Page images
PDF
EPUB

to die." This was precisely the con-
dition of sister Jarratt for some time
before her death she had nothing to
do but to die, and she welcomed the
approach of death. Wheo questioned
as to her confidence in God, she said,
"I am on the rock.
11. All my trust on thee is stayed,

All my help from thee I bring;
Cover my defenceless head

With the shadow of thy wing.'" A short time before her death, she requested her son-in-law to sing the bymn commenciog—" What is this steals upon my frame,” in which she endeavoured to join; and, in one part of it, she seemed so full of heavenly joy, as though conscious of the presence of the angel-convoy, that her son-in-law could sing no more, so great was his emotion. On the morning of her decease, her daughter was with her, and, perceiving that she was worse, began to weep, and said to her, “Mother, you are worse." She replied, “Don't cry, iny girl; the Lord's will be done." Her daughter then asked her if she wanted any. thing, and she said, “ Only more grace." This was a very frequent expression of hers, “Only more grace;" and they were the last words she uttered on earth. Two friends stood near her when she was dying and too weak to speak, and one of them said, “You will soon be in the better world," and she lifted her hands and eyes towards heaven, evidently full of unshaken trust in God. And thus, in her seventyninth year, she gently fell asleep in Jesus, and went to the land where her oft-repeated wish, “ Only more grace," will be abundantly gratified, where she will eat of the tree of life,

Oh, kind lips ever silencod! oh, dear

eyes rested now!
Oh, hands no longer weary! oh, calm

upruffled brow!
Oh, gladsome loving mother! how

joyful you will be,
When your obildren throng around you
in the country of the free.”

R. T.
JOSEPH BOLTON,

STOCKPORT. Tais beloved brother was cut off in the freshness and strength of early manhood. On the evening of the first day of this year, while attending to his labour, an awful accident overtook him, which in one hour hurried his prepared soul to "the mansions of light," and lodged him in " the Eden of love." " His rest he hath sooner obtained,

And left his companions behind.” Our brother was born in Macclesfield, in the year 1839. His mother died when he was about two years of age, leaving him among the youngest of eight children. After this irreparable loss, the home influences to which he was subjected were not of a kind to generate or foster devout or pious feelings. In spite of these things he attended our Sunday-school at Macclesfield, where he received, at the early age of fifteen, the glorious consciousness that God, for Christ's sake, had pardoned all his sins. His joys were pure, his zeal consuming, and his love to God supreme. He was the means of the conversion of a dear but now sainted sister. Death once divided, but has now reunited them in the bonds of an unending fellowship.

In 1861 he removed to Stockport. Unfortunately, he fell into evil hands. Bad company, and the intoxicating cup, robbed him of that piety which so beautifully adorned his previous life. How many are ruined in body and soul, for time and eternity, by the cursed demon drink!

God did not cast our brother wholly away, but followed him with the strivings of the Divine Spirit. He was ultimately led to reflection, reflection led to penitence, and during a gracious work of God which broke out at Portwood during the ministry of the Rev. J. F. Goodall, at the

and

“ From the rivers of his grace,

Drink endless pleasures in.” In a good old age she finished her course with joy, and left behind her what is better than the perishable riches of earth-the heavenly fragrance of a pious life. “She fell asleep in Jesus, she had done

her day's work well, And soared among the angels, re

deeming love to tell ; Tears fell from eyes of sorrow, but she,

in perfect joy, Has gone to weep no longer, has learnt her new employ.

