good, the extent of which will not be together over that glorious translation known till eternity shall unfold it to our from “ darkness to marvellous light." view.

She never lost her sense of her accept“ Letitia had finished her education, ance; and its effect upon her was beautiand some considerable time had elapsed fully seen in all the relations of life. For since she left school; when, one day, about six years she was a most exemplary much to her surprise, she received a note and conscientious Teacher in our Sabbathfrom one of her school-fellows,* whom school. Having given herself to God, she she had not seen since they were at school felt that her life was to be one of consetogether, requesting her to call upon her. cration ; and, so far as she had opportuShe did so, and was informed that ever nity, she acted up to that conviction. since their prayers and conversation toge And in dying moments, though called ther she had felt a desire to devote herself upon to pass through deep waters, she to God, and that now she had decided to was enabled to gasp, “Bless the Lord, Q join the church to which Letitia belonged my soul; and all that is within me, bless She had sent for her, to request she would His holy name. take her to a class-meeting. I need not As a daughter, she was a model for say with what delight the request was others. Even before her conversion, her complied with. This was the commence- mind was so sensitive, and her attachment of a dear and lasting friendship, the ment to her parents so intense, that a two frequently uniting their prayers toge- look or a word was enough at any moment ther at a throne of grace, travelling toge- to correct her juvenile faults. About the ther the road to heaven, bearing each age of twenty-four she entered upon marother's burdens, and sharing each other's ried life. It was a union of affection, joys.

which from the beginning assumed a “ Letitia had many severe trials. She religious character ; and it continued bad to pass through the furnace of afflic- undisturbed either by distrust or indiffertion, in losing by death her nearest and ence, until broken by the hand of death. dearest friends ; but her religion was her She discharged her duties unobtrusively, support in every time of trial.

She was

but faithfully, beloved by her own family, enabled to say, Though He slay me, yet and respected by all who knew her, will I trust in Him.' This young servant Called to preside over a numerous houseof Christ was called to receive her reward hold, surrounded by stirring scenes of at the early age of twenty-five.

Short as

active business, to which she had before her life was, she had not lived in vain. been unaccustomed, she met with trials, She had improved her one talent, and it Nevertheless, all her duties were underwas said unto her, · Well done, good and taken with that cheerfulness which makes faithful servant ; enter thou into the joy labour light, and gives a grace to the of thy Lord.'

domestic character. These duties were “ Young reader, tread softly as you rendered more than usually arduous, by pass the grave of Letitia. She sleeps in the arrival from England of her husband's death ; but the impress of her example aged parents, and some other members of remains. Imitate her virtues, follow her his family, all of whom were personally footsteps ; and that which was her joy in unknown to her ; but all were at once life, and her support in death, will be also most cheerfully received into the circle yours.

over which she presided, every arrange

ment being made for their comfort. It was shortly after the period to which She ruled her household with discretion the writer refers in the foregoing narra- and scrupulous fidelity. Her conduct tive, that she sought for and obtained the toward her domestics was indulgent and

pearl of great price," a knowledge of considerate. That they might attend acceptance, through Christ, with her God. some place of worship, at least once on This assurance was conveyed by the still, the Sabbath-day, she cheerfully remained small voice of mercy. It came upon her at home. The time, however, was not mind whilst in her room in private lost, but devoted to the instruction of her prayer, like the dew upon Mount Hermon, children. Subjects were explained and influencing and pervading her whole impressed upon their tender minds, as nature, making her a new creature in none but a mother could do. May the Christ Jesus. This change, though gen- seed sown produce an abundant harvest ! tle, was both marked and influential. She conscientiously attended the means The glad news was at once communi- of grace, and was not a forgetful hearer. cated to her mother, and they rejoiced Her class-meetings she highly valued, as

