Слике страница
PDF
ePub

8

[ocr errors]

others the Saviour whom he had found to be precious to his own soul. His labours, as a Local Preacher, were owned of God in the awakening and conversion of sinners; and in the year 1792 he was, after due examination, called into the public ministry, and appointed to a Circuit. He continued to travel and labour with great diligence, regularity, and usefulness till the year 1818, when he was compelled by severe disease to retire from that field of labour in which his soul had delighted. During more than twenty-one succeeding years, he resided in the Omagh and Londonderry Circuits, preaching as his health permitted, and exemplifying, by the holiness of his life and conversation, the truth of the doctrines which he taught. As a Christian, his piety was deep and uniform. He was a kind and faithful friend, an agreeable and intelligent companion, a good experimental and practical preacher. His sermons were generally enriched by numerous and suitable portions of Scripture, which he quoted with the strictest accuracy. He was a man of God, ready at all times to promote to the utmost of his ability the temporal and spiritual welfare of those with whom he had any intercourse. After years of much affliction, the conclusion of his life was calm and peaceful. Blessed with a hopefull of immortality, and surrounded by an affectionate and pious family, he fell asleep in Jesus, at Londonderry, March 2nd, 1840, in the seventy-eighth year of his age.”

We have produced the above record in order to show the domestic mould into which the character of the MCARTHURS was cast, and the sort of discipline to which they must have been subject. The father's long affliction, as well as his devoted and conscientious piety, must have had its effect upon his sons. A small pamphlet recently published at the Citizen office, Cheapside, supplies the following particulars of the Lord Mayor's biography :-“ He is the elder of the three sons of the late Rev. John McArthur, Wesleyan ininister, of Londonderry. His ancestors, on the paternal side, originally belonged to Scotland, and settled in the North of Ireland shortly before the Revolution. His mother was descended from an old Eaglish family, who settled in the Sister Isle at a later period. . .. The prospective Lord Mayor commenced his business career in Londonderry some thirty-three years ago. Here his capacity and integrity soon placed him at the head of a large firm, and his fellow-citizens evinced their appreciation of his administrative talents by electing him an Alderman, and a member of various other local bodies. He rendered valuable assistance in obtaining the erection of the bridge over the Foyle. His brother and partner, Mr. Alexander McArthur, the present Member for Leicester, went to Australia in 1843. He proved very successful; was appointed a magistrate, was twice elected a Member of the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales, and was nominated by the Government a member of the Legislative Council, or Upper House. Having founded large wholesale houses in the leading towns of the colony, the Australian trade so developed that it eventually

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

led, in 1857, to the senior partner, the Lord Mayor designate, establishing himself in London. The inhabitants of Londonderry, in which city his public usefulness and private philanthropy were equally conspicuous, were not slow to recognise his merits, or to lament the loss sustained by his removal. A significant expression of the general esteem in which he was held was given by the Londonderry Guardian, a Conservative journal, which remarked at the time: 'Mr. Alderman McArthur has been a member of the Corporation since it was reformed; and, not only in the discharge of his duties in connection with that body, but with other local boards and institutions, he proved himself a most useful citizen.

He possessed peculiar aptitude for business, enlarged views, strong common sense, much energy of character, and unimpeachable integrity. His removal is a public loss.'

“In the City the firm of Messrs. W. and A. McArthur, Australian merchants, soon grew in reputation and prosperity, and the establishment now in Silk Street, Cripplegate, is the centre of an influential connection, there being extensive branch houses at Sydney, Melbourne, and Auckland. His civic career in the metropolis may be said to have commenced in 1867, when he served the office of Sheriff of London and Middlesex, with Mr. Alderman Stone. The late Mr. George Moore was his proposer, -and pithily summed up his many qualities of heart and head in the following terms :- Mr. McArthur is one of our merchant princes, a man of great energy of character, and of indomitable perseverance and industry, the invariable concomitant of true greatness of character. He is a philanthropist too, in the greatest sense of the word. He has given a large part of his worldly means in works of charity and mercy—he is, in short, a Christian and a gentleman.'

“ As Sheriff, Mr. McArthur fully bore out the remarks of his sponsor, and gained further respect and popularity.

