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and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.'” Again : “Our path through the wilderness is up and down, never long at one stay. Well, so let it be: but there will be no up-hill road in heaven; no louring skies; no pelting storm. It will be always even, always right. Praise the Lord, we are on our journey home. I have set my heart upon heaven, and I am determined to have it. My outward man decayeth ; I feel as though I had nearly done with all earthly things. I want more of Christ ; more of a present salvation, a present heaven. To be filled with all the fulness of God' is
• More than angel-tongue can tell,
Or angel-mind conceive;' and yet it is a purchased blessing, and it may be ours.” Once again : “I am making it my great business to glorify God. I feel that I possess that religion which keeps my mind in peace, and saves me from the fear of death. Christ is mine, and I am His. What a blessing to know that God is reconciled! Surely the world hath nothing to equal this.” - Quotations like these might be multiplied ; but those given are sufficient to illustrate the character of his religious experience, which was uniform, rich, and deep. In the last letters he was able to write, and when his strength was greatly enfeebled, he bore his steadfast testimony: “God bas long blessed me, and He still blesses
His presence makes my paradise.' Thank God for a prospect of heaven! What can equal this ?” The last line he wrote was, “I am living for eternity; the Lord is my portion.”
Henceforth Mr. Kemp's correspondence had to be kept up through the medium of an amanuensis ; and a kind lady in the village gladly rendered him this service. By the aid of her pen he testified, “I have constant pain, yet I have great cause for thankfulness. My mind is kept in perfect peace : I have no upbraidings of conscience. I am thavkful I have been able to steer a steady course. I am anxiously waiting till the final summons shall come.
I can say,
• To me to live is Christ,' but to die' wonld be great gain.' The same lady adds, in a postscript, “It is very delightful to see the sustaining power of Divine grace exemplified in Mr. Kemp, enabling him to bear constant pain without repining, calmly viewing death, and arranging for his obsequies as if only for a journey."
From this time the malady increased in virulence. I went a distance of forty miles, to see my old, afflicted, dying friend. That interview I shall never forget. I found him lying on his couch, with his face covered with the shade he generally wore. He was aware of my coming, and I well knew no one would more rejoice to see me. Yet he made no attempt to rise ; and there was not the cheerful smile, nor tbe gladsome greeting, as of yore. His feelings were quite overpowered, and his mind sunk beneath the pressure of heavy affliction. “0,” said he, “I am a wreck, a perfect wreck.” And, most truly, he was but the shadow and remnant of his former self: for the strong man was bowed down. He said his work was done, and he was now laid aside as a broken vessel; adding, that he desired to depart, and be with Christ.
I remiuded him of our last conversation, when it had been observed that he might be called to exemplify the passive graces, and glorify God by resignation to His will. He said, “ Yes; and He enables me to say, “Thy will be done.'” His pain increased much, but his patience increased also. He experienced, in the fullest sense, the answer to
“When pain o'er my weak flesh prevails,
With lamb-like patience arm my breast." I went once more to see him, and found him much worse, but very, very happy. He spake again of his decease, and the glory which should follow, with calm Christian resignation. He was then drawing near his journey's end: I knew this would be our last interview; and, on taking my leave, asked, “What shall I say to your Barnard-Castle friends, many of whom will be inquiring about you?” “Tell them,” he replied, “I have perfect resignation.” What more could be sas? Here was the perfection of Christianity itself. (James i. 4.) What better could he say? The mature Christian, like his Lord, though in bis humbler measure, is made perfect through suffering. “I find religion,”. said he, "to be that which I always took it for; I am not deceired in it. It is not ' a cunningly devised fable.'
