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soul of Mary Kane was silently surrendering itself to Him Who" into the world to save sinners.” A heavenly calm stilled the tempest of her soul; the presentiment of the established peace she afterwards realised. Her anxiety to retain this instalment of Divine comfort was supreme; she watched unto prayer with the utmost sensitiveness, and even twenty times a day would retire to pour out her soul to God. This illapse of heavenly light, precious as it was, removed not the burdening consciousness of guilt; which, indeed, seemed to press more heavily than
But the first dawnstreak had been seen, sure harbinger of the Day Star about to rise in the heart of the seeker.
It was on January 16th, 1814, that the long-desired “Sun of Righteousness arose with healing in His beams upon the soul of Mary Kane. Hitherto she had been deterred from meeting in Class by the fear that her well-known previous volatility would be an offence to godly Methodists. On the aforesaid day, however, she was taking tea at the house of a friend, in company with her parents. After tea came singing
During these exercises Miss Kane's distress was so great as to be apparent to all present. When her father rose to go to meet a Class, his daughter asked that she might be allowed to accompany him. The delighted father granted her request, and when at the close of the meeting she intimated her wish to be enrolled among the members, in writing his daughter's name in the Class-book he was so overcome by joy and thankfulness as to burst into tears. Miss Kane left this Classmeeting with the conviction that all she now needed in order to salvation was faith in Christ. Here she encountered the usual stumbling-blockWhat is this faith? She took, however, the right course: after the meeting she retired to meditate and plead for light. While thus engaged “the Spirit of truth” revealed Christ to her. Instantly, for the first time, she apprehended the nature of saving faith and could say “ Lord, I believe !” Hers was, thus, the faith which is of the operation of God.” The immediate effect of this personal trust in the Saviour is best told in her own words: “ To the eye of my faith,” she says, “my Lord was close beside me, and the words . Thy sins are forgiven' seemed inspoken to my breast. There was no rapturous joy, but a peace which hushed into silence every doubt and fear; and such was my love to Jesus that I thought if I had a thousand lives I could lay them all down for Him.” Her experience and conduct from that time reveal in every feature the genuineness of the change. “I resolved," she says, “not only to deny myself everything I believed to be wrong or a hindrance to me, but all things about which I was doubtful I resolved to give up until I had clearer light." Here is the heaven-taught soul : for “ he that doubteth is damned (condemned) if he eat;" a maxim whose principle applies to every particular of human conduct.
Miss Kane informs us that in these early days of her new life she spent much time in the perusal of the Scriptures, and prayed so much that prayer became the only element in which she could live. The power to watch also rested on her, though she felt the inbeing of sin (tendencies to unlawful gratification), she did not yield to it. Grace, however, reigned in her so as to give her power over wrong bias. And thus her experience lends additional confirmation to the Word of truth : " Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him : and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” The genuineness of her conversion, and the subsequent enlightenment of the Holy Ghost under which she lived, enabled her to rise above that insidious enemy of evangelical religion, antinomianism. Hers was then and always, “pure. religion and undefiled,” which manifested itself in visiting the sick, the poor, the perishing; comforting and leading them to the Saviour, and keeping herself “unspotted from the world.” Whilst thus treading in her Lord's steps she speaks of “ blessed seasons ; and no wonder. Who ever exercised himself thus unto godliness, without experiencing such seasons ? And how faithfully does “the everlasting Gospel” reproduce itself along the ages of its history! This is the Church's true semper eadem; and the only one worth a boast.
