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THE Editor, in accordance with long established custom, having concluded the labours of the year, so far as they relate to the WesleyanMethodist Magazine considered as a monthly Periodical, has now to supply the observations which, when the Numbers are bound into a volume, shall occupy the place of the preface. Among these observations it is usual to place expressions of the sense which the Editor entertains of the kindness of his correspondents, and of that liberal support which the Magazine receives from the increasingly numerous subscribers who honour it with their patronage. That which has to be said constantly, at regularly recurring periods, may easily be considered as customary and common-place form; but in the present case it is not so. The Editor feels the obligation which he thus acknowledges; but he likewise feels it to be a pleasant one. With both correspondents and subscribers he seems to have contracted an acquaintance, and to be holding continual and friendly intercourse with them. At the same time, he acknowledges that the confidence thus reposed in him is connected with a degree of responsibility to which every year adds weight. The more numerous the subscribers, the more is the Editor bound to provide, as far as his assigned limits will allow, for that variety of tastes and wishes which may exist along with that entire agreement which, in reference to religious and moral principles, and for the most part in reference to their application also, is known to be established between himself and his readers. He trusts he has not been altogether unsuccessful ever in this the most difficult branch of editorial duty. It is a subject which shall have his very careful attention during the months of the ensuing year; and he hopes that his correspondents will aid him in seeking to present, in each monthly collection, articles which shall both instruct and gratify every class of readers. He may be allowed to add, that as it is designed that particular care should be taken in procuring and furnishing the most interesting and useful materials, his present subscribers and readers may feel themselves quite at liberty in using their influence to obtain for the Wesleyan Magazine an extension of public patronage. No affected humility shall prevent the Editor from expressing his conviction-and he is persuaded that the vast majority of his readers entertain it with himself-that what is called Wesleyan Methodism presents Christian doctrine in its most perfect and consistent form; and that the position in which the Wesleyan Methodists have been placed-they believe providentially-is not only one in which they have "the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left," but one in which, if they be united and faithful, they may be the means of rendering important services both to the church and to the world. To maintain that position, and to point out those services, will be, from time to time, the duty of the Editor. He hopes that he shall be enabled so to discharge it, that his readers, on the whole, shall have
no cause to be dissatisfied with his labours. He wishes he might be permitted to maintain his position without engaging in polemic discussions; but this he rather wishes than expects. In controversy, however, he engages to be, to the best of his knowledge, honest and impartial; not to enter into it where it can honourably be avoided, but having undertaken the task, to be faithful in the duties which it imposes.
Unremitting care will be taken to make the literary department of the Magazine what its readers expect. There are certain great religious principles which, when the application is required by the subject of the work, it is the Editor's duty to apply with fidelity, and to deliver judgment accordingly; but where these principles are not implicated, the opinion given of the work will be formed in reference to its general merits alone, without any reference whatever to the source whence it proceeds, or the author by whom it is written.
But whatever be the particular nature and specific object of separate articles, the careful endeavour of the Editor will be to make the Wesleyan Magazine an instrument of spreading the influence of principles which he would describe as orthodox, evangelical, and Protestant. And though, if necessary, these principles will be defended as well as asserted, it will be to the Editor a far more pleasing task to present them in connexion with what is often called, experimental and practical godliness, religion as experienced in the heart, and manifested in the life. In fact, on no parts of the labours of the year does the Editor look back with greater satisfaction than on those by which he has been enabled to present, in the form of Memoirs, Obituaries, and Recent Deaths, such striking exhibitions of the nature of religion in such numerous and varying cases, and of its great and unvarying power to form a character of living holiness, and to inspire peace, and joy, and even triumph in the hour of death.
Nor does the Editor attach less importance to the accounts with which he is each month favoured, of the progress of the Gospel on the Wesleyan Missionary stations. The reader will have observed that for the present year, the Missionary Notices have been given entire. The Editor has reason to believe that in the coming year this portion of each monthly Number will be more deeply interesting than ever. The arrangement which gives the whole Missionary Notice, it will be understood, is not temporary, but will be continued in future, as during the past year.
The Editor unaffectedly casts himself on the kindness and candour of his readers, not only for general support, but for the most favourable construction of all his proceedings. Earnestly does he desire that every reader may personally experience the full influence and benefit of the principles of religion which it is the object of the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine to recommend.
FOR JANUARY, 1839.
