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plane, chisel, auger and screw; and then he died, leaving Mary to the care of Jesus. And so till He was thirty years old, Mary bad her son quietly dwelling in her house, and labouring at the bench with willing toil, to keep replenished the household purse ; and she, pondering in her heart the events of His birth, and remembering His high descent, would, doubtless, weave many a plan in which He, being chief actor, should redeem His people, and re-establish the throne of David.
But suddenly news arrived that their cousin, John the Baptist, was preaching in the valley of the Jordan “ the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins," and that great crowds of people were flocking to hear him. He, with all the energy and fearlessness of Elijah, was thundering at the sleeping consciences of the people, and waking them to new life. Our Lord's time was now come; and He appears to have made over to His mother all the profits of His business, and everything else that He had, and went to be baptized of John, and to enter upon His public ministry.
But there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, six miles from Nazareth, and the mother of Jesus was there, and both Jesus and His disciples were invited guests. And here, at His mother's statement and appeal, Jesus turned the water into wine. From this beginning of miracles, Jesus went forward in His course of mercy, until great multitudes hung upon His words, or thronged around Him to see His miracles. such occasion (Matt. xii. 46-50 ; Mark iii. 31-35; Luke viii. 19-21); His mother and some near relatives desired to speak with Him; and when one
2 told Him this, He said, “ Whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother." Another saying, this, for Mary and for all who honour Mary, to ponder over in their hearts. There is no need for any saints on earth, however weak and feeble and erring, to ask for Mary's intercession with her Son. He is Hiinself their Saviour, and " is able to save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by Him."
After some three years of public ministry, our Lord yielded Himself to the fury of His foes, and “ became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." “ Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother and His mother's sister and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus, therefore, saw His mother, and the disciple standing by, whom He loved, He bade His mother regard that disciple as her son; and bade that disciple henceforth to regard Mary as his mother. And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.”
We will not worship thee, gentle mother, but we do honour thee as one of the best of the daughters of Eve; and we are glad that the loving care of John made the evening of thy life comparatively happy. And we shall yet see thee, and talk with thee, and ponder over with thee the things that are past, in the life to come.
THE WESLEYAN METHODIST LOCAL PREACHERS'
CHAPTER VII.-ANNUAL MEETING AT LEEDS. 1853.
BROTHER JOHN UNWIN, President. It will not be necessary to write now at any great length; this will therefore be a short chapter, containing only a few facts and figures.
The Association had increased this year by 117 benefit and 70 hon. members, making a total of 2829. There is this striking fact in connection with this year. The amount subscribed this year by benefit members was larger than it had ever been before or since, being £1,358 9s. 6d. The Association in consequence increased its funded property by adding £400, making the total invested £3,504. Paid to the sick, the annuitants, and for deaths, £1,729 8s. 4d.
As the first meeting held in 1849 was in October, so the subsequent meetings to this period were held in this month, but as it was found an inconvenient time, it was resolved to alter the time to June.
In this month it has been held ever since.
During this year meetings on behalf of the Association were held east, west, north and south. There were workers then as there are workers
CHAPTER VIII.- ANNUAL MEETING IN LONDON. 1854.
Bro. James Wild, President. The Committee met on Saturday, June 3rd, at St. Martin's Hall. On the Sunday following sermons were preached by the brethren in chapels placed at the disposal of the Committee in the London, Deptford, and Woolwich districts. Lovefeasts were held in the Queen Street, Hinde Street, Spitalfields, Chelsea, and Southwark circuits on Sunday afternoon. One old veteran when speaking at one of these services said : “ That was a happy day when, many years ago, Jesus washed my
sins away ;
bat though that was a happy day, this day is a happier one." So it always should be, for “the path of the just shineth more and more unto the perfect day."
Brother Wild was elected president by acclamation, and although seventy-four winters had whitened his head, his vigour of mind and body was as great as ever.
This year 120 benefit and 41 hon. members were added to the Association, making 2,648 benefit and 342 hon. members ; total members 2,990. £300 was added to the funded property, making a total investment of £3,804 6s. 6d. Paid to the sick, the annuitants, and for deaths,
. £1,206 28. 10d.
A very important resolution was passed at this meeting : “That no
alterations in the rules shall be made but once in three years, and that after due notice had been given.”
The meeting this year concluded by a very interesting and large tea meeting, held in St. Martin's Hall, which was followed by an enthusiastic public meeting, which created an additional interest on behalf of the Association in the Methodist and general public.
EVERYBODY who has taken any part in the “ Local Preachers' MutualAid Association” will remember James Wild. The cheery, happy, buoyant James Wild. He was born on the 25th of September, 1782, in Union Street, Southwark. He died at Northend, near Hammersmith, May 1st, 1866, in the eighty-fourth year of his age; his life consisting of eighty-three years, four months, and twenty-four days.
Life’s day in the case of James Wild was eighty-three years. It is not so much the length of life's day as the filling of it up.
How short is the longest day of life, when we look back on the eternal past, and forward into the eternal future ! How did James Wild fill up this day is the subject for us to look at, We are saved from entering into a lengthened account of him, as in our Volume for 1867 an interesting memoir of him may be found, running into five numbers.
