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beginning of another year! Lord, how thou hast borne with me in the year that is past! May this year be wholly devoted to God."
From Dewsbury he was removed to Leeds. In a letter, dated November, 1805, speaking of his colleagues, he says, “ I bless God that my lot is cast with such loving men, and men of great abilities. We are all as one, and the Lord prospers our labours." Under the date of January 20th, 1807, he remarks, “The work of God flourishes among us very much. Since we came to the Circuit six or seven hundred members have been added to the society. At our society and prayer meetings the power of God is present to heal.” The next record I find is that of his marriage: “ June 11th, 1807, I was married at the parish church at Leeds, by the Rev. Mr. Barber, to Mary Hogg, of Holbeck, a person in every respect agreeable to my views, and suited to my disposition. O may the Lord help us to live together in the bonds of love, be helpmates to each other, and grant us to be at last glorified in heaven !”
In 1807 he was appointed to the Wetherby Circuit. January 1st, 1809, after expressing his gratitude to God for his goodness to himself and family, he adds, “ I am an unworthy worm! Nevertheless thou visitest me with thy love. I can say little of myself: may I say much about thee. Lord, help me to do all I can in thy service; perfect me in thy love; bless me with full salvation ! “May, 1809.—The cause of God is prospering among us.
Within the space of two months, sixty have found peace with God. In some parts of the Circuit, the work of the Lord is in a low state ; but he can soon turn the wilderness into a fruitful field.”
From Wetherby he removed to Skipton, and then to Otley; and from Otley to Bingley, and then to Keighley. In a letter, dated March, 1816, he
says, “We have a good work going on near the town. Fifteen or sixteen are admitted on trial, and several have lately found peace with God.” From Keighley he was removed to WoodhouseGrove at the end of one year. His occasional assistance was required in the mathematical department of the Wesleyan Academy there. During his residence at the Grove his oldest son Thomas died, a lovely youth, about ten years of age. In a letter, written on this mournful occasion, he remarks, “ In the midst of all, we have the powerful consolation, that the Lord doeth it. 'I was dumb, and opened not my mouth, because thou didst it.' Reflections like these supported me in the worst and the greatest extremity of my trouble. I saw that there was mercy in it all the way through. He is taken from the evil to come :
· Far from a world of grief and sin,
With God eternally shut in.' O what a blessing that I can say, 'Thy will be done!' True, this is a hard lesson; but when we have learned of it, we conquer all.”
From the Grove he was removed to the Burslem Circuit. During his residence there his health was in a declining state. In a letter, dated January, 1819, speaking of his own personal afflictions, and the afflictions of his wife, who had had the typhus fever, but was then recovering, he says, “ Thus you see what an ordeal we have had to go through : still it is the Lord's doing, and for the most salutary purpose. Indeed I have learned many lessons in this school of trial and exercise, which it would have been impossible to have learned in any other way. I never before saw so much of the faithfulness and goodness of God, and of the emptiness of the creature ; so much of the awful solemnities of the eternal world, and of the fleeting shadows of this.”
His next appointment was Bridlington, in expectation of deriving benefit from the sea air. We sometimes see in the order of God's providence, one affliction following another in quick succession. “ Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts; all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.” In removing from Burslem to Bridlington, his son Charles died at Holbeck, four years and eight months old. “ Yesterday," says the weeping father, “ we committed to the silent tomb the remains of my lovely Charles,- -a wonderful child for his age ; but God thought fit to take him to himself. At first the affliction was almost more than I could bear; but, I thank God, I can now give up all: to him the exchange is infinite gain. It is awful beyond description to think of our children being gone before us to glory, and of ourselves falling short of it through unfaithfulness. What need we have to pray to God, “Cleanse thou me from secret faults!' How needful it is to sit loose in our affections to all things here below; to give up all, and follow Jesus!” Under the date of March, 1822, after stating the great benefit derived from the kind attention and skilful treatment of Dr. Sandwith, he says, “ Blessed be God, I find that the school of affliction has been productive of many spiritual benefits. The Lord has stood by me, and strengthened me.