• Comfort it brings, and power, and peace,
And joy, and everlasting love.'” About this time, he was favoured with a beatific view of the heavenly Jerusalem. His pains were excruciating: yet, in spite of their intensity, so full was the joy, so transporting the prospect, that lis countenance was lit up with a beavenly smile, which his friends perceived, but could not then account for. This rapture lasted two days ; and he afterwards declared it to be unutterable, and full of glory. One evening he cried out,
“ But O! when that last conflict 's o'er,
To join the music of the skies !" As nature slowly sank, his pains were assuaged, but his weakness increased, till
“ The wheels of weary life at last stood still." During the evening before he died, he repeated the lines,
“O ! what a mighty change
Shall Jesu's sufferers know,
Incapable of woe ! ” To him it would indeed be a most blissful change,-from sickness to health, from pain to ease, from sorrow to joy, from earth to heaven. “I shall leave this body behind," said he, “with its mutilated member,” referring to the part consumed by cancer; "but, in exchange, this vile body, the body of our bumiliation, shall be fashioned and
made like unto Christ's glorious body.” The last words he distinctly uttered were, “ My battle is fought : praise the Lord !” It was his last battle. The aged warrior was about to gain a triumphant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
“Servant of God, well done!
Thy glorious warfare 's past;
And thou art crown'd at last."
MEMOIR OF MR. BENJAMIN COCKER,
LATE OF MIRFIELD:
BY THE REV. THOMAS HARDY, Mr. Cocker was one of a host of laborious Local preachers, who proved invaluable auxiliaries to the mission of Methodism, especially at a time when Circuits were far more extensive, and ministers fewer, tban at present. He was born at Almondbury, near Huddersfield, in 1785, of parents who were then, and to their dying day, members of the Methodist Society. In boyhood parental control was irksome to him, -the more so, while he saw the children of some professors left at liberty to attend feasts and fairs, and to wander whithersoever they would on the Lord's day. He consoled himself, however, with the thought that one day he should be of age, and his own master. Before that day arrived, he learnt to be thankful for the restraints of early discipline.
In 1803 the Rev. Edward Gibbons, (then newly appointed to Huddersfield,) calling at his father's house, went up to the chamber where Benjamin was weaving; and, grasping his hand, urged him at once to seek the Lord. Under the ministry of this faithful pastor, the young man's mind was deeply impressed. His father's class—then the only one in the place—consisted of eight members, of whom his mother was the youngest. “0," thought he, “if some young person would begin, I would at once begin too." Returning from class the very next day, his father told of an addition to the little company, -a young man, who had been awakened under the preaching of Mr. Gibbons, and had obtained mercy, while his parents were beseeching the Lord on his behalf, at the hour of three in the morning. Benjamin had now no excuse for delay. So mightily wrought the convincing Spirit, as to constrain him oft to retire from the loom, and on bended knees to implore salvation. His silent grief was observed by his good father, who gave bim suitable counsel, and invited him to the classmeeting. Hanging down his bead, as if unwilling to meet the gaze of the ungodly youth of the neighbourhood, he followed his father for the first time to the cottage where the little flock assembled. When the leader came to speak to his son, his emotion was uncontrollable, and be gave thanks to God, who had now brought a child of his to a meeting for Christian fellowship. Select books were lent him by his vigilant pastor. At home his father was his daily adviser, to whom he opened his heart, and by whom bis doubts were solved. Each week, at the class-meeting, his mind was kept to one important point, -a knowledge of forgiveness, attested by the Holy Spirit. Jovited at once to the Lord's table, he was greatly encouraged while the Rev. Richard Elliott, presenting to him the cup, solemnly said, “The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life.”
At length deliverance came. Whit-Sunday, A.D. 1804, was the bright day; and the domestic altar was the place. When his father ceased praying, Benjamin began, as he had been oft importuned to do. “God be merciful to me!” was his cry.
The father then resumed.
“ Sach wrestling prayer and faith,” says the son, “ I never heard. In a short time the clouds dispersed; the light of heaven shone on my mind ; the way of faith was opened to me, and I was enabled to cast my
soul on the atoning Lamb. My burden fell off, and my soul was filled with peace and joy. I was now so happy that I could not sleep; and, when I went out the next morning, I thought the whole creation smiled.” Shortly after this, he yielded to doubt, under a searching discourse upon the law; but, when he bad walked in darkness for some weeks, he was enabled to recover “the beginning of his confidence,” which he held “steadfast unto the end."