When we see a young man, before he has left his teens, moved by a strong impulse so as to undertake a journey of 170 miles on foot in order to accomplish an object, we may depend upon it such impulses will lead to something in after life. This it is reported James Wild did. A young lady to whom he had become attached had removed from London to Hall, and he was determined to visit her, and started to walk the distance, and with the help of occasional lifts on stage waggons, he reached the town. There the romance ended, and he returned to London, it may
be a wiser, if a sadder man. This check did not prevent him from seeking a life companion; so successful was he, indeed, that the lady who closed his eyes in death was his fifth wife,
There was the future man in the boy. Having completed his apprenticeship he resolved to start in business for himself, but his mother persuaded him to postpone this; in the meantime he was gathering experience, and the way opening, he brought his promptitr de, his energy, his diligence, his superior business acumen into operation, and opened and carried on most succe
ccessfully the business of a woollen merchant. We now leave him as a woollen merchant, and look at him in his religious career.
He had a devoted mother, and she was his first and best instructor, impressing upon his young heart her own religious character.
He must have joined the Methodist society when about twenty years of age, and being converted to God, his active nature would prompt him to ask
“What shall I do to make it known.
What Thou for all mankind hast done?" He found work first in the establishment of a Sunday-school, and, secondly, as a Local Preacher. Dr. A, Clarke appears to have been his mentor in bringing him out in this latter capacity, and he preached before him a sort of trial sermon at Woolwich, in April, 1808. After this to the end of life he sustained the honourable office of a LOCAL PREACHER. He had some thoughts of entering the Itinerancy, but the way did not open, and he very wisely continued in the local ranks.
It was in the establishment of the “ Local Preachers' Mutual-Aid Association" that we came together. I had a high opinion of him from the first. His outspokenness, his geniality and simplicity, combining with his super-abounding liberality, attached him indeed to all hearts.
I think I see him now when walking about the Hanover Square Rooms, at the great Bazaar in 1860. He came to where I was, and in his prompt and abrupt way, asked me, 66 Was he a Conference man ?” This inquiry was made in reference to Grand father Johnson, who had just made his appearance at this bazaar. This is a question which never arises in our operation. The question is, “Is he a Local Preacher ? Is he in need ?” And by the way, as George Eliot says, “ No one person would make a Dinah, Adam Bede or Mrs. Prosser,” or even “Grandfather Johnson."
James Wild was abundant in his liberality, for in addition to his bequest of £1,050, as seen on the last page of the report, his annual subscription was ten guineas a year. His heart and soul and efforts were given to the Association; and as treasurer, when funds were needed, he would profess to advance only by receiving interest as a matter of business, but he would take care to give back this interest to the funds. Take him altogether, he stands at the head of all the benefactors and supporters of our glorious Association. The old men, with their Christmas gifts, will never let him die.
CHAPTER IX. ANNUAL MEETING AT BRISTOL. 1855.
BRO. RICHARD CARTER, Buckingham, President. BROTHER R. CARTER who had been a firm and generous friend from the first, was elected president, and is so still. Sermons were preached by the brethren in various chapels in the city.
The business meeting was held in Milk Street Chapel. The outgoing president, in relinquishing office, said he regretted that their investments the last year had not been equal to former years. This year the benefit members numbered 2,408, and the hon. members 532, total, 2,940. Paid to the sick this year,
£843 118. 7d., annnitants, £839 7s. 2d., deaths, £318. The invested money amounted to £3,500.
The attention of the meeting was occupied a considerable time respecting the conduct of the magazine, and a change was made in the editorship. Although the loss upon it was deeply regretted, there was but one opinion as it regarded the importance of keeping it on.
The ex-President preached the official sermon on Tuesday evening, in Milk Street Chapel, after which the Lord's Supper was commemorated.
The usual business having been transacted, a very interesting conversation took place on the promotion of the work of God in the land, and many important and valuable suggestions were thrown out and discussed by the brethren.
A public meeting was held in Milk Street Chapel, rendered memorable by John Irving taking the chair. No one can have read the life of John Fletcher without noticing the close connection between him and a Mr. Irving, of Bristol. We cannot withhold from our readers an extract from the chairman's speech on this occasion. He said : " How true it is that we do not know what a day may bring forth ; until yesterday, about this time, I had little expectation of meeting you; I was aware that there was to be such a meeting, but I knew not that a humble Local Preacher like myself would be privileged to have any part with you. But I have been reminded that I had something to do in originating this Association in this town; I had forgotten, until now, that such was the case, but rejoice that it was. I am happy to meet you, as I trust I always shall be to meet a body of Christian brethren met together for a good purpose. I don't know a more useful body of men than Local Preachers; and I may be privileged to say a little about them, having been on the plan myself for thirty years, though now, memory and body failing, I am compelled to retire. But I have had to do with the work; and had to do it with delight. My language has been—
• Let this my every hour employ,
Till I Thy glory see.'” Several of the brethren followed the chairman, and the interest of the meeting was kept up to the last.
CHAPTER X. ANNUAL MEETING AT SHEFFIELD. 1856.
BRO. THOMAS CHAMBERLAIN, Windsor, President. ABOUT 120 brethren were present. Eleven places of worship were occu pied by members of the Association, and several stations in the open-air were taken up for the purpose of preaching the word of life. A public lovefeast was held in the afternoon in the large Temperance Hall, Townhead Street. The brethren met for business on Monday morning, June 9th, in the Temperance Hall, Barker's Pool. The first sitting was only