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Probably this religious concern was And it was equally gratifying to his deepened by the event which called him wife, to be able also to subscribe to this away from school in 1833, namely, the sentiment. Every relation which a good death of his father.
man sustains is a sanctified one. That Early in 1834, he was converted to this was the case in his family relations God, being then in his 17th year. He all his friends were happy to see, and always owned that his decision, under the parties immediately interested gratedivine grace, was brought about by fully felt it. means of a local preacher in the circuit About the period of his marriage, he named Whitworth. But without say- entered upon the profession of a school. ing one word in the way of disparage- master. For this he was well qualified ment of the noble order to which he by a thorough knowledge of whatever belonged, it may be easily supposed he professed to teach, a single-mindedthat quite as effective, though seemingly ness which attended his efforts, and an a remoter cause of his conversion, was ever-present consciousness of his dethat early tuition and prayerful culture pendence upon divine aid. It may here which had been bestowed upon him by be remarked, that he always began and his faithful mother. Surely many a case
closed his labours in the school by singof apparently sudden conversion owes ing and prayer. If we add, that he was more to the “
grandmother Lois and strictly conscientious, remarkably enermother Eunice" influence, than is en. getic, and benevolent, it will be granted tered to its account. That the change at once, that the community which was radical, abundant evidence was soon allows the diversion of such talents from forthcoming. Some of his relatives have this calling, when once given to it, errs. often read some verses composed by him Let it not be replied that, “In society at this juncture, in proof of his anxie- every man finds his level.” We see ties for the spiritual welfare of all his many an illustration of the fact, that an friends. It is only a variation of the able schoolmaster's services are just old orthodox method, “We have found appreciated in the inverse proportion of Him of whom Moses, in the law and the their need; and the less need of this prophets, did write: is not this the functionary, the better his remuneration. Christ?
The last few years of Mr. S.'s life were New purposes were formed; new spent in business, not so much from choice, objects and aims were before him; and as in virtue of the promise it afforded him newly awakened energies resulted, as of being thus better enabled to meet the always, from the event of religious prin- claims of an increasing family; and he ciple having attained the ascendancy. did not miscalculate the pecuniary adThe struggles of life commenced, but vantages of a change in his occupation. there is all the difference imaginable By steady persevering efforts in his busibetween a man's struggles who has ob- ness he materially improved his position, tained the greatest prize first, and those year by year, up to the period of his death. of another man who reverses the order Besides these advantages, he was enaof the Saviour's exhortation, to “Seek bled, after the calls of business were met, first the kingdom of God and his righte- to devote a considerable portion of his ousness.” His struggles for a tradema time and energies to various philanthrobusinessma settlement in life, lasted six pic movements. The cause of education or seven years with various success. still owned him as one of its patrons.
In February, 1842, he married the The Mechanics' Institution, established in daughter of the Rev. W. Worth, a Heywood, was, perhaps, indebted to no highly esteemed Wesleyan minister, one so much as him. In this department, who has travelled, with acceptance, in the tion, and almost every town in it, several circuits in the south of England, remembers many amateurs who look upon and is now superannuated at Canter- Lyceums and other institutions as so bury. As is the case in all similar trans- many stalls fixed on purpose to afford actions, in which divine guidance is them the means of exhibiting their phiobtained, he found a help-mcet for him. lanthropy as a very ornamental artic.e.
Our friend was a worker, and an effective one; so much so, that it can be seen very easily how, in many respects, the neighbourhood in which he lived presents a better aspect because he lived there.
The temperance enterprise, it might easily be supposed, would have his aid; and so it had, to no small extent. It was just suited to the genius of his nature, and was the means of greater good for his adhesion.
The value put upon his connection with these two interests was well betokened at his funeral, by the presence of a long train of members of both ; all feeling it a duty to pay respect to the remains of their valued coadjutor. How fortunate is it, if a worthy successor has taken his place! And how would the cause of philanthropy rejoice if only one individual in every town, in every respect his equal, gave that cause the benefit of his exertions and influence.
There is a class of men who confessedly, for nearly one hundred years past, have laid England, perhaps the world, under greater obligation than any other class whatsoever, by their disinterested and pious labours, independently of the collateral benefits accruing to society by agencies originating in those aggressive principles which owe much of their development to the course of action which has distinguished the class referred to. It will be supposed, that the allusion is to the body of local preachers.
