페이지 이미지

religious life was like a quiet river rather than a mountain torrent; but his steady and consistent piety was always and everywhere visible. His home was ever pervaded by an air of genuine sanctity; his walk before the world commended the service of God (and not without practical results) to the rough and reckless. His attend. ance on the ordinances of God's house, and to the duties of his offices, was faultlessly regular and punctual, and his experience was always the deep, rich, strong utterances of a sanctified heart. Nor does this estimate of our brother rest simply on my personal knowledge of him : it is fully confirmed by the testimony of others. Resident for many years in a village, where religious profession is most sharply criticized, his reputation brightened as his years in creased, and this not only in the Church. His situation was one which few men can hold without the ill-will of the workman; but the good and the bad alike trusted his word, and gave him all honour as a God-fearing, Christian man. For long will the loss of him be felt in our Willington Society, and his memory be a stimulus to the saint and a warning to the sinner. The death of Brother Ridley was in harmony with his life. He never took a very prominent or officious stand, but from the stand he did take none could move him. The same spirit was manifest in his death. He was quiet, but confident. His disease was one which prostrated both body and mind, and hence he lay for many days, speaking but little, save in reply to questions. But whenever any one asked him of his state of mind, his replies, though quiet, were always prompt, distinct, and abundantly satisfactory; and on one or two occasions, when friends visited him, he seemed to rise above the influence of disease, and exulted with rapturous spiritual ecstacy, as though the breath of God dispelled for a moment the mists of sickness and infirmity, to show to weeping friends how abundant was the en trance of their venerated friend. And so the good old man closed his long and useful career, leaving an example of Christian living and dying, which may well be coveted by those who remain behind.”

On his appointment to his new

situation, being exceedingly light and close to his own residence, it was hoped by his family and friends that his health might improve, and his life be spared for some years to come; in this, however, they were doomed to disappointment; an internal disease began to manifest itself, which baffled the skill of the physician, and under which he gradually began to sink. On this being known, his brother, the Rev. T. W. Ridley, came specially to see bim before he died. Of that interview, and of his state of mind and prospects for another world, my esteemed uncle writes as follows:

“On hearing of his serious illness, I hastened to his abode, that I might see him in the flesh once more, before he was concealed from my view in the cold, dark grave. On entering his house, and approaching his bedside, we were both much affected now silent, then we wept; greeted each other with a holy kiss, and, with the grasp of fraternal affection, con. versed and prayed.

“He was weak in body, the subject of acute pain, and apparently sinking in the arms of death; but his state of mind was just what I expected it would be, judging from his previous life. For more than forty years I regarded him as one of the most consistent, holy, devoted characters I had ever met with. His religion sustained him in his dying moments. He expressed his thankfulness that he had retained his reason. He assured me of his peace of mind, his unshaken confidence in God, and his bright hope of heaven. He had no fear of death. He rejoiced in God, and exulted in the prospect of heavenly blessedness. To my brother,' said he, 'I can. not tell you how precious Christ is to me in this hour. Tell all to whom you preach that religion will make them happy in their dying moments. Be assured that when I die I shall be with Christ, wbich is far better. This may be our last interview on earth, but we shall meet each other in heaven. Father and mother are there, and they will welcome our arrival.' In this state he continued to converse. I envied his position, and left him, more than ever impressed with the reality and importance of godliness, saying as I thought of him

he served the Connexion forty-two years—until the time of his death. He was also a class leader of many years' standing, and a trustee of the chapel at Willington from the time of its erection. His last sermon was preached in that chapel from the words, “And Israel said, It is enough : Joseph my son is yet alive ; I will go and see him before I die.” His remains were followed to the grave by a large concourse of people on Sunday last.

His death was improved in our Willington chapel by the Rev. J. K Jackson, to a large and deeplyaffected congregation. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints."

Jarrow-on-Tyne, Oct., 1870.

O may I triumph so,

When all my warfare's past;
And dying, find my latest foe

Under my feet at last.' I live in hope of re-union in heaven, and of our mutual recognition among glorified saints and bright seraphs.”

Though anticipated for several weeks, when the final hour came, his removal was felt to be a severe loss. By his death his widow has lost a kind and faithful husband; his children a tender and loving father; the sick and afflicted a true and sympathising friend; and the Church one of its brightest ornaments. He died Nov. 3rd, 1869, aged sixty-six years. His remains were interred in Willington churchyard, by the side of his son, and followed to their last resting-place by a large number of relatives and friends.

