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name was put on the Birmingham often sprang up, "Is it really so? Plan. He was acceptable in every
Is John Read dead ? " pulpit. The Gospel he preached The Rev. David Round writes came “not in word only, but also in thus:-" His death has come upon power, and in the Holy Ghost, and us so suddenly, that it is difficult to in much assurance.” Many are realize it. It has filled us with the thankful that they ever heard his profoundest sorrow. He comes to us voice. He was asked to give up his on the 18th of August full of hope, secular vocation, and devote himself resolved to consecrate himself to the wholly to the sacred work of the sacred office of preaching the Gospel. ministry. He could not say no,
He preaches three times; his hearers for he felt the work to be one of at each place are struck with his matchless attraction and glory. He loveliness, and charmed with his had a special fitness for this work. preaching. He is laid aside, and his His Creator had richly endowed him. Master calls him away; and a fortHis mind was capable of clear and night after arriving here, his mortal vigorous thought. His feelings were remains are removed to his native deep, warm, and strong. He had a village.” voice tbat could speak in pleasant
Our Lord has some one-hour laand melting tones. His countenance bourers. Brother Read was one of was remarkably open and radiant; them. Very brief, but very beautibut, best of all, he had put on the
ful was his life of service for Christ Lord Jesus Christ. “ He walked here. His days were few, but his with God." This was the secret of nature was affluent with love and all that was most charming and powerful for good. He lived more noble in John Read.
in that short life than do many who Shortly after last Conference, a exist on earth three times as long. supply was wanted for Bevington Dr. Caird says we should reckon Hill Mission Station. Our friend life not merely ** extensively but inwas sent. Ilis whole heart was tensively”-that is, by the vigour anxious, yea, deeply longing, to be and nobleness of thought, the depth in the work. A short time before and refinement of feeling, the purity leaving Birmingham, he did not look of principle, the dignity of action. quite so well as usual. But he If life be thus reckoned, we repeat thought, and others hoped, it was that our beloved friend lived more nothing serious, "only a cold.” He than do thousands who exist until should have left for Liverpool on they are seventy. After writing the the Friday, but was too poorly. He above, it is scarcely needful for me to left on the Saturday, but could not try to set in order the leading preach on the Sabbath morning. At features of character seen in the denight he struggled through a sermon. parted one while on earth. He was He preached only twice more. He indebted to his Master and Saviour grew worse. He was removed to for a character of remarkable fulness the house of the Rev. D. Round, and symmetry. No one virtue had where he was treated with the utmost overgrown or cast in the shade the kindness by Mr. Round and his good rest. His virtues were well blended, wife. Medical aid was secured, but his powers well balanced, and now in vain. Death came with rapid and he is complete in Jesus. resistless steps. But death had no
E. GRATTON. sting or terror for him. The doctor said to him, " Are you prepared ?”
MRS. MILLS. “Yes," said he, "my affection is Our late sister was born at Hinckley, sweetly centred in Jesus." He spoke Leicestershire. She had not the adkindly of his parents, then said, "The vantage of pious parentage ; but Lord is my good Shepherd. The having removed to the village of Lord's will be done." These were Sheepshead, where a Methodist his last words. His term of labour society existed, her mind was early was so brief, his departure from us so impressed with Divine truth. After sudden, that for days the question some time she yielded to conviction, experienced a change of heart, and fully convinced that her end was united with the people of God.' Her drawing near. At this time she exfather was so exasperated by her be- pressed a firm, unwavering reliance coming a Methodist, that he turned upon the atonement of Christ. She her and her mother, who was also was perfectly submissive to God's under religious influences, out of will, and cherished a bright and their home. This persecuting act, happy hope of heaven.
