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made unto her wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” From that time she was “a new creature” in Christ Jesus: thenceforth all her glorying was in the Lord.
Hitherto Mrs. Mason had sustained the different relations of life, and discharged the various obligations of child, sister, friend, neighbour, and wife, from social and moral motives only, and under the influence, in many respects, of a correct and refined taste ; but from the day of her spiritual birth, she was evidently governed by a new class of principles. She walked in newness of life, in all lowliness of heart; and whatsoever she did, whether she ate or drank, her eye was single, and she did all to the glory of God. Her consistent and exemplary deportment produced a very salutary effect on her husband, Mr. Alexander Mason, who, although a colonist, boasted no mean English descent. He also sought and found a personal interest in the blood of Christ, even the forgiveness of his sins. His commercial connexions, and maritime pursuits, however, exercised a prejudicial influence on his religious experience and character, and occasioned eventually a separation from the communion of that section of the church in which he had found the peace which the world could not give, and which, had he been careful by watchfulness and prayer to preserve it inviolate, the world could not have taken away. when his religious experience had become very unsatisfactory, and his fellowship with the church had been discontinued, he attended no other place of worship, and both in public and private acknowledged that the fault of his declension was altogether his own. On all proper occasions, he would defend the cause of Methodism when assailed, always maintaining his conviction that Mr. Wesley had been, in the hands of God, an instrument of the revival of primitive Christianity. He always, therefore, highly esteemed the Wesleyan Missionaries, and embraced with pleasure any opportunity which might be presented, of manifesting his respect for the objects which they had come to the island to promote. Very unexpectedly to himself, and to those who were connected with bim, he sickened and died in 1839, expressing his unfeigned and deep regret at having undervalued his privileges, and his unqualified disapprobation of his conduct in renouncing his connexion with those who were, he fully believed, a portion of the family of God. He earnestly sought that his backslidings might be healed, and received, not long before his dissolution, that sense of forgiveness which enabled him to depart in peaceful and humble hope.
Mrs. Mason's amiable disposition previously to her conversion, and the affectionate esteem it won from all who knew her, have been already mentioned. But this was connected with nothing like instability or weakness. It was now sanctified by religion, and appeared as part of "the fruit of the Spirit,” delightfully mingling with all the rest. Her Christian character from the commencement was decided, consistent, and firm, so that the members and Ministers of the religious society to which she belonged especially, knowing her worth more intimately, glorified God in her. In company, though always kind, she was
somewhat reserved and taciturn. She scrupulously attended to the various injunctions of Scripture on the subject of conversation; and while she avoided every appearance of moroseness, and that repulsive gloom which some have unhappily adopted as one mark of superior sanctity, (but which, through the deceitfulness of the heart, may be the effect of real pride,) she most conscientiously avoided all evilspeaking, and all vain and trifling discourse. She kept in view our Lord's solemn admonition respecting “every idle word.” Her “speech was alway with grace, seasoned with salt,” and thus “good to the use of edifying,” and so tending to “minister grace unto the hearers." Occasions sometimes arose which even severely tested her principles ; but her uniform fidelity manifested both their soundness and their strength. She had a class intrusted to her care ; and her efforts as a Class-Leader, to promote the spiritual interests of the church to which she belonged, were, by the blessing of God, abundantly successful. By the members of her class her name even now cannot be pronounced without emotion ; and by the recollection of her example, and of her instructions, although “ dead,” she “yet speaketh.”
