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for their conversion and seeking their good. Shortly after this period, having given his heart to God, and having chosen whom he would serve, he gave
his name and his influence to the Methodists at Mossley. His father and the rest of the family attended occasionally, as a matter of convenience, the Methodist Chapel, when the state of the weather, or other causes, prevented them attending their regular place of worship, which was Tintwistle, and was many miles distant from their residence. But Nathaniel was not a stranger or a guest, but like a child at home. He soon became exceedingly active in the church, for having found mercy himself, he ardently sought and earnestly prayed that others might obtain it; and his zeal and love to God led to the inquiry, what can I render to the Lord for all his benefits towards me ? One mode of usefulness presented itself, into which he speedily entered, in connection with the late Mr. John Howard, Mr. Richard Wilson, and others, in establishing and conducting prayer-meetings in distant places, particularly at Shermaslow, Hey, Freesland, Hartshead, Micklehurst, Heyrod, and indeed, wherever a door could be opened; for such was their desire to employ their talent, that they cheerfully availed themselves of it.
We now approach an important period in Methodist history: the Division which took place in 1797, and which had more admirers than followers: but Mr. Buckley became decided in the cause of religious liberty, and contended for it, and cordially united with a host of worthies, and remained enrolled and identified with the Connexion, highly esteemed and useful for many years. He had charge of a class, and was the leader and spiritual shepherd of the Heyrod Society, and watched over his charge with diligence and fidelity, and was greatly beloved by them; while the Great and the Chief Shepherd frequently conducted them to green pastures, and covered them with his shadow at noonday. While Mr. Buckley remained at Carr Hill, he continued his useful labours, and contributed after his removal to the support of the Connexion to the end of life.
In the order of Providence he removed from Carr Hill to Dukenfield with his family, which had become somewhat numerous, and joined the Independent church at that place. Whether his religious opinions had undergone a change cannot, I apprehend, be correctly ascertained; but so it was; and he and his family became stated worshippers, and he continued in fellowship with the church in Dukenfield until some disagreements took place, when, for the sake of peace, he left them, and commenced the Independent interest at Ashton, of which he is stated to have been the father and founder; and all can testify what has been his manner of life, and how he was with them, coming in and going out amongst them.
The life of Mr. Buckley was not distinguished by any very remarkable incidents. He pursued “the noiseless tenor of his way,” serving God with a perfect heart and willing mind, fearing him and working righteousness without wavering, to the end. The leading features of his character were unassuming, but unquestionable piety, sterling integrity, and active benevolence. He doubtless had his failings, but what they were I never heard, and it is needless to seek for them. His life, however, exhibited the harmony of principle and practice; his creed was embodied in his conduct; of him it might be exclaimed, as of Nathanael of old, “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile !” He exercised himself unto godliness, and preserved a conscience void of offence
both towards God and men. He was of a lively and cheerful disposition, and
grace refined his constitutional temperament: he was kind and obliging to all.
None who knew him will question his beneficence. He was blessed of God with the means of doing good, and he was faithful to his sacred trust. It might be asked where is the Chapel or the good cause which required aid, throughout this district, which did not partake of his bounty? The widow and the fatherless in his own neighbourhood had his deep sympathy and special aid. What was said of Job might be reiterated of Mr. Buckley, “ When the eye saw him, it blessed him; and when the ear heard him, it bore witness of him.” He was not a churlish, but a cheerful giver; it was like receiving and not conferring a favour; but he
was, in numberless instances, a secret giver—nor wished his right hand to know what his left hand did. His benevolence will never be fully known till “the day" shall declare it--the misery he relieved, and the money
gave yet he did not withhold his signature from lists of charities when required as a stimulating example to others. But here was the
mercy, that the more he gave the more he had to give. He received a hundredfold in this world, and it is my firm conviction, that he is now enjoying his reward, even life everlasting.
Mr. Buckley was remarkable for hospitality and kindness, especially to ministers, and his house was always open to receive them, and he found, as good Mr. Henry remarks, « The ark is a guest that always pays for its entertainment.” He was a man, too, of great modesty, diffidence, and humility. He never spoke of himself but in terms of selfabasement, and never of the
of Christ, but with admiration and devoted attachment both to his Saviour and his cause. His profession was sincere, uniform, consistent, and without a blemish. How devout his spirit; how fervent his prayer; how heavenly his conversation, none can tell! He drank deeply into the mind of the Saviour; he lived in fellowship with holy things; his affections were above; he walked with God; he placed all hope on the atonement, and his own desire was to win Christ and to be found in him. His attendance on public worship was truly exemplary. While in Dukenfield he was at the Chapel three times on the Sabbath, and at the prayer-meeting on the week-night. When he again removed to Carr Hill, he attended regularly twice a Sabbath. Wishing to benefit his neighbours, and promote his own edification, he supported preaching, and was supplied by the neighbouring ministers of his own denomination, entirely at his own expense. This was a Tuesday night service.
