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foresee that his future days would have been clouded with calamity, and embittered by sorrow; and has, therefore, removed him to that peaceful abode, which the destroyer is not permitted to approach, and where all tears are wiped away.
Let this bereavement cause you more than ever to abstract your affections from this scene of passing shadows, and fix them upon the enduring realities of a blissful immortality. What a
orld of disappointment is this! We are almost continually losing something which we deemed valuable, and shall yet do so until we have lost our earthly all. Let us not forget, however, that our deceased children are living, glorified spirits in heaven : let us think of their transportation' to endless bliss."
The next and last station which Mr. Grindrod received was to the superintendeney of the Fifth London, or Lambeth, Circuit, with the Rev. Messrs. Henry Fish and Henry Castle for the first year, and, for the second, the Rev. Messrs. Henry Fish and John Smetham. In this important post of service, he laboured with growing acceptance and success until it was the good pleasure of the Lord to “ weaken his strength in the way,” and to “ shorten his days.” It was here that he drew up an “ Affectionate Address” to the congregations of the Lambeth Circuit on want of punctuality in repairing to the house of God at the proper time, and, at the unanimous request of the QuarterlyMeeting, issued that Address from the press in his own name, and the name of his colleagues, who heartily concurred with him in this effort to do good. It is a short, but pointed, persuasive, and faithful appeal; and, by God's blessing, immediately produced a visible and salutary effect at Lambeth. Shortly afterwards, it was published for more general circulation under the title of, “ Late Attendance on Public Worship.” Here, too, he finished a work of great value and importance, and one which had long occupied his attention,—the “Compendium of the Laws and Regulations of Wesleyan Methodism.” This was published no very long space of time before his lamented death. It ought not to be omitted, that, from the first establishment of the Wesleyan Theological Institution, Mr. Grindrod was an active and efficient member of its Committee, and, for nearly the last two years of his life, one of its General Secretaries. He always approved of the principles and objects of that Institution, and was glad to render it every assistance in his power. On occasion of his death, the Committee, in a special Resolution, expressed and recorded its respectful and affectionate memory of his services.
At this period Mr. Grindrod, though not in full and unbroken health, appeared to enjoy the best maturity of his mental faculties and gifts. A sensible stranger, who heard him at Lambeth, addressed a letter to him, and thus described the impression made at that time on his mind
“ Your present correspondent happened accidentally to be passing the Methodist chapel at Lambeth last night, when, seeing it lighted up, and not having heard more than three Methodist Preachers in the last forty years, he went in from motives of curiosity. I should not be doing justice, either to the merits of your excellent and judicious sermon, or to my own feelings, if I were to omit saying how much I was gratified, and I trust profited, by your address. The view which you took of our imperfect acquaintance with the actual condition of the blessed in a future state, whether derivable from our own conjectures and feelings, or from the contents of the holy Scriptures, appeared to me to be peculiarly appropriate. The conclusion of your sermon breathed the
pure and gentle spirit of the Master in whose name you spoke. I may observe, as a secondary matter, that I was not prepared for hearing so elevated a style of composition in a Methodist sermon, and should have supposed that your language would rather have shot over the heads' of your audience. If they could really appreciate your composition in all its parts, they are more highly educated than I should have supposed. Wishing you, Rev. Sir, the best reward of your labour,
“ Your friend,
But days of sickness and decline now awaited him. He had glorified God in life; and he was soon called to glorify God in decay and death.
The form which his malady at first assumed was of a peculiar character. He was born with a small flesh-mark on the upper part of his chest. But, until the August of 1840, that mark did not cause him the slightest uneasiness or inconvenience. He then observed a small rising of the part, accompanied with a sense of irritation. Shortly afterwards, he consulted his medical friend, James Hunter, Esq., of Islington, who applied caustics to the place affected; and, in the course of six or seven weeks, succeeded in the removal of every sign and symptom of disease. But the morbid affection soon re-appeared in a more aggravated shape. He again saw Mr. Hunter, who also called in Dr. Sandwith, he happening at the time to be in the surgery. The two medical gentlemen, after making a careful examination, signified a wish to deliberate on the case, and appointed another meeting with Mr. Grindrod at the end of a week. When that time arrived, Mr, Hunter told Mr. Grindrod that Dr. Sandwith, himself, and his sons, had thought seriously on the subject, and were unanimously of opinion that an operation was necessary. But, he added, that, as the case was peculiar, he wished, for his own satisfaction, before proceeding to the above-named measure, to have the opinion of another surgeon. Sir Benjamin Brodie was accordingly consulted. On a minute and patient inspection of the case, Sir Benjamin pronounced it to be a malignant one of a serious kind. He said, that it could be removed only by a surgical operation; that, if not removed, it would spread internally as well as externally, and terminate in the destruction of life; that there was no reason to apprehend danger from the operation; that, in fact, it was not a question of danger, but simply whether or not the operation would effectually avail to the removal of the disease. Sir Benjamin further remarked, that it was a rare disease; and that, in the whole course of his practice, he had met with but three similar cases. He directed Mr. Grindrod to keep his left arm supported in a sling, and to see him again at the end of a fortnight. It was at length determined that the operation should be performed ;, in consequence of which Mr. and Mrs. Grindrod removed to lodgings in Islington, that he might be near to Messrs. Hunter. He contemplated what lay before him without any dismay. “From the operation," he writes to
his eldest daughter, Mrs. Edmund Grindrod, of Liverpool, “I have no shrinking ; and am only anxious, yet, I trust, not unduly so, as to consequences. By the grace which is given to me, I can calmly confide the whole case, with all its possible issues, to Him whom the Spirit of adoption enables me to address as my Father. God has been better than
my fears in past troubles; and will, I have an assured belief, be graciously present with me in this trial of my faith.”
