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WILLIAM Wright, Esq., late of many struggles, and much toil, he became Graham's-Town, South Africa, was born a resident of Graham's-Town, and comin the city of Dublin, April 16th, 1793. menced business, in 1826. Active in His father was a member of the Society mind, and trained to business habits, he of Friends, who died in America, when soon established a prosperous trade, which the subject of this brief record was only continued until the year 1842. During six years of age. Of the early days of these sixteen years, he was among the his boyhood no memorial is left. It originators of some of the most flourishappears, however, that at the age of four- ing public institutions in the Eastern teen he met with a severe accident, which Province. confined him to his bed for several Having by this time realized a respectmonths. During this time friends sup- able fortune, he retired from the turmoils plied him with religious books, which he of active business to enjoy the quiet of a read with much profit; and he became country life at his estate, Prospect, on convinced of the necessity of seeking an the Tarka. Finding, however, that he interest in the mercy of God through had to contend with many disadvantages Jesus Christ. After his recovery, and in reference to the spiritual training of return to the world, these good impres- his family, and that his own time was sions became by degrees less powerful ; not so usefully occupied in the church as but they never entirely lost their effect he considered his duty to God demanded, upon his mind. At this period he was he returned to Graham's-Town in 1846. in the habit of attending Divine service When representative government was at various churches, and, among others, conceded to the Colony in 1852, Mr. at that of the Wesleyan Methodists. Wright was urgently invited by various Finding the doctrines and principles of constituencies to represent them in Parthe latter to coincide with his own views, liament; but he declined, until, a vacancy and receiving good under the ministry, having occurred in the representation of he joined himself to this section of Cradock, in 1856, numerous requisitions Christ's church.
were addressed to him by the electors of Passing over a period of ten years, of that district. Having valuable landed which no record has been kept, we meet property and family connexions there, he him in the city of Bath in 1816. At acceded to the request, and was unanithis place he became acquainted with the mously returned as Representative. De lady who survives as his widow. After cliving health compelled him to resign his marriage, he removed to his native his seat, much to the regret of the concountry, and commenced business. The stituents; who sent him a most satisfacLord abundantly prospered the work of tory address, thanking him for his serhis hand : but, owing to the distracted vices, and expressing their deep regret at state of that unhappy isle, (Papists having the cause of his retirement. perpetrated many outrages upon Protest- From the time of his arrival in Graants in the neighbourhood,) he determined ham's-Town, he joined himself to the to leave Ireland, and seek a home where Wesleyan Methodists, among whom he he could worship God beneath his own was a useful, active, and valuable member vine and fig-tree, none daring to make for upwards of thirty years. His spiritual him afraid. He accordingly removed his birth dates from the year 1837, at which family to England about the time of the memorable period a glorious revival of emigration of British settlers to Albany; religion was experienced throughout the and the inducements held out were such whole Wesleyan body in the province. as caused him to join them. He arrived From the diary of the deceased, which in the Colony, bringing such property as commences in 1848, a few extracts may would enable a young family to start be selected, showing the state of his respectably in the world. In common mind from that time to a very recent with the British settlers of 1820, he date. experienced at the outset much difficulty, On the 1st of February, in that year, and suffered severe losses. But, in virtue he thus writes : “Thanks be to God for of that persevering and indomitable spirit most overpowering views of His love which characterized the settlers of 1820, to-day, while contemplating His deliverhis courage never failed him; and, after ances and mercies. I feel such a fulness of the love of God, and such a trust and have to be removed; for which removal confidence in His dealings with me, that I greatly long. I still feel great hungerit appears that nothing could draw me ing and thirsting. I am still full of off from my confidence in God, through hope, which sometimes bears on eagles' our Lord Jesus Christ.”
wings ;' a 'glorious hope,' that lifts my From this time to June 28th, 1849, we fainting spirit up.' But I frequently find many entries indicating his faith and feel my mind too much engrossed with trust in God under various trials and
worldly things. I want a spirit of dilitemptations. “I expect to be saved,” gence in the things of God, in prayer and he says, “although sometimes walking closet-studies. Were it not that God is under a cloud. But this is revealed to love, what would become of me?" me, (and I feel it now,) that, although Turning to January, 1854, we find the my heart is deceitful, Jesus died for me; following: :-“Having in the usual solemn and I feel Him very precious to my soul, way renewed my covenant with God, I even as a well of water springing up into here now ratify it afresh, and give myself everlasting life.”
afresh unto God; and beseech Him that Again, January 20th, 1850, while He would take me anew to be His sersuffering severely : “ Thanks be to God,
vant, to be disposed of as the Lord, the my heavenly Father, for every afflictive righteous God, may see fit, making me a dispensation ; without which, it appears vessel to honour, that I may be useful as to me, I could not be so perfectly made it pleaseth Him. I here vow to give meet for the kingdom. And this is myself more unreservedly to the Lord by proved to me, not only by my own expe- His grace, and to love Him and serve rience, but by Scripture : “He doth not Him more for the time to come.
