« AnteriorContinuar »
that she sets every member to work; but even Methodists might learn much from these glowing pages. Our author strongly objects to paid Evangelists, though he admits the reasonableness of paying Pastors. We wonder he does not see the imperativeness of some men being set apart to the former office. And while there exists the awkward necessity that every man must eat, the Church ought to provide bread for those whom she exclusively employs, whether in evangelistic or pastoral work.
We heartily endorse the author's vehement deprecations of the system of substituting money contributions for personal labour. Christians,' he says, 'instead of letting loose upon the world the whole membership of the body of Christ, think that the victory may be secured by telling off a mere fraction of their number to bear the brunt of the battle, supported by a voluntary assessment imposed upon those who stay behind. If they give of their substance to the spread of the Gospel, they may give their time and their talents to the business, the politics, and the amusements of a present world.' The evil lies, however, not in the 'voluntary assessment,' but in neglecting the weightier matters of personal service. There are some wonderfully wise remarks on the spirit and manner in which Christians should devote their money to God. The chapter on Corban is especially good.
It is impossible in our limited space to do adequate justice to the whole of this remarkable book. In spite of some sweeping assertions, which he generally contradicts in the next breath, and a few of the extravagances which it is so difficult, for any one who feels intensely, to avoid, this is a most practically sensible, as well as stimulating treatise, which we earnestly recommend to all Christians and Christian workers, deploring with Mr. Gall that the terms are not synonymous. The value of the book is greatly enhanced by three very striking addresses, given in the appendix: on The Bible the Chief Instrument of Evangelism; Youth the Thermopyla of Missions; and The Whole Church brought into Action. These have appeared in a separate form, and they deserve to be circulated by thousands. We have not space for a thorough examination of the peculiar theological hypothesis of the book.
of the Gospel among the Jews. It contains not only most cheering details of Missionwork for the Jews in all lands, but a number of sensible, well-written papers on Bible-teaching with respect to the future of Israel and kindred subjects. The cover which has been recently adopted, with its mottoes and symbolic pictures, gives the paper a very attractive appearance. All interested in God's ancient people-and what Christian would like to confess he is not?-should read the Herald, and support, as far as possible, the noble work for which it pleads.
The Evangelist and Pastor. Being the Autobiography and Reminiscences of the Rev. Joseph Whitehead, Wesleyan Minister. London: Elliot Stock.-The life-story of one who has had a protracted and prosperous term of service amid the shifting scenes of a Methodist Minister's life, cannot fail to possess many points of interest. The volume is enlivened by reminiscences of some well-known and some less-known worthies with whom the author has become acquainted in the course of his travels. Mr. Whitehead has evidently gone through the world with his eyes open; and this record may be taken as a fair sample of many a thoroughly earnest, wide-awake Preacher's life.
Scriptural Marks of a True Believer, By the Rev. F. A. C. Lillingstone. London: William Hunt and Co.This is a pungent and vigorous book. The chapters on Jesus Precious and Doing the Will of God, are very noteworthy. The author's tone and spirit remind us of Fletcher of Madeley, though there is no reason to suppose any special acquaintance with his works.
Stories that come True. By Prudentia. London: Strahan and Co.-We suppose these are called Stories that come true because they will help to make their little readers true and good themselves. They are written in a remarkably original and charmingly interesting style. Some are very lively, others really pathetic; but all teach, in a simple, pleasant manner, some great practical truth.
Random Sketches. By the Rev. Arthur Mursell.
A Guilty Conscience. By Emilie Searchfield. F. E. Longley's Fireside Series.-These are lively and attractive little volumes, inside and out, and belong to the right class of cheap literature for the million.
