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“For me my elder brethren stay,
And Jesus bids me come.” She distinctly, and with great energy, answered, “ Amen!” This was her last word. Afterwards she could not be roused to intelligence, without great effort. Having failed in several attempts to gain her attention, even though I raised my voice, one of my sisters requested me to pronounce the name “ Jesus;" observing, “ She will hear that.” I said, “The Lord Jesus will receive your spirit.” She instantly, though unable to articulate, unquestionably signified her assent. She continued to respire very feebly for several hours, and at last ceased to breathe, so suddenly, as to attract the attention of her family by its abruptness; but when they looked, all was over. There was neither struggle nor sigh: she appeared literally to have fallen asleep. This was in the night of Thursday, May 4th, 1843.
On Sunday morning, May 14th, her long-attached friend, the Rev. Dr. Bunting, of London, preached an appropriate sermon, in Oxford-road chapel. My mother had strictly prohibited any kind of funeral sermon, believing that such honours were only due to “the excellent of the earth ;' and though the family considered her to be especially entitled to rank amongst them, they were bound by her decision, and could not but admire the motive, though perhaps a mis.. taken one, under which she acted. The sermon, however, was so suited to the solemn occasion, and so touchingly finished with a few of my mother's triumphant expressions, that the family could not have desired any other; and they feel that to him who so kindly undertook the service, though suffering from great debility, their grateful thanks are due, and are thus most respectfully and cordially presented.
BRIEF BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 1. DIED, November 8th, 1842, at Stamford Bridge, in the York Circuit, Marmaduke Lund, in his seventy-second year. At the age of nineteen, under the ministry of the Rev. John Doncaster, he first felt himself a sinner, and, by repentance and prayer, soon obtained the gift of precious faith, and a clear evidence of the pardoning mercy of God. He was soon afterwards admitted into the Methodist society, by the Rev. Edward Jackson, and, from that time until his death, continued to be a zealous, consistent, and useful member of it. He was appointed Class-Leader at Stamford-Bridge, and discharged the duties of the office with great faithfulness and zeal for a period of twentyeight years: he had also the charge of a class at the neighbouring village of Gatehelmsley. His attention to the sick was unremitting; and, feeling the value of immortal souls, whether solicited or not, he made it bis constant duty to visit the houses of the afflicted. His acknowledged simplicity and sincerity always procured him an entrance, and even prejudice soon yielded to the influence of his piety. In many instances, by the blessing of God, he has been made the instrument of real spiritual good to his neighbours when under dying circumstances. The services connected with Methodism were highly valued by him ; and this he evidenced by a strict and conscientious attendance on them all. Although he moved in an humble station, he was much esteemed by a numerous and respectable circle of acquaintance, and his friends always welcomed him to their houses. In such visits, he manifested his usual cheerfulness and vivacity; and constantly, both from such incidents as might occur, and from the word of God, enforced upon those whom he was visiting the advantages of Christian communion, and the necessity of true piety. For some weeks before his dissolution, he felt that his infirmities were increasing; and he was therefore obliged to desist from his usual labours : but though the outward man continued to decay, his love to God, and reliance on his Saviour, were unaltered to the last: he departed hence, in the sure and certain hope of eternal life.
