Page images

party of soldiers in the town; and this circumstance prevented the mob from committing any further outrage. MR. T. concludes this year by writing as follows:

"In many respects this has been an agreeable year; the people have been kind and affectionate. But my great unfaithfulness covers me with shame before GOD and his people. What compensation can I make to GOD's people for the little service of which I have been to them? And what shall I say to the LORD, for the great and grievous defects of my heart, and my want of more singleness of eye in all I have done? Ah! I can make no reparation: my only plea is, GoD be merciful to an unprofitable servant!''

[ocr errors]

At the London Conference in 1792, MR. T. was appointed for Bristol; and in 1793, for Pembroke. There he spent two years; and the two following ones at Swansea. Though he has left no regular journal, which details the state of his religious experience at this period, yet, from some short hints and memoranda, it is sufficiently obvious, that his heart was sincerely engaged in the work of God. He frequently laments his short-comings; acknowledges the necessity of divine influence, to give effect to his ministerial labours; and expresses an increasing desire to spread vital godliness among men. These are features, which will be always prominent in the character of a man who is serving the interest of truth, and by which the world will identify him.

From Swansea MR. T. went to Stourport, where he remained one year; and from thence removed to Shrewsbury. During the two years he spent in the Shrewsbury Circuit, he laboured with his usual diligence and zeal; and the Great Head of the Church succeeded his endeavours by his blessing. Several new places were opened, and Societies formed, which have continued, from that time, to increase in number and respectability; and in which MR. T.'s name is remembered with warm affection and regard by his spiritual children, and by many others to whom his ministry was made useful. His occasional visits to this part of Shropshire, in subsequent years, were peculiarly marked by those manifestations of grateful attention and respect, which a people ought always to show to those spiritual instructors, under whose ministry they have received good, or whose zeal and uprightness they have witnessed. After leaving Shrewsbury, MR. T. travelled two years in the Dudley Circuit; two at Sheffield; two at Hull; two at Macclesfield; two at Rochdale; two at Bolton; two at Nottingham; and two at Bath. In the Bath Circuit, his real character was fully developed, partly in his indefatigable labours to extend the influences of the Gospel; and partly by means of the severe domestic affliction with which he was visited.-Here it was that his fortitude as a man, and his pious resignation as a christian parent, were brought to the test, by the death of three of his lovely children, and the very narrow escape of the rest of his family from a contagious disease, which was most malignant in its nature, and

seldom spared either old or young who were once attacked by it. One stroke after another, in quick succession, which almost broke his tender and affectionate heart, he bore, however, with patient submission to the will of his heavenly FATHER. Under such aggravated afflictions, mere philosophy must either have produced a total insensibility, or a peevishness of temper which would have called in question both the wisdom and the goodness of God. He could say, "Insatiate Archer! could not one suffice?

Thy shaft flew thrice, and thrice my peace was slain;

And thrice, ere thrice yon moon had fill'd her horn."

MR. T., in writing to his friends upon this subject, observes,

"The best apology I can make for delaying to answer your kind letter, is the painful sensation occasioned by every recurrence to a subject which makes my poor heart bleed. Our dear ELIZA, SAMUEL, and ANN, are all gone,-gone into a world of spirits! A dreadful scarlet-fever put an end to their mortal existence. MARY, MARTHA, and THOMAS, were also afflicted with the same complaint; but they had it more moderately. JOHN alone escaped, being sent into the country. MRS. T. was also seized, but the attack was not violent. Through great mercy I escaped wonderfully. To describe our sufferings were impossible. They are only known to GoD. While I write, my poor heart is strangely harrowed up by a recollection of the past. It was a day of darkness and gloominess. For more than five weeks we were in the fire, which was hot indeed; but we are not all consumed. In wrath God remembered us in mercy. We endeavour to resolve the whole painful scene into the will of an all-wise Being, who cannot possibly err. 'Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.' May the LORD think upon us for good and may we never forget him! It is some consolation to be amongst a kind and sympathising people, who love us, not in word only, but in deed. May God reward them for all their kindness."

