Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

watched their development with all the anxieties of a fond and affectionate wife. And when recovery was pronounced impossible, she thought the dispensation a strange one but neither in his affliction nor death did she sin with her lips, or charge God foolishly.

4. Her religious experience. It was sound. It not only furnished proof of a true conversion, but of a well-sustained Christian life. She expressed her experience with great timidity, but that very timidity enhanced the value of what she said. Relating her experience on one occasion, she said with great feeling and power, “I know I have not served the Lord as I ought to have done, but the Lord knows that I have tried to do it.” She loved the means of grace. In health she was punctual in her attendance both on the public and social means, and in sickness she felt their loss as one of her greatest trials.

5. Her last affliction. It was long and painful. It was no ordinary affliction, nor was it endured in an ordinary way. When the intimation was first given her that cancer had formed at her breast, and that medical skill could be of little avail, except perhaps to alleviate her sufferings, she heard it with deep feeling, but with great calmness. A short time after this, when meditating on her affliction, and its probable if not positive issue, she said to the writer in a manner never to be forgotten, “The death of my husband seemed a strange thing to me, but now I see it all. The Lord knew what was coming, and it makes all the difference between leaving a husband and going to one." Month after month we expected each to be the last. Still she lingered, and still she suffered—the suffering growing more intense, and at times almost beyond endurance. I visited her most days for the last few months of her life, and many precious things did she say to me; but as I did not record them, memory fails to reproduce them. I may say that, apart from the sufferings I witnessed, my visits to her were among some of the most refreshing and profitable experiences of my life. After Conference, and just before leaving the Circuit, I paid her my last visit on earth. She was greatly changed. Suffering had chiselled unusual marks upon her countenance, but had left the well-known smile. She could scarcely speak and when after prayer I alluded to heaven as a place where there would be no more suffering or death, she said with great effort, and in broken sections, “How sweet-will-it be-to be-there!That sweetness she now shares. At rest—"for ever with the Lord.”

This notice by Mr. Taylor requires to be supplemented but by few sentences. The modesty of disposition which was characteristic of Mrs. Walker impressed itself on her religious joy; Perhaps at no time was that joy ecstatic; but she often “wondered whether she was “right” as she thought her experiences unlike those of other people. Still she never doubted her final safety. She could say, “Lord, thou knowest all things ; Thou knowest that I love Thee.” She rested upon the atonement made by Jesus, and sought daily the baptism of the Holy Ghost. She was diligent in reading the Bible, and such books as “The Life of the Rev. Ralph Waller," "Sermons to the Afflicted,” “Sure of Heaven," and "Angels and Heaven.” When unable to read for herself, she derived great encouragement by her father and sisters reading to her.

Mrs. Walker's affliction confined her to her room and mostly to bed for about nine months; for a considerable portion of which time she was exceedingly anxious to depart. Frequently, after a day of great weariness, about ten or eleven o'clock at night she would say, "I hope I shall be in heaven before two o'clock in the morning.” But after thus expressing herself, she sometimes asked her father whether she was not too impatient. On such occasions Mr. Broadbent would read to her of the sufferings and patience of Job; after which she girded up the loins of her mind to new displays of resignation and hope.

The pains of our sister, which had increased in acuteness for several months, at last abated considerably; but the breathing became more diffi

cult, and ability to converse was well-nigh lost. On Sunday, July 12, she had a bitter struggle; it was thought that the hour of departure had come ; but she rallied again, and continued until Wednesday evening, July 15, in the thirty-eighth year of her age, when, after five or six hours' severe conAlict with “ the last enemy,” she was conquered, but only in that which is mortal, and even that mortal conquest will be reversed " in the resurrection at the last day."

“Oh, precious hope! already from afar
Through sorrow's night we see the morning star ;
And guided by its beams, we calmly lay
Our sleeping ones to rest, to wait that day.'"

SAMUEL WALKER,

MR. SIMON HOLT,

MOSSLEY. In the year 1814, at Luzley, near Mossley, Simon Holt was born. His moral surroundings were not good, and until he was sixteen years of age he was a stranger to Christ, and given up to manifold wickednesses. He had, however, occasionally, distress of mind on account of sin, and when seventeen years

of

age he sought and found mercy through our Lord Jesus Christ, from which time to his death religion was in him a living principle, and an unfailing source of peace and hope.

