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The author of this beautiful biography is favorably known 
in the United States as a minister of the British Wesleyan 
Conference, having visited this country as a representative of 
that body, with Dr. Hannah, in the General Conference of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, held at Indiauapolis, during 
the present year. Mr. Jobson is a man of generous, benevo- 
lent, and catholic spirit — of artistic tastes and capacities, as 
well as scholarly acquirements and habits — a most excellent, 
devoted, and successful minister of the Lord Jesus — just 
what one might expect him to be, Jcnoioing his parentage. 

The Son has drawn the Portrait of the Mother in a mas- 
terly manner ; and well did she deserve this memento of filial 
affection. Mrs. Jobson was a fine specimen of the women of 
Wesleyan Methodism. Her character cannot be surveyed 
without admiration — we would hopefully think, not without 
imitation too. 

By an ingenious method, without diverting attention from 
his Mother's Portrait, the author has given us a truthful and 
attractive picture of Methodism, with descriptions of persons 
and places connected with its history. Some of the engrav- 

■ i 


rags — all of which arc faithfully reproduced by our artist — 
are from designs by Mr. Jobson, who has several times visited 
the continent of Europe, particularly Switzerland, for the 
purpose of sketching its peerless lake and mountain scenery. 
This edition is an exact reprint of a copy of the original 
work, bearing the autograph of Mr. Jobson, by whom it was 
presented to our excellent friend, the Rev. Dr. Sargent, of 
Baltimore, whose courtesy in favoring us with the volume, 
and with interesting particulars concerning its author, is duly 
appreciated by 

Slje €Mtor. 

Nashville, Tenn., August, 1856. 

Co ijjt (Semral |l«ahr. 

The Author respectfully claims attention for 
one thought before the following Letters are pe- 
rused. They do not portray the striking events 
of enterprise in the life of an adventurous mis- 
sionary to the heathen ; or the important changes 
and deep trials which often characterize the work 
of a Christian minister in his own country. Nor 
do they record the workings of a religious mind 
which has had all the advantages of high cultivation 
and refined leisure. But they contain, although 



the sketch is imperfect; the portraiture of a plain, 
practical Christian, — of one who was surrounded 
with the cares of family and business, — of one 
who was every day in the world, and yet lived 
as not of it, — of one who turned her very neces- 
sity to be busy therein into an opportunity for 
snatching trophies out of it for her Redeemer. 

It is hoped that the homeliness of the Portrait 
may render it the more readily imitable ; and, 
therefore, the more extensively serviceable to the 
hearts and minds of those who may contemplate 
it. Every one cannot be a missionary, like 
Brainerd, or Eliot, or Martyn, or Coke : all can- 
not become preachers of Christ's gospel to thou- 
sands, like Wesley, or Whitefield, or Benson, or 
Robert Newton: few can attain the intellectual 
refinement joined with high spirituality which 
characterized Hannah More and Lady Maxwell; 
but it is the privilege of all, however encircled 


with family cares, or involved in temporal busi- 
ness, to be useful members of the Church of 

Perhaps the religious world had never greater 
need than now to be reminded that it is personal 
usefulness which should be cultivated and prac- 
ticed. The many noble institutions an# asso- 
ciations for spiritual and charitable objects which 
distinguish our times, deserve all the support 
which they receive; but there is danger that 
the majority of professing Christians should rest 
in mere subsidiary usefulness. It should be 
remembered that individual exertion is necessary 
in the cause of Christ ; and that it was never 
intended that any of His followers should serve 
only by proxy. It will be seen that the subject 
of this Memoir, while ever ready to support 
evangelical and benevolent institutions to the 
extent of her ability, was herself a persevering 


and successful laborer in the vineyard of her 
Lord. And to those who desire to have before 
them, every day and under all the varied circum- 
stances of life, a practical and active example 
of the power and excellence of religion, this 
imperfect sketch is humbly but earnestly recom- 

The reader will discern that these Letters 
have been written with a free pen; and that 
with a Mother's Portrait, Methodist scenes and 
services have been outlined. This, to some 
extent, was natural and unavoidable. But it 
will be seen that these outlines are sometimes 
extended beyond the simple necessities of the 
biography. The writer's reasons for such en- 
largements are twofold, and may be soon stated. 

Though Wesleyan Methodism has been in 
existence for more than a century, it is evidently 


still much misunderstood ; for even good men, 
who write and speak of it, strangely misrepresent 
it ; more especially when they make reference 
to its peculiar and social means of grace. An 
endeavor is made in the following pages to 
exhibit its true features. This is done in a 
somewhat desultory and unconnected manner ; 
yet so, it is believed, that the truth will be 
satisfactorily gleaned by the reader who is not a 
Methodist ; while to Wesleyans themselves these 
few pen-and-ink sketches of what they are fami- 
liar with may not be wholly unacceptable. 

But more especially is this volume intended for 
the youth of Methodist parentage and descent. 
And it is humbly hoped, that imperfect as are 
the references made in it to early religious asso- 
ciations, yet they will be the means of reviving 
and strengthening within youthful readers rever- 
ential regard for the Church of their fathers. 



For should the perusal of what is herein written 
raise up but one thought of a religious home, that 
thought may have linked to it a chain of sleeping 
recollections, which, when revived, shall be found 
to be most salutary in their influence. 

F. J. J. 

Lambeth, July, 1855. 


fettu i. 

" Some we love well: the early presences 
That were first round us, and the silvery tones 
Of those most far away, and dreamy voices 
That sounded all about us at the dawn 
Of our young life, — these, as the world of things 
Sets in upon our being like a tide, 
Keep with us, and are ever uppermost. 
And some there are, tall, beautiful, and wise, 
Whose step is heavenward, and whose souls have passed 
Out from the nether darkness, and been borne 
Into a new and glorious universe, 
Who speak of things to come : but there is that 
In thy soft eye and long-accustomed voice, 
Would win me from them all." 


I purpose, my dear Sister, to describe, in a 
series of letters addressed to yourself, the life 
and example of our clear departed Mother. 

20 a mother's portrait. 

You have heard more than you saw of her; 
for she died when you were very young. Of 
her earnest and affectionate character you can- 
not fail to have some personal remembrances. 
But these are, of necessity, imperfect. You 
ought to know more from others ; and especi- 
ally from a brother who had the greater advan- 
tage of growing up to manhood under her 
maternal care. My own love and gratitude 
for her memory are summed up in Gray's 
significant saying : "A man can have but one 
Mother." And though you lost her early, you 
feel that there is something inexpressibly dear 
and tender in a Mother's name. I wish to 
deepen this sentiment within you, knowing by 
experience that it is truly salutary to cherish it. 
But while addressing this record to you in 
the fugitive form of letters, I humbly aim to 
erect a public and more permanent memorial 
of departed excellence. Our dear Mother's 
character and conduct impressed themselves 
beneficially on many while she lived; and I 
judge that a memoir of her will be lastingly 
useful now she is dead. I have long felt that 


the writing of it was a filial duty I owed to 
her memory, and a public duty I owed to the 
Church of Christ. She was a living example 
of practical Christianity; and, with all the 
books of religious biography that have been 
published, there are not too many records of 
such examples in the world. ' 

It may be asked why I have chosen to fulfil 
my task in the epistolary form. I answer, Be- 
cause it is more easy, and less stately and 
pretending than the set style of modern bio- 
graphy, which, by its measured formality, re- 
strains the writer from giving free expression 
to his thoughts and recollections. It also 
admits of the introduction of more familiar 
incidents ; and one fireside incident related 
with simplicity, not unfrequently affords more 
real insight into character than a large volume 
of mere general descriptions. And while this 
easier form will allow me to use with freedom 
the language of affection and gratitude, — which, 
as a son, I must employ, if I write at all, — it 
will enable me to point out, without the stiff- 
ness which often deters rather than invites a 

22 a mother's portrait. 

reader, the lessons to be learned from a Chris- 
tian example. 

These letters are accompanied with engraved 
illustrations, for the purpose, not only of pro- 
ducing on your mind more distinct and pleas- 
ing impressions of what you read; but also of 
stimulating you, and all who may peruse them, 
to cultivate any taste which the Almighty 
Creator may have implanted within you for 
the beautiful. It is a gracious design of God 
that we should be educated and refined by 
such means, as well as by the purifying les- 
sons of his holy word. What beauty has he 
not profusely scattered around us, in the forms 
of the universe, his great handy work ! Can 
we suppose that we are thus encircled with 
beauty, and grace, and grandeur, without a 
beneficent purpose ? Let me earnestly advise 
you, especially while your younger faculties 
are awake with wonder, to store the mind 
with images of all that is most lovely in form 
and color, and most marvellous in design. 
You will reap the benefit afterwards, and to 
the end of life. 


It is not only of such materials that the 
mind compiles its most pleasurable stores; but 
they are most soothing and refreshing amidst 
the corroding and anxious cares of our earthly 
existence. The remembrance of these is always 
fresh and green, however sterile and desolate 
present and actual circumstances may become. 
It is related of Alexander the Great, that in 
all his wars he carried with him a copy of 
the Iliad, on which, as his richest treasure, 
he laid his active brain to rest at night ; and 
it is said that our own great statesman, Wil- 
liam Pitt, would retire from the stormiest de- 
bate on war in the House of Commons, and 
read in the stately and transcendent pages of 
"Paradise Lost' : until morning dawned. It 
is thus that the busiest and most sagacious 
minds devised a way to restore the health 
and purity of the intellect, after it had been 
dulled and worn with the grosser combat of 
the common affairs of life. 

I shall commence my task with endeavoring 
to set before you in writing our dear Mother's 
Portrait, I am prompted to do this by the - v 

24 a mother's portrait. 

remembrance of haying often experienced a 
sense of want on reading biographies which 
have contained no description of the person 
whose life was related. In such works a feel- 
ing of vagueness accompanies one all the way 
through. For want of a substantial form which 
the mind can keep before itself, the words 
spoken and the acts performed by the person 
whose life we are reading, make an unsatisfac- 
tory impression. How different from the real- 
ity which is embodied in Bosw T ell's " Life of 
Johnson," where we seem to live with the 
grand mental laborer, to see how he looked, 
and to hear the sonorous tones in which he 
uttered his weighty sayings ! How different 
from the lifelike picture, almost unconsciously 
drawn • of himself by Wesley in his " Journals,'* 
which, after all that others have done so well, 
are his best biography ! 

I shall endeavor, then, to place before you a 
Mother's Portrait; but shall not attempt high- 
coloring and finish. You may term it rather 
a crayon sketch with a free pencil; but it shall 
be, as far as I can render it so, true to the life. 


Our beloved Mother was of middle stature, of 
good proportionate form, and, in the latter part 
of her life, somewhat broad and full in person; 
yet she was remarkably quick and lively in her 
step, and uniformly active in her movements. 
Her countenance was fresh, healthy, and open. 
It was delicately fair in complexion, and slightly 
tinged on the cheeks with color that deepened 
with the increasing strength of inward emotion. 
There was a peach-like bloom of health and peace 
almost constantly upon it. The face was more 
round than oval, in its general outline ; somewhat 
high at the cheek-bones ; and, as with all good 
faces, the features were well-defined and harmoni- 
ous. Her eyes were gray, and, as if specially 
designed for extended observation, they were 
widely set in their distance from each other, and 
full towards the outer corners. The nose was 
significant of decision and strength, and projected 
in full proportion from the face. Her lips were 
thin, but the mouth was very expressive of 
natural cheerfulness. The chin was a little 
pointed, and inclined to the double form when 
it rested against the neck. Her hair was dark 

26 a mother's portrait. 

brown, which she wore plainly parted from the 
middle of the forehead, and hanging low and 
plentifully down at the sides of the face. The 
countenance throughout was tenderly expressive 
both of thought and feeling. At seasons of de- 
liberation it was seriously placid and calm; but 
immediately on entering into conversation with 
her friends, it kindled up into cheerfulness, and 
not ^infrequently appeared radiant with joy. 
Religious reverence was its great characteristic ; 
and on the whole, I should say that a face more 
sweet, more spiritual, more withdrawn at times 
from earthly objects, and more fully bathed in 
genuine devotion, I do not remember to have 

Filial attachment may influence my judgment ; 
but to me, hers was a countenance not surpassed 
for womanly purity either by picture or reality. 
There were seasons of motherly association with 
her family, when her entire nature seemed to be 
suffused with holy feeling, and to tremble in a 
delirium of love. How sweetly serene and rapt 
with devotion was that countenance when lifted 
up to heaven as she knelt in prayer with her 


children! And how much of celestial radiance 
seemed to linger upon it after she left her closet, 
where, under the bright cloud that had over- 
shadowed her, she had knelt and held communion 
with God ! Religion literally made her face to 
shine. All its lines, by the influence of her fre- 
quent and prolonged visits to the secret place of 
the Divine pavilion, seemed touched into child- 
like simplicity and purity ; and her whole charac- 
ter was redolent of the richly-perfumed incense 
of spiritual devotion. How that image of piety 
and worship abides with me through succeeding 
years ! Her miniature portrait, painted some 
years ago, now lies open in its locket before me ; 
and at my father's hangs against the wall an 
excellent three-quarters portrait of her by my 
friend, Mr. Green, and for which she sat to him 
in London a short time before she died. But her 
true and full image is in my heart. There it has 
been set and worn from early childhood ; nor will 
all the passing joys and sorrows of human life 
chase away its deep and indelible impression 

Her dress was neat; but it was as far removed 

28 a mother's portrait. 

from uniform plainness and preciseness on the one 
hand, as it was from worldly fashion and adorn- 
ment on the other. Indeed, with her, as with 
most persons, the outward dress was character- 
istic of the mind within. Her avowed principle 
was to wear good clothing ; believing, as she said, 
that it was most economical by its durability ; 
but she was careful to obey the apostolic injunc- 
tion, and to " adorn herself in modest apparel," as 
"becometh a woman professing godliness." 

Her voice and manners were gentle, but de- 
cided. There was nothing of hurry in her words 
and actions : nothing of outward bustle and ex- 
citement, such as you often find in persons who 
profess to have numerous engagements, and much 
to do, but who in reality accomplish very little. 
A serene atmosphere seemed ever to be around 
her; but with this there was a powerful and 
impressive influence attending all she said and 
did. Mother was, in the true sense of the word, 
a gentle-wom.a,n; but calm energy was her great 
characteristic, — so much so, that introduce her 
where you would, and associate her as you 
pleased, she would soon make herself felt as a 


woman of influence and force of character. Her 
family and friends instinctively looked up to her 
for direction and counsel. Strangers soon felt 
themselves under the spell of her character ; and 
seat her where you might, she speedily made that 
the chief seat in the room, or the head place at 
the table. Sound common sense — that every-day 
quality for life, and which, where not possessed, 
is not to be obtained by any effort, or at any 
price — she had in an eminent degree; and this, 
combined with unaffected generosity and affability, 
rendered her the chosen friend and counsellor of 
many. With such a combination of qualities, you 
will be prepared to understand, my dear Sister, 
how it was that your Mother has obtained so 
lasting a reputation in the city of her residence ; 
and that, though several years have passed away 
since her sun sank below the horizon of mortal 
sight, yet the reflected light of her character still 
lingers and shines among so many. Of her it 
may be truly said, " The memory of the just is 
blessed;" and how such a character was formed: 
what were the circumstances surrounding and 
attending it from early life ; and what were the 


30 a mother's portrait. 

means by which it was matured in its excellence — 
it will be both interesting and profitable for you 
to know. These I shall endeavor to describe in 
successive letters ; and as you will now have 
before you, from the hand of filial affection, the 
outline figure and countenance of a Mother whom 
you but dimly remember, I shall proceed to 
detail to you the particulars of her life and eon- 
duct. Some of these may be deemed trivial by 
others, but they will not be uninteresting to you. 

ttttt XL 

"Forgive the strain, 

Enamoured ; for to man in every clime, 

The sweetest, dearest, noblest spot below, 

Is that which gives him birth ; and long it wears 

A charm unbroken, and its honored name, 

Hallowed by memory, is fondly breathed 

With his last lingering sigh." 


Your Mother was born at Beverley, in York- 
shire, November the 20th, 1786. This place of 
her birth is one of the most pleasing towns in the 
kingdom. It is impossible to pass through its 

32 a mother's portrait. 

clean streets, to see its quiet mansions and gar- 
dens, open spaces and market-place, without dis- 
cerning the sources of the health and prosperity 
of its inhabitants. It is a town of true English 
comfort ; and the rich and well-cultivated land 
around it, with the salubrious air, renders it pro- 
motive of longevity. To see Beverley in full 
advantage, however, it should be viewed from the 
elevated ground on the west, at some half-mile 
distant; whence its long line of buildings, with 
the minster towers and parish church, embosomed 
in rich sylvan scenery, cannot fail to produce in 
the mind high gratification and delight. It might 
be added, that Beverley is not only pleasant and 
picturesque in situation, but interesting on account 
of its great antiquity. It is one of those towns 
which originated with the ancient Britons, by 
whom it was named Beaverhc, from a lake on its 
western side where the beaver was hunted ; and 
still bears in its records and relics proofs of 
having passed through all the changes of Boman, 
Saxon, Danish, and Norman possession and exist- 
ence. Above all, its minster, so beautifully 
chaste and feminine in its proportions and orna- 


ments, its broad massive parish church, and its 
numerous remains of monasteries and religious 
houses, attest that it has been a town of ecclesi- 
astical distinction. 

The street of this pleasant and venerable town 
in which your Mother was born is called Lairgate. 
It is the most westerly of all the streets, and 
extends from Keldgate, on the south, to North-bar 
street — from which the accompanying view of 
Beverley is taken. The house stood on the left- 
hand side. 

The name of our dear Mother's father was 
Caborn, from, as it would seem, the village of 
that name near to Caistor, in Lincolnshire, the 
original place of his ancestors. Her mother's 
name was Harrison, and she came from Louth, in 
the same county ; as may be seen from a tablet, 
erected to the memory of her brother, in the south 
transept of Beverley minster. As soon after her 
birth as convenient, your Mother was baptized, 
out of the old octagonal and curiously carved 
font, now standing at the west end of the parish 
church of St. Mary's, and was there named 


34: a mother's portrait. 

If I did not remember that I am not writing 
for you only, my dear Sister, I should linger over 
old Beverley. For of how great importance to 
human character is the place of birth and of early 
associations — the place in w T hich the mind first 
collects its materials for thought and reflection ! 
These give form and coloring to scenes framed by 
the imagination, and therefore affect us throughout 
life ; nay, may, for aught we know, extend their 
influence into eternity. The place of childhood 
is never forgotten, remove where we will or be 
situated as we may. A cheerful sunlight rests 
upon it, and renders it radiant in the remembrance. 
It is the pivot centre of the mind, the warm and 
unforgotten nest of the heart; yea, the very 
Eden of our life, where, before we were driven 
forth into the world, we plucked without restraint 
the flowers and fruits of innocence and joy. 
Even the emigrant, who adopts another country 
as his home, never forgets the place of his birth. 
He may be surrounded by more classic forms and 
finer scenery; more cloudless skies may bend 
over him ; but to him childhood's home surpasses 
all he elsewhere beholds, as he shows by speaking 


of it so frequently to his friends or his family, 
and by relating events and incidents of his early 
days again and again. And as " the captive hast- 
eneth to be loosened/' so he seeks to return to 
his native place. It was evident that our dear 
Mother felt all this. She was fondly attached to 
Beverley, often spoke of it to her children, and 
related to them what she saw and heard there 
when a child, until we all felt that town to be the 
place of a second home. 

Our Mother's childhood was spent in Beverley, 
and was especially marked by what is usually 
described in children as " innocent simplicity." 
But even in her earliest years there were indica- 
tions of the intelligence, guilelessness, and strong 
affection, which were so distinguishable in her 
character in after-life. Indeed, the characteristics 
of our first dispositions and feelings usually remain 
with us through life, as well as our resemblances 
in feature and countenance. We have no essential 
changes, naturally. Those we knew when chil- 
dren are, for the most part, only more fully 
developed, not altered in their personal character 
and temperament. The dispositions of childhood 

36 A mother's portrait. 

may not unfrequently be traced even after con- 

Early indications of goodness are often fonnd 
in those whom God condescends to employ honor- 
ably in his Church, as we may learn from the 
records of Holy Scripture, as well as from general 
observation. So it was with our Mother. She 
was a child of more than ordinary promise ; and 
her sweetness of disposition made her a favorite 
in the family and neighborhood. But more espe- 
cially was she a favorite with her father ; for, in 
addition to her winning qualities, she most resem- 
bled him in disposition. 

Soon after she could run, she learned the letters 
of the alphabet, and began to learn to read. Her 
young mind was quick and eager ; and she would 
climb the knees of her father and others almost 
as soon as she could speak, and entreat them to 
teach her to read. And often have I heard her 
relate to her own young family the struggle she 
had, when a child, in her "pursuit of knowledge 
under difficulties ;" and instance, in her own 
cheerful manner, the humorous misdirection given 
to her on one occasion by her father, who was 


wearied by her frequent questions concerning the 
true pronunciation of words. She had climbed 
his knee after dinner, and was trying to spell out 
the words on a newspaper-sheet, many of which 
were too difficult for her. She spelt out one, and 
another, and another, by the help of her father, 
who was engaged in some other reading, when at 
length she came to the word vouch, and having 
spelt it, she interrupted him by asking for the 
sound of the word. He told her; and directed 
her in all her future difficulties with words to 
read vouch in each case : a direction not the most 
judicious to give an artless child, but pardonable 
under the circumstances. Her vouches, however, 
in newspaper reading became too numerous, and 
extorted too many smiles, to be continued long; 
and discovering the fraud, she refused to proceed 
farther in that manner, requiring henceforth a 
separate pronunciation for each new and difficult 

By perseverance these and other difficulties 
were overcome ; and she imbibed betimes that 
love and habit of reading, as well as of acquiring 
information, which remained with her through 


life. From the apparently trivial incident just 
related, I may also remark, that she learned a 
lesson for life — not to read either books or human 
character and experience without endeavoring to 
understand what was read. And thus it is that 
from what appear to be at the time unimportant 
circumstances in human life, a future settled 
course is pursued : like many of England's well- 
trodden roads, first formed by the wandering of 
cattle ; or like many of her streams, turned in their 
first course by, perhaps, the root of an oak, or the 
small fragment of a rock. 

Even at this early period the Holy Spirit gra- 
ciously shed an enlightening and subduing influ- 
ence upon her mind, so that she was led by a 
power which she understood not, and when but 
five or six years old, to go into secret and pray 
that God would make her good and happy. It 
was no small mercy to be thus soon the subject 
of Divine guidance and blessing. This mercy, it 
is to be feared, is not sufficiently estimated and 
sought for " little children," though our Lord has 
expressly declared that they are to come unto 
him. There is restraining and preventing grace 


for them before conversion; for if there be any 
religious difference in the young, it is surely to be 
attributed to God. Our Mother was not destitute 
of moral and religious teaching by her friends ; 
but, in addition to these, she was favored by the 
drawings of the good Spirit. 

When her childhood was passed, she became 
exposed to great danger by being thrown into 
scenes of gayety and dissipation in high and 
fashionable life. The lady of a nobleman who 
was colonel of the county militia, having observed 
her engaging manners, would frequently invite 
her to their house while they were in Beverley. 
When the regiment removed from the town, the 
lady begged that Bessy — our Mother, then a very 
young girl — might accompany her in her travels 
through the kingdom during the continuance of 
the war, promising to treat her youthful charge 
always as a friend, and to studiously promote her 
comfort and advancement in life. With trembling 
anxiety on the part of her parents, the daughter 
was surrendered to the lady, and remained under 
this new care for several years. 

In this novel situation our Mother saw much 

40 a mother's portrait. 

of life, as the varieties of human manners and 
character are termed. She travelled over most 
parts of England, Scotland, and Ireland, in the 
most stirring times ; and being an attentive ob- 
server, had in her mind the remembrance of many 
impressive and amusing facts and incidents, which 
she used to relate in after-life to her family and 
friends. Among these were tales of the war-time, 
including sudden, unexpected, and immediate calls 
upon the regiment to march to new stations : 
strange, eccentric characters among the soldiers : 
odd adventures on the road : seizures of baggage- 
wagons from enraged farmers : overthrow of car- 
riages : a stormy crossing of the Irish Channel, 
when the passengers were fastened down under 
the hatchway, while the ship plunged and creaked, 
and they expected every moment to be drowned : 
traits of Irish and Scotch character, — of Paddy's 
brogue and wit, poverty and blunders, and of 
Sawney's cool, self-protective words and conduct : 
scenes of mountain and valley, of river, lake, and 
cataract ; and reminiscences of gayety, disappoint- 
ment, and chagrin, in the whirling circles of high 
life. These stories, related with zest, beguiled 


many a long winter's evening in her family ; and 
wrung from her own cheerful heart, as well as 
from her listening children, unrestrained laughter, 
as healthful as it was joyous. But in all these 
recitals she was careful to set forth the moral 
lesson to be learned : to condemn the evil and to 
praise the good. 

I may sum up the brief sketch of this period 
of her life, by recording her own grateful testi- 
mony, that amidst these changeful experiences 
she was mercifully preserved. She never loved 
the world, in the sense of that word as applied to 
human attachment. She saw early through the 
world's false appearances ; and desired not its 
pleasures, honors, or wealth. Admitted by her 
patroness to an intimacy that was highly flattering, 
she might have been caught by worldly fascina- 
tion. But she was enabled to employ reflection 
as she looked behind the scenes of the glittering 
drama. She discerned how restless, how wearied 
and discontented, were even the higher perform- 
ers : she conceived a strong and abiding distaste 
for it ; and so turned from it to seek satisfaction 
for her yearning heart in affection for her father, 


42 a mother's portrait. 

and in friendship with a few select young persons 
more suited to her than the high-born of her sex. 
At the age of twenty, or nearly, she returned to 
her father's home. 




a - it ' 



%t\\n HL 


happy they ! the happiest of their kind ! 

Whom gentler stars unite, and in one fate 

Their hearts, their fortunes, and their beings blend. 

'T is not the coarser tie of human laws, 

Unnatural oft, and foreign to the mind, 

That binds their peace, but harmony itself, 

Attuning all their passions into love : 

Where Friendship full exerts her softest power, 

Perfect esteem, enlivened by desire 

Ineffable, and sympathy of soul : 

Thought meeting thought, and will preventing will, 

With boundless confidence ; for naught but love 

Can answer love, and render bliss secure.'' 


44 a mother's portrait. 

Though now with her own family and friends, 
our Mother was not free from danger ; for she 
was at that critical period of life when prudence 
is perhaps most needed, though often least exer- 
cised. The painful and abiding consequences of a 
false step when the girl is entering into womanhood, 
thousands can testify by sorrowful experience. 

Our dear Mother had several professed admirers 
and suitors. Father, who was then a young man 
of nearly the same age as herself, was among 
them. He was descended on the paternal side 
from the Jobsons, who were cattle-graziers near 
Horncastle, in Lincolnshire ; and, on the maternal, 
from a ship-owner named Foster, formerly of 
Hull, and afterwards of Barrow, on the south side 
of the Humber. This last-named ancestor of ours 
was drowned at " Spurn Point," while there for 
some business concerning a home-bound vessel, 
and while seeking to save the crew of another 
owner's ship, which in a storm had been driven 
upon that rocky and dangerous angle of the south- 
east coast of Holderness, in the East Riding of 
Yorkshire : a vignette of which is given at the 
head of this letter. 


It does not appear that either our grandfather 
or grandmother Jobson was decidedly pious. Yet 
they must have had some convictions in favor of 
religion ; for I have heard my father say, that one 
of the first incidents of his own life which he 
could remember, was associated with a scene of 
persecution against the Methodists assembled for 
worship in his father's kitchen, near the market- 
place at Horncastle. Grandfather Jobson united 
himself for the war time to the North Lincoln 
militia : lost his wife : married again ; and died at 
Preston, in Lancashire, leaving some descendants 
through a son William, since deceased. 

Father also united himself to this county militia. 
He uniformly kept apart from the dissipated and 
immoral ; so that for his serious and prudent 
demeanor he was in his youth called a " Method- 
ist." This was felt by him at that time to be a 
stigma; for he had then no personal association 
with the followers of Wesley, or, indeed, with 
evangelical Christians, to whom the opprobrious 
term was in those days more generally applied. 
Since then, he has happily learned to take the 

46 a mother's portrait. 

name which was flung at him as a reproach for a 
mark of real honor. 

It was not unreasonable to expect that two so 
congenial in disposition and mind as our Mother 
and father, when they became acquainted, should 
desire the closest union. Their love was pure 
and strong. In both it was what is usually termed 
" first love ;" so the heart of neither had been 
scathed or exhausted in affection ; and their 
attachment was deep and abiding. At the outset 
of their more private intercourse, there was one 
imprudent circumstance which produced its painful 
consequence. Their intimacy commenced without 
our Mother having first sought counsel of her 
parents. It may be deemed by some, that it 
would have been premature at the time to seek 
such counsel, inasmuch as no formal declaration 
of affection had then been made. But there is an 
instinctive knowledge in true love; and none of 
us, my dear Sister, ought to allow our affections 
to become entangled and engaged, without refer- 
ring to the counsel of those whose natural duty it 
is to direct us. A first step to that which must 


issue in most important consequences, assuredly 
ought not to be taken without parental advice and 

In this instance, as it must ever be in all trans- 
gressions of duty, the fruit was bitterness. One 
summer's evening, our Mother was walking across 
the fields with her suitor, when they unexpectedly 
met her father, who, although not unobservant of 
their attentions to each other in company, did not 
expect to see them thus associated in a retired 
walk. In his surprise, grandfather Caborn asked 
suddenly, " Bessy, where are you going ?" Con- 
fused by the discovery made, Mother replied 
hastily, and in words that might be literally true, 
but which always afterwards were remembered 
by her as words of foolish and dishonorable con- 
cealment, "Why, Mr. Jobson was so kind as to 
see me home, and I am walking with him part of 
the way back again." Such an answer was not 
likely to relieve the case; and her father said, 
somewhat sharply, " Come home with me !" She 
replied, in disobedient words which she never for- 
got, " I shall not !" This scene was followed by 
tears of sorrow, and by forgiveness ; and led to 

48 a mother's portrait. 

explanations which had a pleasing and satisfactory 
result to all the parties concerned. 

