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of a chapel. Great were the difficulties they had to surmount. The scheme was denounced as “a wild chimera ;” and the Superintendent, the late Rev. George Sargent, failed not to remind them, that “if they built by faith, they must pay the debt by works." After much prayer, Mr. Cocker, and another of the worthy band, ventured to wait upon a landed proprietor, and obtained the promise of an eligible site. Invaluable aid was afforded them by the late Mr. Thornton, of the neighbouring town, who laid the foundation-stone in July, 1816. The original dimensions, being deemed too limited, were extended by fifteen feet, involving an additional outlay of £300. “We were too dilatory," writes Mr. Cocker, “in getting in our subscriptions. A serious change took place in trade, and many were unable to pay what they had promised ; so that we lost nearly £150.”
The first service held in this new sanctuary was a prayer-meeting at six in the morning of Christmas-day, when nearly three hundred persons were present,-several of whom were then awakened. Not until the following April were the pews completed; and at once they were all let. On Whit-Sunday, 1817, dedicatory sermons were preached by the Rev. David M‘Nicoll and William M‘Kitrick, when the small sum of £20 was collected. But a glorious work of conversion ensued, during which Mr. Cocker's class increased from twenty-five to seventy members. He urged the Superintendent of the Circuit to divide it; but was answered, “Things have prospered very well under your administration ; and I do not think of taking them out of your hands." Mr. Cocker adds: “ I struggled on a little longer ; then, for the first time in my life, I was compelled to do what I knew was not Methodistical : -I selected four persons whom I thought most qualified.” At his next visit, however, the Superintendent fully concurred in this preliminary arrangement, and duly appointed the four brethren to office. Within one year a hundred members were added. In order to furnish these babes with mental and spiritual aliment, Mr. Cocker obtained contributions for the purchase of suitable books, which were exchanged weekly, and well read. Shortly afterwards a large room in a warehouse was rented, and fitted up as a Sabbath-school. “All this,” says he,
“ threw more and more upon my bands. I then bad to leave home for business at half past five every morning; often with difficulty returning in time for class or other meetings, which occupied nearly all my evenings. After a hard Saturday's work, I sat up till one, two, or three o'clock, to prepare for the Sabbath...... When I had no appointment, and was seated with all my family in our pew, I thought myself the happiest man in the world.— For years things went on well at Almondbury ; but afterwards came a sifting time, and we had a falling off both in the Society and the congregation. This I attribute to the misconduct of a member, which rendered the Christian profession odious to the world.” Owing to these and other adverse circumstances, the debt upon the chapel increased, antil, in 1830, it amounted to £860; wbile the income bad diminished from £79 to £31. “You will soon bave to make your chapel into a woolwarehouse," was the taunt of some who wished not well to the cause.
But, under the able superintendency of the Rev. Dr. Hannah, this debt was reduced to less than half its amount,-a relief which inspired the Society with new life and energy, and was followed, the next year, by a gracious revival.
During a painful and alarming illness, in 1833, the subject of this record was one day visited by his brother. “ He knelt and began to pray. He wrestled till he felt confident that I should recover ; as, from that very time, I did. After about half a year I was enabled, though with great difficulty, to reach the Cowms chapel. Here my sufferings and mercies passed so vividly before me, that I could not rest in the pew, but ascended the pulpit, and requested the preacher to allow me to address the congregation; which I did, for twenty-five minutes, on Isaiah xxxviii. 20 : • The Lord was ready to save me : therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the Lord.' Hardly ever have I seen a congregation so deeply affected ; and even the children wept.”*
In later life years of chastening were appointed to this excellent man. In 1845 he was bereaved of a daughter, who for sixteen years had been numbered with the Lord's people, and had long languished under a spinal disease. On the day of her departure she said, “ Father, I am going. Hallelujah! I shall soon be in heaven.
