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Sept. 3d. -At Ashford, in the fifty-third year triumphed. The same grace preserved him in of her age, Bithiah, the beloved wife of Mr. the hour of prosperity: he ever regarded bimself Ramsey. She was blessed with an early religious as a steward of the Lord. At the head of his education, and for many years was resident in household, he was faithful and effectionate; the family of her uncle, the late Rev. James kind, but firm. As a master, he was both feared Macdonald. When about fifteen years old, her and loved ; and as a neighbour, he was esteemned mind being deeply impressed with the necessity by all. His home was a happy home; bus, when of personal religion, she was led to join the dying, he said, “I have a better home to go to. church; and she continued in its fellowship till He had often triumphed in the strength of grace, the day of her death. For many years she bore but now in the prospect of glory. He pred bis severe affliction with Christian fortitude and dying arm, shouted, “Victory!" and passed submission, enjoying peace with God, and con home to God.
J. W. templating the probable result of her illness with perfect composure. Within a few days of her Sept. 15th.-At Northampton, Sarah, the be departure her mind was deeply depressed with a loved daughter of the Rev. Thomas Hicksa, conviction of her unworthiness, and that she had aged twenty-six. At the age of twelve sbe esnot been so useful as she ought to have been : tered into Christian fellowship. Her viers of the but she was enabled to retain unshaken faith in way of salvation by faith were clear ; ber trust Christ as her Redeemer and Intercessor. Her in Christ, simple and hearty; and the evidence language was
of her acceptance with God, satisfactors and
abiding. Such was her love for the means of “In my hand no price I bring;
grace, that nothing but absolute necessits could Simply to the cross I cling."
prevent her attendance. Her piety was unub Her peace was restored, and to the moment of
trusive; but its light of uniform consistency her death Christ was "all and in all." Her last
shone before men. Early in the spring of the words were, “Blessed Saviour! wilt Thou ease
present year, her health failed. The progress my pain ?"-and shortly she passed from
disease was rapid, and her sufferings were seters. mortality to life.
During this state of weakness and pain, Sass
was permitted to hurl his fiery darts, but is Sept. 6th.--At Roche, in the Bodmin Circuit,
vain; for faith triumphed. “I am passing aged sixty-three, Priscilla, wife of Mr. William through the valley and shadow of death," she Cock. She was converted in early life, and for
said ; “but I fear no evil." Afterwards ste forty-four years adorned “the doctrine of God cried, with great strength of voice, " Vietory! our Saviour." In the various relations of life, as
victory throngh the blood of the Lamb!"-90d wife, mother, mistress, neighbour, and friend,
then, with her last breath, just as earthly scenes she was characterized by great goodness. For
were fading on her vision, said gently, “ It is the Ministers of Christ she cherished the utmost
bright, very bright."
J. B. D. veneration, and to the people of God she clung as her choicest companions. During the course of Sept. 20th.-At Willerby, in the Scarborough her life she was subject to much affliction; but
Circuit, Mr. William Harland, in his severty. she bore it with resignation, faith, and hope. ninth year. For more than forty years he had Toward the close of life she was evidently ripen been a most exemplary member of the Westean ing for the garner of her Lord. On the last occa Society. Frank, courteous, generous, and kind. sion of attending her class-meeting, she said, he had a good report of all men, and of the truth “I have a good hope of heaven;" and to her itself. Intelligent, fond of good books eren to husband, not long before her removal, “I am the last, and given to hospitality, he offered sinking; but I am going home." Her“ lamp" under his roof a delightful home to the Ministers was “trimmed," and her “light” “ burning," of Christ, by whom he was greatly beloved. The 80 that sudden death was sudden glory.
day before he died, he was twice at chapel-met S. c. his class, as usual-attended the service of his
village-church-and, on retiring to rest, expressed Sept. 6th.-At Railhhy-Grange, in the Spilshy himself as having had the best Sabbath be had Circuit, in the sixty-sixth year of his age, Mr. ever enjoyed on earth. It was a blessed preparaGeorge Dawson. His conversion to God took tion for the Sabbath and the worship that shall place when he was about eighteen years of age; never end. Before nine o'clock next morning, and that it was deep and genuine the constant he was not, for God had taken him. He was tenor of his subsequent life gave the most ample blessed with consciousness in his last moments; proof. Later in life he became the Leader of a and, in reply to the inquiries of his faithful wife, class, and performed the duties of that office with he declared that Jesus was intimately nich, a great fidelity to the end of his days. His attach
very present help in trouble. P. C. II. ment to Methodism knew no abatement in the days of trial. He was a liberal supporter of the Oct. 12th.-At Penzance, aged ninety-six, Missionary Society, and all the Connexional Joseph Carne, Esq., F.R.S. lle had been many institutions. His piety was uniform and ardent. years honourably connected with Cornish Me In affliction and bereavement he was patient and thodisın. We hope to be favoured, erelong, with submissive: as a man he felt, as a Christian he some due record of his life and death.-EDITORS
LONDON : PRINTED BY JAMES NICHOLS, FOXTON-SQUARE.