* It is hardly needful to explain, that this school-lellow was Mrs. Shepperson herself,

also the privilege of compassing the from earthly care, and gladdened by the family-altar every morning and evening. sight of her children growing up around The language of kindness was ever upon her. Yet she complained not of the her lips, and the law of kindness was sternness of the Divine decree, which written upon her heart. Siccere in her should thus separate her from her family, attachments, she listened to no uncertain her friends, and her pleasant home; but rumours or uncharitable aspersions re- gave utterance to words of submission specting friends. Not forward in making and grateful love. acquaintance, nor hasty in forming an From the commencement of her last opinion, she always looked on the hope illness, she resigned her children and her ful side, and hence was charitable and all into the hands of God, in the exercise liberal in her conclusions. Her husband

of strong faith in His providence. No ever found in her a wise and faithful anxiety was manifested for the future. counsellor, both able and willing to com- The world was dismissed from her mind. fort and encourage, in all times of per- About ten days before her death she was plexity and difficulty.

subjected to severe suffering for about six She was conscientious in the observ- hours. She believed it was the messenger ance of private prayer; always endeavour- of death. But she retained her perfect ing to act, think, and move as in the consciousness, affectionately bidding all sight of God. She spoke not unadvisedly farewell, uttering, as she could gasp, a with her lips. The testimony borne by sentence or charge to each. She then her husband is, “ I never heard her make calmly resigned her spirit into the hands use of an irreverent expression : her con- of God. It pleased Him, however, in versation was habitually serious and sen- whose hands are the issues of life and sible. Possessing a great fund of know- death, not to take her to Himself at that ledge from extensive reading and careful time, but to spare her for further testiobservation, she endeavoured to make it mony to His glory; and, as the sun subservient to her religious feelings, and darted his bright rays over the eastern delighted to think, and often spoke, of hill, she lifted up her languid eyes, and the wisdom and munificence of Jehovah. remarked, " I did not expect to see anoW bile grateful for the blessings of Pro ther morning." “ She requested me,” vidence, she manifested great care that says her husband, “ early on that day, to the world should not gain the affection of write to our Ministers, and desire their her heart. She frequently exhorted me, prayers, and those of the church : Not,' with irresistible eloquence, not to be too she added, that my life may be spared, anxious, but to be satisfied with having but that it may please God, if consistent performed what our circumstances and with His will, to spare me from a recurduty required, and leave the rest to God.” rence of the dreadful pain I have lately

She was an humble Christian, often suffered.'" acknowledging her great unworthiness From this time she appeared to dwell and manifold shortcomings; endeavour- on the confines of eternity, and was pering, however, at all times, to carry about mitted to experience many wearisome with her “a conscience void of offence days and nights, not complaining, but toward God, and toward man.” Her resigned, and waiting for release. At mind was habitually spiritual, so that it intervals she was blessing and praising required no effort to realize those feelings God, several times exclaiming aloud, which ruled in a loving Mary's heart. “ Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all No preface was necessary to bring up reli- that is within me, bless His holy name.” gious conversation : an allusion seemed Her faith, apparently, never wavered. at once to stir up the inward principle She humbly confessed her unworthiness, afresh; and her expressed sentiments but appropriated the merit of the great were those of “ truth and soberness." atonement. Once she remarked to her

She did not enjoy uninterrupted health husband, " I find my mind getting very during her last two years ; and the sud- weak, and I sometimes fear my faith will den death of her only and most tenderly fail me.” This fear, however, was not loved sister caused a shock from which suffered to continue. The words being she never recovered. Premonitory symp- repeated, toms of an affection of the heart had

“ Jesu, Thy blood and righteousness already shown themselves, and these were

My beauty are, my glorious dress," now greatly increased. This at first depressed her mind : she spoke of leaving she lifted her hands, and finished the her family, just at that period which she sentence, exclaiming with animation, had fondly anticipated as the commence- " 'Midst flaining worlds, in these array'd, ment of a new life, comparatively freed With joy shall I lift up my head."