On the 7th of September, 1809, our dear 
Mother and father were united in marriage at 
Dovercourt, in the county of Essex, where the 
North Lincoln militia was then stationed. Our 
Mother thus entered on a restless and trying life. 
She had at that time no fixed home, but was 
moving from place to place ; and though from 
father's office — which was to provide for the regi- 
ment — he was able to secure for his wife the most 
available comforts, yet the inconveniences and 
hardships of a soldier's life were such as it was 
far more easy to relate afterwards, than to bear 
at the time. But our dear Mother's cheerful and 
buoyant spirit upheld her. I have often heard 
her tell of those days of danger and difficulty — 
of fears through Luddite malcontents in Lanca- 
shire, and Irish insurrectionists across the Chan- 
nel. Afterwards, she remembered that period of 
trial with cheerful gratitude ; so that when in the 
lapse of years father had, under her advice, re- 
signed his place in the army, and returned from 
the delivery at the post-office of his letter of 


resignation, saying, " Now my soldier's life is 
ended !" she burst into tears ; and on being re- 
minded that it was with her full consent the resig- 
nation had been sent in, she replied, " Yes ; but I 
cannot help the tears that flow from the memory 
of the past ; for though trying in some of its por- 
tions, yet it is to me full of grateful interest." 

In these circumstances of a soldier's wandering 
life her first two children, John and myself, were 
born. When the peace of 1815 was proclaimed, 
the militia returned to its own county of Lincoln, 
and for the most part was broken up. At first, 
father and Mother went to reside at Boston ; and 
there sister Anne and brother David were born. 
This town is now sunk clown to one of less than 
second-rate importance ; but it was six hundred 
years ago one of the most busy and prosperous 
of the ports of England. It is also honorably 
associated with the names of several of the " Pil- 
grim Fathers," who were driven by persecution 
to America in the seventeenth century ; and with 
the name of Fox the martyrologist, who was born 
there, and whose huge folio volume on the mur- 
derous deeds of Popery, with its salutary engrav- 
3 E 

50 a mother's portrait. 

ings, you will not fail to remember. This town, 
however, will be principally known to you by its 
stately church-tower, of three hundred feet high, 
standing near to the line of the Great Northern 
Railway, and finished at the top with its beautiful 
octagonal lantern, which in former times was 
lighted at night for the benefit of voyagers and 
travellers in the Lincolnshire Fens, before those 
parts were drained and enclosed. After the con- 
clusion of the war, our dear parents resided at 
Boston for a few years. Probably they were 
drawn to it by family associations — father's uncles 
having resided there and in the neighborhood. 
But it did not long prove satisfactory to them as 
a place of residence, though several impressive 
providential circumstances, both to themselves 
and their children, became indelibly associated 
with it. And at length father finding it incon- 
venient frequently to travel to Lincoln, where the 
remaining staff of the militia was to which he still 
belonged, they removed to that city, and made it 
the place of their permanent abode. 

Over the description of ancient Lincoln I could 
fain linger fondly, as well as over Beverley, en- 


cleared as it is to us by such deep aud varied 
associations. But to yourself this is scarcely 
needful. Its time-honored and grand remains — 
the magnificent cathedral, enthroned so proudly 
" on its sovereign hill/' the superb ruins of the 
Episcopal palace, the stern old Castle Keep, the 
imposing Roman North Gate, and its numerous 
other mementoes of military, feudal, and ecclesi- 
astical influence — must often seem to present 
themselves almost to your sight; nor are you 
unfamiliar with the names of historic fame con- 
nected with old Lincoln. I need only observe, 
in concluding this letter, that to us, as Christians, 
the grand old city has still nobler attractions, 
inasmuch as it was there the work of conversion 
began in our family : it was the spiritual birth- 
place of some who were near and dear to us and 
have " passed into the skies," as well as of some 
that remain upon earth. 

Jfftttt ib. 

"Open your gates, ye everlasting piles ! 
Types of the spiritual Church which God hath reared. 
Not loth we quit the newly-hallowed sward 
And humble altar, 'mid your sumptuous aisles 
To kneel, — or thrid your intricate defiles ; — 
Or down the nave to pace in motion slow, 
Watching, with upward eye, the tall tower grow 
And mount, at every step, with living wiles 
Instinct, — to rouse the heart and lead the will 
By a bright ladder to the world above. 
Open your gates, ye monuments of love 
Divine ! thou Lincoln, on thy sovereign hill ! 
Thou stately York ! and ye, whose splendors cheer 
Isis and Cam, to patient science dear !" 



In the city of Lincoln, when our dear Mother 
went to reside there, her own father had already 
settled, with his unmarried daughter, Aunt Sarah. 
He lived in a stone house on the right-hand side 
of the road leading from the Castle Hill to the 
'Chequer Gate of the Cathedral ; and had by this 
time become the subject of the renewing and 
saving grace of God. 

Grandfather Caborn's conversion was somewhat 
remarkable in its circumstances ; and considering 
his relation to her, as well as the fact that he was 
the chosen instrument of Mother's conversion, I 
deem it well to describe his spiritual case, and 
what led to his serious impressions. He had re- 
tired from active life, and spent much of his time 
in fishing and shooting. Of fishing he was pas- 
sionately fond, as the family on that side seem to 
have been. • I have heard Mother relate how, in 
her young days, she used to accompany him to 
angle in summer, and used to sit with him in a 
boat, through successive hours, until late in the 
evening, reading to him, or preparing his baits. 
He was also fond of his gun. One day, he was 
shooting on the ground south of the Bishops 



Palace ruins, when, in running to take up a fallen 
bird, lie stumbled over the stump of a broken 
tree, and hurt his leg. Being at an advanced 
age, the hurt threatened to be serious in its con- 
sequences, and confined him for a considerable 
time to his chamber. Here he began to reflect on 
his past life, and to think of an approaching eter- 
nity, for which he knew himself to be unprepared. 
He had in the room a book of devotions by 
the Rev. Robert Russell, — a book well-known a 
generation or two ago : he opened it on a form of 
prayer just suited to his feelings, and began to 
repeat the prayer with all his heart. He was 
graciously heard in heaven ; and the act led to 
true repentance. Afraid to be half-hearted, he 
earnestly resolved to write down all his past sins, 
so far as he could remember them, and to seek 
forgiveness for them, one by one. The long, 
dark catalogue, when he had drawn it out, as well 
it might, almost drove him to despair. He spent 
weeks of contrite bitterness, could scarcely eat, 
drink, or sleep ; and his friends were afraid he 
would lose his reason. They remonstrated; but 
he persevered until he obtained deliverance. 


One day, while agonizing for mercy in the name 
of the Lord Jesus Christ, with the long list of his 
offences spread out before him, he was enabled by 
the faith of the heart to appropriate the merits of 
his Divine Saviour to his own case as a sinner, 
when he immediately felt flow into his soul "the 
peace of God which passeth all understanding," 
and became divinely assured that his sins which 
were many were all forgiven. 

He walked now for some time in the light of 
God's countenance. But an hour came when 
under special provocation he gave way to anger, 
and was brought into the darkness of condemna- 
tion. He lost the Comforter ; but mourned his 
absence night and day until he returned. Having 
no worldly cares, he devoted himself to a wholly 
religious life ; and attended for Divine worship 
at the cathedral twice a day, not only on the 
Sabbath, but on each day of the week. In win- 
ter-time, it must have been a cold, shivering ser- 
vice for him, an aged man, in that immense hollow 
pile, where his only companions would be — exclu- 
sive of a few chirping robins — the dignitary in 
residence, the priest-vicar for the day, the organ- 

56 a mother's portrait. 

ist, and the choristers, with now and then an 
attendant from curiosity. But as regularly as 
the cathedral bell began to sound its summons 
for worshippers, he sought his hat and stick, and 
pacing his way through " the long-drawn aisle" of 
the nave of that venerable building, and entering 
the choir by the door of the organ-screen, he took 
his place in the pews. 

He was considerably more than sixty years of 
age when he experienced this inward and spiritual 
change, and he lived to be eighty. He continued 
his attendance at the cathedral to that advanced 
age, as also the rigid practice of fasting from food 
of any kind, until six o'clock in the evening, on 
Wednesdays and Fridays. This latter practice, 
to such extent, he used to say, he would not 
recommend to others ; (for, no doubt, he felt its 
severity at his great age, and with his rapid waste 
of life;) but, having vowed unto the Lord con- 
cerning it when he had yielded to anger, he was 
faithful to perform that which he had vowed. 
His attendance at the cathedral services, and at 
the administration of the Lord's Supper, attracted 
the attention of the minster clergy. His devout 


manner impressed them : they visited him, and 
conversed with him. But they were perplexed 
by what he related to them of his conversion, and 
of his religious experience. They said he. must 
be in error : such things as he spoke of only 
belonged to the clay of Pentecost, and the times 
of the apostles : there was no such thing as the 
assurance of salvation now ! Yet he remained 
unshaken, testified of what he knew, and sup- 
ported what he said by passages from the Scrip- 
tures and the Book of Common Pra}^er. He 
used to express great regret that he turned to 
God so late in life; yet he was a truly happy 
saint. I well remember the upright, slender old 
man speaking with thankfulness of the goodness 
and mercy of God to him ; and how the swift 
tears of joy flowed down his aged cheeks, as he 
enclaimed in filial love, " Abba, Father ! Abba, 
Father !" 

There were, indeed, times when he was so 
"filled with the Spirit" that his frame shook with 
the Divine Presence. He spent all his spare time 
and money among the sick and the poor. He had 
for many years greatly enjoyed life, with all its 

58 a mother's portrait. 

warm associations, and was naturally afraid of 
death ; so that when first attacked by the sickness 
which brought him to his end, he shivered and 
shrank away from the cold river, being much har- 
assed by the Evil One. But by prayer and faith 
he obtained strength to go over Jordan : said he 
knew that the Lord would not only save him, but 
also his children's children; and died on the 3d 
of July, 1819, triumphantly exclaiming, " The 
room is full of light : angels are come for me ! — 
4 grave, where is thy victory ? death, where 
is thy sting?'" 

As soon as grandfather became himself a par- 
taker of the saving grace of God, he began to 
desire and seek the salvation of others, especially 
of his own family. His strong affection for Mother 
led him to visit her daily, — though living more 
than a mile from our dwelling, which was below 
the " Steep Hill," — and constrained him to speak 
frequently to her on the necessity of seeking the 
salvation of her soul. She readily listened to 
him, and rejoiced in his peaceful and happy condi- 
tion. But what he said concerning regeneration 


as an essential preparation for heaven, was as 
mysterious to her as that which was spoken by 
the Saviour to Nicodemus of old. One day, how- 
ever, when her father had been speaking earnestly 
to her on this great work of the Holy Spirit, she 
evinced considerable emotion ; and he invited her 
to accompany him on Good-Friday — which was 
near — to receive the Lord's Supper at the cathe- 
dral. She promised him that she would do so ; 
but perhaps as much under the influence of filial 
obedience as of any other feeling. Then her father 
observed, that the sacrament of the Lord's Supper 
was a very solemn ordinance ; and, after explain- 
ing to her its nature and object, he spoke to her 
of the preparatory duties to be performed before 
going to partake of it, and especially of repentance 
and earnest prayer. She said, "I will pray to 
God ; but what I have to repent of I do not 
know, except it be the want of sufficient love and 
obedience to you." " There is no necessity on 
that account," said the father ; " but there is for 
your want of love and obedience to God, your 
Heavenly Father ; and that you may see this, let 
us now take the Ten Commandments, and read 

60 a mother's portrait. 

them one by one. I will read, and you shall ex- 
amine yourself and answer as I proceed." 

The Bible or the Prayer-book was brought, and 
the reading began. To the first commandment, 
not knowing its spiritual meaning, and viewing it 
only in a literal interpretation, Mother answered, 
"I have not to repent in relation to that com- 
mandment; for I always acknowledged the true 
God." Neither could she perceive that she was 
guilty of transgression in relation to the second 
and third commandments. But when the fourth 
was read, she said, " I must acknowledge that I 
have not always obeyed that, and kept the Sab- 
bath holy to the Lord." The commandment now 
came home to her heart with all the power of the 
law which convinces of sin : the Spirit's sword 
pierced her : she was soon broken down into deep 
and godly sorrow ; and not only before her father, 
but alone in her chamber, she confessed her sins 
and prayed for Divine forgiveness. Light now 
began to shine on other commandments concern- 
ing which she had previously declared herself to 
be "Not guilty." She discerned how she had 
committed the sin of idolatry with regard to her- 


self, her family, and the world ; how she had used 
the name of the Lord without reverence, and had 
therefore taken it in vain. During the days that 
elapsed before Good-Friday, she sought forgiveness 
with strong cries and many tears. She mourned 
over her sinfulness in the darkness of the night, 
and in secret ; and, wherever she was, poured out 
her complaint to God. 

Good-Friday morning came : she joined her 
aged father, and with much fear and trembling 
entered the cathedral. She penitently engaged 
in the public prayers ; and when she heard the 
minister's sermon on the pitying love of Christ, 
which led him to give himself a ransom for sin- 
ners, she felt her whole nature suffused with godly 
sorrow, so that it seemed as if it would dissolve 
her very life within. The first service being con- 
cluded, Mother remained, with her father and the 
few communicants ; and when at the table of the 
Lord, and while partaking of the emblems and 
memorials of the body and blood of Christ, she 
had such a vivid view of his atoning sacrifice as 
at once inspired her whole soul witli love to him, 
so that, as I have heard her say, she could then 


62 a mother's portrait. 

have shouted aloud her adoration of him. She 
went home still more fully bowed down with 
inward sacred grief, and entered her chamber. 
There she prayed, meditated, recited passages 
of Holy Scripture, and verses of hymns, alter- 
nately. And while pacing the room, and speak- 
ing to herself in the words of that solemn 
hymn on the Crucifixion, by Samuel Wesley the 
elder, — 

" Behold the Saviour of mankind, 
Nailed to the shameful tree ! 
How vast the love that him inclined 
To bleed and die for me ! 

" Hark how he groans, — while nature shakes, 
And earth's strong pillars bend: . 

The temple's veil in sunder breaks, 
The solid marbles rend ! 

" 'Tis done ! the precious ransom's paid : 
'Receive my soul!' he cries: 
See where he bows his sacred head ! 
He bows his head and dies !" — 

she was enabled to apply by faith the efficacious 
merit of Christ's sacrifice to her own case as a 
sinner. And when she reached the remaining 
verse — 


"But soon he'll break death's envious chain, 
And in full glory shine ! 
Lamb of God, was ever pain, 
Was ever love like thine ?" — 

and repeated it, her soul was liberated from its 
sepulchre and grave-clothes of sin ; and she rose 
exultantly into the full light and liberty of a 
spiritual child of God. The Divine testimony of 
her adoption was thus clear and decided. There 
was nothing vague or uncertain in this part of her 
experience. And of how great importance this 
clear sense of her adoption was, the truly spiritual 
believer only can comprehend. It was the strong 
source of that powerful faith which she so fre- 
quently afterwards exercised in prayer, as also of 
her clear trust in Divine providence ; while it 
mingled with and illumined all her thoughts and 
prospects of death and eternity. Good-Friday 
was always after her conversion observed by her as 
a day of commemorating her " death unto sin, and 
new birth unto righteousness ;" and as a solemn 
feast-day to her soul. And nearly all the regen- 
erate children of God must feel that such days 
should be thus gratefully and devoutly marked in 
the calendar of their lives. 


For some time our dear Mother walked in the 
unclouded brightness of the Divine favor. She 
was in the land of Beulah. It seemed a new 
world in which she now lived : creation appeared 
more lovely ; her affections to her family were 
felt to be more pure and strong ; she had no fear 
or sorrow; wondered what temptation was, and 
was ready to say, "My mountain standeth 
strong : I shall never be moved." But, at length, 
the adversary was permitted to approach. He 
came down in great power and wrath : set all her 
past sins in fearful array before her, and with 
aggravating circumstances : tempted her to doubt 
her forgiveness, and to believe that all her joyous 
experience of the love of God was a delusion. 
Satan also injected unbelieving and blasphemous 
thoughts, until he had filled her soul with dark- 
ness. This severe conflict continued for several 
weeks. She loathed food, had but little sleep, 
and the trial almost exhausted her life. But 
amidst it all she struggled to keep hold of Christ, 
— though, as Fletcher says, it was " naked faith 
holding by a naked promise," — and finally gained 
the victory. 


This was, perhaps, the greatest spiritual trial 
she ever endured. It was her fight with Apol- 
lyon, and was strong in her remembrance to the 
end of her days. It was no doubt overruled for 
her religious benefit, and taught her to distinguish 
between sin and the powerful temptations of the 
Evil One : a point of experience on which young 
Christians especially are liable to detrimental and 
discouraging error. She came out of the struggle 
with increased graces : the victory was encourag- 
ing to herself; and she often spoke of it for the 
benefit of others. 

Soon after her conversion, our dear Mother 
began to attend occasionally the Sabbath and 
week-evening services at the Methodist chapel 
in St. Swithin's Lane ; there being at that time 
no evening church service in the city of Lincoln, 
except at St. Martin's, which was a mile distant 
from her home, but whither she sometimes went. 
Her aged father also began to attend the Wes- 
leyan place of worship on Sabbath evenings with 
her. They both found here, under the Good 
Shepherd, green pastures and still waters for the 


66 a mother's portrait. 

soul; and thus, though reckoning themselves 
members of the Established Church, and attend- 
ing its services when practicable, yet, hungering 
and thirsting after righteousness, they persevered 
in going to the Wesleyan chapel on the Sabbath 
and week-day evenings. 

Their attendance at the chapel soon attracted 
the attention of the earnest and pious Methodists 
of that day ; and more especially of a good old 
saint, a class-leader of the name of Noble Sproule. 
In those days, at least, it was rarely or ever the 
case that a devout attendant on the means of 
grace would be left long without personal inquiry 
and invitations. Noble Sproule was a pensioner 
from the army, and spent his whole time in doing 
good. He had raised by his own exertions, under 
the Divine blessing, several of the classes then in 
existence ; and met the members under his care 
principally in his own humble dwelling, up a pas- 
sage on the south side of the river Witham, — left 
of the High Bridge, which is shown, with its fish- 
mongers' obelisk, at the head of Letter XII., — 
and near to which stood the first Methodist 
chapel in Lincoln. This venerable servant of the 


Lord, who was always on the watch for oppor- 
tunities of usefulness, and always gathering into 
his classes persons whom he observed to be 
attentive and devout at the seasons of worship, 
soon spied out Mother and her husband, — who 
had begun to attend the chapel with her. He 
offered to obtain for them a suitable pew, and 
invited them to become weekly associates in his 
house with them that feared the Lord, and spake 
to each other of God's work within them. Father 
and Mother hesitated for some time : not being 
willing to separate themselves so fully from the 
Established Church as this would seem to imply ; 
not comprehending the real character of a Method- 
ist class-meeting; and not deeming themselves 
worthy of being so intimately joined in fellowship 
with the saints of the Lord. 

At length, after the real character and object 
of meeting in class had been explained to them, 
they went, and found what was truly helpful as 
well as congenial to them. Father had by this 
time become seriously impressed with the import- 
ance of personal religion ; indeed, it was impossi- 
ble for one so devoted to his wife as he was, to 

68 a mother's portrait. 

see such earnestness in her and remain uncon- 
cerned. Family prayer had been established, 
though they were not able to conduct it without 
the help of the Book of Common Prayer. This 
was their daily practice for some years ; and they 
used also to read the Collect, Gospel, and Epistle 
for the day. And though the Methodist chapel 
became afterwards their stated place of worship, 
yet they never wholly forsook the services of the 
cathedral and the parish church. The Prayer- 
book also was occasionally used after they ceased 
to trust to it entirely, and after they had learned 
to pour out their hearts before God in free spon- 
taneous petitions. The grateful recollection that 
the Church of England had been the spiritual 
birthplace of Mother, her father, and her hus- 
band, forbade that they should hold it in slight 
estimation, or wholly forsake it. 

But Methodism was our dear Mother's true 
home. There was something in its social, joyous 
character, peculiarly suited to her temperament. 
Its hymns of fervor and true devotion, its unre- 
stricted doctrines of grace and salvation, and its 
varied means of usefulness, well suited her ardent, 


generous, and active soul. The class-meeting was 
especially delightful to her, whose whole spirit 
seemed constantly to be crying out with the 
Spouse in the Canticles, " Tell me, thou whom 
my soul loveth, where thou feedest, and where 
thou makest thy flock to rest at noon." She had 
much to relate of the loving-kindness of the Lord, 
and therefore was glad to join in this more inti- 
mate communion of God's children. 

I remember well those seasons of Christian 
fellowship in the good old man's house, when but 
a little child I went with father and Mother, and 
sat on a low wooden stool by the fireside. Against 
the plain deal table, with the Bible and hymn- 
book open before him, and in a high-backed chair, 
sat the tall old man, Noble Sproule, the class- 
leader, clothed in black, and with a dark brown 
wig over his strongly-marked, weather-beaten, 
soldier-like visage. Around the table, on forms 
and chairs, were as many as the room would 
hold, rich and poor together. A hymn was sung, 
prayer was offered up, the leader related his 
week's spiritual experience, and then in his primi- 
tive style proposed a suitable question to each 

70 a mother's portrait. 

member, such as, "Mary, what is the state of 
your soul ?" " John, has this been a good week 
to you religiously ?" "William, has the Lord 
been blessing you since you were last with us ?" 

At the close of each brief reply, suitable coun- 
sel was given by the leader ; and when the entire 
class had been spoken to, the Bible was read or 
referred to : another verse or two of a hymn was 
sung : perhaps, — 

"Help us to help each other, Lord, 
Each other's cross to bear: 
Let each his friendly aid afford, 
And feel his brother's care." 

Or, it might be, — 

"We all partake the joy of one, 
The common peace we feel: 
A peace to sensual minds unknown, 
A joy unspeakable." 

And sometimes the rapturous enjoyment in the 
meeting was such as required for its expres- 
sion, — 

"And if our fellowship below 
In Jesus be so sweet, 
What heights of rapture shall we know, 
When round his throne we meet!" 


Then prayer was again offered, hearty responses 
were heard ; and the members, after contributing 
to the Church of God as they were able, and 
after expressing kindly inquiries regarding each 
other's welfare, shook hands and parted. 

Scenes of more primitive Christian simplicity 
than these at Noble Sproule's were never wit- 
nessed. How that band of Christ's disciples wept, 
rejoiced, and prayed together ! In that homely 
room, where they " spake often one to another," 
they looked into each other's hearts and lives, and 
found how similar were their temptations and their 
sorrows. How artlessly they told each other 
what God had done for their souls, until they re- 
joiced exceedingly : the very bruised reed breathed 
praise, and the smoking flax burst forth into a 
flame ! And then how with united emphasis they 
lifted the prayer aloud ! The heavens rent at 
their cry, and God came down with saving power ! 
" Joy unspeakable and full of glory " swelled each 
breast, and filled each eye. The lambent flame 
seemed to leap from heart to heart, until the spirit- 
ual rapture was only inferior to that of the tri- 
umphant choir above. 

%tUtx b. 

" The love of Christ doth me constrain 
To seek the wandering sons of men; 
With cries, entreaties, tears, to save, 
To snatch them from the gaping grave. 

" For this let men revile my name : 
No cross I shun, I fear no shame : 
All hail, reproach ! and welcome, pain ! 
Only thy terrors, Lord, restrain." 


It should be remembered that it required some 
degree of moral heroism to become a Methodist, 
at the time father and Mother joined the Society. 


I well recollect that when a child at school I was 
taunted with the name on their account ; and that 
when our parents were going to the class-meeting, 
or to the chapel, ribald Sabbath-breakers would 
scoff at them in the street. This, however, never 
made them shrink from the performance of duty : 
it was rather regarded as a token that Satan was 
enraged because they had escaped from his evil 
slavery ; and so they persevered and rejoiced. 
Persecution sometimes took more offensive forms 
than this, even at that period. Profane youths 
would let sparrows loose in the meetings ; and 
thus the lights were sometimes put out while the 
worshippers were on their knees. It must be 
confessed, that the more influential classes of 
society too often heard of these doings with com- 
placency; for it was deemed any thing but re- 
spectable to be a Methodist, and the persecution 
of Methodists by such means was, by some, only 
reckoned " good pastime." Our dear parents clung 
to their new profession in spite of the world's 
judgment that it was disreputable ; and were not 
backward in showing that, whatever the world 
might say or do, they were determined to be on 
4 g 


the Lord's side. I remember when the square in 
front of our house at St. Mark's Place was occu- 
pied by Methodist ministers who came to preach 
there in the open air, how father and Mother 
welcomed them, took out chairs for them, and 
risked both chairs and windows ; for stones would 
sometimes be thrown on these occasions, and 
something like a riot be attempted. 

These, however, were but mild forms of perse- 
cution, as compared with what was experienced 
by those who had courage enough to take upon 
them the opprobrious name of "Methodist" in 
the beginning. A rapid glance at the manner in 
which Methodism was introduced into Lincoln- 
shire, and at its local history up to the time that 
our dear Mother became connected with it, may 
enable you to understand the position and influ- 
ence of the Church she had now joined, and with 
which she was actively and usefully associated to 
the end of her life on earth ; as well as to become 
acquainted with the character and labors of the 
first instruments employed by God for its estab- 
lishment in the land. 

Of that lamentable state of depravity and spirit- 


ual degradation into which England had too gen- 
erally sunk before Wesley and Whitefield began 
their evangelical labors, Lincolnshire largely par- 
took. It seems, indeed, to have had in this 
respect a bad preeminence, and to have been 
morally worse than most other counties. Fearful 
ignorance, love of cruel and brutal sports, vulgar 
drunkenness, and other gross forms of wickedness, 
mingled with pitiable superstition, marked its 
population. For a considerable time after the 
Wesleys had commenced their itinerant work, 
though this was their native county, the benighted 
people of Lincolnshire had shared little of their 
labors, compared with the poor superstitious 
Papists of Ireland, the miners of Wales, the keel- 
men of the Tyne, the colliers of Yorkshire, Staf- 
fordshire, and Kingswood, and the smugglers and 
miners of Cornwall. This might be from the 
comparative isolation of the shire ; for it was not, 
at that time, in the great thoroughfare of the 
kingdom, and was regarded principally as the land 
of fens and the region of ague. Mr. Wesley's 
personal visits to it were few ; and his itinerant 
fellow-laborers were very thinly scattered over 

76 a mother's portrait. 

the county. And when the kingdom had been 
divided into twenty circuits', Lincolnshire and part 
of Nottinghamshire formed but one circuit, with 
only two preachers, who were two months in going 
their round, so that they could visit the chief 
places but seldom, and had scarcely any time at 

" To be a Methodist preacher," said Mr. Wes- 
ley to one of them who was going forth on his 
itinerant labors, " is not the way to ease, honor, 
pleasure, or profit. It is a life of much labor and 
reproach. They often fare hard : often are in 
want. They are liable to be beaten, stoned, and 
abused in various manners. Consider this, before 
you engage in so uncomfortable a way of life." 
And thus the preachers first appointed to Lincoln- 
shire found it ; for they went to privation, suffer- 
ing, and hardship, amidst a rude, ignorant, and 
immoral people ; and into a country only partially 
drained and abounding with fens, — where the 
waters often were out, and the bad roads often 
hidden in unenclosed parts with snow. Imagine 
one of the early preachers sent forth into such a 
circuit. He perhaps received his appointment 


unexpectedly ; for though Mr. Wesley never sent 
out unknown and untried men, yet there was not 
the formal process of the quarterly and district 
meetings in those infant days. One of the preach- 
ers would, perhaps, recommend the new man as 
having evinced grace, gifts, and fruit, in preaching 
the gospel locally; and Mr. Wesley would take 
note of him for himself, place his name on a special 
list, and send him forth into the wider field when 
necessity required. The preacher thus appointed 
had to provide himself with a horse ; with saddle- 
bags to hold his wardrobe, books, and not unfre- 
quently his meals ; and to go forth a complete 
" stranger in a strange land." The home provided 
for him was perhaps a small room in the house of 
some poor person, where he had his " bed, table, 
stool, and candlestick," like the Prophet Elisha, in 
the house of the Shunammite. In this room he 
would not spend more than one or two nights 
within a month. His fare was always homely, 
and not always certain. 

What kind of reception these first missionaries 
of Methodism met with in Lincolnshire, you may 
find from some of their autobiographies, written 


78 A mother's portrait. 

at Mr. Wesley's request, and inserted by him in 
the early volumes of the "Arminian Magazine." 
Thus Thomas Mitchell relates : " In the year 
1751, I was stationed in Lincolnshire. I found a 
serious people and an open door ; but there were 
many adversaries. This was by far the most try- 
ing year which I had ever known." And then 
follows a description of the barbarous treatment 
he received at Wrangle, where, after preaching at 
five o'clock in the morning, two constables seized 
him, kept him till four in the afternoon, and then 
delivered him to the mob, who threw him into a 
pool of standing water, made him pass seven times 
through it, — though it reached up to his neck, — 
and then painted his wet clothes all over with 
white paint. They now took him to a public- 
house, and kept him there till they had put five 
of his friends into the water. Then they carried 
him out, and threw him into a great pond, which 
was ten or twelve feet deep, where he became 
senseless ; but they dragged him out and put him 
to bed. Very soon they pulled him violently out 
of bed, carried him into the street, and threatened 
to take away one of his limbs, unless he would 


promise to come there no more. He would give 
no such promise ; and now they consulted one by 
whose counsel they seem to have been all along 
guided — " the minister !" We have thus a proof 
of the fact, then too well apparent, that at that 
period some of the clergy were as awfully degraded 
as the people. "The minister" told them they 
must take the preachers out of the parish. Mr. 
Mitchell's own clothes were unfit to put on; so 
they put an old coat about him, took him a mile, 
and set him upon a hill, and there left him, 
"penniless and friendless," after shouting three 
times, " God save the king, and the devil take the 
preacher !" Weak and ill as he was, he succeeded 
with extreme difficulty in reaching the house of a 
friend who resided three or four miles off; and 
here he was kindly cared for, but had to rest four 
days before he recovered so far as to be able to 
resume his itinerant labors. 