From the commencement of MR. TAYLOR'S itinerant labours, he had always appeared alive to the nature and design of his calling, as a Methodist Preacher. His object and intention were, to win souls to CHRIST; to be instrumental in building up believers on their most holy faith; and to give a more extensive diffusion to the Gospel of GOD OUR SAVIOUR. His mind revolted at the idea of being neutral in such a cause. He lived, and prayed, and preached, in order to do good to his fellow-creatures. In Bath, he thought, there was a field for more general usefulness, which the Methodists were called to occupy. But on the first annunciation of his purpose, he had to encounter difficulties of a formidable nature,-the apathy of some, the too cool and calculating prudence of others, and the opposition of a few. A man with less resolution and firmness would have shrunk from what would have appeared a hopeless task; but to him it seemed both necessary and practicable. To accomplish his object, he took the counsel of a few zealous friends, who heartily co-operated with him in his plan, which was that of erecting an

additional Chapel, in a part of the city sufficiently remote from the Chapel in King Street. All the energies of his ardent mind were brought to bear upon this point; and by his indefatigable attention, and the unwearied application to it of his time and influence, he surmounted every difficulty, and had the unspeakable satisfaction of seeing the completion of a very large and commodious Chapel, including a spacious school-room under it, and beneath that, a cemetery for the dead. An extensive burial-ground was also annexed to the Chapel. He gratefully acknowledged the goodness of GoD, in crowning this undertaking with success. This very elegant Chapel will stand as a monument, to commemorate the zeal and prudence of MR. T., and of his friends in Bath.

The Methodist Society in Bath were duly sensible of the service which MR. T. had rendered to them, during the two years of his residence with them. They had an opportunity of witnessing his patient perseverance in encountering difliculties; his ingenuous and disinterested disposition, in serving the Church of JESUS CHRIST; and his invincible constancy in the promotion of a design, which he thought would promote the glory of God. Their characteristic kindness and affection to their Ministers were evinced by a spontaneous impulse of feeling and sympathy, when they heard of the death of MR. T.; and they have recorded their sense of his high worth and valuable labours while amongst them, by erecting a Tablet to his memory in Walcot-Chapel. An intimate friend, who knew MR. T. well, in referring to that Chapel, says,

"His uncommon exertions to obtain the second Chapel in Bath, and his daily toil during the time of its erection, made me sometimes fear that he would sink under the pressure of bodily fatigue and mental anxiety. But the LORD supported him till his toils were crowned; and the building, notwithstanding many a trying circumstance, was completed, under the blessing of Divine Providence, and opened for public worship, before MR. TAYLOR quitted Bath. To evince and perpetuate the grateful esteem of many of his friends, a Tablet was erected in the Chapel soon after his decease, with an inscription equally honourable to them, and to the meritorious person to whom chiefly, under Providence, the Methodist Society and the religious public are indebted for that commodious and necessary place of worship."*

[ocr errors]

The Inscription is as follows :—

This Tablet

Was erected by the voluntary subscriptions

Of some of the Friends of the late pious, zealous, and

(Who died at Plymouth-Dock, Feb. 20th, 1821,
In the 52d year of his age, and the 31st of his Ministry,)
As a memorial of their grateful esteem for the memory of one,
To whose indefatigable exertions,

Under the auspices of Divine Providence,

The Public at large, and the Methodists in particular,
Are chiefly indebted for the erection of this Chapel.

