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as not enough to give back again to God, and took care that this should be the minimum of his liberality, and that beyond this he would 'devise liberal things,' as the Lord prospered him.
He was made a Class Leader soon after removing to Rochdale, and continued in that office up to his death. Many hundreds of members had the benefit of his counsel and example. A lady in Manchester wrote at the time of his death to one of his daughters: 'I met in his Class for twelve years after my conversion, and I owe a debt of gratitude to him for the kind and Christian training which I received from him. He taught us how to be Methodist Christians of the true type. It was his constant aim to train his members in that way, and he was largely successful.' In this work he was greatly assisted by his saintly wife, herself a Class Leader of great excellence. To her he was united for more than half a century. It pleased God in her later years to visit her with a painful affliction, which was a heavy trial to her husband; but Mr. Cartwright patiently endured, year after year, 'the chastening of the Lord,' until at length, a year before he finished his own course, he was permitted to see his beloved wife 'pass through death triumphant home.'
One of Mr. Cartwright's greatest pleasures arose from private intercourse with Ministers of the Gospel. His home was like the house of Gaius; not a -few of the Lord's servants were refreshed and strengthened by his genial hospitality. He had many valued friends amongst the Ministers of Methodism.
The Rev. Charles Garrett says:
'Mr. Cartwright had a character. His mental features were strongly marked; he could never be lost in the crowd. He was firm, orderly, conscientious and devout. To all these characteristics you might add very. His devoutness was needed to tone down, or rather to sanctify the other features of his character, and it did so completely. You could not meet him in the wrong place. In a Church-meeting he was wise, experienced, orderly, firm and loyal. In the house of God he was punctual, attentive, intelligent and reverent. In the family circle he was genial, thoughtful and communicative. His tall, erect form; his open, manly, intelligent face, crowned with snowwhite hair, is before me while I write. I thank God that I ever knew him.'
The Rev. Simpson Crump writes of him as follows:
'I knew Mr. Cartwright intimately during my three years in Rochdale, and now regard it as one of the undying joys of my life ever to have known him. His life was blameless, his character spotless; he was a man of saintly spirituality. He was one of the most devout worshippers in the sanctuary, and one of the most eager listeners to the Gospel I ever preached to. His interest in the work of God was intense. His nastery of its financial arrangements and necessities was perfect, and he was eminently a wise and sound administrator. He was a great lover of the spiritual prosperity of Zion in times of revival his cup of gladness ran over, and his tender, emotional nature was touched to its depths. Like many other saints of deep-toned piety and strong religious character, he was schooled by great trials. His troubles, however, never soured him, never enfeebled him, but made him ripe for the perfect life of heaven. The image of that loving countenance is mine through life, and the memory of his character and spirit will be a joy and an inspiration until I see him again in the light of the Lamb.'
As a man of business Mr. Cartwright was highly esteemed outside the circle of his religious acquaintances. He was most honourable in all his transactions. His word was his bond, and was accepted as such by all who knew him. Nature and grace united to make him a Christian gentleman, without affectation or self-assertion. His bearing towards social inferiors was respectful and considerate. Great confidence was often placed in his integrity by parties who needed a friend to manage affairs for the benefit of the widow and the fatherless; and in this way he was frequently able to glorify God and serve his generation.
Mr. Cartwright's pilgrimage stretched beyond threescore years and ten, but his general good health and his regular habits warranted the expectation years of usefulness would be added; yet his final summons came when least expected. His sister in London was nigh unto death, and greatly desired the comfort of his society; and the journey was likely to be refreshing to himself; nor was it until after the morning service on his third Sunday in town that he felt anything amiss. After dinner he was taken slightly unwell, and had medical advice. The next day or two he was thought to be getting better, but subsequently he began to sink, and the following Sabbath he Z passed away to be 'for ever with the Lord.' His death-bed was a beautiful
scene. Surrounded by the members of his family, he lay in serene and holy joy, perfectly collected, and submissive to the will of God, waiting for the Bridegroom. His condition and surroundings were a vivid realization of Blair's picture:
'Behold him in the evening-tide of life,
Yet, like the sun, seems larger at his setting,
He had no conflicts of thought or feeling, but seemed to bask in heavenly sunshine, and was like Bunyan's Pilgrim conversing with the shepherds on the plains of Beulah. He often repeated appropriate portions of Holy Scripture and hymns. Again and again were the words upon his lips :
'Live happy in my Saviour's love,
'The thoughts of such amazing bliss
He frequently broke out in prayer for his family, his Class, and Methodism throughout the world; and calmly continued waiting at the river's brink until the Sabbath dawned, when his sanctified spirit passed over, on February 18th, 1877.