" Then," says he, " I went into the circuit, 
where I met with more persecution. As I was 
preaching in a certain village in the Fen, the mob 
came into the house, and broke through the con- 
gregation, in order to pull me clown ; but the good 

80 a mother's portrait. 

woman of the house took me into the parlor, and 
stood in the door with a great kitchen-poker in 
her hand, and told the mob, the first man that 
came near the door she would knock him down." 
The woman's threat was effectual ; and the mob 
"left the house without doing much harm." How 
vain were these wild endeavors of the servants of 
Satan, either in injuring the soul of this persecuted 
man of God, or in checking God's work, may be 
seen by a few striking sentences hi this account 
of Thomas Mitchell. " From the beginning to the 
end," says he, "my mind was in perfect peace. 
I found no anger or resentment, but could heartily 
pray for my persecutors." " In the midst of this 
persecution, many were brought to the saving 
knowledge of God ; and as the sufferings of Christ 
abounded, so our consolations by Christ abounded 

The work of these Christian pioneers was, how- 
ever, hazardous and trying for many succeeding 
years. In another volume of the "Arminian 
Magazine" we have an account of the treatment 
met with in Lincolnshire in the year 1757, by 
Alexander Mather, a man of early education and 


of well-disciplined mind, as well as of earnest and 
persevering labor. He relates how, while standing 
up to preach in the market-place of 'Boston, a large 
mob appeared, with a drum beating before them, 
and threw squibs among the people. Finding it 
impossible to be heard, the preacher proposed re- 
moving with his friends to another place, when 
they were assailed with dirt and stones that "flew 
like hail on every side." One of the mob struck 
up Mr. Mather's heels, and others gave him blows. 
Another collared him, with the intent to throw 
him into a horse-pond ; but this was prevented by 
a gentleman. Returning into the town to get his 
horse, dirt was hurled upon him from the street- 
gutters. Before he reached his inn, again they 
attempted to strike up his heels, but failed. "At 
the same time," he continues, " one threw a stone, 
which struck me on the temple. I then concluded 
I must die in their hands ; but, by the mercy of 
God, I was strangely brought through all the mul- 
titude to the inn where I had alighted. Being 
sat down, my first thought was, l Father, forgive 
them ; for they know not what they do.' Indeed, 

my mind (glory be to God!) was kept through 

82 a mother's portrait. 

the whole in perfect peace. By this time some 
of my friends, who had followed at a distance, 
were come in, and were washing my wound, when 
the mob came to the door, threatening what they 
would do to the house, if the landlord did not 

turn me out After a while I mounted 

my horse in the yard, and then, the gates being 
opened, rode through a shower of stones, and came 
safe to our friend's house. But I was so bruised, 
almost from head to foot, that when I was cold, 
I could hardly stir. And it was a full year 
before I quite recovered the hurts which I then 

A year later, another of these Methodist mis- 
sionaries, Thomas Lee, gives us a brief memo- 
randum, which shows us that though the sowing 
of the spiritual seed had been hard work for the 
sowers, it had fallen into good ground. u In the 
year 1758," says he, "I was stationed in Lincoln- 
shire. The whole county, now divided into three," 
(he writes in 1779,) "was then only in one cir- 
cuit. So I spent two months in the eastern part, 
and then two months in the western. I was in 
this circuit about sixteen months in all. And I 


did not labor in vain. There was a very consider- 
able increase in the societies, and many souls were 
brought to the saving knowledge of God. And 
though the rides were long, and the work was 
hard, yet all was made easy and comfortable. 
The Lord was greatly with us, and the people in 
general were loving and teachable ; and I know 
not if I shall ever love a people better on this side 

Methodism obtained a footing in several places 
within the county, before it was received in the 
city of Lincoln itself. The village of Newton 
seems to have been the first of the places now in 
the Lincoln circuit at which a society was formed. 
But here, again, its infancy was one of persecu- 
tion. Thus, the Rev. Abraham Watmough, in his 
" History of Methodism in the Neighborhood and 
City of Lincoln," relates that "the society at 
Newton was in existence before the vear 1750. 
about which period they held their meetings in the 
house of a person of the name of Skelton, a re- 
spectable resident of the place, whom the mob 
treated severely for harboring the Methodists 
under his roof. They broke all the windows in 


his house to shivers. Next, they went to the 
stable, and, cutting the mane and tail off the 
preacher's horse, proceeded to tar and cover it 
with feathers." At North Scarle, also within the 
present Lincoln Circuit, and on the same side of it 
as Newton, Mr. Wesley (as we find from his 
"Journal") preached in 1759; and thither multi- 
tudes flocked to hear him from the neighboring 
places. Yet his account of this visit reveals the 
mournful fact, that the people were then in a sad 
state of spiritual darkness. He tells us that 
though he spoke on the first principles of religion, 
and as plainly as he could, they understood him 
as little as though he had spoken Greek. Mr. 
Wesley visited Newton in 1770, and thus highly 
commends the society, which had now twenty 
years of religious growth upon it : "A people more 
loving, more artless, or more athirst for Gocl, I 
have seldom seen." At least as early as this, the 
societies at Besthorpe and Girton, contiguous to 
Newton and Scarle, are believed to have been 

At Scothorn, on the other side of Lincoln, 
Methodism was introduced in 1779, by Mary 


Daubney, a poor widow who had several children. 
She had been led to hear the word at Lincoln, 
where Methodism is said to have made unavailing 
efforts about that time. She invited the preachers 
to Scothorn, and a society was formed in her 
house. Here, also, arose the first local preacher 
whom God raised up within the limits of what 
now forms the Lincoln Circuit — Mr. Thomas Wat- 
son. Mary Daubney removed to Nettleham, 
three miles from Lincoln, and also introduced 
Methodism there. She was for more than half a 
century a member of the society, and died in 
peace in the ninety-fifth year of her age. Prior 
to the year 1780, the villages of Newton, Scarle, 
Besthorpe, Girton, and Scothorn, were the only 
places within the present Lincoln Circuit where 
Methodism had obtained a permanent footing; but 
there were societies at Broxholme and Sturton, 
two villages within nine miles of Lincoln, and now 
in the Gainsborough Circuit. Here already three 
local preachers had been raised up — Messrs. Wil- 
liam Mawer, Joseph Frith, and Mr. William 

Mr. Wesley records that in June, 1780, he 


preached on the Castle-Hill at Lincoln, to a large 
and attentive congregation, called together by the 
city crier ; having come over to do so, after fifty 
years' absence from the place, at the request of a 
gentleman. He also preached again on the Castle- 
Hill next morning, until a heavy shower prevented 
his proceeding; when the county court-house was 
opened to him, and he preached from the magis- 
trates' bench, to as many persons as could crowd 
into the building. He also preached in Lincoln in 
the year following ; but though the people seem 
to have treated Mr. Wesley himself respectfully, 
Methodism had as yet no deep hold upon the 
city. Lincoln, with all its numerous churches, 
was at that period exceedingly dark and, we 
might say, barbarous. Even up to a time within 
my own memory, crowds used eagerly to bait a 
bull — after driving the poor animal with frantic 
shouts through the streets until it became infuri- 
ated — at an open space which has given a name to 
the locality, of " Bull-ring Terrace." The clergy 
were then almost entirely without evangelical 
light. Some were public gamesters and sports- 
men, and some were flagrantly intemperate. The 


cathedral dignitaries appeared at balls, on the race- 
course, in the theatre, and in taverns, and even in 
the news-room on the Sabbath. Happily, a most 
beneficial change has since occurred, and devoted 
clergymen may now be found within the city ; but 
such was the state of Lincoln not only in Mr. 
Wesley's time, but also many years following; 
and it may account for the fact, that seven years 
after he preached on the Castle-Hill, though 
Methodism was already established in some vil- 
lages near, there was not a single Methodist in 
Lincoln itself. 

The humble rank and character of the instru- 
ment selected by Divine Providence for securing 
the establishment of Methodism in Lincoln, re- 
minds us of apostolic times, when the poor and 
despised of mankind were chosen to prepare the 
way for the permanent triumphs of Christianity ; 
and when, as in the case of Lydia, the first Chris- 
tian convert in Europe, a female, saved through 
the truth herself, cherished and maintained it to 
the benefit of others. Sarah Parrott, a poor 
woman living at Bracebridge, two miles from Lin- 
coln, was a Methodist, and went weekly to Stur- 

88 a mother's portrait. 

ton, six or seven miles distant from her home, to 
meet in class. There, while expressing her pious 
wishes for the conversion of the people of Lincoln, 
she heard of Mrs. Fisher, of Gunnerby, a person 
of property, and distinguished for her attachment 
to Methodism. Sarah Parrott forthwith set out 
on foot for a journey of twenty-seven miles to 
Mrs. Fisher, and earnestly besought her to come 
and live in Lincoln, take the Methodist preachers 
into her house, and thus lay a foundation for a 
society in the city. The sincere, simple character 
of Sarah Parrott seems to have made a great im- 
pression on- the mind of Mrs. Fisher; and though 
she did not instantly comply with the entreaty, it 
was not long before she concluded that this was 
really a call from God to usefulness ; for she soon 
afterwards removed to Lincoln, and invited the 
preachers to visit the city regularly in their 

This was at the close of 1787, "as appears," 
says Mr. Watmough, " from a letter in Mr. Wes- 
ley's own handwriting, now lying before me. 
This letter, which is dated the 18th of January, 
1788, was written to Mr. Lancelot Harrison, a 


preacher of Mr. Wesley's, then on the circuit." 
An old lumber-room, near the Gowts' Bridge, was 
the only place that could at first be procured ; and 
this they fitted up for religious worship. Here 
the first Methodist class-meeting was held in Lin- 
coln, and consisted of four females — Mrs. Fisher, 
Sarah Parrott, Hannah Calder, (mother of the 
Rev. Frederick Calder, lately an itinerant minister 
in our Connection,) and Elizabeth Keyley. On 
the 4th of August, 1788, Mr. Wesley visited 
Lincoln again; and tells us in his " Journal" that 
he preached at noon in Mrs. Fisher's yard to a 
large assembly of rich and poor. The new society 
prospered, and the labors of the preachers were 
owned of God ; for about two years after Mrs. 
Fisher came to reside in Lincoln, a new chapel 
was built. It would hold five or six hundred per- 
sons, and was situate on the south side of the 
river Witham, between the High Bridge and the 
Swing Bridge. Mr. Wesley visited Lincoln for 
the last time on the 1st of July, 1790. "He 
preached in the new chapel," it is recorded, "in 
the evening to a crowded audience, from, l One 
thing is needful.' When the congregation were 



retiring from the chapel, a lady exclaimed, in a 
tone of great surprise, 6 Is this the great Mr. Wes- 
ley, of whom we hear so much in the present 
day ? Why, the poorest person in the chapel might 
understand him !' The gentleman to whom the 
remark was made, replied, 'In this, Madam, he 
displays his greatness, that while the poorest can 
understand him, the most learned are edified, and 
cannot be offended.' 1 

Mrs. Fisher not only possessed a share of 
worldly wealth, but was a person of superior edu- 
cation and manners. She was to the infant cause 
of Methodism in Lincoln, and to its ministers, 
"the elect lady;" who was not only "given to 
hospitality," but devoted her life and property to 
the spread of the gospel. She lived by the water- 
side, near the chapel, and entertained the ministers 
in her house. After her death, one of them had 
his residence there. In this house the class and 
quarterly meetings were held ; and thither awak- 
ened and penitent sinners used to repair, at the 
close of religious service in the chapel, to seek the 
counsel and prayers of the minister. 

At that time, Methodism had no public services 


in church hours; and its members attended the 
services of the Established Church, until driven 
from it by their knowledge of the immorality of 
the clergy, and by persecution. They then went 
to the Old Presbyterian Chapel, until Arian doc- 
trines — afterwards changed for Unitarianism — 
began to be preached there ; and then they had 
to resort to Sabbath forenoon services of their 
own. Help was soon afforded by the coming to 
Lincoln of two devoted men, who as local preachers 
did much towards the strengthening and exten- 
sion of the society. These were Mr. John Han- 
nah, a solicitor's clerk; and Mr. Joseph Mawer, 
from Broxholme. The former labored for seven 
years as a local preacher in Lincoln and the neigh- 
borhood, won many souls to God, and then passed 
to his eternal reward : the latter was spared for 
many years of useful labor. Methodism soon 
won its way in the neighborhood : societies were 
formed at Navenby, Boothby, Ingham, Thorpe, 
Harby, and other villages ; and new laborers were 
raised up. 

In 1801, Lincoln, which had been a part of the 
Gainsborough Circuit, was separated, and made 

92 A mother's portrait. 

the head of a circuit, having fifteen preaching- 
places and three hundred and seventy-six mem- 
bers. The circuit thus separated included what 
now also forms the Sleaford Circuit. About this 
time the number of local preachers in Lincoln was 
considerably increased. Among them the names 
of Daniel Isaac, Richard Watson, W. Goy, J. 
Bedford, Thomas Padman, John Hannah, W. 
Bacon, and Frederick Calder, now or soon after 
appear. All these names were afterwards found 
in our itinerant ministry ; and some of them in its 
foremost ranks. Among the local preachers raised 
up in the villages, perhaps none was more useful 
than Mr. Dixon, of Bassingham. He was a man 
of superior intelligence and of some wealth. He 
built a chapel in Bassingham at his own expense ; 
was of inestimable service to those who sought 
God in his own village ; and zealously carried the 
gospel into new villages, such as Aubourn, where 
Mr. Lambe became the leader of a class, anS soon 
after also built a chapel. 

In 1806, a Methodist Sunday-school was raised 
on ground belonging to the Rev. Dr. Hannah's 
father: a branch of the "Benevolent Society" 


had already been formed : a third itinerant min- 
ister had been sent to the circuit the year 
before ; and the cause prospered, while all who 
loved it were earnest in every good auxiliary 

The year 1815 was trebly remarkable for the 
Lincoln Wesleyans. Sleaford, with a list of popu- 
lous villages, was separated from it, and formed 
into a distinct circuit. In Lincoln a new chapel 
was built. It stood in the central parish of St. 
Peter-at-Arches, and would hold, it is said, nearly 
a thousand persons. The Revs. Richard Watson 
and Robert Newton opened it; and the joy of 
the former may be easily conceived, when he wit- 
nessed the prosperity of Methodism in the ancient 
city, where he well remembered how lowly was 
its condition when he first became one of its 
members. In this year, also, a branch of the 
Wesleyan Missionary Society was formed at Lin- 
coln ; and thenceforward the city held a position 
in Methodism which it had never held before. 
The visits of eminent ministers, such as the Revs. 
Dr. Coke, Dr. Adam Clarke, Dr. Townley, and 
Theophilus Lessey, as well as Richard Watson 

94 a mother's portrait. 

and Robert Newton, — some to speak at the mis- 
sionary meetings, and others to preach at Sunday- 
school or chapel anniversaries, — now compelled 
attention to Methodism from many citizens who 
had formerly regarded it disrespectfully. There 
was also the successive appointment to the cir- 
cuit of several powerful and attractive ministers, 
such as the Revs. Daniel Isaac, John Hannah, 
and Thomas Galland, whom citizens of all classes 
thronged to hear. These were assisted by judi- 
cious and devoted laymen, such as Mr. William 
Mawer, Mr. Brown, Mr. Carrington, and Mr. 
Bainbridge ; together with plain and earnest work- 
ers, such as Noble Sproule; and a number of 
pious and active females, such as Mary Poole, 
Mrs. Bavin, Mary Proudlove, and Mrs. Raven, 
all of whom have left names still remembered with 
love and gratitude. 

Such was the improved condition of Methodism 
in Lincoln, and the progress it had made in influ- 
ence, when father and Mother became united to 
it. Persecution, as I have before observed, had 
not ceased ; but our parents lived to see it pass 
away, often looked back upon the times when it 


prevailed, and gratefully rejoiced that they cast 
in their lot with the people of God when to be 
a Methodist was to be a mark for the world's 

Zttttt Ui. 

Man is God's image ; but a poor man is 
Christ's stamp to boot : both images regard. 

God reckons for him, counts the favor his : 

Write, so much given to God : thou shalt be heard. 

Let thy alms go before, and keep heaven's gate 

Open for thee ; or both may come too late." 


Having received the spirit of Christ, our dear 
Mother began to manifest its fruits in active 
benevolence and good-will to her fellow-creatures. 
Her family increased quickly; and the business 


in which our parents had settled required from 

her much attention and care; hut with a large 

family of young children, and with many persons 

under her direction, she found almost daily time 

for personal visitation of the sick and the poor. 

She was hlessed with the inestimahle quality of 

compassion for the needy ; for it is a blessing to 

those who possess it, notwithstanding the degree 

of suffering there is in sympathy for the distressed. 

To feel "the luxury of doing good" is something 

more than a well-turned expression ; and so our 

dear Mother felt it to he, although incurring the 

necessary penalty of hearing new burthens of 

anxiety, and sometimes of sorrow, on account of 


In addition to the use of her own means — of 

which she was ever ready to distribute — she be- % 

came a visitor for the Benevolent or Stranger's 

Friend Society ; and many were the pounds she 

gave away out of its funds within a year, though 

each gift of relief required a personal visit, and 

was not allowed to exceed eighteen pence at a 

time. Almsgiving to the poor she regarded as a 

Christian duty not superseded by parish or 
5 i 


national provisions. The poor of her own neigh- 
borhood were cared for. The cases of widows 
and orphans, and of sick and distressed persons, 
were named to her acquaintances, as well as made 
the subjects of family attention, and the sufferers 
were visited and relieved. Hers was not the 
charity which is solely devoted to public acts, 
and in which there is often too much of osten- 

I need not say that her charity was sometimes 
abused. Who that exercises philanthropy has 
not some experience of that unwelcome nature? 
Beggars came to her door in numbers, which 
showed that they knew where they would be 
likely to obtain relief; but she had at all times 
an ear open for their tales of sorrow and distress, 
a word of sympathy for them ; and I cannot re- 
member seeing any sent away without help. At 
many an affecting account given on the threshold 
she has shed tears ; and all around her were thus 
taught not to despise the poor. Our dear father 
would not unfrequently venture on counsel and 
remonstrance against such undistinguishing distri- 
bution of alms, as being open to abuse, and as 


giving encouragement to vagrancy, — letting alone 
the annoyance occasioned by the almost continu- 
ous rapping at the door. But she had always a 
charitable answer ready. Perhaps some youth 
had been the beggar ; and then she would remark, 
"It may be he is some poor broken-hearted 
mother's son." Or the petitioner had pitifully 
pleaded that he had been entirely destitute of 
food through the day ; and she would say, — 
" Though he is a beggar, he may be a child of 
God : Lazarus was." And often she would an- 
swer, "I would rather be deceived sometimes 
than not give to him that needeth." 

Now and then, the more prudent distributor of 
alms had his charity abused ; and then she would 
not fail, in her own good-humored way, to im- 
prove it. I remember one case which served her 
well for a pleasant reminder. It was that of a 
colored man, who, by a long story of his hard- 
ships while a slave, of his perilous escape from 
bondage, of his Christian experience, and of his 
temporal necessity, had so wrought on father's 
compassion, that he brought the negro home with 
him, fed him, and gave him half a crown. The 

100 a mother's port h a it. 

news of a black man being in the kitchen soon 
brought down all the children ; and then followed 
Mother, to whom father said, " Here is one of 
another color, but he is of the same spiritual 
family ; and being in need, I have brought him 
home with me, to feed and to relieve him." This 
was so far satisfactory to Mother. But, with 
that instinct which she possessed of almost imme- 
diately fastening on the true character of any 
person before her, she felt uneasy in the man's 
presence, and sooner than expected returned to 
the sitting-room up-stairs. In the evening of the 
same day, the professed Christian negro was seen 
reeling about in the streets intoxicated. This 
fact, when reported, was of course mortifying in 
its revelation of the man's hypocritical wicked- 
ness, as w T cll as in his abuse of charity. Mother 
did not fail to turn it to account, when afterwards 
she might be advised to be more prudent in the 
distribution of alms. " Remember," she would 
say to her adviser, with a smile that prevented 
any ill effect, "the good black man, the dinner, 
and the half-crown." Yet she did not despise 
caution j but reflected that it could not always 


insure the almsgiver against imposition. She 
therefore fell back on the conviction of duty : 
made that her rule of action ; and valued money 
chiefly as a means of doing good. And that same 
conviction of duty made her also careful to pro- 
vide for her own household. 

Relief of temporal want was often with her a 
medium of access to the soul; for the spiritual 
welfare of her fellow-creatures was her great and 
paramount concern. Many a word in season did 
she speak to the beggar at the door : many an 
exhortation and prayer accompanied her gifts in 
the lonely cottage, the sick-room, the naked 
garret, and the cold, comfortless cellar. Indeed, 
it might be said, that numerous as were her visits 
of charity, she never left the habitation of the 
distressed without offering religious counsel, and 
seldom without prayer. Dangerous diseases did 
not deter our dear Mother from entering the 
houses of the dying. Neither fever nor the 
frightful cholera could daunt her firm spirit, or 
make her halt in the errand of mercy. She was, 
to many of the poor and the sick of Lincoln, a 
true " Sister of Charity ;" and bright were the 


102 a mother's portrait. 

trophies she won from among them to the cross 
of her Redeemer. 

Bufc her visits were not confined to the poor. 
Her consistent character made an extensive im- 
pression, so that, in not a few instances, persons 
of wealth, who had lived without religion, when 
seized by sickness, or cast down into great trou- 
ble, sent for her, and found through her instruc- 
tions the way of life. This was the case with a 
large coach-manufacturer, then our landlord, who 
had suddenly lost his son, — a young military 
officer of great promise in India. News of the 
young man's death rendered the parents very 
disconsolate ; and struck such deep affliction into 
the heart of the father, that he soon afterwards 
sank on the bed of death. Mother was sent for : 
she improved the opportunity for Christ ; and at 
future visits to the dying parent, found good 
reason to hope concerning him. 

But she did not alwavs wait to be sent for, 
even when the sick or troubled were of the 
wealthier classes. She was not obtrusive, but 
confident in her work. She went, like her Di- 
vine Exemplar, to seek and save them that were 


lost. At some distance from her house, on the 
same side, down the High street, lived an alder- 
man, who, even in those days of pride among the 
wearers of civic honors, was somewhat more lofty 
in his bearing than the rest of his " worshipful" 
brethren. He was a retired, wealthy gentleman ; 
and having no child of his own, had adopted as 
his heir a young relative. The youth was taken 
seriously ill. He was known to Mother by his 
having gone with our eldest brother to a clergy- 
man's for education. Hearing of his sickness, 
Mother went to the house, and asked if she could 
be permitted to see him. She was introduced to 
the family ; but her application was thought to 
be somewhat strange. The young man, they 
remarked, was ill in bed. She persevered, how- 
ever, and they were soon interested with her 
manners. At length, the alderman's lady con- 
sented to lead her into the sick-room. She spoke 
to the youth of the evil and guilt of sin, and dis- 
played the willingness of Christ to save, till he 
and all around wept. Then she i:>rayed ; and 
when she had risen and left them, they talked 

104 a mother's portrait. 

of her with wonder, and said she had spoken like 
an angel from God. 

I might record other instances of the good that 
was wrought by her judicious courage in venturing 
into families whither she had not been invited. 
But it is to be remarked, that judiciousness should 
be combined with such courage. Visits of this 
kind should not depend only on the boldness of 
the visitor; for it is most likely they will then 
offend by what will be termed their intrusiveness. 
Yet we ought to reflect that it is not really Chris- 
tian to wait till we are sent for, when we know 
that immortal beings are ready to perish. Our 
rules of etiquette are undoubtedly false in this 
respect. It will be a poor excuse for our neglect 
of a perishing neighbor, to say in the great day 
of account, " We were not sent for." 

■'ikm^.\ -^_ N 



— - 

%ii\n Hi. 

"She did her numerous family command 
With such a tender care, so wise a hand, 
She seemed no otherwise a mistress there, 
Than godlike souls in human bodies are. 
But when to all she had example showed, 
How to be great and humble, chaste and good, 
Her soul, for earth too excellent, too high, 
Flew to its peers, the Princes of the sky." 


It might be supposed, from our clear Mother's 
activity and diligence in the discharge of philan- 
thropic duties, that all her zeal and care was 
expended abroad, to the neglect of her own family 


106 a mother's portrait. 

and household. But it was not so. She had, 
most emphatically, her house in order. Her 
business was one that required watchful govern- 
ment. Those who assisted in it were considerable 
in number. Yet there was no waiting for her, no 
insubordination, no confusion. It was surprising 
how all things seemed to submit to her, and to 
serve her purposes. It is said that " the winds 
and waves are always on the side of the ablest 
navigators ;" and she seemed to possess the power 
of making all things her servants. I have often 
heard it said to her, when the shop was full, the 
rooms behind full, and when at the same time her 
children and the persons employed were looking 
tip to her for direction, — and yet she would be 
calm, collected, and full of energy, — "I wonder 
how you can get on at all in the midst of so many 
cares, and with so much depending on you." To 
which she would almost invariably reply, " The 
Lord is very good to me : he assists me very 
graciously. He has promised, 'As thy days, so 
shall thy strength be;' and he mercifully fulfils 
his word." 

And this reliance on the Almighty was, in reality, 


the secret of her strength. She consciously 
lived, and moved, and had her being in God. 
And though there was great force and tact in her 
natural character, — for she seemed made to gov- 
ern, — yet she habitually cast all her care on the 
Lord, and never failed to trust in him. Above 
all, she constantly cherished the spirit of prayer, 
and lived in the element of devotion. It was her 
habit to spend some considerable time in prayer 
before she left her room in the morning. At the 
noontide hour, and on retiring at night, she also 
poured forth her soul in direct and private inter- 
cession with her Maker. But there were other 
times when she would escape away from friends 
and business to enjoy communion with God. She 
was a woman of might, as well as constancy, in 
prayer. She knew what it was to wrestle and 
plead with the Lord till assuredly blessed, and 
then to trust him with all. Her faith was child- 
like in its simplicity ; but, like one of the simple 
elements of nature, it was of mighty power. And 
this deep trust and fervid devotion she brought to 
bear on her daily business : she did not reserve 
the exercise of spiritual principles for the closet 

108 a mother's portrait. 

and the sanctuary only. If the philosopher 
"brought wisdom from the clouds, and made it 
walk among men/' then she brought religion from 
heaven to act in daily life. She was an every-day 
Christian; and showed herself, amidst multiplied 
cares and engagements, to be strong " in the Lord 
and in the power of his might." She openly illus- 
trated the words of Christ : "All things are pos- 
sible to him that believeth." 

Her spiritual concern for her own family and 
household was also very great. They were the 
subjects of her daily solicitude and instruction; 
and she walked before them with a perfect heart. 
I have already stated that family worship had 
been established as soon as father and Mother 
became earnest in religion. And this was per- 
severingiy continued. Every clay as it opened saw 
the entire household, consisting usually of many 
persons, assembled for the reading of the word of 
God and for prayer. At the dinner-hour, most 
frequently a chapter of the Bible was read. In 
the evening all the members of the family were 
again assembled, when a hymn was sung, the 
Scriptures were again read, and prayer offered. 


Family worship was not hurried and formal, as if 
it were an unwelcome work, to be performed as 
quickly as possible, and cleared out of the way. 
It was fervent and impressive, and was as far 
removed from negligent haste on the one hand, as 
from protracted and wearisome dulness on the 
other. Mother usually prayed in the evening ; 
and there was in her petitions so much spiritual 
breathing and earnest pleading with Gocl, as made 
all feel that she was no outer-court worshipper, 
but within the veil and immediately before the 
mercy-seat. Her prayers were full and compre- 
hensive. None of the members of the household 
could feel themselves excluded. Husband, child- 
ren, sister, servant, work-women, and visitors, — 
all were cared for, and therefore presented in her 
petitions. She also comprised in her prayers 
parish, city, nation, the sovereign, the Church, 
and the world ; and these, not in stereotyped 
phrases, but in words expressive of thoughts that 
welled up from a full and overflowing soul of 
devotion. This practice enlarged the views and 
sympathies of those with whom she prayed, 
taught them to feel an interest in persons beyond 

110 a mother's portrait. 

the household circle, and to seek the good of 
others as well as their own. There was much of 
adoration and praise mingled with all her prayers, 
arising from her ardent and thankful disposition. 
Seraphic ardor marked all her acts of worship ; 
but there was no lightness : religious rejoicing was 
with her, as it is with all matured Christians, a 
serious employ. A man, when he rejoices, does 
not rejoice with noisy laughter like a child. 

Neither were her family instructions and prayers 
confined to formal morning and evening services. 
There were gentle promptings to thought and 
worship, such as parental love alone can dic- 
tate. It was her custom frequently to speak to 
her children apart, and to pray with them in her 
own room. At such seasons the lambs were fed 
after their own manner, as Isaiah tenderly ex- 
presses it. The duties and pleasures of religion 
were set forth to them ; and if there had been 
any impropriety of behavior, or act of disobedi- 
ence, it was pointed out. So that the young 
offender had not only to meet father's reproof 
and correction, but, what was felt still more, 
Mother's private remonstrance ; and this usually 


followed by prayer for the erring one's repent- 
ance and for Divine forgiveness, as well as by 
heart-breaking looks of grief, and by tears. It 
was also, as you will remember, my dear Sister, 
our Mother's frequent practice to accompany her 
younger children to their beds, and commit them 
by prayer to the protection and care of their 
Heavenly Father. The lovely scene of a mother's 
evening worship with her infant children, so viv- 
idly portrayed by Henry Alford, in his beautiful 
poem entitled "A Doubt," was fully realized in 
her abode : — 

" I know not how the right may be, 
But I have shed strange tears to see, 
Passing an unknown town at night, 
In some warm chamber full of light, 
A mother and two children fair, 
Kneeling, with lifted hands, in prayer." 

Indeed, she seemed to be always praying with or 
for her offspring, and seeking their salvation. 
Her large maternal heart was a fountain of 
prayer, constantly sending forth its streams of 
earnest desire and supplication. I have often 
heard her, as I passed by the door of her room, 
pleading most earnestly with God on behalf of 

112 a mother's portrait. 

her children. There could be no question as to 
what it was that she desired most for them. 

