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HOWEVER ordinary may be the mental capabilities, or however humble the temporal allotment of the man of God, yet the solid and unimposing worth of his character 'may furnish evidences of the power of Divine grace, admirably calculated to promote the edification even of those who, in other respects, may be greatly. his superiors. Characters formed by the renewing influences of the Holy Spirit, however they may be overlooked by the generality of mankind, appear interesting to the angelic ranks, and are precious in the estimation of the Creator of all beings and of all worlds. They may seem to be attached to society by connections the most valueless, and, in some eyes, even contemptible, but the great unfolding-day will declare that they in reality better served their generation in their private communings with the great Invisible, and in the meanest offices in the church, than did the blood-stained and earthapplauded heroes of a hundred fields, or than those who presided in cabinets, or dwelt in palaces, but who knew not the Lord Jesus as “the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world.” To the history of one whose character was moulded by heavenly grace, our attention is now directed.

Richard Wouldhave was born at Milburn Place, North Shields, on November 30th, 1794. He was the son of parents who, in his youth, were totally regardless of religion, even in its external forms; and, of course, as far as their influence extended, Richard was practically taught to treat the supreme interests of his soul, and the great things of God and eternity, with equal neglect. During a period of twenty years, to use his own expression, “he never saw his parents once bow the kneė


in prayer.” From such a statement, it must not be imagined that our brother was at all wanting in natural affection; as a son he loved his parents; but as a Christian, he could not but disapprove of such impiety, particularly when he remembered the baneful influence such training had upon his after life. As might naturally be expected, in this bleak moral desert, he grew up like a noxious weed, not only destitute of all the fruits of divine grace, but surcharged with the same moral evils which had hung around and deformed the pernicious parent-stem. Consequently it was no marvel to find him rushing beyond the bounds of even ordinary guilt, into acts of more open and flagrant delinquency. It sometimes happens, however, in the moral administrations of God, that there is put upon the neglected one a marked super-human restraint, forming a sort of counterpoise and compensation, so to speak, for what ought in bare justice to have flowed through other channels; and so it happened, that, considering the demoralizing influence of Mr. W.'s circumstances, he did not exhibit, as he advanced in years, what early days seemed lamentably to foreshadow. He could occasionally go to excess in drinking; but this destructive habit he was induced totally to abandon, through the divine blessing upon the exertions of his pious partner.

At the age of twenty-one years, he placed his affections upon her who now mourns his loss, and, as we have already intiniated, she was a subject of saving grace, and had been in church fellowship with our society at Milburn Place, from the thirteenth year of her age. Being now united in marriage, our brother in an especial sense became the object of her spiritual regard, as well as of her earthly affections. She immediately began to present him a better example, she being more than ordinarily circumspect in her deportment, and likewise never failed to follow

up her diligent efforts by fervent prayer for his conversion to God. For years

all her efforts proved abortive. He sometimes retired to rest leaving her on her knees, agonizing with God on his behalf. This she found to be a severe and daily trial. But as genuine affection always seeks the best blessings for its cherished object, and as in her estimation that superlative good was to be realized alone in the religion of Christ, she, through divine help, persevered until she prevailed. At length he

interest so intense and unremitting must somewhere have an end worthy of its laborious devotedness. To this he directed his aroused attention, and by pleasurable experience he found it to be no less than “ the pearl of great price,” without which life is a blank-death a terror and everlasting existence, an everlasting curse.

For some time after his conversion to God, he contented himself with a punctual attendance on the public ordinances of religion; but through the entreaties of our respected brother Mr. T. F. Carr, he united himself to our society at Milburn Place Chapel, and met in the class led by the friend just named. This occurred in March, 1835. Here he remained a steady and consistent member until the year 1842, when in consequence of Mr. C.'s being unable to give to the class that punctuality of attendance necessary to its prosperity, our brother W. was appointed assistant Leader; and at length its entire duties fell into his hands. For the discharge of this new and important engagement, he frankly acknowledged himself to be but imperfectly furnished with that experimental and Biblical knowledge always demanded by such an office; but as it was evident that a more suitable person could not be found at the time, he tremblingly acquiesced in the wishes of the church, and continued his

