, in the year the public and social means of grace, was 1813. She had the advantage of being his delight; and with this he combined trained by a God-fearing mother, “in the a thoughtful “searching” of the Holy nurture and admonition of the Lord; "and Scriptures. Thus strengthened and up. she attended also the Methodist Sunday. held, he went onward in the path of piety. school of the village, at that time under Exulting in the Lord his God, he began to the genial influence of Mrs. Benson, (a be active and zealous in holding meetings relative of the late Rev. Joseph Benson) for prayer ; and was soon welcomed in the an excellent Christian woman, long since neighbouring villages to give exhortations. entered into rest. Here she “received In the year 1832 his name appeared on the with meekness” the lessons of the Gospel, Otley Circuit-Plan as a Local preacher; and and became conscious of a Voice which he faithfully discharged the duties of this she, like Samuel, scarcely recognised then, important office while he retained his but knew afterwards to be that of the Lord strength. He was also the leader of a class calling her to Himself. She referred frefor many years; and in the year 1839 he quently in after-life to her early religious was appointed Circuit-steward. While Mr. feelings; and gratefully acknowledged, in Exley's labours of love were made a great her own case, the Divine influence which blessing to the congregations that he ad- s0 commonly moves on a young mind well dressed and the class that he led, they were trained, opeuing it gently to receive the not without fruit in his own household. Saviour, and laying a basis for the most Many of his children chose their father's intelligent and sustained piety in after God as theirs. It was his privilege and joy years. Somewhat slowly did these innto give the site on which the village chapel pressions lead her forward to full decision. stood; and both when he was strong in She spent her girlhood in the fear, rather health, and when he was enfeebled by nearly than in the love, of God. But her sister, four-score years, his presence in that having embraced the salvation of the chapel was always hailed with pleasure by Gospel, she became uneasy about her own his fellow-worshippers. Mr. Exley had position, and calmly but firmly determined been rather unwell for several weeks pre. to give her heart to God. Accordingly, one ceding his departure; but nothing serious evening, while alone in her own room, was apprehended, and only two days reading her Bible, and waiting before Him before his death, he was able to walk out whom she sought, the renewing Spirit and transact some business. On the came down, and she rejoiced in His saving evening of that day he conducted family grace. Forthwith she secured for herself worship as usual, and then retired to rest; à place among God's people, which she but, before the moroing, he became steadily retained till called to join the seriously ill. In the forenoon of the triumphant host on high. ensuing day his class-leader had a very When twenty-four years of age, she was touching and interesting interview with united in marriage to Mr. C. H. Norman, a him. One of his first expressions was, devout and useful office-bearer in our “I am going to leave you. I believe I Church; and, for nearly thirty years, prored am going to die." To his weeping family herself to him a worthy helpmate. Àwoand friends around his bed, he said, “The man's sphere of influence is her own Lord is with me, and He will never leave domestic circle : where, retired from public me. He has spared me to a good old age; view, with perhaps few incidents to gratify and He has a right to do with me as it the zeal of the chronicler, or the curiseems good to Him. Why should I want osity of the outside world, she daily trains to stay here any longer, seeing that I those whom Providence commits to her have a heaven to go to, the city of the charge. Happy she who so discharges the living God, the holy city?" He was duties of a mother with the wisdom and the beautifully tranquil, as one about to enter zeal of a Christian! “Her price is above on a pleasant journey. He remarked, rubies," or the most precious dowry. “My peace flows like a river." His last In this position Mrs. Norman appeared act, just before his departure, was prayer ever to be actuated and sustained by the for himself, his family, and the Church of Spirit of grace. Diligent, according to God, concluding with the Lord's prayer. her opportunities, in attendance on the Soon after the weary wheels of life stood means of grace; enjoying greatly religious still. Mr. Exley, had he survived seven conversation and prayer, and making the days more, would have completed his various modes of social intercourse means eightieth year, Thomas Dunn. of securing them; hospitable and loving to the people of God, and especially to the was testifying to the completion of the "messengers of the churches ;” yet work of grace in her heart, God also gave her chief excellencies could be known only testimony to the work of His grace, by her own family. Her conversation making all present feel themselves was in few words; 80 that she did not