On the Lord's day, in winter-time, Mother 
would not unfrequently remain at home with the 
younger members of her family in the evening, 
when she would read and speak to them of God, 
of his angels, and of heaven; and would pray 
and sing with them. I remember some of these 
seasons which were overpowering in their tender- 
ness and unearthliness. The Sabbath with her 
was truly a " holy day" and a " delight ;" and 
was most distinctly separated from other days 
of the week in its employment. After twelve 
o'clock on Saturday night, no secular business 
was allowed to be done. What was not accom- 
plished by that time must be left undone till 
Monday morning. In a few things, perhaps, 
some would regard her as too rigid : as, for in- 
stance, in her not allowing any one to sweep up 
the ashes on the hearth upon the day of rest. 
Her fixed principle was, that nothing unnecessary 
should be done on that day. And she extended 
this principle to all in the house : servants and 
children as well. We were not permitted, when 


young, to seek amusement on the Lord's clay in 
picture-books or toys : these must be put away 
on the Saturday evening. There was no visiting 
allowed or encouraged in it, further than the re- 
ception into the family circle for the afternoon of 
a young Christian apprentice, distant from his 
own home. There was no conversation on 
worldly subjects indulged. But yet the Sabbath 
was not made a gloomy day : it was cheerful and 
joyous in its exercises, and the delight of all. It 
was, as it is designed to be, a Christian festival. 
The day was usually opened with the family 
singing an appropriate hymn : such as, — 

" The Lord of Sabbath let us praise, 
In concert with the blest : 
Who, joyful, in harmonious lays 
Employ an endless rest." 

" Sweet is the day of sacred rest: 
No mortal cares disturb my breast. 
may my heart in tune be found, 
Like David's harp of solemn sound!" 

We were all taken to the house of God on Sab- 
bath mornings, except when extreme infancy, 
sickness, or very inclement weather prevented. 


114 a mother's portrait. 

And ! how truly " sweet " is the day of the 
Lord, as thus spent, in its remembrances ! There 
was the house of God, filled with serious, devout 
worshippers, and earnest inquirers ; or, at least, 
the prevalence of these was so great in number, 
that the comparatively careless felt it almost im- 
possible to be careless altogether, while in such 
serious, devout, and earnest company. The pre- 
sence of the venerable minister in the pulpit : 
the communion-table, with its surrounding foot- 
stool and rail, where so many had repeatedly felt 
and realized the presence of God, while there 
kneeling to consecrate themselves to him, and to 
commemorate their Saviour's death : the cheer- 
ful faces of the choir in the singing-seat below : 
the laboring poor crowding the benches, and 
listening to the preacher with fixed attention : 
the Sunday-school children under the gallery on 
the right and left, the tender soil of their young 
hearts thus brought within reach of the seed cast 
from the hand of the spiritual sower : all this 
forms an indelible picture in the memory, free 
from mournful regrets, and never reviewed without 
pleasurable and purifying effect. 


There was no disorder ; and nothing, that I can 
remember, unbecoming the public services of re- 
ligion. There was not, as in some of our princi- 
pal Methodist chapels, the use of the liturgy, 
which, by its inspiring and solemn forms of ad- 
dress before the Divine Being, secures, on all 
occasions, to those who employ it with " sincerity 
and truth," most profitable devotional exercise. 
But there were hymns of praise, prayers, and 
heartfelt confessions, reverent reading of the 
Holy Scriptures ; and there were sermons, plain 
in their style, forcible in appeal, comprehensive 
in invitation, and accompanied by the Spirit's 
unction and power. The singing in those days 
was not left to the choir ; but all sang earnestly, 
and with that real devotion which is the safest 
guardian of both time and harmony in public 
worship. The sacraments were administered 
with solemn order, — not as mere rites and cere- 
monies, but as sacraments which Christ hath 
appointed to be received by his people. In those 
times, how eager was the curiosity of the young 
in the congregation, when the sacrament of bap- 
tism was administered to some tender infant 

116 a mother's portrait. 

presented by its believing parents for public 
recognition by the Church of Christ! and how 
often tears flowed from the eyes of the matured, 
during the affecting address of the minister on 
the obligation of Christian parents to "bring up 
their children in the nurture and admonition of 
the Lord !" And to myself, as doubtless to 
others, how solemn were the impressions relative 
to the separation of the Church from the general 
congregation, prior to the celebration of the 
Lord's Supper ! when, after the departure of 
the multitude, the society-stewards went from 
pew to pew, to see that each person remaining 
had the accrediting ticket or note, and was duly 
authorized to approach the table of the Lord. 
There was little or no uncertainty then, in the 
line of distinction between the Church and the 
world ; nor was there any question whether the 
Sabbath, in its services, should be hallowed and 
made honorable. 

I do not write thus because I think that the 
people of God have in such observances seriously 
degenerated. Wesleyans are far more numerous 
now at Lincoln, in their attendance at the more 


solemn means of grace, than they were thirty 
years ago ; as, indeed, they are in almost every 
other city or town in the kingdom. They have 
now in Lincoln more than twice as many " hearers " 
and members of Society; and I have no reason to 
believe that the Methodists there, or elsewhere, 
are less orderly, attentive, or devout, in their 
worship. But some persons have supposed — in 
ignorance of facts that they would have become 
acquainted with, had they inquired — that in earlier 
times Methodists were a disorderly and irreverent 
people. Nay, I fear there are some prejudiced 
persons who deem them deserving of no better 
description now. It is not so at the present day, 
as you know; and, though not forgetful of the 
sunlight which ever gilds our memory of the 
scenes of our youth, I can testify that in former 
days also, the services of Methodism would bear 
comparison with those of any section of the 
general Church of Christ, for reverent and devout 

My mind, however, reverts again to the Sab- 
bath evenings spent at home with our dear Mother. 
I well remember the family Bible open on the 

118 a mother's portrait. 

table, the psalms, and hymns, and prayers, and 
her conversation with us on heaven. It seemed 
sometimes as if the pearl-gates of the New Jeru- 
salem were opened before us, and as if we could 
see the nations of the saved rejoicing in its golden 
streets. The room in which we were, not unfre- 
quently seemed to be full of angels, who had 
descended as on Jacob's bright ladder, and with 
viewless forms and noiseless wings were hovering 
around, and associating with us. If religious 
parents would often hold such conferences with 
their children, what beneficial impressions might 
be made on young and tender minds ! How much 
more commendable such a practice, than reciting 
foolish tales and showing ludicrous pictures to 
children ! Surely, believers should more con- 
stantly remember the duty and advantage of pre- 
occupying the young mind for Christ. They 
should beware of waiting till the enemy has sown 
tares in the heart, which will have to be rooted 
up ; and should rather hasten to plant the seed of 
the kingdom in the virgin soil. Nor is it neces- 
sary to wait so long as some persons suppose, 
before the mind shall be able to receive religious 


teaching. In several respects, a little child is 
better prepared to receive it than an adult. Great 
mysteries are not understood by either : they are 
simply matters of reverential faith ; and the Chris- 
tian father, as well as his child, has to worship 
before the greatest truths with the religion of 
wonder and adoration. A little child has not been 
rendered suspicious and unbelieving by experience 
of a deceitful world ; but is guileless and confid- 
ing. So much so, that the Saviour sets it forth 
as the very type of undoubting trust, and of im- 
plicit obedience : " Verily I say unto you, whoso- 
ever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a 
little child, shall in nowise enter therein." We 
learn, too, that Hannah of old dedicated Samuel 
in his childhood to the Lord ; and Timothy was 
from his infancy instructed by his believing mother 
and grandmother, "so that from a child" (a little 
child) he had " known the Holy Scriptures, which 
are able to make wise unto salvation." 

Proofs of the efficacy of early religious care and 
instruction were to be found in our Mother's young- 
family. Some, as in the Patriarch Jacob's house, 
were wayward and rebellious, and caused her much 

120 a mother's portrait. 

sorrow ; but others were goodly fruits of her pious 
endeavors. The greater number of her many 
children died in infancy and childhood. And 
while young, the deaths in our family were so 
numerous, and the circumstances in connection 
with some so remarkable, that the living among 
us could not but be deeply impressed by them. 
They seemed to bring the spiritual world near, to 
open and reopen it before us. Some of these cir- 
cumstances were strange and inexplicable. In 
another letter I will give them simply as they 
were often related by our parents. 

: : \ 



ftttn HiL 

" Now a thing was secretly brought to me, 
And mine ear received a little thereof. 
In thoughts from the visions of the night, 
When deep sleep falleth upon men, 
Fear came upon me, and trembling, 
Which made all my bones to shake. 
Then a spirit passed before my face : 
The hair of my flesh stood up : 

It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: 
An image was before mine eyes." 


"Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth 
Unseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep." 



122 a mother's portrait. 

I would not, my dear Sister, assist to render 
you superstitious : I only recommend to you that 
degree of hesitancy on some mysterious subjects, 
which I hold to be more truly philosophical than 
disbelief. We ought not, I conclude, to desire to 
account for all things which come under the cog- 
nizance of our senses, or which are in any way 
apprehended by the mind. Even with those who 
attempt all this, many things remain, and must 
remain, mysterious. Existence itself is a mys- 
tery, even to ourselves who exist ; and of the 
modes of spiritual existence we know nothing. 
And undoubtedly it is a wise and good arrange- 
ment on the part of our Maker, that he has left us 
in ignorance of them. I cannot explain what I 
am about to relate. I do not undertake to say 
whether it belongs to the sensuous or the ideal. 
I merely narrate it. 

I have already said that the greater number of 
our brothers and sisters died when very young. 
With the exception of one little brother, Abraham, 
who sleej)s behind the conduit in St. Mary's 
Churchyard, they were all buried beside grand- 
father Caborn, at St. Mark's. The first who sought 


the Lord in childhood was your sister Anne, who 
died when six years old. She was a most intelli- 
gent and engaging child, such as would be readily 
pronounced by the more " knowing ones " as " not 
long for earth ;" and such as the poet Stanyan 
Bigg must have had in view when he penned those 
sweet verses of his poem " On Childhood," — 

"All the little children loved her — 

None so joyous in their play ; 
And yet ever was there something 

Which seemed — ah ! so far away 
From the joyance and the laughter, 

And the streamlet's crisping foam — 
'Twas as if some little song-bird 

Had dropped down from yon blue dome, 
Warbling still among the others, 

Wandering with them where they roam, 
And yet hallowing remembrance 

With low gushes about home !" 

Our young sister early imbibed the spirit of 
benevolence, and would frequently ask her Mother 
to be allowed to accompany her in visits to the 
poor and the sick. On one of these occasions, 
when ascending the " Steep Hill," by the ancient 
Jew's house, on the way to the upper part of the 
city, after having been spoken to on the necessity 

124 a mother's portrait. 

of personal salvation, and on the approaching sol- 
emnities of death and eternity, she suddenly began 
to weep. Mother said to her, "Anne, what are 
you crying for ?" The child replied, " Because I 
have been so very wicked." "Very wicked!" 
exclaimed her Mother, as she had hold of her 
hand, and not perceiving the child's full meaning 
at first : " I have thought you a good and obedient 
girl to me ; and God will forgive your sins against 
him, if you pray to him." " Before you I have 
seemed good," replied Anne ; " but God has seen 
my heart, and known that I have been very 
wicked." Mother now began to converse with her 
more at length on the mercy of God to sinners, 
and on the way of salvation by Jesus Christ. 
After she returned home, she was heard praying 
in her chamber for the forgiveness of her sins ; 
and in a few days her young heart was lightened 
of its load of condemnation and sorrow, and she 
rejoiced in the assurance of being a child of God. 
Soon after this she died. 

On the Sabbath before her death, she was by 
the fireside in her grandfather's kitchen, when she 
suddenly exclaimed, looking and pointing towards 


the window, " See ! there is my brother William, 
like an angel with bright wings. He is smiling 
upon me, and beckoning me to go to him !" She 
was told that it was a mere childish fancy ; and 
that she could not know her brother William if 
she saw him, for he was dead before she was 
born. But the child persisted in saying that it 
was her brother William she saw ; and that he 
waved his hand for her to go to him. Though 
apparently well, and promising for life, that Sab- 
bath, on the next she died; and her death was 
not only peaceful but triumphant. Her father 
and Mother were standing over her weeping while 
she was dying, when she looked up to them, and 
said, " Father ! Mother ! do not weep for me. I 
am going to heaven, and shall be happy there with 
Jesus Christ. And when you die, I and my 
brothers in heaven will come to meet you; and 
then w T e shall live together for ever." 

When reminded that it was the Lord's day, 
a day on which she had been accustomed to go 
for worship to the house of God, she repeated, 
from Dr. Watts's incomparable hymns for child- 
ren, and with a sweetness of look and manner 


126 a mother's portrait. 

that belong only to "little ones" meetened for 
heaven, — 

"Lord, how delightful 'tis to see 
A whole assembly worship thee ! 
At once they sing, at once they pray : 
They hear of heaven, and learn the way. 

" I have been there, and still would go " — 

Here her voice failed, and her worshipping spirit 
instantly passed to the joyful multitude before the 

Soon after this, her brother David, her constant 
companion, who was a year younger than herself, 
and a fine, light-haired, cheerful boy, also died. 
His death was startling and impressive. He was 
suddenly killed by the rolling upon him of the 
trunk of a large tree, which had been carelessly 
left without any fastening-chain or cord, near a 
coachmaker's yard, and which merely rested on 
another round piece of timber. It was in the 
summer-time, when Mother was accustomed to 
keep fruit in the cupboard for her children, to give 
it to them at intervals during the day. In the 
afternoon of the day, Mother said to him, " David, 
come to me, and I will give you some fruit." He 


came, looked hastily into the cupboard, but not 
being high enough to see the farther side of the 
shelf on which the fruit-dish was placed, he ran 
aAvay, saying, " There is none." He went out of 
the open door of the house ; and, as was quite 
unusual with him, ran down the street towards the 
coachmaker's yard • when, just as he reached the 
spot where the tree-trunks were lying, the upper 
one rolled down upon him, and crushed him 
instantly to death. 

All who were then at home will remember well 
that day : the solemn stillness of the house : the 
heart-rending sorrow of our parents : the drops of 
blood upon the sheet that covered poor David's 
mangled body, which had been placed on a table 
hi the chamber. Nor have I forgotten my own 
fear to go up stairs, or to sleep in the house : my 
going out to a neighbor's to sleep : the terrific 
dream I had of the judgment-day, and the glare 
of a world on fire, which burned as an oven around 
me : the funeral ; and then the mill-stone sorrow, 
unrelieved by tears, which bore our father down 
until he could not stay up any longer from his bed, 
but went silently to it, apparently to die heart- 


broken by this his awful bereavement, following 
so soon after your sister Anne's death. Upon 
that bed he lay for nearly two days, without food 
or speech, until, as he says, a scene most spiritual 
and heavenly opened before him, in which ap- 
peared his two departed children, Anne and David, 
hand in hand, shining as angels, and smiling upon 
him. By that scene, whether real or imaginary, 
he w T as unspeakably relieved ; and rising from his 
bed, then ministered to the consolation of others. 
The grave opened that year again, more than once 
or twice. 

Other scenes of the spiritual world are related 
in the family concerning departed relatives ; but, 
as I can attempt no explanation that would be 
certain, I forbear to narrate them. Whether they 
were mental illusions caused by exciting circum- 
stances, such as Abercrombie, in his instructive 
book on the " Intellectual Powers " makes mention 
of, and explains, or whether they were realities, I 
cannot say. I would only observe, and have you 
remember, dear Sister, that we learn from Divine 
Revelation that there is a spiritual world. And 
for aught we know, it may be near to us ; yea, in 


the very midst of us. Matter may be no more in 
the way of spirits than spirits are in the way of 
matter. The light of education and science has 
of late much increased, and with its increase many 
of the darker superstitions and ghostly fears of 
mankind have fled away ; but after the removal 
of these "vulgar errors/' there still remains a 
world of spirits as certain as it was before. We 
ought not to discredit either the Scripture evi- 
dence for spiritual appearances, or what has been 
said by the saints of God in later times, concern- 
ing what they have seen in life and health, or in 
the dying-hour, of ministering angels and departed 
friends. Is all that so many Christians have 
spoken in their most solemn moments, on the 
appearance of waiting angels and spirits, — when 
the earthly house of their tabernacle was rending, 
and admitting glimpses of what was around, — to 
be disbelieved ? Is heaven now farther off than 
before the modern systems of education w T ere de- 
vised, or before Sir Isaac Newton made his great 
discoveries of the solar svstem? The celestial 
gates are not now more closed than they were of 
old. It may be that when we die, we shall find 

130 a mother's portrait. 

the open door of our Father's house of many man- 
sions not so distant from us as we had supposed. 

Let me here add to what I have before related 
of our dear Mother's efforts for the salvation of 
her children, that when she perceived any religious 
concern had been awakened within them, she was 
more than ever tenderly and constantly attentive 
to them, both in words and prayers. She would 
caution them against relaxing into indifference, and 
encourage them, by the most gentle yet effective 
promptings, to seek the mercy of God by faith in 
Jesus Christ. But in doing this, she would not 
obtrude their case of godly sorrow openly before 
the family, by being too minute and personal in 
references to it. Yet the mourners for sin knew 
well that they were included in her subjects of 
prayer and conversation; and when in any in- 
stance deliverance from condemnation was ob- 
tained, she rejoiced greatly. If called away from 
home, folio sheets of counsel followed them in her 
large free handwriting : so that she literally ceased 
not to labor and to pray for their salvation. 

%t\\tx I*. 

"Who now sows precious seed, though it may be 
Too oft with weeping, 
Shall, if he patiently await, see 
A joyous reaping. 

" Fruit shall be gathered, whose abundant store 
Shall never perish ; 
But blissful love, where weeping shall be o'er, 
For ever cherish. 

; ' Then scatter freely, nor withhold thy hand 
Till close of even : 
Earth is the place of toil — the better land 
Of rest is heaven." 


132 a mother's portrait. 

I must not omit to say, that our dear Mother's 
endeavors for the conversion of her relatives were 
not confined to her own children. All her kin- 
dred were remembered : those living at a distance 
were daily prayed for ; and they were affection- 
ately written to, and personally visited, for their 
religious benefit. Perhaps this duty, of personal 
and direct endeavor for the salvation of relatives, 
is one which really pious persons are not unfre- 
(juently found more diffident to discharge than 
almost any other. Some Christians can speak of 
the things of God to strangers with comparative 
confidence; but feel it exceedingly difficult, and 
even irksome, to be faithful with those who are 
immediately related to them. And yet, if this 
diffidence were once broken through and over- 
come, from whom is pious advice or warning more 
likely to have a saving effect than from one's own 
kindred? Sincerity of affection can scarcely be 
doubted when the faithful words come from such 
a quarter. And if the exhortation or warning 
were coldly received at first, reflection would, 
most probably, give force to it, sooner or later. 

Several instances might be named of our dear 


Mother's success in this direction. I will record 
one instance : that of your uncle, Mr. James 
Caborn, of Beverley, now my father-in-law. He 
was, up to an advanced period of life, a man of 
the world, and indulged freely in its pleasures. 
He was greatly attached to our dear Mother ; but 
for years perseveringly withstood her earnest en- 
treaties, as also the tearful solicitations of his 
aged father, to abandon the unsatisfactory and 
dangerous way of sin, and turn to God. His state 
for some time had pressed very heavily upon her 
mind, led her to think of him often, and to pray 
much for him ; as well as frequently to write him 
long and affectionate letters. 

Towards the end of the year 1820, she had 
become more than ever concerned for him, and 
had frequently spoken of him to her family. The 
close of the year, as well as the beginning, you 
know, is, by its special religious services, a season 
of very solemn interest to Wesleyan Methodists. 
There was then the early Christmas morning ser- 
vice at five o'clock, when the stars, as silent 
preachers of light and beauty, would be seen 
shining brightly overhead, to remind the worship- 


134 a mother's portrait. 

per, on his way to the Christian sanctuary, of the 
angel " watchers and holy ones/' who sang in the 
hearing of the shepherds of Bethlehem the 
Saviour's incarnation-hymn. There is the Watch- 
night service, when, at the departure of the old 
year, — after the example of primitive Christians, 
— the saints " a holy vigil keep" in the house of 
God, until, amidst the reflective and prayerful 
silence of a crowded congregation bowed before 
the Lord, the clock proclaims the entrance of 
another year; and suddenly "the solemn mid- 
night song" is raised — 

" Come, let us anew our journey pursue, 
Roll round with the year ; 
And never stand still till the Master appear !" 

There is the Renewal of the Covenant, on the 
afternoon of the first Sabbath in the new year, 
when the members of the Methodist Society 
assemble in their principal chapels, and formally 
enter into covenant with God that they will in 
that year, and all their lives through, devote 
themselves to him ; and when they publicly seal 
their covenant at the table of the Lord. Such 
services at this season of family association natu- 



rally lead to serious thoughts of duties to be per- 
formed to absent friends and relatives; and on 
returning from the watch-night service, Mother, 
after reading a passage from the Acts of the 
Apostles relating to evangelistic journeying, said, 
it was deeply impressed upon her mind that she 
must go to Beverley this year, to personally urge 
her brother to seek the salvation of his soul ; and 
that if the Lord spared her till the summer, she 
would go. She accordingly went — -journeying by 
coach on the old Roman road, which leads through 
" Newport Gate," represented at the head of this 
letter, and which has stood there not less than 
eighteen hundred years — as far as Barton-on- 
Humber, and then crossing the water to Hull, 
proceeded to her native town. Her brother re- 
joiced to see her, though her presence was felt at 
first to be a partial restraint upon him. He spent 
much time with her, heard what she had to say, 
and went with her to the house of God on the 
Sabbath; but still he seemed unmoved, The 
time drew near for her return home; and she 
spoke of leaving on the following day; but said 
that before she left, there was one request which 

136 a mother's portrait. 

she had specially to prefer. Her brother said he 
would accede to it, if he could. She said it was, 
that he would not only attend public worship 
in the chapel, but also the early Sabbath morning 
prayer-meeting. He pleaded that he could not 
do that ; for the persons attending would be so 
much surprised to see him there, that he should 
feel uneasy and ashamed among them. But she 
repeated the request, and urged it on the ground 
of her own personal affection. He at length con- 
sented ; and from that time entered upon a decid- 
edly religious course of life. His inward and 
spiritual change was soon manifest ; and from that 
period he has been a devoted and exemplary 
servant of the Lord, spending much of his time 
in visiting the sick and the poor, after the exam- 
ple of his father and sister. 

But, as I have already observed, our dear 
Mother's devout concern was not only for her own 
family and relatives, for the needy and the afflicted, 
but also for all others who came in any way under 
her influence. She was earnestly anxious for the 
salvation of servants, and of persons whom she 
employed in her business. They were not only 


present at our daily worship, but she spoke to 
them on their spiritual need, privately, and at con- 
venient times. She showed her interest in their 
temporal welfare, — not professing good-will to 
their souls while " oppressing the hireling in his 
wages," — and thus was the more trustfully listened 
to when she approached religious topics. With 
happy ease — for her devout habit rendered it easy 
to her — she inquired into their thoughts and pur- 
poses concerning religion, and presented to them 
the most impressive and encouraging motives for 
decision : such as the shortness and uncertainty 
of life, and the Divine assurances of guidance and 
blessing for those who devote themselves to the 
service of the Lord. There were invitations given 
to attend the public ministration of God's word : 
the offer of a seat in the chapel : arrangements 
made for their attendance at religious festivals and 
on week-night services ; and afterwards there was 
conversation with them on what they had seen 
and heard. Exhortations and appeals that drew 
tears would follow ; and they were not in vain ; 
for she was instrumental in bringing into the way 
of life several who were employed by her, and 

31 2 

138 a mother's portrait. 

also in extending the influence of religion to their 
families and friends. that Christian professors, 
universally, would follow her blessed example in 
this respect ; and where they have servants, and 
persons under their daily direction, remember that 
such are not to be viewed as mere instruments for 
temporal gain ; but, in a large degree, as so many 
trusts committed to them by Divine Providence ; 
and that for their salvation the persons employing 
them are, in a great measure, responsible ! 

But beyond her own household, our Mother 
exercised an influence which extended farther into 
the world than its giddy devotees suspected. Her 
blended cheerfulness and good sense rendered her 
the chosen guide and counsellor of many, of all 
ages and of all classes. Her house was as open 
as her heart. The young freely came to her for 
sympathy and counsel ; and not less so those in 
mature life. The rich, with whom she had much 
to do in her business, she attracted and won to 
her by consistency of Christian deportment. She 
was instant in season and out of season for doing 
good; so that whatever might be the nature or 
pressure of her engagement, she had still some 


words and time for Christ. Not a few contrived 
reasons for visiting her, so that they might have 
the opportunity of hearing her speak on the peace- 
ful and pleasant way of godliness. Sometimes, 
after serious conversation, she would lead such 
visitors into her chamber to pray with them. 
Now and then, her inquiries into personal conduct 
would be too searching, especially if former counsel 
had been neglected ; and any repetition of the 
pious lesson would be evaded, if possible. But 
she usually succeeded in her object. 

There was one case, I remember hearing her 
name, of a lady who drove up to the door, put on 
an appearance of great haste, and said she must 
have what she wanted immediately, for she had 
not a moment to spare. The lady was quickly 
attended to ; but when she was about to depart, 
Mother gently, yet impressively, asked, " May I 
hope that since you were here you have been 
making good speed for the kingdom of heaven ?" 
"Ah !" replied the lady, " that was what I really 
was afraid of, and which made me be in haste. I 
expected you would say something to me again 
concerning religion ; and since I was with you, I 

140 a mother's portrait. 

have been so foolish and trifling in my conduct, 
that I am truly ashamed. I thought I should not 
know how to answer you, if you spoke to me as 
you did before." Mother pressed upon her the 
necessity of seriousness ; the lady stayed for a 
considerable time, conversed on the vanity of the 
world, and the value of religion ; and, as it after- 
wards appeared, not without spiritual profit. 
Another instance recurs to my memory. A 

lady from Hall drove up to our door in her 

carriage. It was her first visit ; and while naming 
her business, she manifested a degree of urbane 
frankness which won greatly upon our Mother's 
heart. " I must speak to her respecting another 
world," said Mother, when the lady was gone, 
" and I must pray for her." The lady soon came 
again ; entered herself on more general conversa- 
tion, and said, " I am surprised, Mrs. Jobson, at 
your being able to bear so many cares, apparently 
with so much ease, and with so large a family." 
As usual, this was ascribed to the gracious help 
of God, and occasion was taken to enlarge on his 
unfailing goodness in aiding all who trust in him. 
The lady soon opened her own case, and acknow- 


ledged how much she was troubled with the charge 
of her station and family. Mother showed her 
the great responsibility of her situation : the 
necessity of personal religion for discharging its 
duties aright; and how that religion was to be 
obtained. The lady was much impressed by what 
she heard, and returned to her carriage bathed in 
tears. Afterwards the lady called again to say 
what she had done. She had sought the Lord : 
had put away Sabbath-breaking from her family 
and household : established family prayer ; and 
herself began to read sermons and prayers with 
her children and servants. The lady lived for 
some years to be a blessing to the poor of the 
village and neighborhood, and then died in the 
peace of God. 

Other instances might be given, proving how 
our Mother was fully awake to the duty of abid- 
ing with God in her calling. And it should be 
observed, that it is in dairy life where religion is 
seen by persons of the world, and where it is 
most likely to win their attention. They cannot 
witness the believer's pleadings in the closet, and 
in the family ; while the house of God has little 

142 a mother's portrait. 

or no attraction for them. The power of Chris- 
tianity would indeed be mighty for the conversion 
of mankind, if all its professors were earnest to 
let it be seen in their common business, and were 
faithful to speak words in season for their Divine 
Master, while transacting its daily concerns. 
Then "Holiness to the Lord" being "written 
upon the bells of the horses," would sanctify 
trade and commerce, and render them subservient 
to the glory of Christ. 

Even while travelling, and among strangers, 
our dear Mother did not forget the cause of her 
Redeemer. Her easy and affable manner enabled 
her to speak of religion pleasantly, and to win 
the attention and sympathy of those with whom 
she was thus casually brought into companion- 
ship. Even thoughtless and profane persons were 
won over to serious thoughts by her mode of 
introducing the subject to them. Coming one 
time in the coach to London, she had with her, as 
fellow-passengers, two gay, dissipated youths, 
who spoke of their exploits and adventures with 
such libertine emphasis, that their language grew 
unbecoming for modest ears. She began to re- 


monstrate with them, but mildly, so as to prevent 
their rejection of her interference. They apolo- 
gized ; and then she advanced to greater serious- 
ness, which awed and impressed them. And now 
she spoke of the great superiority of a holy life to 
their course of gayety and dissipation, and showed 
them what true enjoyment there is in the peace 
and friendship of God, till they were moved with 
inward feeling, and their eyes rilled with tears. 
At the end of their journey, they testified their 
esteem for her; and she separated from them, 
hoping that in a future clay it might appear, that 
conversation with her in the stage-coach had been 
for their everlasting benefit. 

f din *. 

"So shall we still resort 

To Sion's hallowed court, 
And lift the heart to Him who reigns above : 

Then, home returning, muse 

On sweet and solemn views, 
Or fill the void with acts of holy love : 
Then lay us down in peace, to think we've given 
Another precious day to fit our souls for heaven !" 


From what I have already related, you will be 
prepared to learn that our dear Mother had great 


delight in the public services of the sanctuary. 
Her place there was seldom empty, whether on 
the Sabbath or the week-day, when the gates 
were open. She was a true lover of Zion, and 
could say with David, "Lord, I have loved the 
habitation of thy house, and the place where thy 
honor dwelleth." Like that distinguished saint, 
she felt the deprivation of the house of God more 
than earthly calamity, if sickness, or any other 
circumstance, prevented her attendance. When 
detained at home, she still showed that in spirit 
she was there ; and at such times it was her prac- 
tice to have, as far as possible, a similar service 
in her own house : to sing, pray, read the Scrip- 
tures, sing again, read a sermon, and again sing 
and pray at the time they were likely to do so 
who were at the house of the Lord. 