He was absent in the spring of the year 1844, one Sabbath, through indisposition, and it was the first time he had been absent from the Lord's Supper for twenty-eight years.
He loved God's house and ordinances; for in them he was visited, refreshed, and comforted. He could
“ I sat under his shadow with delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.”
Mr. Buckley was not thout his trials. Loss of children, and at length his dear partner, eighteen months previously to his own demise, which he felt to be a serious visitation, for they were united both by matrimonial and spiritual ties. For the salvation of his children he was deeply concerned, and rejoiced over those who were decided for religion, and continued to pray earnestly, to the last, that they all might be united to Christ and his church, and be eternally saved.
Mr. Buckley's health had evidently been declining for two years previously to his death; during the summer he was confined to his house, and for three months to his bed. His mind, during his sickness, was for the most part composed and serene. He gave utterance both to his fears and to his hopes. He had no rapturous elevation, but he had a uniform, steady reliance on the blood of Christ his Saviour.
On being asked, soon after he had taken to his bed, if all was right for eternity, and if the prospect before him was clear, after a short pause, he replied, Yes, I certainly believe all is right, but I have not that clear evidence of an interest in Christ and his salvation which I desire; I want to feel deeper humiliation before God on account of my sins and great unprofitableness; I want more brokenness of heart and contrition of spirit.” It was asked, “ Is it not well to have such feelings and desires? Is it not to such the promises are made and adapted, and is there not a rich source of consolation in the compassion and all-sufficiency of Christ ?” “Oh! yes,” he answered, “ it is a great mercy to be convinced of our lost and utterly helpless condition, and it is well to dwell on what you have mentioned. All this I know very well; but I want to realize it.” Shortly after this he said, “Many think I must needs be saved, because I have been long in the way; but I cannot rest on this. Does ît never occur to them that it may have been a life of formalism?” Some one hinted how useful he had been, and what good he had done. He was greatly pained, and became restless. When the person was gone, he said, “I hate to hear it! I hate to hear it! There is nothing but the one foundation for me--nothing but the slaughtered Lamb.” What other hope can there be for a poor sinner who sees the worthlessness of his own doings?" He was very cautious of admitting evidence, and receiving consolation. Knowing that the righteous are scarcely saved, he seemed alive to every suspicion and uncertainty. He continued to want confirmation, and constantly prayed, “Give me, O Lord !'a token for good, that I may rejoice in thee." Once he expressed to a brother deacon,
that it might not go well with him at the last, (nor is that an uncommon temptation). His friend and brother replied, “Mr. Buckley, did it begin well ?” “ Yes," he said, "I am sure it began well.” it gone on well ?”. After a pause he replied, “ It has gone on well.” " "Then,” he replied, “ it is sure to end well.”. Mr. B. responded, “I hope it may."
He continued much in this state till within six weeks of his death, when all his doubts and fears left him, and he said with exultation, “ They are all gone!". From this time to the close of his life, he enjoyed great ease, and sometimes was ready to exclaim, “Why is thy chariot, O my soul, delayed ?" He had a desire to depart and be with Christ. I, and a number of Christian friends, visited him frequently, and we were all and always welcome. Prayer was his element and his delight, and he uniformly added his response to petitions presented, and was greatly edified thereby. I called in one evening when a pious genitleman, a member of the same church with Mr. B., had just concluded prayer, and I was going to withdraw, with a promise to call again on an ea rly day; but no; I must stop and pray with him then, for he could not, he said, have the benefit of too many prayers.
“ Ministers and people,” he said, “I love you all.”
Eeing informed that a person he knew well had become decidedly pious, he burst into tears and wept much, and added, " In this I do re
joice; in this I will rejoice.” He said, on one occasion, "My state of mind is described in Dr. Watts' hymn, beginning with
“Who is this fair one in distress?” &c.
of his age.
This hymn he repeated with some difficulty, and then he said, “ This expresses
heart." When Mr. Buckley had come to the closing scene, and when the last pin was dropping out of the tabernacle, he said, “I cannot but weep when I think of Christian and Hopeful passing through the river of death,-Christian began to sink, and crying out to Hopeful, said, 'I sink in deep waters; the billows go over my head; all thy waves go over me.'