About twelve months after her conversion Miss Kane entered upon what is now commonly called “the higher life;" higher, not in its principle but in its greater intensity and stability. In the account Mrs. Day has left of this accession of heavenly life, she presents the change in the old Methodist style of thought and language. We shall not pour the old wine into new bottles. At the period now referred to it was Miss Kane's privilege to hear a sermon on Hebrews ii. 11 : “For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one.” This discourse, by whom preached does not appear, brought the subject of Entire Sanctification fully before her mind, revealing the nature of this state of grace, and showing that faith was the immediate means of its attainment. And it had the effect of leading her to cry incessantly to God for the blessing. On one occasion whilst giving herself up entirely to God and casting herself upon Him for the promised blessing, a sweet tranquillity possessed her. Then and there she reckoned herself “ dead indeed unto sin ;” and for a brief season she rejoiced in the conviction that she had overtaken the object of her earnest pursuit. The brightness, however, soon became overcast. Being young in Christian experience, and not opening her mind to any one capable of instructing her, she fell into the error of confounding temptation with sin. Doubts arose, and, casting away her confidence, the blessedness whereof she spake was lost.
The distinction between temptation and sin is far too little understood. This misapprehension is one of the most fruitful sources of opposition to the doctrine of Entire Sanctification. We have no warrant for confining temptation exclusively to influences brought to bear upon the mind from
without : unlawful impulses from within, so long as they are sternly opposed by a heart loyal to Christ, may be so regarded. (James i. 14.) It is painful to witness the distress into which this faithful young disciple fell, through not having mastered this distinction.
Upon the loss of the blessing she fell under great depression of mind, and became harassed with the bitter temptation to believe that God had deceived her and that prayer was of no use : “Why should I pray ?" she said to herself. The answer was immediate and decisive—“I must pray. I cannot live without prayer.” For the spirit of prayer had already penetrated her whole being. This distressing conflict continued up to the 7th of March, 1817. The deliverance she then experienced we narrate in her own words :
“My heart and flesh seemed ready to fail ; prayer seemed wholly in vain. But I continued to pray; and while so engaged that day, it was impressed on my mind, that I ought to go and tell my case to an aged, poor, but very pious woman, one of the few whom I knew as professing to love God with all the heart. She conversed and prayed with me. And while she prayed I felt the work was done. It was such a baptism of the Holy Ghost as I never before experienced. Indeed the Spirit's testimony to the work wrought in me then appeared clearer, stronger, and far more glorious than that given me at my justification.”
It now became her constant aim to grow in the knowledge as well as in the love of God. “This,” she says, “I think I did day by day.” To rest in moral achievements already won was not hers. She now became established, “rooted and grounded in love,” being “ more than conqueror over all her besetments “ through Him that loved us ;” and moreover resolved, as she says, to give up doubting, just as she had given up every other sin. She adds, “ Eternity only will show the blessed results of this resolution.” What her Lord had done for her soul she faithfully acknowledged “ to the praise of the glory of His grace,” and to the edification of His saints, who were encouraged by her example to cry, “ Thy Spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.” And these exertions of hers reacted with happy effect upon her own soul, which continued to wax stronger and stronger “in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” At this period of her life she had an abiding “ desire to depart and to be with Christ.” Fifty-nine years, however, of useful and happy service were reserved for her on earth, before this desire was fulfilled.
In the spring of 1823, Mr. Kane settled at Darlington. His residence there was but brief; in November of the same year he departed this life. Darlington was, however, the dwelling-place of the subject of this Sketch for many years. Change of residence had no other effect upon Miss Kane than to cause her, if possible, to abound yet more and more in the work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope.” The sick and poor were still the objects of her visitations; and the unconverted, of her ceaseless and strenuous endeavour to lead them to Jesus. These activities had the threefold effect of doing immediate good to the objects of them; of adding to the strength and depth of her own piety; and of attracting to her the attention of the officers of the Church, as “ a burning and a shining light.” Such single-hearted zeal, joined with enlightened consecration, could not fail to designate her to official work. She was accordingly requested to become a Class-leader ; but though repeatedly importuned, such was her shrinking from the office, that not until 1826 she yielded to the wish of the Church.