When present at public worship, it was very 
seldom an unprofitable season for herself. Of 
course, some ministers w 7 ere more suited to her 
than others, in their modes of exhibiting and en- 
forcing the truth. But if the gospel were veri- 
tably preached, she was satisfied, and made no 
complaint on account of the preacher's manner or 
7 n 

146 a mother's portrait. 

style. She was not driven to religion by terrors 
at the beginning. Then, and ever afterwards, she 
was drawn by the love of Christ, This was the 
golden cord with which the Lord drew her to 
himself at the first ; and throughout her course, 
she was attached to the Redeemer by it. A ser- 
mon without Christ, however logical or eloquent, 
would have been to her, as it must be to every 
Christian hungering and thirsting after righteous- 
ness, a splendid mockery, a gilded deception 
Christ was to her all and in all ; and if not found 
in a sermon, her soul would indeed have been dis- 
appointed and sorrowful. Happily, in Methodism, 
there is little reason for disappointment in this 
respect ; and of each minister, as he came in his 
itinerant course, she felt and spoke as though he 
were to be preferred before all others. 

Of one thing she seemed especially careful : not 
at any time to speak of a minister before her 
family in such a strain as to lessen their esteem 
towards him. As the messenger of God to them. 
as well as to herself, he was always spoken of 
with reverence and affection. It is not to be 
supposed that ministers, as fallible men, are free 


from imperfections. Yet these, where seen, she 
never dwelt upon or magnified; but would uni- 
formly deprecate the evil of unreserved remarks 
and criticisms, by parents before their children, 
on the character, style, or manner of Christian 
ministers. She was accustomed to say that the 
evils of such a practice were incalculable : that it 
prevented reception of the truth, suppressed de- 
vout thoughts, turned many aside from the Church 
of their fathers, and prepared them to tread the 
broad path of an ungodly, censorious world, that 
leads to destruction. And I am constrained to 
testify, that I have personally known some sor- 
rowful proofs of the truth of these remarks, — of 
parents discovering, when too late, the evil they 
have inflicted on their offspring ; and though not 
without hope in the mercy of God for themselves, 
yet being pierced with sharp thorns in their 
dying moments, on their children's account. 

There were no such painful reflections for our 
dear departed parent. She was a real help, and 
not a hindrance to these servants of God. She 
was their avowed friend ; and her house was easy 
of access to them, so that the visits both of the 

148 a mother's portrait. 

aged and of the youthful ministers were frequent. 
She was a companion to the one, and a sort of 
foster-mother to the other. Always ready to 
sympathize with them in their cares, and to aid 
them in their endeavors, few were stationed in 
Lincoln by whom she was not deeply regarded 
and highly valued. 

As you may suppose, many happy hours were 
passed within the family circle, in friendly and 
reverential association with the ministers who 
came and went successively in their itinerant 
course. The elder ministers related their experi- 
ence of early Methodism, and described the work 
of God as it was carried on under Wesley and his 
helpers in the gospel. And many an instructive 
or amusing anecdote would be told by them, 
as you may suppose, of Mather or Pawson, of 
Bardsley or Bradburn, of Coke or Benson. The 
younger ministers spoke of discussions at the Con- 
ference, by the men of their clay, and of their own 
strong yearnings for the growth and prosperity of 
the cause of Christ in the circuit to which they 
had come. And with all, whether young or old, 
there would be the worship of God around the 



domestic hearth. It is true, that mingled with 
these enjoyments there were sorrowful thoughts 
of losing such friends, when their two or three 
years of itinerant labor in the Lincoln Circuit 
should expire. But though it was felt then, as it 
is often felt now, that this law of periodical change 
in the stations of Methodist ministers is a stern 
and painful law, as affecting individual friendships, 
yet the general advantage resulting from it to the 
Church at large cannot be doubted. It not only 
supplies to each circuit the greatest variety of 
gifts for edification ; but prevents any of the 
societies from sinking down into dead formality. 
The sending forth of fresh ministers into the cir- 
cuits, by the yearly Conference, is like infusing 
new and vigorous blood into all the veins of the 
system. They who speak dubiously of this part of 
the working of Methodism, and ask if it be not 
time to alter it, do not consider how this very 
arrangement binds the Connection together in the 
bonds of sympathy and affection. Nor are they, 
perhaps, aware what strong wishes are often 
expressed, by both ministers and people of other 
Christian communities, to secure a variety of gifts 


150 a mother's portrait. 

for edification, by some such regulation as that of 
the Methodist itinerancy. 

I may also add here, that the supposed improve- 
ments of Church government, or the inconsistent 
conduct of Christian professors, were not unguard- 
edly spoken of before the younger members of the 
family. She was careful not to say any thing 
against the Church to which she desired her child- 
ren to belong, or against its members with whom 
she hoped to see them associated. Her discretion 
and good sense were as evident here as in other 
parts of her exemplary conduct. She was not so 
unreasonable as to expect that her children would 
readily unite themselves to a Church censured by 
their parents, or seek fellowship with its members 
often blamed for inconsistency. Perhaps the want 
of similar discretion on the part of some Methodist 
parents may, to no inconsiderable extent, account 
for the lack of greater increase to the respective 
societies, from the families of Methodism. 

Our Mother's exemplary diligence in the use 
of the services and ordinances of religion, was 
the true secret of her excellence and usefulness. 


Many profess a desire to be good and useful, but 
do not employ the appointed means for becoming 
so. They complain of their spiritual "leanness," 
their want of Divine consolation, and that they do 
nothing for Christ ; but they do little more than 
complain. How unreasonable is this ! Spiritual 
ends are no more to be attained without appro- 
priate means than those which are temporal. The 
laws regulating them are as certain and fixed in 
the one case as in the other. If we would be 
" strong in the Lord and in the power of his 
might," we must w T ait upon him for that strength, 
and for its daily renewal. The Bible promises 
neither strength nor comfort to slothful servants. 
All eminent saints have been diligent in religion ; 
and not only diligent, but methodical. No name 
ever given by the world to a company of the pious 
was more fitting and truthful than that given to 
the first " Methodists." And our Mother was one 
who in her conduct illustrated the name. 

I do not mean that she was a slave to method. 
It is possible to become so : to attach ourselves to 
stated and particular observances, until all real 
worth of character is lost in minuteness and form- 

152 a mother's portrait. 

alism. Our Mother saw the importance of method 
without overvaluing it. She had her rules for the 
service of God. She enlisted on its behalf the 
great power of habit, knowing that it would surely 
tend to strengthen her love for the ways of wis- 
dom, and make them easy and delightful. 

Thus it was that, with all her multiplied engage- 
ments of family and business, the regularity of 
her attendance at the house of God was unbroken. 
Love is an ingenious principle, and in most cases 
will find the way for obtaining its object. So her 
love for God, and her desire to appear before him, 
overcame difficulties. To attend the public ser- 
vices of religion was a part of her plan of life. 
She made preparation for it in the arrangements 
of the week and of the day ; and that not only for 
herself, but also for others. Entertainment of 
friends, and attention to business, might be pleas- 
ant or profitable ; but with her, serving God was 
" the one thing needful ;" and she would not allow 
that to be set aside by any friendly or temporal 

Our dear Mother also highly valued the meet- 
ings of the Church for social and united prayer. 


During many years she was strict in her attend- 
ance on the early Sabbath-morning prayer-meet- 
ings, though seldom or never able to retire to rest 
until after midnight of Saturday. This she did 
both winter and summer. On the week-day 
prayer-meetings she was likewise a diligent at- 
tendant ; for she had faith in the Divine promises 
relating to the united and consentient supplications 
of the Church. 

The Holy Scriptures give evident importance 
to the associated prayers of God's people. They 
speak of " fellowship" and of " striving together" 
in prayer. It is declared, that the gathering to- 
gether of two or three in the name of Christ 
secures his presence ; and he has expressly said, 
" If two of you shall agree on earth as touching 
any thing that they shall ask, it shall be clone for 
them of my Father which is in heaven." Such 
united and agreed prayers, in which your Mother 
joined, are stimulative of earnest desire and en- 
treaty. By them, heart speaks to heart, and 
voice to voice, until, instead of isolated and fee- 
ble cries, there is the besieging supplication of a 

great multitude, which is as the sound of many 


154 a mother's portrait. 

waters, and of mighty thimderings before the 
throne. And He who has ordained that " the 
poor" are to " use entreaties," and has written in 
his holy word, " The kingdom of heaven suffereth 
violence, and the violent take it by force," will 
undoubtedly bless and prosper them who thus 
associate themselves before him for prayer and 

Indeed, in all the social means of grace so pro- 
minent in Methodism, our Mother had great de- 
light, as I have already stated. I have before 
alluded to her love for the weekly class-meeting ; 
and that was a proof of the spirituality of her re- 
ligion. She experienced none of that occasional 
lukewarmness which renders some professors un- 
willing to bear inquiry into their spiritual state. 
Her religious life was of such a tenor that she had 
always something to say which redounded to 
God's glory, increased her own grateful sense of 
his goodness, and which was edifying to others. 
Of the more restricted social meeting, termed 
among Wesleyans the " Band," she discerned the 
special value, as one whose aim it was to walk 
closely with God. Some finer parts of the be- 


liever's experience will not bear to be exposed in 
a class of fifteen or twenty persons ; but require 
a more select, as well as a more intimate and con- 
fidential fellowship. Even of the twelve compan- 
ions chosen by Christ, there were three only — 
Peter, James, and John — whom he took with him 
to the more retired scenes of Tabor and Gethse- 
mane, and to whom he revealed the interior joys 
and sorrows of his soul;, while, of these three, 
there was one who bore emphatically the title of 
" that disciple whom Jesus loved." So our 
Mother, whose social and friendlv tendencies 
were most decided, had her one chosen and inti- 
mate Christian friend, with whom she met weekly, 
to converse on 'the deep things of God. Some 
of these select meetings seem to have been sea- 
sons of extraordinary spiritual power and enjoy- 
ment. There were times when she and her com- 
panion in band were overpowered by the Divine 
Presence, so that they ceased to speak to one 
another, gazed with awe and wonder, and bowed in 
silent adoration before the Lord. They realized 

" The speechless awe which dares not move, 
And all the silent heaven of love." 

156 a mother's portrait. 

At the monthly fellowship-meeting s, and at the 
quarterly lovefeasts, she not unfrequently gave 
her testimony concerning the saving grace of God. 
But at these more general gatherings of the mem- 
bers of Society, she was far from being forward 
or obtrusive. There was marked calmness and 
modesty in her demeanor, though she was never 
ashamed of Christ. She evidently spoke to glo- 
rify her Father in heaven, and to magnify his 
saving mercy. There was great simplicity and 
transparency in these testimonies which she gave 
before the assembled Church. Yet her thoughts 
were often clothed in fervid words which kindled 
the glow of holy feeling in others. And from the 
piercing views of the spiritual w'orld which she 
expressed, and from what she had to relate of 
Divine visitations, all felt that she lived near to 
heaven, and, in spirit at least, would not have far 
to go at death. 

fetter n. 

" When quiet in my house I sit, 

Thy book be my companion still ; 
My joy thy sayings to repeat, 

Talk o'er the records of thy will, 
And search the oracles Divine, 
Till every heartfelt word be mine." 


To seek daily counsel and spiritual food from 
the word of God, and, at times, from the writings 
of holy men and women, is most closely inter- 
woven with all our conceptions of the portraiture 
of a true Christian. I have already said that our 
dear Mother very early acquired a love for read- 
ing ; and this continued with her through life. 

158 a mother's portrait. 

Seldom a clay passed without some addition being 
made to her mental store from a religious book ; 
and never without a devout perusal of some por- 
tion of Holy Scripture. Sometimes, perhaps, she 
read too long in the evening, considering her 
active and multifarious exercises during the day. 

She had great delight in religious biographies ; 
and next to the Bible, perhaps there is no descrip- 
tion of reading more directly profitable to the 
soul than this. Indeed, the Bible itself, by its 
large amount of biographical representations of 
truth, would support this statement. While we 
trace the work of God in the lives of his servants, 
we are learning by example, which is, proverbi- 
ally, more powerful than precept. We are also 
stimulated to effort by observing how the heights 
of excellence have been attained ; for the natural 
argument in the mind is, that if we use the like 
diligent means, and display the like earnestness, 
we may be as good and holy as those of whom 
we read. On this account, our Mother highly 
prized the Wesleyan Magazine. And it deserves 
to be esteemed as one of the richest libraries of 
Christian biography, containing, as it does, through 


the series of its monthly numbers for three-quar- 
ters of a century, accounts of the lives and deaths 
of Christians distinguished by their excellence. 
Among separate memoirs, those of Wesley, Dod- 
dridge, De Renty, Fletcher, Longden, Stoner, 
Lady Maxwell, Mrs. Fletcher, Mrs. Rowe, and Mrs. 
Rogers, were her favorites. There was much in 
such memoirs to suit her ardent spirit. Some of 
them were her closet books; and others which 
were conveniently portable, such as Mrs. Rowe's 
" Devout Exercises of the Heart," and the " Life 
of Hester Ann Rogers," she used to carry in her 
pocket, to read in snatches of time. I have them 
now, among my most precious relics ; and they 
bear marks of having been well used : they do not 
look like books left to repose on shelves, or to be 
shown on drawing-room tables. 

I need scarcely state that Wesley's writings 
were eagerly and thoughtfully read by our dear 
Mother. Their compact, energetic style; their 
substantial and cogent reasonings ; their unaffected 
pathos ; their expositions of Christian doctrine, so 
full and clear, and yet so utterly free and unen- 
cumbered of a waste of words, had charms for 

160 a mother's portrait. 

her, which drew her to them most frequently. 
His " Sermons" and his " Journals" were not read 
once, and then dismissed ; but perused again and 
again, until their substance was transfused into 
her mind, and she comprehended the genius of 
Wesley, and of Wesley an Methodism. 

In noting some of the closet-books of your de- 
parted Mother, the Wesleyan Hymn-book must 
not be forgotten. It was an especial favorite with 
her, as it must be with all who have been accus- 
tomed to employ it in their devotions. Express 
ing, as it does, every variety of religious expe 
rience, — from that of the " half-awakened child of 
man," who suddenly, under spiritual conviction 
feels that he is standing all unprepared on the 
brink of an awful eternity, to that of the matured 
Christian, exulting with the thought of taking his 

"last triumphant flight 

From Calvary to Zion's height;" 

and this with the truest poetic power and fervor, 
— there can be no wonder that it should be a 
favorite with Wesleyans, or the fertile source 
from which numerous " spiritual songs" are taken 


by other sects of Christians in the composition of 
their several hymn-books. Dr. Johnson asserts 
that sacred poetry must of necessity be inferior. 
That the colossal critic was mistaken, this incom- 
parable hymn-book proves ; as do also the writ- 
ings of Milton and Young, of Cowper and Watts. 
If poetry be the appropriate language of feeling 
and passion, then it must be remembered that 
religion exercises the strongest feelings and pas- 
sions of human nature. And if love be the great 
inspiring theme of the poet, as it has been in all 
ages, under one form or other, then religion pre- 
sents the theme purified and exalted above all 
that is merely earthly, and admits of the very 
highest intensity of treatment, inasmuch as the 
Object of the Christian's love is himself emphati- 
cally " the Holy and the High." 

But the beauty and value of the book are not 
to be doubted. How many hearts has it subdued 
by its penitential strains ! for others besides the 
gentle Herbert have been first brought to repent- 
ance under devotional songs. How many it has 
led to the cross to " behold the Saviour of man- 
kind !" as it did the subject of this memoir. How 


162 a mother's portrait. 

many has it inspired, in new filial confidence, to 
exclaim, — 

" My God is reconciled, 

His pardoning voice I hear : 
He owns me for his child, 

I can no longer fear : 
With confidence I now draw nigh, 
And, 'Father, Abba, Father,' cry!" 

In almost every Methodist lovefeast that verse 
may be heard repeated more than once ; and next 
to the words of Holy Scripture, none are so often 
found upon the lips of dying Wesleyans as words 
from their hymn-book. In this joyful exercise, it 
may be observed, they maintain the primitive 
spirit of Christianity which descended from 
heaven in song ; and they pattern after the first 
Christians, who were noted by Pliny and others 
for singing hymns to Christ ; yea, they imitate 
their great Exemplar, the Saviour himself, who, 
before he went out to be betrayed, sang a hymn 
with his disciples ; and who, in giving up his 
spirit, breathed it forth in the language of the 
twenty-second psalm. Unnumbered thousands 
sing these hymns every week, throughout the 
world; and by their tuneful employ here, are 


preparing to join in the song of Moses and the 
Lamb. Well then may Methodists love their 
hymn-book, and, next to the Bible, prize it as 
their greatest treasure. Mother so prized it, and 
not only sang its contents fervently in public and 
in domestic worship, but by "speaking to her- 
self" through its spiritual songs in the closet, she 
fed the flame of her devotion. 

Indeed, all books strongly stimulating to devo- 
tional thought and feeling which came in her way, 
she readily seized to aid her in the service of 
God. She knew well that the inward life of re- 
ligion must be daily fed and nourished by such 
means ; and that if the mind Avere left to supply 
from itself its own spiritual food, it would soon 
relapse into formalism, and there would remain 
only the dead statue in place of the living and 
active Christian. Experience taught her that 
religion, in its highest form of communion with 
God, is devotional, — not consisting of hard intel- 
lectual exercises, but in reverential wonder, grati- 
tude, and love; and that her numerous engage- 
ments in her family, and in business, if not coun- 
teracted in their influence by devout thought and 

164 a mother's portrait. 

meditation, would remove from her all tender sus- 
ceptibility of spiritual impression, and leave her 
carnal and worldly. She, therefore, gladly availed 
herself of any manual, or book of devotion, that 
would aid in the "lifting up of her heart unto 
the Lord." And no doubt it was this daily expe- 
rience of holy contemplation which gave to her 
countenance that calm and spiritual serenity which 
ever seemed to beam upon it from above. 

For " the human face divine " is a far more cer- 
tain index of the mind within, than the contra- 
dictory "developments" which phrenologists so 
minutely map out upon the head. A child — yea, 
an irrational animal which is much in the company 
of man — can understand the expressions of the 
human countenance; and hers could not be mis- 
taken even by the most casual observer. She was 
not a recluse, as you must have learned ; and yet 
her mind, in its memory and imagination, was hal- 
lowed and sanctified by holy employ, as shown by 
her spiritual references and allusions, when relat- 
ing the past, or when speaking of creation or pro- 
vidence. Indeed, her mind seemed to have ever 
reflected upon it "the patterns of things in the 


heavens/' just as may be seen in some clear, 
beautiful lake, — say that of Lucerne, (faintly 
represented at the head of this letter,) when 
reposing amidst the giant mountains which sur- 
round it, and "glassing" in its calm, unruffled 
surface the bright clouds that are above it at 

I may here remark, in passing, that our Mother 
was careful in the selection of books not only for 
herself, but also for her family. She had a quick 
and lively perception of the value of useful inform- 
ation, and was ever ready to encourage the read- 
ing of books that would strengthen the intellect 
and refine the taste ; but no book of a dubious or 
questionable character, however amusing or attract- 
ive, would be allowed to her children. She was 
not only of cheerful, but also of buoyant and sport- 
ive nature. She had a keen sense of the ludi- 
crous ; and when words, persons, or things, became 
oddly or incongruously associated, she had both 
relish and laughter for them. But this playful- 
ness of disposition was not indulged by revelry in 
books of fiction, and in light and trifling literature, 
which would have interfered with religious seri- 

166 a mother's portrait. 

ousness, and destroyed spiritual earnestness. Nor 
would she allow her family, under the plea of 
knowing what was passing in the world, to have 
for their use books that were doubtful as to their 
moral and religious principles and tendencies, how- 
ever brilliant and enchanting they might be in their 
dress and style. 

In this respect, as in others, she exercised the 
authority committed to her in the government of 
her family ; and " commanded her household after 
her." She knew well how to separate the chaff 
from the wheat; and securing what was strong 
and nourishing, she cast away the weak and 
worthless from her. 

This is a subject which ought in these times, 
when there is so much light and trashy reading to 
enfeeble the understanding, and so much semi- 
infidelity put forth under the guise of periodical 
literature, to engage the earnest attention of Chris- 
tian parents, who would preserve the mental and 
religious health of their children. The former 
generations of God's people were not so well read 
in the newspapers and periodicals of their clay; 
but they fed their minds with stronger and more 


substantial food; and in consequence they were 
more robust and less pliable Christians. 

The Bible, however, was the book with our 
dear Mother. She loved it for the sake of Him to 
whom she had given her heart, and whose will it 
unfolds and declares. She read it regularly in 
daily portions ; and though not always from begin- 
ning to end, yet so as to learn for herself, and 
make known to her household, all the words which 
God has commanded. She usually selected the 
reading from it according to her experience and 
spiritual wants. The practice was wise; though 
perhaps it is too little observed among believers in 
general. Whether for family reading, or for the 
closet, every portion of Scripture is not alike 
edifying ; while there are seasons of experience to 
which some portions are very specially adapted. 
The diligent and habitual Christian ought to have 
such a complete acquaintance with the word of 
God, as to be able to turn to these portions at 
once. It surely is not the " more excellent way," 
in trouble and bereavement, to be reading through 
long genealogical lists, or bare historical records, 
when we can turn to the profound wisdom of the 

168 a mother's portrait. 

Book of Job, the sweet consolations of the Psalms, 
the thrilling farewell address of Christ to his dis- 
ciples, and the tender narrative of the sorrowing 
family at Bethany. 

From the pages of Mother's Bible which are 
most worn, it is clear that she was very strongly 
attracted by the Epistles of St. Paul. His fervid 
expressions of love to Christ, his large-souled, 
glowing language, when seeking to embody in 
forms of speech his wonder as well as his gratitude 
for the scheme of redemption, were sure to touch 
a responsive chord in her adoring mind. In the 
Old Testament, the Psalms were evidently her 
most frequent resort ; and there her devout heart 
would readily find the expressions most fitly 
denoting her grateful feelings for the Divine good- 
ness and mercy. 

She loved the law of the Lord ; and in its own 
beautiful words, might be said to feed upon it, as 
upon " the finest of the wheat, and honey out of 
the rock." This scriptural food, daily received, 
proved richly nutritious to her ; for she grew up 
a strong and healthy Christian. By observing its 
holy precepts, and realizing its cheering promises, 


she walked in unshaken confidence with the great 
Keeper of Israel. Her loving value for the blessed 
Book might be seen even in the outward care she 
took of it. The family Bible was not left on any 
table or desk indifferently, as if it were an ordi- 
nary book. It was carefully put into its place, 
after being read ; and she would not allow any 
thing, except the hymn-book, to be placed upon 
it. She opened and closed it reverently; and, 
though worn by frequent use, it was always kept 
in good repair. She was also an advocate for a 
superior copy of the Bible, such as by its size and 
clearness of type, as well as by its appearance in 
other respects, gave it outward preeminence over 
uninspired books, and rendered it surpassingly 
attractive to the reader. The sneerer may term 
all this " Bibliolatry ;" but she would not have 
heeded the sneerer. She taught her family, even 
bv these outward circumstances, to honor the 
Book of the Lord ; knowing that they who hon- 
ored it would be most likely to honor its Divine 

There can be no doubt that by her close study 

of the Holy Scriptures she was perpetually led to 

8 p 

1T0 a mother's portrait. 

strive for deeper religion ; while her perusal of 
such biographies and devotional books as I have 
mentioned, helped to bring home to her mind the 
conviction that the entire holiness which the Bible 
inculcates is not, as some think, a blessing out of 
date, and scarcely to be realized in modern times. 
She saw that the Book of Divine Revelation sets 
forth clearly three progressive states of Christian 
experience, — pardon, cleansing from sin, and being 
filled with the Spirit. She discerned that those 
who have been most devoted to God in modern 
times have attained these blessings ; and she could 
not rest without realizing them, and thus becom- 
ing a scriptural and an eminent Christian. I have 
already spoken of her clear experience of the for- 
giveness of sin ; and she gave proof that she was 
not only justified, but washed and sanctified ; for 
she testified by a spotless life that " the blood of 
Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin." The doc- 
trine of "Entire Sanctification" is undoubtedly 
found in the word of God; and the Wesleyan 
Methodists profess to believe and teach it. What 
is more especially needed is to spread the convic- 
tion of its truth, by showing its influence in prac- 


tical life, and that they should be in this, as in 
other respects, "living epistles, known and read 
of all men." This our Mother did. Her graces 
were not fitful and uncertain in their lustre. She 
did not dissipate by any sudden gust of temper all 
she had previously obtained by months of prayer 
and watchfulness, but showed in her daily course 
the beauty of holiness. I can truly say, that 
neither in the twenty-two years I was closely in 
her care, nor at any after time, did I once see her 
in a state of mind which could lead me to doubt 
her immediate preparedness for eternity. Stran- 
gers who shall read these Letters, may attribute 
what I have just said to the over-partiality of a 
sons affection; but friends who knew her well, 
will be ready to sustain me in what I have here 

Nor was hers a merely negative state of salva- 
tion. She experienced, not only cleansing from 
sin and its pollution, but also the indwelling of the 
Holy Spirit. She had a constant fellowship with 
God ; and in her conversation and experience there 
was that realizing intercourse and communion with 
the Triune Godhead, which we read and hear of 

172 a mother's portrait. 

from the most eminent Christians. She spoke of, 
and prayed distinctly to, " Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost." Examples of this may be found in the 
lives of the saints I have already named, and with 
which she was familiar. Together with such holy 
experience, she had a fulness of spiritual posses- 
sion. She was not only preserved "unspotted 
from the world" and "blameless," but was "the 
temple of God," and had " the Spirit of God 
dwelling in her." She dwelt in God, and God in 
her. The words of Christ were fulfilled to her : 
" If any man love me, he will keep my words ; 
and my Father will love him, and we will come 
unto him, and make our abode with him." She 
was "filled with the Spirit," and proved person- 
ally the meaning of the apostle's inspired and com- 
prehensive prayer for being, not only " strength- 
ened with the Spirit's might in the inner man," 
and having " Christ dwelling in the heart by 
faith," but for being " filled with all the fulness of 

Holiness produced in her so much joy that none 
can understand it, unless they possess similar 
spirituality. Understand it many did not; and 


yet the world saw that she was a completely 
"happy woman." That was the impression she 
made on all who knew her. It was the phrase by 
which she was usually characterized; and when 
she died, the public notice of her death by an un- 
known hand in the county newspaper recorded, 
" This diligent and happy Christian departed this 
life," etc. It would be well indeed if newspapers 
were constrained by the force of truth to record 
the same of every professing disciple of Christ who 
departs this life. 


f tUtx six. 

" Life is real, Life is earnest, 
And the grave is not its goal : 

'Dust thou art, to dust returnest,' 
Was not spoken of the soul. 




" Let us, then, be up and doing, 
With a heart for any fate : 
Still achieving, still pursuing, 
Learn to labor and to wait." 


Some years after her union with Methodism, 
and when her spiritual character and zeal for 
Christian labor were seen and marked by the 
Church, our Mother was urged to become a class- 
leader. She hesitated to be thus employed for 
some time. The great responsibility of having 
the care of souls formally committed to her for 
religious instruction and counsel, and the multi- 
tude and weight of her engagements at home, 
caused this hesitation. She was also deeply 
attached to the class in which she had met from 
the commencement of her Wesleyan life ; for after 
the death of her first leader, Mr. Sproule, and 
when the class was intrusted to Mr. Bainbriclge, 
she still continued to meet in it, and that with 
great profit both to herself and her religious asso- 

At length, by the earnest persuasions of minis- 
ters, in their successive appointments to the cir- 
cuit, she was induced to surrender her own will 

176 a mother's portrait. 

to what she believed to be the will of God, 
expressed by his servants, and became a class- 

And, as might be supposed, she filled the office 
intelligently and faithfully. She could not fail to 
be fitted for it, from her own clear Christian expe- 
rience, her varied knowledge of the world, her 
stores of Scripture lessons, her extensive acquaint- 
ance with the memoirs of the most devoted saints 
of God, and from her aptness to teach. Yet our 
Mother did not rely on what she was already ; 
but on taking the office endeavored to qualify her- 
self more fully for it. While reading books, and 
observing character and human life, she now more 
particularly considered what edifying lessons could 
be deduced from them, and be turned to the spirit- 
ual benefit of the members of her class. We have 
found notes and memoranda on slips of paper, 
showing that this was her practice. 

Indeed, the strong sense she had of the import- 
ance and advantage of suitable preparation for their 
great work, by Wesleyan class-leaders, was one of 
the reasons which deterred her from entering into 
that office sooner. And her views on this subject 


were undoubtedly correct. The discharge of such 
duty ought not to be left to merely impulsive 
thought, or to a happy presence of mind. That 
is a gift possessed by some favored persons ; but 
the readiest thinker is not always the soundest. 
Diligent and careful preparation should be made 
for giving suitable advice. Sometimes this should 
be guided by what the leader knows of the physi- 
cal constitution of those under his or her care, or 
of their mental idiosyncrasy. Whether caution 
or encouragement be needed, the peculiar charac- 
ter and circumstances of the person addressed 
should be weighed before it is given. The very 
manner, as well as the words in which advice is 
given, should be adapted to the timid or to the 
strong. The wisdom of such an institution as 
that of the weekly class is shown by the fact, that 
it enables a leader to become well acquainted with 
the state of those who compose it. This immense 
advantage should not be lost to Christ's Church 
by the doling out of a few worn generalities alike 
to the lambs and sheep of the flock : the leader 
should perform his or her task with diligence, with 
vigor, and with tenderness; and for this service 

178 a mother's portrait. 

the intelligence naturally possessed should be 
ripened by meditation. 

Our dear Mother was held to be a very efficient 
class-leader; and soon was surrounded by fully 
as many as could meet together with profit. She 
made all feel that they were really cared for. 
Absentees were speedily visited ; and if they were 
in trouble or sick, they readily found sympathy 
and relief. She was careful also to train her 
members to usefulness, taking such of them with 
her to visit the sick and the poor as she judged 
most fit ; and then giving them cases to visit by 
themselves. Among her members were several 
intelligent young persons who are now the wives 
of missionaries or ministers in the Connection, 
while others became distinguished for usefulness 
in Lincoln. 

Addressing these letters to a Sister, and writ- 
ing of a Mother, it will not be out of jjlace for me 
to express a thought or two, as I pass along, on 
the importance of right views concerning female 
agency in the Christian Church. I hold it to be 
a great error to maintain that your sex, my dear 
Sister, has no veritable mission in that Church, 


and ought to be viewed merely as man's associate, 
her own family's nurse, and the administratrix, 
simply, of domestic concerns. 