“Quite in the verge of heaven." impress so much by the weight or charm of direct address; but, a "keeper at home,"

at home from that time, she spoke only in she concentrated the influence of a uni- answer to inquiries, ever witnessing her formly godly character upon the training confidence and joy in God. On the next of her children. Consequently, “her day, June 26th, 1867, children arise up, and call her blessed; her “Safe in His arms she laid her down, husband also, and he praiseth her.” The

His everlasting arms of love." results of that training are her best praise.

W. B. Of her ten children, ove preceded her to the tomb. She submitted, when a MARGARET FEATHERSTONE was born at child, to converting grace; and testified, Glaisdale, near Whitby, January 23d, 1812. many years afterwards, on her death-bed, Her parents, Mr.'and Mrs. William Thompthat, from that time, her faith and joy had son, were for many years consistent membeen uninterrupted. Such was her high bers of the Methodist Society. Margaret experience of Divine grace when dying, was one of nine children, who were that several persons who visited her were carefully brought up "in the nurture and led to seek the Saviour for themselves. admonition of the Lord.” When quite a Of the children who survive most are ser. child the Spirit of the Lord strove with Fants of their parents' God; and the her. She was accustomed to read in the mother's example exerts a blessed influence “Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine," and on all.

“ Youth's Instructer," the Lord's dealFor about two years before her death, ings with His people ; and the account while the earthly taberuacle was being gra- of the happy deaths, even of little dually impaired, Mrs. Norman's spirit was children like herself, led her to deevidently maturing for the “honse not sire and scek the blessing of the same made with hands, eternal in the heavens." Saviour. The diseases, indeed, under which she In her thirteenth year, while attending laboured, were such as to produce occasion- a lovefeast, she was deeply impressed with ally a peculiarly depressing effect on her her condition as a sinner before God. In mind. She passed, in consequence, through the evening of the day a sermon was sorne very severe temptations, fearing that preached by the Rev. Joseph Mortimer ; she had deceived berself, because her joy and in the prayer.meeting which followed did not abound as in former times. It was she cried aloud for mercy, till by faith the enemy's last desperate attack upon in the atoning blood of Jesus she found her faith; but its effect was to drive her peace with God. During that service eleven to abandon herself more entirely to the persons professed to be made happy in God, All-Sufficient One ; and He thenceforward oue of whom was her sister. This was the " kept her in perfect peace." She ordi. commencement of a very glorious revival narily said little of her Christian experi. of the work of God, in which he who ence, but expressed herself in such short afterwards became her husband was pregnant sentences as, “ The Lord is suf. converted. That she was led to yield ficient," " Jesus is precious," "My faith is her heart to God so early in life, she as the Rock of Ages sure." The words attributed, under God, to the instruction of the twenty-third Psalm were frequently and example of godly parents. The daily on her lips. So were those of our hymns influences of home-life were also promo. which specially express the loving trust of tive of her spirituality, as she had then a Christian heart :

three brothers and three sisters, as well " Jesu, Lover of my soul,”

as her parents, walking in the fear of and


In the diary of her religious experience, “Rock of Ages, cleft for me,"

which she kept for upwards of thirty years, seemed particularly precious to her. Thus, she states that, in tho early part of August, although her weakness was such that she 1836, she had the privilege of spending was only occasionally able to bear even the a few days with a consín, who was living sound of reading and prayer, yet the assar. in the enjoyment of entire sanctification, aace of Divine support never forsook her. whose conversation greatly stimulated her Her room ever seemed a hallowed place; in seeking for that blessing. Shortly sud, on one particular occasion, while she. afterwards she heard a sermon by the Rev. John Hanwell, on the words: “Let this may be made a mutual blessing to our mind be in you, which was also in Christ souls; and that we may be more than ever Jesus," ia which the importance of Chris. determined to devote our all to Him!” tian perfectiou, and the value of its attain. The health of Mrs. Featherstone had ment, were clearly set forth. During been much epfeebled for many years before that service, she was abundantly blessed of her fatal affliction came on; but she God, and realized, more fully than before, evinced, through all her weakness and pain, the salvation which is in Christ Jesus. uncomplaining submission, and cheeriul

