« 前へ次へ »
inclined to say, “ Alas, my brother! we shall meet no more on earth : may we meet in heaven!” His funeral was numerously attended, and the Burial Service was read in a very impressive manner by the Rev. John Hawtrey, of St. James's church, who was also accompanied by two other Clergymen of the Church of England ; and all continued around the grave while we sang a part of that beautiful and affecting hymn,
“ Hark, a voice divides the sky,
On Sunday, October 13th, a funeral sermon was preached from Psalm cxvi. 15 : “ Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." The chapel was crowded to excess. A solemn awe rested upon the whole congregation ; and the tears that were shed furnished abundant proof of the affection and esteem with which the deceased had been regarded by all who knew him,
MEMOIR OF MRS. PAULINA WYVILL,
Of Bradford, Yorkshire:
BY THE REV. WILLIAM J. SHREWSBURY.
MRS. Paulina WYVILL was born at Beck-Foot, in the neighbourhood of Bingley, Yorkshire, August 22d, 1811, of pious and respectable parents, whose earnest desire it was to train their offspring “ in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” She was the daughter of the late Mr. John Sharp, who, for a great number of years, was a member, and one of the chief supporters, of the Wesleyan cause in that place.
He was a man remarkable not only for great mechanical genius, but for high Christian attainments, for unassuming benevolence, and for firmness of character. He died October 12th, 1837, highly esteemed and beloved by all who knew him.
Mrs. Wyvill's natural disposition was very similar to that of her beloved father, to whom she was most devotedly attached. Her childhood and youth were not seasons of much importance, in reference to matters of a religious nature : she possessed a very lively, and even humorous, disposition, which continued to the period when divine things so impressed her mind, as to correct what sometimes, perhaps, bordered upon levity.
When she was about twenty-one years of age, she became seriously concerned respecting the state of her soul, from hearing a funeral sermon; and, whilst upon her own death-bed, she remarked to her husband, that that sermon had indeed proved a blessing to her ; saying, in her own peculiarly humble manner, “I know it is but little that is good which can be said of me; but what a mercy-what an unspeakable
mercy and blessing—would it be, if, a sermon being preached on the event of my decease, it should prove to be the means of awakening some poor, guilty sinner to a sense of his awful state, and thus of saving but one precious, immortal soul! Should such be the case," she continued, “ would not your loss be most amply compensated ?"
In the latter part of the year 1832 she commenced attending a class, conducted by Mr. Thomas Longbottom, a good old disciple of Christ, father of the Rev. W. Longbottom, now one of the Wesleyan Missionaries in Australia ; and we cannot better ascertain the state of her mind at this period, (and, indeed, in her after-life,) than by quoting the account of her conversion, which has been furnished to me by this truly excellent man. lle says : “ So far as mere acquaintance went, I knew her from her youth as a neighbour; but I remember nothing particular concerning her juvenile days. In the latter end of the year 1832 she came to our class of her own accord, and without invitation. Thus commenced our first acquaintance in spiritual things; and, on inquiry, I soon perceived that she had a deep concern for the welfare of her soul, and had for some time been longing for the communion of saints. Her first and chief desire was, to know more of herself and her sinfulness; often saying, “I should like to see the bottom of my heart, how evil it is. She even expressed her fear, that her sorrow for sin was not sufficiently acute and powerful. But as I plainly saw how sincerely she desired to be made a partaker of the great salvation of the Gospel, I exhorted her to come to her Saviour just as she was ; to plead the dying love of Jesus, and through faith expect the pardon of her sins. But she could never think she had repented enough. In this state she continued a considerable time, hoping and fearing, sometimes encouraged, and again cast down, till she was brought to cry out, "O wretched' creature that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death ?' But the time of her deliverance was drawing nigh : for, as she was one evening walking in her garden, musing on the goodness of God to her beloved father, just gone to heaven, those words came with power to her mind : ‘Neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more.' She felt that she could trust in Christ, immediately retired to her closet, and began to plead for a clear deliverance. While so doing, that fine passage in the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah came like a voice from heaven : “By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.' The same night she told me that her sins had been pardoned, and that she was quite happy in the love of God: we rejoiced together, and I exhorted her to hold fast, by constant faith and prayer, what she had already received. From this time she became increasingly diligent in her attendance upon the means of grace ; indeed, for several years, she was seldom absent from her class. Although she was frequently depressed in her spirits,-chiefly, perhaps, through diffidence, and looking at herself, when her faith should have kept her looking
unto Jesus - yet, I believe, she never lost, during the time that I was acquainted with her, a sense of her acceptance with God. She was always much afraid of getting wrong, and was in the habit of applying to me, to ask for information or advice, as she thought she needed it. Sometimes she would call on me for this purpose, and sometimes she would write to me; but, both in my interviews with her, and in her letters, I saw her genuine and deep humility, and her strong, as well as sincere, desire to be always right before God. I may likewise observe, that to her diligence and perseverance in visiting and relieving the sick and the poor, all Bingley can bear testimony.” Such is the statement of Mr. Longbottom.
During her last illness she said, that she had written, in a small book, an account of her first experience of God's pardoning love ; but, at the same time, she requested that it might not be touched until after her death. The account appears in the form of a short diary. After mentioning her conversion in a manner very similar to that in which Mr. Longbottom speaks, she makes occasional remarks on her religious experience generally. A few extracts will serve to illustrate the character which she was happily enabled to sustain, even to the end.