The following is an extract from the Durham Chronicle of Nov. 12, 1869:

DEATH OF A LOCAL PREACHER.Henry Ridley, of Willington, died on Wednesday week, after a short ill. ness, at the age of sixty-six. The Methodist New Connexion has lost one of its brightest jewels, and the poor and afflicted bave lost a warm and sympathizing friend. The members have lost a dear Father in Israel, who was ever ready to give a word of counsel and comfort; and the bereaved family have indeed sustained an irreparable loss. Those who had the best opportunities of observing his private walk and public life, can testify how blamelessly and harmlessly he went in and out before them, and with what cheerful. ness he lent a helping hand in works of Christian faith and love. In the various relations of social and domes. tic life, the milder graces of the Christian character were beautifully exemplified; and the soundness of his judgment, the meekness and kindliness of his spirit, his unflinching truthfulness and integrity, and his willingness to do good, as he had opportunity-evinced how well he un derstood the practical duties of the religion he professed, and the cordi. ality with which he was prepared to discharge them. Mr. Ridley became a member of the Methodist New Connexion when but fourteen years of age; and in 1827, ten years later, he was brought on the circuit plan as a local preacher, in which capacity


DEATH, THERE are lives that cannot be written in detail-lives that cannot have all their quiet calm and harmony transferred to paper. They are not varied enough with excitement and adventurous scenes to interest the popular mind. Like some noiseless stream orerhung and hidden by the long, drooping grass of a secluded vale, they have gently wended their way through the less public channels of human life, un. noticed and unadmired except by the select few who have come near enough to enjoy their even flow and quiet beauty. But though overlooked by the quick and busy world, there is an Eye that delights in the silent charm of their goodness. Their best record is in heaven, every virtue is registered in the secret pages of the Book of Remembrance.

The life of Ellen Sarah Clark was very happily characterized by this quiet excellence. It was a life of which more could be thought than formally set forth in any attempt at graphic narration. To those who knew her well the happy expression of her face would at once indicate the three prime qualities of her life : goodness, peace, the joyous satisfaction of a child of God.

She was born in the parish of Clapham, London, in September, 1846. She died young, just when blo ming into the maturity of womanhood, at the age of twentyfour.

Her mother speaks of her as being from her childhood amiable and dutiful. It was her privilege whilst young to attend the Sabbath-school; she felt the profit of it to the close of her life. It fostered her well-known love of Scripture, of Bible classes, and of all the services of God's house. It did not make her religious, but it did what the Sunday-school has done in thousands of instances, it quickened and developed her capacity for the enjoyment of religion.

Her conversion took place a few Fears ago in our Southville Chapel (London Third Circuit), under the ministry of the Rev. R. Fanshawe, whilst he was preaching from the text, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.” Beforetime she had been outwardly moral, and had cherished a deep respect for everything sacred; but now she became agonizingly conscious that the "terror of the Lord” would be a “consuming fire” to her if she dared to appear before him, “trusting to herself that she was righteous.” She must have her heart renewed, and be robed in the spotless, justifying righteousness of Christ, before the glaring, fearful thougbt of that "terror" could vanish, and she could look upon the face of God with the anger gone, and the Father's smile there instead. The young man who afterwards became her husband was near, wrestling with God on her behalf. But not till she began to give vent to her own longing did she find the relief of full assurance in Christ. Previously she would not attend the clas--meeting, though she had been often urged; there was no inward want then. When the want came, the class beeame a necessary joy and blessing of her life ; and even when not in class she felt constrained to speak for Jesus, and with young people especially she would often utter, what she called, “ a word in season." So lively and cheerful was she in her religious experience, that her hus. band's testimony is that he often felt her uniformity of joyous hope, and her heavenly-mindedness of dis. position, a stimulus, of which he will now frequently feel the need.

On the Sunday but one before she

died she was worshipping in our chapel at Southville, in all the apparent freshness and vigour of health. On the following day there were symptoms of an attack of erysipelas, and soon there came to her the strange presentiment that she was going to die. “I don't think I shall get better,” she said to her mother and husband; “will you pray with me?” But tears were all the expression they could give to their overwhelming sorrow. A cousin then prayed with her, and after the prayer she lifted up her hands in rapture, and whilst her eyes glistened and her heart expanded with the blessed hope, she began to singYes, we'll gather at the river

Where bright angel feet have

trod," &c. And as she sang a vision of heaven and of a glorified brother was granted her, and she crie I"We shall meet with many a loved one,

That was torn from our embrace ;.. We shall listen to their voices,

And behold them face to face." When the doctor called, in a little excitement but evidently with a deep impression on her mind, she told him she was soon to pass away. “Oh no,” he said. “Yes, I am ; Jesus has told me so." And afterwards, when calmer, she said, “I am better, but the doctor is wrong; I shall not recover ;' and calling in her father, she embraced him, and besought him with tears to meet her in heaven.

On the Saturday before her death she wished to sing, and at last consent was given, on condition, she would not exert herself too much. In a low, soft voice she sang

“Yes, we shall all wear a crown," &c. But her joy was too great, and, breaking through all restraint, she sang aloud with all her voice. And yet she was deeply conscious of her unworthiness, for when a few verses of Scripture, descriptive of the character of the righteous, were read, she exclaimed, “Ah, I have not lived up to that!” and not until the psalm of confession, the pathetic and penitent psalm of David, was read did she feel comforted.

With a mother's lasting love, she began to feel concerned about her little child, a few months old.