Mr. S.'s name was placed upon the plan in January, 1841; so that for nearly fifteen years he was engaged in preaching the gospel of the blessed God. For this work his talents were of the middle order, but they were well employed. His zeal was fervent, but he could not expend it in the advocacy of sectarianism. His selection of subjects for the pulpit was useful rather than profound in character. The matter of his sermons was respectable, not striking; his manner was free and open ; his appeals, decidedly the best portion of his discourses, were earnest and pointed, often very stirring and useful.
His principles were well defined. He was a Wesleyan Methodist without sectarian bigotry. This, in one aspect, may be taken to imply that, in the controversy, lately occurring in the Connexion,
he took liberal views; and these views, at
proper times and places, he did not shrink from avowing. Indeed, he was
one who could afford to keep a conscience."
He hailed with pleasure the announcement, in the year 1849, of an effort to make some provision for sick and poor local preachers. He was present at the first meeting, held in London, after the formation of the “Mutual-Aid Associ. ation:" and, as might be expected of him, he maintained a growing interest in its affairs,
The harmony and consistency of his character were plainly seen, and were sufficient of themselves to endear him to those from whom he differed in opinion. Mr. Brown, his superintendent, says, that, as circuit steward, he never knew a man more faithful to his trust; and that, in so short a period, he had never formed a stronger attachment to a friend; adding, “ Eminently faithful to his trust, and social in his habits, I knew none more disposed to reciprocate kind offices.” A testimony this which longer and more intimate acquaintance could only have confirmed and made more emphatic.
On the evening of Tuesday, October 23rd, 1855, he visited and conducted his wife's class. In speaking to her in turn he urged her with much affection to a renewed dedication of herself with him to the God of all their mercies. He seemed in a most happy frame of mind both at the meeting and afterwards. The following morning was the day of doom to him ; and we have now to narrate the story of his death. It is soon done.
On the morning of that day he was as healthful-perhaps sprightly is the better term-as usual. He discharged his personal and domestic duties with almost more than his common zest. In his supplications for the various members of his family he was more than usually discriminating, mentioning each one, both the present and the absent by name; and with great pathos and fervour besought the blessing of their common Father in their individual behalf. This done, he addressed himself to the duties of the day with commendable diligence. Those duties to-day called him from home; and in taking leave of his family, his manner
either had something prophetic in it, or they fancy it had, because of the feelings which cling to the recollection of that last adieu. The day was spent in his business with apparent success, and very likely with no lack of mutual gratification to himself and the parties with whom it was transacted, for it was in the nature of Mr. S.'s intercourse, even in the way of business, to prove highly gratifying. In the evening he met some pious friends, amongst whom were the ministers of the Heywood circuit and those from Rochdale,-at Littleborough, about six miles from home, where the Rev. S. Coley was appointed to preach. He attended the service, and was much interested in the discourse, from Phil. iv. 6, “Be careful for nothing.” After service he joined in an interesting conversation of a purely spiritual character at the house of a friend until the time arrived when the railway train was almost due. He parted from his host and made for the station close by, and in two or three minutes his spirit was separated from the body, and joined the company of the just made perfect. A train had been observed at a short distance, and under the impression that it was the one which he would have to enter, he made a spring to cross the line for that purpose. It proved to be an express train, which dashed through just as he set his foot upon the platform. He was a moment too late, and the consequence was instantly fatal.
His mangled body was taken to its last resting-place, whence, on the morning of the resurrection, it will spring forth, not “ in dishonour,” but “in glory,” not“ in weakness,” but “in power;" not“ tural body,” but “a spiritual body.”
The proverb is, “Of the dead and the absent say nothing but good.” It may not be quite applicable to a biographical sketch ; but we have little to contemplate that is exceptional. If what looks most like it must be named, it is something like precipitancy. But who does not see in the ardour in which this quality originates, an ample compensation for the failing itself? And who does not know that, but for the lead which such spirits
take, many a good work would be unat, tempted that the timid caution lest he should make a blunder makes many a man of talent less useful to his fellows than another with far less capacity, and who is not overburdened with “ discretion?" These thoughts had an illustration in the career of our deceased friend. His indeed was an ardour always burning; and he was ever intent upon the accomplishment of some good end.