And afflict willingly, nor grieve the children now I feel I am God's, and He is mine, of men.''
and shall be mine for ever and for ever." Again, in September of the same year: June 11th, 1855 : 4 While Mr. Shax “ I think my soul is ripening for a better was preaching this morning, I felt I world; meetening for the heavenly inhe enjoyed a share in the benefit. My soul ritance.” In the following month, re- exulted, and does still exult, and I hope turning from his place of worship on a I ever shall exult, in the great salvation Sunday morning : “What shall we have from sin wrought out for me and all to answer to our God, if we are not pro- mankind by the sacrifice of our Lord fiting, and growing in knowledge and Jesus Christ holiness, under such a ministry!” February 17th, 1851 : “It appears to
0, for such love let rocks and hills
Their lasting silence break, me, that, although cast down, I am not
And all harmonious human tongues forsaken; for, though troubles endure for
The Saviour's praises speak !'" a night, joys come in the morning. May God make me more faithful to endure, as In December following : “As the year seeing Him who is invisible, and patiently draws near to a close, I would gladly to bear the cross, that I may wear the begin to cast up my accounts, as to what crown!”
I have been doing through the year. Alarch 3d : “Attended this morning And shall I not rather put it, What has prayer meeting, and found a blessing. the Lord been doing for my soul ? If I Again, at my family-altar, where God trace back my own works through the has often blessed me indeed. To-day, in year, I find that many of them tended to a peculiar manner, I have found it true sin and death, nor could I count up the of the courts of the Lord, that better is sum of my transgressions. Suffice it an hour spent there than a thousand now to place on record, that, whatever elsewhere."
they have been, the Lord has had mercy “On Sunday morning, September 11th, on my soul, and taken away my sin : my 1853, Mr. Green preached from, ' And sin of ingratitude,—my sin of neglect of we have known and believed the love His ordinances and statutes,—my worldlythat God hath to us. God is love; and mindedness,—my littleness of love to he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, Him,-my impatience, and want of reand God in him.' I feel this day great signation in all things with which the cause of thankfulness to the Giver of all Lord has seen good to try me. But this good. I think that I can respond to the I desire to record, that my God has been text; and, testing myself by the word of faithful and kind, and better to me than God, the only safe rule, I can say with all my boding fears." deep humility that I dwell in love.' The last entry in his diary, dated SepThere are the infirmities of the flesh, and tember 16th, 1856, concludes thus : " ! the remains of the carpal mind which find my poor human nature giving way;
but grace sustains me. To God be all daughters, left Port-Elizabeth on Thursthe glory!”
day, February 19th, 1857. In the evenHis medical adviser recommending ing he became very weak, and changed change of air, in January he went to for the worse. “ Whatever is the will of Port-Elizabeth. For a time the change the Lord," he said," is my will. Blessed seemed to have a beneficial effect; but, be God, He is the strength of my heart, after the first week or two, he again and my portion for ever...... I long to be became worse, and appeared to be gradu- gone, greatly long. Blessed be the name ally sinking. Sometimes he considerably of the Lord, who does all things well ! revived ; and on such occasions he would I die in faith, and hope, and love." His converse much, and take great pleasure daughter asked him if he had any fear of in hearing some good buok read to him. death. “ No, no, no, my darling," was But this was comparatively seldom, and his emphatic reply. After a time he in general he would hear nothing but the asked for a little wine, and, on receiving Bible. He seemed very much to enjoy it, signified that he considered it as “ a having the members of his family in his sacrament to the Lord.” room morning and evening for family- After this, by easy stages, he was worship; and upon one occasion, just removed to his own house. On Sunday before engaging in this exercise, he made morning his weakness was extreme. He the remark, “ No one can tell how much spoke but little, ejaculating occasionally of the presence and love of God I have favourite texts of Scripture, and expressfrequently felt, whilst bowed at the family- ing his trust and confidence in God. As altar. Yes, I can truly say, as a dying the sun descended beneath the western man, that oftentimes I have felt so over- horizon, his breathing gradually became powered with the love of God, that I fainter and fainter, until at length the have wished I might be taken straight to silver cord of life was snapped, and the heaven."
disembodied spirit returned to God who One morning, when his family were gathered around his bed, he said, after Thus lived and thus died Mr. William giving advice to one who was present, Wright, at the age of sixty-four years. * Now, I should like to praise God with Contemplated as a British settler, his you once more.” He was asked which character stands out as a fair sample of hymn he should like.