When I however, did not induce our sister to spoke to her of the faithfulness of abandon her profession. She con- her Saviour and the sufficiency of tinued stedfast, and was afterwards his atonement, she said, with emrewarded by the conversion of both phasis, “Yes, I have proved it." father and mother. She became a And she added, “The Lord has been teacher in the Sabbath-school, and working in me in a wonderful manher Christian course was one of steady, ner." On the day of her death, she consistent progress. After her mar- was much in prayer, and often said, riage, she endeavoured to apply her "I want to go home.” On her Christian principles to the new sphere daughter replying, “You are at home, in which she was placed. It was mother," she said, “Yes, but I want her care to maintain piety at home,” to go to a better home than this." to train up her children in the fear of She affectionately took leave of her God, and to influence her friends to family one by one, and gently sank love the Saviour. She took frequent to rest, in the arms of God, on the occasion, in her own placid, unassum- 31st of January, and in the fiftying manner, to recommend religion to eighth year of her age. young people. In consequence of
“ No earthly clingingchanging her place of abode, she be
No lingering gazecame at one time disconnected from
No strife at partingthe church, but when the Methodist
No sore amaze ; New Connexion Society was formed
But gently, sweetly,
She pass'd away! in Leicester, she, with her husband, From the world's dim twilight became united with it. Her life was
To endless day." not distinguished by any great vicissi
A. Lynx. tudes or striking events, and her March 12, 1867. disposition wasquiet and unobtrusive. It was her honour to fulfil well the duties of her station, to bear patiently
JOHN BARKER, the afflictions which fell to her share, and to maintain a steady perseve- Our society at South Street, Sheffield, rance in the right path to the end of has lately lost by death a number of life. She loved the means of grace, its aged members. Under advanced and probably prized them alĩ the years and growing infirmities, they more because she was often deprived were not able to endure the severities of them through sickness. She took of the winter. We have to include peculiar delight in the class-meeting, the name of one who has been long and her utterances there were explicit known and highly respected, that of and spiritual, forming a useful con- John Barker, who, for his deep piety, tribution to that fund of practical earnest prayers, and zealous labours, instruction which in the class-meet- will be in affectionate remembrance ing is aggregated for the benefit of for many years to come. each member. When so feeble in Our brother was born in Sheffield, health that the effort of going to the February 3, 1792. It was never his chapel quite exhausted her, she still happiness to know his mother, as she continued to go, until quite unable died during his infancy. to do so. She loved the Word of then placed under the care of an God, and read it carefully, often when aunt, who became his friend and at work having the Bible by her guardian. In a few years, his father side. As already intimated, she was marrying again, John was taken to much afflicted, and during this winter his new home, but soon found that she became so much worse as to be the treatment he received from his
" But my
step-mother was anything but ma- earnest prayer. Did he now remain ternal and kind. At an early age he out of Christian communion ? No. was bound apprentice to one of the Knowing that he must be in the fold branches of the Sheffield trade. He or be at the mercy of the wolf, he had a hard master, one who exacted cheerfully complied with the invitaan unreasonable amount of labour, tion of a friend to join our society at and often brutally flogged him. Scotland Street. He commenced Under these circumstances, at the age meeting with the late highly respected of eighteen he ran away, and enlisted brother, Mr. Hatfield, but was soon for a soldier. This step was not
called to be the assistant leader of the likely to improve either his character eminently-devoted servant of the or condition. He was absent only a church, Mr. William Bridges. The few days, for being an apprentice class was large and interesting, conand his father dying, he was brought taining a number of young men, back to his home and to his master. some of whom have been useful Still he was unhappy, and sighed for ministers in our community. Our the army, and in about two years en- brother was a teacher in Allen Street listed again, serving nearly-seven
School, and also superintendent. He years.
was received on the plan as an exAfter the above period, desirous of
horter. This was when the Revs. A. leaving the army, he purchased his
Scott and F. Newbery were stationed discharge, returned to Sheffield, and in Sheffield. With these servants of was determined to pursue a different
God and their successors in the course. Not finding, however, im- ministry, he zealously co-operated in mediate employment, he got con,
the work of the Lord until the erecnected with his old companions, and
tion of South Street Chapel. Rewas soon impoverished in his circum- moving to that part of the town, he stances, degraded in his character, attended the chapel as soon as it was and miserable in his soul.