Then,' said his companion, .be of good cheer, my brother, I feel the bottom, and it is good.?” Thus died our excellent friend, and I may add, brother in Christ, Mr. Nathaniel Buckley, on January 10th, 1845, in the 81st year
His body was deposited in the same vault with his beloved wife in the burial-ground connected with our Chapel at Mossley, and his remains were followed by his numerous family, and by a host of sorrowing friends, who deplored their loss, especially those who had so frequently shared in his sympathy and benevolence.
Few men have been more prosperous; but prosperity did not elate him. He remained the same unassuming and amiable Christian. His heart was not set on the increase of wealth, or he would not have retired when he might have extended his business and increased his gain. He thought more of death, and a preparation for it, than of life, and more earnestly desired the riches of grace than of gold. When it was mentioned to him that his house wanted paint, he energetically replied, “ My next house will need no paint.” Unbounded confidence was placed both in his integrity and judgment, and many were the calls he received to arbitrate cases of difficulty and disagreement, and his advice has often prevented litigation and promoted friendship between parties who might have remained at variance till the end of life.
This account might have been extended to a great length, but I consider it only necessary to add-his reputation was unbleinished; each relation in life he sustained with honour, and he died full of years, and of good fruits, and like ripe corn bowed to death's sickle, and was gathered to the garner of his Saviour and his God. But it was his benevolence that shed a halo of glory around him—and dying in the Lord his works do follow him.
His death was improved to crowded congregations at his own place of worship in Ashton, and at ours in Mossley.
Rev. Dr. LEECHMAN.—It is related of Dr. Leechman, that upon his death-bed he thus addressed the son of a nobleman who had been under
" You see, my young friend, the situation in which I now am. I have not many days to live, and am happy that you witness the tranquillity of my last moments; but it is not tranquillity alone, it is joy and triumph; nay, it is complete exultation!" Nis features brightened, and his voice rose in energy as he spoke. "And whence," said he, does this exultation spring ? From that book, too much neglected indeed, but which contains invaluable treasures-treasures of bliss and rejoicing; for it makes us certain that this mortal shall put on immortality."
ORIGINAL ESSAYS, COMMUNICATIONS, &c.
“AN ISRAELITE INDEED, IN WHOM IS NO GUILE."
BY THE REV. H. 0. CROFTS.
(Extracted from the “ Christian Messenger.”)
(Concluded from page 175.) “ An Israelite indeed” is a man of unwearied perseverance in prayer. Jacob on the memorable occasion when he received the name Israel, showed a spirit of unwearied perseverance in prayer. We stop not to enter into particulars respecting the man with whom Jacob wrestled; he was evidently God as well as man; for Jacob positively declares that he had seen God face to face, and he called the place where they wrestled, Peniel, i. e. the face of God. He could, therefore, have been no other than Christ. They wrestled till the break of the day, but this did not abate the vigour of Jacob's spirit. Though fatigued with anxiety, loss of rest and great bodily exertion, he still continued wrestling. “And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh, and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint as he wrestled with him.” Here was another difficulty sufficient to have damped the ardour of any less determined and persevering spirit than Jacob's; but he, though almost unfitted for wrestling by the loss of the use of a limb, still holds his grasp, and is determined to have a blessing. “ And he said, Let me go for the day breaketh." Here is a plain intimation to Jacob that his worldly affairs needed his presence, and a direct request for him to let his hold; but his whole being was as it were agonized at the thought of giving up; regardless, therefore, of his family, and unmoved by the entreaty, he cried out, “ I will not let thee go except thou bless me.” Thus he persevered in prayer till he gained the blessing he needed; for when he had manifested such great sincerity, such an intense desire for the blessing of God, and such an unconquerable spirit of importunity, “ the man said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall no more be called Jacob but Israel; for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed;” or, because thou hast had power with God, with men thou shalt also prevail. And this unwearied perseverance in prayer, every
Israelite indeed” has manifested. Moses, Daniel, Paul, and above all, Christ, have shown the same noble spirit of perseverance in prayer as Israel did. The very same spirit too is found in every true Israelite in the present day. Whatever
may be the blessing for which he prays, his mind is so absorbed with the value of that blessing, and with the need of obtaining it, that he cannot give up pleading until he succeeds. As he pleads he feels what the poet describes in these lines :
“ Thou hast helped in every need,
This emboldens me to plead;