It was in September, 1872, that Mr. Alderman McArthur was unanimously chosen to represent Coleman Street Ward, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Mr. Alderman Hale. He first sought entrance to Parliament as candidate for the borough of Pontefract, in 1865, but was unsuccessful, though he polled the respectable minority of 288 votes, as against 330 recorded for his Conservative opponent, Mr. Waterhouse. Mr. Childers headed the poll with 359 votes. In 1868 he entered upon that political connection with the Borough of Lambeth which has continued ever since. He had on a previous occasion been requested to allow himself to be put in nomination, and early issued an address, dated from Gwyder House, Brixton, in which, amongst other things, he promised to support a measure for the equalisation of Poor Rates in the Metropolis.' Alderman Sir J. C. (then Mr.) Lawrence, was his Liberal colleague, and they were opposed by Mr. Morgan Howard, now Q.O., in the Conservative interest. In the result, after a spirited campaign, the Liberal candidates were successful by two to one; the respective polls being 14,051, 14,553

d

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

a

6

(McArthur), and 7,043. The artisans of Londonderry doubtless considerably aided this brilliant success, as they passed a resolution, recommending our worthy fellow-townsman, Mr. McArthur, to the working men of Lambeth, as a gentleman of the highest integrity; one, who, if elected as their representative to the Imperial Parliament, will be a member in whose promises they may place most implicit confidence.'

“The new member quickly gained great popularity among his constituents, and early in 1872 he and Sir J. C. Lawrence were entertained at a public dinner at the Bridge House Hotel.”

The junior Member for Lambeth has done good service for the Metropolis by initiating and obtaining, with the help of other members, the passing of the Bill freeing the Metropolitan Bridges from toll for ever ; an undertaking which entailed no slight exertion for a long time previous to its achievement. These and other efforts were probably remembered with gratitude by his constituents, as at the general election of last spring, he was returned a third time by a substantial majority over his old opponent, Mr. Morgan Howard, Q.C., on a poll of 18,983 to 16,701.

“ Mr. McArthur has devoted considerable attention to Colonial affairs, and has interested himself in various matters connected with Great Britain, notably 'Fiji Annexation,' which he strongly advoca ted, and which was carried principally through his exertions. The relations of the Alderman with the Australian Colonies have long been of the most cordial character; and his business transactions being so extensive, naturally bring hin into association with many friends from the Antipodes and other parts of the Pacific. It is not surprising, therefore, that after the fatigues of the Parliamentary Session of 1878, Mr. McArthur should seek rest and change by a visit to Australasia, where he received a gratifying reception; the various public bodies, as well as hosts of private friends, hasting to do him honour. He was entertained by the Corporation and citizens of Sydney, by the Corporation and citizens of Adelaide, and by both Houses of the Legislature of New South Wales. The latter assembly was of an imposing character; and the chairman, the Honourable Sir John Hay, K.C.M.G., made a felicitous reference to the civic position of the guest of the evening. He said :—Mr. McArthur, whom we have now the pleasure of entertaining, has come amongst us with the prestige of a name honoured in the commercial relations of this colony. (Great cheering.) We have long been accustomed to that name as designating one of the leading houses in the commercial circle of New South Wales and adjoining colonies. Our guest has also come amongst us in another character—not so often recognised in Australia—that of an Alderman of the great and ancient city of London (cheers), as a member of the greatest of the old Corporations of England; one which still maintains its ancient dignity, and one which, I will venture to say,

still dear to the feelings of the English people. (Cheers.) But Mr. McArthur is not only an Alderman of the City of London; for f he live a few years more, we are sure to hear of him as the Lord May or of that city (applause); and I am glad to say that, looking upon Mr. McArthur as we do to-night, there is every probability of his becom ing Lord Mayor of London, because his life is evidently a very good one ; and we hope that when his time comes, he will be ready to take the mantle of that office upon him.' (Loud cheers.)

“Mr. McArthur is a Deputy. Lieutenant of the City of London, a Magistrate of the County of Surrey, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a Member of the City, Reform, and City Liberal Clubs, and holds various important commercial positions. He is a Director of the City Bank, a Director of the Australian Telegraph Company, a Director of the Bank of Australia, and Chairman of the Star Assurance Company. He is widely known as an active member of the Aborigines Protection Society, is a prominent supporter of various undertakings connected with the Wesleyan body, of which he is an honoured leader; and amongst other philanthropic positions, holds that of Treasurer of the Surrey Dispensary.