MEMOIR OF MR. JOHN HIRST,
OF GOMERSAL :
BY HIS SONS, THE REV. JOSEPH AND EDWIN HIRST.
In presenting memorials of “the dead in Christ,” there are several important objects to be kept in view. One of these, both natural and allowable, is the gratification to surviving friends of recording and dwelling upon the excellencies of those whose memory they revere and love. But the first in importance is to magnify free and sovereign grace, “that God in all things may be glorified, through Jesus Christ;" and another, second only to this, is to excite the living to emulate the virtues and worthy deeds of the departed. Such objects are devoutly sought in the attempt to delineate the life and character to which these pages are devoted.
Mr. Hirst was born at Gomersa!, in the Birstal Circuit, on the 11th of November, 1787. He was the son of William and Mary Hirst, who were for a lengthened period exemplary members of the Wesleyan • Methodist Society. For the spiritual welfare of their children they anxiously cared and earnestly prayed. They led them to the house of God, and exhibited to their view the life and conversation of the upright. These means were attended by the Holy Ghost with a considerable degree of light and power to the heart and mind of tbeir son; so that, although, to their deep regret, he grew up unsaved, he was not unconcerned about salvation. The knowledge of bis sins, and of the dangers to which they exposed him, often troubled his conscience, and aroused his fears. The good seed had been carefully implanted in his heart ; and when his pious and venerable parents “passed into the skies,” it was their joy to leave him, and all their children, in the possession of renewing grace. But the enmity of a depraved nature led him to resist the strivings of the Holy Spirit, and the force of parental influence, until the twenty-sixth year of his age, and the second of his married life. He was then deeply convinced of sin, and brought to seek salvation by faith in Christ.
The conversion of a singer is the turning point in his history; and it is of the last importance to ascertain the reality of this change. Hence our masters in Israel lave justly held, that without a personal consciousness of “ the new birth,” and the open evidence of “
newness of life,” all professions of religion are a structure without a scriptural foundation. The subject of this record was awakened VOL. IV.--FIFTH SERIES.
under a sermon preached by the Rev. Dr. Bunting in the old chapel, Hightown, on Romans viii. 17: “And if children, then heirs ; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.” He had gone to the house of God, careless, actuated by curiosity, and meditating a project-to be carried out after the service-decidedly incompatible with the sanctity of the Lord's day. But he was arrested in his evil course by the truth and Spirit of God: his carnal security was at once destroyed, and he returned home a true penitent. His distress of soul became intense, and the burden of his sins intolerable. He felt the terrible force of the words,—“A wounded spirit who can bear?” ful, indeed, was his sense of guilt and responsibility, and for some time so nearly bordering on despair, that he wished himself even as one of the brutes, (unblest with human intelligence, and liable to do solemn account,) that he might thus escape from what he felt and feared. How long he continued in this state, is not now precisely known ; nor can we specify the place and circumstances in which he obtained deliverance. But no lengthened period elapsed before he was made happy in the pardoning love of God; and it appears most probable that he received this unspeakable blessing while earnestly seeking it in closet prayer. As to the fact of his receiving it, there cannot be a reasonable doubt. His own grateful and oftrepeated testimony, and his long subsequent course of boly living, afforded conclusive evidence that he had experienced “ a death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness.” The tree is known by its fruits.
Now commenced his faithful confession of Christ, and his diligent use of the various means of grace. He had no notion of keeping bis religion to himself: he wished to avail himself of all practicable helps, and, if possible, to be helpful to others, while pursuing the journey to the skies. At once he joined himself to the Wesleyan-Methodist communion; of which he continued an attached member to the close of life. Nor did his confession of Christ consist merely in an alliance to the visible church. No sooner did he give himself to God, than he began to acknowledge Him before his household : a domestic altar was erected, and family-worship became a most precious means of grace. This daily sacrifice was continually offered, not merely as a duty, to pacify an accusing conscience; but as an outlet of gratitude, and of fervent desire after God and His enriching blessing. Often did Mr. Hirst express a conviction, that he owed much of his stability as a Christian to the happy influence of family-prayer.
Among the means of grace to which he had recourse at the commencement of his religious career, was the good old Methodist one of close, free, and confiding Christian intercourse in private band. There may be a difference of opinion as to the propriety and utility of unbosoming the mind so fully as this institution requires ; yet many eminently spiritual and judicious persons, who have made the experiment, unite in testifying that they have found therein a great and substantial blessing.