ELIZA REED GYNN, of the Launceston Circuit, daughter of Mr. William Gynn, of Tresmarrow, was born in 1849. From May, 1868, she was more or less a sufferer. About two years before her death she was very much impressed by a sermon on The Wedding Garment, preached by the Vicar of Tremaine. This seemed to awaken her soul to a sense of her sin and danger. The following Sunday morning she attended the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper at Tremaine Church, and felt those impressions deepened. This led to much prayer and an earnest desire for salvation. with her family, had been a diligent attendant on the services of the Established Church, and she still went to her accustomed place of worship. There also she attended the Sacramental Service, hoping thereby to gain relief, but in vain. She remained a seeker after God. About May, 1874, her complaint became more serious, and she expressed a desire to converse with the Rev. T.B. Butcher, whom she had heard speak on a few occasions. Mr. Butcher repeatedly visited her, and his visits were much blessed. She subsequently became a regular attendant at the Wesleyan Chapel, although at first this change was not favoured by her friends.
Shortly after Mr. Butcher's removal from the Circuit the Lord spoke peace to her soul, quietly, in her own habitation. She had been pleading long for liberty, and at length it came; a calm pervaded her soul, and she seemed almost to hear the voice of a reconciled God. She was enabled penitently to rest on Christ, and assurance of pardon came through His atoning blood. From that time to her death she never lost the sense of her acceptance with God through Christ, though she was troubled at times with doubts, fears, questions, and perplexities. One by one all vanished, under the counsel of Christian friends and the light of the Spirit of God.
Her name was enrolled in Mrs. Pethybridge's Class, although her ill-health never permitted her to attend; and while the Class met, she joined in spirit, and was refreshed thereby, though confined at home. She often expressed great joy in Sacramental Services and much profit from the visits of Ministers and others. She said, on the departure of one: The Lord knew I needed help just then, and sent him.'
Her disease (consumption) steadily grew worse, compelling her, about two months before her death, to keep her room, and a few weeks later her bed. She was a patient sufferer. She said to a relative: 'I would not exchange my present condition for what I was seven or eight years ago, for
the world.' To her friends, who wept at their approaching loss, she said: "You must rejoice, not weep. I am extremely happy.'
God wondrously carried on His work of grace in her soul. Her joy in the Holy Ghost was a 'joy unspeakable and full of glory.'
She found much comfort in God's Word, especially in John xv. She also delighted in the hymns, 'Just as I am, etc.,' and 'My God, and Father, etc.'; indeed, the latter was among her latest utterances. She would eagerly ask from her mother and sisters (whom she had induced also to attend the chapel) all they could tell about sermons, etc. She was full of praise. Often would she exclaim: Praise the Lord! His loving, everlasting arms are round me! O, I am so happy! She said to her loved ones, as they stood around her: 'I shall set a light in the window for you!' She begged them all to join the Class.
During the latter part of her illness she became increasingly anxious for the conversion of her family and friends. Referring to a Tract issued from our Book-Room: Father's Little Darling; or, 'Only through the Bars,' which one of the Ministers had left, she entreated her near relatives never to let the bars be between them. She could not rest till all had promised to give themselves, without delay, to Christ. And then it seemed as though all was complete. Every member of her family having solemnly engaged to be the Lord's, and four, at least, to unite with God's people forthwith, she seemed content; her cup of joy was full.
The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was administered to her and most of the family, with one or two friends; and the season was one of great delight and deep spiritual bliss. The following Sunday, when the writer of these lines saw her, she was clearly in the Beulah land, joyfully, blessedly, waiting the summons of the Lord! For three more days she tarried among us, to show how deep and real and full of joy the religion of Jesus is. At length the gates swung slowly but wide open, on December 16th, 1874, and the spirit of this beloved sister passed triumphantly through.
A relative (a barrister) writes: "In life, she won the admiration, respect, and love of all by whom she was known; in death, she has left a bright testimony of a sure and certain hope of heaven. Let my last end be like hers.'
