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was a delight, and honourable.” The earliest prayer-meeting, and the latest service, alike found him present in the house of God, unless unavoidably prevented by ill health.
His enlightened charity especially considered the souls of his fellowcreatures. This was seen particularly during the recent gracious visitations experienced among the Leeds societies and congregations. When a prayer-meeting was held, he was among the foremost in assisting to carry it on; and when he saw persons who appeared to be under the influence of penitential sorrow and distress, he readily entered into their feelings, prayed for them, and affectionately directed them to “ behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
In the exercises of family devotion, commenced with his earliest religious purposes, and continued to the close of his life, he was conscientiously regular, and his fervency declared his sense of their importance. With him it was no formal service, to be performed carelessly or hastily; but a solemn business, in which at the head of his household he drew near to the throne of grace, and worshipped God. He always read the Scriptures impressively, and sometimes took the opportunity of explaining particular passages, or founding some brief exhortation upon them. As the master of a family, he never lost sight of the spiritual profit of the members of it.
In a word, the simplicity and humility which were so observable in his general character, were the fruits of his sincere and active piety. He felt that he was the creature and the servant of God, and he set the Lord always before him, and appeared to have all his judgments of himself, all his feelings, influenced by his recollection of the divine presence. He furnished a practical illustration of the principles expressed in the verse of the hymn,
“ Still may I walk as in thy sight,
My strict Observer see ;
My child-like heart to thee.” 2. Closely connected with the preceding, was his exemplary filial piety, which was a shining feature in his character. He was at all times an affectionate and dutiful
“ but no sooner," observes the friend whose testimony has already been quoted, “ did age and infirmity incapacitate his parents from the ordinary business of life, than he brought them to dwell under his more immediate care, and to be the sharers of those temporal blessings with which God had crowned his undertakings." Nor was he less attentive to their spiritual interests : they met with him in class, and he visibly strove to promote their eternal good, as well as their earthly comfort. One of his surviving sisters (to whom, in her widowhood, with her family, he most affectionately ministered) says, that he never addressed his parents, even in a religious meeting, without some expression of respect and honour. Such an example all would do well to imitate who are placed in similar circumstances.
3. In all his official relations he was equally faithful and exemplary. We do not now advert to his civic and magisterial offices; these have been daily before the eyes of his approving townsmen: we have rather to do with those which he sustained in connexion with the church of which he was a member. As a Local Preacher he occupied a very
respectable position among his brethren. His public addresses were plain and practical. In them he aimed directly at the heart. In the language of one of his friends, “ His exhibition of Christ, and of the plan of salvation by faith in his sacrifice, were simple, clear, and impressive. He frequently illustrated the attributes and perfections of God by reference to the works of creation, and the plans of providence; and many have derived intellectual pleasure as well as spiritual benefit from his discourses.” Nor, to the last, even when increasing years might be supposed to occasion some physical weakness, was there the slightest sign of decay in the earnest
and devout feeling with which religious services were conducted by him. As a Class-Leader, he was highly gifted. Piety and intelligence, sacred affection and a sound judgment, were united in him, and the whole supported by a holy and consistent example. His counsels were judiciously discriminating. Over those who were intrusted to his care, he watched with a constant sense of his responsibility both to the church and to God; and during his long career, many had occasion to be thankful for the vigilant inspection which he conscientiously exercised, and the suitable advice which they received from him. And it was the same in every office he was called to sustain. His acceptance of it he regarded as a sacred pledge that he would endeavour, by a faithful discharge of its duties, to secure the objects of its institution.
