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with the divine goodness and compassion; so that humility and faith were combined in him. He said one evening, after he had been reflecting a little while,
66. Didst thou ever see a soul
More in need of help than mine?
Then withhold the balm divine.'
0, no! It is my Saviour! He suffer me to lack anything ? No, never! He keeps his own : he keeps me! Praise, praise his name !" He was evidently overcome by what was not only a sight, but a sense, of the fulness and
mercy of his great Redeemer. His disorder was very lingering. He said, once,
“ Sometimes I am so refreshed in the morning, that I almost think I am going to be raised up again; but at night I feel that death is in these wasted limbs. Yes, it is fixed: my destiny is fixed. It is settled that I must go. But what then?
Jesus, my all, to heaven is gone.' He will receive me when I go hence. Let the will of God be done : that is all I want."
Two members of his class visiting him, he said to them, “ Love one another. The world will love its own; and if we are not of the world, it will hate us. We must love and help one another, and pray for the world.” He added, “ Thank God, I shall soon have done with it: I shall be
Far from a world of grief and sin,
With God eternally shut in.”” At one time he appeared to suffer more than usual. poorly," he said ; “very poorly indeed. I do not think that many can get to heaven before me now.” He appeared then to be quite exhausted ; and the oppression on his chest was so great and painful, that he literally gasped for breath. When he had recovered a little strength, he said, “Can this be death? Well, if it is,
“ I am very
I soon shall be
He asked his friends to sing “ The dying Christian ;” “But," he directly added, “not Pope's; that will not do for me now: the music is very sweet; but there is no Christ in the piece; and fine poetry, without Christ, will not now suit me." He referred them, then, to some verses which they had occasionally sung when they were met together, and which described the feelings of the dying believer; the burden of the song being, “ All is well, all is well.” The verses were sung, and seemed to revive him. He remarked, in the course of the conversation that ensued, “Likewise Lazarus his evil things ;' yes,
“his evil things. But he had them here. And when he died, they ended; they all ended; they ended for ever. But now he is comforted; the poor beggar is crowned ! O praise the Lord !” “ You have a bright prospect," one of his friends observed to him.
“Yes," he replied, “I have indeed a fine day before me. Bright skies; bright skies! Let us take courage. What have we to fear? “The Lord's portion is his people ; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.'”
To his family he was much attached ; but he committed them all to the merciful guardianship of God. On one occasion, thinking himself near his end, he called for his wife and children, that he might give them his dying blessing. When they came to him, as his strength permitted, he prayed for them, exhorted them, and solemnly blessed them in the name of the Lord. He then exclaimed, in the impressive language of Scripture, “ Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, and blessed be his glorious name for ever; and let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen, and amen.”
Not long before he died, being asked if his mind were still kept in peace, he remarked, “I rest in the Lord : cherubim and seraphim rest there." He observed, at another time," Christ died, Christ rose again, Christ ascended into heaven; and I shall die, I shall rise, I shall enter heaven. Christ, and all in Christ, is mine. I shall be for ever with the Lord,—for ever with the Lord.” And, pointing upwards, he added, “Nobody knows, nobody knows! “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man, what God hath prepared for thern that love him.' Blessed be the Lord ! What glorious things await me !" Nearly the last words he was able to speak were said in reply to the observation of a friend,—“ You will soon be at home."
Yes,” he rejoined, “I shall soon be at home. I am very near land. My salvation is now much nearer than when I first believed.”
The day on which he died, (May 21st, 1841,) he never spoke. It was evident, from the morning, that he was gradually sinking. He was quite composed to the last ; and, between seven and eight in the evening, he put off the mortal tabernacle, and entered into rest.
Thus lived and died Joseph Pennington, beloved by his religious associates as a faithful brother in Christ, respected by his neighbours as an honest, industrious, and kind man. He possessed none of the advantages of wealth or learning; but as his character was consistent, so his piety was established, and his zeal active. To the duties of his calling, secular and spiritual, he was carefully attentive. He took heed to his ways, and pondered the path of his feet. And that he might do this more effectually, he took care to keep up that in ward life without which he would have been powerless, whether for doing or suffering the will of God. Nor was his labour vain. The way in which he walked he found, through life, to be the way of peace. He was not only pious and useful, but happy. Throughout a long and lingering affliction, not only did his peace continue, but his hope was
full of immortality. By the grace of God he lived well, and at length died well; thus affording, to the readers of this brief memorial, both example and encouragement.
MEMOIR OF MRS. MARY BEECROFT,
OF GREAT-BUDWORTH :
BY THE REV. CILARLES JANION.
Mrs. Mary BEECROFT was born June 19th, 1771, in the parish of Weaserham, in the county of Chester. Her parents were respectable and industrious, being engaged in the farming business. They regularly attended the services of the established Church. Moral in their own conduct, they were careful to train up their children in a strict attention to the external duties of religion, and to preserve them from those vices to which youth are addicted. Her mind was early impressed with a sense of divine things. She had a great fear of dying; and thought it so awful, that, if she heard of the death of any person whom she had seen, she would burst into tears. Before her seventh year, she saw hope in the promises of Scripture, though she did not then understand their proper application. Like Timothy, she knew and loved the Scriptures from a child, and took great delight in reading her Bible. This was a guide and preservative to her while treading the slippery paths of youth ; and thus she grew up in the fear of the Lord, -observing, with a measure of sincerity and earnestness, the outward forms of religion.
