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should see their members at least once a week.” When any were not present at the weekly meeting, he did not fail to call at their houses, and inquire into the reason of their absence. Knowing, too, that a resolution similar to that of David, “I will not offer unto the Lord of that which doth cost me nothing,” is not only conducive to personal piety, but that it tends to promote the prosperity of the cause of religion itself, which always, more or less, suffers from the pressure of pecuniary difficulties; and aware how much the performance of this branch of Christian duty among the Methodists depends on the example of the Leaders of classes; he contributed to the uttermost of his own ability, and stimulated others to copy the pattern which he thus conscientiously set them. To the suggestions and conduct of Mr. Fiddian, and of those who on this subject were like-minded with him, may be attributed, in a great degree, the comparative financial prosperity which the Birmingham Circuit has enjoyed for many years. There was one point, likewise, to which, though regarded by some as of small moment, and therefore, it may be, overlooked by them, he attached considerable importance, and paid regular attention. He was persuaded that the observance of the plan of systematic weekly contribution could never be infringed without some degree of injury; he was, therefore, carefully attentive to that ancient custom of Methodism which requires that the weekly subscription be laid down at each meeting of the class, and in the presence of the members. He did this especially that he might encourage those whose ability to contribute might be smaller than his own, and prevent them from falling into a snare which, although it may seem to be trivial, has been proved by experience often to possess great power, and to have occasioned the gradual withdrawment of many from religious society. They have allowed their class-money to fall into arrears; and then unable to give at once that which, spread over a larger period, and divided thus into a number of smaller amounts, they could have given with comparative ease, they have felt a growing reluctance to meet their religious associates, and have at length “ forsaken the assembling of themselves together.” Mr. Fiddian could never regard that as a trifle which had been shown in so many instances to produce such serious mischief.

The various offices in the church to which he belonged, to which he was appointed, were regarded by him as supplying so many additional motives to that circumspection of behaviour which he knew to be binding on every Christian, but especially on those who were providentially called to occupy those public stations which made propriety of conduct so much the more important, as conduct itself was rendered more observable. He was careful so to live, that his conversation in all things might be such “ as becometh the Gospel of Christ;” and he was enabled, by the grace of God, to exhibit throughout his whole course a pattern of religious consistency, sacrificing his own predilections and most favourite pursuits rather than violate his conscience, or give the adversaries of truth the slightest occasion for reproaching his religious profession. He was strongly attached to devotional singing, and few could possess a keener relish for music than himself. It was by the singing of the Methodists that his heart was first drawn towards them; and after his union with them, he often assisted in conducting that important branch of their worship. In the earlier period of his religious life he frequently attended the meetings for practice, which the singers were accustomed to hold ; but, knowing how easily and how soon such meetings may degenerate, and even become occasions of much harm, he was never satisfied unless they were connected with such Christian exhortation and prayer as should correct every evil tendency, and preserve the mind in purity and peace. His caution, in this respect, led him to leave an association of young men, who had united for the purpose of practising music. “But I found,” he once said, referring to this circumstance, “that I was sustaining injury, and so I left them; for they were beginning to sing catches and glees; and I knew not where it might end. It was hard work, for I enjoyed the meetings; but I saw that I must take my ground, and deny myself; and it did me good. If I lost the pleasure, I escaped from the temptation, and was kept in the right way." He acted on the same principle when, some years afterwards, he was strongly solicited to take a part in the performances at the musical festivals which were held in Birmingham. He steadily refused. He could not for a moment allow his love of music to interfere with his Christian consistency. He felt that he would be altogether out of his place, as professing godliness, to associate with persons who were one day singing, verbally, the songs of Zion and the praises of God, and the next, with equal earnestness, singing the songs which attracted the multitude to the theatre. On all such occasions, Mr. Fiddian's inquiry was not, “ What is pleasant?” but, “ What is profitable, what is right ?” By no one could the sublime strains of Handel, or the sweet tones of Mozart and Beethoven, have been more completely enjoyed than by himself; but he saw the necessity of adopting a decided part, and shunning the very appearance of evil. Even had the question been doubtful, he felt that for its solution he must refer, not to his own tastes and pleasures, but to his conscience, and his sense of duty as a member of the church of Him " who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” He therefore not only refused to take any part in the singing, but though he attended one of the meetings held in a church, he resolved that his first attendance should be his last. He loved the music, and he loved the words; but he knew there was much more than the music and the words. On mature reflection, he believed that he should not be abstaining from the appearance of evil, unless he denied himself in this particular respect. Even though the matter were only doubtful, he believed that the principle on which he ought to decide should have respect to conscience and character, and the claims of the church that her members should preserve an unblamable consistency; and as against this he had only to set his own gratification, his resolution was taken, and ever after faithfully kept. The various offices which he was appointed to fill, furnished him with so many additional arguments for the preservation of this religious consistency. That he might walk unblamably, he constantly endeavoured to walk circumspectly.