commencement of 1865, his " godly profit." The members of our church sorrow” ended in bappy conversion will not soon forget his fervent The weeping wanderer was restored, utterances and powerful prayers. his tears were wiped away, and sighs In fellowship and prayer-meetings, of grief were changed to songs of his presence and efforts were always joy. Jesus has a wonderful method appreciated, his absence always felt. of saving hell-deserving sinners. As The writer cherished for him the a Physician, he accomplishes the most highest esteem. His sincere and unastonishing cures; and as a Saviour, obtrusive piety won the respect of “ His blood can make the foulest all. His visits to the sick and dying clean." He became a member of our were frequent and acceptable. Portwood society. His outward life Of late our brother had been was pre-eminent for consistency. cherishing a desire to be more extenHumility was one of the most beau- sively useful in the church ; for the tiful traits in his character. He attainment of this, he commenced had but little to do with boast or diligently studying the Word of God. noise. Although we sometimes Only the evening before his death, thought him too reserved in dis- while we were conducting the solemn position, he never shrank from watch-night service, our brother, in manfully declaring himself to be the quiet of his home, spent the last on the Lord's side. He quietly, yet hours of the old year in comparing faithfully, advocated and maintained Scripture with Scripture. Who can the principles of the temperance explain the mysteries of Providence ? society. He felt that total absti. On the evening of New Year's day, nence from the use of his old to so many a time of hope and joy, enemy was a most effectual source the now mourning widow received of safety. Would that his example the crushing intelligence that her in this particular were more gene- husband was no more. Instead of rally observed! As to his inner life, receiving New Year's congratulaMr. Thomas Crosby, his leader, thus tions from earthly friends, the testifies : “ Brother Bolton was a angels of God and the glorified truly devoted Christian. His expe- Redeemer gave him a full and blissrience was of a Scriptural character, ful welcome to the joys of heaven. and tended greatly to instruct and "Our loss is his infinite gain."

"To die is gain.' Ah! me, can it be so ?

Can it be gain to part from this fair earth,
And never more, with raptured eye, to gaze
Upon its scenes sublime, and beauteous forms;
Nor ever more in summer's flow'ry primo
To see the light, or feel the genial beams
Of rising morn, or noon, or glorious eve !
Can it be gain to cast a long last look
On those we love-- to bid a last farewell
To pensive friends and mourning relatives,
Whose deep dejected looks, and dewy eyes,
And sighs and sobs, and tears oft wiped away,
Are eloquent of woe? Can it be
A gain to lie in clammy shroud wrapped round,
Amid silence drear, and thick sepulchral shades,
Then-turn to dust?
Oh! yes; the Christian feels 'tis gain to die,
Though this fair earth, and glorious summer sun,
And trusty friends, and loving relatives,
Be left behind ; and though his manly form,
Closed round ió deepest shade, is first dissolved,
And then returns to dust.
What joy, what trembling rapture now he feels !
His tears are wiped away, his sorrows flown.

is faith is lost in sight. His longing hope
Is realized. His glowing love to God
No angel-tongue can tell ; it emulates
A burning seraph's flame. List! now he sings :
He strikes his harp. He swells the tide of song

Which round the throne of God and of the Lamb,
Ne'er pauses in its course, but ever flows
Alternately in sweetest melody;
And mingling harmonies, and choruses
Now swelling high, now dying quite away
Like deep resounding thunder-peals,
Or ocean waves responding to the winds,
To die, then, is a gain. It is to reach
The distant goal. It is to seize the prize,
It is to bear away the victor's waving palm ;
And wear, amidst the first-born sons of God,
The crown of life."

A very large congregation assem bled in Portwood Chapel on Sunday evening, January 13th, to hear the death of our_brother improved by the writer. Two sincere penitents sought “ the Resurrection and the Life” at the conclusion of the service.

W. J. W.

MRS. MARTHA COOKE. DIED April 4, 1867, the beloved wife of the Rev. William Cooke, D.D. She loved the Lord from childhood, and through life devoted herself to bim and his cause. During a protracted illness of nearly eleven months, she exemplified great pa. tience and submission to God's holy will, and died in peace and blessed hope of everlasting life. A memoir may be expected.