After many long hours, during which no came to Banbury; and here-besides rest could be obtained, she appeared to proclaiming the Gospel, and conducting a fall into a slumber on the Wednesday class-he several times honourably susevening, about nine o'clock. Every care tained the oifice of Circuit-Steward. His was taken that nothing should disturb attachment to Methodism was profound, her; and she seemed to sleep quietly, resulting from a careful investigation of but it was the sleep of death. In a its merits ; and in all his engagements he moment the breathing ceased, and with- was characterized by punctuality and preout a struggle or groan her spirit took its cision. When seized with his final illflight.

ness, he said to his wife, “I have been closely examining myself during the

night, and I find myself upon the Rock." MEMORIALS OF EXCELLENCE.

As disease advanced, his references were The mortality of the last few years in frequent to the goodness of God, and the the Banbury Circuit has been consider- preciousness of His promises. Once he able ; and among the number fallen are exclaimed, “ Satan is a liar: he told me several chiefs. Soon after the demise of the waves of Jordan would run high ; the philanthropic Mr. George Watson, a

but Jesus is with me.” At another time sketch of whose career has been commu- he said with emphasis, “ The sting of nicated, Mr. John W’alshaw was beckoned death is gone." With a complete conhence. This event was followed by the fidence in the fulness of Christ, this departure of Mr. Marry Drury. Before worthy man “ languished into life” on his remains were committed to the grave, the 15th of May, 1856.- The following melancholy intelligence was communi- extract from the Minutes of the local cated of the sudden death of Mr. John Preachers' Meetings will show the estiWebb. And now we have to mourn the mation in which his brethren held him : loss of the generous and simple-hearted -“ After a connexion with this Meeting Mrs. Elizabeth Baker. So much worth of twenty-eight years, Brother John should not be permitted to sink into Walshaw has slept in Jesus. He was a oblivion; and therefore the following Christian of high, uniform, and steady concise sketches are presented.

principle; a man of extensive reading

and information ; and a Preacher of sterMr. Joun WALSHAW was born at, ling excellence. His final illness was Pontefract in 1805. His parents being eminently sanctified to his spiritual proWesleyan Methodists, he had advantages fit; and his end was that of the righteous, of religious association and influence, -emphatically peace.” which he improved in a deportment uniformly exemplary. From his early days MR. HARRY DRURY was born at his habits were studious, insomuch that Banbury, December 10th, 1820. When health thereby became impaired, and at about seven years of age, his parents one time life itself seemed precarious dying, he was removed to London to During apprenticeship he was savingly receive his education, and subsequently converted, and hesitated not to avow his found employment there in a mercantile obligations to Divine mercy, notwith- house. At this period he experienced standing consequent exposure to petty the benefit of Christian correspondence, persecutions. He derived succour, upon a letter from his brother producing lively occasion, from his favourite pocket- religious convictions. Influenced by companion, a copy of Wesley's New these, he attended the ministry of Mr. Testament, and willingly braved derision Champneys, and became a Teacher in for the Gospel's sake. This volume is the school connected with his church. still in existence, and the colour of its Returning to Banbury, he continued his leaves bears ample testimony to the con- relations to the Establishment; but the stancy with which they were perused. withering formalism of a Tractarian While yet a stripling, he entered upon ministry induced him to meditate a the glorious work, in which he ever retreat into the world. Happily, at this delighted, that of preaching the ever- juncture, he was invited to a Methodist lasting Gospel. Too careful a student, cottage prayer-meeting, repeated his visits, and too intimately conversant with Chris- earnestly sought mercy through the merits tian experience, to be an indifferent of Christ, and learned to rejoice in the Preacher, he succeeded in pulpit exer- liberty of the Gospel. He now identified cises. From his native town he removed himself with Methodism, transferred his to the metropolis ; and, during his resi- services to the Wesleyan Sunday-school, dence there, in the First Circuit, was and here, by the urbanity and cheerfulappointed Class-Leader. In 1828 he ness of his disposition, coupled with zeal


[ocr errors]

for their immortal well-being, endeared official, he was remarkably punctual and himself to his youthful charge.