Of his father's instructions in the things of God he made the most ; and well for him it was that he did 80. For, ere the loving son saw his twentieth birthday, the excellent father fell asleep in Jesus. “As a classleader,” says Mr. Cocker, “ I never yet heard bis equal. All bis life he had been an early riser, accustomed to spend the prime of day in reading his Bible and in prayer. One morning, being too ill to kneel at family-worship, he turned to me, and said, with a look I shall never forget, 'I can no longer perform this duty: thou must take my place.' The day before his death he sent for me from my work, and said,
Benjamin, I feel a deep impression that God will employ thee in some way for the benefit of the church and the world. I have discovered the germ of native talent, which, if improved, will fit thee for usefalness. Do not quench the Spirit. Work for God where thou canst. Engage heartily in prayer-meetings; and try occasionally to give a word of exhortation. Never allow self to dictate, nor aim at imitating others; but use thy own language, in thy own easy and natural way.'' dying charge was faithfully kept.
The guardianship of an impoverished and now bereaved family of eight, including the sick mother, devolved upon this Christian of a year old. Early and late he wronght, beyond his strength, to provide for them ; returning oft to his loom from a week-evening sermon or class-meeting, and taking his frugal menls in the lenst possible time; yet “ oft so filled with the love of God,” to use his own words, " that tears of real joy fell plentifully upon the cloth” he "was weaving." After several years of widowhood and suffering, the mother died in great peace. A native of Birstal, she was converted to God in early life, and attended the band meetings conducted by Miss Bosanquet, afterwards Mrs. Fletcher. “As the lamp of life was sinking down," ber
dutiful son writes, “the holy flame, lit up at Cross-Hall, blazed out in all its brilliancy."
Benjamin was now a class-leader, and could not dismiss the conviction that be ought to preach. “But,” he writes, “I felt myself quite unfit to teach others, never having had five shillings' schooling in my life.” In February, 1811, he consented, yet very reluctantly, to supply the place of an afflicted preacher, by giving an exhortation at Lepton. He was importuned to preach there in the afternoon of the same day; an old disciple remarking, that “this young man bad a sling and a stone." It was not, however, until the 25th of the following May, exactly fifty years and a day before his death,—that he ventured to take a text. Of his next effort his own record is as follows:- The softening power of God came down: we had a blessed time. From that day I felt it was the will of God that I should preach ; and, ndtwithstanding many discouragements, I have continued to the present." On the Plan of the Huddersfield Circuit, including Holmfirth, &c., &c., a Local preacher's work at that time averaged four and twenty Sabbaths in every twenty-six. But, while health permitted, Mr. Cocker cheerfully took bis full share. By the Rev. John Braithwaite he was urged to offer himself as a candidate for the ministry'; but he deemed his want of education an insuperable objection ; although he acknowledged, in subsequent years, that, had the Theological Institution been tben in existence, he might bave consented. . Two of his early advisers were indiscreet enough to counsel him to make no preparation for the pulpit, but to expect what he should say to be Divinely suggested at the time ; alleging that they themselves oft knew not what was to be their text, even while singing the second hymn! These enthusiastic persons might have done bim lasting injury, but for the guidance of the Rev. John Kershaw and Jonathan Brown. Henceforward it was his study to show himself "approved unto God, a workman needing not to be ashamed ;” and several remarkable conversions were the fruit of his labours.
Having been employed for nine or ten years as a weaver of woollens, by a firm at Dalton, he one day took in three pieces of cloth ; when the senior partner, after measuring and examining them, was pleased to compliment him upon bis integrity and accuracy. Nor was tbis all. A responsible situation in the establishment soon becoming vacant, he applied for it, was at once accepted, and continued to discharge its duties for twenty-nine years, to the entire satisfaction of the principals ; assisting in all departments of the concern, and witnessing its enlargement and prosperity. “I now found myself in full employment,” he states ; “having the care of two classes, together with a great deal of preaching. And, the more I did for God, the happier I was in my own soul.”
Hitherto the Methodists of Almondbury had attended the Huddersfield chapel, at a distance of two miles. But in 1815 they fitted up a room, that their neighbours also might bear the good word of God. And, although the members were but twenty-five in number, and of the labouring class, they began seriously to contemplate the erection