« ПретходнаНастави »
Leaving Mary, our Lord appeared to the other women, who probably had returned from the city. Afterwards He showed Himself to Peter, then to the two disciples on their way to Emmaus, and the same evening to the apostles, Thomas being absent; and so that first day of the week was ended. The Lord was risen indeed ; and the first to see Him was Mary of Magdala, a saint of God.
THE WESLEYAN METHODIST LOCAL PREACHERS'
BROTHER J. B. SHARPLEY, Louth, President. The Committee assembled on Saturday afternoon, as usual. Thirty chapels in the Louth, Alford, and Wainfleet Circuits were occupied by the brethren. Preaching in the Eastgate Chapel on Sunday morning at seven, forenoon and evening, and a love-feast in the afternoon. Preaching at six o'clock on the mornings of Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, also on Wednesday evening.
The annual sermon to the Association was preached on Monday evening, by the ex-President, Bro. Chamberlain; text, Luke xvi. 31. After the sermon the Lord's Supper was celebrated.
Monday morning, after the report had been read, Bro. J. B. Sharpley was unanimously elected President, James Wild re-elected Treasurer, and Bro. Wade Hon. Secretary.
This being the year for making alterations in the rules, notices of more than a dozen alterations had been sent in ; but with the exception of a few unimportant ones, the brethren resolved to let well alone. The meeting extended over three days, and considerable discussion took place. These, together with a report of a public meeting held on Tuesday evening, will be found in " THE LOCAL PREACHERS' MAGAZINE," 1857, pages 206-220.
The membership this year consisted of 2,116 benefit and 461 honorary; showing a decrease of 112 benefit members, and 39 honorary; total decrease 151. Subscriptions from benefit members, £1,179; a decrease of £61 9s. 3d. on the preceding year. The investment fund had sunk to £3,099 8s.
The Magazine having been reduced to 2d. monthly at the beginning of the year, and strenuous efforts having been made, its circulation had been doubled. Still the balance-sheet showed a deficiency of £193 14s. on the Magazine account. A very important alteration took place as to the bringing out of the Magazine for the next year, which is thus noticed in the volume for 1857, page 376 :
“THE MAGAZINE.-We have very great pleasure in announcing that measures have been adopted by the Committee with regard to the Magazine, which will materially enhance its interests, and facilitate the transaction of all business connected with it. Mr. Philip Parker, an active and prudent member of the General Committee, has undertaken to farm and superintend the sale for the year 1858."
BROTHER J. B. SHARPLEY.
PRESIDENT OF THE ANNUAL MEETING, 1857. J. B. SHARPLEY was born March 12, 1800, and died June 24, 1872. Hence his life's day contained seventy-two years three months and twelve days.
Brother Sharpley was no ordinary man. His mind and character placed him at the head of his fellow townsmen, for he was thrice elected Mayor, and with the section of the Methodist family where his lot was cast, he was universally acknowledged as the leader. In the erection of chapels he was not only consulted, but became a trustee to most of them. tablet erected to his memory in the Free Methodist Chapel, Louth, it is said of him :
“ With a mind of great power, he combined earnest piety, Christian catholicity, and a large degree of public spirit; by which he rose to a position of unusual influence both in civil and religious society. He was guardian of the poor, justice of the peace, alderman, and thrice mayor of the borough. For fifty years he sustained with rare efficiency the offices of class-leader, local preacher, and trustee in connection with the Methodist Churches in the Louth Circuit."
One who met in class with him for thirty years, says, “I can bear testimony to his efficiency as a leader. He was regular in his attendance, panctual to a minute, and very seldom, if ever, extended the meeting beyond the hour. He was faithful, judicious, and very kind."
As a Local Preacher, bis ministrations were not only interesting, but very profitable; his earnestness carrying conviction to the sinner's heart. For upwards of thirty years he was secretary to the preachers' meeting. He began to preach when he was about twenty-one years of age, and continued in the work till the Master said, “ It is enough,” and “ his body with his charge laid down."
From the four sketches we have drawn, our readers will see what kind of men came to the front at first; who, if they were honoured by occupying the post of President, did honour to the office to which they were raised.
CHAPTER XII.-ANNUAL MEETING AT BIRMINGHAM. 1858.
Bro. John TOWNE, Melton Mowbray, President. This was the second annual meeting held at Birmingham. It was very fitting that the Association should hold a second meeting in this town;
as from it more especially the society had sprung. The committee met on Saturday evening, June 5th. On the Sunday nineteen chapels were supplied by the delegates to the meeting. A lovefeast was held at Bath Street in the afternoon.
Monday and Tuesday were taken up in the business of the Association, Hom many of the men whose names then appeared as taking part in the discussions are now no longer here. Bro. Towne was elected President, Bro. Wild re-elected Treasurer, and Bro. Wade Hon. Secretary. The report showed benefit members 2,087, honorary 482, total, 2,569; being a decrease of 29 benefit, but an increase of 21 hon. members ;
total decrease of 8. The receipts from benefit members £1,108 7s. 5d., being a decrease of £70 12s. 3d. The investment fund had sunk to £2,932 ls. 4d.
A spirited and lengthened discussion took place on the Magazine, and although the loss upon it in 1857 was only £67 15s. 4d., a brother moved that it be given up. No one ventured, however, to second the motion, and it met with no favour from the meeting, which resolved to carry it on, hoping, under the new management, that the state of things would improve.
As affairs were going backwards, one brother suggested that the £105 salary of the general secretary be reduced. That was not thought reasonable, as the duties of his office occupied the whole of his time. Besides keeping the books, his correspondence numbered 2,000 letters annually.
