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attending a place of worship, but who keep back from union with the church.'
On the following Sabbath, a friend who had called to see her referred to the privileges she had enjoyed, the blessings she had experienced, and the resignation and peace which she felt even in the depth of her affliction. With much fervour she replied by repeating
“How do thy mercies close me round !
For ever be thy name adored ;
The servant is above his Lord !”
She then requested her friend to read a portion of the word of God. “ It testifies of Christ,” she said; and, on being asked what part should be read, replied, “ Any chapter that has Christ in it.” She added, “Let me recommend the practice of retiring daily, after dinner, for the purpose of reading the Scriptures, and praying: you will find it a great help to spiritual-mindedness; so, at all events, it has been to myself.” At one time, in a paroxysm of severe pain, there was an inward insinuation that she could not much longer maintain her confidence in God; but she saw the character and tendency of the temptation, and instantly cried aloud,
“ Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee." She was asked, one morning, if she had passed a comfortable night. Her answer was, “My complaint seems so to have contracted the muscles of my chest, that I feel as if it were compressed by cords tightly drawn across it; but, in my sleepless minutes, I have been in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. I have had a multitude of brief and sweet sentences brought to my recollection ; such as, “I am thine ; save me :' 'God is my refuge :' Thou art my Rock. And some verses of that transporting hymn,
My God, I am thine ; What a comfort divine,
And my heart it doth dance at the sound of his name.' Hallelujah! Glory, glory be to God! If I only had had strength, I could have sung the whole. O it is wonderful! There is only one foundation; and, thank God, I am upon it. To doubt, would be to dishonour God.”
In conversation with Mr. Thorley, referring to the custom of preaching sermons on the occasion of the removal, by death, of the members of the church, she said to him, “ It may save you some trouble after I am gone, if I tell you now, that as I did not expect to survive the operation on my breast, and had no wish that anything should be said of one so unworthy as I feel myself to be, I destroyed all the papers I had written on my own religious experience. Perhaps I did wrong. I rather think that I did. I should not do it now. But whatever may be said of me, let it be the truth. But remember, above all, you must yourself be faithful unto death.”
A person who made a profession of religion, but who, perhaps, was not sufficiently in earnest in seeking to realize the actual enjoyment of its blessings, said to her one day, “I am pleased to hear you speak so
unhesitatingly of your own acceptance with God. But I have not that evidence of pardon which you appear to possess. How should I, considering how much I have to do with the world ?"
66 This is a poor excuse," she replied, “though it is one that is often urged. But God never places us in situations in which his grace is not sufficient for us ;” and went on to say, that our spiritual happiness was not dependent on our outward circumstances, but on our maintenance of the inward life of faith. She added,
“I want the witness, Lord,
That all I do is right.' I always wished to live honestly before God and man; and, by the help of providence and grace, I have been enabled to do so.
And are not the same providence and grace sufficient for you? Without living faith in Christ, the most favourable outward condition will not avail; and with it, the most apparently unfavourable will be no real hinder
But it would be impossible, within the limits of this brief memoir, to introduce more than a few of the impressive sayings, verses of hymns, or quotations from Scripture, which proceeded from ber lips during this her last illness. She rose above her natural diffidence and reserve, the grace of God evidently triumphed over the weakness of human nature, and she became animated and fluent in her addresses on the great theme of personal religion to all who visited her. She sent for several persons, some of them young converts, of whose stability she felt doubtful; and exhorted them to be in earnest, to avoid worldly associations, levity, and all trifling with the means of grace, especially recommending a devout attention to the word of God, and diligence in secret prayer. She generally concluded with a reference to her own happiness. “ You see," she would say, “ in what a calm and cheerful state I am kept, even on this bed of sickness. I have endeavoured to walk humbly with God in health and active life, and he does not forsake me now in weakness and suffering. I am resting on the atonement of Christ."
After recovering from a severe paroxysm of pain, she said, “ God does indeed move in a mysterious way to perform his wonders. I have been thinking of the multitudes who have passed through great tribulation, and are now before the throne. I shall soon be with them. I could enjoy no other society.". Then, addressing. Mr. Thorley, she expressed a wish that he might be with her in her last moments. “But never mind,” she added : “He will never leave me, nor forsake me.
