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where he cannot do that, he keeps silence; but always the chief thing is the fruit of his labours. This determines the pleasure of his remembrance or otherwise: What number of souls were added? How was the Circuit left? Other things are manifestly subordinate. And in this our autobiographer reflects the true spirit of a Methodist Preacher, and indeed of every servant of the Redeemer's kingdom. He is sent to his work on this condition that every other motive shall go comparatively for nothing; and that he shall count his life dear to him only as it is his one opportunity to promote his Master's glory among men. Mr. Rouch at this time solemnly dedicated himself to this one object, and there is every evidence that he pursued it with full purpose of heart to the end. He never refers to his own spiritual state save in connection with his work; so far as he reveals it to man, the prosperity of the kingdom of God within him was bound up with the prosperity of the kingdom of God around him. And in all the long series of allusions to his own usefulness, it is evidently the spread of the Gospel that is uppermost. His concern was not to stand well before his brethren, or to leave behind him flourishing schedules, or to win a character for leaving Circuits better than he found them. The testimonies here given will not tolerate that construction for a moment, especially as coming from a man so transparently artless and pure-minded. During the many years that he moved with his colleagues through spheres of great success, the joy of helping to save souls runs through his narrative like a beam of light.

From Taunton, Mr. Rouch went to Monmouth, where he was tried in a way even yet not quite unknown to his brethren. He slept in fifteen several beds every month, and could seldom count upon an hour for study. Those were the days of saddle-bags and horseback study: suggestive to us of much of the old glory of Methodism, but by no means essential to it. Then comes the Weymouth appointment; memorable in the diary for its connection with his full reception at the London Conference, and for his 'happy marriage with Miss Caroline Ryall': a wife who receives a most beautiful tribute, well deserved, and thankfully treasured in her present widowhood. Meanwhile, the Circuit prospered.' Then Ipswich; and then Tavistock, where mercies overflowed: all surroundings were lovely; a son was born; the cholera raging around was kept from his family; and, above all, 'God's consolations abounded, and success attended the labours of my much-loved friend, the Rev. John Baker, and myself. Next follows Moreton-Hampstead, 'where I was Superintendent of myself: the Circuit was in a very low state, but began to improve. My hands were strengthened, and I was greatly comforted that I left it in a hopeful state.'

But it was in Cornwall, especially in West Cornwall, that Mr. Rouch was most conspicuously useful. No one of his Circuits seemed to have laid such hold on his heart as St. Agnes: consisting of a mining population, where Methodism was the order of the day; the congregations were large, and the Societies alone nearly filled the chapels.' Here he was the

only Minister, and he preached at the rate of four hundred sermons in the year-in fact, on every evening in the week but one. More than half the

quarter was occupied with Ticket-giving :

'Many of the Circuits around were agitated by the Warrenite secession; but St. Agnes was preserved in peace, and we had a glorious revival. Among many wonderful conversions, that of J. M. was a miracle of Divine grace. He belonged to a respectable family, but through intemperance became a terror to everybody. On a Sabbath morning in the spring of 1836, he rose from his seat in the chapel, and, addressing me, begged pardon for speaking, and said he could not forbear from telling that large congregation what God had done for his soul in that service, and requested his brother, T. M., and the whole congregation to pray that he might keep the grace he had received. This every one heartily did. He became an eminently devoted Christian and a good Leader, and died in peace.'

Before his leaving there were added two hundred and thirty-three souls, the conversion of many of them having been of the same striking character: not 'conversion from one set of sins to another,' as one says in his blind-. ness, but such an effectual change from darkness to light as would bear examination after many days. He who was thus honoured was not an enthusiast; and we see many traces that he watched the course of his converts narrowly after he left them. 'I trust they have remained steadfast, and hope to meet them in heaven.'

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At Hayle, also, there was a remarkable outpouring of the Spirit during his ministry. Hundreds of souls were saved; and, in our quarterly visitation, we gave eight hundred Notes of Admission on trial to such as we deemed truly converted to God during this season of grace.' Here, again, the question is naturally asked: Was all this a genuine work? Mr. Rouch seems to ask it himself; for he goes on: When at the Camborne Conference of 1862, I was greeted by very many of these converts, and among them the T.T. I mentioned before, who, although deaf and dumb, manifested by unmistakable signs and gestures how glad he was to see me, and that after twenty-two years he still retained his piety. After deducting many juvenile converts, whom we reckoned as catechumens, we had a net increase of five hundred and ninety-six members. To God be all the glory. Amen.' It was a great trial to pass from this sphere of incessant labour and great success to Teignmouth. My heart sank very low, but I was gradually comforted and cheered in my work.'