It is true that offices of rule and government 
are not open to her in the Church of Christ, any 
more than they are in the State. Except in par- 
ticular cases, it does not seem that woman is 
intended to be a public teacher therein : her con- 
stitution and sympathies usually unfit her for 
that 3 but she has nevertheless a sphere of her 
own. She cannot speak in loud clarion tones : 
her voice is rather that of the soft lute, soothing 
and alluring ; but it is not the less powerful for 
its gentleness. No class of persons has contri- 
buted more largely to the Christian ministry, and 
to the Christian Church, than Christian females. 
Not only Timothy, the Wesleys, Cecil, and John 
Newton, but thousands more, who have been emi- 
nent by their usefulness, have acknowledged this. 
As the Rev. Angell James, of Birmingham, has 
written, " Millions have blessed Gocl on earth, and 
will prolong the praise in heaven and through 
eternity, for pious mothers. Mothers, next to 

180 a mother's portrait. 

ministers, have been the chief instruments of God 
in building up the Church." 

Woman has no inconsiderable place among 
Scripture examples. Not to speak of the women 
of the older dispensation, — some of them the 
noblest female portraits on record, — we need only 
observe how women were chosen for his friends 
by the Saviour, and how truly they proved theii 
devout attachment at the foot of the cross and at 
the door of the sepulchre. Women were also 
associated with the apostles in the first scenes of 
Christianity at Jerusalem ; and we learn from St. 
Paul's tender salutations and greetings at the end 
of his epistles, how they continued to be valued 
for their labors among the saints. 

Methodism is, as before stated, professedly a 
revival of apostolic Christianity; and it is shown 
to be so by its large adoption of female agency, 
as well as by other proofs. Holy women were 
helpers to Wesley : he associated with them, and 
even took counsel of them. In modern Method- 
ism they are true deaconesses, and real " Sisters 
of Mercy." As class-leaders for their own sex, 


visitors of the sick and poor, or Sunday-school 
teachers ; as tract distributors, or collectors for 
missionary and other philanthropic undertakings, 
devoted and earnest females are sure to Unci 
opportunities of useful exertion; for Methodism 
gives all its members something to perform for 
Christ. This, no doubt, is one great secret of its 
large and rapid growth, not only in our own land, 
but in America and throughout the world. While 
pure in its doctrines, strict in its moral require- 
ments, and searching in the weekly examinations 
of its members, it is, more than any other, a 
popular and expansive system. And this is the 
reason why Wesleyan Methodists so often speak 
of their system, and of its founder and great pro- 
moters — a habit which is not understood by 
other religious communities. It seems to them 
to savor of man-worship, or of giving honor to the 
human instruments instead of to the Almighty 
Worker. But it is not so. They gratefully 
praise and glorify Gocl, rejoicing in the opportun- 
ities and means of usefulness which their Church 
affords them. 

Our dear Mother did so. Its free and unre- 


182 a mother's portrait. 

stricted doctrines of universal redemption, and its 
loud and earnest calls to sinners to come to Christ 
without delay and live, suited her affectionate and 
compassionate nature; and its system of agency 
furnished her with a sphere of usefulness such as 
she could not possibly find elsewhere, and in which 
she worked heartily and successfully to the end 
of her life. 

She especially exulted in the great missionary 
undertakings of Methodism; and supported and 
promoted them to the extent which her means 
would admit. She read eagerly the monthly 
" Missionary Notices :" remembered the mission- 
aries in her daily prayers : attended the monthly 
missionary prayer-meetings ; and seemed often as 
near to heaven as she could be on earth, when 
hearing at public meetings of the triumphant pro- 
gress of her Redeemer's kingdom in heathen lands. 
She always estimated, as well she might, the mis- 
sionary who " hazards his life for the name of the 
Lord Jesus Christ," as the most exalted and hon- 
orable of all Christian laborers. 

Indeed, the Missionary Anniversary at Lincohi, 
as in other places, was the great Methodist festival 


of the year. On the morning of that clay, vehicles 
of various descriptions would be seen arriving from 
all the surrounding villages, and even from some 
of the neighboring market-towns. The- gigs and 
carts would be placed in long rows, within the inn 
yards ; while their owners would repair for refresh- 
ment to the houses of their friends in the city. At 
two o'clock, and before, the pavement on both 
sides of the street would be thronged with persons 
of all ages and conditions of life, citizens and rus- 
tics, pressing their way towards the chapel. The 
house of God would soon be filled, — the aisles, 
the gallery, the very stairs. The meeting would 
be opened by devotional exercises ; and the chair 
occupied by some honorable citizen, or by some 
gentleman of the county well known by the agri- 
culturists. The chairman would briefly explain 
the object to be promoted, and express his satis- 
faction and good-will towards it : the yearly report 
would then be read ; and the successive speakers 
would afterwards address the assembly. 

At length, the chief speaker would be called 
upon, immediately before the collection was made. 
Perhaps it would be William Dawson, not the less 

184 a mother's portrait. 

loved in Lincolnshire because lie was introduced 
as "the Yorkshire farmer." And a farmer he 
was, in look and appearance. That hardy and 
homely face, with the bushy brow, and the gray 
eyes twinkling beneath with such a store of latent 
humor and shrewdness, — the broad shoulders and 
burly port, — the brown coat, of no modern cut, — 
down to the well-worn, old-fashioned top-boots, — 
all marked him out as one of England's real yeo- 
men, the genuine " sons of the plough." With a 
felicitous ingenuity that raised wonder in the minds 
of the hearers, he would liken the progress of 
gospel missions to the career of a victorious war- 
rior; or to the mighty triumphs of the steam- 
engine, as beheld in the rapid flight of the railway- 
carriage, or in the steam-ship pursuing its course 
amidst raging winds and mountain billows. His 
mastery of allegory made you think that if John 
Bunyan could have risen from the dead and 
become a missionary speaker, your enjoyment 
could scarcely have been greater. And, ever and 
anon, amidst flashes of mother- wit, and imaginative 
illustrations bordering on the grotesque, there 
would be some weighty and profound saying, or 

DR. NEWTON. 185 

some climax to an appeal that reached the true 
sublime. You felt it was native genius that' stood 
before you, — genius consecrated to the grandest 
and holiest of causes. Your fancy . might be 
amused ; but, above all, your judgment was enlight- 
ened and your heart improved by what you heard. 
The effect was not only seen by the cheerful zeal 
with which the audience poured their contribu- 
tions into the missionary treasury; but you heard 
of those sayings, and of their practical and bene- 
ficial effects on men's lives, for months and years 
afterwards, both in the city and in the circuit. 

Or it might be, that late in the meeting came 
the unequalled missionary pleader, Robert New- 
ton. If he were long in coming, yet you knew 
that since he had engaged to come, he would be 
sure, if alive and well, to be present. So no real 
discouragement was felt, although the prior half 
of the meeting might not be so interesting as had 
been expected. Every one knew that when he 
should come, the feeling of the meeting would 
certainly be raised ; for what missionary meeting 
ever failed with Robert Newton's presence ? At 
length, he would be seen striding manfully up the 


186 a mother's portrait. 

aisle, and on to the platform, while all eyes were 
fixed, upon him. He had been long " on the 
wheels/' as he would be sure to inform you before 
the meeting came to a close ; but his appearance 
was fresh and healthy. Smiles all around, and 
many a fraternal grasp of the hand by his brethren 
on the platform, would greet him; and when he 
rose to speak, his grand form, that seemed a model 
for a Grecian sculptor : his manly, energetic vis- 
age : the fire and feeling of his fine dark eye : 
above all, the rich fulness, the majestic music, and 
thrilling power of his voice, (which reminded you 
of Keats's line, — 

" That large utterance of the early gods," — 

so much did it dwarf the power of the voices of 
other men,) all combined to assure you that he 
had already triumphed and succeeded with his 
audience, although his appeal was only just 

But how different was the feast of oratory now, 
to that which you enjoyed when, on some former 
anniversary, Mr. Dawson had been the principal 
speaker. There was not the versatility, the won- 
drous power of passing " from grave to gay," and 

DR. NEWTON. 187 

still conveying the impressive lesson, — the play of 
imagery and allegory, which distinguished " the 
Yorkshire farmer :" all was now stately and digni- 
fied ; or there was an occasional strain of feeling 
and tenderness, that shook the heart, thrilled the 
nerves, and made the tears flow from every eye ; 
or there was an exultant burst of pious triumph, 
that sounded as if you had caught one note struck 
from Gabriel's harp in heaven, and that raised the 
instant, load, and irrepressible response of " Glory 
to God !" from the crowd of the speaker's earnest 
listeners. Rapidly, and yet fully, the pleader 
descanted on the sinful and perishing condition of 
the heathen, — on the inestimable benefits con- 
ferred through the labors of the missionaries sent 
forth to spread the gospel of Christ, — on the future 
triumphs of the Redeemer's kingdom, — or on the 
blessedness of those who cooperate ; and then 
exhibiting human nature, by relating in his own 
felicitous manner what he had known or heard of 
the covetous or the liberal man, he appealed so 
potently and irresistibly to his hearers, that, though 
they wished the magnificent music of that voice 
still to be prolonged, they became impatient to 

188 A mother's portrait. 

prove their eagerness to contribute, and to have 
the collection made. 

A verse of a hymn ; usually — 

"Praise God, from whom all blessings flow," — 

sung to the incomparable air of the Old Hun- 
dredth — for that verse and tune seemed the only 
fitting medium by which the full hearts of the 
audience could be disburdened — then prayer and 
the benediction followed ; and the people dispersed 
to Methodist homes in the city, to express to each 
other their delight with what they had heard, and, 
after refreshing themselves with tea, to sing and 
pray together, until it was time to proceed to the 
evening service, again to hear Robert Newton. 

If you had two hours before conceived that he 
was created to plead on the missionary platform, 
you saw, now that he took his place in the pulpit, 
that he himself gratefully gloried far more in 
being privileged to preach the gospel of the 
Saviour. His rapt look, as he uttered in the 
richest tones and skilfullest cadences those un- 
surpassed hymns, so as to give the full meaning 
to their thoughts, and to make you feel the beauty 

DR. NEWTON. 189 

of their rhythm : his solemn awe and power in 
prayer, and the humble reliance on God which he 
expressed for aid in his great work — all prepared 
your heart and mind to receive, as out of his own 
heart and mind he was evidently prepared to 
deliver, the paramount truths of Christianity. 
His text might be, " God so loved the world," 
etc. ; or, " The glorious gospel of the blessed 
God ;" or, " The weapons of our warfare are not 
carnal, but mighty," etc. ; or, " God forbid that I 
should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus 
Christ ;" but whatever it might be, " the whole 
counsel of God," as revealed in the plan of human 
redemption : the willingness of God to save : a 
free, full, and present salvation for all men; in 
short, gospel Methodism, was sure to be preached; 
while the voice, look, action, manner, and earnest- 
ness of the preacher, carried home conviction to 
the soul, and made the hearing of the sermon 
rememberable to your life's end. Well might this 
prince of preachers say in death, " The preaching 
that flows from the heart does good every day. 
Methodism is the work of God. I am a Method- 
ist, a Methodist preacher, — glory be to God ! an 

190 a mother's portrait. 

old Methodist preacher ;" for such had been his 
daily exercises for half a century. 

He has gone to his eternal reward; and his 
place has now to be rilled by others ; for it cannot 
be filled by any one man. As Charles Wesley 
used to say, " While God buries his workmen, he 
carries on his work." The great evangelical cause 
of Christian missions still proceeds. And if there 
are not now such great central gatherings at mis- 
sionary anniversaries in some places as there were 
formerly, yet the great cause itself has more sup- 
porters than ever; and annual meetings on its 
behalf are held now in almost every village. 

Our Mother's warm heart and expansive soul 
could not fail to embrace this cause, and delight in 
it, as well as prompt her to be active in its promo- 
tion. But while rejoicing in Methodism, and in 
all the blessed and extending effects wrought by 
it, our dear parent was not sectarian and narrow 
in spirit. She did not suppose that all spiritual 
religion was enclosed within her own religious 
community, and that beyond its circle there was 
but an almost Christianity. She was too large- 
hearted and well-instructed for this. She loved 


all, of whatever name, who loved the Lord Jesus 
Christ in sincerity. Seeing in them the image of 
her Heavenly Father whom she loved, that satis- 
fied her ; and she was ready to commune and hold 
fellowship with them. 

I have already remarked that she never forgot 
her obligations to the Church of England. On 
particular occasions she continued to attend its 
services; and for benevolent objects visited at 
times some chapel of the Dissenters on a week- 
day evening. Her means were not large ; but as 
far as they enabled her, she subscribed to the 
varied institutions of the universal Church. In 
her book of private accounts are entries of yearly 
subscriptions to the British and Foreign Bible 
Society, the Church Missionary Society, the Lon- 
don and the Baptist Missionary Societies, and to 
the Society for Promoting Christianity among the 
Jews, as well as to the institutions of Methodism 
and to local charities. Hers was a liberal heart, 
which devised liberal things. She was a true 
disciple of Wesley, — "the friend of all, and the 
enemy of none." In her day of activity, the 
Evangelical Alliance had not spread itself beyond 


192 a mother's portrait. 

the great centres of the kingdom, or her mind 
would have highly exulted in its truly catholic 
objects and services ; for nothing seemed to re- 
joice her more than to behold an assembly of 
evangelical Christians, from different denomina- 
tions, uniting for one common object in the cause 
of her Redeemer. 

Her charity did not, however, run into loose- 
ness, or latitudinarianism. She did not so merge 
all creeds and religious opinions that essential 
principle was lost and swallowed up through an 
unbounded generalization. She knew how, for 
instance, to make a due distinction between Pro- 
testantism and Popery. My youth was chiefly 
spent among Roman Catholics, I having been 
articled for the study of architecture to a gentle- 
man in Lincoln, who, for pure benevolence of 
spirit, largeness of mind, extent of accurate infor- 
mation, and scholarly accomplishments, has rarely 
been surpassed ; but who was a most devoted and 
zealous Roman Catholic. At his table not unfre- 
quently were to be met the bishops and priests 
of Iris Church, who were not only captivating by 
their literary attainments, and extensive know- 


ledge of the world, but also ready to converse on 
the differences between Protestantism and Roman- 
ism. In these circumstances, it will easily be 
understood that a Protestant youth's newly-found 
religion was a delicate plant in somewhat perilous 

This was seen and constantly remembered by 
our deceased parent, who used most carefully to 
point out the vital difference between faith in 
Christ alone, through which a contrite sinner is 
saved, and the merit of good works and of de- 
parted saints, as taught for salvation among the 
Roman Catholics. She was also earnest in setting 
forth the seriously presumptuous intrusion of the 
Papacy and its priesthood into the place and office 
of the Redeemer, as well as in describing the evil 
fruits it had produced in persecution, and in claim- 
ing to rule over nations with unrestrained power. 

But while thus firmly set against the system of 
Rome, our dear Mother was ready to acknowledge 
and to improve the good found in individuals who, 
like Thomas a Kempis, De Renty, Fenelon, Pas- 
cal, and others, were real saints under a false and 
corrupt system, with which from early life they 
9 R 

194 a mother's portrait. 

had been associated. And in some instances 
which could be named, she might seem to carry 
her catholicity too far, by her intercourse and 
prayers with such as were not orthodox by pro- 
fession. But she had learned that some persons 
were better than their creeds ; that they were 
good in spite of their systems, rather than because 
of them. She admired sincerity wherever she 
found it, and knew well how to pick out the 
wheat from the chaff of human character. It 
was not that she undervalued forms and profes- 
sions : she knew their importance, and was ready 
to uphold them; but she sought the substance of 
goodness rather than the mere name. 

tiitx nit. 

''And sometimes even beneath the moon 
The Saviour gives a gracious boon, 

When reconciled Christians meet, 
And face to face, and heart to heart, 
High thoughts of holy love impart, 

In silence meek, or converse sweet." 


In my last letter I set before you our Mother's 
catholicity of spirit; and I would not, my dear 
Sister, have you bigoted or exclusive in your 

196 a mother's portrait. 

views of Christian Churches ; but being anxiously 
desirous that you should have what is most help- 
ful to piety, in your association with the people 
of God, I would, in passing, point out to you some 
of the advantages preeminently supplied in the 
Church with which from your baptism you have 
been more immediately connected. We see how 
some young persons, whose parents rose from 
obscurity, and repeatedly acknowledged before the 
Lord and his people that they owed their position, 
and all that they possessed, to Methodism, have 
been foolishly seduced from it by the idol of 
"respectability." Professing themselves unable 
longer to submit to companionship with the poor, 
and to be compelled to hear homely language on 
spiritual things, they have ungratefully forsaken 
the Church in which their fathers found peace 
and salvation, and have associated themselves 
with persons of higher station and culture, and 
with public services more imposing, than are to be 
found in the simple practices of Wesleyans. Such 
conduct is unwise as well as ungrateful. It seldom 
leads to an attainment of the object sought, — for 
such transitions do not elevate the changelings in 


the respect and esteem of the thoughtful and the 
good, — while in most instances it is detrimental, 
religiously. Indeed, it proves not only the depart- 
ure of the mind from Christian simplicity, but also 
its false and worldly views of the kingdom of the 
Saviour. The presence of the poor was emphati- 
cally the sign given of his kingdom by Christ, to 
the inquiring messengers of the Baptist : " The 
poor have the gospel preached unto them." His 
design was to mingle the rich and poor together 
in his service ; and Methodism does this as fully 
as any Church that can be named. 

Its distinctive characteristics — or rather those 
which expressly mark its separation as a Church 
from the world — lie in the association of its mem- 
bers for mutual oversight, counsel, and encourage- 
ment. The term of admission to membership 
consists in no theological test, but simply in "a 
desire to flee from the wrath to come;" so that 
any person sincerely desirous of salvation may 
enter the pale of Methodism. But when that 
step has been taken, strict vigilance is then exer- 
cised in the oversight of the new convert, lest 
while professing to be not of the world his life 


198 a mother's portrait. 

should prove the contrary. This is reasonable 
and consistent; for it never could be intended 
that professors of religion should be so mingled 
with the world as to have no distinction ; and if 
the distinction were only nominal and not vital, it 
would only be a mere profession and a fraud. If 
admission to the sacrament of the Lord's Supper 
be regarded as the test of Church membership, 
then the Church ought to have such a knowledge 
of the life and conduct of its communicants as to 
be able to judge of their fitness. That Church 
which has not this, and which is without the 
means for excluding from the Lord's table those 
who walk disorderly, is seriously defective. Now 
Methodism provides these through its class-meet- 
ings, which, if not formally and by name of scrip- 
tural authority, yet in their object and use are 
essentially so. 

A Methodist Class-Meeting is a weekly meet- 
ing of from twelve to twenty members of the 
society or church, who are associated with one 
called "the leader," — a member of enlightened 
and advanced piety, — for mutual oversight, exhort- 
ation, and counsel. In these meetings the mem- 


bers pray with and for each other, speak to one 
another of their religious experience, and the 
leader gives them such spiritual advice as he 
thinks most suitable to their cases respectively. 
By thus " striving together in prayers," and 
" speaking often one to another," acquaintance 
with each other is formed, the "fellowship of 
saints" is promoted, and the wants of the poor 
and sick are discovered. Once in each quarter of 
a year the class is visited by the minister, who 
ascertains by personal inquiry the spiritual condi- 
tion of the leader and of his members ; and who, 
by the delivery of a ticket, in connection with 
ministerial instruction, renews to the approved the 
token of membership with the Church of God; 
and then, as well as at each weekly meeting, the 
leader and the members contribute to the work of 
God out of their substance, " as God hath pros- 
pered them." Thus you will perceive Wesleyan 
class-meetings are not the Popish confessionals 
which some have falsely represented them as 
being. They are not resorts for disclosing family 
secrets, or for uneclifying and disorderly conversa- 
tion and gossip, as others have ignorantly sup- 

200 A mother's portrait. 

posed. But they are scriptural, edifying, and 
orderly means of grace, such as all who have 
attended them value, when their souls are alive to 
God. If Christian professors are not living to the 
honor of Christ, they would rather shun the ques- 
tion, " What is now the state of your soul ?" If 
a member of the Church be conscious of remissness 
in the habit of private prayer, of worldliness and 
unwatchfulness, or of half-heartedness, he will 
shrink from the place where his spiritual condition 
is brought to the test. But if living in close and 
daily communion with the Divine Being, if enjoy- 
ing the continued sense of God's favor and bless- 
ing, he will fervidly desire to communicate and to 
consummate his spiritual joy, by declaring it to 
others. The steadiest and best, that is to say, 
the most truly spiritual-minded Wesleyans highly 
prize this weekly means of grace ; and though 
some differences may be looked for in the charac- 
ter of human minds, and some allowances be made 
for the naturally timorous and retiring, yet Chris- 
tian fellowship will be sought and valued by every 
true follower of the Saviour. Hence we find that 
almost every Church alive with spiritual impulses, 


imitates (without taking the express name of 
" Class-Meeting") this example set by Methodism, 
in its social means of grace : imitates, I would 
rather say, in this respect, apostolic Christianity. 
It is, in fact, in these more private conferences 
that the richest fruits of religious experience are 
not unfrequently found. When they who take 
sweet counsel together go up to the house of God 
in company ; — when one converted and saved says 
to his Christian brethren, " Come, ye that fear the 
Lord, and I w T ill tell you what he hath done for 
my soul !" — when, like the disciples going to Em- 
maus, they commune together, — then Jesus him- 
self draws near, and makes their hearts burn 
within them as he talks with them by the way, 
and as he opens to them the Scriptures. 

The wisdom of the founder of Methodism was 
never more fully show r n than in the establishment 
of this social means of grace. Its beneficial influ- 
ence in recalling members each w T eek to a sense of 
their spiritual obligations and privileges, the cir- 
cumspection it induces, the healthy emulation it 
excites, and its continuous promotion of brotherly 

sympathy and love, are among its most obvious 

202 a mother's portrait. 

advantages. Some who feel the bonds of Chris- 
tian discipline too strait for them, or who would 
have the kingdom of God " come with observa- 
tion," knowing how the numbers in Methodism 
might instantly be multiplied if this condition 
were withdrawn, are already asking, If class-meet- 
ings be really necessary ? If they be quite suited 
to the age in which we live ? If, in deference to 
the spirit of the times, they may not now be dis- 
pensed with ? But all vigilant pastors and faith- 
ful Methodists will keep their eye upon this 
humble yet essential means of grace. It were 
better that the Church should be smaller, if pure, 
than larger and worldly, as it would undoubtedly 
be if class-meetings were dispensed with. 

Should these fences of our vineyard ever be 
loosened, then shall it be laid waste. The apostles 
carefully separated believers in Christ from the 
world, placed them within the Christian fold, shep- 
herded them with care, and instructed them in the 
doctrines and duties of religion. Thus Mr. Wes- 
ley remarks on the institution of class-meetings, 
which, like other parts of the system of Method- 
ism, arose fi "~" ~" ^fW+inl circumstances, and 


not of set plan, like the system of Ignatius 
Loyola, — 

" Upon reflection, I could not but observe, This 
is the very thing which was from the beginning 
of Christianity. In the earliest times, those whom 
God had sent forth ' preached the gospel to every 
creature.' And the ol dKpoa-al, c the body of hear- 
ers,' were mostly either Jews or heathens. But 
as soon as any of these were so convinced of the 
truth as to forsake sin and seek the gospel salva- 
tion, they immediately joined them together, took 
an account of their names, advised them to watch 
over each other, and met these Karrjxovfievoi, c cate- 
chumens,' (as they were then called,) apart from 
the great congregation, that they might instruct, 
rebuke, exhort, and pray with them, and for them, 
according to their several necessities." 

Other edifying means of grace, though now 
peculiar to Methodism, are not additions or im- 
provements from the eighteenth century, as some 
would have it believed : they are simply restora- 
tions of Christian services, as old as Christianity 
itself, and which through abuse, or neglect, had 
fallen into desuetude. The love-feasts of Method- 

204 A mother's portrait. 

ism, in which the classes meeting separately in 
each week are assembled together in the house of 
God at the end of each quarter, voluntarily to 
testify before the minister and each other of Di- 
vine grace to them, have scriptural precedent and 
example in the agapjs of the early Christians, 
who ate and drank together before the Lord, ex- 
pressing freely their love to the Saviour and to 
one another. These are more simple now in their 
provision of bread and water only, because wine 
was abused in such meetings, even in the days of 
the apostles, as St. Paul has recorded in his First 
Epistle to the Corinthians. And what sight can 
be more impressive and edifying, than that of 
the members of a church meeting together, and, 
after eating and drinking together in one commu- 
nion with thanksgiving, w r aiting to hear from the 
minister what he personally experiences of the 
salvation of Christ, and then rising in succession 
to testify before him and their fellow-Christians 
what Divine grace is doing for their souls ? It 
would be too much to suppose that in the artless 
narratives of some humble but sincere members, 
no grammatical faults or other inaccuracies of Ian- 


guage are ever found. But these are not such as 
to interfere with and prevent the edification of 
earnest souls; as all can testify who have been 
present at such services. On the other hand, it 
may be said, many remember them as seasons of 
overwhelming power and grace. There was the 
relation of Christian experience, perhaps, by a 
poor unlettered man, who, nevertheless, spoke in 
language richly inlaid with the words of the Book 
which he daily reads, and which are to him " spirit 
and life." Others of more cultured minds, but of 
inferior piety, were stimulated by what they heard. 
Some hung down their heads, ashamed, and in 
tears before God. Others rejoiced aloud : heart 
was drawn to heart, and spirit to spirit : their 
sympathies were chorded and entwined; and all 
partook of the feeling that they were "one in 
Christ Jesus." Like the disciples on the mount 
with Christ, they said, " It is good to be here ;" 
and loth to part, they wished to remain where 
they were, and prolong the rapturous delight of 
extolling their common Saviour. In such meet- 
ings they anticipated the enjoyment of heaven; 
and asked, " If the joy of God's redeemed people 

206 a mother's portrait. 

be so great on earth, what will it be when they 
meet before the throne of the Lamb ?" 

In these meetings, too, qualities for usefulness 
are not unfrequently discovered. That modest 
youth, whose voice is tremulous with diffidence, 
but whose speech belies the power that is in him, 
relates his experience of the saving grace and 
energy of God. Then inquiry arises among his 
brethren who hear him, if such gifts should not 
have a larger sphere afforded to them : if he may 
not be employed as "an instructor of the igno- 
rant, a teacher of babes ;" if he may not be " pro- 
fitable for the ministry," and be ordained an 
ambassador for Christ? Such is the humble 
beginning of many who become eminent for use- 
fulness in the Church. Their heartfelt devotion 
to the cause of Christ is first in such meetings 
timorously expressed : the speakers become known, 
and are approved by both ministers and members : 
they are sent forth, and the promise of Holy 
Scripture is fulfilled, "And I raised up your sons 
for prophets." 

Such are some of the important advantages 


preeminently supplied in Methodism to its mem- 
bers ; for in its means for promoting Christian 
fellowship and mutual edification, it confessedly 
holds no secondary rank among the Churches of 
our Lord. 

fcitu nb. 

"Not clothed in purple or fine linen — stood 
The Wilderness Apostle ! He was found 
O'er-canopied by wild rocks fringed with wood, 
Where nature's sternest scenery darkly frowned. 


There stood the Seer, his loins begirt around, 
With outstretched hand, bare brow, and vocal eye : 

His voice, with sad solemnity of sound, 

More thrilling than the eagle's startling cry, 
'Repent! repent!' exclaimed, 'Christ's kingdom draweth nigh !'" 


In noticing for you the spiritual life and reli- 
gious services of Methodism, I must not omit to 
name one truly memorable season of grace and 
salvation to many in the city of Lincoln; espe- 
cially as our dear Mother was energetically 
engaged in it, and always afterwards rejoiced in 
the remembrance of it. This was the time of the 
Rev. John Smith's ministerial labors in the Lin- 
coln Circuit, during the years 1829, 1830, and 
1831. He was known in Methodism by the title 
of " the Revivalist ;" a name which when employed 
to designate a minister of a certain class is not to 
be fully approved ; for all true ministers of Christ 
are revivalists, whatever may be the diversity of 
their gifts. And we shall all do well to imitate 
the magnanimous example of the Apostle Peter, 
who neither envied nor despised the style and 
manner of his brethren, however much they might 
differ from himself; and who, in referring to St. 


210 a mother's portrait. 

Paul, speaks of him as his " beloved brother," who 
had written to those addressed, " according to the 
wisdom given unto him." But the term " Revi- 
valist/' when employed to represent John Smith, 
was most just and appropriate ; for he was such 
in the best sense of the word. Go where he would 
to labor, — whether to a fashionable watering-place, 
like Brighton, — to the seat of dissipated royalty, 
as was Windsor in the time of George IV., — to a 
quiet, undisturbable kind of place, such as Frome, 
— or to a large, populous, manufacturing town, 
like Nottingham, — he was the means, under God, 
of breaking up the dull monotony into which the 
Church might have subsided, of awakening its 
energies, and of extending its borders. 

When Mr. Smith came to Lincoln, there was a 
great diversity of opinion concerning him, among 
the members of Society. Some, who had heard 
of the extraordinary things which had marked his 
ministry in a neighboring circuit, and who at that 
time were almost ready to prefer the stillness of 
death to the startling occurrences of a religious 
revival, even went so far as to say, on the eve of 
his coming, " He will not serve for Lincoln." He 


came ; and the societies in the city and throughout 
the circuit were soon moved. Spiritual and saving 
effects were produced on the very first Sabbath 
of his ministry in Lincoln. Kindred spirits in the 
Church were immediately stirred and drawn forth 
to aid in the work of God ; and many in the con- 
gregation were awakened to see their need of per- 
sonal religion, and to feel the danger of resting 
content with a bare attendance on the ordinances 
of worship. The remarkable man whose preaching 
had produced this quickening change was spoken 
of in various companies ; and many who came to 
hear him through curiosity were impressed and 
convinced. Notorious sinners were converted; 
and this led their former companions to inquire 
for them, and to go to the Methodist chapel to 
see what had become of them, and who this John 
Smith was that had broken their ranks. Many 
of these new inquirers were in their turn seized 
with religious conviction, and were saved ; and 
this continued until very soon a great part of the 
city appeared to be under religious influence. 