The affliction which terminated her exemplary and valuable life was only of short duration; but as “her God sustained her in her final hour,” so did “her final hour bring glory to her God.” Her niece, to whom she had been as a mother, and who constantly attended on her during her illness, testifies that she never complained, nor expressed any desire except in full subserviency to the divine will. She spoke frequently with much grateful feeling of the proofs of affectionate solicitude and attention which she received, both from this her adopted child, and from her other relations and friends, as well as from her Ministers. The character of her religious experience might be said to be gentle and humble ; but the nearer views of eternity which were now presented, seemed to make a deeper impression than ever of the necessity of full holiness for all who would be fully prepared for the enjoyment of heaven. She was thus led to those earnest prayers which are the expression of strong desire. She was about to appear before God, and she sought to be made holy, even as he that called her was holy. And her prayers were answered in rich effusions of the Holy Ghost, raising her far above earth, to sit as in heavenly places, and to be blessed with all heavenly blessings, in Christ Jesus. It is not too much to say, that an unearthly, an almost angelic sacredness, combined with profound reverence and humility, now characterized her spirit and language. It was evident that her heavenly Father was making her fully meet to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light. She seemed rather to belong to heaven than to earth. The abounding consolations which she enjoyed, as she approached "the city so holy and clean,” were not allowed more than ordinary utterance, owing to her long-established habits of modesty and carefulness in speaking of anything relating to herself ; but her countenance, and the very tones of her voice, declared their existence. Her niece, anxious for some verbal testimony, said to her, “Dear aunt, do you enjoy peace ?” She replied, “O'yes, my child, I have enjoyed peace
with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, more than twenty years." She said little more; but what she did say, was all to the same purport; and, at length, in that tranquillity of faith and hope in which she had so long lived, she fell asleep in Christ.
Her death was respectfully announced in all the public journals of the colony; and we shall close this brief memoir by quoting one of the paragraphs in which this was done, as it furnishes a compendious but most truthful description of her character:—“Died, at her residence in the Eastern district, yesterday, the 15th instant, (August 15th, 1845,) Ann, relict of the late Mr. Alexander Mason, master mariner, and sister of the Hon. John Pinder. She was distinguished by her love to the Saviour, her regularity and punctuality in the ordinances of religion, her attachment to the Ministers and members of the church of which she herself was a useful and respected member, her filial and domestic virtues and excellencies, her quiet and amiable spirit, and her kindness to her neighbours and the poor.
She endured her last affliction with meekness and resignation; and, assured of her Redeemer's approbation, slept in him, in the sixty-first year of her age.”
BRIEF BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 28. DIED, at Scorton, in the Garstang Circuit, March 11th, 1845, aged eighty, Mrs. Susanna Woan. She was awakened to a piercing sense of her awful state as a sinner, under the ministry of the late Rev. John Wright, in the house in which the Methodists first assembled for public worship in Scorton. When speaking of what was to her that memorable occasion, she has often been heard to say, “I ever remember the hymns that were sung, two of which (the 91st and 93d) gave such a striking picture of my condition, that I trembled and wept, and prayed that God would have mercy on me, the chief of sinners." She was enabled, there and then, to give her heart to God, and joined the Wesleyan society which had been recently formed. In those days, union with the Methodists was a cause of great scandal and reproach ; but no scorn, no persecution, prevented her from going without the camp, and, in humble imitation of her Lord and Saviour, enduring the contradiction of sinners. The reproach of Christ she esteemed as greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt, having respect unto the recompence of the reward. She was given to hospitality, and did justly, and loved mercy. Towards the close of her long life, when nature became increasingly feeble, her confidence in God was strong. A short time before what proved to be her final affliction, she said, in her class, “ Another struggle or two, and then all will be over for ever.” During that affliction, she quoted, as expressive of her own experience, the language of the Psalmist : “ Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil : thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” The day before she died, she said to her daughter, Sarah, will God claim his own property to-day, think you, and take me to himself? I am calmly waiting. Come, Lord Jesus !” In this peaceful state she continued some hours longer, and then quietly drew her last breath.
