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Among my earliest and most pleasant recollections is the Sabbath-school at Catcott which Mr. Pyke originated and superintended with unflagging energy and untiring devotion for so many years, ever making the salvation of the children the primary object of his labours. How many have been born of God through his instrumentality the day will declare. It was there I received my first religious impressions." A great many like testimonials might be added.

Writing to a friend who has taken a life-interest in the spiritual welfare of the young, he states :

“Since I saw you I have read two articles in "The Church of Dublin Magazine, on the happiness of heaven not being complete until the minister, the Sabbath-school teacher, and others shall meet all the fruits of their labours in heaven. And these will be the first to hail them on the eternal shore :

“Give joy or grief, give ease or pain,

Take life or friends away ;
I come to find them all again

In that eternal day.' I calculate on finding one hundred(who had been led to God through his instrumentality, in the school). "May you not on a thousand? Are we not the high-priests of our families? Ought we not by faith through Christ's blood to take them into the holy of holiest? How is it that not more of the children of our people and our Sunday scholars are saved ? Is not the family altar neglected? Are the parents anxious for their children's salvation? Do they earnestly seek it?"

In order to retain his influence over the young, he was in the habit of holding annual, biennial, or triennial gatherings of all who had been in the school. By this means he would revive old memories, strengthen good purposes, and reclaim many wanderers. On such occasions his face was radiant with delight as he walked about and blessed each man, woman and child. His addresses to his children, as he was wont to call them, were very powerful. In this good work he was always anxious to solicit the co-operation of his ministers, when their time and strength would permit. He would assemble the children of the village one hour before the service: walking through the village with the Crier's bell, inviting the children to meet the minister, and the adults also to come to the house of God. We have but few so whole-hearted as was this noble old soldier.

With regard to his characteristics as a Local-preacher, Mr. R. Slocombe writes : " His zeal for the cause of God was unbounded. His preaching was characterised by great earnestness. His love to God and to Methodism was intense. He was wise to win souls; and the fruit of his labours remains.” William Badman writes : “I think I must have been lost but for his prayers. He wrestled long and earnestly with God for me, his prayers were heard in the pardon of my

He held extreme views on some points of doctrine. He believed that there are three classes who sin away the day of grace. In an old MS. he writes: "First, those who never attend a place of worship, Hosea iv. 17; second, those who sit under the word unmoved, Zechariah vii, 13, Proverbs

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Indies ;

i. 24–29, Jeremiah xi. 11, xiv. 12; and third, those who have apostatized from Christ, Hebrews vi. 4–6.” His aim was the salvation of soul's; and this he saw accomplished. His fidelity was great to every man he came in contact with. When in company with a number of clergymen, he said to one of them, “I can give you a text from which you can't preach : ‘Be not conformed to this world.?” He was sometimes severe in his judgments. He writes to Mr. Dowty :

"We were disappointed on Sunday. Has this man - lost the spirit of Methodism Has he lost the vitality of the Gospel ? If he has, let him hide himself under the pulpit among the dust of the house of God; and take his name off the Plan. Let not his name appear with the Lord's workmen."

The sympathies of Sergeant Pyke were not bounded by a narrow circle. The work of God in all its departments found in him a willing servant. The mission Cause enlisted all the enthusiasm of his nature. The Annual Missionary Meeting was the gala day of the year. He would beg from door to door to solicit funds to sustain and extend missionary operations. He would be especially earnest in pleading the wrongs of the negro race, as he had witnessed them in the West

the spiritual wants of the British settlers, as he had seen them in North America ; and of the heathen millions of India, whom he had beheld grouping after God, but never realising Him. He had small charity for the traducers of the missionary and his labours. He would state that he had had better opportunities of judging of them than many had; but he never knew one who dishonoured the Society which sent him out. When in India he travelled a whole day to enjoy one hour with one of our missionaries. He said, “ I had not seen a Wesleyan minister for six years. The interview was like an oasis in the desert.”

Mr. Dowty writes :

Bridgewater, October 30th, 1868.--I hasten to send you notes received from the grand old Methodist, Sergeant Pyke. I fear Methodism will not find another such as the departed. The missionary work lay, you know, very near his heart. Our meeting was held one Wednesday night, and although we had a fair congregation, the proceeds had fallen in two years from £10 to £4 10s. Then we saw what one whole-hearted individual can do. Is he not an army in himself ?”

We have had but few more heroic men in the army or in the Church than Sergeant Pyke. He was naturally brave and impulsive, and his courage and impetnosity were brought under heavenly influences, which did not wane. Religion with him was a realised fact, and a principle of perpetual development. It brought joy; but this was its fruit not its principle. the last twenty years of his life he enjoyed the perfect love of God which casteth out all fear. This state of Christian grace he was intensely anxious that others should realise. He would often say,

“ Our fathers preached it and enjoyed it, and it was the great source of their strength;


and their children must enjoy it, and live it, and preach it, if they would have like power."

The moral power which had been developed in his holy life, and had sustained and impelled him in holy activities, was obtained and retained through constant communion with God. He was eminently a man of prayer.

