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three sons, and three daughters; and for these, by her industry on the farm which she occupied at the time of my father's death, she respectably provided. At the age of twelve years, I was apprenticed for the usual period to Mr. Buxton, grocer, Macotesfield. At that time I had little concern for the salvation of my soul. In moments of reflection, I had a fear of future punishment, by which I was restrained from outward wickedness. My master would never allow me to go out at night after closing the shop, nor on any part of the Sabbath, without leave; and thus I was kept from many foolish habits to which young persons are addicted. At the termination of my apprenticeship, I went to visit a relation at Manchester, and waited till I could hear of a situation. In the public papers I saw an advertisement for a journeyman in a shop at Stockport. The situation appeared eligible ; but I felt a strong desire to go to Macclesfield. I have since seen the hand of God in this. He was mercifully guiding a thoughtless youth who had forgotten him. On arriving at Macclesfield I was met by a friend, who said to me at once, I have procured a situation for you. I embraced the offer, and engaged in the service of Mr. Hurst, in the town in which I had fulfilled the term of my apprenticeship. My new employer attended the Methodist chapel, and I accompanied him. The Ministers then stationed there, were the Rev. Joseph Bradford and the Rev. John Riles. Under their ministry my mind became enlightened, and I was ere long fully awakened to a sense of my danger as a guilty sinner, who had hitherto neglected the great salvation of the Gospel. I saw and felt, that I must undergo a change, or that from heaven and all its blessedness I should be everlastingly excluded. The discourses which I heard were truly heart-searching; but they were very instructive. They not only disclosed my danger, but taught me the way of escape by true repentance and faith in Christ. I was told of One,

“Whose blood atoned for all our race,

And sprinkles now the throne of grace.' I examined the word of God seriously, and I found that these were indeed the doctrines of the Bible. I had but one resort. I betook myself to prayer, and earnestly sought the blessings which I saw it was my privilege and duty to enjoy. A sermon preached by Mr. Riles on the text, “There shall be time no longer,' made a deep impression on me; and about the same period, a person of the name of Lorenzo Dow, from America, preached in our chapel several times, at five in the morning. His earnestness was instrumental in strengthening my resolution to give myself up to the service of God, and to live for eternity all the days of my life.”

This introductory document here breaks off; but at the “Centenary Meeting,” Mr. Thorley gave a particular account, which has been preserved, of his early religious experience; and this account shall now be given. He said,

“If any person ought to engage in these services with thankfulness, Joshua Thorley is the man. What should I have been had I not


listened to the faithful ministry under which I was providentially placed so many years ago ? Perhaps a mere worldling, on my way to eternal death. In that case, none of the hallowed pleasures of this day would have had a place in my heart. I was first taken to the house of prayer when a child, by a beloved sister, now gone to her rest, who had joined the Wesleyans in her youth. Her conversation and advice, and the religious services on which I for some time attended, produced a salutary impression on my mind; but as I grew up, these became more and more faint, and my goodness passed away Jike the morning cloud and the early dew. But soon after the expiration of my apprenticeship, providential circumstances led me again to the Methodist chapel in this town; and under the zealous and faithful ministry of the word, I was soon convinced of sin, and brought not only to seek, but to find, the salvation of my soul. I had joined the Wesleyan society, having been invited to a class-meeting by some friends who saw the distress of mind under which I was labouring, and which I could not conceal. From the word of God read and preached, and applied to my heart with light and power by the Holy Spirit, I had been made aware that I was a vile sinner in the sight of God, and that salvation was to be obtained 'not by works of righteousness that we have done,' either in whole or in part, but by God's mercy alone, through simple faith in Christ, the faith by which with the heart man believeth unto righteousness ;' and this salvation, in this way, I earnestly sought. It was while I was at a class-meeting, and while we were singing that verse,

Come, ye weary sinners, come,

All who groan beneath your load ;
Jesus calls his wanderers home;