The day appointed for the operation had now arrived. Three persons only were present at its performance,—Mr. Hunter, his eldest son James, and the writer of these memorials. It was accomplished by Mr. James Hunter, with the utmost skill and completeness, and in an exceedingly short space of time. But the incision was, of necessity, frightfully large; more than three inches across at the widest part, eight inches long from point to point, and very deep. In this hour of anguish, how wonderfully was the sufferer sustained ! He sat like an image of calmness and peace. Not a word or sound of complaint was heard ; not a sign of pain exhibited, save that, in the very extremity of the surgical act, a slight muscular quiver passed over his frame, and was instantly still. He entered upon this sharp process with an expression of even playful cheerfulness; and, during the course of it, he employed himself in sweet and reviving meditations on his Saviour's passion,the thorns, the nails, the spear. To his friend, Mrs. Townend, he afterwards related, in terms the most beautiful and affecting, how intimately he felt his Lord's presence, how inexpressibly he proved the sympathy and succour of Him who himself once “ suffered,” nay, who
in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin,” and how he was thus borne up by a power not his own. “ The secret spring of my fortitude in this furnace heated seven times,” he writes to his eldest daughter, “ was the peculiar presence of the Lord; which, by the comfort of his Spirit, I was made so sensibly to realize.". When the operation was performed, but before the wound could be bound up, a copious stream of blood flowed from it. Mr. Hunter, under an apprehension that his patient might faint, asked him if he would take a glass of wine. “Do you advise it?" quietly asked Mr. Grindrod. do not need it,” replied Mr. Hunter, “you are better without it.” “Then,” said he, “ give me a glass of water.” The wound was then secured; and, within about half an hour from the time when this painful process commenced, Mr. Grindrod was safely conveyed to bed. He desired the writer to kneel down and offer thanksgiving to God for his great goodness, after which he composed himself to rest and peace.
Great and confident expectation was entertained that Mr. Grindrod's health and strength would now be entirely recruited. He recovered from the effects of the surgical operation with amazing rapidity. That operation took place in the latter end of April, 1841; and, under the date of June Āth next following, he writes that his health was fully restored, and that he was able to go through his public duties without feeling more than ordinary fatigue. For some time afterwards, he continued vigorous and active. But the disease was deeply seated in his system ; and, in the course of a few months, it discovered itself again in a form which no art of man could control, and which plainly marked its victim for the grave.
When he perceived that his “sickness unto death," he resigned himself to God in meek tranquillity; gradually laid aside
6 If you
schemes of useful service which he had hoped to execute ; and devoutly attended to a Christian preparation for the change which now so nearly awaited him. God, who had been marvellously and graciously with him through all the preceding circumstances of his life, was eminently present when nature failed, “the strength of his heart, and his portion for ever.” Not only could he say, with the dying Patriarch, “ I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord;" but, with Simeon, on whom a brighter dispensation dawned, and to whom “it was revealed by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ,” he could also joyfully exclaim, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word : for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” Clasping the Saviour of men in the arms of faith, he proved, even in death itself
, that he had gained the “medicine of immortality, our antidote that we shall not die.”
“I am exceedingly glad,” said the Rev. Thomas Walker, on a visit to him in the latter part of his sickness, “ to find you in so good a state of mind.” “ Yes,” he replied, “my peace is perfect; and it has been so from the commencement of my affliction. Satan has not been allowed to annoy me in the least.” “ Your happy state,” remarked Mr. Walker, “is cause of great thankfulness.” He said, “ Yes; it deserves a thousand thanks. Nothing but religion could do this for me. We have tried religion, tried it in many circumstances, and it has never failed us.