Meanwhile, as may be supposed, many words of 
ridicule and condemnation were uttered by parties 

212 a mother's portrait. 

without the Church, and some of caution and 
counsel within. • But the new minister was a man 
of one business, who understood and confided in 
the correctness of his own tried principles of 
action : he unswervingly pursued his own course ; 
and the effects continued to be felt and seen, both 
by the Church and the world. 

Although my purpose, in these letters, is chiefly 
to present you, my dear Sister, with a Portrait of 
our Mother, I cannot forbear to, attempt a sketch 
of this honored servant of God, with whose de- 
voted efforts for his Divine Master's cause she 
sympathized so deeply, and whom she endeavored 
so zealously to help. He was a man of the utmost 
firmness and vigor in his own character ; and of 
singular quickness in penetrating the character of 
others. To a fine, manly, firmly knit bodily 
frame, he united a countenance of transparent 
openness, which was also wonderfully indicative 
of the transition of his thoughts from joy to 
tenderness, from rapt adoration of the holiness 
and majesty of God to stern and faithful denun- 
ciation of sin. His voice was a tenor of indescrib- 
able sweetness and flexibility; but possessed, 


when lie wielded the terrors of the Lord, the 
thrilling and startling power of a -trumpet, — for 
there Avere times when he was distinctly heard at 
the distance of a mile, while preaching to crowded 
village audiences on week-day evenings. His pas- 
sion for poetry, art, and music, often broke forth 
in his conversations with persons of taste, and 
proved how much there was that was refined 
in his tendencies ; but he quickly reverted to 
the strong, solid, and useful occupation of the 

As a preacher, this mingled tenderness and 
strength often made him almost irresistible. But 
the great cause of his success, under God, seemed 
to be the instant conviction he produced in the 
minds of all who listened to him of his own pro- 
found earnestness. You saw that the awful views 
of man's sinfulness and danger, the glowing faith 
in the Atonement, and confidence in the power 
and willingness of Christ to save from sin, on 
which he dwelt with so much fervor, were really 
the outpouring of his inmost soul. And while 
listening, it seemed next to impossible that you 
should not yield to him. His appeals against sin, 

214 a mother's portrait. 

its offensiveness in the sight of the Lord, its in- 
gratitude and folly, and the peril to which it 
exposes the sinner, were often terrific. And then 
the awe-struck sinner was followed by the most 
pathetic entreaties, uttered often with floods of 
tears ; until the rebel became a mourner, and did 
not cease to cry for salvation until he found it. 

But there was a secret in his success which 
those who pronounced upon it with mere human 
judgment did not penetrate. This was his inti- 
mate communion with God. He did not confide 
in his knowledge of human nature, which was 
deep : in his correct and forceful Saxon style of 
language, for which he was distinguished; or in 
his rare power of awakening and touching the 
heart by sympathy or alarm. He knew that all 
these gifts must be Divinely directed and aided, 
or the spiritual quickening would not come. This 
conviction made him simple as a child in his de- 
pendence on the Divine Father, led him to clays 
and nights of prayer, to groanings in secret and 
strong cries in public, and to the peculiar manner 
and style of his preaching. This made him a 
minister of the Spirit; and beyond many, a man 


" full of faith and of the Holy Ghost." He was 
not a mere enthusiast, as some would suppose ; 
for he ever connected the end he had in view with 
the use of appointed means. He sought spiritual 
effects from the Spirit's power; and having re- 
ceived the word and promise of God, he fully 
relied thereon. This was as scriptural as it was 

A minister of the gospel is to give himself not 
only to the word of God, but also to prayer. 
And whatever may be his gifts and attainments, 
whatever may be his attractions by eloquence 
and manner, unless by prayer he bathe his sword 
in the lightnings of heaven, he will be spiritually 
ineffective, and the great ends of Christian preach- 
ing will fail of their gracious accomplishment. 
Hardened sinners will not be pricked in the heart, 
and cry out, " What must we do to be saved ?" 
nor will believers be edified, and the real spiritual 
Church of Christ increased. Assuredly, of all 
the pitiable scenes in this world, there is none 
more pitiable than that of a feeble mortal seeking 
to carry on what is confessedly God's own work, 
without God. John Smith did not attempt this. 

216 a mother's portrait. 

He sought, by fervent and unceasing prayer, the 
presence and aid of the Holy Ghost ; and if proof 
were needed that he was right, it was to be found 
in the signal manner in which his ministry was 
honored. Hundreds were converted; and the 
societies were quickened and enlarged. Many 
saw what might be done by entire devotedness 
to the service of the Lord. The effects of his 
preaching spread, not only through his own cir- 
cuit, but to the circuits adjoining ; nay, there was 
scarcely a circuit in Lincolnshire, or on its bor- 
ders, but felt, more or less, the happy effects of 
his labors. And if some who were then awak- 
ened and brought to partake of new life have since 
fallen away, the number that remained steadfast 
— some of whom have become missionaries and 
ministers — entitles us to say, that the ministry of 
such a man was indeed a great gain to the Church 
of God. 

Love for his memory, and a strong conviction 
that ministers like him, who shall have a passion 
for saving souls, are the great want of the Church 
at the present time, impel me to defend him from 
a doubtful censure expressed by some. His labor 


ended at thirty-seven years of age. And it lias 
been said, " He surely should not thus have sacri- 
ficed himself. With his fine constitution and 
strength of frame, he might have given double the 
number of years of labor to the Church ; and he 
ought not to have shortened his valuable life by 
excessive efforts." But let it be remembered that, 
though short, his was a great and honorable life. 
He did much in a few years : more, far more, than 
many who live out their full term of three-score 
years and ten. I am not saying that a wanton 
waste of life and strength is ever to be approved. 
But this devoted man was not guilty of that. 
And prudent men, who do every thing in mea- 
sured forms, accordant with their colder natures, 
do not, and cannot, comprehend, how one with 
the realizing views and powerful feelings of John 
Smith was incapable of restraining himself amidst 
the scenes and sounds which surrounded him. 
With awakened sinners, wailing penitents, and 
rejoicing believers around him, such a man could 
not spare himself, even for the lengthening of his 
life. His was a whole burnt-offering ; and was, 

no doubt, an acceptable sacrifice. 
10 T 

218 a mother's portrait. 

In his " plans of labor," as he was accustomed 
to call them, he used to associate himself closely 
with the prayerful. He sought them in the 
several societies, conversed with them, and en- 
listed their sympathies and help. An eminent 
and devoted servant of the Lord, of either sex, 
was sure to be found by him when he came into 
a circuit. Soon after his coming to Lincoln he 
found our dear Mother. She had rejoiced in his 
appointment to the circuit, felt the power of his 
preaching, and became a ready cooperator in his 

He was much at our father's house ; and 
would make it a point to come when wearied 
and worn by his labors. He was, while free 
from all frivolity, delightfully social and com- 
panionable. I have already hinted at his pas- 
sion for music ; and during these visits he would 
not unfrecjuently join in a duet with father on 
the flute. But his chief employment was speak- 
ing on the work of God. His heart was set on 
this ; and he could not have spent an afternoon or 
an evening without descanting upon it. In our 
Mother he found a kindred spirit. She was at 


all times ready to converse with him on this 
welcome theme. 

She took care, too, that he should have every 
means for turning his visits to that highest and 
holiest account which he preferred. Friends were 
associated for tea, and for the evening ; and thus 
seasons of spiritual interest and benefit were real- 
ized. There were his own relations of instances 
of conversion : there was singing of hymns, in 
which he greatly delighted ; and there were fer- 
vent intercessory prayers for the enlargement of 
the Redeemer's kingdom. Meetings these of 
priceless value to the truly pious ; and much more 
seemly than social parties of professing Christians, 
in which the conversation is all vain and profit- 
less and the evening prayerless. 

In these homely fireside meetings, Mr. Smith's 
presence impressed all around him as irresistibly 
as it did in his public ministrations. In the pulpit 
he seemed like a prophet fresh from the visions 
of God : in the house of a friend he seemed still 
to be fully awake to the realities of the spiritual 
and eternal world. He was always about his 
Heavenly Father's business ; and many were the 

220 a mother's portrait. 

seals of Divine approval affixed to his efforts for 
the salvation of his fellow-creatures, in the social 
circle as well as in the public assembly. 

I deem it an unspeakable advantage to have 
seen and known such an examplar of devotedness 
to the cause of Christ as John Smith. The re- 
vivals attendant on his labors were real revivals. 
They were not, like some imitations, spasmodic 
efforts which continue for a brief time, and then 
cease, and their effects with them. Their effects 
were abiding. They remained week after week, 
month after month, and year after year. 

In the city of Lincoln, and throughout the 
societies of the circuit, generally, the number of 
members was about doubled during the period of 
Mr. Smith's three years' labors. Many new 
laborers also sprang up, marked for their devotion 
and zeal. Some of these remain to cultivate the 
circuit-field, while others have gone forth as itiner- 
ant ministers and missionaries. Among the latter 
was John Hunt, who may be also named as an 
example of the instruments for usefulness which 
Wesleyan Methodism not unfrequently provides 
from among the poor and illiterate, as well as of 


the surpassing power of heartfelt religion to 
quicken and expand the dormant powers of the 
human mind. He was found in the benighted and 
profligate Tillage of Swinderby, — a farmer's ser- 
vant of the very lowest class, almost destitute of 
the first elements of learning; and was notable 
among youths, chiefly, for rehearsing village tales 
and singing country songs. Awakened under the 
powerful ministry of the Rev. John Smith, and 
converted, he grew eager for the cultivation of his 
mind, and used to spend his evenings under the 
open chimney of his master's kitchen, exercising 
himself in reading. He soon placed himself in 
the village night-school, speedily acquired such 
instruction as was there attainable, and it was not 
long before he began to exhort and call sinners to 
repentance. Religion developed powers unlooked 
for by his most familiar acquaintances. He went 
forth to the adjoining villages in his country dress, 
— in his long brown coat with brass buttons, his 
coarse stockings and thick shoes, — but his homely 
garb was forgotten under the winning charm of 
his simple, affectionate, and earnest style of ad- 
dress ; and so profitable were his evangelistic 



teachings to all who heard him, as to create a 
general impression that God designed him for ser- 
vice in a wider sphere. After a brief course of 
educational preparation under Mr. Bainbridge, of 
Lincoln, he was recommended by the circuit for 
the ministerial life, and was accepted by the Con- 
ference. At that time the Theological Institution 
had been recently opened for the reception of can- 
didates for the Wesleyan ministry. John Hunt 
was admitted, and was trained under Dr. Hannah, 
who soon discovered the jewel there lay concealed 
under so plain a covering, devoted himself to the 
young candidate's improvement, and became his 
attached friend and counsellor. The ardent pupil be- 
came a proficient, not only in the study of theology 
and biblical knowledge, but also in the acquirement 
of the elements of the Latin and Greek languages. 
As a preacher, he was most acceptable in his 
simplicity to London congregations ; and at length 
went forth as a missionary to the Feejee Islands. 
There, among ferocious cannibals, he "endured 
hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ ;" was 
exposed to suffering, and threatened with death ; 
but, trusting in God, he persevered in his labors : 


translated parts of the Scriptures into the Feejee 
tongue : wrote other books of permanent useful- 
ness ; and died, comparatively young, exclaim- 
ing in death, with hands stretched out towards 
heaven, "Lord, bless Feejee! Lord, save Fee- 
jee !" 

Other devoted and useful converts of this period 
might be named. Suffice it to say, that there was 
spiritual fruit and prosperity everywhere, through- 
out the circuit. In Lincoln, a small additional 
chapel was obtained above the Hill, near to the 
ancient Roman arch, or Newport Gate. This was 
well attended, and much good was done in that 
extreme quarter of the city. An additional place 
for week-night preaching was also found in Mr. 
Scott's house, below the Gowts' Bridge, at the 
other or southern end of the city; and seasons of 
rich spiritual influence were experienced there. 
Such genuine visitations from the Lord as this, 
with its attendant results, are undoubtedly to be 
looked for and sought by the Church of Christ. 
God is willing to dispense his Holy Spirit at all 
times, to them that ask for it, as he has declared. 
It cannot be his will that the Church should at 

224 a mother's portrait. 

any time relapse into deadness and inactivity ; and 
had believers been faithful from the beginning, the 
scenes of Pentecostal days would have continued. 
The Spirit's blessings were not then exhausted, 
They were but pledges and earnests of still more 
abundant blessings ; and the Scriptures teach us 
to look for larger and mightier outpourings of 
saving grace than were witnessed under Mr. 
Smith's ministry. 

Our dear Mother regarded herself as an honored 
assistant in the spiritual work which I have de- 
scribed. She was not a noisy or ostentatiously 
prominent helper. But she could not stand aloof 
from the work of God wherever she saw it. In 
the prayer-meetings she was found beside female 
penitents, encouraging and directing them in their 
search for spiritual deliverance. Not only so, but 
she went after them to their homes, took them 
with her to the weekly class-meeting, and con- 
tinued to give them suitable counsel. Mr. Smith 
had the greatest confidence in her discernment, as 
well as in her zeal. He would request her per- 
sonal visitation of any difficult or delicate case, 
such as that of one of her own sex whose family, 


perhaps, were averse to their relative becoming 
religious. There are several now in the Church 
who gratefully remember such visits. Indeed, 
hers was a truly congenial spirit with that of this 
devoted man, and with others who were all earnest- 
ness for the coming of Messiah's kingdom. 

This Divine visitation having given a new im- 
pulse to the work of God in the city, a larger 
place of worship had to be provided for the crowds 
disposed to attend. A convenient site was found 
on an open space in the upper part of the popu- 
lous parish of St. S within, near to the New Road; 
and a large, imposing-looking chapel was there 
erected, with school and class-rooms, and houses 
for the ministers adjoining. Seasons of memora- 
ble influence marked the opening, in which Mother, 
with others, rejoiced exceedingly. The Rev. Dr. 
Bunting preached on the morning and evening of 
the Sabbath ; and the strength and cogency of his 
appeals to conscience were felt by many to be 
almost irresistible. This was acknowledged even 
by some on whom a sermon from a Methodist 
pulpit had never before made any impression : I 

mean, men of a skeptical tendency. One of these, 

226 a mother's portrait. 

a person of great popular influence as a political 
speaker, and of great business energy, said to a 
company of his "rational" friends, "I never felt 
my own ingratitude to the Divine Being so deeply 
as while I was hearing that preacher. He actu- 
ally pinned me to the seat, as a convicted sinner. 
If I had listened to another such sermon, I must 
have become a Methodist." And not only was 
the convincing power of those discourses felt and 
acknowledged by men of the world, but believers 
w T ere strengthened in their faith and love by the 
clear and potent manner in which the venerable 
minister set forth Christian privileges. Mother 
experienced this, and w T as devoutly grateful to 
God for it. 

Efforts for chapel extension and enlargement 
rapidly succeeded the erection of this spacious 
building in the city. Louth, Grimsby, Boston, 
Sleaforcl, Horncastle, Market-Raisen, Brigg, and 
nearly every other town of importance in the 
county, soon had new and much enlarged chapels. 
The poet-laureate, Southey, in his "Life of Wes- 
ley," (a book which does justice to the founder of 
Methodism as a scholar and a gentleman, but 


which; while attractive in its style, misrepresents 
the spiritual life and power of Wesley and of 
Methodism,) speaks of the agricultural population 
of England as being least susceptible of religious 
feeling, inasmuch as they lack the excitability of 
the people thickly crowded together in our manu- 
facturing towns. But the prosperity of Methodism 
in Lincolnshire, as well as in the agricultural parts 
of Yorkshire and other counties, proves that 
Southey was in error, and spoke without a real 
knowledge of the facts. Nowhere is Methodism 
more healthy than in Lincolnshire. It may be 
emphatically pronounced the prevailing religion 
of the yeomanry, farmers, and their laborers ; as 
well as of the trading classes and working people 
in the towns. Thousands who clo not decide on 
membership prefer attendance at Wesleyan cha- 
pels ; and throng them eagerly in the villages, as 
well as in the city and towns. Methodism, it is 
true, has had its fluctuations here as elsewhere ; 
but it is deeply rooted and widely spread through- 
out the county. In the Lincoln Circuit, at the 
present time, — though only comprising, as we have 
seen, one third of the circuit originally formed, — 

228 a mother's portrait. 

there are not fewer than thirty-seven chapels and 
preaching places ; and a printed list which I have 
hefore me shows that its itinerant ministers are 
assisted by fifty local preachers. Its various 
auxiliary agencies of Sabbath-schools, missions, 
benevolent and tract societies, are also actively 
carried on by the members and friends. 

■ ^T 5 

f itttX X\5. 

1 An ardent spirit dwells with Christian love, 
The eagle's vigor in the pitying dove. 
'Tis not enough that we with Sorrow sigh, 
That we the wants of pleading man supply, 
That we in sympathy with sufferers feel, 
Nor hear a grief without a wish to heal : 
Not these suffice — to sickness, pain, and woe, 
The Christian spirit loves with aid to go ; 
Will not be sought, waits not for Want to plead, 
But seeks the duty, — nay, prevents the need ; 
Her utmost aid to every ill applies, 
And plants relief for coming miseries." 


230 a mother's portrait. 

I stated in the outset that I chose the form of 
letters for writing this memoir of affection, because 
it was freer and easier than the set style of gen- 
eral biography. In adopting an easier vehicle, 
however, I may, with strict judges, subject my- 
self to the charge of repeating thoughts, or of 
returning to a topic already treated. I will avoid 
this as carefully as possible ; but it seems to me 
impossible to avoid it altogether, with any bio- 
graphical record, — unless the writer commences it 
with a purpose wholly formal and systematic, such 
as that pursued, for instance, by Job Orton, in his 
life of the pious Doddridge. 

The example I have just named suggests to me 
the propriety of endeavoring to present to you, 
my dear Sister, a brief summary of our excellent 
Mother's character as a Christian ; though I can- 
not bind myself to treat it with the measured 
preciseness of logical form; but must be free to 
weave into it such facts and elucidations as may 
present themselves to memory. 

The first principle influencing all who have been 
extensively useful as the benefactors of their race, 
is undoubtedly compassion. From what I have 


already related, you will have learned that Mother 
possessed a truly compassionate nature. This was 
manifest from her conduct to all creatures, even 
to the lowest. She could not bear to see any 
living thing suffer ; and expressed personal anguish 
when she saw any one treat dumb animals un- 
kindly. Her own feeling towards them was so 
gentle and tender, that it was affecting to witness 
it. She did not feel her piety lessened by culti- 
vating attachment to the creatures which God had 
made, such as a bird or a dog ; and would express 
instant admiration of a fine horse. This is an 
amiable trait, and where seen is not to be frowned 
upon or ridiculed. The devotional Cowper found 
his nature bettered by fond attention to his domes- 
ticated hares ; and many a solitary and suffering 
spirit, like that of the gentle and meditative 
Montgomery, has expressed gratitude for the 
cheerful companionship of a bird. The intelligent 
and noble-minded Dr. Arnold always encouraged 
a humane attachment to animals among his pupils 
at Rugby ; and this kind treatment of such crea- 
tures will doubtless be regarded with increasing 
interest in the education of youth, as Christ's re- 

232 a mother's portrait. 

ligion of goodness extends its universal reign. A 
millennium for animals, so far as their physical 
condition under mankind is concerned, may as- 
suredly be looked for. Animals share in the 
curse, not only as beasts of burden to fallen man 
doomed through sin to labor, but also in ill-usage, 
and in their association with corrupted nature; 
so that, as St. Paul says, "the whole creation 
groaneth and travaileth in pain." 

But true compassion is most manifest in its 
sympathy with suffering humanity. This our 
dear Mother showed in her earnest and persever- 
ing endeavors to lessen the sorrows of her fellow- 
creatures, and to rescue them from spiritual danger 
and error. While ready to relieve their bodily 
wants, and to give pitying counsel to those who 
were in temporal sorrow and straitness, the awful 
spiritual state of mankind still more deeply affected 
her, and almost unceasingly engaged her efforts. 
For she was not of the number of those who pro- 
fess pity, but remain at a distance from the pitiable. 
She had none of the false refinement which shelters 
itself from the necessitous and the fallen behind 
forms and ceremonies ; but felt that she must 


hasten among them, and stretch out to them the 
hand of help. Hers was not the desire to appear 
benevolent so much as to be really so. Her edu- 
cation had not been like that of too many, in mere 
external behavior, but in true-heartedness ; and 
therefore she was not restrained from pursuit of 
her object by customs and difficulties. And 
that, surely, is the only true compassion which 
impels us to effort, in spite of all conventional 
barriers ; and which still impels us onward, even 
if at times unsuccessful in rescuing the fallen from 

Our Mother was not discouraged by occasional 
failure, though she sometimes encountered it. An 
awfully distressing instance recurs now to my 
memory. It is that of a professed skeptic and 
infidel, whom she faithfully warned for a succes- 
sion of months and years, but who refused to take 
the warning. He was a man of considerable 
natural intelligence and of musical taste. Being 
a near neighbor, and coming to practice with father 
in music, Mother was accustomed to see him, more 
or less, every week, and seldom without saying 
something to him on religion. He steadily resisted 


234 a mother's portrait. 

whatever was spoken, and sometimes returned 
answers that were scarcely civil ; but still she 
persevered. It was discovered, however, that, 
with all his resistance, he was not fully at ease 
in his infidelity. He had a little blind grand- 
daughter that he brought up : an engaging child, 
whose nature was highly musical ; for I remember 
with what interest I used to mark the rapture in 
her face, and in her rolling sightless eye-balls, as 
she sang sweetly to the music. One Sabbath 
morning, with neighborly freedom, father sud- 
denly opened the door of the man's house, went 
in, and saw him teaching the blind girl to pray, as 
she knelt upon his knees. Father expressed sur- 
prise, having heard from him repeated professions 
of atheism. Confounded, the man replied, " Well, 
it is of no use denying it : a person may profess 
to believe that there is no God, but he cannot help 
believing that there is ; for proofs of his existence 
are everywhere around us." Mother now made 
greater and more pointed efforts for the man's sal- 
vation. But he resisted to the end, and died, 
miserably illustrating the awful scriptural warn- 
ing, " He that, being often reproved, hardeneth his 


neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that with- 
out remedy." 

In other cases she was happily successful. It 
was her custom to buv tracts for distribution, and 
to improve the opportunity of calling on her poorer 
neighbors with them. This means she employed 
when no other seemed available ; or when tem- 
poral necessity could not be made the reason for a 
call. And several thoughtless persons by it were 
led to serious consideration of their state, and to a 
godly change. I can remember now her relations 
of the scenes she sometimes beheld, and of the 
replies made to her by poor Sabbath-breakers, 
ashamed to be found as they were when visited 
by her in their dwellings. Some at first tried to 
offend her, and so to prevent her coming again. 
But she was really too compassionate towards 
them to be offended ; and too earnest in her pur- 
pose to benefit them, to content herself with one 
visit, or with a few. 

There was one such case of a poor drunken 
shoemaker, near to our house at St. Mark's. 
Usually at the beginning of each week he had fits 
of drunkenness, and while in them was most 

236 a mother's portrait. 

desperate. He was a terror to his "family and to 
all the neighbors ; for at such times he would not 
only destroy the windows and furniture of his own 
dwelling, but would go and vent his rage against 
any neighbor who had offended him, so that 
scarcely any one dared to say any thing to him. 
Mother saw him reel past the house, heard his 
oaths in the street, and was told from time to time 
of the injuries he inflicted on his wife and family. 
She said she must go and speak to him. We 
endeavored to dissuade her from doing so, repre- 
senting the danger that might arise to herself; 
and saying that he might, in his next drunken fit, 
break our house-windows in revenge. She replied 
that she must go ; for that not only would the 
man's family be ruined, but his own body and soul 
would soon be lost. 

The next Sabbath morning she went. The man 
looked greatly surprised ; but he was sober. She 
said, "I understand that you are an intelligent 
person, and I hope you will read one of the tracts 
which I am accustomed to give or lend to my 
•Neighbors." He was flattered, and replied courte- 
ously that he was obliged by her call, and would 


read whatever she chose to leave for him. Mother 
immediately gave him the tract entitled, " A Word 
to a Drunkard." He had, however, no sooner 
glanced at it than he exclaimed, " This is too per- 
sonal. You have selected this purposely for me." 
He then showed great exasperation, and raged so 
furiously that Mother's frame trembled. But her 
spirit was firm ; and mildly expostulating with 
him, she said, "I have felt much for you and 
your family ; have been led to pray for you ; and 
am not come to vex or torment you, but to try to 
rescue you from your degraded condition." Such 
is the power of meekness and affection, that he 
was immediately softened and subdued. She 
then reminded him that he had promised to read 
whatever she gave him, expressed a hope that he 
would do so, and took her leave, telling him that 
she would pray to God for him during the week, 
and call again. 

On the Sabbath morning following, — no doubt 
after much intercession with God on the poor 
sinner's behalf, — she called again ; and found him 
greatly humbled, and truly thoughtful concerning 
the reformation of his life. She talked and 

238 a mother's portrait. 

prayed with him and his family, left him another 
suitable tract, and invited him to attend the 
chapel. The visit was repeated : the man went 
again and again to the house of God, was tho- 
roughly convinced of sin, converted, and he with 
his family became regular in attendance on public 
worship. He gave evidence of a real inward change 
by his after life, and died in the hope of a joyful 
resurrection. What a blessed proof of the good 
service that believers might individually perform, 
if their Christian compassion impelled them, in 
spite of all apparent discouragements, to reach the 
sinner's ears, and to be perseveringly faithful on 
their Master's errand ! 

It was not only in her own neighborhood, but 
wherever she went, this deep Christian compassion 
was felt, and constrained her to speak and act for 
her Lord. If on a visit to a friend at a distance, 
she was sure to find some persons there to warn 
or exhort, and seldom were such visits made with- 
out beneficial results. After I became an itine- 
rant preacher of Christ's gospel, she visited me in 
different parts of the country; and it was her 
practice to go with me to the several parts of 


a circuit, in each part trying to do good. And 
there is scarcely a place where she was with me 
but in it her memory is still fragrant. To aid in 
bringing sinners to God was her great object, and 
a blessing almost invariably attended her endea- 

When she came to me in London, she was 
almost overwhelmed with sorrowful feeling, through 
the scenes of flagrant Sabbath-breaking and open 
dissipation which any one must here witness, un- 
less perpetually immured in a room. "I could 
not live in such a place," she said, again and 
again. The sights and sounds of wickedness so 
deeply affected her, that she often wept as we 
went along the streets. While at our home she 
poured out her full-burdened soul in prayer for 
sinners, and expressed adoring wonder that the 
Divine Being was so merciful as to spare the guilty 
city, and not consume it in wrath, as he did Sodom 
and Gomorrah. On one occasion, when returning 
from the worship of God at Islington, and while 
we were surveying London from an elevated situ- 
ation, with its numberless streets and buildings 
stretched out before us, she said, " I have realized 

240 a mother's portrait. 

while in this city more of the compassionate mind 
of Christ than I ever did before. The very heart 
of Jesus has seemed to be beating within me ; and 
the words written of him on his view of Jerusalem 
are almost constantly in my remembrance : 'And 
when he was come near, he beheld the city, and 
wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even 
thou, at least in this thy day, the things which 
belong unto thy peace ! but now they are hid 
from thine eyes.' " 

Christian compassion was truly and largely her 
inheritance. And where possessed, the inherit- 
ance is valuable, though, as before remarked, the 
possessor may have to bear heavily the burden of 
others, and frequently to weep on their account. 
Hard, stoical, and selfish natures cannot under- 
stand this ; and think it desirable not to feel so 
much for our suffering fellow-creatures. But I 
would earnestly exhort you, my dear Sister, to 
cherish feelings of deep commiseration for the 
poor and the perishing, and that at the risk of all 
the attendant consequences of sorrow and labor. 
It is to be remembered that only they who have 
learned to weep with them that weep, can really 


rejoice with them that rejoice. Unless one knows 
what it is to plunge into the depths of compas- 
sionate feeling for the perishing and the distressed, 
one cannot know what it is to rejoice over the 
saved and the happy with "exceeding joy." God 
has ordained this great sequence of our sympa- 
thies ; and such experience is infinitely preferable 
to the unmoved state of the stoic. 


f ettu *Jji. 

" Strong is the lion : like a coal 
His eye-ball ; like a bastion's mole 

His chest against the foes : 
Strong the gier-eagle on his sail ; 
Strong against tide th' enormous whale 

Emerges as he goes. 

"But stronger still in earth and air, 
And in the sea, the man of prayer, 

And far beneath the tide, 
And in the seat to faith assigned, 
Where ask is have, where seek is find, 
Where knock is open wide." 



Pursuing the course I commenced in the last 
letter, I may say that, with her strong and ear- 
nestly compassionate views of human nature, our 
dear Mother had great and abiding faith. This 
enabled her to realize the presence of God at all 
times, and under all circumstances. Her faith 
was steadfast and immovable, and might be appro- 
priately likened to some giant mountain, — such as 
Mont Blanc in Switzerland, the monarch of Euro- 
pean mountains, faintly represented at the head 
of this letter, — when seen by the traveller repos- 
ing securely on his rocky throne, and raising his 
glistening and irradiated head far above the pollu- 
tion and turmoil of earth. For her believing soul 
reposed firmly upon the " Rock of eternal ages," 
rose to sublime heights of spiritual purity, and 
rejoiced in the all-illumining light of the Divine 
favor. Her life was a life of faith ; and whatever 
might be its attendant circumstances, she "en- 
dured as seeing Him that is invisible." This in- 
sured to her victory over the world, and gave to 
her mind a just estimation of the infinite superior- 
ity of things eternal over things temporal. This 
led her to trust in God amidst all difficulties that 

244 a mother's portrait. 

might arise, and, as Martin Luther says, to "lie 
becalmed in his bosom," amidst the floods and 
storms of sorrow and danger ; while it gave also 
strength to her love, and hope, and joy. 