the men of 1820, in whose early history “I'll praise my Maker while I've breath,"
his name will stand conspicuous. He
partook of their trials, but bore them he replied. One of his daughters com- with a gallant spirit, and finally overcame menced singing, and all present joined them. Endowed with great natural in this hymn of praise. Weak as he shrewdness, and trained to habits of was, he raised his voice with the rest, business, he became one of the most during the singing of the first line, but successful traders in the community, was unable to proceed. All were over- amassing a competency while most other come, and could do little more than sing men only (as it were) entered upon their the first verse. John xvii. was then read,
His religion was that of the and prayer offered. The season was one heart ; his great aim was to please God; not to be forgotten.
his highest enjoyment, to walk in the He was quite resigned to the will of light of His countenance. His Christian God, whether to live or to die; and character was also displayed in his libewould sometimes check himself when rality to the church and his charities to giving expression to a wish,—“But I the poor. His love to the souls of men want to have no will of my own. He burned within him steadily; and his did, however, desire, if it were the will of desire to send the Gospel to those who God, to get home, that he might die at sit in darkness was not a mere sentiment, Graham's-Town. The last few days of but was shown practically by his munifihis stay at the Bay, he became much cent contributions to the Mission-funds. weaker; and it was feared he would not In the church he held for many years be able to accomplish the journey. various important offices and trusts.
He During this time he spoke little ; but was Treasurer to the Sunday-school, to his few expressions were those of con- the Chapel-Trust fund, and to the Branch fidence and trust, as well as resignation Missionary Society. He was also one of to the will of God. “ He wanted," he the Circuit-Stewards, in which office his said, “ to praise God more." Though he zeal and liberality were alike conspicuous. had not great joy, he testified that "his As one of the Trustees of Commemoraanchor was cast within the veil.”
tion Chapel, he rendered essential aid in Mr. and Mrs. Wright, with their carrying this noble edifice to completion.
The poor and needy of this city have lost tion, the subject of this sketch stated a sympathizing friend, whose charities herself, perfectly unconscious of danger, are known only to God and the recipients. on the coping around the main hatch ; Let it be ours to imitate his excellencies, and, the vessel making a lurch, she was to follow him as he followed Christ, to precipitated backward into the lower hold, exbibit the same godly jealousy for the a depth of not less than twenty-five feet. church, the same zeal in promoting its The alarm and anxiety felt at the moessential interests; and, as we contem- ment were indescribable; as was also the plate his character, to be steadfast, un- gratification, especially of the parents, movable, always abounding in the work when she was brought up, and restored of the Lord, forasmuch as we know that to them by the astonished seamen, among our labour is not in vain in the Lord. * whom she fell, perfectly unhurt. Though
C. H. C. so young, she never forgot this merciful
providence. Dien), at Graham's-Town, October On reaching the land allotted to lier Ist, 1856, after a short but severe illness, parents, near the mouth of the Fish MARY ANN, the beloved wife of Mr. B. River, she had to endure all the privaM. SHEPPERSON, M.L. A., and eldest tions and discomforts of a settler's life. daughter of the Honourable R. Godlon- There were no schools, no churches, no ton, M.L.C. ; aged forty.
spiritual advice, no instruction. For The late Mrs. Shepperson came to the many months, in very inclement weather, Colony in 1820. She was then about (for the season was winter,) her family three years old, and, being the only child, had no shelter save that afforded by canwas greatly beloved of her parents, whose All this time they were without affection she repaid by that cheerful and servants. Mary Ann, though so very intelligent obedience which gives a charm young, was at once the comfort and helpto youthful character, and the brightest mate of her parents. Her docility and promise in reference to the future. On affection were ever apparent ; and the the passage, she was most mercifully little offices she was able to perform were preserved from death. She was a passen- done with cheerful, willing alacrity, which ger with her parents in a transport named shed (as it were) a gleam of bright sunthe “ Chapman," an old bluff-built vessel shine on the dreary toil of an emigrant's of a thousand tons' burden, drawing some life. Circumstances led her parents to sixteen feet of water, with great height remove to Grujam's-Town, after a short from the water-mark to the main-deck. residence at Bathurst ; and here the proOn nearing the line, the ship lay be- mise of her childhood was fulfilled in her calmed, as is common in that latitude, youth. for several days; the sails Alapping idly That she was the subject of religious as the unwieldy vessel rolled from side to impressions at an early period, is abunside, beneath a cloudless and burning dantly shown by her own recorded state
To afford the seamen some occu- ments. A little narrative, written by her pation, the Master of the ship ordered for the “ Christian Watchman," and them to take off the hatches, and “rouse published in that periodical, April, 1855, out" the lower decks. During this opera- will be abundant as well as most satis
* The following legacies have been left to various Societies and institutions by the late William Wright, Esq.:
£. 1. To the Wesleyan Missionary Society
750 2. To the Wesleyan Missionary Society, for passage-money of young Ministers to the
350 4. To the Wesleyan Sunday-school.
