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MEMOIR OF THE REV. EDMUND GRINDROD :
BY THE REV. JOHN HANNAH, D.D.
(Concluded from page 740.) On January 25th, 1835, Mr. Grindrod sustained a far more severe loss than any that he had yet known, in the death of Mrs. Grindrod. The affliction which issued in this excellent person's removal hence, was protracted and exceedingly painful; but it served yet more fully to exhibit the lustre of her sincere, fervent, and resigned piety. “You alone can fully estimate her worth," writes the Rev. Peter M‘Owan, in a letter of sympathy addressed to Mr. Grindrod on this mournful occasion ; “but others could not help seeing and admiring her meekness and patience under her often infirmities ;' her fortitude in the seasons of your distress, both mental and bodily ; her deep concern for the safety of the ark, and for the prosperity of the cause of God; the tenderness with which she touched characters that were defective; and the great pleasure which she took in relating what was praiseworthy in those who excelled in virtue. Though she was affectionately alive to the kindness which dictated the language of condolence, yet she never encouraged its utterance to any extent; but, on the contrary, seemed on all occasions anxious to impress her sympathizing visiters with the sentiment of the Apostle, though perhaps she forbore to quote his words, “I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.' Mrs. M'Owan has met with many a judicious adviser and kind friend among the wives of our senior Ministers; but one more judicious and kind than Mrs. Grindrod she never found. Her counsels and general conversation showed that her reading had been extensive and various, that her observations on men and things had been candid and discriminating, and that the order in which she managed her worldly matters was that recommended by our Lord, 'Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Her acquaintance with the history and system of Methodism was extensive, her admiration of its spirit and benevolent operations was high ; and none who ever shared her confidence can forget the accuracy and the interest with which she used to relate anecdotes of the olden times.” Adverting to his departed wife in a letter to his daughter, Mrs. Edmund Grind
VOL. II.-FOURTH SERIES.
rod, dated April 8th, 1835, Mr. Grindrod most affectingly portrays the grief which he continued, though with meek submission, still to feel. “But 0,” he says, “how even this brief allusion to one who was long dearer to me than my own life, makes my wounded heart bleed at every pore! I hope I generally bear my bereavement with becoming fortitude. But when I am alone, and especially when I am compelled to advert to my loss, my anguish of spirit becomes as keen as it was the first moment I beheld my beloved one in the grasp of death. How imprudent have I been to write thus to you ! Forgive me! It sometimes relieves me to weep.”
During Mr. Grindrod's residence in the Second Manchester Circuit, he was called
upon, with his brethren, again to encounter the storms of strife and dissension, which descended on many parts of the Wesleyan Connexion, and more directly on the town and neighbourhood of Manchester, in the years 1834 and 1835. “This was, indeed," writes Mr. Squance, "a time of rebuke and blasphemy. But, in this fiery trial also, Mr. Grindrod's character appeared to great advantage. The spirit of wisdom and understanding, of sound judgment and discretion, and of undeviating attachment to Methodist rule and order, blended with the most Christian kindness, rested, in an eminent degree, upon him. By the wisdom of his plans, and the piety of his deportment, many, who in all probability would otherwise have fallen into the snares of designing men, were happily preserved. Through every part of this painful struggle, he never, in any way, compromised his principles, or, so far as came under my observation, departed from the law of Christian love." “Gladly," writes his sister-in-law, Mrs. Samuel Grindrod, “would he have remained in peace. But he and other Ministers in the several Manchester Circuits, could not rest on their arms when the enemy was in the field, and the welfare of their Zion was in danger. Hence they came forward like men. What they endured, none but eye and ear witnesses can tell ; and, indeed, their inward conflicts are known to One alone. Mr. Grindrod, in common with his brethren, became the scoff, not only of the profane, but of the religious professor ; and was assailed by the taunts and jeers of the would-be wits. For weeks, he seldom passed along the streets but he was insulted by some opprobrious title, such as tyrant,
oppressor,' and the like; or some mis-quotation of his own words was shouted after him. Nevertheless, though he was most keenly suffering from domestic affliction at this time of complicated trial, he possessed his soul in patience, and steadily pursued his course of duty, endeavouring, with unwearied forbearance, to instruct the people who were imperfectly or wrongly informed on the subjects in dispute, to stay the wavering, and to bring back the least violent of the opponents to a correct way of thinking. Many have acknowledged that, but for Mr. Grindrod's labours, both in public and in private, they should have gone with the stream. That the secession from the society in the Second Manchester, or Salford, Circuit, proved at that time to be comparatively so small, was by some mainly attributed, under God, to Mr. Grindrod’s judicious management, together with his unceasing and affectionate attention to the souls committed to his care.”
