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Several remarkable incidents are narrated by Mr. Fish: the following is one of them :-"A prayer-meeting was held every Tuesday evening in a large room in a house occupied by a person of colour, in the lower part of the town,-Kingston. One evening, some young fellows, (Whites,) by the courtesy of Jamaica called 'gentlemen, made a great disturbance, and broke part of the little furniture which our poor friend possessed. One of them, named B-, loudly threatened to pull down the house on the next Tuesday evening, if the Methodists should dare to hold a prayer-meeting there. But see the hand of God. The very next Tuesday evening, before the time came for holding the prayer-meeting, he was carried to his grave. The house in which he died was opposite to that in which the prayermeeting was held, and was found too small to accommodate the company who were expected to attend the funeral. A very civil request was sent to our friend, for the use, on the occasion, of his large room. As the funeral was to take place at an earlier. hour than that fixed for the prayer-meeting, the request was readily granted ; and thus it happened that Mr. B—'s corpse lay in the house which, only one week before, he had declared that he would, on that evening, level with the ground. His companions were so awed by the occurrence, that they made no more disturbance, and for some time we had peace.”
That the opposition to which Mr. Fish from time to time adverts, was not directed against the Methodist Missionaries alone, but against the whole system of attempting to evangelize the Negroes, whoever might be the agents, will plainly appear from an extract or two from Mr. Fish's narrative.
“In 1796, the Bishop of London, in whose diocess the West-India islands were considered to be, sent out a pious Clergyman, Dr. Munn, as a Missionary to the Negroes in Jamaica. As he had letters of recommendation from the Bishop to the Governor, he met with a more polite reception than would have been accorded to a Methodist Preacher; but this was all : he received no other encouragement as to the object of his Mission. He preached five times, and no more ; for it then pleased God to call him to his eternal rest. I could not see him, as I was more than a hundred miles distant; but, being informed by my brother-Missionary at Kingston of his arrival and character, I addressed a letter to him, and soon received a most affectionate answer. It breathes so completely the spirit of a man of God, that I cannot refrain from copying it :
“MY DEAR BROTHER,- I received your letter; but why a perfect stranger should be blessed with the prayers of God's children, though personally unknown, is a mystery only to be accounted for on the principles of our holy religion, which declares that we are brethren by adoption and grace. Thanks be to God, that he is our Father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not. Olet your never-ceasing prayers come up before Him that will not shut them out, in my behalf ! We have a great harvest before us in this degenerate country; and the diligent, faithful, disinterested labourers
* And we, too, are glad to put the letter on record, as showing that, wherever the full influence of true religion is felt and obeyed, evangelical alliance will naturally take place.-EDIT.
are few. But God has promised, and we have prayed, that he would send more into his vineyard. And who knows but that God may now be about to give us all that we asked for years before, and that the time to favour Zion is at hand ? Therefore let us, in the face of all opposition, stand to our arms, and be faithful unto death, using the spiritual weapons put into our hands, as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. It is better to wear out, than to rust out, in the Master's work. Go on, my brother; work for, and be strong in, the Lord, and he shall establish your heart. I am so relaxed myself, that I can scarce use my pen; but I hope, nevertheless, to see you, sooner or later, at Montego Bay. I bless God that he has a few witnesses for himself in this island, whom I sincerely love. Lord, hasten the day when, all partitions being removed, the sheep of Christ will be inclosed in one fold, under himself, the great Shepherd and Bishop of our souls ! Let us all set our shoulders to the walls of partition, and down with them even to the ground. You have doubtless heard that I have not been without opposition, and some difficulties, since my arrival; but this is as nothing to what I came prepared to meet. I hope to live without wilful cause of offence; but offences must come; and woe be to us when all men shall speak well of us! But while the devil roars, our Lord will triumph.
“ If you come my way, I shall be glad to see you, and to be better acquainted with you. During my late stay in Spanish-Town, I preached twice. The Governor showed me every mark of respect, by introducing me to his friends at a public dinner, and laying my authorities, in a public way, before the House of Assembly, for their sanction. But very few paid any other attention thereto than a few frothy compliments to the unworthy Missionary in question. The Clergy, in general, behave more respectfully than I expected, considering that very few of them are free from jealousy. But I am not come for their silver, gold, or apparel ; but shall be happy in freely helping them to do good.