In that year Darlington became the scene of a memorable revival which brought a large number of new members into Church fellowship. This rendered it increasingly desirable that Miss Kane should take charge of a Class. To avoid it she fled to Leeds on a visit to some friends. While here, in the midst of religious influences and advantages of the highest order, the light of God forsook her and she became very unhappy. In vain did her friends endeavour to comfort her; in vain did they meet together to make special prayer on her behalf. Her distress continued, until unable to bear it any longer, and fearing for the safety of her soul, she retired and promised her Lord that she would do any work He, through His Church, might assign her. Instantly the light returned. The next morning's post brought her a letter from Darlington, informing her that she had by the Leaders' Meeting been made a Leader. According to her promise, she returned to Darlington and with her characteristic whole-heartedness and energy entered at once upon the duties of this much-dreaded office. And for forty-eight years in the various places where she afterwards sojourned, she continued to discharge with the highest efficiency the duties of this important position. Many hundreds of Christians must thus have been successively under her care; of whom a great part“remain unto this present, but some”-perhaps the majority “ are fallen asleep.” The survivors would thankfully testify of the benefit derived from her wise and faithful labours.
It should be remarked that most of her Classes were formed by her own efforts. These Classes were no place for laggards. Small comfort would such find in them. Nor were persons not clear as to their acceptance with God allowed to rest until “ with the heart” they had “ believed unto righteousness, and with the mouth” made “confession unto salvation.” She travailed in birth for them "until Christ” was “formed” in them; and then never ceased to encourage and stimulate them to leave “ the principles”—the rudiments—and “go on unto perfection.” There was also too much robustness in her character and ardour in her piety to make allowance for sentimental fastidiousness. She was so far removed from everything squeamish, that she had no sympathy with it in others. It was more in her way to stamp it out with strong action, than to screen and excuse it.
It was about the period of the aforenamed revival that an ardent and lifelong friendship was formed between Miss Kane and a young girl, then about sixteen years of age, dwelling at Darlington, whose uncommon gifts and seraphic piety drew the former to her. This was Mary Burton, afterwards the devoted Mrs. Cryer, wife of the Rev. Thomas Cryer, Wesleyan missionary in India.
In 1840 Miss Kane's mother died at the age of eighty-two. In 1842 Miss Kane became the wife of the late Rev. Robert Day, then Superintendent of the Darlington Circuit. Mr. Day, being a widower with three children, the cares of a family were entailed upon her at once. Most faithfully did she respond to the demands of her new position; yet while looking “ well to the ways of her household,” her religious zeal remained unabated. She "wrought with labour and travail night and day" in the promotion of the work of God, strengthening the hands of her excellent husband “in every good work,” and proving a true mother to his children ; who ever rewarded her with devoted filial respect and love, and two of whom survive to mourn her removal from them.
Early in 1844 the painful news of the death of her bosom friend, Mrs. Cryer, reached her. The far off Manargudi proved the final haltingplace of this consecrated Christian lady, and there her honoured remains lie until the great waking morn. It was to Mrs. Day a melancholy satisfaction to be able to enrich with materials, drawn from the correspondence of her sainted friend, that " Life of Mrs. Cryer," edited by the late Rev. Alfred Barrett, which has charmed and edified so many.
By the Conference of 1844 Mr. Day was appointed to the Superintendency of the Horncastle Circuit, and there Mrs. Day lived for the next three years. They then removed to Selby, where also they stayed three years. The latter part of these years could not fail to be a time of prayerful anxiety to a Superintendent of Mr. Day's stamp. In 1850 Mr. Day was appointed to Oxford as Chairman of that District. “Troublous times” were not yet over. Through all Mr. Day was well sustained by the sympathy and the holy living of his wife. Their next removal was to Devonport, where also three years were spent.
It was while residing at Devonport that Mrs. Day, with the view of promoting the interests of spiritual religion in its higher forms, published, under the title of “The Devotional Remains of Mrs. Cryer," the substance of the correspondence maintained for many years between these devout
a book which, now that new interest has been enkindled in regard to entire holiness, might again be brought into circulation with great advantage.
At the Conference of 1856 Mr. Day became the Superintendent of the Hammersmith Circuit. At the end of his three years there, compelled by enfeebled health and advanced years, he retired from the full work of the ministry. He removed to Lowestoft, where he resided until his death in the Spring of 1864. In all these Circuits Mrs. Day was