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to heaven, to hold up lheir hands, which was instantly responded to by the whole congregation, 20 or 30 persons only excepted,
At the conclusion of the prayer meeting, when praying the last time by way of concluding, I felt uncommon liberty of access—but O the noise, and as some would say disorder, my voice was lost almost in the gene
ral shout, till one loud, shrill voice rose above the rest, like the shrill blast of a trumpet rising above the tumult of battle. And lo! it was the joyful shout of glory bursting from the lips of a new-born soul; who had, in that happy moment stepped into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. "Hallelujah, praise the Lord." April, 1842. J. Edcar.
On~Monday last, IGth May, was laid the foundation stone of our new chapel, in the town of Macclesfield. The site, on which the building is being erected, is one of the most central, and, in the general opinion, the most eligible, in every respect, which could have been selected for thepurpose.
We designed the ceremony of laying the foundation stone, to be attended to, as unostentatiously as possible. We, therefore, did not give extensive publicity to our intentions. Nevertheless, the assemblage of people on the occasion was rather great.
We commenced the service by singing part of the hymn beginning with—" Eternal power whose high abode." Then unto Jehovah, the only true and living God, and in his great temple—the open air, solemn supplication was presented. After this, we sang a verse or two of the hymn commencing with—" Lord of the worlds above, &c." Afterwards, a document which had been prepared for the purpose, to be enclosed within a sealed bottle, and also to be deposited in a cavity of the stone, was read. The reading of it occupied about twenty minutes.—It was manifestly listened to with attention, accompanied with feelings deeply impressive and interesting. Mr. Joseph Blythman, Wesleyan Methodist Association itinerant Minister, then laid the foundation stone, in the name of the Holy Trinity— the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost—the one only God. A brief address was also given by Mr. Blythman; after which we sang part of that almost inimitably fine devotional composition—" Before Jehovah's awful throne," &c. Again
prayed, and closed with the usual benedictional dismissal. The dimensions of the building are 48 feet by 33 feet; the edifice will be both neat and commodious; and the expenditure an economical one.'
Our cause in this town and neighbourhood has had to contend with many difficulties; and those of no ordinary description. And, notwithstanding the faithlessness of some, yet, a devoted few, a little band, zealous and persevering, have proved faithful, even amid the faithless; and, the Great Head of the Church hath blessed them.
During the sittings of our last Annual Assembly, about forty persons, with a Mr. Crowther, their minister, all of whom were of a denomination called, "The Christian Society,' withdrew from our friends in this town. In point of fact, they were never of us; union with us, depending on the reception of their minister into our itinerancy. — They were, nevertheless, by some means, perhaps through mistake, included in the aggregate of number for Macclesfield, as appears in our Minutes of last year.
The real number of members at the commencement of our present Methodistical year, was, therefore, only 87. Yet we have cause of abundant gratitude; we now stand as to number about 120. Our societies have been both gradually increasing and consolidating. They are, generally speaking, growing both in "knowledge and in love." Their spiritual state, I believe to be a healthy one: and we are anticipating much, in connection with the erection of our new chapel.
We would adopt the sublimely beautiful language of the inspired Psalmist
On Sunday, April 17th, 1842, two sermons were preached in the Association Chapel, North Clough Lane, Lynn, in aid of the funds of the Wesleyan Methodist Association, Home and Foreign Missions ;—in the afternoon, at half-past two, by the Rev. J. T. Wigner, Baptist Minister, and in the evening, at Six o'clock, by the Rev. R. Hamilton, Independent Minister.
On Monday evening, April 18th, a public meeting was held in the Chapel. Mr. Palmer, a respectable tradesman of the town, was requested to take the chair. A Report, illustrative of the origin, principles and present state of the Association, was read to the Meeting; after which speeches were delivered by the Reverends J. T. Wigner and W. Jones, and Messrs. Jessop and Palmer.
On Wednesday, April 20th, a tea meeting was held in the Baptist school room, Broad Street. Upwards of 120 persons sat down to tea. After tea, the writer took the chair; and the
meeting was addressed by the Rev. J. Wigner and R. Hamilton, Mr. Cook (Baptist) and the chairman. By a singular, but it is presumed undesigned, coincidence, there were special services at the Wesleyan and the Primitive Methodist Chapels on the same day that our sermons were preached. These things proved somewhat unfavourable to our collections. As a proof of the friendly feeling manifested towards us by the Dissenters, it may be observed, that the Baptists closed their chapel in the afternoon, and the writer occupied the pulpit in the Independent chapel in the evening. Through the kindness of some of our friends, who furnished trays at their own expense, almost the whole of the proceeds of the tea will be devoted to the Mission Funds. From what we can learn, all were satisfied with the provision, and delighted with the proceedings. 0 that God would look upon us, and revive His work among us.