From the beginning of this affliction, I have not had one desire to recover. My case has been rather that of St. Paul, 'Having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better.' Adverting at another time to the dying testimony of his revered fatherin-law, he observed to Mr. Walker, “ I can say with Mr. Crosby, that I have now got all I ever wished for, victory, victory, at the last!”
Yet, towards the last, he was occasionally assailed by temptation, which, by the grace of God, he was enabled to resist and overcome. One day, when his esteemed colleague and friend, the Rev. Henry Fish, called upon him, he said, with a weak and tremulous voice, “ Í have had a severe conflict. Shield has clashed with shield. Twenty thousand swords have ‘hurled defiance toward the vault of heaven.' But my faith has conquered.” It is not surprising if, under the presence of so much bodily weakness, his mind sometimes slightly wandered. This was, however, but slightly, and but seldom : it was scarcely perceptible even to his attendants. So mercifully did the Lord care for him. A few days before his death, the writer of these pages, with two or three other Ministers and friends, joined him in celebrating the holy sacrament of the Lord's supper. He rejoiced in that solemn and peaceful opportunity of once more “ showing the Lord's death ;" but he was then extremely feeble. The Rev. Alfred Barrett paid him a short visit almost immediately afterwards, and found him “ exhausted with the sacramental service; but,” adds Mr. Barrett, “ in an eminently holy and happy frame of mind. The enemy was not permitted to disturb his confidence in Christ. Heavenly peace, realized through affiance in the great atonement, was the presiding feeling of his soul. The farewell glance of his eye conveyed an anguished expression indicative of the pain which he suffered; but it was full of benignity and tenderness." From that period his strength seemed entirely spent; but his mind was clear, calm, stayed ; no more obscured or disturbed, as far as his friends could perceive, by the shadow of even a passing cloud,
The day after his participation of the Lord's supper was Thursday, April 28th, when the Rev. John Lomas was engaged to preach the annual sermon to the Wesleyan Missionary Society, in the CentenaryHall. Mrs. Fish had spent the preceding night in kind attendance at Mr. Grindrod's. When she took leave of him in the morning, to go to the afore-named service, he said, “ Will you try to see Mr. Lomas after service ? Give my very kind love to him; and, if it were not paying myself too great a compliment, I could wish you to say to him that his preaching is a picture of the state of my mind,--all peaceful and serene.
In the evening of the next day, the writer of these pages was led, in prayer with Mr. Grindrod, to refer particularly to the nature and efficacy of true Christian faith.
“ Yes,” remarked Mr. Grindrod, when prayer was over, “that is the faith of the Christian,—the faith which brings 'life and immortality to light.” “My dear,” said Mrs. Grindrod, it is the faith which you have been preaching to others for so many years, and which now so graciously supports you in
last moments.” He replied, with all the strength that he could com
ommand, " It is indeed ! it does indeed !”
On Saturday, April 30th, when the writer saw him for the last time, he was an affecting picture of weakness, and of strength ; the weakness of nature, and the strength of grace. His body was completely worn out by the force of disease; but his whole spirit rested in the Lord. Next day, Sunday, May 1st, 1842, without a struggle, groan, or sign of mortal inquietude, he gently died into glorious life, in the fifty-seventh year of his age, and the thirty-sixth of his ministry.
His remains were interred in the burying-ground attached to the City-road chapel, where so many departed Christian worthies wait for the resurrection of the just. Funeral sermons, also, were preached at Lambeth, City-road, and elsewhere; and, in the City-road chapel, a marble tablet is erected by affectionate relationship and friendship, to perpetuate his honoured memory.
By his former wife he had eight children, of whom three only, one son, and two daughters, survive him ; and by his second wife, and now bereaved widow, he had two daughters, left by their father in early childhood; but left to the care of Him who says of our fatherless children,"'" I will preserve them alive;" and of our “ widows," " Let them trust in me.”
Tributes of esteem and love, supplied by several who enjoyed a familiar intimacy with the deceased, have been placed in the writer's hands. They serve to confirm all that has been related concerning his Christian character and course. Extracts from these have been occasionally interspersed in the preceding pages : a few others may be not unfitly introduced in this place.
“ He was my most invaluable friend,” says the Rev. Thomas H. Squance. “For no man living did I entertain a higher esteem. I have seen him placed in circumstances of trial which would have put the piety of the most eminent saints to the severest test; but I never heard him utter an expression, or saw him manifest a temper, inconsistent with his character as a Christian man and a Christian Minister. He was truly a man of God. In his intercourse with his colleagues, he was most ingenuous and communicative. He freely laid open all his plans before them, and never took any important step without their