opened, becoming a regular hearer, extremity,” he used to remark,“ was an exemplary member, and a most God's opportunity." About that zealous and faithful leader. The actime the Primitive Methodists, then
cession of such a brother at such a called “ Ranters," had come on time was truly valuable. The interest mission to Sheffield. The preacher
at South Street was new, the society was the Rev. Jeremiah Gilbert, a in its infancy, the work to be done faithful minister of Christ, who great. A number of the most active several times had been put in prison
friends lived at a distance ; it was, for preaching the Gospel. Brother therefore, most important there Barker was among those who listened should be one near the place of to the message of mercy from the established piety, ardent zeal, and lips of this eminent servant of God. unwearied perseverance.
Such was On the 6th of March, 1819, more our departed friend. The means of than twenty souls were brought into grace he attended with great reguliberty, one of whom was our sainted larity, the services of the Sabbath, brother, having sought the blessing the preaching on the week evening, with many prayers and tears. He his class, the Friday-night prayer at once went to a class-meeting and meeting, and the Saturday-night became a member of society. Very band meeting. This he did thirty-two soon be was engaged as a prayer- years ago, when the writer first knew leader, a class-leader, an exhorter, him, and this he continued to do and one of the society stewards. He through all the years of a long and also assisted in raising a Sunday- active life. school, and was appointed superin- Several features in our brother's tendent. In these various labours character are worthy of separate conhe was happy and useful.
sideration. tinued with the Primitives four years.
His constant union with God's His reasons for leaving need not be people. Having given himself to the named, but the step was not taken Lord, he gave himself to the church. without serious deliberation and He did this without delay. Many
are backward here: they are hearers, We must notice his thorough honesty well-wishers, generous supporters, but and integrity. Everything hyponot members, which is a loss to them- critical his soul abhorred. Deceit selves, the church, and to the world. and guile excited his indignation and It was not so with John Barker. met with his withering rebuke. He When he left the Primitives, he im- often said to his young friends, mediately joined our people ; and “Dissimulation in youth is the forewhen he left Scotland Street, he runner of perfidy in old age.” What cheerfully identified himself with he warned others against he shunned South Street. From his conversion himself. With him there was no to the day of his death, he remained duplicity; he was an Israelite indeed, in fellowship with the people of God. in whom was no guile—no guile in
His consistent religious profession. his words, no guile in his soul. Having put his hand to the plough, Thorough honesty was seen in his he never looked back, Having open countenance, his penetrating started in the Christian race, he eye, and in all the actions of his life. never abandoned the course. Hav. We would not forget his noble ing enlisted under the banner of independence. This was seen in the the cross, he never deserted the church as one of its office-bearers. cause. As a good soldier of Jesus He did not in a servile spirit surrenChrist, he was loyal, courageous, and der his judgment to others. While faithful.
When others were weary, he had the ability to form an opinion, he fainted not. When others were he had the courage to avow and drawn aside, he continued at his defend it. Not that he was one of post. Seven years ago he wrote the those who delight in factious opposifollowing testimony :-"I am thank- tion, but while he paid due respect ful that at sixty-seven years of age I to the judgment of his brethren, he can discharge my duty with so much had sufficient manliness to think and pleasure and delight. The means of speak and act for himself. His noble grace are as profitable to me as at independence was seen in matters the beginning. I have been in the pertaining to the world. He desired school of Christ learning the science no one's help so long as he was able to of salvation these thirty-eight years. help himself. With great industry and I yet feel the need of denying myself, constant application to labour, he and with my back on the world, passed through life as a respectable Christ in my heart, and heaven in my working man, discharging all his view, to learn the art of Divine con- obligations with punctuality and tentment in God's gracious appoint- honour. When old age came upon ment, praying with Agur, 'Remove him, he very reluctantly availed himfar from me vanity and
lies ; give me self of the privileges of a sick society, neither poverty nor riches ; feed me of which he had been a member many with food convenient for me.' Never years, preferring to earn his own was any prayer more fully answered bread rather than receiving the aid than this, for since I have served the of others. With great feebleness Lord, he has not only given me and tottering steps, he went to his the necessaries of life, but all things usual labour within a short time of richly to enjoy.” Under all circum- his death. stances he held on his way.