A public meeting was held on the Monday evening in the Music Hall, under the presidency of Sir John Ratcliffe, Mayor. He gave utterance to a sentiment which has found an echo in the language of Lord Mayor McArthur, as recorded in our January number of this year, page 11. “For my own part, I consider that the duty of preaching the Gospel, Sabbath after Sabbath, as it was preached by the body of Local Preachers, was a duty of infinitely greater importance than that of any merely temporal office, such as I now have the honour to fill.”
On Tuesday evening, Bro. Chamberlain, in the absence of the ex-President, preached the annual sermon in Mosely Street Chapel, text, Matt. vii. 13, 14, “ The broad and the narrow way.” After the sermon the Lord's Supper was commemorated. We don't think the brethren lately have improved upon this practice of having an official sermon from the x-President,
CHAPTER XIII.-ANNUAL MEETING AT NORWICH. 1859.
BROTHER Joseph MASSINGHAM, Norwich, President, The General Committee met on Saturday, June 4th. The brethren supplied a number of places on Sunday, 5th, and collections were taken. The annual sermon was preached in Calvert Street Chapel on Sunday morning, by Bro. Towne, the outgoing President. A love-feast was held in the afternoon, and the Lord's Supper was celebrated at night in the same chapel.
The business commenced on Monday morning. A tea and public meeting was held in the evening. On the Tuesday the business was resumed, and concluded the same day.
The report showed that the number of members was 2,481, of whom 490 were honorary. The benefit members' subscriptions this year amounted to £1,054 7s. 11d., being £53 19s. 60. less than the previous year ; but it is pleasing to notice that the free subsbriptions had increased to £1,046 11s. 4d., being an increase of £233 Os. 1d. on the
year. This favourable result was owing to the commencement of a practice by the President which has been carried out since. Bro. Towne, at his own expense, provided collecting cards, which were distributed throughout the branches; and by this means £330 was raised. Any brother who now aspires to the office of President must work or give; or, rather, must work and give.
The Magazine had risen under the new management, and the loss upon it for 1858 was only £44 11s. 9d. Nothing is reported as having been said at this meeting about giving it up.
The balance sheet showed that the stock had risen to £3,243 12s. 3d., being an increase of £311 10s. 11d. on the year.
At this meeting it was resolved to hold a bazaar in London on behalf of the Association, at the time of the next annual meeting. The month was not allowed to pass away before a special meeting was held at Bro. Thomas Cuthbertson's, Chelsea. Resolutions were passed. A lady trea-surer, three lady secretaries, and a number of ladies were named to form an effective working committee. In September we find the Bazaar Committee had taken shape. Mrs. Wild was appointed treasurer, Mrs. Thos. Cuthbertson, Mrs. Loxdale, and Mrs. Harding, hon. secretaries. These secretaries put themselves in communication with all the branches. Ladies' Committees were formed all over the country, and the matter was taken up and carried out with fine spirit.
At this Norwich meeting, in addition to the election of Bro. Massingham as President, Bro. Wild was re-elected Treasurer, and Bro. Wade Hon. Secretary.
PRESIDENT OF THE ANNUAL MEETING, 1859. JOSEPH MASSINGHAM was born at Cottishall, Norfolk, December 4th, 1810, and died February 22nd, 1868. His life's day on earth compressed into fifty-eight years two months and eighteen days.
Of tbe brethren who were elected to the presidency, Joseph Massingham, so far as our record extends, appears to have been the youngest man, and to have lived the shortest life; only fifty-eight years. Bros. English and Cuthbertson died at the age of sixty-one.
Bro. Massingham was converted to God when he was about twenty years
age, and became a local preacher when he was about twenty-four, and a class-leader a year or two after. Wherever he went in the first capacity the people flocked to hear him, although he had very humble views of himself as a preacher, and shrunk from engaging extensively in that work. But he had a very great influence over young men; and many, under his guidance, were brought out as local preachers, and have done good service in the church of God. One now in London would do credit to any pulpit in the land.
It was as a class-leader that Bro. Massingham excelled. He had three classes in Norwich, containing 130 members. One who met with him says, “ As a leader I believe few could equal him. He had a power of penetration, was sound in judgment, but kind, gentle, and winning; hence he gathered around him a large number of the youth of the church, by whom he was greatly beloved. Although he had a great many to speak to at each meeting, he had something fresh for every one; his resources in this respect seemed to be exhaustless, and the meetings were as interesting as they were profitable."
As he was one of the treasurers of the Reform Fund, we frequently met in committee, and in the annual meeting, and we never heard him utter a harsh word, nor knew him to do an unkind act. He was a fine specimen of the Christian gentleman. He was modest and retiring; and although his talents and his character brought him to the front, there was nothing assuming about him. He is gone early; one would think too .early; but “ the Lord had need of him.”
(To be continued.)
A BRIEF FAMILY TOUR IN DEVON AND CORNWALL.
(Continued from page 151.) Monday, October 15th. We were up middling early, to be in time for the omnibus. Our hotel bill contained charges of six shillings a day for attendance, and three days reckoned, making eighteen shillings for that item. As we arrived in the evening of Friday, and were leaving in the morning of Monday, and had been away nearly the whole of Saturday, having had dinner attendance on Sunday only, we thought the charge for attendance extravagant, and therefore, complained and appealed against it. The landlord, on having the matter placed before him, at once struck off six shillings, restricting the charge under that item to two days. With this we were satisfied, as we were with the comfort of the