Distinguished for his frank and open, honest and bold English character, none could understand without admiring him, His piety was enlightened and genuine, and without anything that was specious or obtrusive about it. He did not waste his energies in “seeming to be religious."
His patriotism did not take the hue of that professed by those who think their nation best distinguished by deeds of yalour, so called ; but it was true and be. nign. It fired him with an intense desire to improve and elevate his fellow men.
His sympathies were with the suffering of every grade, and many were the weepers when the rumour of his sudden decease was told. Many, besides his afflicted widow and four fatherless children, feel the stroke a very acute one, and will long feel it.
His death to young men says–Give up your hearts now to the all-inspiring influences of religion, which has “the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” To those who lately rejoiced in his fellowship and aid in the work of human improvement, “he speaks” a word of encouragement; exhibiting his own example to show how two talents become five, and five become ten. He addresses all in the language of inspiration, which he learnt so well to appreciate—“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”
He preached his last sermon on the Sabbath preceding his death. May both the writer and the reader of these lines ponder well his text_“If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the sinner and the ungodly appear?"-1 Pet. iv. 18.
THE TRUE WORSHIPPER.
THE TRUE WORSHIPPER. in a rainbowlessons in a life, and stars It is evening; and we are enjoying in a dark saying; various, manifold, and evening pleasures at the Fir Tree Cot- everlastingly increasing. tage-a home with which the readers of “For thought combines with and “ Joshua of the Valley” are already multiplies thought; and one pure image familiar. My uncle, his friend the Elder is the father of many more. One emoJoshua, Rose Henson, and myself are
tion strikes ten thousand strings in the seated around the fire. The fields, parks,
heart, and a skilful harper may awaken and woodlands without are covered with harmonies in the universe of man's soul snow; but a genial warmth pervades
whose echoes shall never die. our comfortable room. The logs are
" And as the imaginings of a prattling burning brightly. The cricket is chirp- infant play their part in maintaining ing after his own quaint fashion. The
domestic bliss, so do the musings of a long shadows of the inmates climb up
single-hearted dreamer cheer and inthe ceiling and flicker to and fro. The struct the household of faith. Therelamp is forgotten, and burns dimly for fore I take up my parable concerning want of screwing up. The rose bushes outside the window, stripped of their leaves, rattle against the lattice work. “He lived in a city which I shall call Puss, big with self-importance, sits pur- Znaim; and in an age when persecution ring at our feet. Books lie scattered on was frequent and bitter, and when the the table and tucked up cosily in the populace were ready to perform any vile arm chairs, so as to be “handy." Apples act likely to win the favour of those in are roasting in the clean white ashes on authority. It was whispered among the the hearth, and chestnuts are popping neighbours, that this old man was ceramong the embers. A few bunches of tainly no papist, for he never went to raisins and some biscuits stand in the mass-never bowed to the crucifix, or to centre of the group upon a rustic stool the images and relics of saints; but worof my uncle's making.
shipped a shadowless God. Many feared We have agreed to meet twice a week him ; for he was a man of serious and to talk over such matters as engaged the reverend countenance, with piercing attention of Christian while tarrying at eyes that transfixed the hypocritical the House Beautiful; and are succes- heart. He was occasionally seen poring sively to start a subject for conversation, over a parchment volume inscribed with by reciting a parable or sketch, or read- Hebrew characters, and the ignorant ing a brief essay composed for the occa- people living around him did not care sion. It is with these starting points to provoke a necromancer, if haply he that I intend troubling my readers. were one, to trouble them with spells.