From Bath MR. TAYLOR removed, in 1816, to London, where he spent four years, (two in the London-West, and two in the LondonEast Circuit,) in the punctual and steady discharge of his duty as a Methodist Preacher; by which he conciliated the warm respect of a large portion of the several Societies in the metropolis. The multifarious engagements connected with the interests of religion, and especially of Methodism, in London, and the vast field of labour which it afforded, were well suited to his active mind. In 1820, a petition from the Quarterly-Meeting at Plymouth-Dock, for MR. T.'s appointment to that Circuit, was readily complied with by the Conference, because his Brethren deemed him well calculated to be useful in that place ;-not thinking that it would be his last earthly station, and that they should see his face no more on this side of eternity. Thither he proceeded with his family in the close of the month of August. As soon as he had an opportunity of forming an opinion of the state of the Circuit, and of the local institutions connected with the Society, he began, as was his usual practice, to study how he could further the object of his ministry, by promoting the edification of his charge, by giving energy to established plans of usefulness, and by extending the work of GOD. The Society in that place had soon an opportunity of seeing, that their Pastor sought them, not theirs; and they were not at a loss to form a correct opinion of his real character, whilst, the more it was developed, the more it commanded respect from the sincere and unprejudiced. MR. T.'s maxim was, in all matters connected with the execution of Discipline, to act Methodistically; and in any affair of difficulty, his first inquiry was, "What is our Rule?" When he clearly ascertained what was fully expressed, or plainly implied in our Rules, he took his stand with a mild but inflexible firmness; and never compromised what he considered to be the laws or the interests of the Connexion.

(To be concluded in our next.)


Of Todmorden.

MR. LACY was born December 26th, 1760, at Longfield, in the parish of Halifax, Yorkshire. His parents were among some of the first members of the Methodist Society in that part of the country. At that period, the Church of Cross-Stone, the place at which MR. LACY's parents and family attended, was favoured with the labours of the late REV. J. CROSS, afterwards Vicar of Bradford,-a man who was pre-eminently distinguished for his personal piety and ministerial zeal, and whose praise is in all the churches. Being favoured with parents who brought up their children "in the nurture and admonition of the LORD," and with a serious and evangelical ministry, MR. L., and his brothers and sisters, were preserved, in a great

degree, from the follies so common to youth, and from those diversions in which too many contract habits of dissipation, the effects of which continue to be felt, even after they have turned away from their iniquities.

The parental discipline to which he was subject was, under the divine blessing, productive of the most beneficial effects; and he was, as might be expected, from early youth, the subject of very gracious influences from the good SPIRIT OF GOD. He was deeply and clearly convinced of sin; and saw that he could enjoy no religious comfort, until he had a satisfactory evidence of his personal interest in the death of the REDEEMER. When he was about twentyfive years of age, MR. ATMORE was stationed in that part of the country, whose labours were particularly blessed to him; and through his instrumentality he was brought to the enjoyment of that "peace of GoD which passeth all understanding." At this period he united himself to the Methodist Society, of which, until the day of his death, he was one of the brightest ornaments. Being possessed, in a very high degree, of the necessary moral and religious qualifications, he was, not long after his union to the Society, appointed to take the charge of a Class; and he afterwards filled, with credit to himself and satisfaction to his Brethren, the important offices of Society and Circuit Steward. For these offices he was well fitted, by his inflexible integrity, his unblameable morality, his genuine but unobtrusive piety, his intimate and constant walk with GOD, and his meek and quiet spirit, which would have been no disgrace to the purest periods of Christianity. Happy would it have been for the Church, if every office-bearer had possessed the same qualifications.

As MR. L. did not keep a journal, I am not able to enter into minute particulars respecting his religious experience. I consider this a loss to the world, as the grace of God was exceeding abundant in him, in faith and love. I am informed by persons who had the privilege of hearing him speak on the subject in his Class-Meeting, that he frequently expressed himself as habitually living with eternity in view, and having an abiding sense of the favour of GOD, in whom he was enabled to rejoice as the GoD of his salvation. He frequently directed the attention of the persons under his care to all the leading doctrines of the Gospel; but particularly to those which are most strongly enforced amongst the Methodists, such as that of the Witness of the HOLY SPIRIT in Believers, and that of Christian Perfection. And he faithfully and affectionately exhorted them to live in the constant performance of every religious duty, and thus to have their "conversation honest among the Gentiles." I am informed by his sister, MISS LACY, that the resurrection of the dead, the glorification of the body, and its union with the soul in the enjoyment of the felicity of the blessed, were among the favourite subjects of his meditation, and that he frequently spoke of those topics

« PreviousContinue »