MEMORIAL SKETCH OF THE REV. BENJAMIN FIRTH.
MR. FIRTH was born at Attercliffe, Sheffield, in November, 1803, and was blessed with a pious mother, under whose care he was guarded from outward immorality and taught to reverence God. He did not, however, submit himself fully to the Saviour until he was about nineteen years of age, when, through the preaching of the Rev. J. Hanwell, he was thoroughly awakened. His penitence was deep, and for a long time he remained in distress, fearing much lest he should deceive himself. At length, under a sermon by the Rev. W. E. Miller, the testimony of God's adopting love was borne to him with such clearness and vividness that his soul was made unspeakably happy.
Now he could not refrain from seeking others for Christ, and as a Sundayschool teacher, Tract-distributer, Prayer-leader and Visitor of the sick, he laboured fervently and joyfully. After employment for some time as a Local Preacher, with marked approval and success, he was accepted by the Conference of 1827 as a probationer for the Ministry.
Mr. Firth's first appointment was Nottingham, whither he was sent by the President to supply the place of the Rev. John Smith, who was laid aside by affliction. During his residence with Mr. Smith he was much blessed and strengthened in spirit, and caught some measure of the earnestness and intense love for souls by which Mr. Smith's very successful ministry had been characterized. He realized also a deep conviction of the prevalence of faithful intercession on behalf of those who have not known the Saviour. He was next sent to Brecon, where he resided with the Rev. Charles Haime, well known as a powerful and awakening Preacher. After labouring in the MarketHarborough, Daventry and Sevenoaks Circuits, he was received into Full Connexion at the Conference of 1832.
Gravesend, Ashbourne, Ripon, Lincoln and Yarmouth were his next scenes of labour. In Lincoln he was associated with the Rev. J. Hanwell, under whose preaching he had been awakened. At Yarmouth he, for the first time, had the charge of a Circuit. As a Superintendent, he displayed much wisdom, zeal and faithfulness, giving painstaking attention to every part of his duty, and winning the regard of those among whom he toiled. From Yarmouth he removed to Burnley. One of his friends there, Mr. P. Phillips, thus writes of him :
'As a Minister, Mr. Firth brought into the service of the sanctuary very considerable qualifications, all of which were most willingly offered. He threw his whole mind and soul into his work, and his physical strength was often taxed to the very verge of prudence. He was so popular in the Burnley Circuit that his services were in constant request for Sabbath-school anniversaries, and but rarely was a stranger brought from a distance for these special occasions. As the Superintendent of s Circuit, Mr. Firth was one of the most admirable I have ever known. His conduct was distinguished by unremitting attention to even the most minute matters, by great business tact and ability, and by the strictest impartiality. No private friendship ever swayed him in the slightest degree from what he held to be his duty; and if he had any enemies, not one would be able to accuse him of any personal feeling in the administration of Circuit affairs. As a Pastor, Mr. Firth was universally beloved, especially by
the poor. He seemed to know every one, and at all times manifested an interest in even the humblest.'
In 1845, when he was appointed to Preston, Methodism was hardly known in Lytham. Mr. Firth formed a Class there, and a room was secured for preaching. Shortly afterwards, T. C. Hincksman, Esq., went to reside there, with whose generous cooperation a site was obtained and a chapel built. On Mr. Firth's removal to Lytham, as a Supernumerary Minister, in 1874, it gave him much joy to mark the development of Methodism in the town. A new and beautiful chapel had taken the place of the first, and the Society was flourishing.
Grimsby was his next Circuit. The labours of himself and colleagues and their willing helpers were much blessed by God, and three hundred members were added during the three years spent there. Thence he removed to Holmfirth, at what was, on the testimony of Mr. Woodcock, 'a very important crisis in the history of the Circuit. The Societies in most parts of it had been rent by strife.' Mr. Firth and his colleague, the Rev. Thomas Garbutt, entered on their work with prayerful zeal, and were gladdened by seeing spiritual improvement in all the Societies.