This evening, the Elder Joshua is to Yet, the goodness of his life astonished give us a theme; for we have resolved them; for he was kind to the poor, genthat age shall take precedence. For tle to the afflicted and sorrowing, and some minutes all are hushed; and deep never thought it a weariness to plead the thoughtfulness tones down the mirthful cause of the fatherless and the widow. excitement which, we are free to confess, “ It was a cloudy, stormy day when healthily expands our lungs and warms he stood by a crucifix near one of the our hearts pretty frequently. Our ven- churches, surrounded by a wild mob of erable teacher takes off his velvet cap, papistical traders and idlers, who threatand we all rise while he prays for a ened to stone him if he would not un. blessing on our social meeting.
cover his head in token of worship. “ There are,” says he, “treasures on Loud and long rang the noise and the a leaf, and wonders in a flower-beau- tumult; and he endeavoured in vain to ties in a dew-drop, and analogies in a be heard. At length one who knew sunbeam-signs in a cloud, and tokens him, more in kindness than in anger
snatched the cap from his head, and his tapers illustrate Him who dwelleth in white hair hung loose in the breeze, light inaccessible: Do ye seek to throw waving like a standard of purity about a shadow of his glory upon your evil his head. This lulled the clamour of imaginations, that you may fashion an the people, and taking advantage of the image of Him, and say, “Lo, here his pause, he stretched forth his hand and
ways are dark !"and, “Lo, there he gives spoke to them :
more light!” Hear it, ye wayward and · Why, O my countrymen, are ye willingly ignorant men:
" GOD IS LIGHT, bent on folly and madness, trifling with AND IN HIM IS NO DARKNESS AT ALL. your own souls by meddling ignorantly From heaven itself comes the message. with mine? I am a man like you. I From the lips of the Most High proeat, drink, and sleep under the fatherly ceeds this revelation. Hear its thuncare of the same God. (“Thou dostnot," ders, ye wicked, and tremble. Hear its shouted one.) My soul thinks and rea- music, ye penitents, and rejoice! sons, chooses and wills, loves and hates, My countrymen, beware! Beware with a vigour like that of yours. Why lest, since ye like not to retain God in do you slight my manhood, even if ye your knowledge, he gives you over to a will not respect my age? Am I the less reprobate mind. Why do you treat a man because I refuse to be a fool
him as if he were scarcely worth the because, like the noble Maccabees, I knowing-scarcely worth the servingscorn to bow down to any graven image? scarcely worth the loving? Why do ye Let the Jews, whom you despise and op- trust your priests instead of trusting in press, teach you better things than these.' your God and Redeemer, accounting
“Thou thyself art a Jew, I'll be the precious blood of Christ a common sworn,' said a bystander.
thing--a thing to be marketed by your 'Nay, I am no Jew, either by birth priests as they list, and to be doled out or faith, save as I worship the one God by them for money? How long is it, ye and him only.'
men of Znaim, that
treacherous “Thou worshippest a shadowless and vile—man, who goes astray from God,' cried a mischief-loving lawyer. the womb-man, in whose heart folly • Thou hast confessed it ere now.'
is closely bound, and deceit is fondly "And I confess it again, vain re- embraced-how long is it, I ask, since prover. I worship Him who hath no he has become more trustworthy than shadow-a God who is all light, and in his Maker;'whom is no darkness at all-a God “ 'Stop that man! cried a priest who whose manifestations are essentially was standing at some distance, foaming light, and whose images consist not in with rage-Stop that man; he blasshadows, but in reflections of his glory. phemes the church and the mother of I worship a jealous God, one who will God.' surely punish those who affirm that he “ Thou blind leader of the blind,' hath a shadow-one who will not give replied the old man; “how long wilt his glory to another, nor his praise to thou teach these wretched people to graven images. One who will permit
pray to a woman?' neither his uncreated light, his divine “ At this the crowd yelled and raved essence, nor his created light, his mani. like a wild beast, and some one hurled festations of divine attributes, to be sul- a stone, which struck the speaker's unlied by a community of worship with protected head, and he fell heavily on created mind and matter. Why do ye the pavement. At that instant, a lame my countrymen, set up human reason, dog, in size like a panther, came limpor, still more wickedly, human custom, ing up to the pedestal of the crucifix, in his place? Have ye no regard for and, standing over the prostrate man,
Is he so entirely such a growled furiously at the crowd, and one as yourselves, that your darkened widened the circle around him. An reason causes his eternal majesty to cast hour previously, the old man had oba shadow? Are your understandings served the dog's lameness, and, by dint so much the brighter? Can your little of coaxing, had succeeded in dressing