I have already noted how free she was from 
painful anxiety concerning the things of earth, 
though so diligent and active in discharging the 
temporal duties of her station. The strong, direct, 
and simple manner in which she laid hold of God's 
promises as they relate to the necessities of this 
life, was remarkable. Yet she was not without 
repeated trials of her faith. One instance may 
be named which need not take many words to 
relate, but which will serve to show how steadfast 
was her reliance upon the word of God. It was 
connected with her business, in which she experi- 
enced considerable difficulty for a time, through 
the unprincipled opposition and under-selling of 
an envious person in her neighborhood, who had 
avowedly set himself to wrest a prosperous trade 
from father and Mother. This he carried to so 
great an extent, that they hardly knew where it 
would end. Mother expressed generally her con- 
fidence in God : said he had never forsaken them 


and never would; but, through the fearful and 
persevering sacrifices made by their opponent, the 
cloud of trouble seemed to gather and increas- 
ingly threaten them. The consideration of a 
large and rising family pressed much upon her 
affectionate mind, and her soul became at length 
very heavily burdened, so that one Sabbath morn- 
ing she found herself unable to worship God in 
his house without distraction. 

Immediately after the service at the chapel, she 
bent her steps up the " Steep Hill," to visit, near 
St. Michael's Church, a poor woman whose hus- 
band in the preceding week had been thrown from 
the stage-coach of which he was the driver, and 
had been killed on the spot. After talking with 
the distressed widow, and praying with her for 
support and consolation, the words of the thirty- 
seventh psalm were suddenly brought to Mother's 
mind : " Delight thyself in the Lord, and he shall 
give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy 
way unto the Lord : trust also in him, and he 
shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth 
thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment 
as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait 


246 a mother's portrait. 

patiently for him : fret not thyself because of him 
who prospereth in his way, because of the man 
who bringeth wicked devices to pass." Her soul 
became instantly disburdened of its load, having 
seized the promise with simple, strong, and im- 
plicit faith. She returned home, praising and 
blessing God, her countenance bespeaking the 
relief she had obtained, so that father asked how 
it was she appeared so changed since the morning. 
Mother immediately quoted the promise and said, 
" I dare no longer doubt or fear." It need only 
be added, that the promise in its fulness of mean- 
ing was soon realized, and the temp-oral trouble 
swept away. 

So also in spiritual things, whether for herself 
or others, she relied confidently upon the Divine 
word for their bestowment. While presenting 
unawakened sinners or penitents at the throne of 
Mercy, she believed in God's power, love, and 
grace ; and her faith was duly honored. It was 
evident that she had fully received into her mind 
the words of Christ : " When ye pray, believe 
that ye receive" the things ye ask, " and ye shall 
have them;" and she found it to be as he had 


declared. Indeed, to believe in God for any thing 
promised in the Scriptures seemed to require from 
her no inward struggle whatever; and Wesley's 
bold experimental lines found in her a living illus- 
tration : — 

"Faith, mighty faith, the promise sees, 
And looks to that alone ; 
Laughs at impossibilities, 
And cries, < It shall be done !' " 

Our devoted Mother's spiritual life also devel- 
oped the fruits of faith,— love and joy. Her love 
was pure and fervent. She was accustomed to 
dwell much upon the love of God ; and this daily 
nourished and strengthened her love to him, and 
made his service easy and joyous to her. Among 
the lines which she was wont to sing were, — 

" 'Tis love that makes our willin"; feet 

In swift obedience move. 


And these words expressed her real inward feel- 
ings. St. John's Epistles, which set forth reli- 
gion so largely as an exercise of the affections, 
were often read and meditated upon by her. The 
Divine sentence, " God is Love," seemed to be set 
and encased in her heart as a priceless jewel, for 

248 a mother's portrait. 

she often expressed it. And to her the chief 
attraction of heaven was that it was the abode of 
perfect love. Her truly social and affectionate 
nature, spiritualized and made pure, was disposed 
to this ; for, no doubt, our views of heaven are 
formed and colored, to a great extent, by our dif- 
ferent temperaments. The great but afflicted and 
restless Robert Hall said to Wilberforce, when 
they were conversing upon the nature of the hap- 
piness for saints in the world to come, " My chief 
conception of heaven is rest." "And mine," said 
the cheerful and affectionate Wilberforce, " is, that 
it is love." So it was with our Mother. All re- 
ligion, in its objects, service, and rewards, was 
viewed by her through the medium of love. God 
was to her the Father of love : Christ the Incar- 
nation of love : the Holy Ghost the Spirit of love : 
angels the messengers of love. And heaven she 
viewed as the everlasting home of love for re- 
deemed and saved sinners, and for reunited friends 
and families. 

The cold, abstract views of heaven which some 
take, who, in support of purely intellectual exer- 
cises, refine and sublimate it till they leave no 


place in the universe for departing saints to enter, 
and no home in heaven for a social nature, were 
not hers. Love led her to contemplate it as it is 
represented in Scripture, — a gathering-place for 
the servants of the Lord assembled for social 
enjoyment and worship : an eternally happy abode 
for the family of the redeemed, met after temporal 
separation in their " Father's house," in which 
" there are many mansions" prepared for them by 
Christ; and where they will feel themselves no 
longer "strangers and foreigners," but "fellow- 
citizens with the saints and of the household of 
God." With this view of heaven, she loved the 
saints more than she would otherwise have done : 
it caused her to feel spiritual kindred with patri- 
archs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, and all believ- 
ers. With this view of the happy world to which 
she was journeying, she loved her friends and 
family the more, feeling her ties with them to be 
not of short duration, but lasting and eternal. 
And thus good Richard Baxter must have felt 
when he wrote, " It would damp my love to the 
saints, if I were to believe that the friendships I 

form in this life are to be broken at death, not to 

250 a mother's portrait. 

be reunited ; but it heightens my love to them 
when I think that the links then broken will be 
re-formed in heaven, and last throughout eternity." 

There may be regions of space, and worlds filled 
with wondrous evidence of the Divine wisdom and 
goodness, for the blessed to explore : problems for 
them to solve, and mental occupation as enraptur- 
ing as it will be elevating ; yet the chief attraction 
of heaven to a loving spirit will be, that it is the 
home of love. This our Mother felt, and often 

So also was her love to the Saviour strong and 
unceasing. She had nothing of that sensuous re- 
gard to Christ which expresses itself in the fami- 
liar terms of gross earthly passion. Her exalted 
and spiritual views of the Son of God, and of his 
atoning death for sinners, must ever have forbid- 
den the use of such unwarrantable words. But 
she felt the truth of St. Peter's statement, " Unto 
you, therefore, which believe, he is precious." To 
her, as to the Apostle Paul, " Christ was all, and 
in all." Like St. John, she beheld him as the 
source of all light and glory, " the Angel standing 
in the midst of the sun." Her inmost soul 


adored him as " the fairest among ten thousand, 
and altogether lovely ;" and it exulted greatly in 
his salvation. 

Indeed, her religious joy was unmistakable and 
abundant. Naturally, as I have said, she was of 
a cheerful and buoyant temper, and never disposed 
to seek and make troubles, as some are, who, 
instead of extracting where they can the sweet 
and the pleasant, find in every thing the worm- 
wood and the gall. Neither was she depressed 
and beclouded by physical disease and infirmity, 
as was poor Cowper, and other hypochondriac 
children of God. She was of sound and healthful 
bodily constitution ; so that, apart from the pains 
of maternity, (being the mother of sixteen living 
children,) she scarcely knew what serious afflic- 
tion was until more than fifty years of age. These 
advantages of health were natural, and they were 
helpful and promotive of her joy; but they were 
not the causes of it. Hers was joy in the Lord 
the joy of knowing that she was a child of God 
of intimate communion and fellowship with him 
of believing that heaven would be her eternal 
abode. I have seen her burdened with grief, and 

252 a mother's portrait. 

suffused with sorrow; but never did I see her 
sunk down into despondency, or hear her com- 
plain of her condition. "With anxieties and suffer- 
ings such as would have broken many a heart of 
less strength than hers, she was still rejoicing in 
the God of her salvation, recounting his blessings, 
and enumerating her reasons for gratitude. In 
her spiritual day-book and ledger she was wont to 
record her mercies as well as her sufferings ; and 
in the balance-sheet of her account before the Lord, 
she always found more reasons for thankfulness 
and rejoicing than for dissatisfaction and sorrow. 
With memoranda of severe losses and bereave- 
ments, there was ever found a grateful register of 
what was left ; and, after the pattern of righteous 
Job, ready acknowledgment of the right of the 
Divine Being to reclaim what he had given. 

Few enjoyed the present life more than our 
clear Mother. She had a deep feeling for the 
beautiful in creation ; and within the recesses of 
her heart there were thoughts and associations 
with the works of God, such as grosser natures 
know nothing of. " What a lovely world this is !" 
she would frequently exclaim, as she walked 


abroad with her family under the open sky: 
" How sad that it should be marred by sin !" A 
flower from the garden or the field seemed to 
awaken within her instant devotional feeling ; and 
she would derive moral and Divine lessons for her 
children from the daisy, the cowslip, the lily, or 
the rose. Her spirit at home was usually placid 
and serene ; and with the exception of rare 
seasons, when she was undergoing deep trial, 
"peace and happiness" seemed ever to be writ- 
ten upon her countenance, as with a sunbeam 
from heaven. 

But her chief joy, as I have said, was " in the 
Lord :" in breathing forth her love to him, and in 
receiving the tokens of his favor. And surely 
there is no joy on earth like unto this. The 
charms of music, the ecstasies of poetry, the pleas- 
ures of art, the more solid enjoyments of learning 
and science, are all infinitely inferior to the spirit- 
ual, refined joy of communion with Gocl, such 
as good Thomas Walsh was accustomed to ex- 
press, in the first verse of John and Charles 
Wesley's rendering of a German hymn by Dr. 
Breithaupt : 


254 a mother's portrait. 

" Thee will I love, nay strength, my tower: 
Thee will I love, my joy, my crown : 
Thee will I love, with all my power, 
In all thy works, and thee alone : 
Thee will I love, till the pure fire 
Fills my whole soul with chaste desire." 

This pure fire of chaste desire and holy joy 
burned brightly in all our dear Mother said and 
did ; and there were times I have in remembrance, 
when she was so happy that, as she expressed it, 
how to continue to live on earth she scarcely 
knew : times in her family, when she spoke of 
God, of heaven, and of her heavenly desires, until 
husband and children also were afraid she would 
leave them too soon for the place more suited to 
her happy condition ; and when something was 
purposely said or done to break the spell under 
which she seemed placed, and to bring her back 
in thought and feeling to the associations of earth. 

fttttx *lm. 

"And ! when I have safely passed 
Through every conflict but the last, 
Still, still, unchanging, -watch beside 
My dying-bed — for Thou hast died : 
Then point to realms of cloudless day, 
And wipe the latest tears away." 


256 a mother's portrait. 

Up to the month of June, 1839, our dear Mother 
had enjoyed almost uninterrupted health ; but now 
she was visited by a serious and alarming illness. 
Powerful remedies were applied ; but her medical 
attendants thought her case hopeless. Indeed, 
her constitution was thoroughly shaken. Much 
sympathy and concern were expressed for her by 
the societies in Lincoln and elsewhere : earnest 
prayer was offered by her family and friends ; and 
she was at length restored. 

On her first seizure, and throughout this illness, 
she was seriously calm and trustful. She had no 
painful doubts or fears, but was devoutly thought- 
ful. It seemed to be her especial care to improve 
her condition, both for herself and friends. Her 
looks, as well as her words, proclaimed that she 
felt it to be a solemn thing to be afflicted, to ter- 
minate a life of probation, and to approach the 
gates of death and eternity. On temporal mat- 
ters she said little, though not careless concerning 
them in relation to her family. She frequently 
spoke of affliction as a consequence of sin, and as 
showing how the work of God's hands had been 
disturbed and disordered by disobedience. But 


she was careful to separate her view of bodily 
suffering from mere punishment. She maintained 
that it was a proof of love in her Heavenly Father 
thus to chasten her ; and that her affliction was 
beneficial, both in its design and tendency. 

She expressed no anxiety for recovery; but 
would say, when others expressed it, " Let God's 
will be done ! He alone can determine for me as 
shall be best." When any mentioned their sym- 
pathy with her in bodily pain, she said the Di- 
vine Being saw reasons for it, though others might 
not ; that he did not willingly afflict the children 
of men ; and that the result would be good, though 
the process might be painful ; for it would yield 
the peaceable fruits of righteousness. She seemed 
to enter fully into the Apostle James's counsel, 
where he exhorts Christians to give to their 
graces full time and means for growth and matur- 
ity, by continued endurance of trial, saying, "Let 
patience have its perfect work, that ye may be 
perfect and entire, lacking nothing." She was 
cheerfully willing to lie in the furnace as long as 
the Divine Refiner appointed her to do so ; and 
while there, it was plain that her Christian graces 


258 a mother's portrait. 

were not only purified, but adjusted themselves 
in due and full proportions ; so that she reflected 
more clearly than ever the image of God. Mean- 
while, she was earnest in religious exhortations 
and counsels to all who came near to her, and 
especially to her children. 

After some time of continued supplication on 
her behalf, she began to think and speak of re- 
covery. Her case, she said, was like King Heze- 
kiah's : her days were lengthened in answer to 
prayer ; but she solemnly added, it would not be 
for long. As yet, neither physicians nor friends 
saw reason for hope, and they still expressed fear; 
but her faith in God for a temporary recovery 
was firm and unwavering. One night, her hus- 
band could not refrain from tears, when, watching 
by her side, he observed her altered looks. "My 
dear, what are you weeping for ?" she inquired. 
" I fear } r ou are about to be taken from me," he 
answered. " No," she said, emphatically, u I shall 
not die, but live, and declare the works of God." 
And it was done to her according to her faith : 
she was raised from her bed of suffering, and 
bore grateful testimony to the power and goodness 


of God to sustain, comfort, and benefit his child- 
ren in affliction. 

But though thus graciously restored, she gave 
continued proof of being fully weaned from earthly 
things ; and appeared like one increasingly with- 
drawing from the activities of life. Illness had 
also left traces upon her countenance and com- 
plexion, so that her friends rejoiced over her with 
trembling. She never recovered her former vigor, 
so as to be able to endure again what she did be- 
fore. But she spent as much time and strength 
as could be given, in visiting the sick and the 
poor; and was especially urgent with others to 
begin and labor diligently in this way for Christ. 

In the latter part of 1839, she accompanied me 
in a gig from Lincoln to the neighboring village 
of Langworth, where I had to open a new chapel. 
This she persisted in doing against earnest remon- 
strances, made on the ground that the journey of 
six miles, in an open vehicle, at that season of the 
year, would be too much for her enfeebled strength. 
But her mind had its purpose for usefulness on 
that day, and she was not to be dissuaded from 
going. The urgent theme of her conversation, on 

260 a mother's portrait. 

the road, was the work of God in the salvation of 
sinners. At the village, she was known to many 
residing there ; and the solemn and edifying 
influence which attended her intercourse with 
them in the interval of public worship is not for- 

In the spring of 1840, she came up to me, in 
the First London Circuit ; and so far as her re- 
duced strength would allow, she was active and 
useful among the members of the Church. We 
had been favored with a gracious work in several 
of the societies ; and I have no doubt that the 
news of this strengthened her determination to 
make the visit. Of her deep interest in the cause 
of Christ, and of her strong desires for God and 
for heaven, she bore most delightful testimony in 
a Sabbath evening lovefeast, held in the chapel at 
Stoke-Newington. In her conversations with me 
at this time, she spoke much of eternity. On 
previous visits she had gone, with evident inter- 
est, to view the treasures of art, and the scenes 
of active life in the great metropolis. But now 
she was more of the pilgrim and stranger; and 
sought frequent retired walks, that she might 


speak without interruption on religious subjects. 
She went more than once to the graveyard of 
City Road Chapel, where many of the mighty 
dead in Methodism sleep in solemn sepulture 
around the founder. Here she gazed on the 
tombs, read the inscriptions, spoke of the charac- 
ters and worth of those great examples, of their 
rising again at the coming of Christ, and expressed 
a joyful hope of eternal association with them in 
heaven. Indeed, her thoughts dwelt so much 
on another world, that it was impossible to be 
with her and not be increasingly apprehensive of 
her short stay in this ; and with such apprehen- 
sion she was prevailed upon to sit to a friend for 
a larger likeness than had been previously taken 
of her. It is of full size ; and though it repre- 
sents her loved face when it was worn and shaded 
by sickness, yet it is a precious memorial. 

" Blest be the art that can immortalize — 
The art that baffles Time's tyrannic claim 
To quench the meek intelligence of those 
Dear eyes!" — 

sang Cowper, when looking on his mother's por- 
trait ; and surely art is precious, if it only served 

262 a mother's portrait. 

to continue for us, faithfully, the lineaments of 
those we reverence and love ! 

On the clay of her departure, she prayed most 
earnestly in the family, spoke of spiritual things 
on the way to the coach, and when on the point 
of starting, said, " I am fully satisfied with life : 
God has answered my prayers ; and my language 
is that of aged Simeon, ' Lord, now lettest thou 
thy servant depart in peace, according to thy 
word ; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation !' 

It was soon found that the apprehensions felt 
concerning her were too likely to be realized. In 
May she had a second serious illness. Father had 
increased anxiety, from the fact that the medical 
gentleman who had known her through life, and 
ministered successfully to her before, was away 
from Lincoln. She took pains, however, to allay 
the uneasiness of all around her, by insisting that 
there could be no " accidents" or " chances" as to 
death, any more than as to life. She had no 
anxiety or fear : expressed strong faith in the 
special providence of God, which allows not a 
sparrow to fall to the ground without notice ; and 
calmly said she believed that the time of her de- 
parture was at hand. It was still apparent, how- 


ever, that she felt it was a solemn thing to die ; 
yet, if shrinking from death as a physical evil, she 
took care to let it be known that there was no 
dread of its spiritual consequences. 

I think, dear Sister, that a little reflection will 
clear up any difficulty you or any one else may 
at first have in comprehending this mingled state 
of feeling in the dying believer. Human nature 
must shiver when about to plunge naked into the 
cold and bitter waters, though the soul is sure of 
emerging from them with renewed life and vigor. 
No thoughtful Christian can feel lightly or vaunt- 
ingly of death. It is an undoubted evil : a part 
of the curse and punishment of sin : a penalty 
that must be paid on account of transgression. 
All animated nature shrinks from it : the very 
worm in our path, the smallest insect that flies, 
seeks to escape from death ; and how should not 
the reflecting human creature shrink from it, with 
all the awful dependent results ? What pangs 
may accompany the separation of the vital spark 
from the clay tenement, — the rending asunder of 
the soul and body heretofore so intimately asso- 
ciated, — we cannot tell; and we naturally dread 
to think. Then there is the parting from earthly 

264 a mother's portrait. 

friends, and the leaving of them, we know not to 
how much error or suffering in the remainder of 
their mortal lives. Death is also the close of 
probation, and the commencement of retribution : 
it is for each of us the great connective link of 
existence, being the end of time and the begin- 
ning of eternity. With these views and convic- 
tions, the considerate Christian cannot be ex- 
pected to make the last descent into the valley 
with vaunting. He will not rush hastily down 
into it, but " walk" through it, as the Psalmist 
David said he would do. Perhaps at first he 
treads with trembling steps, though he knows he 
shall pass through it safely and need fear no evil. 
This was our dear Mother's state of mind when 
she felt herself approaching the confines of the 
eternal world, and knew that the summons had 
come for mortal conflict with her last enemy. As 
she came forth from the thorns and sand of the 
wilderness in which she had sojourned for fifty- 
two years, and heard the last hiss of the old ser- 
pent as she drew near the swelling waters, she 
trod calmly and safely ; but not boastfully. She 
spoke confidently of the joys awaiting her in the 
goodly land beyond, but said more than once, " It 



is a solemn thing to die !" And this solemnity of 
feeling which she had was not irreconcilable with 
her Christian cheerfulness, — her joy in the Lord. 
This never forsook her ; for with all her thought- 
ful seriousness concerning death itself, she ear- 
nestly desired to " depart and to be with Christ," 
which she knew would be "far better" than to 
remain longer on earth. But, as one has said, "A 
man may desire to be with his family, and yet 
fear crossing the sea ; so we may desire to be with 
Christ, but shrink when we remember we must 
die to be with him." 




■\ ": 


%t\itx *kni. 

The dead are like the stars by day : 

Withdrawn from mortal eye, 
But not extinct, they hold their way 

In glory through the sky. 
Spirits from bondage thus set free 
Vanish amidst immensity ; 
Where human thought, like human sight, 
Fails to pursue their trackless flight." 



It is a true saying, that " persons die as they 
live." Our Mother's life had been one of faith, 
and of joyful confidence in God. And it was 
increasingly such the nearer she drew to its close. 
During her last illness, not the shadow of a doubt 
seemed to cross her mind as to her acceptance 
with God, or final admission into heaven. Yet 
her confidence was not based on any service which 
she had performed, but on the infinite merit of 
her Divine Redeemer. She gave proof while there, t 
that on her death-bed she carefully reviewed her 
life, and examined well the foundation of her faith 
and hope. The examination yielded her no rea- 
son for self-complacency. She never seemed so 
profoundly humble as now; and spake much of 
the mercy of God to her as a sinner, through a 
crucified Saviour. " The precious blood of Christ," 
was a saying frequently on her lips. And this, 
my dear Sister, is the case of all who in death 
have proper views of themselves, and of Christ's 
salvation ; so that as they approach the termina- 
tion of their probationary course, they speak only 
of his atoning and cleansing blood. Thus, Wesley, 
after lus laborious and useful life, said in death, — 

268 a mother's portrait. 

" I the chief of sinners am, 
But Jesus died for me !" 

In Jesus, our dear parent could steadfastly 
trust, and she knew that she was saved by him. 
To two of her female friends who called to see 
her some days before her end, she said, " It may 
be that at the last I shall not have power to 
speak ; and I wish you distinctly to understand 
what I am going to say. I now declare to you, 
that I have not the least doubt on my mind 
respecting my acceptance with God and title to 
heaven, through the infinite merit of our Lord 
Jesus Christ." 

Her faith in the providence of God was also 
unshaken. Her long silence on all temporal 
things, and the circumstances of her family, in- 
duced surprise, and at length inquiry, on the part 
of father. Her answer was, that she had given 
all up into the hands of the Lord, and could con- 
fidently intrust all to his providential care and 
covenant engagement. All would be in better 
keeping than hers, she affirmed, quoting suitable 
promises, and pointing upwards — all would be in 
Divine keeping. God had never failed her in 


any thing lie had promised ; and she exhorted all 
to serve him and trust in him. 

On her death-bed she seemed exceedingly jeal- 
ous for the honor and glory of the Saviour ; and 
besought all who visited her to beware of taking 
any praise to themselves for what they did pro- 
fessedly for him. Of her own conduct she said, 
it was full of imperfections ; but that she had 
been sincere in what she had professed and at- 
tempted. She had been but like a child in God's 
service, yet she had also been childlike in purpose 
and aim. 

For several days before her death she lay calm 
and serene, waiting the coming of the last messen- 
ger; but as the end drew near, her happy mind 
seemed to rise superior to all natural restraints 
from bodily weakness and pain. Her spirit, in 
anticipation of being freed from the last incrusta- 
tions of mortality, beamed out in her countenance, 
and burst forth into rapturous exaltations and 
praises, that turned the house of mourning into a 
house of joy. She bade others bless the Lord 
with her ; and would have her family assembled 
around her bed, and the hymn-book brought, so 


270 a mother's portrait. 

that they might together praise God as they had 
been wont to do in the days of her strength. She 
literally fulfilled the words of the Psalmist, — 
"Rejoiced in glory, and sang upon her bed for 
joy." Feeling that faith's great battle was won, 
the last enemy conquered, and that heaven was 
opening around, she said to some friends who 
visited her, " I have fought a good fight : I have 
finished my course ; and I feel already upon me 
such a weight of glory, that I know not how to 
bear it in my weak and enfeebled state ; but still 
I know that there is more to come !" Repeatedly 
she spoke of her cup of blessing as overflowing, 
and of her bright and joyful hope of speedy union 
with Christ and the redeemed in heaven. To one 
of the esteemed ministers who had called to see 
her, she said with emphasis, after making inqui- 
ries concerning the word of God in the circuit, and 
having learned that he was going to preach that 
day, at the opening of a new chapel, in an adjoin- 
ing circuit, — "Preach Christ; preach Christ cru- 
cified; preach Christ crucified for all men ! Preach 
sl free, present, and full salvation for every one that 
believe th !" adding, that while lying on that bed 


her views of the efficacy of the Saviour's atone- 
ment had been such, that she had been constrained 
to sing, — 

"Lord, I believe, were sinners more 
Than sands upon the ocean shore, 
Thou hast for all a ransom paid ; 
For all a full atonement made !" 

Our dear Mother's last day on earth, though 
she was in extreme weakness and suffering, found 
her still happy and rejoicing. She said to her 
husband, when he entered her chamber in the 
morning, after family devotion below stairs, " My 
dear, draw up the window-blind, will you? and 
let the blessed sunshine from heaven flow freely 
in and fill the room." When he had done so, she 
said, " That will do : the place is now bright, as it 
ought to be on this glad day. Many complain of 
this world as dark and bad. I do not. It has 
been a good and happy world to me ; and all 
whom I have known seem to have been my friends. 
Come, let us sing together once more our Sabbath 

When reminded that it was not the Sabbath 
day, she answered, " I know ; but it is a blessed 
day, and a Sabbath to me ; for it will be the day 

272 a mother's portrait. 

when I shall enter into eternal rest !" She con- 
tinued thus rejoicing till evening, when her speech 
failed. But then her countenance shone more 
brightly than ever. It seemed as if her spirit was 
already beaming in light through the frail taber- 
nacle ; and the holy rapture in her eyes seemed 
to indicate that she was able to behold the hea- 
venly visitants who had come to welcome her to 
the everlasting home. Thus she continued, until 
two o'clock on Friday morning, October 2d, 1840, 
when her soul was " unclothed" from the outward 
garment of the flesh, and escaped from earth's 
bondage for ever. 

The loss of such a parent as I have faintly por- 
trayed could not but be deeply felt by her family. 
It was a loss that could not possibly be repaired, 
though you, my clear Sister, with some others 
around you, were then too young to perceive all 
that was involved in it. The words, " She is 
gone !" and the desolate reflection, springing up in 
the mind for the first time, " I have no Mother in 
this world now !" could not but produce in the 
hearts of those who were old enough to feel their 
bereavement, that heavy-weighted sorrow which 


the Psalmist expresses when he says, " I bowed 
down heavily, as one that mourneth for his 
mother." Her appearance when dead was still 
lovely. There she lay, pure as stainless statuary 
marble, with the last smile lingering upon her 
face, that still seemed devout, spiritual, and radi- 
ant ; so that when bending over her form, and 
looking upon her countenance, the words of Christ 
seemed most appropriate to the thought within, — 
" She is not dead, but sleepeth." It was, how- 
ever, her last sleep, from which in the body she 
will not awake until the morning of the last day. 

In the interval before her burial, we spoke of 
her character and conduct with friends who came 
to sympathize with us, as did the bereaved family 
of Dorcas ; but there was a deep and mysterious 
feeling of joy and consolation mingled with all our 
mourning. We could not sorrow as they who are 
without hope. God, our Maker, gave us " songs 
in the night." The funeral was intended to be as 
quiet and private as possible, for true sorrow at 
such a season shrinks from public gaze and obser- 
vation; but a large number of persons who had 

known Mother in life were assembled at her 

274 a mother's portrait. 

burial, many of whom had voluntarily put on 
mourning habits. Several shops were closed on 
the way to the graveyard, and many stood at their 
doors to pay the last homage to religious worth, 
— a homage not to be bought by wealth, or 
secured by authority. Thus was she borne to her 
long home amidst the tokens of sorrowful and 
grateful affection ; for such is the effect of consist- 
ent goodness, and such its final triumph ! 

She was buried in the south-west part of St. 
Mark's retired churchyard, where her beloved 
father and eight of her own children had been 
previously interred. With them she sleeps quietly 
in the dust, where no rude, unmeasured steps of 
busy traffic, or echoes of rumbling vehicles, seem 
as though they would startle the dead in their 
last resting-chambers ; but where the guardian 
trees around, as they yearly renew their glossy 
foliage, gently whisper among their young leaves 
of a coming resurrection. Her desire was strong 
to be buried there : she often thought of it, and 
often spoke of it. Some may consider this trivial, 
and be ready to say, " It is of no consequence to 
the saint where the body lies at death ;" but her 


desire as to a burial-place was both natural and 
commendable. As possessing social natures, we 
desire association with those we love, not only in 
life, but also in death and the grave. How many 
have said, with Thomas, when contemplating the 
approaching loss of a friend, " Let us also go, that 
we may die with him !" What Uuth said to 
Naomi is the true language of nature and affec- 
tion, — " Where thou diest, will I die, and there 
will I be buried." Jacob and Joseph were not 
content to be left in a cold sarcophagus of some 
rock-hewn tomb in Egypt, but desired to be asso- 
ciated with their friends and relatives, giving com- 
mandment in death concerning their bones. Jacob 
is singularly earnest in this. He makes his son 
promise with the utmost solemnity that his body 
shall not be buried in Egypt ; and his inmost 
nature speaks out when naming the reason for 
being entombed in that place : " There," he says, 
" they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife : there 
they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife ; and there 
I buried Zcah" It is also recorded, almost inva- 
riably, of those who were buried with honor in 
Israel, that they " were laid with their fathers." 

276 a mother's portrait. 

Some, who profess utter carelessness as to the 
place of their burial, may be ready to say that all 
this is mere sentiinentalism, and has no reason 
whatever in it ; for there can be no mental inter- 
course in death, and no communion in the dust. 
But this desire for companionship in the grave 
springs from the true instinct of nature ; and it 
is no slight violation of its dictates when necessary 
sanitary measures prevent the burial of relatives 
together. Mother had her long-cherished desire 
fulfilled ; and she and her father and children rest 
in that quiet graveyard together, u in sure and 
certain hope of a joyful resurrection." 

Her death was improved in a funeral sermon, 
preached in the Wesleyan chapel at Lincoln, by 
the Rev. George Roebuck, from the latter part of 
Proverbs xiv. 32 : " The righteous hath hope in 
his death." A deep and solemn impression was 
made by the service ; and there was a manifest 
sensation produced w T hen the minister quoted, at 
the close of his discourse, the following verses from 
Mrs. Buhner's poems, as applicable to the cha- 
racter of the departed, and to the feelings of the 
audience : — ^