2. Died, November 15th, at Derby, in her twenty-second year, Miss Martha Wintle, the fourth daughter of the late Rev. Richard Wintle, Supernumerary Wesleyan Minister. From her infancy she was thoughtful and studious, and was particularly attentive to the wishes of her parents. Her youthful days were distinguished by diligence in reading the holy Scriptures, and useful and religious books. She seemed, indeed, to fear God from her childhood. Her parents cannot recollect that in a single instance she was ever guilty of swerving from the truth. When her father was stationed in the Grimsby Circuit, she being then fourteen years of age, she experienced that gracious change, the reality and depth of which were manifested in her subsequent and brief life. She joined the Wesleyan society, and continued a steady and consistent member till she finished her course. After leaving Grimsby in 1836, her parents came to Derby; and in the following year, she was engaged as a private teacher in the family of Mr. Joyce, of Breedon, Leicestershire, where she remained till within a few days of her decease. Mr. Joyce remarks, in a statement which he drew up for the sermon preached on the occasion of her funeral :“ From the day that she entered our house, she evinced that her change of heart was genuine. There is no doubt but that her natural disposition was kind; yet her general manners were such as proved to all that, however amiable her temper, she possessed in a high degree the principles of divine truth and grace. She was a member of our family five years and a half; and during the whole time, no one ever saw her in the slightest degree ruffled or discomposed in spirit. Her situation was not of a character to free her from provocation or trial. The management of children, and particularly of healthy and spirited little boys, requires much patience and forbearance ; yet, in all her intercourse with them, the observation made above is correct. Her whole conduct towards them was much to be admired and valued. Her prayers with them, her strict regard to integrity and truth, her proper and faithful reproofs, given with such kindness as always discovered the motive by which they were induced, together with her uniform punctuality and firmness, were matters of great importance to her charge, and, it is to be hoped, have left an impression not to be erased. About four years before her death, she obtained the blessing of entire sanctification; and although she had not named it till it was mentioned in her class, yet it was discovered in the family, that she had appeared more than usually cheerful and happy; and there is no doubt but that she retained this abundant grace to the close of her life. Every one of us esteemed her as if she had been a near relation. Her prudence and sincerity so far gained our confidence, that we felt entirely free from restraint in her presence, and should not have feared to confide to her things requiring the greatest secresy. Her kind and unobtrusive manner gave her the goodwill of all who came to the house. Amongst the poor, too, whose interests lay near her heart, and whose wants she often personally relieved, she was highly esteemed. She visited the fatherless and widow in their affliction, while she kept herself unspotted from the world. As to the irreligious world, it had not one charm for her. She did not appear to have the slightest relish for it, or its concerns : she has been heard to say, even in the time of health, that she was so happy, she could wish to depart, and be with Christ. She greatly enjoyed the preaching of the Gospel, and all the means of grace; and when our Ministers were expected at the house, on their regular visits, she was always delighted with the thought of seeing them. She was an assiduous and successful Collector for the Bible and Missionary Societies, and manifested great pleasure in supporting every institution which tended to the glory of God. She was careful to devote all her leisure hours to something useful; and while her six days were diligently occupied, her Sabbaths were strictly employed in sacred duties. Prayer, reading to, and catechising, the children, and attendance on the house of God, always occupied her days of sacred rest. She could not be induced to take what she thought a needless walk on the Sabbath, and always discouraged even ordinary cooking on that day. Her health was delicate ; but the most cheerful good humour always appeared in her manner and countenance. In her last illness, though she suffered much sickness and pain, she frequently observed, she never was so happy in her life; and her extreme kindness to all about her manifested how satisfied she was to suffer all the will of God. Up to the time she left us, the same spirit was continually manifested. We view her death as a great loss, both to ourselves and children; but we are well aware it is her infinite and eternal gain.” From my own visits to Mr. Joyce's house, for about fifteen months of her residence there, and from seeing her repeatedly during her affliction, I can corroborate all that Mr. Joyce has said. It was indeed delightful to witness her confidence, submission, and abounding consolation. After her return to Derby, a murmur was never heard to escape her lips; on the contrary, she expressed herself as being always happy in the love of God, and perfectly resigned to his will. During the last few days of her life, several kind friends, as well as the Ministers of the Derby Circuit, visited her, to whom she expressed her thankfulness, and heartily responded to the petitions offered in her behalf. About ten o'clock in the morning of the day on which she died, her mother was standing by her bed-side, not at all apprehensive that her death was so near, when she said, “ Mother, I shall be in heaven before dinner time.” Just then a friend came in, and prayed with her. She was then quite sensible. After lying still for a short time, and when all who were present thought that she would speak no more, she suddenly lifted up her eyes, clasped her hands, and, with a beautiful smile, exclaimed, “ Glory, glory, glory!-Heaven !- Angels !
-The Saviour !—The music!-Don't you see ?-Don't you hear ?” In a few minutes afterward, without one struggle, she gently fell asleep in Jesus.
3. Died, November 20th, at Catterick, in her thirty-ninth year, Mrs. Wilkinson, of Hunton, in the Richmond Circuit; having been for upwards of twenty years a steady and consistent member of the Wesleyan-Methodist society. At a very early period of her life, she was favoured with the gracious visitations of the Holy Spirit. Good impressions were made on her mind; and in the eighteenth year of her age, she resolved to become a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.
She was married to Mr. A. Wilkinson in July, 1822, and about the same time joined the Methodist society, and became an earnest seeker of salvation. Her repentance was genuine, and resulted in the conversion of her soul to God. On one occasion, she had retired into her room for the express purpose of praying that she herself might be a partaker of the blessedness of those to whom the Lord doth not impute sin. She was enabled, while thus engaged in pleading with God, to believe in Him who justifieth the ungodly. Her mourning soul was comforted; she now enjoyed the witness of the Holy Spirit, attesting the fact of her adoption into the heavenly family, and as long as she lived, she retained, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the consciousness of the divine favour thus imparted to her.