In the day of our Church's tribulation, there was no man more jealous of the honour of her ministers. Bold men were awed in his presence. He was not a blind champion of Methodism. He had closely studied its doctrines, polity and history. But his heart was catholic. He loved all good men, and was always ready to aid the work of the Lord in


I will only add the following letter from Mrs. Bowden :

“ Catcott, October 29th, 1868.-Dear Sir, I will give a few details of my dear father in Christ. From childhood he watched over my soul's welfare with Christian fidelity. For fifteen years I was with him in the Sunday and Week-day schools. In school he was firm but kind, and always tried to impress the meaning of God's Word on each child's mind. As a Prayer-leader he was punctual, zealous and earnest, often agonizing in prayer for the salvation of souls. As a Class-leader he was ever ready to strengthen and encourage the weak, comfort the feeble-minded, and instruct and waru all. In sick-visiting he was pointed and clear, and kept back nothing that was profitable. By his searching prayers he would leave a deep impression. He was fearless of man. In reproving sin he would at times cause irritation by his abrupt manner ; but the offended were the first to send for him in their affliction. In age he was daily ripening for heaven. When unable to attend public worship, & few of us whom he called his children, met in his house for singing and prayer. He would say, 'I wish I could take you all to heaven with me.' The night before he died I was with him. He desired me to sing, - Nearer Home.' This I sang, as best I could, while his wife and his spiritual children were weeping around. He was often quoting some of his favourite hymns, or trying to do so. Once he seemed in a state of ecstasy as he exclaimed,

• Thrice blessed, bliss-inspiring hope !
It lifts the fainting spirits up,

It brings to life the dead ;
Our conflicts here shall soon be past,
And you and I ascend at last,

Triumphant with our Head.' “Yes, you and I–triumphant.' Then he added, “ Thanks be unto God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ !' Not long before his spirit passed away he shouted, · Victory! Victory!' His wife, speaking of the glorious nature of the victory, he added, with much emotion,' Yes! Yes!! "

Thus the noble old soldier passed away from the conflict of earth, with his last enemy beneath his feet, in the eightieth year of his age.








he says,

1.-Christ is “the Power of God.”

The idea present to our minds when we use the word power is the ability to do some great deed,—to accomplish some mighty purpose. To think of "power,” as an attribute of the Divine nature, is at once to have passing through our minds such thoughts as these : The stupendous acts of creation are God's doing; the subtle, silent forces of nature are under His control; the manifold developments of both mind and matter are subject to His command. Power is one of the highest forms of greatness; and perhaps there is no attribute of God which so solemnly and effectually impresses the average human mind with the idea of divineness as the “greatness of His power.”

More than once in human history Christ has acted as the impersonation of the "mighty power of God.” The story of creation as given by Moses is supplemented or summarised by John when, writing of Christ,

All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.” On every page of sacred history which chronicles the displays of Divine power, we find traces of the Covenant Angel, the Son of God, acting as the Minister of that power, as though to pre-intimate His mediatorial reign and His mediatorial claims and authority.

II.-Christ is the Wisdom of God.”

As to have power is to have one of the highest forms of greatness, so to know how to use that power is to have the very highest form of wisdom. We might venture to call power and wisdom twin attributes of Divinity : needful one to the other, helpful one of the other.

What we have said too as to Christ being the Minister of the “ power of God” might with equal justice be applied to the “wisdom of God.” Power and wisdom are interwoven in the works of Christ : they are companions so to speak on the throne of His mind, for where power rules wisdom guides.

That same power and wisdom which in our thoughts are inseparable from the act of creation and other acts of Divinity displayed in the Atonement, are concentrated in the Cross : only there, they assume more stupendous proportions and reach a sublimer height. “Christ crucified” is in a surpassing sense “ Christ the Power of God and the Wisdom of God.”

The narrative of the Crucifixion is, in itself, one of the simplest ever related on the page of literature or by the tongue of a teacher.


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In Judæa there lived eighteen and a half centuries ago a Jew of extraordinary character and pretensions. By His course of life and His tone of teaching He brought upon Himself the malice of the Jewish rulers and the mockery of the upper circles of Jewish society, the leaders of thought and custom in that day. They plotted His capture and at last succeeded : they brought Him before their own courts and condemned Him, and then passed Him on to the highest tribunal to have their condemnation confirmed. The Roman Governor, Pagan as he was, yielded to their wish, and commanded the death of the condemned by the torture of the cross. This is the history: there are few sadder, but there are many more romantic. It is in complete accordance with the craft and enmity which we know human nature to be capable of, especially when maddened by passion and intensified to a very hell of hatred.

The mystery begins to be felt when we are told that in these tragic facts is contained the world's Atonement for human sin; that by them God was redeeming man ; was laying a basis for man's reconciliation to Himself; that He was through this human agency offering up His own Divine Son as an atonement and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world, and opening the only way to heaven. As we think of it, the question which comes to our minds with natural and involuntary force is, Is it true-not that the deed was done, but that so much was involved in the deed? Is it true—not that Christ died: I have every proof of this which candid intelligence can require—but that He died for me? Is it true--not that God permitted it—but that it came to pass by His “determinate purpose and foreknowledge"? That is the question for me—a question the immense importance of which we need not stay to point out. Should it be met with a proven negative, the whole fabric of the Christian Church crumbles into dust. But if it be met with a sustained affirmative, the Christian faith, founded by the Apostles on this truth, is the only refuge for the human conscience against the consequences of sin.

Look then at this great question, fraught with such tremendous interest, and full of such stupendous import. Is it true that “ Christ crucified” is the atonement for human sin; that in the death of Christ God was redeeming the world, and reconciling it to Himself ? The Apostles preached that such was the case; the early Church believed it, and to the Church of to-day it is the one central doctrine.

But this fact is possible only on the ground of a Divine plan embodying “the


of God and the wisdom of God.” The "

power of God and the wisdom of God” did not gleam out incidentally in this scheme of the Cross; they were elements so essential, that without them the Atonement would have been impossible.

Now look at Christ as an individual ; suppose Him a man like ourselves; nay, suppose Him to have had more power over self and sin than we, alas! have ever possessed ; to have reached a point nearer to God

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