On Sunday, the 24th of May, two very appropriate and impressive Sabbath School sermons, were preached in Brunswick Chapel, Wesleyan Association, Bury. That in the afternoon by the Rev. W. Ince, of Heywood, and in the evening by the Rev. J. Molineux, of Liverpool.
On the morning of the same day, an address to the scholars and their parents, was delivered by Mr. Molineux, whose peculiar style of address, and admirable adaptation of phraseology, and matter to a juvenile auditory, never fail to command attention, to reach the understanding, and to impress the youthful mind with the importance of seeking first the kingdom of heaven and its righteousness. The collections amounted to £41 12 5J, which, considering the unparalleled commercial gloom which prevails around us, and the consequent scarcity of
money, exceeded our most sanguine expectations; and in addition to which we confidently anticipate donations, which with the above will place in the hands of the Treasurer, upwards of £50. The primary object of the teachers is to inculcate the imperishable principles of Christianity.
The Committee and Teachers of the School, in presenting their acknowledgments to the friends of the Institution, for the pecuniary aid afforded them during a series of years, stated with peculiar pleasure, that ninety-three of the scholars are now members of the society; and in their class meeting they fervently supplicate the divine blessing to rest upon the school and their teachers; thus manifesting their gratitude for the benefits they have received, and their solicitude for the spiritual welfare of others.
T. C JOHNS, PRINTER, ltd Lion Court, Fteet StrMt
WESLEYAN METHODIST ASSOCIATION
MEMOIR OF THE LATE MR. SAMUEL HAY,
OF CARRICKFERGUS, IRELAND.
By Mr. J. Tidswe/L
Thk recollection of departed excellence, which a long series of years had developed and matured, is mingled with a melancholy feeling, and not unfrequently excites the tribute of a tear from those who are left behind. True Christian humility has led some persons to desire that nothing be publicly said of their excellence and virtues after their decease; yet had they been sure that a faithful friend would only say so much as would exalt the riches of Christ, their scruples would perhaps have been overcome. However anxious we may be to regard the humble hesitations of those who have "passed the important hour of death," they ought not to be deemed paramount to the spiritual profit of the living. Humility was a grace which highly adorned the character of Mr. Hay; he was one of those individuals who were as so many "living epistles" of the age in which the founder of Methodism flourished.
Mr. Samuel Hay was a native of Ireland. He was born in the town of Carrickfergus, July 29, 1773. He was the youngest of his father's family consisting of eight children. Both his parents were among the first in Carrickfergus who were converted to God by the preaching of Mr. Wesley, and their house was always his home when he came round the north of Ireland; as it was also for all his preachers.
Mr. Hay's father was a class leader for many years, and zealous in promoting the interests of our common Christianity through the instrumentality of Methodism. He delighted in visiting the sick and afflicted, whether of body or mind; attending the prisoners in the jail and accompanying them to the place of execution. On swch occasions when the awful processions were slowly moving to the fatal spot, he raised his voice and pointed the condemned culprits to the Friend of sinners; told them of the love of Jesus in dying to save the vilest and worst: »nd it is to be hoped, says Mr. Hay, in his diary, that many of the violaters of their country's laws, thus obtained mercy in the eleventh hour. But while he was zealous in public for God's cause, he was equally concerned for the spiritual welfare of his own family; and like every true Christian, who governs his house well, he brought up his children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Nor was Mr. Hay's mother a whit behind the chief of the mothers in Israel at this time. As far as her means and family concerns would permit, she sought to alleviate the miseries of the wretched female prisoners in the jail; and when prohibited from praying with them in their cells, she would pray for them outside the prison walls. She was naturally of an industrious turn of mind; 'but after her conversion,' Mr. Hay says, 'she became more than ordinary diligent in seconding the efforts of my father in providing for their rising family. Thus they lived in the sweet enjoyment of domestic comfort, which is only to be found; by those who have 'the love of God shed abroad in their hearts.' After a short illness she died in the full triumph of faith in the year 1773. About five years after her death, Mr. Hay's father married a person with whom he was "unequally yoked," much to the dissatisfaction of his children, some of whom were grown up. Hence arose family grievances and divisions too often the concomitant effects of introducing high and imperious women to fill the places of tender and affectionate mothers removed by death. His father was desirous that he should be early instructed in the knowledge of the Scriptures; and when five years of age, he could read them with a degree of fluency and ease, which, in those days, was rarely to be met with in youths of 12 or 15 years. In 1778, Mr. Wesley visited Carrickfergus, and made his father's house his home. His penetrating mind soon discovered in Samuel a taste for learning, and as his father intended to have him educated as well as his circumstances would permit, Mr. Wesley proposed to take him to Kingswood School at a proper age. But being the youngest of the family, his father, by whom he was much beloved, could not make up his mind to part with him, and therefore declined the offer. It was not long after his father's second marriage that the dissentions in the family preyed much upon his mind, which brought on a disorder of body that hastened the end of his mortal journey. He died in 1780; and there is reason to believe, although he suffered much spiritual loss through this imprudent step, that his soul went home to God. The evil effects, however, of this connexion, did not die with him, as were too visible in the family after his decease.