Herdeepened loveto the Saviour now gave acquiescence in the will of God. Although her increased sympathy with every depart. she was the mother of ten childres, none ment of His cause. On the third day of of them lived beyond a few months, the following year she writes in her diary: except the two who survive her. “The scal “How shall I record the goodness of God that hath not sorrowed, knows netber to me these three days? Yesterday I was its own weakness, nor its strength.” In the employed in collecting for the missionary "great fight of affliction" which sheendared, cause. I can trnly say it is my delight to she paiufully felt her own weakoess, bat be thus engaged. Before we commenced I her strength through Christ was sufficient. felt my soul much led out in prayer for Various entries in her diary indicate the success; and my expectations were er deep solicitude which she felt for the sal. ceeded. There seemed a readiness on the vation of her children, and the joy which part of the people to give as had not she experienced in believing that as a been witnessed before. O, may all those family they were “walking in the fear of who have coutributed towards sending the the Lord, and in the confort of the Holy Gospel to the Heathen receive it into their Ghost.” She prayed with, as well as for, own hearts !"

her children, often taking them with ber In reading Mr. Wesley's “ Plain Account into secret to plead with God in their of Christian Perfection,” she saw the behalf. One of her daughters esperienced defects of her Christian character to the regenerating grace of the Holy Ghost be so many and great, that she was at the early age of nine years; and the tempted to think that she had professed a other even before she had reached that state of grace which she had not attained, age. Her joy on these cccasions was and was, for a time, greatly discouraged; correspondent to the solicitude which she but, as she waited on the Lord in prayer had felt for their religious welfare, and the and meditation on His promises, He again labour which she had bestowed in training shone upon her soul, and made her an. them for the Lord. Such an acknowledge speakably happy. In the same month she ment of parental responsibility and privi. writes, “I do enjoy constant peace of lege is well adapted to foster and maintain mind; but I want to be on full stretch for family piety. heaven. I do enjoy the witness of entire Her heart was so full of love to the Sa. sanctification ; but I want to be filled with viour, that to aid His cause in any way was God."

to her a great delight. Towards the minisFrom the commencement of her reli- ters of Christ she evinced a hospitality gious course she evinced great consistency most grateful to them, as well as accept. of character ; but from this period the able to the great Master. Many noble higher Christian life was steadily exhibited testimonies to her high excellencies have by her; so that, in her, many were led to been borne by those servants of the Lord glorify her Saviour. Nothing could in. Jesus whom she delighted to entertain. duce her to listen to proposals of marriage The Rev. R. Petch, who was resident in from young men who were pot decided for the Circuit at the time of her death, writes, God. She deeply felt, that to do so would “In the advancement of everything perresult in her having a clog for life, if not, taining to the Church of her choice, she ever indeed, in the loss of her soul. If all pro- manifested a deep interest. Nor was her fessors of godliness would steadfastly act regard confined to her own section of the on this principle, much evil and misery Church : she took great pleasure in every would be prevented. Shortly afterwards thing which had for its object the glory of she was united in marriage to him who God, the lessening of human misery, and now deeply mourns his irreparable loss. She the salvation of precious souls. The Briwrites, “I felt very much the importance tish and Foreign Bible Society, Sabbathof the step I was taking ; but, at the same schools, Missionary operations, efforts to time, I had a sweet sense of the approbation raise money for the extinction of debts of God. Glory be to my adorable Re- on chapels or the building of new ones, deemer! He hath surely made a plain path had her warmest sympathy and liberal supfor us. The Lord grant that our union port. With the hearty concurrence of her

« AnteriorContinuar »