“Nor is Mr. McArthur a prophet without honour in his own country; as, when he some years ago visited Derry, in his capacity as a member of the Deputation of the Irish Society, he was entertained at a banquet by the inhabitants, at which were present representatives of every religious denomination and all political parties.

“In summing up our sketch of the incoming Chief Magistrate, it may be remarked that Mr. Alderman McArthur has rather had distinctions imposed upon him than gone out of his way to seek them. He had only one acquaintance in London when he settled in the City a stranger, in 1827 ; and, in the course of eleven or twelve years he, without solicitation, became Sheriff, Alderman, an Assistant at the Court of a leading Guild, and Director of several Companies : thus affording another instance of the success which attends force of character, united with moral influence and consistent action."

Amidst all this success and prosperity, there are counterbalancing circumstances that call for sympathy. These circum stances, however, leave the Lord Mayor at liberty to expend his exuberant energy in the service of the public, and to employ his varied talents in promoting many humane, philanthropic, and Christian objects. We rejoice in his elevation to so high a dignity and so influential a position. We pray God to give him a happy and prosperous official year. Nevertheless, we say with boldness and gladness, that we prefer, beyond all comparison, the lowly office of a Methodist Local Preacher to all the dignity and splendour belonging to the office of Lord Mayor of London. Joseph glorified God at the Court of Egypt, and Daniel at that of Babylon; so, we believe, will the Methodist Lord Mayor in the Civic Chair. We honour him in his high position; but our greater joy is to preach “the glorious Gospel of the blessed God.”

12

A BRIEF FAMILY TOUR IN DEVON AND CORNWALL, IN

OCTOBER, 1878.

A CIRCUIT steward in one of the London circuits, having invited his colleague and the ministers of the circuit, with their wives and some other friends, to partake of tea and spend an evening at his house, early in July, 1877, his wife was fully occupied in making all necessary arrangement for the comfort of her guests. The company had assembled, and a pleasant and profitable evening was anticipated, when an unexpected calamity suddenly cast a gloom over all, and turned social joy into sorrow, and brightness into gloom.

The lady of the house, leaving the friends in cheerful conversation in her drawing-room, went into another room to light a spirit-lamp. The weather being warm, her dress was of light muslin, which, unconsciously to herself, caught fire. She soon found herself in flames, when she rushed out of the room into the spacious entrance hall, screaming in terror. She had presence of mind to seize a small mat, and press it to her chest. That prevented her being then and there burnt to death. Had she thrown herself upon the carpet, and rolled herself over upon it, the flames would probably have been immediately extinguished. This did not occur to her. Instead of that she paced the hall; two of her young sons who were upon the stairs, and saw their mother in flames, blended their cries with hers. The company was alarmed. Her husband came out of the drawing-room to ascertain the cause of the commotion, when, seeing his wife enveloped in flames, he instantly seized her, and laid her prostrate on the floor.

Mats were speedily laid about her person, and the flames extinguished; but smouldering fire, unperceived, made such havoc of the arms, that when the cindered clothing was removed, portions of muscle, especially of the left arm, hung in shreds and tatters. The back as well as the arms was fearfully burnt. It was an awful calamity.

Speedily as possible the sufferer was got to bed, and olive oil and cotton wool, being in the house, were instantly applied. The family doctor was summoned, and was soon in attendance.

A maiden sister who had gone up from the country on a visit intended to be for a fortnight only, was present. Both were to have gone together to the old home at the end of the week. The pleasing anticipation was blighted by this terrible disaster, and the devoted sister stayed nearly a year, together with a professional nurse, watching over and taking care of the dear patient. Such were the sufferings endured, that death was often desired rather than life. The most eminent surgeons in London were consulted on the case, and every possible attention was rendered by the family doctor. All held out hope of life being spared by proper care and treatment; but sometimes doubt and gloom prevailed more than sanguine hope; and the agony of suffering far exceeded all that martyrs had to endure. Theirs was soon

[ocr errors]
« ПретходнаНастави »