“ • That God may preserve you in heart and life, with a single eye to his glory, is the prayer of, my
666 RICHARD MUNN.'
“I wrote again to Dr. Munn; but while waiting in expectation of a second letter, I was informed that he had taken the yellow fever, and been called to a better world. Good Bishop Porteus was so discouraged at the loss of such a man, and at the very poor prospect of usefulness which was afforded, that he never sent out another.
“Some time after this, the Edinburgh Missionary Society sent out a regular Minister of the Church of Scotland, Mr. Bethune ; partly with a view to reclaim their poor wandering countrymen, of whom there are multitudes in Jamaica ; and partly to preach to the Negroes. But, on his arrival, scarcely a Scotchman would speak to him ; and, in less than three weeks afterwards, the Lord called him, also, from earth to heaven.
But, to return to our own more immediate concerns. Persecution, after a while, began to revive under colour of law. An Act passed the House of Assembly, which was intended, in fact, to abolish all preaching to the slaves, and free people of colour. Mr. Campbell,
who was then at Morant-Bay, where he had just established a lovely society, suffered a month's imprisonment. In Kingston, a little more regard was shown to justice and equity; so that I escaped pretty well. However, it became necessary for me to apply for a Jamaica licence, as an English one was pretended to be of no use there ; and with very little difficulty I obtained one, as did Mr. Campbell afterward. Application was made by our friends at home to His Majesty in Council, who very promptly set aside the Jamaica law. After this, we went on peaceably. In June, 1805, my constitution was so broken, that I found that the only thing that could relieve me, by the blessing of God, was my native air. I therefore, though with peculiar reluctance, left that most affectionate people among whom I had laboured so long, considering the greatness of our toil, mental and physical, and the enfeebling character of the climate. I trust I shall meet them again in the paradise of God."
On his return from Jamaica, Mr. Fish was appointed to an English Circuit; and at the Conference of 1807, he was sent to the Guernsey District with the Rev. William Toase. Here he remained two years, when he received an appointment to an English Circuit, which was succeeded by similar ones, till, at the expiration of six years, the Guernsey Wesleyan society, though the usual time for a re-appointment had not arrived, petitioned the Conference that he might again be stationed with them. This was in 1816; and after labouring three years in the Norman Isles with much usefulness and acceptance, in 1819, he became a Supernumerary Minister, fixing his abode in Guernsey for the remainder of his life, which, notwithstanding the great weakness which had compelled him to retire from the full performance of the work in which he had been engaged for thirty-four years, extended over a much longer period than could have been anticipated at its commencement.
The days of Mr. Fish henceforth passed on very equably. No symptoms of diminished love for the work to which his best days had been devoted, were at all observable. What he could do, he did gladly, and, to the last, sustained his public services by the excellence and growing maturity of his character.*
The laws of that mysterious connexion which exists between the body and soul are so imperfectly understood, that we know not how much the affliction which brings our existence on earth to an end, may obscure even the clearest intellect, or dim the close of a life, the former portion of which may have been characterized by cloudless serenity. It is necessary, therefore, that, by a holy life, we supply to our friends
* Occasionally, at least, Mr. Fish, after he became Supernumerary, must have extended his labours beyond the narrow limits within which they were usually circumscribed. We remember meeting him some twenty years ago on the platform of the Bristol Anniversary Missionary Meeting. Notwithstanding the almost child. like simplicity of his addresses, they were even powerfully impressive. He seemed to have acquired a perfect acquaintance with Negro character, and so thoroughly to sym thize with it, that his illustrative anecdotes, though somewhat old, wer at all the worse either for age or wear. They appeared to be accurately true to nature; and so far were they from losing anything by their transmission through the mind of an European, that they seemed to make us rather spectators of the present facts, than auditors of statements concerning them, referring to years gone by, and to a distant land. We have a distinct recollection of the favourable impression which we then received.-EDIT.
did to your
the evidences of our happiness after we have left the world ; for our death-bed testimony may never be given. Some weeks before he died, a very painful delirium threatened thus to overcloud the concluding period of the life of Mr. Fish. His last affliction was characterized at one time by a feverish restlessness, which, although he had formerly even been sensitively alive to the least act of personal kindness, appeared to make him dissatisfied with the most sedulous attentions. From an affectionate preference, he had happily spent four-and-twenty years with the family in whose residence he died; but all their attempts to meet his wishes seemed now to be vain. But from this temporary aberration, he was very mercifully delivered. Even before its full removal, when he had intervals of self-possession, he expressed himself as being fearful that he might have said something to wound the feelings of his friends; and if that had been the case, he sincerely craved their pardon.