Brother Holt first became connected with our denomination at Staleybridge, where he devoted himself most enthusiastically to the interests of the Church and the glory of God. In 1839 he was called to the office of local preacher. He had not the privilege of tuition at a “school of the prophets”; but at the beginning of his preaching life, he and a companion and fellow-labourer were accustomed to repair to a wood in the neighbourhood of Staleybridge, where they wrestled with the Unseen, and preached to each other on the sublime themes of “the Gospel of the grace of God”themes by which their hearts were stirred, and by which they hoped to stir the hearts of saints and sinners in the tabernacle of the Lord of Hosts." One who knew Mr. Holt at this time says, “ There was in him much of the fire and energy of early Methodism.” Through change of residence, Mr. Holt, in 1844, joined our Mossley Church, where he found spheres of useful service and opportunities for happy fellowship to the end of life. The work done by him as a local preacher and class-leader was considerable, and generally acceptable. He was also engaged between two and three years as a missionary in Mossley, during which time small-pox became prevalent, and to numbers who suffered and died he carried the words of eternal life. But in all the perils attendant on this ministry, brother Holt had no fear, and neither he nor his family sustained any harm. Subsequently, he was in great request for the visitation of the sick in the locality of his own home, often being called up in the night to help by prayer and counsel such as desired to escape “ the wrath to come.”

For some years Mr. Holt had very feeble health, especially in the winter season, when he was frequently confined to his home for weeks together. This restricted his labours in the church, as well as deprived him of privileges that were dear to his heart. But he was patient and cheerful, and sought progress in the Christian life by a quiet study of the Word of God and prayer.

When our brother died, many were startled at the apparent suddenness of the event. He attended our Circuit Quarterly Meeting at Lees on the 13th of July, taking some part in its business, and, rcturning to Mossley, visited one of our members then in dying circumstances, prayed with her, and exhorted her to look forward to the recompense of the just. In a few days afterwards his feebleness so far increased as to occasion anxiety to his family, though they hoped to see him recover as magically as he had often done before ; but this time nature was destitute of her former powers of

resuscitation, and it soon became manifest that death was inevitable. This was no calamity to brother Holt. The bitterness of death was long since past to him ; hence, the night preceding his departure, calling to his Saviour, he said, “Take me to heaven; take me to heaven !” and to his wife and children, “Ye are witnesses." And thus, “sure of heaven," he passed away, July 25, 1874, in the sixty-first year of his age.

We do not affirm of our friend that he was faultless. He would not have affirmed this of himself. The warmth of his disposition did sometimes involve him in collision of word and sentiment with his brethren; but he loved the Lord Jesus Christ, was zealous in His service, prayed with great power, was a good husband and father, and strove hard and long “perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

“ Virtue grew daily stronger, sin

Decayed ; his enemies repulsed, retired;
Tili, at the stature of a perfect man
In Christ arrived, and with the Spirit filled,
He gained the barbour of eternal rest.”

SAMUEL WALKER.

LYDIA WADSWORTH,

MOSSLEY. THIS excellent woman was born at Mottram, on the 19th of July, 1799, and died at Mossley, July the 30th, 1874, having completed her seventy-fifth year.