W. C.

S. BOTTOMLY. SAMMY BOTTOMLY, for thus he was baptized, was born at Risworth, in the parish of Halifax, February 25, 1789. His mother died early. His father, at that time a good moral man, became afterwards a member with the Independents. The circumstances attending the conversion of our departed brother are not known, but the great change took place at about his twenty-ninth year. At this period he had begun to experience the cares of a family and the pressure of personal and domestic affliction. He was, indeed, early left a widower with four small children. He be came, however, a member of the church, and a Sunday-school teacher. He actively assisted in the erection of a new school at Lightazles, of which he remained a trustee to the time of his death. For upwards of twenty years he was superintendent of this school, and was evidently

very useful and greatly beloved, both by scholars and teachers, having had, even after coming to live in Brad. ford, repeated invitations to visit and address them. He was also for many years a class-leader, and seems to have been the general visitor of the sick in his neighbourhood; for if any one was ill, he was sure to be sent for. He earnestly sought the salvation of sinners, and did not labour in vain, for it is known that several were brought to God through his instrumentality. Nor did he overlook the claims of his own family while attending to the affairs of the church. His eldest son remembers the care and pains he took to instruct his children, the punctuality with which they were sent to the Sabbath-school by nine o'clock, after family prayer, and his anxiety to keep them from the influences of evil companionship. He seems, indeed, to have been regarded with great confidence and respect by all around him. He was entrusted with the savings of his neighbours, looked up to as the arbiter too, in their quarrels, and selected as trustee when they made their wills; respect and confidence not attributable to superior circumstances, for he was always a working man, but to his soundness of judgment, integrity of character, kindness of heart, and consistent piety.

About eighteen years since, our brother came to Bradford, and on doing so, lost no time in connecting himself with the church and Sundayschool. Mr. Pollard says of him, “He loved the work, and was always at his post. Often have I, with unobserved admiration, looked on him, as, with heaven-lit countenance and streaming eyes, he has had the lads gathered round him, while he told

them the story of the cross, and pointed them to the Lamb of God which taketb away the sin of the world. Nor did he point in vain, for brother Bottomly bas, doubtless, met some of his old scholars in the New Jerusalem.” He bad the happy art of making the Bible appear to the scholars of his class what it is in reality-a delightful book. On completing his fortieth year as a Sunday-school teacher, and retiring from ihe work under the pressure of advancing years, he was presented by the teachers, as a token of their esteem and affection, with a large and handsome Bible. As a member of the church, he was exemplary in his attendance on the means of grace. His place at the chapel, class-meeting, or prayer-meeting, was seldom vacant. He was no sensation hunter. His sensibilities were sufficiently stirred by the crowning influence of the love of God shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost. That his was a rich religious experience may be judged from the followingincident. In one of our love-feasts be was speak. ing of the unchanging Friend. His brother sat by him. With a full heart and tearful eyes he said, “My Jesus is a never-failing friend," and laying his hand on his brother's shoulder, he continued, " My brother Isaac here has been a true friend and brother to me, but there have been seasons when Isaac could not help me, though he would have done it if he could ; but my Elder Brother, my Friend Jesus, has never left me, he has been emphatically

the friend that sticketh closer than a brother !"" As may well be supposed, this simple and touching illustration had a thrilling effect. When. ever our friend related his experience, his countenance was lit up with joy. ous emotion, Divine manifestation to his soul caused his face to shine, if not just like that of Moses, still with a Divine illumination. In the best sense, his was a religion of feel. ing as well as of principle. He knew whom he had believed, and why he had believed, and rejoiced in Him whom he had taken as his everlasting portion. His last illness was very short. It seized him apparently as

the result of the fatigue and the feeling attending the death and interment of a son at a distance. On his return home a fit of some kind seized him, and in a few days he was gone. While his bodily strepgth was thus rapidly sinking, he bore witness to his family of the sufficiency and preciousness of Christ. In the only visit I had the opportunity of paying to our brother during his illness, on the eveniog before he died, I found him quite peaceful and bappy, having, as he said, a desire to depart and to be with Christ. In a few hours his desire was fulfilled. At the last lovefeast held previous to bis death, as though anticipating that it would be his last on earth, he bore emphatic testimony to the blessedness of religion, and most earnestly and affectionately urged the young to embrace it, and if anything could enhance the joy on which he has now entered, it would be to know that the end of his appeal was being answered. His death was improved by the writer. Of such as he we can with delightful confidence affirm, "To die is gain."