A discourse which Mr. Grindrod published in the WesleyanMethodist Magazine for the year 1834, (pp. 650—661,) deserves respectful notice. It was, properly, one of a series of monthly lec
tures delivered in various chapels of Manchester, by the Wesleyan Ministers stationed in that town. The subject of it was prescribed to Mr. Grindrod; and it is, “ The relation between joy in the Holy Ghost and universal righteousness.” The text which he selects as the basis of this valuable disquisition, is Rom. xiv. 17: “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” His object is to define the thesis assigned to him, and then to defend the proposition which it contains; and he accomplishes each part of his task with great perspicuity, judgment, and serious feeling. The entire discourse is sound, scriptural, and truly edifying; and, as a piece of doctrinal, experimental, and practical theology, it may justly be classed with his Essay on the Witness of the Spirit, of which it is indeed an admirable counterpart.
At the Conference of 1835, Mr. Grindrod was appointed to the Superintendency of the Sheffield West Circuit, where he remained
His colleagues, for the first year, were the Rev. Messrs. Samuel D. Waddy, John Kirk, and John Walker; and, for the second year, the Rev. Messrs. Samuel D. Waddy, John Kirk, John Egglestone, and John H. Norton. Here he prosecuted his faithful ministerial course, in comfort and peace, in the enjoyment of improved health, and with an encouraging measure of success. Towards the end of his stay at Sheffield, he was united in marriage to Mrs. Manwaring, widow of the Rev. George Manwaring, who had died, in the year 1825, in the full vigour of his days, and the midst of his usefulness. This marriage proved an exceedingly happy one to both parties. Mr. Grindrod's domestic comforts were now restored. He seemed also to have renewed his bodily strength, at least to a very considerable degree ; and to have a fair prospect before him of many years of usefulness and peace.
The affectionate regard which he paid to Mr. Manwaring's children, merits particular attention, as illustrative of his habitual temper and character. This will best appear in one or two extracts from letters which were addressed to two of them, then absent from home, and which may be given here without a minute observance of dates. is a pleasure,” he writes to Mr. Samuel Manwaring, “ to sit down, and communicate to you the unstudied effusions of a heart that breathes a father's love towards you. When, by the good providence of God, I was permitted to make your estimable mother my beloved wife, I determined, as far as possible, to supply to all her children the place of a good father ; and I may add that my happy experience of her many excellencies since our marriage, has supplied me with additional reasons and motives to carry this resolution into effect. My heart does not deceive me when I say that I feel a truly paternal solicitude for your welfare and happiness in time and eternity; and I shall deem it one of the highest pleasures of my life to be instrumental in contributing to the attainment of that end. The result of all my reading, experience, and observation, is to confirm me in the conviction of the truth of that common sentiment, that, without true Christian piety, there can be no real happiness, either in private, domestic, or social life; and that the advantages of early piety surpass those of the noblest of merely human acquisitions. Piety in youth is not only the means of preparing its subject for an early death, if that should be the will of God; but it is the formation of everything that is great and
6 It will accept
useful in talent, and the rudiment of everything that is excellent in character. To gain this pearl of great price. I hope will be your first study and constant care. That you may be wise to make this choice, and diligent to pursue it, is matter of daily prayer by your parents. May you, my dear Samuel, have grace to make an immediate surrender of your heart to the God of your fathers! We are a happy group, and daily remember, at our domestic altar, all the absent members of our household.”
To Miss Sarah Manwaring he writes : “ With this letter you will receive one of the first proofs of the likeness of your father, who hopes you
and keep it as a token of the affection which he bears you. As to the likeness itself, various opinions are entertained. But the major part agree that it is a correct, though favourable, portrait of the original. If, when you view it, you are always reminded that it is the image of the exterior of one who daily entertains tender solicitudes for your welfare, and who seldom visits the throne of grace, either in closet or domestic worship, without affectionately and earnestly praying his heavenly Father and yours to be your watchful Guardian, it will be to you a more valuable keepsake than many other things which it might have cost me more to purchase. We are dwelling together in peace, harmony, and love ; and nothing seems to detract from our social joys but the absence of some of our children. Since this is in the order of Providence, it calls for the submission of both parties, and should not be allowed to cause undue anxiety to either. I know it will please you to be told, what I can assure you is true, that for your invaluable mother I feel daily a growing affection, and that from her society I derive a happiness which, until I became possessed of her, I did not imagine this world could again bestow on me. If improved health, constant happiness in each other, a great addition to our spiritual as well as temporal comforts, be any proofs of the blessing of God upon our union, then we cannot doubt that we have that blessing. We acknowledged the Lord in our proceedings towards each other, and in reference to our intended connexion ; and now we are proving the truth of his promise, 'He shall direct thy goings.'