MEMOIR OF THE REV. THOMAS ROGERSON:
BY HIS SON, the Rev. THOMAS ROGERSON, JUN. BIOGRAPHICAL Sketches of persons who have exemplified the power of religion through a number of years, and whose lives have been employed in the service of the church, are generally acknowledged to have a beneficial influence; and their usefulness is augmented when they relate to those who have yielded to the power of divine grace in the interesting season of youth, and have preferred the pleasures of piety to the gratifications of sense. To witness the progress of the Christian through years of exemplary holiness till the last victory is won, and God crowns a life of mercy with a triumphant end, is to witness that the divine mercy and faithfulness contain a sufficiency for all the trials to which we may be exposed, and the spectacle powerfully contributes to the establishment of our own faith and hope.
The readers of the following narrative will not forget that it is the narrative of a son. He wishes to divest himself, however, of all filial partiality, and to give a faithful representation of his father's conduct and character. He trusts that his object is, not to eulogize the dead, but to benefit the living, and to glorify God.
As my father left no journal of his religious experience, this memoir will be compiled principally from family reminiscences, assisted by the letters which from time to time he wrote to his various friends, and with many of which the writer has been favoured.
He was born at Lynn-regis, in the county of Norfolk, on the 19th of July, 1764. His parents, though not acquainted with the power of experimental religion, yet instructed him in divine things to the best of their knowledge; but they knew not how to direct him to seek for power over the carnal mind, nor for deliverance "from this present evil world." While, therefore, he was not altogether neglectful of the form of godliness, he had no idea of its power, and grew up giddy and heedless, ensnared by the vanities that surrounded him, a lover of pleasure more than a lover of God.
At the proper time he was apprenticed to a respectable tradesman in Lynn; but the love of pleasure and independence so increased with his years, that, resolutely bent to follow his own inclinations, before his period of servitude had expired, he entered a vessel bound to Norway, and it was only by the production of his indentures on the return of the vessel to England, that he was liberated from his new engagements. VOL. XVIII. Third Series. JANUARY, 1839.
He has said, in after-life, that, even at this time, he was any thing but comfortable; he felt that he was not doing right, and the anguish he endured from the condemnation of his own conscience was sometimes intolerable.
It was in the twentieth year of his age that his mind received a direction from which, by the mercy of God, he never afterwards swerved. The Methodists at Lynn were not very numerous, and had often to experience the same opposition which they met with in other places. They pursued their way, however, steadily and in the fear of God, and their religious services were attended with the divine blessing. They were accustomed to hold a meeting for prayer on the Sunday afternoon at the house of one of the members of the society; and my father, passing by the house at the time of the meeting, went to the door to listen. Overhearing some of the petitions, he was so impressed that he opened the door, went into the room, and continued till the meeting was over. He was so affected, and light from heaven shone so clearly on his mind, discovering to him the sinfulness of that forgetfulness of God in which he had hitherto lived, that he could not refrain from crying aloud for mercy. He tasted the bitterness of sin, and resolved to flee from it, and to seek for the salvation of his soul without delay. He began now to attend on the ministry of the Methodist Preachers, and his convictions and resolutions were deepened and strengthened under the pointed and faithful ministry of the Rev. John Barber, who was at that time the Superintendent Preacher of the Circuit.
I had once the gratification of hearing him refer very explicitly at a lovefeast to this important period of his life. He remarked that he was returning home from the Sabbath-evening preaching, his mind heavily burdened with the guilt of his sin. It was a beautiful moonlight night. He regarded the moon and the stars, and thought on their glorious Creator. He reflected on the divine wisdom and power; but as he meditated, an awful sense of the holiness of God seemed to take possession of his mind, and he almost unconsciously exclaimed, "And what am I? A sinner; a guilty, hell-deserving sinner." He said he had such a view of the sinfulness of sin, that he wondered the earth did not swallow him up. He saw plainly that there was in him no good thing, and that he could only be saved by the grace of God through the redemption that was in Jesus Christ. 'He did not at this time receive the forgiveness of sins, but the views which were thus afforded him increased his determination to seek till he should find, and to knock till the door should be opened to him. It was about two months afterwards, when attending the weekly meeting of the elass which he had joined, being in very deep distress, and praying earnestly for deliverance, that he obtained the blessing he had for some time importunately sought. He had a clear spiritual discovery of the mercy of God in Christ, and was enabled to rest his soul in the merits