The cares of the family now wholly devolved upon the eldest sister and brother of the subject of this memoir, who took up house-keeping for themselves; and undertook the charge of the other children. The eldest brother being left to himself, soon forgot the pious instructions of his parents, neglected his business and the temporal concerns of the family, and forsook the God of his fathers; and it became impossible for the eldest sister to keep the family together: hence they were separated and had to provide for themselves.
Samuel was now left to indulge in the follies of youth without» guardian to watch over him, and soon contracted pernicious habits. Not having been brought up to any trade, he was easily persuaded to go on board a man-of-war. At this time he was seventeen years of age. tad by his diligent attention to the business of the vessel, he was soon qualified to perform any part of a seaman's duty. His dexterity as a sailor, and the progress which he made in the science of navigation, quickly attracted the notice of the captain, who wished him to live with his steward, and get the benefit of being educated with some of the officers on board. But the strong attachment he had formed to the sailors caused him to reject the kind and liberal offer. His conduct and state of mind at this period he describes as follows:—' During my stay of three years and eight months on board the vessel, I was saved from profane swearing, and scarcely ever neglected praying to God at night lying in my hammock, but never bent the knee lest I should become the laughing stock of the sailors. At this time, and under these circumstances, I was at a distance from God, and yet like the world, indulged a vain hope that I should get to heaven at death! Oh, what delusion!' At the expiration of the above period, and after many preservations from the ' perils of the deep,' he returned home, and for a short time lived with his brother, and wrought at his business. But the inattention of the latter to business, destroyed Samuel's domestic comfort and withered his future prospects. These circumstances caused him to form an intimacy with a female whom he soon married, although his worldly prospects were then very gloomy. He was much averse to a sea-faring life, but this was the only calling he could follow; and as it was imperative that he should do something for a livelihood, he very reluctantly entered on board a vessel, bound from Belfast to Jamaica. On their arrival in the Island, the yellow fever was raging, and he had not been there long before he was seized with it. The thoughts of death and eternity now troubled his soul; he prayed to be restored; God answered his prayer, and, to use his own words, 'had not the Lord sent me prompt medical assistance I must have sunk down to hell in my sins and in my blood.' After his recovery he returned home, still without God and without hope in the world. He commenced blue-dying, but not finding it likely to succeed, he set sail for America, and took his wife and two of his sisters with him, fully intending to settle there. But, alas! how soon are the schemes and designs of man blighted by the withering influence of bereavement and domestic affliction.' They were not long in New York before their house was a scene of mourning. His first child was born soon after their arrival, but died in five weeks.
After this, both his sisters were seized with sickness of which they died; and through his close attention to them he was unable to follow his daily calling. But that God whose watchful eye is ever attentive to the wants of his meanest creatures, raised up a society of friends, who administered to their comfort. From this severe shock, he came to the resolution of returning home; and after a passage of thirty days he arrived in his native town. After this he followed a sea-faring life for some time, trading to different parts of Spain and France.
When he finally settled in Carrickfergus he was appointed weighmaster of the town. This, together with his own industry, enabled him to keep his rising family in tolerable circumstances; and, he says in his diary, * if we had been under the influence of grace, we might have heen happy and comfortable.'