4. The truly practical and active character of his piety deserves to be recorded. It was illustrated in his constant readiness for every good work. He felt that he had not only received freely, but much; and that he thus owed to his God a debt which he could never repay, but which he was always glad to acknowledge. In promoting the establishment, extension, and prosperity of what he believed to be the cause of God, and that not only at home, but also abroad, he was in an element in which he delighted to move. To the erection of suitable places for the worship of Almighty God, and the accommodation of the large numbers who were desirous of hearing the words preached by which they might be saved, he liberally contributed. In the formation of the first Wesleyan Missionary Society, (the Meeting for which purpose was held in Leeds,) he took an honourable part; and one of his latest public acts was, his acceptance of the chair at one of the Missionary Anniversaries held in Leeds, on which occasion he gave utterance to a sentiment affecting in itself, but especially so when viewed in connexion with his sudden removal from earth only a fortnight subsequently. He said, “What I do for God, I feel that I must do quickly; for with me, at all events, the night cometh, when no man can work.” The important concerns of the Leeds Oxford-place chapeltrust owed much to his activity and diligence as the Treasurer of its funds; and all who were acquainted with him knew how deep was the interest with which he entered into all the plans which had for their object the promotion of the Christian education of the children
5. A remark or two may be properly added on the subject of his Christian benevolence. He liberally contributed to the various connexional funds of the body to which he belonged ; and when any extraordinary calls have been addressed, on behalf of any of them, to persons occupying a position like that to which, by the blessing of Providence, he had been brought, he has always nobly responded to it.
of the poor.
We may just observe, that in his Will he directs that £550 be funded, the annual proceeds of which are to be devoted to the benefit of ten poor widows attached to the house of prayer in which he worshipped ; thus leaving a standing memorial of his remembrance of the poor, according to the commandment of our Lord Jesus Christ. . To these notices of Mr. Musgrave's personal history and general character, we proceed to add an account of his sudden removal from earth to heaven,-a transition so momentary, that to him it would be almost like a translation.
On Sunday, May 26th, 1844, he attended, as was his wont, the morning prayer-meeting at Oxford-place chapel, and shared in conducting the services. He selected the beautiful hymn on the 352d page of the Wesleyan Hymn-Book, beginning,
"O come and dwell in me,
Spirit of power within !” and gave out, with a very impressive earnestness, the last verse ; which, when regarded in connexion with the solemn event which occurred before the day had closed, might almost be considered as premonitory,
"I want the witness, Lord,
That all I do is right,
Well-pleasing in thy sight.
Indulge me but in this;
To my eternal bliss." Often had he selected hymns expressive of his own feelings, at the same time that they were suited to his fellow-worshippers ; but never, surely, was this more the case than in this last hymn given out by him, and with which his public religious service of God in his church may be said to have been concluded.
He attended the forenoon service at the same chapel as usual, and in the evening was proceeding there by a somewhat circuitous, but quiet, route, for the benefit of the air, and for more undisturbed meditation, that he might join in that service also. But it was otherwise appointed; and instead of joining those who “sing the Lamb in hymns below,” he was called to the nobler company who sing his praise “ in hymns above.” He was observed to stagger and fall by an individual in the street, who immediately ran to his assistance, and found him insensible. Medical aid was procured in a minute or two, but life was extinct: he had been instantaneously removed into eternity. The cause, it was afterwards ascertained, was disease of the heart. Perhaps few men would have been found more blessedly prepared for such an event than himself. Solemn as sudden death always is, yet, in the case of the saints of God, made meet by divine grace for the heavenly inheritance, a sacred glory brightens the solemnity. Unconscious of the pain of death, they pass at once to the joys of heaven.
We conclude this memoir by the following extracts from a letter, written, after receiving, at Cheltenham, (where he was at the time visiting) the intelligence of Mr. Musgrave's death, by his old friend and affectionate fellow-labourer, William Gilyard Scarth, Esq.:
“I have been revolving in my mind,” Mr. Scarth writes, “more than forty years of Christian friendship and brotherly intercourse, without being able to recur to one instance in which they have suffered any interruption. It is true, that on various occasions we took different views of the same subject, and therefore could not always be of the same judgment; for he was a man who thought for himself
, and spoke what he thought; yet this never produced any personal shyness, much less any alienation of affection. I think, therefore, that I may
be allowed to say, that he was a brother beloved, a constant friend, a man whom I highly esteemed and respected.” After mentioning some points in his early history which have been already stated, and bearing testimony to the excellent character which he so steadily maintained from the very beginning, Mr. Scarth says :-“Hence he rose, from comparative obscurity, to considerable eminence, both in that section of the church to which he was united, and in that populous and affluent borough in which he so long resided,—an eminence to which he himself had no thought of aspiring, but to which he was called by the suffrages of those whom he felt it his duty to obey. I think we have here a fine specimen of talents, not in themselves shining, but sanctified and faithfully improved, and usefully employed in serving God, and his generation by the will of God.” The writer proceeds to refer to his conduct in the various offices which he was called to sustain, as well as to his character in social life ; fully establishing, by his own personal knowledge, the description which has now been given. He thus concludes his letter :-“ I forbear to add more. I know it would be no gratification to his bereaved friends, deeply sorrowing under bis recent sudden removal from them, to hear from me any studied eulogium of his worth ; but I have felt a mournful pleasure in bearing this testimony to the memory of an old and valued friend. He sleeps in Jesus,' with those on whom inspiration has pronounced the highest panegyric that can belong to a “sinner saved by grace,' — Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth : Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.'"