29. Died, March 28th, at Weaverthorpe, in the Scarborough Circuit, Mr. Richard Belt, aged sixty-five. His father dying when he was only six years old, himself, a brother, and two sisters, together with his mother, were taken under the care of a pious uncle, Mr. John Robson, a member of the Wesleyan society, and one whose memory is still dear to all who knew him. Here Richard was placed as in a religious atmosphere, regularly conducted to the house of God, and accustomed daily to unite in family prayer : he was subjected, likewise, to proper discipline, restrained from outward sin, and instructed in saving truth. The result was favourable. He was marked, as he grew up, as a steady, moral, and industrious young man. But to the power of godliness he remained a stranger, till he was twenty-four years of age, when he was deeply convinced of his guilt and depravity, and brought to seek the Lord with all his heart. This was the case for many weeks : at length his penitent cry was heard, and, while attending a lovefeast, his spirit was set free from the bondage of guilt, and he entered into peace and liberty. Not long before, he had joined the Wesleyan society; and though the means of grace where he lived were then only “few and far between,” his love for them enabled him to overcome every difficulty. He was accustomed to walk many miles on the Sabbath to attend the public ordinances of religion. As time rolled on, he had to pass through many afflictions and trials ; but none of them moved him from his steadfastness. His connexion with the Methodists was unbroken for the remainder of his life ; and according to his situation and circumstances he shared in their labours and expenses, and rejoiced in their prosperity. For more than thirty years he was a Class-Leader, and discharged the duties of the office greatly to the benefit of those who were committed to his care. Ile was both Society and Chapel Steward for many years; and his house was long the home of the Preachers, in their visits to the place where he dwelt. For some time previously to his death, he suffered great pain from a rheumatic affection, which confined him almost to his chamber; but grace to help him in his need was given, and his patience did not fail. The word of God was his constant companion; and during his protracted afiliction, he derived much benefit from the perucal of the valuable Commentary of Mr. Benson. The Wesleyan Magazine, too, afforded him both instruction and comfort ; and his “Hymn-book” was more precious to him than ever. Though he could not any longer join the congregation in singing, he had often sweet fellowship with them in their Providence-given, poetical liturgy. He was not a man many words ; but he was a man of an excellent spirit. When called to pass through the final struggle, he was found ready. His faith in Christ as bis Saviour was strong and steady, and his hope of a blissful immortality bright and animating. He was full of holy joy to the last ; and when he could no longer speak, he mani. fested by expressive signs the glory which beamed on his soul. By the grace of God, “upright and perfect” while living, when called to joy, his "end was peace.”
JOHN WALSH. 30. Died, May 19th, at Nassau, New-Providence, one of the Bahamas, in her thirty-third year, Mrs. Elizabeth Kemp, wife of H. E. Kemp, Esq. She feared the Lord from her youth, and when about twelve years old, thought and felt so seriously on religious subjects, that the distress of her mind was visible in her countenance. Her parents, though not decidedly professors of religion themselves, adopted the surest measures for the relief of their child, whom they tenderly loved, and referred her to the society and prayers of the Wesleyan Missionaries and their families. Through their instruction, and in attendance on the means of grace, the way of peace was opened before her, and, before long, she obtained a clear sense of acceptance with God. Her subsequent experience, however, shows the great value of church-fellowship. She did not join the Wesleyan society, and thus lost the instruction and encouragement derived from regular intercourse with those who were journeying to the land of promise. Not aware of all the devices of Satan, nor of the various conditions of the mind, and their operations on the state of religious feeling, she lost the joy and peace which she had obtained, and walked for some time in uncomfortable darkness. The public means of grace she still attended, and her convictions of the vanity of earthly pleasure were too deep to allow her at all to engage in them. Though not happy in religion, she conscientiously held fast its principles, and, whenever necessary, openly defended the cause of evangelical truth, then often spoken against. In 1837 she was married to Mr. Kemp; and, as she now believed the way to be open, she immediately became a member of the Wesleyan society. Christian intercourse, in connexion with the ministry of the word, soon disclosed the real nature of the state in which she had so long walked, and not only the possibility of the cure, but the method of applying the remedy. The cry of her heart now was, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation : ” but somewhat to her surprise at first, and certainly to her bitter anguish, she found it more difficult to apprehend Christ as her Saviour, and to realize her personal interest in his blood, than when she bad first sought and found him. Occasionally she experienced foretastes of comfort, and then relapsed into gloom; and she was sometimes strongly tempted to fear that “God had cast off for ever," that he “had forgotten to be gracious.” She longed for the settled repose of faith, and though she seemed as if unable fully to attain to it, she continued to acknowledge that it was her true privilege, and earnestly to seek after it. About three years after her marriage, pulmonary symptoms appeared. No means were spared to arrest the progress of insidious disease ; and for a time hopes were cherished that they would be successful, and that she would long be spared to be a blessing to her family, to the church, and to society at large. But it soon became evident that these would not be realized. ller more than ordinarily capacious mind appeared