It has led me to depend entirely on the Lord Jesus Christ, as the rock and the basis of all my salvation, and all my desires ; the Lord has made it a means of drawing me nearer to himself; and I find his strength to be made perfect in weakness.”
From Bridlington he removed to North-Shields. In a letter, dated May, 1823, he gives a pleasing account of a revival at Binton-square, forty having found peace with God since the December preceding.
January, 1824, he gives an account of the commencement of a revival at another place in the Circuit, and of six finding peace with God on the previous Sunday evening.
“ November 1st, 1824.-By the blessing of God, for which I cannot be thankful enough, I have been kept in tolerable health. My cough still continues, and I believe will through life :—that life cannot now be very long. My desire is to get and do all the good I can, while I am spared. My soul, I feel, is thirsting after more of the heavenly life, and I find the necessity of keeping a single eye, and maintaining the spirit of prayer. This, combined with watchfulness in all places, and trying to do our people good in my visits to them, has been of singular advantage to me."
In a letter from Whitby, his next station, dated October 25th, 1827, he gives an interesting account of a revival of religion in Whitby and other places in the Circuit. On Sunday evening, after preaching in the new chapel, a prayer-meeting was held in the old chapel, (by previous arrangement,) which was crowded. Mr. Skelton and two other Local Preachers gave short exhortations. The meeting continued till about one o'clock in the morning. About eighteen or twenty were clearly set at liberty. On Monday evening five or six more were set at liberty. On Tuesday evening fourteen found peace with God. On Wednesday evening twelve found peace with God. From Sunday the 14th, up to the date of the letter, eighty-seven persons were brought out of darkness into marvellous light. In a communication, dated February 21st, 1828, he states, that generally those who had been brought to God during the late revival maintained their confidence. He observes that many revivals are quite spoiled, because the attention of those who take an active part is chiefly confined to what is termed “ bringing souls into liberty." If the same care and assiduity were afterwards taken in establishing those who profess liberty, in the doctrines and discipline of Methodism, the effects would in general be more permanent, and the young converts would acquire a stability which would be proof against the arts of seducers, and of those who make a prey of them by instilling into their minds the soft flesh-pleasing dogmas of the Antinomian school. We have need to be clad with the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left.
His next appointment was to the Newark Circuit, and from Newark he was removed to Leicester in 1830. In a letter, dated January 14th, 1831, he observes, “I cannot bear to read, so that I am quite thrown upon mental resources; but the Lord is all-sufficient, and able to deliver, and to save to the very uttermost those who trust in him. I never before felt so much sweetness in the word of life ; and our excellent hymns have been my song in the season of deepest gloom. My extreme nervous debility has frequently brought me very low; but in the darkest hours of temptation, the Lord has supported me. And what need we have to live continually in active dependence on him! The people here have been extremely kind to me and mine during my affliction; for which I desire to praise the Lord. O may the Lord fit and prepare my soul for the joys of immortality! It is what I desire to live for. I see that I have done nothing that can stand as a foundation. Christ is all, and in all; the first and the last; the Alpha and Omega!
· Happy if with my latest breath
I may but gasp his name.'”
At the Liverpool Conference, 1832, he was obliged, in consequence of increasing infirmities, to retire from the itinerant work, and become a Supernumerary. He took up his residence at Woodside, opposite to Liverpool, a situation which his friends thought might prove beneficial in regard of his health, and a field of labour where he might be very useful in preaching occasionally, and in pastoral visits as his health might admit.