The affectionate ; as a Class-Leader, exemformation of a school in the neighbour- plary; and as a Society-Steward, most hood introduced him to the oitics of exact and methodical. Whatever he Superintendent, in which he cultivated esteemed requirements of duty he cheerhis abilities for speaking. Being in a fully and steadily prosecuted. His equavillage-chapel on an occasion when the ble deportment marked him as one ready pulpit was vacant, he consented to occupy to depart at his Master's instant sumit, and conducted service with such effect mons; and accordingly he was suddenly that he was recommended to the Local beckoned hence. To the last day of his Preachers' Meeting, and formally com- life he fulfilled the duties of his occupamissioned to preach. Subsequently he tion; even slept comfortably until about one was appointed Class-Leader, and collected o'clock the following morning. But from a numerous band of members, in whose that hour he became restless, until about warm affections he lived. In 1849 he five, when he expressed himself as very recorded the dates of his several official faint. His family became alarmed. designations, and concluded with the Several times his wife earnestly asked if following characteristic expressions : he trusted in Jesus ; and she had the “ Praise the Lord, I still love my Sa- satisfaction, in every instance, to obtain viour, and long to devote soul and body in answer an emphatic “ Yes." Perto His glory.” During his last affliction ceiving his daughter by his side, overlucid intervals were few and brief. In whelmed with emotion, he turned, and, one of these he said, “The Gospel I as though her sympathy detained his recommended I feel in my own heart.” spirit, affectionately said, “Let my life At another time, “ What a mercy I am go." These were his final utterances : saved, while multitudes are lost! Had I in a few moments all was still. Thus not been saved, I could not seek salvation unreluctantly this estimable man yielded now." He breathed his last on the 25th up the ghost, August 29th, 1857, in the of August, 1857, aged thirty-seven.-The fifty-third year of his age, leaving behind following is the entry concerning him in him the enviable reputation of a Christian the Local Preachers' Minutes :“ Bro- irreproachable. ther Harry Drury, who had honourable connexion with this Meeting for the MRS. ELIZARETH BAKER was born space of about ten years, has exchanged at Banbury, of parents ignorant of vital worlds. His natural disposition was ge- religion. While yet in tender years, nial; which, sanctified by the grace of however, her mother began to take her true religion, rendered him eminently aside, to supplicate the Divine blessing amiable. His gifts, as a Preacher of the upon her. The child " could not imagine everlasting Gospel, were highly estimable; how her mother became so good all at and in him this Meeting feels it sustains once ;” but the secret was, she had a serious loss."

realized the conversion of her soul.

Elizabeth removed to the residence of an MR. JOHN WEBF was born at Ban- aunt, with whom she attended the Nabury, December 29th, 1804. In the tional Church, and there oftentimes telt susceptible season of youth, he was her need of some radical moral change. brought into association with members of She married about the age of nineteen, the Society of Friends, from whose kind- became a mother, and was soon deprived ness he derived valuable instruction in of two fondly-cherished children by the Divine things. This circumstance, to ruthless hand of death. This event the which he ever referred with devout grati- parents interpreted as a visitation of tude, gave a moral tone to his character, Divine anger for their sins; and they and he was restrained from presumptuous forth with purchased a Prayer-Book, by sins. But it appears not that he realized the aid of which they purposed to ask for the saving renovation of his nature, until, mercy. About that period, the year 1820, in the course of Divine Providence, he memorable in Banbury as the period of attended the Methodist ministry. From a gracious revival,--they were invited to frequent enthusiastic allusions to a dis- the W'esleyan chapel. Sunday-trading, course of the immortal Newton, it would in which they had extensively indulged, seem that was the occasion of his intro- was immediately abandoned, though they duction into Gospel liberty. His dispo- had frequently taken from £20 to £30 on sition was peculiarly modest : he seldom a Lord's-day morning ; and both became spoke of himself, but was careful that his enrolled members of Society. From this life should eloquently proclaim his devo- time Mrs. Baker sought reconciliation tion to his Lord. As a Sunday-school with God; but, until ihe occasion of a