We have not been able to gain any particulars of her life earlier than her seventeenth year. Her relatives possess a ticket showing that she was in church membership; and one of our leaders, Mr. William Booth, bears testimony to her earnest piety at that period.' When brother Booth became acquainted with Lydia, he was an unconverted man, and displayed his wickedness by frequently persecuting this young saint. She did not retaliate por depend upon argument, persuasion, or appeal, as a means of changing her enemy; but she sought the help of the mighty God of Jacob, and prayed for him who shamefully entreated her. On one occasion William Booth and three other young men, hoping, perhaps, to hear something they could employ as a cruel taunt to Lydia, took up their position near the window of the house in which she met in class. But the result to one eavesdropper was far different to expectation. As he stood, likely on tip-toe, he heard the voice of devout and lively supplication-and it was Lydia's voice - and as she strove to get near the Divine Majesty, she pleaded tenderly and powerfully for William Booth, and, says he, “ This produced such an impression upon my mind that I never persecuted Lydia' from that time.' He also says, “ She was always a consistent Christian; an Israelite indeed.' And other persons, who knew our sister long and intimately, are unanimous in their declarations that she was a woman of eminent piety. Mr. James Broadbent, who was her leader for some years, says, “Her experience was rich and encouraging. My own mind was often cheered as she related that Experience. In prayer she was much drawn out, and seemed to have power with God and prevail.” She valued highly all the means of grace, and was generally admired for the diligence with which she followed the Lord Jesus ', Christ.

Deafness and other infirmities deprived her of the privilege of fellowship with God's people in His house for three or four years before her death; but she hailed with delight the visit of a pious friend or Christian minister to her home. I saw her myself on Sunday evening, July the 19th ; she was exceedingly weak, but perfectly peaceful. She continued looking for the appearing and kingdom of her Lord; and He in whom she trusted -whose blood cleansed her-whose law was her rule—whose promises cheered her-has now received her to “glory, honour, and immortality.”

SAMUEL WALKER,

AFTER long and painful affliction, Martha, the beloved wife of Henry Dixon, Esq., Leeds, departed this life, November 29, 1874, aged 61 years.

Mrs. SARAH APPLETON, widow of the late William Appleton, in her 77th year, at the house of her son, 26, Dorset Road, Liverpool, on 30th November, 1874.–Our sister joined the Society in Bond Street in 1838, and continued a member with us in Liverpool till prevented by age. Her end was peace.

MR. JAMES HOWARTH, of Rochdale, after a long and useful career in the Church and Circuit, died in the Lord, on Sunday morning, 6th December, aged 54 years. Our loss is very great.

A ROYAL HOME. THE perusal of the first volume of “The Life of his Royal Highness the Prince Consort,” just published, will delight and gratify the hearts of the loyal and loving subjects of our gracious Queen. A few extracts from it we are sure will be acceptable to our readers. Into very few hands it will have come at present, and its high price will forbid it ever being possessed or read by many.

Our Queen was born on the 24th of May, 1819 ; three months later, on the 26th of August, 1819, Prince Albert was born.' The Queen's mother, the Duchess of Kent, was sister to the Prince's father. The mother of the Duchess, writing to her of the birth of the Prince, expressed the hope of seeing “ the May Flower of Kensington.” Two years later the Dowager Duchess of Coburg, writing to the Duchess of Kent, speaks of the beauty, vivacity, and intelligence of "little Alberinchen," with his large blue eyes, and calls him “the pendant to his pretty cousin” (the Princess Victoria). The portrait of the child given in the present volume, justifies the fond grandmother's description of " a little angel with fair curls.” His disposition seems to have been at once serious and thoughtful beyond his years, and yet humorous, froliosome, and playful. There was nothing in the slightest degree priggish in his love for knowledge, and the force and sweetness of his character were discovered more in the energy with which he was always learning, and which he carried alike into his studies and his childish sports, in his aversion from anything that he thought unjust or dishonest, in his eager desire to do good and assist others, and his gratitude for any kindness, however trifling, to himself. His course of instruction was comprehensive and exact, and he early showed a marked inclination for natural science, for music, and the arts of design. For field sports in themselves he cared less than for the healthy exercise they gave, and though a capital shot, and, as he afterwards proved in England, a bold rider to hounds, he could never understand people making a business of shooting or giving up whole days to the chase. He trained his body for the sake of his mind, and so grew up from a delicate childhood into an active, cheerful, healthy boy.

The Duke of Kent was in the habit of showing the infant Princess as the Queen of England to be; but the Princess herself was not permitted to know until her twelfth year that no one stood between herself and the succeșsion to the throne. The following curious passage in a letter from the Baroness Lehzen, the Princess's governess, shows how well the secret had been kept. The letter is addressed to her Majesty, Dec. 2, 1867:

" I ask your Majesty's leave to cite some remarkable words of your Majesty's when only twelve years old, while the Regency Bill was in progress. I then said to the Duchess of Kent that now, for the first time, your Majesty ought to know your place in the succession. Her Royal Highness agreed with me, and I put the genealogical table into the historical book. When Mr.