In my brother's pocket-book, under the date of January 5th, 1834, I find the following observations, referring to the religious services of that evening:-“Many attended; there was a blessed influence. To me it was a softening time. How astonishing are the ways of Providence ! What changes have taken place since the last year commenced! And who that seriously reflects on the frailty of human life, but must be struck with the thought, that this may be the last? O how easy to articulate the word eternity!' But who knows its inscrutable mystery ? Infinity strikes the mind with a feeling that absorbs every other thought! and to be plunged into such a depth unfathomable ! Who can bear the idea of being miserable for ever under the frown of an offended God, whose Majesty we have insulted, whose authority we have trampled upon, whose richest mercy we have despised ? He who feels he has done this is prepared to embrace the salvation which Jesus has purchased, and which the Gospel offers; which beams upon the soul, and dispels its horrors. The sanctifying influences of the Spirit raise the heart to things above. O may I be thus prepared for glory!
January 16th.—I can read a little, but my mind is interrupted by confusedness of thought. Lord, help me to pray more, to enjoy thy comforts, to praise thy name, and to obey thy will in all things!
“ 23d.—O that God may still enable me to devote myself to him, to give him the glory of his grace. Lord, save me fully and perfectly, that I may give thee all the glory in sickness, in health, in life, and in death.
“ 29th.—I feel that I am upon the brink of eternity. O how vain are all things here below! Lord, help me to conquer all, to live to God.
“ March 26th.-Another attack" (of his complaint). "May the Lord sanctify it all in mercy, and give me a pleasing hope of glory. My friends are all kind, and ready to assist me. I heard a good account of the revival of the work.”
He made no entry in his pocket-book from April 1st to May 29th. What he wrote then is not quite legible.
“ July 1st.--I read the Scriptures a little. O how good and excellent! how dark without the Bible!"-(Not legible.)“ Friends were kind in calling to see me; but I was too poorly to see them. May we meet in glory!
“ December 14th.—Glory to God in the highest, peace upon earth, good-will towards men.' Last night I found much peace and quiet
ness. O the word of thy truth, in which thou hast caused poor unworthy creatures to put their trust! Another year is nearly gone. O the precious moments, how they fly! How ought we to value our time!
“ December 26th.—The Lord is my helper in the dark hour of temptation. I am much afflicted: but why should a living man complain? I endure the chastening of the Lord much less than my iniquities deserve."
He lingered on, a subject of much affliction, till the end of March following. The medical gentleman who attended him remarked to a friend, that none but a professional man could properly conceive how great his sufferings were.
When in affliction's furnace, and passing through the fire, the general state of his mind was eminently holy and tranquil, and full of immortal hope.
The morning of the day on which he died, he conversed as usual, and appeared rather better than he had been for some days previous. He expressed a wish to be raised out of bed. He sat up for some time, and seemed to be refreshed; but in the act of getting into bed again he began to sink, as if fainting away, and almost instantly expired without a struggle or groan. Calmly and serenely he fell asleep in Jesus, March 31st, 1835, aged sixty years.
By the extracts given above from his diary and correspondence, the reader will clearly perceive that he entered upon the work of the ministry with a determination to devote his time and his talents wholly to the glory of God. One exclusive object he had in view, and that was, to bring lost sinners to God; and in that spirit of sacrifice and devotedness to God in which he entered on the work of the Christian ministry, he continued to labour, till he was compelled by increasing infirmities to retire, and become a Supernumerary. It was the delight of his soul to labour in the Lord's vineyard; and the Lord was graciously pleased to own his labours, and bless him with success.
As he was naturally cheerful and very communicative, and in possession of a large fund of information, his friends esteemed his company a valuable acquisition to the social circle; and though his acquirements in mathematical science were considerable, and his mind formed by the God of nature for logical researches, he was entirely exempt from that dogmatism which, in many instances, tarnishes the excellencies of men of that class. He never laid aside the character of a learner; he was constantly endeavouring to increase his stock of knowledge by the information and talent of those with whom he had any intercourse. Humility was one of the leading features in his character. In the school of Jesus he had learned to be meek and lowly. He never spoke of himself or of his labours but with great modesty. A person divested of fraternal affection might say that, after all, he had little to boast of; and, pray, where was there ever a