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take up his cross, to follow Christ in the regeneration, and to experience a preparation for that work and service in the church whereunto he was appointed.
About the thirty-second year of his age, he appeared in the work of the ministry. He was naturally a man of strong mind, and a comprehensive understanding; and being faithful to the gift received, he became an able and powerful minister of the gospel, reverently careful to wait for the renewed openings of the Word of Life; so that we believe it may be truly said of him, that, when he ministered, he did it of the ability which God giveth, approving himself a workman that needeth not to be ashamed; rightly dividing the word of truth; faithfully warning the careless and worldly-minded of their danger; encouraging the sincere and upright-hearted; and, to the mourners in Zion, he was indeed a son of consolation;" and, through the Divine blessing, his labours were made instrumental to the spiritual advantage of many.
His labours in the work of the ministry were mostly confined within the compass of his own Quarterly Meeting and his native county; except that he several times attended the Yearly Meeting in London, and twice visited the meetings of Friends in the metropolis and its neighbourhood, the latter time, returning by way of Bristol. He several times visited the families of Friends in
his own meeting, a service for which he was well qualified.
He was frequently concerned to testify, that the way to the kingdom of heaven is the way of humility, of self-denial, and the cross; the way which the Captain of our salvation hath trodden before us and sanctified. In this respect our beloved friend was an eminent example; being early and deeply convinced of the danger of seeking for the treasures and possessions of this world, he was content to remain in a comparatively low station. That he might not be unnecessarily encumbered with the cares of this life, and that he might be more at liberty for the service of his Divine Master, he steadily declined, at a time when he had an increasing family, the earnest and repeated solicitations of some of his near relations to enter into more extensive business; yet he was favoured to experience the gracious promise of our blessed Lord fulfilled, that to those who seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all things necessary shall be added.
He was greatly and generally beloved; and among his more intimate friends, his natural cheerfulness, tempered with Christian gravity, his deep experience and sound judgment in Divine things, rendered his conversation peculiarly interesting, instructive, and edifying.
In the autumn of 1815, he was visited with a
slight attack of the paralytic kind, by which his powers of body and mind were in some degree impaired; yet he was diligent in attending his own meeting, and was much pleased with the company of his friends, to whom his conversation continued to be interesting and edifying, clearly evincing his concern for the welfare of the church, and that his mind was centered in Divine Love.
About a week before his decease, he was seized with a severe spasmodic affection. At this time he manifested great composure of mind, saying that, whichever way it might terminate, all would be well. Continuing in a state of patient resignation, as one having done his day's work, and waiting for his Master's call, being supported by that faith and confidence in the mercy of God through our Lord Jesus Christ, which he so feelingly described sometime before in a letter to a friend in which he expressed himself as follows: "At seasons, I feel a degree of consolation and "Divine peace that cannot be expressed in words, "which I would not exchange for a thousand "times the treasures of both the Indies; in com
parison of which I should esteem, I do esteem, "crowns and sceptres as dung and dross. And "at the much more frequent seasons, when
heavenly good is least sensibly felt, (I hope I "write it with humble, heart-felt gratitude,) my "faith, and hope, and confidence, are so firmly
"anchored on the everlasting Rock Christ Jesus,
that when the rains descend, and the winds and "the storms beat, I am not greatly moved. I "know Him in whom I have believed, and that “He will in mercy keep all those who have "committed themselves to him."
The evening preceding his dissolution, he conversed cheerfully with his family, and mentioned that he thought it a great favour to be removed without much bodily suffering. The following day, being the 30th of the 9th Month, 1817, about five o'clock in the afternoon, whilst sitting in his chair, he closed his eyes, and gently stretching himself, quietly departed; and has, we have no doubt, joined that innumerable multitude which John beheld, who came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. His remains were interred the 6th of the 10th Month following, in Friends' burial-ground at Manchester, after a large and solemn meeting held on the occasion. He was aged about seventy-five, and a minister about forty-three years.
Given forth by the Meeting aforesaid, held at Manchester the First of the Fourth Month, 1818, and signed in and on behalf thereof, by
ROGER MERRICK, THOMAS HOYLE, Jun. MATTHEW COBBETT,
JOHN H. COCKBAIN,
W. G. ANSELL,