We would also record his disinteHis consistent profession was seen rested labours for the good of others. at the manufactory, among his fellow- Immediately after his conversion he workmen, and in his family in his became a teacher in the Sabbathdaily conversation. His was a religion school, which office he held for many not of passion, but of principle; not years. The labours, responsibilities, in word, but in deed. His path was and anxieties of superintendent he not that of a meteor, which appears patiently and cheerfully sustained. and sparkles for a moment, and then Some of his happiest days were spent is lost in darkness, but like the morn- amongst the rising generation. As ing light, that shineth more and more assistant leader, prayer leader, and unto the perfect day.
exhorter, he strove to win souls to Christ. He occupied the office of His spiritual stature was above the class-leader between thirty and forty ordinary height; his religious enjoyyears.
What a number of souls ments beyond the ordinary measure. during that period were placed under He had diligently studied the word his care! Those who enjoyed the of God, and was familiar with the privilege could testify how sincerely works of some of the old divines. he loved them, how ably he instructed With their thoughts and sayings he them, how faithfully he warned them, had stored his mind, and their words how earnestly he prayed for them, of wisdom often dropped from his how vigilantly he watched over them, lips. He had much of the simplicity singing or sighing, rejoicing or weep- and earnestness of early Methodism. ing, according to the states of the In relating his experience he dwelt several members. In all these labours, largely on justification, adoption, continued from week to week and sanctification, the witness of the from year to year, amid the heat of Spirit, and all the distinguishing summer and the chill of winter, he privileges of the believer in Christ. was perfectly disinterested. The His love to God was supreme and love of Christ constrained him. He intense. "Ah!” he would sometimes fed the flock not by constraint, but say,
" Ah! it is to be feared many willingly ; not for filthy lucre, but persons love the gifts of God more of a ready mind.
than the God of gifts.” It was not His delight and power in prayer
80 with our brother. He loved the must not be overlooked. In the Giver in the gift, and the Giver for closet he held much communion with the gift. Sometimes he expressed God. Before he went to his daily the advanced state of holiness he had labour, and when he returned from attained in a way that some might it, he visited the throne of grace.
think Pharisaical, but such a thought Before and after his attendance on was soon banished in hearing words religious ordinances, he sought the of deep self-abasement before God. Divine blessing by prayer.
The sick On many occasions tears of sorrow whom he visited will not forget his and joy flowed down his venerable earnest supplications. At the time face; tears of sorrow on a rememof the cholera visitation his fervent brance of his past unfaithfulness, and intercessions are still remembered. tears of joy for his present consciousFor his native town and for the ness of Divine acceptance through country at large he pleaded with the influence of the Holy Ghost. God with great power.
For the “No one,” remarks one of the Church he was one of God's remem- brethren who was present at the brancers, who would not hold his South Street love-feast in January, peace, day nor night, till Jerusalem 1866, “will ever forget the scene. became a praise in the earth. In After referring to the depths of sin his weekly class-meeting, with strong from which he had been delivered, crying and tears he entreated for and the greatness of God's grace in those who were committed to his his salvation, he spoke in terms of charge. And many can bear testi- warmest gratitude of his hopes in mony to his intelligent, scriptural, the future ; and describing the believing, and powerful addresses to happiness awaiting him in glory, God in the Sabbath evening prayer- his countenance became angelic, meeting What freshness and rapture was depicted in every variety? His were not stereotyped feature, a celestial radiance fell on prayers. Out of the fulness of a his face, bringing to mind what is well-furnished mind, and out of the recorded of Stephen, that the people depths of a sincere and loving heart, looking steadfastly on him saw his he presented petitions suitable for face as it had been the face of an ministers, members, and hearers.
Almost every subsequent He prayed with the spirit and with speaker at the love-feast testified the understanding also.
to the hallowing influence of our We would also glance at his superior brother's testimony. A friend on Christian attainments and enjoyments. that day-a visitor from another