Imágenes de página

Burgess' father and grandfather lived for of God. The last two years of her life many years at Sheerness, and the name is were times of special trial, yet it was very honourably and intimately associated with evident that in her patience had its perthe history of Methodism in the Isle of fect work. The winter of 1875 proved Sheppey. Some of the family had the very disastrous through its unusual sevehonour of the personal friendship of the rity, and her health, never strong, gave founder of Methodism.

way. The subject of this obituary was born Her meekness and submission to the at Reading, in 1823. She had the Divine Will at this time were very advantage of sound religious training, noticeable. Her husband was particularly hallowed home influence, pleasant and struck with the increased sense of nearness privileged intercourse with a large num- of access to God she enjoyed about this ber of the Wesleyan Ministers whom period. In November, 1875, she accom. she met as honoured guests at her panied him to Pretoria, the seat of Gov. father's home. She was early and soundly ernment of the Transvaal Republic; but converted to God, under the ministry of from the first the change did not appear to the Rev. W. Williams, and at once suit her, the climate of the town being joined the Society; and till her death con- much more relaxing than that to which she tinued associated with the people of her had been accustomed. About a month choice. Her Christian consistency, firm- before her death she took a severe cold, ness of principle, natural amiability and which settled on her lungs. On May 2nd, cheerfulness and hearty friendliness won without a sigh or groan or struggle, she for her the warmest and lasting esteem and gently breathed her last. She literally attachment of all who knew her intimately. *fell asleep in Jesus.' From the characMuch of her early life was spent in York- ter of the disease she had great difficulty shire, where she had many relatives. in giving utterance to her thoughts and That able Minister, the late Rev. James feelin 2s, and it required the utmost attenMethley, was her paternal uncle. A very tion to catch the faint utterances that few years after her conversion she was fell from her lips; hence there were not asked to take a Class, but from motives of many expressions for loving remembrance modesty she declined : nevertheless she to linger on. But they were not needed. was throughout her Christian life engaged There was one long continuous consistent in doing good. In 1849 she was married life of piety, giving evidence of the genuto him who now mourns his loss, and went ineness of the work of grace within, which to reside in Dover, where she lived for sustained her with increased power in her five years. It was no uncommon thing to affliction and weakness. Her son sank see her, alone or accompanying the Rev. below the horizon without a cloud and James Jarrett, ministering to the tem- with mellowed radiance. To her has poral and spiritual necessities of the sick band she proved a true and most affecand dying. She had also the satisfaction tionate belp meet for him. Nothing could of contributing to the happiness and at exceed her filial affection and thonghtful last smoothing the dying pillow of her care for her aged parents. As a friend, grandfather, who had for years been bed- she was faithful and ardent. One very ridden.

noticeable feature in her character was In the beginning of the year 1856 she the great respect and love she showed to embarked with her husband for Port the aged.

She ever inculcated on her Natal, South Africa. In Africa, as in children the necessity of paying marked England, she was ever ready to forward deference to them, especially to aged the work of God. After residing for saints, irrespective of station. fourteen years on the coast of Natal, her Next to the Word of God she loved the husband broke up his home, mainly on ac- Wesleyan Hymns. In recent family trials count of his feeble health, and proceeded she ever carried them to the Throne of to the Diamond Fields. From 1870 till Grace ; and, again and again, in speaking the end of 1873 she resided at Hebron, on of them to her husband, said, with the the Vaal River, and afterwards at Du utmost emphasis, . What should we do Toit's Pan, Griqualand West. Her home without the supporting grace of God in was ever sanctified by the Word of God Christ ?' When a friend said, “Well, and prayer, and whenever her husband was Mrs. Burgess, what is the best news !' unavoidably absent she conducted the she replied, 'Peace with God through oni family devotions. She highly valued and Lord Jesus Christ.' enjoyed the means of grace. It was no

W. H. B. trivial thing that kept her from the honse


[graphic][merged small][merged small]






. The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the

magicians, the soothsayers, show unto the king; but there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets.'-DANIEL II. 27, 28.