Davys, the Queen's instructor (afterwards Bishop of Peterborough) was gone, the Princess Victoria opened as usual the book again, and seeing the additional paper said, • I never saw that before.' • It was not thought necessary you should, Princess,' I answered. •I see I am nearer the throne than I thought. So it is, madam,' I said. After some moments the Princess

resumed, Now many a child would boast, but they don't know the difficulty. There is much splendour, but there is more responsibility. The Princess having lifted up the forefinger of her right hand while she spoke, gave me that little hand, saying, "I will be good. I understand now why you urged me so much to learn, even Latin. My cousins Augusta and Mary never did; but you told me Latin is the foundation of English grammar, and of all the elegant expressions, and I learned it as you wished it, but I understand all better now, and the Princess gave me her hand, repeating, * I will be good!'"

The Queen adds a little note on this which will be read with interest : " I cried much on learning it, and ever deplored this contingency."

The sudden death of the Duke of Kent threw upon his brother-in-law, Prince Leopold, the care of his widow and child. The little “ May Flower” of Kensington was an object of the deepest interest to her relatives in Coburg, and the idea of her marriage to one of her cousins had taken such root in the family, that Prince Albert's nurse was in the habit of prattling to her charge about his marrying the future Queen of England. But it was not until the year 1836 that the succession to the throne of England was regarded as certain to fall to the daughter of the Duke of Kent. Leopold had even then fixed upon Prince Albert as best fitted to secure the happiness of his piece, and to fulfil the duties of the Consort of an English Queen. But he was far too deeply impressed with the responsibility of such a choice to act in haste, and he consulted his friend and private adviser, Baron Fon Stockmar.

The two Princes, Leopold and Albert, were invited by the Duches s of Kent to visit her at Kensington Palace, but the object of the visit was kept strictly secret from the Princess as well as the Prince. The Princess was to be entirely free to follow her own inclinations; the Prince, it is true, had heard his grandmother speak with hope of the possibility of such an alliance from his earliest years; but it was only when the visit of the Princes came to an end that King Leopold made the Princess aware of his wishes. The answer of the young lady left no doubt as to her feelings, and in a letter to her uncle she wrote, “I have only now to beg you, my dearest uncle, to take care of the health of one so dear to me, and to take him under your special protection."

Leopold had the highest opinion of his nephew's character, and especially of his power of self-control, which was in later years so severely tested. From Brussels the Prince proceeded on a tour in Italy accompanied, by her Majesty's desire, by Stockmar, who had no misgivings as as to the Queen's ultimate intentions. In Italy he continued his active and studious habits, "rising at six and working till noon, dining simply at two o'clock, when his drink was water, and going to bed as a rule at nine," He played the fine organ in the Church of the Badia of Florence, to the wonder of the monks. He submitted to rather than enjoyed the fashionable frivolities of society; he visited the Pope (Gregory XVI.), and ventured to argue a point of art with the Holy Father. On his return home to Coburg he was declared of age.

At the opening of 1839 the disposal of the Queen's hand was an object of dynastic ambitions and diplomatic intrigues. In England the state of public affairs was such as to make the Queen anxious for a husband's guidance and support. But though the Queen, in her own words, " never had an idea, if she married at all, of any one else” than Prince Albert, she still desired delay, and the Prince actually came to England under the impression that the engagement was broken off—at least for some years. However, the Prince came, saw, and conquered. He arrived on the 10th of October with his brother at Windsor Castle, and on the 14th the Queen informed Lord Melbourne of her intention. The Prime Minister showed the greatest satisfaction at her announcement, and when King Leopold heard of it he wrote to his niece as though his dearest object in life were fulfilled :

" There was another who was not forgotten by either the Queen or Prince in thd first tumult of their happiness. This was Baron Stockmar. To him the Queen has

« AnteriorContinuar »