G. GRUNDY.

AMELIA MARSDEN, STICKER LANE, BRADFORD. AMELIA MARSDEN was born in 1801, at Dudley Hill, near Bradford. Her conversion seems to have taken place about 1820, as the result of conversation with her husband, who had begun to attend the Methodist services. She received her first ticket from the Rev. David Stoner in March, 1821. She was from the first exemplary in ber attendance at her class, going in all weathers, although she had a considerable distance to walk. In the memorable year 1849, she was expelled, with the whole class, along with several other classes, by the Rev. W. Birt. She, however, stood by her Christian friends in all difficulties, often on returning home, saying, “ I will do right, and leave the event to God." She greatly rejoiced on the building of Salem Chapel, often saying, “ Now we shall have peace; God has given us a place of worship near our own

she had gone. Being assured, however, that care should be taken to say only what was right, she was satisfied, and a funeral sermon was preached by the minister to a large congregation.

G. G.

door, in our old age, and it will be a home for our children when we are gone." All that she could do for its support was cheerfully done. She loved the house of God, and her place in it was never vacant when service was held, so long as she could walk there. The last journey she took was to her beloved “ Salem,” assisted there by her eldest son, and home again by her only daughter. Often when asked to stay from the week-night service, when tired or unwell, she would say, “I can rest there." Among her friends and neighbours she was a mother indeed, rendering assistance to all who needed it at any sacrifice of personal comfort, sometimes saying in reply to remonstrances on the subject, “ I can only do good while I live." At the commencement of her last affliction she had some doubts, but they were soon dispelled, and as she gradually Bank she looked forward with Christian composure and confidence to the change awaiting her. A few days before she died, her daughter-in-law said, “You have not sung much for us lately.” She replied, “But I can sing yet," and she tried to sing a favourite verse which she learned when a girl, “It runs divinely clear, a fountain

deep and wide, 'Twas opened by a soldier's spear, in

my Redeemer's side." Alas! her voice was gone, but she asked in ecstasy,“ Is not that grand ? It is both deep and wide.” On the Sunday before her death, when the writer called to see her, she raised her hands as high as she could twice, to indicate what she tried to express— that she was “ almost there ;" and on Tuesday, December 11, without a struggle or a groan, she fell asleep in Jesus, aged sixty-five years. To myself, our departed sister always appeared a ripe Christian. She had an individuality of manner which, however, was rather a charm than otherwise. That she thought for herself and expressed her thoughts in her own way, rendered conversation with her interesting and profitable. She had a low estimate of herself, and wished that nothing should be said of her publicly after

JOHN READ, LATE OF LIVERPOOL. John READ was born at Bulwell, near Nottingham, on the 9th of February, 1842, and died at Liverpool on the 31st of August, 1866. Parenta! piety shed its light and fragrance on his early life. When but a child he was taken to the sanctuary, Sabbathschool, and class-meeting. Thus, while his heart was fresh and tender, seeds of living truth were sown in it, and these seeds being visited with gentle dews and glowing sunbeams, grew into a piety of singular force and beauty. It has been my lot to meet with but few, men whom nature and grace had combined to make so fair, gentle, and noble.

I cannot say when our sainted friend was converted; but it is cheering to know that he really was converted. He had “the witness in himself," and gave unmistakable proof of it to others. One way in which this was made manifest was his keen relish for communion with God's people. Another was his hearty delight in the service of Christ. He commenced in the Sabbath-school, just the place for one with a nature so mild and winning as his was. We can scarcely conceive of him treating a child unkindly, or a fellow-teacher gruffly. We know that his nature had been defiled and degraded by sin. Of himself he could " thing." His sufficiency was of God. By faith in the glorious atonement of Christ, and dependence on the Spirit that helps our infirmities, he attained on earth a growing sweetness and sanctity of character and conduct, and is now without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.

Nearly three years since, our brother came to reside in Birmingham. He joined our Unett Street Society and Sabbath-school. Among the noble band of young disciples whom God has raised up there, he was happy, beloved, and useful. His

« PreviousContinue »