Hasten to your pardoning God,' that I was enabled to come to him. I found such light and love springing up in my heart as no language can express. I felt that I had power to believe in Christ, and to receive him as my Saviour. I saw his willingness and ability to save sinners; I rested in his promise to save me; and I felt that God's anger was turned away, and that he comforted me. I went home rejoicing in the God of my salvation, and from that day to this I have been a happy man. For the same reason that I first joined the Wesleyans, I still continue with them. I have a solemn conviction that they have God's Spirit and truth with them, and that the doctrines preached among them, and the means of grace which they possess, are admirably calculated to make me happy and useful in life, and to prepare me for a better world. I desire to acknowledge the grace of God in other Christian societies, and to esteem all who love our Lord Jesus in sincerity ; but surely in this Centenary year a Methodist may praise God for the bridge by which he is passing safely over the gulf of perdition to the holy and happy land, the better, that is, the heavenly, country. Yes : this people shall be my people, and their God my God.”

From the period of his conversion, it might be truly said of Mr. Thorley, that he went on his way rejoicing. His character was consistent with his profession ; and while he attended, with conscientious exactness, to all the duties of his secular calling, he embraced all opportunities of receiving and of doing good. His excellent spirit and character won for him general esteem ; and for many years his life passed on very evenly, though he does not seem to have continued the record of his spiritual experience beyond the period when he became a member of the Wesleyan society. In his later life, however, he occasionally wrote a few notices, which may now be copied.

“ January 1st, 1839.—I feel thankful to God that he has spared me another year. The last two years, I think, I have experienced more spiritual improvement than in any former years; and I hope that if I am spared, this will exceed them all. The last year has indeed been a year of great trial. My dear son, my only child, has by an inscrutable Providence been taken from us. From the bottom of my heart I thank God that he has enabled us to bear this heavy stroke without giving way to immoderate grief. We both of us submit to the divine will, and are resolved, in the strength of grace, to give ourselves more fully to God; and, as we have no children for whom to provide, to be more liberal in our contributions towards the support of the church of the living God, and to the poor of his flock; and also to the poor in general, for the Lord maketh the sun to shine, and the rain to descend, on the evil and the good, the just and the unjust. We now feel comparatively at ease, knowing that our works, begun, continued, and ended, are all for God. We rejoice in believing that this resolution is one part of the fruit of the salvation we enjoy. • Thou, Lord, hast wrought all our works in us. Our salvation itself is all from the mercy of God, through faith in Christ. May we possess and show all the fruits of faith while we live, and enjoy all the peace of faith in the hour of death!

"January 30th, 1839.—I feel this day a blessed confidence in God. His ways are indeed ways of pleasantness, and his paths paths of peace. Ten thousand worlds are as nothing, when compared with the salvation of the soul. Ten thousand worlds, the Lord being my helper, should not draw me from the faith I now have in the Author of this salvation. Yes, it is true, 'Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.' O what a happiness to know Him in whom I have believed, Christ in me, the hope of glory! O the love of Christ for perishing sinners! Precious Jesus, thou art mine! Thou hast redeemed me by thine own blood! O God, enable me ever to retain this faith ; and may it ever increase, always working by love, and purifying the heart!”

In January, 1844, the first symptoms of the affliction appeared, which, so much sooner than was expected, terminated his life. At the beginning of the month he thus wrote:

“Thanks be to God my Redeemer, I have entered upon another year. The conclusion of the old year, and the commencement of the new, have been attended with very serious reflections. I closed the old year with feelings of deep humiliation before God, occasioned by a sight of my great unfaithfulness and many errors. I earnestly besought the Lord to forgive me, and praised him that I had not been cut down as one that 'cumbereth the ground. I began the new year with an earnest desire to be clothed with humility as with a garment, to be more useful in the church, and to be more constant and fervent in prayer to God. I was, as usual, at the watchnight services in the house of God; and when the clock was on the point of striking twelve, I was powerfully reminded of that approaching period, when I shall be as near to the eternal world as I then was to another year. My whole soul said,

"Jesus, vouchsafe a pitying ray:
Be thou my guide, be thou my way,

To glorious happiness :
Ah! write the pardon on my heart;
And whensoe'er I hence depart,

Let me depart in peace.' “The past year was one of many, many mercies; but it was also a year of great affliction. It pleased God during its course to take from me my dear wife, whose life was a continued act of devotedness to God. Her reliance on the great atoning sacrifice for salvation was unshaken, and her death triumphant. She died in the Lord,' August 22d, 1843. It is well for me that I know that all things work together for good to them that love God. I desire to submit. Not my will, but thine, O Lord, be done! Thirty-three years was she the companion of my life. She was indeed the Lord's gift to me. We never had a jarring string. To God be all the glory!”