saw that


labours in this sphere with general acceptance and credit until a short period previously to his decease, when severe afflictions had so power, fully affected his nervous system, as to incapacitate him for the performance of his duties as a Leader. But although he could no longer minister, yet he esteemed it a privilege "to be ministered unto;" and when any partial alleviation of his distressing disease afforded him an opportunity, he met as usual with his brethren, and he always expressed his delight in that ordinance-an ordinance, we may observe, from which many who profess strong and decided attachment to Methodism can nevertheless stand aloof. A consequence this, most certainly arising out of a lamentable and self-imposed ignorance of the important help which Zion's travellers obtain from its home-brought and rich spiritual appliances. But to return to our departed friend. It appears that his disease was water in the chest, accompanied with enlargement of the heart. Powerful mercurial medicines were administered, which so affected his mouth as to render it extremely difficult for him to speak; but this circumstance only led him the nearer to his God, and into more frequent and intimate converse with his own soul. He spent his time in holy meditation and prayer; and in those delightful exercises he was so deeply engrossed, and at those times his absence of mind was so great, that it was usual for him to return no answer to any question that might be put to him. With his


and heart fixed on heaven, the world under his feet and out of his memory, he sat grave and hopeful on the precincts of eternity, waiting for the summons of his Lord to go up higher,” and mingle with those scenes and services for which he longed, and was prepared.

But to give a more distinct view of our brother's Christian character, we observe, that he bore all the trials of his afflictive situation with great resignation to the will of God. His was not that verbose and gratuitous resignation, which, when worldly prospects are bright, and the cup of earthly comfort is full, can talk so profusely about its passive dispositions -it was something immensely superior to all this. In his case, the constant manifestation of such a spirit might be ranked amongst the triumphs of the Christian religion. His body was worn and wasted by a sad complication of deep-seated and lingering maladies, which presented no hopeful alleviations. There was the loving and the beloved husband and father quitting his earthly associations in little more than the noontime of his existence; in the future prospects of those who hung about him, and on whom his heart had fixed its deep and tender sympathies, there was nothing, humanly speaking, to cheer, but much to depress. There was also in his own case an urgent demand for temporal comforts, but frequently his bare necessities were unmet. But amidst the destitution of all things after which fond and needy nature so eagerly craves, how feels, and what says, this man of God ? He is calmly composed, and in language that breathes abhorrence at the bare idea of indulging a repining spirit, he asks, in something like an overflow of affection towards the wise and benevolent Arbiter of all events, “Shall I forget my God on that account ?" His affliction and poverty, on the contrary, brought him into a more close and sweet alliance to the Father of his spirit; he knew they were the unerring and mercy-mingled chastisements of One who infinitely loved him; and being so evidently sanctified to his spiritual benefit, they stood out amongst the clear and indelible evidences of his sonship with God, and his meetness for glory. He -frequently re

quested his wife to sing to him that beautiful hymn, so peculiarly adapted to his situation and feeling, commencing with the words,

“ Begone, unbelief, my Saviour is near," &c.; and it always appeared to be a rich cordial to his soul.

Brother Wouldhave manifested a deep interest in the cause of God, and great attachment to the ordinances of the sanctuery. In a letter received from Mr. T. F. Carr, we find the following statements :—"Brother W. was a man of a naturally mild and retiring disposition, who never obtruded himself into the services of the church, but nevertheless he was always willing, to the utmost of his ability, to advance the interests of Christianity, and forward the Redeemer's kingdom. During the greater part of his Christian career, he was the subject of much bodily weakness; and being in consequence circumscribed in his pecuniary means, he could not do so much for the cause as his liberal heart desired, and would have prompted, under more favourable circumstances. His affliction, also, frequently compelled him to absent himself from the means of grace; but though absent in body from his brethren, he was present in mind and affection; and the language of his heart always appeared to be, Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.'

Mr. Lynn informed us that he saw our beloved brother, a little before his death, standing in front of the chapel, apparently in a musing frame, looking intently at the sacred edifice; when Mr. L. approached him, he observed, “I have come to take one more look at the outside; but I expect, God willing, to get inside to-morrow."