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The record then brings Mr. Rouch to Kingsbridge; and here it was my happiness to be his colleague. The following sentence, after some natural hesitation, I must quote: '—where I was happily associated with my beloved friend W. B. Pope; and we laboured together in great affection during the two years of our ministry there. The friendship subsisting between Mr. Pope and myself for the past thirty years will be as lasting as eternity. May the good Lord graciously spare him to be a blessing to his family, and to our rising Ministry, and to the Connexion at large, for many years to home! Amen.'

This note, highly valued by me, carries my memory back to my first Cir

cuit and my first Superintendent. I cherish a grateful remembrance of Mr. Rouch in that relation. We lived far apart from each other, and met comparatively seldom. But our meetings were never without benefit to me. His excellent wife and himself were always full of kindness, hospitality and sympathy; they knew how to make many rough things smooth; and had the happy art of placing a new and untried discipline in the best light. Mr. Rouch set a good example in everything: in minute attention to details of duty, in simplicity of purpose, and in a noble disdain of petty inconveniences endured in a great cause. I found him a highly intelligent companion, familiar with good books, and always elevated in his conversation. I never heard him make a frivolous remark, or speak evil of the absent, or criticize disparagingly the men and the measures of our Methodist economy. My respect for his character as a Christian steadily deepened during our two years' intercourse. I was with him in the brightest and in the darkest hours of family-life: when his children were baptized, and when they were carried to the grave. He was always the same devout, quiet, trusting servant of God; in short, his character might be summed up in the Apostle's two words, showing all 'gravity' and all 'sincerity.'

What Mr. Rouch was as a Preacher, I could judge only from the general expression of the people's respect. It was never my privilege to hear him preach: partly because we were always crossing each other on the road, and partly because he systematically set me forward and kept himself behind. But we often met on public occasions, especially on the Missionary platform. Mr. Rouch always spoke with good sense, wide knowledge of Missionary operations, great directness of style and a most uniform suppression of self. This last clause brings me back to the beautiful elements of his religious character. He was a lovely example of simplicity and humility. It was easy to look into his soul, and he who looked found there no trace of selfcomplacency. I shall not apologize for this poor tribute to my first Superintendent, whose example and encouragement have been influential upon me through all the long years of interval. My only drawback is to read here: I have nothing very special to record concerning our work in the Circuit generally'; though our work prospered in Salcombe and some other places-visibly declining, in fact, nowhere.

At Camelford it was enough that the effects of the Warrenite disturbance were neutralized. Of Cardiff there is a very cheerful record of public success, though chequered by severe domestic affliction and bereavement. In Devizes, Peterborough and Wellingborough the record is that of struggle against the tide of agitation raised by men, and thankfulness for deliverance from God's own visitation, the cholera. The same may be said of his appointment to Burtonon-Trent and Evesham. In this last Circuit, Mr. Rouch began to feel the pains oppressive that afterwards disabled his limbs; and in 1855, warned by many infirmities, he found it his duty to retire. I was no longer equal to the full work of a Methodist Preacher, and must give place to younger men.' He became a Supernumerary in Bristol, lived in a house 'a few minutes

walk from Portland Chapel, which was to me in my childhood a beloved and sacred spot, as it is to this day.' He was as diligent and conscientious in this new sphere as he had always been in the more active service. 'I find on reference that I preached upwards of five hundred times since I became a Supernumerary. I took charge of a Class, formerly met by my uncle, the late Rev. Robert James, which continues to meet in my house to this day, with great spiritual comfort.' So far as his constant pain and growing deafness allowed, Mr. Rouch for more than twenty years served the cause which he had loved all his life: in many respects a model Supernumerary. He took a lively interest in all that was going on; and endeared himself to a succession of Ministers by his good counsel and constant sympathy with their work. It was his happiness to look back upon his career as a Methodist Preacher with as much satisfaction as may consist with deep humility of spirit. He had never sought his own ends; he had never thought of himself more or more highly than he ought; he had been perfectly content with any post of which his talents were thought worthy; and, above all, a fair measure of success had been granted him. It must often have struck others, as it struck me, while hearing him speak of the past, that he was singularly happy both in the retrospect and in the prospect of his declining life. Here, however, he shall tell his own artless tale:

'And now on the calm review of my childhood and youth, my sound conversion to God and union with the Church, my beginning to work for Christ, my entrance on the blessed work of the Ministry and my success therein, I can raise my stone of help, and declare with a grateful heart, notwithstanding all my unfaithfulness, that “having obtained help of God, I continue to this day." "Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name."...... During the years of my ministry I have, I consider, ridden some twenty-four thousand miles, or in point of distance round the world, on horseback, besides travelling much in many other ways. Whilst I can look back with gratitude, I can look forward with holy, humble hope. I am abased at the recollection that I have been a very unfaithful steward of God's grace and of His manifold gifts, but thankful for any use He has been pleased to make of my humble services in calling my fellow-sinners to repentance and to the cross of Christ for salvation. And now, in my seventy-third year, I rest only upon the merits of the Saviour's death for eternal salvation, and wish to be fully conformed to His blessed image and will, resigning my all into His hands for time and for eternity. I would live longer only to see my children all holy and happy members of the Church of God, and then depart in peace. By communion with God, by the precious Word of Truth, by our beautiful Hymns and by renewing my acquaintance with my dear old books and reading our invaluable periodicals, my weariness of life is gone, and I calmly wait the end.'

This paper is signed and dated June 18th, 1872: the anniversary of his admission into the Society, a day always dear to his memory. Mr. Rouch lived more than five years after this, struggling bravely with much pain, but retaining his cheerful devoutness to the end. What that end was will be told in some extracts from a communication of the Rev. Charles Tucker, in whom he found an affectionate and never-weary friend and spiritual comforter:

'When confined to his house on the Lord's Day, he regularly went through the Morning Service, and in the evening used to pray for his children and grandchildren by

name, and for his intimate friends among the Preachers. He delighted also to administer the Lord's Supper in his family. He was a great reader, always glad to see a Christian brother, took deep interest in public matters and greatly rejoiced in the prosperity of the kingdom of Christ. The last Bristol Conference was peculiarly refreshing to him. In February, 1878, his fatal illness seized him; it found him prepared, with his loins girt and his lamp burning. He made all arrangements for his funeral, and dismissed every care but that of comforting his sorrowful wife and children. On the night of his departure he selected for Mr. Tucker the passage ending with, "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh"; and, after hearing it read, bade his old friend a cheerful farewell. Still later he found his consolation, where many other dying saints have found it, in John xiv. Then he said: "Perhaps I shall pass the Jordan before morning." His last words were messages to his children to follow their father as he had followed Christ. Before morning the God in Whom he trusted had taken him to be with Himself for ever.'

The rest must be left with God, the Judge of all. We pass our judgment, according to what we know, upon our departed; but with Him is the ratification or reversal of our judgments. In the present instance, we may be confident that our Obituary will not undergo severe revision. He of whom we have written is gone into the presence of One in Whose sight the kind of life we have sketched is of great price. Its simplicity, purity of motive, straightforward attention to duty, self-renunciation and universal devoutness, must have been approved by Him; for they sprang from His Spirit and, in a blessed degree, reflected His image. We have reason, as a people, to rejoice that such men, and so many of them, live and die among us, as we have Father Rouch for an example. We glorify God in the remembrance of many more distinguished servants of His will; of many more richly endowed, who have moved in more conspicuous spheres; but not less do we glorify God in the remembrance of that far larger and equally worthy class among whom our present subject was found. In fact, of such is the great mass of the Lord's servants. Let us all learn our own lesson from this humble record; and, according to the dying words of our friend who is gone, follow him as he followed Christ'; each in the diligent use of the talent committed to him, and in the faithful performance of the work given him to do.


ONE test of the living force of any
section of the Church Universal is
the energy which it expends in those
works of mercy, those deeds of sim-
plest humanity, whose performance
our Lord, in His most vivid pictures
of the Day of Doom, set before His
followers as the great test of fitness
for eternal life. We cannot, there
fore, be justly surprised that the

immense development and restless energy of its charitable Orders should furnish a favourite theme to the admirers and apologists of the Romish Church. They point to the untiring zeal and the soldierly obedience of these associations, and triumphantly contrast their skilful organization with the intermittent efforts and the scattered forces of such workers as

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