“When, passing through the watery deep,
I ask in faith his promised aid,
And shrink from my devoted head :
They cannot harm, for God is there." That everything might accord with her own views of what was fitting for so solemn an occasion, she made all the arrangements necessary thus previously for her own funeral. As memorials of her affection, she divided her wearing-apparel into several parcels, putting on cach the name of the person for whom it was designed. As her nights had become exceedingly restless, she had reason to believe that her medical attendant contemplated the administration of narcotic draughts, to tranquillize the system, and, if possible, induce sleep. She wished this, however, to be done very sparingly; and not at all
, unless absolutely necessary. “I can suffer pain,” she said, “ if it be the will of God: but you must give me nothing that will interfere with the free exercise of the mind; otherwise, how could I meditate on God and heaven ?”
On the evening of the Tuesday before she died, she was particularly delighted with the singing in the parlour under her bed-room, where Mr. Thorley's class was accustomed to meet; and sent down to request them to sing the 728th Hymn. She seemed to enjoy a rapturous anticipation of heaven while they were singing,
6. There is a land of pure delight,
Where saints immortal reign;
And pleasures banish pain.” On the Sunday morning, August 20th, she again requested that both the Wesleyan congregations would pray for her. “I have worshipped with both,” she observed ; "and the prayers of both are now necessary. Yes, Lord, I have loved the habitation of thine house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth. It is not likely that I should spend another Sabbath here; nor is it desirable. But remember,nothing has failed of the promise. Our conflicts here will soon be past. Affliction! In the view of heaven, all is as nothing.
* Thrice-blessed, bliss-inspiring hope ;
It lifts the fainting spirits up!”” Her strength here failed her so completely, that she was not able to finish the hymn which, with such triumphant feeling, she had commenced.
On the following day she was extremely feeble, and her articulation became
very indistinct. But her intellect was clear, her devotion fervent, her faith steadfast, and her hope unwavering. A short time before she died, Mr. Thorley observed, that when St. Paul viewed the time of his departure as at hand, he was enabled to say, “I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course." She then interrupted him, by saying, “Henceforth there is laid up for me —;" but she was too weak to proceed. She soon rallied, however ; and, as though her mind were overwhelmed by the grandeur of the objects she was contemplating, she exclaimed, 0 wonderful!
Let me go! Great Captain of my salvation, let me go !” She said little more. Nature was at length exhausted, and it was evident that she was rapidly sinking. But she was sensible to the last ; and her mind continued to be occupied by the same delightful subjects as long as its connexion with the body remained unbroken.
Just before she expired, she was heard to repeat the verse, though very faintly,
“ The Lord God is a sun and shield : the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Thus, to the very close of her mortal existence, the word of God, as containing the “ exceeding great and precious promises,” was her comfort and support. She died on Tuesday, August 23d, 1843, in the fifty-sixth year of her age.
The writer, since Mrs. Thorley's death, has received several letters, referring to her character, from Ministers by whom she was well known. They fully confirm the statements embodied in this memoir ; but he can only give two extracts, as specimens of the testimony borne by all the rest.
“Her strength of principle," one of the writers observes, “soundness of judgment, independence of mind, thorough integrity, unassuming, but rich and established, piety, made an impression on my mind that will never be removed. I believe I shall carry to the grave a lively recollection of her worth. Hers was indeed religion pure and undefiled in the sight of God."
“She was indeed,” another says, “a sincere, simple, upright, consistent Christian. When I was at Macclesfield, I always admired her retiring and judicious spirit. I had the opportunity, too, of observing the patience and firmness—I might say, the magnanimity-with which she bore the painful operation to which she was called to submit; and I witnessed the fruits and evidences of that mature and established religious experience in which, through the sanctifying grace of God, this severe chastening issued. Not long before her death, I was favoured with the opportunity of hearing her solemn and dying testimony to the goodness, power, and faithfulness of her God and Saviour through life, and to the richness and abundance of the support and consolation which she enjoyed while passing through the valley and shadow of death. It was evident, from her conversation,-and I was much struck with this,—that her experience had constant reference to the atonement, to the merit and intercession of Christ. She lived by the faith of the Son of God, as having loved her, and given himself for her. Her whole trust was in the blood of the Lamb. She never adverted to a well-spent life as any source of joy, except as of grateful joy to God, who had wrought all her works in her, and from whom her fruit was found. In the view of God and eternity, this was her hope, her joy, her rest,
A guilty, weak, and helpless worm,
Into thy hands I fall;
My Saviour, and my all!"