A week before his death, he particularly desired to see the children
must forgive me." To Mr. Dorey he spoke subsequently in the same manner, especially thanking the kind Providence that, in his old age and great infirmity, had placed him where he had experienced such great kindness and careful attention.
The next day, he said to the family, for whom he called, that he might once more address them, “ Hear me speak; for I shall not be able to speak much longer now. I die blessing God for Jesus Christ. I die having an interest in my Saviour. I want no other help. All my trust is in God my Saviour. He is my only refuge. I die happy."
During the period of his residence in Guernsey, one of those seasons of strife and excitement occurred, which sometimes painfully agitate the church, and, so far as Christian fellowship is concerned, “ separate chief friends." His affectionate heart was wrung with anguish by these occurrences, and, on his death-bed, though very briefly, he adverted to them. He said on one occasion, “ I die happy ; I die a Methodist, a Wesleyan :” and then, naming one who had been induced to leave his former friends, he added, “Give my dying love to him, and tell him that it is my dying request that he will retrace his steps, and return to his old place." While speaking, he wept much. The whole of this day, (the Thursday before he died,) his frame of mind was so happy, and his strains of praise and prayer so delightful, that, to all who entered it, the room seemed “ none other than the gate of heaven.”
In the evening, he expressed a strong wish to see the writer of these notices. I was sent for, and immediately went. I had not seen him
since the distressing mental affection had left him ; and so great and pleasing a change I had never before witnessed. Delirium had passed away; and, though his weakness was extreme, love seemed to fill his heart, and all his utterances were thankfulness and praise. He did indeed rejoice in God his Saviour. I referred to Christ as the only and the sure foundation; and, seizing my hand, he exclaimed, with a burst of feeling that I shall never forget, want no other; I want no other! No, I want no other !” He sent his dying love to all his friends, as though he had named them; and afterwards, by his kind and attentive hostess, he did the same; adding, “ Tell them I die in peace, blessing God for the gift of his Son."
For the few remaining days of his life, his weakness continued to increase ; but so, likewise, did his thankfulness and joy. Several times on the day in the afternoon of which he died, though the power of articulation was gone, yet he was perfectly collected, and understood all that was said to him. When it was seen that he was rapidly sinking, it was several times remarked, “ Christ is still with you, Sir; still precious to you ;” and he always replied by lifting up his hand. The last time he did so, such was his weakness, that it immediately fell
; when Mrs. Dorey laid it by his side. After, he remained motionless for two or three hours, and then calmly ceased to breathe. He died August 9th, 1843, in the eightieth year of his age, having very nearly completed the fifty-eighth of his ministry.
I subjoin an extract from a reference to his “ labours, character, and death,” which the Editor of a Guernsey newspaper, who knew him well, inserted in its columns. It will serve to show the public estimation in which this veteran servant of God was held.
“ Mr. Fish was not what some would call an eloquent Preacher ; but a sounder Divine never entered the pulpit. His views of Scripture truth were lucid and comprehensive, and it was scarcely possible to sit under his ministry without benefit. He possessed a remarkable flow of language, and spoke so correctly, that his sermons might almost have been printed as he delivered them. Up to the close of last year, he was regular in his attendance on the means of grace, though greatly enfeebled; but such was his love for the house of God, that nothing but sickness could keep him at home. Since the commencement of the present year, he has been wholly confined to the house; and, for the
ree months, it was plain that the end of his course was at hand. But it did not find him unprepared; and, his work being done, as he had lived, so he died, a firm believer in the saving efficacy of those truths which he had so long and successfully preached to others, and testifying, to the very end, that this is 'the grace wherein we stand.”
MEMOIR OF MR. HENRY DUDENEY,
OF MAYFIELD, SUSSEX. Mr. Henry DUDENEY was born at Plumpton, a village in Sussex, in the neighbourhood of Lewes, November 5th, 1791. His parents belonged to the established Church, on the services of which they were regular and constant attendants. They were persons strictly moral in their conduct; and though their views of the method of personal sal