125 3. For the erection of alms-houses
150 6. For the relief of the poor in connexion with the Wesleyan congregation at Graham's-Town
150 7. For the purpose of laying out and improving the interior of the burial-ground in connexion with Commemoration Chapel
100 8. To the Wesleyan Superannuated Preachers' Fund
50 9. the Britislı and Foreign Bible Society
200 10. To the Graham's-Town Library
75 il. To the Graham's-Town General Hospital
50 12. To a Lunatic Asylum....
factory proof. The narrative was merely “ . My parents,' she began, have long subscribed by the initial letters M. A. S. ; been professors of religion. When very but there is no longer any need for pre- young, I attended the Sunday-school, serving the incognito.
where I received much good. The last
year before I came here, I was a Teacher “ CHAPTER FOR THE YOUNG,
in the school. I knew I was born in sin,
but never felt myself a sinner until the “I FIRST met Letitia* at a boarding- revival a few months before my coming school in Graham's-Town, among a num- to school. I theu felt that, though so ber of scholars. She attracted particular young, I was a great sinner, and prayed attention from her engaging manners, but to God to forgive my sins. I felt just more particularly from our having been like Christian in the Pilgrim's Progress, told that she was a Methodist, a member _that my sins were indeed a great burof the Wesleyan Society, although only den to me. One night, while praying, I fourteen years of age.
felt, to my surprise and inexpressible joy, “We all pitied her; for we thought it that my burden was gone ; and I deterwas a dreadful thing to be a Methodist so mined that I would serve God as long as young as she was, and expected she would I lived, and also endeavour not to disalways be in a state of despondency. To grace His cause.' " Well!' one exour surprise, we found her quite as cheer- claimed, 'I believe, after all, it is a good ful, and much happier than any of us; thing to be religious ; for I think Letitia and, from the sweetness of her teinper, is decidedly the happiest girl in the she soon became a general favourite. We school. Her conduct is so good, that she could not fail to be struck with the great is never in disgrace like the rest of us ; forbearance she exhibited when we made and, before she goes to bed, she says such light of the religion she professed. Her long prayers, that I am sure she would character was so consistent, that we began go to heaven were she to die before mornto think there was something in religion, ing.' It was asked what prayers she after all; and, although she was junior said. She replied, with some little hesito some of us, we felt considerable re- tation, “Well, I do not say prayers, but I straint in her presence, as she never pray.' What is the difference?' 'A would countenance any unbecoming fri- great difference. I pray for things that I volity.
want for myself or others, and conclude “ One evening, as we were sitting in with the Lord's Prayer.' I wish,' said the school-room, in the absence of our one, you would pray aloud, that we governess, our lessons being over, it was might hear what you say.' • Indeed,' proposed that we should have a dance to said she, ' I fear you only wish to criticize pass the time away. One exclaimed, 0 what I say.' 'No, no, several replied ; no! do not have a dance : Letitia will
'we will promise not to do so :' on which not join with us, she is such a saint.' she promised to think of it. On retiring • Do not say so,' she said: indeed I am for the night, she stated that she had no saint, but a sinner ; I hope, a sinner decided to pray with us, if we still wished saved by grace. However, I certainly it. We all knelt around the bed ; and think the time might be more profitably never will that evening be effaced from employed : suppose we were each to tell the memory of the writer of these lines. a tale.' We all exclaimed immediately, We felt an influence from above, and • Yes ! that is the very thing ;' and one several were melted to tears; the soft said, sarcastically, Letitia can begin, accents from her youthful lips, and the and tell us how she came to be so reli- simplicity of her earnest supplications, gious.' • Well,' replied she, I would touched our hearts, inspiring us with willingly do so, if I were sure you would reverence for God, and impressed us with not ridicule what I say.' We promised the realities of the spiritual life. She to comply with her wishes, if she would continued thus to pray with us very freonly tell us all about it, and with eager- quently; which, with her consistent and ness listened.
gentle conduct, was the means of much
* Letitia married the late amiable Charles Bailie. Perhaps no young couple ever entered upon the journey of life with more pleasing and cheerful auspices; none ever had their path more densely clouded. The Kaffir war of 1835 broke upon them suddenly, and blighted all their hopes. Their dwelling was fired, their property carried off, and a few months afterwards the husband was slain by the Kaffirs in the Amatolas, while gallantly fighting in defence of the Colony. The spot where he fell is well known by the designation of " Bailie's Grave." Subsequently the widow married Mr. C. Thornhill, of Cradock; and, after maintaining her Christian character amidst all the changes of an eventful life, was called to her reward at the carly age of twenty-five.