[ocr errors]

serious illness, she had no consciousness supposed it devoured by wild beasts. of acceptance. Her confidence in Christ The expression, “gathered unto his peo

became implicit, her happiness ple," of frequent occurrence in the more ecstatic, and her tongue fluent and earnest ancient portions of Scripture, teaches the in beseeching all who approached to seek mutual recognition of disembodied souls. like precious faith. From this illness After Moses is directed to ascend the her medical attendants despaired of her sides of Nebo, and thence to survey the recovery : she herself thought she saw a land of promise, the word of the Lord convoy of angels awaiting her spirit's proceeds : “ And die in the mount whiexit, to conduct it to the realms of light ther thou goest up, and be gathered unto But earnest prayer for her restoration was thy people ; as Aaron thy brother died in made ; upon which, to the astonishment mount Hor, and was gathered unto his of those around her, she exclaimed, people.” (Deut. xxxii. 50.) Neither of “ There now, I shall recover : the angels these worthies had interment in any are gone."

Her words were verified. family-vault; and if their “ gathering Her added days she devoted to her designates the congregation of souls, the heavenly Lord. Spare moments in the emphases, thy people,” and “his peointervals of worship were consecrated to ple," must import personal identification. the poor, the sick, and the outcasts; and Confidence in this was obviously the oftentimes, with a generous cheerfulness, spring of David's comfort after the dedid she rise at midnight to minister to cease of his child, when he said, “ I canthe destitute in calamity. The confidence not bring him back again : he shall not in God she had maintained through a return to me, but I shall go to him." long course of heavy domestic anxieties, (2 Sam. xii. 23.) And is not this docafflictions, and bereavements, was finally trine explicitly taught by our Lord in tested by an illness in which her nervous the following passage ?_" Make to yoursystem was affectingly disorganized. A selves friends of the mammon of unrighfew days before she died, her family, teousness; that, when ye fail, they may never having known her to sing, were receive you into everlasting habitations. surprised to hear her pour forth in clear, (Luke xvi. 9.) Here we are certified that musical strains,

saints to whom we have ministered, con

ducted to paradise before us, will welcome “Jesus, the Name high over all, In hell, or earth, or sky!

us as their former benefactors. Thus to Angels and mon before it fall,

welcome, they must identify.* And devils fear and fly."

2. But by what means do they recog.

nise one another, being destitute of She literally slept in Jesus, October 27th, corporeal senses ? 1857, in the sixty-sixth year of her age. The answer to this question is, By A more transparently simple-hearted and those faculties to which the Holy Ghost sincere Christian was seldom seen,

now imparts “all spiritual revelation in

the knowledge of Christ." The ungodly, When so many saints exchange worlds, asleep in sin, are unconscious of their affection urges on survivers such ques- existence : eyes have they, but they see tions of more than curious interest as the not; ears, but they hear not; and a following :

heart, but insusceptible. The natural 1. Is personal recognition enjoyed by man receiveth not the things of the disembodied spirits ?

Spirit of God; neither can he know Dismal would be the apprehension, them, because they are spiritually disthat to us relatives or friends departed cerned." But the " senses" of the exist no more. What a damp to friend- spiritual man are “ exercised to discern ship would it be to regard our associates good and evil." By means of these, it as ephemera, which, as far as we are would seem, Peter, James, and John concerned, perish in death! The light knew Moses and Elias in the glory of the thrown upon the separate state by the transfiguration. The record informs us torch of revelation is sufficient to dissi- not that they were verbally instructed : pate such forebodings. Jacob evidently if not, they must have distinguished the depended upon finding, and so recog- heavenly visitants by spiritual illuminanising, the spirit of Joseph in that state, tion. This example is apposite, as the when he said, “ I shall go down to my whole scene anticipated the world to son into sheol mourning.” (Gen. xxxvii.

Paul seems to have doubted, 35.) He could not have anticipated find- when carried into the third heaven, and ing his son's body in the grave, since he into paradise, (for he uses both terms,)


* Compare, also, Matt. viii. 11; 1 Thess. ii. 19.-EDITORS.

« 前へ次へ »