“Dec. 17th, 1837.—I feel truly thankful to God, that I still have my face Zionwards, and that I have an interest in Jesus Christ; but, at the same time, I feel ashamed that I make so little progress in divine things. I see there is great danger of my resting satisfied in my present attainments. O may the Lord make bare his arm in awakening me, and stirring me up to be more watchful and prayerful !
“Dec. 24th.—I desire to be truly thankful to my heavenly Father, for the mercies of another week: I think I have felt a growing determination to be the Lord's. Yesterday my mind was much darkened by the wicked one; and although I did not enjoy such a clear sense of God's favour, I could confidently say, I was his; but to-day (glory be to his name !) I have felt the Lord very precious to my soul : I have enjoyed an almost uninterrupted communion with him. This portion of his word has greatly strengthened my faith : ‘Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. I have this afternoon been visiting two poor, sick women, conversing and praying with them. I do feel a pleasure in visiting the afflicted. O that I had more power to believe for these poor souls! I afterwards went to see my dear friend J. S, and had a favourable opportunity of recommending to her the religion of Jesus Christ : if God will condescend to bless to her my few, broken remarks, thine, O Lord, shall be the glory!
* Jan. 2d, 1838.-I have now entered upon a new year; and when I look back upon the year which has passed into eternity, I feel truly thankful that I am still a living monument of the Lord's mercy, Whilst I have been spared, how many have been removed to an
eternal world! and amongst that number my own very dear father. I feel to-night a stronger desire to give myself to the Lord, and to conquer sin by looking unto Jesus. O, I do see I am an unprofitable servant! May the Lord pour out his Spirit upon me,
his grace descend upon my heart, as the dew of heaven descends upon the earth, that it may bring forth more fruit! I have been at Bradford to-day, to see my sister : she is still an invalid ; and I feel a strong desire that the Lord would sanctify this affliction to her. I called to see my friend Mrs. and had a most favourable opportunity of conversing with her on religious subjects. I told her what the Lord had done for my soul, and what a happy change I had experienced. She, in return, told me freely the state of her own mind. She is an amiable woman; and if she freely receives the grace of God into her heart, she will be still more so. I find she is under the influence of serious impressions. O may God work powerfully upon her mind, and give her to feel her load of sin and guilt !
Lord Jesus, help her now to flee,
I will just say, before I lay down my pen, that I return thanks to God, that he has permitted me to go out, and return home, without any accident. “ Jan. 14th.-I still feel that the Lord ‘is mine, and I am lis.'
0, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrain'd to be !
Bind my wandering heart to thee!'
I see I ought to be deeply humbled, and truly thankful to thee, O God, that thou hast patience with me! I see I walk and live at too great a distance from thee. It is the diligent hand that maketh rich. Just now, 0 heavenly Father, impart thy quickening influence ! Thirteen weeks ago, this very day, we were prisoners at home, by affliction and death ; and now our friend Mrs. II- is suddenly and unexpectedly called to suffer from similar occurrences : but we would remember that it is the Lord who calls us to pass through this tribulation ; and we do not sorrow as those without hope. No; glory be to God! " Feb. 1lth.–Since I wrote as above, I have had my
mind variously exercised; but I can praise the Lord to-night, that I have my face Zionwards, and am striving to exercise faith in Christ for a special and particular blessing."
Thus concludes her diary; for she does not appear to have ever continued these interesting memorandums.
Their amiable and pious writer was united in marriage to Mr. William Wyvill, of Bradford, September 25th, 1838; having prospects rife with happiness and joy. But the thoughts of the Almighty are not as our thoughts, neither his ways as our ways. She was too fair a flower, too tender a plant, to endure the storms and tempests of this life, and in a few short months she was borne away, and transplanted into the garden of the Lord. Brief, however, as was the period of the union, that it was blessed of God, cannot be doubted, as, through the instrumentality of the pious wife, the husband, who had not attended the ministry of a devoted Independent Pastor in vain, was induced to enrol his name as a member of that section of Christ's church with which she had for some years been connected. He now feels, that had it not been for the consolations of religion, and the supporting power of divine grace, (together with the blessed hope of a glorious meeting beyond the grave,) he must have sunk under the pain occasioned by this mysterious bereavement. Who can tell the blessedness of the hope of being transported to those mansions of bliss,
« Far from a world of grief and sin,
With God eternally shut in ? "
Mrs. Wyvill delighted greatly in the company of the righteous, and never appeared so much in her element as when in conversation with the pious. Before entering into company, she always made it a subject of earnest prayer to God, that she might be preserved from doing or saying anything which might not be in full agreement with her professions as a servant of the Most High ; and she used severely to reproach herself, if she could bring to mind any unguarded action or expression. The means of grace were likewise very precious to her ; and when she was prevented, by indisposition, from attending them, she spent most of the time in reading the Scriptures, devout meditation, and prayer - well knowing that the Almighty was not confined to time nor place. She particularly valued the opportunities afforded by class-meetings, for receiving the blessings springing from the communion of saints; and remarked, when upon her dying bed, “I bless the Lord that, in his infinite goodness and mercy, he ever induced me to attend class-meetings. I think I can safely say, that they have been most profitable seasons to my soul, and that I have enjoyed in them very much of truly heavenly feeling. The Lord has there oftentimes manifested himself to my soul, and I have risen from my
knees refreshed and strengthened, and joyfully praising my almighty Father.”
Without being at all bigoted, she had an ardent love for the religious society of which she was a member ; and, with that charity of soul which was one of her brightest ornaments, she modestly, yet boldly, defended it, if it ever were attacked in her presence. By nothing would her feelings be more severely wounded, than by hearing