In all the services of the house of God he took great delight. This was conspicuous in the punctuality of his attendance. Because he loved the courts of the Lord, and would not even appear to be a reluctant attendant in them, he was always in time ; and his example administered an impressive reproof to those late-comers, whose practice

both exhibits such weakness of devotional feeling, and disturbs that of the persons who have assembled themselves from the first, and whose hearts are already engaged in the solemn and, to them, delightful services. Mr. Fiddian was one of those whose conduct says, in effect, “ Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Zion."

To this punctuality as to time, regularity as to place must likewise be added. He sought not for amusement in worship, and therefore never allowed himself to wander about as one having “itching ears." Such habits, he thought, betrayed great unsettledness of mind, and were injurious in their influence both on the individuals themselves, and on others also, who are led by the example thus afforded them, from step to step, into a general instability in religion. Mr. Fiddian went not to hear any particular Minister, but to worship God, by whomsoever the worship was conducted, and to hear his word, by whomsoever that word might be spoken.

For a long period, the Wesleyan Ministers found at Mr. Fiddian's house a home, and a welcome reception; and though in later years he was glad to behold a widening circle of friends rejoicing to exhibit their hospitable regards to those whom they recognised as the servants of God, who made known to them the way of salvation, yet he often adverted with pleasure to the period when he had been honoured with the society and friendship for he felt it to be an honour of such men as Bradburn, Benson, Thompson, Taylor, Brettell, Wood, Edmondson, Entwisle, and others of the elders that outlived Joshua, whose names are still as a sweet perfume, and will always hold a distinguished place in the recollections of those who love our ecclesiastical history. But he did not so admire our ancient worthies as to undervalue their successors. He rejoiced in those proofs of the divine presence in that branch of the church of Christ with which he was connected, which are afforded by a continued line of godly Ministers, sent forth by the Head of the church for the perpetuation and extension of his work. If he looked on the past generation with very pleasant recollections, on the present he likewise looked with thankfulness and hope. The same kindly regards which had been manifested in his earlier associations with the Ministers whose services bad contributed to the formation of his Christian character, were extended to those who now occupied their places; and where he had formerly expressed the attachment and veneration of a son, he now exhibited the more mellowed affection of a father in Israel.

It was a source of high gratification to Mr. Fiddian that the Methodist Conference, in 1836, held its sittings for the first time in Birmingham. He had long desired to see the town with which he was connected occupying as honourable a position in Methodism as, through its commercial importance, it occupied in the country at large. Some years previously, Dr. Taft, then stationed in the Birmingham Circuit, had laboured assiduously, and employed all his influence, for the accomplishment of this object. Mr. Fiddian, as like-minded with him, was also in this respect his fellow-labourer; and at one time their expectations of success were sanguine. But though circumstances, which they could not control, produced a temporary disappointment, Mr. Fiddian still cherished the hope ; and it would not be easy to describe the joy which he experienced when it was at length realized. During the Conference session, he had the opportunity both