The same gentleman thus characterizes Mr. Firth's work:
'As a Superintendent he was wise, prudent and thorough in his attention to all the duties of his office. He was never wearied in praying with the penitent and directing him to Jesus. The people heard him gladly. We lost hundreds during the storm of the agitation, but a foundation was laid during the three years of Mr. Firth's ministry for building up our broken walls, and in a few years we regained our lost ground. The results of those three years' labours are still felt by many, and Mr. Firth's name is held in affectionate remembrance. His deep sympathy with the suffering, and his manifest interest in the spiritual and temporal welfare of all classes, greatly endeared him to our people. He was with us when a great calamity came upon the town and neighbourhood by the bursting of a large reservoir, by which more than seventy persons were drowned. Many have a vivid recollection of the large-heartedness and practical sympathy with the sufferers evinced by Mr. Firth and his excellent wife on that occasion.'
Bramley, Haslingden, Runcorn, Bradford (South), and Truro were the Circuits where he afterwards laboured, in each of which he spent three years, and was permitted to rejoice in the prosperity which attended the toils of his colleagues and himself. Devonport was the last sphere of his vigorous and persevering activity as the Superintendent of a Circuit. The Rev. E. Dodds writes: 'No duty was neglected, and his anxiety for the conversion of souls was unceasing. Several were added to the Lord.'
In 1871 such serious symptoms of failing health appeared, that at the Conference his name was placed on the list of Supernumeraries. He fixed on Exeter as the place of his residence, where he spent three pleasant years, during which he often preached in the city chapels and in other places, and his ministry was highly valued. He took the charge of a large Class, and by its members was much venerated and esteemed. He and his devoted wife took part in various schemes of usefulness.
In the hope of recruiting his strength somewhat by a more bracing climate, he removed to Lytham. In the spring of 1875, Mr. Firth's health received a severe shock, and from that time his strength gradually failed. But the end was sudden. During a visit to his daughter at Bramley, the Master's call reached him. After taking a short walk one day with Mrs. Firth, he sat down in a chair to rest, and without a sigh or any indication of pain, passed away to the city above.
When those who mourn his loss look back upon the cheerfulness and mellowness of piety which were manifest during this visit, they can joyfully confess how completely the Lord had prepared His servant for such a sudden departure, and give glory to Him Who doeth all things well.
Modest and retiring, of genial disposition, thoughtful for others, and ready to sacrifice his own convenience and wishes for their good, Mr. Firth won the full confidence of those with whom he was associated. Faithful and earnest in the pulpit, a watchful and loving Pastor, sparing not himself in labour and living in close fellowship with God, his ministry was effective and awakening. In his attachment to Methodist doctrine and discipline, and in all his work as a Methodist Preacher, he was thorough, fulfilling diligently the pledges given when he was admitted into Full Connexion with the Conference. His life was happy. The wife of his youth was a true help meet for him in all his cares and responsibilities, sustaining and encouraging him, and entering heartily into his work. She was spared to him throughout his course, but did not very long survive him.
SERMON PREACHED ON BEHALF OF THE THANKSGIVING FUND, IN CITY-ROAD CHAPEL,
ON SUNDAY MORNING, DECEMBER 1ST, 1878:
BY THE REV. J. H. RIGG, D.D., PRESIDENT OF THE CONFERENCE. 'Unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ :...... by that which every joint supplieth.'-EPHESIANS IV. 13, 16.
THE Unity of the Church in Christ, and in the Spirit of Christ, that is the main subject of this chapter. There is 'one body, and one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, Who is over all, and works through all, and is in all.' And there are gifts and offices bestowed upon the Church, defining and constituting its order and concord, and contributing to its growth and living unity. Some are appointed to be apostles, some prophets, some pastors and teachers,' not for the sake of their own glory or perfection, but 'in order to the perfecting of the saints, to the work of the Ministry,...to the building up of the body of Christ,' 'until,' as the final and glorious consummation, we shall all come,' says the Apostle-all the true people of God in Christ Jesus' to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the