Her Class Leader writes: During one of my visits to her, she said how graciously God had altered the projected course of her
life, by afflicting her just at the time when the world had special charms for her and she was most in danger of being ensnared by its fashions. After she had trusted in Christ for pardon, her first difficulty arose from the suggestion that it was presumption to think God would accept the remnant of her life; she felt as if He must regard it as cowardly and unjust to give herself to Him with failing strength, after withholding her heart in vigorous health. But when she saw that pain and weakness were God-sent messengers to win her heart, and that His love is infinite, she dismissed the doubt. She became a most diligent learner at Christ's feet. I can never forget the eagerness with which she would ask questions as to the spiritual life and its fruits, and about Christian duties; and how every remark was self-applied, and her experience rigidly tested by it. An exquisite tenderness of conscience and jealousy over herself, lest in anything she should be unlike Christ or belie her profession, were marked features in her. She set the Christian standard high, and was constantly aiming and praying to rise to it. I especially remember one conversation with her, when she enquired what was her duty in matters of dress, etc., saying: "You know this has been a snare to me, but I want to be all given up to Christ, outside as well as in heart." Her keen delight in spiritual converse was most refreshing, and she evidently grew in grace and all spiritual knowledge day by day; yet still she longed for full power over sin and perfect trust in her perfect Saviour. About a month before her death I found her in blessed possession of all she had desired. "O, the peace, the deep peace God gives me!" she said. "I live, yet not I: no, Eliza Gynn is dead and gone; Christ has the keys," alluding to one of Daniel Quorm's expressions. "I want all around to know the Lord's goodness to me. He has opened my lips to speak for Him, and has given me liberty. Precious, loving Saviour!" I referred to a recent sermon on, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain," and quoted the observation, that "Death is only a gloomy porch to a glorious palace." "But," she said, "I don't think of the gloomy porch, I only think of the palace. God has taken away all fear; the everlasting arms are around me." She had a very affectionate heart, and this, sanctified by grace, made her character very beautiful. She keenly appreciated the loving attentions of all, repeating her thanks again and again. Her intense anxiety that all whom she loved should serve Jesus in health, and join her in heaven, was most touching. The last month of her life she seemed on the very verge of
heaven. Her grasp of Christ was so firm, her faith so realizing, her peace and joy so deep, that one could not be with her without feeling how solid her foundation was, I saw her the last morning she lived. She said: "I am so weak that I cannot say much, but the peace and joy don't leave me. It is such solid peace! She spoke about her funeral, etc. She said: "I once enjoyed and valued outward ornaments, and no one more so"; then her face looked radiant in the thought of her Christian adorning and her bridal dress in heaven. Then she said she sometimes feared she might have spiritual struggles in death. I told her how tenderly God regarded our fears and warded off evil; she replied: "I won't fear again; for Jesus says, 'I will never leave thee.'" "This weary body is all happy," she said, at the Sacra. mental Service. About two hours after this she passed away.'
Another friend writes thus: "One Tuesday evening, when we called to see her, she welcomed us very cordially, but just before we left she said very sweetly, "Please don't be annoyed with me, but I had rather see you on some other evening than Tuesday; it is Mrs. Pethy bridge's Class night, and though I cannot be present, I know she and the members are praying for me, and I spend the hour in praying and reading, and I find it helps me very much." At another time she said: "I think sometimes how useless I have been: I only be gan to serve Christ when my life was pass. ing away. I ought to be very patient and gentle now, so as to show my love to Jesus." She would often express herself as feeling sorry she was not so patient in her weakness and pain as she would like, though no one ever heard a murmur escape her lips, and she had always a grateful word and smile for any service rendered her. Some months before her death she said: "I have been reading about a girl who was ill of consumption, as I am, and who seemed to be very happy, and when she was asked about her feelings, always said: 'O, I am very happy, I have no fear of death!' but when death came she found she had been deceiving herself, by trusting in her feelings instead of on Christ." Miss Gynn then said anxiously: "You do not think I am deceiving myself, do you? 0, I do want to trust in Jesus alone! I want to be fully His, sanctified to Him." This desire was realized.
JABEZ JAMES HANCOCK, of the Tanstall Circuit, was a fair specimen of a somewhat numerous class of men who have made their way upwards from humble circumstances till they have won a good position in the Church of Christ, and in social life.