period of his religious life he frequently attended the meetings for practice, which the singers were accustomed to hold; but, knowing how easily and how soon such meetings may degenerate, and even become occasions of much harm, he was never satisfied unless they were connected with such Christian exhortation and prayer as should correct every evil tendency, and preserve the mind in purity and peace. His caution, in this respect, led him to leave an association of young men, who had united for the purpose of practising music. “ But I found," he once said, referring to this circumstance, “that I was sustaining injury, and so I left them; for they were beginning to sing catches and glees; and I knew not where it might end. It was hard work, for I enjoyed the meetings; but I saw that I must take my ground, and deny myself; and it did me good. If I lost the pleasure, I escaped from the temptation, and was kept in the right way." He acted on the same principle when, some years afterwards, he was strongly solicited to take a part in the performances at the musical festivals which were held in Birmingham. He steadily refused. He could not for a moment allow his love of music to interfere with his Christian consistency. He felt that he would be altogether out of his place, as professing godliness, to associate with persons who were one day singing, verbally, the songs of Zion and the praises of God, and the next, with equal earnestness, singing the songs which attracted the multitude to the theatre. On all such occasions, Mr. Fiddian's inquiry was not, “What is pleasant ?" but, “ What is profitable, what is right ?” By no one could the sublime strains of Handel, or the sweet tones of Mozart and Beethoven, have been more completely enjoyed than by himself; but he saw the necessity of adopting a decided part, and shunning the very appearance of evil. Even had the question been doubtful, he felt that for its solution he must refer, not to his own tastes and pleasures, but to his conscience, and his sense of duty as a member of the church of Him“ who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” He therefore not only refused to take any part in the singing, but though he attended one of the meetings held in a church, he resolved that his first attendance should be his last. He loved the music, and he loved the words; but he knew there was much more than the music and the words. On mature reflection, he believed that he should not be abstaining from the appearance of evil, unless he denied himself in this particular respect. Even though the matter were only doubtful, he believed that the principle on which he ought to decide should have respect to conscience and character, and the claims of the church that her members should preserve an unblamable consistency; and as against this he had only to set his own gratification, his resolution was taken, and ever after faithfully kept. The various offices which he was appointed to fill, furnished him with so many additional arguments for the preservation of this religious consistency. That he might walk unblamably, he constantly endeavoured to walk circumspectly.

In all the services of the house of God he took great delight. This was conspicuous in the punctuality of his attendance. Because he loved the courts of the Lord, and would not even appear to be a reluctant attendant in them, he was always in time ; and his example administered an impressive reproof to those late-comers, whose practice

both exhibits such weakness of devotional feeling, and disturbs that of the persons who have assembled themselves from the first, and whose hearts are already engaged in the solemn and, to them, delightful services. Mr. Fiddian was one of those whose conduct says, in effect, “Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Zion.”

To this punctuality as to time, regularity as to place must likewise be added. He sought not for amusement in worship, and therefore never allowed himself to wander about as one having “itching ears." Such habits, he thought, betrayed great unsettledness of mind, and were injurious in their influence both on the individuals themselves, and on others also, who are led by the example thus afforded them, from step to step, into a general instability in religion. Mr. Fiddian went not to hear any particular Minister, but to worship God, by whomsoever the worship was conducted, and to hear his word, by whomsoever that word might be spoken.

For a long period, the Wesleyan Ministers found at Mr. Fiddian's house a home, and a welcome reception; and though in later years he was glad to behold a widening circle of friends rejoicing to exhibit their hospitable regards to those whom they recognised as the servants of God, who made known to them the way of salvation, yet he often adverted with pleasure to the period when he had been honoured with the society and friendship—for he felt it to be an honour-of such men as Bradburn, Benson, Thompson, Taylor, Brettell, Wood, Edmondson, Entwisle, and others of the elders that outlived Joshua, whose names are still as a sweet perfume, and will always hold a distinguished place in the recollections of those who love our ecclesiastical history. But he did not so admire our ancient worthies as to undervalue their successors. He rejoiced in those proofs of the divine presence in that branch of the church of Christ with which he was connected, which are afforded by a continued line of godly Ministers, sent forth by the Head of the church for the perpetuation and extension of his work. If he looked on the past generation with very pleasant recollections, on the present he likewise looked with thankfulness and hope. The same kindly regards which had been manifested in his earlier associations with the Ministers whose services bad contributed to the forma

pied their places; and where he had formerly expressed the attachment and veneration of a son, he now exhibited the more mellowed affection of a father in Israel.

It was a source of high gratification to Mr. Fiddian that the Methodist Conference, in 1836, held its sittings for the first time in Birmingham. He had long desired to see the town with which he was connected occupying as honourable a position in Methodism as, through its commercial importance, it occupied in the country at large. Some years previously, Dr. Taft, then stationed in the Birmingham Circuit, had laboured assiduously, and employed all his influence, for the accomplishment of this object. Mr. Fiddian, as like-minded with him, was also in this respect his fellow-labourer; and at one time their expectations of success were sanguine. But though circumstances, which they could not control, produced a temporary disappointment, Mr. Fiddian still cherished the hope; and it would not be easy to describe the joy which he experienced when it was at length realized. During the Conference session, he had the opportunity both

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