What a glorious deliverance for
Tabitha!" A year after this trial Mr. Cocker became affected with asthma. Under date of March 19th, 1847, he makes the following record :“I was so ill that I could scarce pray; yet I continued on my knees as long as I could. And, glory be to His name! the Lord answered for Himself. O, what views I had of the loving Father, the redeeming Son, and the sanctifying Spirit! In deep bumility, and in entire dependence upon the atonement, 1 was enabled to cast my whole soul upon Him; and I felt a melting, overwhelming manifestation of the Divine presence, such as I had never before known. I feel I am the Lord's. Here is no delusion: all is clear. The Lord has fully sanctified my soul. This glorious blessing I have enjoyed for some time; but now I feel the full evidence of it, sealed with the Holy Spirit. Never before did I so understand the words of the venerable Fletcher,— Stay Thine hand, for Thy servant is but a clay vessel.""
After a happy union of four and thirty years, he was suddenly bereaved of bis wife, in 1849. Forty years she had been a member of the Methodist Society. “In every possible way,” records the heart-stricken widower, “she studied my interests, and anticipated my wants. A better mother never lived to bless a family. For a long time I had observed (in her] a greater spirituality of mind. My bleeding heart would say, “Thy will be done.' O my God, how wonderfully
Several particulars in these paragraphs will now be read with some surprise. Yet each may convey its moral; and, altogether, they throw a vivid illustration on a phase of our church's past history. Happy, if, with many improvements in order and discipline, the more highly favoured Methodists of this generation retain the godly simplicity and fervour of their venerable predecessors.-EDITORS.
didst Thou support me!” I Before the close of that year of mourning it was Mr. Cocker's lot to follow to the grave bis brother, aforementioned. Before his conversion William bad been the most irreligious and obdurate member of the family; but he was subsequently a classleader twenty years, and a Local preacher fifteen. “Many years
he lived in the enjoyment of purity of heart. His last words were, ' A precious Christ, and a clear prospect.''
At the close of 1851 Mr. Cocker indulges the following retrospect:“In the last forty years I have preached between two and three thousand sermons ; I have travelled some thousands of miles, in all sorts of weather ; I have watched over a part of the flock of God, and laboured hard in prayer-meetings longer still. But I have no account against my Maker. I am a poor, unprofitable servant; and all my hope is in the mercy of God, through the atonement."
In the autumn of 1854 he settled at Mirfield, in the Dewsbury Circuit; and he was able to preach a few times before the winter. When a little over threescore years and ten, he called to see an old friend in Huddersfield, but found that he had triumphantly exchanged mortality for life some months before,-having been preceded by a son and to daughters, who had all been converted in early life, and had departed in the full assurance of faith, after a consistent church-membership of
“ Thank God," writes Mr. Cocker, “another of the fruits of my poor labours is gathered safe to heaven. Nearly forty years ago he left his house one Sabbath evening, wandered without any object in view till he reached Queen-street chapel, entered it, and to his surprise found me, whom he well knew, in the pulpit. The word came to him with power. Deeply convinced of sin, he returned home, sought and found mercy, and joined the Society; in which he was a useful class-leader for thirty following years. I well remember pacing the room that evening, before service, in a state of mind bordering upon distraction; then falling upon my knees, and, after changing my text, going to the pulpit, where a Divine influence came upon me, and I was assisted to deliver my message."
On Whit-Monday, 1859, the following record was inserted in his journal : -“ For three quarters of a year unable to get to chapel, till yesterday. I have always tried to make my Sabbaths as profitable as I could by reading and prayer. But none, except those who have spent Sabbath after Sabbath at home, can estimate the high advantage of being able to attend the public worship of God. For the last fiftyfive years Whit-Sunday has been a memorable day to me,- my spiritual birthday. Throughout the whole of this Sabbath I was in a blessed frame of mind.”
On bis last birthday he wrote thus:-"I cannot live upon past experience. I want these glorious visitations every day ; I know it is my privilege. But, when I am upon my knees, full of strong desires and earnest pleadings, feeble humanity fails in the struggle. O my God! Thou knowest the way that I take; and, when Thou hast tried me, Thou shalt bring me forth as gold.”
In April, 1861, the second wife of this good man died in peace, after proving the reality of her conversion by an humble walk with God, during a period of tweuty-seven years.
Her latest breath was spent in prayer and praise. Warned by this last bereavement of his own approaching end, Mr. Cocker wrote in pencil:—"As I have now sunk into my own notbingness, I wish to be consigned to my final restingplace as quietly as possible. If practicable, let me be borne by Local preachers. All that you can say of me is, that I am a sinner saved by grace through the atonement of my Lord Jesus Christ, on whom I have believed, and who is all my hope for time and for eternity. A poor, unprofitable servant, I have laboured a little for Him, and, I hope, from a pure motive ; and some fruit has followed. But I have done nothing as I ought.”