Her parents, after a time, removed to a considerable farm in Tabley, where they hoped to spend many happy days; but it pleased divine Providence, whose ways are inscrutable, to take from the family, in the course of a few months, both her mother and brother into another world. On her sick-bed, her mother advised them to be affectionate one to another, and to love the Saviour. Her oldest daughter she especially charged to take care of her youngest brother and sister, who were very tender and delicate. Thus the cares of a family devolved upon her when she was scarcely past the bounds of childhood; and having few spiritual advantages, it was not to be wondered that, amidst a variety of domestic and temporal occupations, she should in some degree lose sight of those things which were heavenly and eternal. However, the gracious Lord did not forget or forsake her. He, in his wisdom and goodness, sent a severe affliction, which not only brought her to the gates of death, but also, by the influence of the Holy Spirit, into a state of deep penitence and great humiliation on account of sin. The law was applied to her heart in its spirituality and power : she saw herself to be one of the chief of sinners, and was ready to despair of mercy. But He who breaks not the bruised reed, nor quenches the smoking flax, came to her relief. One night, when
retiring to rest, being greatly exhausted in body, and sorely distressed in mind, she thought if the Lord would but relieve her body with a little sleep, she should be thankful. She dared not to ask mercy for her soul, thinking that was gone for ever. She presently fell into a refreshing slumber, during which those balmy words occurred to her troubled spirit: “ Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavyladen, and I will give you rest.” When she awoke, being greatly refreshed, she at first thought that it was day; but was surprised to hear the clock soon after strike one. Again she fell asleep, and again did the same passage occur to her mind, and with similar sweetness and power. When she again awoke, she reflected on the words, and was enabled to rely on the faithfulness and love of her Saviour : she praised him who had thus, though in sleep, calmed her distress by the application of his own word of truth ; and, laying hold of the promise, she threw aside her fears, and received consolation. Her burden was now taken away, and she found in Christ that repose of pardon which she had so long been seeking. A new song of praise was put into her mouth, and joy and gladness filled her heart. It was somewhat singular that, before this time, she had little or no notion of singing, though fond of hearing others sing; but from this night she could recollect various hymns, with their tunes, and took much delight in joining in the high praises of God. On her recovery, she had many invitations to visit her old acquaintances; but she had resolved first to go to the house of God, there to pay her vows and offer thanksgiving. Besides, she now saw the necessity of ceasing to mingle with gay company, if she were resolved to retain her piety, and continue devoted to the service of God. And she was enabled, by divine grace, to take up her cross, and to act in accordance with what appeared plainly to be her duty.
In the year 1802, her father married again; and, in consequence she removed from Tabley, and came with her sister to reside at GreatBudworth, where they commenced business as grocers, and also took the charge of a small school. It pleased the Lord to prosper the work of their hands, and to bless them in “ their basket and store.” This they attributed to the firmness and conscientiousness with which they had been enabled to refuse to sell anything on the Lord's day, although many temptations to the violation of the Sabbath from time to time occurred. The school prospering, they removed to a larger house, and relinquished the shop. Mrs. Beecroft had promised, that, if the Lord would prosper her way, and establish her in reference to temporal things, she would live more to his glory; but, perhaps, confiding too much in her own strength, and perplexed often with increasing cares, as well as being in want of more spiritual help, (for hitherto she enjoyed not “the fellowship of saints,") about this time she sustained much spiritual loss. But she was again mercifully chastened. She became subject to severe headaches, and her health was otherwise
much impaired. This led her earnestly to seek that God would revive her again, that her joy and peace might be restored. She likewise felt her need of more suitable and extended religious aid. She had regularly attended the ordinary and sacramental services of the church for twelve years, since she found peace with God; but she felt that in this attendance she had not that “communion of saints” which she needed, and after which she greatly longed. The church itself, too, was at that time extremely cold and damp; so that, on account of her health, she feared to go, though still her ardent desire was to be found in the house of God, “ keeping holy-day.” Under these circumstances, she determined to become, at least for a time, one of the congregation in the room where the Methodists held their meetings. Believing, also, that “the communion of saints” was among them, she became anxious to join them. For some time, however, no one invited her. When, at the close of preaching, the society were met, she would often linger to the last, hoping that some one would ask her to remain. At length she overcame her natural timidity, and of her own accord stayed among them, when the Rev. J. Bowers was about to renew the quarterly-tickets. She received one herself; and from this time, (it was in the close of the year 1813,) to the day of her death, she continued to be a member of the Wesleyan society. Immediately after joining this particular section of Christ's church, her resolution was strengthened to conduct family worship regularly, as previously this had only been attended to occasionally. She at first met with some obstacles, but divine grace enabled her to surmount them: the rough ways became smooth, and she saw the blessed effects of courage and perseverance.
In 1816 she was appointed to be the Leader of the class at Budworth ; and of this she continued to be, to this extent, the spiritual guide, nearly to the end of her earthly pilgrimage.
In 1818 the Wesleyans were obliged to remove from their old preaching-house ; when this “mother in Israel,” not willing that the preaching should be taken out of the village, at her own expense took a house at the rent of £8. 8s. per annum, in which the usual services might be held. She had in view, also, the establishment of a Sundayschool. This good work was commenced in May, in the following year,—several suitable persons having come to reside in the village, who cordially joined with Mrs. Beecroft in her benevolent design, and engaged heartily in this labour of love. From that period, to the present, the school has been conducted with vigour and success, and has proved to many in the village and neighbourhood an unspeakable blessing. For many years past it has been annually favoured with the kind and powerful advocacy of the Rev. Dr. Newton.
During this period of her life, Mrs. Beecroft had frequently to suffer from severe aflliction ; but the Lord sustained her, and sanctified to her soul's health these painful visitations of liis providence. An