Would she like to see it? “No," she said, “it would break my heart; but you will take care of dear baby, won't you, mother?” And then, folding her hands together, she looked up to Him who loves the children, and, with a pathos which must have touched the heart of the Saviour, said

“Gentle Jesus, meek and mild,

Look upon my little child." Soon after her strength failed her, and, bidding all “ good-bye,” she fell into a quiet slumber, never speaking afterwards.

On Wednesday, September 21st, at 3.20 p.m., the brother who was watching in the room saw a bright refulgence fall with beautiful glow upon her face. The day was not sunshiny, the blinds were down: whence came the radiance? Why should we not believe it came from heaven—that it was the brightness reflected by those angels who had come to kiss their sister-spirit away and convey her home?


MRS. HUDSTON. Mary, widow of the late James Hudston, of Beeston, near Nottingham, and mother of the Rev. John Hudston, Liverpool, died December 11th, 1870, in her eighty-sixth year. For more than sixty years she had been a member of the Methodist New Connexion. During the last few years of her life she had much bodily suffering, but her mental faculties kept perfectly clear, and she realized great spiritual peace through the exercise of an unwavering confidence in God.

Dec. 9th.-Grace, the wife of John H.

Thompson, Halifax South Circuit,
aged fifty-four years.
Dec. 9th. -Esther Lord, widow, Hali-

fax North Circuit, aged sixty

seven years. Dec. 12th.-Caroline Matilda, wife of

the Rev. W. Baggaly, aged sixtysix years.


TRUST IN GOD, AND LABOUR. Trust in God, and labour ; strew Gird thy sword about thee, boldly thy path with flowers,

meet the foe, Roses fresh and fragrant, plack'd Shrink not in the conflict thou must from sweetest bowers;

undergo. These shall soften sorrow, and shall Trust in God, and labour ; harvestbring relief

time is near, To the way-worn suffører, burden'd When thou shalt with plenty or with with his grief.

few appear; Trust in God, and labour ; if a work Rightly use the seed-time, do thy appear,

duty now, Fearlessly attempt it, tremble not. Then that day shall witness laurels nor fear;

on thy brow. To the honest worker, to the trust. Trust in God, and labour with a ing one,

willing hand; All in faith attempted shall be surely Though a host oppose thee, firm, done.

undaunted stand; Trust in God, and labour; saddened Then how sweet at evening, when hearts shall bless

the toil is o'er, E'en thy faint endeavour for their To review with pleasure the day happiness.

now thine no more! Wouldst thou still be idle, with a Trust in God, and labour ; bless thy field so wide,

fellow-men; Whilst mankind are weeping, dying, They have erred and fallen--win at thy side ?

them back again; Trust in God, and labour; what bast Oh, there's not a trial nor'a duty given thou to fear

But, if borne aright, will bring thee With a Friend so mighty, and a nearer heaven. cause so dear?





JANUARY, 1871.


(NOTE. — The matter for the Chronicle will extend to twelve pages. We cannot spare twelve pages of the Magazine for this pur. pose, nor, in fact, is there time to set up this extra matter, and work off the Magazines and Chronicle at this late date, December 19th, seeing that Christmas will take away two and a half days from our working time. All that we can do is to insert the three following communi. cations in the Magazine this month, reserving the completion of the Chronicle till February, when it will be issued, and sent with the Maga. zine parcels.-EDITOR.]

THE CHINA MISSION. CERTAIN complications connected with our Laou-ling Churches rendered it highly desirable that a missionary should visit them early in May, but which, owing to Mr. Hall's absence from Tien-tsin, I was reluct. antly compelled to postpone. To wards the close of the month, however, communications of such a nature were received from Chu Chia Tsai as to imperatively demand my immediate departure for the district, notwithstanding the fact that Mr. Hall's visit to southern ports had been unavoidably protracted, and his early return was even then problematic. Convinced that only by a personal visit to the Churches could I effect a satisfactory settlement of our difficulties, I made immediate preparation for the journey, and left

Tien-tsin on the morning of Tuesday, May 31st, being accompanied by Mrs. Hodge, and a Christian friend named Moulls. We travelled by boat to Chua Tih, calling on the way at Chen Kwan Tum, where our now sainted Brother Williamson met his cruel fate. Arriving at Chüa Tih, we exchanged our boat for carts on Friday morning, June 3rd, and completed our journey on the afternoon of the next day. I entered at once upon an investigation of the complications referred to, and was distressed to find that, although they had been brought into existence mainly through the flagrant wrongdoing and pernicious influence of one man, in whom we had reposed some degree of confidence, these difficulties had now assumed such proportions as to necessitate much Tabour and anxiety. I prosecuted inquiries until the work, as far as practicable, was completed. But, unfortunately, no sooner was this accomplished than I was seized with a sharp attack of illness. The final investigation had been completed at eleven o'clock on the night of Wednesday, June 15th. Worn out with excessive labour and unwonted anxiety, I suffered during the night the most violent pain. Fortunately, that suffering was but of short duration, although it was succeeded by prostration.

Mr. Moulls, who left us for Tien. tsin on the following day, informed our friends of the circumstance, and although I had resolved to remain

« 이전계속 »