Three weeks before his removal to his heavenly home, the venerable sufferer was removed from his own residence to that of his son, Mr. Joseph Cocker, of Dewsbury; by whom, as well as by his exemplary wife, all that filial piety could do was done to soothe the last days of an afflicted father. Here he derived much comfort from the visits of ministers and friends ; especially from a visit paid bim three days before his death by the Rev. Edward Walker, who in early life had been a member of his class at Almondbury.
On the morning of the Lord's day, May 26th, 1861, he complained of feeling “rather unwell.” A change passed over him—and “he was not, for God took him.”-On the following Wednesday, his mortal remains were borne to their final resting-place, in the Mirfield chapel-yard, by the senior Local preachers of the neighbourhood, together with his old friend Mr. Dawson, of Almondbury; the service being conducted by the ministers of the Circuit.
In integrity and holy diligence, in an humble walk with God, and in the improvement of talents and opportunities, may every reader of this memorial have grace to tread in the steps of the departed !
ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION-REPLIES TO QUERIES.
(To the Editor of the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine.) I EXPECTED to see in the October Number of the Magazine replies to the questions proposed in the September one, in a foot-note to the article on this subject ; but am disappointed. I am not competent to give an authoritative opinion, or to write an article fit for the Magazine : I shall be glad, nevertheless, to state to you plainly and simply what I think, and to give you my reasons for so thinking. The questions relate to the consciousness that a man may have as to the completeness of the surrender or consecration he makes of himself to God. “Whence the assurance that he has done this? Is he the judge in his own case? What is there, at this particular point, to sustain his consciousness ?”—I would say, that his consciousness is sufficient assurance to bimself; that he needs no other; and that no other is given to him at this particular point,
It must be borne in mind, that the man who is in the state described is not one who is in darkness as to any knowledge of himself, or of God; of the relation in which he stands to God; and of the claims that God has upon him. He was once “ darkness," but now be is “light in the Lord," and walks as a “child of light.” He is under the special teaching of Him who has said to His beloved church, “ All thy children shall be taught of the Lord,” and has promised that the Holy Ghost "will guide" them “into all truth.” He is willing (John vii. 17) to do the will of God, and has the promise of the Lord Jesus that he “shall know of the doctrine.” Many promises are made by the Holy One to this man, in his present state of mind, that he shall not err.
His eye is single, and his body is full of light. The Scripture recognises the "consciousness ” of this man, as sufficient evidence of the sincerity of his heart, and of the acceptableness of his life. “ Herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God and men.” (Acts xxiv. 16.) “Our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world.” (2 Cor. i. 12.) ......" Not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God.” (1 Peter iii. 21.) “Let us draw Dear with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts spriukled from an evil conscience.” (Heb. x. 22.) “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him : but I will maintain mine own ways before Him.” (Job xiii. 15.) “Till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me. My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go : my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.” (Job xxvii. 5, 6.) “Remember now, O Lord, I beseech Thee, how I have walked before Thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in Thy sight." (Isai. xxxviii. 3.) But the strongest confirmation of our view is in St. John's First Epistle : “Let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him....... If our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God." (iii. 18—21.)
Let me illustrate this last passage from a well-known treatise on the “Principles of the Interior Life.” In answer to the question, How may we attain to holiness? the writer says:—"An indispensable thing is an act of personal consecration to God. Some confound an act of consecration with the full or complete state of sanctification. But this confusion of ideas ought to be avoided. Sanctification is something more than the consecrating act. Consecration is simply putting forth the rolition, (a foundation for which we will suppose to be laid in the belief of the duty and attainableness of holiness,)-the fixed, unalterabie determination,—with Divine assistance to be wholly the Lord's. la other words, it is a fixed purpose to break off from every known sie; and to walk, to the full extent of our ability, in the way of the Divine requirements. God recognises the moral agency of man, fallen es be is ; and calls upon him to make this consecration......... Now, it does not necessarily follow, because we put forth a determination to des