The king of Babylon was sorely troubled by a vision of the night. The dream itself had gone from him; but although the mental scenes had faded from his memory, they had left behind an impression so deep, a melancholy 80 profound, an excitement so intense, that the monarch was filled with anxiety for the reproduction of his dream and an explanation of the events it was intended to forebode. The wise men of the age, the chief authorities on all questions of an occult and difficult kind, were convened by the terrified king, who demanded that they should relate the dream which he had utterly forgotten, and furnish the interpretation he so much desired. All declared their inability to do the former, and asked the king to describe the vision in order that they might supply the latter. They acknowledged that the secrets of the mind were beyond their ken.

Bafiled and disappointed the angry despot doomed them at once to death, and the captain of the guard was commanded to execute the stern decree. Daniel, together with three fellow captives of Judah, who had been set apart to study in the Chaldean schools, and were therefore included in the fatal edict, promptly intervened, asked for extended time, and promised to satisfy the king's demand. They made prayerful appeal to God, an answer was vouchsa fed, the vision unfolded itself to Daniel ; the interpretation followed, a joyful thanksgiving was offered to Almighty God, and then the young captive went in and stood before the king, saying : The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, show unto the king ; but there is a God in heaven that revealeth, secrets.



The whole narrative affords an excellent illustration of the limits of human reason and the necessity of a revelation from God. In these days when science and philosophy are employed to cast doubts on Revelation ; when the 'wise men’ of our time would decry the Word of God, uncrown the Christ, and bind the lordly symbol of law above the blinded eye of human reason, it is well that all lovers of Gospel truth should be able to give a clear and definite answer to all sceptical enquirers as to the hope that is in them, the 'things that are most surely believed' by them.

HUMANITY'S GREAT QUESTIONS. I. There are Secrets, the revelation of which is of the greatest importance to Humanity.

I also, in common with all mortals, have dreamed a dream, ay, dreams : dreams of God, of Responsibility, of Happiness, of Immortality ; but they have gone from me; the pictures are blurred, the ideas are indistinct; and as in the case of the royal dreamer, they have left behind a hazy, half-consciousness that does but harass and perplex, and, at times, brings deep depression, an anxious mind and a troubled heart.

1. I dream of the existence of a God. I have a dim consciousness of the existence of a great First Cause, a conviction which is independent of creeds, and defies the impious foot of Atheism to crush it, or the cold breath of materialism to wither it away. I see around me a thousand irresistible tokens of His creating power and wisdom. I have within me an instinct which owns His being and trembles at the thought. He is the Creator and Maintainer of the Universe, and hence the Universal King. There is no nation of Atheists under heaven; the living clay, in its most degraded forms, tacitly acknowledges the Master Potter. But, if He is my Maker, He is also my

Master: my life, my lot, my destiny is in His hands. To Him I am responsible; on Him I depend. Who is He ? How does He regard me? I want to know Him. I would avoid His displeasure, I would secure His approval. For the sake of my happiness it is essential to me to know my

God, O Thou Fount of being ! Lord of life! Controller of destiny! Thou Whose will is obeyed alike by stars and flowers ! Who art Thou, Lord ? What is Thy will, that I may do it? What are the conditions of Tbine approval, that I may obtain it ?

I have faint dreams of God, of Truth, and Right, and Duty; tell me, ye 'wise men,' Who is the Ruler, and what the Rule of Life ?

2. I have also dreamed a dream which, like the vision of Nebuchadnezzar,

has left an intermittent horror on my soul : I am conscious of wrong doing. I am sensible of the existence of a something within me which condemns or approves, accuses or excuses, according to the nature of deeds. Conscience, which is native to my soul, condemns me, upbraids me for my guilt, and saddens me with the awful responsibility of my own · I will.? All have this consciousness of wrong : the veriest heathen deprecates the ven


« AnteriorContinuar »