The compiler of the present account deems it only an act of justice to record his testimony to the noble example of female piety furnished by the late Mrs. Thorley. She presented a rare combination of Christian excellences. She was kind, generous, and consistent; cheerful as the lark when taking his first morning flight, the expression of her countenance, which was never disturbed except rendered somewhat more serious than usual by the pains of the terrible malady (cancer) which ended her days, will never be forgotten by her friends. It was truly indicative of the joy and peace which reigned constantly within. To Mr. Thorley it was indeed no ordinary loss ; but grace triumphed, and he was enabled to say, “ The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord !” The following letter was addressed to him during the last illness of his wife. The sentiments it expresses seem so well calculated to sooth the spirit in the hour of suffering, that no apology will be needed for its insertion.

“I am sorry to learn that Mrs. Thorley is made so much to resemble the sufferer mentioned by the Evangelist, who was nothing better, but rather grew worse. When we tell our friends that we are ill, they almost instinctively begin to prescribe for us ; and though their remedial suggestions may be sometimes childish, and often useless, yet we regard them as indications of their affection, and as proofs that they really would help us if they could. It is in this light that you must look on this communication. The intelligence I have received has led me to try to write, or do, something for friends in affliction whom, on so many accounts, I greatly esteem. But, alas ! what can a letter do on behalf of a mind grappling with a disease so ineffably formidable as that under which Mrs. Thorley is labouring, or for a heart suffering like your own by sympathy with one to whom you have been so long and so tenderly united ? No wonder if you say, 'Friends, letters, expressions of esteem, messages of condolence and inquiry, are all vanity. There is One, however, to whom even a child may refer us, namely, the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world, who now, in the days of his power and glory, deals with the human soul, even stirred to its depths, and lashed into agony, by the force of some mighty calamity, as he did in the days of his humiliation and weakness with the stormy sea of Galilee, when he said to it, Peace, he still,' so that the winds ceased, and there was a great calm. To look to him it will not be necessary for me to exhort you; for I seem to hear you both saying, • Lord, to whom shall we go but unto thee?' At his feet I have bowed on your behalf, and shall do so again. However many things may end in vanity and disappointment, humble prayer to God through Christ will always issue in something more satisfactory. St. Paul speaks of being conquerors, and more than conquerors, through Him that hath loved us.' It is, indeed, wonderful, that the sighs and tears, the cries and pleadings, of poor, sinful, helpless, dying worms, should result in pardon, and peace, and victory, and heaven, just as it was wonderful that the simple act of washing in the pool of Siloam should end in the recovery of sight by a man that was born blind. Yet why should we wonder at such things as these, when God so loved the world as to give his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life?' This gift was the most stupendous of all miracles; and the remaining miracle, the ‘uttermost salvation’ of the helpless worm that trusts in him,' will follow as matter of course. Your sympathizing friend,


ation of all miracles ; and listing life ?' This client

worm that maining mis sint

The following appears to have been written some time in March:

“On the 9th of January I was attacked by a very serious affliction ; but the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, kept my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. I felt the comforting and sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit. There seemed to be but a thin veil betwixt me and the eternal world. Thank God, I felt no fear; for he himself has said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.' For a month this blessed influence of the Spirit rested on me. On Sunday, February 4th, I felt a strong desire once more to go to the house of the Lord; but the state of the weather prevented me. However, I read with great profit several of the sermons of the Rev. Richard Watson. Five weeks of heavy affliction have passed over me,-heavy affliction, but mingled with many mercies.” His last attempt at writing seems to have been the commencement of a letter to the Rev. Peter Turner, Wesleyan Missionary; but it was left unfinished. He

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