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escorted by good angels, his happy soul was taken to heaven. During his affliction, which was most painful and severe, no complaint was heard, no murmur came; he died as he had lived, resigned to the Divine will.
“What cannot resignation do?
It wonders can perform;
Can calm the loudest storm."
There are no remarkable incidents in Mr. Wing's life, to distinguish his from the common lot of most men. It is true, he was cast upon the world at an earlier age than some, and had to earn his bread from a child; and as an indication of his industry, it is said of him that at the age of seven years he earned seven shillings per week; and it is satisfactory to know, that his habits of industry and perseverance, marked with the strictest integrity and uprightness as a man of business, were crowned with the Divine blessing, and placed him in the decline of life in much happier circumstances than those of his childhood.
Mr. Wing's religious views were in harmony with those we hold as a christian community; and when reading, as he frequently did, Cooke's • Theology," he often said, “I fully believe the doctrines laid down in this work.” He was not a sectarian, for in the catholicity of his spirit, he loved the universal Church of Christ. Yet still he had a special and ardent love for his own people, the people of his choice; and he felt an overflowing affection for the Scotland street society and congregation ; which he mapifested by taking upon himself the responsibilities of trustee and leader, by praying often and most earnestly for the prosperity of the cause, by labouring cordially with the ministers, by giving liberally of his pecuniary means, and by making personal sacrifices that he might have still more to give. Many of my beloved brethren, the ministers, would bear a willing testimony to this statement. My acquaintance with Mr. Wing extended over a few weeks only, and yet I am forced to say, “I am distressed for thee, my brother, very pleasant hast thou been unto me."
For a long series of years he manifested consistency of conduct, uniformity of character, and a rich experience of the deep things of God; for thirty-eight years without interruption he retained his membership. He often used to say, “When I joined this Church I resolved to lay aside every weight, to give God my whole heart, to practise selfdenial, to take up my cross and follow Christ.” And be it spoken to his memory, that he daily exemplified those amiable and heavenly virtues which distinguished him from others, rendering him an object of admiration to the world and an honour to the Church. He was given to hospitality, he was emphatically a peace maker, and a man mighty in prayer and faith.
"A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.” Our brother has left behind him the odour of a good name, which casts the sweetest fragrance upon his memory; it is embalmed in the hearts of many of the people of God. Many honourable testimonies might be given ; we select a few only. A Wesleyan class leader says, “I have had an intimate acquaintance with him for more than thirty years, and can testify that I never observed a flaw in his moral character.” The bereaved members of his class say, “ He was a good man, and we loved him dearly." Many of the members of the congregation have said how satisfied they always felt when they saw him present, and how blest they often were when he engaged in prayer. One poor person, who had been a special object of his love, when he heard of his death, said, “Ah, Mr. Wing was one of those good men who should have lived for ever.” The following I extract from the “ Sheffield Independent Newspaper :" “Mr. Wing will long be remembered, not only by those who were in his employ, but by the whole of the file trade, both masters and workmen. His goodness of heart, his benevolence of disposition, and his unwearied determination to ease and comfort those who had the misfortune to be poor and depressed either in body or mind, endeared him to all. Perhaps no individual ever left this world more deeply and generally beloved.” If other evidence were required to show how highly he was respected in the town, we might allude to the mournful day on which we carried him to his burying place; as we preceded his mortal remains we witnessed many a tearful eye, and heard the tenderest expressions; and when we reached his grave, hundreds of his townsmen and friends gathered around, a sad circle of silent listeners, and O what did our hearts feel when the solemn words were uttered, “ Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust!” “The memory of the just is blessed."
It would be wrong to omit to mention Mr. Wing's love for his two children, and the anxiety he felt for their eternal welfare. He mentioned them in his daily prayers, and longed for them, with his partner and himself, to form a family in heaven. There seems a mystery in the fact of both his children being from home when their father died; but they were not forgotten. On the evening he returned from Leeds, he appeared disappointed that his daughter was still absent, and at family prayer, the last time he conducted domestic worship, he prayed affec. tionately for her, that God would bless her, and make her an eminent Christian; and then he earnestly besought God to preserve and convert his son. Although deprived of their father's dying benediction, they nevertheless had an interest in his last prayers in this world ; and those prayers, even now, are registered in heaven in their behalf.
In conclusion, it only remains to add, that Mr. Wing for some time previously to his death, appeared to be walking more closely with God, and seemed ripening for glory, and was often heard singing,
“No chilling winds, nor poisonous breath,
Can reach that healthful shore;
Are felt and fear'd no more.” The last Sabbath he spent on earth was a blessed one; he stayed the prayer meeting after the public service, and showed a deep interest in the welfare of the Church. We remember one of his expressions when engaged in prayer: “ Lord, help us to work diligently in thy vineyard, and then when the reckoning day comes we shall receive our penny." On his return home he was unusually happy, and after singing a hymn he prayed with great power and sweet access to God. Mr. Wing set an example worthy of imitation in the varied relations of life. He was an affectionate husband, a kind father, an indulgent master, and a
sincore friend. He lived a holy life, he died a happy death, and is now before the throne of God. “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace." Sheffield, Nov. 6th, 1849.
DISCOURSES, ESSAYS, &c.
THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF THE METHODIST NEW
CONNEXION IN BIRMINGHAM.
BY THE REV. WM. BAGGALY. The venerable Wesley introduced Methodism to Birmingham upwards of a century ago. Its doctrines and ordinances soon awakened attention, and produced a powerful effect. Societies were formed, and sanctuaries reared in various parts of the town, which have already proved a blessing to thousands; and their salutary influences will, no doubt, be still more extensively felt by generations yet unborn.
Soon after the death of Mr. Wesley, a few of his numerous followers in this town sympathized with the general feeling in the Connexion respecting the proposed changes in Methodism. They wished to enjoy all the privileges it could afford, and to see it placed on such a footing as would ensure peace and uninterrupted prosperity. Their views and requests reached the Conference, but were rejected. This led to a division in many places, but not so in this town. Here the friends brooked the disappointment and kept together, hoping that time would bring about such alterations as were then denied.
Hence the New Connexion in Birmingham did not originate in a secession from the Wesleyans; but in that spirit of missionary zeal, which is the glory of the Christian Church. The first effort, in 1799, proved unsuccessful, and, after a very short trial, even the name of this place disappeared from the minutes. In 1810 it was resumed in connection with Wolverhampton, when the late Rev. J. Revel was appointed to the Circuit. A large room was opened in “Needless Alley," and there were those who thought the New Connexion in Birmingham quite as “needless” as the name of the “ Alley” in which it originated. A new opening is generally attended with difficulties and discouragements. The venerable Revel found it to be so in this Circuit, and on many occasions his faith and patience were tried in no ordinary degree. But his indomitable spirit bore up under all, and urged him on in his career of usefulness with a single eye to the glory of God. He lived, laboured, and prayed for souls; and such zeal and devotion could not be in vain. But success was not equal to his wishes; and, therefore, when closing public service one evening he said, in a manner peculiar to himself, “ My friends, I have preached the word of God to you for a long time, and it does you no good; and therefore, next Sunday night I shall preach from the words of the devil." This extraordinary notice awakened general attention, and curiosity brought a great crowd together. So far his object was accomplished. Having passed through the devotional parts of the service, he rose up to announce his text, " when the eyes of all the people were fastened on him.” He saw their curiosity and exclaimed, “ Hear the words of the devil : Did Job serve God for nought ?'” The subject furnished some stirring reflections, and the people heard as for eternity. At the following Conference the Circuit reported two societies, no chapel, four local preachers, and seventyfive members.
But a mere room in “ Needless Alley " was not likely to take in such a town as this: hence it was needful to look out for better accommodations. At this juncture, Oxford street chapel was offered for sale, and our noble-minded friends, the Ridgways, with Messrs. Bailey and Bat. kin, of the Potteries, came over and purchased it. On the 28th of July, 1811, it was opened by the Rev. T. Waterhouse, to the joy and satisfaction of a grateful people. But though the chapel was considered a fine accession to the cause at that time, it did not exactly realize expectations. Its locality was unfavourable, and the building itself not equal to the spirit of the town. Brother Sorsby thought they might very properly inscribe on the front of this chapel, “ Ye shall seek me and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." We have no doubt lost many friends by the obscurity of this chapel. When Mrs. H- came to reside here, she often inquired for it, but in vain. Indeed, she resided in Birmingham twelve months without even hearing of such a place as Oxford street. Not being able to find our chapel, she went to Cherry street and joined the Wesleyans. But one day, visiting a Wesleyan family in company with Mr. H., the conversation turned on Methodism, and something was said about the New Connexion. “What is that?” said Mrs. H.; "the New Connexion ! are there any in this town?” “A few," was the reply, “but they are a poor miserable set, in a little chapel in Oxford street.” “ And pray, sir, where is Oxford street ?" The question betrayed her feelings, and when the friend had explained, Mr. H. very significantly replied, "You have done it; she'll go." He was right. From that very hour her mind was made up; and notwithstanding the disparaging observations about Oxford street chapel and Oxford street friends, she bid adieu to the Wesleyans-numerous and respectable as they were, and the very next Sabbath found her with the poor despised flock in Oxford street chapel.* Here she was soon at home; and to this day she is one of the most exemplary and useful members in Birmingham. This con nexional feeling she brought from Nottingham, where she had long associated with the Salthouses, and Peets, and Oldknows, and others, who are still held in affectionate remembrance. Had all our friends who have changed their places of residence followed the example of Mrs. H., thousands would be found in our Israel who are now scattered amongst other tribes. The spirit of this excellent woman has descended on her children, who have already proved a great blessing to the Connexion
Wishing to extend our cause in these parts, the preachers went out and opened their way to Dudley, Woodside, Darbey Hand, Tipton, and other places in that neighbourhood. Our worthy father, Harris, to whom we are indebted for thirty-four years of faithful services as a local preacher, opened Dudley in 1818. Five persons offered themselves as members, and thus formed the nucleus of a society. The work of God prospered in their hands, several new chapels were erected, and in a short time Dudley became the head of the Circuit.
* This was a noble example. We wish there were many of the same kind. We have lately had one like it in this town-a family who have removed from one part of the city to another, in order to enjoy worship and church fellowship with their own people.--ED.