The Conference of 1837 assembled in Leeds, when Mr. Grindrod was raised to the highest office in the Wesleyan body, an office for which he was well prepared, and the duties of which no one doubted that he would discharge with judgment, circumspection, and true fidelity. He was elected President of the Conference. It is a coincidence worthy of note that he received this honourable appointment in the town of Leeds, where, in former days, he had passed through conflicts so
From Sheffield he removed to London, and resided, during the year of his presidency, at Islington. That year was spent in prosperity and peace, in the punctual performance of every official obligation, and in the enjoyment of many blessings, in his domestic and public relations, which excited his devout gratitude to the Giver of all good. The sermon, entitled, “ The Translation of Elijah," from 2 Kings ii. 11, 12, which he preached, at the close of the year, before the Conference, and the Charge which he addressed to the
young Ministers at that time ordained, were truly valuable, and were published at the unanimous and earnest request of the Conference.*
* See Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine for 1839, pp. 700_714; and for 1838, pp. 889_906.
When the year of Mr. Grindrod's presidency had expired, he continued, for two years longer, in the First London Circuit, where he was directly associated in ministerial services with the Rev. Messrs. Thomas Martin, William Kelk, Henry Davies, John Farrar, Frederick J. Jobson, and Benjamin B. Waddy, the Rev. George Osborn succeeding in the last year to Mr. Farrar. Here he still pursued his course of useful and happy labour, though not without many intimations that his constitution was yet somewhat shaken, and his health precarious. During the celebration of the Centenary services, he cordially engaged, with many others, in the public gratulations and thanksgivings attendant on that joyous occasion. On Friday, October 25th, 1839, the day especially appointed for the religious celebration of that auspicious era, he preached an excellent sermon in the Cityroad chapel, London, from Numbers xxiii. 23 : “ According to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought!” This sermon was afterwards published by request, with the title, “ Wesleyan Methodism viewed in Retrospect.” To that title the discourse exactly answers. It is a comprehensive and able review of Wesleyan Methodism from its very rise, accompanied with a weighty application of the whole to the purposes of spiritual and practical improvement.
A letter of condolence which he addressed to his son-in-law, Mr. Edmund Grindrod, on the death of a child, is so expressive of his own affectionate temper, and so fraught with consolatory sentiments and counsels, that an extract from it may be fitly inserted in these papers. It is dated March 10th, 1840. "I truly and tenderly sympathize with you and Mary Ann," he writes, “under the afflictive dispensation with which it has pleased God, in his providence, to visit you. The sorrow which results from the bereavement of beloved children, was very familiar to my spirit, when I was your age ; and I can well remember how tender and poignant that sorrow was in my own case. I long mourned over the early deaths of five lovely infants. But subsequent observation has led me to believe that excessive grief on such occasions is as unreasonable as it is inconsistent with meek submission to the unerring will of our heavenly Father. Some of the best of men have had their heaviest trials from their children, when arrived at mature age ; and, if they had yielded to the dictates of their grief while suffering under the wounds which filial disobedience and misconduct had inflicted, they would a thousand times have wished that their offspring had been as an hidden untimely birth, as infants which never saw light. Your beloved little George has escaped away from all the evils to come, and, through Him who said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God,' has attained to a perfect consummation of bliss in the presence of our adorable Lord. Let not your minds dwell on the fallen tabernacle, but trace the ever-living spirit, which has just quitted it, to the regions of light, purity, and fulness of joy, where it shall for ever abide. Let it be your chief solicitude to make a right use of this event. Cultivate a spirit of cheerful submission to the will of God. He might foresee that, had your child been spared, he would have been led away from the paths of virtue by the numerous and strong temptations which, in this age of scepticism and profligacy, assail the young from their first entrance into busy life. He might