Mr. William Hall, of Whitehill Point, who was for years an intimate friend of brother Wouldhave, and who was the means of inducing him to take a part in the singing at our chapel, whilst visiting him one Sabbath evening during his last illness, beheld the tears in his eyes—the cause of which was, the circumstance of having seen several of his fellowworshippers pass his window on their way to God's house, and not being able to accompany them, as, with feelings of devout gladness, he had often done; his heart, like the devoted Psalmist's, “ fainted for the courts of the Lord,” and with a faltering voice he spoke of her rich and glorious ordinances. "God was with him in the sick chamber; and his little dwelling was, on many occasions, made to him, through the presence of his gracious Lord and Master, what the open field was to the holy patriarch—" None other than the house of God, and the gate of heaven.” By sweet and delightful experience he knew that the Omnipresent Deity is not confined to temples made with hands, but can go to the saint, when he cannot come to Him; but he also knew who has said, for his own experience furnished abundant testimony to the inspired truth, " The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob." In that house he had learned the plan of salvation-sung the praises of his God --poured his ardent and accepted supplications into the listening ear of the Lord of Sabaoth: there had' he often drank of the waters of life, and feasted on the hidden manna of the kingdom, and basked in the beams of the Sun of Righteousness; and now, meditating upon its means, and its occupant, his heart's experience and attachment might be said to find happy embodiment in the couplet of Watts, where, speaking of the house of God, he says

" I have been there, and still would go;
'Tis like a little heaven below," &0.-


Our friend exercised great confidence in the supporting and interposing goodness of God. From a letter received from Mr. T. Middleton, we extract the following remarks. He says

Perhaps there was nothing more remarkable and pleasing in the Christian character of Mr. W. than the delight he took in recounting, in his experience, the gracious dealings of God towards himself and family.” He states that, in consequence of general ill health, and precarious employment, he was frequently brought into circumstances of a painful

About nine months ago, he visited him, just after he had experienced a week of severe pecuniary distress. He reminded him of the promises peculiarly adapted to his state; they bowed together at the throne of grace, and his faith, which had been a little darkened and depressed, was revived and strengthened. He visited him again on the following Sabbath, after the morning service; as Mr. M. approached him, he beheld the tears of gratitude and joy streaming from his eyes; he without any usual ceremony grasped his hand, saying, “ Oh! brother, trust in the Lord. I shall never doubt of his goodness again; he has not only blessed me with a supply for the body, to-day, but he has also blessed me with a delightful sense of his presence and favour, which has gloriously refreshed my soul;" and again, in the fulness of his heart, he added, “ 'Trust in the Lord, and be not afraid.”

Other equally pleasing instances of our late brother's faith in God might easily be cited, but the one just furnished is sufficient so show how firmly that principle was seated in his heart, and how practically influential it was over his conduct. Each tempest of calamity prepared the way for the prayer-sought interpositions of Heaven; and as his pilgrimage was marked with such instances, he found that he had but to take a retrospective glance to behold the visible finger-points of Deity, ratifying the precious promises, and sustaining the suffering and believing saint.

Mr. Wouldhave had an humbling view of his own imperfections. Many persons foolishly attempt to extenuate their own frailties and delinquencies, by bringing them into juxtaposition with the failings and sins of others. Some can, with great composure and facility, coin excuses for their inconsistencies, and place vice on what they conceive to be vantage ground. Others, overlooking the justice of God, mantle them over with the simple and general goodness of Deity, thinking, because the Almighty is merciful, their errors and evils will find easy forgiveness, or at most a very slight retribution. It was far otherwise with our late brother. He saw, felt, and acknowledged and bewailed his short-comings and deviations from duty. He deeply regretted that he had not more fully realized his spiritual privileges, and performed the blessed will of God more faithfully and perseveringly. He was aware that he had served a heart-searching as well as a sin-avenging God-a God who not only takes notice of the outward act, but understands the thoughts afar off; and learning from the infinite value of that sacrifice which sin had rendered necessary for its expiation, how very hateful a thing it is in itself, and how supremely odious it must be in the eyes of the God of immaculate purity, his best services fell at once into nothingness and imperfection in his own view, and led him penitently to acknowledge, with Jeremiah, that “it was of the Lord's mercies he was not consumed, and because his compassions fail not.”

Bible sanctity was the mark at which he aimed, and to which he pressed forward; and in proportion to the ardency of his longings after

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