BRIEF BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.
1. DIED, May 20th, 1842, near Newchurch, in the Bacup Circuit, in his twenty-eighth year, James Lord. His case presents a striking exemplification of the value of Christian benevolence, and of the good that
may be done by it, even where the means are very limited. The condition of his childhood was most deplorable. His father's life was forfeited to the offended laws of his country ; his mother became, in consequence, deranged: poor James was thus, in helpless youth, deprived of parental care, and of a home; and might have been so cast adrift as to grow up cared for by none, and for none caring, till he had been drawn into the current of temptation, and become a follower of the courses which had proved so awfully destructive to his parent. John Taylor, a worthy member of the Wesleyan society, pitied the wretched condition of the child, received him into his own house, and gave him a Christian and industrious training. He sent him to the Newchurch Sunday-school, and likewise taught him his own business. The disposition of James was sedate, and inclined to seriousness. Under the roof of his kind benefactor a family altar stood, and James was regularly accustomed to bow the knee in family prayer, as well as to listen to the reading of God's holy word. And to the influence of domestic worship and counsel, that of the Sabbath-school, and also of the public ministry of the word, were added. His mind was thus, from early life, powerfully affected by the truth ; and he grew up, not only restrained from evil, but graciously inclined towards good.
In his twentieth year he went to Shawforth, a place in the neighbourhood, to hear an occasional sermon preached by Edward Brook, Esq., of Huddersfield ; and was accompanied by another young man, his cousin. Both the young men were brought, under the sermon, to see and feel the necessity of decision. They were truly awakened to a sense of sin, and at once began to seek the Lord. A meeting for prayer was subsequently held: James and his companion attended, and both were made partakers of the justifying grace of God.
James delayed not to join the society of the people, the religious services of which had been so greatly blessed to him. Brought up amongst the Wesleyans, converted among the Wesleyans, to the Wesleyans he gave himself, that among them he might live and die. From this time he went on very steadily in the ways of righteousness. He was a man of a meek and quiet spirit, insomuch that his irreligious, but not unobservant, fellow-workmen gave him, in jest, the surname of “ Moses.” To the various means of grace be attended with regularity and affection, and at home he was a man of prayer. He had a strong sense of the importance of “providing for things honest," as became one professing godliness. Even when lying on his deathbed, knowing that his wife and two young children would soon be left destitute, recollecting that he owed a few shillings, he desired that it might be paid immediately.
In his last affliction he had not much exalted joy; but his peace was complete and undisturbed. As long as he lived, a religious meeting was held in his house, at his own request, that he might enjoy the communion of saints on earth, till removed to the inheritance of the saints in light. He did not speak much; but what he did say was explicit and satisfactory. His last words were, “ Christ is precious !" and, soon after, he fell asleep.
WILLIAM J. SHREWSBURY. 2. Died, June 9th, at Dodsworth, in the Barnsley Circuit, aged eighty, Mr. Joshua Shaw. Not long before his decease, at the request of his friends, he drew up a brief statement of the leading facts of his life. A few extracts from this will now be given. After referring to the steady and consistent conduct of his father, as a member of the Church of England, and to the order and comfort of the family, he thus proceeds :-“In 1774 the Methodist Preachers first visited Dodsworth. This produced a great excitement in the place; and many said, “These that have turned the world upside down, are come hither also. A violent persecution was occasioned by two gentlemen, and for a time the preaching was discontinued. After a while the visits were renewed, and the Preachers were encouraged by seeing fruit of their labours.” Mr. Shaw's father was one of the earliest converts.