Men of this type practically solve the problem, How we may do best for both worlds?' Their temporal advancement is plainly traceable to that strict Christian principle, which in the end generally proves to be the best policy even for this life, whilst it prepares the spirit for the life to come. There is not a manufacturing centre in the kingdom where Methodism has not helped to develop men of this class. While she has, in the first instance, been the means of communicating to them the saving benefits of Christ's Gospel, and has afforded them ample scope for the exercise of their talents, she has in return been aided and strengthened by their openhanded liberality and their self-denying labours. Examples illustrative of the truth of these remarks have abounded in the Staffordshire Potteries. All who know the early history, the business life, and the religious character of Jabez James Hancock, will feel no hesitation in placing him among this honourable number.
Before he had finished his apprenticeship as a pottery-turner, God met him in mercy and made him a happy partaker of saving religion. His conversion was clear and well-defined, and he soon began to make his value felt among the people who had been the means of leading him to the Saviour. For a few years he continued to gain his living by manual toil. It then became apparent that he had considerable aptitude for business. His necessary contact with his fellow-workmen augmented his knowledge of men and things. Possessing a full share of strong, manly sense, combined with a keen discrimina tion of character, and a sterling, though somewhat stern integrity, it was quite evident that he would make a valuable man to take a leading part in the complex duties of manager of a pottery manufactory. An offer of partnership presented itself, and the respectable position which the firm in which he was a partner has long maintained affords pleasing proof that his abilities had been rightly estimated.
While proving himself to be a good man of business, he did not allow the press of temporal duties so to absorb him as to leave no time for the service of his Master in heaven. Having early won the position of an accredited Local Preacher, he laboured in that department of Christian service with great diligence and acceptance. He carefully prepared for the pulpit. Possessing a strong memory, he gathered materials with great readiness from men and books, reproduced them in his own form, and having stamped them with the impress of his own vigorous mind, he delivered his sermons in a spirit of devout earnestness. In preaching he took great
delight; and sometimes his pulpit efforts produced a profound impression, and were followed with saving results. A few years before the end of his life, when a slight paralytic seizure forbade him for a time to engage in this beloved employ, he felt the Word of the Lord to be like fire in his bones, and longed to be able again to make known the saving truths of Christ's Gospel to his fellow-men.
He faithfully served the Church of his choice in most of the offices which men of his abilities command. In so doing he often had to make sacrifices of domestic comfort and valuable time. Any attempt to damage Methodism in the town or Circuit filled him with holy indignation, and usually called forth his most vigorous and determined opposition. Men in high social position, at such times, have been made to quail before his scathing rebukes, or have withdrawn from the conflict full of shame and chagrin, while he mercilessly tore their fallacies to fragments, or quietly exposed the sectarian character of their schemes. The Tunstall Circuit has during the last thirty years been gradually developing, and has now attained to considerable vigour; and as it has thrice been the sphere of the present writer's labours, he has a personal knowledge of not a few of the efforts and sacrifices of J. J. Hancock to subserve its interests. The Circuit, during that time, has been blest with not a few able and useful men ; and, without attempting any invidious distinction, it may be safely said that no one has exerted a greater influence in it for good than the subject of this sketch.
That the character of our departed brother had its sharp angles and its stern aspects will be readily admitted by all who knew him. Sometimes, in the course of warm debate, these came out with almost crushing and withering effect; though he evidently meant to do right. If he thought the end proposed was wrong, or the means used to secure it were unfair, he would rise like a Samson and smite his opponents hip and thigh. And yet even at such times he usually swayed the decisions of the meeting more by the known excellency of his character and the purity of his intentions, than by his scathing utterances. Those who knew him most intimatelyand few have known him more closely than the writer-can attest that he was as sound in principle and as pure in motive as he was vigorous in mind and sometimes stern in manner.