Mrs. Wilkinson was a woman of a meek and quiet spirit. This was very conspicuous in her character. There was a kindness in her look, a mildness in her expression, and a uniform sweetness in her behaviour, which indicated the peace that reigned in her heart, and which are so suitable to the Christian character and profession. By the providence of God, she was naturally possessed of an amiable disposition; and this was heightened, as being sanctified by the grace of God. It seemed to be her delight to promote the temporal and spiritual good of those around her; to minister to their comfort, as well as to their solid advantage. The law of kindness was not only in her heart, but also on her lips. Her house was truly a home. For the ordinances of religion, she cherished a strong regard ; and this was evidenced by her regular and constant attendance on them.
She esteemed the Ministers of the Gospel very highly for their work's sake, and her kind attentions will never be forgotten by them. A few days before she died, she said to her husband, “It is your work to preach, and it is mine to attend to the Preachers."
She was a truly Christian woman. Her piety was plainly visible, but it was not at all ostentatious. Nor was it wavering : her heart was fixed, trusting in the Lord. Her last affliction was very painful. She had been for some time gradually becoming weaker, and it was evident that disease was making serious inroads upon her constitution.
For several weeks before her death, she was mostly in a state of delirium. There were, indeed, some intervals of ease; but whether delirious or not, her constant themes were, religion, the church, Jesus, and heaven. Her mind was generally in a devotional frame. Prayer and praise were constantly on her lips. Frequently did she repeat verses of the hymns she had so often been accustomed to sing. On one occasion, she exclaimed," Mighty faith, mighty faith,
"Mighty faith the promise sees,
And looks to that alone;
And cries, It shall be done !'”
And immediately, with great emphasis, she added, “ Victory, victory, victory!” waving her hands as she repeated the words.
As she approached the end of her journey, and when suffering much pain, she solemnly remarked, “ All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.” Just before she expired, she said, “ Jesus, that dear Friend! Heaven, heaven, heaven!" These were the last words she uttered, and soon after she slept in Christ.
4. Died, December 7th, at Pateley-Bridge, Mr. William Grange, aged twenty-four. His father dying when he was very young, the future training of himself and three brothers devolved on their mother, who was a member of the Wesleyan-Methodist society. She endeavoured to train them up in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord," as well as to “provide things honest in the sight of all men” for them. The good seed thus sown was not wholly lost. William was sent to the Sabbath-school, where the impressions previously made were deepened. Soon after the commencement of his last affliction, he observed, “ I cannot recollect a time when the Spirit did not strive with me; and often, while sitting under the word, has my heart been strongly affected, and I have resolved to begin to seek the Lord in earnest : but, alas ! these pious feelings were, for the time, too much like the 'morning cloud, or the early dew.'” Being of a lively disposition, and fond of company, he in some degree resisted this gracious influence, and remained a stranger to vital godliness till the nineteenth year of his age. He then yielded to conviction of sin, and determined not to rest till he had obtained the blessing of pardon. At a prayer-meeting held at the close of the Sabbath-evening's service, with some others, he continued wrestling with God till near midnight: the Lord, in mercy, then spoke peace to his soul, and enabled him to rejoice in his Saviour. From this time his character became decided : he made no compromise with the world, nor did he ever after lose the evidence of divine acceptance. Though sometimes brought into heaviness through manifold temptations; yet, when most closely assailed by the enemy, he was enabled to hold fast his confidence, and to say, “ There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Growing in grace, he soon saw that richer blessings were attainable : for these he sought; and by faith in the full efficacy of the atoning blood, and the power of the Spirit of holiness, his love was made perfect, fear and sin were cast out, and thenceforth he went on his way rejoicing evermore, praying without ceasing, and in everything giving thanks, knowing that this was the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning him.
Having experienced so much of the goodness of God himself, he began to see it his duty to call sinners to repentance; but a sense of his own unworthiness prevented his engaging in this work for about twelve months: the consequence was, a loss of spiritual enjoyment to a considerable extent. At length he reluctantly yielded to the call of the church ; and, being duly authorized, laboured with acceptance as an Exhorter and Local Preacher, his theme being a present, free, and full salvation, received and held by simple faith in Christ. He attended punctually to his appointments; and, in all probability, the pulmonary affection which terminated his life originated in these labours.