MEMOIR OF MRS. MARGARET HODGSON,
OF MORANT-BAY, JAMAICA :
God's way is in the sea, his path in the great waters, and his footsteps are not known. In the dispensations of his providence, events occur, the reason for which the most acute penetration is unable to discover. Yet, though his ways are thus past finding out, justice, goodness, and mercy characterize all the acts of his providential government. Among events of this kind, none are more mysterious than is the removal of persons engaged in the work of God, and endowed with talents such as warrant the expectation of great usefulness. But how frequently is this hope disappointed! They are seen to enter fully into the spirit of their duty; they secure the affection and confidence of those to whom their benevolent efforts are directed; when suddenly, just when most is anticipated, they are called to cease from their labours, and to go hence, and be no more seen. But it is the Lord, and let him do what seemeth bim good.
These reflections have been suggested by the unexpected death of the wife of an esteemed Missionary; and the writer wishes to put on permanent record some brief notices of her history, not so much in honour of the dead, though she was deserving of it, but for the instruction of the living.
Margaret Hodgson was born at Preston, Lancashire, in the year 1804. Her parents, Mr. John and Mrs. Ellen Davis, were at that time members of the established Church. While she was yet young, her father was convinced of his sinful state under a sermon which he heard, and shortly afterwards he became a member of the Methodist society. Enlightened, as well as impressed, by the ministry of the word, he was soon led to venture his whole soul upon the atonement of our Lord Jesus, and became filled with all joy and peace. The worship of God was immediately established in his house ; and, morning and evening, the different members of his family were collected to hear the Scriptures read, and to join in supplications and thanksgivings to the God of all their mercies, personal and social. It is believed that Margaret's earliest religious impressions were derived from this source ; an instance of the value both of prayer generally, and of these household devotions in particular, that deserves to be remembered.
The regular attendance of the family on the public worship of God strengthened her convictions of sin, so that her desires to consecrate herself to the Lord became more and more apparent; and thus, while she was yet a child, there is satisfactory evidence to prove that she knew the God of her father, and was earnestly anxious to serve him with a perfect heart and a willing mind. She continued steadily to maintain her Christian course : her love for the people of God with whom she enjoyed church-fellowship was lively and increasing; and when she united with them in the various means of grace, her heart re-echoed the sentiments of David: “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go up to the house of the Lord.”
The time when she received the inward knowledge of salvation by the remission of sins, cannot now be distinctly ascertained. It is only known that she was faithful to those convictions which the Holy Spirit had wrought in her heart, and “sought the Lord till he came and rained righteousness upon her.” She was thus brought to love God, because he had first loved her. As she grew older, the duties of Sabbath tuition, Missionary collecting, visiting the sick, &c., were pressed upon her; and although she saw, and often lamented, her inability to perform them to her own satisfaction, yet she“ did what she could.” Her associates saw in her the grace of God, and admired her modest perseverance. That she was successful in the various matters she took in hand, is not to be wondered at, as she blended all she did with devotional exercises. She remembered who had said, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret ; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." Private prayer was her delight, her meat and drink; and from her closet she often went forth with renewed strength, to run without weariness, and to walk without fainting
Having cultivated an early acquaintance with the sacred writings, it
“ But thou,