When his strong frame was shaken by a slight stroke of paralysis, and his pulpit efforts and other public duties had to be largely curtailed, a mellowed tone was given to his piety, a holy calm overspread
his spirit, and many indications were given of a ripening for his heavenly home. At the age of fifty-one, on November 4th, 1876, he passed away. G. A. P.
MR. HENRY RICHARDSON died at Hartlepool, November 1st, 1876. Mr. Richardson enjoyed a clear sense of God's forgiving love, and walked in His fear and the comfort of the Holy Ghost. He was devotedly attached to the doctrines and discipline of Wesleyan-Methodism. His very love for the Church, and his eager zeal to promote its welfare, seemed to give a stern aspect to him in the position he sometimes felt it his duty to assume; but underneath there was a kind and tender heart. He sustained all the offices in which a layman can serve Methodism, with the exception of that of a Local Preacher. During his last illness he was graciously supported by the Divine Presence.
was often humbled before God, and confessed himself unworthy of the least of His mercies, but was enabled to triumph in the Atonement. On a Sabbath afternoon a few weeks before his death, he desired to partake of the Lord's Supper with a few of his friends. The Lord filled the room with His glorious Presence. Our dying brother exclaimed: O the precious blood of my Lord Jesus Christ' and then, lifting his almost fleshless hands toward heaven, he prayed that the Church might be preserved, and that all present might meet in heaven. He was a true man, a loyal Methodist, who lived, prayed, and contributed of his substance to promote the Church's welfare.
MR. WILLIAM BAILEY GILBERT was born at West Ville, Lincolnshire, May 4th, 1820. He was favoured with the rich heritage of pious ancestry. His parents were consistent members of the WesleyanMethodist Society; and his grandfather, John Gilbert, was for many years a Local Preacher, and was honoured with the friendship of the Rev. John Wesley, who spent several nights under his roof at Wrangle. The old Wesleyan chapel at Wrangle was built by Mr. John Gilbert, who was removed to the better land when William was only four months old. His devoted mother faithfully trained him in 'the nurture and admonition of the Lord.'
In answer to his mother's prayers, the gracious influences of the Holy Spirit were given to the fatherless boy; and to the day of his death he cherished grateful recollections of her care in taking him to the Class-meetings and Prayer-meetings in very early life.
At the age of sixteen he left home to reside with his uncle, Mr. Riggall, of Ulceby; and whilst there the good seed of the kingdom, sown by his mother, sprang up and brought forth fruit. In January, 1837, he was brought to religions decision under a sermon preached in the Alford Chapel by the late Charles Richardson, the Lincolnshire Thrasher.' There and then he cried to the Lord for mercy; and, before leaving, was enabled to rejoice in the God of his salvation.
In 1864 he removed to New Leake, in the Wainfleet Circuit, where he remained until his death, in 1876. During the last ten years of his life he filled the offices of Society-steward and Treasurer of the Sunday-school; and as a Steward was found faithful. From conversion to death, a period of forty years, he retained a clear sense of his acceptance with God. He was esteemed by all who knew him. He was an affectionate husband, a sincere friend, a good neighbour, and a loyal disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.
MR. ROBERT FEATHERSTONE was born at Commondale, near Guisborough, in the year 1794, and died at Skelton, in Cleveland, where the later years of his life were spent. His early life was carefully watched over by godly parents, who endeavoured to train him for heaven; and at the age of seventeen, after returning from a Lovefeast at Guisborough, he gave his heart to God. From this time until his death he was a consistent member of the Wesleyan Church.
The testimony of all who knew him is, that he was an Israelite indeed'; he walked circumspectly before the world, and maintained a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.' As the result of a firm faith in a loving Saviour, followed by a holy life, his end was peaceful and triumphant. Almost his last words were, 'Praise God from Whom all blessings flow, etc.' On January 29th, 1877, his spirit took its flight to the better land.
W. H. E.
HAZELL, WATSON, AND VINEY, PRINTERS, LONDON AND AYLESBURY.